Fall Weather Delights!!!!

I certainly cannot complain about the fall weather we have been having lately. I just don't like it getting dark so early as it means if I am going to ride the bike after work, it will be in the dark. I've got the battery pack all charged up and ready to go for some night riding out at Lake Ahquabi, but I haven't had time to get out there yet after work. I've been sneaking in fall rides during the day when I can on the new trail bike....


I've got to get this thing out to the Black Hills to hit the rocks. In the meantime, I never really thought I would have this much fun around central Iowa on a bike with so much travel thanks to the 4.7" up front and in the rear. I am running an older Octalink XT crankset on it, I ran into the problem everyone else is having on the RIP when trying to run a 44T big ring with an XT crankset and a 50mm chainline. Forget about running it at 47.5mm chainline with that size ring. It doesn't work as there are clearance issues with the yoke. And the 44T fits with a 50mm chainline, but the chain will get stuck between the ring and the yoke after a few suspension movements. Odd, but Niner says all works well with a 51mm chainline. I don't want to go that wide due to Q-Factor issues, so I swapped out to a 38T big ring and all has been well. I'll swap the 118mm spindle for a 113mm spindle to get my 47.5mm chainline and narrower Q-Factor back this weekend. There is a 30/40 ring combo available from a guy in Texas that was designed for the XT crankset, but in an effort to save $155 I'll run my 22/32/38 set up for now. Or maybe I'll drop the 38T and toss a bash ring on there.

The RIP eats up anything I can throw at it. I put my favorite all around Fire XC Pro tires on it and have been tearing through the fall foliage and having a huge grin on my face while doing it.

I'm going to race the Des Moines Dirty Duathlon this weekend with a student of mine who will do the running portion. I just did not get any time to train for the run this year and trail running takes a lot of different muscles than pavement or track running. No visions of placing well, we're just doing it to help Capital Striders and CITA raise some funds for trail development.

I'll race the old standby this weekend...


Max even gave it the sniff of approval on Sunday while we were cleaning the garage floor...


I'm trying to track down a leak in our Mercury Villager mini-van. It must have a clogged drain hole or hose somewhere as water is getting into the interior (and it does not smell or taste like anti-freeze). I've got an appointment on Friday morning to find the culprit. I did manage to back into it last week as my son parked on the opposite side of the driveway and as a creature of habit, I was expecting it to be where it wasn't. Not much damage, just cosmetic scrapes on both my Element and the mini-van.

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