Sunday, December 31, 2006

Last Ride of 2006

    So I tried to make plans to ride with a few people today, but that fell thru today, no biggie. So instead, I rode at Mercer by myself knowing that I won't be the only person out there, trying to squeeze one last ride in for 2006.

    It was brisk out today, partly sunny because I had gone out so late in the day. I wore shorts with my De Feet wool Kneekers on and 2 long sleeve shirts, one which was my new Hoss freeride shirt and a bike jacket over that. On my feet, i had my regular bike socks on and over that was my WoolEator bike socks, on my hands, were my full finger Fox gloves and under my helmet was my skull cap.

    I met someone doing some trail maintenance to the area where the bmx jumps were. That guy told me a bunch people had actually put together some CAD drawings and wanted to build skinnies in that area. I told him good luck with that idea, because I doubt the park rangers would allow something like that and that they should first get in touch with SMART first. Imagine all the hard work and effort put into something like that and is ripped down quicker than it was put up?

    I also saw the new mini bridges put up along the back-end of Quaker Bridge Rd. Nice stuff but you can tell they weren't built by SMART. SMART builds there bridges solid and big, unlike the some of the few skinny bridges that were in there. It's a great effort by whoever took the time to do them but it would have been a greater team effort if it was done thru SMART and more recognizable thru the parks. Anyway, nice work, whoever did them.

    So I rode for a short 2 hours and had a great time. I was sad that it was getting dark, pretty quickly but that was my fault for being so lazy and not going earlier. I'm glad I got to ride and was planning to go tomorrow, but I see on the TV, it's suppose to rain tomorrow. Hopefully it will stop at some point and I'll be able to squeeze in another 2 hr short ride.

    See you next year!

~dirty bert

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Winter Gear: What to Wear.

    I was going to write about, what to wear this winter and how to stay warm but it's hard to talk about the weather when for the past couple weeks it was above 40. I figured the weather gotta bust sometime soon, you know the drill 50 one day and then the temps drop 20 degrees and the snow is falling. In any case here's what I learned over the years.

    Winter tights are an excellent choice, because you will find that regular sweat pants or nylon running pants are difficult to ride in and once wet they are very cold. I have been using these Performance tights. They have been so warm and as an added bonus, they have leg zippers which made it easier to get yer wool socks streamlined under the tights. These tights aren't padded, soI wear my loose bike shorts over them for padding and for the pockets. You can also wear long johns under the tights but I'm sure you'd have to buy a larger size tights to accommodate the extra material otherwise you'll look like a sausage riding a bike.

    Breathable fabrics are key here. The newer Polartec (and similar) fabrics are really great for high-exercise activities. You can work hard, but still vent most of the moisture and it's not unusual to be out on a cold crisp day and see frost forming on your jacket from all the vented moisture.

    Shoes are the single biggest problem area. My feet freeze in the winter and cramp so easily. I have wool socks, a gortex liner soxs and the shoe booties. There are only a couple brands of cycling shoes that are warm enough for real winter use. Some can be expensive like the Sidi GTX Winter shoe or you got the Answer Kashmir winter shoe. It looks like Shimano has there own winter shoe, SH-MW02 All Weather Off-Road shoe. I might bite the bullet and buy a pair, I figured they gotta be cheap to buy right now, since most of the country has warm winter weather. I was just wondering if it's wise to buy a size larger, to accommodate 2 pairs of soxs or wool socks? Some winter cyclists may switch to toe clips and straps. There are all sorts of other combinations of overbooties, neoprene underbooties, plastic bags and duct tape (i have tried the last 2). My advice is to either spend the money and get the winter cycling boots which are compatible with clipless pedals or just switch to clips and straps and use winter or hiking boots.

    Studded Tires are expensive, but last 3 to 6 winters. I hear they make a big difference on icy roads, or hard packed snow and I'm sure your confidence level is higher with studs than without.

    Fenders are good to have to keep the slush spray off yer back and butt. They will still cake up and cause the the slush/snow to build up in certain areas. But for preventative measures, I spray the underside of the fenders with WD40 or Pam, cooking spray or RainX (a windshield product) to avoid the build-up on the fenders.

    Lights are another key item because darkness comes fast. Cold temperatures will affect battery performance. Lead Acid batteries are more affected by cold than are NiCads. The amount of power a lead acid battery can produce is greatly reduced by the cold. I don't have any lights, so my knowledge is very little about lites and I'm sure just talking about lights can be extensive and expensive.

    Camelbacks supply tube and bite valve will freeze. After you take a swig of water, you should blow air back into the bladder, keeping the tube clear of water. Also I have seen people put the camelback under their jackets and rout the tube up and under the collar. I also know Camelback sells an insulator cover for the supply tube.

    Gloves are a personal choice. I just use wool gloves under a gortex liner glove or the wool glove with bike glove over that. Nothing to bulkly for me, i don't need to have any problems trying to shift or brake while riding.

    Well i guess all this information isn't important right now. As I look at the 10 day forcast i see it's only going to be cold at night with the lowest low at 32 degress and the highest high at 53. It's just crazy.

   Thanks Global Warming!

~dirty bert
happy "snowless" trails

Monday, December 18, 2006

My Fists Of Fury Stem

    I'm looking for a new stem, the one I got is to short (insert jokes here). I thought it would be fine until I noticed the front end lift up alot when i climbed up a hill. Originally I thought that was my fault for not balancing my weight between the front or the back of the bike. When I looked at my other bike, the stem was much longer and but more comfortable and basically, less cramped.

    Here's what my choices were...
  1. Hope stem
  2. FSA OS-115 stem
  3. Thompson Elite X4 stem
  4. Ritchey WCS 4AXIS stem
    It's a nice selection of quality stems but how will I narrow my decision down, is there anything else out there, that will stand out, ahead of these choices???

    Well I did find something that stands of the crowd. It's called the Fists of Fury stem. It certainly looks like it would grip well and it's so blue. Is it because it's gripping so hard? I just wonder if I need to use bike grease to make it easier to slide the handlebar in.

    Also here was the runner up to the Fists of Fury stem, the Skull stem!

    Where the hell can I buy these stems. That anadozing on the fist stem resembles the Hope stem. Do a google search and try find these stems because i can't.

~dirty bert
happy trails

Monday, December 11, 2006

Bike Online Coupons and Deals

    Shocker, I got more bike coupons and here they are...
  1. Bike Nashbar: FREE Ground Shipping, No Minimum order. Use coupon code: SHIPDEC. Now thru Friday, December 15th.

  2. Performance Bike: FREE Ground Shipping, On all orders. Now thru Friday, December 15th.

  3. Cambria Bicycle: 20%. Off, on all in stock items. Tuesday, December 12th ONLY! Use coupon code: CB0X20.

    It's been 52 degrees in December, in New Jersey AND I still haven't had the chance to go riding. Saturday, I was planning to go to 6 Mile Run but the xmas lights took longer than I thought. So I'm gonna try real hard and push for this Saturday, I'm sure with the rain due on Wednesday, it will make anyplace muddy. And an added bonus, it's hunting season for most spots in NJ, so you won't see me wearing my white gloves or my brown jacket on the trails.

happy trails
~dirty bert

Friday, December 08, 2006

Let's Make a Deal, Part 2!

    So the emails continue. Here are 2 more 15% off deals from Cambria.
  1. Cambria Bikes: Offer good for December 8th on all Headsets & Stems. Use coupon code: XMAS0608 during checkout to save an extra 15%.

  2. Cambria Bikes: Offer good for December 9th on all Helmets and Hydration Packs. Use coupon code: XMAS0609 during checkout to save an extra 15%.

  3. Jenson USA: A 2005 Manitou Splice Super Oe (original equiptment) Fork, for $49

    So that's it for now, I'm sure I will have more tomorrow or this weekend. Good luck with finding time to ride, there aren't many days left to do sum xmas shopping.

happy trails.
-dirty bert

Monday, December 04, 2006

Let's Make a Deal!

    Lately I have been geting tons of emails regarding coupon codes for bike mail order. Some aren't really good deals, like spend 500 hundred and get 15 percent off. I don't have 500 hundred to spend nor do I really need that much to upgrade on my bike.

    So this post, is dedicated to a listing of codes for certain online bike sites that I ordered from. I figured, if I'm not going to enjoy using them, maybe someone will put them to good use. So here they are...

  1. Nashbar: 3 days only. Now thru Dec. 6th. 20% off. Coupon code: NASHMAS. (what a original code)

  2. Performance: 3 days only. Now thru Dec. 6th. 20% off. Coupon code: 6001742. (Performance owns Nashbar, so they usually have the same sales)

  3. Cambria Bike: Good till Dec. 4th, 15% on all drivetrain. Coupon code: XMAS0604. And till Dec. 5th, 15% on all forks. Coupon code: XMAS0605

  4. Universal Cycles: Receive 10% off orders over 150 bucks. Coupon code: DEC1005. And receive 15% off orders over 300 bucks. Coupon code: DEC1506. They all expire on 12/31/06 at midnight.

    If anyone has any codes to share, please do so in the comment section, if not I know you can find more here in the MTBR forum: Where are the Best Deals

    happy trails
    dirty bert