Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Even Tougher Than Saturday ha ha!

Interesting ride today. Met a couple of triathletes doing Austin Texas half Iron Man next Sunday. Gina actually struck up the conversation with the gal. She had a hot bike, matte black with pink trim pin striping. Seemed like a pretty couple couple of riders. There we ran into a dude on a bent named Dave. Spoke a little bit at Edna Park then we left pretty much together. I know bents are fast but I figure we wouldn't be too far behind when we reached the coast. But he was fast,as soon as we hit the trail he was easily pulling away. Still we would only be a couple minutes behind maybe. But man, the wind hit me and I was feeling it. I knew Gina suffered the day before so it was not in me to duck behind her for a couple of minutes. So I just sucked it up trying to hold pace. When we hit that little climb after Moon Park/405 I was feeling toasted hoping I 'd make it up that short steep ramp. Just as I got there I noticed a guy walking his little girl down the ramp. I was thinking "good idea". If the little girl is shaky on a fast descent like that, then it is better to be safe. But just as I approached I hear him shout "Mr. Beanz".

It was Julius! He hangs out and I guess is part of Adobo Velo. I'm not familiar with the club member so I can't say really who is and isn't a member but I've seen him riding up GMR with like 50 riders before doing a time trial in one of my recent videos. But we spoke a bit and he said he'd plan on inviting me on one of their rides. AV have some kick butt riders and I'm not even sure I'd hang with any of them on GMR ha ha! But Julius says there are different levels thank goodness.

Julius is always a nice guy when we run into one another but today was really nice to have stopped to talk with him. I can think of 4 really good reasons.

1) Julius is a nice guy.
2) Dave was flying and if I stopped to talk, I had a good reason why Dave reached the coast 30 minutes before we did ha ha!
3) I was tired and worried that Gina might drop me up that little climb.
4) Well, watch the video and you'll see number 4, a couple of pretty good reasons to stop ha ha!I was impressed!

So anyway we get to the coast and Dave is there. We talk some more and I;m glad we did. I had told him of my method of blogging. I once caught a chick in a bikini on accident, yes I said accident! When I posted the picture in a forum, I got several more responses. Not to mention several PM's asking me to post more background bikini shots from a few members that lived in states without beaches etc. Heck with Gina's permission I did better and added videos as well. Dave said,"Oh, blogger's rule #5". OK wait, what! They have a rule for this and I have never heard of it but yet follow the rule. Basically is says to add in a hot chick every so often to attract views. So yeah, that is what I do! Heck, I even post pics of chicks that I don't really think are all that hot but feel others will. I had no idea there was this rule but ti is unwritten he explains. I wish someone would put in writing. That would stop all those prudish old women in the forums that complained about every little thing I post ha ha! Of course that won't happen, pretty sure they are just sour ole grapes that are jealous and lacking attention. So anyway ha ha!

The ride was interesting! As I told Dave just minutes before he should try some major climbing with his bent. He says he hasn't yet so I told him that it was a different class of riders, very encouraging and just about everyone shouts some kid of motivation while you're climbing.

My point was proven again on this day! I'm not sure what it is but rides just can't get passed without some kind of fight. OK I know you are super competitive and a stud and all but we aren't racing you! My plan is to keep a good pace and keep Gina with me. Or stay together as a group when we ride with others.

I'm not sure why, maybe the male macho  ego but just about every guy we encounter seems like they need to race Gina. If I alone ride it's no big deal, you kick somebody's arse and it's OK. If they kick my arse, then fine, I will shake your hand and say you're better that day, maybe everyday.

But ride with girls, watch out! 3 time today it seemed that riders wanted to race but we weren't racing. Well the last guy, I figured, let's just kick his ass for fun! He wants it, here take it ha ha!

At one point we're cruising near Kramer. I look back often to see how things are going with Gina in a monitoring way.  So I know who is around most of the time. I look back and there is nobody around. a minutes later there are two dudes rolling by us. Hmm, where did they come from? No biggie but we just keep our pace. They look pretty nifty in their race outfits so I figure they will be gone in no time. But a few minutes later they slow down. OK no biggie again but as we gain on them (holding pace) the look back at us and pick it up with some urgency. OK whatever! Then they slow again later. We are just about ready to pass when one guy blocks the second lane and we can't go around. Then we approach an underpass and I see riders coming in the opposite direction so we have to slow down. So it's clear and we pick the pace back up. Just about as we are getting ready to pace, one of the guys looks back and nearly goes off the trail then swings back left right in front of me. Forget it man, I'll just let these guys pull away so we slow for a bit. You know, I have read so many times in forums comments from racers how they really know how to ride and their skill level is blah blah blah vs the recreational riders such as ourselves. Well these guys sucked and in my experience, I have met safe and sucky from all types of cycling disciplines. Pretty sure these guys they were hot sheot though! 

