Sunday, July 15, 2007

Figuring Out the Percent Grade of A Climb

You always hear about the percent grade of climbs during the grand tours, or other road races. The final climb up to my house after any road ride is a fairly harsh way to finish up a ride, and I wanted to see what it was.

I realized I wasn't truly sure how they determined what the percent grade of a climb was. As it turns out, it's pretty simple, it's just rise over run, or the tangent of the angle. So, you can easily figure out the average gradient of a climb by using Google Maps for quick distance, and Google Earth for the elevations. You don't need addresses in Google Maps, just find the area on the map, and right click to set start and end points. In Google Earth you can just hover over the spot and look at the status info at the bottom to see the altitude (in meters). Using that, I found that the average gradient, over the .7 mile last climb to my house is 9.2%. Not too shabby.

Now go figure out the pain of your local climb...

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Brice Creek Ride On Niner

I rode Brice Creek today. This is an excellent trail, and was perfect for what I wanted today. It's on the shorter side as compared to the mtb rides I've done here in OR so far, as I spent exactly 2.5 hours out on the trail, which included flailing around at one trail junction trying to figure out where to go (which turned out to be relatively easy, but I had mis-interpreted the directions I had).

The trail has some nice rocky bits, and superb views, of both the river/creek, and the waterfall. The pictures linked to above show the waterfall, which is cool, because you can actually ride behind it. This was certainly the first time I've ridden behind/under a waterfall.

I rode my Niner today which was wonderful. I just have so muc fun with this bike. Sure, it does float over the rocky bits, or land airs like my Reign, but it's just a ton of fun, and is a nice change of pace.

Drove home, and as I got into town, conversed with the family, and picked up some excellent Mexican at Fina Taqueria, and ate at a park. Gorgeous day too.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Loving the Kent Ericsen ti post!

I've ridden the custom Kent Eriksen ti post I got for my Niner a few times now. It is awesome. It has a noticeable bit of flex to it, which I love because my Niner is fully rigid, and I wanted a bit more help :) It also looks really nice on the bike, as the ti color matches the Niner lettering, and the orange head/clamp hardware fits with the orange paint.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Swiss Stop King/Flash Brake Pads - Phenomenal

If you ride carbon rims (and maybe even if you don't), you should immediately get yourself some Swiss Stop King brake pads! These things just rock. I'm running them on my Zero Gravity brakes stopping Reynolds Stratus DV wheels/rims. The improvement is just amazing (and that is coming off the pads that Reynolds recommended/supplied). I feel that my brakes work equally as well as any aluminum rim combo now.

The pads come in Campy/Zero Gravity, or Shimano/SRAM compatible versions, and come in pairs (total of 4 pads). Unfortunately the Campy version costs $15 more, which I can't understand why, but maybe it's just the "Campy tax").

2007 Swiss Stop Race 2000 Yellow King Carbon Brake Pads for Campagnolo

2007 Swiss Stop Flash Yellow King Carbon Brake Pads for Shimano/SRAM