Thursday, December 15, 2011

29er 1x9er

Put together something different for the winter.

Still doing dishes by hand.

Yes, there is a new frame in the garage. A headset for Christmas this year.

Camera is broken or I'd have pictures for you.

That is all.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Moment of Clarity

I realized this week that my parts bin has almost enough parts to build a 26" mountainbike. Just need a frame to hang them on.

There is a Surly 1x1 frame on Craigslist for $300 in my size (it's even green).
Comes with a bottom bracket and cranks, two of the three things I don't have in the parts bin. $30 more for a headset and I'd have myself a rockin' singlespeed.

Here's the part where I realize how bad I've got the bug. . . the dishwasher is broken. It conked out a few days ago. I'm pretty sure there's no way I'm going to resurrect it, but I'll fiddle with it a bit. So we should buy a new dishwasher.

Given a choice between the 1x1 frame and new dishwasher I would choose the 1x1 in a heartbeat.

I would rather have yet another bike and have to do the dishes by hand for the foreseeable future, without a doubt.

Fortunately (?) I have a wonderful wife who won't let this happen. At the moment we don't have the money for a new dishwasher, much less a bike frame. Grad school, one income, student loans, a toddler and I'd still rather be doing the dishes by hand.

Maybe if I offer to wash ALL the dishes for the next four years she'd let me buy the frame. I'd do it to you know.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pick Up a Copy

If you haven't had your fill of my sporadic rambling about topics loosely associated with bicycling you might want to your local bike shop or news stand (do news stands really exist anymore?) and get your hands on the November 2011 issue of BIKE magazine.

(The cover looks like this)

I've enjoyed BIKE magazine for years, but only once before have I been moved to actually write to them and express my thoughts. Well I wrote them again recently, mostly because I had something more important that I should have been doing and it seemed like a great way to put it off for a few minutes more. I sent my letter thinking that was the end of it. I had gotten what I needed to say off my chest, and I assumed my words would likely end up in the trash without even so much as a glance from the editors at BIKE.

Apparently that was not the case. As I was flipping through the new issue this evening I began to read the Letter of the Month in the letters section. The first sentence sounded vaguely familiar. I glanced down at the name of the author of the letter and low and behold there was MY name, in print, in BIKE magazine! It's probably the closest I've ever felt to being a rock star (lame I know, but that's the way my life goes).

Not only did they give me credit for the words I had written, in bold ink even, but they informed me that they were going reward me for sharing my thoughts with them. Supposedly I am to be the recipient of a Garmin Edge 200 cycling computer compliments of BIKE magazine.

Maybe they don't realize this, but they probably shouldn't be encouraging me with gifts and bold ink unless they really want to be bombarded with more of my meaningless prose.

If the Garmin thingy ever arrives maybe I'll find myself feeling self-important enough write up a critical review. If I do you can be sure that I will share my strong opinions about a piece of equipment that I have no business using right here on this very blog.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Defender of the CrossCheck

I put studs on the CrossCheck this weekend. The last of my three bikes that will get studded this year. I also tossed the Bridgestone in the shed seeing as it won't see pavement until next spring. Now I just need to get studs on one or two of Mrs' bikes and we'll have completed our seasonal change over.

While I had the wheels off I decided to pull the fenders off the CrossCheck for the time being. Riding this past week in temps that were in the neighborhood of 15 deg below zero splashing water and spray seem like they will be of little concern for at least the next four or five months, and its nice to see cleaner lines on the bike for a while. Besides I still have the rear rack on to prevent a mudstripe up my backside if I do get caught out in some sloppy conditions

Friday, November 4, 2011

Learning From Others

One of the great things about the internet is that millions of people are able to quickly and easily share their opinions or experiences. Obviously results may vary, so you have to take these things with a grain of salt. Just because crabon fibre valve stems got 631 negative reviews at JensonUSA doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't the perfect way to spend $243 to save 7 grams on your new build.

What I learned this morning from the internet is that, while the Surly Big Dummy is a very strong and rugged bike there are situations where possible shortcomings may be revealed.

Clearly the Xtracycle freeloader bags are not as fire resistant as they could be.
I mean what happens when you are forced to flee from a raging wildfire on your BigDummy with only the most precious of your belongings and a few pieces of survival gear and your freeloader bags simply melt away? (Believe it or not I have considered the fleeing a fire by Dummy scenario in the past.)

Hopefully Xtracycle will see these photos and begin working on fire proof freeloaders, ultimately making the world a better and safer place.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Klunker Hucking

Stole this off FaceBook. . .

friend of a friend getting rad on an old klunker.

