Haven't been out for a bike ride besides commuting (although I've been driving to work a few days also) or running errands for 5 weeks now.  I went out for a ride, thought the deadness in my legs would come around, they didn't - 27 miles of just horribleness.  There was also some feeling of blah being on the bike also, so I stopped riding my longer distances, and started running more earnestly.

Been trying to run 5 or so days a week, sometimes less, but being smart about it, taking a few days off here and there, not running too fast or trying to bump up my miles too quickly,  and running mostly on unpaved surfaces.  Been doing the "minimalist" or "barefoot" style of running - like here or here.  Its been working for me - a little sore but nothing horrible - and except for my pulled butt muscle from a night at the karate studio - no injuries.  The barefoot running style is working for me, I'm not going to preach to anyone (not that I would do that anyways), but I'll let others make their own decisions.

Here are my Minimus 10 Trail (MT10) shoes.  Have a bunch of miles on them - if I had to guess, about 200 miles or so.  They are working really well for me, looking at getting another pair of these for the trails, a pair for the roads and a pair of the Minimus 1010 Trails for more technical running on more aggressive trails - like mountain biking trails.  Why?

Here is a picture of the 6 miles I ran at the Royalview Mountain Bike trails.  Although the trail was in beautiful condition, some of the other trails in the area don't shed the water very well, or have some looser dirt that the MT10s won't handle very well.  Running here is just as much fun as riding here, just slower.

Also on the radar (aka shipping today) is my new Unshoes huarache style sandals.  I'll post about those when I get them and get some miles in on them.

Thats it for right now, more to come (and maybe some  bike content)....


neil armstrong

"I think we're going to the moon because it's in the nature of the human being to face challenges, it's by the nature of his deep inner soul ... We're required to do these things just as salmon swim upstream."

Growing up I was a huge space freak, I never met Neil Armstrong, but he was one person I think you could learn a lot about by sitting on the porch drinking tea saying nothing.  The world lost a great man yesterday, and a hero in every sense of the word.


mc changes

Been riding more than blogging.  Oh well, things aren't so exciting around here.  I'm up to 50 mile or so rides, but haven't ridden more than 10 miles at time in the last week or so.  Wife went back to work and my early in the morning rides have to be eliminated so she can go to work, should only be another couple of weeks and things will switch around again.

I ended up switching the crank on the mc, went back to the Bontrager (Sram) crank I was originally going to put on the bike.  Why?  Well I couldn't keep the damn left crank arm from backing off.  I did everything correctly, and I would have to tighten it up twice a week.  Maybe it was the cheap ass bottom bracket, maybe I was just missing something, don't know.  We'll see how this goes.

 Chainring mounted to the outside of the crank, lost the bashguard, but it shouldn't matter.

External bottom bracket, I haven't had any issues with these, including 6,000+ miles on the Hunter FixieMonsterCross.  Time will tell.

Perfect chainline.

The other main thing is that I got the repair kit off the back of the seat.  I went with the Tallac Design Behold cage.  Originally designed to go under a waterbottle cage on the down tube, I have an extra set of bottle cage bolts on the underside of the down tube, so there it is.

The bag slides out and holds everything but the pump.

Again, time will tell on how I like the design and placement.  It is low and out of the way, don't miss it under the seat, and except for how damp it gets after a rain, I don't see any issues on where it is at.  Unless I forget to check the zipper and that opens up and drops everything on the road.....

My goal is to get a century in this month (in celebration of my 41st birthday), but I don't know with my limited time frame, my body will be up to that.  A few overnighters are in the plans for September/October, with the possibility of a 3-4 day trip in late October - but that might get switched to a backpacking trip depending on the weather.

More someday hopefully soon....... 


introducing the mc

Cruddy pictures, but here it is.  The matt chester custom flared dropbar mixed surface fixed gear adventure bike.  Or the mcti.  All 22 pounds of her.  Been riding this a lot - commutes and morning rides around 25-30 miles in length.  Freakin' awesome.  By far my most fun, comfortable bike.  Well worth the wait.

