Tikit Withdrawal

30 04 2009
I want my Tikit back!

I want my Tikit back!

I took my Tikit to a house party two weeks ago in the back of a friend’s car.  The idea was I would leave early and ride my bike home so I could get a good night’s sleep and be fresh for a 100km road ride on the following day. Not surprisingly after a few too many beers I didn’t go home early and in fact missed my friend leaving.  Thus started a long forced separation from my Tikit.  I’ve tried to get it back a few times, but have been foiled at every turn by both our busy schedules.

I have a lot of bikes so the temporary loss of one shouldn’t be an issue right?  Wrong.  I can’t even count the number of times I started to fetch my Tikit only to remember it was across town.   *sigh*  I could ride another bike, but locking it up in many places downtown is not an ideal option.  Especially since all my other bikes are really nice.  For the most part I’ve ended up walking instead.  That’s fine, but it takes a lot longer meaning I get less done or I’ve just skipped running an errand until my Tikit returns to me.

Kurt has the Seasons Tikit which I have borrowed a couple times, but it fits him better and he uses it as much as I use my Tikit – ie. all the time – so it’s rarely available.

They say you don’t truly appreciate something until it’s gone and they also say absence makes the heart grow fonder.  I can confirm “they” are right on both accounts!

I should get my beloved Tikit back this Saturday.  I think my last phone message sounded sufficiently desperate that my friend realizes I’m in crisis mode and gotta get this situation resolved ASAP!  Only two more sleeps – I can make it!

On a positive note my go to bike has been my Bike Friday New World Tourist.  I’ve had loads of fun riding it, but it’s too nice and too loaded up with goodies to want to lock it up outside for more than a minute or two.

New Rohloff Update

28 04 2009
The supermodel of IGHs...=-)

The supermodel of IGHs...=-)

If you were waiting for a new version of the Rohloff Speedhub I’d recommend you stop.  I think seeing a production version of a new Rohloff will be 2 years out from the completion of a design and the beginning of prototype testing.  Since it appears the design process is not finished it will be considerably longer.

From the Thorn Rohloff Forum:

“Hello Justin,

We are indeed working on a newer, lighter version of our ever popular SPEEDHUB 500/14.

It is not possible (as with other bicycle components) to simply replace the material from which the SPEEDHUB is constructed with that of a lighter metal. Instead we must try to reduce the surface area of the entire system and this means completely revising the construction of the hub. This process as I am sure you can understand, is not exactly a light task.

To date, the designs themselves are not satisfactorily completed, for this reason we have no prototypes which we can start testing and therefore will most probably take a good couple of years before we are ready to release something into the open market place.

Again, because we have not yet completed the designs of the newer SPEEDHUB version, I am momentarily not able to say anything more about the construction.

The current version (SPEEDHUB 500/14) weighs approximately 1760g and therefore the weight lies only a few hundred grams over that of a derailleur gear system of the same quality. For this excess weight you receive a product which saves maintenance and repair costs, time by cleaning and adjustment, and by shifting the entire weight of the shifting system to the rear of the bicycle, the total weight of a bicycle will be evened out and centrally balanced (balancing point over the BB).

More information over the current SPEEDHUB can be found on our internet site www.rohloff.de .

Best Wishes from Fuldatal, Germany.

Stewart Stabik,
Technical Support Manager
Rohloff AG, Germany
(*)/ (*)

* contact:
* Rohloff AG, Stewart Stabik,
* Mönchswiese 11, D-34233 Fuldatal
* phone: +49 561 510 80 0, fax: +49 561 510 80 15
* http://www.rohloff.de, mailto:stewart.stabik@rohloff.de

* Aufsichtsratvorsitzende: Iris Doepfer * Vorstand: Barbara Rohloff
* Handelsregister: Amtsgericht Kassel HRB 4472
* Sitz der Gesellschaft: 34233 Fuldatal
* USt-ID-Nr. DE 113 084 808″

Urban Assault NWT

28 04 2009
NWT getting down and dirty in the Big Smoke!

NWT getting down and dirty in the Big Smoke!

My NWT is a touring bike, but I only tour once in a while and have a few touring bikes to choose from so it has to serve multiple purposes.  I didn’t really have a clear vision of what the NWT would be when not on tour, but it has naturally become my choice for all urban assault missions that don’t require folding.  Of course if it has to fold my Tikit is the obvious choice.

What makes a good urban assualt bike?

