December 31, 2013

This Year Nobody Gets Lost

Last year we had a few runners who went off course and got some bonus miles.  Normally we consider bonus miles a great advantage making any adventure just that much more fun.  But with the weather last year, anyone who did extra miles would probably say they sucked.  So to keep bonus miles to a minimum this year we are posting this Garmin link for anyone to download and carry on a device with them.  Click "View Details below, then Upload to Device from your Garmin Connect window.

 (A careful observer will note the mystery event location is included --- if there is one...)

***Get out there and run (or ride) the trail in the daylight - Don't let your first time be in the dark!***

December 23, 2013

2014 SHITR Mystery Event

I'm convinced that everyone likes visiting creepy deserted graveyards after dark. The 2013 SHITR runners will all remember finding a specific tombstone for the mystery event. Soooo, like last year, this photo may or may not be a clue to the 2014 SHITR mystery event....if there is one.

This stone was actually my second choice.  I had wanted to use an adjacent stone belonging to a civil war confederate army doctor from Tennessee.  But his stone is almost flat on the ground, and I had to brush away leaves to read it even on this sunny morning.  If there is snow or more leaves covering it by Jan. 11 it would be almost impossible to find in the dark, so it's the tall one instead.

The graveyard location for this year means it will be possible to visit before dark or after dark. Of course all of us at ROCK Racing recommend the 'after dark' visit.

December 10, 2013

We Have A Winner

Joel M has won the SHITR Sticker Contest , with Megan S in 2nd Place and Rayvon S in 3rd Place.   

Joel M - 1st Place

Megan S - 2nd Place
Rayvon S - 3rd Place

We want to thank everyone for their entry into the contest, you all had excellent ideas.  

Prize winners will receive prizes next week, thanks again for your entries.

December 8, 2013

Fox F29 Shock seal and oil service

Its a cold day outside and I'm still recovering from my latest injury so I decided it was a good time to do the much-needed seal change and oil servicing on my Fox F29 100 Open Bath RL fork.  This is the factory installed fork on the 2011 Trek Superfly 100.  The Superfly forks all have 1.125 to 1.50 tapered headsets with G2 offsets.

I'm not going to cover removing the fork from the bike.  It is possible to do this job without removing it, but it seems simpler to be able to flip it around by hand rather than mess with moving the whole bike around.  So remove the wheel and the fork from bike, and find something to work on that you don't care if it gets oil on it.

Remove the blue anodized cover from over the Schrader valve and let out all air pressure, hold a rag over the valve while you do this, a small amount of oil will spray out with the air.

This is the reason I'm replacing seals and changing oil. The seal went bad this fall and has been leaking and collecting dirt.

Loosen both bottom nuts with a 10mm socket.

But don't completely remove them.  Lightly tap the end of each with a plastic hammer.

Use thumb pressure to depress both threaded ends into the lower shock housing.

Dump excess waste oil into your wife's favorite office trash can.  If she doesn't have one, use her baking dish instead.

Pull the upper section out of the lower section.

Lever both seals out of the lower with a big open end wrench.  I didn't have anough hands to get a picture of this but it is pretty easy to visualize.

 Pull out the foam ring from under the seal.  It lifts out easily with just fingers.

Clean the ends up so there is no dirt or grit remaining.  I noticed the bushings in my lower are showing some wear.

I used Fox factory replacement seals. The kit came with everything I needed.

And I used the recommended Fox 10wt green suspension oil.

Soak the foam rings in clean oil before installing by hand into the lower.

Use thumb pressure to install the new seals in the lower.  I also lubed them up with the same oil before installing to help them slide into place damage free.

Double check the seal to make sure it is fully seated in the lower.

Getting ready to re-install the upper I noticed an area where the surface finish is damaged.

Here is a close up showing the damage.  The surface finish is completely stripped and the piston tube is scored.  The upper needs to be replaced. I gotta do some price checking, but I bet a new upper will cost close to the price of a good used complete shock.  I'm thinking this might be the right time for an upgrade. I've owned two bikes with Rockshox forks before and never had one get damaged like this.  It's going to be Rockshox again for me next time.

Re-install upper (might as well use it while I shop for a replacement - already paid for the seals and oil), but don't put it all the way down to the threaded studs yet.  Those holes are used for oil filling.

Put 160 ml of oil in the damper side, 30mm of oil in the air spring side.  A graduated cylinder makes it easy to measure the right amount.

Push the upper and lower the rest of the way together until the threaded studs appear.  Install new crush washers.

Install bottom nuts.  Make sure the old crush washers are removed.  Mine were stuck pretty tight to the nut sealing surface.

Torque the nuts to 50 in lbs.

Nuts installed - Almost done.

Fill the shock Shrader valve air spring to the correct pressure for your body weight and/or riding style.  I weigh 175 lbs, so I went to 80psi.

Re-install fork on bike frame and wonder what in the hell this extra part could be for....

Grab the last Big Bison Ale, call it a job well done, and quit worrying about that extra part.

