Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Holiday Hangover

What a wild holiday's it has been. Surviving two Christmas gatherings feasts on the same day was brutal, especially when everyone wants you to try something they made "just for you." Add to that the eggnog and cookies (yes...we baked cookies) and you have a recipe for a food hangover I'm still not recovered from.

I took last week off from training, and currently I'm still not back on the bike due to the recall/replacement on the Computrainer's flywheel. Long story short, if you have a blue flywheel on your CT, get in touch with Racermate and get them to send you the replacement... or you risk bodily harm. Check out the Slowtwitch Thread for more. Anyways, the time off (which has been great by the way) has given me some time to get some new projects up and running, as well as putting some of my Christmas gifts to use!

My absolute favorite gift was something the missus got for me, an indulgence I would have never bought for myself no matter how awesome I thought it was.

Can a tool be art? Silca makes a good case for it...

Let me just say, these things are the bomb. My go to Allen's have long been Bondhus, which I consider very top end. I've used a friend's PB Swiss wrenches before and although I was impressed, I didn't see the need to upgrade. These things fit that same niche for me. Initially, Too Good to Use syndrome set in and I kind of didn't even want to risk marring the beauty that Silca has produced... then reality slapped me (and a need to use said wrenches) and I gave them a go. It's hard to make praise for a tool... it's either sufficient for the job or it isn't. These are. Not only that, but they were still in near perfect shape after being put through some paces. Does that keep the bolt head's from stripping out longer? I assume it should, and that's what Silca claims, so awesome! Now that I have them, looking at some of my cheaper lower end key's is almost embarrassing. Snob points +10, thanks dear!

But what good are tools without something to work on. My present to myself (from selling my mountain bike and my Felt frame.) arrived and was in need of a few good wrenches!

It's been a Raleigh long time since I owned a bike of this brand... (badabump)

I came out very happy with this bike. The previous owner had certainly got some use out of it, but I got it at a price I figured I couldn't go too wrong with. The groupset was changed out (by the last owner) to Ultegra 10 speed (which was perfect for me) and the rest of the bike built up with that mix and some of the stock parts. The wheels are pretty unimpressive clinchers (although with Dura Ace hubs) with some decent rubber... although I hope to build a set of tubulars for racing... but they will do fine as training wheels I learn the ropes on. I swapped out the rings for a Wickwerks single 42t, and ran my old Nokon cables on it just to look cool.  I've had it out on one muddy ride already, and I'm hoping to get a few more in before the weather turns dramatically nastier in Tennessee. (Although some might argue that's the only time a cross bike is worth riding...)

As my last little bit of news for the end of the year, I upgraded to Cat 4 on the road... something everyone tells me I should have done a long time ago, but that I have been hesitant to do. We'll see what kind of winds of change this brings for my racing in 2016. At least I'll have plenty of teammates with me finally.

So, one more holiday party (today actually) and I'm done. Back on the bike on the 1st of the year... and I'm feeling ready to be there. More to come in 2016!

Thanks for reading and have a great (and safe) New Year!

- Christopher Morelock

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