Saturday, January 28, 2006

Getting lazy.

I realize I haven't updated in a while. Kind've a busy week, but I got sick on top of it which made the motivation for this kind of stuff drop. The dinner party on Monday night was a hit. The food turned out good, and everyone else brought awesome stuff, and I think we all ended up having a good time. I know I did, probably enough for everyone. The rest of the week was kinda same old same old, school and work, although I did get my bike put together so I've finally made my maiden voyages on my new Cannondale CAAD 8. I'll try to get a bike review together by the end of this week? This weekend has been crazy so far. More cross-country skiing class. After a 6am wake up this morning and 4 solid hours of skate skiing, I'm worked, but I'd better rest up to do it all again tomorrow. I'd never skated before today, but I think I kinda got the hang of it. We had a lesson in the morning and had this bloke named Peter teach us the ropes. I call him a bloke because he was from the U.K. and used almost every awesome "English" term I can think of. I tried to ski with my new friend Rochelle in the afternoon, I'd skiied with her last weekend and managed to keep up, but today I got the crap kicked out of me. I could hang on the flats, she wouldn't use her poles and I'd be giving it all I had, but then on all the climbs it was as if I was going backwards. Finally we split and I took the easy route back to the lodge. I managed not to have to drive Little Timmy this weekend. Not sure if I'd mentioned him earlier, but he's quite the guy. I think it's time to hit up a little Tylenol Cold PM and hit the sack early. Maybe I'll wake up feeling like a million bucks? That would be quite the contrast to this morning. This week brings more class, and hopefully some steady riding. I'll try to maybe get some pictures from a ride since it has been a while, and I need to show off the new bike. Hope you're all having awesome weekends.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Helluva weekend.

Whew, I'm glad the weekend is over, I need a break. This reminds me of cross season when you sit around on Sunday night, totally worked, wondering when you're going to get that break you were waiting for the weekend for. Anyway, last semester I would have just taken Monday off, but not with this current attendance streak.

Saturday morning I was up at 6 to go cross country skiing for my PE class. I thought it was going to be a joke, we'd stand around all morning, then ski in a few circles in the afternoon. No way, I got into the lesson group with other kids that knew how to ski, including a couple ex-racers (well only one of the could actually ski like she had raced). We took off with our crazy old lady instructor who was actually really cool and very nice, but she tore my legs off for two and a half hours straight. At about the hour 45 mark, she goes, oh boy, we're going to need to make tracks if we want to finish this "tour" in 45 minutes. It turned out to be a lot of fun, and after an extended lunch break, I headed back out with the ex-racer girl for a relaxing 1 hour loop. We had a lot of fun and a nice conversation as we slowly made our way around the Eldora Nordic Center. The down side to the trip was the drive there and back with "Little Timmy."

I knew it would be a long drive when Little Timmy couldn't get the seat belt around his belly. Rochelle, the skier, and I were treated to some amazing tales of Timmy's 65mph bike rides, 2.5 million ducks in a flock, and how he knocked out a psych degree in a year.

Saturday night we watched Cinderella Man at Kari's house with her, Scott, and her roomate Aimee. The movie was really good, good enough to keep me awake after a 6am wake up, and the hardest workout I'd had year-to-date.

Sunday morning came too soon once again, but 3 hours later than Saturday. I got up at 9 to "get my stuff ready" for a Century with a few fellow crazy's. It turns out I had 2 flats, zero tubes, and no way to get my pump onto my bike. I ended up patching and using a cross TR tube in the front wheel, taping the pump on, and driving to Scott's with my finger's crossed that someone had a tube for me. Luckily Nick did, and I think he owed me one maybe? Anyway, the way I felt after skiing the day before, and after scoping out the company, I was hoping to get 50 miles instead of 100. Scott, Nick, Mikeal, Nicky, and her teammate Aimee Vasse (two time Mt. Washington hill climb champ).

I had a lot of fun riding with everyone, sitting in was awesome, but at about mile 60, the inevitable happened. I cracked harder than Humpity Dumpity on our way back in on 10th street. Luckily everyone started to flat and Scott rescued me with some peanut butter cups and a coke from a gas station right there. I hung it up after 63 miles and headed over to Kari's for the end of the Bronco's game. I'm a HUGE football fan, so you can imagine my disapointment when they lost. The night turned out to be a lot of fun, but I'm hurting this morning. I found a couple new muscles cross country skiing, and the bike ride didn't help them out at all, so I'm feeling a little sore and grumpy this morning. Hopefully an easy spin with Scott before class will help things a little.

