Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Post MS150

We did the MS 150 this weekend. It was a great time. Every year I say "This is the best organized ride ever!" and every year it gets better.

My sponsors raised over $2,000, my team raised raised over $80,000 and the ride overall has raised over $1.7mm. Not bad, but this is just the beginning of our fight against this devestating disease.

Day 1, I only did the 35 mile route. I had my old Burley Samba tandem with the kiddie cranks, and my twins (7 years old) took turns in the stoker seat. They did great and we all had a good time. At this age, they don't provide a lot of movtive power, but the course was fairly flat. The bike probably weighs 60+ pounds by the time its ready to ride, and with 50-60 pounds of stoker, it gave me a reasonable workout.

Day 2 started with rain - so Mom decided to take the kids home. I got out my Randonneur bike with fenders. BTW, one other person, with a Breezer, had fenders. As it turned out, the rain stopped before we began and the roads dried out. As long time readers know, this bike is built for comfort. With the rack, and a partially full bag (spares, tools, energy bars, rain cape, etc. I may be up to 30 pounds.

Getting the kids packed and off delayed my start, so I was the 2nd to last wave to leave (8:25am) . Within a mile of the start, I cut a sidewall on my front tire and the tube went out with a loud pop. I don't generally carry cuffing material. Unfortunately, with the late start, all the mechanical support had moved forward, so I needed a SAG to the first rest stop (which was only 8 miles up the road). On the other hand, Doug Pence (official sweeper) was cool to met - he does the moto-pacing at our local velodrome.

This is a well organized ride with 18 SAG vans operating, but because I was so far behind, it took forever to get a ride to the first stop. It took until 10:15 AM to get back on the road. Shortly before making the turn for the 75 mile route, a pair of young fellows passed, making me the Caboose. Part of my strategy with this bike is to spend less time in rest stops - and this strategy worked to good advantage here. I'd stop long enough to wipe my face with a wet towel, and then put it around my neck, refill my water bottles, eat 1-2 small snacks, drink a small bottle of water, and push off. In this way, along with steady pedalling, I was catching and passing people by the third stop. This continued throughout the rest of the ride, assuring a mid-pack finish.

Since then, work has begun on the track frame for Aram. The steerer and fork crown are attached, and the brake boss is removed from the crown to provide a more track-like look. The crown is a Long Shen with built in rake. It's a hollow sloping crown with triangular cutouts on the sides. Fitting things up in the jig, it looks like the fork will come out at 360mm in length. This is as planned, allowing a little extra room for an oversized (more than 22mm) tire. The fork will have 41mm rake giving 50mm trail. The trail is on the short side of stable - so it should be fine, but quick handling.

There's a little more polishing to do on Sarah's head tube, but its looking pretty good. It'll be done this week.

And that's about it from here.

The bike rode well. On the road, one doesn't feel its weight. Its a nimble handler, but steady enough that I'm comfortable putting my elbows on the brake hoods and clasping my hands together in front to tuck on the downhills at speeds in the mid-twenty miles per hour. Between the 28mm tires and the sprung saddle, I didn't have the usual day 2 sore butt.

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