As we round that horse shoe turn, one dude stares down Gina. Almost as if he's saying "you can't beat me, I'm a tough guy". It was like the stare Lance gave Jan when he dropped him on a TDF mountain stage. OhhhhhKay! So we pedal on and intentionally slow so that they can be on their way. They are just freakin' annoying me now. THEN! Couple minutes later they near the stadium and start digging in their jersey pockets. Good, so we roll by to continue on our way. What comes next? Then hop on our wheels and suck wheel. Yeah they suck for a while then near Edna Park they sprint around and the fools keep looking back at us. Wow! Good thing we had plans to stop at Edna park. Probably the only way we'd get rid of these "racers".

So we continue on after break and two other guys hop on the rail and do the exact same thing. Wow, it is hard to believe that you can't just go out and ride your bike without some ass hats sucking your wheel then sprinting around while looking back as if it's a stage of the TDF. 

So later near the coast we approach another guy. He too is looking back at us and trying not to get caught. again, I don't understand this. A ride or group of riders catches you from far behind, but when they catch up, all of a sudden you are in a blink of an eye faster? So we roll by this dude and as Gina reaches his side in the pas she picks up the pace forcing her to remain in oncoming traffic. So I have to pick it up a bit so she can complete her pass. OK good he's at the end of the line, we can move back to the right for safety.

Of course a couple minutes late he passes me. OK, what are the chances of staying ahead of a rider that passes you from waaaaaay back? He passes and as you can see in my video, I know we're going to pass him again in a bit.  Sure enough we roll back up on him and then he increases his pace once again. now I know we can't pass safely so I just back off a bit. He roll off in his glory BUT...he's fading again and we're catching up AGAIN! OK chance are that when we pull up he will lift his pace again.

Yup! We roll up and he picks it up. So I figure I'm staying on his side this time since we are now close to the coast and the end of the trail. I plan to let him fade then when he fades, we'll smoke him in a blaze of glory of our own ha ha! So I can see that he can no longer lift the pace so I start spinning faster and lift the pace myself. I look back and he can't even hang on the back but he's trying like a mad man. Gina's looking good so I continue the pace and as he's 20-30 yards back, I shift into smoking gear and quickly increase the gap. I'm pretty much tickled at this point knowing Gina could smoke his butt as well, on a bad day.

Of course some say it's all imaginary but when we reached the coast, Jose asked, "what was up with that guy?". I dunno, he wanted to play games or maybe he was upset that he got passed by a girl. He wanted to play the game so we played ha ha!  Jose said "yeah, he should be embarrassed cause of the way he was acting and even Gina smoked his ass."

Dave the Bent rider Dude hauling arse into the wind

                       I can't figure out why Jose always looks grumpy with all the views at the coast

OK, I had to take these stills from the video. I will say they 
don't do the swaying motion justice, guess you had to be there!

                     I had to take like 20 shots to get a Gina smile. She's like Chandler in "Friends" if
                     you have ever seen that episode where he can't get a good smile for the camera!

                             When we both still had energy to smile. Last 5 miles today was rough!

                                                                 Jose's still grumpy

                                                              Finally we are back!

                                                                 Julius and his daughter

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Oh My Garsh It's Been Too Long Ride

Too many grand kid parties, too many umm, something! Anyway it was our first ride in a long time and it felt like it. Much better than I expected though. Gina cramped 3 times and had to slow down but overall still averaged 16.2 for the entire 42 miles. Not bad for too much time off.

I'm thinking I started off a bit to fast for Gina. She rarely cramps but after time off maybe I should have warmed up much longer than we did. When we arrived at the trail head, Jose was talking to some dude on a wheel chair type bike. Hand bike, sorry but I don't know the technical terms for such bikes. He told Jose the story of his accident that paralyzed his lower body. Motorcycle accident years back on the 210 fwy. He asked Jose if he could ride with us claiming to hold 20 MPH at times. No problem! He introduced himself as Alejandro. Seemed like a cool guy so we headed off toward Imperial. We usually slow roll at 14 for a while but because this guys was with us, I didn't want to go too slow and ruin his ride so we were quickly up to 17.  Too soon for Gina but that's one of the mistakes one can make at the front of the group. So as we neared Imperial I moved to the left letting Gina roll by hoping to get a clip of the group with Alejandro on his hand bike. She rolled by but quickly cramped in her right calf. She moved right then Aimee pulled up somewhat confused but I told her go so that I could get the shot and Gina was still close and our stop was real close. So I go the somewhat jumbled shot (as seen in video ha ha). But as he pulled off Alejandro continued on and gave us a shout. His norm is 25 miles and we were doing 42 so I'm not sure why but he split with us at that point. Either way , he was rolling pretty good on a bike using only his arms.

