Sunday, October 28, 2012

2 Wheel Transit moving to South Perry

You know this. I know you know this, but here are the dates that you may not know:

November 3 - Blow out sale of all the stuff that Geoff and co don't want to move to the new location.

November 13 - New location is open. It's at 9th and Perry.

More details are on the 2 Wheel blog.
"You can *just* make out the new store from here."

Friday, October 26, 2012

The annual glove rant

Today was another C&W event. It was colder (about 35), but not as wet as the last time I whinged about the weather... which, technically would be my last post.

When will the world see a friggin glove for this scenario?

Here's the gold: just make a Gortex or Gortex-like mitten shell. That's it. That's the million dollar idea. No gauntlets. No Everest-climbing features. Just a GD shell that I can put over some fleecy gloves/mittens that will keep the rain and wind out. That's it!

Someone left a comment on my last post about using neoprene. I've tried it and it doesn't work. It seems like it should work. But when you get out there in the miserable range (mid-30's and wet), it totally makes sense on why it doesn't work.

Here are my unsubstantiated claims:

-- circulation: as in, water. The ideal scenario for neoprene (AKA: "wetsuit material") is when it's submerged. There's something going on when you're underwater and the idea of wetsuitness works: there's a layer of relatively static water sitting on your skin, which in turn, is warming the water, which in turn is keeping you warm. That doesn't work outside of the submerged scenario. When you wear porous material, like neoprene on your hands, the water (and the cold wind) flows through. You know, 'cause of gravity (it's similar to magnets in the mysterious ways it works). When cold water flows over warm skin it makes the warm skin cold. Pretty much always.

-- Dry suits. Those are for cold (like near freezing) scenarios. If wet suits (AKA: neoprene) were so awesome, they wouldn't need dry suits.

And Travis: if you are reading this, and you suggest some Mt. Everest Climbing Monster Huge Glove for my "ride 20 miles in the cold rain/snow" scenario... I know where you live.

Just give me the outer layer. I have the base layer. I want the water/wind layer in a simple, light, not huge implementation.

In other news, the Elephant has become the daily driver.

I yanked the front rack off it, and I'll be damned if I don't love it even more. I'm not sure how that works, but it does. I'm a backpack guy now.

This bike, with its fenders and lights that just work (I added a wired rear light this week -- rad), and fat supple fast white Hetres is just the bomb. Wow. If I was still a moneyed bastard and I didn't already have studded 559s and 622s... actually, wouldn't matter.... If I was a moneyed bastard, I'd splurge for the studded 584s.

Creepy mountain bike van exursion may happen this Sunday. If that sounds interesting, send me a mail.

For context, here's a bunch of glove posts.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

1st C&W in the bag

As the title so obviously states: I had my first cold and wet ride of the season yesterday. Good stuff those C&Ws.

I was about 3 miles into the twenty mile commute home when the sky opened up. I was sort of prepared: I had the Dorky Rainlegs, some gloves, and a wool beanie. I was also wearing the Beloved Ibex BreakAway jacket. All of this stuff would have been completely and utterly sufficient on my old 4 mile commute. But after about 8 miles of riding in a downpour, my gloves and my Beloved were totally soaked. And I had clippy canvas tennis shoes. I was wishing for my Keens.

So that's the gear breakdown.

Temp was about 40 F; dangerously close to the miserable zone (mid-30's and wet).

There's a number of things about this scenario to note.

The plan: clearly you ride harder. Even though I tend to start slogging and slowing when I'm miserable, it's the exactly wrong thing to do for obvious reasons.

The head game: always ALWAYS convince yourself that you've cycled through way worse, "I've been further from home, wetter, colder, and more miserable lots of times."

Optimize for next time: Like most working folk, I now have to not look like a slob at my work place, so I've got to think about riding home AND looking presentable all day. And I'm not into hauling a bunch of clothes and crap around. I feel like I'm already hauling all sorts of stuff every day and every day I forget stuff.

So if there's rain in the forecast (and their was and I knew it and I figured my Beloved would take care of me), then I'll be packing my normal rain jacket (not the cycling one -- just a normal one that looks normal and can be worn around campus).

Otherwise, I'll keep my O2 jacket (along with the Dorky Rainlegs) in my office for surprise rain visits.

I'd like to find other clippy shoes besides the Keens that look nice and are as weatherproof.