Tonight is my pheasant dinner party. Cross your fingers I can figure out how to make it. Right now I'm feeling a little grilled peanut butter sandwiches, I've got that recipe down.

Friday, January 20, 2006

The attendance streak lives on.

9 days now, would have been 10, but Martin Luther King stole a day of learning from me. Last night I went out way too big again to celebrate the two week mark. Luckily class didn't start till 2:30 this afternoon. I've been living the typical college kid life the past couple weeks, and not to say it isn't fun and all, but I think it's time to turn things around. This Sunday I got roped into a century which could get really ugly. If there is an upside to it, I know I won't be blown from a hard week of training. I just hope I can survive, I'm seriously considering a double chamois. It looks like I'll be riding my mountain bike again since my road bike is still sans front derailleur clamp. I was gonna try and pull off a fixed gear with my Surly frame, but I just realized I need to tape the bars on it, and I'll have no way of getting any bar tape before Sunday as I will be cross country skiing all day tomorrow. Maybe I'll ride my blue fixed gear? Anyway, if you couldn't tell, I'm a pretty boring guy, deciding what bike to ride will be the highlight of my week. You knew that you wouldn't find any excitement here though, it does say "Boring" right in the title. A few of you loyal readers may not have noticed that I've been supplying you with infrequent boring updates for an entire year now. I hope you've all enjoyed the past year, it's had it's ups and downs, but I'm glad you all got to come along for the ride with me.

It's time to go clean out my car since I get to drive 3 strangers around tomorrow. I don't think they'll appreciate the trainer, Tufo tires, or electric skillet in the back seat. I don't even know what's in the trunk, I'd better get on that and get to bed early. Thanks for stopping by, and if any of you have any questions about "instinct," I've recently learned that Scott Wenzel is an expert on the subject.

Who knows what they were doing a year ago today? I do, I was sliding down 28th Ave. on my left ass cheek pretending that my iPod was a PDA.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Perfect attendance.

7 days strong, and that's saying a lot considering what I've been putting up with. Scott mentioned my oceanography homework, and thought he'd make fun of me a little, well, he doesn't have to teach that sits next to me in lab what contour lines on a map are, what they mean, how to read them, how to interpret them, and how to make a cross section using them. Although parts of the ocean floor are indeed flatter than a billiards table, there are a lot of freaking bumps between Cape Cod, and Cap Blanc, and she needed to know "what I got" for every single contour line the entire way across the Atlantic. Overall Oceanography is alright, but right now it's just a lot of confusing, dull, data, that I have to try to make sense of. If anyone want's to relate the Bathymetry, Regions, Heat Emissions, and Gravity Anomalies, across the ocean, please, fill me in. Anyway, here is some bathymetric data for you. Feel free to make a cross section if you wish.

P.S. Sorry this is so boring, I was told to update and this is what I'm up to.

P.P.S. Sorry for being so negative, I'm just already feeling the annoying kids in my classes migrating towards me. I have a cross country ski trip on Saturday, and some LARGE, sweatpants wearing, sweaty, non-traditional student will be riding with me. He wasn't happy with our meeting point because, "he couldn't park his truck there, his tools will get stolen." First off, why am I driving him if he has a truck? Second, is he really going to argue with me about this when I'm driving him? Third, he argued with the teacher about what route we should take, so I'm sure he'll want to tell me how to get to Eldora once we're on the road. Just how I want to start my Saturday at 7am. Wow, lot's of negativity.

More Old Cyclocross Photos.

Here is a Kodak Gallery album of the cyclocross season. It was supposed to end at the state championships, that's why it's called, "The road to Xilinx," but as you may or may not know, I crapped out a week early and didn't race states. Here are the pictures though.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Old Cyclocross Photos

Scott showed me a site with a TON of awesome CX pictures. Here are a few of the highlights. I guess the site sponsors Rocky Mounts, so they take a lot of pics of us? Anyway, they have a ton of awesome pictures, check them out here.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Bike Review #2

Tonight I've decided to do a little write up on my mountain bike. Although this isn't the way it's set up to race on, it's the way I've been riding it lately. See for yourself. Note the flat front tire from yesterday's goathead battle. The goatheads won, they always do.

