Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sportmobile...

First commute with Sport in the Sportmobile is in the bag. He settled down pretty quick and before we knew it, it was over. With all the rain, it was a nice break today. Sure, I could ride in the rain, the bike's got fenders. However, I don't need, er want, to deal with 55 pounds of wet dog after a ride home.

Yes, you'll fit

(What's playing: Marvin Gaye Trouble Man)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Break in the rain...

We've had a lot of rain recently and today there was finally a solid break so I hit the road. Gotta say, the full-coverage fenders are really nice. Keep's the bike clean and when venturing out on the point among all the dairy farms, it keeps the cow muck off the water bottle - and there's plenty of cow muck out there where water has flowed across the road.

Anyway, the temps were really nice (about 50f when I headed out), there was no wind, the skies were still gray, but that yielded to sun later in the morning. The rains have left the area an emerald green. All in all, a pretty darn nice day to be out on the bike for a couple of hours.

What's a bike ride without pictures?

Looking out over the Pacific Ocean from Pierce Point Road.
2010-01-27 004
Looking out over Drake's Estero.
2010-01-27 005
A salamander California Newt on the road. It's interesting just how rough the road surface is when your knee-high to a salamander newt.
2010-01-27 009

(What's playing: Roadhouse Twang on KWMR)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New build Bruce Gordon BLT...

Just finished a custom built Bruce Gordon BLT. Nothing too crazy, just a good solid touring build. Hanbuilt wheels with XT hubs and Velocity Synergy rims, Sugino triple crankset, XT rear derailleur, Shimano bar-con shifters - all on a 56cm c-c (60cm c-t) frame. As I've mentioned previously, the BLT framesets (frame, fork, stem headset, cable hanger + US Made Gordon racks in either standard black or custom blue) are readily available for $975. This one is spoken for, but I've got another one that's similar as well as a 44cm c-c (48cm c-t) frameset. Bruce is also offering a complete bike package for $1499 that includes the frameset and a parts kit - some assembly required. And if you can name 4 of the people in the photo posted on Bruce's blog, you can win a nifty pocket protector. I could only name 3 of the folks and even Bruce couldn't remember one of the riders' name.

BLT
BLT
BLT

(What's playing: Leonard Cohen Tower of Song)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Surly Big Dummy - Sport edition...

This project has been many months in the making - mostly because I couldn't decide on how I wanted to transport the cargo. It started with an Xtracycle bolt on kit to an old Klein Rascal. The fit of the bike was just not right, even though it was a big frame. Then I saw that Surly had lowered the price of the Big Dummy frames from their original price (must have paid off some tooling) and I went for a frame.

Some of my parameters that went into the build were based on using parts I had and getting a more sit-up position, not easy my seat knows it's raining before the average height person. The largest Big Dummy had a tall enough front end that I could get the Nitto Promenade bars up in a nice comfy spot with a 130mm Titec stem I had laying around.

The other part I wanted to use was a set of old Shimano XT forged cranks and a first gen XTR front derailleur. Grrr - problem there. The Big Dummy has cables routed for top pull front derailleurs and I didn't have any other front derailleurs in my private stash that had the right combination of seat post size and compatibility with the chainrings I wanted to use. Welp, it wasn't going to get finished that day because I had to wait for a nifty Problem Solvers part - a clamp-on pulley that allows a bottom pull derailleur to be used with top pull cable routing. Pretty brilliant idea.

Got the bike build finished but still couldn't figure out how to transport my cargo, which in my case is my 55 lb. dog Sport. Initially, I built an open top box out of plywood, but it was pretty heavy and even with Sport's harness clipped to an anchor, he could wiggle out of the box. Then it was back to my initial thought of bolting a pet crate to the deck (which was fully secured to the Xtracycle rails). After a few test rides, I think it will work perfect for our one mile commute.

Something old...
Problem Solver
Yes, you'll fit

(What's playing: Tom Waits Soldier's Things)

BMC bottles in the wild...

