the gods have spoken.

Shimano, go fuck yourselves.

Three week ago, I bought an Alfine 8speed internal hub with high hopes of bikepacking with multiple pedaling ratios. Something that runs a clean chainline without easy to rip off shifty bits, for when the path is one that is less travelled. My local shop ordered the hub direct from you assholes. You motherfuckers didn't have the sense to tell the shop that when ordering the hub, that's all you get, the hub. That's it, nothing else, just the plain, bare bones hub. I knew the cog was extra, I knew I'd need the shifter, I had them order those parts also. The shop & I figured that you would at least include the fucking axle nuts with the hub, you know, those shiny threaded objects that hold the hub in the frame. I also figured that you would include the cable hanger part with the hub, since you know, IT'S FUCKING SPECIFIC TO THIS GODDAMN HUB! I don't just happen to have these parts laying around, these aren't common parts for the local shop to have on the shelf. Why the fuck don't you just include everything with the fucking hub???


So, the shop ordered the sold separately parts kit. This kit supposedly comes with all of the bits to make this fucking thing work. That was the impression the shop was left with, it's the impression I had. Except it doesn't. After I got home from yet another two hour round trip to pick up the little box that was filled with even more little baggies of misc parts, I discover that you assholes don't include the fucking snap ring to hold the cog in place on the hub. So, I have to go thru even more back n forth bullshit of trying to track down a 5 cent snap ring that fucking retails for $2. I was told that when the shop put in the order for the small parts, that your fucking ignorant mother fucking order taker was apologetic, "Oh, I shoulda pointed out that you'd need those parts...."

yeah, no shit moron.

And it gets better. After tracking down the missing snap ring, which required another trip to yet another shop, and after installing the cog tonight, I was in a decent mood. Progress, seeing the proverbial lighted tunnel. I roll the bike down the stairs, throw it in the stand, pull out the ss wheel and lean it against the bench for what I assume will be a while, I'm gonna be riding gears! I work thru the instructions for the hub, I line up the red dots, I line up the yellow dots, the hanger is in place, the cog is flipped to match my chainline after cutting off that ghey fucking chain guard. I take off the grip, slide off the brake lever, install the shifter on the bars. Everything is peachy and going smooth, even looks like the housing is a decent enough length, probably won't have to trim it. Measure the 101mm length from the cable to the housing end, rough in the cable run and read and reread the instructions. 60 degrees, cable slack, catch the nut in the slotted hole, slip the cable thru the slot of the hanger, let the housing nestle into place.

But wait, why doesn't this look right? Why doesn't the stop on the hanger actually stop the housing, it's wayyyyyyy oversized. Read and reread the instructions again, says nothing about having to crimp the stop, nothing about having to form it by hand so that it does its stopping thing. Even if I do smash it, there's no lip to catch the end of the housing...again, WHAT THE FUCK!?!?!?! Look at the instructions yet again, gotta be missing something, 'Take cable hanger, er I mean, the Cassette Joint CJ-8S20..." CJ-8S20? hmmmm, is that what I'm working with here? Can't quite see the stamping in this light, drop the wheel out of the frame...



I've been thru too much bullshit with this already, and now it turns out you sold the wrong fucking parts to the shop for the hub. Your retarded asshole of an order taker apparently doesn't know what the fuck he's doing, cuz he sold the wrong fucking parts to the shop for this hub. What kind of show are you assholes running? That your douchebag mouthbreather on the other end of the phone can't even punch up the right numbers in his little computer to ensure that I'm not getting dicked around even more? I mean, how fucking hard is it? I shouldn't have to double check every little part to make sure ya'll are doing your job, you assholes should get it right, you fucking make this shit! We are ordering it direct! You are the fucking experts, you should know to ask that when the shop orders this hub, do you have all these little tidbits? Well, here's what you'll need....

And when you sell the shop the parts that they & I will need to make this thing work, they better god damn well be the RIGHT FUCKING PARTS!!! This isn't rocket science.



Tomi's geared experiment is now officially on hold until warmer weather arrives, who knows, there might be a freshly built, never ridden, internally geared wheel going up sale...

and again, FUCK YOU SHIMANO!



finished building my new wheels...

