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Messages - Draggon

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Tech Bench / Re: Quality, long lasting MTB shoes?
« on: August 27, 2013, 08:09:45 AM »
I'm planning on purchasing my first set of clipless shoes soon, and I've been reading a lot of reviews. It seems like a lot of people barely get 6-12 months out of their shoes (Specialized) before the seams start ripping and the ratchet/straps start breaking or jamming.

That's an interesting observation to me.  I've been wearing the same pair of Specialized MTB shoes since 9/2005 and have just recently bought a 2nd pair (Specialized) to go along with my new bike.  I put between 1500 and 2000 miles a year on my bike.

Met you this am (yellow shirt) in Brown County and joined this afternoon.
Richard Greene

Heh - that's awesome.  Good luck with the bike!

Draggon (or Ron - the guy with Steve yesterday)

Newbies Corner / Re: Hand and wrist pain.
« on: August 17, 2013, 11:21:15 AM »
Disclaimer - I'm not an expert, just had some experience with this issue...  :)

Five tips to offer:

Try to ride with a firm, but relaxed grip.  The firmness may well vary based on the difficulty of what you're riding, but try to make a conscious effort to relax your grip periodically on the trail where you deem it safe to do so.

We often ride with a finger or two on the brake lever depending on sight lines, downhilling, etc.  I've found that 1-finger braking is much more comfortable for me than 2-finger (which I did for the first few riding years).

When you ride, your hand and forearm should be in alignment - in other words, the wrist should not be noticeably bent up or down as it puts a good deal of stress on the muscles in the lower arm and wrist.  I was doing this for awhile a few years ago and I started getting ongoing wrist/forearm pain.

Try to evaluate whether you're "reaching" too far on your bike.  This can be tough without an experienced eye helping out, but if the stem is too long, the seat is too far back, or the bars are too low, you could be putting an inordinate amount of your body weight on your hands.

Lastly, if none of the above works, try to borrow a (or buy a cheap used) pair of ergonomic grips like the Ergons (http://www.ergon-bike.com/us/en/home).  I find them to be very comfortable (providing you get the wrist angle set correctly - see above) and am contemplating replacing the grips on my brand-new bike with a pair.

Good luck!

Brown County State Park / Re: Report Trail Issues
« on: August 02, 2013, 08:21:59 PM »
I just uploaded the version I've been working on the last couple of weeks.  It's a clean (electronic) copy of the 2013 map with about 15 GPS points set throughout the park.  The name is:

"Brown County State Park - 2013"

Please note the "-" (dash) between "Park" and "2013" which is the only differentiation from the previous map discussed in this thread.

Just an FYI - everyone should check their membership status with IMBA.  I saw the contest for the bike and thought, "Aw, I'm already a member, so I won't have a shot at that super-sweet bike.", BUT...  I just checked today, and I joined IMBA in January 2012, which of course expired in January 2013!  I assumed I'd get some kind of renewal notice, but I do not recall receiving one, and I would have jumped right on the renewal.

Short version - check your renewal date - they may not have notified you when it expired!  I honestly couldn't believe I wasn't a member of IMBA/HMBA!!

Brown County State Park / Death at BCSP today :(
« on: July 26, 2013, 07:04:22 PM »
Link:  http://www.browncountyindiana.com/index.php?id=14475

Happened between the parking lot connector and the turn-off to Green Valley.  Trail was closed down by officers who sent tired bikers all the way back around North Tower to leave the park.  (just stating a fact - not saying they shouldn't have done so)

Condolences to anyone who knew the poor (as yet unidentified) guy...   :'(

Edit - they've released the rider's name:  Phillip Hunter, 58, Indianapolis

That is incredibly awesome news!   ;D

I bought my first ever state pass last year in September and still broke even.

Heh...  Did a similar thing last year (2011).  I got a late start to riding because of a huge work project.  The guy at the gate actually asked if I was sure that's what I wanted - I assured him that even if I didn't get my "money's worth", I was glad to support the park.  He smiled and swiped my credit card...   :D

Brown County State Park / Re: Fall Riding for my first time ........
« on: October 25, 2012, 09:19:28 PM »
encountered my first UNSEEN (covered with leaf) root.  Almost wiped out !!!

Grats on keeping the rubber side down!  I was on Green Valley today and rolled onto an unseen 1-1/2" diameter, 3 ft long stick that way laying parallel on the trail.  Of course, the stick rolled, and my bike was thrown off course.  Before I knew it, I was staring into the abyss of a very steep decline into a ravine.  I immediately laid the bike back against the hill and managed to backslide down the hill.  Finally came to a stop and watched my bike slide another six feet before hanging up on a tree.

I crab-walked/slid down to my bike and surveyed the situation.  At first, I thought there was no way back to the trail and that I'd be hiking the ravine until I could find a way up.  Undaunted, I tried the ascent up the 12'-15' steep-arsed hill.  I grabbed my seatpost in one hand and the headset in the other, faced the hill, and used my bike as leverage by placing it about chest high up the hill while I hung on and dug my toes into the hillside.  Step by step, I made it up that dang hill and got back to the trail.  As I stood at the top sucking wind, another rider coming from the other direction nearly lost it on a rock hidden in the leaves.