This installment comes from south of the border. Edmundo recently procured a Rawland dSogn from me. Here are a couple of photos of his new ride in Los Mochis, Sinaloa on La Piste del Cerro (the track on the hill). Edmundo also runs jeep tours into the Copper Canyon area of Mexio. Check out his blog here: Copper Canyon Gate.


(What's playing: John Doe and the Sadies Quiet Desperation)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What's in the stand...

Danny MacAskill is a skilled trials rider from the UK. Okay, understatement of the year. He's a phenomenal street/trials rider. The actual bike he used in the video clip below was recently auctioned to benefit a charity. A customer of mine won the auction and brought the bike over to get it assembled. Pretty dang cool.

It looks like the sidewall has been hand ground with a course grinding wheel to get a little extra bite on the brake pads.
Danny MacAskill Trials

Authentic signature.
Danny MacAskill Trials

Danny MacAskill Trials

And the video:


(What's playing: Band of Horses The Funeral)

Starting the year off right...

Six days into the new year and two rides down. Now if I can keep up the riding - at least into March so I have some fitness for the Keyesville Classic vintage mountain bike race where my rep is on the line.

A little jaunt up to Marshall and back this morning on the road bike. The fenders look good on the bike, but I'm not sure how much I'm into them. I am a fanatic about reaching down to clean the tires with my finger-tips when I happen to roll through a patch or junk on the road. Can't do it with fenders. I'll give them a chance, though.

The road bike rides really nice - as evidence by the one shot of descending, cornering, and taking pictures.

Highway 1
Highway 1
Highway 1

(What's playing: KWMR Roadhouse Twang)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Back to bicycle related content...

First ride of the new year, new decade, new week... It was a nice clear(ish) day and not being able to decide on either a road or dirt ride, I did both and hit the road over to Inverness to the dirt road that takes one up to Mt. Vision Rd. and then over Inverness Ridge Trail to Limantour Rd. I also set up a flickr page to post pictures so now I've got to figure out how to link them here as well. Be warned, the last photo may of a disturbing nature if you don't like the result of squirrel vs. car.
Last pitch to the top
Pedalin'
Self portrait
Sea of green
Drake's Estero
Up the trail out of Inverness

(What's playing: Rolling Stones Tumbling Dice)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Food for thought...

Recently a horse's skeleton complete with riding tack was discovered off-trail in Samuel P. Taylor State Park by a mushroom hunter. The discovery of the horse's skeleton has drawn some attention with not one, but two news reports on KWMR's West Marin News. However, what has failed to make news are three key references in the first sentence of this paragraph: off-trail, mushroom hunter, and State Park.

As I'm listening to the news stories, I'm thinking I thought it was illegal to both venture off-trail and collect specimens from a State Park, or at the very least highly discouraged. There's the threat of damaging a fragile ecosystem by tramping off-trail and collecting specimens in a State Park is only allowed with a permit and those permits are only issued for scientific reasons as per the the following link: Scientific Collecting on State Park System Lands.

I also like the Rules and Regulations Summary for California's State Park lands. Of particular interest is the first section: "NATURAL SCENERY, PLANTS AND ANIMAL LIFE are the principal attractions of most state parks. They are integral parts of the ecosystem and natural community. As such they are protected by Federal, State and Park laws. Disturbance or destruction of these resources is strictly forbidden." LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS - TAKE ONLY MEMORIES, unless it's a particularly tasty Chantrelle, I guess.

Maybe I'm wrong and the skeleton discoverer was admonished by the State Park rangers for tramping off-trail through the forest, but that part of the story wasn't reported.

Now if the horse skeleton was discovered by someone on a bicycle...

I added the following later in the day.

The find of the horse with complete riding tack is actually pretty interesting especially through the photographs that an archaeologist with the state parks took and his descriptions as he tries to find the identity of the horse. Check out the photos on his Facebook page here: A Horse With No Name.

(What's playing: Dave Alvin Engine 143)