SS wheel:
White Ind Eno hub
DT Comp 2.0/1.8
Bontrager Duster rim
19t Eno fw: 2 lb 11oz.

IGH wheel:
Alfine 501
DT straight 2.0
Bontrager Duster rim
20t cog: 5lb 6oz.

Add in the shifty bits and looks like about a 3lb gain to go from single to 8sp internal.

For touring, factor in the weight loss due to changing from the OMM rack to the freshy fresh Epic bag system, will probably see a net gain of 2ish lbs, maybe a bit less.

2lbs for less hiking, less blowed up calves/achilles while keeping a clean, direct chainline?

I'll take it.

want some?

Flashing Hallways from Cody Townsend on Vimeo.

He's got skillz for billz.


long time coming.

Chill Saturday eve around the campfire, catching up and shooting the shit and scaring the out of towners with talk of the freshy freshy race loop. Typical race day start, up with the sun, coffee & oatmeal, more bs'ing with other circus travelers. Roll out to remote start line, watch the pro dawgs head off, wait three minutes, GO! okay. SS'ers and vets launch from the line, qwik shuffle and it's two big rings pulling a line of Vets on the left and one speeders on the right. Fast rolling firm gravel, wind it up to 20ish, slot into 5th wheel and quickly notice the lack of warmup and slighty smaller gear I'm spinning, 32:20. I lazily let a gap open up. Call myself a pussy in my head, are you racing? or just riding? Turbo spin to close the gap. Gap closes just as the pace lightens that little bit, overshoot the gap, this is cool, just ease off, drift back in, don't grab a handful of brake. Unfortunately, my easing off didn't sync when I was in that dreaded picture perfect half wheel position. Mistimed the side drift w/ the back drift in order to slot back in and found my mo wanting to be on the other side of his bike a bit sooner than anticipated.


This is gonna hurt, I need to get off of this thing, fuck fuck fuck you fucking dumbass...unclip? peg leg it? no. that never works, look for the bright spot and try to land there, either ride it out that bit longer or literally jump off....now! ouchmotherfuckingcocksucking OUCH! motherfucker, dumbass. Slide to a stop and check my six, oh shit that tire's really close to my head, thank God for disc brakes. Not sure if anybody else went down, sorry if so, didn't see any other bodies lying about when I got up off the ground. No shot the head, no shoulder/collarbone issues...wonder how deep the gashes in the arm will be, how hamburgered is the knee? Somebody stops to help me sort it out, Bobby'sBoy I think? thanks man, I was a bit dazed... Untwist the bars and sit down for a minute, don't let him wait around, "go go go, I'll be alright, thanks, go, I'll be fine..." Straighten the bars, limp onto the bike and fuck me running. Knee is bound up tight and stiff from impact, left hand absorbed the hit and is awfully tender holding onto the bar. Just soft pedal, get back to the car, hide your shame.

So that was the first 200yds. Pull to the side and watch as the masters and ladies roll by, answer their heckling and rolled to the car. The start crew comes back in, "what happened, what happened?" "I was that guy..." Park my bike, unclip the helmet, take off my gloves, walk it off a bit more. Brush off the dirt, get a look at the rash and gash, sit down in the ambulance for a bit. "How do you want this done, qwik to get back out?"

nahhh, I'm done, take your time, it's beer and picture time, again.....that didn't exactly roll off the tongue, hmmm.

Scrubby scrub, nothing too bad, one knick there that could take a butterfly, if it wasn't surrounded by rash. But nothing tooo gnarly. Dresses it lightly, just gonna be chillin'. Got that done, stroll around a bit more...and god damnit, I didn't come here to quit. The internal debate begins, opinions asked, work it out. Rich, Travis, Larry, Jes....eh, fuck it, may as well go back out, at least rip some choice singletrack, then can always bail at the lot again and help with the finish. Helmet clipped, gloves back on, spin it out easy and drop into that first descent. Check the clock, 9:35ish...we rolled at 9:15, keep that in mind.

