Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I decided about a month ago to make the Logansport Dino race my last MTB race for the year so I can squeeze out some good results from the insane form I seem to be brandishing these days. I love the course and aside from last year, I generally have good results there.
A few Dent Wizard guys from St Louis (Ryan Pirtle and Craig Wohlschlaeger) showed up and, given Craig had a carbon C'dale hardtail with the 110SL fork AND Reynolds tubular wheels with Tufo MTB tires, I figured they were not slow. Turns out a good assessment - They took 1-2 into the woods and rolled a pretty good pace. It oddly didn't take too long to whittle it down to us three. Only problem was that they didn't seem too keen on pulling through and I was not going to be the designated tow boat for the day. After some prodding, we were all taking pulls and continued to stretch the lead.
Heading into the last lap, it was down to Ryan P and and me. Earlier he said he wasn't sure about his legs, having done an adventure race the day before, so I started surging to see if he had anything left. He brought me back each time, and we were nearing the final K so I sat up, waiting for the final sprint. He started to come around in what I thought was a final pull, so I stabbed it one more time. Sounded like he cramped up, but I didn't wait for the confirmation so I stomped it in for the win.
I like the fattening of my wallet from the winning purse. I need to do that more often.
As I was driving back, I realized I started my MTB season off with a W at the Chickasaw Trace Classic back in late March, giving me victory bookends. This is in stark contrast to what most would call a Victory sandwich, which is wrong. It would be a pretty good season on Victory bread. Rather than try to explain this to people and come off sounding like an arrogant jerk, I just say I had bookended my season with victories. Explaining this on my blog is much less abrasive.
Anyway, I'm hoping for some sweet victory pics but I think my dad brought his non-digital camera so I have to wait a bit. So do you.

One more weekend of road crits then it's game off for a few weeks then the start of cross. Sweetness!


-the ATM

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Coming soon to an interweb near you

I really dig these productive weekends where I can do some work on Saturday, then do work, er race, on Sunday.
After a quick trip to the recycling center, I came back to Mexlerwerks corporate HQ to do some business. Since it's only been about 8 months since I started, I figured it was time to finish the hitch on my car so I can utilize previous iterations of bike racks I've made for the upcoming CX season. Granted, I've not finished since I've been racing weekends, but management has been pushing for the completion of the project.
I actually got the bulk of the work done last week but a few details needed addressed. So now it's 100% done, and after the shakedown run to my MTB race, I can now be confident it's ready for powder coat. Like Colonel Hannibal Smith from the A Team used to say, "I love it when a plan comes together." Sweet.
I'll post a few pics once I get it back from p-coat. That and I forgot to take pics before I mounted the bumper.
Another piece of work that I finished was the Hydrolator, which is basically a water bottle tree.This prevents knocked over or stolen bottles on picnic tables, with the added convenience of being able to grab bottles at speed without worry. Plus, it breaks in two for trunk transportability. That's cuz I'm smart.

So, I need to make myself do what I've talked about for a while and hang my shingle out for custom fabrication. You want it? We can make it.

Anyway, that's all for now-

the ATM

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'll admit it

I'm a wheel whore. I can't have enough wheels. Six wheelsets, plus a trainer-specific wheel is not too many wheels for two bikes... It's all about having the right tool for the job.
Through some wheeling and dealing, I just picked up a set of Campy Record/Mavic Reflex tubulars 32h laced 3x. The main reason I got them is for ultra nasty CX race conditions (more to not destroy my carbon hoops than to have a more conditions-appropriate wheelset). Side benefit to the wheels was that they came into my possession with road tubies already glued to them. Sweet. Rather than just rip off the tires, I decided to get at least one ride on them.
Holy smokes...those babies roll ultra smooth. I was amazed at how instantly I noticed the difference between theses and my regular training wheels (32h Veloce hubs/Mavic Open Sport hoops). I'm sure the biggest reason for that is the tubulars, followed closely by the box section rim without stiffening benefits of the clincher hooks. Having Campy's tried-and-true cup & cone bearings does not hurt, either. It also doesn't hurt that I rebuilt these wheels back in December 07, while playing mechanic to the stars when they were still in the possession of Superstar RDK.
Add in the 2.5 wheelsets for my MTB and you can understand why I'm a wheel whore.

