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Okay, so we're having a bit of a warm spell through the weekend. Get out and wear out some rubber and bearings!
MyTeamCar.net services will be largely unavailable from Wednesday, December 18 thru Sunday, December 22. Service availability will resume Monday, December 23. I'll be out and about Thursday and can perform simple onsite services if nearby.
The past weekend was not too bad providing you stayed in the sun. I did a shorter road ride Saturday on old Skyline and then went down Gist Road to Black Road and then around Lexington Reservoir. That was mostly wa rm but whenever I got in the shade the temps dropped dramatically. In fact, many shaded areas had ice, some very thick. The shot to the right here is off of Alma Bridge Road at the back of the reservoir. Plenty of ice there but had to climb up the Aldercroft Heights climb so that kept me warm.
I did a little scouting back in the creek areas and ran into this shot to the left, which I have no idea what it is. Maybe a water diversion structure since I found it on SJ Water Works property. I was trying to find a route through to Wrights Station and then on up to Summit Road. This road used to go through but not anymore. I guess there was a massive slide back in there some years ago and now there doesn't seem to be a through route. It's private property and all fenced off, but it was a sho rter way home if you live near Summit Road. A strange structure and way cold back in there. (Strava)
Sunday was another fantastic day for off-road. The temps were super cold at the start in Felton. In fact, frost and ice everywhere. It did warm up as we climbed Bear Mountain at Roaring Camp, but boy was it cool getting there. Just a couple of us but we did a mondo 32-miler with a downhill bomber run of the "Dump Trail" also known as the Wilder Ridge Loop. The lack of rain has left this one free of the usual massive sink holes so you could really let it rip all the way to the bottom.
Check out the frost on the french broom on the right near the entrance to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. Quite a difference in temps from Felton to the UCSC area. It was around 70 at the top of Wilder and about 65 on the coast along West Cliff Drive. Frost abound almost everywhere the sun didn't touch.
The shot to the left is from Sunday's off-road mission. The weather was simply fantastic near the coast. The shot is looking southeast on the Wilder Ridge Loop Trail at the Zane Gray Trail junction. The Wilder Ridge Trail is getting pretty thrashed and deep from horse traffic but still a great route for cross country rigs. (Strava)
So, with the cold weather finally upon us, what changes? Well, clothing for sure. I've been wearing leg and arm warmers as well as booties si nce Sunday. The biggest bang for your buck is warm hands and feet, but also a warm head is key. Another important factor is to wear a light base top layer and at least a wind or winter vest. When it's this cold, you can get cool quick by simply unzipping. You don't typically have to shed unless you're doing a long climb in the sun.
As for products, I use Pearl Izumi winter gear similar to those shown here, When it's really cold these will keep your extremities warm. You can also wear lighter shoe and glove liners under them and peel them off if they get too warm.
Here's some of the stuff I can get for you at competitively matched prices:
For gloves, it's more important to spend a bit extra to get the right feel and fit along with climate protection. Another consideration is Smartphone use. The Thermal Conductive gloves allow you to control your phone without taking the gloves off, sometimes a very nice benefit. Of course, I'll match any price you can find out there and shippi ng is free. I can get pretty much anything out there. These are just products I have used and know they work. Most are available in men's or women's versions.
The other thing I change in the cooler months is to lower tire pressure by about 10-psi. This provides a little better traction for turns and climbing, but also takes some of the harshness out of the terrain, which makes the ride a bit more comfortable. Comfort is key when you're already uncomfortable due to the cold.
If anybody is looking for or considering a "dropper" seatpost, I ordered the wrong size for a customer last week and now have a brand-new 2013 KS LEV dropper seatpost la ying around taking up space. It's a 30.9 seat tube fit and the long version, which is 435mm fully extended with 150mm of travel (drop). Won't work for most unless your inseam is well over 76cm. However, if you have a very short seat tube or an exceptionally long seatpost now, it could very well work out. The KS LEV is one of the more popular out there and retails for roughly $450. If you're interested let me know and I'll give you a great deal. I installed it, but it was never used.
Several customers have asked me about off-road tire selection recently. I posted a short piece on MTB tires with some recommendations and characteristics to look for in off-road tires. Hope it's helpful.
I'm placing orders again Wednesday. Please let me know if you need anything not currently available via Parts Express.
The Winter Solstice Cycling Challenge (Strava) is coming soon. I'll be going long or short and hard both Saturday and Sunday. Weather is looking warmer for both Saturday and Sunday with low to mid 60's in the forecast--nice!
Looks like the 2013 Winter Solstice Cycling Challenge will be December 21 this year. Locked and loaded and 49 riders signed up as of today. Many of my customers have done this ride. It's certainly not for everyone, but if you're in good enough shape for a century-plus in December, you'll likely enjoy this one. Fully supported with SAG stops, team cars, spares, and a hot chili feast at the finish. On its 8th year, this ride has become a Bay Area classic. Get more details or register for the the event here.
