Thursday, December 07, 2006

Slate Canyon is Open!

The trail up Slate Canyon is finally open again. They smoothed out the road making it so that it isn't technically difficult anymore. However there is snow on the trail which makes it more demanding. Yesterday's trip up the Canyon was as hard as any ride I have done.
Slate Canyon
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Location:Provo, Utah, Utah, United States
Activity:Mountain Biking
Distance:9.42 (mi )
Comments:Top of pipe hill
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Monday, November 20, 2006

Gravel Pit Hill

Here is a viewport to today's ride. The picture is of the hill in the gravel pit. We normally climb this twice on the ride. Once on the way out and once on the way back.

There was a forest service lady at the parking lot today. When I asked if they were done the gave me the two weeks answer again. They have been claiming they are two weeks from being finished for the last two months.

About MotionBased
Location:Provo, Utah, Utah, United States
Activity:Mountain Biking
Distance:8.27 (mi )
Comments:Gravel Pit Hill
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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bighorn Sheep

While riding today we saw a couple of bighorn sheep. We ran into these sheep once before when they were on a trail and had a real close look at them. Today they were a bit further away so my low quality camera didn't get a great picture.

Provo Shoreline trail
About MotionBased
Location:Provo, Utah, Utah, United States
Activity:Mountain Biking
Distance:8.96 (mi )
Bighorn sheep we saw today.
Bighorn sheep
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viewport test

Tour of Provo Canyon
About MotionBased
Location:Orem, Utah, Utah, United States
Activity:Mountain Biking
Distance:36.35 (mi )
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Viewport image

Monday, November 06, 2006

Bit of a cold

I have been fighting with a cold the last few days, but today was so beautiful I had to go out and ride. I get spinning out getting stopped while climbing hills today. I think I will blame it on the cold.

This picture is from back in September, but it is still autumn so it works. We may get snow this week. If we do maybe I'll have to get new pictures with the snow.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Nice Fall Day

Today's ride
What a day! Not a cloud in the sky, nice and cool. A great day for a mountain bike ride. Climbed the first hill after the gate in Slate Canyon today. The trail is still closed, but the workers told me they are basically done. I can't wait until they open the trail back up and we can go further up the hill.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Calorie Calculator

There has been a lot of talk on the motionbased forums about how the calorie counter in the Edge 305 is not accurate. So I did a bit of searching and found an article on how to predict energy expenditure based on heart rate. I considered writing a program to "correct" the calorie expenditure in Training Center (the software that came with the Edge) but ended up getting bored with the project before I finished it.

However I decided I wanted to lose some weight in hopes that it would help me with my hill climbs. So I started counting calories that I am eating each day. The calorie counting has worked good at helping me lose the 10 pounds I figured I could lose. Now I just need to work at maintaining my new weight. Anyway this got me interested enough in the Edge calorie problem enough to put together a little calorie calculator in my blog. So I have added it to the left panel for anyone that cares. Given the number of minutes exercised, the average heart rate it gives a calculated calorie expenditure.

If you know your VO2max you can improve the calculation. Using the VO2max value you could also adjust the formula based on your fitness level. I'm no expert on VO2max but for a lower fitness level use a lower VO2max (50's?), for a higher fitness level a higher VO2max (60's?).

So for what it is worth here it is.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Battery Extender

For the LOTOJA I wanted to make sure I had enough battery time on the Edge to record the whole ride. Here is a picture of the battery extender I made for the ride.
It worked great. I was hanging back with a friend for half of the ride so my total time for the ride was over 13 hours and the Edge was able to record the whole ride.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Today's ride
I made two attempts at climbing Glendon's hill today. On the second attempt I think I made it higher than I ever have before. I'm not sure if it is just in my head or not, but I seem to be climbing better with the new wheel.

This is a picture from the top of Dry Canyon.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

New wheel

Shoreline trail
I have had two freewheels disintegrated on me this year. After the second one I figured there must be something wrong with the hub or freewheel and so I decided to buy a new wheel. Today was the first ride with the new wheel. The rim is 28mm wide compared to the normal 20mm wide. I wasn't sure if this would be a good thing or a bad thing. The wider rim should give more stability, and prevent the tire from rolling over the rim at low pressure, but it is heavier and so may be worse for climbing.

I don't know if it was all in my head or not. Maybe I wanted the new wheel to be good and so subconsciously I just performed better, but I seemed to be able to climb through my technical mistakes that normally would have ended the climb.

Also I rode a lot of the ride with Layne right behind me. In an effort to keep moving and not slow him down I was going a bit faster than I should have a few times. The last time I dropped down the 20ft dip at a good clip and on the way back up I was a bit out of control and smacked into a large boulder to the side of the trail. I stuck
arm out to protect me from the boulder and ended bending two of the fingers backwards. Now I have two nicely swollen fingers.

I'm not sure if the moral of today's ride is: "Keep arms and legs in the vehicle until the ride has come to a complete stop" or "Don't let Layne ride right behind you."

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Lost the Edge

It seems like it has been a long time since I have been mountain biking. This week I have been back on the trail, but it is full of goathead weeds. When I was a kid we called these puncture weeds. Juan hid a shovel by the trail so we could use it for trail maintenance. So I have been using it to get rid of the goatheads. The trail also has gotten some real deep gavel spots. So today I picked up the shovel and carried up the trail to the gravel spots.

I guess I carried the shovel across the Edge and broke the screen. Next time I am leaving the gravel where it is.

The other strange thing is that the shovel made the Edge think every bump was a big up and down. This made it think I climbed nearly 6,000 feet in 3.29 miles.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Trail Closed

I guess our trips up Slate Canyon have come to an end, at least for some time. They are replacing the water pipe that goes down the canyon, and until they finish the trail is closed.

As I was enjoying the trip down the tree shaded trail I was thinking how much I missed this trail even though it had only been a week since I last rode it. Hopefully it doesn't take too many months to complete the work and re-open the trail. I sure will miss it. Here is the GPS log of the last ride up the canyon.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Large Rattle Snake

They haven't started the construction in Slate Canyon yet so we have gone up it the last three days. At the top of the trail today I found a large Rattle Snake. It was hard to count the rattles on his tail seeing as I didn't want to get too close but it was somewhere between 8 and 12. I guess he never felt to intimidated because even though he coiled up he never shook his rattles at us.

I was thinking I need to start taking my camera with me again so I would have new images for the blog, but then I forgot to get it in the rush to get out the door this morning. So today's image is from a ride back in April. We are going to go back to this spot tomorrow. There won't be near as much snow on the mountain but a lot more green on the trees.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The neglected blog

Maybe I should rename this the neglected blog. However I have been riding a lot and keeping track of my rides using Motion Based and ActiveBody.

I am seriously considering doing the Brian Head Epic 100 again this year. I want to be able to beat the 11 hour mark. Beating the 9 hour mark would be great too but I have to be reasonable.

Last week my rebound cartridge on my Platinum Black fork was broken so I ended up riding my road bike most of the week. I was surprised at how my sore my legs felt after doing a 24 mile ride at about 20 mph. So I rode hard last week to try build more constant spinning endurance. I am thinking mixing in more of these road rides with the mountain bike rides will help me get a faster time at Brian Head.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Tubeless Burp

My tire pressure was getting low in both the front and rear. Given that I am running tubeless now I thought I would just go with it and see if it helped during the climbing. I didn't seem to, however I think the low tire pressure contributed to the burp I got part way up the canyon. Fortunately I only lost most of my air but the bead resealed. It was a lot easier to just add more air to the tire than a pinch flat would have been.

I was going to get a nice picture of my bike under a tree with the blossoms falling all around like snow, but I didn't have a memory card in the camera so you get this picture from my office instead. You can see Slate Canyon on the right, then Slide Canyon and Left of center is Timp.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

White Rim trip

My brother-in-law said he read about the ranger truck getting stuck. I guess if people are actually going to read this blog then I better tell the rest of the story.

During the first week of April we were planning on riding the White Rim again. The plan was to do it as a three day trip but because of a death in the family some of the bikers would need to finish in two days. So we decided I would go out with the two day group and then drive the sag wagon back to the camp and go out with the remaining group the third day. The first day three of us got to camp about 2 hours before the other riders and the truck. It was a cold wet and WINDY day. At one point we were hit by a gust that must have been over 60 mph. It was so strong that it was nearly impossible to stand in. Anyway since we were at camp before the truck we didn't have anything warm to wear. With the wind and rain it was just too cold so a couple of us took shelter in the outhouse. It was quite embarrassing when we heard a couple of voices coming towards the outhouse. This guy and his girl-friend from England thought it was quite funny to see two men exiting the outhouse together. He took a picture of us standing there while his girl-friend was in the "loo". I'm worried it is out here on the internet somewhere.

The second day we were suppose to have the fast group go to Potato Bottom camp ground, drop all of the stuff the rest of the group would need there then continue out. But our sag driver got a bit behind us and in his panic to catch up with us went flying past and didn't hear us yelling or see us jumping up and down. So then we had to race to try and catch him. I guess you had to be there but it was quite funny and we had a good laugh at the "old geezer". He had what he called an "old geezer" pass that he had lost earlier and so we had good time joking about the being and "old geezer" and loosing the old geezer pass.

OK now the part you have been waiting for. When I got back to camp this ranger drives up and starts to talk to us. I don't have much experience with drinking so did not recognize that he seemed drunk, but the others did. However as he backed out of the campground and had a hard time getting on the road it was quite obvious he was in no condition to drive. But it was to late to do anything about it, and he headed up Hardscrabble hill. As you can see in the pictures the road is barely wide enough for one truck, with cliffs of the side. I was scared that he was going to go off the road and kill himself.

