Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Last pair of favorite Shimano sandals

My love of the old-style Shimano sandal is pretty well-documented on this blog. A couple years ago the new Shimano sandal had 3-straps instead of two. As my buddy Alex once noted, with the additional strap, the new Shimano sandal is more shoe than sandal. Now, the latest model looks like it's gone back to two straps, but with more material around the foot. Still very shoe-y.

I've patched and cobbled this pair for a couple years now. I think they're about my fifth pair. With this new rip at the arch, they're nearly done now. I'll cobble again, but they're pretty shot.

I thought this was my last pair before being forced to figure out a new sandal, but alas! Loren showed up with a nearly new pair for me a couple weeks ago. I'm saved for at least another 18 months or so.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Check out Mark Fenton tomorrow night

This is an event worth checking out.

It's a community meeting hosted by national pedestrian advocate, Mark Fenton. He'll teach you how to audit your neighborhood to rate its walkability. He'll also discuss how we can make our community a better place to get around by both bike and foot. Public officials, city and county employees, and citizens that are interested in challenging our myopic reliance on SOVs-at-any-cost, will be there. So if you read this blog, then you probably should be there too!

Tuesday, Sept 29
Lincoln Center, 1316 N Lincoln St

From the OTM notice:

Mark Fenton is an entertaining, persuasive, and knowledgeable walking advocate; one of the nation's foremost experts on the activity; the former editor-at-large of WALKING Magazine; and host of the PBS series, America's Walking. Mark is a vocal pedestrian advocate and recognized authority on public health issues and the need for community, environmental, and public-policy initiatives to encourage more walking and bicycling.

This isn't a walking/ped thing only though. Any discussion of making a community better for pedestrians must include how to make biking better too. Cyclists, represent!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Spokane to Barstow

Ok ride. Perfect perfect weather.
About 75 F.
About 115 miles.
About 10 hours.
About 2 long lunches.
About 1/4 gravel.
About 3/4 back roads.

Newton Road.

Horses in the Colville River outside of Chewelah.

Addy Cemetery.

Cool place. About 5 miles outside of Colville.

Columbia River. There's two ways across this river: blast across balls out for 1/2 mile and hope the guy behind you is nice, or ride across this tiny sidewalk. Busy Friday afternoon: I took the sidewalk.

Columbia River.

Best junk food store in the world.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Long ride opportunity

Totally unrelated picture of an Elephant bike, since last month's article in OTM
didn't have a pic of the inverted forks. Here they are.

I get to take a long ride on Friday. I'm taking the long way up to my dad's place on the Kettle River. I've really not made long rides a priority this year and I've missed it.

Generally, I'm sort of in a funk at the moment, so the timing is good. There's nothing like a long solo ride to sort things out and put stuff in perspective.

I'm not sure yet on the route. I'm torn between the Springdale-Hunters-Barstow route, which has a great climb; or a new route. A new route would be bits of 395 + some dirt and side roads that I've wondered about in the past. In either case, I'll have very low traffic and nice scenery.

The bike I take depends on the route. Or I may pick a bike and let the route fall out of the bike choice. Fixed? Fast? Fat-tired? I've no baggage, so the options are wide open.

Decisions, decisions.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


This weekend has been a whirlwind of family activity and apple-related goodness. The apple hunt on Friday was pretty good. My two favorite trees were barren, but my buddy Patrick found a couple to replace them and my parents' tree had a banner year. I've had pieces from two apple pies. I made 40 pints of apple sauce. And 5 pints of apple butter. And I've still got about 20 pounds of apples to process.

Liza says we're also getting a pile o tomatoes this week too. And the plums will be ready in a week. And Joe tells me that he's got pears for the taking. Yikes.

Here's some random stuff.

My new Deep V is already dented. I'm bummed. I think if I try to fix it I may break it. I think I'll bring it to Glen of Elephant Fame and see if he can work some magic before I destroy it. I've been running the black CX'y RB-T on the high drive trails just about every morning. I've been really enjoying it and I've progressively been getting more and more comfortable bombing down a section that I used to pick through sort of carefully. I know that's where this wheel found this dent. Erg.

The good news is that the wheel is still true. These rims are tough.

