Thursday, May 29, 2008
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Mellow weekend. For the second Sunday in a row some friends and I have done the High Drive Churchin Ride. It's about an hour of tooling around the trails. Roughly it translates to 20 minutes of riding, 20 minutes of pushing bikes up steep hills, and 20 minutes of resting/panting. Then we go to the Scoop for coffee.
Sunday night, we did a dinner ride. We stopped and ate outside at Bangkok Thia (formerly: Riverview). Then we tooled around the north side. Then back over the river, where we ended up at the Elk for beers.
Taylor here is training for the Twilight Race Series. He mumbled something about how his body is a temple and how a high performance machine required high performance fuel -- as he gobbled down the "moon unit" and swilled beer after beer.
Not really. Liza bought that and we all ate it. I just wanted the photo op. By the way. Put June 17th on your calendar. That's the Lincoln Park Criterium. That'll be a fun one to watch. Races start at 6 PM. The upper piece of Lincoln Park is a natural race course. Short and fast.
My buddy Alex posted a bunch of pics of his Memorial Day cargo bike ride in Seattle. Among other beauts, there was a Big Dummy, with the blender attachment in action. An older Rock and Roll similar to mine. It's pretty much built up how I want to build up mine: drop bars in the front, bar-ends, mountain stoker bars, etc. Mine is on loan at the moment, but we're repo'ing it this winter to build it up for next year. Liza and I will be going for some land-speed-records on that.
I love this trailer. I like that the wheels are sort of protected from the load and that you can load over the wheels on the flat platforms. Smart design. I have a friend that may be able to help me build something like this. I like the small steel square tubing too. I wonder how it connects to the rear wheel?
Friday, May 23, 2008
I figured I would check out the the flooding on the Centennial Trail. Consider this a public service. If you're thinking of riding the Centennial Trail this holiday weekend, be sure to ride in shoes you can submerge.
There were 2 sections of Upriver that were too deep to go through. One in front of the retirement place, and another about 1/4 mile down the road. Both are easy to avoid. This section, in front of the "Edge Water" ended up being deeper than I liked; my bottom bracket got submerged, but not my hubs... just barely though.
This one required shouldering the bike and rolling up the knicks past the knees. I had to slog through the water on the left side of the photo, along the fence line. It's deeper than it looks from the this photo. It went up to my knees at the shallowest point.
Maria had just finished making a big pile of bread. She also made polpetta sugo (meatballs with sauce). I tried to have just 2 meatballs, but I ended up having 4. I also had a huge still-warm roll.
When it comes to good food, I'm so lucky. In addition to Maria, who is my Valley connection, my mother owns a Spokane cooking class company. She's on the south hill, so if I'm strategic in my timing and routing, I can usually score some great lunch fixings as she is preparing for the night's gig. She also has amazing bread. I created the natural starter that she still uses for her bread before Maddie was born, over 5 years ago. I named it Owen. I'm such a junkie for good bread.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
There are two conditions: you must build it up and ride it in the next month or so -- no hording (why would you want to?); and secondly, when you're done with it, you must give the frame away with the same conditions.
Comes as shown: with a post, front u-brake, and a poorly adjusted headset. Fits 2.3" knobbies (barley), has horizontal dropouts spaced at 135mm.
Party on Turd, you have served me well.
Sucky rack at Sacred Heart. I have followed a few commuters to Sacred Heart. Apparently the hospital has great facilities for employees, but I can't find a bike rack by the Womens/Surgery center.
And sweet new racks at the Rocket on 42nd. These are really "leaners," which is all they need up there, since cyclists go and sip on a beer or coffee and can watch their bikes. Nice use of plumbing pipes and fittings to make a cheap rack that is more effective than 90% of all other bike racks in town.
I laced up a wheel tonight. Thanks Sheldon for your straight-forward directions. I've only built a dozen or so wheels, but when I do, I use Sheldon's method. It's easy.
I'm tired and pissy since it looks like the wrong dust cap came with the hub, which means at least a 4-5 day delay in getting the bike on the road. Errg. I wish there was a LBS that totally rocked the internally geared hub deal.
I'll true and tension the wheel sometime this weekend. The hub is a SRAM S7. It's going to go on my 520, along with some swept back bars, a chain guard, and some more rackage. The point is to build a good townie/porteur. It's even going to have platform pedals.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Today, I rode in the rain for most of the day. And I took my "good" camera. Lots o shots.