Off the road and into that first hit of trail......Holleee sheeet! damn is this fun, sooo fast, so flow. Bippity bop bap from rock to rock to grooved loamyness hip bap bip, boing boing boing. Suddenly so happy to be rollin' solo, and ripping. This trail is fkna sweet when you're not bar to bar, wheel to wheel frenzied, oh hellz yeah! The gauze wrap loosens pretty directly and turns into a biohazard streamer for a bit. Hit a spot to sit and spin and take inventory. Damn, that was fun, sure am feelin' frisky, and I've got nothing to lose here. Let's see, I've never mounted a comeback like this before...does this thing go to 12?

Only one way to find out. Hit the next trail section just as hard, rippin it again, attacking the punchy climbs and today the techy skillz are d.i.a.l.e.d. finally. Stop to strip off the remaining gauze, plug in the tunes and cue The Hives. Do the math one more time, 9:35-9:15 is 20, minus maybe five for the rollout...okay, they've all got a 15-20 minute headstart, but I'm a local. And this loop is as local as local gets. Mackey alone should net me 10minutes, Virginia, another couple, 3 Stooges and hammering up every fucking climb out here, and I might just pull back into this thing.

Hit it like a time trial, steady gunning unrelenting tempo. Hammer out the small bits, short sightedness is a blessing today, the only hurdle is what's in front of you, whatever's beyond that is beyond that, deal when you get there. Righ now, right here, you need to move forward as quickly and efficiently as possible. And god damnit you're a fucking dumbass for balling it up like that. fucking rookie move, especially considering the current feedback from the legs. Chump. Give those fuckers a 15minute headstart on the day that the legs reawaken, mother fucker, ain't that the shit.

Get pissed, really pissed and direct all that energy, all of the mediocre races, missed opportunities and the anger about being 'that guy' today and just pedal this damn bike into submission. Who cares about hour 2, hour 3, hour 4, hour 5? Right here, right now, you're gonna hammer up this little wall, breath deep and hit it again and again and again. cuz this is your house, this is your backyard, and god damnit you're fucking due and you sure as hell ain't going down without a fight. not today.

And that's what it was for the next 4 or so hours. Cranked it up and put on a tech riding clinic for anybody that was there to witness, 'twas on it. Opening loop was railing super fun good times, blew past the first cp, and settled into phase 2, the first cramps hit before the second aide, couple of quirky dismounts on RockyRidge fired the right quad, sip of beer while the bottles were filled might help with that. Started catching folks, sorry that I wasn't in the mood to chat, that beer did look tasty though Brett...but I was chasing. I was pissed and I was chasing.

Pop out the end of Mackey and the legs all but lock up. Been here before, plenty, push thru, do not stop moving or you will lock up. No matter the pain, 1 pedal, 2 pedal, 3 pedal, 4 pedal....it will relent, the cramps will pass, they always do, and then it's a 45minute window until the next round, driiiiiiink. Through that first big wave and back into the woods, the cramp monster can't hang in the woods, he only catches up on those spinny open bits. Rip. more. trail. cramp. drink, eat. rip. more. trail. cramp. drink, eat. And then the arms started locking up, ha. Eventually lost that bit of snap to clear some short pitches on the pedal, and my right arm begins cramping during the pushing, wtf? arm cramps? this is pretty burly terrain, guess we are going deep today, shake it off. Jedi mindtricks down Suckerpunch with the ghost of Travis on my wheel, faster, faster, faster....

hit the final check point, there's Lee:
"TOMI!!! you're 2nd singlespeed, want a cupcake?"
2nd? really? cool, how far up is Theo? no thanks, just water.

5? hmm, I can get that on Stooges. thanks, bye.

Back into the quiet. Me, my breath, pedals moving round. Catch Bikeman Josh, slummin'. 5minutes later....uh oh, I underestimated Stooges, been a while since I've ridden it and I just cracked, my brain on drugs, sizzzllle. Stomach starts grumbling, not a good sign, must be hungry. The nice thing about this stage of the game though, is when you do crack, when the engine light comes on, at least cramping isn't an issue anymore. Can't cramp up if you can't really push the pedals that hard, the greatest risk becomes the mount/dismount maneuver, better watch your step. Keep on keepin' on, angry attitude subsides, at least I worked back into second. Gave her hell, but I'm in a hole now and time is running out, gotta maintain. Out of Stooges and up Stick, no sign of Theo. Then out along the false flat climbing carriage path, eye up the 2 minute long sightlines with no riders in front or back....yep, 2nd is fine and dandy all things considered.

