Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ride and Anniversary

This morning I rode at Whiting and Webster before heading into work.  I wasn't feeling very aggressive and found myself stepping off on hill climbs I normally make.  Not all rides can be awesome.  Still, it's good to get out and see the trails in the morning.

I noticed the overgrowth in Webster Park is starting to get bad. I consider some trails basically closed for the season.  It's too bad there isn't a trail crew for Webster Park like the town parks have.  After Webster Park I rode in Whiting and appreciated the work The Friends of Webster Trails does to keep the vegetation from encroaching onto the trail.  The mud pits are back in Webster Park too.

This afternoon I got an email from my wife.  Happy Anniversary!  I almost forgot today is my four year unicycling anniversary.  I didn't feel like doing my annual ride down the driveway, but we did have cake!

Muni at Whiting and Webster Park - 2013-06-25 at EveryTrail

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Whiting Trail Work - Extending Green

This morning I joined in on  the Friends of Webster Trails trail work at Whiting Road Nature Preserve.  We worked on further extending the green trail north.  Some of the new trail extension had already been cleared, but the trail needed benching.  There were a group of boy scouts that helped extend the clearing of trees and brush.  I worked with the core group of guys who are usually there to do the dirty work, benching and cutting the new trail. We made great progress but it will take several more work days to finish.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tryon... meh

Dustin and I rode at Tryon Park this afternoon.  We started at the Tryon Road parking lot and rode our own paces with the plan to meet up at the green trail.  Knowing I'd ride faster, my plan was to add the purple loop to my route and then try to catch up.

I didn't really enjoy my ride as much as my recent rides.  I think I forgot how difficult some parts of Tryon are.  I dismounted more often than I like.  I also didn't really feel my strongest.  I've been staying up too late and  haven't been getting enough sleep lately, and today I went to Good Smoke for lunch and ate too much.  Mmmm... brisket burger.

In any case, after getting started in the parking lot Dustin and I separated.  After I rode the purple loop, I got back on course to catch up to Dustin.  Eventually I was at the green trail with no sign of Dustin.  He doesn't know Tryon well, so I figured he had likely made some wrong turns.  We had expected that might happen, but with cell phones we'd reconnect.  Unfortunately he didn't answer my calls.  I rode around the green for a bit and tried calling again.  Nothing.  I decided to backtrack.  I occasionally called for Dustin and tried calling again.

I ended up getting all the way back to the parking lot, and seeing his truck but no Dustin, I decided to head back again, this time taking some of the alternative trails.  Most likely he had tried to ride down some steep hill and fell off a cliff, landing on his back with his feet over his head.  It happens.

But then I wasn't far in when I got a text.  Yay!  He was alive.  Ultimately based on his descriptions of what he saw, I found him.  He had in fact taken a wrong turn, but rode some good trail nonetheless. His phone was just acting up and couldn't receive or make calls, but texts were working fine.  It was time to leave, so we rode back to our cars.

Next time we'll probably park where we can start at the green trail and ride from there.
Muni at Tryon - 2013-06-20 at EveryTrail

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dustin's Clicky Unicycle

For weeks Dustin's KH 26 unicycle has been making a clicking noise.  It seemed to be getting worse over time.  It's rather annoying and we've both been concerned something was going break or get ruined.

One time before riding, I had tried tightening his crank bolts to the right torque.  That didn't help.  Neither did tightening his bearing holding to spec.  Yesterday Dustin stopped by in the evening and we tried some more ideas.  Before getting too technical, we swapped seats and posts, and then pedals but none of those helped. It wasn't the typical pinging noise I've heard from spokes, but still I tightened all the spokes 1/8 of a turn.  No help.  That was all we had time for.

Later I read a lot of messages on the unicycle forums regarding what sounded like the same problem.  There were many suggestions.  This evening Dustin stopped by again and we worked on it some more and pretty much did everything that was suggested.

First I wanted to further eliminate the possibilities of spokes rubbing. Sometimes spokes make noise when they flex and rub against each other.  So we worked thin plastic spacers between every point where two spokes crossed each other.   The clicking remained.

Then we removed the wheel and took everything off the hub spindle: cranks, outer spacers, bearings, and inner spacers.  On the way home from work I had stopped at AutoZone and borrowed a bearing/gear puller.  It was the first time I'd used a bearing puller.  I'm not 100% sure it was the right model for this application, but it did work fine.  On one side of the hub the inner spacer was very tight and had to be carefully pried off.  The other inner spacer came off with no tools.  I assume this was just because of manufacturing tolerances, though I did file some very tiny spurs on the stubborn spacer.  It still didn't go back on easy, so I doubt that did anything.

