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:





Deep Forest…

25 03 2012

My MTB animal totem is the Angry Squirrel...

Friday afternoon Kurt and Scott dropped by and we hit the road for Hartland Mountain Bike Park.

Spaceframe in action...

Scott is once again schooling us on a rigid mountain bike…this time single speed just to make it interesting for him!

Kurt in the forest...

We managed to pry Kurt away from his books long enough to shred some dirt.

Scott demonstrates a semi-fat roll in...

I’m already thinking of modifying Scott’s brakes so they are 25% engaged all the time he is riding.

I may be slow, but I dress to impress!

Of course I now have the excuse that I’m slow because I have to haul around 8lbs of photo gear to document the ride.

The start of the aptly named "Get Wet" Trail...

For the time being I just jam my DSLR into a basic camera bag which I then jam into my 10yr old Camelback Transalp backpack. I’m always guarding the rear of the pack uphill or downhill so the extra weight/bulk isn’t a big deal.

Happy to be back aboard the Nomad...

Having to pull off the backpack and get the camera out every time isn’t ideal, but I’m keeping my eyes open for a dedicated MTB hydration & camera pack. They exist, but are $$$ so I want to make the right choice and my first priority is a fast prime lens when I’ve got some money saved.

The Dream Team...

It’s good that Kurt came out for a ride so that Scott had someone a bit faster to ride with. Not only do they have more fun, but it takes the pressure off me to catch up as fast as possible so I can enjoy  bumping around in the forest at my own pace.

My typical perspective on Kurt as he rides away from me...

When I run into folks that know me from my blog I often get surprised looks on the trail wondering why I am not the uber biker they thought I was based on my photos and ride reports. So this is me setting the record straight. I’m slow!

Kurt doing his mountain goat impression...

You may have already figured out that my mountain bike photography interest continentally allows for me to stop and catch my breathe while I snap some action shots of other folks riding.

Heading downhill...

Luckily both Scott and Kurt are willing stunt models who don’t mind riding the same section of trail again and again while I futz with the camera.

Wait for me!

Although I love my Pugsley it sure was nice to have 6″+ of suspension at both ends to smooth out the trail and make riding significantly less tiring. My Nomad even goes uphill really well so there isn’t much downside to this bike.

Scott and his buddy Big Fat Larry...

We spent a lot of time messing about on Fun Trail at Hartland which deserves its name.

I'm loving the dark green landscape we have to play in...

I agreed to put away the camera once we got to the top of Mount Work so we could enjoy the ride down without interruptions.

Wall ride...

I may have broken my promise once…

Hartland glamour shot...

…or twice!

Time to play...

Once back at the bottom we rolled over to Two Trees Trail and a few rocks that are always fun to play on.

Kurt going wild...

Bikes, rocks and body armour make for a fun time…=-)

Scott showing how you roll rigid...

Everyone took a few laps on Scott’s Jones Spaceframe.

I'm no Porcelain Rocket...

The Jones is a very fun bike that likes to roll over obstacles and loft its front wheel on command.

Whoa Nellie!

Scott’s got it geared 25T x 36T which seems awfully tall for us weaker folks, but he makes it fly and he rolls smoothly down even the roughest trails. We’re not sure how he does it, but it’s fun to watch!

Two thumbs up for another great ride...





Victoria Populaire…

24 03 2012

Click on image for details...

We’ll be riding the Victoria Populaire tomorrow. You should as well if you live within striking distance of our fine city. Post ride we’ll be headed out for beer and snacks at a pub.





Why I ride…?

23 03 2012

Slowing down to enjoy a sunset is so easy...

Riding a bike to get around has a lot of benefits. I was on my way to a pub this week when I took a few moments to appreciate the beautiful sunset on a bridge over the Gorge Waterway in Victoria, BC.

My trusty Bike Friday Tikit...always a good choice for urban rides...





Santa Cruz Nomad at Hartland…

22 03 2012

Met up with a fellow Santa Crux Nomad rider today...shared some MTB stoke...=-)





Return of the Shred…

22 03 2012

Scott gets the first drop in with his Jones...

After a bunch of riding down in Sedona AZ I was excited and also a bit apprehensive to return to the brooding winter trails on the South Shore of Vancouver Island’s rainforest.

The Jones Spaceframe looks right at home in the woods.

Sedona’s cheerful sunniness and endless traction had spoilt us.

