Monday, December 11, 2006

Tried and Liked - Aught Six

One of the ways I waste a gob of time is reading bikelists online. My favorite is the iBOB list. Google it for more information. Anyway. Every year about this time, people on the list send out the "tried and liked" lists. The title is self-explanatory. Here's my list:
Ride abouts:
Kind of a silly name, but that's what I've been doing a lot of this year. Longish day rides where I don't have a route picked out, just a general destination where I've not been before or in a long time. Things like weather, hunger, flats, sun sets/rises, etc change the course and overall flavor. The general goal is to explore and find new dirt roads -- so these are mostly rural rides.

Bike camping with daughter:
My daughter was 3 years old last summer. We had a few great bike/camping trips at a local campground that's about 13 miles away. We froze on the first one and had a great time when we went with mom on the next one.

Solo S24O (sub-24 hour over-nighter):
Did 3. Loved them. Plan on doing at least one a month for 6-7 months starting in March.

100+ mile day rides:
Did 5 or 6 of these this year. The hardest/longest being 140 taking the "long way" to my father's house up north. I really like this ride and plan on doing the "long way" a few times next year.
That's a picture of my dad there tooling down the "fishing road" on what used to be 395 many years ago. He lives up on the Kettle River. A perfect century (the short way) away.


Just jumped in about a month or so ago. I like it. I decided to just write on what I know, and that's cycling in Spokane, WA.( What's cool is that I was out the other night and I ran into a cyclist who owns a bar downtown and he was telling me about this cool blog he was reading... turned out to be mine!
I got a Rivendell Quickbeam about a year ago, set it up fixed, and I've not rode much else for the last 6 months or so. I'd ridden fixed a bit in the past, but this year I've really enjoyed riding the fixed bike on long day rides. I also find riding single-track to be a much more interesting experience on a fixed gear.
  • Bug tent: ( Rain in the Spokane summer is pretty rare. If you know there won't be rain, this thing is a great replacement for a tent where bugs and creepy crawlies roam.
  • Jet boil: ( -- lots of virtual ink spilled on this on the touring list. I have the small one. When I go on a longish ride this time of year -- it's with me. A hot ramen with hot tea this time of year is wonderful on a long day ride. This pic was at lunchtime. It was about 35 degrees out all day and I had a great ride.

  • O2 rain jacket: ( - Kent has talked this one up a couple times online. He's right. For $35 you can't find a better/lighter jacket that actually-mostly breathes. The Burley may be for sale next year if it continues to go un-used.

  • Rack-top front bag with decaluer. ( After touring with Alex and seeing his "pre-release" Ostrich bag in action, I got one. It's the perfect size for a long day ride where you need food and rain/cold weather is threatening. With the decaluer, it's just super easy and usable. It does require either really high trail, or low trail for decent handling. Handling on my mid-trail RB-T with this bag was awful. It's ok on the Quickbeam.

Music: Wayne Krantz - yowsa. This guy and his players are amazing. I'm on week 4 or so of "Greenwich Mean," and I'm just figuring most of it out now. The musicianship is insane.

Food: Bumblebar - ( another great thing introduced to me by Alex and his touring buddy, Larry. The Bumblebar is made in my hometown and is a great tasting alternative to the awful "power"type sawdust bars out there.


Scott Clark said...

Nice list, John. The ride-abouts and bike-camping with offspring sound great--I'll have to try more of those...

John Speare said...

Hey Scott,
If you're local, contact me and we can do a ride-about.