18 April 2016

Stardate 2016.293

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

We're digging (and melting) out of the aftermath of a robust storm system that stalled over the four-corners region. When the low pressure stalls in that location, counter-clockwise flow of air siphons moisture from the Gulf of Mexico. The moisture continues its counter-clockwise trajectory around the low and slams into the Rocky Mountains and cooler air. The storm sits there for a day or two, and we get copious amounts of rain and snow.

Hence, there will be no mountain biking for a while. Everything is wet, wet, wet. I may take the road bike out if the roads aren't too swampy in melt water. Nonetheless, here are some pics from the snow event. It's a spring burrrrr...

Thankfully the hyacinths were at the end of their bloom cycle.

The moisture-laden snow settled as fast as it accumulated.

Hopefully the irises will ride it out.

Snow started accumulating close to dark. The correct scale is the right edge of the builders square.

Our front yard: Everything, including the iris received a blanket of snow.

When it was over, we averaged about 15 inches of super wet snow.

Several hours after shoveling came lots of settling and melting; I could see tips of iris poking through (upper right).

As I write this line, the sun is poking through the clouds. That's it for now.


11 April 2016

Stardate 2016.277

Suburbia Mountain Bike Link-O-Link

Si SeƱoras y caballeros, yet another South Valley Park post. So I'll minimize today's text and get to the photos. Let's begin with an evening ride along Coyote Song Trail several days ago.

The following Saturday found us riding "dirt" service road to Deer Creek Canyon. Many moons ago, I had a soils professor who would dock you one letter grade for using the word dirt. It's soil, people; SOIL! (Or, as my wife says, it's CLAY, people, CLAY!!!)

After a bit of asphalt, we linked to the Kathy Johnson/Columbine Trails, followed by a northern link-up with the busy Coyote Song Trail.

Then we backtracked and closed a 27-mile loop.


06 April 2016

Stardate 2016.263

Fresh Seals

In 2011 I blew the Nitrogen-charged portion of the rear shock on my Specialized FSR mountain bike. I can tear into suspension to change oil and air seals, but my shop isn't quite equipped to deal with Nitrogen charging – yet.

I also had just built-up a Giant XTS hardtail (no rear shock) 29er (29 inch wheels). So, the FSR has been stabled for a while – a long while; as in 5 years. Anyway, I finally sent the shock off to the FOX factory for a rebuild. In the process, I've decided to resurrect the FSR as well. The resurrection begins with new air, oil and dust wiper seals for the blown seals on the front Marzocchi MX Pro + TAS shocks.

This was the first time I'd torn into this model of Marzocchi fork. The left leg top cap required utilizing a free hub tool that normally is used to remove the cassette (rear sprockets) from the rear hub. I thought this was a good idea because you can get a good bite on the top cap.

After removal of bottom bolts, the air/oil-pumping element, spring and the extension travel adjustment (ETA) and travel adjustment system (TAS) cartridge can be removed. ETA allows fork rebound and damping to be controlled on-the-fly from full rebound, to lock out or something in between. TAS allows suspension travel to be preset at a minimum of 100mm (3.9 inches) or a maximum of 120mm (4.7 inches).

After draining the oil and pulling the sliders off of the stanchions, I let them drip residual oil overnight.

Residents of the left leg are the ETA/TAS cartridge, spring and top cap. Left leg pump is not shown. Oil is collected and given to appropriate handlers.

After popping the old seals out, the fork races are cleaned and await fresh seals to be pressed in.

New air/oil seals are pressed in tightly and further held in check with stiff snap rings.

The new dust wiper seals are also tightly pressed in. At times, it can be a battle to get seals pressed.

My basement floor is designed to "float", thanks to our local clays. To complicate matters, bicycle suspension performance characteristics are very sensitive to air pressure, oil weight and oil quantity. Hence, I use a tripod, 4-square metal blank and level to find level ground for measuring volume.

Into the forks goes the new elixir.

TA DA! The fat lady won't sing until I get to test everything.

Thanks to a recent "mini blizzard" dumping over a foot of snow, followed by yet another storm adding an additional 8 inches of very wet snow, conditions to ride are slow in returning. Trails have melted fast but require additional time to dry. Maybe I'll saddle up a road bike and venture into the foothills to see how wet and sandy the roads are.

Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...