No noticeable damage to either myself or the bike, so I took off and proceeded to roll much, much slower.  Be careful out there, folks.  Those leaves are treacherous!   :o

Rants and Raves / Re: Is it just me or...
« on: October 24, 2012, 06:35:37 PM »
Ok, so I don't have to give up mountain biking - thanks, guys!   ;D

Did I imagine Gnawbone posting something about mojo, or did I read that in a different forum?!?

Oh, and I likely misrepresented my fear of Schooner.  It's not the trail I fear, it's the stupid rider who won't acknowledge that somethings maybe a little too tough for him...  I have been down there, and it is a beautiful trail.

Rants and Raves / Is it just me or...
« on: October 23, 2012, 11:48:41 AM »
... do we all experience "one of those days"?

I've been riding BCSP once or twice a week all summer gearing up for my Breakdown goal, so I've gotten pretty decent at riding the place.  I still fear Schooner, so I never go down there, but I've ridden Walnut all year with little issue.

Sunday I go out, and I'm just not feeling especially focused or balanced on the technical stuff.  First noticed on the log hop on Green Valley where I nearly ditched it to the right but managed to stay upright.

Next, I'm crossing the stream on the way to Aynes just before the old foundation and the bike suddenly disappear out from under me and I'm kneeling on the ground.

Then I'm navigating the notched log on Walnut and landing especially roughly on the other side, but managed to keep stay upright with some small body-bike bumps.

Next, I'm climbing the first rocky tech section on Walnut (north to south), I hit a rock wrong and teeter over the very steep hill to the right.  Managed to get my feet spread and catch some dirt to prevent a long downhill slide.

Then on the way back on Walnut (south to north), I managed the gnarly technical root nicely, pull the bike to the right and proceed to not get my weight back in time for the next exposed root thus plummeting off my bike (more of a side-o than an end-o fortunately), but landing hard on my arm and leg on the roots.

This combined with multiple near misses along the way made for a highly unusual ride for me.  Reminiscent of my beginner days where if I wasn't sporting some major bumps and bruises, I hadn't been riding.  My legs and arm are going to be sporting some good color in a couple more days.

I hate to say it for fear of sounding like a masochist, but I still enjoyed the ride.  Just got really frustrated with myself and what little skill I thought I'd built up this year.

Brown County State Park / Breakdown... literally... :(
« on: October 14, 2012, 06:43:17 PM »
Was feeling great on my first breakdown getting past the cabin.  Had just sampled one of Kirk's famous hamburgers (yUMmY!) which I'd heard about from some of the longer riders but had figured was one of those "bigfoot"-type stories.  Upon leaving the sag and heading down the road, I started hearing a tink - tink - tink sound from the rear of the bike.  Ignored it for a bit, but finally looked down at the back wheel and saw it wobbling noticeably as it rolled.  I stopped the bike and found THREE broken spokes (verified as FOUR after getting back to the north gate and taking an even closer look).  The were all on the same side of the wheel and were sequential.  Ride done...   :'(

Thing is - I have no idea how it happened or how long they'd been that way!  I had not wrecked or hit anything especially hard, but there they were.  Scary thing is I'd just gotten done bombing down that gravel road to get to the sag...  yikes!

Enough whining - I'd like to give a big shout out THANKS to Tony from BGI North who went above and beyond the call of duty by driving me from the Yellowood sag all the way around to the cabin to pick up my son who had a rear hub going out on him and then all the way back around to the north gate.  I had no idea it was that far on the road to get from point A to point B!

Disappointing to say the least.  I had really put a lot of riding time in getting ready for my first 60+ miler at the BCBD.

Ah well - met some nice folks and had a darned fine 38 mile ride.  Thanks for splitting the storms around us whoever managed that!  :)

Brown County State Park / Re: Break Down Prep on Saturday, 10:00AM at HP
« on: October 08, 2012, 09:49:43 AM »
Thanks for the effort, Paul & Steve!

Tech Bench / Re: Chain Maintenance ? Do's & Don'ts ?
« on: September 21, 2012, 08:26:35 PM »
I really like this cog brush:


I use it before every ride to get the grit & grime off my cassette, chain & the derailleur rollers.  The large brush is great for the cassette & chain, the small brush on the end has very stiff bristles, perfect for the rollers.

I generally lube the chain after every 40-50 miles, let it sit for a few minutes & wipe it down with a shop rag.  I use a light lube I recently discovered called ProLink & am really liking it.

As others have mentioned, I also measure the chain (I use a .75/1.0% chain wear indicator) and replace it just after the "1.0" side can drop into the chain.  (This should be just under the 12 1/8" mentioned earlier as measured with a tape/ruler).  With my eyes, it's just easier than trying to line up and read a tape.

Events / Re: 8th Annual Brown County Breakdown
« on: September 15, 2012, 02:35:51 PM »
do you have a link to see who has signed up yet?


There's a link in a box at the top of the registration page that says "Who's Registered".  It took me a while to find it a few weeks ago.

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