Sunday, September 28, 2014

Biking and fishing

Buddy Mike came up to the river this weekend and did a bunch of tree work for us.

He also gave me super pro advice for dry fly fishing a favorite stretch of the river. I've caught a lot of great fish this year, but they've all been hooked with live bait and a variety of simple spinning doodads The 12" rainbow I caught yesterday was the first time I'd caught a fish with a fly. And it's a great thing. There's a place for all of these methods of fishing. And they're all rewarding in different ways. It's like mountain biking vs road biking vs fat biking or whatever.

Anyway, I'm super excited to apply a few of the dry fly tactics that I learned this weekend next summer. There are a couple things that I like about fly fishing: 1) using dry flies makes different parts of the river accessible in a way that I've had a hard time working with live bait. 2) Even though there's a bit more fuss around rigging up the fly rod, line, and overall setup, once you're out there, it's really straight-forward. Mike is convincing me not to even bother with a net... having less fishing crap hanging off you on the river makes getting around easier and it leaves more pockets for beer... if necessary.

And by tree work, I mean the real deal. The tree on the left had a bunch of scary looking straggly huge branches sort of precariously dangling over the command center. He was about twice as high on the left tree as this photo shows him on the right tree... if you follow.

And in other news. Rocinante, aka Liza's Truck, is mostly dead at the moment. As I pulled up to the river place, it exhibited the signs of coolant in the engine: plumes of steamy funk pouring out the exhaust pipe. After restarting, poking, smelling, listening, and pondering, we're thinking it's a header/gasket issue and not a full on warped and twisted cylinder engine replacement scenario. And by we, I mean Glen and me. He's not committing to anything here, but he and Mike did help talk me down from the ledge of giving up on the poor truck. And really: I just can't. It's too rad. It's not a looker, but Rocinante, which is the name that Liza's dad gave it, is the perfect name for that truck.

Thursday, September 25, 2014


 Who woulda thought? The commute from Cheney to Spokane can be enjoyable.

It takes a friend though.

Stine -- minding the signage.
Stine's commute home puts her on Gov't Way, so we chiseled out a commute that puts us on the super excellent descent down Assembly/Indian Canyon Drive. I can't remember the last time I descended that hill from the top. It's worth seeking out.

In other news --- I figured out the obvious as I sat at The Scoop the other day and stared at the Pugsley. The reason my rack often rubs is because the rear triangle is asymmetrical. Duh.

Pat and I plan on remedying this situation when we stiffen this cheapo rack up with a bit of triangulation and the addition of fixed mounting stays. Hells yeah!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A blog post

It's been a long time since I posted regularly. Lots of reasons. None of them particularly interesting.

I still take pictures all the time with the phone, so here is a dump of mostly-bikey pictures from the last month or so. 
Glen at Elephant Bikes has been a busy dude this summer. What you're looking at here is a chainstay prototype for a contract build he's doing for a shop on the East Coast. I like those bends. The dropouts are the new-ish Tange slider. Good value those.

And this is a unicrown disc fork for the same project. Not to be confused with the stock NFE project, which will have a lugged crown.

This was the tube for the river cruiser. It was the last tube up there and it split of old age. I found an old Velox sewup kit and I stitched it up, then patched it. Didn't work.

I've been loving the shit out of this Pugsley. It's the best river fishing bike ever. 

I'll be taking my first proper fat bike sand trip in October.


Liza. Flying a kite. She's really that chilled out a lot.

This summer Maddie spent two mornings a week with her Nonna -- I'd often drop her off in the morning with the car, then go ride up and bring a bike to pick her up. This is not an ideal way to carry a bike. I nearly crashed a couple of times when some part of Maddie's bike jammed up my steering.

Best rainbow of the season. 

We went on an apple picking run last week. See that tiny little basket on the back of his bike. That was his loot hauler.

Justin had two panniers for loot. And he was rocking the trails with the low riders and drop bars.

My haul.

And with Maddie's plums...

We made a big arse batch of apple/plum sauce and some apple/plum butter. That stainless bit of ordinance there is my Sicilian MIL's electric food mill. I think it has more horsepower than our Subaru and it makes seeding, skinning, and coring of boiled fruit a breeze.

Liza and I sat and watched folks at the fountain yesterday at Riverfront. That's a great way to blow an hour.

Swing bike. I wasn't quick enough on the draw to get a photo of her riding it. She's the original owner and she's had it since 1971.  She can ride that thing.

Maddie. She's pretty much done with this bike. We're going drops for next summer's bike. And we're gonna do some time touring... weeks hopefully.

She rocked the Highdrive trails in her flip flops. A responsible parent would see to more sensible shoes. But in the memory of my father, who used to horse-log in flip flops (really think about that), I have to appreciate the flip flop approach.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Midnight Century posters are finished in record time!

Dig it.

Coffee Joe made a batch of small letterpress posters for the finishers.

If you're on the list, contact me -- john funny circle thingy phred point com and we can connect.

This is the first time that the finishers' swag completed before the website update. That's forthcoming though.

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
50 Miles with Broken Spoke
Alan Jacob
Hissing Raccoons are Scary!
Jeff Zickler

Ryan McLucas

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

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