Friday, January 06, 2012

Life - Stuff For Bike Racing

Yesterday was nice to me in a few different ways.

First off a package showed up at work. The coworker that brought in the packages from the back grinned and looked at me.

"I guess you'll be busy for the next few hours?"

He was holding a box from Apple.

Yes, the new finish line camera computer had arrived.

I realized I was getting old when I thought, "Oh, man, what a pain, I have to set this thing up" instead of "Cool! A new computer that I get to set up!"

I guess it's like bike stuff. I get something and just think that it's going to be a pain, not that I just got some cool new bike stuff.

So, yeah, I haven't even opened the box yet. But I'm happy to have received it.

Ultimately though this will be the finish line camera computer, able to record and play back video quickly. My goals for Bethel include putting up a much more comprehensive results page and this is part of the deal (I have to capture all numbers quickly and efficiently). The Firewire port (lacking on my current Mac) and HDMI port (for a bigger monitor/TV) will help us accomplish that.

(The camera part is still TBD, but I know that our current camera is not HD and therefore will not get numbers as well as a full blown HD camera.)

Due to some issues with my registration laptop, it's possible that we'll be going all Mac for the race - the old MacBook may become the registration computer.

(Eventually I'll have a separate post for Bethel new-stuff for 2012.)

Later in the day, when the boss came back from the post office, she gave me a small cardboard box. I read the mailing label.

"World Cycling Productions"
Yes! My DVDs arrived.

(There is an issue where they didn't take off shipping and stuff but I'll deal with that later. And if someone is buying a LOT of DVDs - which is recommended when you buy from WCP - contact me for a code.)

The MacBook is in the box underneath the DVDs.

Again, since I'm old, I haven't opened a single DVD.

Not a single one!

I selected the DVDs because I didn't remember most of the races (the play by play bit and in many cases who won). I did remember the '94 Paris Roubaix, almost virtually play by play, but it's so epic I wanted it on DVD.

The 2011 Tour, well, I thought it was a great race so I wanted it.

Although I didn't open up any of the new DVDs, I did do a trainer ride yesterday while watching DVD#2 in the 12 hours of the 2008 Giro (Contador on the beach one). When I finish that up I'll put in some of the new ones.

Oh, speaking of which, we went shopping for a DVD player just recently. Some of my DVDs weren't loading properly in my bike room DVD players (there are 5 in there now). They'd play fine upstairs so I knew it was a hardware issue.

A new, inexpensive Sony DVD player and I was back in business. Three DVD players to go on free cycle. And one combo unit (DVD/VCR) which I'll keep (it plays some DVDs consistently).

These have been some recent "things to do" on my list.

I have two more immediate projects. One is sending my orange Tsunami back to Tsunami Bikes to have the rear chainstays shortened. The frame's been sitting here and I just need to pack it up and send it out. I think I've mentioned it here before - it's still in the "to be done" category.

The goal is to get the bike to handle a bit more neutrally. When I spec'ed out the very long frame, I didn't realize it would unweight the rear so much. As a result of the unusually forward weight distribution, the rear would skitter in any sharp turn under power. The black Tsunami, with a similar forward stance but just 39 cm stays (normal is 40.5 cm), stays firmly planted in the exact same corners.

Therefore I want 39 cm stays (or as close to that as possible) on the orange frame.

The other is doing a "rocking" conversion to a CycleOps trainer, which I don't think I've written about here. I have a third CycleOps "frame" (everything but the resistance unit) and I'm going to have a friend weld some plates to make it into something that I can rock (tilt).

I'm going to give this guy the CycleOps frame, a big piece of steel (it weighs about 50 pounds), and some cardboard templates to copy. He'll cut them (plasma or bandsaw), weld them, and we'll see what happens.

I'll use wood for cross beams and forward beams. The trainer will require cross beams since I'll eliminate the two fold down legs, and it'll need forward beams since the bike will otherwise twist the stand forward (like the stand wants to do a forward roll). I'll use wood because we have some at home but also I don't want to ask my friend to weld a gazillion things.

Finally, although it happened the day before yesterday, I also got some bars - FSA Compact Wings. I got them from an LBS that's not quite so nearby but on the way home from running to/from Bethel. The owner, Jeff, uses the FSA Compacts, so I decided I'd give them a shot.

The bars may supplant the crit bend bars I so adore, with their forearm-saving forward curve. Pretty much all regular bars hit my forearm when sprinting. If the FSA Compacts don't, I've found a new bar (and I'll post some info on them).

And, yes, because I'm getting old, I haven't touched the bars since I got home. They're still sitting in their minimal packaging. I'm psyched to have them. Not psyched to fit them to the bike.

Hey, look, at least I brought them downstairs to the bike room.

No comments: