Saturday, August 21, 2010

Trials Demo by Jeff Lenosky

I was lucky enough to drive out to Great Barrington, MA to catch Jeff do a trials demo at Berkshire Bike and Board. I took my oldest daughter, figured it would be some father daughter bonding and we get to do something involving bikes. Thought it might help her want to get into biking more too, we'll see how that goes.

Anyway it was a pretty sick show. He was kinda limited on space but he worked really well with what he had. He talked through each type of trick and then demonstrated. He did some really cool tricks with a volunteer from the crowd. I put together a video of some of the stunts he did. It's condensed to about half of the original show. Click the title above and it will take you to the video on You Tube. Still amazes me what people can do on a bike and more importantly, what a guy that is my age can do on a bike.

Jeff with my daughter Ellie
The bike used during the demo. Check out the broken spoke.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Lunchtime Ride at SCP

Fast and fun lunchtime ride today at Schenectady Central Park. I rode everything including all the stunts. 4.9 miles in 41 minutes. Probably my fastest time on the Switch. Trails were dry and fast. The rain actully made the surface tacky. I was railing was awesome!

New Lightweight Shell for Riding

Sombrio Wingman Jacket
I've been looking for a new lightweight rain/wind shell for a while now. I just didn't want to pay big $$ for one. Looks like my waiting paid off. I saw an add in my inbox from Huck N Roll about a Sombrio sale. I've always like the stuff from Sombrio. I was able to get a Sombrio Wingman jacket in Machete Green for $25! It's wind proof and water resistant, has Lycra cuffs to keep wind from blasting up your sleeves, and the ergonomic fit feels natural, not restrictive. It also has a hood that's big enough to fit a normal vented helmet like my Giro Xen. It also has this cooloff-axis topographic print. Can't wait till the weather cools down so I can wear this.

New Riding Socks

I read on Twitter that Twin Six was having a one day sale on select socks. I was able to score five pairs of socks for 50% off! I didn't really need that many but the socks are cool and I got them at a good price so what the heck...and so far I love them.

New Hydration Pack and Resevior

2009 Ergon BD1-M Backpack
I've been looking for a pack that actually fits me. My Dakine Nomad has been the best so far but when you load it up it's really noticable and it has a tendency to ride up above my waist which is just annoying. I came across the Ergon BD-1 pack that Competitive Cyclist had on sale at 1/3rd of the original cost. This is exactly the kind of pack I needed. Not too big, made to carry a load when needed and adjustable for different body types. This pack doesn't have the organization of the Dakine Nomad but it fits my torso really well. There is some adjustments I still have to make to get it to fit the way I want but I should have it dialed on the next couple of rides. This pack even has a safety whistle in the chest clasp and a clever pocket at the bottom which contains a rain cover incase you get caught in a downpour. As much as I would like to do a complete review of this bag, others have already done so and have done a great job. I will tell you what I llike and what I don't...
Likes: Flink (it really works), pack and harness design (very comfortable to wear, works as advertised), bladder sleeve, and hidden rain cover.
Dislikes: Zippers are a bit difficult to open and close (maybe this will get better once I break them in), Internal organization (would have prefered a few more places to store things), external harness doesn't allow pack to lay flat (not a huge deal for me but it does make packing for a ride or trip a bit more difficult).

The weight I feel when I load this up and ride is less then half of what my Nomad felt like. I only have three rides with this pack but so far I am really happy. All this at a price that just can't be beat.