Sharon takes the highroad...

I didn’t realize how much I missed our rocky, rooty, loamy trails until I went away and came back.

The lowdown...

They are challenging, but they are also beautiful.

So stoked to be home I'm glowing...

Best of all we have so many miles of trails and so few local riders it’s like a private playground.

Note the 4" & 5" rubber most of our bikes sport for traction...

Scott brought his Jones Spaceframe for its first dirt ride. It’s a super sweet bike and we are all keen to see how it performs on our trails.

Sharon carves it up...

Sharon stuck to her trusty Santa Cruz Nomad all mountain rig with skinny 2.35″ tires, but 6″+ of suspension travel at both ends to smooth out the bumps and keep the wheels glued to the trail.

Fat green machine...

I threw a leg over my Surly Pugsley that I Jones-fied as an experimental comparison with Scott’s Jones Spaceframe.

Sharon lost in the green zone...

The fact we can all ride well and have fun on such different machines is testament to the great mountain bikes that are available to riders these days. They are different for sure, but the bottom line is they can all get you around your local trails with a smile on your face.

Torture testing the Spaceframe...

The important thing is to get out there and ride your bike. The rest is just details!

Green with Envy?

I was really happy with how the Pugsley performed with knobby Surly Nate 3.7″ tires and moving my riding position a couple inches to the rear. The result is a fun playful bike that can climb slick terrain and isn’t afraid of the steeps.

I do miss Sedona's red rocks though...

It’s quite a contrast after riding a SC Nomad day after day in Sedona!

There is a reason this is called a rainforest!

There were some juicy sections of trail to remind us we were riding in costal BC.

Sharon chillaxing in the MTB skills park...

After the ride we goofed around in the Hartland MTB skills park.

Scott throwing the Jones around...

Scott impressed us with his stunt riding on the Jones.

Lean Mean Speed Machine...

I tried to operate the new DSLR reasonably well, but all the controls and options are pretty daunting I must say!

My Surly Pugsley...dirty, but happy...=-)





Baja Fog…

21 03 2012

A little taste of why I go to La Ventana, Baja, Mexico every winter.





Jones Spaceframe vs. Surly Pugsley…

20 03 2012

My Jonesly/Jugsley with a Jones Spaceframe...

The Jeff Jones Spaceframe mountain bike with wild truss fork is a design I’ve been keen to check out for a while. Besides the usual issues of cost and storage the Jones presents a few new problems that slow any bicycle acquisition plans:

  1. totally unique design makes you ask how is it going to ride?
  2. relatively high cost for a production bike makes you want to make the right choice.
  3. one size frame that is on the small side of what I’d normally get makes me wonder if it will even fit.
  4. rare as hell so forget about a test ride.
  5. Jeff Jones advocates the use of a 5″ front tire/wheel, but since he uses a proprietary front hub/fork any wheel you build will only work on this bike…so do you build it as a 29er of a half-fat? Trying both is expensive.

A boy and his new bike...

As luck would have it Scott “Porcelain Rocket” Felter is even a bigger bike geek than me. So it’s not completely shocking to me that he just built up a shinny new Jones steel Spaceframe. I was very happy to hear this both because I am stoked for a buddy to get some new wheels and because I would finally get to ride a fabled Jones mountain bike and see if everything I read online was real.

What Jeff has to say about his design...

So what’s so special about a Jones Spaceframe design?

  • Jeff has been perfecting his concept for years building custom bikes for himself and customers.
  • his custom business was so successful he no longer takes any orders due to an excessive waiting list.
  • he has a rabidly loyal following of customers on his custom and production bikes.
  • Jeff designs complete bikes including frame/fork and components. This allows him to refine his designs in a way that a frame builder can’t.
  • His bikes put your weight way back over the rear wheel for a light front end that is easy to loft over obstacles.
  • a short TT and swept back bars put you well behind the front wheel sitting, but as you stand your weight moves forward to keep the front wheel planted on steep climbs.
  • an ultra stiff fork with low trail front end and 135 wide front hub makes for very precise steering.
  • clearance for widest 29er tires in rear and Surly’s 5″ Big Fat Larry on the front.
  • EBB for IGH or SS use, but gears are and option as well.
  • design of frame is supposed to help smooth out ride by transferring bump forces away from rider.

