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

Sunday, September 09, 2012

soul-o ride

Took the fat bike to the Madrone trail again today. Decided to explore closer to the lakefront, as this is partially what these bikes are made for. The section I rode was mostly pea gravel type stones, a nice little area to stop and enjoy the shallows if you're a boater, however this did get me thinking how limitless the fat bikes seem. Explored a little further up the shore onto the bigger boulders, this too was doable and fun, until the wet rocks and muck made it slipper... found the limits of the fat bike. Overall a fun day of exploring, have the desire to get a packraft now though :D
Lakefront riding... rode in the water a little, but never went to bearing depth.
Fat tracks
Multi-track trail

Sunday, September 02, 2012

FatBob gets a FatBike....

Wow, no posts since Colorado.... Wife was feeling a lot of pressure, and daughter was missing me to the point of having trouble with school, so I left Colorado and have been working from Texas. Being back in Texas means having to deal with ridiculous heat, so that means not much riding for me since I loath the heat. Since I haven't been very motivated to ride lately, a little retail therapy helped get me motivated to ride again. I have been wanting a Pugsley for some time, and after riding my friend Mitchel's Pugs while in Colorado, I knew I had to have one. My first ride was just rolling through the neighborhood... what a hoot, still smile when I think about how ridiculous this thing is. My first dirt ride was less than stellar, a combination of a chest cold and friends riding on non-fat bikes just made me suffer. I finally got out for a proper solo ride on the Madrone, my go to shake down trail. This bike is desperately stupid, and I love it! Controls already changed, will likely see a few more changes
After the fire.... this part of the trail used to be green & lush all the way down to the lake, now it seems ideally suited to the monster truck pugsley.
What bike would be complete w/out a little bling? E is growing like a weed, but is still very much a sweet little innocent girl. She still loves stickers and decided that my new bike needed some flair. I'll look back on this age fondly as she grows into her terrible teens and make life hell. For now she's a little angel and I love her more than life.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

photo dump

A Photographer I am not... my image capturing is terrible, but I finally found my little point and shoot, which is way better than my camera phone. Anyhow, here are some random biking pictures in no particular order.

Snow Ride, pretty deep. Evergreen, CO

March 73* and sunny with Mitchell

My co-workers idea of a custom bike :p Thanks a lot Sarah!

More of the same snow Ride with Mitchell, check out his Pugsley

Tim & Stephanie rock'n the dual Niner single speeds

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Snow Commute

I've been off the commute for the last couple of weeks, and I'm noticing a significant increase in my frustration and irritability. I'd like to say it's 100% due to not commuting, but other factors are playing a role. I have not had nearly enough dirt time since winter has set in, and it's been a very mild winter for CO standards. I've been buried at work lately, and have begun to notice some unfavorable tactics that I need to gain some distance from (need to take the high road instead of trying to prove my point... since no one really cares anyway). Finally, the distance and time between my family is really getting old. So, in an effort to not lose my mind and job, I've decided to start commuting in again, and what better day to choose to commute in, but the day we're expected to get close to 2' of snow... heck, why not?

I'm not gifted at taking over the head pictures, my arms are too short, and my head is too fat, but here's my best attempt. *note* mine were the only tracks on the trail Friday

I left the office ~4:00PM on Friday, some very deep sections of snow, but the bike paths were mostly clear!

Skinny(ish) 700x32's will go back on soon, as will fenders. The Salsa El Mariachi does it all and never complains.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The last two weeks....

As I mentioned in the last post, Colorado weather is schizophrenic. Last weekend we had 60* weather and Schnauzer insisted we ride and show off his new "Beast" a giant diesel F350. He suggested 3 Sisters in Evergreen, and since I'd never been and he was going to drive, it was an easy "sure". We met up near his place, and continued on to the village of Evergreen, CO. Passing through downtown Evergreen it felt like a Norman Rockwell winter scene, or the cover of an L.L.Bean catalog. Frozen lake, kids ice skating, people ice fishing, dogs frolicking in the snow. Awesome little town! We got to 3 Sisters and Schnauzer let me in on his secret weapon... evidently, over the holidays he got bored and purchased a Pugsley (see honey, it's not just me others suffer from the same bike lust affliction). Needless to say, we had a blast on 3 Sisters, we only got 8-10 miles in total, but it took us all day due to the snow drifts and hike a bike sections. If you haven't tried out a Pugsley, put it in your list it's as much fun as I can remember on a bike... did I mention we were riding in snow drifts while wearing short sleeved shirts an enduring 60* temps? Crazy.

So Yesterday, not to be outdone, Schnauzers once again put together a great ride. This time we would travel south to the once bustling city of Pueblo. While temps in the Golden area were hovering ~ 38*, Pueblo would see a high of the mid 60's. The trail system was a mix of west Texas and open prairie. This time around we had Tim and his very capable girlfriend along for the ride. Tim has been in Colorado for a few weeks more than I, and is originally from the east coast also (VT). His girlfriend is originally from NY, Schnauzers is also from NY/NJ and I was born in the NY area and lived on the east coast a good portion of my life, so we were a group with very similar tastes. Tim is a wild man and has not yet learned fear. His girlfriend while a little more reserved on the tech stuff, did not give up and smoked us in the wide open sections (she is a former roadie after all). The trails were fantastic and the weather unbelievable. Pueblo is very arid and warm, the perfect get away for mountain bikers in CO while the good stuff is covered in snow. We only rode 10-15 miles, but they were super technical. We finished off the day in style with "Sloppers" from Grays Coors Tavern. Evidently these guys won on Food Wars Battle of the Slopper in 2010... I'm glad I got to taste it, and after a hard day of riding it did hit the spot, but I don't think it will ever be a part of my regular diet.

Oh, and sorry for no pixels, I've evidently misplaced or lost my camera and I'm sick of my mobile providers stupid billing system, so I'm going old school with no fancy cell phone pix. Going to try to track down my camera, it's been lost since my last trip to TX.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Colorado weather = koo koo

at 4 am there was no snow, by 5:30 the streets were covered. After a day in the cube farm, it was 20* colder than the morning commute but the snow was mostly gone....