Monday, March 23, 2015

S'plorin' w the s'plorer

I made a quick run to the Kettle River yesterday. This morning I got up early and had a couple hours to tool around. This is the end of the road. There used to be a bridge/raised roadway that continued here. You can't see the pilings in this picture, but they're there.

This is a little section of trail that my brother-in-law Andy and I revived last summer. It's an old road that shaves off a good chunk of road riding for a loop we like to do. Last summer we cleared away the deadfall and started riding it often. I'm guessing it's being maintained by the local game animals now.

Found an old root cellar.

It's cool to see how someone put a long time ago put this together -- they used the local rock, then mortared it all together.

Timber roof. Long since caved in. I wonder if there are any old jars of food under that rubble? I saw some busted crocks and jars in there. 

A few years ago a forest fire came through and cleared out all the undergrowth and tiny tree forests that were under these trees. That's a great method for making things very ridable. You don't need a trail with that set up.

In unrelated news. When I got home I found this odd situation in my garage. The hook holding the cargo bike broke/pulled out of the wall and the bike fell on its nose -- and leaned against the tires. No harm. No broken stuff. No big whoop. I left it.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fly fishing... in reverse order

Packing it in. Skunked again. Live bait spinning is rarely this demoralizing.

You're done when you lose your fly. Or it's hopelessly tangled.
Or you're out of beer. 

I love the eyes on this wooly bastard. He's so delectable looking, I just about ate him. Somehow the fish were able to resist the lure.

Packing up. Optimism is high. The river is more than half full. The fish are surely eager and hungry... ready to hit anything, even a rookie's fly.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Saddle time

Maddie and I are slowly building up saddle time. Watching her ride over the last week or two has highlighted a few changes that still need to be made to the bike.
I'm going to find her narrower bars and get them a bit closer yet. 
She often rides with her elbows locked. We did a 16 mile ride today and her arms hurt. 

I'm also going to put some smaller rings on it. Maybe use the 74 for a 24 and then the inner 110 with a 38 and a bash guard on the outer. She never uses her big ring, which is a 46 or so. I let her set the pace, and on flats it's pretty relaxed. She never pedals down hill, preferring -- like any sane person -- to coast instead.

She stands on all climbs always. And hauls arse too. On dirt climbs she spins out a bit, so with a lower gear I'm hoping she will sit back and spin up without loosing traction on the rear wheel.

She's into dirt. We were traveling down this paved road when she decided to go jetting through the adjacent field instead.

Stopping and exploring is important. This can be hard for me and I need to go with it. I was pretty fixated on our destination today and I had to remind myself to chill. 

Our destination was an old blocked off road that I've ridden by a bunch and always wondered about. Turns out that at the end of the road there's an old train loader, long dead. 

Beyond that is the Kettle -- about a mile from the Columbia confluence. The Columbia is drawn down, so this section of the Kettle River is way more exposed than normal. This is the pre-mud picture.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Riding with Maddie

We're gearing up for our summer of touring and overnighting. If weird warm weather holds, we'll do our first S240 of the season in a couple weeks.

Glen found this bike a few months ago. It's going to be a great bike for Maddie for this summer.
I've spent the last month or two figuring out the right set of components for it. I swapped the drop bars for the Space Bars that Maddie loves. I put some ultra cheap thumb shifters on it. It had some great Suntour XC pro indexed thumbie, but it was too hard for Maddie to shift with her thumb. She always used her palm to shove it. The Sunrace friction shifters are about $10/set and shift like butter.

For rackage: I have a Tubus Cargo on the rear and a Bruce Gordon lowrider on the front. Lights, DT toplight in the rear and old B&M first gen LED up front, are dyno -- driven by the front hub. Good enough for be-seen, which is what we're after.

This was at Riverside yesterday. She's pretty comfortable getting down most stuff. 

Clearly: she's not digging it. She told me while we were out yesterday that she agreed to go because she felt bad for me, but to her surprise, it was really fun. Works for me.

The rigs. We'll be working these suckers out this summer. 

Maddie has the expert way of taking selfies: you prop up the phone, take a movie, then screenshot the frame you want. I stole a kiss right before she ran back to turn off the movie.