  • quick & nimble
  • reliable = IGH
  • tough
  • all weather = fenders
  • comfortable
  • can carry stuff easily
  • lights
  • fun to ride
  • easy to store transport if needed

My NWT meets all of the criteria above without breaking a sweat.  The 20″ wheels make darting around obstacles easy & fun while at the same time being strong so crashing through potholes isn’t an issue.  Since the NWT is built for touring it’s tough and reliable.  With a Shimano Nexus 8 IGH it’s also low maintenance.  With a dyno headlight, 2 LED tail lights and fenders it’s ready to ride day or night – rain or shine.  Front and rear racks mean I can carry a week’s worth of groceries or a month’s worth of recycling easily.  Bike Friday dialed the fit for me so well I find I’m grabbing the NWT a lot just because it feels so good to ride.  I love the drop bars, Brooks saddle, BMX pedals and Greenspeed Scorcher tires.  They all work together to make hopping on the NWT a pleasure.  As a bonus if I need to throw the NWT in a car trunk or hop on transit I can fold it in a minute or two.

I’ve been feeling extremely lazy when it comes to bike related projects lately so the full coverage fenders are still sitting in the corner waiting for some time to put them on.  The Bike Friday travel fenders work well enough it’s not a huge issue – although I am looking forward to the functionality and aesthetics of the SKS 20″ fenders I have ready to install.  I also think I’ll add an AirZound horn to help get my road rage on when motorists don’t drive like normal human beings!…=-)

Burning Man 2009

27 04 2009
Sarah biking the playa in 2007

Sarah biking the playa in 2007

I’m thinking Burning Man may be in the cards for me this year. It’s not a 100% yet, but I’m going to work out the details and see what happens.  One question is what to do for a bike?  In 2007 I used an old MTB from a friend.  It worked and I still have it, but it’s in rough condition due to the very fine dust on the playa.  I didn’t really enjoy riding it while at the burn, but it was nice to leave it unlocked and walk away for hours knowing it was most likely going to still be there when I returned and worst case if it was “borrowed” it was not a great loss.

I’m considering bringing one of my nice bikes – probably my Pugsley.  I just have to ponder what the hassles of having to lock it all the time will be like and what the damage to the components is likely to be.  I’m hoping the dust won’t penetrate the Alfine – that would be tragic!

Anyone bring nice bikes to Burning Man?  If so what was your experience like?  Would you have preferred to have a beater MTB instead?

My Burning Man rig in 2007.

My Burning Man rig in 2007.

Kite Board Gear Arrives!

24 04 2009
Kite Board & Kite

Kite Board & Kite

Our kite board gear showed up today from AirTime Board Sports in Vancouver. We got two Naish Code 12 kites and two 130cm Airush Switch boards and some cool golf bags to travel with our gear without paying baggage fees…=-) This is all 2008 product so we got a deal on it.

The key now is to get lessons and avoid getting killed!  I’m really excited to have another board sport I can do in the summer and I can use as an excuse to escape somewhere tropical in the winter.

Now that's what I'm talking about!

Now that's what I'm talking about!

Nick’s Randonee

24 04 2009
Nick's REI Randonee frame built up...

Nick's REI Randonee frame built up...

I sold Nick a used REI Randonee frame last year.  It was the one Anna discarded when she move all the parts over to a Surly LHT.   Nick took some time to build up the bike and sent me this email:

“Hi Vik,

Thought you might like to see what became of all your stuff.

I am really happy how the bike turned out.  The frame seems to fit me well, although I am still tinkering with the sizing.  I use it exclusively for my daily commute (27kms each way) and the setup suits me well.  I especially like the Paul Thumbies you suggested.  With the Ultegra shifters on friction, shifting is very smooth.  The Truvativ crankset you gave me is also working well.  I did not splurge on anything else except the saddle.  You sold me on the Brooks as well. Break-in period doesn’t seem to be bad.  The sales guy thought it would eventually be ‘like a hammock’.  High expectations.  I like the Schwalbe tires too.  They perform well on the combination of trails, paths and roads I use.  All in all, a great setup.  Thanks for all your help.

I read you’re off  to Switzerland soon.  Huge biking nation.  I grew up there, in Basel.  I seem to recall you were born there?  Mother is Swiss?  Hope you enjoy it.

Cheers for now,


Nick's comfy cockpit...

Nick's comfy cockpit...

I need a 54cm LHT!

23 04 2009
My custom Surly LHT

My custom Surly LHT

I need a 54cm Surly LHT – doesn’t need to be in mint condition – just serviceable and with a price commensurate with the condition.  I may consider a frame/fork only.  If you have one let me know.

NWT Update

22 04 2009
My NWT resting by Nose Creek in Calgary.

My NWT resting by Nose Creek in Calgary.

