Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Big Ring in print

In the latest edition of Ottawa Outdoors magazine, Big Ring Racing's very own Zamboni becomes a published writer, while Kark (a.k.a. Curvy Butt) gets to be eye candy for mtn bikers learning to corner properly.

Big Ring Racing, along with our very generous sponsor Axis Gear, also gain some spot light. Looking forward to finally pulling our new jerseys on!

And one of our favourite shops gets some props too. The boys at the Moose have a funny sense of humor, like to say "Neeeeee!". . . . and have pointy teeth too.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Big Ringer Podiums at 8 Hr Race

Congratulations to Tanya for taking third place out of thirteen solo female riders at the Opus 8 Hr race yesterday at the Mansfield Outdoor Centre.
Tanya really needs some make-up help ladies. Anyone with some tips??
Actually this is a post-race photo - a very dry and dusty course.

12 laps with an average speed of 40 min 18 sec a lap
and a fastest lap of 36 min 12 sec.
Results here (clicky, clicky)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

NGR - Sock Guy Socks

A few weeks ago the original Big Ring was kind enough to drop off a pair of socks. 'SockGuy' is a Big Ring sponsor so I decide to give this product a Naked Gear Review.

I was originally going to display them in action with my new travel-friendly IRO singlespeed rig I recently built-up, but the socks go so well with my black & silver Niner EMD color scheme that I decided I should profile them with it instead.

These socks fit like a dream. Seriously, they are really comfortable. The ankle area has a fairly thick material and snug fit, yet the foot area has a thinner more breathable material.

So enough with the typical modelling pictures, it's time to take these socks outside and see them in action. Yes... that's right, I said outdoors. None of this indoor/concealed stuff for this fine sponsor!

With a refreshing 10 degrees Celsius outside, I was sure happy to find good use for the 3rd sock.

Here's another fine profile action shot. See what I mean how nice they go with the Niner?

After just a few outings I can see why these socks are so popular. It's a well engineered product. I give it a three thumbs up!

PS: Big Ring, I hope to get a solid mark on this review. Since the shaving I've been experiencing some rather uncomfortable itchiness...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Inaugural Ride - May 15

I had a busy long weekend and was out of town for bit. Therefore, I didn't have a chance to post the pics from the 13th edition of the Inauguaral Ride.

We had an absolutely perfect day for the ride - sunshine, blue skies, temps around 18C. Playing hookie from work were Big Ringers Tobin (Coco), Dr Peter, and myself and we were joined by friends Martin and Joe. The ride took us from Relais Plein Air in Hull, up the 15 to Kingsmere and onto the #1 to the Champlain Lookout where we did another loop through Western and #26 and made out way back - it was just over 4okms, I think.

We did not take a lot of pics as the mosquitoes and black flies were in abundance. Although, no one lost a body part to the bugs!

Joe riding by the swamp on the #15

Martin, Dr. Peter and Coco - No he didn't take his helmet off for the picture, he forgot it!

In 13 years I have only missed one Inaugural ride. I believe Tobin has made all of them.

It was my first ride on the big rigg. It definitely rolls over anything! My forks were not quite set as I want them and the ride was at bit harsh at times. I need to play with the settings. I may set the forks to 100mm from 80mm.

Dr. Peter and Joe enjoying post ride refreshments at the Chelsea Pub...

Training Camp en France

Big Ring Racing's remedial training camp in the Rhone-Alpes region of France is well underway. We, in the first person singular sense, are stationed in Saillans, in the Drome valley. Monday's ride was a 150km loop that included one HC and two Category One climbs.

This is the second time in 8 months I've had the pleasure of riding in France, the last time being in the Nice area last September.

I'm riding a bike I rented from a fellow in the nearby town of Crest. Found him on the internet of course. He's got a small bike shop where he rents cheap bikes to tourists. Fortunately, he's about my size and I persuaded him, through the magical act of handing him a mittful of cash, that he should give me his personal all-carbon, dura-ace road bike for the week. I believe he was holding back tears when he passed it to me. If anyone is wondering, nice bikes ride better than bikes they are nicer than. I can tell. It's like having an extra gear.

I was a bit concerned about having a 12-25 in the rear after struggling up some of the climbs around Nice using my 12-27, but even the 3km long climbs at 7.5% have gone okay. The 15km at 5% wasn't too bad though I was a bit concerned when the snow started appearing and the fog rolled in. Good thing I have a lot of experience freezing to death on bicycles.

Today's 70k "recovery ride" took me to the tiny town of Bourdeaux (not Bordeaux) which has the remains of some Roman walls running across the knolls around the town. The wind funnelling through the gap at one of the mountain passes hit me so hard today that I almost went over the edge. I can think of worse ways to go.

Tomorrow I will tackle the Col de Chaudiere which locals tell me is a bit of a challenge. Thursday is a day off (going to Grenoble) and Friday will be another six hour day, mixing road and mtb rides together.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The hills were alive with the sound of bikes

Doing my best Julie Andrews impersonation on top of Camp Fortune today.

After singing Edelwiess a few times while spinning around on top of the hill, we got a couple of good laps of Fortune in.

When Curvy Butt wasn't rock'in on the descents,
he was diving head first into ice cream freezers.

Lenny styl'in on Black Bear.

Brook Trout

I've skied this section of the park many times, but I've never seen it without snow on it. I thought that the track groomers went across the swamp after it froze, and didn't realize that there was a causeway running across it.

Got a little more than four hours in today. Just over 9 hrs in two days. Next weekend I'll be putting almost that much time in on Saturday at the Mansfield 8 Hr.

