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Month: May 2013

First Stan’s Booger

After cleaning the drivetrain on the El Mariachi Ti I was poking around with the bike, and when spinning the front wheel on the workstand I could hear something tumbling around inside of the front tire. It didn’t throw the wheel off balance, but as it was likely a Stan’s booger I figured I should remove it. After deflating and popping the tire off the bead, the ~4cm coagulated clump of latex was easily removed from the tire.

Once the tire was popped back on the rim I was able to reseat it using a hand pump, which made it very easy to get the wheel back together. With another ounce of Stan’s Sealant added into the front wheel to replenish what was lost, all is back to normal, and now there’s no rattly-tumbly sound when the wheel spins.

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Dirty Cogs

The El Mariachi Ti only has 586 miles (32) hours on it in the month since I got it, but I figured it should get a little bit of drivetrain cleaning so I pulled the cassette and disassembled it. I find the heavy ridges of gunk which build up along the edge of where the chain can sit amusing, particularly how it starts with super-fine oil laden rouge-like grit at the outer edge and leading to corser sand towards the center.

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Danielle’s First Ride at Addison Oaks

For Memorial Day afternoon Danielle had her first ride on the mountain bike trails at Addison Oaks. This went really well and I’m extremely proud of her for getting out there. She did a full lap, then afterward Nick, Marty, Katie, and I headed out for another. Afterward we all headed to The Lakeville Inn at the intersection of Rochester and Lakeville roads for a bit of post-ride food and beer.

This has been a really great weekend. Now, time to shower then get some custard at Erma’s with Danielle and Joy.

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Home-Made Protein Bars

Earlier this year I asked Danielle if she’d come up with some manner of food / energy / protein bar for me to eat while doing longer bike rides. She took this Protein Bar recipe from Good Eats and adapted it to use things we had around the house, and they came out quite nice. I’ve eaten some of this stuff on all of the long rides I’ve done recently, and it seems to help quite a bit by getting some solid food in my stomach.

Once baked these have a nice, slightly fruity and peanut butter-y taste, and by cutting them, putting them in individual sandwich bags and freezing, it’s easy to take one out and thaw it before (or on the first part of) a longer ride. I’ve found that a large pizza cutter (rolling style) works very well for cutting these into individual pieces.

Here’s what goes into them — the adapted recipe:

  • 4 oz. Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 2 1/2 oz. Oat Bran
  • 3 1/4 oz. Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 11 oz. Dried Cranberries (Substitute other dried fruit as desired.)
  • 1 oz. Sweetened Coconut Flakes
  • 12.3 oz. Soft Silken Tofu (Typically one package.)
  • 1/2 cup Carrot Juice
  • 4 oz. Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs, Beaten
  • 170g Peanut Butter (Natural as possible, peanuts and salt only.)

To prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a 13″ x 9″ baking pan/dish with parchment and coat with oil.
  3. In a large bowl combine protein powder, oat bran, wheat flower, and salt. Whisk together.
  4. Coarsely chop the dried fruit. Set aside in a small bowl.
  5. In a third bowl, whisk the tofu until smooth, then add the carrot juice, brown sugar, eggs, and peanut butter and process until smooth. A stick blender can help with this.
  6. Slowly add the the protein powder mixture into the wet ingredients and stir to combine.
  7. Fold in the dried fruit and coconut flakes.
  8. Pour into pan and spread into an even layer.
  9. Bake for around 35 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 222°F.
  10. Remove from oven, cool completely, then cut into the desired number of pieces.

Nutritional info for the entire batch, for the original recipe, which should be close to the modified version:

Calories: 4008 kcal
Total Fat: 120 g
Saturated Fat: 24 g
Protein: 192 g
Total Carbohydrates: 552 g
Sugar: 336 g
Fiber: 72 g
Cholesterol: 432 mg
Sodium: 1896 mg

I typically cut this batch into around 12 pieces, resulting in ~334 kcal and around 16 g of protein per bar. Most of them go into the freezer in individual plastic bags, and then I just take one two on each longer ride.


Full Day at Poto

As Nick said, driving out to Potawatomi (the mountain bike trails at Pinckney State Recreation Area) for the 8-hour ride I was supposed to do on Memorial Day Weekend was probably the best drive time to ride time ratio ride I could have for that trail. Leaving the house at just after 7am put me on the trail at around 9am, and this weekend was some amazing riding. The trail conditions were perfect, I was able to make every climb cleanly on the first try, and I didn’t have any “oh crap!” almost-falls. It was all I could ask for.

I ended up getting in four laps of the full trail, which gave me 73.12 miles completed in a moving time of 07:42:04. My total time for the ride was 08:37:27, with the gap time eaten up by stopping to urinate, a visit to the toilet between laps two and three, filling water at the pumps, and eating a tasty Danielle-made protein bar while stopping to talk with some folks. This was a bit short of the 8-hour prescription, but I imagine it’s close enough. (Strava data for the ride can be found here.)

I had brought supplies for and somewhat considered a fifth lap, but I was feeling a bit tired and wanting to get home. This would have put me out on unfamiliar (and rapidly emptying) trails until ~8pm without emergency lighting, which would not have been a good idea. Especially not when creeping up 10 hours of challenging trail…

The photo above was taken on one of the boardwalks along the route. I believe this one to be near the end of the Gosling Lake Loop in the north end of the system, but I may be mistaken. This one stood out to me more than many of the others because of how the grass is grown up along side and through it, giving a feeling of riding on a plank sidewalk through an unmowed field.

