Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I'm Pugsley sitting while Allman is out of town. I snuck out twice today. Tonight I rode for an hour at -5 after the rest of the house went to bed. Once I got to trailhead it was 95% winter singletrack. Here's a bit of what it looked like:

Monday, December 6, 2010

Screen shot

Here is what a good portion of my evening looked like.

Making plans.

It will be more work than fun, but I'll be sure to make it plenty of fun.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

How Low Can You Go?

When I rode home this evening the temperature was 1 deg F. Pleasantly cold in my opinion, but not really a temperature where I particularly enjoy fiddling around with bike issues.

When I went out to the garage a few minutes ago I noticed my front wheel looked like this:

I have been experimenting with really low tire pressure lately (often 10-17psi) , but this was a bit much. I'm guessing I pinch flatted when I was jumping berms the snowplows so kindly left blocking the bike path. I'm just glad I didn't have to fix it mid ride.

I just bought a new patch kit at the shop on Monday, somehow I miss placed the 3 or 4 patch kits I already own. Guess I get to put it to use.

-bike wrider

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black (and white) Friday Ride

It is Black Friday and I decided to employ some good judgment and stay the heck out of the stores today. I'll do my Christmas shopping later, most likely at the last minute, thank you very much.

6" of fresh snow and sunshine. Had a brief window of opportunity while Little wRider was down for a nap so I went for a ride.

Here's a bit of what it looked like.

Trails were soft, but ridable.

A small dose of winter sunshine

That wasn't there yesterday.

Problem solved.

Thanksing Giving Day Ride

We had a bunch of friends over for a little Thanksgiving brunch/ quasi-competitive rally in the woods. After a week of sketchy, and downright dangerous, icy conditions we got some much needed snow. Came down heavy and wet for the better part of the day.

The race began with a mass start from the garage, and descended into further ridiculousness from there. Good times were had by all.

This is what Thanksgiving looked like outside my house.

Fat jug of juice on a fat bike.

When the start of a race looks like this you can pretty
much guarantee a good time.

And they're off!

This race was kind of an adventure race, alleycat, poker run, scavenger hunt, brevet, event.

Just doing what it takes to win.

It snowed almost all day. This is what it looked like
on Allman's ride home.
(photo by GSC)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Danny MacAskill: Way Back Home

Saw some sneak peak clips for this a while back. What can I say? It is like he has super powers. . .

thanks EB

Friday, November 12, 2010


I think I'm finally ready for winter. Which is good, because it has been here for a couple of weeks already. I'd done enough to deal with winter, but I wasn't all the way ready.

Today I got three sets of tires swapped out for studs. Two bikes worth and the truck.
Just in time too, apparently. When I took the studded crosscheck out for a ride I was doing some swerving and weaving to test the old studs out. I didn't bite it, but I was getting more sliping than I would like. Then I watched my neighbor slide right past the intersection to our 'hood in his diesel dualie. I put a boot down to test the road conditions, and sure enough, the little bit of freezing rain that was coming down had turned everything into glare ice. GUess I have to give the cheap old studs on the cross check more credit than I wanted to.

Got studs on Mrs.'s single speed, the cross check and the truck. Thought that was going to be the end of it. Then Cousin RyeN mentioned that he had some cheap 26" studs lying around, if I was interested. Looks like the Dummy won't be getting much time off this winter. That's fine by me.

-Bike Wrider

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Need a Fix

I need a fix.

And I don't mean a fixed gear, although that wouldn't be bad either.

I haven't ridden in a couple of days. I threw the studded tires on last week and had a couple of sloppy, snowy rides before the weekend. Since then I've gotten out for a little skiing with the little dude, so I've managed enough exercise to keep myself sane, but I haven't ridden.

I'm finding myself a little extra stressed and edgy today, not usually my style. Sure there are all the usual stressors going on, and the days are getting short and dark, but I'm pretty sure that what I really need is just a few minutes on a bike and I would feel a whole lot better.

Looking forward to this afternoon's commute.


So before we bought our Dummy these guys really had our attention.

Fair price for an urban hauling machine. I could get into a lot of trouble if I had a giant bucket with me at all times when I rode.

Ultimately we got a good deal on the Dummy and were more keen on having a cargo bike that was very offroad worthy. Otherwise we'd likely own a madsen.

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sam Hill & Thomas Vanderham


These guys ride fast. . . like world champion fast.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Been Needing That

Life's been hectic, winter is coming.
I put in some overtime in the library this afternoon, then rolled home for some dinner and family time. Got a text mid ride that Mrs. BikewRider was out shopping.

Decided it was a good time to take the long way home. Threw a new tire on the back of the crosscheck the other day and hadn't had it on dirt yet. Cousin RyeN got a flat on an old WTB tire early in a night ride this week. We were close to home and hadn't hit the trails yet so we made a quick bike swap and cruised around the woods in the dark on SS 29ers. but I digress.
image from

Today peeled off course a few minutes from home and did a quick lap around one of my favorite little loops in town. The leaves are all down, shaping trails that are often wider than I prefer into neat little ribbons of singletrack. Wound along the creek for a bit, then cruised towards home in the fading daylight. The setting sun glowed through the tops of the naked trees, and rode faster than I ought through the dusky woods.

Got home happy. Nose running, limbs chilly, torso toasty. Dinner is on the stove waiting for Mrs. and Baby BikewRider to get home.

-Bike wRider

Friday, October 15, 2010

Night Riding

Dark , getting colder, bears are almost all gone for the year.

Charge the lights, let's go ride trails.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Vic did better than I

So I have been brewing this post in my head all day. As I was opening the blog tonight I clicked over to The Lazy Randonneur and read Vic's post about biking vs. driving. Turns out he made a good choice while I was left second guessing mine.