After treeing and lunching, we said our good byes and I headed to the Eastern Washington Regional Office of the Washington Department of Transportation to meet with Melanie and Jody. They're engineers that are working on the "US 195 Hatch Road to I-90 Project." That's the one that touches Fish Lake Trail, the Latah strip mall area, and numerous other bits of suburban and rural properties.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
On the way back from 7 mile, we noticed that the southern approach to Maple Street bridge was blocked off. Sweet. My buddy and fellow BAB'er Bill has talked about the allure of riding the "forbidden fruit:" closing traffic for a day on a high-volume bridge and allowing cyclists to ride it. The concept never really clicked with me until yesterday as Mike, Jason, and I rode three abreast across the Maple Street bridge. It was great because it's such a bummer to ride with traffic. But cruising across the bridge in the middle of the day was inspiring some how. Bill's dream, by the way, is to grow SpokeFest into a ride that incorporates the closing of at least one major bridge for cyclists. It won't happen in the first year, but with a strong enough turn out and some support, it may work for next year.
That's Mike. Hauling across Maple on his righteous old Italian steed. We had a good time riding around town and riding trails out at RSP. Hot day. I had the salt deposit deal going on my shirt by the time I came home.
One missed photo-op yesterday happened when I spied a guy hauling a bike on an xtracycle. Jason and I caught up with him . I recognized him and his wife from the Master Bike Plan open houses. I'm about 90% sure her name is Nicki (I'm 100% sure that's spelled wrong) and I'm about 45% sure his name is Craig or Greg. Regardless of their names, they are cool folks and fun to chat with. They are looking forward to the FBC Prom ride on May 31st.
Speaking of which, Monday (tomorrow night) is this month's FBC Full Moon Fiasco. It should be a glorious night. Come one, come all to Pear Tree Inn at 8 pm. Be ready to roll by 9.There's Tim. His daughter Ruby is sitting on his version of the companion carrier. He did a really nice hack with a nice padded, wide, sprung saddle and a million zipties. Sweet ride. Patty is looking on in the back ground.
Here's some synergy: Patty and Tim own Neato Burrito/Baby Bar. They are hosting the May 31st Prom Ride. There's even a Prom Decorating Committee. Tim is talking about turning away people that don't turn up on bikes. That rules.
Sunday morning. This lame camera photo shows a hill. In that hill is an amazingly wonderful descent that I've somehow missed in my time noodling around the High Drive trails. Wow. If I don't come home some day, check here first. This hill really tempts you to bomb. You can see most of the run from the top and it's got a series of turns and rollers that just encourages full speed descending.
That's Kevin. He's a British guy that just recently moved here from the UK. I met him on a Full Moon Fiasco ride. Note the On-One single speed.
I met up with Kevin and Joe at Polly Judd this morning after tooling around the trails. I followed Kevin back up. He's a typical single speeder in that he climbs quickly, it was a great challenge to keep up with him.
Joe, Kevin and I landed at the Scoop after our High Driving. Patrick and Elissa normally open up the shop at 11 on Sundays, but when we got there at 10:15, coffee was made and the cyclists started pouring in. A chunk of early morning ride cyclists came in after their loop out to Cheney. The 3 of us were there and as we sat, a couple women came in after a ride around the neighborhood.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
I spent the last 24 hours with Dave Peckham from VBP. He's a guy that just lives his values in a way that I respect so much that I get sort of weepy thinking about it. While he was here, we had a small dinner gathering where I met a woman whose life work is helping refugees who are fresh of the plane -- and often one or two days removed from a loved one being shot, raped, or just gone missing -- to integrate into an American life in Spokane. I got the same weepy feeling talking to her about her work.
This week, I saw the real result of tons of work by tons of people to make Bike to Work week a success. Monday morning, despite chilly wet temperature, about 300 people showed up in Riverfront Park. My mother and step-father donated their time through my mom's catering company to make 400+ muffins and scones for cyclists on Monday morning. Thinking of them staying up until 12:30 AM wrapping and labeling each treat gets me all misty.
So, as I sat down to eat a burrito at Slick Rock today, I was again impacted after reading this spot in the "Buzz Bin" of The Inlander:
You can still horn in on Bike to Work Week. Just pedal in on Friday, then go to the party at the Steam Plant Grill from 4:30-6:30 that afternoon and impress people with stories of the irate motorists and potholes that you dodged all week. Be sure to wear lots of brightly colored spandex.
I'm used to seeing this kind of broad brush stereo typing in general media. Where some media outlet, in an attempt to be witty and urbane to its mostly non-cycling audience, reinforces the swaggering, spandex-clad, iron man-uberjock stereotype of urban cyclists.
It's usually not worth a second though of my time. But maybe because it's my time of month or maybe just because I'm close to a lot of the work that has gone into this event, this particular trivialization and backhanded insult hit closer than it usually does.
