Monday, March 22, 2010

The OC....and this's and that's

Well, I have returned! You may ask, why has it took so long, is it because you were busy....partially. Was it because I was lazy? For the most part. Since it has been a while since the last post it may seem like I am rambling. Well, that is kind of what will be going on for the most part. Their is a lot of ground to cover in a short period of time.

To begin with, I have been fine tuning everything for the Ouchita Challenge . As for the training, in the last week and a half I have shortened the time on the bike, but increased the intensity. It has been going pretty good. This week I am taking it pretty easy to rest the body a little, and I am in the process of fine tuning the bike, and gear for the big trip to Arkansas. We will be leaving on Friday morning!
As for the bike, I have replaced the chain, cassette, and all three chain rings. I have also just put on some new tires to try out. They are the Bontrager Mud X TLR 29. I chose these tires because they are specifically designed for muddy conditions, the Mud X's dual compound tread is suppose to be fast rolling and provide exceptional grip on wet roots and rocks, which is what this course is all about. They are also tubeless ready, So I will be running them with Stan's. I have a new wheel set ordered that I had hoped to use, but only the front rim has showed up so far, so this will have to wait.
I have also been breaking in my new Bontrager RL Mountain shoe, my awesome new Trek Circuit Helmet, and some new Bontrager Rhythm Comp gloves. So far I really love the new gear! The BIG test will come this weekend.
Also, we are not going to have our new kits in time for this weekend, but news on the street is they will be here when we return from Arkansas! I can hardly wait. Shawn Honae down at IM Design Group has designed some super cool stuff for us this summer. If you know Shawn, he is the "MAN" when it comes to coolness! If you are in need, you need to go give him a visit.

In other news, a local scribe/photographer and fellow cyclist has just launched a new magazine! It is super cool, and you should take some time to check it out. The concept is about finding and pursuing adventure in your life. The main focus of the first issue is on cycling, and their are some awesome articles in their by well known local riders. The magazine is call the "Adventure Monkey". You can download the first issue for free here!
And if this is not enough news for you, I have one more thing......and it is REALLY big! High Gear Bike Shop is almost finished moving! On this past Saturday they closed their doors for the last time in their old shop, and moved all of their stuff to the new shop. it is huge....they have a lot more stuff.....they now have an official place to just hang out to visit....and the doors will be open this week! I am so excited I can hardly stand it. You really need to go down and check this place out. It is really awesome!

Well, My fingers are getting tired so I will let you go. Tune back in next week to see how team High Gear did at the OC! until then.

Peace Out!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Let the fun begin!

Well I am making an attempt to become more regular with the blog updates. This week has been a good one. I only had to ride the trainer once. All other days were spent outside. This makes for a very happy biker. It is still a little on the cool side, but the weather seems to be getting better, and the forecast for the upcoming week is very promising.

This week I began to throw a few mountain bike rides in to begin getting ready for the Ouchita Challenge in four weeks! It is so exciting to see the first race of the year quickly approaching. The rides have been good, and I have been able to pick up the mileage a little.

To top it off, their was a group ride yesterday. It was the largest of the year so far, which makes for a good time. Their was Matt, Garret, Chris, Randy, Jed, Tim, Jim came down from Lennexa, Dusti came from Maple Hill, Then a couple of new guys, Scott and Eric. For most of the day the pace was pretty chill and we all got to visit and catch up, then about mile 30 or so the pace stiffened and we got into a pace that produced a pretty good workout for the remainder of the ride.

This week I plan to put more miles on the mountain bike. Since each bike works you a little differently, I need to start getting use to the HiFi because the race season will be here before we know it.

The review for the week? My weapon of choice for this summer! The Gary Fisher HiFi Deluxe 29er. This is the most awesome bike that I have ridden in over a decade. If you are into the all day trail riding or endurance racing, you need to pick yourself up one of these! Is it the lightest bike? No. But many of the qualities that it does have, more than makes up for it.

As for climbing, it does a good job. I use to ride a GT Zaskar LE for a long time. It was a super light hardtail. You may find it hard to believe, but I feel that I can climb better with this bike. Sure the other bike was lighter, but with the 29 inch wheels, and the rear suspension, the rear wheel is glued to the trail. One of the problems with the other bike was the loss of momentum when you try to roll over things, and it was pretty easy to spin out on the steeper climbs. The HiFi is also extremely stable at low speeds, so you never feel like you are out of balance.

Going down hill their is no comparison. the 29er full suspension rules! In many races, I have come flying up behind other riders on a 26 in hard tail, and had to slam on the brakes, because they were getting thrown all over the place. Once you find a good passing place, they are nothing but a memory! You just let loose, and when you look back, they are no where to be seen.
Sure, you can find a lighter bike, but if you are into the long events, the comfort of the large wheels, and 100mm of travel front and rear make the day such a pleasure. Believe me, what you might sacrifice in weight in the climb, you more than make up for when you point your bike down hill, and the fatigue that you are spared from, by not getting beat to death on the trail.