Thursday, November 29, 2012

and there were vintage jerseys

But first, a lame picture from the BF ride. Better reports are available from Hank and Pat.

Post ride breakfast and beers at DB's new place, Central Food.
It's a sweet sweet place in every regard.

Gratuitous Maddie pic.

Yesterday was the first day in about a month that I commuted on the old 747.
 I've been all Elephant every day.

Justin says, "ooooo, " while Chris digs through the endless bag of rad jerseys.
These will eventually live on a wall I think.

Those are invisible brake levers that Justin is grabbing. Just to be clear.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving rollers

Glen took me out to the roller coaster this morning. That's the area out there around Marshall, just west of the FLT.

We spend a lot of time exploring trails with the goal of figuring out a good loop. Fifteen or so years ago, this area was loopable, and according to Glen, was a popular destination for cross-country riding.

As suburbia sprawled, as it is wont to do, the loop got chopped up. No Trespassing signs have gone up, piles of lumber and cement pilings have been stacked at trail heads, and generally, it's just kind of a pain to loop.

That said, we had a nice time on a pretty cold morning just tooling around, chatting, and exploring.

I like these kinds of rides, where it's more about exploring than it is about ripping it up. The explore-ride is great on my mountain bike: super low gears and great brakes allow steep options and the squishy forks make for fun trail-breaking over lumpy, rocky ground.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

BF ride update

Weather is looking good. Real good.

The Scoop won't be open on BF, so if you're planning on using their bathroom, or getting coffee or food there: don't.

We'll still leave there at 8 (meet at 7:56) on BF morning.

I'm thinking we should end at DB's new place, Central Food, for beer and fuel to make it back up the hill.

Route: first half of NW Passage. Lots o trails. Approximately 20 miles.

That's the plan. More details here.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


 So it's come to this: once a week blog posts with almost no content. I've just been too slammed to put anything up here. And bikewise: I'm barely doing anything. A guy can only write so much about the boring-ass flat 20 miles on a multi-user trail that is my commute.

Highlight of last weeks' commute: coal train.
Not to be confused with a soul train.
However, now that I'm in academia (ahem), I will get big gobs of time off throughout the year. In about two weeks I'll start a nearly month-long break. My buddy Bill (of Bill's Ass fame) asked me what I was going to do with all this time and I didn't have a good answer, except, "Well, I plan to catch up on writing a bunch of product reviews."

And that's true, because they're piling up; I'm obligated, and that's pretty much my game plan for maintaining my high-zoot, high-maintenance wardrobe over the next few years.

One thing that's interesting about this end-of-quarter thing that never struck me back when I was a student 20 years ago, is the finality of it all. After being in the software business forever, my take on schedules is that they are always these negotiable, slippery, hand-wavy, mystical, enigmatic guessing games of chicken.

 But in school: the end of the quarter is a hard f'ing date that is REAL. And that is both a mutha of a reality biter and a wonderful thing of forcing-function beauty.

So while you're in the overwhelming depth of work with more crushing down upon you and wondering how you will ever get it all done, there's an underlying calm in the knowledge that it will all be over and done in just a handful of weeks. It's a wonderfully liberating place to be, especially if you've been in a similar work-crushing scenario where you just can't see an end or solution in sight. Ever. I'm in heaven here.

Anyway. "Thinning," is the title of this post. The point. And thinning is not what I'm doing unfortunately. Pat is. That dude is slimming down.

We went riding a couple weeks ago and he was on his new tires that he was so excited about. We were resting at the top of a particularly difficult climb when I asked him, "How are your knards?"

And that was in earnest. I didn't even think about the double entendre there until he sort of paused, tilted his head a bit, furrowed his brow, and then broke into a laugh, "They're great. They really stick."

The next weekend, as I rode behind him, I couldn't help noticing that his ass was shrinking. My verbalizing that fact, in the context of the previous weeks' fox paw, turned out to be a bit awkward.

And now I'm realizing that I started this post off with an off-handed reference to Bill's ass and I'm  feeling sort of odd about it all.

The fact is, the thinning refers to some work that is going on down on the HD trails, which, incidentally, are just friggin teaming with runners, hikers, and dogs on Sunday mornings. Joe and I rode down there this morning and were reminded why the SOS River Trail ride has become the standard Sunday morning route.

They're taking out a zillion little scrawny trees and chipping them up across the forest floor. It's a good plan, as a fire down there is just a matter of time.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Ice bike 2012

Brother Jamie has my old ice bike. He commutes on it daily, though not in ice bike format.

Here's this year's ice bike. It's Phil's old RB-T, with a few changes.

The Shimano 600 brifters shift really perfectly. Kind of amazing in their smoothness... in the context of their oldness, en fait.

The observant reader will instantly recognize this bike as the fortunate one that lived under the masterful CX-slayer, and prolific blogger, Mr. Jon Eberly in last year's Inland NW CX series.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Black Friday Ride v3

Whoa. It's November. How did that happen?

The Black Friday Ride is happening. It's a total crapshoot weather-wise. Last year was insane in its perfectness. The year before that: a tad white.

The plan:
  • Leave The Scoop at 8 am.
  • Home or Benni's by noon.
  • Route: 1st half of the NW Passage is the goal. But if it's deep snow, who knows.
  • Bike requirements: should be able to handle swoopy, not-super-technical trails. There are a couple sections of rocky/rooty stuff.
  • Cyclist requirements: should be able to handle swoopy, not-super-technical trails. There are a couple sections of rocky/rooty stuff.
  • For a more thorough, hand-wringy, fussy description of the ride, check out my weird invite post from a couple years ago.

Sunday, November 4, 2012