for the joy of it

My mother tells me I'm a very determined person. I laugh at her when she tells me this. I can't, for the life of me, think of why she would say such a thing. There just isn't much that I get myself into these days that I would consider needing any form of "determination".

So she reminds me of one story from my childhood (of which I have no recollection): Apparently, when I was a small child, I used to open the lower cabinet doors in the kitchen and take out ALL of the pots and pans, and cover the kitchen floor with cooking apparatus chaos. Then, I'd refuse to put them away. I'd throw a fit; I would scream and yell and whine and cry. (She tells me that sometimes I would hold my breath 'til I passed out cold in complete defiance). Mom said that she would take my hand and literally make me place each pot and pan and lid and bowl, one after another after another, back into the cabinet... only for them all to be taken out again. She uses this story as an example of my determination.

This last Friday, my birthday, was the 37-year old version of this pattern. I was determined ... bound and determined ... to de-tube-ify my wheels (by myself -- seriously, how hard could this possible be?). I have had countless emails with MC, watched videos, procured materials and even set aside a WHOLE DAY to accomplish this task ... and then I wanted to go fly around on my fancy new wings. Looks easy enough to me. I get what is supposed to happen and why it happens and all that.

So, I dressed in my winter mtb clothes, and set to the tubeless task.

  • The first effort (rims and tape and stem thingy only --- because of my rims) just simply didn't work. I tried and tried, but the stem kept blowing out and I couldn't get the things to hold air to save my life. Off with the tires, clean up the mess.
  • The second effort was going to work (because I am crafty and I can make things work if I need to), but first I HAD to get the ffin' tires ON THE FFin rims, which now included my crafy idea. That task was nearly impossible. It was nearly impossible because, apparently, the craftiness that I employed wasn't designed to work at all anyway... But of course, I kept at it, and kept at it, and kept at it. My determination got me here: I threw the mother of all fits. (Thank GOD only tonka was home to witness). I cried. I whined. I THREW MY WHEELS. Both of them.
  • But, I got those sukkers on! And they inflated! And they held! And walllla! They were on -- but they were SO WRONG. They were not seated right, and I'm pretty sure that some of the other issues I was seeing weren't supposed to be issues at all. So I got it, but then I gave up trying to get it right.

So much for determination. That only took me roughly 6 hours. (No, I did not take a single picture).

THAT was a lot of determined effort. It was so much effort, in fact, I was wasted tired by mid-afternoon... and it was all I could do to stay awake for a romantic birthday dinner with my starling. (Thank you, starling, for putting up with my tired self).

Anyway. Back to my silly antics for the past few days.

Friday, the birthday, was such a tube-less-bust that I determined Saturday (and Sunday) to get out to make up for a.) the wasted effort and b.) the lost ride in the sunshine. I saddled up and headed out for what was going to be about an hour and half spinn -- just to prime for a big ride with the boys on Sunday.

It was my plan to hit the meadow loop. Plain and simple and rolly and mellow and light and playfully easy and ... if I was lucky ... just tacky enough to not be ruining the trails.

I was such a good girl. I by-passed my first hyper-climbing-exploration trail option to "just ride light" and have a mellow day. Funny stuff there --- because the second option I had to make the same good decision came up and lo-and-behold: up I went.

I went uphill with the whole-hearted belief that there was NO WAY ON EARTH that the trail would be rideable much past the first or second switch. I told myself: "I'll just spinn up this hill 'til the snow is too deep and turn around and go home." "Light ride. Light ride. Easy easy easy."

And up I went. And went. And WENT! I started getting giddy! I kept clearing obstacles. I could taste the sweat pouring off my head! My woollie bluebird sweater was SOAKED! I was riding up the whole darn thing -- I kid you not -- in January.

1 absolutely spectacular, snow-pack-tackarific, dirt-flinging hour later, I'm totally getting my solo HAPPY DANCE ON ... on the top of the darn mountain!


So happy, in fact, that after taking a few blissful moments to thank the universe, I made sure to BOMB back down that trail as hard and fast as I could.

Only issue: the packed trail is only pack-tastic where it's packed ;-) 2 inches off to either side and it's deep and soft and fluffy ... and yup, it took my wheel and launched my happy ass hard onto the ground, and smack into a stump under the snow, back and ribs and all. That only took about 1 minute to happen -- straight off the top.

That was fun;-)

I spent the rest of Saturday in a bliss-inspired effort to contain my happiness a.) that the trail was rideable and b.) that I took such whimsical and thorough advantage of it. (For all the pix, click HERE).

Sundays ride plans included the infamous, vampire boy (calGone), Mr. Juth, and EdE. Our first task on the list for Sunday: get out of the house! second task: get ed (and a working pony) out of the house with me! third joy-inducing task: KEEP UP, SLACKER JENY!!!!

I was beat straight out of the gate! So these are all the pix I took (read the captions, they tell the story).

And I did it. I didn't make them wait TOO long, (altho I'm sure they did slow down quite a bit to keep me in sight) and I didn't fail or bail. Success!!! As Ez likes to say: Durability Training;-)

And last but not least, you know that a Sunday BigBliss Effort wouldn't be complete without some Monday Extra Credit: it was all I could do to drag my happy, bruised, tired body and mind out onto Interval Paths Monday afternoon! But I did -- because doing so made me HAPPY.

As I'm riding along, lost in a daze and trying to put it all together in my mind, I start to read the writing on the wall. However, I cannot for the life of me figure out what that writing is saying. Anyone venture an interpretation?

Let me know what you think the writing on the wall says ;-) I'm dying to know.




Ed said...

The green lettering says "TR!be".

I have a Buddha Belly!!!


Anonymous said...

Go tubeless
but do it with a tubeless rim.
The tape way seems to always leak, blow off rim. etc...

I would never go back to tubes on the MTB . Try Kenda nevegals UST. They rock.

Ed said...

"Going tubeless" is the biggest hoax ever foisted upon mtb'ers!!! Stay away, stay away!!



'e' said...

when it works right tubeless is exceptional, when it fails it's a pain in the ASS! I'm always back and forth on it.

Cellarrat said...

yes tubes...

thanks for sharing JJ!

the mental image i have of you doing a tubeless conversion has me in stitches!

Carey said...

Agh..frustration I know your pain..luckily you had the awesome snow ride to make up for it. You got so lucky with perfect, ridable snow conditions..and that chain..reminds me of my drive train..it's gonna need some lovin' real soon.

Anonymous said...

tubeless rox, until you slice a sidewall - goo sprayz every where. But for racing in the desert, nothing compares to tubeless - done right.

and jj thanx for taking it eazy on us ;) I hit an unbelievable max hr of 195bpm chasing you up stagecoach.