Onto the pavement, hit the quick right up the finishing climb, hike, pedal, look over the shoulder, hike pedal shoulder and finally sounds of the venue reach my ear. Cruise thru the woods, into the finish....

"You're first singlespeeder!"

huh, where's Theo?
5 minute gap at aide three,
he's gotta be here. whut?

scan the board...sr, sr, sr, sr, vet, sr, vet, sr, s...no ss.

well fuck, what happened to Theo? hope he didn't get lost, that would suck, but how? where? nahhh.

few minutes later, Theo rolls in for second..."I missed that last turn..."

awww man, not the way I wanted to end up on the big box, but I guess that's racing....


qwik n dirty Teaberry

about 200yds in, on the gravel road,
I pulled a rookie move. Overlapped wheels,
couldn't get off it after long grind, and went
down pretty hard at 20ish mph, sorry everybody.

got cleaned up by the medics, initial
trauma shock of impact wore off, felt
like I could pedal and hold the bars
again after dicking around for 15ish
minutes, walk it off. went back out,
tapped into a pissed off attitude
and chased and chased and chased
until I couldn't chase no more. Had
worked back into second behind
Theo before cracking hard on 3 Stooges.
Couldn't close that final gap, but....

Unfortunate/fortunate turn of events
saw Theo pedaling head down & missing
some arrows, subsequently doing a bit of
extra off course pedaling while I was
hiking up the final climb content w/ 2nd.

So, by some karmic intervention or
something, I managed to plop my
ass on the top step of the podium,
that was a tough day.

Props to the visionaries behind
that loop, booYahh!


tinkerin' (TomiCOG x-post)

There was a thread on MTBR a while back about using a TomiCOG w/ a Centerlock adapter. Wasn't too enthused about it, since I had no need at the time, and I honestly wasn't that familiar with the Centerlock setup. Wellllll, I did a little tour a few weeks ago, and slummed thru a testy achilles issue that arose due to a lot of loaded bike hiking. If only I had a gear that was one step easier than the 32:20 I was spinnin'.....

Well, how to do that? Definitely not a fan derailleurs now a days, mostly due to the zen destroying noise of chainslap clanking and banging. And ripping off a rear mech out in the middle of nowhere would be a bummer. So I picked up one of these, clean ss style chainline and the same stock gearing choices available that I run single, 18 or 20, makes for a super ez switch from geared to single to fixed:

And it uses a centerlock disc mount. Since I have no experience with internal geared hubs, and since Shitmano doesn't exactly rate the Alfine for mtn bike duty, a back up plan is in order.

Pictured is an 18t and it just clears the hump from the pinch bolt, but looks like the ID of the cog needs opened up a smidge. Bit of time w/ the Dremel or a decent round file will take care of that. I think this plan is a go, 95%. Still need to check out the chainline, been reading blurbs here and there that it isn't a direct match to the drive side of the Alfine. But even if it's off by a chain width, ~6mm, should be good enough to at least let me pedal out of the woods and make it home should the IGH eat itself...time will tell.


playing with the scale

new bits have arrived.

old MSR Pocket Rocket w/ small ISO canister: 10.1oz

new windshield w/ Esbit 'stove' & (3) cubes: 6.0oz
w/ alcohol stove (dry): 5.3 oz

full cook kit w/ Ti kettle, 12oz.

old bivy in stuff sac: 16.9oz

new shelter w/pole & stakes: 18.2oz.
w/ ground cloth: 22.6oz.

gained 5.7oz w/ the shelter, dropped 4ish w/ the stove.

Added 2oz to the load, but should now be
somewhat comfy if stuck in actual weather.
I'll take it.

also losing 25ish ozs by eliminating the rack.
the mock up load on the bike the other night
w/ the new bags showed low/mid 30's on the
moderately accurate bathrrom scale. no water
or ride food, but a pretty realistic thrown together
tour kit, all the big pieces were in there..

Alfine hub is expecting to add 3lbs over the single,
which will pretty much put my rolling weight right
back around 35ish...but with less hiking, more
pedaling. Shakedowns being pondered, but first,
gotta toe the line one more time.

wonder if the fire really is out?

big ride

Tour Divide Part 1 from jmeiser on Vimeo.




thanks Eric.


bits of kit in transit,
it's all in the system,
somewhere. Will have a
decision to make later
in the week, see what
sort of sensations the
legs produce...yesterday
was a pleasant surprise.




so there's the final race of the year
next wknd. got correspondence
that my touring bags are on the way.
rest of the fresh gear (stove, tent)
should also arrive next week.

so, do I throw down for another
mediocre race performance?
or get out and shake it down?
or combine the two....anybody
wanna drive me home from
Teaberry next wknd?


why I get so quiet.

while pedaling,
it's not suffering,
it's meditation.


this one goes to 11

a classique bit from the eMpTyBeeR forums:

The Ten Phases of Singlespeeding

1. Build your first singlespeed -- inspired by others riding SS, you either convert an old bike or buy an entry level SS to get the flavor.. Ride it, bitch about how hard it is getting up the hills, think about where to ride next. Lather, rinse and repeat...

2. Upgrade madness -- the weight weenie / blinglespeed side takes over and you suddenly develop a need to upgrade. A combination of an empty bank account, an upset significant other or a weight weenie part failure ensues. You have parts shipped to work, so the wife won't see the bike parts you ordered. You start looking for ideas (like the MTBR SS forum) to further your obsession of the perfect SS.

3. Gear ratios - your brain becomes obsessed with determining the optimum gear ratio for the upcoming race or given terrain. You temporarily lose focus on just riding and being one with your bike. Your library of forks, chain rings and cogs/cassettes starts to rival the selection at Supergo or Webcyclery.

4. Realization - the entry level SS no longer is good enough. You convince yourself you need a better bike -- custom, SS specific, whatever..

5. Purism - you realize that you're almost exclusively riding your SS. Your other bikes are collecting dust. Under your breath, you sometimes mock others riding gears and work your butt off to one-up them. You use your SS as a tool to brag or as an excuse / handicap (I geared too stiff for the course...) Start hating RockShox and Shimano just on principle, and start thinking rigid forks and DH tires are the better setup.

6. Laziness - you go out and upgrade to a "proper" SS. Now that you it, the upgrade and gear ratio obsessions are fulfilled. You get lazy, and start trashing your bike without taking care of it. You forget about checking tire pressures, chain tension, broken teeth and don't even consider about the consequences. A wonderful delusion, until the bike leaves you stranded 5 miles from your car, and your cell phone has no signal deep in the woods...

7. Heresy - ride your SS so much, that when you ride your geared bike, you miss your SS. You take it one step further and actually sell off the geared bike(s) that you previously couldn't live without.

8. Fight club - start putting beer in your water bottles, grow some unusual facial hair (for the men), dress like a freak, and acquire the attitude that you don't give a shit about racing or beating the gearies. Riding a pink colored bike frame or wearing orange socks with your Birkenstocks to a bar after the ride doesn't even click to you as being strange.

9 (optional) Scorching - as if SS'ing isn't fringe enough, start thinking http://www.63xc.com is an interesting alternative. Give it a go, maybe even get hooked.

10. Approach martyrdom - actually leave the clique by riding so much that few buddies can keep up with you. You become one with your bike. You simultaneously learn a level of humbleness and let your results speak for themselves

check,meh,sorta,check,check (w/o the hate),
check,check,check,check, half-check
(there's that humbleness thing)

so what's next?
this thing has to go to 11.

The hundie gave me fresh perspective for the effort.
It was tough, sub-ten to get around that loop was
more of an effort than I recalled or anticipated.
Lot's of experience relied upon, patience to work thru
the typical 2-3hr slum. Then crash thru into the quiet
place and stay there. Not the cakewalk I'd hoped for,
and not the type of effort I'm looking to experience
again for a while. Well, physically, yeah, I'll go there
again, no denying that. But I think the inspirations
will be different, find better answers for "why?"
Time to play another game, where minutes and
seconds aren't determining factors.

Where the challenge is due as much
to raw discovery as it is to getting
from A to B as quick as you can.

Bit of a refocus on the horizon, it's
just a natural progression, at least
from where I'm pedaling..


