Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just like Ice Cube

I gotta say it was a good day.

While I didn't mess around and get a triple double, I did pick up the cash flow.
But that's not what this is about.

During the day Monday, I started plotting the suspension overhaul on my car and it looked like my best opportunity (short of taking a day off) was to split my efforts over two days. Looking at the repair destructions, I figured the rear shock replacement wouldn't take too long so I tackled that first. It was pretty straightforward and I was done in about 2 hours.
I then shifted focus to my front wheel, since it had been gnawing at me for about a week. I dove in and replaced the previously mentioned alu nips with brass. Truing it was straightforward and I was done with everything by 10:30p. Plenty of time to stretch and hit the sack on time. Monday was for sure a good day.

OK, so back to the race. I actually didn't feel so hot during the race since I tried a new concoction of nutrition. Apparently Gatorade and Accel Gel give my GI tract fits. So bad, in fact, that I hemorrhaged about 5 minutes on the last lap. Not terrible though since Brad and I were able to build up a pretty good lead, so I still took second. It took me the rest of the day to feel better, so I won't be trying that again.

So I hope tonight is more of the same as yesterday. The front proves to be more difficult and time consuming so I'll need some good juju.


-the ATM

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I'm actually pretty pissed. I've popped 3 nipples on my training wheels in the span of 4 days.
The first two happened at the same time and were non-braking spokes on the front wheel. WTF? front wheels are supposed to have lower tension (and even) to prevent this problem, plus non-braking spokes are even less cyclically loaded than braking spokes so they should be the ultra durables ones. Oy gevalt.

It's pretty funny because I actually had a draft post almost ready to publish yesterday (before nip #3 broke) where I said the following:
"Now call me crazy but if I were a betting man, I'd wager the drive side rear would blow a spoke or nip waaaay before two on the front. There is considerably more tension in the rear, afterall."
So which nipple popped tonight? yessir, driveside rear, thank you.

Now I've not exactly been kind to these wheels. They've pretty much been my bitch for the last two years, and they get ridden every where in every condition. Lately I've been logging lots of miles in the rain, but I routinely wash after a rain ride. Granted I don't relube the nip/eyelet joint but I didn't think that was needed. silly boy.

I went through the front wheel on Monday, checking tension and found several on the high side of acceptable, so I went to take a full turn out of each one. Problem is, that whole no-lube of eyelet joint thing kinda bit me, as I rounded a few more nips in the process. Oy gevalt!
Another bit I had ready to post yesterday:
"Makes me think about relacing using brass nips, which isn't a big deal I guess but I've had ZERO problems with Aluminum nips in the 5+ years I've been using them for both road and mountain."
On the way home after the breakage tonight I almost justified keeping the alu nips but decided I'm probably on the verge of blowing out all the nips on the rear so I'll just start over with brass.

I'm fairly certain the pummeling they've taken as of late with all the wet rides is a major contributor. Any triflo that was between the nipple and eyelet has long been gone, and the SpokePrep has pretty much taken ahold. Mix in continuous cyclic loading and something's bound to give.

On the good side of things, the auction ended for my Shamals and I got paid tonight, so I get to make way for the new hotness.

-the ATM

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy weekend, indeed!

This weekend was already planned to be quite busy with much to do on my mom's car. We traded cars last weekend so I could do some routine maintenance over a two week period, instead of trying to shove it all in a day's time. I already changed the transmission and final drive fluid earlier in the week, and tonight I had planned on starting some minor engine work to replace some seals in the upper valve train area. Not a hard job, just time consuming. Next week is oil change and a wax job.
So I was working my way through the work day when I started having odd glitches with my computer trying to open up Excel. OK, so a reboot is in order...
...only problem is it kept shutting down during reboot, then start the process over. Ugh. not a good sign. I called the IT help desk and the prognosis was not good. He figured he may be able to have a functioning computer back to me by 5 but no promises. Note I said a functioning computer. He did not say my computer. Basically, the hard drive is dead and all my files with it. We have this fancy backup program that takes 30 minutes to run every week, and slow the computer down in the process but when a hard drive fails it's pretty much worthless. So that is a waste of time. Awesome.
Result? Screw it... I made a few calls then bagged it for the day. Nice, because I can get started on the project earlier than expected. Sucks because all the work I don't do today will be there on Monday.
This weekend was further bolstered with the package that was on my doorstep when I got home...

Ah yes, the shocks that have been on back order for about 5 weeks now.
This is awesome because I've been dealing with the blown original shocks for about 6 months now. First order of business once I get my car back is to tear into the suspension. To say I can't wait is an understatement.

Anyway, I had a good ride last night. Made some good power and didn't have the shit feeling in my legs like I did last weekend. I also figured out that I screwed up the transfer of measurements from MTB to road bike, so my saddle was 5mm farther back than desired. I kinda noticed this on Wednesday, with some shooting knee pain so figured I would revert back to the old position on my road bike since I felt awesome with that setup. Upon baseline measuring, I discovered the error. Sweet baby Jesus, that was troubling. I bumped it forward then set out on my ride last night and felt particularly awesome.
Looking forward to this weekend's lack of travel, plus a few days of chill riding.

ah, the good life.

-the ATM

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Don't ever get old

A few nights ago, I had to laugh out loud as a I walked to my bed. I put 3 therapeutic devices on my bed on which to fall asleep. There were two ice packs on my bed as well as a heating pad. Ice pack # 1 is for my SI joint (spine/hip) since I seem to have inflamed some soft tissue that tends to pinch blood flow to my lower extremities, most noticeably my legs. As I generally like to ride my bike, and legs are pretty much needed to ride said bike, I kinda need blood flow to 'em. So I sleep on an ice pack.
Ice pack #2 is for my on-again, off-again aching back. Any generalized abuse including but not limited to hours spent standing, working in the garage, etc tends to bring a certain level of discomfort. Trips to my chiropractor, plus icing my back helps. So I sleep on an ice pack.
The heating pad is currently in use to help increase blood flow to my shoulder, as I decided to squarely clock a tree this past weekend during the MTB race. As one could infer, I did not perform as I expected, tree notwithstanding. Get it? standing?
Moral of the story is take care of your body, and don't get old.
My race didn't exactly go as well as I had hoped. I got a good start, taking second into the woods, but as it turned out I threw it in reverse from there. I ended up 9th and lap times were about a minute slower each lap - not so good. The pisser of it all was that I lost two spots in the last half mile of the race. I'm not saying I wouldn't have lost those spots otherwise, but I did come up on lap traffic 4 or 5 times where passing was not an option. Such is racing.

Anyway, a benefit to having limited mobility in my shoulder is that it's generally painful to reach behind me, so I get to say "Man, I'd totally buy lunch for you, but I can't reach my wallet. Sorry."
I'd post a pic of my shoulder, but it really doesn't do the damage justice. it looks like a small abrasion, maybe 2 inches in diameter. Promlem is hitting a tree at 15 mph does more impact damage than scraping damage.

In wheel news, as much as it pained me I reverted back to my Ksyriums for crit duty on Sunday since I didn't want to risk damage to my Shamals as they have gone on the auction block. They are hella sweet, but I'm awaiting delivery of the next newest sweetness, and something had to give. Feel free to search eBay for Shamals and buy them. Super awesome wheels with less than 500 miles on them. You won't be disappointed.


-the ATM