The next morning he comes walking into camp asking if we had a rope that we could use to pull him back onto the road. We didn't, however even if we had I don't think there is any way we could have got his truck back on the road. So I was sitting there waiting for a tow truck to come and get him so I could get past. After awhile I asked him if it was against the law to widen the road. He said it would be OK so I started digging the road wider. Then another truck came along and they helped me dig. This was fortunate because when I finally got it almost wide enough to get past and made the attempt I ended up almost rolling my truck. Luckily the other guy jumped on the front corner of the truck to keep me from rolling. I sat there for a couple of minutes trying to figure out the best way out of this. I could just see doing it wrong, my truck rolls over, smashes my bike, hits the rangers truck and sends it a thousand feet down the cliff and into the river below.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Cold but sunny

It has been snowing the last couple of days but finally yesterday afternoon the sun came out. Our trail was covered in snow until late in the afternoon yesterday and so we were thinking it would be too muddy to ride today. However it warmed up a bit today so we decided to check it out. Turns out the trail was in great shape today, no mud. activity

This picture is from on top of Hardscrabble hill on the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands. I was stuck here for awhile because of a ranger got his truck stuck and we couldn't get past him. I'll give the full story later.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Relocating images

The server I was using to host my images and videos is no longer available. I finally started working on moving all the images to the blogger site. So most of the images are working again. I hope to finish it tonight.

Here is the data from yesterday's ride. Now that the gate at Slate Canyon is being left open the challenge is to climb from the parking lot all the way past the gate until it levels off. I tried twice yesterday and failed both times. I have made it a couple of times before. Yesterday's attempt gave me the highest heart rate I have recorded to date at 185 bpm.

Monday, March 06, 2006

So far so good

Took the ghetto tubeless tires out for a ride today. Both tires were still at full pressure. I rode up Slate Canyon, unfortunately there is still a bit of snow and mud up the canyon so I had to hike-a-bike past the worst parts, and turned around a bit early. It is going to be another week or two before we can really ride up the canyon. I think the canyon will be a good test of the tubeless system. It held up going through the dry river beds with all of the banging on rocks. When the snow melts it will make a good torture test.

My Edge 305 arrived today. I'm fighting of the urge to leave work early to go try it out.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Ghetto tubeless

I decided to try out the Ghetto Tubeless System. So last night I brought my bike home (I have been keeping it at work lately) and installed the tubeless system.

I learned a few things: It is easier to put a little air in the 20" tube and cutting it down the middle before putting it on the rim. If you do it the way the instructions say you end up having to fiddle around with the tube to keep it centered while cutting it.

The Stan's no tubes system says to enlarge the valve stem hole. I didn't want to damage my rims so I didn't do this to start with. However when I was trying to get the bead to seal it just would not do it even when using an air tank to get a large volume of air. The valve stem kept the tube from going into the rim far enough to get a good seal.

It is a lot easier to get the bead to seal if you slosh the sealant around in the tire first. I couldn't get the bead to seal just using soapy water. However when I put the sealant in and sloshed it around so that it got all around the bead it sealed up quite easily. In fact it went so well on the first tire that I decided to try and do it with a hand pump on the second tire. I couldn't get that to work but it did seal up nicely when using the air tank.

If you can find a 20" presta valve tube it would work better. I used tubes bought from Walmart. With a presta valve I could have put the little nut on the valve to hold it in place while trying to fill the tire. Of course since most high volume compressors don't work with presta valves you would need one of those adaptors. With out the presta tube I found I needed a pair of pliers I could use to hold the valve out while inflating with the air tank in order to keep from pushing the valve into the tire and messing up the bead seal.

I think new tires would have been easier. I used the old tires that were already on my bike. They don't have more than a month of riding season wear left in them. But I wanted to try it out on my old tires before messing up some new tires. Anyway my old tires are a bit stretched out and therefore a bit loose on the rim which made getting the seal a bit difficult. I think new tires would work a bit better here.

Old tires have a lot of microscopic holes in the side walls. After sealing up the bead on my front tire I sloshed the sealant around in the tire and in a few seconds everything was sealed up and it kept its pressure. However the rear tire after getting the bead sealed had latex foaming out all over the side walls. Looking at a new Smoke (the rear tire I'm using) it seems that it would work a bit better, but the used tire has a lot of miniature holes in the sidewall. I did this in the middle of the night and couldn't really go out and ride right after installing. The next morning the front tire still had the 50lbs of air in it that I had left it with the night before. The rear tire basically had no pressure. So I put more air in sloshed the sealant around, observed more bubbles coming out the side walls and left it to do my morning chores. When I got back to the bike the rear tire was flat again. I pumped it up again and this time it seems to be holding air. I took it for a ride (the numbers above) around the back yard to get it broken in. Looks like it is holding air fine now.

So far it looks like I am going to like this. After a while I will have to try bunny hopping up over a curb and see how it works. Every time I have tried this with tubes, I snake bite the tubes. I always land hard on the edge of the curb with the back tire. Even with full suspension and high pressure I still snake bite the tubes. If this ghetto tubeless system can pass that test I will figure it is a success. However there are no curbs around my house and I don't think I will push it much while riding with my buddies because I don't want to be holding everyone up while I convert back to tubes.

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