Friday, December 15, 2017

The end of the year

After Rolling Thunder at the end of October, I didn't even go for a ride the next week and then we had a good few days of snow. That had me thinking that my outdoor riding season was mostly over. But then it didn't snow for like a whole month and I made it back outside a few times.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Another 1x11 review

This year I swapped both my mountain and cyclocross bikes from 2x10 to 1x11 drivetrains. Like I mentioned, this is simpler, lighter, easier to use, and tends to keep the chain in place better with the big chainring teeth and clutched derailleur. And like I did with the mtb drivetrain, I figured I should get a little use out of the new cx parts before giving it much of a review.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Words about my new road bike

I mentioned a new road bike awhile ago, but didn't really go into detail. I've been riding it all year and figured it was time, since I want to get a little more into talking about equipment and different rides and routes instead of myself all the time. I guess posts about trail work and the zootown derailleurs would be good ideas too.

Yeah, about that new road bike. It's nice

Friday, December 1, 2017

Rolling Thunder Cyclocross 2017

Rolling Thunder tends to mark the end of the season, and not just for racing, because winter usually shows up not too long after. This year we got cold weather and a big snowstorm a few days later (although it's been nice since and I've been out riding a bunch).

Like last year, I made sure to get out and help Shaun with the course. Thunder takes quite a bit more work than the standard Wednesday night series. Mostly it just comes down to driving in stakes and running tape but there is some other stuff that needs to happen too. Without any help Shaun would end up doing all himself and I had free time, so really it was about the least I could do. There is also a really nice benefit of helping with the course and that is being able to get very familiar with it before the race.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Wednesday night cyclocross

Cross season is over for me, and there won't be much more outdoor riding this year, so I guess I could write about it. Once again we had a 6-race Wednesday night series plus Rolling Thunder. I went to all of those, but did miss all the out of town Wild West series races again. Partially because I never got around to buying a USAC license, and partly because it's a lot of time and expense to go travel every weekend to race. I was also afraid of getting burnt out by the time thunder came around.

Friday, September 29, 2017

New parts for the CX bike

Cyclocross season just started, and this will be my 4th season on the Orbea. Apparently that is a long time to have a bike now, and I've heard "you should get a new one" quite a few times. I guess that would be nice, but I already bought a bike this year, and the cx bike just needed a bit of maintenance. Until now, about all I've done is put on new tires when they wore out. And replaced the chain once. So, after all that time and a few wet and muddy events, the shifting quality was not like new. It still worked, but sometimes shifts on the rear cassette were slow or I'd have to overshift to get to a bigger cog. Of course fresh cables and housings would have fixed the issue, but where's the fun in that?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Summer in Canada

This summer, I wound up in Canada for awhile. Probably not a surprise, seeing how I'm a Canadian and all. This trip wound up taking a little longer than I'd planned due to a constriction project, and there were some comments as to "I didn't think you were coming back" upon my return. Thankfully I had anticipated being there more than just a week or two and brought some bikes with. Un-thankfully, Lethbridge, Alberta, sucks for riding.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Sram GX 1x11 MTB drivetrain 1000 mile review

This spring, I finally caught up with the rest of the world and got rid of the front derailleur on my mountain bike. Now I've got some good miles and a few races on it and thought I'd write some more words. I see way too many reviews of stuff that consists of "hey check out these new parts, looks cool, right?" Well, try it out for an extended period of time and get back to me. So that's what I've done, and the conclusion is that it's pretty good.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Mountain Bike Season

Road racing season came and went pretty quickly, and the summer has had me wondering about my choice to buy a new road bike this year as opposed to spending that money on MTB and CX stuff. A full suspension bike sure would be sweet and the cross bike could use a new drivetrain and some wider, tubeless-ready wheels. But no, not really, because I like road riding and it's an awesome bike.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Rocky Mountain Roubaix

I think the Rocky Mountain Roubaix is Montana's longest running bike race, and it was the first real road race I ever entered. Road racing has been in a bit of a decline around here, with more people opting to race mountain bikes and cyclocross, or just ride for fun instead. The wednesday series' are inexpensive, easy, and fun. Traveling to road races, on the other hand, tends not to be. You have to drive across the state, spend a bunch of money, and often spend the day suffering alone on the road. Then half the racers have left the time the awards start. I'm starting to think that having free beer and a bbq or something is key to good racer turnout.

Anyway, I've done the roubaix 5 times now, but since it's about our only road race I have been stuck in category 4. Next time I buy a license, I do get to upgrade to 3, but haven't had a reason to do that because most of our races, including the roubaix this year, don't require one. Like the Hell Ride, this was done as a "gran fondo." So there was the choice of the A race of 70 miles or B race of 40 miles. Having always been in the "B" race as a 4/5, this was my chance to move up ride with the fast guys.

Last year it was pouring rain and miserable. The dirt sections were slick mud and you couldn't see where you were going. It ruined all the bearings and cables and housings on my caad 9 and that was the last time I ever rode it since the crack in the chainstay had been growing. This year the forecast looked decent- just cloudy with possible showers. So of course in the morning it was raining, but I felt optimistic. Then I got to frenchtown, and it was still raining, and looked like it was raining on the course. So, yeah, it rained again. And was cold.

Friday, May 26, 2017

2017 Montana Hell Ride

I suppose road racing season is over already, after speedwagon, the hell ride, and roubaix. I wanted to set up some sort of prizes for the people who did all three (there are only 7 of us), but so far that hasn't happened.

Last time I mentioned a possible new road bike, and, well, I have this:

Saturday, April 8, 2017

A new bike season

I guess it's been awhile since I posted anything on here so here is what I've been not doing lately. Winter was pretty long this year, and after riding and racing pretty much non-stop from mid-January through the end of November I was not all that motivated to work out and ride the trainer.

I did ride the trainer a few times, and I did walk and hike a few times, cross country skied, downhill skied, but it wasn't a whole lot. 2-3 hours was a big week for me. What I did do was drink plenty of beer and sit around.