We're still screwed on the glove front. There's no such (sensible -- i.e., not for climbing Mt. Everest) glove that will be rained on for 20 miles that won't wet through. Extra set of wool gloves at the office is the plan there.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A little help here?

I've been whining about that bit of blown out trail on the lower HD trails for a few months.

I connected with the folks that are cleaning, pruning, and generally taking ownership of the trails and asked them for help with that section.

To that end, I will be meeting the trail-fixing guru, Mike, this Saturday at 10 AM. We're meeting at the trail head up at High Drive and Bernard, where they did a similar fix last year. I'm thinking the plan is for him to show me the fix as an illustration of what we need to do to the gash down on 8th Ave.

Feel free to join us. In fact, please do.

I'll needing help in any case to do the actual work. And having other folks understand the general fix  would help in the design and implementation phase.


Monday, October 15, 2012

Elephant jerseys

More here.

A few things

That's Bill and Tony. They've been meeting me out at school on Fridays and escorting me home. None of us are huge fans of the Cheney-Spokane ride scenarios. There's just so much better, lower-traffic, more interesting dirt options on the Palouse on the east side of 195. So, after plodding along and around the FLT every day for a week, I really appreciate seeing these two guys on Friday.

They ride really fast so there's that. But they also are down for making the ride interesting and longer and dirty-er. All in all, it's a great way to end the school week.

Now this guy, Mr. Pat Sprute, needs an intervention. It just so happened he was a bachelor this weekend, so there was nothing but play time. Actually, knowing Pat, there was probably a ton of house-related projects that he also wedged into his weekend. But the stuff I know he did: raced cross and worked for many hours on his pump track on Saturday. When I stopped by and took this picture at 4pm on Saturday he was just marking out the plan for a 180 berm to fill up the back of his yard. (Either Tobin or Jake had the idea of banking dirt up on the fence back there for a super berm...). Anyway, the report is that Pat pretty much got all the dirt in place and packed down Saturday night.

I should also note that Pat was sort of wheezy in that "I raced a 'cross race a few hours ago and it still friggin' hurts" kind of way when I took this picture. It's also well-known that building pumptracks is probably one of the most physically demanding yard-related activities a guy can do.

If I had that Saturday, my Sunday would consist of sleeping, lounging, and beering exclusively.

But not Pat. On Sunday, Glen brought his creepy new van ("she puts the dog in the basket...") around bright and early and we were off to Riverside State Park for 1.5 hours of trail riding.

Photo by Pat. Glen is vomiting.
Creepy or not, that van rocks. I had an epiphany as we drove out to RSP. While Pat sort of stared off into the distance with a glassy gaze and funny grin, it hit me: this van may only be able to do a long trip for a few years. These vans tend to degrade into really awful piles of shit quickly.

What if we figured out a  mountain bike tour? Glen says he has the hardware to carry all bikes and most stuff on the roof. The van is 15-passenger. What if there existed a handful of other guys that would be interested in say... a week on the road visiting Bend, Humbolt, St. Helens, Redding, and Ashland? Mountain biking bliss. Think early summer.

Anyway, by the time we were done with our trail ride (which, I think, with this van, we need to figure out a Sunday morning routine here...), buddy Pat was torched. Smiling the whole time. And it was 10:30 in the morning. I'd bet good money he went home and still did more on the rest of Sunday than I did all weekend.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


The sections of deep sand and rutted trail I've been riding home on require a fair amount of bike handling shenanigans. Specifically, I'm really hopping that front wheel around a lot.

So the front rack went away for now.

I'm preferring the load on my back for this kind of riding.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Reviving the Resurrecto

This old chestnut recently came back to me. I hacked it into its current state of 650b-itude a few years ago. Then Dylan used it for a couple years. And now it's back.

I really like having a bike whose sole existence is optimized for my abuse. That's what this bike is for and it's great at that role.

I put the Pacenti Pari Motos on there just for kicks. I plan on using this bike for this weeks' commute, assuming it doesn't rain.

Luckily for me, buddy Justin showed up. I fed him coffee. Maddie fed him popcorn. And for that, I didn't have to deal with setting up the brakes. Yay.

Friday, October 5, 2012

For Sven and Vlad

In an attempt to provide something... *anything* for this blog, I took some pictures on the way home yesterday. My schedule forces me onto this forlorn trail almost daily.