Monthly Archives: February 2010

Helmet Cam video-St. Joe Missouri

This is a loop that Scott and I were riding at St. Joe this weekend.  You will see about 1/2 of the loop and then a small turning exercise we were doing in the open.

I crash at the end of it, where severely bruised my thigh.  It was bad enough that it ended my day.  If you listen closely at the end, you can hear me moan and say “shit that hurt”.  Oh well.

Super fun and great to spend 2 days on the bike at the end of Feb.  Going skiing in Utah next week, and hopefully will do the MXC race in Illinois on the 14th.

I took all this with my Vio Sport helmet cam.

(Yes, Scott had to wait for me to stay in the frame)

Enjoy

Joe

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Lately, I have been really into socks.

Yep.  I can say it out loud.

I have been into socks.  Specifically, cycling socks of the higher type.  I used to wear cycling socks that were lower, but they seem really dumb now.

Here is a list of some of what I think are the best out there.

These fox socks are fantastic. Nice and high. http://www.myfoxracingshox.com/?pid=17

The best road socks ever. High and an amount of compression in them. Made by Swiftwick, with the Mellow Johnny's logo. http://shop.mellowjohnnys.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=Socks+MJ+Five+Black

Go either way with these. Road or mountain, but high of course. http://www.53x11coffee.com/Cycling-socks-by-Defeet-p/defeet%20wooleators.htm

I have never been to Luxembourg, but I love the sock and the color.

I don't know if I can rock these, but damn... I am going to try.

Classic CX socks. I think Cyclocross is not my thing. But, these socks...OMG!

Everyone needs gore-tex socks. they keepy you dry and warmy.

another good roadie sock, but modern as it is high.

Last, but most importantly - Business Time! http://www.defeet.com/product.php?id=243

Yep.  I am into socks these days.

Out, Joe.

Riding at St. Joe today!

We bugged out of town this morning early, Very Early.  Scott pulled up in front of my house at 4:45am to load up.  It was 8 degrees!  8 degrees!  Good god.  I do not know how much of this a person can take.  At my house, there is about 20 inches of snow on the ground in the front yard.  It was interesting to watch the snow go away on the drive down.  At the Wisconsin/Illinois border the snow was about 10 inches deep.  At Bloomington-Normal, sort of in the middle of the state of Illinois, there were patches of grass beginning to show through the snow.  At Springfield Illinois, there was only patches of snow in the shade, but the lakes were still frozen.  At St. Louis Missouri, the snow was gone entirely and the water was no longer frozen.

Somewhere in Northern Illinois. Look closely, and you can see the windmills turning, making electricity. Can't see any ground not covered in snow though.

We got out at a grocery store in St. Louis, and it was spectacular.  Not just the store, but the weather.  Wow!  It is amazing how 40 degrees feels so damn warm at this time of the year.

We arrived at St. Joe at about 11:45.  Not too bad.  It took us about 45 minutes to get the bikes out, get things sorted, suit up, gas up, tire pressure etc…  But, before we hit 1pm we were riding.  Riding people!  Riding.

St. Joe handles water pretty well.  But, it must have rained or snowed a bunch this winter.  Because, it was muddy and the ground was thawing.  The mud was not so bad.  It was muddy, but we pushed that around pretty well and turned the trail into something quite rideable.

But, it has been cold everywhere.  Not just Wisconsin, but here in Missouri as well.  The ground is still frozen an inch or so down.  So, as you ride the firm ground seems to come to the top and it gets G R E A S Y!  Yow.  But it was really fun.

It was a bit muddy today.

I am testing a left hand rear brake.  I know – what the….?  I have been having a hard time with getting my right knee folded up under me.  My knee brace protects my knee, but it makes it hard to get at the brake lever while seated.  That is not much of a problem  when standing, but when seated it is.  Lately, I have found myself in much tighter terrain and need to sit down more.  So, I am trying the hand brake.

So far, I like it.  Only one ride on it, and until I race with it I do not know, but so far it is interesting.  Solves some problems, but presents a few challenges as well.  I will put together a complete report on it when the weekend is over.

Plan tomorrow is 2-3 hours in the morning, lunch and then 2-3 hours in the afternoon.

Riding makes me smile!

Out,

Joe

New vesrah offroad team casual wear

New team casual wear showed up this week. You will not miss us at the race. (Thanks Thomas Baker)

You will not miss us at the races!

Jealous?

Joe

I want to be Patrick Smage

I am not much of a trial rider, but I have to admit this video is impressive and makes me want to get a trials bike.

And this one is also impressive.

Wow.

Those used to be clutch plates!