So we continue on the ride and Gina is doing very well. We stopped for a break later in ride so I mixed my my G-ade powder and told her to drink it for some electrolytes. I'm not thirsty! I had to go through the entire lecture again. One thing about Gina, she will argue about intake. I'm not thirsty, I'm not hungry! So I end up on her case about the issue. Finally when she sees that look in my eye, I think she gets the hint that she better go along with the program. I'm not sure what it is , maybe she is waiting for science to change their theory on required intake and physical exercise. 17 years of riding and they still haven't gone the direction of the egg and chocolate and I'm thinking it won't. Anyway, I'm getting pissy now so let me change the subject ha ha!

So we hop back on the road and as we leave the park and cross the bridge, a couple of fit looking guys  are behind us. They hang back for a while but a couple miles down the road they decide to blaze by us. I'm the type of guy that figures, hey if you pass us, then you must be a stronger rider. But don't let me see you fade down the way ha ha! Sure enough it happens, they fade. Still I really don't pay much attention at this point but we do roll by the pair and sure enough they hop on the back and suck wheel. No big deal!

OK, now the big deal! hey suck wheel for a while then they sprint around once again in a blaze of glory ha ha! Now the game is on ha ha! Gina is doing OK now, not great but if she can hang with us and we keep running down these two guys, she's doing pretty good! I know if she can beat these guys on a bad day, she'd smoke them on a good day. So they get ahead once again and I just keep a good pace figuring we'll pass them again. So we close a gap of about 100 yards to 20 and the guys are looking back in panic ha ha! Oh we got them but just then Gina shouts "Cramp!"....DAMN!

So we are about a mile from the coast and the guys pull away. So I tell Aimee, go get em! She's a little shy at time so she says no that's OK. But knowing how competitive she can be I said C'mon, go show 'em what you can do, can't let the young guys get off that easy. So she took off and I could see her rapidly close a gap of about 50 yards like nothing! I see her blow by the first guy then the second guy hopped her wheel. Gina is drifting back and Jose stays back with us but I tell him the same thing. He says he will stay with us but I tell him, hey they want to play games, go show them what it's all about. So he takes off and by this time there is a huge gap. At this point I can't see anything but Jose catches them both and leaves them behind and Aimee had already dropped the stronger rider that hopped her wheel.

I see so many riders playing little games like this that I figure OK, let's play ha ha! Gina couldn't this day but for those that know Jose, they know he does not dress the part of a cyclist and rides an older down tube shifter steel bike and Aimee, well she'd just a GIRL! So its kind of funny to see them drop riders on fancy bikes with fancy kits like hot potatoes! BTW, these are guys that choose to PLAY THE GAME. There are some riders that just do their own thing but when they choose to play, you better not show weakness or we'll getcha ha ha! 

We did see Alex on another 100 miler. Surprise guest appearance by Brian. Haven't seen him out there for a while but he's always good for some laughs! Rick, used to ride with us once in a while but haven't seen him much. Seems he's been busy riding more in the canyon than on the trail. That's always good, people should spend more time on the climbs and hills, really adds to the riding experience! Not to mention a different attitude from the riders. 

On the return, Gina getting a little toasted, 5 more miles!

On the way to the coast

                                       Haven't seen Rick in a long time, still riding in the canyons

                                            Rick and Brian, sounds like a radio show hunh?

                                                         Alex on ANOTHER  100 miler!

                                          Gina right before she started looking toasted ha ha!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Stripped Brake Caliper Bolt (more mechanic stuff)

This one was a doozy! I looked up how to remove stripped bolts on the net and not one mentioned this. I thought I was jacked cause I could not get the bolts out. I learned it is a crappy design by GM and lots of people have the problem. The T47 tool and allen wrenches strip the snot out of the head. He head is low profile so buying one of the Torx type specialty removal socket is a gamble.

Figure if you go with the tool, your bolt is pretty much trash! I did the torch, lube soak and everything else mentioned to remove the stuck bolt and it stripped anyway! So I thought I was screwed, $70 for the tool and replacement bolts, OUCH!

Somebody mentioned vice grips around the head, hmm I thought why not the pin?

Because the brakes are worn and the hydraulic system pushes the pads outward, I was able to hold the rubber boot of the pin to the side with a screwdriver then grip the pin itself in that area with  the vice grips. Gave it a good turn and BAM! Got the bolts out!

I did mar the pin in that area so I filed it smooth. Plus there are a couple of flat sections in that area that allow for some grip.

I was worried that the bolts were too stripped to replace but I found that the heads were stripped in the removal direction (CCW) but still worked in the install direction (CW).

