Wednesday, April 30, 2008

N Gear Jump Stop

Ever since getting the Niner and running it as a 1x9 I have had issues with dropping my chain off the chainring. I've searched high and low for an answer and have tried a couple of solutions.

First of all, if a bike shop tells you that you can run a 1x9 without some sort of chain guide, turn around and take your business elsewhere because they don't know what they are talking about.

There is nothing worse, nothing more confidence sucking than a chain that drops off at seemingly the worse possible moment - sending your knee lurching violently forward into your stem or bars.

While riding in NC this year, Chris, who also rides 1x9, had one of these dealies. He swore by it. After some searching around on the web I found it. I contacted the company and requested a price and info, but heard nothing back. Right on their web page, N Gear say that they'll send you their "jump stop" and if you like it you can pay for it. Man, that's trusting! After not hearing anything back, a week later I write to them again inquiring how to get one, and oddly, on that the same day I receive a "jump stop" in my mailbox. I had paid no money for it.

It's light, very adjustable and super easy to set up. It's made of a nylon collar and a stainless steel chain guide. It's solid, but light. I am thinking that this is going to be the cat's meow.

This is my original set up. It was attempt by unnamed bike shop to fix the problem that was not supposed to happen. Barely worked at the best of times. Heavy, ugly, stoopid piece-o-crap!

Fritz had an extra "dog fang" that he let me use. To be honest, I only got a handful of rides with it. It was MUCH better than the original set up, but I did have issues with the chain hoping up on it. The chain did fall between the plastic 'fang' and chain ring once. It is made of a plumbers pipe clamp and a plastic piece. It seems like it could wear over time.

Since receiving the jump stop, I've e-mailed Nick at N Gear and requested that he send me an invoice via Pay Pal so that I can pay. I may throw a few bucks extra at him just for being so darn trust worthy and speedy with sending it.

Like I said, this looks like it's the dealie-o! Will give a thorough review, maybe even 'naked', in the not so distant future (once the trails dry out!).

Monday, April 28, 2008

Hilly LSD

Me and Curvy Butt got a good long ride in yesterday. We mostly rode together, except for the odd time that Mark would break away from me in some sort of attack on non-existing riders. The guy can't stick to a game plan of a LSD ride - 85% of your max HR isn't LSD! I think he's secretly planning on riding alone and dropping me each day while out west at The BC Bike Race.

We left my place just before one o'clock and headed over to the park for a full loop (including up to Champlain). Just before we hit the Champlain Bridge, we met our fellow Big Ring teammates and a few other riders held up waiting for Giles, who seems to have a time management problem. We didn't stay long to talk, we were on the clock (hey, that rhymes!) and had a pace to keep. So up to Champlain and a full loop of the park.

Fortune is 99.9% clear:
Just a wee little section, but you can even ride through it with no problem. Watch out for all the debris on the road.

Turned left at P8 and headed for the 105. Then we did the same loop that I did last weekend with Coco and the Vegan Vagabond. Once we completed that section, is was back to the park (P8) and hung a left to climb up to Penguin, then home. We even ran back into team, almost in the exact same spot we left them at the bridge, earlier in the day. They said that they rode, but I think they hung out at the bridge all day sun tanning!

Ended up with 126 km, average speed = 27.5km/hr.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Two hours yesterday in Gatineau Park doing hill interval work. So nice to be back in the park. It was so nice out yesterday I found it strange that so few people were riding. I did meet up with Kari who was out for a spin incognito. Crazy girl was hitting the hills straight off an Ironman.

Managed to do the full loop, despite a few sections of ice/snow on the Fortune parkway. With the rain last night, it should almost be all gone.
Today, big long ride with Mark - more later.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Big Box of Socks!

This big box of socks showed up. Grey, black and white will go nicely with the new team kit.
Big Ringers, get your sock on.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Alana's new paint job

Alana, one of the True North race team members (check out their blog!), just had her beauty 29'er painted. More pics here.
True North is a Canadian company, where frame builder Hugh Black creates absolutely stunning bikes. I would love to own one some day.

Parkway is good

My brothers and sisters . . . the Gatineau parkway is good to go. 100% rideable from Gameline all the way to the top of Blacks (almost to the intersection of Champlain and Fortune). Let the hill work begin!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sundays ride

I was supposed to do an interval session tonight, but things have gotten very, very busy. Lots happening right now - so this post is the closest thing that I am going to get to riding today.

Sunday's route. Just over 100km from my doorstep.
Beauty warm day!

Hooked up with Tobin (soon to be referred to as Coco the Monkey) and the Vegan Vagabond - biking along the Gatineau River just outside Wakefield.

Tanya just over my shoulder as we climb out of Wakefield up towards Edelweiss. Nice thing about riding on the Quebec side is the change of scenery - no flat sections that go on for miles, just lots of hills.

Tobin up ahead of me leading us on route 366 heading towards Mt Cascade.

Tanya climbing away.

On the way home, Tanya and I stopped at the little island half way across Champlain Bridge to watch a big group of kayakers take advantage of the swollen Ottawa River. Brrrr . . . I bet that water is cold.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Comprehensive Look at How Iron Maiden and Professional Road Cyclists are Alike

The other day, as I was pulling on my totally rad Maiden jersey, I was thinking how much Iron Maiden and road cyclists have in common.

They both have a need to wear tight fitting clothing that shows off their junk.

They both often put the "hammer down".

They both take part in their share of press conferences
(though I don't think anyone is questioning Iron Maiden for their
use of 'enhancement drugs' unlike Floyd)

Iron Maiden have bobble heads made in their tribute . . . .
. . . . road cyclist have big heads.

They sometimes sport wicked big hair.

Have links to the devil.

Have to stay in line and work as a team.

They both have a need for hydrating properly.

Both have a large, rowdy fan base.

Nutty groupies follow them around.

Their names are on their equipment.

Both have movies made about them.

Books have been written to tell you how to play/ride like them.

There are even video games!

And posters too.

At the end of a show/race, they both salute the crowd.

So there you have it . . . . if you're a road cyclist or even a fan of road cycling, you may as well be card carrying member of the Iron Maiden fan club . . . . you are more alike than different.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Long road

Mark way off in the distance trying to catch up.
Nope, I didn't drop him, he dropped something and had to go back for it.
I didn't wait for him . . . cause that's the kind of guy I am.

Todays distance was identical to yesterdays mileage. I figured it would have been more riding from Ottawa to Smith Falls. We left my place just a little after nine this morning and once out of the city stuck to the country roads. Gilles met up with us at the end of the ride with Gretchen to give us a lift home after some official Big Ring Racing business to take care of.

Took us just under 2.5 hours to do 76km staying in our muscular endurance zone for all of the ride.
Due to some unforeseen & unexpected events I ended up having to take yesterday off from work. And although it was the most beautiful day we've had so far this year, I barely had a chance to enjoy it. Fortunately, I was able to get out in the late afternoon with Mark for a solid ride. I had no idea how to dress for the ride yesterday - it's soooo nice to finally have nice weather after the long, long winter.

Mr. Curvy Bum

We rode from my place and did a Manotick loop. The plan was to keep the heart rate working at a steady state . . . . but some how we managed to end up pushing into our interval zones.
Came back in through town, over the Champlain Bridge and into the Gats to have-a-look-see how the snow was melting on the parkway.

It was plus 24 yesterday, but funny, as soon as we hit Champlain Bridge, the temperature dropped about five degrees due to all the cold water rushing by.

We got just almost as far as to the top of the first little rise after the overpass - just past Gameline. Very disappointing indeed. This time last year I was climbing up Blacks.

Returned home to find some lounge lizards. Jacks guarding the only patch of snow left in the yard. He's a snow dog for sure - he'd be happy if it was winter all year long!

And Chris soaking up the sun. Check out those white pasty legs!