Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rude cyclist

Maddie: Daddy, do you have any rude friends?
Me: Uh... I guess I'm the rudest one I know.
Maddie: You're not rude. You're a cyclist. You blow snot balls out of your nose; you get all muddy; you get sweaty and gross.
Me: I guess so.
Maddie: You dress bad. You talk with food in your mouth. Your hair is messy. You spit.
Me: (dwell)
Maddie: You're a cyclist. I'm a runner.

Friday, October 29, 2010

'10 winter bike

Inspired by Ben.
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Ben loop

Since I won't be going down to Walla Walla this weekend to race CX (too much travel: race-time ratio for me to pencil out... now if I could stay for Sunday's race, then we'd be talking...), I want to make sure I get some good riding in this weekend.

Today, I rode with Ben. Who is a single speed freak that reminds me of hanging out with the bad kids when I was young. Ben isn't bad. But he's fast and he's very technically skilled. So following him for 20 miles of single track riding really pushes me. Following him around for a few hours and watching him effortlessly bomb hills and work the trails makes me think I can do that too.

So, I tend to descend too fast and corner to fast and generally do stuff that is just outside my comfort zone when I ride with Ben. And it rules.

Ben has patched together a bunch of trails from the top of Rimrock, down to Riverside State Park and out to 9-mile. Here's the route. It's about 90% single track. The route is great. There's plenty of short uphill grinds, but no epic awful stuff, and there's lots of twisty flat single track and a few fun descents -- basically, it's a perfect loop. It keeps you interested and pushing hard.

It rained all night. So the 2.5 hour ride was a wet, messy, muddy, rainy, fun pile of muddy crap and it ruled.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


For the last several months, my pal Jamie has been riding this bike.

I'm pretty certain that it's a Carrera because of the 19 times it is so branded (top tube x2, down tube x4, seat tube x2, right chain stay x1, left seat stay x1, drop outs x2, seat post clamp x1, saddle clamp x1, headset nut x3, fork x2).

The two on each side of the down tube seem to be particularly redundant.

Is this a sign of Italian exuberance - "It's a Carrera and we're damned proud of it" or manufacturers insecurity - "We hope you notice that it's a Carrera"?

How many times is your ride branded?

Perimeter is bent

From Tuesday night's rackufacturing session.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Try Your Hand At Being A Transportation Planner For A Day

As many of you have probably heard, the Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC) has been working on a Transportation Vision Project for much of 2010. This project is in place to develop a long-term (30-50 years) regional 'vision' for the future of transportation, as identified by the public, as well as an implementation plan for this vision.

During the course of talking with people from all walks of life in the past year, we've heard all kinds of input, including suggestions to finish the North Spokane Corridor, provide expanded transit service, build more bicycle and pedestrian facilities and much more.

All those priorities mentioned during the Vision Project have now been integrated into an online game to help determine the makeup of an ideal transportation system, as determined by you, members of the public.

SRTC invites you to play 'A Thousand Visions- A Transportation Planning Game.' Click here to go directly to it. If you choose to enter your demographic information and your email address on the last page of the game, you will go into a drawing to win a TomTom GPS unit.

And please pass the link on to anyone else you know who may be interested in helping to determine the future of transportation for Spokane. The game is expected to be online until mid-November.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Sasquatch took it slow and easy, as to not miss any beer handups. Tighty whities are suitable for any occasion
Mexican wrestler was the kit of choice for the Raliegh guys.

Dylan, lumberjack version. Note lack of chain on bike. He ran a lap or so, then somebody gave him a tiny ridable bike to finish on.Sorry, ladies...this one's already taken.

This guy is not getting his deposit back. And yes, there is a helmet under there.

Texas....of all places!

Texas of all places is the absolute last place that I would ever expect to see this sign!

You know what they say, everything is bigger in Texas! And bikes are becoming an everyday part of life in this city. Its true, San Antonio,TX is getting a make over and a young progressive city government. These signs are actually everywhere, this one happens to be in the downtown area. They have modeled their bike revitalization infrastructure after cities like Portland, who as we know has a very progressive bike infrastructure. Its pretty cool to see people riding bikes in this big truck drivin, cowboy hat wearin, shitkicker of a city.

The city is also building a centennial type trail that starts in the downtown area and follows the San Antonio river south. The trail when complete will encompass both sides of the river and encourage both foot and bike traffic. It is part of the Mission Parkway which includes 5 historical missions. 4 of which are owned by the National Park Service and the 5th mission being the most famous, The Alamo is owned by the State of Texas. The bike ride I did down the trail was an easy 7ish miles with some awesome historical scenery, and I was able to see 4 of the 5 missions. The most popular and most familiar part of this trail is the downtown Riverwalk area, so it was neat to get on a bike and see some more of this city, take in some history, and be somewhere less populated.

I continued my quest for bikey things in San Antonio and came up with Blue Star Bikes. Really, how can you beat a shop right next to a microbrew pub?! This shop was maybe 700sqf, way off the beaten path and they had alot of different bikes for such a small shop.

I continued north to Austin, TX. As I pulled into Austin, first 2 bikes I saw, Surly Cross Check and a Pugsley. Austin is the anomaly of this giant state, its like Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Spokane all rolled into one. Its mostly hard to believe you're actually in Texas. Its most popular for Austin City Limits, and of course UT Austin, "hook em horns". Austin, TX also holds the key to perhaps the most bikey of bike shops, Lance Armstrongs "Mellow Johnny's". Whether you like or dislike Armstrong I highly recommend checking out his shop. I was there a good 2 hours and these are some of things I saw.

