Sunday, January 31, 2010

MMBA Expo

Today marks the second expo that has taken place since I joined the team and consequently, the MMBA. I will admit, I boycotted last year due to the change in location and I what I felt was going to be too lengthy of a drive from the Detroit Metro area to Lansing. Well, I'll be the first to admit, my decision not to attend last year was a mistake. I made the trip out this year with teammate Lee with three children in tow. Given I now commute nearly an hour one way to work, the drive flew by and before you knew it, we were unloading my son's BMX and I was hollering at him to watch for cars and people as he rode it through the parking lot and most of the building. Once you got over the smell of manure in the MSU pavilion, there was really nothing bad to say about the venue. We hung out for awhile at the Beat the Train table and watched Andy spread the BTT message of bicycle happiness on early Saturday mornings in the D. Not, to mention I think my children were some of the biggest fans of his wife's chips and salsa he kindly provided at his table. Conveniently, the Big Kahuna cycling team was providing fruit punch at the table next door so, the kids were in snack heaven. But, BTT, chips and salsa and fruit punch were just the appetizers in the full course meal the expo provided. The deals at the vendors were fantastic. I am pretty sure, I didn't see an article of clothing for less than 50% off. There were a great selection of bikes. To top it off, I got to do some undercover, stealth recon on the KLM employees at their booth. As I was when I met Ryan in the Rochester store, I was impressed with how friendly and eager they were to help me out with any questions I had or any other help I required. I tried my best to refrain from cracking open my wallet and going on a bender of bicycle parts and attire purchases at the KLM booth. However, I couldn't pass up a smoking deal on some riding shorts for the wife. I am not sure if the discount was due to lack of material. But, I wasn't asking too many questions. At 70% they were mine. The famed silent action was also ripe with a great potential purchases. After the mayhem of the Iceman registration last year, I couldn't resist putting in a bid in on an Iceman entry and noticed another teammate had already employed the same strategy and went for the small jersey/entry combo instead of the obviously more popular, large. And no, I didn't outbid my teammate. There were two small/entry combos. Figured it was was a worth a shot. Given we had the kids, we didn't have a chance to attend the guest speakers presentations. I am sure they were great but, the kids would have been too stir crazy fueled by sugar and salsa. So, what could possibly make this event any better? Well, besides Hooters girls and free samples from local micro-brewers? An indoor pump track. Given it's put up again, the pump track will be the deciding factor of me debating or without doubt, returning next year. My son had an absolute riot out there today. He started off barely being able to ride over one mound but, by the end of the day, he was riding all of the sections and even the second largest mound/jump. There were even a little tears when it was time to head home and his second session of the day on the track had to come to a close. I was proud dad to see him leave with some sweat in his hair, dirt on his knees and elbows, new scuffs and scratches on his bike, a little blood and a smile from ear to ear. A quick stop at McDonalds on the way home, celebrating my grandfather's 80th birthday and movie night on the couch with the wife and that's a wrap for the day. I am going to chaulk this one up as a good one.

Future Pump Track Legend...



Thursday, January 14, 2010

KLM Bike and Fitness

We would like to welcome KLM Bike and Fitness as our newest sponsor for 2010. We are very exited for a great year of racing. Go stop by and check out their two great stores!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Screwing Up the Right Way

I just read a fascinating article about problem-solving by screwing up the right way. The gist of the article-- don't just throw out the failure by hitting the delete button. Study the failure and seek outside help to understand the lesson or knowledge developed by the failure. In cycling, we all have problems that need solutions: equipment glitches, physical ailments, poor planning, the unfortunate consumption of low quality beer. Solve them and create an intellectual knowledge base for solving other problems by learning from your failures.

Read more at Wired: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/12/fail_accept_defeat/all/1

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

MRP 1.X Chain Guide

I have taken the leap to 1x9 for the 2010 race season. I have chosen to not only take advantage of the simplicity of less shifting, but also about a 3/4lbs weight savings.

The parts I have chosen to complete my project came from MRP located in Grand Junction, CO. I'm using the 1.X Chain Guide and 36T Podium Chainring.

The MRP 1.x Guide, 36T Podium Chainring, and track bolts came in at 126g. The front shifter, derailleur, cable, triple chainrings, removed chain links and bolts weighed 473g. This change made a net change of 347g or 3/4lbs.


With all the parts installed My Specialized Epic tips the scale at 23lbs 12oz as pictured. I can't wait to get it out and begin the transition to a 1x9 drivetrain.