Chris Davidson diary: Off in the mud

Puddles everywhere

Puddles everywhere (Image credit: Chris Davidson)

First off I must apologize for the lack of reports from both the Mt Snow National Championship and Sugar Mountain NMBS races. The excuses for the lack of updates can be enumerated like this, in descending order of importance:

1. Mud
2. Rain, cold temperatures and humidity
3. Mud
4. Lack of wireless internet connectivity
5. Mud
6. Travel logistics

I had to travel to the east coast for both of these two events and that usually means an increase in the levels of humidity that I am used to in the west. However, for two straight weekends the humidity for both Mt Snow and Sugar Mountain was greater than 100% most of the time. This leads to items 1, 3 and 5 above.

Bikes ridden at both venues required both 1+ hour washings, then meticulous relubing, swapping cables and housing, new chains, etc. Easily both weekends involved 12+ hour days to attend to four race bikes. Add to that working and washing in the rain at times and I was a pretty soggy mechanic at the end of the day, hence the lack on touching electronic devices such as my camera and laptop.

There are some advanced techniques that I employ in nasty conditions that may be of some interest to techy readers out there. The first would be for mud build-up on frames. Some like to add fenders to the bike, both commercial available ones and homemade soda bottle variants. I am not a fan of these, but I defer to the rider choice when they are trying to keep mud out of their eyes.

Instead I prefer to spray key mud build-up parts of the bike with Pam cooking spray. I suggest that you try this locally and see if it works for you, as some variations in soil/mud conditions work well, others not so well. I usually try to spray the back of the seat tube/seat post, under the saddle, the down tube and the back of the fork crown. Be liberal with this stuff, it easily washes off with soap and water after, and more rather than less helps mud from getting a grip on the frame tubes. Makes your bike transiently smell like fried chicken too. Bonus!

To read the complete diary entry, click here.

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