Coco & Golonghardman Season Kickoff Longride

On May 2nd Tobin and Rick set off for a wee ride to Peterborough (Tobin) and Midland (Rick). This ride was inspired by baby Noah's christening on the Sat and supposedly Tobin wanted to show up in style so he suggested it. I loved the idea since i have driven the route we would take dozens of times and have daydreamed of riding it, with the many hills and rolling terrain. The road to Bancroft is 240km then 113km to Peterborough and 215km to Midland.

This is the seat post rack and pannier we both used for the ride. We needed just enough room for an overnighter and this little gimmick fit the purpose nicely. It still added 15lbs to Ricks bike!

A 6:30 am start from Tobins, weather looks great, maybe we'll miss that rain they called for.

The Luskville escarpment lined our route as we headed towards Shawville.

Tobin's excited. We had a pretty decent tailwind all the way to Shawville from Chelsea for about 70km that we took full advantage of, cruising at speeds of up to 45kms/hour and clucking away like old hens. We paid when we had to turn back in the opposite direction to make Renfrew. This included 13kms on the 17, where Tobin added the additional challenge of eating an apple.

Can you see the tailwind?

Shortly after we left Renfrew , Jenn caught up to us on her way to her moms where Rick would be arriving the next day. Rick kept Riley busy while Tobin shows off his smile.

In Griffith , Tobin quickly noticed the "Pizza" sign and suggested we order one. While waiting for pizza i downed a whole bag of beef jerky. When i got my pizza this scenario took place. The wind caught the pizza box and whipped it out of my hand, we watched as my delicious carbs spiraled through the air, then bounced one piece upside down and all stayed in the box! Damn good pizza!

This is the "Shoe Tree" just outside of Bancroft. These people are bored.

We did get some little bit of the rain that was called for, it just sprinkled us lightly and was of no real concern. Ann had actually called while we were at Timmys in renfrew to tell us there was a downpour where she was just outside of Peterborough, not far from Bancroft when speaking of storm fronts, so we got lucky.

On day one we made Bancroft in 8hrs 30min saddle time with an 28.8km average over 240km and a total time on the road of 11hrs.

We stayed at the Best Western in Bancroft. Decent room, neither of us could eat all our dinner, and we decided to forego the shuffle board game until next time.

Rise and shine. Day 2 was a 5am wake up.

We all know the value of sports lubricant! Rick use's Chamois Butter.

For any of you kids reading this who "don't know about sports lubricant", it goes on the skin where friction occurs,that causes rashes and painful irritation. This is where Rick puts his.

The stuff is a must.

It also comes in handy when you make sweet love with your riding partners.

Alas but just after 13km of riding together on day 2 the riding partners head off on there own adventures riddled with starvation, gluttony, and headwinds.

Rick said:

This was the view after Tobin and I parted. It was a beautiful , serene setting.

Doing the rest of the ride alone was alright, i didn't have to worry about keeping pace with another rider so that was no concern, but i did have a moment of loneliness for awhile until i got down to business .

After about 30km i had that "when the hell is the pace going to pick up!" feeling and so started to fuel up. The pace picked up and i started picking off towns, Kinmount was the big milestone at 80km from Bancroft, then Norland, Uphill , Sebright, next stop Orillia!

The weather started to act up at about 40km from Orillia with some spitting. At Sebright, about 26km out of Orillia, it started to rain in earnest but it was warm and i didn't want to stop, so i continued through to the Tims on the far side of town and got well soaked. I put on the trusty goretex Jenn got me at Tims and headed out for the final 40km to Port, a pleasant surprise because i had it as about 60km for some reason.

Just as i reached the final hill just off the highway , about 2 or 3 kms from Jenn at her moms house, this is what i saw.

I let out a hoot and a holler , "You missed me you bastard! I'm here! Fug you!"

And then it rained that torrential sheet rain like it does in high winds. I loved it, an awesome finish to an awesome ride.

So day 2 for me was 215km, 8hrs in the saddle, 9hrs on the road.

Total ride time, 16hrs 30mins in the saddle, 455kms covered with an 27.5km average. Booya!

Great idea Tobin! We're looking at options for the next epic ride.

Rick said:

This handy little syringe from Progold stashed nicely in my repair kit. I sure needed it, look at my chain! Progold is great stuff it just cleaned the chain right up.


Friday, May 16, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


After an entire winter collecting parts from the four corners of North America, I finally had all I needed to put together my new 29er - Salsa Mamasita.

The good folks at Phat Moose offered BRR a sweet deal on Salsa frames.
It was love at first sight when I saw the Mamasita; it had to be mine!!
Scandium and carbon fibre - very sexy!

To get the bike build underway, I took the frame back to Phat Moose for the installation of the fork/headset and the BB and crankset, I didn't want to screw that up!

Kent shaves down the head tube before installing the headset.
Note the concentration!
Pretty cool device he had there.

Fork/headset and stem installed - looks awesome!

Next up was the BB and crankset. Kent made quick work of that!

Kent stands behind his great work!

The next part was now up to me and my mechanic; it took us a couple of days to complete because the mechanic has the attention span of a 2 yr old...

Disc caliper installed

The levers, shifters were next

Derailleur on!

Shifter cables - note the red. Everything on this bike is
colour coordinated with the frame colours!!

Even the red spoke nipples match the frame!

The finished product - everything works as it supposed to!

The Test Ride

The mechanic celebrates a job well done with a burger the size of her head! Mmmm!!!