Saturday, January 28, 2012

Riding in Frozen Slickness

I met up with Bill this weekend. Saturday we rode up Ireland and then connected via Crank to Betty. The trail was in about 3 inches of crusted snow. It was tough to ride up Ireland. Crank required pedaling downhill.

Once we dropped down Betty to the road it seemed easy sailing, but the road was coated with slick-as-glass ice. Bill went down and I almost did, but seeing Bill down led me to stop in time. Thanks Bill.

That was very treacherous, I had never seen the road that bad.

In hindsight, maybe rollercoaster up and then up the altar would have been good. Or perhaps down to the racetrack then up Betty.

Winter riding is always unpredictable.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Bursitis from new saddle.

For years I have used a regular saddle on my mountain bike, but I have heard of problems with some special artery being affected negatively by many hours in the saddle.

One guy that I ride with had prostate surgery and he rode with a strange saddle that worked wonders for him.

It was the Adamo saddle. I thought it looked weird. Rather than a nose like most saddles, it forked the nose into two sides. It reminded me of the mandibles of a spider.

Pretty soon there were four guys that bought the same saddle and they really liked the saddle.

So, always wanting to be in on the latest good thing, I bought one.

At first the saddle was uncomfortable, putting more pressure on the sit bones than usual, but probably relieving stress on the middle part of my crotch, which is what I wanted to avoid.

After several months, I still experienced discomfort riding on that seat, but I learned to ignore it and cycled on.

Now after 4 months and close to a hundred hours on the saddle I can say the seat is even less comfortable than the first time I used it on a ride. But the discomfort is not the worst part of this story.

I have developed bursitis in my right hip. It doesn't manifest itself very much while riding, it mostly is painful running or walking.

Maybe I am wrong, maybe it is just a coincidence, but I searched for some other theories and I found a doctor who has had experience with Adamo type seats:

In the past year I have treated 27 cases of proximal hamstring tendinopathy or ischial bursitis. 19 of those patients had been using saddles similar to the Adamo design—a noseless seat.

Here is the link to his full article

So, I am planning on switching out my spider mandible seat for my regular more comfortable seat.

Hopefully that will cure my new found bursitis.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dirty Rat

So I call this the Dirty RAT, its the RAT (Ride Around Timp) on Dirt only. Normally you have to hit a section of pavement going up to Aspen Grove but we cheat a little.

So we met at Dry Canyon and Jerod and Russ shuttled us up in their trucks to Aspen Grove. Then we headed up to the Lame Horse trail. That first part is a tough one, it climbs through loose rock while it forms several switchbacks. After a while it turns into some really nice single track and eventually spits you out at the Summit parking lot.

Once there we tried to catch our breath, well some of us, like me, I was completely out of breath as you can see me coming into the summit.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Birthday Ride

For my 50th birthday, I wanted to do a ride up American Fork Canyon. I really love riding up there and with the late melt we've had here in the Utah mountains, most of the trails have seen little traffic.

I met up with Jeff Hiatt and Bill Watson at 6AM at the split to Tibble Fork. We drove up to the Timpanookee trail head and started off.

The stream was still pretty high and was lapping at the plank bridge. That bridge beckons me to ride it, but I am too chicken. I've seen Matt fall off of it and I have nearly fallen off of it myself. So again I walked across the bridge and then got on my bike and then fell down. For some reason I couldn't clip out and with my foot bound to the pedal I fell over in a pathetic pile.

So we started off: for some reason I was in front and really I was trying hard not to slow any one down but I'm sure I did anyway.

At the turnoff to the summit, Jeff took this picture of me. Yeah, a 50 year-old who still wants to be a kid.

Our next stop was at the 4-way. The trail to Tibble Fork/Mud Springs was still closed due to wet conditions so our options were: 1. South Fork of Deer Creek; 2. Follow the Ridge Trail up to Chain Break and over to Mill Canyon, up Mill Canyon and back down the ridge trail.

Jeff was not in for the longer ride today so Bill and I went over to option 2. That was at 7:20AM and I thought: "Well, we'll be able to do that loop in like 45 minutes."

What was I thinking?!! Yeah, Mill Canyon was really wet. This is July 16th for heavens sake! But yeah even before we got there we went through several marshy places that we had to slog through, a beaver dam washout, and lots of muck caking our dogs up to the ankles. Then when we hooked up with the trail up Mill canyon there was a decent river flowing down it. But soon we left the riverbed and climbed and climbed. Bill was pretty fast, and I wasn't slow, but I must have been 5 minutes behind Bill by the time we hit the last climb.

Bill stopped at the horse trough and the last I saw of him was when he said: "Go ahead Steve, I'll catch up."

Well I don't know what happened but he never caught up and I had to high-tail it home because my wife had tickets to Harry Potter for my birthday date with her. I couldn't be late for that!

On the way down the steeper section before the split to mud springs (not from the 4-way) there was a huge mud slough that looked like pudding. I tried to ride through it. Bad idea. The pudding caught and held on to my front wheel and I endoed right into that mud mousse. On the upside it was a soft landing. On the downside, it was really hard to climb out of.

I did stop at the spigot at the Timpanookee trail head and wash my shoes, my feet and my legs. Just too much mud to take into my car. While I was there I guess I blocked the path to some motorcyclers. I thought they could get by on the right side, but maybe not. I should be more tolerant, but they really damage the trails. Mountain biking is pretty gentle on the trails.

Well that was a great way to start out my birthday, I'll have to make it a tradition!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Julie Andrews Meadow

Yeah, it's been a late spring. Even though summer is here, the trails are just beginning to open in American Fork. So I've got to admit, I miss Julie Andrew's Meadow. So Tuesday when Russ and crew went up there, I was glad to be in their company.

We had a medium size group: Russ, Matt, Lionel, Bob, Royce, Dean and myself. I'm not sure what Lionel is doing in that photo, but the rest seem to be singing a tune from an old musical.

I think it's time Royce either keeps his tires up to 40lbs or gets some tubeless. He flatted twice today :)

Here's Royce and Dean coming up the trail after flat #1

Friday, December 24, 2010

Chris King Warranty part II

It took about a week and Chris King did a good job of fixing my bottom bracket.

The BB arrived earlier than I expected. I thought maybe it would be completely replaced, but it was rebuilt with new bearings on the side where the bearings had been damaged.

It's back on my singlespeed bike and working well.

I was a little worried that Chris King would not honor their warranty but such fear was unwarranted. So if you're looking for a good bottom bracket, you can't go wrong with Chris King.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Chris King Warranty

My last ride of the season ended with a bang. Or maybe a crunch. I was riding up a fairly easy hill in Orem. It was the week before Thanksgiving and probably about 30 degrees so the ground was in great shape.

I hadn't seen anyone but just up ahead I did see a lone rider so I sped up just to see who it was, when my crank or bottom bracket made a clicking noise and got significantly hard to pedal.

I stopped and looked at it. Everything looked ok. Just tight and hard to pedal.

So I coasted back to my car, pedalling as little as possible.

I pulled the crank and looked at the bottom bracket.

It had a problem. Some of the bearings were loose and the plastic bearing cage was crushed.

The non drive side of the bottom bracket looks fine, although I haven't taken it apart. The drive side actually fell open when I pulled the crank off.

So I didn't get to see who that was ahead of me. Maybe next time.

Now, I know these are great bottom brackets, I have one on another bike and have been happy with it. So I'm not sure what caused this one to fail.

Now I will get the chance to see if Chris King really has a good warranty or if it is just a paper tiger.

I will report later on my success with getting Chris King to honour the warranty.