Here's the NCNCA schedule. Good luck to all you racing or participating in the coming weekend's events.
Race Results: NCNCA, Blog Coverage
Wahoo!! Just a reminder that MyTeamCar.net is an authorized Wahoo Fitness dealer. Those of you looking for the latest in indoor trainer technology, the Wahoo KICKR is amazing.
Oh, and if you don't want the iPhone on your handlebar or stem, Wahoo offers a cool little computer called the "RFLKT" (Reflect), much smaller than the Garmin or iBike and displays all the pertinent info wireless from your iPhone.
Wahoo Fitness, located in Atlanta, GA., connects iOS devices and smartphones to your favorite fitness activities-running, biking, and gym going. Wahoo Fitness’ award winning products also include its Wahoo Run/Gym Pack, which adds heart rate training to your iPhone, and its Wahoo Bike Case, which simultaneously protects your phone and connects it to the sensors on your bike. For more information on Wahoo Fitness, please visit www.wahoofitness. com. The KICKR currently supports the iPhone4S and iPhone 5 using Bluetooth 4.0 or ANT+ protocols. Though, I'm told there are other options for the iPhone4.
I'll match or beat any reputable offer you can find out there. In addition, I'll stock parts and accessories to provide the industry's best local support for Wahoo products. And, no, you won't find the KICKR on Amazon or eBay.
Some of you have asked about my new monthly services. I've finally posted some details about these new service on my site. These services are intended for the serious "working" cyclist that needs their bike(s) ready for action, all the time.
Using this new service means you won't have to worry about the readiness or mechanical condition of your bike(s). I will keep everything in top working order; rotate tires, perform basic tuning and adjustments, and keep you abreast of the status of all preventative and remedial m aintenance that may be required.
The main purpose of the service is to make sure that your bikes are always in good working order and all preventative maintenance occurs--regularly--before expensive remedial maintenance is necessary and you can't ride or fail to finish an important event.
Of course, the fee will only cover service and does not include items like tubes, tires, chains, brake pads, bar tape, etc. No, I don't just replace items at my whim, I replace stuff, if required, based on your service intervals and expected riding activity in between.
The way that I work this service now is with Strava. My current monthly customers log all their activity on Strava and I follow them to see what they are doing on the bike, etc. This allows me to better judge preventative maintenance needs and make sure the bike is always ready when you are.
There's a lot more to this new service than I've highlighted above. Please click here for pricing and details. More to come soon! If this type of service sounds interesting and seems like a good fit for you, please let me know and we'll get a service plan and schedule together for you.
Check out the new FC50T-2. A very versatile aero tubular configuration at a weight low enough to be quite effective even in more hilly events. If you can't afford a complete quiver of wheels, a 50mm set like the FC50T-2 is a great choice. The FC50T-2 provides an extremely lite wheelset (1380kg) with outstanding aerodynamic benefits. And, of course, they're tubular rims, which means comfort and maximum handling confidence.
I'm also in the process of building a couple of test wheels for some planned new products in 2014. I didn't get much interest in the new carbon/alloy rims that are now available. However, I intend to build a front 38mm wheel to evaluate. So look for that wheel on some of the local group rides in 2014. The second test wheel will be a new full carbon clincher rear utilizing Basalt braking surfaces. I'll likely build this test wheel in a 38mm configuration also and test the two together.
A reminder that I stock many items you all use everyday and every week. If you need tires, tubes, sealant, liners, bar tape, cleats, brake pads, etc., please let me know. I will d eliver to you at home, workplace, or wherever you are while I'm out and about on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. I also attend most of the road race events around here and can deliver product and accessories to you there.
Again, don't forget about my Spot Tune-up Service. This is a cheap and convenient way to keep your bike rolling smoothly and efficiently. I find you and dial-in brake and shift cables and take care of any minor issues that can be resolved onsite. Only $30 and extremely convenient.
REMEMBER: I have many items on-hand and I can deliver very quickly. I tend to carry tubes, tires, chains, cassettes, bar tape, bearings, brake pads, and other common consumable items in my vehicles. So that kind of stuff is always available ex tremely quickly. Just let me know what you need and I'll get it to you ASAP.
PLEASE NOTE: MyTeamCar.net customers enjoy competitive pricing from all my suppliers. The list prices are not necessarily what you'll pay. If you know that the price is higher than your local dealer or favorite online retailer, just shoot me the link or let me know. I will match any reputable price out there.
I can usually get just about anything. If you need things quickly, just mention the specifics. I can get most things in my hands overnight, next-day, or two-day, it just costs more for shipping. And, yes, you will receive tracking info as soon as I receive it.
Okay, shut-up and ride!