The frame is a Giant hybrid with an aluminum front triangle and carbon seat and chain stays. Giant has discontinued this frame, but I can't figure out for the life of me why they would have. It was very affordable, and rides as nicely as anything I've touched. I couldn't believe the difference the carbon stays made after the first time I rode it, but I absolutely love the way it feels and the handling couldn't be better. Currently it's set up with 700c road wheels, which makes training on it this time of the year possible. I'm not sure that I could get in long consistent hours on the trail, but this way I can just ride it around Greeley and get more and more used to the way it rides, and get my body used to riding on it.

I once had a full XTR drivetrain, but when I got this frame I had to get a new front derailleur and I decided to go with an XT (mostly because I had a race the next day and that's all that was available, but also because I didn't want to throw down 75 bucks for a part I might use once or twice in a race. For those of you who know how I ride, I usually climb in my big ring, and spin it out on the flats and decents.) Right now for winter training I've also fitted the bike with an FSA compact road crankset. This allows me to push a little bigger gear since I'm mostly riding it on pavement and flat gravel. I'm running a Sram PC-69 chain on this bike. I run Sram chains and cassettes on all my geared bikes. This cassette happens to be an 11-32. You can also see the recycled bar tape on the chain stay. I took this off Scott's bike last spring, and I think the blue looks alright, although it shows grease from the chain really bad.

Up front I'm rollin' with a 2003 Rock Shox SID World Cup in the "Rollin' Green" color. The fork has a carbon crown and steerer as well as a remote lock out. I'm not the biggest Rock Shox fan in the world, but as long as you keep it well maintained it works great and weighs in at just under 2.6 lbs. The problem is you have to constantly rebuild it to keep it maintained. It's in need of an overhaul right now after a rough summer and short racing season this fall. This picture also shows the Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes. I went with the mechanical brakes because I couldn't afford new XTR shifter levers, although to all of you out there, if you want disc brakes, you want hydraulic, trust me. These things are a pain to keep running right, and require constant adjustment. Oh well, the price was better than I could believe, and they allow me to run the 700c wheels since the rim no longer has to line up with a brake. I'm running Kenda Kaliente tires on this bike, which I've heard great things about, but had bad luck with yesterday. I don't think I can blame that on the tire too much though, I'm quite certain I would have flatted a steel belted radial with as many goatheads as I had sticking out of my tire.

Here is a picture of the cockpit. I've got the XTR dual control shifter/levers, which I like quite a bit, although I still think hydraulic would've been the way to go. You can also see my remote lock-out (locked out in the particular shot), my cut off bar-ends, and the Deda bar-tape that I use in place of grips. I like the bar-tape #1 because I love bar tape, #2 because I like the grips to be thinner than a regular rubber grip, and #3 because the tape doesn't slide around the way grips do. This shot also shows my old Schwinn Homegrown top cap that I decided I'd keep with me so I never forget Pumpkin.

Under my rear lies a San Marco Aspide saddle and Thomson Elite seatpost. No complaints with either, although I'd rather have an SLR saddle. Unfortunately I've broken two SLR's riding them off road, and after riding two laps of a cyclocross race on the seat rails of one, I decided they just aren't tough enough. The Aspide has held up well, but just doesn't feel as nice on my sitting bones.

The crank is a 34-50, but was custom drilled so I could throw a 22t little ring on it if I felt compelled to do so. Getting this thing on was kind've a challenge, and I'm not so sure it's really too Kosher the way it is. I ended up using a Dura-Ace triple bottom bracket, but had to put a spacer on the drive side so the chainrings would clear the chainstay. It works and hasn't loosened itself yet so I guess I'll just run it?

As you can tell, this thing is a speed machine the way it's set up. Here it is in action. Full Donkey Tuck down 4th street. The Donkey Tuck is twice as good on the MTB since the top tube is so much lower than my road bike. I must warn you though, I hit a manhole about 2 seconds after this shot was taken, and the top tube isn't what you want to be sitting on when hitting hard bumps, especially if the fork is locked out.

I think that concludes my write up. If I've left any questions un-answered, feel free to ask. Right now there is some movie on about the candyman and I can feel myself getting dumber as I listen to it. I'd better go find something better to waste the rest of my night on. Hope you all have a great Martin Luther King Day. I'm part way through Alex Haley's "Malcolm X," maybe I'll read a little more of it tomorrow just to show my spirit of the day.

Quite the day.