It’s too early to confirm or deny the performance claims of the Jones design, but you can agree that Jeff has built a very unique mountain bike that’s pushing the boundaries of the industry paradigm on the trails. I can also say that it’s a beautiful bike to behold in person with lovely lines and a purposeful stance.

She's a playful steed...

Once you get over the unique design you’ll rightly ask yourself what kind of riding is this bike for? Based on the limited experience I’ve had with it so far and what I’ve read about other folks’ rides online I’d characterize it as an all mountain play bike. It’s capable of rolling along smooth XC trails just fine and when the trail gets steep and techy it has the rearward weight bias, leverage at the wide bars and stiff front end to drop down anything you have the balls to try. Now it’s fully rigid – fat front not withstanding – so you will be going slow and choosing your line with care when my Nomad’s 6″ of travel wil allow it to bomb the gnar without a second thought. I don’t think that’s a better or worse option – they are just two different ways to come at a problem.

Lazy gets a spin...

Whether or not the Jones design makes sense for you will depend on where you ride and who you ride with. I don’t ride for the fastest average speed or most miles of trail complete per session. I ride to smile!

So far the Jones has been a smile factory...

Scott set his Jones up single speed with a fat front and Jones Loop H-bars to stay true to the Jones philosophy. It looks like an ideal bike for our local riding which is slow and techy with traction issues and lots of wet dirt for munching an expensive drivetrain. Scott’s a monster so there is no doubt he’ll still crush us mere mortals no matter what he rides so I’m keen to see how normal folks like Sharon, A-Man and myself fare on the Jones.

Ponesly?, Jugsley?, Jonesly?

I couldn’t help, but notice some similarities between my Pugsley and Scott’s Jones:

  • fat front
  • Loop H-bars
  • Pug = 23.4″ eff TT vs. 23″ on Jones
  • Pug wheelbase = 42.6″ vs 42″ for Jones
  • Pug and Jones = 72.0 deg seattube angle
  • Pug HT angle = 70.5 & Jones = 70.0
  • Pug fork offset = 43mm & 55mm for Jones

With a seatback seatpost [or jamming my SA saddle all the way back] to simulate the rearward weight bias of the Jones my Pugsley gets pretty close to the same numbers. The biggest difference is the Jones has lower trail than the Pugsley plus the Pug has a fat rear tire as well.

Cousins?

Before Jeff Jones sends out a hit squad to silence my heresy…;-) I am not suggesting my Pugsley is the same as a Jones. I can’t do anything about the fork offset of the Pugsley so the handling will always be different. All I am saying is that it seems possible to replicate some of the elements of the Jones design in a Pugsley to, hopefully, end up with a fun playful bike that makes a good companion for a Jones on our local trails.

Time for some Nates...

As amazing as the Jones Spaceframe & truss fork combo is the Pugsley has some advantages of its own:

  • can be run full fat, half fat or full 29er
  • Pugsley complete can be had for about the same price as Jones Spaceframe/truss fork/Loop H-bar
  • full fat means a Pugsley can be used in snow/sand where a skinny Jones 29er rear would sink
  • you can use a suspension fork on a Pugsley
  • a stock Pugsley comes setup with a versatile XC geometry and cockpit position
  • if you want you can Jones-ify a Pugsley with Loop H-bars and a setback seatpost
To take advantage of  the full fat option I put some Surly Nate tires on my Pugsley. This gives me a huge rear tire footprint for traction on our sloppy trails and some passive suspension effect due to the 4″ wide low pressure tire.

Jones Loop H-bars...

You can see in the picture above how far back your hands are using the Loop H-bars vs. a flat bar or XC riser bar. This shortens your effective top tube quite a bit so you need to either buy a larger frame if you want the typical centered XC/touring body position or you need to get a setback seatpost and push your body weight further over the rear wheel. The later option allows for using both positions depending on the mission at hand. When I get a chance I’ll try the rear biased body position in sand/snow to see if less weight on the front wheel compromises the traction at that end on flat terrain. If it doesn’t that would be awesome to not have to switch back and forth.

Ramming the SA all the way back...

Without a setback seatpost the best I could do was ramming my SA saddle all the way back…sadly this bent the rails….I’m too chicken to verify how badly….hopefully I didn’t trash and expensive saddle…=-( I’ll be getting this issue sorted as soon as possible.

Scott throwing the Jones around...

Let’s face it talk is cheap…what we need is some back to back trail riding testing. Don’t worry we are happy to oblige…=-)

Dropping into the Green Machine...





Staying Organized…

19 03 2012

Rubber Maid Action Packer...

With all my sporting interests and limited storage space it’s vital that I keep stuff organized. That way I can pack my garage efficiently, but still get out what I need without a lot of hassle. The mainstay of my organizing system are Rubber Maid Action Packer bins. I use the large and medium sizes which will stack with one another. They are tough – having endured many months of Baja abuse [ie. being used as cutting boards for cleaning fish!] and UV on the beach. They hold enough to be useful without holding so much you can’t carry them. They’ll slide in the back on a pick up truck so you can reorganize them on the fly. I’m building a bed in the back of my truck that uses these bins for support. They are strong enough that I can use 4 of them to sleep on and then lift a piece of plywood and grab what I need from a bin during the day. The plastic used doesn’t get brittle in the cold and they’ll dent or bend if you stress them rather than crack. If you ever do thrash one [I haven't yet in 15yrs+] you can easily recycle them. They aren’t cheap, but they do go on sale and they are a long term investment. My pro tip buy as many different colours as you can then mix and match lids for an easy to spot identifying system. You can also write on them with a thick sharpie marker.

BTW – in case you are thinking clear plastic would make spotting what you need inside a bin so much easier keep in mind that clear plastic is brittle and will shatter if dropped from say carrying height at room temperature or banged around in the cold

Plain old laundry basket...

Another Rubber Maid product I use a lot is their laundry baskets. They make great short term storage bins for wet and dirty gear like your MTB shoes and pads after a ride. They mostly keep the nastiness in while letting the gear breathe so it doesn’t get crazy stinky if you forget it in the car for a day or two! They sit nicely on top of the Action Packer bins shown above. When you don’t need them they’ll stack with another basket for easy storage and you can use them for dirty laundry as well…=-)

Cat litter boxes...

For some storage jobs you need smaller bins/boxes. Sadly buying them new is expensive since the price doesn’t come down to reflect the size of the box…sort of like women’s lingerie…=-) Using random boxes that come your way is cheap and works, but it has the downside that you end up with a ton of mismatched non-stacking boxes. Stacking is key for efficient storage use or you end up with a frustrating game of Jenga in your garage! Happily I found that one brand of cat litter my kitty likes comes in plastic stackable boxes. It even comes in a few sizes. I go through a large box every month or so which means I am slowly organizing my bike parts more effectively as time goes on. I currently have larger bins with several types of items in it. Great for storage, but hard to find what you want without unpacking half the bin. Using smaller boxes I’ll be able to home in on what I need faster.

If you’ve got a cunning storage tip for bike parts please share in the comments section.





Shakedown Ride…

18 03 2012

A loose headset isn't fun on a tandem!

We took our Bike Friday Tandem Traveller XL out for a shakedown spin Saturday to make sure she was in good shape for next weekend’s BC Randonneur Club Victoria Populaire. Good thing we did as the headset was quite loose and you need a crazy big wrench to tighten it. Happily we stopped in at The Fairfield BIcycle Shop and Aaron helped us out with some tools – Thanks! We also decided to make some small tweaks to our saddles and Sharon’s bars.

Beyond that the shifting and braking is working well. I do need some lube on both the tandem’s chains and she should be ready to rumble!

Testing a route sheet holder...

Our Bike Friday tandem does not see regular rando use so there is no provision for a route sheet holder, bike computer or GPS. So I tested out a Cycloactive Bar Map OTG [Of The Gods] case to see how it stayed in place on our tandem’s unique bar/stem combo. It worked pretty well and can be adjusted back into position easily when it does slide down. For a one day ride I’ll use it as is, but for extended use I’d modify it to stay in place more securely. Note that on a normal bar/stem combo the OTG case would be fully secure without any changes. Our tandem is special in many many ways! I either have to wire in a bike computer or program my Garmin GPS to use with the cue sheet. I’m leaning towards the GPS as I’ll use it on my solo brevets as well so it makes sense to do a run through to ensure it is still working well. I’ve volunteered to shepherd any new riders around the 50K route so it’s fairly important we don’t get lost!

I’m excited to embark on our first rando event together. It’s a modest 50K ride, but that will be a good taste of what a brevet can be like and we can then move up to the 100K and 200K distances if all goes well. I can’t see Sharon being keen on riding more than a 200K event once a year, but that would still be great as a change of pace for our normal riding.