Texas! Full of bike surprises, it was nothing like I expected.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Trivial load

A pile of rims is nothing. Liza hauled her 165 lb co-worker at FBC on Saturday. Then he hauled her 120 lbs. No failures. But apparently the rear wheel was a tad light at the stops.
I guess the new name should be SH-165.
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Sunday, October 24, 2010


This was my best race yet this season. I don't know how I placed -- but I'm thinking I may have broke the 20's! We'll see tomorrow.

I think I'm finding my pace. Since I'm not battling it out for the podium, I can let myself find a good sustainable pace instead of pushing 100% for the first 30 minutes, then blowing up for the last 15-20 minutes. I held up pretty good today and didn't get passed a bunch in the second half. That's improvement.

The course today was oddly technical in that there were big sections of deep sand. They were sucky killer awful energy suckers, but I could ride them out. Many guys were running through, which suits the runners. Running never suits me, so by weighting the rear wheel and hydro-planing the front wheel I was able to ride these lame-ass sections out.

Otherwise, the course was pretty straight up. It rained all night and then rained off and on today so it was pretty messy. Not deep-mud-messy, but slickery muddy alternating with sandy mud. The obligatory post-race bike pic tells all:

Sorry about the pics. I took them. Liza didn't come out today. Racers at the top were in Cat 1-3 race; I don't know them.

Maddie and her buddy, Kate, joined me today. They were rad. They cheered me on super enthusiastically during my race (with bells and everything... "GO DADDY!" -- that shit really helps). But before and after my race they worked on their "dam."

Good times.

I'm really trying to figure out a way to angle next Saturday's race in Walla Walla. Sunday is a no-wayer, but there's a sliver of hope for Saturday if a bunch of stuff lines up.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Full day of riding

Yesterday, Patrick and I hit Colville Nat'l Forest again. It was a good hearty ride. You can see the trip report at the RoughStuffNW blog.

I tried something new yesterday for food. Getting this ride done was a rush from planning to getting home. It would've been nice to have more time for all parts of this adventure. But, alas, sometimes you take what you can get and make a run for it. In that spirit, I grabbed food for the ride the night before at Huckleberries.

I tried this processed burrito turd. It did not rule. I like the idea: you buy a frozen block of food, throw it in your bag, and by the time you want to eat it, it's thawed (mostly) goodness: fat, salt, easy carbs, good livin. Next time I'll just try a cheese/bean one, the chicken here was nasty. I think there's potential here though. Maybe it would've been ok if I'd packed a microwave too.

I got back into town at 5pm last night -- just in time to peel off the stinky's, put a layer of pitstick on, and go out with Liza. We went to the Indian place on 3rd. Yum. Then we picked up 5 pizzas at Pizza Rita and delivered them to Browns Addition for her comrades.

Of course, I had to ride the freshly lit cargo bike. Five pizzas was a trivial load for the bike. Trivial, I tell you! By the time we dropped off the pizza, hung out, had a beer, went to another bar, had a drink, and it was time to go home: good lord the legs were done! It was long slog up the old south hill last night. Not trivial in the burning-legs-dept.

Liza's talking Fiascoween tonight. I'll be manning the homefront.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

For Sale-2007 XtraCycle FreeRadical Kit

I am selling a hardly used in great condition XtraCycle for $450. I am willing to negotiate the price, I am only willing to sell to a localish buyer, and I won't ship. This comes with everything to set it up, including extra chain length, extra long shifter and brake cables as well as a Avid Rollamajig. And last but not least an owners manual.

If there is interest or questions please contact Stephanie at

Highdrive trails

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Light mount finished

I finished my first project at The Pat Sprute Institute of Rackufacturing and Finishing School last night.

It works man! I could probably spend more time with the finishing bits to really make it pretty, but I'll powdercoat it, so hopefully that will finish it nicely.

(Gratuitous tree house shot).

Next up: a new rack for the Elephant. Main requirements:
- Internal wiring
- Lower the deck to tie it into the fender
- U-lock holder
- Optimized for Swift bag.
- Light and pretty.

This is Maddie. Approaching the finish line to come in 3rd at the All-City Elementary Cross Country Meet. That kid just kills me! She ran against all the other fast 2nd Grade girls in the city (about 75 kids!). Clearly, the ability to come in the first half of any race is something that comes from Liza's side of the family. Lucky kid.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Recreational math

I want to ride this loop on Friday.

On Friday night, I have dinner and a ride planned with with Liza at 5pm. So I have to be home and in the shower by 4pm... to be safe.

The loop is 50 miles. About 38 of it is dirt/forest road. Planning for 6 hours of riding seems prudent.

Drive is 2 hours each way.

So, I need to leave my house no later than 6am Friday morning.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

CX in Moscow

Another fun race.

Great course. Fast with technical bits.

Liza came with me and took a bunch of pics. So there's lots of John pics here. It's my blog so I can do that. Isn't that the point?

I'm smiling because of the carnage behind me. I wasted this luxurious padding though by wrecking about a lap and 1/2 later. Then two chain mechanicals. Frustrating. But it's nice to have these kinds of events in my back pocket when I finish in the mid-20's. Yes. This is Cat 4.

Great course. Perfect day. I think it was about 55F.

That's Tom there on the Elephant. He's racing Cat 4 after he races the Masters. Good lord.

There's Mr. Copus. He's doing the same thing: two races. I guess that's what I have to look forward to next year when I'm 40.

Justino. A close look will reveal that he's on an RB-T too. He passed me at about lap 3 or so.

Justin, dude, me. Fun section.

The run-up was a small flight of stairs. It was the easiest run-up I've done. Not that I've done that many, but this was pretty easy. So was the obstacle. The rest of the course was really fast, so that made up for it.

Happy fun times. Next week is Coeur d'Alene. Maddie and I will be representing.