Sunday, March 20, 2011

Miscellaneous Ramblings

I ran my first race of the year yesterday at McKendree College over in Lebanon, Illinois.  I know, technically it's McKendree University, but I'm not convinced.  Anyway, they have a spring fling race every year with a 5k, 10k, and 10-mile runs.  This race is a bargain at $12 and a pretty well run race as well.  I finished the 10-miler in just a hair under 1:31, right at the 9:06 pace I need to finish a half marathon in under 2 hours.  I guess training does make a difference since last year I finished the same race in 1:46.

Earlier this week I was in Houston and had dinner at a place with many, many beers on tap.  I had a couple of my favorites, Boddingtons and Old Speckled Hen.  Both of these are nitrogen pressured light ales.  Nitrogen is what gives Guiness that creamy texture.  Boddington's is a very light ale and Old Specklen Hen is slightly darker and heavier.  Both are excellent when you can find them on tap.

Next week is the Metro Tri Club's Tracks n Treads off-road biathlon at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.  It's a 5k run on the SIUE cross-country course followed by 9 miles of mountain biking on the single track trails. 

I decided to pre-ride the course last weekend and see what it was like.  I dusted off the old Cannondale and headed out to the trail.  I discovered that you really need brakes to ride the single-track fast.  So this week I gave the mountain bike a full brake service job, which included replacement of the rear rotor which got bent sometime through the years.  The secret of good disc brakes is proper adjustment.  The rear was set fairly loose for clearance of the bent rotor and the front was just set too wide.  I also found that both brake cables had frayed at the clamp on the brake assembly.

So, after two new cables, one new rotor, and a good bit of adjusting, my brakes are working well.  We'll see if my running and biking ability is tuned as well for the race on Saturday. 

If you're interested in the race, see the website:


  1. Good luck on Saturday! I'm looking forward to hearing about it. FYI, brakes are also important in riding the singletrack slow. I'm working on putting a little more distance between me and my brakes, but it's a hard relationship to end.

  2. Anytime you're riding in the trees, brakes are good. Disc brakes are one of the areas of mechanics that I haven't mastered yet, so this was a great learning experience. Now I know what to do when it comes time to fix your brakes.

  3. Sweet. I'm really feeling sorry for myself about missing this darn race. And I'm almost ready to talk pedals with you.

    Next year, you need to skip McKendree and come do Quivering Quads.