Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My riding buddy

After being away from my family for 7 months with few visits, I've learned to appreciate time @ home, and don't desire the all day bike-a-thon's that I used to before leaving. Watching you child grow from a distance is not fun, or easy my hat is off to all the folks who travel for a living, and for those who split their time with their children. On those day where I just want to get out there, I've found that I have a new riding buddy. This riding buddy is by far my favorite. She enjoys taking the hard lines and isn't afraid to walk. Mostly, she just enjoys being outside in nature, and I couldn't be happier about that. I hope she wants to be my riding buddy for as long as I'm able to ride, and hope she never forgets the pure joy of riding her bike in the woods. She is my bestest riding buddy ever!
Ready to hit the trail, this is fun she exclaimed! Notice her cycling socks!
We found martian brains on the trail and she decided she wanted to know what they looked like inside
Taking time to stop and observe and learn. Have I mentioned what a cool kid she is? I hope you get out to ride, or hike, or whatever with your buddy. It's the best time you can have and an investment in time that can't be measured. Get off the couch and explore your world.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

More tinkering in the garage

since buying the pugsley, I've been playing around with configurations. The bike is amazing and comes, or at least it came, with rack and fender mounts for almost any set up you could dream of. I've wanted a porteur style rack for it, but a custom rack can run well over $300, and I just don't know if I'd like it enough to justify that cost. I had an old junk rack that I picked up at a Performance yard sale some years ago for like $3. Problem with it is the struts were very narrow as this was for a road/touring type bike. It was also lacking mounting hardware, which is why it was only $3. I decided rather than throw it away why not hack off the struts and fabricate some of my own and a new bracket while I was at it. I picked up some flat bar aluminum @ Lowes for $5. A dremel tool, a few clamps, a metal file, and some time and I turned a throw away rack into a useful front rack for the Pugsley. If I use it enough and like it enough, I may be able to justify a proper porteur rack like a Cetma or a Paul Flatbed. Until then, this will be a good jumping off point.

Ciclovia Fat Antonio style

This is the 3rd Ciclovia in San Antonio. We missed the first two, my friend John met up with us and told us this was the best one yet. I'm glad the city is starting to see the light on events such as these, and judging by the turn out, the masses are happy about it too. Hopefully by next time they will have more vendors (food trucks, open market things) and more stores along the route will be open. It was a fun time for the whole family, even the elusive Mrs. Fat Bob jointed in on the action. We got a total of ~9 miles in for the day. Little E had a great time and everyone loved her striped outfit... she'd fit right in in Portland or Eugene. We finished strong with some food @ Sams Burger Joint :D

Friday, October 05, 2012

No.. I don't need to pee....

This made my shitty week, not so bad! What a rad little guy. Kudo's to dad for being involved!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tinkering in the shop...

This weekend I was supposed to try out my first s240 (see previous thread), however the weather conspired against me with the skies opening up and giving us some much needed rain... great for the earth, not so good for a bikepacking adventure. So instead I decided to do a little re-cycling for the upcoming slosh and mud. Who knew an old ERA jug, some wire ties, and a couple of coat hangers could be so much fun? I'm pretty happy with the down tube protection and the front spray contraption. The rear fender and mount need a little work aesthetically, but work just fine.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Bikepacking set up shake down ride

I've had an assortment bikepacking gear for quite some time now. I had planned and planned, but never actually pulled the trigger on a trip. So on Saturday night, my insomnia got me thinking about bikes and bikepacking, specifically on the new (to me) pugs. Why not? I knew I wouldn't put an overnighter together with Monday being a school day, but I've mapped out the route and loaded up the pugs to see how the set up works... the pugs is heavy when not loaded, and when you add camping gear it is an absolute tank! My primary goal was to figure out the route from my house over to river road, which is a slow curvy road that will take me from the outskits of town all the way to FM 306 and on to Canyon Lake a super secret overnight camping location. Total mileage from my front door to the lake super secret camping location is ~25 miles, then there's ~9 miles of trail to off-road on, and ~25 miles home. The idea behind this is to do what Grant Peterson coined an s24o which is a bikepacking adventure right out your back door. The idea behind it, is you don't have to spend weeks or months planning it. It doesn't have to be an epic adventure, it is a less than 24 hour overnight trip just to get away from it all, right in your back yard. Awesome! So since I'm not much of a roadie and I've never tried to lash my gear on my bike before, this was just a trial run. If the weather cooperates I plan on heading out on Friday for my first real S240! The blue thing is a cheap-o foam pad that will be what I sleep on. At some point I'll replace this with a nice Neo-Air, since my 1994 Therma rest weighs 4lbs and has about 10 patches from over a decade of abuse. Rolled inside is my Golite Utopia 1 and poles.
The rear pack is a Carousel Design Works medium seat bag. That has a extra shorts, extra synthetic SS shirt, synthetic LS shirt, extra socks, camp pillow, sleeping bag. I could fit more stuff in there, and I'll get more picky about these items as I get more of these trips under my belt.
Not pictured, is my Osprey Raptor 18 hydro pack. While not my favorite pack in the world, it does have a lot of storage compartments and is a clever design... I do miss my wingnut desperately and will pick up a new Hyper 3.0 when funds are available for such things, but for now the Osprey is what I have. This contains 3L of water, a handful of cliff bars, some cliff blocks, some fruit snacks (thank you E), spare Surly Toob, tools, swiss army knife, led flashlight. These items will move around and will evolve as I get more experience doing these trips. One of the benefits of doing a short trip, and in my case, a shake down ride. Is that you get to see what works and what doesn't work so well. So what didn't work so well in this case is that the camp pad when cinched up tight is it interfered with the operation of the brake levers. It wasn't enough to be dangerous, just annoying. At some point I could purchase a bar bag from Eric Parsons or convince my wife to sew me one :D yeah, right. I'll probably also invest in one of his frame bags for longer journeys when I'll need more things like cook kit, more water, etc. The bags are expensive, but Eric makes great stuff and they are all hand made by Eric in Alaska.
Another fab/mod was making a new GPS mount out of an old reflector bracket. The one that I bought from Garmin lasted exactly one crash. I did learn my lesson from that crash and added a lanyard to keep from the GPS being launched if/when I have the next crash.
So with any luck, next week I'll be posting up pix from my first s24o on the pugs

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jeff Jones, I love you man...

Your designs are brilliant, but damn... even your aluminum bar is silly expensive. I just couldn't justify them on the "play bike" so I got a knock off... sort of. Say hello to the Origin8 Bullnose bars... they're a bar and stem all in one, just like they made in the early days of mountain biking. The biggest nit against them is if you don't like the angle up/down, you're SOL, unlike on Jeff's bars where you can adjust to the specific degree you want up or down. With the extra $90 I saved buying the Origin8's I hope to pick up some less gnarly tires, or maybe a second hand frame bag... whatever I pick up it's much easier to swallow the cost, when I haven't broken the bank on the bars.

Monday, September 10, 2012


So if you ever find yourself in the PNW and are in need of a bike repair, check out Aaron's new shop, Bicycle-Works. Aaron's a good guy, and will set you up @ an honest rate. His work is top notch, and if you're in the area looking for a ride, he knows were the good stuff can be found too, just drop him a line. I'm very excited to see Aaron doing his own thing, it's a challenging industry and with so much on-line competition it does my heart good to see him utilizing his vast mechanical knowledge and carving a space for himself. Congrat's Aaron! Adding your shop link for the 3 readers who follow :D