Friday, October 21, 2011

New Wheels

The new wheels arrived yesterday, so in the evening I put them on the old Klein.

They are Vuelta Zerolite wheels from Nashbar and generally look ok. The hubs look kind of cheap, so it will be interesting to see how well they do in the dusty desert environment. The other oddity is the 24 spoke configuration. Seems to me the more spokes the better, given that I am not what one would consider as svelte. Tomorrow morning will be the first test. If they make it through the morning, maybe they'll be ok.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New trails in N Phoenix

Yesterday morning about 9, the temps were in the 80s, so I took of on my mtn bike for a little exploring. I hadn't been on the bike for about 3 weeks and needed the exercise. I left the house and followed the CAP canal east to Deem Hills. I haven't been over there since over a year ago when I found a few new trails. Since then, they seem to have added a pretty good network. The temps were getting up there by the time I had ridden anly about 1.5 miles of trail, so I turned around and headed back to the barn. Next time, with cooler temps coming I will spend a bit more time and take along my GPS.

I did a little maintenance on the old Klein today. After cleaning the bike off I noticed a little grinding in the front hub. When I get it apart and cleaned up, I could see some excessive wear in the bearing races. Hit the Nashbar page looking for a new set of hubs since these are apparently on thier last legs after 14 years and many 110s of miles of dirt. They had a wheel set regularly $199 for $79. The blessing of an old bike with rim brakes is that parts can be really cheap. We' see how it goes when the new wheels arrive...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Port Angeles

We visited Port Angeles last week for a few days and had a chance to ride part of the Discovery Trail west of town. Having ridden for the last 4 years in Phoenix, It was a real pleasure to ride something different. With the temp around 50 and rain threatening, we headed out, Sean on his Salsa El Mariachi and me on Michele's Jamis Dakar. The El M is a 29er 1x9, all rigid and the Jamis is a full suspension 3x9 26er. The ride consisted of an out and back, climbing about 600 ft over 3 miles. Our stopping point was in a clear cut overlooking the Elwha River Valley.

The climb was relatively easy, with a pretty smooth trail surface. It was one of those climbs that could go a long time without real suffering. The ride back down was joyful, smooth, fast and fun for a geezer like me. As usual, Sean bombed down while I maintained a bit of caution. It reminded me of our days in Spokane when Sean would tear ass down a steep rocky descent, while I would stop, figure out the line, then descend without much drama. Meeting at the bottom, Sean would wax eloquently about almost crashing on that rock, bouncing off this tree, etc. while I didn't have any good tails to tell. The age difference is still there.

Anyway, its alway great getting out on the trails with Sean. Maybe next time we hit that trail, we'll take it all the way to Crescent Lake. It will be an all day ride that should be awesome.