Hell, I even have 2 sets of wheels for my car; one for summer, one for winter.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A productive weekend

This past weekend, I was originally going to just race the DRT Series finale MTB race in Fort Wayne on Sunday but once I realized there was a circuit race in Cincy on Saturday, I threw caution to the wind and decided to do both.
Since I've done well in the Huntington 140the past two years (it's a two day stage race with about 40 miles of cyclocross and single track) I wasn't too worried about overextending but I was still curious how my legs would respond on day 2.
The circuit race started much like every other Cat 3 race where everybody wanted everybody else to put their nose in the wind. Ugh, here we go again... The finishing straight was about 2% with a headwind so we'd end up barely going 15 mph many of the laps. I was surprised to see that the small break was not coming back - you know - because the 2% climb was too much work for the peleton, but towards the top it would usually end up at about 15 seconds. With about 5 to go, I decided to punch it about 100m from the apex. Since there was about the same grade downhill, I only really had a few hard seconds then another 15 at just slightly above threshold before I bridged.
With about 1km to go, one guy launched at a short, not steep climb but since nobody wanted to chase he took the W. I suppose I could/should have tried to bridge to him but I think everyone else was ready for any accels so it would have come down to a bunch kick and me half-gassed from bringing it back. As it ended up, I took second from the breakaway group sprint, third on the day. Not too shabby. I just need to get a bit more positioning experience to capitalize on my power.

Anyway, on to the MTB race. I really just wanted to have a good race without any stupid crashes resulting in me chasing for 2 hours, as has been the case lately.
Job Done. I didn't even sweat that I didn't get the hole shot (I was 2nd into the woods). The guy who took the lead laid it out in a corner about 3 minutes into the race so I took the lead from there. SuperMechanic Zach and I stretched it out to about 45 seconds after the first lap, then he dropped his pace to make sure he finished strong. I was feeling super good so I was gassing it as much as possible. I didn't realize how much time I pulled out until after I burped air, stopped, reinflated and got back on the bike without anyone in sight. In a wide open field, I still had about 30 seconds, which was nice.
After all was said and done, I clicked off 4 laps within 30 seconds of each other at just over 25 minutes, plus a silly-fast first lap at 24:38. I even got to bust out the Robbie McEwen running man victory salute.
I wasn't surprised afterwards, tho, that for about 45 minutes I was cashed out. After sitting around for a little while and getting topped back up on fluids I started to come back around. Capped the weekend off by having dinner with the family at a typically nice Italian joint. This time the food was molto salty. Should have had Mexican.

All in all, a good weekend!

Sorry for the lack of pics... Blogger is having upload issues tonight.

-the ATM

Saturday, August 2, 2008

And so it begins

I tried to delay it as much as possible, but I guess this is as far as it goes. When asked to play mechanic to the stars on his 'cross bikes I naturally agreed. This was a basic start with only a roughing in of parts - chain, cables, derailleurs, brakes, etc. Most notably, tho, was fixing the star nut clamp in the steer tube in one of the bikes.
Specifically, a star nut in a carbon steer tube is a bad idea, and a star nut that is cocked in the bore is worse. On top of this, the nut appeared to have been driven in by an aluminum sleeve that was essentially pressed-in in the process. After trying first to file a groove in the aluminum by hand (to collapse it for easy removal), and stabbing my thumb in the process, I decided to go for the Dremel. Job done, I moved on.
Of course, after roughing them in I had to do some visual payback, so I threw on my ultra sick tubies. In a mental lapse for proper blogging, I just snapped a pic with my camera so forgive the graininess:

So now it begins. I've assembled all the parts for my 'cross bike except one. Um, the frame... but that's in the works.

I even watched Transitions 2: Cross the Pond last night to get more in the 'cross mood. It worked.

All for now

-the ATM