'tis the season

and I love it.

another fine gathering of the clan.
celebrating bike passion induced
suffering and glee. how is it that
we find so much joy in so much
self inflection?

five twenty mile rides, that's all it is.
break it down into chewable pieces.
no real 'goals' for this one, other than
finish in a respectable sub-10. Figured
that if the legs showed up, would take
advantage for sure. otherwise, steady
gun flow it and try to enjoy the day.

The start is hectic douchebag gap squeezers
until we get across the bridge. Really people,
chill the fuck out, the sun's not even up. Warm
up tempo spinnin' along the tarmac, definitely
not hamster wheel chasin' like Dicky and the
contenders, zoom zoom zoom the clusters go
by. Up the early rollers w/ Bucky, then separation
when I get stuck behind a group of less skilled
cornering types. It's just sand....effin' roadies.

Narrowback was crowded, but not too bad.
Felt comfortable at speed in the dryness,
steering, not carving, making good time.
Spy Buck on Tillman, the unexpanded gap
is reassuring, then I get dropped directly
while eating and drinking along the gravel
to the Lynn hike up. Get into a decent group
for the vertical assault, retake some places
lost on the road, and reel in a few more
bombing down Wolf. Try to rebend a loose
grasping bottle cage, snap the 6yr old relic,
shit. Headset double check in the pines,
then sit and spin and relax along the road to #2.
2:45-3ish and departing the cp after a cage
swap w/ Hoy. thanks man!

Dr Evil droppped me on the road in, Pedro
caught me, but doesn't sound super fresh
after being bitten by a horsefly. I'm itching
to keep the steady flow rolling, so back to it
and on to Dowell's, the next carrot. The climb,
plugged in some music and went to work, let
the breathing take over. The down, stayed on
it over the summity knob, kept the focus and
took full advantage of a clear path. r.i.p.p.i.n.g.
Until running up against a paceline of five
that are not quite rolling at my pace. We're near
the bottom, sit in and relax for a bit.

CP3, splash n go bottle fill, slummy ride up 250
to Mtn House. Sure wish it had more pitch, always
undergeared for that section and always take a sit
down break along the shoulder. Get the head
straight, enjoy some baked goods. The climb out
of Ramsey's gets off to an ominous start, right cleat
suddenly won't release, shit. Sit down off trail and
dick around with it. Bolts still tight, looks ok, pedal
is ok, it's just getting old I guess. Keep that in mind
and work to ration the dismounts. Shrug off the
wasted time and settle in for the 20minute effort to
the top of Braley's. Reach the rollover, then rock n roll
time. Amazed at the amount of carnage along the
downhill run. Saw two down in the shrubbery, at
least two others picking themselves up after errant
tree ricochets. Ring the bell and keep a clear sightline,
excusssee me.

Hoot n hollerin' good time by the bottom, try to stay
on it. Fearing the ganked cleat, skip the traditional
recovery steps that are sometimes hiked on those
short rollers right before rolling into 4. Pedal 'em all,
and surprised by somewhat decent sensations from
the legs, hmmm.

Qwik splash n go thru 4, out onto the road, chit
chat w/ J. Potts for a bit, then plug in 2hrs of live
Radiohead for the purported 'Death Climb.' Don't
know where that name comes from, I usually have
a decent enough time pedaling up it, must be the
various handups I've received over the years.
Thanks to the film crew for the Coors refresher!
The handful of fellas I departed the aide with drop
me on the false flat prelude, theme for the day, but
stay within sight. Once it tilts in my favor, time to
munch carrots like Bugs Bunny. Retreat deep into
my quiet place, and yes the quiet place is quiet.
Me, my rythmns and moving forward, conversation
is valuable breath, I don't mean to be rude, gotta
keep moving forward.

Reluctantly stop at five for a qwik bottle fill, didn't
wanna stop at all, but better safe than sorry, and only
unclipped one foot, it was a pretty snappy pit stop.
Beat it out of there and luckily had no hangers on,
back into the carrot patch. Munch, Munch, munch.
Finally catch another one speeder, Mr Chad from
Ball'moore, he's feeling. slummy. Grunted pleasantries
and it's quiet again. Huffing and puffing and rubber
on dirt, just pedal. Also make contact with Dr Evil
once more, hope he can latch on, but not really
waiting though. steady. gunnin'.

