Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Califor-ny-ah
December 20th, 2019

So a nice end to the year with the chance to spend some time in Silicon Valley and San Francisco. I’ve been to the USA several time in the past but have never ridden a bike there. I decided that a free weekend in San Francisco was an opportunity too good to pass up – time to go biking.

First challenge, hiring a bike. So turns out that there are lots of bike hire businesses in San Francisco. Fewer with decent mountain bikes and fewer still with full suspension bikes. Chose Blazing Saddles in the end and although I went in wanting something bouncy I rode out on a Marin Nail Trail 29er 1×11 hardtail.

Marin County

Biking to the bridge is flat mostly with a bit of up here and there and then a cilmb up to the bridge. Dodge the walkers, runners, Segways, slower bikers and zip across the bridge on the bike lane side. Very organised. Lots of people on expensive road bikes wearing Rapha. Kept up with some of them on flat pedals in baggy shorts – received some funny looks. Turns out fittish person on normal bike is faster than less fit people on electric bikes.

Marin County

Over the bridge I had a ungraceful dismount stopping to take some layers off ripping the skin off my knuckles on some badly setup brake levers. Dripping blood I took a left climbing up past the Marin Headlands sign on the closed-to-cars coast road, until… offroad trails!

Marin County

Marin County

Marin County

A lot of the trails are highway wide, sanitised by UK standards. Still rode a few of the classics that have graced the names of Marin Bikes for years.

Marin County

Pushing northwards toward the Tennessee Valley trail head things became a bit more interesting – switchbacks, singletrack, steps and more mountain bike superhighways!

Marin County

Marin County

Marin County

Didn’t see many people on the trails other than walkers, but there were a few out. Nice shorts and t-shirt day in mid-December just made it a nice ride to explore surroundings.

Marin County

Marin County

Came pretty close to the Muir Woods but was running out of time to get back in the day light. I’ll have to come back to ride those and head up Mount Tam. Stopped off at Mike’s Bikes on the way back through Sausalito. Had a good chat with the very friendly staff (one had recently been over to Scotland and had ridden Glentress) and dribbled over some Santa Cruz exotica before heading for Pizza.

Marin County

Back in the city in the fading light, I might have to look at a 29er hardtail. They feel fast and one could be a good exploring bike.

2018 Round Up
January 1st, 2019

The lesson for riding (or lack of) this year has been be careful what you wish for at work…

Year in Sport

1,912km with 25,539m climbing. The year is summed up with a longest ride of 16.7km. That’s a shocker.

Workshop Time
December 28th, 2018

A year of riding the Ti Cross Deluxe has taken it’s toll on the IF. A rear tyre that has punctured on the last three rides. New rear tyre to replace a well worn Conti Cyclocross King that had been been worn smooth and some new tubes. The gears that don’t shift so well and I suspect is down to an old chain.

Update: The new chain worked on about 2 of 10 gears so a new sprocket was then ordered. The old one refused to come off, requiring the rivets to be popped on the cassette and each sprocket worked off in turn.

Destroyed Gear Cluster Sprockets

Then there was the ominous creak from the cranks that seemed to come and go with time but was never a good sign. New bottom bracket required and whilst I was at it I drilled the bottom bracket shell for drainage and cleaned everything up.

Ti Cross Deluxe Servicing

I like the more compact replacement XT unit, but that minimal size means smaller bearings (and a new fitting tool – fortunately that comes in the box). It will be interesting to see what mileage I get out of this one.

Ti Cross Deluxe Servicing
The brakes have been less than optimal and on the most recent rider were giving cause for concern. It meant workshop time!

Ti Cross Deluxe Servicing

More Snow
February 4th, 2018

January saw snow. And ice. Cold temps and those that climbed up into the mid-teens on some days. Keeping riding meant some challenging conditions, but there was no wimping out and taking the easy option of the car. That’s despite the prospects of permanent four wheel drive, snow tyres, heated leather and tunes.

I’m thinking that I am committed. It’s possible that some colleagues think that I should be committed.

Biking Updates

Biking Updates

Biking Updates

Biking Updates

2017 Round Up
January 4th, 2018

Year in Sport

43,263m climbing, 2,869km riding. Phew.

IMBA: Long Live Long Rides