Thursday, July 19, 2012

What's Up?

Well, it's been a couple of weeks since I've posted anything. I've been riding, but not putting on many miles and not riding any single track. That means miles on the road bike. Since racing at Lutsen I developed a severe case of tendinitis in my left arm and wrist. It had bothered me before the Lutsen race, but afterward the pain became much more intense. The simple act of just grasping the handlebars or using my thumb to shift on the mountain bike was very painful.

I did a 50 mile ride the morning of July 4th. The temps were in the 90's and the heat index was well into the 100's by the time I finished my ride. Throughout the entire ride I was extremely uncomfortable and could not find a comfortable position on the bike. Since then I've only been doing shorter rides of 20-30 miles. At the same time I've been getting treatment for the tendinitis.

So, what else have I been doing you ask??

Admiring my cycling tan while watching all of the carnage in the Tour de France. For some reason I've really been enjoying this years race and watching Jens Voight and Thomas Voeckler turn themselves inside out. In order to escape the heat I've also been spending time indoors on painting projects. So far the family room and kitchen are done. I took a break from that to strip, clean, and stain the deck (not a professional job by any means). Then spent the last two days moving all of the furniture from the family room and living room so the carpets could be cleaned. Ever watch carpet dry???

I am able to ride with a brace, but it's still uncomfortable and lately I haven't been using the brace.
I've also been in the kitchen. Enjoying cooking old recipes and trying new ones.

I love summer because I'm fortunate enough to enjoy breakfast out on the patio. The liquid in that glass is juice not vino, trust me:) or...

Going for coffee and a bite to eat somewhere else.

Enjoying our backyard and the flowers.

I've also been enjoying a little bike play with some upgrades on my road bike. New rubber and a new SRAM compact crankset. I am getting older;)

The Pugsley is also going through a face lift of sorts. Including very nice new rack and soon to come I will have more than one gear. I've ridden the Pugs ss since building it several years ago. The ss setup is fine for gravel roads in the summer, but I'm really getting tired of riding the ss in the winter, so are my knees. I've decided to go with a 1 x 9 setup with thumb shifters. I may eventually go with a 2 x 9, but believe 1 x 9 will fit most applications.

However, the biggest thing to happen in the past two weeks has been the addition of a Surly Cross Check to the stable. I cannot believe I waited this long to get one. It was a toss up between the Cross Check and Salsa Vaya, but I went the more economical route and I don't think I will regret it. The Cross Check has been so fun to ride and I love the bar end shifters. One change I did make right away was replacing the Salsa Bell Lap bars with the Salsa Cowbells. They are very comfortable and will be awesome on gravel. I do have some other plans to spice it up a bit aesthetically. This won't include any new components, just cosmetics:)

I can envision some new components down the road primarily the crank and possibly the rear derailleur. For the time being I'm going to just going to enjoy the hell out of riding this bike. I wanted utilitarian and economical and the Cross Check is the perfect platform.

It's the go nearly anywhere, do nearly anything bike. Whether it be road, gravel, trail, commuting, grocery store, and farmer's market runs. I love how it feels and how it rides and I'm looking forward to getting up north on the forest roads.

Time for me to get on the Cross Check and go for a ride...

Enjoy the Ride!!


Bill G said...

Love the cross check as well - just upgraded the brakes - the standard ones were not to my liking but your thoughts may vary :)

Continued healing and agree with 1x9 on a snowbike - big ring never really comes into play for me unless I am asphalting it to work!

Vito said...

What brakes did you go with??

Bill G said...

My LBS had the Avids that are quite similar to Pauls. I would have gone with Pauls if they had them in stock but these are working out pretty nicely so far (they are not the shorties).

My stock ones oxidized after 4 months so that didn't give me a lot of comfort and I didn't really ride it in nasty weather.

Doug said...

Welcome to the Cross-Check club. It's a well designed, extremely versatile bike.

There was a time back in the early 90's when I got tendinitis in both my elbows. For a few years I thought I'd never ride a bike again. I did, but I have never been able to take up mountain biking due to the occasional flare-ups. Once a flare-up happens I lose grip strength very quickly.

I run Paul canti's on my Cross Check. They're the only brakes I've had that holds up through all the winter crud I ride through.