For the last few rides, I have been hearing a funny ticking sound in my bike.  It has been a few months, because at this time of year it takes a few months to ride your bike a few times.  After Crawfordsville, I heard a funny ticking sound.  I thought it was my valvetrain with slack.

– I adjusted the valves.  Still did it.

– I checked my clutch, seemed to be fine.  With the Rekluse, the gap on the pressure plate to the first friction is particular.  I checked that, it was good.  It did it again at the indoor MX track.

– I adjusted the valves.  And headed to the National Enduro in Sumter South Carolina.  It still did it, but I learned that it went away when the clutch lever was pulled in.

I figured that I would replace the whole clutch, basket and all.  As I was pulling it all apart to do that, this is what I found.

When I put those in the motor, they were complete clutch friction plates.

Like my teammate Scott said “I am no expert, but I am pretty sure that is not how they are supposed to look”.

Guess what, no more funny ticking sound.  Jeez!

So, this should hopefully make my St. Joe riding experience a bit more fun.

Out,

Joe

New Offroad Racing video, may be the best ever!

Holy Cow this one is good.  I just got it from Wasting Time Films.  It is called Piecing It Together.  It covers GNCC, OMA and a bunch of other midwest racing.  It is really really good, and on a February day makes you want to go riding really bad.

Here is the trailer for it on Vimeo.

Enjoy.  Go and get it.  wow.

Out.  Joe

Look Ma, no brake pedal!

What the…?

Yep, you see it right.  No rear brake pedal.

The crew at Rekluse make a rear brake lever that replaces the stock clutch lever.  I have been using their magical Rekluse Z-Start Pro auto clutch since last season.  I cannot ride without it.  With my history of MTB racing, and given that I have already moved beyond a clutch lever, it is a natural to move the rear brake up to the handlebars where it is normally on a MTB.  I am psyched to try it.

So, we will see very soon.  In the mean time, here is what it looks like.

Cool old video

Jason Weigandt posted this link.  I am reposting it, because it completely rocks.

Heikki Mikkola was a hero of mine.  This was a long time ago, and yes we rode bikes like that.

Joe

It’s Mountain Bike Friday! (It’s a 2 wheel thing)

Don’t know how I missed this before this point, but this is really really cool.  Wow.

This is the new NWD 10 movie. I trust it will not all be about crashing… that would suck.

Found this one, and it is pretty cool.  And, it is Irish, so yeah…

Last one, and this one has some cool spinning cassette kind of things at the beginning.

Out,

Joe

Wondering what woods racing is all about?

Check these out.

#Sumter #National #Enduro video

Helmet cam that I was sent showing section 2. I go by this guy somewhere around minute 18 or so. If you fastforward to minute 15ish and watch from there, you will see the mud hole and how tight things get.

Not my video, but not a bad view of the race.

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It’s a mountain bike thing!

This is by far the best MTB movie sequence I have seen.  Enjoy.

The definitive post on my #Sumter #National #Enduro

As promised, here is my main entry on my experience down in South Carolina.

John Buechner, Brian Terry and I decided a long time ago that we would head down to South Carolina to do the opening 2010 National Enduro.  I do not really know how it came about.  I don’t recall how we came up with the idea, but I think it dawned on all of us at about the same time.  So, we signed up way back in October.  In spite of that, or maybe because we wanted to make sure we got on the same minute, we got put on the 101st minute.  I remember my friend Pete said “oh don’t worry, it doesn’t really get bad until the 110th wave or so.”

So, we all took the day off on Friday and instead hopped in the car at 5am and started the drive down south.  I was so excited that I twittered the trip down just about every hour.  I get a kick out of the goofy things that Brian says when he is talking and driving, which the 2 don’t always interact that well.  I note at the end of the post a bunch of funny what I call “Brianisms”.  Enjoy those.  They are all in good fun.

Sumter South Carolina is mostly sand. It rained huge on the Friday and Saturday before the race. I figured, “great, typical, I travel to do a race and of course it is muddy. But, it cleared up overnight and sucked the moisture right out of the ground. We were left with mostly super moist sand. It was one of those absolutely epic days conditions.  OMG.  My luck was turning around.

Overnight it was really cold though.  I think it got down to about 19 degrees.  That is cold.  Cold for everywhere, even for Wisconsin.  In South Carolina, they just are not prepared for that kind of cold.  The ground was frozen in the morning and there was ice everywhere.  The morning was completely clear and it was about 30 at our start and about 44 in the afternoon.  Better than the day before, where it was raining and windy and really cold.

I am not much of an experienced Enduro rider.  I had to learn what the racing format is all about.  There are timed sections in the new Enduro format and transfer sections that are not timed. In the end, your times from the timed sections are added together to give you your overall time. The transfer sections are just to get you to the start of the next timed section and do not count on your overall time.  But, you still have to ride there in time to go into the next timed section at your designated time.  You start 1 minute apart, 5 people at a time. Unlike a GNCC, the course is all singletrack and it can be TIGHT.

There were 6 timed sections. The A’s and pro’s did all 6 sections, the B’s did 5 of the sections, the C’s did 4 of the sections.  Everyone does the first 4 sections, so that means that 500 riders went down the trail ahead of us in all 4 of those sections.  That is a lot of bikes for one piece of singletrack.  It means that every corner has a huge hump of sand going into it by the time we get there, and every straight has major whoops.

Section1 was pretty nice. I think it was 9 miles long.  But, I did not ride it so well.  The gun went off, and you have to GO at that point.  I was completely out of sorts, as I have not ridden a motorcycle since October.  In addition, I made a prep error with putting my glasses inserts in despite the cold.  Of course, my goggles fogged up right away.  I took the goggles off, but quickly discovered that I could not ride without them.  There was just too much to get in my eyes.  I stopped and took the glasses inserts out of my goggles and then got going with goggles back on.  But, I figured I lost a few minutes to the whole episode.

Section 2 was much much harder. It was tighter and had 3 or 4 really bad mud holes. I saw 2 bikes buried up to the seats and the rider was no where in sight. As you come up to a spot like that, you just look for the safest line through.  They were tough mud holes that almost everyone got stuck in.

Section 3 was a bitch. It was crazy effing hard. It was sooo tight. The trees were really really close. There were soooo many trees that the gap between them was narrower than my handlebars. I have completely lost count how many times I had to get off the bike to pull it through the trees.. I hated this section more than I can tell.  My riding style of standing up most of the time does not lend itself to this riding.

Section 4 was the queen section. It was 21 miles long and flowed really well. It only had a couple of tight sections. But, because 500 riders were ahead of us it was 21 miles of sand whoops. It was relentless.  I enjoyed this section, but by the end of it my body was pretty beat.  My back was pretty torqued with it.

Section 5 was pretty good. It had some tight tree sections, but because the C riders were not on the course any more, the trail was not nearly as whooped out. Much better.  It had some tight sections, but overall it was not bad.

Of course all the pro’s said section 6 was the best because it was much smoother.  I wanted to ride this section, but I was pretty worked and the sun was so low in the sky that I was having a hard time seeing at that point, so I headed back to the truck.  Completed.

We headed out after the race, and started the long long drive home.  Stayed overnight on Sunday night in Asheville NC, then drove all the way home on Monday.

Notes.

– I got to meet Patrick Koether from Rekluse. It was good to meet him there. He was the rock star showing up and riding one of the Husaberg bikes. Good on you Patrick.

– Since I am getting over this chest and sinus cold I blew out a ton of snot from my head during the race. Yuck. Breathing was tough also. I am sure that didn’t really help my pace.  The inside of my helmet was pretty gross.

– I must have smacked my head against a tree or something during the race.  My helmet was cracked and needs to be tossed now.

– My bike was really really good in the fast stuff, but kind of tough in the tight stuff. I would need to set my bike up for more seated riding if I was doing more of these. My bar height seems wrong, my lever placement seems wrong, my rear brake lever is way way to high. It is so high that I cannot get at my brake lever without lifting my foot off the peg. Eventually my leg cramps that way and I cannot ride.  Scott thinks I need to try a left hand rear brake.  I think I might.

– This is a list of “Brianisms” from the trip

– Brianism #1 – Brian just said “huge midget” in the same sentence. Yep.

– Brianism #2 – That’s one old and ratty Moose hat there. “it’s dirty and I got it free”

– Passed a girl in a crappy Chevy Cavalier. Brian says “hmm, that was cute.”. I said, “that was a girl in a Cavalier”.                 Brian      said, “that just means she has low standards”. (Brianism #3)

– Brianism #4 – Some people call it an abacus, but beads on a string works also.

– Brianism #5 – I’m wearing shorts out of principal.

– If I am going to order into a microphone, I want my food delivered by a girl on rollerskates.

That is it for now, hopefully more pictures later.

JV.

Pictures from Sumter

Some of the first pictures from the weekend.

Once again Quiznos kicks it!

I have been saying for a long time now, that Quiznos kicks but on any other chain sandwich place. That would be on Subway, Blimpies, Jimmy Johns et al…

You don’t have to believe me, but I know I am right.

I’m just sayin