Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Very busy few weeks

Im sure my many admirers (three readers?) have noticed I have not posted in a while.  Things have been very hectic and I have been under the weather.  On top of that, this last weekend I flipped over my handlebars not so gently and roughed up my shoulder.

Saturday I was starting to feel the onset of yucky stomach, but really wanted to get out for a ride since the weather was great. It was supposed to rain all day Sunday (which it did) and I knew I had things to do that day.  My plan was to go to Santos, however feeling a little under the weather I just headed over to Snowhill rd.  While getting geared up in the parking lot I saw my boss just coming back from a ride.  His leg was a bit bloody. I said 'hi'. He seemed to be fine: there was alot of blood from a very little scratch. After riding the first little bit of the trail, and making it to the river portion - I realized "I left my phone on my car".  So I headed back to pick it up.  Luckily it was still there. iPhones are expensive and non-insurable.  At this point a realization should have struck me: "These are signs that I should go home."

There is a funny thing about crashing.  It seems to happen somewhere that you have ridden a million times and have not thought twice about.  About an hour in, I was going down a steep sandy bit that has a little switchback at the bottom. Its not that difficult - you just have to watch your speed coming down. Right at the bottom my front tire dug into the sand, stopped, and sent me head over heels  over the handlebars.  Of course, the natural reaction is to put your hand out to stop from faceplanting.  I did. Afterwords my shoulder hurt like hell. I checked the ol bones to make sure my collarbone was in a single pice, and all seemed to be ok.  Luckily I wasnt too far from the car, so I just rode back and headed home.  For a couple of days I wasnt able to lift my arm up over my head at all and is just now starting to feel like I can get on the bike again. My guts are feeling better and tomorrow might be the perfect time for a 'sick-day'.  The weather has been gorgeous and I feel like a schmuck letting it go to waste sitting in this stupid office.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Specialized Deflect Gloves - Report

As luck would have it, after purchasing my 'Winter' Gloves - the weather started to get warm again.  I was, however, able to ride with the gloves during some pretty cool 45 degree weather on the road, and I also was able to put them through a muddy ride in 70 degree weather.

The gloves fit me very well, are comfortable, and look great. They have a little snap on the gloves that allow you to button them together to keep them in a pair.  This is a feature I will never use, but some may be more organized than me. They are sort of difficult to put on, since they have a stretchy cuff without a Velcro closure. There was a worry that the padding on the palm was not going to be substantial enough to keep my hands from going numb on sustained rooty and rocky terrain.  Unfortunately I was right: these gloves do not protect from vibrations as well as my Pearl Izumi gel gloves.  They do not seem to relieve the pressure on the ulnar nerve in the palm/wrist area as well.  I found my hands going numb for the first time since I put the Ergon grips on the bike, causing me to have to shake my hands, or change position a few times while going through particularly rough, rooty, or technical sections. 

That being said - they kept my hands warm during the day that the weather dropped below 45.  I would highly recommend not wearing these gloves above 70.  My hands felt sweaty and downright hot when I wore them over the weekend that I thought was going to be cool, and I didn't have any other gloves. So - I probably spent 35 bucks on gloves that I will wear only once this season, if it doesn't get cold again.

Would I recommend these gloves? Not to someone who has issues their hands going numb due to vibration.  Sure, some of the issue may be with me gripping the bar too tightly when hitting technical sections - but - numbness really isn't an issue with the Pearl gels.  If you don't get numb hands, live somewhere where its cool more than one weekend a year, and need a pair of sporty looking gloves that are well made - buy these.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Econ trail sunday..

Posting from my iphone -while taking a break on the trail. It's a Nice day and the trail is in great shape.

Overlooking a cliff into the river. I switched out the seatpost for an old one I had laying around. I needed another inch or so but, the ritchey was not long enough. This seapost sucks: it's heavy and the clamp barely works.

Mmm this water looks delicious.Ok, I have a few more miles to ride.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Icky Weather Over!

I wasnt able to get out to Santos last week because it was rainy and cold.  The weather has turned back into normal Florida weather. I actually have the A/C on now.  70 degrees or so today.  I rode 17 miles out at Snowhill today, and plan to head to Santos tomorrow morning.  Today I wore the Specialized gloves  - that was a mistake.  My hands got hot and sweaty. haha.  Oh well, I thought maybe it would be cold.  *wrong*. Anyway - I will try and take some pics of Santos if I head out there tomorrow.  Either Santos - or a road ride.  We shall see!

Friday, January 8, 2010

New gloves for cool weather

It is supposed to be absolutely freezing (literally) this weekend.  So, I moseyed on down to Orange Cycle and picked up some Specialized Deflect gloves.