Top of Chestnut, wanted to see 8:00 on the moving
clock, based on time of day, it looks like I have 30
minutes of stoppage time so far..shooting for 8 gives
me and hour thirty to finsih this thing, that's managable.
Hit the final clearing, clock reads high 7:40's, cool. Rip
down Chestnut w/ self preservation in mind, then blast
by the final aide, get dropped by Dr Evil on the road to
Hanky and then gearing selections reverse the roles,
hope he can hold on up the last pitch. Settle in for one
more effort and get lost in the pedals. Get caught and
dropped by some Fisher ss dude, slightly demoralizing
but no need to answer, racing demons by this point.
Up over Hanky, and one more superfuntime downhill
ripper into the campground to punch the clock.

9:40ish according to the results sheet, 25th singlespeed.
25th? Sub ten is now only good for 25th singlespeed?
I remember my first sub ten being good for a top 40
overall at this race....times they are a changing.


thinkin', tinkerin'

finally, that last tour is mostly soaked up by the weary bones. the blowed up achilles thing wasn't tooo bad. gimped around on it for a few, then finally turned some road bike pedals on Saturday. Mild tenderness, but felt better in the evening, improved in the morning and was fine for mixing it up in the cupcake batter on Sunday. Good to ride w/ ya Buddy! Too bad for Elk, having to ride Thorpe instead...

So, w/ the big party approaching, I actually rode the road bike some more this week, can you spell s-l-u-g-g-i-s-h-? Yeah, funny to see my name in print for the S&M100 race brief. If Chris only knew...or maybe he does know. Maybe the 13-18-13.5hr tour set me up for something big? Maybe a light spin tonight after the bike tune and chainring work w/ show me something other than blah...or maybe I really am done for the year w/ regards to clock challenging efforts.

And with an eye to the future, and big(ger) routes on my mind (mwuhuhuhaaahhh, who needs to go out West?) I started refining the tour gear in my mind, kicking around some thoughts..first, shelter. To date I've been very lucky and have not had to withstand anything other than an infrequent windblown pitterpat while in the bivy sack. I have somehow managed to avoid being stuck in camp when the weather blows in. On the last TuscTour, boogying home directly meant I was sitting in the Pub instead of on some rock in Michaux when that gnarly gully washer blew in at about the time I'd be making camp. And during the recent HiT, that Monday night shower I rolled thru on the SMT woulda been fucking miserable to be stuck in if bedded down...so, today I ordered one of these:

With the pole and stakes, 17ish oz, tyvek ground sheet is 4-5oz, actual shelter at <1.5lb. So, gain a few oz's, decide to try and trim some elsewhere, look at the cook kit. That fuel canister, clunky, wasteful. Chad showed me his alcohol kit at the 101, pretty neat, compact, light, simple. I went hi brow and ordered this unit, custom tuned to my current Ti kettle.

Added in the Ti Esbit stand, what the hell, may as well tinker with that too. Curious how it'll pack into the soft bags though. So, eliminate the weight of the raw fuel canister, 3-4oz, lighten the stove unit itself, an ounce or so, fuel remains the same, guessin' it'll probably be a wash in the overall vs the gain from the enhanced shelter. Which is good, especially when I've got one of these bouncing around my head as an option.

That'll add 3ish lbs over my current WI hub/FW setup, but I'll be losing the weight of the rear rack, hmmm. The internal will allow me to keep that tight, quiet, direct, reliable chainline of the single, but will mean much less hiking of the loaded sled on those bits that go just that extra pitch. That pitch which is rollable on the tarmac, but mix in the trail clutter and a 13ish lb load and you just can't quite keep that gear turning. Might help prevent gimping myself on day three...add on a six bolt adapter to the centerlock disc, throw a 19t cog in the pack and there's your way home if the internals can't handle it. Going w/ a rear der setup adds about a pound-pound and a halfish and that nagging feeling that you're this close to ripping that fucker off when it gets rocky gnar tight or 'shwacky. And the noise, the chainslap and clackity clunkss, bleh. The bike is already loaded, so not too concerned about it affecting the balance of the ride. Sounds like I just need to pull the trigger...

Wonder if this'll all come together in time for a fall tour?
Bag delivery vs open wknds is the equation....