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Missing Pavement and Vibrating Walls

The pavement in the parking area of the condo has been removed so that it can be replaced, and part of the work involves this Dresser Industries vibrating compacting roller. After the curbs have been removed and dirt moved this roller is used to compact the soil into a firm, dirt road-like surface. This process produces a tremendous amount of noise and vibration, so much so that while sitting at my desk this afternoon some pictures were falling over, my cell phone was bouncing slightly, and the walls were resonating loudly. It was loud enough that Roxie was becoming scared, but she did seem to enjoy looking out the window and watching the people working.

I’m looking forward to the pavement being done. We are temporarily parking next door in the church’s lot, which isn’t too bad as it is a shorter drive to 22 Mile, but carrying things across the lawn and relatively steep berm which separates the properties is a bit of a pain when when loading or unloading the car.

More photos of the torn up driveway can be seen in this album, including this one looking out the garage at the dirt and gravel, which was what originally caught my eye and made me think to get the camera out.

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Pontiac Lake and Stony Creek

I’ve really been enjoying the new Salsa El Mariachi Ti, doing some long-ish rides each of the past two weekends. This past weekend I headed out to Pontiac Lake twice, once on Saturday with a coworker who is new to mountain biking and again on Sunday to try and do a six-and-a-half hour ride as part of the training plan that I’ve been following. Both of these were a success, with my coworker doing well for his first trail ride (particularly on such a challenging trail), and I made my goal of six laps. The latter was a bit less than 6.5 hours, but I was still content with it. I considered doing a seventh lap, but I was beginning to feel a bit worn out

The weekend prior I participated in the Fun Promotions 12 Hour race at Stony Creek, quitting when the rain started, but only after racking up just over 100 miles. The weather that day started off quite cool, but was otherwise quite nice for riding I’d really been hoping the rain would hold off until I’d reached my goal and it did, so that made me quite happy. Following the race was lots of hanging out with friends time both at the park and at home, and it made for a great weekend.

The photo above was taken at Pontiac Lake after one of the longer climbs near the end of my ride, likely on lap 5. Despite clear skies and relatively high temperatures for most of the ride (low of 75.2 °F, high of 98.6 °F, average 84.0 °F) it was fairly pleasant  and the trail was quite beautiful. One part that I particularly enjoyed was under some manner of tree which dropped fluffy seeds, as each pass through the trail near there showed more and more of the white fuzz building up in the woods. (Photo)

As the miles rack up the bike is now getting to the point where I need to adjust little things as they settle in and I notice small things, which is good. I’m finding myself quite happy with it and comfortable riding it, and I hope that continues. If things go as planned I’ll be riding a bit of Potowatomi this upcoming weekend, then in three more weeks I’m slated to have another go at Lumberjack 100.

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Trilliums at Clinton River Park

This evening I was feeling a bit bored / down so I headed out for a ride at River Bends, extending that over to Clinton River Park Trails as well. The trails were in great shape, and white trilliums are coming up lining many trails, which was beautiful.

I’d figured that this wouldn’t be a very long ride, so I only took a long a bottle of mid-strength Gatorade (mixed from powder) for the ride, but this ended up not being enough for a two hour ride after dinner time. By the time I’d made it back to River Bends I was feeling quite crappy and had to eat a Clif bar to feel better. I picked up a large pizza on the way home and ate most of it for dinner and now I’m feeling back to normal.

I chalked this up to doing a fairly hard on-bike workout last night (hill repeats) and then not eating enough for dinner or during the day today. Danielle thinks that if I start eating more protein more regularly this won’t happen as often, and I tend to agree… But I did have some eggs for breakfast and a bunch of tofu at lunch. It’s probably a mixture of the two.

During this ride I also found that a spoke had come loose giving the wheel a slight hop, and one of the dropouts had slightly shifted putting the wheel slightly askew. Both of these were pretty easy to fix once I was home and fed, and I was also able to do a little shifting tuning made necessary by some trail-side repairs during this past weekend’s endurance race. During the race my rear derailleur cable came loose so I had to set it all back up trail side which wasn’t too hard, but it wasn’t as accurate as I can tune it while on the stand.

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Warranty Replacement Garmin GSC 10

I’m a strong proponent of using a Garmin GSC 10 Speed/Cadence Sensor to eliminate under-measurement when using a Garmin Edge 500 bike computer. When I found the GSC 10 on my Salsa El Mariachi single speed to have stopped recording wheel revolutions I was a bit disappointed. I didn’t really want to spend $40 – $50 on another one, so I phoned Garmin and asked about a replacement.

I found that the reed switch on the extended arm (the part that detects wheel rotation) would only intermittently trigger if a large neodymium magnet was rubbed on it. Tapping on it didn’t free up the apparently sticky reed switch either, so I figured it to be dead.

Garmin has been good to me in the past about warranty issues (namely, replacing an Garmin eTrex Legend whose input stick ceased working) so I decided to give them a call. After talking with the phone support person for a few minutes and explaining the problem he agreed that it seemed defective and offered to send out another. It arrived today, and now my single speed has a working sensor again and should properly measure distance on trails.

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Google Nexus 4 Supports GLONASS (and GPS)

A few days back Jeff pointed out to me that the Google Nexus 4 supports both GPS and GLONASS for satellite-based geolocation. I hadn’t noticed this before, but sure enough as seen above in GPS Status & Toolbox there they are. The GLONASS satellites are the boxes shown in grey, where the GPS satellites are the green circles.

This helps explain why the device is so good at getting fast location fixes and also why it works so well for my amateur mapping work. I’ve wanted a GLONASS-supporting device for a while and now I have one. Yay!

(This screenshot was taken while logging the location of Stony Creek’s Trolly Trails so I can commit the route to OpenStreetMap.)


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