Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spring is here...


It's been awhile since I've posted something, but it's obvious, at least on this side of the country, Spring is here. That being said, everything is growing very tall and now I'm hyper aware of ticks and rattlers in the bush.

Anyhow, the local trails are covered in poppies and the weekend warriors are making their pilgrimages to Santa Teresa County Park.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Simplify

No pics in this post, but I'll get some up soon as they come.

I've had to dig a little deep recently and bare down on getting back to simplifying my life. In the past six months, I've sold 7 bikes and 2 motorcycle. The motorcycle sales is what really was strange since this is the first time in over ten years that I haven't had at least one motorized two wheeler in my garage.

Currently I am down to my Surly Pacer, Felt "El Guapo" Beach Cruiser, Pake C'Mute, On One Inbred, Unbranded urban bike and my grocery getter. That's 5 more bikes than many people have, but I feel this is a good place for me to be. The garage looks very empty, but it is cathartic to not have so many bikes stuffed in my garage.

Priorities have shifted for me and I'm trying to eliminate some of my liabilities - including hoarding more than a dozen bicycles, half of which I barely ride.

I probably won't be building any more bikes for a long time, so my reviews of products are going to shift from "first impressions" to "long term reviews" - which most are probably interested in anyway.

So, here on begins a new path and a lot less stuff. Feels good.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A few CX pics from this week...

More emphasis on the 'cross bike getting ready for the big events coming up. Enjoy.

At the top of Stile Ranch Trail... going up the rockiest way possible.

Looking at the trail on the other side; different day.

On Mine Trail, Santa Teresa Side of Bernal Rd.

High up above Lego Land.

Sierra Rd.; San Jose, Ca. with some Bike Party Folks

You know I'm always down for a good climb, so when I heard about this ride I thought I might as well join in. I've been mountain biking so much lately and I realize that if I don't get a few road rides in before the big charity rides we do every year, I'm going to regret not training. Part of my problem is that I'm deathly afraid of road riding because of cars, but when I'm in a group I feel a lot safer. What better way to see how bad of shape I've become over the winter than to get up Sierra?

Of course, I employed my trusty 1X8 Pake C'Mute, completely caked in mud from the trails. ☺ The climb was not as bad as I thought it was going to be. This was my first time climbing it, but since I've tackled so many difficult climbs before, I knew I would be able to do it. Every time I'm in the Berryessa area, I take a gander at Sierra Rd., see that initial wall, and ponder: I wonder how bad that is...

Well, I got up without a hitch. I did stop for a sec to check out the view and get some water for about a minute, and onward and upward I continued. I was one of the first ones at the top.

I have to hand it to all the folks that tackled this climb: it isn't for beginners. I was especially jazzed to see the array of bicycle types there were: road, touring, mountain bikes, old, new, and in-the-middle bikes. Today was proof that you don't need a $5,000 bike to accomplish something awesome. Good people, good climb. What more can you ask for?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Ordered a tire for $4.99

Yup.

$4.99 - that's the tire, tax and shipping... not on sale.

Universal Cycles is my go to place for online purchases, and by creating an account, I became a "VIP" member. If you review any products you've bought from them, you get $1 credit toward any future products you buy. Sooooo... I managed to build up $18 of credits, while the tire originally cost $20 (Ritchey Speedmax Cross 700X40).

With the tire only costing $2 at this point, Universal Cycles offered $2.99 shipping, with the grand total being $4.99.

Yes, I had to spend a lot of money to buy the products, review them, then get the credits - but in a time when work is a little slow, I am using any and every means necessary to get a much needed part at the lowest cost.

Universal also does 30 second price matching, so I search Amazon.com for a lower price and take advantage of a-dollar-here-a-dollar-there type savings.

Like I always say, I do not get paid for these types endorsements (shoot, I wish somebody would pay attention to my good words and KICK DOWN!), but if I can help another cyclist save money in this piss poor economy - why not?

Always support your local bike shop if you can, but if you're an online shopper - there's great deals to be had.