Here are some highlights.

On-One Midges, definitely the bars for this bike.  I tried the Woodchippers, didn't like.  Still need to add some padding to the drops to make a little more comfy, but I think I have them dialed in pretty close to the position they need to be in.  The brake lever is the Cane Creek SCR-5C lever on the right and an Ergo Stoker on the left.  They are set up low on the bars for the right to be at a comfortable reach to brake, and the left for symmetry.  They also aid as another hand position on out of the saddle climbing.

 Steering duties are spun on a Chris King NoThreadSet, black with mango.  The purplish colored spacers are supposed to be black, but when they came in, I snagged them up.

Butt is taken care of by a Henge Comp saddle from Specialized.  Nice and supportive, keeps the nethers happy, especially because I don't wear cycling chamois.  Tool roll coming off in a few days when my new fixit carrying pouch comes in.

Custom built Hunter Cycles fork for the holding of the front wheel and brake.  Fork is built to be the same as a Salsa Cycles Casserole fork.  This allows me in an emergency use one of the Salsa forks, I have one in the road brake style and in the cantilever brake style.  Brake is a Paul Component Racer Medium.  It stops very well.

Front triangle with frame pump and water bottle cages.  The cages will probably be switched out when the new tool pouch comes.

Spinning the pedals and the chain, Sugino RD2 crank, 170mm with a 39t Surly ring and a BBG bashguard.  Chain is a Wipperman 8 speed model.  Always run 3/32" chains on my fixies, the last a good amount of time, are relatively cheap, and the masterlinks are easy to come by.

Rear track end with fender mount.  Phil Wood Track hubs laced 3 cross to DT Swiss RR465 rims.  Heavy, but durable, that is what I was looking for.

That's a fast overview of the bike.  More to come, maybe tomorrow or the next day with some more details and a longer ride report,


mc pic

Picture of the mc as of right now.  Have about 100 miles on it at the moment, rides nice.  Still trying to dial in the front of the bike, but I think I'm pretty close.  It does need a new saddle, have one on order, I'll update the whole package when it is on the bike.

More to come......


mc update

 So, I finally am getting my matt chester frame!  Super excited.  Here are some posts of the parts that are going on the bike:

Posts 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9

And a little bit of backround:

pt 1   2

Pictures of the frame can be found on matt's website - his will probably be nicer than mine will be, and all artistic in black & white. 

Pics of the frame when it gets here and of the build!


more mc parts

So, the other day, I showed pictures of my new crank, and mentioned that I had gotten some other parts.  Here they are.

Really freakin' exciting, a box of  cotton bar tape. I've always liked how it felt under my hands, going to try to pad them a little more, and probably shellac them Rivendell style.  I like the way white bar tape looks next to a titanium frame, kind of like on a Moots.

 Tools got a new Burrito Wrap.  A nice minty green color.

An orange Salsa Lip Lock seatpost collar.  Matches the top bearing cover of my Chris King headset.  

And lastly for this post, I have finally decided on the frame pump for the bike.  As you can see from this picture

there is a pump peg on the head tube.  I decided to go with a Topeak Road Master Blaster frame pump.  Durable, good looking, and best of all, it works.

That's it for right now, next installment of this thread will put into play a second handlebar, and a pair of backup forks.  And maybe some knobbies..... 


new parts for the mc

While I've been waiting for the matt chester to come, I've re-thought a few of the parts for the frame.  Biggest being the crank.  Originally, I was going to run this crank from Bontrager (Sram/TruVativ).  But I've decided to go a little more old school -

a Sugino RD2 road crank, obviously in black, 170mm in length.  Why?  Because I constantly was re-thinking my choice in an outboard bearing bottom bracket and crank system.  Don't get me wrong, outboard bearings are nice, they are easy to install, last a decently long time, and are stiff.  But a square taper bottom bracket lasts longer, been around forever, and here is the big thing - they come in more sizes so I can fine tune the chain line.  The mc is a roadish style bike, and the companies that make the cranks only have one spindle length.  If I made a mountain bike style bike (like the FixieMonsterCross), then a Shimano style outboard bearing would have worked because you can adjust some frame spacers to get perfect chainline (I still need to replace the crank on that bike).  Once I figure out the correct bottom bracket spindle length, I can get one of these - Phil Wood Stainless Steel bottom brackets, and I can then fine tune it even more.

