Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Shiniest

I couldn't be more excited to finally replace the Bianchi with a shiny new Trek Madone...


With all the goods it came out to 14.75 lb. I was pretty shocked it was that low, I was expecting closer to 15.25 (but I won't complain) 



I've only managed to get around 80 miles on it so far, but it is definitely a nice ride. I still need to dial in the fit a bit, but it is pretty close. The big things that are noticeable so far are the smoothness and stability of the bike. It really seems to soak up the road buzz alot more than the bianchi, and feels super stable on descents and fast corners. The Sram Red shifters feel great on the hands, and getting used to the doubletap takes no time at all. 


"Rollen and Dinkin Around"

Two more routes down for BKKBR, I'm slowly getting there... The North Knoxville House Mountain loop was very cool, with lots of rollers and twisty sections. I've done this loop once before, but thats been my only North Knoxville experience so far.  I'm kind of excited to get out and do some more in that area though.


"Circle Around House Mountain"

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Farewell



The trusty Bianchi 928 lugged is finally gone. It has been a great bike for the past 2 years, but it was time to move on to something different. It was pretty much my first (second) road bike (I guess I have to count the other 928 frame that started cracking) Lots of miles, lots of good rides, and it never dropped me to the pavement. It's kind of sad to see it go...



Enjoy your new WY home... and thanks for many good miles...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Mad One



My shiny should be here and all built up by the end of the week. It is based off of the new and improved Project One. P1 is Trek's custom paint division, and for 2009 they've stepped up with some great new features. The big things are custom component choices and stock colors. Custom component choices lets you upgrade/downgrade the parts that come with the bike and make sure you get the right sizes. This makes it so you can apply the price of the items you don't want to upgrade individual components, and also makes sure you get the sizes you need so you don't end up with extra stems or bars that you can't use. For each madone model, P1 also offers 4 stock colors that you can order up at no additional cost if you want something a little different without having to spring for a fully custom paintjob.

And the greatest thing is that stock colors and component size changes come at NO ADDITIONAL COST. There is really no reason not to go the P1 route to make sure you get exactly what you want from the bike.

So for my madone, I went with the Red series framest, and chose a stock color (From the 6.9 Pro) since I'm a huge fan of the blue and turquoise. The custom options are nice, but I couldn't justify the extra cost since the stock one was so close to what I wanted. Components are going to be full Sram Red, with aluminum RXL wheels, white RXL stem, and RXXXL bars. I also managed to snag some porn star brakes for stopping duties. Speedplay pedals will finish it off (in white, of course...)



Should be shiny... Too bad it's going to rain all weekend...

Ride Time



With 75 degree temps and rain coming the next 4 days, I couldn't pass up a chance to get out on some perfectly dry and dusty singletrack at Haw Ridge. I've also been needing another chance to get out on the SSFly and test that bolt-on skewer again. Unfortunately, the skewer slipped twice during the 4 hour ride, so I'm gonna have to man up and get the DT Swiss RWS skewer. Other than that, the ride was great, and I can't wait to start doing some longer races on this bike.


"Taking the Long Branch"

Road rides continued as well, with another BKKBR. This one is out in East Knoxville past Ijams nature park. Another good route with nice rollers and some fun descents. Total mileage was around 55ish. Long branch road is quite fun, I'll have to hit it again sometime. Normally when I am out this way I go Happy Creek, which is another fun road... Decisions...



I also managed to find a super steep driveway off the route I decided to climb for whatever reason. Nice little interval, but coming down was no fun. It was straight down rough bumpy concrete into 6 inch deep gravel. I'm pretty sure I was slower going down than up. First ride in the new 29er Crew kits as well. Fit is good and quality seems nice so far.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Watch Out

Something big and shiny is coming...



A Lengthy Assignment


After doing the route from the "Knoxville Bicycle Routes" book the other day, I've decided to see if I can get through all of them.  So without further ado, I bring you parts 2-4 of my 40 part series, "Better Know a Knoxville Bike Route."


"The Old Farm Tour"
This ride makes a big loop in southeast knoxville, mostly through farmland. The terrain is mostly rolling, but it's got a few steep rollers that require some effort. Overall though, lots of nice roads that I hadn't made it on before. Also, if you would like to get attacked by the most dogs possible at once, I don't recall the road name, but there is a section where at least 8 or 9 dogs run out in a big pack. There could have been more, but I gave up counting. Definitely interesting though... From downtown the mileage was a little over 70, but I missed a turn or two and got some bonus miles.


