Sunday, August 17, 2014

Spreading the fat around

Glen let me borrow his Pugsley for a weekend. It fits Liza well and she liked it. She's not ready to go off and buy one anytime soon, but I'd like to think that the potential is there.






Friday, August 8, 2014

Hill overlooking the lake

I'm at Lake Coeur d' Alene with the family for a few days. Like most of the cabins on the lake, ours sits along the side of a hill overlooking a beach/dock below. Behind the house, the hill continues.


One of my favorite things to do is to find a way to the top of hills like this. Usually, I hit a gate that is too serious to pass or the road turns to a goat trail and then terminates into forest and brush.


But today was a banner day. I found my way to the top. And at the top, I found sweet little cabin. I need to get out and do more bike exploring. I'm so burned out on the from-the-front-door rides at home. Hopefully that will change, but doing this ride this morning has reminded me that driving to ride opens up all sorts of new riding. And I need that right now.


That dot is the cabin: destination.



Monday, August 4, 2014

Midnight Century 2014 -- Finishers

I didn't ride it. But here's the self-reported figures from Central Food sign-in sheet.

If there are mistakes, or if you DNF'ed and want to be included on the MC results page, then leave a comment with your info. For DNF'ers, be sure you mention the bailout location.

Coffee Joe is working on a Finisher's poster... stay tuned for that.

Here are some instagram photos tagged with #midnightcentury

Joe Johnson
6:12
50 Miles with Broken Spoke
Alan Jacob
6:12
Hissing Raccoons are Scary!
Jeff Zickler
6:38

Ryan McLucas
6:39

Dakota Small
7:20
Fatties Fit Fine (Fat Tire Record)
David Blaine
7:45
Single Speed
Eric Erickson
7:55
WOW- Rawland 650b
Chris Wamsley
7:57
Single Speed
Brian Johnson
7:57
Elephant CX Disc
Lars Huschke
7:57
Ready for next year.
Stefan Huschke
7:57
Ja!`
Dave Andrews
7:57
Epic Ride
Silas McQuain
7:57
Ahhhh Beer Dude!
Hank Greer
7:57

Andrew Ackerman
8:05
Dead
Adam Stewart
8:22
Rad- got lost=101 miles total
Jordan Wilson
8:22
Yeeah 33-29/11-23 Tarmac 25C!
Rust Latour
8:22
7 flats/ Porcupine/ Bee Sting
Aden Kailin
8:22
“Turn down for what (unreadable script)”
Jaimie Kenney
8:25
Holy F***
Ian Butler
8:38
One Fuckin’ Speed
Marc Mims
8:38
I need a beer!
Scott Arbuckle
8:39
Holy Crap!`
Matt McCain
10:59
FML
Jesse Prichard
10:59
Longest Unicycle ride of my life. (did not actually ride unicycle- ed.)



Saturday, July 26, 2014

Digging the Pugs



I've not posted much on the Pugsely since Glen got it for me. Of course, I don't post much about anything anymore...

The Pugs is a great bike. The virtual ink that is spilled about the Pugs, and fatbikes in general, tends to be of the extreme (ya know, epic) types: guys rolling across deserts or through the snow of Alaska's winter or along the remote shores of some far away place. That's sweet stuff for sure. And there's a part of me that would love to do some long weird journey on that bike.

But I've really enjoyed letting the Pugsley sort of wiggle its way into my non-epic lifestyle. Last winter there were a bunch of snowy days where I loved rolling down the hill 3 miles to my bus stop. At 6 AM on a quiet morning with fresh layer of snow, the Pugs was the perfect fun way to start the work day. Not surprisingly, the Pugsley makes a great snow commuter.

Glen and I took a few rides in the dirt out at Riverside, where the monster knobby contact patch of the Nates allowed me to rail into fast corners in a way I've not done on any bike. The familiar trails I've ridden a bunch of times on cross bikes and mountain bikes were transformed into a whole new experience on the Pugsley.


And this summer, I've been bringing the Pugsley up to the river. As expected, it's been a perfect roller for cruising down the dirt road to the beaches beyond our spot. But the last few weeks I've been putting the Pugsley to work and it's probably the most satisfying of all the experiences I've had on the bike.

The fishing has been rough for the last few weeks. My normal spots are skunking me out. I have a couple bucket panniers on the Puglsey that I load up with fishing stuff, beer, food, and other crap. Until recently, I just treated the Pugsley like a car: taking the roads to my favorite holes.

But a couple days ago, after getting skunked, I was ready to saddle up and ride back. I was frustrated. I wanted to go further around the bend on the river, away from the road. I've walked through there before but it's a long walk on round boulder-y rocks, and walking sucks and takes forever. Then duh... it hit me -- the Pugsley was made for that shit. I took a bunch of air out of the tires and started pedaling up the river. And it was glorious.


I rode through sand, mud, rocks, and through shallow sections of the river. I rode up over the edges overlooking the river -- these were curvy sections of the river far away from the road. I still got skunked the whole way. But it opened up a huge set of possibilities.

There are a bunch of places on the river that I've fished before by floating/hiking, and that's fun, but it's a commitment because I end up miles from home and with a long walk back or reliant on coordinating a ride back. But with the Pugsely, I can keep all my crap on the bike and just ride it out. It's silly how long this took me to realize this.

Some folks call it a Sling Blade, I call it a Kaiser Blade.
The other thing I've been doing is using the Pugsley to cart my trail-blazing equipment. It's the same deal: I've got to cross a lot of forests with tall bushes and grass, lumpy forest floor, and a bunch of small deadfall. On the Pugs, it's fun and easy. I've got one trail about 3/4 finished and another in the hopper. I'm motivated.

The Pugsley makes a great workhorse.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

SH-80 is back in business




I stole the rear wheel off the cycle truck a few months ago when the Kogswell showed up.

Alex recently gave me a rear wheel for the cycle truck. Then a couple days later, Justin showed up with a forgotten gem: the original rear wheel from the old tandem. The great thing about this old wheel is that it is threaded for a drum brake. The even better thing about the wheel is that it's super old 6-speed and only spaced at 135mm. So bam... I spun the old Araya drum brake on there and crammed the whole outfit into the SH-80.

When Alex made the cycle truck, he included a parking braking under the chainstays: a u-brake deal that is actuated by a downtube shifter. The fortuitous thing about using the u-brakes is that the brake mounts are drilled for a derailleur cable, so cable routing to the rear arm on the Araya drum brake came for free! Stuff never works out like that for me. I'd like to think Alex had that planned out.

By using a shifter to work the brake, I can use the brake as a drag for long descents with lots of weight -- and it won't overheat. Admittedly: this is an over-wrought and mostly unnecessary feature for how I use this bike, but I'd like to think I may find myself at the top of Sherman Pass someday with a full load to deliver down to the river.



Mileage-wise: this cycle truck has always been the trailer by a long shot. But measured by quality of rides, this bike is right up there. It's a great fit. And loaded up, it's just effortless to roll around on. I strapped the monster Wald on there and made a store run this morning. Lemon-squeezy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bats

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.

Bug.

The river trike: doing triple duty.