I gave the daily commuter a shake down today. I really neglect this poor bike for how hard I treat it. But not today. I repacked the rear hub (even put new bearings in it. Thanks Willy). I put a new chain on it. And I put new brake pads on it. I don't know of a single bike shop in town that stocks Kool Stop Salmon brake pads for cantilever brakes (smooth posts).

I rarely order from the online price divers, but I this year, I ordered my brake pads from some online-mega-whore-shop. With shipping, I paid about $9/pack for 10 packs. If I order through an LBS, it's a pain for them and me and then they charge me around $12. So there.

Maddie took this pic.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

On being Noted, fruit, and the Historic Iron Bridge

Take note, I've been noted. Traffic to my little blog has spiked over the last 24 hours to over 5000 hits. That's a lot. Hello world.


It seems the apples have come a bit earlier this year. On Friday, Liza and I are going to ride the apple circuit and collect from my favorite mostly-public-space fruit trees.

It would be cool to have an interactive map that shows where the good mostly-public fruit is around town. The way it would have to work would be to have a map that is not visible until a user provides at least one good source for fruit. The hard part is verifying the source of fruit a user submits. There's a scale issue there.

This is a small haul from one of my favorites last year. Lunch: Natural Start.

In any case, there are hundreds of apple trees that are fit for picking in this area. Any cyclist that keeps an eye out is sure to see many apple trees. What I've found in the last couple years are two or three great apple trees: crisp, sweet, non-mealy, not wormy. The money trees are pear (I know of one that is mostly public and many that are private) and apricot (same deal there). Plums are interesting, but not money.

So, we'll pick on Friday and on Saturday, we'll make apple sauce and apple butter. You can throw any old apple into sauce or butter as long as you lean towards the green/tart for the majority.

Iron Bridge

My favorite project looks to be complete next Summer. It's the key piece of the East Sprague\Chief Gary connection and will make getting to the new Pedals2People space (1802 E Sprague) way easier from downtown.

From our esteemed bike/ped coordinator, Grant Wencel:

"The funding we received from the WA State Recreation and Conservation Office includes design and construction.($530,000). The detailed design work will begin this fall/winter by outside consultants, with construction planned for 2010."

Sunday, September 13, 2009

SpokeFest 2009

I really like this event. It's the perfect perfect place to tell the Pedals2People story.

The big P2P news is that we just signed a lease on a new space. Starting November 1st, we'll be at 1802 E Sprague.

Anyway. SpokeFest is cool. I really enjoy seeing a bunch of friends and meeting new bikey friends.

Maddie and I ran the kiddie lap with Jon and his kids. I bailed after one lap and Jon, Maddie, and Theo did another run.

Liza did the 20-miler with friends. I wish I got pics of them. But I missed the boat there. I didn't take nearly enough pictures today. I'm not sure who took this picture of me -- Mike must've snatched my camera for a minute. The guy on the right is Nigel. I just met him. He's a Wheelsport-er.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Friday tandem run out to Post Falls

The plan was to eat lunch at the White House Grill. We hit Post Falls too late to pedal into the head wind for another 3 miles, have a leisurely lunch, and get back to pick up Maddie from school by 3. So, we took the tail wind into Liberty Lake and had an OK meal at a Pan Asian place.

The tandem lesson we learned on this journey is that Liza prefers many small incremental shifts. I'm a grinder. I often go on bike rides and shift between two gears (low-ish and high-ish). Interestingly, the Centennial Trail to Post Falls has lots of little dips and climbs where I could practice shifting to Liza's preference. I pulled off a couple brilliant double-shifts and I totally shit the bed on a couple downshifts, especially where the Harvard road 90-degree detour jumps out at you.

I had a lovely time. What a great way to hang with your wife. Liza is still cool to tandeming. She doesn't hate it; but she doesn't love it either. She only indulges me because I love it so much, so it's fun for her in that way. She said she had more fun that she thought she would today. So it's mostly good.

We both decided that when we tandem, we should wear proper bike shorts (with pads). You just don't have as much easy freedom to stand and adjust on a tandem, so the bum suffers a bit. Liza doesn't have bike shorts. We're going straight to Ibex; they're like the Orlieb of bike shorts. You can spend a much of money on many different cheaper solutions to end up with Orlieb bags or Ibex shorts, or you can save time, money, and frustration, and just go straight to the de facto best solution.

