Shaking Out the Cobwebs

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.

2013 Year in Review

I have to say, 2013 was the best year of riding I’ve had in a long time. It came at the expense of hiking and canoeing, though. According to my Strava logs, I rode for almost 70 hours and logged around 360 miles of riding (combined between my commuter and mtb). There were a handful of rides I did not log, so in total, I probably reached 400mi or close to it. My goal was to get to 500mi on the mtb by itself, so I did come up a bit short.

Winter MTB Upgrades

My old Maguras finally gave up the ghost this year, so I’ve decided it’s time to put some modern hydros on. I’ve been dealing with sticky pistons all year. Mostly putting up with them, but I’ve also spent some time trying to unstick them, with less success than I’d like. They’re 11 year old brakes that have needed almost zero maintenance in 11 years aside from two bleeds, two sets of pads, and a few alignment adjustments.

I decided to replace them with a set of Shimano SLX brakes with Ice-Tech. Shimano has been killing it on their recent hydro brakes, and the SLX model is a good value. Up until recently, they were the best value models they offered.

Snow Ride! Freezing!

That title fits this tune pretty well.

It only sorta fit my ride. The temps outside were indeed freezing, but I was mostly fine. Except for my feet. I really need some winter cycling boots (a half size big so I can fit thick wool socks in them). I wore some Gore-tex ski gloves with Smartwool liners, a Buff under my helmet, Smartwool lightweight base layer, my EMS Windstopper N2S jacket, and my hardshell gear (Marmot Precip jacket and Mountain Hardwear Epic rain pants). I was warm enough to be sweating underneath, but as long as I kept moving, I stayed warm.

Belated 2013 Brown County Breakdown Recap

Sorry for the late post. After the BCBD, I moved into a new place and have been busy getting everything unpacked and organized. I’m mostly situated now, and I need to catch up on some posts.

The 2013 Breakdown was a great time. I went down for the whole weekend on Friday evening and camped both nights. I got there a little on the late side, and wound up in a suboptimal campsite. It wasn’t a bad spot, but it was out in the open and got hot in the sun. The Crosstrek held our camping gear well.

2013 Brown County Breakdown

Spouse’s Birthday Present (2010 Santa Cruz Blur XC Carbon) Maiden Weekend and Brown County Breakdown Preparation

Whew! Long title!

My wife’s birthday is coming up in October, and I had been thinking about what to get her. I had my eye on some Shredly shorts, which she really wants. I was about to pick a pair when my wife dropped a MAJOR hint. She had found a sweet bike in a classified ad for a really great price. Almost seemed too good to be true. I asked a lot of specific questions, and got very specific answers, and plenty of extra pictures. Seemed like a solid deal. We went for it. She wanted the bike for the Brown County Breakdown epic weekend of riding and fun in a few weeks. The bike came, and it was exactly as described, with a box full of extras. Awesome.

Busy Summer of Rides!

It’s been quite a summer. I haven’t updated much because I’ve been working a lot and when I’ve not been working, I’ve been riding a lot.

I’ve ridden a lot at Fort Harrison State Park.

Fort Harrison State Park

I’ve ridden at Town Run Trail a few times.

Town Run Trail

Town Run Trail

I’ve done a couple of bigger rides at Brown County State Park.

Brown County State Park Heistation Point

I rode at Versailles State Park.

Subaru XV Crosstrek, Perfect Vehicle for the Outdoorsperson?

Back in January, my wife and I placed an order for a Subaru XV Crosstrek Premium with the CVT and a couple of the smaller options. We timed the order knowing it would take probably 4 months for delivery, anticipating that my car would be paid off before we got the car, giving us only one car payment and possibly a little time where we don’t have any payments. We took delivery of our Crosstrek today and timed it so our first payment is not due until June. My car has just under 50,000mi on it, so we should be able to pay off the Subaru before I need another. And with it being a Honda, it sure would be nice to get even longer out of it so we can enjoy a couple years at least without any payments.

Brown County State Park, Nashville, IN

Last weekend, the wife and I made it down to Brown County State Park to hit the mountain bike trails for the first time. With my wife being more on the beginner-intermediate end of things, we didn’t venture onto anything tougher than Green Valley (no Walnut, Hesitation Point, or Schooner). We had a blast.

Running and Town Run Trail + Ft Ben + Garmin Forerunner 310XT

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.