Monday, March 27, 2006

What Tech Tips do you have?

Got some comments about the tech tips from downcycles. I don't know about the WD40 or Pam being used to shed mud off the bikes. I wouldn't do this, would you?? Environmental issues aside, it just doesn't seem practical. I think it would be more of a mess to coat a bike with these than to wash off mud. It would get on clothing, maybe cause you to loose your grip on the bars because it is, after all, slippery stuff.

Also got some comments on aligning tire logos with valve stems. I actually am a dork according to the downcycle guys. I align my logo with the valve stem for flat repair reasons. It gives me a point of reference to locate a thorn or glass in the tire which punctured the tube. I never thought of looking at other's tires to see where the logo/stem I know!!!!!!

Here is my own personal tech tip: I like a clean chain, keep the drivetrain running smoother and lessens wear and tear on expensive components. I have put together a cleaning bucket with a box of disposable latex gloves (clean hands), my chain cleaner gizmo that attaches to the chain, bottle of bio-degreaser, rags (seperate ones for wiping down bike and wiping down chain) and brush. After a dirty ride or a few "clean" rides, I grab my bucket and do a quick drivetrain cleaning. Only takes a few minutes for each bike. I'm teaching my bike riding boys to do this also, its part of our after-ride routine and I don't have any gunk build-up issues. Just make sure to wipe off excess lube from the chain, my son was skipping this part and had a very gunky drivetrain in a short amount of time, it was more work to clean it up than to just do this easy maintanance. My Bike Guy always smiles and comments how nice it is to work on a CLEAN bike when we do need to take them in.

I also read a GREAT article in Mountain Bike Action Magazine about breaking in new disk brakes. In a nut shell, break them in on pavement, before riding in any dirt, you do not want to burn in any dirt into the rotors, which are porous. Alternate light squeezing the brakes and getting them hot, then releasing them and letting them cool, even pouring cool water on them to cool off quicker. Repeat this process a few times. *Warnings - using high speeds and a heavy hand application of the brakes will cause glazing over the pads and rotors, which will effect full braking potential. The article goes on to say if your brakes are noisy or not powerful enough after this, they are most likely not properly aligned. Go to for more.

Finally talked my friend into buying a bike and my other friend is also in the process of buying a bike. Good beginner bikes from the Bike Guy's shop. A co-worker bought a Walmart bike but it's all she could afford and it WILL roll, sort of. At least she's making the effort. I'm working on 2 more friends to convince them to get bikes and we can all ride the bike paths at lunch on sunny days. I ride no matter the weather unless it's really windy and know that most of these rides will be "strolls in the park" rather than a real ride but that's ok. The more people who stroll ride, the more I can take off without worring about leaving someone behind alone.

It's amazing at how some people just don't go outside. Talk about stuck in a rut. My office has about 65 employees and all but 11 of us are OVERWEIGHT by 20 lbs or more. At least 50% of them are majorly overweight. Friend #1 with the new bike is really overweight, to the point she was worried that they didn't make bikes strong enough to hold her. I talked to Bike Guy, he assured me he can make a bike work for her. She also has flexibility issues because she can't reach or bend due to her size. Took her into the shop, he showed her some mountain bikes that are beefy enough and in her price range (K2 Zed). He's going to raise up the bars, shorten the stem and she wants one of those HUGE (I'm talking REALLY HUGE) seats, like at least 10 inches wide, weighs a ton. Advised her about chaffing, etc, but she thinks a small seat will "disappear" (good sense of humor) so I see her point. The goal is to get her comfortable as possible and get her out riding. She didn't like the look of the crusiers or comfort bikes. She is also upgrading to mech disk brakes, she doesn't think rim brakes will work for her due to the inertia of her. size.

