Monday, December 12, 2011

Joy to the Whirlled

Coming back from Folsom and extending down to William Pond Park, I was struck by how much easier it seemed last night. The same 32 miles and 2,050 feet, but not distracted by a million nagging thoughts. It's that time of year. Easy to be distracted and stressed out. What a difference a little Zen makes.

Cold tonight, and it was almost dark by the time I made it up to Folsom, but the paint of the setting sun on the river was breathtaking. Wish I'd had the camera along. I added another, slightly oversize vest tonight. This one has a mesh back above the kidneys, so the smaller PI vest under it doesn't vent in the same place. This makes the inner vest something of a diffuser when left zipped down 4-5 inches. I adjust the outer vest for temp and effort. A nice trick.

Good news. I'm almost certain the creaking isn't in the headset. I have tic in the front wheel, and, maybe a creak in the BB, but can't make the headset creak at home, no matter how hard I torque it, and I torqued it a LOT. The wheel tic is probably sand inside the rim, but I'm going to repack the front hub as well, because I bought new balls to do that and have been looking for an excuse to do so.

I am starting to think I wasted my money going with Cane Creek when it looks like I could have gotten the same thing directly from Taiwan from the people who probably are making Cane Creek's stuff - Token. See for yourself.
Is Cane Creek just another marketing department farming out production to Taiwan? If so I'd rather just buy direct for 30% of the CC price. If Boeing can fab in the Carolinas, why can't CC?.
Saw a 250 lb buck who looked at me with total disregard as I closed in with my lights on. Rabbits running in front of me the whole 7 miles downstream from Sunrise to WPB. Some Wiley Coyote is going to make a meal of them if they keep doing that.

I've seen that happen on group rides, though sometimes the rabbit makes it across the trail before we get there and the coyote doesn't, and the rabbit is long gone by the time 4-5 of us pass. One of the beauties of the ARPT. I also like that it never stops changing with the seasons.

There is still lots of green grass growing under the dead brush, and the deer and white flies know exactly where the warm air is, and where the cold air settles. BTW, if camping, just on the high water side of a dam is a nice warm place to camp, because the cold air goes over the dam and settles down in the river bottom. 20 ft uphill, against a sun-baked south rock face, with some tree coverage is even better.

I had a little company last night for a few miles, which is really rare this time of year. His gloves were about to fall out of his jersey, so I hammered and and bridged up so I could give him an FYI. His toes were freezing, so I told him about the SpaceBlanket fix - which I used to keep my neck warm tonight, and it worked wonders.

I'm spending lots of time in the drops, and really like the new bars now that I've got the bottoms of the drops pushed forward so much. Makes the brake blocks a much more comfortable perch too. With all my clothing wadded up in the back of my neck, riding in aerobars causes a lot of neck strain.

All in all, this ride seemed a lot easier tonight, and no hesitation at Sunrise in extending the ride. The new lens is working great. It keeps growing on me. The best $5 I ever spent.


Rachel said...

Are you riding at night? What are you using for light? Pretty cool about the buck. Good to see you're still out there!

Grey Beard said...

Hey Rachel, sorry I was so late in finding your comment. I bought 2 6mAh MagicShine systems from GeoMan online, and a 3rd headlamp as a spare. This allows me to use one on the handlebars and one on the helmet, or now with the wide angle lens, 2 on the handlebars for less neck strain.

A lot of SD folks are friends on DailyMile. The biggest challenge to riding after dark has been the extreme drop in temps right after sundown. SBH also has ongoing Tue and Thur night rides, although they start 2 hours after dark, so darned cold.