Is it me? Am I becoming one of those hypersensitive advocacy humourless bike freaks? God I hope not.
If so, I would appreciate some recalibration from anyone reading this. If not, I'm interested in knowing that too.
Since Jon Snyder, the owner/publisher of Out There magazine (Spokane print monthly magazine), was the first to comment, I should make my relationship with him clear. I must mention that I get paid to write a monthly column for Out There. For what it's worth, all income from my writing in Out There is donated to Pedals2People.
Monday, May 12, 2008
I took my newly-built-up mountain bike on the maiden ride today. It was the post-build-shake-down: just a quick loop on the trails. Last time I rode this bike on these trails was about 3 years ago when the bike was built-up as a single speed.
My general impressions on the bike:
- It sucks a ton of energy out for very little return. Riding up to the trail head where I got on the trails is a mile of pavement. It's a stretch I ride all the time, so I know how it *should* feel. Hauling this turd up there was surprisingly sluggish.
- Very slow handling. I ride these trails all the time. But I'm always on a road-ish bike. And all of my bikes have low or medium trail, so the handling is quick and responsive. My guess is that this mountain bike, like most mountain bikes, has a trail somewhere in the high 60's or in the 70's. And with the super turd tires. Gawd. What a dog. It's great for crushing down the trail, but it doesn't respond to finesse. You gotta man handle it.
- It's fun to have a huge bike under you that you don't really have to ride lightly on. One reason I like to ride road-ish bikes on trails is that it's fun to test my skill on different surfaces and technical sections. But part of that "under biking" is protecting the rims and basic integrity of the bike, so you have to "ride light." On the mountain bike, you can just let go. I was swooping a bit more than I do normally and even attempting wee bits of air on the "give-me" bumps.
- V-brakes make so much sense on these bikes. A monkey could set them up properly and they stop like no body's business.
- I need to fuss with the bars. I need to put bar-ends for better/more hand positions.
- Even though the first two bullets are long bitchy snobby observations, I do think I'll enjoy riding this bike.
After I got home, I told Maddie about the flowers over dinner. As soon as we were done with dinner we hit the trails. Maddie is a huge sucker for flowers. She went bonkers, she noted that, "it's like a thousands little sun shines." Indeed.
That stick in the picture is really a big log. This is a tall cliff out there at Badger. Some guy died falling off one of these cliffs a couple weeks ago.
Stealthing behind some trees on the lake. I set up the rain fly so I could lay in my hammock and watch the action on the lake as I drifted off to sleep.
HEY: this Weds night at REI - 7PM. Free showing of Ayamye, a documentary about the Village Bike Project.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
According to the county guy I chatted with, the bridge will be gone next week.
The creek that the bridge crosses is small enough to cross without getting too wet. And if you're wearing water-friendly-sanal-ish type shoes, crossing will be pretty easy.
That said, I wouldn't attempt a crossing during construction hours.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
The front rack was made by my buddy Alex. He's got another one in the queue for me too. I can't believe how lucky I am to get my mitts on these racks. They're light, strong, smart, and so easy. With the proper front-end geometry, a front rack beats the pants off of any other city-commuter-easy-hauler solution. And unloaded, the same low-trail geometry that makes riding with a load so easy, makes for a really light and responsive handling bike.
200 Bumble Bars for BTW week
The gearing on this bike has turned out to be perfect. With a 44/30 up front and a 12-28 in the rear, I've never wanted higher and I can grind my way out of the few moments where I want a lower gear.
This bike is suitable for trail riding, fast-ish city riding, all-day ride-abouts, S24O's, loaded touring. You name it. I love this bike.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
- May 10, at 9 AM Planting Peace Tree at Pauli Judd Park (john note: I'm pretty sure this is "Polly Judd" at west-end of 14th where 14th hits the bluff)
Area cyclists are invited to bike to the park and enjoy a pancake breakfast.
Bicyclists will meet at Manito park pavilion at 8:30 AM as their starting point.
- May 10, at 6 PM Welcome Reception at the Community Building (35 W. Main)
Open to the public, finger foods and beverages will be served.
About Jafar and Nasim:
Jafar and Nasim’s both hold bachelor’s degrees in computers. They serve as International Eco Tour leaders and are both avid rock climbers and mountaineers. They each hold a grade 3 coach certificate of rock climbing as well as, ice climbing. Nasim was the head coach of the Iranian Women’s Rock Climbing team and together produced more than 10 educational multimedia CDs for children.
For more information contact Shahrokh Nikfar at 747-2785 or firstname.lastname@example.org "