I'm waiting, waiting, waiting. I feel like I'm on HOLD, can't do the things I want to do until the shoulder is all healed. It is getting better and I have more movement. I'm finally up to some strengthening movements, use this TINY rubber tube to BARELY pull on 1x day. Unbelievably WHOOSEY but it wears my shoulder out and it's sore the next day. Still icing 3x day, passive arm raises using the pulley 3x's day, trying to put my arm behind my back and move it up and down over my butt (this one is difficult) and started trying to raise my arm up under it's own power as high as I can, which is only about 45 degrees, then place my hand on the wall and pull my arm up the wall with my fingers as far as I can go in the pain-free range, with my arm out front and then out to the side.

The out front movement is harder than out to the side, which they tell me is backwards. Im just unusual, I guess: don't recognize "pain" the way most people do (there are sensations that are uncomfortable but not painfull and then there is PAIN). Anyway, I am usually worn out after physical therapy and my shoulder still feels like it's sort of unhinged.

I am turning into a slug and a whiner. I feel the strength leaving my body from inactivity. It's bugging me. I tossed around the idea of a light jog, gave it up quickly because the jarring would cause PAIN and probably cause things to swell up. The weather is warming up a bit, sun has been out but still cold with windchill. I was looking out the window yesterday, it's time to get out the road bike and start riding. I got on my new, unused Santa Cruz, bounced on the suspension a few time (was holding my self up against the wall), I'm able to reach the bars now and was REALLY TEMPTED to take it OUTSIDE for a RIDE! But with no real control yet of my arm, I am sure it would be a huge mistake. I need to get the studded Nokians off it, but can't because they are the tightest tire I have ever tried to get on/off and I just can't do it even with a fully functioning arm/shoulder. I will have to schlep all my tires from my bikes and my son's bike to the bike shop and let Bike Guy do it.

So...was this post long enough??

Sunday, March 19, 2006


I feel a little out of body right now. Took a vicoden. Sharp pains in shoulder today, enough for me to take a pill. Lets see if I can get through this without too many typos. Reading through my previous posts made me laugh at the typos. Also vicoden means no beer tonight - recently started sipping on Medelo Negra with lime. Yum. Dark beer but not as heavy as a lot of dark beers.

Started physical therapy last week. Have this pulley thing, hook to the door, put the non-working arm in the padded loop, pull on the other end of the rope and it passively lifts my arm up. So I started doing this 3 times a day, then ice. I also went back to work on Wednesday, the way my shoulder/arm was hanging caused my shoulder and neck to really knot up. Went home and did what I was supposed to and back to PT on Friday. My shoulder had swollen up a bit, I didn't really realize it until the Physical therapist pointed it out and massaged and iced me pretty good. She has determined that I have a "high pain threshold" and also have the tendency to push through pain. Of course I push through the pain; I'm a mountain biker, runner, work out, mom, wife...that's what we do or I might as well just sit on my ass and check out of life. So now I am instructed to STOP as soon as I feel anything that could resemble pain and to hold myself back as I tend to "go for the goal".

So I start pondering the pain issue. How would I know I have a high pain threshold? I can't feel what others feel. Yes, I have seen situations where people have complained or exclaimed pain (yelling "ow" for instance) for things that I wouldn't have, but maybe I just don't show it the same way but feel it on the same level.

No pain, no gain. Love hurts. Motherhood: the most painful job you'll ever love (or fatherhood). Pain is weakness leaving the body. Headaches. So happy you cry. Heart is bursting with .... Child birth. Soul pain. Spiritual pain. Happy pain, sad pain. For some people, feeling pain is better than feeling nothing at all. Pain builds us up and tears us down. Good and evil/happy and sad. Riding/running with everything you got, legs/chest burning, crossing the finish line is work the abuse. Beer makes it better, then pain of hangovers. Damn papercuts hurt way too much for what they are.

Overall my shoulder is feeling stronger :) I really am ready to get back to normal, but it will be a few month still. Riding the trainer isn't that great, but better than nothing. My weight is off because I can't grip the bars with my right arm so it's through things off and is uncomfortable.

My son just came in and he needs his back derailleur adjusted, skipping gears. The Zinn book is great, really helpful. Sure wish I had a work stand.

Weather is still snowy and grey, yuck. I want GREEN and SuNSHINE!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006

Snow Sculpture, China Posted by Picasa

Random Bike Tips

Spray your frame with Pam or WD 40 before riding in muddy conditions. The mud will fall off rather than stick to your frame.

Armor All your tires side walls when racing in mud conditions for the same reasons as above.

Align your tires logo with your valve stem. You will look like a dork if you don’t.

Change your chain 1 to 2 times a year to prevent excessive wear to your bikes expensive sprockets.

Broil your contaminated disc brake pads. They will come out like new

Bring spare parts when racing/riding in Canada. A tire is over $100!

Are you one with your bike? This early in the season, many of you will relate to the following list. Be warned that you are riding too much and will burn out by mid season for sure.
You only buy black socks.
You can pedal up any hill in the big ring.
You aim your head to illuminate your path on your midnight stroll to the bathroom.
You pull up on your cars steering wheel when driving over speed bumps.
You find Hex wrenches in the wash.
You have pinch flatted a previously fixed pinch flat.
Your goggle strap is dry rotten.
You’ve eaten bicycle shaped pasta.
You own the Chris King salt and pepper Hub Shakers.
You have a Gravity Research sticker.
You have an Outland racing jersey.
You remember the year when suspension forks came out.
You own bicycle print boxer shorts.
You almost spelled the word boxer, boxxer.
You have a Scary Fast headband.
You have a Yo Eddy pint glass.
You named your first born after your favorite racer.

*thanks to

Now about ME. I can barely lift my arm. Hmm. I start physical therapy on Wednesday, dr gave me a script for the pain AFTER the session, so I am thinking it will be painful. It's weird not to be able to lift my arm and there is some popping going on. Dr says the popping is things rubbing around and it will stablize soon, it hasn't even been 2 wks yet since surgery. I will also try to go back to work on Wednesday, but may put it off until Thursday due to the physical therapy, may need to come home and take a pill.

I will have to stop staying up all night and start getting up early. I don't mind that, I just wish I had a different job, a feel good job, if there is such a thing. My husband was telling me just last night that my mom thinks this job has changed me, made me more cynical and I'm not a negative person (I don't think I am anyway). I think she's right to a certain extent, but that's life.

My son will get his brace off this week, he's happy. I sure hope this works and his ligaments tighten up, no more knee dislocations.

The weather here has turned nippy again, it's still winter. in the low 20's and even lower with windchill. The sun is getting some warmth to it, but not enough to really melt anything. I went up to Hatcher's Pass this weekend, watched people ski, snowshoe, sledding, snowmobiling. I just sat in the truck. Useless do to my arm. It would have been a great day to ride, the trails all nicely hard-packed. Watched 4 guys climb up a mountain, took them about 2.5 hours to the top, then they skied down, which took about 4 to 5 minutes. Not worth it, in my opinion. It's a great view from up there though. My son climbed it last summer. Lots of deaths up there this winter, the latest was a snowboarder caught in an avalance, still haven't found the body.

My son had the opportunity to get an Ironhorse Tentron or something like that, it's a downhiller, for a really good price. Components are top line, lots of travel front and back. Bike guy would bring the price down a few hundred as I am his "Favorite Customer". It's the last one in stock and they aren't making that model anymore. My son was drooling. His dad, however, said NO. Drives me nuts, his dad is in his life 1x per month, just recently cut out the 2x month visits so he can be with his wife alone more (yeah, give me a break), and he has the guts to say no. My son would use his own money, but dear old dad has legal rights to say no.

Friday, March 10, 2006


Dearest Redneck Son, Part 1

Dearest Redneck Son;

I'm writing this slow because I know you> can't read fast. We don't live where we did when you left home. Your dad read in the newspaper that most accidents happen within 20 miles of your home, so we moved. I won't be able to send you the address because the last West Virginia family that lived here took the house numbers when they moved so they wouldn't have to change their address. This place is really nice. It even has a washing machine. I'm not sure about it. I put in a load of clothes and pulled the chain. We haven't seen them since. The weather isn't bad here. It only rained twice last week; the first time for three days and the second time for four days. About that coat you wanted me to send; your Uncle Billy Bob said it would be too heavy in the mail with the buttons on; so I cut them off and put them in the pockets.

Bubba locked his keys in the car yesterday. We were really worried because it took him two hours to get me and your father out. Your sister had a baby this morning, but I haven't found out what it is yet so I don't know if you are an aunt or uncle. The baby looks like your brother...

...Uncle Bobby Ray fell into the whiskey vat last week. Some men tried to pull him out but he fought them off and drowned. We had him cremated, he burned for three days. Three of your friends went off the bridge in a pick-up truck. Butch was driving. He rolled down the window and swam to safety. Your other two friends were in the back. They drowned because they couldn't get the tailgate down. There isn't much more news at this time. Nothing much out of the normal has happened.

Your Favorite Aunt,



Monday, March 06, 2006


I am in a frustrating state of boredom. I am low-tech when it comes to tv, upgraded last year to a whopping 27 incher tv. no cable or satillite. only garbage to watch. yuk and more yuk. My computer is low tech also, still on dial up so it is really slow surfing the net, so i don't do it much. so i read. i am currently reading a few books :

OH MY STARS (novel, chick book, NOT romance, yuk)

WILLIAM NEALY MOUNTAIN BIKE! MANUAL OF BEGGING TO ADVANCED TECHINIQUE (hand written and GREAT "The Far Side"-ish cartoons. This one my son will actually read, I think


So far have learned lots about biking. I have no one with experience to ride with, so these books help. I really don't want to endo and just need this basic information. I can't wait to start using it-about 2 or 3 MONTHS from now. At least i can start visulizing it. I think I will go clipless, maybe Egg braters mallet or candy.

Was reading over Dr instruction for my shoulder. NO USE OF IT AT ALL FOR AT LEAST 6 WEEKS! Good thing I have an automatic tranny in my truck. I will have to use mt left hand to start it and put it in gear. Not driving yet anyway, still on the pain pills. went without most of yesterday, then decided there just isn't any reason to have the pain. muscles tense up and that just doesnt help anything. it really isnt that bad, i am just bored, then tired, and feel like a slug sitting on my butt. tried to ride my road bike on the trainer, but the leaning over makes my arm hang uncomfortably. i will put the brace on and try again. i wish it was sunny outside.

Friday, March 03, 2006

raven getting away before it becomes lunch Posted by Picasa

raven bugging eagle Posted by Picasa

holes and bruises Posted by Picasa


Pian up is removed, brace is off. Lots more pain without pump, more pills, more blurry splurs. It really amazing how the pain litterally melys away when the pill start working...a relief. bruised all up my neck and down mt apm on the operated side, couldn't see it under the brace. didnt realize how heavy the brace was until it came off. I am doing passive arm movements, hurts and feels good at the same time.

sorry guy but i dont get the old monty python stuff, at least the tv stuff. love the tape with happy valley and the buying an arguement. any other suggestions?

eagle hanging out today, raven got too close, eagle flapped a wing at the raven, raen took off quick!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

cryocuff brace, pain pump, bruises in good arm from iv's. ouch. Posted by Picasa


iM HOME, 1 HANDED TYPING. pain med pump putting med directly into shoulder every 4 minutes, plus cryosleeve brace - cold water go in the brace for swelling, pain pills if needed. took an inch off the collarbone and fixed 2 other bones. No soft tissue damage, thats good. no movement of the shoulder at all. physical therapy starts next week. ugh. i'm bored, tv is aweful, brain turning to dog feels bad for me, he follows me everywhere and lays his head on my lap. he needs a bath..