 I lubed everything up and the darn things tightened and work fine. I just might go get some replacements anyway just to be safe. But $20 for new pins is much better than new pins and a specialty tool that is a gamble!

Made a video explaining the situation, man I thought I was shcrewed!

Torch, lube soak, slide rubber boot to the side with screwdriver, grab pin with vice grips and turn!

Monday, October 7, 2013

This is the video I made after fixing my truck. A local mechanic changed the sensor some time back. I ended up paying over $600 vs his $300 estimate. After h replaced the sensor, he said I needed the fuel injection rebuilt because the engine light would not go off after is initial estimate. So he does the rebuild and my engine light will still not turn off. The $300 was to turn off the light and smog but he couldn't get it right. Yes I had a sheot fit!

He finally got the light off and smog certified. BUT the freakin' light went back on a few days later. I went back and had another sheot fit! He says that the only fix is to rebuild the engine since the code is a misfire of the engine. So I asked a few mechanics about the situation and all suggested to rebuild the engine. First of all, the truck runs fine, it's just the stupid light so I don't understand why the rebuild advice.

Years later my truck starts missing and now I'm thinking the engine is getting ready to go. The next day the truck leaves me stranded and I'm thinking a $2500 minimum rebuild. Great! So one day Gina and I head out to SART in her car and luckily we end up running into Alan who is a mechanic. I tell him the sit and he says no rebuild, check the code for the crank shaft position sensor since it is a common failure.

I don't have a code reader and $70 to plug in at the mechanics. He says he has a bargain priced read and even the inexpensive models work fine. So we take him out for a burger, for the use of the reader, I take it home and sure enough code P0335 (crank position sensor). Holy sheot!

Part is $56 at Auto Zone and $68 at Pep Boys. Guess which I chose! Wrong, Auto Zone part did not come with the shims required for older high mileage vehicles. AZ wanted $3 per shim and since they are only .020 thick, I would need 2.  Pep Boys also had a lifetime warranty but most important are the shims.

Why are the shims so important you might ask? Because the engine shifts, does whatever over the years and the parts ends up making contact resulting in a marring of the part. This old one was about .010 deep. So 2 shims equals .040 and the .010 cut marring result in a gap of about .030 which is the minimum gap required for this part.

IF IF IF IF you do not use the shims, the part is immediately marred upon installation and will register on the vehicle's computer once again as code P0335, crank shaft position sensor.

So that explains why the mechanic that did the work on my truck could not get the engine light to turn off for more than a few days. I'm betting my injectors didn't need a rebuild either, didn't run any better. If he had used the shims, I'm betting the sensor would have lasted much longer and my repair would have been half as much. So much for misinformed mechanics! I'm just a poo poo face guy trying to fix my truck and I can find the answers! Sheesh!

So anyway, if you replace your sensor and have the marring (scrapes) on the old part you removed, be sure to use the shims. I will make a big difference.

So now my truck is back on the road and running much better than ever because the code detects misfiring and now my engine light is off! Not bad $65 vs the $2500+ the local mechanics recommended!

Check this out! The top image is what the part "should" look like, smooth (thanks to photochop) and the second image is what the part looks like in reality upon removal. You can see the damage caused by the contact (square cut out). The shims were not present to achieve the required gap so the sensor was torn to sheot! No wonder my truck stalled out! Crappy mechanic!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sunday No Ride BUT!!!!!!

Took the day off from riding to work on the truck. I had mentioned the break down to Alan last weekend when we showed up in Gina's car. I told him all the "replace engine" advice I got from local mechanics. I will say the engine light was on and 4 years ago we spent $600 to fix and and the mechanic did all kinds of stuff and could not get the code to erase. Let's say I was not happy and had a few words with the mechanics.

So since then the code would not not erase and I've been screwed. So with this breakdown I figure it's time to rebuild the engine after hearing it so many times by mechanics. But after speaking with Alan, he says maybe it's the crankshaft position sensor, pretty common failure. I'm doubtful but he suggests I use his code reader to check it. Heck, he lends me the reader and we take him and Tammy for a burger, fair trade. I hook the sucker up and BAM! Code P0335, exactly what Alan said, crankshaft position sensor.

I read online sombody paid $200+ for the replacement. The part is $65 and like other thins, I can  do it myself if I watch a couple of you tube videos. So I get the part, slap it in then BAMMO! Engine starts right up! YEEEEEHAW!

No $2500 repair and the truck is running better than before! So I'll drive it local for a while to make sure it stays that way to avoid getting stranded although we have the AAA 100 mile tow plan. Either way, mechanics piss me off! Just about everyone says, you need a new engine, $2500 and none will tell ya, "hey, check the sensor". A little bit of a dirty job but once you locate the sensor, no biggie, worth saving a few grand! ;-)