7.11.2014

Life Adventure Center Mountain Biking

Yesterday, myself and three hombres headed out to the Life Adventure Center in Versailles to try out a new MTB spot. It's been rumored for a couple years now and the first couple reports were of the "It's not quite finished but it'll be awesome," variety. Well, yesterday proved to be worth of the drive out to the country.
The first part of the trail is smooth and scenic. It starts with a bit of a cow-path vibe but eventually dives deep into the woods. There's several creek crossings and a few little points of interest. After a long while of coasting through the woods, you'll realize that you're gonna have to climb back out. And it's deceptively long, too. I kept thinking it would end soon but we just kept rolling and rolling.
We rode hard for 30 minutes before we stopped. It was just fast and fun and we didn't need a break. And, unbeknownst to us, soon this rest is when the climbing would start.
We climbed a lot.  I've been putting in a lot of road miles recently. But this dirt stuff in the heat just killed me. The photo above isn't Pat posing. That's a genuine suffer-face. Random note: I saw Pat run over a snake with them massive Pugsley tires. Snake didn't know what hit him.
Jason wondering when he last water-proofed his leather saddle. We all rained sweat down upon our steeds as if it were a downpour.

We had to scoot outta there pretty quick towards the end. Jeff and I had to get to a meeting and we didn't allow ourselves enough time to suffer through those climbs. So we hammered it hard for the ride out and bailed on the last section by cutting through a field. Good thing, too. I was on the Troll which hasn't been ridden much recently. I neglected to check the tire pressure and I was rolling pretty sloshy in the rear end. So I narrowly avoided a pinch flat, I fear.

So the verdict? If you live within 30 minutes of the Life Adventure Center, you should TOTALLY make the drive. It's worth the change of scenery for sure. If you're a Lexington rider, it's probably a mix between Veteran's and Skullbuster. You won't regret the drive out.

Get out there.

7.08.2014

Take Up Thy Cross Check Daily

Sunday led to another great ride on the Cross Check. I'm really digging this bike these days. I overhauled the wheel recently, and though it was probably just placebo, it felt like it rolled a little faster.
And, although the Cross Check was rolling faster, I was not. About 10 miles in I was toast. I think I've got a little bug dragging me down. I can't seem to keep much energy. So I pulled off the road, sat on a bench at a little country church and ate a poptart. After that, I leisurely made my way back home. It was a 20 mile total. But it was slow 20. No mind, though. It was just nice to be out.

Get out there.

7.07.2014

Rear Wheel Overhaul

I've put thousands and thousands of miles on my Cross Check. And during a recent ride when I broke a spoke, I realized that I've done nothing to it. It's had the occasional tune-up of chain maintenance and brake checks. But I've never replaced a part or overhauled a single component.

You can't beat that durability. But it did cause me to look into the bike with a bit more depth. And upon that inspection, I realized the rear wheel would barely spin. One might not notice on the bike. But when I had it in the stand and gave it a spin with my hand, it wouldn't even go a full rotation before it came to a quick stop.

Time to overhaul them bearings.

I had never done anything to a rear wheel (aside from a little cone adjustment). But the internets offered clear instructions. So after about 10 minutes of video tutorials, a trip to the bike shop for some grease & bearings and 20 minutes of sitting at my kitchen table with the wheel... the job was done. It was super simple. And apart from the Phil's bearing grease, I had everything I needed already.
There was really only one bearing that looked bad. But it looked really bad. And there was all kinds of debris and nastiness in the hub. So here's to smoother spinning from here on out.

Get out there.

6.24.2014

Cross Check's New Shoes and New Woes

The good news is, I received shipment of some nice Panaracer Paselas for the Cross Check yesterday. This is the first time in a long time that I've bought something for a bike that it didn't really need at all. I had a great set of tires on it. But I've been wanting some tan walls for the Cross Check for a while and I found these for $16 each with free shipping. What?! I know. I couldn't believe it either. I went back to the online shop that I bought them from and they're already $32 each again. I somehow bought them at the perfect time.

Now the bad news...
I did a 32 mile ride today and started hearing a pinging sound about 12 miles from home. I didn't want to look. When I got home I saw this. Boo. So I'll be heading to the shop for a little spoke love tomorrow. Bad luck to get some sweet new tires on the very same day I break a spoke! That's the bad juju I get for buying something I don't need... as soon as I do something I do need breaks on that very bike.

I don't think I torqued the wheel by riding it all the way home. I assumed it was a spoke but I was 20 miles into a ride with a heat index of 90 degrees. So I just wanted to be home. I didn't want to sit on the side of the road and fiddle around with a mechanical.

Get out there.

6.16.2014

Father's Day Caffeinated Bicycling

My lovely wife generously extended the invitation to "do whatever you want all day" with Father's Day this weekend. I chose but a modest 20 miles with a couple fellows to ride and consume some coffee.
After choosing a rather climby route, I decided the Disc Trucker was going to be the steed of choice. Neil was riding on his sporty Fuji and Noah was on his Long Haul Trucker. So the Disc Trucker was the fattest-tired bicycle of the day. But the gearing was appreciated when I hit them hills.
Neil, hit under the beautiful yet elusive #lightbro, is thinking, "I love how dry my feet are."
At one point I pedaled ahead and found a place to rest... and maybe get head lice.
Noah celebrating dry feet as he crossed Sugar Creek. Being that his bike is a size 82 (or somewhere around there), he was able to hover above the water line and avoid damp socks. Men with dry feet on bicycles riding through creeks look like Noah.
This is what men with wet feet on bicycles riding through creeks look like. See the difference?
Fear not, Neil. We can dry your feet and sip some coffee. Mid-ride coffee makes all your woes forgotten.

There's not much better than a nice Sunday ride with buddies, bikes and coffee. I've had bronchitis all week. So I haven't been on the bike. And I felt it. But it was a fun ride, nonetheless.

Get out there.

5.27.2014

Sunday Bike Vibes

Sunday offered up another opportunity to ride some backroads of Jessamine and Woodford County. I put together a ride that was close to 30 miles and hit up Pauls Mill Road, a nice little creek crossing and the primate rescue center. Pat was the only other rider on that particular day and he was atop his brand new Long Haul Trucker build. It's always fun to ride with a new bike... even if it's not yours. I was on the Cross Check with some new bits and pieces. More on that later. But the gist of the updates is new (to the Cross Check) Brooks B17, a short stem with lots of rise and new cloth bar tape. I'm trying to make it my go-fast bike and a comfy bike. Mission accomplished, I believe.
Pauls Mill Road was as scenic as ever. In this time of year, there's just green everywhere. We spied the old mill and hypothesized what all that old machinery does. I'm convinced it's a steam-punk hot tub time machine. Pat just thinks it's a lumber mill. Who knows who's right? But it's probably me.
Pat got to baptize his new bike in a gentle creek crossing. He built up a flat bar LHT with a new frame and wheels with some additional spare parts in his garage. I love those kinds of builds. This bike will slowly get more and more new components and, eventually, be a brand spankin' new road/touring machine. It'll take time. But it's a budget conscious way to build a bike. And, in the meantime, he's riding it and it's awesome already.

No pics of the monkey sanctuary. We heard them monkeys yellin' at us but I can't ever seem to sneak a peakaloo at 'em. But it is fun knowing they're just a short distance through the woods.

I didn't add up the mileage yet. But it's close to 30. I had planned 26 but we got sidetracked and added quite a bit to our route. That's always nice, though. I love when a plan gets adapted to include more riding.

Get out there.

5.26.2014

Picture Dump

Often times, I ride my bike and forget to post anything about it here. I just came across some photos that I thought were worthy of sharing. They're probably not worthy. But you've chosen to read this far. Why not keep scrolling?
I rode an e-assist bike a while back. There's not throttle on this thing. It just uses the effort you're putting into the pedals to calculate how much power to put into the electric motor. It was awesome. Super fun and super fast. I got up to 40mph like it was nothing. The only real use for it would be commuting, I guess. And I'm a fan of using my own power and getting the exercise along the way. But it was super cool, nonetheless. 
We rode road bikes at the MTB park a couple weeks ago. Whatever it takes, right? Here's Noah on his LHT. I love using a bike for all that it can do.
I've missed logging many-a-lunch-ride on here. Most of those rides have been in the dirt. Leading the pack in this photo above is Pat on his Pugsley. He had just put on a new set of Nate tanwalls. I'm a fan of that bike.
And a couple week's worth of Troll commutes have gone unpublished. Super fun to ride this bike to work. Makes me feel like there's more options on the ride. I guess I've pictured touring bikes in the dirt and dirt bikes on bike commutes, huh? Well, anything goes. I like it that way.

The blog isn't a priority these days. I'm okay with that. It's still fun to keep around. I'm under no obligation to give it all I've got. But I'll try to post more. In the meantime, this is peek into a few weeks' worth of riding.

Get out there.