Saturday, December 30, 2006


I went out to the White Tanks today with a decent sized group and got mine handed to me. 32x18 was a bit tall for the 6.5 miles of continuous climbing, at least it was a bit tall for my fat ass. I was pretty well tanked by the time we headed back down and I paid the price with less than a mile to go. While I was looking downhill past the switchback to find the group, I nailed a fairly tall rock waterbar and took a trip over the bars. I went down pretty hard on my right arm right in front of a couple of hikers. I've now got a nice 4" diameter by 1/2" welt right below my elbow and some pretty good pain every time I flex that muscle. I was concerned about the possibility of a break not long after but I had three of my pre-docs check it out and it looks like I'm going to live. I had plans to do a nice long kick off ride on Monday to start up my resolution, I hope that still happens at this point, but we'll just have to see how I feel.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas Bling

Michele got me a Chris King headset for Christmas. This is one of those items that has always been on my list and just out of reach. Now I'm not trying to say that I couldn't really afford it but when the upgrade money is there, there's always something else in critical shape or some unbelievable deal on blingy parts normally out of reach for a guy like me. My Cane Creek S-2 had a decent 2 year run, but as luck would have it, it started creaking like crazy on my Christmas day ride around Papago with Star. I took the bike to Rage yesterday where Curly pressed the King and all was right with the world once more.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Rides

The vast majority of my riding in the past year has been on the trails in the Phoenix Mountains Preserves of North Phoenix. The main trail that people think of in the Preserves is Trail 100 that runs from 7th Ave to Tatum and is approx 11 miles long. I usually try to stay off of T-100 and ride the numerous off shoots in the Eastern part of the Preserves. The majority trails are not terribly difficult and doesn't have much in the way of climbs over 1/2 mile long. It is however pretty easy to find some technical riding if you know where to look and that makes the system fairly diverse. I usually start from the Dreamy Draw parking lot and head East from there unless I'm with Michele, then we usually start from 32nd street.

I've also made a few trips out of town last summer to escape the heat. I went to Flagstaff a number of times, plus a couple visits to Prescott and one to Sedona. I can't say that I'm a huge fan of Phoenix the city but I really like the fact that this place offers such a nice variety of trail within a couple of hours from home, not to mention all of the trails right in town.

Lately I've been branching out quite a bit and in the last month I've ridden a number of new to me trails, including Black Canyon Trail, Casa Grande, Hawes, and Fantasy Island down in Tucson. I really enjoy logging new trails. There's something about not really knowing where your headed and the mystery terrain that lies around each corner that makes a ride just that much more exciting.

In the next six months before we leave(not certain yet about the leaving) I really want to hit up as much more new trail as I can because who knows where I'll be and when I'll make it back.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Why Singlespeed?

I'm not sure I can really tell you what it is about one gear, maybe the lack of drivetrain problems, the reduced bike weight, or maybe it's just the way non singlespeeders seem to think I'm hard core.

First of all, not hardcore. Singlespeed is not harder than riding a geared bike, just different. I'm faster on the hills(so long as I can stay on my bike), slower on the flats, and the downhills are just the same. The biggest difference though is the way I use the rest of my body when I ride, technical climbs take a lot more body english than I had ever used in my pre singlespeed days. I'm constantly working the bike underneath me, rocking those wide downhill bars from side to side and shifting my body fore and aft to get that extra little push when the going gets steep. At the end of a long ride with a fair number climbs I find that my arms are just as tired as my legs. It makes for a nice workout.

Lack of drivetrain weight can't be it, bike plus rider plus gear comes to something near 285 pounds, how much difference could a couple of pounds of bike make.

I think it's gotta be about the fact that I never have to work on the drivetrain, ever. No ghost shifting, no cable stretch, no dropped chains, just sweet, simple, straight forward, one speed drivetrain efficiency. A little lube every other ride to keep things quiet and I'm good to go.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Machine

I only have one bike, and here it is in all it's glory. Well not so much anymore, but this is how it looked the day after it showed up at my house two and a half years ago.

I've got a philosophy when it comes to bike purchases, get the bike that has the best frame you're going to find for the money you have and upgrade components later. The bike came with pretty basic components. The first thing I did before I even rode the bike was swap the brakeset in favor of Avid BB7s and Avid Speeddial Mag levers. In the last thirty months everything else has gone too except for the seatpost and crankset. Some parts were ditched in favor of comfort, others because of breakage, and a couple for that little touch of bling.

The important part is the frame, and after two and a half years it's still going strong. The bike is a 16" frame and even though it looks a little small the top tube is the perfect length for me. This is the first bike I've ever had that didn't have me so stretched out that I would end every ride with back pain, and not just the epics.

The Man

Well here I am, a 30 year old fat man.

The first part is pretty straight forward, I'm 30. I'm ok with 30, age has never bothered me, and 30 is still quite young as far as I'm concerned.

The fat man part is what gets me. I weighed myself this morning and came in at 254lbs. I've hovered around 250-260 for quite a while now and it's really got to stop. I'm not really all that tall at 5'-8" but I've always been a pretty stocky guy. For the way I'm built, I think 200 would be a nice weight. It is after all a round number.

Now, I think I should point out that I'm not that bad of a mountain biker. I can keep up a decent pace and ~20 mile rides are not much of a problem. There does come a point however where everything starts to fall apart for me and I think it comes too soon. I start walking my bike uphill before I'd like too, I run out of steam on the flats too soon, and downhill, well who are we kidding, with my gravity assist I rock the downhills no matter how tired.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

And so it begins...

Starting the first of the year I'm going to chronicle 2007 for me and my bike, this blog will be an integral part of my weight loss resolution. I've never kept up with a New Years resolution in my life and I likely won't keep up with this one, but I'm sure as hell going to try. During the course of the year I will log every ride including the when, where, mileage, climbing totals, who I rode with, and my current weight. My goal is really to bring my weight back down to a reasonable number once again. I'll post a couple more times before the year starts to lay out the baseline stats on both me and the bike and come January one we'll be ready to roll.