Thursday, October 23, 2008

Vietnam - Rip it up Stir it Up

Spent another afternoon in Vietnam down in Milford, MA trying to figure out how to hurl my body and my bike off of high up objects. I tell myself that the fact that no one else is around is the reason why I can't huck my bike incredibly well, that if I wreck myself no one will be there to call the medics. The truth is I have the testicles of a Thai BumbleBee Bat. The things I do scare me, and for now that's good enough.

Got a terribly late start to the day. Saw Billy Bragg at The Somerville Theater last night. He talked more than he sang and did what he could to persuade a bunch of thirty plus, educated people who were already going to vote for Obama for Obama. He was incredibly funny while he was doing it though and the songs he did sing were great. He also talked about what an amazing band the clash was...a lot. He did persuade me to load my ipod with nothing but The Clash for the drive down to Milford. Hence the title of this post.

With all the ledges, man made stunts, and crazy curvy singletrack sometimes it's hard to notice how beautiful a place this is. When you get a flat, take a look around. I converted my non-UST Nevegals to tubeless using the Bontrager rim strips and valves. The conversion took well but I managed to puncture my rear catastrophically, the Stan's sealant fought valiantly to close it up but I ultimately had to stop and throw a tube in.

Just as I left the woods, it was getting cold and dark, and I was hungry as hell, the rear went flat again. Ghandi would have had a screaming hissy fit.

I've started playing with the travel adjust. It helps to dial it down for steep, technical uphills. It actually lowers the front end and shifts your center of gravity, keeping the front wheel on the ground. The suspension is getting more dialed and the bike flows like water.

Why Camelbag do you use these silly things to hold the sternum strap on? They kinda blow. They fall off and they can be hard to get back on. There has to be an alternative that doesn't suck so much.

So it turns out that the 32 Special from e.13 was not the ideal chain guide/bash guard combo for my bike, but it is the ideal device for my needs. I want to run a small, single chain ring with a serious bash guard. They recommend the LG 1 or the SRS. The LG 1 has a small, partial bash guard and the SRS has a bash guard for a 40t chainring. Those wouldn't work for me. I told the 32 Special to "Shut up and do what I tell you to do!". Thanks again Jens Voigt. You provide me with indispensable guidance and advice.

It actually works great, no chain drop issues whatsoever.

I heeded NEMBA's request to park down the road and enter via the railroad bed. Back before this place got so popular we would always enter at the power lines and park either on the side of the road or the small office park near the entrance. Too bad NEMBA had to buy the place and make all the trails so freakin' sweet.

Sometimes I adjust my photos in Photoshop, this is not one of them. This is what I saw with my naked eye.

1 comment:

Frenchy aka Bike Boy said...

Loved the title: God bless Billy Bragg for prompting you to load the ipod up with the only band that matters.

Billy and Joe Strummer were cut from the same stone: humans beings first and foremost.
It does me good to know he is preaching the gospel of the Clash: a band that has been my personal soundtrack through good and bad.

Do you have any Joe Strummer and the Mescalleros on your iPod?

I saw Billy play in Boston in the late 80's...I dont think I appreciated it as much as if I had seen him today.