I hinted at this awhile back, but ever since last year, I’ve been sloooooowly working on building a Guerrilla Gravity Pedälhead.
The Salsa Bucksaw I’ve been riding is a great, fun bike…but leaves a bit to be desired in Pisgah most of the time. The particular characteristic that can be problematic is its handling in high speed downhills. What happens is essentially that the suspension isn’t able to completely deal with the undamped rebound from the tires AND deal with high speed, chattery downhills full of roots and small rocks. Maybe part of it is a limitation with the Wren fork I have, but it can’t be entirely that. Either way, last summer I started shopping around for a new bike a bit more appropriate for more WNC conditions.
Fitting regular rides in along with working two jobs and significant volunteer commitments tends to leave the website feeling neglected.
How about some pixels, some words, and some GPS tracks to make us happy?
Even though I only had one day off over the July 4th weekend, I managed to squeeze in a couple rides. On July 4th, the wife and I made our first trip to Rangeline Nature Preserve in Anderson.
We kept to the “novice” and “intermediate” trails for the day. Even the novice stuff isn’t true beginner trail. There are some techy spots that would have a true beginner rider walking. It’s definitely no Camp Glenn.
Tuesday combined with some dry spring weather before a rainy week, a day off of work, and a strong desire to get out on the bikes.
My wife’s Blur (she has now named it the Sexy Vixen) is out of commission for the moment as the DT Tricon wheels are repaired. The rear wheel was out of true, and then I noticed some busted and mangled spoke nipples. Shipped it off to QBP for them to fix. That left the wife’s old Rockhopper (now named the She Beast) and she doesn’t enjoy that bike on the trails. She’s been hemming and hawing about riding it and finally her desire to ride outweighed her hesitation of riding a less favorite bike.
On Saturday, I completed my first half marathon! Take THAT, cancer!
That was a really difficult race for me. You can see in my GPS track below that my legs just blew up after about mile 10.
Frankly, I didn’t train enough in the few weeks preceding the race. After I reached about 8 or 9 miles, I started having knee issues. I took time off of running and spent more time biking in hopes that those knee issues would heal up. I know now, after my trip to the med tent for ice after the race that my knee issues were IT band problems. I could have stretched that area out and continued running and felt better at the finish of the race.
I wrote a few weeks back that I had lost my Garmin Forerunner 205 after a trip to Texas. I thought it had to be at my house in Texas. I have made do for the past few weeks, borrowing my wife’s Forerunner and even using my Oregon 450 on an 8mi run in Houston. That became a real pain because I have been unable to sustain a long run in the past couple weeks because of some knee pain setting in around mile 5 or 6. I haven’t been able to track myself otherwise. I broke down and ordered a Garmin Forerunner 310XT refurb. It retained the training features of the 205 that I like, added the HRM sensor compatibility and foot pod compatibility I want to upgrade to (maybe next season) and had the bonus of also being compatible with my Tanita bc-1000 scale so I can finally start transferring metrics to Garmin Connect. I’m not sure how I’ll like tracking my metrics there or not. I’m going to give it a try. Tanita’s software is only okay.
I recently had my 4 year checkup at MD Anderson to see my progress. It was mostly good. My platelets are still low, but consistent with previous tests. My small “trend” of slightly increasing counts has stopped. I talked to my Dr. and got the report about my brain MRI from 6mo ago, and learned that Harold (my brain stem lesion) is now completely gone. Yay!
As with the rest of you, my holidays have been pretty busy spending time with family and friends and doing the holiday party circuit. I’m trying to avoid gaining more weight, as I already weigh more than I want to (last check at 184lb) and I think I managed to avoid that.
I tried to make time to be active over the holidays, too. The first of those was the 2012 edition of the 5k’s of Christmas, which I ran 2 winters ago also. This time it was held in Carmel’s Central Park.
If you’ve been following me, you’re aware I’ve been working on a master’s degree. This week I took a huge step towards moving on to the next phase of life. I had my thesis seminar, followed by the defense of my thesis. My committee chose to sign off on my work, so I’m that much closer to graduating. I do have some edits that need to be made to the thesis document itself, so I have about a month of work left to do. After that, I should be increasing my trip frequency and gear use, which should increase the frequency of my posts.
This post has been a few weeks in the making, but please forgive me. I’ve been riding my new bike when I haven’t been working. It’s nice that even though my workload has increased, my riding miles have also increased because of this new bike.
The great thing about this bike is that it doesn’t matter where I take it. It can handle trails OR roads. Now I’m not doing Scooby at the SFA Rec Trails on this thing, but I can get a dose of dirt on it when I need one.