With the inner spacers off we noticed some tiny metal filings at the connection between the spindle and hub body.  It looked more like something left over from manufacturing than something generated from friction.  After cleaning everything up we reversed the process.  One forum suggestion was to lube the spindle before putting the spacers and bearings on.  We did this.  We also swapped parts from one side to the other.  Why not.  To seat the sticky inner spacer and the bearings I used a deep socket of the right size and hammered.  I'm not sure if a press is normally used, but this technique worked fine.

After putting the wheel back on the frame and tightening the bearing holders to spec, it was time to put the cranks back on.   First I cleaned the crank holes with a toothbrush.  Then I greased the spindle splines.  I have never done this before because grease seems like a bad idea for parts held together mostly by friction, but apparently it's a not uncommon.  I tightened the crank bolts, put the pedals on, and it was time for a test ride.

Guess what.  The clicking is gone!  So, what was the fix?  It's hard to tell what specifically did it, but for now Dustin and I are glad that annoying click is gone and hopefully gone for good.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Prune in June 2013

The vegetation is growing quick this time of year and it sometimes needs to be cut back from the trails.  This morning I joined a trail work party at Dryer Rd park in Victor to do just that.  There must have been about a dozen of us.  We broke out into groups and spent a few hours walking the trails and cutting away offending vegetation.

Afterward I rode.  I followed the Fat Tire Festival coarse for one lap and then made a few more laps of whatever interested me.  I enjoyed powering up a lot of hills and the many twists and turns.  I probably would have ridden a bit longer but I ran out of time.

Muni at Dryer Road Park - 2013-06-15 at EveryTrail

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Syd's Schoolwork

With the school year ending, Sydney has been bringing some of her schoolwork home.  Her excitement for unicycling shows.  Here are some examples.

  Do you know what a unicycle is?  A unicycle is a metal form of transportation with one tire.  It is used for races, exercise, or just fun.  A unicycle could have handlebars just for something to hold on to or for beginners to get a feel for it.  Some beginners use training wheels.  Beginners can also use a bar to start or to practice.  All unicycles have a wheel with a tire and spokes.  Some people buy a Shlumf to make it go faster.  To make it go faster, on it there is a gold button and a silver button and when you push the gold one it will go faster.  If it is already on the gold button press the silver one to slow it down to regular speed.  That is just a little things about unicycles.  Do you want to try to ride a unicycle now?

 Awesome!  This one was posted in the hallway on the class bulletin board.  I imagine teachers and parents reading this and rolling their eyes.  "Silly kid. Shlumf? Magic gold and silver speed buttons?  What an imagination."

Her blue uni and the gray bars
When I was about 5 my dad was riding his unicycle and doing tricks.  I asked my dad if he could buy me a unicycle.  he said "sure".  So we went inside and we went to ebay.  he found a blue unicycle.  I told him to buy it. he bout it and about 1 week later it came. When it came I was so ecsided.  So we went out side.  I got my helmet on.  later my dad found gray bars.  We put them on little stands.  Then he helped me up.  he held my hand and we walked.  We got to the end.  then we went back.  he said "I'm going to let go." and he did.  I held the bars.  he said "your doing it".  I said "I am".  I was so exsided!  then I got off.  I sat down and though how much balens and hard work I had been doing.  I couldend bellev it.  I was so happy.  I got back on and started to go faster and faster and better and better.  I was doing it.  but then my dad went insid to get a snack.  I said to my self, "maybe I can get up all by my self."  So I got my foot on the pettal and got up.  I did it.  I couldent get my self going but I can get on by my self.  that is how I spend most of summer, spring and somtimes fall!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Another Workout at BPW

This afternoon I rode again at Bay Park West with perfect weather. It's quite a workout there.  Last time I rode there my quads were sore for the next few days.  It makes me happy to know I'm pushing myself enough to get sore.  Today I rode mostly the same trails and the same distance.  I will be interested to find if I get sore again.

Muni at Bay Park West - 2013-06-12 at EveryTrail

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Muni with Dustin

Today I rode at Whiting and Webster Park with Dustin and his girlfriend, who rode with us on a bike.  Dustin continues to get better at muni.  We stopped a lot, talked, and tried some hills multiple times. Over about 3 hours we rode about 6.5 miles.

Muni at Whiting and Webster Park - 2013-06-09 at EveryTrail

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Villainous Heist

I stumbled upon this video again and don't think I've ever posted it.  I thought it was entertaining.

Villainous Heist from Lukáš Pečinka on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

First Ride at BPW This Year

I took a few hours off from work to ride at Bay Park West.  Weather and conditions were great with a temperature of 65°F.

It didn't take long to be reminded how much of a workout these trails are.  Still, I felt like I rode strongly, making most if not all of my climbs.  My lower back did get tired.

I saw a few mountain bikers I know.  One was listening to music with earbuds.  He was stopped for a minute and, like happened recently, he couldn't hear me as I approached and was talking to him.  I think I'd be startled if I suddenly turned around and saw someone standing next to me.

Muni at Bay Park West - 2013-06-04 at EveryTrail