(photo not by me)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

What It Feels Like

Le Voyage des Ballons Multicolores

This is what it feels like in my heart every time I ride a bicycle.

- big jonny

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Moose Get Hungry This Time of Year

GSC posted this photo today of a giant moose apparently eating his bike seat. Bummer.

Nevermind photoshop, it's all about perspective.

Photo by GSC

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

PFar Racing

Big wheels and spandex. Awesome!

Made My Day

Got cut off riding to class today. One of those scenarios where driver was looking left to turn right and would have run me right over if I hadn't been paying attention. I yelled "Hey" just to let him know I was there. He saw me after it would have already been too late.

I glanced over my shoulder after crossing the intersection and saw brake lights and the truck came to a stop on a main road. I prepared myself for the possibility of confrontation. . . . Instead I heard "Sorry man" shouted out an open window. I gave him a friendly wave and a shout before riding off with a smile on my face.

I drive, I understand close calls happen more easily than any of us would like, and I really appreciated him taking just a couple seconds to let me know he was sorry. Totally made my day.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Did some commuting on my bridgestone speed cycle this week. Trying to squeeze in some skinny tire miles before winter sets in.

Snowline keeps creeping lower.

I bought new socks, don't they look nice?

So far I'm pretty pleased with the new VeloOrange bars on put on the RB-1

Monday, October 10, 2011

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cabin Camping for Science

I made a quick research trip this week to check on a project I've had going all summer. Conveniently the research site has a public use cabin about 150meters away. I reserved a bunk and rode out late Wednesday afternoon on the Dummy.

Science and camping gear, plus a little bit of wood for the stove to make things a little bit cozier.

Everything was rolling along great until I ran into this. Since I hadn't packed a chainsaw I had to wrestle the loaded Dummy over this mess. The next day Mrs. and Little surprised me on the trail. She said she disconnected Little's trailer and lifted it over the tree without him waking up from his nap.

Long Load

I love the BOB sak packing method for Dummy camping. Everything stays dry and protected while riding and I can have the entire bike unloaded in about 1 minute. Especially nice if it is cold or raining.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Whatever Keeps 'em Rolling

"Had a slow leak for a week. Pump it up once a day.

Perhaps today will be the day it goes away."


Pretty much describes my approach to maintenance and repair.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Professional Bike Riding Men

Just found this ad on the local list by Craig. You'll be dumber for having watched it, but I have to admit I laughed when I watched their video.

Even though we're professional bike riding bike men, me and my buddy Robby crash a lot of bikes in our youtube vids and they tend to get messed up pretty quick. We're just looking for cheap mtn bikes (maybe $10-$20 or so) to use and hopefully not have to spend lots of $ for. If youre curious, our youtube page is called Buick and Robby (click on link)

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy National Public Lands Day!

Little wRider and I went to a Public Lands Day celebration at a nearby BLM office this afternoon.
Well, actually we showed up just as the festivities ended.

aLi and Fi met us there and we all hung out for a while after everyone else left, then we went for an excellent ride on public land.

At the Public Lands Day event I did manage to capture a picture of the rare family cycling configuration know as the "triple threat". Bike + tag-along + trailer = triple threat.

That's one long family cycling train.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Winter is Coming

Fall singletrack . . .

. . . go find yourself some.

Alien Abduction?

I'd noticed this before, but never had the camera with me.

About the last label I want on a seatpost pointed straight at my backside is the word "PROBE".

Friday, September 23, 2011

It's a Joke, Right?


A kidney warmer for cycling?

At first I just thought it just a hip way of describing a flask full of bourbon.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Big Dumm Flat Tires

Rear wheel flat tires on the Big Dummy are kind of a pain.

I'm just saying.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lost and Found

If the helmet and gloves pictured below blew off the roof of your car this afternoon on Elmore leave me a message in the comments section. You'll probably want to buy a new helmet regardless, but the gloves seem nice.

There will be an OJ/Cinderella test just to make sure the items are really yours.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I'm Off the Fence

I've been on the fence this fall about whether or not to do a couple of cyclocross races. I've done a few in the past and kind of enjoyed it. A very different style of riding than I usually pursue. The local series is little too serious for my taste, pretty much just road racing on grass. I wish there were more hand up's and guys in skirts.

I'm going to let this video seal the deal for me. I'll still go hang out at some of the races, but I don't think I'm going to pay $ to ride.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Give Him a 5mm Allen Wrench and He'll Go To Work

I'm a little nervous about when he can really start disassembling things.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fall Cabin Camping

Did an overnight cabin camping trip with the family last night.