Good decision Vic

I started grad school recently and up until today I rode my bike to school whenever I needed to be there. Well I was feeling the effects this week. All those 20 min dashes to make it to class on time were adding up and I have been doing nothing to stretch them out. My hamstrings were TIGHT and pulling on my lower back to the point of moderate discomfort. I had lab at 8am, too early for my blood. I decided it would be nice to drive rather than dedicate the extra time to making a bike ride happen.

(not really my truck)

Last night I can honestly say I was looking forward to driving. I pictured myself relaxing, drinking my coffee and cruising into to school carefree and on time. In reality (no surprise here) I found the drive ridiculously stressful and was wishing I were on my bike.

Of course I left later than I meant too. Being on time is not an easy thing for me, even more so now with Baby Bikewrider around. The first main road I hit had a school bus with its lights flashing making me even slower than I already was. Then, of course, I hit all the lights wrong and had to sit and wait in a string of traffic at the busiest intersections. I got anxious and a bit frustrated with the other drivers and the transportation system in general.

I found myself gazing at the bike lanes and contemplating how much more enjoyable my commute would be if I hadn't chosen to be trapped in a cage.

Although I do have to admit my back feels much better this evening.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Caution: Long Load

FAll! I love fall!

I had a bunch of stuff that friends had left at our house over the past few weeks and I decided that this afternoon it was time to return it. It was me and the little man hanging out all day, so I figured out how to hook the Burley trailer up to the Dummy and we headed out.
It was a beautiful afternoon. Lots of sunshine, and lots of color on the trees. Little dude slept hard in the trailer as we ran around.
Allman caught up with us in the middle of our ride, he was out on his Pugsley pulling a trailer with his recycling on board. At one point the tape measure came out and it turned out that his rig outstretched the Dummy/Burley set up by 9 or 10 inches.Mrs Bike wrider caught up with us just before we got home, so we turned around and rode for a while longer. We finished up by riding a few mellow trails on the way back to the house.

Friday, September 24, 2010

$0.02 on a Cross Check

A buddy in the southern hemisphere sent me a message the other night (morning for him I guess) and said he was looking at getting a new cross bike and wondered how I liked my Surly CrossCheck. I realized my response might be worth sharing here, so here it is:

I love my cross check! I could go on and on about it, but I'll boil it down to I love it. If you want me to rave on and on let me know, I'm more than happy to do so.

Previous set up: Single speed studded.

I've run it singlespeed, fixed and currently I've set it up nice and tall with flared drop bars (On One Midge) and STI brake lever/shifters. It is super comfortable and can rally off road.

My only caveat is with the fork. If it weren't such a great fork I'd swap it for something else. It has a nice smooth ride, and handles superbly, but for some reason it is prone to excessive squealing/shrieking. Some kind of tuning fork, vibration issue when you apply the brakes. EXtreme toe in can quiet it for a while, but only temporarily. I've tried a few things, but I'm thinking of getting a brake bridge for it and see if that helps.
The new forks have rack eyelets on them, so you could just slap front rack on there and hopefully that would kill any noise.

My ideal Cross bike would be a CrossCheck with disc brakes, and I'm hoping that since the UCI or whoever legalized discs for cross racing it won't be too far off.

THe closest thing I've found so far is the Singular Peregrine.

At this point if my crosscheck kicked the bucket I would have to seriously consider replacing it with the Peregrine.

Hope this helps fuel the thought process a bit. I can say more if you're interested, and you can check out my blog @ for more of my semi random musings on things bike related.

Happy Springtime to ya'

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Locked Out

Got home from running errands around town on my bike this evening to find I was locked out of the house.
No worries, I'd half expected it would happen. We have a housemate for the time being and I'd given my house key to her until we can get some new ones made. My wife was out running errands, so I knew she would be home before too long.

Dropped my panniers on the back deck and took off for the trails. I had just explored a new to me trailhead to the local trail network and was pretty stoked about it. I'll put it this way, our new house is about 2 min from dirt and less than 3:30min from singletrack. I timed it, and I timed it on the up hillish ride home.

Point is I had about an hour of fall cross bike rallying around in the woods after a couple of hours commuting around town. The leafs are bright yellow right now, about half on the trails and half still on the trees. It was that golden hour of evening where the sun is getting low on the horizon and everything just lights up beautifully and a chill was just beginning to creep into the air.

Got home just as my wife was unloading from her errands. Now the pizza is out of the oven and I 'm going to go chow down.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

LBS Love

Swung by my favorite Local Bike Shop (LBS) this evening. I've had a persistent canti brake squeal and I was hoping to find some shims/washers to eliminate some brake arm vibration that I think might be contributing to the noise.

I explained what I was looking for to shop mechanic. He pulled out three trays of washers and put them on the counter for me to dig through while he helped another customer.

After I found what I was looking for I asked him to write up a ticket for the washers so I could pay for them at the front counter. My most recent (other) shop experiences were having me pay a dollar or so as a token gesture. Mr. Mechanic just said "don't worry about it , you buy enough stuff here."

I thought to myself: "I don't know if you've noticed, but I've been out of town for almost 2 years, and all I've purchased since I've been back is one blinky light." Granted I have been in there a number of times with my little dude looking at all the shiny stuff. So I took the washers, picked up a new brake cable to replace one that's fraying and went on with my evening.

All that to say, I appreciate it, and its good to feel the love. That's the kind of stuff that brings me back again and again to support a good LBS.

To all the excellent LBS's out there, a big THank You.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Todays Commute

I started working again after a couple of months off.
Working=commuting, so it could be worse.

Here's a few photos from today's commute.

I've moved, and I like it.