Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Training, of sorts

This week is the first week that I have actually started doing some structured workouts. I am still ramping up on the slow side, but so far the leg is feeling pretty good. Yesterday I had to do some work in one of the vehicles at work, so I was standing around in my steel toe boots for about an hour and half. I got home and my leg was feeling pretty sore so I decided not to ride. But if that is the way it is going to be, I am much happier with pain after standing around, and no pain after riding. I am hoping to be able to get out on some of the back roads this weekend on the new bike. So far I have only taken it for a short spin.
The winter this year has been way too long. The good news is that it is almost feburary, the bad news is it is almost feburary.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My lucky Seven

This all started in the spring of 08 bike demo at Island Lake. I rode a few different bikes, but the one that stood out was the Racer X 29er Ti. Out of all the bikes I rode that day, it just felt like I was flying on the trail. So for my wedding present I could order any bike that I wanted, but it was going to be my last bike for a while. No question it was the Racer X. So after our wedding in August I went in for a couple of fittings at Ride Boutique in Ann Arbor. We settled on a fit and geometry and I put my deposit on a 29er racer x Ti frame. I have been fitted 2 other times, at others shops over the years, and each of them have told me I needed a bike with a longer top tube. So here is my chance to get a custom bike that fits me the way a bike should instead of me trying to fit the bike.
After 5 months of waiting, I pulled the plug on the Racer X. I must say I was very disappointed with the customer service from Titus. My frame since it was bigger than a normal bike, needed a different down tube than what they normally stock. Every couple of weeks since about the end of October I would call the shop and the story would be the same, still no word on when the tube would come in. All the tubes were cut, except the one they were waiting for. Being that my leg was injured all summer and it was the end of the cross season, I was in no big rush to get the frame. By December I was really hoping that some progress was being made on it, but nothing. We asked Titus if they could build the bike with different tubing that they had in stock that would accomplish the same goal with the frame. They checked and said yes we can do that, but if we do you will be put back at the beginning of the list just like a new order. So I decided to just wait it out a bit longer and we told them whichever way was faster, lets go that route. Couple more weeks pass, and still no progress, and no idea when it will be done. It annoyed me that I am going to be paying a lot of money for this frame and they cant help me out at all. So I had enough, and canceled the order.
I of course had another option thanks to Chad at the shop. First we looked at the viscious groover which uses the racer x suspension design. However they wouldnt build it in Ti, only steel and I really wanted a Ti bike. The next option was a Seven.
The first option from them was a duo lux. They are not making the frame for 2009, they are going to a dw link bike instead, but they had enough parts/tubing to put one more frame together as a favor to the shop. After some serious thought I decided I rather wait to get the dw link bike or look at another option. Way back when I first started looking at all of these bike the Seven IMX was my runner up to the Racer x. The question I was struggling with was going back to a hard tail. I have been riding a FS bike for the last 4 or 5 years. The IMX is a race bike, light, fast and sexy. It just so happened that Chad has a IMX as his personal bike and he let me use it. I couldnt get it out on the trails, but it rode really nice on the dirt roads. So I made up my mind after stressing out about it for a few days and put the IMX on order. The day after the order was placed I had a phone interview with seven. A week later my frame was done and ready to be shipped. What a night and day difference it was dealing with Seven vs. Titus. Seven even stepped up and moved my order to the front of the list which they didnt have to do, which was really awesome. Finally the customer service and philosphy I was looking for in a custom bike.
So far I have just ridden it around the block, but it feels really nice. I expect it to weigh in some where under 25lbs.
Thanks Chad at Ride Boutique and thanks Seven, I cant wait for the stupid snow to melt and ride it on the trails.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A bit of warmth

Well after the last week of below zero to single digit weather it finally warmed up a bit today. After being trapped in the house for the last week we finally got outside and into the fresh air for a bit. I have been looking for a used set of snowshoes for quite a while now, there have been some on mmba lately but it seems like someone always snags them before I see them. So after a trip to REI Noelle and I headed out to Stony Creek today to get a little hike in. We tried the nature center, but it was packed. I guess everyone had the same idea about getting outside. So we headed over to the osprey trail. I have never done that hike before, we didnt see any ospreys, but it was a nice walk. Next time out I plan on getting a run in with them on. That is going to be a heck of a work out.
I guess stony isnt plowing the road anymore. This is the second time that I have been there and the road wasnt plowed. Usually they are really good about getting the snow off the road. That is not going to help me get my miles in. I guess I will be spending more time out on the dirt roads this year.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The saga continues

Hopefully it will be coming to an end shortly... After riding the racer x in the spring at the bike demo out at Island Lake, I was hooked on the idea of getting a 29er RX. I thought about it for quite a few months, and then after our wedding I went ahead and put my order in. That was mid September. I was hoping to have the bike in time for Iceman, not to race but to just to get a ride in on the trail. Iceman came and went and still no bike. The bike I was having them build is on the larger size, mostly in the TT but no longer than some of the other xxl 29ers that are out there. Well Titus was unable to get a larger tube than what they normally get. Their tube supplier couldnt commit to a date, and so my frame sat for a few months. We tried to get them to build the bike out of other tubes, that they had in stock, or were able to get but the only way they were willing to do that was to put my order at the back of the list. After about 14 weeks of waiting and Titus not willing to work with me, I canceled the order. For the kind of money I am spending on this frame I would of expected a lot more from them.

Enter Seven. I decided to go with a IMX. It is a hardtail, and I never thought I would go back to a hardtail. I rode one a few times now and really like the bike. It will take some getting used to for sure. Seven has been great to work with. I have been able to talk directly with the designer of my frame every time I have a question. They were also willing to do the bike shop and myself a favor in pulling my order through the process quickley. What a difference from Titus. The IMX was my second choice when I started this whole order process. I just wasnt sure if I wanted to ride a hardtail again or not. But now that I have some time on demo bike, even though it is way too small for me, I really like it.
So hopefully in the next few weeks the frame will be done. I cant wait now that I am finally starting to see this bike take shape.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

2009 already?

I will not bore everyone with the details of what went wrong in 2008 as far as racing goes. If you are reading my blog I am sure you are well aware. So, bring on 2009.

What have I been doing since my last post. Well not a whole heck of a lot. I have been off of work for the last 2 weeks, back to reality on monday. It has been nice, I have grown a thick beard. I have now shaved the beard mostly off, but not quite. Noelle has been working a lot, this is a busy time of year for her. So I have been just hanging out, playing some guitar hero and riding my bike. So it has been a good break, but starting monday it is back to the 100 push ups, and the new program for 200 situps. I am not too happy that I have put on some weight, but it gives me something else to work on in 2009.

As far as riding goes, I am pretty good for about an hour or a little bit more. I am slow, and out of shape, but hey at least I am able to ride. I find that my leg still bothers me, but I am trying to build back up slowly, and at least it doesnt hurt after I stop riding. I am working on putting together my plan and goals for this season. I wanted to try the lumberjack for some reason, even though riding a 100 miles doesnt really appeal to me all that much, but there is something about it that is drawing me to it. I dont think I will be ready to do it this year. Maybe 2010.

Still waiting on the Titus. I have all the parts, except the most important, the frame. Hopefully soon. Stayed tuned.... I finally got the fixed gear done. I havent really ridden it yet, just a bit around the house. The gear was a little big at the time, but I am looking forward to getting on it. I wanted to get some new brake levers that werent all sticky (?) so I finally found a good deal on some and put them on the bike. The frame has internal cable routing, it was actually much easier than my Klein was to route the cable through it. So maybe a different cog it and that is it for that bike.

Well looking forward to 2009 I hope I can get back to the level of racing that I had in 2007 and exceed it in certain areas. I still think focusing on fewer races, but doing better in the ones I do is the way to go this season. Well at least until cross season rolls around. Then it will be do as many as I physically can.

Thats enough for now. Look for my 2008 in pictures post coming soon!