29 November, 2007

Dave Zabriskie's mountain bike...

...is a 29er, no surprise!


Niner AIR9, setup with a Dura-ace triple and drop bars - very nice! That's not to mention the mtb equipment of American Classic wheels and the new F29 fork. It's pretty interesting to see what the pro tour riders do with their free time and I know Zabriskie isn't the only one who rides mountain bikes for fun, though he certainly has good taste.

26 November, 2007

Snowy mtb

Following the trail day on Saturday, I felt the urge to get out and ride the cut while it was frozen. The new section of Stinky Girl was looking pretty fun, and it seemed like we weren't going to see better riding weather for some time.

Sunday morning I headed out with a couple of other UWCC'ers, as early as we could bear in order to take advantage of the frozen trail knowing things would begin to thaw later in the day. This proved to be wise as a few exposed areas were indeed getting a bit wet around noon. Other than that, the conditions were great, and riding in the crunchy snow was different than I thought. So enjoyable I've decided I'd like to get some clothing for the colder weather that is to come and keep riding year round. Some insulated booties and lobster gloves as well as a shell jacket and perhaps some pants, and I should be good to go in just about any conditions. I'll be setting the Trek up as a single-speed, with its geared replacement (I think anyway) to be announced later...

Finally, I have to link to the latest post over at Bike Snob NYC which yet again has me laughing at the stereotypes of cycling that are so close to the truth.

24 November, 2007

Velodrome

Last night I traveled to the Forest City Velodrome in London, ON for my first experience with track cycling. Overall, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves save a few more serious crashes. One rider left in poor shape with a potentially broken collarbone, but the rest had at worse a tear in their shorts. I was luckily able to avoid any confrontations with the ground and any rubbing of wheels was done at low speeds with no harm done.

Things did not go at all as I'd have expected though, for my first time riding a track bike. Coming to a stop was the first skill to be learned, and I found it tricky even at a standstill to unclip and put a foot down without rolling. With that out of the way, riding around the apron and controlling speed was no problem. Up on the straights around cones was fine, though the slalom like drill was tricky given the tight spacing of the cones. When it came to getting up to speed and moving up on to the track, it soon became apparent that I was not doing very well. As our instructor pointed out, I was thinking too much. Though I was probably the last to get the hang of just looking forward and going around the turns, I soon caught on and had little trouble from this point forward. I was then able to keep pace with the subsequent drills - following different lines, standing up and maintaining cadence, various hand positions on the bars including one hand behind the back, and finally varying the line though the corners (low-high-low and high-low-high). It was at about this point that riders started to go down and I decided I'd best get off the track when it was safe. After a number of crashes, everyone was mostly ok save one. Back out for some more riding, we got a few more laps in before heading out to some dinner and socializing.

Track cycling wasn't as easy - or should I say natural - as I'd expected, and as such I suppose I could have enjoyed it more with more realistic expectations. That said, I did have a great time and would like to head back for a rec session from time to time. Thanks to Jasmin and the UWCC for organizing this session, and to the Forest City Velodrome for their hospitality!

22 November, 2007

New look for the blog

I changed the template, and so far I think for the better. I picked another stock one and changed around some of the colours to make it a little less green.

15 November, 2007

Reflections on nightime rides

It's getting to the time of year where mountain biking conditions are less than ideal, both with respect to weather and hours of daylight. To ride at all through the week requires lights by the time I get to the trails after class. Last night I rode for what I'm saying is the last time this season, though I said that the time before also. Though trail conditions forced us to end our ride a bit early (hooray for a quick fireroad way out), I realized how much I like riding at night. The silence and the cool air are really refreshing, and the limited light makes you think a bit more which adds dynamic to trails I otherwise know very well. Though it's unlikely I'll post my best time at night, it doesn't mean one has to go slowly either, and a moderate pace by daytime standards can feel a little quicker at night which is great for these off-season rides that don't need to be at a training pace.

Next summer I hope to make up for the fact that I didn't do as much night riding as I'd intended this year. After the 24h in August when I bought my light my teammates and I said we should do some night riding in the fall. It was November before we got around to it, and temperatures are dropping fast. Perhaps I'll start doing weekly night rides as recovery after solid training days midweek :)

12 November, 2007

Life$tyle$ of the Rich & Famou$

It's official - I've registered a team for the 9th Annual Life$tyle$ of the Rich & Famou$ 24 Hour Race, put on by WOW. Previous competitors get first shot at registering, and the remaining spots opened up tonight at 7pm. I don't know how many spots were open, but I'm glad we got in - by 8pm there was 1 team and 2 solo spots remaining. It should be a lot of fun, and a heck of a lot more comfortable than camping. The team, though still without an official 5th member is likely to be all UW Engineering students. We're planning to enter the 24h of Hot August Nights, which was a lot of fun last year and should be really enjoyable with a more competitive team this year. The course for Lifestyles should be a nice alternative to Albion for a 24h event, if my experience with Mansfield at U-Cup #1 this year was any indication, which is one of many reasons I'm happy to be doing these two events rather than both the Summer Solstice and HAN put on by Chico Racing.

jmoote's cycling blog © 2008. Template by Dicas Blogger.

TOPO