Today was supposed to be a shock to the system. We were gonna ride as long as we could, shooting for 4 hours, with the goal of getting me back into shape in a day. That's not quite the way it turned out, but it did turn out to be an adventure and a half. I left my house at noon and didn't be back until after 5pm. I don't think I got much over 2 hours ride time though. First I waited for Nick to get dressed, then we had espresso shots at Scott's. Once we finally got riding, the action began. It all started with an amazing, blind, track standing, behind the back bottle toss from me to Scott. Read more about on Scott's site.. We continued on, only to watch an old man smash his Buick into a speed bump directly next to me, then Nick flatted at a stop light not 20 minutes after bragging about how he NEVER gets flat tires. We picked up Mark for a wild, drugged out ride, then continued onto some dirt. I found one of my favorites. A Greeley style irrigation canal road.

This was awesome until it turned into flat fest 2006.

We headed back into IBike to get more tubes with full intentions of heading back out for more riding. But... the BreadBoard was giving away day olds, so... we ended up eating a ton, then heading back to Kari's for more eating.

I did manage to get my bike stuck in the sand after a short bathroom break. I have a movie of me pulling it out. It's pretty good. Let me know if you'd like to see it.

Tonight Scott, Kari, and I went to a UNC hockey game with a couple of Kari's roomates and sorority sisters. UNC won, and Scott and I managed to make ourselves look like idiots. I did manage to score Scott a job at the Rio before the game but after no less than 2 Rio margs. Today wasn't really a shock to the system, but it was a lot of fun. No bike review this update, but I'm feeling a review of my mountain bike coming on very soon. Yeah, time for you all to get excited about it.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Bike Review #1

So... The OC is on. Everybody always tells me I need to watch it, but I think it's pretty stupid so far. It's just like Laguna Beach, except not nearly as REAL. Anyway, I read a bike review the other day and thought, "I can do better than that." The only problem is, I didn't know which bike to review. The upside to this dilema is that I've decided to review every bike I own, that means almost a full work week's worth of daily updates. No promises on how soon I'll get to them all, but we'll start here with my fixed gear. I can't say I have a favorite bike, but I do like this one a lot.

This bike is based off an old Fuji frame I dug out of the trash at the Roubaix Bicycle Company. The frame isn't straight, it's actually off by almost 5mm, but I straightened it a little, and also ground all the braze-ons off before getting it painted. I'd recently gotten my car repaired and talked the auto body shop into painting the frame and fork for me for free. The baby blue and white color was inspired by a guitar that my then co-worker Eric had just purchased. I had been thinking gloss black with white lugs, but I have yet to regret my decision with blue.

The drivetrain is almost all Shimano with the 600 cranks and a Dura-Ace cog mounted to a Suzue hub with a Surly lockring. I salvaged the bottom bracket from the junked bike, and it actually says Fuji right on it. I chose a Wipperman BMX chain simply because it was all chromed out, and I like Wipperman stuff a lot. The pedals are Koykuto Top-Run's which I aquired through a trade with an artist named Thad, although now that I think about it, he never really owned them so I kinda got hosed. I'm not sure what the cages are, but they have a cool square and circle logo on them. The black nylon straps were supposed to be temporary until I located some white leather ones, but I have yet to find any.

The front hub is an old Campagnolo High Flange quick release hub. I know what you're thinking, "how can he sleep at night with mismatched hubs?" I can assure you however, it was no accident. I would have run the Suzue hubset, and would have actually preferred a bolt-on hub for the front of this bike, although the Suzue front hub has a 3/8" axle, and for those of you who are "in the know" that would have been simply unacceptable. I like this Campy hub though and it's got a cool old retro looking skewer.

The headset is a no named steel "open-ball" headset, although it took considerable work to fit it to the frame. After reaming and facing the frame, we learned it was built using "JIS" Japanese International Standard I believe. This uses a smaller diameter headtube, but larger diameter crown race. Since we'd reamed the head tube, the original headset would no longer press in, but the crown race was too small to use a standard 1" headset. We first solved this problem with a little liquid metal around the crown race, but this solution soon proved too ghetto too last. After some consultation from nationally renowned frame builder, Rich Murphy, I peened the crown race using a hammer and punch and "PEEN" problem solved. This picture also shows the original Fuji insignia on the fork crown.