"Old Cades Cove"
Another South Knoxville ride. This one heads out the standard way to Martin Mill and Andy Harris, but then splits off from Wildwood and heads north, and then turns east. The loop then spits you out on Old Walland Highway at Cold Springs Rd and heads out to the always fun Tuckaleechee Loop, and then back to Coulter's Bridge. From here it turns left and heads back to Martin Mill through Peppermint and Wildwood.  Once again, a pretty cool route that has some really fun roads, especially the northen part that takes you out to Walland. The picture above is from the ever-changing inventory of a guy on Peppermint that makes license plate sculptures. Pretty neat stuff. Mileage was a little over 75.


"Through Marble Country"
This ride starts at Louisville Point Park. I was hoping for a nice recovery day after the previous two rides on Tuesday and Wednesday, but I'm not really sure I got it. This route was just 35 miles and 2000 ft of climbing, but constant wind and lots of short moderate rollers didn't really pan out as a great recovery ride. The turns are also poorly marked, so some guesswork and a relatively accurate computer are helpful to get around the loop. Like the first route, it is mostly through farm country. Traffic is really light as well. Pretty decent loops, but since it requires 25 min in the car to get to, I probably won't make it out here too much. (save for 2 more parts of the 40 part series, BKKBR)


If you're riding the routes from Louisville Point Park, get used to this view... Probably 60% of the turns don't have street names. Makes for a good challenge at least. (Or bonus miles)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

One



I managed to get out and beat the rain yesterday for a quick ride on the SSFly at IC King. Being back on singletrack with a SS just feels fantastic.  It worked quite well, and definitely improves on the Rig in smoothness and stiffness. I've got some minor things to dial in, mostly in regards to the chain/cog. I've been running WTB cheap cogs and a Sram PC-1 chain, but I'm going to jump up to some Chris King cogs and a narrower 8spd chain setup. The little 5mm bolt on skewer worked well enough, but it's gonna need a few more shakedown rides to convince me that it's going to hold well...

Hopefully I won't get too attached to the SS and resign the G(eared)Fly to dust collection duties...


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sun and Wind

Last post when I was talking about trading an hour of sleep for good weather was worth it, I was apparently mistaken. Monday was a perfect day, with near 75 degree temps.  Instead of getting a great day of training in, I decided to take a short nap after getting back from work around 4, and ended up waking up nearly 3 hours later... and I was still tired... Curse you DST!

But soon enough, I'll switch to loving that extra hour. I think I'm back on my normal rhythm again today. I got out for a good 4 hour ride out towards Kodak to enjoy the near 80 degree weather. (For those of you that bought Elle Colquitt's bicycle route book, it was the "A Kodak Moment" route on p 142.) I ride out this way a decent amount, but don't really know the side roads that well, so I figured I'd give it a go. The route is mostly rolling, but has a few good climbs spread in there.



3 hours of headwind made for a tough and demanding ride, but I liked the route. The loop north of Thorngrove Pike is quite nice with two or three 1200ish ft climbs, and some great descents, including one that will easily top you out over 50 mph (and then flatten for 200 yds or so to a stop sign, hope your brakes work) The southern side has some cool sections as well. If you're looking for intervals, there were plenty of dog sprints to get those in for you. A shame the cool weather and rain is on it's way...

  • As a side note, I've got a road bike that is looking for a new home...  

    Check out the details here, more pictures here...
  • Saturday, March 7, 2009

    About to Spring Forward


    Warm weather has finally made it's way to the southeast!  Hopefully it's here to stay. It's been over 60 degrees since Wednesday, and over 70 for Saturday and Sunday... I've had a nicely diversified week of riding, with a some good greenway runs, commuting errands, road bike runs, and finally some mountain biking. The tanasi trails at the Ocoee whitewater center were in fantastic shape today, and I was able to get out on the geared superfly for the first real ride. It performed great on a 40 mile loop hitting most all of the singletrack in the area.

    Tomorrow is time change day... I guess it's worth losing a bit of sleep for the good weather... 


    I managed to find a little bit o' local honey on the roads