Saturday, June 30, 2007

My new no speed

Bent chain link plus ferocious pedal power plus technical up = drive train apocalypse. On my ride of porcupine I tried to crank over a ledge and somehow destroyed my drive train. The bent link caught in the rear derailleur, torquing the arm beyond recognition, snapping the hanger and throwing the whole works into the spokes. Fortunately, the rear wheel seems to be true and all the spokes survived.

Notice that the cable of the derailleur runs BEHIND the chain stay because the wheel wound the chain and derailleur around the hub half a revolution. The whole works got so tangled up I had to break the chain several times. It took about 10 minutes but I removed the chain and used an ace bandage to hold the derailleur to the chain stay. I was able to coast my new no speed down the last half mile of dirt. No speeds are a bit tricky on the downhill.... No bursts of speed to help over technical spots. But at least they work. For the flats and climbs, I do not recommend them. I got to push/coast/walk my bike the 6 miles into Moab. And despite lots of empty pickups passing by, no one offered a ride, the bastards. Cycling shoes are not great for walking.

For the record, I had sram x9 derailleur and chain. I'm getting shimano this time around. I did not like sram at all. The chain consistently missed teeth when I pushed hard. Then this...

Minus drive train apocalypse, the ride (below) was epic! I still had a ridiculous grin on my face, despite the long walk back and the fact that I'll be dropping $100 plus at the shop.

Solo Ride on Porcupine Rim

So I had this long drive back to CO from CA through the desert and without the modern convenience of air conditioning. The brilliant way to make this all worth it is to stop in Moab for 48 hours to break up the drive. Then hike up Negro Bill Canyon and ride Porcupine rim!

Riding porcupine solo is an experience. Man vs desert, bike vs wild technical desert trail. Riding it solo in the summer adds a bit of dehydrated scorching death in the desert element. Fortunately I found a shuttle company running and there was a group of 2 that would be (way) behind me in case I needed someone to report where my body lay. I left the stock tanks (main trailhead) at 6.45am and the sun already felt way too hot. The 4 mile climb to the view (over castle valley) was as grueling as usual, and already I could feel the oppressive summer heat. But the 11 miles of downhill made up for that. Absolutely awesome. Riding solo lets one get into a certain technical rhythm. I flew down the trail, cleaning sections I had not cleaned before and hitting all the hucks without pause. I even managed some of the tough section on the last 3 miles of single track. Of course, I still had to hike the bike around the insane technical stuff at the creek crossing. After that I blasted down the trail until, with 1/2 mile remaining, mechanical disaster struck. Yet even with the mech problem, I made it back to the road (highway 128) in 2 hours 30 minutes. Not bad. As for the mechanical problem... see the above post.

Next trip we have to do the higher drop!

(Photo: the "death on the right" singletrack at the end of the ride skirts the very top edge of this mesa wall, rising about the Colorado River. The trail turns away from the river after that, to the insane creek crossing, then drops riders out on the road in the river valley.)

Monday, June 25, 2007

vanilla bean gu.

amasa back, revisited.

of course, the scenery. but the important part is the audio.

let this be a lesson that you should never, ever put yourself in the position where you may have to rely on any member of the ucktard racing team for bicycle maintenance, especially on-trail.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A real SS !

Funny how things work out. I prepare to enter a post with a real photo of my single speed, Steve enters a post about his POS SS. Anyway, here is the machine. Notice the lack of chain tensioner, this is accomplished by using a half chain link to shorten the chain. Possible upgrades. . .everything but the frame, stay tuned!

the trek vs the canyon

an attempted ride on the (old, rescued beater) single speed in pq canyon was thwarted inside 10 minutes.

first, the fall. stupid cheep tires just slipped out on the turn.

then, the rattling jingle sound. cassette lock ring came loose, and my spacers and cog were just floating merrily.

then, the fold. i know i tightened the hell out of them after i folded the first chain ring in half. nonetheless, one of the chain ring bolts came out and on the way back up the trail to the car (after less than 10 minutes of riding) i folded another chain ring.

i returned to eric's truck by hiking and scooter-ing that p.o.s. back up the hill.

i'm pretty sure the bike self-destructed because it heard me start to spec out a new, respectable single speed. now it's definitely time to work on that.