Wednesday, April 29

Come see the violence inherent in the sySTEM

Options. I am at my worst when I have options. Tell me to ride in a straight line and you'll never see me hesitate as I head off bearing directly towards the horizon, but tell me I can go left or right.... Hold on, let me pull out a map, consult google earth, and ask someone at a gas station which way is better.

PMBAR is all about options. The path you take is often times more important than the speed you travel down that path. This trail is technical, the other one is overgrown, there's another option, but it's a gravel road that goes way outta the way, there's always that other trail that goes over six passes, don't forget the one that stays low even though it has twelve river crossings...

Sunday I headed out to the Pisgah National Forest with Big Worm to meet up with Eric, Dennis, Leanne, Johnny Nutsack, Blair, Tim, Rob, and Sam for a PMBAR feeler ride in the confusing (for me) Turkey Pen area. No other part of Pisgah forces me to pull the map out more than TP, and I'm sick of fiddling with my map every two miles down there. I now have it ingrained in my memory (the part that has a one week expiration date), and there shall be no hesitation down in the TP at this year's PMBAR.

photo cred: Leanne
I'm so glad she snapped the photo right before I realized I would never make the sideways switchbacked drop that all the smart people walked down. Stupid smart people.

More options??

I know how much everybody likes when I talk about stems. Recently I cashed in a couple ubiquitous Thomson certificates, and my new 50 and 70mm stems showed up VIA the brown clown.

The new 50mm was to replace my old one while the old one is to go on the "yet to be named Zion" when it gets back from the powder coater. The 70mm is for some position experimenting, and to try out an... *gulp*... option. I threw it on before the Pisgah exploratory ride, and it performed very well in driveway wheelie testing. Granted this coulda been due to the shorter wheelbase with a 20T cog or the higher torque of the lower gear, but a driveway wheelie can not be ignored. Whether you're doing the Tour de France, Iditasport, The Tour Divide, a local XC race, or just riding around the corner to get a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk so you can hold up in your dwelling as swine flu lays siege to your neighborhood the most useful skill you can have in your repertoire is the ability to pop a wheelie. It is a scientific fact.

Since the 70mm stem passed the wheelie test I went ahead and rode it in the mountains. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, all my suspicions were correct. My lower back and shoulders were happier with the longer stem, but when I was approaching downed logs on descents I struggled to get over them at speed. Since the last thing I want to be doing as I'm hastily approaching an object that has the potential to separate me from my bike is to be "struggling" to avoid said separation I'm not sure what to do now. Settle for comfort and the occasional scary moment or wince in pain for hours waiting for that opportune moment when I can loft my steed over a log and pump my fist in the air screaming "Excaliber!!!!!!"


Do I drop the whole Moor thing or do I give you more?

You deserve Moor.

"I'm on a f*@king boat!"


Anonymous said...

I hate to be all serious and stuff, but does Thomson not make a 60mm stem?

dicky said...

Nope, or I'd have it

word verification for my comment?


More rock in Moor places.

AdamB said...

I vote for the 70mm Thomson. I figure if your shoulders and lower back feel better throughout a loooong day in Pisgah, you will deal with the occasional obs-tickle easier. Plus, don't you like having a longer black thingie sticking out in front of you wherever you turn?


BikeSnobNYC said...

The longer your stem, the shorter your dick.

Anonymous said...


That Moor is killing me with just his stare.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like I am screwed this weekend. I have only been down there 4 times and I can't remember 3 of them. Damn short term memory loss...

I normally just try and keep Indy Scott's wheel in sight and have no clue as to where we are other then it has been 8 hours and we are no where near the car.
Should be fun!

Sandblogger said...

That race sounds like a hoot. I wish we had something like that over here in the not-so-Rockies.

Good luck and have some fun.

Ooooh my verification is crouzes.

Anonymous said...

Let me drop a little engineer on ya, Why don't you have a custom 60mm stem made??? I have people and technolgy...


dicky said...


Can they make me a Thomson?

I have a 60mm Syntace, but it looks dreadful, and thusly cannot be mounted on the MOOTS.

Anonymous said...

Things might be able to be worked out...


Anonymous said...

show your dickie!!!
pick one and ride it!