The BBG bashguard and Surly 39t chainring haven't changed, but I did switch to an 18 and 19 tooth Surly fixed cogs instead of the Phil's I had been planning on using.

Other new parts?  I'll have some pictures up later this week, but in case you haven't been following my twitter feed, here is a cool picture:

Yep, that's my frame, hopefully getting here in a day or two - more pictures to come....


ride 05/31

Rode:  Tradesman with D'Lite

Distance: 7.62 miles

Cool things:  My original plans to go on a long ride was derailed by the road/trail being shut down so the arborists could cut down some trees.  So, a little re-route and a change of plans ended up being a great morning with Josie.  Ended up at Beyers Pond, a series of little marshy areas with a larger pond in the Metroparks system.  It has a little less than one mile trail that weaves you through the woods and around the little ponds/marshes.  We were looking for what we could see, ended up hearing the croaking of some bullfrogs (although they jumped into the water when we got too close), the hammering of woodpeckers, and ended up sneaking close enough to a small pond to see some turtles.

 Song in my head:  None, just a great conversation with my wonderful daughter....


commute 05/30

Rode: Tradesman

Distance: 7.5 both ways

Cool things:  Another beautiful day.  Wish I didn't have to go to work.....

Song in my head: R.I.P. Doc


commute 05/28

Rode: Work to and the Tradesman home

Distance: 7.5 miles both ways

Cool things:  Not much, lots of people down in the park because they had off for Memorial Day.  Here is a picture of the tree that fell down into Rocky River last week, and got washed part way down the river from the rain storm on Friday.

Song in my head:


ride & commute 05/27

Rode: NadAle on morning mountain bike trip - NadAle to work,  Work home

Distance: 6 miles on the single track, 7.5 miles to and from work

Cool things:  Went out to Reagan Park out in Medina, sort of the closest thing to ride (for about 3 weeks then something new!).  The trails were nice and tacky, the rain we had for the last few days moistened it up.  A few deep mud puddles, and you can tell CAMBA did some work here over the winter - bunches of re-routes and some new stuff too. 

The commute was uneventful, had to ride sort of fast, was running late.  Didn't get any pictures, but here is one from yesterday.

Song in my head:


commute 05/26

Rode: Tradesman to and the NadAle home

Distance: 7.5 miles to and 12 mile home

Cool things:  Nice day.  Pictures tomorrow of the downed tree that got pushed down stream.

Song in my head:


commute 05/25

Rode: Tradesman

Distance:  7.5 miles both ways

Cool things:  Beautiful sunny ride in, warm - but with a little wind.  Running late as usual on Fridays, so had to hustle a little.  A tree right next to the Rocky River Nature Center broke off and fell into river.

The ride home was a little more eventful - no pictures because it was pouring down rain, with thunder and lightening most of the way home. I love to ride when its 80° and raining.


ride 05/24

Rode: Tradesman with the Burley

Distance: 11 miles

Cool things:  Rode to the playground the next city over, a city park owned by Olmsted Township.  The playground has a hill for sliding in the winter, and hill rolling the rest of the year.  From there, went down to the Metroparks and back home.  Here are some shots:

Getting tired

And our weekly father/daughter portrait

Song in my head:


commute 05/23

Rode: Tradesman

Distance:  7.5 to and from work

Cool things I saw:  On the way to work, a female hooded merganser swimming in the Rocky River.  Was cool to watch her preen herself in the river.  On the way home, clipped a woodchuck with my bike going down a hill.  Stayed upright, and the rodent ran off.  Here are some pictures from in between.

Song in my head:


commute 05/21

Rode:  Work to and the Tradesman home

Distance:  7.5 miles both ways

Cool things:

Song in my head: