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Robert Hamlin Bicycles is not open. I am available for repairs. Just call to set up a time.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I rode a borrowed bicycle at Dennyland yesterday. This maze of trails is located in the Mad River valley in Vermont. Like so many of the east coast,, playground type trails, they go nowhere (from what I could tell). They are just a series of small loops and interesting trail sections that are a real challenge to clean. A local named Scotty showed me around and around and around. If you like steep, rooty, twisty, granny gear trials type stuff with moss covered green granite rocks, this is the place. Dennyland reminds me of the trails I use to ride in Florida, with granite ledges and outcrops replacing limestone pits. If you focus on trying to clean the sections without dabbbing or falling over it is pretty fun. It's just not my kind of fun anymore. I really like going from point A to point B. The mountain west will do that to you.

There is one thing about Vermont. It is probably the last place without comercial development in its towns. No McDs, KFC, or Home Despot in any of the little towns. No trophy houses on the ridgelines. No subdivisions in all the farm fields. Yet. The people here seem to do a fantastic job of preserving what they have. Finally, someone has realized that short term service economy type gains are not as important as long term preservation of small town life and rural open space. Hats off.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

We're Flying...

to Vermont in the morning. We will be at Patty's sister's house in Waitsfield for a few days and then in Albany, NY. I will be closed until Tuesday, November 6. My jaws are feeling better. I'm even ready for a bicycle ride. I will try to do a race while in Vermont, the Wicked Creepy in Bennington. As for the Utah series, I am now sitting in eight place overall in the single speed class. Three more places to go to reach my goal of top five.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Like Pulling Teeth

I had my wisdom teeth removed last night. This morning there seems to be no wisdom in that decision. Yes, it was just like pulling teeth, with an extra dose of discomfort. The dentist said it would have been easier 25 years ago, but 25 years ago another dentist said leave them in. The pain looked like the hot springs in Yellowstone, blue in the middle, with green, yellow and brown on the outside. Really, every time he tried to dig and pry the roots away from my jaw bone, that is what I saw, hot springs.

Other news? I raced in Ogden on Saturday. I finished 7th. All the fast dudes were there. I was not fast enough for the top five, but I did pass three people on the last two laps. It was the coldest, muddiest cross race I have ever done, and I have done cross in Montana in the snow. On Sunday the alarm rang to wake me up to go to SLC for the race at Wheeler Park. I turned it off and slept two more hours. Getting into the top five in the points standings looks impossible at this point. We will see.

One thing is for sure. My jaw hurts. I do not feel like going to the shop or getting on the bike.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

You Can Still Ride

The air's getting cold
Golden leaves cover the streets
But you can still ride

Put on some wool socks
Base layer, jacket, and gloves
Slow down a little

Reduce tire pressure
Give yourself some extra time
Leave your car at home

Come to my bike shop
And buy a good set of lights
Want rechargeable?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Slower and Faster

The bicycle business is slowing down. Way down. I don't think I even made the rent today. I am still doing repairs, but no one is buying new bicycles. That's alright. They will; the price of oil reached $88 per barrel today. Next spring we will all be pedaling to work, school, and to the grocery stores. With that in mind, I bought 4 new beach cruisers today. Later this week I may order more close-out Redline commuter and mountain bikes. As soon as I can get the Cayne Scythe, a three speed, lugged steel, road commuter, I will. I am excited about this bike!

As I blogged (bragged) last time, I had a good race this past weekend, riding a lot faster on the new bike. The points for the series were posted today and I sit at 9th out of 22. I am now officially in the top ten. The sad part is that the bottom ten have only done one race while the top ten have all done two or three. OK, so I am 9th out of 10. My goal is to get faster and move into the top five by the time the series is over. There are two races this weekend. I hope I ride fast.

Fall is changing to winter here. I rode Sunday morning and there was quite a bit of frost on the ground. Tonight there is lightning in the sky. I plan on riding in the morning, even if I wake up to snow.


Monday, October 15, 2007

Hamlin Cracks the Top Five

It's not hard to do when there are only seven people in the race. That said, I did ride a lot stronger in last Saturday's race. I was in third for a long time. I slowed down near the end and got passed by two riders. I caught one. I was drafting him down the straightaway thinking there was one lap to go. There wasn't. Oh well. I'm just happy to be riding faster and to be just a few seconds away from third place. I may even train this week.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New News

I will be racing in Salt Lake City on Saturday. The shop will be open as soon as I get there, around 1:30 or so. The hand hurts but I plan to race anyway. I am currently 15th out of 20 in the singlespeed point standings. I have to move up, pain or no pain.

The weather had been really nice this week. Clear blue skies and warm days. I had a good ride on Monday. Paul V. and I rode up Green Canyon. There was snow on the ground from the picnic area on up. Patty and her sister Deanna went up there for a ride too. They hiked a little in ankle deep snow at the end of the road. Today, most of it has melted. Winter is coming on for sure. The sand hill cranes have left (passed overhead). The hawks and eagles are passing through too. There are large flocks of waxwings eating Juniper berries and flying into the windows. Today the wind is picking up out of the southwest. Another cold front is on the way. On the other hand, I have heard meadow larks and Townsend's solitaires singing their heads off this week. So, who knows?

Seven, six, and five
Snow levels are falling fast
With each new cold front

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A Great Day For a Cyclocross Race

There is a cyclocross race today, but I will not be there. I am letting my hand heal, and still trying to find 37mm spacers to fit a 10 speed freehub body. As I write this, snow is starting to fall. The shop will be open today. Come buy a bike.

Snow in the valley
The first snow of the season
Falling on green grass

Monday, October 1, 2007

Here I Am, Stuck in the Middle

I did a cyclocross race yesterday. It was my first real race in a long time. Real because I paid for it, did not wear Daisy Duke's, and did not ride fixed gear. I finished right in the middle. I was on a new bike with a bad chain line (it turns out regular old spacers and cogs will not work on 10 speed cassette bodies). I had too little gear (my only single speed choice right now is magic numbers with a half-link), and I rode with a dislocated right hand and a lot of road rash on my knees and arse. Yeah, I practiced a little. I figured I better learn to ride the new bike at speed. On Friday, 48 hours before race time, I hit the pavement pretty hard. I'm still learning I guess. So much for my many excuses. I started out near the front, slipped to the middle of the pack on the first lap, and stayed right there the rest of the race. Next week I plan to move up a little. I'm thinking a nine speed cassette body for good chain line, less pain, and more training.

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