Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pardon my mess....

I've been reorganizing/combining my blogs and probably just cluttered up any google reader, feeds or whatever software tracks such things with a bunch of old posts. Ignore and delete, it's mostly bicycling stuff I didn't want to keep in a separate blog any longer. Apologies for the mess! :)



We will return to our regularly scheduled blog in a moment. ;)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Corvallis to Albany

No stats today. I forgot my computer. Good time to kick back, ride sweep and just have a fun, relaxing ride. Only a couple pics for the day. We had two flats. One in North Albany just before crossing the bridge.
Had a heck of a time getting the nail out. In fact it wouldn't come out until we took the tire off the rim.
Check out the nail! It had hooked around the tube.

The second was Dennis' bike, shortly after leaving Albany. No pics this time.
Great day for a ride. Weather turned out better than expected. Ride was under 30 miles.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mt Hope-Bellenger Scale-River Road Loop

Rainy and windy, so we skipped out on the club ride and did a quick loop close to home.
 
21.87 miles
1.42 time
12.83 av
30.05 mx
3,502 Total

 Pics to follow if I get them off my phone.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Riding bikes in a warehouse

Thoughts on some test rides...
I wasn't feeling all that well on Sunday, and the weather promised to be lousy. Actually a snow ride sounded fun, but I really wasn't sure if we'd have a little snow or a lot, or if it would just rain. I was needing a Goldilocks moment, you know...weather that is "just right". Between feeling puny and being unable to decipher the weather signs we went to Portland. To ride bikes. Inside a big warehouse.

River City Cycles in Portland has a track in their building. There are some small bumps and "roots" to ride over while testing out the different bikes. My real reason for this trip was to try and get a ride on some small frame Stumpys and Cambers. And River City carries a lot of stock. They had a little of everything I wanted to try.

Stumpjumpers:
29er hardtail
29er FSR
26er FSR
Safire FS
Camber 29er FS
Specialized Bikes
Cannondale Bikes

Ron also rode a Cannondale Flash 2 29er HT with lefty fork. He loved this bike. It had the nimbleness that he found lacking in other 29ers. Alas they had no small, and I'll learn later they don't make it in a small. Very light, and very nice handling. As of now Ron is leaning 29er HT.

The Safire and Stumpy 26er FSR are basically the same bike in girl/boy set ups. Of course I have a thing for Stumpys, but both rode similar, with the Safire putting the handlebars a little closer, and better standover. But I really like that Stumpy! Of the full suspension offerings, Ron also liked the Stumpy 26er best.

The Camber was unremarkable...and heavy. It was out of the running from the start.

The Stumpy 29er FSR is a much prettier bike in real life than what the online photo shows. Beautiful colors. There was nothing wrong with how it handled really, but it just felt strange, different. Can't put my finger on it, but I just didn't care for the ride. Surprising since just about everything I've ridden of modern bikes have been really nice.

My other favorite was the Stumpy 29er HT. Damn sweet bike. It felt just the way I'd want a  fast, training bike to ride: quick and solid. Surprisingly it was most similar in handling to the Stumpy 26er FS. I would have thought it would be more like the other 29er FS.

We had a great afternoon riding around in circles in that old warehouse. Sometimes the snow would be falling outside of the big windows, and sometimes the sun would shine. The salesman loved spending the time looking and trying bikes (or so he said, and he sounded sincere). 

When it's all said and done, Ron's favorite was the Cannondale. My favorite is a toss up between the Stumpy 29er HT and the Stumpy 26er FSR....and really the Safire fits in there as well. Before we left the Salesmen had a new 2012 Safire brought over from their other building, just so I could see the new colors. It was also nicer in real life than what the website shows. The 2012 Safire didn't get the upgraded wheels that the Stumpy had, otherwise their pretty much the same.

Guess it's going to come down to what kind of trails do we want to ride? I think for sure we can take the 29er FS bikes off the list. They don't offer that much more over the 26er, and the only one I've liked was the Epic which is out of my price point.

