Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I made a shirt

Actually, I made 40 of them.

And actually, I didn't make them. Klay-the-rad designed it.

The guys across the street from my office, 360 Apparel, printed it.

The shirts are organic cotton and soft.

There are girl shirts, which Liza says aren't really cut like a good girlie cut should be, but they have short sleeves. And men shirts.

They're pre-shrunk.

The girl shirts are made in Honduras.

The men shirts are made in India.

There are a few sizes of each.

All of them are available in highly-visible and utlra-slimming black.

Liza here is wearing a girl's small. A men's large fits me like other large t's.

They cost me about $12 each to make. So if you want one, that's the cost. Better yet, if you own a store, buy the lot and sell them for whatever.

Monday, August 29, 2011


Ok. This is the last pic I will post here from the Elephant picture-taking-hang. These pictures are bound for Glen's new site, so I don't want to give it all away before he goes live, but this one is so great.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ben Tobin

Ben has a sweet yard. In addition to a pump track, he's got this monster jump.

Text book manual. Ben can just blaze that track. He pretty much rides this whole section (which continues onto two bigger rollers) on his back wheel only.

 It's fun to watch and it makes me realize how I really want to get better at manualing.

The reason we were up at Ben's was so he could take pictures of a bunch of Elephant bikes. More on that later.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Have you seen this rack?

This is embarrassing. But I'm at the end of my rope here.

That rack is a Tubus Tara. Somewhere, I own one. I loaned it out to someone and I can't remember who has it.

If it's you, are you nearly done with it?

I need to loan it to my buddy Ryan who is going on a seriously long bike ride.

I also need to start keeping a master list of all the crud I loan out.

I also need to not have so much bikey stuff.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Remember the rad Monty Python intermission organ music? That's what should be playing when you come to this blog this time of year.

Unrelatedly, here's my dad in about 1979. My dad found a guy in Colville who was demo'ing his house. He talked the guy into letting him (my dad) tear down the house and save the lumber.
He build this righteous pad out in the boonies out of the recycled lumber. No electricity. But it had pretty good water most of the year. And it had a two-seater with a view. My dad had his priorities dialed in.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Figured something out

Liza and I figured something out this weekend when we were able to take a few rides together.

It's odd how long it took us to discover this simple fact.

It's this: the best bike set up for Liza-John rides is with me on a single speed and her on her geared bike.

Simple but powerful. We've tried a number of rides and configurations on the tandem to make it work. We both really want it to work, but so far it just hasn't. Maybe it's the tandem.

But maybe not. One persistent issue is cadence. I tend to spin faster than Liza on the flats. She likes shifting way down into spinsville for climbs, while I prefer to muscle it through and grind. Cadence isn't a showstopper. But it's persistent.
Spider at Pia Mission

The deal with the single speed is that while Liza spins away up a climb on her geared bike, I can either stand and hammer, waiting at the top, or, more likely, as I did the last couple days: stand and slowly grind. This allows me -- much to Liza's delight -- to continue talking at her even as we climb, without so much as missing a beat.

Everyone wins. And the overall pace is comfortable for both of us.

I think we could do a lot of riding lik this. I think we could tour the country like this. It's at least worth trying an overnighter.
Tig-welded S&S coupler.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Ride with Liza

Maddie is with her aunt for the weekend. Liza and I are hanging at the river.
We took a great ride this morning to the Pia Mission. So damn cool.

Because if I don't bring it, I'll get a flat for sure

I keep meaning to bring a frame pump to the river. And I keep forgetting.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Dear Ortlieb

Please make this bag again. With a universal, just-works-on-any-saddle, no-fuss strap/buckle solution.
If you do, I promise to buy two.
Thanks, John

Sent from my Windows Phone

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Midnight Century 2011

Great f'ing ride!

My story

If I got any details wrong, please comment. I'm a bit rummy, so writing quality will be even worse than normal, if that's possible. And no pics! If you got any, send them my way and we'll get them on midnightcentury.com.

I got a flat about 3 miles in. As soon as I flatted, I saw this image of Rory, in a devil outfit with flames all around, and he's holding a pitch fork and laughing, "Hetres."

Anyway, flatting on the Cent Trail sucked because everyone is all amped up and hauling ass. So my 10 minute flat change totally put us at the back of the pack. Justin was nice enough to hang with me as I fixed the flat.

I really wanted to pull up with the rest of the pack, so I made a decision right there to just ride hard and hammer. I didn't want the stupid flat to define my night. So I got all amped up and hammered like crazy pretty much for the rest of the night.

I lost Justin on the Cent Trail (how's that for loyalty?), I passed Eric (Rawland rSogn) who was riding with someone else. Then I passed Hawkins (CX bike - Jake the Snake?), who was fussing with his seat on the side of the road. Then I passed a group that was Joe (Elephant 29er), Dan (double boinger), Joe (91 RB-T). Then I passed Pat Rick (Karate Monkey). I was hoping to catch the front. I was looking for Sully (CX) and Kyle Smith (CX single speed) -- I figured those dudes would be off the front -- not up there with Jake (29er SS) or Tom (Hard tail mnt bike 26" wheels), but around the front where I wanted to be.

I didn't stop at the water park. I hammered on. Right before the Liberty Lake climb, I passed a big group of cyclists. The Garretts, Greg Welton -- and Sully/Kyle, which I didn't realize at the time.

I climbed the Liberty Lake hill with DB (SS IBIS CX) and a couple road bike guys. Then I caught up to Roger Young (rigid 90's Nishiki Mt bike), who had ridden the 8 Legs Ache earlier in the day.

Roger hooked DB and me up with a water spot at the Liberty Lake golf club.

I climbed up Molter alone, hoping to catch the lead group and didn't see anyone until the end of Linke. A group of 4 guys: Cory Juddy, George Grable, and Joe Foote. The 4 guy (Matthew) was in bonk mode. Matthew ended up crashing on the Bruno descent and dislocating his shoulder. His wife came and picked him up.

That was the last I saw of anyone. I kept hoping to reach the lead group and I saw some flickering lights in the distance a couple times, but was never able to close the gap. I learned later that the flickering lights were Jake and Bill (Bronson).

My basic strategy was to hammer the hills, go moderate on the flats, and coast on descents. By the time I got to the Spangle Creek Hill climb I was pretty cooked, but getting to the top invigorated me for the final push.

My goal was to minimize stops by shooting for < 10 total minutes off the bike. My flat tire screwed that deal and I ended up with about 25 minutes of stoppedness.

Stuff I shouldn't forget next year:
  • Don't bring so much food. Especially sweets. I should've gone with the Ruffles plan. I had 3 small burritos that were really hard to eat on the bike. And they had habanero hot sauce on them. Not sure what I was thinking there.
  • Three water bottles is good.
  • The Elephant rocked. I've got the fit dialed in. No fenders is good and simplifies tire changing.
  • Consider going back to Fatty Rumpkin tires.
  • My clothing was good: Ibex "Commuter" Shak was awesome with the full zip. It's all I had and it was perfect. I should wear bike shorts next year. The taint is a tad tender. But I liked the knick's.
Results (I'll update/edit this as more info comes in):
We had 38 people start.

Here are the finishers:
  • Tom -5:44 (course record -- and Tom also provided chaulk-spray smiley faces and direction indicators and the perfect spots)
  • Pete Headamark - 6:21
  • Jake McBurns - 6:27 (course record - single speed)
  • Bill Bronson - 6:27
  • John Speare - 6:43
  • DB - 7:30
  • Rheanne Garnett (first female finisher ever!) - 7:31
  • Dan Garret - 7:31
  • Greg Welton - 7:31
  • Justin Becker - 7:31
  • Joseph Yacker - 7:39
  • Joe Latranio - 7:58
  • Sully - 8:00
  • Kyle Smith - 8:00
  • Rick Cadwallader - 8:05
  • Corey Judd - 8:10 (Corey's write-up)
  • George Grable - 8:10
  • Joe Foote - 8:12
  • Jon Hawkins - 8:14
  • Jon Eberly - 8:25
  • Roger Young - 8:29
  • Patrick Sullivan - 8:30
  • Jace/Kevin (ND bike shop) - 8:41 (first tandem finishers ever!)
  • Barry Fischer - 8:41
  • Dan D - 8:42
  • Daniel Addington - 9:20
  • Brian Kelley - 9:20
  • Stephen Morgan - 10:15
  • Ben Bray - 10:21
  • Coffee Joe Thomsen - 11:24
  • Mike Southworth - 11:24
  • Eric Erikson - 12:12
  • Larry Bibb - 12:13

  • Tom Carleton - Highway 27
  • Matthew (dislocated his shoulder) - Bruna Road
  • Tandem #2: man and woman team

Done. 6:43

My goose is cooked.
One flat tire.
Post your time in the comments.


Top of bruna

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Here's a question

Why did it take me so long to get a proper mountain bike? I almost never carry on about how much I love riding my mountain bike.

I love to fill the odd gap in a day's obligations with a quickie trail ride. I've been riding the high drive trails for the last 6 years or so. But until about 6 months ago, I rode the trails on a road bike or a fixed gear or a cross bike. And that was fun. But bombing through the trails on my mountain bike is so much more fun. I guess it's the front shocks. And being able to brake confidently with a single finger while hanging onto the bars with the other fingers does matter. Weird.

I wonder what other bikey great thing I'm missing out on? I pretty much dismiss the carbon race bike thing and the TT bike thing and the "Amsterdam" style bike thing. My buddy Bill, who enjoys torturing me on hills has offered to let me borrow a carbon race bike. Maybe I'll take him up on that.

For the record, I have tried a full-suspension high zoot carbon mountain bike, and I liked it for the super downhill suicide course I took it on. But climbing was hell. And to really enjoy the high drive trails you've got to do a lot of climbing, so I'm not that interested in trying it.

All the 29er folk talk about how magical that wheel size is and how easy they roll over stuff. You know, the whole "angle of attack" thing. I'm dubious, but lots of people I respect carry on about this. So maybe it's worth spending more time on a 29er.

All the single speed mountain bike folk sing a similar tune to the fixed urban dudes. I'm not that into fixed gear anymore unless it's icy. But maybe playing around on a proper single speed mountain bike with shocks, wide bars, short stem and the whole enchilada would be fun.

A for the the fat bikers. No issues there. They have me convinced. I'm in for that. I'm in the queue for a Spider AT.

Monday, August 1, 2011