Monday, July 6, 2015

Railing and Welding

With Kessa learning to ride I wanted to rebuild the railing I once had in the driveway for Sydney.  That one rotted and is long gone.  I decided to use my skinny as the base, some old trampoline poles for supports, and some spare railing mounts that were once sent to me in error.  The railing is number two of two that was once in the basement stairway.  I might cut down the poles at some point.

One of the unicycles Kyle has been riding on occasion is the Barracuda I bought on craigslist over 3 years ago.  Unfortunately one of the cranks was loose tonight.  I went to tighten it and found the bolt spun.  The threads on the spindle were stripped.  I think I recall tightening this bolt years ago and feeling it start to give just at the end.  So now with no way to tighten the crank and with it being a cheap uni, I decided to fix it by welding the crank to the spindle.  I did both while I was at it.  With no training, I've "successfully" welded about 4 or 5 items at this point using an arc welder.  My welds are embarrassing, but I expect that will hold for driveway riding.  If not, I'll hit then with the welder again.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

2015 Unicycling Anniversary

Amy and the kids surprised me with a unicycling anniversary cake!  I had forgotten!

Before cake we had a unicycle jam session in the driveway.  Syd's been favoring my 20" trials.  Kyle's been riding more and is more stable.  He free-mounts sometimes too.  Unfortunately he's so tall he wants my seat post raised too high for me, so it makes sharing difficult.  Perhaps he needs a uni of his own!  He does ride some of the cheaper 20" unicycles I have, but the seats aren't nice.

Kessa's tiny unicycle that I got her for Christmas 2013 is actually too small.  It's too bad the seat height isn't adjustable.  It was a cute uni and very well built, but not at all versatile.  It's good if you can actually get a 3 year old to ride it, but that's not realistic.  I didn't expect her to, but I thought it would still be rideable at age 5.  A few weeks ago at the Empire State Muni Fest, Robi let us borrow his small uni, which is actually a 12" wheel like Kessa's.  I swapped the cranks with Kessa's, which were slightly shorter, and shortened a seat post from Syd's first 16" uni.  This made it an acceptable size for Kessa.  I too can ride it! lol  I think I had more fun on it than Kessa so far.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Empire State Muni Festival 2015

My family and I spent this weekend at the Empire State Muni Festival in Austerlitz, New York.  It was basically a repeat of last year's event.  That's a good thing because it's a lot of fun.

The drive there on Friday afternoon was memorable as we passed through a number of thunderstorms. We eventually got ahead of the torrential rains and lightning and arrived at Fox Hill campground in time to set up before the rain came.  Thankfully the weekend was dry.

I rode with the group at Beebe Hill State Forest on both Saturday and Sunday. The trails had occasional mud, but were generally in fine condition.  We rode many of the same trails as last year and new one.  All were a lot of fun.  There are so many challenging, but optional, features.  I wish I could ride there regularly.

It was great to be with an awesome group of muni riders.

The peaceful view from the fire tower:

GPS ride 1
GPS ride 2
GPS ride 3
GPS ride 4

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Robi Comes To Town 3

Robi came to visit for his third tattoo appointment.  We rode today at Harriet Hollister Spencer State Recreation Area (apparently it's a recreation area, not a park).  Robi knew that two other Albany area riders were going to be somewhat near Rochester and so we added Jim and Diane to our group!  I had met Jim and Diane at last year's Empire State Muni Festival.

HHS is where the Suicide Six mountain bike race is held.  It's tough with plenty of climbing and technical trails.  Robi and I had talked about riding some tougher trails so this was good.  Jim is an amazing rider so he was game.  Diane planned to ride what she could and at her own pace.

It was a gorgeous day with thunderstorms predicted in the afternoon, so we met up at 9 am.  The trails were in great condition, damp and only muddy in spots.  These trails are serious work!  I hadn't ridden in weeks thanks mostly to being super busy at work.  My cardio had weakened and I wasn't really well rested.  I felt a bit of vertigo at times when I stopped to catch my breath.  I'm pretty sure I was just tired... but not two tir.. oh never mind. :P

The trails are a lot of work but a lot of fun too.  After a respectable distance into the trail Diane decided to ride at her own pace.  The rest of us broke away and followed the nicely marked S6 trail markers.  I has never seen those before so I assume they were put up since I last rode there over a year ago.   Some of the trail was new to me too so  I guess the race course has been extended. I rode my fat tire 26 and was happy I did.  The fat soft tire gave me some much appreciated suspension!

