Monday, August 16, 2010

Changing Gears

Sunday morning I changed my 16 tooth gear (left over from the Bloomer race) to something a little smaller in case I do the race at Maybury this weekend. The Surly gear did less damage to the aluminum cassette spline than my Chris King gear. I'm starting to dig Surly. My affection for Surly started when I saw they integrated a bottle opener into the single speed tug nut I bought earlier this season.

As if I needed another reason to dislike discs, I had to remove the rear caliper off my Inglis in order to slide the wheel back through the horizontal drop outs. No big deal yesterday but it would be very inconvenient if the rear flats during a race. And tires do flat no matter what set up you have. My front tube went flat yesterday as a matter of fact.

My Tomac came with Stans but somehow during its trip from Colorado to Michigan, the inside of the sidewalls bonded themselves together; I could not get them separated. I ended up cutting the new Kenda Karmas in half to get them off the rims, covering myself in this sticky Stans goo in the process. Are tubeless necessary? Really? I converted the wheelset back to tubes, yes, I know, I'm a Ludwig.

I don't give a lot of consideration to the type of tubes I use. I bought 20 Bontrager tubes this Spring, not that I thought Bontrager really had anything to do with them. My flat yesterday was caused by a broken valve stem. That was the third time I had a Bontrager valve stem rip. I'm expecting to have this problem 17 more times. I don't think Keith really knows what's going on down here. I don't think he really cares. I imagine he lost all concern for his good name when he sold it to Trek.

After I got the gear and brake and tube issues sorted out, I went to Maybury with Bill. It is kind of crazy trail to race on. The ground is hard like cement but with a thin layer of talc on top. It is a very tight, twisty, and flat course. The race next week won't be so much about one's ability to go fast but rather their willingness to. It is a time trial, probably because it's narrow single track with few places to pass. Every so often the course offers two or three sections of trail to choose from, this is where a lot of the passing will happen. One choice will be smooth, the other choices you just take the weight off the front wheel, go hard, and hope for the best. Hoping for the best is a fickle strategy. My strategy will be to go slow, wait for the other single speeders to break their collar bones, then carefully maneuver around them. This strategy is slightly more fickle than choosing the technical passing lanes but we go to the races with the skill sets we have, not the ones we want.

No comments:

Post a Comment