Monday, January 16, 2012

I'm not angry, I'm disappointed...

The jetwash debate (pressure washer),
When my pedal decided to die on sunday (10k up an 11k climb, just before the sweeeeet downhill) and end my ride, the guys who were with me immediately insisted that it was because I use a pressure washer to clean my bike after a ride.
This myth about pressure washers destroying.... er... pedals and stuff is starting to bug me. Does a jet of water really get into bearings and destroy them? No seriously I would love to know for sure one way or the other. Obviously you would have to be pretty dumb to shove the nozzle into a fork seal or bearing dust cap and blast away so discount any of that.
My company has about 50 bikes and we use a pressure washer to clean them, its really the only way to do it without employing half of the Philippines, bikes are tricky to get clean, its complicated and tedious. I do sometimes wonder, when something breaks on one of them; is it because we use a pressure washer?
My pedal is two years old, had a lot of time in rivers, covered in mud and silt and done quite a few miles, is it at all possible that the pressure washer had bugger-all to do with its demise?
I stand to be corrected, at your service, let me know the results of your research, or the considered opinion of a respected professional (I am afraid that since I know several MTB journalists I do not consider their sayings as particularly sooth).
My ceramic bottom bracket is fine, not a hint of a grind or wobble but when it eventually goes, as will all the moving components on my bike since I am too tight to replace them out of vanity, I have little doubt that someone will utter the words "thats what happens when you use a pressure washer" with a knowing grimace (and probably a maid that cleans his / her bike).
Its not a rant, more of a rail against nonsensical mountain biking mythology. It is human nature to hear something and simply believe it because it sounds like it might be plausible, the problem is that it then gets repeated and repeated like an old piece of wisdom passed down through the ages like 'dont lick your razor' or 'wear trousers in the snow'
Off to get some new pedals tomorrow then.....

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Message to me

A depressing truth about modern society is that we have to take more and more responsibility for ourselves in completely new ways.

Sure we have more trappings of civilisation; legal institutions, UN conventions, media, communications, free markets and all that but these things in themselves present us with dilemmas and issues that have been hitherto almost unknown.
Yes it is a mountain biking blog, bear with me.
I dont need to move too far in my everyday life, got motorised vehicles, got remote controls, got portable communications devices, so there goes most of my 'incidental' exercise.
Food of a high standard (protien and fat loaded) are extremely accessible, even delivered if I wish and at a very affordable price so theres the fuel that my everyday life no longer requires.
You see where this is going?
The upshot of this situation is that we are in need of a reality check from time to time. For one there are millions of people who cannot find enough food to fuel their every day life, despite the shrinking world. Secondly it is a dangerous situation for our physical wellbeing, ah you know what I am saying, it makes us fat. Too much food, not enough exercise = lard-ass. ipso facto.

That is right, back to the subject of the blog and dont think this is purely a 'get out there and ride to stay slim' message I'm not that banal (not today leastways), its a case of performance and physical shape that  affect your riding.
For a start heavier means slower climbing & harder climbing. It also has impact on how the bike and you perform technically, more top weight means balance is harder, more chance of pinch flats and loss of traction not to mention the potentially hazardous (or comical) situations when the brakes are not up to the job of bringing you to a stop in time!
Sure Mountain bike riding is a great way to stay in shape but the very sport you love could become far less fun if you put on the weight.

I will be headed to the hills this sunday, rain or shine, to slog it out on the trails and remind myself why I got a carbon frame and lightweight components, not for the sake of being able to eat myself into a huge sofa dent but so my riding could be better.

Its going to be a good year for riding, I have a list of trails that I need to explore and lots of people to go riding with.