Saturday, February 23, 2008

I've Got my money on the Tassajara

Well, I am one step closer to getting my mountain bike for our Epic Ride! Our local bike store is having a sale on 07 Tassajara's. The normal price is $650, and they are marked down $100. I have talked with friends at work, and folks at the bike shop, and it appears that the Fisher's provide better components for the money spent. I also like the Genesis geometry that the Fisher Bikes have. In talking with a friend at work, he convinced me to upgrade some components off of the stock bike. So I am planning on swapping out the shifters, and front and rear derailers with xt (shifter and rear) and lx for the front derailer. The estimated cost will be around $140, so it will have pretty good components for much cheaper than the latest Tassajara. In my mind, I am getting some sweet components for only $40 by going with last years model. I didn't go for the disc brakes, as I thought the rim brakes will do just as well, and the extra $200 in cost, I think I will take things just a little bit slower when I am going through mud or water.

So I put 10% down to hold the bike. They have to transfer it from another store. I should get a call this week when it is down in Parker. Then I will test drive it again, and probably pay for the bike and upgrade the components... The only thing I am wondering about is putting a better shock system on it. I don't know if my weight will be an issue with the stock shock system...Something to research.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Test Ride

I took the 14th off to spend some time with Caren. My life is pretty hectic these days which really limits any time we can spend together.

We were out and about running errands and decided to stop by Mad Dog Cycle and see if they stocked the bike I've been considering buying.

They did stock it, and I took a quick spin around the parking lot. With the exception of the brakes and the not-too-bad-but-could-be-better shocks, I was pretty convinced that I'd found exactly what I was looking for. They even agreed to upgrade the brakes for an additional $30 bucks. Before we left I asked about what Gary Fisher had in that same price range. He recommended the Tassajara which would give me a shock upgrade (from coil to air) as well as an upgrade to a hydraulic disc brake for almost a full hundred dollars cheaper! Now I'm starting to consider ol' fisher a lot more seriously despite my somewhat irrational brand loyalty bias I have toward Specialized.

He also confirmed my suspicion: if you're only going to pay $1000 for a bike, a full suspension would require severe component compromises resulting in a very sub-standard biking experience. *ahem* I'm not naming any names or anything...just sayin'.

No Number on the Knee

I saw a doctor of orthopedic medicine yesterday. Everything looks fine - all cartilage and connective tissue is intact. The doctor couldn't really pinpoint what the problem was - even though I could duplicate the popping and catching that caused this in the first place. He told me to keep wearing my neoprene knee sleeve, take lots of ibuprofen, and prescribed some physical therapy. Maybe I should have a visit with Dr. House - he always figures stuff out.

He also did a cortisone injection in my shoulder that's been acting up. The steroid supposed to kick in tomorrow or the next day.
The llidocaine that was mixed with the cortisone was supposed to kick in within 5 minutes of the injection but made absolutely no difference. We'll see how the steroid does...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Down for the Count

It always seems like whenever I get injured it always seems to be doing something mundane. Most people come off of injuries with at least a daring story.

Their stories generally begin something like this, "it was the fourth quarter with seconds to go...", "we were rappelling down El Capitan when...", or "when we reached 12,000 feet, I double-checked my parachute...". It seems like when someone I know gets injured, it's doing something awesomely cool.

Not me. My injuries are always mundane. Broke a finger playing catch. Broke a wrist with a simple fall. Most famously: broke an ankle by stepping off a curb. (My friends, who were there, didn't even believe anyone could break an ankle stepping off a curb and made me walk on it for six blocks.)

My latest injury is no exception. Nothing exciting, nothing daring. I'm not sure exactly what I did, but I suspect I hyper-extended my knee. Since it was 9:30p and I needed to hit the hay, I opted for a quick mile instead of a longer run. I hopped on the treadmill and within a few minutes had put in my distance. As I hit the 3 mph button to go into cool-down my knee caught and I felt it pop in a very unnatural way. Down I went, unable to even release the safety cord to stop the machine. I laid there in pain, my feet dragging on the still running treadmill.

I've now been limping along on it for five days and only now starting to wonder if I ought to see a doctor about it. When I tell him my story about this injury, at least I'll be spared the embarrassment of having to say "stepped off a curb" at any point in the conversation.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Iron Man Triathalon

I don't remember when I first heard about the Iron Man Triathlon, but I remember thinking that would be a really neat accomplishment. For those of you that don't know about this insane race, it is a marathon (26.2 miles), a 112 mile bike ride, and a 2 1/2 mile swim. ALL done in the same day!
One of my favorite stories about the Iron man is shown below. This is the background.

Here is a video containing footage from the race. Although it provides less dialogue and background, the images are pretty powerful. MUST WATCH!!

I get a tear or two when I watch this.

An article from CNN.

I recently received an email from Parker outlining an Iron Man Challenge that participants would finish within a 2 week time frame. I started laying out what I would need to do, and it would involve running 6 - 7 miles a day, followed by 25-30 mile bike rides, and 1 mile swims. It totals to 11 workout sessions over two sets of Monday through Saturday. For those that logged the triathlon in 1 week, they would get a special honor. Now I am definitely not in good enough shape to do this right now. Et Cetera's wife probably could, but not me.

My next thought was to put the challenge up on Epic Ride...exercise, practice and use out of the mountain bike that I am going to get soon, and a feeling of accomplishment. What do you think? I was thinking a month time frame...say March or April.

Someday I would like to compete in the Iron Man in one day. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008