Slingshot Tyrant Surfboard + Clear Grip…

31 03 2012

She's a good looking surfboard...

Now that I am riding surfboards without straps I needed to figure out how to sort out the traction for my front foot on my Slingshot Tyrant. I basically had 3 options:

  1. wax
  2. glue on EVA deck pad
  3. NSI Clear Grip traction sheets

I’m not a fan of wax because it’s messy, needs to be reapplied frequently and ends up looking like shit. That’s a real tragedy when you’ve got a surfboard with a sweet bamboo finish like the SS Tyrant.

A glue on EVA deckpad isn’t bad option, but it would obscure the bamboo finish.

Clear Grip sheet is installed on right in both pictures in this post...

I ended up using 2 sheets of NSI Clear Grip traction material I had left over from our longboards. Clear Grip needs no maintenance for several seasons [I haven’t worn any out yet] and grips well with the booties that I ride in. Since it’s clear you can still see the board’s finish and it’s thin so you can reattach the Tyrant’s removable front deck pad and straps if you want.

I’ll be trying it barefoot this summer to see how it grips without booties on.





The Kent Peterson Effect…

30 03 2012

My Bike Friday Tikit at MEC...

I was  on my way to a business dinner/seminar thing downtown when I had a flat front tire on my Tikit. Bummer! I pulled out a CO2 canister from my seatpack and got the tire firm again so I could keep rolling and made it to MEC [Mountain Equipment Co-op] which is Canada’s REI. They let me use a repair stand, a floor pump, sold me a patch kit and lent me some pliers to pull out a super tough thorn. They also offered help at least 3 times and when all was said and done let me use their washroom to clean up so I could go to my meeting looking decent. Thanks MEC – you guys rock!

I got to my meeting with time to spare thanks to Kent Peterson. I read Kent’s blog regularly. He got me interested in randonneuring and bikepacking with his tales of LD riding and ultralight touring. However, Kent’s main contribution to my bike lifestyle is simply the no nonsense way he gets on with riding his bike for transportation.

One Kent Meme I have learned from his blog is to factor a flat into every commuter bike ride. That way you always have time to fix the flat and still get to your destination on time. I do this a lot and often plan a quick non-essential stop along my route or near my destination so that I can get some extra things done on the same ride and if a flat happens I just skip the non-essential stop.

In this case I planned to stop at MEC and grab a few items I’ve been needing for a while. So when I got the flat I just re-inflated the tire for the ride to MEC where I could repair it in comfort. I ran into a couple snags with a pathetic tube of glue and a lame patch that didn’t want to stick as well as a thorn that was really really really eager to stay in my tire. By the time I was done I was dirty so I washed up and figured I had to rush to my meeting, but I was pleasantly surprised that I still had time to roll over there at a normal pace which made for a pleasant evening.

That’s the Kent Peterson Effect…=-)





Jeff Jones Spaceframe bike porn…

29 03 2012

My photo of Scott on the Jeff Jones homepage...





Liquid Force Envy 7m Kite Pre-review…

28 03 2012

Sharon's new 7m Liquid Force Envy kite...

If you read my previous posts about the Liquid Force Envy you’ll see that I liked it a lot when I demo’d two kites a couple years ago. So much so that Sharon bought a 9m Envy last season and got fully stoked on it.

Pretty in pink and orange...

Talking to Andy at Kite Paddle Surf Bellingham we found out he had a 7m Envy in the same colours as Sharon’s 9m kite. Having matching kites is ideal because everyone knows who you are and can look out for you.

The first pump up...

On my drive home from Baja I stopped in and picked up her new kite.

I love the easy inflation system...

The old Naish kites I learnt on and that I lent Sharon to learn on had a crappy inflation system. It required you to inflate 6 different bladders one at a time and you had to try and put the plug back in without losing too much air. Inevitably you had to inflate a few of the bladders multiple times before you got the kite ready to fly. That does not put a smile on your face!

Huge single point inflation valve...

The Envy by contrast has a huge inflation valve that allows you to pump up the whole kite in less than half the time of a normal single point inflation kite – let alone the 6 point inflation system on the old Naish kites. When we pumped up the new 7m it was ready to go so quickly I assumed I had overlooked something. The valve is 100% secure when you pull the hose off and doesn’t lose any air. Let’s just say I will be very jealous of how easy it is for Sharon to get her kite pumped on the beach every time we head out for a session!

Ready to rumble...

