Hotter N Hell Hundred Expo and Criterium Friday

We arrived at the MPEC area around 5:00 on Friday. Searching for a parking space is as challenging as the Saturday endurance ride. We finally tracked down a spot where the occupier was leaving and pulled in as close as we could to the oversize pickup truck in front of us that wasn’t parked too well. Walking to the MPEC building it started to sprinkle a few drops but nothing serious. Once we were inside the hallways were busy and at times difficult to navigate but the signs pointed the way to registration. I preregistered and it was a breeze. After getting number 4465 we went to pickup my rider packet in the main hall. I was behind another person and then I got the bag including the T-shirt.

Leaving that line I walked through official store but didn’t find anything I couldn’t live without. From there we entered into the Expo maze. Below is pictures from the Expo and the women’s criterium race. Click on the image to go to Flickr to see the album.

2015 Hotter N Hell 100

The Rubbing Rear Bike Wheel Saga

Yesterday I posted this on

Rear Tires Rubbing the Inside of the Left Chainstay
I ride a Stradalli RP-14 Carbon bike. A few months ago I noticed a spot on the inside of the left chainstay where the tire rubs. I think the problem might be from a wide tire. The tires that came with the bike were 23mm wide. I had a problem with flats on the rear tire so I changed to a 700×25 Gatorskin. A couple of weeks ago I wondered if the tire was still rubbing so I put some blue painter’s tape over the spot. Today I removed the rear wheel and saw the tape was worn away over the spot. My rear tire has about 4900 miles on it so I will need to replace it soon. I have some 700×25 tires but I decided to buy a pair of 700×23 Gatorskins. I hope the 2 mm makes a difference on the rubbing.
    To help keep the tire from rubbing the frame I put a piece of Duck Tape over the spot. (Duck Tape fixes about everything, right?)
    The weather in SE Texas has been frigid for months so I have not been riding much. This might have been a good thing. I have tried moving the rim from side to side to simulate the rubbing but I can’t move it enough with my hand to touch the chainstay. I suspect my full weight and body movement out of the saddle may be enough to flex the wheel to the side. I checked the spokes and all are tight.
    I was wondering if I put a very thin washer on the inside of the left side of the skewer if this would move the wheel to the right.
    Anybody have this problem?

The first comment was from gregf83: (several others offered ideas as well)

“I would check the dish on your wheel. If multiple wheels are offset and too close to one chainstay then it’s an issue with your frame. You could always re-dish your wheel to fit the frame but that might be a hassle if you swap wheels”

I had not thought about the dish being wrong but when I brought the Stradalli inside it was clear that was the problem. I got a private message from another person with an offer to help and a truing stand.

I had to dig out my ancient (1980’s) wheel truing stand from under the dust. Putting the wheel in the stand I could see it was true. So I started to work on the dish. It took a while and I thought I wasn’t making any progress. I doubted myself and went to one bike shop to see if they could check the dish but they didn’t have or couldn’t find their dish gauge. Next I went to Bike Barn Atascocita and they had a gauge. It was 2 mm out of dish. I was considering leaving it with them until he said a week and $35 to $45. So I took the wheel back home and continued. After loosening the non-drive spokes a 1/2 turn and tightening the drive side spokes I changed the dish 2 mm to the drive side. Putting the wheel in the frame it is now centered much better than before. I will check the Duck tape after a ride to see if it has any marks.

Before thinking of the dish being out of whack I ordered two 700×23 Gatorskin tires in case the 700×25 Gatorskins were the cause. The bike came with 700×23 Schwalbe tires. If that was the case I had three 700×25 tires but no bike to put them on. Now with the dish corrected I will put the 700×25 on the rear and the 700×23 on the front. It is almost time to change tires if I ever get to ride again. The weather is not cooperating at all!!!

A Tale of Woe from a Texas Biker

It’s 5 days into 2015. I am starting to get cabin fever from not biking. Today I looked at my riding history from January 2014. Back then I rode 329 miles but I am beginning to doubt that I can replicate that mileage this year. The weather has not reached 60 degrees yet and the one day it got close it rained. I am a temperature wimp who can’t bring himself to ride when it is below 60 degrees.

By coincidence my wife and I both looked up the weather for Key West, FL. Today it was 84 degrees and the rest of the week the forecast calls for 79 degrees. We visited there last year in May but I am wanting to go there now to escape this cold weather. The problem is taking my bike with me on the airline. There are bike rentals there but not like the bike I ride.

I used to think Houston was far enough south to ride almost every week. The last time I was on my road bike was December 22nd. The weather forecast:

1-5-2015 WU 10 Day Forecast

Not one day gets to or above 60 degrees. Some days even have rain.

A tale of woe!!!

Update: I forgot to mention that last night while we were watching TV we heard a hissing sound behind us. I got up and tried to locate the noise. Entering the utility room I saw water spraying from the wall behind the washer. The cold water hose was spewing water near the valve in the wall. The valve had not been turned for over 20 years and I had to work on it to get it to turn. I grabbed a towel to deflect the water so that I could see. I turned the washing machine on to lower the water pressure (not sure this did anything) and finally got the valve turned off. Cleaning up the mess I couldn’t move the washer out very far since it was 1/2 full of water.

This morning I went to Lowes for replacement hoses. I got the washer empty and pulled it out. As I was unhooking the cold water hose from the washer I saw that end was shot as well. I went ahead and replaced both hoses. Hopefully they last another 20+ years. This gave me something to do while I couldn’t bike.

It was good that we were home to stop the flooding. 30 years ago in our previous house we were not so fortunate when the washer mixing valve burst and we ended up with 2 – 3 inches of water in the utility room. We were not home then.

Getting Ready for the Ride

I was packing up the bike for Saturday’s Pineywood Purgatory and after removing the rear wheel I kept getting chain lube all over me. For sometime I have not been happy with the lube because it gets on everything and it is difficult to wash off. There are spots on the Stradalli that seem to be permanently stained black. I took the bike back out and removed the chain ( it has 4568 miles on it). The plan was to install the new KMC-11 chain I have had for a month or more. Installing the master link was fairly easy with the KMC Missing Link installation tool I bought a couple of months back. Now I need a removal tool when it comes time to wax the chain again.

Without the wheels on the bike it was difficult to remove the chain and install the new one. I got my ancient Blackburn workstand out to hold the bike by the seat tube. With the bike in the air I thought it would be easier and it was. Even with the old chain laying on the ground I still managed to put many black smears on the white areas of the Stradalli. With an old pair of underwear as a wash cloth and some strong perfumed laundry detergent I washed the black smears off. The new chain is now on the bike. I hope the old adage of not changing components before a big ride does not apply riding the Pineywoods Purgatory.

Now I tackled my Motobecane 700HT mountain bike replacing the very old Performance Bike pedals with Shimano PD-M540 ones. This went easier than the chain replacement. Next up I need to replace the cleats on my mountain bike shoes and change the tires. The tires on the bike are very knobby and I have some Performance tires that are not so knobby. This should help when I ride on asphalt and concrete which what I mostly do. As the weather cools I will ride my mountain bike more.