Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Back on the trail

Last Sunday, December 18th I was finally able to make it out on the trails again. It wasn't a long ride, but it felt so good to be back riding in the woods. Here are a few pictures

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Building a new wheel

I've probably built 100 wheels in my lifetime. But I haven't built one since 2004 so I have been contemplating building a new one for a while. First I needed to find the right hub. I got a brand new WTB LaserDisc Lite rear hub for $50!!! They normally retail for $275 and this is the newest version with stainless steel bearings and steel inserts on the aluminum freehub body to prevent a cassette from gouging. Sweet hub and a great price.

Then it was time to select a rim, spokes, and nipples. I debated over the rims but settled on the Sun EQ27 29er rim. It is a good rim that is reasonably light and should convert to tubeless fairly easy. For spokes I picked my favorite Wheelsmith DB14 (2.0-1.7-2.0) and brass nipples. 32h and 3x lacing.

Wheel weight should come out at just under 1000g which is fairly light for a rear 29er wheel with a 27mm wide rim.

Pictures to follow

UPDATE-I built the wheel this weekend, it came out real nice and a total weight of 1100g including the tubeless rim tape.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Almost ready to get back on the bike

I started working part time in late September and started working full time this week. Yesterday I took a 1.5 mile walk at lunch which I'm a bit sore from today but the fact that I was able to do it and work the rest of the day is a good sign. I'm hoping to get on the single speed and ride the mostly flat 3.1 mile loop around Lake Sacajawea by the end of the month. Next month is the annual trail work party for Growler's Gulch which I plan to participate in even if all I can do is provide support. I also ordered a Ostomy Armor product to protect my illeostomy while riding. I talked directly to the owner and inventor of this product who is also an ostomate. He is a very active guy and is continually developing the product, in fact he is working on a lighter kevlar/carbon fiber model...now that would be cool!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Where the hell have I been????

No posts since April, what the hell happened you might be wondering. Well let me tell you, I've been through hell and back and I just now starting to get better again.

First off let me give you some background, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in 2006. For the first four years it would have mild flare ups which I used medication for and the disease was mostly in control. However, I honestly made very little effort to take care of myself like I should have dietary wise which I now very much regret. I could have made changes to my diet, I would have probably been healthier right now, I should have lost weight...coulda, woulda, shoulda!!!

The last year or so I've been sick much more, more colds, more infections, more colitis flare ups. Starting in April I began to get unusual infections in my armpits and as a result was put on heavy doses of anti-biotics. The anti-biotics in turn caused massive flair ups in my UC and before I knew it I was in real trouble. The doctors I had been seeing got it all wrong as well and by late July I was so sick that I had to be admitted to the hospital. The first hospital had me for two weeks where I continued to lose weight and get sicker, they had no clue what to do and were about as incompetent as can be. I checked out and then five days later checked in to a much better hospital with specialists and physicians who knew what they were doing. Within a few days I was rushed into emergency surgery where I had a Colectomy to remove a now toxic colon. I am now left with an Ileostomy that may be permanent depending on what future surgeries I may or may not choose.

So it has been two weeks today since the surgery, I am home now recovering with a 13" scar in on my abdomen and learning to live with the changes. I lost 60 lbs in the process, though I have regained about 8 lbs since the surgery. My body is weak, I have a long recovery, but for the first time in quite a while I look forward to getting back on the bike.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Making of a Huffy 29er

OK, it isn't really a Huffy...but the welds and "craftsmenship" from the Chinese factory are not far off. The bike started out as a Dawes Bullseye from Bikes Direct for $350. Here is what it looks like stock, notice the lack of decals which I liked.

After receiving the bike, I sold the Avid BB5 brakes (with 160 Avid rotors and adapters I had sitting around) to a friend who was in need of some disc brakes cheap. I sold the wheelset and crankset/bb to another guy that I know from a few rides in my area. I had a good collection of parts left over from my Access XCL 9r that broke. First thing was to make a 1 x 9 out of it as I am not quite ready for a singlespeed (maybe later). I installed my Truvativ FireX GXP crankset with a 32t Salsa unramped ring and BBG Bash up front. Next I installed a rear SLX/DT 470 wheels in the back and a Wheeltech (Novatec)/WTB SpeedDisc XC wheels up front secured with bolt on skewers. The rear SLX hub uses a Alligator centerlock adapter. 185mm disc rotors were used with my Avid Juicy 5 brakes complete with obnoxious orange housing which seems fitting for looking like a clunker. A mid cage X-7 rear derailleur with a older X-9 shifter were installed with some Origin-8 Space Bar OR handlebars. So now I had a 1 x 9 setup, but one thing was missing...Huffy Decals!!! Yes I found a set on E-Bay complete with 4130 Cro-Mo advertising which is what the frame is. Perfect!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Stella was sloppy

I don't think I have ever ridden up at Stella with the trails that sloppy. I mean it was downright slick! Lots of good practice keeping the bike upright.

The new Special Ed is really starting to shine for me. Now that I am once again getting used to full suspension after a three year absence, I am finding I am running the shock full open instead of in Pro-Pedal a lot more. The bike is downright scary fast on descents and the excellent Avid Elixer brakes are wonderful to reign in all that speed. With the addition of the Ragley Carnegie's Bars, the bike feels dialed now.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Continuing to get rides in between rain storms

Yep, the weather continues to be absolute shit in the Pacific NW. But somehow I have managed to sneak a few rides in without getting rained on. This past weekend I ended up guiding two guys around Growlers Gulch for about three hours. We rode several of the lower trails before heading up to the top of Legacy. We then enjoyed a bomber downhill before one of the guys took a header and broke his helmet. He's fine...but we took the logging road back as a precautionary measure.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A sunny ride during a wet winter

For those of you living in the Pacific NW, you know it's been a wet and cold winter. The Spring outlook doesn't look much better. But I got a ride in and lucked out as it was sunny for a few hours. Here is a ride report from a fellow rider on his well maintained page.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Legacy and WTF Trails at Growlers

Some more Kelley Hinkle video with me in front of him on the new Legacy and WTF trails that were put in last November...it's a hell of a climb to the top but as you can see a bomber downhill.

Harmonic Convergence at Stella

This past weekend there was a large group ride at Stella called the Harmonic Convergence. It has been three years since the last large ride out here so it was really cool to see 75+ riders show up. Here are some videos courtesy of Kelley Hinkle of the riding.

BTW-in the second video I was leading the group when I burped my front tire and went down (totally my fault for running it too low), you can see me on the side of the trail fixing the tire.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I have been thinking about a new bike for quite some time. I've had in mind what I wanted to spend ($2500) and what I could get for it. I had several bikes in mind, mainly the following:
-Gary Fisher Rumblefish
-Specialized Stumpjumper FSR Comp 29
-Kona Hei Hei 2-9
-Giant Anthem X 29-2
-Salsa Big Mama

I looked at many things such as components (I prefer SRAM shifters and rear derailleur), tires (many come with low tread tires, not good for PNW muck), suspension design, and brand. He locally I was able to only test ride the Specialized and Giant, of which I loved the Specialized. The most appealing aspect of the Specialized is that it was set up almost exactly the way I would want it. It came with a 22/33/bash ring crankset, big meaty tires that are tubeless ready, tubeless ready rims which included the valve stems. I really liked the fork and the 20mm through axle. In fact the only nit pic is the rear hub with only 16 points of engagement. I really wanted to test ride the Kona and Fisher but the local bike shop who carries those brands did not have any in stock. Had the Specialized been at regular price, I would have waited but it was on sale for $2070 and so I couldn't pass it up. I cannot wait to ride it! I did add my 30 degree sweep alt bars and some ergo grips but other than that it is stock

Friday, January 21, 2011

Getting out riding and some minor improvements to the 29er

Well now that I have survived the holiday season, I am starting to get back out on the bike. I have made a couple improvements to my bike that I think will make a difference. First I replaced the rear wheel with a SLX rear hub on a DT 470 rim. The previous hub had only 16 POE (Points Of Engagement) which when riding in the granny gear is very noticeable on log crossings. The SLX hub has 32 POE so the gear will "catch" sooner when doing the quick accelerations needed to clear the logs. This hub uses a center lock rotor arrangement so I had to order a rotor as well. The Shimano rotor works just fine with my Avid Juicy brakes. The other improvement was a SLX front derailleur which I got lightly used for a good price. The old Deore I had was starting to have issues shifting due to play in the pivots. The new SLX is significantly stiffer so the shifts are much crisper.