Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Bats were out in force a few nights ago. I took a bunch of pictures. Here are two that have bats. 

Click for big, then squint.

Not my best work. But it's hard to top this one. I shall press on.

Eberly took a bunch of pics too, hoping to capture the elusive, photo-shy flying mammals. While I can't find any bats in his photos, he did get an action shot of Pat Rick smacking a mosquito:

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Pats and Eberly

I rare treat... Pat Rick, Pat, and Eberly at the river for a couple rides.

Beth and Mike: if that's not great, I don't know what is. The MortBorns were here for a day too. Beth woke up at 5 and took a ride to the sandy beach. Mike rode down there at about 8 am and found her asleep on the beach. 

The Pats, Eberly, and I took a ride on one of my favorite loops. It's about 19 miles. Most of it is climbing. With a great descent.

It's frigging hot up here. We all wanted Pat Rick's hat. He was riding Pat's bling Elephant.

Eberly. Post-descent.


The river trike: doing triple duty.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fishing, rivering, and such

Since school ended a few weeks ago, I've really been lucky to be able to jump into summer with both feet. I'll be doing some work now to build up the bank, but there are still a number of long weekends and a couple weeks of summer adventuring in the hopper.

The Kettle River is in prime mode ride now. We spent a few days up there: swimming and fishing mostly. We also did a couple chill bike rides. There is more riding to be done up there... I've sort of drifted away from the longer, super epic day rides and now I favor shorter rides that take a couple hours instead of all day. There are a bunch of 20-30 mile, super scenic loops out there with lots of road surface options and excellent climbs.

"Entering Ferry County"

Sisters Betsy and Tracie foolishly trusted me to pick a "shortcut" home one morning. This looked a lot more like a road in real life.
More "road." With a half day of work this old right-of-way could be cleared into a ridable shortcut. It cuts a few miles of highway riding off by crossing public FDR Recreation land. Win-win.

I took the lasher rack off this bike. I shouldn't have done that, since the lasher makes a great fishing pole holder.

And the monster Swift bag makes a better day fish tripper than this little Ostrich.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Readying the Pink Elephant for summer

About a month ago, I bent the crap out one of my front racks. Dig it:

See how the rack is really a lot out alignment with the front tire... all of those lines should be parallel. I run things pretty willy-nilly by most bike nerd standards -- or really, any standards, but this kind of wonkery is even too much for me. The amount this thing bent was way out of proportion for the little wreck that caused the bending...a brief explanation of how I did this is here. But in technical terms: there was a lever involved to make the bending really pop.

Anyway -- the Pink Elephant is moving into summer mode, albeit a bit behind schedule. One part of this transition --  an important part -- is to get this rack back on it.

So I asked Glen if he had a bit of time to day to unwind this rack. He did. So I went down there and the rack fix turned into kind of a mini overhaul.

To wit:

- Glen straightened out the rack and welded a broken seam back together
- He realigned the rear triangle, caused by an event where I may or may not have gotten in some kind of minor wreck.
- He fixed the shifting in the rear by replacing some housing and lubing stuff -- whoa! what a difference!
- He inspected and repacked my rear hub, which is rather notchy. He spun the rear wheel and told me to hold the pedal as the wheel spun. "Feel that?" he asked. There was a solid, notchy vibration coming through the hub, into the frame, into the cranks and into the pedal. "Maybe?" I answered.

Turns out the rear cone on the non-drive side of the hub was well-pitted. Looking at the tiny, irregular little pitted spots on the cone, it didn't seem so bad to me, but Glen assured me that it was as bad as he's seen. This wheel has been around. I bought it new -- the whole wheel -- from Rivendell over 7 years ago. It first lived on the Hairy Garyized Trek 520. I think it went on Liza's RB-1 conversion after that. Then my orange Elephant. Now this one.  It's seen a lot of hard miles. I've probably repacked it once during that time... during my "it's important to maintain your hub phase" of aught nine.  Glen didn't have a proper replacement cone, so I'll get one and put it in there.

And while he had the bottom bracket removed, he drilled a drain hole.

Earlier last week, I removed the fenders and swapped out the slicks with knobbies.

Word. The Pink Elephant is ready for summer riding and exploring.

In other news -- look at this kid climb this hill:

It's hard to capture the steepness of a hill in a photo, but this is a good little grade that goes for about 1/4 of a mile. Apparently, walking is not an option.  

 This is my old campus bike -- Maddie has commandeered it. It's your basic cruiser gearing, which is fairly large and in-charge if you're evaluating it in the context of hills.

Monday, June 23, 2014


I'm reworking the Pink Elephant for summer touring. More on this later.

Maddie just keeps growing fast. We did a one-night overnighter this year. We plan on doing at least a two-nighter this summer. Maybe a couple two-nighters if we can figure out a good route. Then next summer I think we'll be ready for a week tour -- perhaps we'll go up Whidbey, then Orcas or Lopez. In any case, I see a LHT in Maddie's future.

Maddie and I just got back from a week of tooling around the OR and WA coast and hanging with family in Seattle. More here on that. The beaches make me ponder a fat bike adventure. A guy could go for miles on these beaches during mid-low tide.

From L-R, that's Maddie, my sister Betsy, and her kid, Livvy.  Riding around Seattle is pretty righteous. Even with the kids.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Riding with Liza

This time of year one of my favorite things to do is to ride downtown with Liza, have a date/hang, and ride home.

Last night was a perfect ride night for such a ride: warm and clear. My phone pics are blurry and lame, but to me, they sort of capture the magic.