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Archive for January, 2012

25
Jan

MTB: Fun to watch

A Hill in Spain from chris akrigg on Vimeo.

18
Jan

Garmin’s First Night Ride

As some of you may know I purchased a light for mountain biking and have done a few night rides to date.  Last night was my first mountain bike ride since I got my Garmin back.  I was really excited to hit the trail and to be able to come home and check out the data.  My friend Ben and I met up at Salmon Falls around  6:30pm.  It was already pitch black and quite a bit colder than the previous ride we did out there.  As I was getting ready I thought to myself that even though I was cold I remembered last time as soon as I started riding I’d be ok.  With that thought I still packed my cold weather gloves that I bought for commuting.  I started the Garmin, turned on the light and off we went.

Immediately after starting my fingers were cold.  I told myself to give it a few minutes and I’d warm up once the blood starts flowing.  Let’s just say a few minutes later I couldn’t feel my fingers to pull the brakes or change gears.  So barely a little more than a half mile into the ride we were making the first stop.  I put my other gloves on and off we went.  A few minutes after that we were stopping again.  My fingers were just frozen.  I knew the gloves I had on were plenty warm enough however I assumed my fingers were too cold in the first place for the gloves to keep the heat in.  There wasn’t any heat radiating from the ice cubes I was calling fingers.  So this time I took the time to warm my hands up.  How do you do that in the middle of the woods?  Let’s just say your armpits and your crotch are the warmest parts of your body and I wasn’t about to lift my shirt up to put my hands under my arms.  Um, yeah…it was cold.  None-the-less, after I could feel my hands a blew a few deep breaths into the gloves to warm the insides up.  From that point on my hands were good to go.  Thank God because that would have been a long ride like that. It was apparent that the cold weather was affecting me other than my hands.  My quads were cramping like they were too tired to ride for a long time.  I think it would have been smarter to wear my leggings and more than likely I will next time.  I didn’t feel cold I just think that muscles would have been performing better.  I talked to Ben about it and he said he could definitely tell that his legs were feeling the same way.

At this point the ride was going well.  I came up to a very technical rocky section that has a fairly steep drop off the left side and even though I can ride it in the daylight have yet to do it at night.  Things are  a lot different in that manner at night.  I think part of it is not having all the peripheral vision that you normally would.  Granted you can see in front of you or where you are pointing your light.  However you can’t see the stuff that is directly under your bike.  This is something I wouldn’t have really considered being something that I took notice of in the day time.  It seems as though you use that little bit of sight to really calculate how you are attacking obstacles.  Not all of them are like that but I do notice it when in the extremely technical sections.  With all of that being said I did end up making it through the section that direction and also the way back.  That made me feel good.  There is a sense of accomplishment when you can tackle something that you have failed at before but this time overcome.

A little later into the ride I noticed the sound of dogs barking.  In my head I thought for a second about whether it was dogs or coyotes.  I know if it was dogs it was coming from pretty far across the lake.  Either way no big deal.  Well that is until you come around the corner and look up and out off the trail about 30 feet or so and see two glowing eyes.  At this point all I can see is the eyes reflecting the light but not what it is.  The thoughts that crossed my mind over the next few seconds where not pretty.  Although I had thoughts of pending doom running through my head I did not stop riding.  LOL, you know I didn’t want to stop.  It’s freaking cold.  I’d much rather get eaten than stop.  Right about then is when I was close enough to actually see what it was that was standing there solemnly staring at me out in the darkness.  Fortunately it was a big ole buck.  My guess would be that his thought process and mine were both the same.  “Oh shit, I”m about to get eaten.”  It was quite the relief to see him and not the mountain lion I had seen out at Salmon Falls a few years back.

Not too long after that we got to the last part of the trail that has about a quarter mile climb to the sign that labels the trail.  You could call that the official end of the trail.  However at this point last night I told Ben, “If you don’t feel like climbing up that hill, I”m ok with that.”  He agreed with my loaded question so instead we stood around laughing about my deadly deer story and sharing a very frozen Power Bar.  This break was very short lived because the temperature was dropping quickly.  I could feel my toes starting to get to that point that they may not make it back to the truck comfortably.  The ride back to the beginning of the trail is always faster than the way out so I knew we’d be fine.  It just may suck a little at the end.

Things went well on the way back.  I could definitely tell I was much stronger than our last ride out there.  I had the energy to climb most  of the hills with the exception of a few that I just flat out didn’t try.  My gears were having a hard time changing and I was spending a lot of time thinking about that.  I really need to spend some money on my drive train.  It’s just going to be expensive and it’s hard for me to justify spending it on maintenance when I would much rather spend that money on new wheels.  Going down a little chute that had a quick little burst of a climb out the other side proved to be the last straw.  My legs spun freely.  I was hoping the chain just popped off the sprocket.  That wasn’t the case.  The chain broke.  Fortunately Ben was close enough that he could hear me yell that I broke my chain.  It would have taken a lot longer to fix if I didn’t have someone to hold the flashlight.  Granted I could have just used my headlamp that I’d been riding with.  But I’d much rather take longer on the repairs with the flashlight than run out of battery/light on the rest of the ride back to the truck.

Once we got back to the truck it was time for a cold beer. Fortunately we planned ahead and had a six pack of New Castle on ice. Started the trucks up to get the heat going while packing up and Ben took the opportunity to see what the temperature was. 37 Degrees…yeah, fucking cold! I know there have been times that I’ve ridden in much colder but I’m sure it sucked then too. I was excited to see the data on my Garmin. When I took a look at it and pushed the button to stop it I saw something I wasn’t expecting. It read, “Timer Started”. Looking at the mileage the best bet would be it turned off when I broke the chain. I completely forgot it turns off after a few minutes of inactivity. So if you look at the data you can see the straight line across the lake. That doesn’t mean I learned how to fly or swam across the lake to get to the beer quicker. It means I learned a lesson. Check the timer before you start riding again. Good thing there will be plenty more rides to get the full data on. Click on the Player to see the ride as it panned out.

17
Jan

Garmin, oh how I have missed you!

Over the last few years since Heather and I have split up I have been missing my Garmin 305 that I used to track my mountain bike rides.  I have missed the hell out of that thing, however I was not in any kind of financial position to be able to go out and purchase a new one.  Recently Heather told me that she found it.  I was glad to hear that she had it, however I wasn’t sure if I’d see it again.  Let’s just leave it at that.  I was trying not to get my hopes up.  Low and behold she brought it back.  I am very grateful!!! So I hooked it up to my mountain bike and my single speed to be able to track my rides again.  I was planning on just using my iPhone for this but wouldn’t have the level of accuracy that I would with the Garmin.  Fortunately she returned it in time for me to be able to return the iPhone bike mounts that I just purchased over xmas.  None-the-less the mountain bike I bought for Trent several years ago is now the right size for Kaira and Trent needed a new bike.  So I picked him up a new one at REI, and tuned up the one Kaira will be riding.  We set out on a ride around the island that Katie lives on.   It was a great little outing.  Oddly enough I forgot my Garmin when we first started and I raced back to the house to grab it and catch back up while they continued the ride.  I also didn’t get the heart rate monitor synced until a little into the ride.  So here’s the data:

Sutter Island w/Kids by mtb.g33k at Garmin Connect – Details.