Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Maddie has grown into her Grape Bike.

This "pit" is in Manito Park, between the Japanese Gardens and the Rose Gardens. It's been there forever. In a righteous version of Spokane, this would be a proper pump/jump track.

But as it is, it serves as a good place for kids to work out basic bike handling things. You can see -- well, I can anyway -- how Maddie is sussing out different weight distribution modes in these pictures.

The old MB-2 is in turd mode still. I needs to be stripped down for summer.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Another fine DB implementation

If that's not great, I don't know what is.

Available now at Central Foods.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Matchy matchy

Liza's coat matches her bike. Not in a hue way, but in a monochromatic way.

I learned yesterday that she didn't really care for the matchy matchy (and that's what it's called: when you match colors across clothing/accessories/etc) at first. But now she does.

The reason behind the change of mind is good, but she explicitly told me I couldn't share it. But I can say, without giving anything away, that Liza is one of those rare types that is genuinely happy and comfy in her own skin.

I can also say that people like me need people like her very close by.

Click to see the turkies

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Seen at the Spokane Bike Swap today

I once had a Novara X-R. It was a bit small. Liza rode it, then I gave it to Alex, who ended up finding a home for it in Seattle.

It's an interesting bike to me. Usually, I see them with flat bars like this.

The X-R I bought on craigslist had odd drop track-style bars and bar-end shifters on it, which I always assumed was a weirdo fix that the previous owner did to it.

As you look at all these pics (do it!) -- notice the wheel size. It's 700c.

Now... look at this bike that I saw today:

Granted, it's really hard to see the details, so you'll have to take my word for this:
-- it had the same weird bars and bar-end shifters that my X-R had.


wait for it...

It f'ing had 26" (559) friggin wheels!! The fork was not original, but the brazed-on canti-posts for 559 were original.

$90 with old LX stuff. Internal top-tube cable routing. My size. Looked to be about 56-58.


I let it go. Walked away. Went home.


Came back to buy it.

Thankfully, it was gone.

Friday, April 12, 2013

For sale

Frame and fork. $600
Shipping: $50
About 57cm square. 72 ST, 72 HT.  Low trail. Standard 858 tubing.
More frame details here.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Broken chain oatmeal

Broken chains happen. Generally: they happen when you're grinding up a hill and you pretty much always land on the delicate bits. Which makes broken chains both frustrating and painful.

Awesomely rad cyclists carry a chain tool. And I'm not just talking about me (though I am that too): Mr. Sprute is a card (and chain tool)-carrying member of the CWCCTA.

Note how pin is not pushed out all the way: this is critical to success. 
Today, I busted my chain about 200 yards from where I busted a chain last time. That was three years ago. So I'm ok with that. Seeing as how I don't maintain chains beyond oiling them and obsessively changing them as soon as they stretch. That's the benefit of running 8-speed on all my bikes: chains are cheap.

In other news, I'm quite happy with my 2nd breakfast  routine. First breakfast is two fried eggs and a piece of toast. At work, at about 9 AM, I have 2nd breakfast: oatmeal.

Note lightweight and reusable bag. It contains: one-minute oats, brown sugar, raisins,  and roasted-salted peanuts.  Kerr jar is mostly clean, from yesterday's second breakfast.

Make your coffee at the same time... given the water boiling thing.

Put mixture in jar. Pour  boiling water to the bottom of the threads.
Put the cap on and shake it up.
How great is that?
Super cheap too.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Justin's bday ride

Justin, Joe, Bill, Pat, me

Normally, being Sunday and all, I'd advocate for the SOS trail ride. But Pat pointed out that the weather wizards were saying 100% chance of rain. He further suggested that perhaps a be-fendered dirt/back-road ride might make more sense than a trail ride.

How right Pat was on both accounts. What's nice about a Sunday road ride is that it's more social than a trail ride. A guy can chat and carry on.

We didn't have much of a route planned -- except to go up Greenwood and tool around the dirt roads up there in that Deno/Euclid area. As we passed Euclid the rain had stopped for a minute, so we decided to loop it out around Riverside State Park, which requires a bit of trail riding to find the Centennial Trail.

Bill and Pat walking down the hill -- this was right after Bill slipped.
The trails were slippery, muddy, wet, etc. Our descent into the valley where Centennial Trail lives required traversing a trail that was rockier than I remember... assuming I was remembering the right descent. Anyway: lots of big bouldery wet round rocks littered the descent. I had worked on my bike last night, so of course my front brake failed as I tore down this section. Bill "slipped."

But it was it all worth it... it's nice to put some dirt and double-track on a ride, especially on Sundays. It feels right.

Paths like this are why I like finding a reason to cut through Riverside State Park.
Post-ride, Justin, Pat, and I celebrated Justin's bday by having him buy us breakfast at Central Foods. The rain picked up a tad as we ate and the wind knocked over our parked bikes.

That's all the relevant detail.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

S24O mode

The first S24O ought to happen soon. Perhaps next weekend? Hmm? Anyone?
Lasher rack. Info here.
I've been riding the Elephant rackless since school started. That's all well and good (and fine and mellow), but as the weather warms up, I'm pining to do some touring. Did I mention I have this summer off?
I'm pondering. A lot.
About this summer.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Maddie's spring break

omg she's old

Annoyingly, Maddie's spring break and my spring break do not line up. This week was my first week back to school, while Maddie started her break. I have a block schedule this quarter, so I don't need to be on campus Tuesday and Thursday.

So today Maddie and I took a couple hours to drive out to Riverside State Park and to tool around.

My main goal was to get her out on the trails and not screw it up by doing all the stupid stuff I'm prone to do, like saying stupid shit or leading her off on overly technical trails.

She led. I only spoke when spoken to, or when she cleaned a tricky spot -- then I'd casually mention it.
Maddie was sure to pack (a label) a bag of snacks. Note the handy-wipe stapled (and taped...  soon she'll find my zip ties) to a rubber band, which holds the whole thing together. Aside from the trail mix (see below), the snacks consisted of Easter candy. Any reason to pack a sack of candy is a good reason. 

Maddie's own trail mix. Be careful throwing back a handful of this: those pistachios are killers.
Success. We both had a great time and she kind of surprised me with her comfort level on a couple spots. Because she doesn't ride that much anymore, I forget that she's got a ton of bike time under her -- relative to her age. It shows in how she stands on short climbs or uses "body english" to work through rocky or tricky sections.

We shall return. Verily.

Someone else started this fort. Maddie finished it...
Liza this morning: outbound for her first commute of the year.
Upon her return up the hill this evening: "my legs are like jello..."
So it begins.