Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bike is back in gear..

As you may have noticed, I lost my dérailleur hanger during the hammerhead 100 ride.  That was a day I would like to forget, to be honest.  Im over it now, but it was very disappointing.  Im not sure if I mentioned it before, but the Small Block 8 tires really dont work well for out at Nayls at the higher speeds that I am trying to ride at.  Some of it may be my bike handling skills, and some of it is the fact that these tires just dont seem to hook up well in highspeed corners.

During the race, I found myself off the trail twice because it seemed the tires just weren't hooking up.  Around mile 20 a stick hopped up and got caught in my dérailleur.  I stopped, pulled the stick out, and continued on my way.  I noticed immediately that the chain was hopping a little.  I stopped again, checked the drivetrain and saw that the hanger was bent, and the dérailleur was pretty much jammed onto the hanger.  Ugh.  I tried by hand to bend the hanger back, but it snapped. Double Ugh.  Unfortunately, I didn't have a master link or a spare hanger.  Even if I did have a hanger - I couldn't get the dérailleur unstuck from the hanger.  I broke the chain and used one of the pins to try to make the bike a singlespeed.  It didnt work.  I walked back to the staging area and happened to get my pic taken a moment later.

Anyway, I got a new hanger, used a vice and got the dérailleur off the old, and put it on the new.  I got a new sram 991 chain with a 'PowerLink'.  (basically, its a masterlink - so I wont  have issues with a broken chain and having to walk to the car).  I also purchased some new road bike shoes.  They are on the way.  In the mean time, I used the mtb for commuting a few times after sticking some slicks on it and getting it back into riding shape.  The last 2 weeks since the race, I have gotten very little riding in, in fact - I have only ridden about 60 miles since the race. Mostly because I was waiting on the hanger.  Thats going to change very shortly though - now that the bike is back in order. Ill put the small blocks back on the bike until I eventually pick up some new tires, and head out to santos this weekend.  Yahoo!  The 8 hours of labor is coming up, and I would like to participate in the solo class.  Call me crazy, but Im really liking this endurance riding thing - even though I bonked in my first race, and broke the bike in the last race.. haha. try try try!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hammerhead 100

All I have to say is....

See anything missing? I do.. It's worth a few miles of walking.

Monday, May 3, 2010

So..Hot.. Santos Shangri La Ride.

In preparation for next week's Hammerhead 100 race in Ocala, I headed to the Land Bridge trail head on Saturday.  I haven't been to Santos in a while and wanted to get back into the groove out there, and hopefully get all of my crashes out of the way this weekend instead of race weekend.

Oh, I crashed a couple of times.  Mostly it was just not managing my damn speed well enough.  My fitness has gotten better since I have been out there last, but apparently my bike handling has not gotten much better. My bike was feeling very squirrelly for most of the day, and if I even breathed on the rear brake it would lock, and the front wheel wasnt hooking up well at all.  I ran off the trail - I would say 3 times with the bike going straight even with me leaning over to turn.  Bummer.  My fitness is alot better from even a month ago, and I am going quite a bit faster on the bike, and trying to take turns at a quicker clip mostly resulted in the tires losing grip.  Maybe I just need to slow the hell down better for turns.. but I just feel I should be able to take the turns alot faster.  Ive read alot about a nevegal front tire with the SB8 on the rear.  I think I will try that, but probably not before the race.

Anyway, even with some off-trail adventures, I managed to finish the 25mile lap in two hours and 26 minutes..  That does not count the time that I was sitting on the trail grabbing my eyeball in pain.  Yes, I was STUNG IN THE EYE by a wasp.  Let me repeat.  STUNG IN THE EYE by a wasp.  I was just tooling along at a decent clip when zap! Some black thing is on my eye, and I am screaming like a girl and falling off the bike.  My eye was really hurting, but luckily I am not allergic at all to stings.  It didnt swell up at all, but my eye was in pain for the 11 miles back to the car.  Like a real trooper I finished up the ride.  So, with the 'lounge break' laying on the side of the trail - it took me close to two hours to finish the ride.  I didnt bother to go out for a second lap, since my eye was twitching like a crack addict.  Today its all better, except for being a little itchy.