I think a Thudbuster is also in order very soon.

We're going to try a shorter ride next Friday. Maybe drive (gasp!) up north and then ride across the (Wild Rose?) prairie and have lunch in Deer Park.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cyclocross 2009 -- The plan

Mike, in 2006. At Highbridge.

I had some lofty goals for racing CX this year. My plan was thwarted by the IPA. I am hoping to do a couple races this year in the rookie class again, as I can't imagine 45 minutes of torture that the B class requires. Thirty minutes is my threshold at the moment and that's what the rookie class races. Even though it feels like I'm going to die, I know it will be fun. It's such a weird thing, cx.

My "training:" I'm riding the high drive trails most mornings. I make a point of taking the descents all the way to the bottom, so that I'm forced to climb back up. I need to spend some time practicing obstacles too.

Vertical Earth in Coeur d'Alene is hosting clinics and trial races on Wednesday nights during the month of September. Web page here.

Here's the Inland NW schedule:

  • 10/11 - CDA
  • 10/18 - Liberty Lake
  • 10/25 - Seven-mile
  • 10/31 - Walla Walla
  • 11/1 - Walla Walla
  • 11/8- Ephrata
  • 11/15 - Seven-mile
  • 11/22 - CDA

More details on the Emde site.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Cycling Schweitzer

Liza and Maddie: Scatologists

We took a little North Idaho trip this weekend. On Saturday, we went to Silverwood and did that. It's your basic amusement park: lots of lines. It's really changed since I went there about 20 years ago, when it was just a few little old-timey shops on "Main Street" and a ride on a steam engine.

Liza thought this sign was funny.

On Sunday, we went up to Schweitzer and hung out. We hiked (forced march) a couple miles straight up the mountain. Maddie found the last stand of huckleberries on a side trail.

There are about 20 huckleberries in that bottle.

After the hike, I had about an hour to ride around. I was too cheap to buy a pass to the top of the mountain (via the lift), and since I had my cyclocross bike it didn't really make much sense to downhill it anyway. And, after slogging around Silverwood the previous day, I needed a good climb. So, I found a dirt road and started climbing. I climbed for 40 minutes, then came down some really easy and swoopy single track.

There were downhill mountbikers everywhere. I get the ski lift thing now. The downhill bikes are huge turds and do one thing well: go down hill. Even watching these poor guys attempt to ride the bike to the lift was painful. But watching them ride down was great. We saw a kid casually ride his downhill bike down two flights of stairs to the parking lot below.

I could see renting a downhill bike and doing the chairlift thing for a day. But if I only had one day, I think I'd rather climb to the top and find interesting roads down on my cyclocross bike.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Downtown bike parking

Picture courtesy of Google maps

Finally we have a covered, secure bike parking solution for downtown commuters. Jon and I visited Lu today at the City Ramp Garage and took a tour of the tire room. The tire room is a huge vault of a room in the basement of the garage. The tire room is now the bike room.

Here are the details:
  • The City Ramp Garage is at 1st and Stevens.
  • To get the bike room, you can ride down the ramp -- no stairs.
  • It's $1/day.
  • You must register to use the service. This is a good thing as it keeps only registered people coming and going to the bike room. That said, you still want to lock the bike once you get it down there.
  • There is a bathroom you can use to change, but no showers or lockers (yet).
  • There is a car washing station that you can use to spray down your bike.
  • Hours are M-F 7am-9pm; Sat 10-6. When the garage is closed, the ramp leading to the bike room has a giant roll down gate; so leaving bikes there over the weekend is very secure.
  • It's early days. The room is a dirty mess and stuffed with tires. But you can't beat the price and Lu is interested in moving out the tires and optimizing the room for storing bikes. She's excited about the potential to make this a useful service. The more cyclists that use this service, the better the service will become.
  • The building is sweet. Lots of nooks and crannies. I found an old Mr Pibb can way in the back of the tire room. I also found an old set of Carl Maxey's winter tires. And the building is art deco. Cool.
If you want to use the service, just show up and fill out a registration form and pay $1/day. There is no long term obligation or requirement to pay weeks/months in advance.

The phone number there is 624-1313.