Monday, November 30, 2009

Suffering with a smile..

Yesterday was the first time I got out on the bike, or rather any bike other than the motorcycle, in a week. The whole Thanksgiving, family, and a bit of rain got in the way. I also did some work on the motorcycle and on the car - cleaning both of their K&N air filters, and re-oiling them.  I had to put the SV on the battery tender for a couple of hours to get it started - then went for a nice ride on saturday for a couple of hours.

Oil, oil filter, and spark plugs need to be changed next weekend.. I do all of my own maintenance and I hadnt ridden the motorcycle for about a month. Mainly I havent been riding it much because I need to check and possibly adjust the valves - Im about 6K miles over the suggested check mileage. (Im at about 20k miles on a 2006 SV650) I do know, however, that I probably wont have to adjust them till 30k miles. But - I also know it will be a pain in the ass. For a while I was riding it almost every day to work, and on the weekends for fun.

Anyway, back to the bicycle...On previous rides the squishiness of the Reba front shock was very apparent. It was obviously under pressurized.  So, before going for a ride on Sunday I picked up a shock pump from Orange Cycle Orlando. It is a 'Buzzys Pollinator' Pump. Yes. That is what its called:  Buzzy's Pollinator.

To be honest, I dont care what it is called, as long as it works.  And this works, and was around 30 bucks.  According to recommendations the pressure I should run is 130 positive and negative.  So, I got to pumping the shock up.  It was very easy.  On the Reba, the positive chamber is located on top, and the negative is on bottom.  As shown in the pics below:

These photos are kinda dark, but you get the picture.  The air chambers are on the left side of the fork.  When I screwed the pump in, it was reading a very low 80lbs pressure.  No wonder I bottomed out a few times.

Sunday, I went for a 2.5 hour ride and covered about 20 miles out on the Snowhill trails.  I averaged almost 9 miles an hour - which includes about a 5 minute rest stop.  Thats not bad for Snowhill and its switchback laden trails.  Thats about a mile an hour faster than any previous ride out there, and I didnt fall off the bike. The shock made a difference, for sure, but it may have also had to do with the fact that it rained alot last week and the sand was packed down.  The shock was not squishy at all, it soaked up bumps but didnt bottom out and jolt me.  Much more plush than the 'wet-noodle' feeling that I had before, and I didnt have to struggle through gobs of powdery sand. I really pushed myself through alot of this ride.. I had a group of guys that looked like they were pretty experienced mtb riders on my tail for a bit of the ride - and I managed to keep them out of sight and behind me until I took a different trail than they did.  I could hear them yelling at the blind corners.  Thats a pretty good idea out there - considering I almost had a head-on collision with somebody when I was coming around a blind corner.  Off work again today, and may get out for a ride...

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