Tuesday, January 9

I've seen mire, and I've seen pain

I've decided the easiest way to create any content on here to fill the void until Winter Shart Tarck starts in a couple weeks would be taking a giant photo dump.  A picture is worth a thousand words, so here's like tens of thousands of words.

I took the time to convert the Epic EVO back into its most happy place.  Time to find out if the alloy pulleys are quieter... I think they are... I think.  Every time I ride this bike as a single speed, I wonder why I own gears.

It feels nice to tuck these away until such time that I feel like they could be useful again.  I don't know what that time will be, but they sure were nice on the last Van Life Trip out west with Bill Nye.

Yeth, you're looking at exciting images of parts in their original packaging.  You clicked the link to get here, not me.

My scary first ride back in the Western NC on the (still geared Epic EVO) reminded me that I usually grab the Vassago with 140mm up front and a tire insert in the rear over all the others because I feel "safer" in the deep leaves and tech gnar.  What I did forget was that I prefer DHF 2.5/Rekon 2.4 over OG Forekaster 2.6/Aspen 2.4 for such silliness... so after much tire swapping, I'll be ready next time.

While I was on that ride, I was talking to Santana about pedals, and he was comparing mine to his when I realized I had XTR pedals on the Vassago and not the XTs that I once thought I lost because they weren't where they were supposed to be but actually on the Vassago, and so all I could think about the rest of the ride was "where are my XT pedals... again?"

Not here.  This is where I keep the XTRs for parts but you never know.  Something inexplicable happened to the spindle (it won't come out), so I steal random bits from them from time to time.

Not here either.  I was banking on them being where such things reside.  Just two sets of well-worn XTR pedals that are still functional in that one can still clip into them.  I consider selling them from time to time to someone who just needs some clippies, but then again, I have a stack of saddles I need to sell first, and I'm lacking all the motivation to perform either task.

I don't even know why I need to know where the XT pedals are, being that I bought ahead on XTR pedals... because it gives me the same warm feeling as having two sets of new cleats, sixteen or so sets of brake pads, eight KMC X9SL chains, two Ai2 rotors, a set of one pot XT brakes, three ESI Racer's Edge grips, a cabinet full of Maxxis tires... all within arm's reach.

It's sort of hoarding, I know.

But hoarding with purpose.  I bet real hoarders can't say that... but they probably do anyways.

I'd almost looked everywhere at least three times before I just stood there dumbfounded in the laundry room (the Land of Misfit Parts).  What's that opaque bag up there on the shelf with the Tech Wash and work gloves?  Oh yeth, the backup cranks I took to Breck Epic back in 2022...

And obviously Smart Dick tried to take care of Dumb Dick by traveling with a spare set of pedals.  Pointless mystery solved.

My Christmas present to me, clean gutters.  I did them all in one day, and scooting around the 1/2 perimeter that I can't reach with a ladder made it hard to walk the next day, but the things you do for (self) love and all.  I get such pleasure watching my gutters "gut."

New Year's Eve Eve Pajama Party happened with (from l-r); me, Pie, Bill Nye, June, Nathan and Nela.  A most excellent and memorable (for some) evening that made the next day... difficult. 

The best way to shake off a hangover is to spend a couple hours with three chainsaws running close to your head.  BYT getting a new skinny, y'all.

Pretty sure I rode every bike cycle I own over the holiday break(s).  While this was a good choice for an intown ramble, riding two of Charlotte's rootiest trails on my Shart Tarck setup (or at least what I thought it would be) hurt my parts.

I overdid the running thing a bit (imagine that), so with my feet parts off the table, I'm still doing what I can to avoid firing Zwift back up again.  I can't decide what's more torture tho, riding in front of screens or pounding out twenty-four flat post-work miles of out and back (unngh) in the dark next to a cold creek with only the beady-eyed deer to keep me company.


Before I saw a YouTube video exposing the evil empire known as Temu, I succumbed to their aggressive social media marketing and bought a "$75" derailleur hanger alignment tool for $3.74.  While I try to support real "bike brands," I can't justify spending $100-200 for a tool I'd use once a year (mebbe) on only 1.25 of the six bikes I own.  I also bought a couple other tools (with zero moving parts) that will hopefully replace the half-assed methods I've been using up till now.  

But then The Pie pulled up a YouTube video about living as a minimalist, and I'm thinking, "but they're not talking about bikes... and bike tools... and bike parts... right?"


Circling back to Winter Shart Tarck, Dr Mike, Turd and I went down and did some laps on Sunday.  I ran a tire that was too big.  I started with too many PSIs.  My seat was too low.  I'm gonna make one major adjustment and not have (make?) time to test my theory.  Other than correcting mistakes, it was nice to actually explore some alternative lines as opposed to my just going the way I've always gone for sixty plus laps based on assumptions, prejudice, or just doing whatever the guy in front of me is doing.

Will any of this matter?

Probably not.  I've vowed to not skip potential mountain rides the day before a race, and I acknowledge that this course is bumpy enough to warrant some squish... but I don't wanna expose my very useful Fox Stepcast 100mm to liquid sandpaper.

Not happening.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Send more pics of stuff in boxes!!!