2010 Deuter Streamer 3.0 Reservoir
The above pack didn't come with a bladder but I thought no big deal, I can use my old one. Problem is my old Camelbak bladder sprung a leak and is now useless. So I ordered the bladder recommended by Competitive Cyclist. They said either the two or three liter would fit so I chose the bigger. It does fit, sticks out the top of the pocket a bit but it's fine. Again I am not going to go into great detail but just list my likes and dislikes.
Likes: BPA free, wide-mouth for easy cleaning/drying, tube length (it's actually right where I need it), hassle free bite valve (can also be disassembled to be cleaned), sealing device is leak free.
Dislikes: Both the bite valve dust cap and bladder clasp can get lost and there is not a good place to hold the bag during fill.
This so far has been the best tasting and best designed bladder I have used to date. We'll see how it holds up, my last bladder lasted probably 4 or 5 years.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Local Rides: Luther Forest STEP Trails

Had a awesome but difficult ride in Luther Forest tonight. It was sooo humid, I never ride worth a damn in those conditions. I don't know the trails that well so it was a bit of back tracking in some sections but they're pretty easy to navigate. Quite a bit of elevation gain back there and some really fast flowy sections. Some rocks and roots as well as some bridge sections. Lots of singletrack and the sections riding along deep gullies were the most exciting. Some hardpack as well as soft loamy sections so the Big Earls I have on my Rocky seem to be perfect. The Nevegals on my SS also worked well back there. Riding here is definitely a good way to lose weight and build fitness. These trails are located off Hermes Rd. in the Saratoga Technology and Energy Park ( in Malta, NY.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bicycle Flash Mob in Belgium

Unbelievably awesome!

Courtesy of Cycle Chic (

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Plastic Coffee Container

Keeping things organized in your home with two small kids is a tough job. Something is always getting lost or misplaced. I started using some of the plastic coffee containers we were recycling as a mini paint or crayon caddy. The ones with the handles offer a great place for a few paint brushes or pencils and you can store the paint inside. The tops also make a great place for placing and mixing paint.

The ones without handles are great for keeping track of crayons or markers. You could also label them and put your kids names on them if they are possessive like mine are. :)

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: 35mm Film Container

I know probably very few of you if any still use film cameras. With the advent of digital cameras they are a lot easier and less expensive to use. But I know most if not all of you still have some of those film containers lying around. These containers are great for keeping track of small parts in your work area. Typically they are opaque so knowing which one to look in is always a pain in the ass. I took pictures of what was being stored inside and printed them out on small labels. I then affixed the label to the proper container and used a few pieces of clear tape over them so as not to ruin them with my greasy fingers when working on my bikes.

You can use any small container, even glass ones like baby food jars. I like these because they are small and durable. I also use these to carry small parts in my hydration pack like SRAM power links, misc. nuts or bolts, Marzocchi fork air fitting adapter, etc. In pack with fewer compartments these work great for keeping things organized.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Plastic Lanyard

`Typically when you bring your bike or wheel to a bike shop for them to fix they tag it. One of the local bike shops I go to use an adjustable plastic clip which they usually leave on when you pick up you item. I started saving these realizing their usefulness but not really knowing what I would use them for. This past winter I have been cleaning up my bike work area. Trying to organize all sorts of bike parts and hardware that I had scattered throughout the garage. I finally found a use for these clips.

These are perfect for retaining small round parts (spacers, cogs, lock rings, even small washers), they're adjustable, and they were free! These can also be used to retain headset parts and even cassettes. Now whenever I need these parts I know exactly where to look.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Dont lose it...reuse it!

So for a while now I've been thinking about how much stuff we throw away. And by "we" I mean everyone. My family has been doing what we can to control what we recycle and what we throw away. I am sure there are uses for most of the glass, plastics and metal things we all through away. I thought I would share some ideas that I've come up with for things that commonly get thrown away. Most of these will be bike related but I do have some suggestions for other hobbies. If you've got an idea, please send it to me and I'll add it to the list.

New cog on the SS

I was finally able to replace the rear cog on my SS. I had an ACS Claws 20T that was shit, the bearings inside were shit and the grease was just coming out. I traded a friend of mine (thanks Jeff) a stem for a new Shimano 20T he had in his basement. It's thius cool gold color unique. I had my LBS swap out the cog for me.

What a difference! I rode it Monday night on a group ride and it was so quiet and of the things that drew me to riding a SS in the first place. I rode it again today on some local singletrack. It feels good to be back on the singlespeed again.