Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hot should be a four letter word

One thing we've had plenty of around here lately is oppressive heat, we sort of just came out of a "cold spell" if you count mid to upper 90's as being cold but to be fair it wasn't in the triple digits like it has been for most if not all of the rest of July. Hydration has really been key this summer to surviving outdoors, wearing a hydration pack when the temps are in the 100's with heat indexes as high as 115 is never fun but it's a lot more fun than heat induced delirium... or is it?

Tried to get out early this morning to try to beat the heat a little, figured I'd try to get in a longer ride than the normal rides I've been going on. Had been waiting for this heat to break but since there is no end in sight today was as good of time as any. It seems like I am not the only one who has decided that waiting the heat out this summer is just going to prevent you from getting outside, the longer the summer goes on the more people there seems to be. Headed down the Jamaican/Homestead trail, would have been nice to take it all the way to Beatrice and see the new section but with the heat and lack of time I decided to just head out for at least a 40 miler and see how I felt. One of the nice things about the Jamaican/Homestead trail is that if you get out early in the morning or later at night you generally get to see a fair share of wildlife... like this:


Managed to make it just a little bit past Princeton before I decided to turn back due to the amount of water I had left vs. the amount it took to get out there. As I was out there I snapped a picture of the Cog in the same place that I had taken a picture of it 2 years ago when it was fairly new... it's amazing how much has change on her in those 2 years.

The way she looked 2 years ago, this picture was taken in early June 2010.

This is how she looks today.

Looks like we are in for a long, hot, dry summer as there isn't much relief or chance for rain in the 10 day forecast as of today. It really wouldn't be so bad as far as I'm concerned if the wind would die down to normal August levels instead of constantly being 15 mph+ for the entire summer.

Monday, July 16, 2012

So light, so fast... so pricey

Cycle Works put on a demo day over the weekend with Giant Bicycle Company out at Wilderness Park. Up until this year I had never owned a Giant bicycle... Giant brand, not to be confused with the size of the bike... but after buying the Anthem 29er late last year I am sold on Giant as a good quality bike at a reasonable price, so I put the date on my calendar so as not to miss the chance to ride a few bikes I'd have to sell a kidney or three to obtain.


It was a great setup with lots of sweet bikes to test out, learned a couple of interesting things while testing the bikes, the first one being that test riding bikes is much more fun and less pressure than test driving a car. That might have something to do with the fact that these particular bikes are just for riding and not for sale, matter of fact they seemed to be the ones that the Giant team uses to race with since they were labeled with someone's name... unless Giant is into naming their bikes. Which brings me to the second thing I learned, I am apparently the same size as the average Giant racer... albeit female racers apparently, not sure who Nancy or Amiee are but thanks for the use of the bike... doh!


The first bike I rode was the carbon XTC 29er, super light, super fast and just plain down right awesome bike. If I had $3,700 laying around I'd be awfully tempted to pick one of these up at the LBS, it would fit nicely with the other 5 I already have. I am still a little leery about a fully carbon framed bike especially since I am not jockey sized, I fully understand that these feelings are most likely completely unfounded as they use carbon fiber in most aircraft manufacturing, what little bit of G-forces and stresses I'd put on the frame surely can't be anywhere near what an airframe goes through... but still.



The second and final bike I rode was the carbon fiber version of the Anthem 29er, the big brother to my aluminum model if you will. I was not crazy about the color scheme, which seems like a nit picky thing but when you are dropping the kind of money it takes to ride home with this type of bike it might make a difference to some. I really loved this bike but this one is way out of my price range, hell depending on the setup this bad boy might cost almost as much as my car, as this one sat I believe it was in the neighborhood of $8,000... talk about sticker shock.

While the bikes where out of my price range I still had a great time riding them through the single track of Wilderness Park with nothing more than a smile, a friendly hello and my drivers license; try that with a high end sports car sometime and see how fast they boot your ass out the door. I rode both bikes in a small frame size, I generally opt for the medium size as I am one of those in-between heights; as it turns out having rode these two frames I think I need to really reconsider the frame size of my next bike. The small size just seemed to feel more natural, the problem with this is that I generally buy bikes if I happen to find one I like that is on sale or clearance right before the new models come out, finding a medium in this group is usually challenging, finding a small may be next to impossible. Looks like I might have to save my pennies a little longer and skip the clearance... curse you geometry.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Some Like it Hot

There is a saying that it's not the heat it's the humidity, I am not sure if they are right or not because we have been getting plenty of both around here lately. The trend I'm not liking is the wind, seems like by this time most summers the wind almost completely disappears but not this year for whatever reason. Because of the wind I've been spending a lot of time in Wilderness Park hiding in the trees where the wind isn't as much of a factor; today was no exception. Tried getting up early to beat the heat but the heat was up just a little bit before I was.


Was a bad day to be a car, it's good once an awhile to remind the automobile driver that they are not the apex predator out there.


No room for error...


Are you looking at me... judging from the large gaping crack on his back this little guys seen better days.

Trails are in really good condition right now, I hate to say it but they could almost use a little moisture to make them even better. Lots of dirt getting kicked up on sweaty legs but I guess if that's all I've got to complain about I'll take it.