Squish Factor:
29er and 26er FS with not much difference between them on the test course
29er HT. Def. smoother than a 26er HT. Takes the edge off the harshness of the ride...like steel over aluminum. But still a hardtail and you still want to stand over the bumps. That's not a bad thing, just an observation.
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Monday, January 16, 2012

Jefferson to Independence & return via Buena Vista Ferry

Start at Jefferson Middle School
May, Ken and Roger. It was really nice to see Ken!
 It was a pretty good showing considering the weather.
Railroad crossing at Ankeny Wildlife Refuge
Ankeny Wildlife Refuge
 The rain was supposed to hold off until later and caught Maurice and a couple other no-rain riders by surprise. Started dry, but we were soaked at lunch, ...
Willamette River, Buena Vista
Buena Vista Ferry
... and the rain didn't let up for the afternoon. Plenty of headwind going back to Jefferson; The downside to the nice tailwind in the morning. Everyone agreed it was still great to be out riding.

33.56 miles
2.34 hrs
13.04 av
29.52 mx
3,480 Total
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Looking forward to 2012

I'm getting rather jazzed about the upcoming year, and the events that may be unfolding. We had a club board meeting tonight and went over some of the rides and events that are being planned. We have some old favorite rides on the calendar this year. Old favorites: Tulip Festival, the Fernridge Ride. Mt Pleasant - which I have yet to ride the full loop. Some new routes that sound good, and of course the Newport-Rogue Brewery Ride.

Ron and I haven't done the Newport ride for a few years. Too hard when I haven't trained enough. This year I'm looking forward to more riding, and more challenging riding. There is also a tentative plan in the works to ride the Old McKenzie Highway. This will probably be a two-day ride, lodging in Sisters or perhaps Belknap Springs. Guess where most people want to stay!

But, the thing I'm most excited about is the summer tour: The Ochoco Challenge. Roger had dropped a hint that this would be the tour, and I knew that this time around I have to ride it. I love this area. It's perfect for bicycle and motorcycle - pick your poison. July 8-14...I can't wait!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dunn Forest Road 100 - Exploration

Dunn Forest 100 Road
Finally have a bike computer to track things. Sometimes that's good, sometimes demoralizing (hint: average!). This was a rest day ride, so we spent our time exploring roads found in unexpected places and backtracking on some trails. Nice area, not too hard. Good for recovery or easy fitness rides. And who knows what we may discover when we explore further. We found a muddy little single track to explore. We were going up and eventually tired of the slog, so turned around. When things are dryer we'll try it again, hopefully from the top down. Bike sign on trail; someone has been there. We had a nice little climb at the top. Not too bad, just about right for tired, recovering legs.
Double track that soon turned to muddy single track and a creek crossing
Near the top of the 190
Same scene, different character
More of the same...what can I say, I liked these trees in the mist.
Notes from the route:
For some reason I thought the 100 Road became single track, but it was a gravel road all the way. We left the 140 to explore on another day, but rode the 190. We saw another road or two to be explored in the future. One I suspect may have some single track at the end. We shall see.
7.53 miles of wandering
1.14 hrs
6.11 av
24.66 mx: on a dirt road, Oh My!
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Monday, January 9, 2012

Lebanon to Albany - The Beanery Ride

Santiam Spokes Ride.
Saturday we rode with Santiam Spokes. Started at the Lebanon Hospital, headed out Tennessee Road area to The Beanery in Albany for lunch. Return along Freeway Lakes Rd., Gore, etc. Nice little ride. Here's a few stats and a couple of pics. Not really in a blogging mood tonight.
 

31.94 miles
2.27 hrs
12.99 av
18.33 mx

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Full Rigid

Rockhopper with original fork
I wanted to compare how the Rockhopper rides with the steel fork, so we did a repeat of our last ride down Dan's Trail. The suspension fork that we added a few years back gave up the ghost this fall, and rather than keep the leaky old thing, Ron changed it back to the stock fork. It really makes no difference to the ride and the original looks sharp.
Just a little frosty
Three Sisters (I think)
I wouldn't want to ride a rigid all the time or for very long miles, but dang, it's a kick for an afternoon ride on easy trails!
Dan's trail was a little snotty in spots from the last rains, but most of the trail was perfect for riding. Another good day in Mac Forest.
Dirty Goodness, but the wrong day to use water bottles in cages