12 miles, wide gravel trail.

Dummy carried science equipment and camping gear for a family of 3.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cycling in Europe

A friend shared this.

He's living in Switzerland and says this video pretty much sums up what riding in Europe is like.

Looks like fun.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Junior Polo

We had a picnic with friends yesterday. AnSoN brought some polo gear and a few us dorked around with the mallets.

Little man spent a good chunk of the afternoon running around in the grass with a mallet in his hand.

Later I let him sit on the back deck of the Dummy with me and he swatted away at the ball on the polo court.

Apparently he hadn't gotten his fill.
When we got home he snagged a mallet out of the garage and hopped on his trike.
I may have to throw together a few junior size mallets and organize some strider bike polo.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Taste of Fall

Got out for a fall ride in the mountains early this afternoon. Nice little family ride, beautiful fall colors.

Tasty little blueberry stash when we stopped for a break.

Little wrider tromping around.

Mrs. took advantage of the situation, opting to ride trails down towards home rather than ride in the car. When we saw her again some 1,100 ft lower down she was splattered with mud and grinning like a fool.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back in the Stable

GSC brought the Dummy back home today.

He had his Kona cross bike loaded on the bike so he could get himself back home

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Small Victories

I feels like a little victory each time I ride home from the store without breaking any eggs.

Finished Fork

Here are some photos of the finished fork on the RB-1

A dramatic improvement if I do say so myself.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Meat Wagon Update

A an email from GSC showed up in my inbox this evening with the subject line "Dummy Huck".

The Big Dumm caribou hunt was a success, and there were rave reviews of the Big Dummy. Enough that Allman, who had his BikesAtWork trailer along on the hunt said he had been shopping online for a Big Dummy and had one in his shopping cart at the moment.

I'm glad the Dummy worked well for GSC, you never know if someone else will appreciate something to the same way you do.

Oh yeah, and the Dummy came back to town a little better endowed than when it left, sporting a Surly Nice Rack on the front. Its a good look, and why wouldn't you want increased carrying capacity.

-11.699 seconds

A -9sec split on the top half is unheard of, and Danny Hart only got faster on the bottom half.

Amazing run in horrible conditions. Worth 3 minutes of your time to see what world champion downhill racing looks like.

If the embedded video doesn't work you can try this link.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Resort Riding

Made it down to the local ski resort with JDogg for some lift serviced riding this weekend.

The resort has only seriously been pursuing trailbuilding for a year or two. There were some sweet sections with excellent flow, there was a lot of sections that need some attention and there was a lot of mud.

This is the only photo I got from the day. I think JDogg snapped one or two from the lift, but that was it.

I'm excited about the potential of local lift serviced riding, hopefully a few more years of growth and attention and we'll have some sweet riding just down the highway.

All in all a good weekend, and it was nice to get out on the squishy bike again

Saturday, September 3, 2011


Spent a couple nights at a public use cabin with the fam recently. It was only a 3mile ride to the cabin on a pretty flat trail so I decided fast and light wasn't the way to go.

In other news, my chain was embarrassingly loud on today's 30mile ride.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


Now for something less depressing:
some classic Northern California footage from the late 1970's

Gary Fisher with a little prophecy around 3:40, " . . . it's going to go a long ways."

Bicycling Is Not A Crime . . . or is it?

I definitely find this story a little disturbing. Check that, I find it A LOT disturbing.

I'm also not surprised by it.

Now a 10 year old girl has to worry about being picked up by the cops when she goes out and rides her bike.

When bicycles are outlawed only outlaws will ride bikes.

Ride on.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Living Room Rally

Sunglasses on and shoes off.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fork painting

I've finished painting the fork for the Bridgestone, pictures to come.

I'm definitely pleased with the results. Right now it almost looks too nice, making the rest of the bike look older and a bit shabby.

It will get dirty soon enough.

Took it for a test ride after dark tonight. Only 8min or so, but ended up with a cop rolling up behind me while I was riding in the street, just before I turned around for home. I had no lights, no reflectors, and not a stitch of reflective clothing on.

Fortunately this cop wasn't interested in enforcing visibility laws for cyclists riding at night.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Painting Forks

I knew I'd get around to it sooner or later. Something had to be done about the color of the fork on the Bridgestone.

Inspired in part by SJ and her reports of DIY painting her bike I got to work last night.

Stripped paint off half the fork. I'll finish it tonight or tomorrow and then get around to the business of painting

It isn't a bad fork, except for the color. For now it didn't seem practical to drop a bunch of money into a new fork

We'll see how it turns out.