Friday, February 03, 2017

Friday News And Views

Lance Armstrong- Image courtesy of J Maus.
So, It Wasn't Such A Big Deal Afterall:

Back on January 20th, in a "Friday News And Views", I mentioned that Lance Armstrong and some former USPS cronies of his were going to participate in a mountain biking event. But what do you know? Lance actually has already raced his bicycle in January.

Yep. He did that which throngs wished he never would do again, if you believed "what they said" back then. Of course, Lance is "banned" from any "sanctioned" (by USAC or UCI) events, but that doesn't mean he will, or would, never race or ride again. Of course it didn't. But you'd have never known that from all the calls for his demise back six or seven years ago. I think it is rather telling that the most popular post ever on "Red Kite Prayer" is a post written about the damage Lance did to cycling which was put up four years ago. Four years ago and nothing has engendered a bigger response than that? Mostly negative too.

So, anyway, Lance came in second overall at the Red River Riot Texas Chain Ring Massacre (Thanks to the commenters who corrected me on this) gravel race in Texas a week ago. 

Funny, the netherworld did not suffer a catastrophic plunge in temperature. The World spins on......

That's me climbing a MMR at Odin's Revenge: Image by Scott Redd
 Looking To Fill A Hole:

As has been lamented here before, Odin's Revenge is no more. So, my June/early July riding calender now has a big hole in it. I have nothing organized to challenge myself with during that time period.

Of course, I can come up with something on my own, but it isn't like I don't already have enough things going on to organize as it is. No, I need to let someone else do "the cooking", as it were, and I'll just show up to eat it.

So, I've been looking here at some events and I am seeing a few interesting things. There is this, and then this, and finally this. Or maybe none of those and I go somewhere to visit/ride. I don't know, but after supporting riding at two big events I'll be wanting to actually ride in one by then. We will see what shakes out.

There was some scuttlebutt around which made it sound as though some folks wanted to just head out that way to Nebraska and ride the roads of Odin's. That would be fun, but maybe a better time would be in the Fall when the dang Sun wasn't so in to cooking riders into human jerky.

Fenders remain, bar tape does not.

Bringing It Up To (11) Speed:

Part of my challenge with regard to my bicycles is bringing the fleet up to date in terms of drive train parts. No......not Di2 "up to date", but at least 11 speed stuff.

I've got two of my three main gravel going rigs running 11 speed stuff now and the third is still 9 speed! The Black Mountain Cycles rig needs an upgrade. So, I happen to have the shifters already. They were purchased last year when I was surfing the net for pricing on some other bits and I came across the 11 speed bar end shifters from Shimano.

The good news is that these shifters should mount directly to my current Gevenalle mounts on my BMC. The unknown is whether or not I will need to get new derailleurs or if I can fudge it with the current stuff I have. I think I already know what the answer will be, but as a bicycle mechanic, I must try it anyway. You see, there are things bicycle mechanics can do that not everyone else can do. Let me give you an example.....

I used to run old road bike aero levers with Avid BB-2 mountain bike disc brakes. You know that this is an incompatible pairing, if you are into techy stuff and bicycle parts. Well, there is a way you can make it work anyway, and I did. It was my go-to set up on my Karate Monkey with drop bars for years. Never could not stop. Always worked. But, you know, you are not supposed to do that. 

I have pulled off other, "you aren't supposed to do that" things in the past as well. Things you'd never do to other folk's bicycles, not in a million years. But you try it as a bicycle mechanic on your own stuff, just to see if you can make it work. Sometimes, like with the Karate Monkey, it works, and sometimes it doesn't. But that is how you learn.

That's all for this week. Stay warm and get outside!


steve said...

Actually, Lance raced in the Texas Chainring Massacre,also put on by Spinistry. The RRR is in April, I believe.

Mike said...

Hey, good morning. I enjoy your blog. Keep it up please. The race was Texas Chainring Massacre, not the Red River Riot. Take care. - Mike

Unknown said...

I still run everything 9 speed. I have non-indexed shifters on my bikes so I assume I could use them with the new stuff but I don't even use all of the gears in 9 speed why would I want more? Also you can get quality 9 speed parts cheap.

Phillip Cowan said...

Has anyone ever done a serious comparison of the durability of old skool 7/8 speed drive trains vs 11 speed? I'm certainly no expert but the machinist in me is somewhat dubious. If you're continuously making things thinner and thinner it's hard to see how durability can improve, at least not without a major advance in metallurgy. I suppose the gear race won't end until they have 30 speed blocks with sprockets as thin as razor blades. I'm building a bike now. It will probably be 9 speed, only because I want to use Gevenalle shifters and 9 speed is the lowest they offer in an indexed shifter. 7 speed was enough, 9speed is an embarrassment of riches, 11 speed is just ludicrous.

Guitar Ted said...

@phillip Cowan- Hmm..... I have many thoughts regarding this comment of yours and this comment section is too small to hold them all. Look for a post Monday.... Thanks!