November 13, 2013

Aeries February Freeze Tall Timber Trail Run & 12 Hour Ultra Race

So what are you doing on February 1st, 2014, I mean, there isn't much going on that time of year.  I have this great idea, I really think you will like it.  Come to Grafton, IL and run a 6 mile trail run or a 12 hour Ultra Trail Run.  They will both be awesome events with really great schwag.  

This is going to be one of those events that you do once and never want to miss again.  See all the race info below.  

Registration is now open, with a 300 entry limit for the trail run and a 150 entry limit for the Ultra run, there is also a team division for the Ultra, so grab two of your closest friends and hang out in the dark for 12 hours, all you have to do is run a little. 

This race is being managed by the Metro Tri Club, the same people that bring you the Pere Marquette Trail Run.  And the course is very similar to the PM run also, so be ready for a challenge.

Online Registration:

November 11, 2013

A New Kind of Adventure - The Missouri Beer Quest

My new idea, simply explained is this:  I'm going to drink every beer made in Missouri.

So even though my new project idea does not involve racing, endurance sports, trail running or even mountain biking, it is certainly complementary with every one of these activities. 

And it passes the 3 part test defined by as adventure:


  [ad-ven-cher] noun, verb, ad·ven·tured, ad·ven·tur·ing.
an exciting or very unusual experience.
participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.

I had to do some research to start this off and also figure out a way to keep track of which ones have been drunk and which ones were still to go.  A Wikipedia search got me started with a list of 47 Missouri breweries.  More work on Google found between 5 and 24 different beers at each brewery.  Then they have Seasonals and special Brewmaster releases.  I was looking at approx 500 beers.  Dang, more than I expected.  This could take awhile.  I needed some ground rules: Since it's my project I made them up to suit myself.

1. INbev is out, because F^*% them, they are Belgium beer or something now and represent big corporate takeovers, nameless suits and ties, with customers who are only sales numbers.

2. Seaonals and special releases are out, Its going to be hard enough to get to all these breweries, much less try to get there during the right seasons or in time for Brewmaster special releases.  If I do hit one at the right time for a seasonal, I will take credit for it.

Like a good engineer I built an Excel spreadsheet to categorize the breweries by location and list all of the beers.  And like a terrible blogger, I can't figure out how to copy them all into this blog. Several of the breweries I got from Wikipedia are no longer in business, and I have discovered at least one that was not included at all.  I'm sure there are more.  Feel free to leave me comments on ones I missed! But for right now my list stands at 40 breweries, and a total 307 of different beers.  If anyone wants a copy of my updated working spreadsheet, I'd be glad to share with you.
So far I've only 'collected' 16 of the individual beers, leaving me years to plan an attack on the rest.  
Who knows by the time I get through this thing I might finally know the difference between a lager and a pilsner, or a stout and IPA.

Brewery City (Website)
2nd Shift Brewing Company New Haven [1]
4 Hands Brewing Company St. Louis [2]
75th Street Brewery Kansas City [3]
Alpha Brewing Company St. Louis [4]
Augusta Brewing Company Augusta [7]
Bat Creek Brewery Bowling Green [8]
Big Rip Brewing Company NKC [9]
Boulevard Brewing Company Kansas City [11]
Broadway Brewery Columbia [12]
Cathedral Square Brewery St. Louis [15]
Charleville Vinyard & Microbrewery Ste. Genevieve [16]
Charlie's Steak, Ribs & Ale Branson [17]
Cinder Block Brewery North Kansas City [18]
Civil Life Brewing Company St. Louis [19]
Crown Valley Brewing & Distilling Company Ste. Genevieve [20]
Exit 6 Brewery St. Charles [21]
Ferguson Brewing Company St. Louis [22]
Flat Branch Pub and Brewing Columbia [23]
Flying Monkey Beer Kansas City [5]
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant Kansas City [24]
Granite City Food & Brewery St. Louis [25]
Griesedieck Brothers beer St. Louis [27]
Horseshoe Bend Brewing Lake Ozark [6]
Gruhlke`s Microbrewery / Bias Vineyards Berger [28]
John A. Huber Brewing Co Jackson [29]
Kirkwood Station Brewing Kirkwood [30]
McCoys Public House Kansas City [31]
Morgan Street Brewery St. Louis [32]
Mother's Brewing Company Springfield [33]
O'Fallon Brewery O'Fallon [34]
Piney River Brewing Company Bucyrus [36]
Public House Brewing Company Rolla [38]
Rock Bridge Brewing Company Columbia [39]
Saint Louis Brewery (Schlafly) St. Louis [40]
Six Row Brewing Company St. Louis [41]
Springfield Brewing Company Springfield [42]
Square One Brewery and Distillery St. Louis [43]
Trailhead Brewing Company St. Charles [45]
Urban Chestnut Brewing Co St. Louis [46]
Weston Brewing Co / O`Malley`s Pub Weston [48]
William K Busch Brewing Company St. Louis [50]