After riding the 3 mile south-west portion, Robi, Jim, and I headed back to the parking loop to reconnect with Diane, assuming she probably headed back.  We weren't able to find her, so we decided to backtrack the trail we just rode.  Riding it the other way is always different.  It wasn't until we were back at the parking lot that we found her again.   After a break we all agreed to be insane and ride some more.  We continued the ride up the east side which has some good fun flowy parts, followed by more challenging climbs and technical.

At the end of the trail we followed the crushed rock road back to our cars.  On the last hill climb my quads cramped like they have in the past.  Even though I drink a lot of water during the ride, maybe I'm not hydrating enough in the day or so before riding.

This year's Empire State Muni Festival is happening this weekend and I believe Jim, Diane, and Robi are going, so I'll likely ride with them again very soon!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Tryon Stop Me

Surprise!  I rode again at Tryon today!  It was a good ride though I had a mix of good and not-so-good moments, which kind of made it an overall ok ride.  It was nice and cool out.  We've got some hot days coming up, so it was good to get out before those.

I rode out to the dump trail again.  Somewhere in there I saw a pack of mountain bikers regrouping and just starting to ride again.  At that point I caught up to the their last guy, though none of them saw me.  It took all of about 15 seconds for them to disappear.  I admit I tried to keep up, but it's not much use.  Later I saw them in the middle of Tryon in the rock ring.  They just ride through like it's nothing. Stinkin' two-wheelers coasting their way through life.  lol

Next ride I'll probably hit some other trails.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Addicted to Tryon?

Last year I rode at Tryon twice.  Same for 2013.  In 2012, three rides.  I'm surprised these numbers are so low, but I guess the difficulty of Tryon was always a turn off.  I rode there again this afternoon.  This is my fourth Tryon ride already this year, and all within 12 days.  I feel like the difficulty but do-ability (it should be a word) is what's making it so addictive.  Our relatively dry and, ideal temperatures, at least lately, help too.

I rarely avoid hill climbs and on this ride I also tried to avoid taking the path of least resistance in terms of trail surface.  I sometimes navigate around rocks and roots when that option exists, but this time I tried to at least hit the intermediate options.  It adds to the fun.  I generally felt like I rode better and stronger than last time.  Riding every other day might be a good thing.

At the southern point where the Browncroft apartments are, I usually turn around and head back.  But I know of the "dump trail" that starts right there on the town/county access road.  I had ridden it in the past but I always felt a bit lost in there.  Today I rode it, found my way just fine, and had an absolute blast!  I was able to find a nice route that reconnected me back to the trail I know.  It's a real nice loop with a good number of log-overs, rocky outcrops, and hills to keep my interest.

At the end of my ride I sessioned a steep hill climb just off the parking lot.  It was pretty close to my limit and I was proud to make the climb on my fourth try, especially after a long hard ride.

I enjoyed it so much, I'm pretty sure I'll be back for my next ride.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tryon, Yet Again!

I guess I'm just really diggin' Tryon!  I went there this afternoon because the weather was so nice.  Cool, low-humidity spring days are the best.

I hit the rocky trail I mentioned last time, and also the "rock ring" which is more technical.  I thought I did quite well on both.

At one point I passed an older woman and her dog, and then over the course of 10 minutes I'd ride until I was spent, then just when I was about to go again I'd look back and see her approaching slowly through the trees.  It was like something out of a horror movie!   It also made me feel like I was no faster than an old lady, which I guess is almost true. lol  In actuality I was taking the more winding technical trails and she was on the easier trail that intersected.

I am liking Tryon so much this year, I might just ride it again!  It's not far from home, it's technical, has hill climbs, and works well with my current 24" set up.  Plus I like how it has many parallel options with different terrain that lead to the same place, so I can keep mixing up my ride.