Ooo fancy.  I was going to get some Pearl Izumi Cyclone gloves, but there were none in stock.  However, these are very comfortable, although have a little less palm padding than I like.  I rode them shortly last night in about 50 degrees for an hour, and my hands were warm enough to sweat.  I am hoping this means that this weekend at about 30 degrees my hands wont freeze.  It was actually very comfortable at that temperature in only bibs, arm and leg warmers, underarmour 'cold gear' long sleeve, and a short sleeve jersey.  For anything under 45 Im thinking I need a windbreaker of some sort.  That may be a purchase for today somewhere like Target.  I just dont see the point in purchasing a 'special bicycle' windbreaker for quadruple the price.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Baby, it's cold outside!

I went for a night ride after work yesterday and lasted all of 2 miles. No warm gloves = no cool weather riding.

Yes. That's ice on my car in central Florida. 29 degrees!! Brrrr. Sigh. On the trainer with me.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Long Santos Ride...

I made it to santos for the second weekend in a row.  This time I was able to complete the entire epic ride, and then some. Trek was out for some demo rides,  the time limit on riding was around 30 minutes.  I was guessing that I would be out for 5 hours so I didnt bother. It was quite chilly for florida- 45 degrees or so around 10am.

Like last time, I started out at the Santos trailhead and followed the 'epic' ride west signs.  I really love riding out here, as it just feels like there are mile after mile of uninterrupted singletrack. Well, there are.  Within only a few minutes I was already out of the highly trafficked Santos section and into the Spider Kingdom section.  I have yet to see a spider out there, however, since it has been cold both times I have been out there.  This section is very brushy, and not very technical.  In fact, there arent very many 'technical' sections except for out to Nayl's trail and in the Santos section.  I hooked up with a group of riders right after the Landbridge trailhead, and followed them a little ways.  It was a group of about 5, I would say.  They were also doing the 'Epic' Ride.  I would see them off and on throughout the day.

Right after the landbridge section there are a few portions of open farmland, and singletrack through some thin pine trees.

This pic was taken from my digital camera last weekend, and it doesnt show off the bright blue sky of this weekend. I only had my iPhone on me for this ride.  It was a gorgeous day, even though it was very cold.  Once past this portion a little way farther and you come to a short climb to the landbridge.  There were quite a few people milling about on the bridge - tooling slowly up the climb.  I just zipped up it and stopped for a minute to take a pic from the overpass with the iPhone.

Really pretty amazing that you can barely tell you are on a bridge except for this little opening that you can look out of.  It really just seems like a limestone hill. I really sped down the other side, and almost wiped out on a ditch opened up by water drainage. After the bridge I followed the doubletrack for about three miles, after missing my right turn.

After a few minutes I was getting a little confused, and found a turn off that was pointing me to the Trailhead.  This was the 49th street trailhead that I found - and asked a couple of guys how to find Nayl's trail.  I had to go back out to the doubletrack and follow it for only a few more hundred yards go under a little bridge and take the singletrack.

Nay'ls trail was really sweet singletrack.  There were a few points where I lost the trail - since it was heavily covered in pine needles.  There were a ton of ups and downs, riding on ridges, and even a pretty lengthy and steep climb for Florida. (ok, not much.. but at least it was longer than 45 seconds of climbing)  after about 5 miles or so I came to a road - a few folks were sitting and relaxing eating sandwiches next to their bikes.  MMmm.. a sandwich would have been nice.  All I brought with me was 3 packages of clif bloks, 2 clif bars, a bottle of accellerade, and 3 liters of water. I followed a couple guys across the road just to look at the trails (this was out past 484 and no longer on the 'epic' trail)  I only road it for about a mile and turned around.  At this point I still felt great - 2.5 hours into the ride.

I cruised back over Nayl's trail and the Landbridge following the green 'East' epic signs and took a break just after the Landbridge trailhead.

I was beginning to feel a little nauseated around hour 4 after finishing up the last clif bar.  No cramps though, but my legs were beginning to feel it.  The margarita clif blok had done it's job - even though it tasted like a sweet salt lick.  After about 4.5 hours, I was starting to feel pretty miserable: tired, hungry, and generally wanted to lay down and take a nap.  However, I made it back to the parking lot at right about 5 hours. (not sure of the exact time or distance, since my iPhone battery died while using the iMapMyRide GPS app.  grr.  The last time I had looked at it - it read 38 miles.  Looking at the map - that was about 4 miles from the parking lot.  The GPS isnt very accurate as far as distance, but I am going to guess that I did about 43 miles.  All in all, it was a stellar day.  I ate all my food, and drank 2 liters of water, and 24 oz of acellerade.  During the summer, Im going to need to refill the bladder at the Landbridge trailhead, me thinks.

Im pretty stoked about this day - my longest day in the mtb saddle so far at around 5 hours.  The Fantom rode very well, shifted great, handled technical stuff very well, and I absolutely flew up any climbs.  I wasnt sure I would like the WTB saddle for the long haul- but it is quite comfortable, and the cromo rails really do soak up alot of bumps along with the big tires.  I can absolutely stay seated over some pretty irregular trails without the feeling of being jackhammered.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

I hope 2010 is great for everyone! Off to santos tomorrow for a nice ride. I promise to take some pics. I hope.