Scott checking the camera position...

We rolled down to the Mohka House for some coffee. I’m still in search of an amazing espresso shot in Victoria. I have found lots of decent coffee, but nothing top notch – yet! Scott joined us for a spin down to the beach where we shot some video for Porcelain Rocket and I got to play around with my new Canon T2i. Between my iPhone, Canon S95 and T2i I really do have a perfect set of photographic tools for just about any occasion. I ended up using all of them Saturday and it was nice to have so many options.

Sharon digs into some tasty Pho...

After our beach session we headed home with a stop at the Green Leaf Bistro for some yummy Vietnamese food. All in all it was a great day to roam around town on our bike and enjoy some warm sunshine.





Canon 50mm f/1.4 EF USM

17 03 2012

My fast prime rainforest action lens!

This is just a bookmark for myself when I have some $$ to buy a prime lens for the Canon T2i DSLR that Airmiles sent me. The Canon 50mm f/1.4 seems like a good choice given my needs and budget.





Jones-Pugsley Hybrid…

17 03 2012

Photo: Tripower @ MTBR.com

I’ve had some lust going on for a Jeff Jones mountain bike for the last year or so. Besides the cost of getting a new bike I really don’t have room for a new bike and a half fat Jones doesn’t replace my Surly Pugsley’s soft conditions capability so it’s not like I’d be simply replacing one fat bike with another.

I just found a post on MTBR.com discussing the positive results of creating a Pugsley Jones hybrid franken-fatty – click on the image above to read it. I’m not 100% sold yet, but I am fully intrigued. I will be looking into this further for sure!





SRAM Type 2 Rear Derailleur…

16 03 2012

SRAM Type 2 rear derailleurs...

I’ve been a bit jealous reading about the new Shimano XTR Shadow rear derailleur with the uber stiff spring tension to eliminate most chain slap. My SRAM equipped Santa Cruz Nomad sees lots rough terrain and chain slap is just part of my mountain biking experience. I wasn’t prepared to buy a new shifter and rear derailleur just to enjoy the reportedly blissful silence of the Shimano Shadow, but I could see myself buying a new SRAM derailleur at some point to gain the same benefits [assuming it's compatible with my SRAM X-9 9 speed shifters]. MTBR.com has some details on the new SRAM Type 2 rear derailleurs – just click on the image above to jump there.





Creamsicle Santa Cruz Nomad…

15 03 2012

Picture this Nomad with white rims!

I’ve got a crazy day today with business meetings, friends in town and unpacking from the trip south. So no time for much of a blog post. I figured I’d share this orange CCCP Nomad which would probably be my 2nd choice after purple. I’d use white rims, cable housing, bars/grips and saddle for a Creamsicle flavoured all mountain bike…=-)

Thanks to whomever came up with the first online bike builder. It’s a cheap and easy way to get your new bike fix without having to pull out your credit card!





Santa Cruz Custom Color Choice Program…

14 03 2012

Loving the purple...

For some of its aluminum bikes Santa Cruz is now offering 12 custom colour options as well as 4  decals in 4 different colours and two finish choices. That rocks! I really like the purple and white Nomad combo shown above…with some white rims it would be killer…=-) There are two downsides to this program: cost [$300 for a FS bike] and extra time. There is often a long wait for a SC bike if you don’t want the colours in stock…having them paint a frame a custom colour will of course add more time to that process.

So many choices!

The white powder-coat on my Nomad is holding up well, but if I was starting over I’d be tempted to get a purple frame for some bling! These bikes last a long time so they are worth a little extra initial investment if a custom colour would make you smile.

When you are on the Santa Cruz site looking at a bike builder and see a CCCP box, like the one above next to the purple Nomad, just click on it to get choose a custom colour for your bike.





Moontribe March FMG…

13 03 2012

March Moontribe dance floor...

A few photos from the March full moon gathering last Thursday.

Chad DJing...

You can check out Moontribe at their website or on Facebook.

The fire was key to surviving a cold night in the Mojave Desert....

As per usual I underestimated how cold it would be in the desert at night. I danced to stay warm and then resorted to my sleeping bag for a few hours until the sun came up.

A-Man and Brad Moontribe on the dance floor...

Brad Moontribe had a great set.

Siobhan and Mary taking a break...

For a mid-week party with cold weather the turn out was great and the DJs played some excellent music.

The sun was so nice and warm!

Click on the image above if you want to check out any Moontribe mixes.





MoFo Bike!

12 03 2012

Not for the kids, but funny….=-)





Typical Vancouver Island Winter Riding…

11 03 2012

Click on image to jump to Pinkbike and watch video...

We don’t ride quite that fast or jump as big, but it’s pretty close…=-)~





Top of the World Trail – Whistler BC

10 03 2012




Looking forward to going home…

9 03 2012

BC rainforest...

I love leaving on a trip, but I also love coming home. I’ll be starting the drive to BC next Tuesday evening and will be very excited to get my tires dirty in the forest…=-)





Chuck Wagon Trail – Sedona, AZ…

8 03 2012

Enjoying the last ride...

For our last mountain bike ride in Sedona we wanted to do something fun and easy to be kind to our tired legs.

A-Man seeing red...

We headed to the west end of Sedona and rolled north up Chuck Wagon Trail.

Climbing my last slickrock....

By Sedona standards Chuck Wagon offered us some twisty buff singletrack without a ton of climbing.

Thin red line...

I decided to ride my 29er hardtail on the last day. It was fun to be on a different bike for a change of pace, but I would choose a long travel full suspension bike for riding in the Sedona area every time.

The end of our time in Sedona was bittersweet...

Making it to the end of Chuck Wagon we returned south on Gunslinger Trail which was fast and curvy.

A few last drops...

It was a bit sad to wrap up the riding in Sedona, but all good things must come to an end. We had a great time and got to see a lot of the primo trails in the area. At the same time we left many amazing trails unridden. I think I would need a solid month in Sedona to feel like I had explored the area fully.

Hmmm….that sounds like a plan…=-)





Brad Moontribe – Forever Becoming

7 03 2012

Sunrise on a desert dance floor...

My friend Bradley Smith aka DJ Brad aka Brad Moontribe has put together a cool retrospective website about the Southern California rave scene. The site is called Forever Becoming.net and you can find it here. His partner Dela aka. Dela Moontribe did the website design.

If you are interested in that aspect of electronic dance music scene Forever Becoming.net is worth a visit. You can also download Brad‘s mixes on Forever Becoming.net here and Dela’s mixes on the Moontribe.org site here. They play some excellent breaks, techno, trance, dub step, drum & bass and down tempo.





How to lube your chain…

7 03 2012

Don’t watch these videos if you consider yourself politically correct or you are under 16yrs old. You have been warned. There is a ages safe bicycle link right here.





The Hogs Trails – Sedona, AZ…

6 03 2012

Taking in an awesome view of Sedona from Hog Heaven Trail…

Our 2nd last day or riding in Sedona arrived Sunday and we wanted to continue to explore some of the best trails of the area.

A-Man climbs away from Chicken Point…

We saddled up at the Courthouse Vista Parking Lot and cranked north to Little Horse Trail. Riding up Little Horse Trail to Chicken Point isn’t as much fun as going the other way, but sometimes you have to pay to play!

Handy Hogs Trail map we got at the Bike and Bean…

Once at Chicken Point we started north on Broken Arrow Trail just for a bit until we hit the hard left we needed to get onto the start of Hog Heaven Trail.

We have slick rocks at home, but no slickrock!

Hog Heaven was a ton of fun and was filled with lots of exposure which seems to a trait of most of the newly developed unofficial trails here in Sedona.

Riding on a ledge…

I managed to launch myself off the bike to the right into space. Luckily a tree caught me and I didn’t tumble down a cliff to my death!

A-Man takes in the views at a rest stop…

The benefit of riding on the edge of a rock face high above the ground is that there are spectacular views whenever you have time to look around!

A-Man coming into a hard right drop on Hog Heaven Trail…

Hog Heaven fed us onto Hog Wash Trail which took us toward Broken Arrow Trail.

A-Man enjoying the hog wild experience…

The ride ended with Mystic Trail south to the Bell Rock Pathway and Little Horse to Llama Trails to the truck.

Some handy trees to catch a falling mountain biker…

There are more Hogs Trails we didn’t get to on this ride: Hogtail, Pig Tail and Hogalicious. So many trails so little time!

A-Man climbs up Hog Heaven Trail…