Monday, September 29, 2014

Last big ride before snow & rain

Tidied up some Friday type work stuff and then rode away at 5pm, pushed hard till 11:30pm.  Set the alarm for 4:30 in anticipation of a TDR type day/effort. Rode steady all of 2nd day and camped up at 10:30. Slept in till dawn and rolled home around 9am

So--my last big ride of the year went something like this:
Warm to cool to cold.   Sun and blue blue sky to mountains against fading silver horizons to a sliver of moon and black all-around with bright stars.  Elk bugling in the distant dark.  Sunrise creeping up on me along a remote, lonely dirt road. 

Colorful balloons breaking free in the crisp morning air.
Strangers at resupply points telling me what a perfect day for a ride, wishing they were out with me.  Huge flock of wild turkeys scampering out of my path. 
Softly who hooting owls and shiny scary eyes in the dark sharing my camp.

  Frosty breath, crunchy yellow leaves and crackling ice in some puddles.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Moving Forward

Dropping out itself doesn’t bother me per say, it was the right call given the circumstances. However not accomplishing my 2014 goals has been a huge and ongoing mental burden.  I have lost most of my interest in what other TDR racers did in 2014 and what 2015 racers are currently doing to preparer.  (I did finally find the time to read through the 2014 race thread and sort of get caught up on our little ultra-race world.  Quite interesting to read TDR's Matthew Lee finally come clean on all the behind the scenes crap he has had to deal with over the years.  Mat's one of the few multi-day guys who almost always gets it right....he truly has found some balance in the wacko underground race world we all thrive in...... )
Anyway, rest assured I am working along at a low, simmering boil preparing for 2015.  Pacing my training and bike/gear prep efforts and obsessions so as not to burn out, yet do all I can to meet my 2015 goals………..

As soon as I scratched, literally the next day, I was planning my re-do. And before the dust had fully settled I decided I needed to consider a new frame.  My Ti Carver frame is close to perfect but when I ordered it back in 2009 I spec’ed it with a BB30 BB.  Well the non-MTB style BB30 design finally caught up with me in 2014.  The BB deep water crossings on day 2 washed out all the bearing grease and by Helena the bearings were trashed, by Wise River the crank was toast.

The solution you ask?  Well nothing is guaranteed during a TDR.  But for 2015 I will be rocking a Carbon 29er Scott Scale HT with a wide & stiff BB92 bottom bracket with a press fit Sram GXP.  Is this the best, most reliable BB combo?  Heck I don’t know but it’s got to be better than the BB30 set up.  I don’t plan on doing any submarine rides to test its reliability but I can attest to its stiffness.  During ‘stand & pound the pedals’ climbing the carbon Scott frame with its BB92 seems much stiffer and more efficient.  I can also attest to how flattened seat stays smooth out the washboards and small rocks.  Like butter on a biscuit …….

I have not decided on a rear wheel/hub combo just yet.  I was extremely disappointed in my 240 DT Swiss bearing failure. I suspect it was the new/rebuild bearings more than the hub. Still thinking about it but leaning towards a light carbon rim with DT style hub internals--

So, sense I am spending all that money on a new frame/build I guess its time to happily play that bike racer's favorite "weight weenie game". 
It’s been years sense I truly played the weight weenie game but what the heck, why not….when finished I anticipate a sub 20 lbs naked bike and a sub 30 lb TDR ride.

Will the lighter weight approach solve all my 2014 “issues”?  Ha, not hardly, but losing about 10-14 lbs in bike and body weight should help alleviate a bit of stress and effort.  And besides, I really need the mental distraction………………..