Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Benefits of a Good Helmet

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Clipless Crashes

I am not sure about these clipless pedals that I bought. For those of you unfamiliar with a clipless pedal, check out this Wikipedia entry. My bike is finally now in my possession after a two or three week wait. Once I had been fitted for my bike--I thought there wasn't much too fitting a person on a bike, but I was wrong 30-40 minutes of fitting and adjustments-- I biked home. I had my wifey drop me off at the bike shop. The clipless pedals took another 15 minutes of installing and adjustments. Anyway, back to the the clipless crashes story. I left the bikeshop, and made it about two blocks before I caught my favorite pair of pants on the front sprocket or whatever you want to call it, and I ripped them pretty good. I managed to clip out a couple of times before I stopped, and had not problems. Well I made it almost all the way home, and stopped at the crosswalk on the sidewalk. I pressed the button, and was clipped in on one side with my other foot resting on the pavement waiting for the walk light. I was a little too anxious and in my anticipation that it was about to turn, I hopped on my bike and started rolling forward. Well, the walk light never came. Instead, the light changed to green for the oncoming traffic. I realized this just before I reached the end of the sidewalk, and tipped over in sight of this big burly guy in a truck, who looked at me and drove on. I was still on the sidewalk, but my pride was a little injured.

I made it home without further incident, and that afternoon decided to go on a bike ride with the whole family. Well, I crashed twice within the first 5 minutes of the ride. When you have little girls who suddenly decide to stop for no apparent reason and you are right behind them, it doesn't give the unexperienced clipless peddler much time to "un-clip." So I biffed it on the driveway before I even got going. That was the worst fall because the handlebar scraped about 2 inches of skin off of my chest at the beginning of the bike ride. That hurt the entire ride, and received a satisfying gasp of horror from my wife when I showed it to her after the ride. I wonder how I am going to do on the trail...I guess I will start practicing on clipping in and out. :)

I should mention that I am way excited about my bike, and even had several of the employees at the bike shop tell me that I had a sweet bike. I had to special order it as, they didn't typically stock that model at their shop... I will keep you posted on more adventures as they come. Next up on the list is a bike rack that mounts to the trailer hitch of the van so that we can take the family to some less trod paths.

A True EPIC Ride

I was browsing CNN today, and came across this article. WOW!


This couple sold everything, and biked around a large portion of the world. 50 miles a day...4 years of biking. Some fun video clips too...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Mountain Biking Colorado

So I got the best Valentine's day present. My wife must truly love me! I got an awesome book called, "Mountain Biking Colorado" by Stephen Hlawaty. It has over fifty detailed write-ups of trails all over Colorado that include maps, elevation range, how to get there, technicality, etc. It also gives a little history of the area. So far, I am interested in a trail around Gunnison and a trail called Chutes and Ladders near Fruita. There is some good humor in the book as well. Here is a small quote from the book regarding the Waldo Canyon.

Waldo Canyon Trail, although primarily a hiker's trail, does invite gonzo-minded mountain bikers to strut their stuff. What makes this trail particularly appealing to tough riders is its steep climpbs out of creek beds and its fast and rocky decent....For those of you whose mentality is one fry short of a happy meail, try tackling the stairs on your return.

It also provides a hut-to hut guide from Telluride to Moab with information on how to obtain food and water along the way.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Its a good thing I am not a betting man...

Well, I had my $ on the Tassajara. The Reader's Digest version is that I am buying a Hoo Koo E Koo.

K, now the longer version (still abbreviated, though...the actual transaction and time in the bike shop was over 1 1/2 hours to figure things out). I showed up at Treads yesterday to pick the upgrade components on my Tassajara. I was going to put Shimano XT on the shifters and rear derailleur; and LX on the front derailleur. Oh, and add clipless pedals to the bike After finding the prices on all those components, subtracting the existing components, and then remembering to add a 10% discount on the new parts, my total was $913 or so.

A 2008 Tassajara with disc brakes (my original pick used traditional caliper brakes) started at $830. So I was paying about 150 extra to not get disc brakes (a upgrade basic kit runs around $400). So then I decided to go with the 08 Tassajara with disc brakes and clippless pedals standard, and upgrade the components. Total price was now more than stock price for a Hoo Koo E Koo that had comparable components and better brakes, and shocks for 30 LESS.

This all took about an hour and a half, and by then end of it, I was tired of shopping. So...My bike is on order, and I am looking forward to riding it.

And hey, Hoo Koo E Koo is kind of fun to say!