An added benefit of the huge inflation valve is that it allows for very fast and easy deflation of the kite which makes packing up at the end of a session very convenient.

Bomber construction...

One thing I really like about the Envy is that it combines bomber construction in critical areas with a light weight overall. That’s not easy to achieve, but it means that the kite stays in the air with less attention and less wind if you crash and need a second to get yourself back together. At the same time it can take some abuse on the water and on the beach without needing repair.

Reinforced wing tips...

Reinforced wing tips allow for self-launching again and again without issue.

Double layer leading edge with tough EVA bumpers...

The leading edge is reinforced with a double layer of Dacron where it counts and protected with EVA bumpers. When you inevitably tomahawk the Envy you’ll be happy Liquid Force took the trouble to design in these features.

3 strut delta-C shape...

The Envy’s 3 strut delta-C shape make it a simple lightweight kite to fly. The lightweight pays off in the kite’s ability to simply drift backwards downwind when line tension disappears rather than crashing. More than once I’ve crashed hard expecting to come up to the surface and seeing a kite fall out of the sky like my usual kites would do, but the Envy is just floating up there in the sky waiting for me to get back on the board.

Strut tip detail...

The C-shape allows the Envy to pivot on its axis fast which delivers a nice constant power delivery in the turns – something I really like when riding a surfboard strapless.

Stitching detail...

The Envy is the perfect first kite for a rider who is beyond lessons and now wants to get some drama free time on the water to hone their skills. Having a quiver of Envy kites will be great for Sharon both because they are some easy to use compared to my old Naish kites and because they offer lots of performance for her natural progression the next few years.

Leading edge detail...

The Envy is such a great strapless surfboard kite that I am considering buying a 12m kite to complete the quiver to share with Sharon.

Leading edge detail...

I figure I let Sharon use my kites for a couple seasons so she can’t be upset about me borrowing hers right?…=-)

EVA bumper detail...

Although I suspect that’s why she got hot pink kites thinking I might not want to use them because they look girly – wrong!

There I am feeling manly with my pink kite...=-)





Obama Spokecards

27 03 2012

Time to spoke up!

Update: I have spoke cards ready to mail. If you didn’t ask for some, but want some it’s not too late. Just leave me a comment with your mailing address.

I have quite a few Obama spoke cards from the last election. If you want some email me your mailing addy [or leave a comment with your email] and I’ll fire a bunch off in the post to you. They are plasticized and meant to be put in the spokes of your bicycle, but they can be used just about anywhere as they are weatherproof. They are free and I’ll pay for postage.

My Boulder Bicycle spokecarded...

I will delete any political comments on this post so don’t bother. I support everyone’s freedom to vote how they wish, but I rule this blog with an iron fist…=-)~





OG CPR…

27 03 2012




Victoria Populaire – 70K!

26 03 2012

Team 20" at the end of the ride...

Sharon and I rode the 50K route at the BC Randonneurs Victoria Populaire Sunday. Add in ~20kms riding to/from the event and we rode farther than ever before on the tandem. Sharon also rode her longest ever distance on a bicycle. Obviously 70kms is not going to impress folks that ride 1200km events, but considering Sharon didn’t ride a bike when I met her this is a great achievement. Even better Sharon’s talking about riding the 100km route on our own this spring. Our distance riding progress may be slow, but it’s steady…=-)

50K Route Map - click for bigger version...

We met up with Aaron and Laura at the start. They were riding Dahon folding bikes so we were all rolling on 20″ wheels. We were joined by Brian and Mike on their big wheel bikes. The day was sunny and there were something like ~140 riders joining us on the course. The organizers did a great job staffing the controls and the route was well chosen for pleasant cycling.

Rider organizer Dave M giving the troops last minute instructions...

We let the majority of riders start in front of us so we could enjoy a relaxed pace around the course. I had my gps running as well as the course cue sheets. Between the two we managed a first ever zero bonus KM event by staying on course the whole time!

The intrepid members of our 50K posse at control #2...

The tandem proved comfortable for this distance and we had no issues cranking up even the steeper climbs on the course. I’m more and more impressed with our Raspberry Rocket on every new adventure. Thanks Bike Friday!

Sharon taking a breather along the route and enjoying the views...

Thanks to the BC Randonneurs for putting on a great ride for those riders not quite ready for a 200K brevet. Thanks also to Aaron, Laura, Sharon, Brian and Mike for riding with us…=-)

Mr.Lazy happy they have cookies at the control!

Victoria Populaire 2012 photos: