Friday, August 29, 2008
7:45: Rode with maddie to school.
8:30 Took a great trail ride with Mr. Tobin. He gifted me two new outstanding trails before he went over his bars. Bad fall. He untaco'd his wheel old school style.
11:00 Rode up to the p2p garage to get my picture taken.
12:30 Picked up my sandal. It took him about 3 minutes to fix. It cost $4. Problem solved...at least for a few weeks.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I'll cut the tab off at the bottom and the sandal will end up falling apart there. I'm bummed. This was my last pair of stashed old-style Shimano SPD sandals. The design they have now is lame. It's got three straps and is more shoe than sandal.
Actually, I think I'll bring these to a cobbler and see if these can be repaired before I destroy them. The sandals are otherwise in fine shape and have at least one more year in them.
I've not found any good alternatives to these sandals. My troubles with the Keen Commuter are well-documented. And I've seen a knock-off of this particular Shimano design online. Maybe I'll find those and give them a try when these Shimanos finally give up the ghost.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Sunday, August 24, 2008
The Midnight Century ride last night definitely falls into my top-ten rides. I was just so fun. I was expecting a clobbering pace, but it was pretty moderate. And talking to David today, I think knowing what lay ahead on the course made it enjoyable; I was able to pace myself well for the hard dirt climbs and for Spangle Creek Road.
We left the Elk at mid-night with 12 riders. All but 3 of us DNF'd. We lost the first 4 on the Centennial Trail. We learned later, that that group ended up doing an out and back to CdA. The ride to the border was uneventful -- as the flat, paved Centennial Trail usually is.
We headed north on Idaho road and then did our first dirt climb. It felt great to be on the gravel with the new bike. My Rawland is about the most optimal bike for this type of ride: fat slicks, triple chain ring. The bike really did disappear underneath me for this ride. Everything worked flawlessly on it.
One guy (Pat? not Pat but a new Pat to me) had a wonky front derailleur so he was stuck in the big ring up front. The poor guy grinded up the dirt climb (and then Molter) in his impossibly high gear.
At about 3 am, as we descended Henry Road into Saltese flats we came across a lone cyclist on his way home from work. He was a bit surprised to see a bunch of really bright cyclist lights descending on him. His response: "What the hell?"
We lost 2 more guys as we came across 32nd Ave outside of Saltese. Pat and Ron took off at this point somewhere. So it was me, David Blaine, Jake McBurns, Jon Hawkins, and Bradley Bleck that started the climb up Lehman, en route to Sands Road.
Sands Road was one of a handful of hard climbs and probably the most demanding dirt climb. By the time we got to the top David was not looking good. The day previous, his bike was ripped off, so the night previous, he didn't sleep as he worried about it. He end up recovering the bike, but not his sleep. He was ready to nap in the dirt on the side of the road.
So as we crossed the Palouse Highway, David and Bradley peeled off and headed home.
Jake, Jon and I continued on Dunn road, took the closed portion of road where David had dropped off water and Pepsi (thanks David), and then climbed up to Elder Road.
At this point, Jake kicked in and we picked up the pace. Or maybe I was starting to get really tired because I was having a hard time staying with Jake for the rest of the trip.
The sun began to come up after we climbed Spangle Creek Road. Jake got a great picture of the sun just beginning to seep over the horizon. I was starving and hoping we'd stop in Spangle for breakfast. The Harvester opened at 6 am and we were about 3 miles out at 6 am. I was dreaming of a massive pile of hash browns.
I had a piece of smoked salmon stashed in my bag that sated my need for fatty salt. We all three took a hunk and pedaled on to Jenkins road. Jenkins is about 8-10 miles of rolling dirt road that empties out on Cheney-Spangle. We re-grouped again at the Fish Lake Trail head on Cheney-Spangle.
We opted to hop onto the Cheney-Spokane road at the Fish Lake Trail head. We were all hungry and ready to be home. I was able to stay with Jake until about Scribner, where I just couldn't. The guy has more energy stored in one calve muscle than I have in an entire week of riding. Or something.
I arrived at Maron, across the street from the Elk, at 8:07. Jon pulled in a couple minutes later, a-whoopin and a-hollering. Liza and Maddie had just arrived, and Jake had already put in an order for 3 sides of breakfast potatoes. I ate a lot.
A great great ride.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
I had some wheel woes yesterday afternoon. I was just about to run late for a meeting when I decided to take the trails downtown. So I bombed down the rocky trails way more bomby-er than I have on other bikes. I bashed the rear wheel on a rock and blew the tube: snake bite. by the time I replaced the tube Iwas late to the meeting.
Monday, August 18, 2008
I've had the Rawland built up for a couple days now. All up, I've probably ridden it about 30 miles. About 10 miles of dirt/trail and the rest on paved roads. I dig this bike. It's really the mountain bike I've been looking for. It takes stupid-fat tires (2.3"), has stoutish tubing, and disc brakes -- yet it handles quickly, and dare I say, nimbly. It handles, with 41mm tires, much like my RB-T. So it really is a perfect fat-tired-road bike.
As far as "road" bikes go, I'm not going to break any land-speed records on this bike, but it's perfectly suited for riding paved roads out to the dirt trails and roads and handling both terrains nicely.
As I mentioned in my initial post on this bike, the frame is made by Maxway. It's tig-welded and powder coated red. The finish is what I would expect of a $500 bike: all the threads need to be chased and if I were really anal I would've faced the bb shell and head tube.
Nice detail on a nice fork crown. That makes up for the lack of a real head badge.You can just make out the cable stop for the rear shift cable. That's one detail that I find sort of annoying. On the canti-version, they spec downtube shifter mounts.
The paint on one side of the forks is a bit faint, and one of the small frame decals was put on up-side-down. This kind of stuff doesn't bother me in the least.
The finished details that I *do* care about are good. The frame is straight. A quick check with the frame alignment gauge shows at least a perfectly straight rear triangle relative to the front triangle. All the braze-ons are in the right spot and the bike set up as easy as any other.
The welds are very nice. This is similar to other Maxway frames I've looked at closely. The welds are tidy and with the thick powder coat, they almost look fillet brazed from a distance.
Fillet or TIG'd?
I have some new stuff on here. New to me anyway. The obvious biggies are the disc brakes. They are a pain in the ass to set up, but not really any more of a pain than most cantilevers. I still need to fiddle with the front brake to get it perfect. I used mechanical calipers that were compatible with drop bar levers: medium-grade Shimano mechanicals.
For wheels, I'm running LX hubs laced to Velocity Blunt rims. These rims are disc-specific and seem pretty sturdy. Like all Velocity rims, they were easy to build up. Unlike any Velocity rims I've had, these had huge, ugly decals on them when I bought them. It took me about 3 hours of peeling and wiping with nail polish remover to get all the decal and sticky residue off. I'd do the same for the Ritchey post and stem if his logos weren't etched into the alloy.
I found the Rivendell Silver bar-end shifters online from some guy who didn't like them. I don't know how anyone could not like these shifters. I had high expectations and they were exceeded. These are the smoothest friction bar-ends I've ever used.
Tires and Ride
The tires I have on there now are the Rivendell Fatty Rumpkins. So far, the volume makes a huge difference in how I ride on rougher sections of trail. I don't have to be so mindful of the bike/rims under me, which is nice.
The tread doesn't help much for cornering or climbing on the sandy, dusty stuff we have right now on the trails. I expect, like most inverted tires, these will do well on hard-pack. But the money part of these tires is just the volume. They let me bounce and roll over sections that I would normally pick and finesse through. Both riding styles are fun. But it's been fun to do a bit of bombing on this bike and still feel the control I like with my RB-T.
The up-side-down-bike-shot: look at that tire clearance! Crazy stupid clearance, Clarance.
I plan on donning the crazy fat 2.3" knobbies this Friday. I'll to Beacon or Riverside State Park and play around for a couple hours. I'm excited to see how the bike handles with those huge tires and how it handles in more traditional XC mountain biking and trail riding.
Friday, August 15, 2008
The one I really wish I had was a picture of Joe up at Spoke n Jo installing my headset and cutting my steerer tube (not in that order). Joe rules. What a great thing: a bike shop that opens at 6 AM. I was out of there by 7. Thanks Joe!
After Joe's. I got home just in time to ride to school with Maddie and Liza. After about a week of riding with no training wheels, Maddie is just a pro now.
Then off to the Friday ride. Jason and I hooked up for the Temple Road loop. It was hot. Aside from the fact that both of us went down on this ride... with no serious injuries, the ride was fun. Pat also joined us for the first part. He bailed after the climb up Lehman, which was quite sporting. You know, compared to bailing out before the Lehman climb.
I was able to squeeze in a couple more components on the new bike in a 1/2 hour that I had before running a bunch of bikes for P2P. That's another shot I wish I would've taken. We're getting quite the pile.
The final shot I wish I would've taken was a picture of Mike, Beth, and Liza as we enjoyed a snack and a beer downtown. Riding through the 75F night after a day in the 100's is a nice way to end the day.
FBC tomorrow night. Swamp at 8pm.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
The Plum Tree Preschool Bicycle Pirates and Princesses (pictured) will be riding the 1-mile SpokeFest course. So look out for them.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
This is a pretty historic occasion to me. It's weird how this kind of stuff comes to pass. The BAB has continually been pestering the city about this position for the last couple years I've been there, and I'm pretty sure former BABs have done the same.
Some credit is due to gas prices and a slight shift in thinking by some of the old timers on the council. Verner's administration also helped. But the bulk of the pushing and the paper shuffling and the negotiating and work here is Richard Rush. Thank you sir.
The weird part to me is that in the end it's just a quick vote on a quiet Monday night in the summer in a nearly empty city council chambers. Without getting too sappy: in that moment, Spokane has joined a host of other progressive cities in recognizing that good bicylce and pedestrian infrastructure requires dedicated and knowledgeable planning and resources.
Here's Maddie and Liza. About 45 minutes after the vote. I wonder how the city will look when Maddie's kid learns how to ride a bike?
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Friday, August 8, 2008
There's ample dirt road. Lots of washboard. Hard steep dirt climbs. One particularly tight, twisty washboardy dirt road descent, and a closed road section. It's a closed summer road. So when it was open it was rough. Now that it's closed and forgotten, it's pretty rough.
David rode his single-speed 29'er with no problems. I rode my blue RB-T with 32mm Pasalas. It worked ok, but I'm probably going to end up riding a fat-tired road bike with a more volume in the tires. Aside from this middle section, which is difficult, the other hard part about this route will be water. Basically, the route goes out to Liberty Lake on the trail, comes back through Saltese Flats, across 27, to Spangle, almost to Cheney, then into Spokane via the Fish Lake trail.
So, the "meat" section, between Liberty Lake and Spangle -- roughly 50 miles -- has no services where you can refill your water. I need tons of water, so I'll probably be bringing my camel pack in addition to my water bottles. I'll fill the camel pack in Liberty Lake.
Spangle (about 70 miles into the ride) does have services, but they all open at 6 AM. So if you're fast, you may miss out on the services. I won't have that problem. By the time I get to Spangle, I may sit down for breakfast at the Harvester, which -- like the convenience store -- opens at 6 AM on Sunday morning.
If you're interested: the ride leaves the Elk restaurant at midnight on Saturday, August 23rd. No fees, no swag, no support.
Speaking of no fees -- the "just show up and sell/buy bike stuff" swap is up at the parking lot in front of Harrington Insurance company on 29th and Regal. Sunday (this Sunday!) morning from 8-11.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Another bottom bracket crack. First my RB-1 gave up the ghost.
Now my beloved favorite bike of all time with the most soul ever has done the same.
Crud! I did expect this eventually. In fact, I've been abusing this bike for the last year and sort of waiting for the bb, the rear drop out or the chain stay/bb interface to go at any time.
But it sucks, because I've been without this bike since I shanked the rear wheel about a month ago. Liza finished the wheel last night, I had the brakes dialed in, a new XTR 8 spd cassette on there, and put Noodle bars back on there (instead of dirt drops) in anticipation of CX season. Now it's another waiting game. Ugh.
This baby is going to Hairy Gary. I think he can file out the rot/crack and lay
a bead of some hot steel in there and I'll be good for another few years. It just adds to the charm of this beauty. It's a 1991 bike. So it was built in 1990. So that's an 18 year old bike. I've had it for about 4 years and who knows what kind of life it had before I got it. When I got it, the rear canti post had to be replaced, so it's seen some action.
I work from home. Yesterday, I had an hour-and-a-half conference call from 10:30-noon. Normally, I'd eat lunch during the call, but yesterday I decided to lace up a couple wheels.
Here's what I came up with: I'm paid to think and talk when I'm on a conference call. Eating lunch, trimming my nails, picking my nose... I do these things all the time and none of them get in the way of thinking and talking.
The most mentally taxing part of lacing up a wheel is making sure the key spoke is right. (And to try and line up the label on the hub so it's readable through the spoke hole. But that's a nice-to-have, aesthetic feature that I only do because of my respect for Sheldon.) Once the key spoke is in the right place, the brain is on auto-pilot for the rest of the lacing.
So I finished lacing two wheels. Hopefully I can get them trued/tensioned tonight. The first one has the label on the hub lining up, since I started it before the call. I couldn't line up the other one on auto-pilot.
The wheels are for a new bike. More on that later.
The Rack Pics
Click the picture to go to a Picasa directory with more pictures in it.
In that directory, you'll also see pics of our hanging out up at my dad's place last weekend. He lives on the Kettle River. Which is my all time favorite river. And a perfect century from our house to his, door-to-door.
I see a weekender event in the future where a big pile of friends ride up to his place and camp on the lawn overlooking the river for the weekend. Kids and SO's to follow by car.
He's right in between Sherman and Boulder passes too. So there's great logging roads to explore and great climbs to enjoy.
Next summer. Hold me to it.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
If the plan shakes out into something good, the plan is to bake it into the Master Bike Plan. So far the DKS plan is pretty good. There are a couple things that need to change, and it's not exactly how I would do things, but in the interest of progress and moving forward with concrete project-level stuff to raise money for: the plan is good.
You can see the plan here: http://www.spokaneengineering.org/Downtown%20Study/Downtown%20Study.htm
You can send feedback here: DKSTransportationStudy@spokanecity.org
My feedback is here: http://phred.org/pipermail/bab/2008-August/000865.html
This is dry stuff, but if you ride downtown or want to, this plan (well, Chapter 4 and the Bicycle Summary Sheets specifically) is worth a read. People doing this stuff actually do read and act on feedback.
Oh yeah. And of course the dead line is this Friday. My bad. I should've posted this about a month ago.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
A couple weeks ago, I showed a picture of a purple rack in one of my posts.