First Ride with the new bike

I got my first ride in today on the new 6.6 rig and while I’m still working a extensive review, the bike really felt great.

Here are a few shots from the day on a trail system attached to Los Penasquitos Canyon.

This is a big as air as I ever expect to get and the shock and fork were pretty close to dialed for it.

Greg
Greg getting a little air in the trees.


Brian in the air.

Stay tuned for a full review.�

The Portal Trail in Retrospect

I am in the process of putting together my video of the Poison Spider Mesa and The Portal Trail.  For those of you who read my review you should have noticed the unusual amount of attention I paid to how dangerous this trail is in the exposed sections.  Standing on the edge there knowing that three mountain bikers have fallen to their deaths is quite an experience.   I thought we were quite cautious in what we rode and what we walked on that infamous and precarious trail.   While reviewing the footage I had a couple of OMFG moments when I saw a couple of spots that we did ride.   While these couple of sections were flat and tame with some ground buffer between us and the edge I’m pretty sure I would not ride them again.   Too much of the hebegebes put in my head now.    For me there has only been a few trails that have gotten into my head like the Portal Trail.   If you have ever had one of those dreams where you are falling forever, this could be that place.    I’m not sure how this thought process with effect the final video, I’ll just have to see where it takes me. 

Bill O'Neil on the Portal  �

MTBR viewing tips

Not a whole lot of blog posts going on lately.  I have been doing up pages and video for the site. 

Have you noticed the increased bombardment of ads on the forums on MTBR.com?   They take up near 50% of the screen lately.  It never was too much of a bother for me before, but recently it just seems ridiculous.    Here is a tip that those of you using Internet Explorer without any third party ad-filtering software can do to cut down on the ads.

Navigate to Tools — Internet Options to bring up the Internet Options Dialog Box

Click on the Security Tab, then on the Restricted Icon.  This will enable the “Sites” Button.  Click on the Button

MTBr Viewing

This will be then bring up a dialog box that will allow you to enter a website address.  By default it will enter the address of the page you where currently on when started this effort.  You will want to clear out the information currently there and enter

 http://creview.adbureau.net

in the dialog box and press enter.   

mtbr 

Then press “Close” and an OK or two to your browser.  Refresh your MTBR page and you should see a dramatic drop in ads on this site. 

The above address is the primary adserver that mtbr uses.  By blocking their adserver it will eliminate most of the ads on thier site.

 Happy MTBRing (or not).

 -Bill

New Bike Shop in North County

North County has a new bike shop, BikeBling.com.  I had heard about the new shop located in Escondido so when I was in the area I swung by.  The place still has the that “new shop” smell and from what the owner told me new stuff is coming in everyday.   I dig that the service area is not tucked away in the back somewhere.  It is right up front as soon as you walk in the door and you are more than welcome to watch the service in action.    The shop is catering towards service and higher end gear, you know real MTB stuff.   I forget all of the bikes brands they carry, but it was a nice list.   This is pretty cool for Escondidio as there was no real MTB bike shop in town after the Performance Shop was shutdown.   It is also cool for all of North County to have another local shop to add to the variety stuff to chose from as no one shop carries all brands.  The shop is also going to be doing Internet sales as well.

I was impressed that they had a really good selection of full-face helmets and I ended up getting a Giro Remedy CF to me from busting up my face again.   Now I just have to go get some sweat on the inside of this bad boy.

Full Face Helmet

My Friends and Family are Funny

I had not really appreciated just how much laughter is generatered from my friends and family until this week.  With my injury it is dreadfully painful to smile right now and I have also been scared to stress that area with a smile.  Of course the smile is somewhat self limiting.  You start to smile and the pain shoots through the roof.  Bye-Bye Smile.    So what I started doing is when someone says something funny and I start to smile, I grab the left side of my face and keep my muscles from pulling the corner of my mouth back.   This of course is somewhat funny looking to see, which wants to start another round of snickering with the peanut gallery.    My Wife and I realized that laughter plays a significant part in our relationship.  She has been getting a little bummed with my forced stoic demeanor as of late and I have come to better appreciate the nature of our relationship as well.   I did not think I would gain a little knowledge about my marriage from the crash, but yeah, I guess you always need to be ready to learn.   I can however think of less painful ways to learn stuff.  Hopefully, it will be over soon.  I amazed how quickly the face area heals, but the trend of the nerves healing quicker than the wounds is truly a painful bummer. I did get 9 of 19 stitches out today which is a start.  (The other 10 are the internal kind that will disolve on thier own.) 

I don’t exactly know where these ramblings are taking me,   I’ll leave things with this – Take note and enjoy the smiles and laughter around you.

More SoMo Fun

What a great day we had on South Mountain today.   We started at the Pima Canyon trailhead and climbed the Mormon Loop to National and took that up to the Buena Vista trailhead.  There was plenty of green on the mountain.

Catcus Flower 

 From there we took the Geronimo trail down off the mountain.   What an awesome bit of technical singletrack that sees far less traffic than National.  We then did a quick bit of street riding over to the Mormon and started a very technical and brutal climb back up the mountain.  It was an excellent series of slogging, sessioning, and bike-a-biking.   From there we took National back down to the Pima Canyon.  

Greg

After some quick showers we were off for some Italian food and libations.   Good Stuff !   

-Bill

Pushing My Luck

I have been fighting off the early signs of a cold so I opted to do something non-epic to for my weekend ride.   I had driven by the Ronald Casper Wilderness Park dozens of time on my way out to the San Juan Trail.  I had heard that it was an okay ride but all fireroads for mountain biking.   I figured I would be stopping often to take pictures so a bit of minor chest congestion should not be too big of a deal.  The chest congestion ended up not being much a factor at all.  But something else would be.

Windmill

 I started off from the Old Corral/Windmill area and took the Bell Canyon trail.  I had barely gotten on the bike when I spotted a group of deer.  They certainly knew I was there so I kneeled down and looked away from them and acted like I was looking for something on the ground.   Feigning that I was uninterested in them was enough to calm them enough that they cautiously  moved along the edge of the meadow gettting closer to me.  I spent a good 10 minutes here before they moved along. 

Deer 

After this things went along pretty nicely.  With all of the rain we have been having there was green everywhere.   I eventually made my way to the Oso Trail and started climbing a ridge.  This trail turned steep in quite a few sections, but it was cool as views of Santiago, Los Pinos and Surgarloaf peaks were often seen in the distance.  I was a little over half a mile from reaching Badger Pass when I heard a loud bang and immediately felt the rear tire go flat.    I thought “No Big Deal, I know how to boot a sidewall tear”.   It did not take long to find the tear and it was not good.   I had about a two inch split in the tire just above the bead.   Not a good place at all.   After taking inventory of all my stuff, I was also a bit bummed.   About a month or so ago, I had used up all my duct tape helping someone get a busted chainstay patched up enought to limp home and had fogotten to replenish my tape.   

Badger Pass Gazebo

I ended up using a really big patch on the inside of the tire with strips of first aid tape to help spread the load out.  I also still had a tireliner still in the tire from a dersert ride that I shifted around to the side.   Once I inflated the tire it was obvious the patch was pretty marginal.  I deflated the tire and added two small patches on the outside as well as some more first aid tape to the outside of the tire.  This ended up working better as when I inflated the tire (with much less air than I normally use) there was much less bulging.    I had little confidence that this patch was going to hold and had already committed to about a four mile hike back to my truck.   Looking at the map I figure it would be only be marginally longer to take Badger Pass down to the San Juan Creek Trail and then back to my truck vice going back the way I came.   I could at least see some new stuff on my way back. 

Flowers

So I gingerly made my way down Badger Pass as I wanted to flex that sidewall as little as possible.  Badger Pass ended up being really pretty with all of the growth.  I knew it was a fireroad but in places it was vitrually a hard to follow singletrack.  The poppys and lupines where really going off through as well.  It was quite a treat. 

Flowers

 Once I had made my way down to the San Juan Creek Trail, I was amazed to see how well the patch was holding up.   The San Juan Creek Trail (aka fireroad) was pretty non-eventual as well as mostly fairly crappy as it was very close to highway 74.   Once back near the park entance and back on the pavement I rolled back towards my truck.   The rear tire was slowing loosing some air so I stopped and carefully put some more back in.  

I felt really lucky at the point having averted a sizable hike.   I stopped at the junction of the East Ridge Trail as I really wanted to check out as much of the park as I could at this was on the list.   Since I had already mentally committed for a hike today, I figured what the heck, there are a couple of trails that I can hike back on if the tire blows and only have a few miles to deal with.    So up the East Ridge I went and worked over to the Sunrise trail.   At the bottom of Sunrise I had to put some more air in the tire and bulging and increased some.   

 Hmmmm, I only have about a mile back to the truck from here.   I really wanted to check out the Starr Rise trail up to the West Ridge Trail.   I decided to push my luck some more and went up the Starr Rise trail.  I was loosing air a little quicker now and I need to pump up again when I reach the West Ridge.   I thought heading north would be risking too much, but I was will to push my luck again and headed south the West Ridge trail.

trail

There were some more nice views to be seen from the West Ridge and I took it out to the end of the park.   The bulging was getting bad now.  I had seen pretty much everything I wanted to so it was time to head back.   I pumped up again when I got back to the Bell Canyon trail and it looked like it was going to go at any second.   I worked by way back to towards the truck and sure enough it popped.   The cool thing was that I was exactly half a mile from my truck.   It was still really pretty out and I felt really great about the timing of the flat.   I had planned on a four mile hike and ended up only doing half a mile.

 I got in a total of 17 miles of riding out at Caspers with 13 of it being on a booted, patched, and taped tire.  I feel quite lucky!

Rain… Rain… SPAM… SPAM…

Boy this last week has been a bit of a pisser.    Actually I’m just a spoiled SoCal weather weenie.  My riding days as of late have been pretty locked in over the last few weeks due to various commitments.    It just so happens that on all of my riding days ended up being rain days as well. 

Of course  I show up for work on Monday and the sun is out!

 ARRRRRGGGGGGH!

I whine on!

 On the BLOG side of the house, I have some Anti-SPAM filters in place that help to keep SPAM from getting on the blog.   Over the last couple of days the blog has been getting bombshelled with SPAM.  Now all of this SPAM is getting caught in moderation but it is becoming a pain in the arsh to weed through so I am making a configuration change that should cut down on that stuff.

As a bona-fide user you may find it  slightly annoying, but here it is:

To add a comment to the blog you must register (Only have to do it once)  and log-in to the blog first.

Registration is free and I am not going to be sharing your information with anyone.  This should cut down all of the bot-generated junk that currently hitting the blog. 

-Bill

Spinning One Liners

Today I got in a spin class at lunch for the first time in a long time.   I had forgotten how much of a beat down you can give yourself in just an hour.  I say “you can give” because you set the tension on the bike throughout the workout.   This allows both beginners and the ultra-fit types to get equally beat down in the same session.  Any who,  It was a good workout, but the reason for the post is that my instructor for this class was really good at keeping everybody motivated and he had a bunch of motivational one-liners.    I’m sure that much of them were not his original creations, but it was a good compilation.  Some were cool and  some were corny but they did help to keep everyone spinning.

The more interesting ones were:

Find your comfort zone…and get out of it!

I don’t want much out of life…Just ALL of it!

Ride for the Hellth of It!

If you don’t act tired….You won’t be tired!

Find out what you can’t do!

That was the warm up (He said that 50 minutes into the 1 hour class when many of us drenched with sweat) 

Do spin classes help with cycling?   Personally it is not so much a “form” thing as a cardio thing for me.  On the cardio front they are really good.   The guy teaching today had us out of the saddle for 85% of the hour so there is certainly some good training of your legs for out of the saddle efforts.   I was certainly not sitting at my desk surfing the Internet during lunch which was a good thing.

 -Bill