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Friday, July 25, 2014

Blue Dawn

Most bike mechanics know that regular old fashioned Blue dawn is the best thing to clean disc brakes.

But it is getting harder to find. With all the eco 2 times and now 5 times concentrate!

I have been a die hard user of Dawn for years.  It really cleans up your hands after a greasy job, bike or car.

But ever since the trend to concentrate, I have had a harder time cleaning my hands.  Finger nail brushes helped, but I used to just soap up with Dawn, back then there was only one, let it soak a bit and rinse it off with warm water, wala clean hands! Not so much any more.

So it got me thinking, maybe all this concentrating is the issue.  So, maybe great for dishes and making a spray bottle to detect leak, in tubes and such, but just a little too viscous to get deep into the fingerprints on my hands.

I founds a bottle of regular old fashioned blue Dawn at a Krausers after a remodel.

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise, my hands where cleaner faster than they have been for years!

So I diluted some of the 2X concentrate, about 50/50.  It seemed a little thin and did not mix to the even consistency of Original Blue Dawn, but it did clean my hands much better than the concentrate.  Even with wet hands or cupping water in my hand first, the concentrate will not mix well enough, in my hand, to get into the nooks and crannies of my hands.

I know this is somewhat off the topic of this blog, but epic rides, sometimes require epic repairs and clean up afterwards!

The moral is if you cant find good old fashioned blue Dawn, split the bottle in half and add your local water, keeps the carbon foot print down and gets your hand clean to boot!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Play List of BullDog Rump H2H Race Videos

Here is the play list of edited video from the Rump.  I will add the awards later.
You can use the drop down at the top left of the Youtube screen to skip around the videos.
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Thursday, July 3, 2014

BullDog Rump Video H2H race Series White Trail

Som KVSP White Trail Happiness
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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

BullDog Rump Video H2H race Series

Pros and Cat 1 guys and gals taking on Dunlop on lap one of three on a warm summers afternoon.

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Friday, April 11, 2014

Emergency Derailleur Hanger

I have been carrying a Wheel Mfg Emergency Derailleur Hanger for some time now.  It is something you never want to need, but you sure are happy you have one when you need it.  I was only 10 miles in, but did not want to walk or make the bike a single speed.  The EDH saved the day and it worked well enough to get in 25 more miles.  I got all my gears almost all the time.

 This is not a happy Derailleur Hanger. But it gave it's life to save my frame and derailleur.

No more nobler end for a Hanger!

Here is the EDH after the install.

The EDH does have a tendency to rotate forward.  I only really slowed down some upshifts as derailleur was close enough to the chain to impede it from coming up of it's cog high enough to derail.  Downshifts worked because cable tension force and not a spring make the derailleur shift, down and up respectively.

Problem Solvers makes one that looks a little bit easier to install and addresses the rotation problem.

Either one is then next best thing to carrying the specific hanger for your bike, maybe better if your buddy breaks his and does not have a spare for his bike.  There are so many different hangers for different bikes, an EDH makes sense.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Walnut Creek Austin Texas

We went to Austin to visit friends, enjoy the warm dry Texas spring time weather.  Steve showed me around Walnut Creek.  A nice park in a suburb just north of Austin.  The main loop is well marked, but there are quite a few trails that are not.  Most of the maps at intersections are of the vague variety, we did find one detailed map, with a "You Are Here" star.  It has been a while since Steve has had time to Trail ride, between family and work.  But we did find his favorite section of his favorite trail, the Log Loop, which is also well marked.  It was very swoopy and begged to be railed.  No berms here just natural trails with roots, rocks and trees to negotiate.  Then a fireroad connector to the other single track part of the Log Loop, which had some bigger roots, change ups and a alternate log ramp.  We did each a few times, alternating, depending on the traffic.  We went on a Saturday and there were a lot of hikers and bikers out, not as much as you would think for the first really nice weekend in some time.  It does get chilly down here and it can feel pretty cold to the locals that are used to the Texas summer heat!

On the way back to the cars, you just follow the "P" for parking on the trail markers, we only made one wrong turn trying to follow them.  And am I glad we did, cause we came across Endo Alley.  Steve thought better of of dropping in.  It was right up my alley, pun intended.  This was a very short but intense black diamond DH, with a nut buster climb back up.  When Steve did not show up at the top, I did it again, before realizing that there was another trail that avoided the climb and let out onto the power lines.  We went the wrong way into some berms before deciding to find those "P"s.

Some very nice scenery and cool trails, nestled in a metropolitan area.  Steve has since picked up the fatbike that he has been wanting.  I would like to think that I inspired him to rekindle his love of Trail riding.
Plenty of these generic signs

I am not too happy with the quality that MS Movie maker published after the edit, maybe too many splices.  Looks OK on my Iphone.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Barton Creek Austin, Texas

With a 34/15, I was geared great for much the river valley trails and made most of one of the big offshoot climbs, before the first underpass.  The Hill of Life, was another story altogether, I be back with gears, cause one gear that makes that climb, maybe doable, would be painfully slow on some of the trails along the creek.  There are lots of rock gardens and features to work your technical skills, a few would have benefited from a lower gear too!  There are two entries on Single Tracks that kind of overlap, Barton Creek Greenbelt and Barton Creek Wilderness.  From the topo maps they  look like slightly different versions of the same trails.  Distance and descriptions vary quite a bit though.  My best take on that is that the Greenbelt encompasses the main trail along the creek and the Hill of Life and the Wilderness trails are the unmarked trails across the creek from the main trail head in Zilker park.  A nice warm up would be to go east toward the river/lake, cross the first bridge and head west up to the road, around the construction and access the unmarked trails, just up the road a bit.  Take them to the karin and go right across the creek, back to the main side.  It looked like the trail may continue on the unmarked side, but I was uncomfortable riding through what looked like someones property, no signs, just a patio and a landscaped walkway.  Even on the main side there are many offshoots, some come back to the trail, some dead end and others go back down into the creek.  Some reviews on both entries mention the Hill of Life, but I do not think that you could get there in the 4 miles listed for the Wilderness, but the topo map includes it, but seems to miss the unmarked trails across the creek from the TH.

This is the first time since I started running the Knard/Blunt 35, that I got to descend big rocks and drops, maybe since Pisgah even!  Now while I was not descending like a I was on a downhill rig, I felt in more control and I did not feel like I was going to be bounce of the bike, like at Farlow Gap!  While not quite as intense and gnarly as Farlow, descending the Hill of Life and other sections of Barton were a good test.

I love the technical aspect of these trail and the first real climbing in quite a while.  They can get pretty busy at peak times, so plan accordingly.  Zilker park has a lot of other activities, such as canoe and kayak rentals, swimming holes, playground a kids train and a garden.  Zilker also gets you access to the Town Lake bike path, which was even busier, due to its tame wide and flat crushed stone surface.

Ironically, at first these trails reminded me of other river valley riding that I did way back when in the Minnesota and Mississippi river valleys in Minnesota.  Just throw in lots of rock gardens from my more recent home town trails in northern New Jersey and a couple big climbs.  It was "ironic" cause part way along as I was about to take another dead end, a rider comes by and I tag along.  His name was Tim and he also was borne and raised in Minnesota.  He left when for texas when he was 21.  Small world for sure.

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