Here is a fuzzy shot of my Nitto moustache bars wrapped in nothing other than white cotton tape. I had some bitchin' world champion striped bar plugs, but they didn't fit the 25.4mm bar very well to begin with, and I lost one in an unfortunate inebriated tumble. I replaced them with some cool steel plugs that I found at IBike, and they do just fine. The stem is just a standard 3TTT 1" quill, which I believe is 120mm long with a 26.0mm clamp that also took a little persuading to fit the 25.4mm bar.

This final shot shows my beautiful Ideale leather saddle that my good buddy Justin got for me one year at Yankton's city-wide clean up. It also shows the seatpost that came with the bike out of the junk pile. After a lot of Mothers metal polish, some steel wool, even a wire wheel, and a little black model paint, it's looking brand new. I especially like the black fluted look, although sometimes I think it would have been better white?

The wheels are both 36 spoke, built up triple cross on a Mavic MA3 in the rear and a Torelli Master in the front. Once again, I know it's mismatched, but they were all we had in the shop at the time. I do have an MA3 that I could lace onto the front now, but I'm not sure if I will. The whole thing rolls on Vredestein Ricorso tires which I have yet to flat. I like the tires enough that I think I'll put them on my training wheels once I wear through my current training tires and then put something a little wider on this beast. Maybe some Ruffy Tuffy's or 27c Gatorskins.

That's it for my first review. Thanks to everyone who helped me get this bike up and running, the list is long, but goes something like this. Steven Opp (including but not limited to, frame, fork, headset, bottom bracket, seatpost, hubs, rims, spokes, hours of help and heaps of knowledge, Profide, clips and straps, crankset, etc), Mike Morris (paint at Auto Collision Specialists), Eric "ERod" Boyce (color choice), Thad (pedals), Justin (saddle), Feighny (Mothers and a dremel), Luis (help with a grinder and frame straightening tool), and Mark Cooper (for telling me how cool it looks).

Up next I think we'll be reviewing my hand-me-down single speed cross bike/race cross bike. Look forward to it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Once again it's been a while.

I'm still alive and kicking. Sorry for the lack of updates. Christmas was good to me as always. This elephant was definitely the coolest present I got, although I also got a bundle of cool things from my family, and my apartment continues to change shape and the sunflowers continually get more and more obnoxious with every new item I've gotten. I'm just kidding, I love each and ever sunflower I've received, especially, but not limited to the hand sewn dishtowel my grandma made fore me. She also made me a bitchin' dishtowel with a UNC Bear riding a red bicycle.

My break was nice, I wish it could have been a month longer, but that's how every break goes I guess. The break started off with a lot of hunting, which I really enjoyed since I haven't really done any since high school. I think watching Mattie evolve before my eyes into a better and better hunting dog was one of the highlights of the whole break. I got to see most all of my family for Christmas, then enjoyed a relaxing few weeks in Yankton. I played so much Scrabble that I even beat my mom by the end of break. For those of you who know her, you know what a feat that is. On top of that I watched more movies that I can count, perfected my sharpshooting skills with a .22, hiked almost daily with my little sister, spent some time with some close friends, and hopefully took one more step toward figuring out just exactly who Corey Carlson is, and what I'm supposed to be doing here. I can't say I'm overjoyed to be back in Greeley, but it's something that I need to do, and I plan to make the most of it.

I'm in school once again, back in the Education program. I'm currently enrolled in 9 credits with 4 more still hopefully on the way. Green carding into classes has always been good to me, so let's cross our fingers that my luck hasn't changed and I'll be able to finish out my coursework here at UNC this semester. Then it's just a couple of semesters of student teaching and I'm done. Yeah, count 'em up, that's 5 full years, but what can ya do?

Tonight Scott and I went to BONK, a live gameshow thing here at UNC. I didn't get picked to play, but that's alright with me, I don't do well in front of groups of people. Kari helped put it on, and although attendance was slim, I think it was a success for her and UPC. I got a T-Shirt out of the deal, but they were handing out iPod shuffles like no one's business, I guess I would've had a better chance at winning one if I'd have been louder.

Well, I think bedtime is rolling around pretty soong, I've gotta be up and ready to rock for a full day by 9:30 tomorrow. Class, then off to the International Bike for what is looking like a stimulating 7 hours of working alone. Nothing like jumping right back into things where I left off. I just hope I still know how to run the register. That's all for now. Anyway, I hope I haven't lost all my loyal following. Thanks for checking in.

Day 3 of perfect attendance is in the books.