With the weather finally solidly dry and warm-ish I got the NWT out for a 15km bike ride to drop off a car in the NW part of Calgary and then ride back downtown.  The NWT folds up easily and makes throwing in the trunk a breeze.  This was my first longer ride with the new gearing, Greenspeed Scorcher tires and JTEK Nexus 8 bar end shifter.  I must say they all worked fabulously.  In fact it feels like a whole new bike – faster and easier to ride than previously. I could have used one more gear at the top end, but it wasn’t much of an issue and I want to keep this bike setup for loaded touring.

My final upgrade/modification will be to install some Planet Bike full coverage fenders this week.

What lock?

What lock?


21 04 2009
..you know you want to ride your bike!

..you know you want to ride your bike!

I managed to fit in a 60km, 30km+ and a 100km ride this weekend amongst all sorts of other fun moments.  I am so glad it’s warm and the riding season is in full swing.  It feels great to be strong on the bike this early – the winter trips to Baja and UT/AZ paid off I think.  My goal for 2009 is to be fitter than any previous time in my life.  With an early start to riding this year it looks like that will be an easy target and it certainly takes the sting out of turning 40….=-)

Big Dummy’s First 2009 Ride

20 04 2009
The Big Dummy is up for the job...

The Big Dummy is up for the job...

After sitting idle all winter in the corner of my apartment I decided it was time to unleash the Big Dummy for its first ride of 2009.  I needed to drop off a Dahon Mu P8 test bike at Bow Cycle so Kurt rode the Dahon and I trucked along on the Big Dummy.

more fun than should be legal...=-)

more fun than should be legal...=-)

The right pedal fell off before I had managed 10′ on the Big Dummy – apparently I hadn’t gotten around to finishing the job of installing it sometime over the winter!  With that small incident taken care of we rolled the 15kms to Bow Cycle enjoying a lovely spring day in Calgary.

Rebecca on the move...

Rebecca on the move...

On the way back from Bow Cycle I towed Kurt on his longboard for 15kms.  Strangely enough this is an ideal arrangement for both of us…he gets to ride for a really long time with no pushing and I get a better workout…=-)

Anglea goes hands free...

Angela goes hands free...

We stopped at Eau Caire for a drink and to people watch.  When we ran into Rebecca and Angela of course they had to try out the Dummy.

Towing Rebecca...

Towing Rebecca...

I’m looking forward to lots of good times on this bike….=-)

Kite Boarding

18 04 2009
The solution to the end of the snowboard season...=-)

The solution to the end of the snowboard season...=-)

I’m hoping to get out to the mountains one last time to ride my snowboard.  Conditions won’t be great, but a bad day snowboarding is better than a good day siting at a computer working. On that note we decided to pull the trigger on a couple kite boarding setups from Airtime in Vancouver.  I’m looking forward to learning some new skills and to keep boarding even in the summer.  Not to mention having an excellent excuse to travel to tropical bikini filled beaches in the winter…=-)

Rohloff Shifter + Titec H-bar + Ortlieb Bar Bag

17 04 2009
A creative cockpit solution...

A creative cockpit solution...

I like Titec H-bars, but two problems I’ve encountered are:

  1. how to mount a handlebar bag and get easy access?
  2. the Rohloff shifter doesn’t fit on the bar very well.

I’ve been trying come up with a solution for a while and finally put something together that looks like it may work.  Basically I’m using two Thorn Accessory Bars – one to move the Ortlieb bar bag out far enough to clear the front of the H-bar and the other to mount the Rohloff shifter.  I haven’t tried this setup out yet as I am waiting to get my lazy butt down to Bow Cycle and pick up some MTB brake levers.  I was going to use Ergon grips on this H-bar like on my Big Dummy, but instead I’ll try Jeff Jones’ suggestion and use a double wrap of cork bar tape all over the bar.  The benefit to using bar tape is that there is no single position to place you hands so you use the entire H-bar without being locked into one or two positions.  It’s a cheap experiment so I’ll give it a go.

Top View

Top View

By angling the accessory bar the Rohloff shifter is mounted on I was able to get lots of clearance between the H-bar and the accessory bar the Ortlieb bar bag is attached to.  As a bonus the angled shifter falls into my hand very easily – better than the previous perpendicular setup. I’m using the shifter on the left as another experiment.  I use my right hand lots to grab water bottles, eat and take pictures, but my left hand stays on the bars much more which is one of the reasons I suffered a nerve injury in the left hand last summer.  The idea is to give my left hand the job of shifting to get it off the bars regularly.

Side View

Side View

This configuration required that the Ortlieb bar bag be mounted to a long-ish accessory bar.  Having the bag levered out this far may cause some handling issues.  OTOH the H-bar is very wide giving me a lot of leverage so that extra control may counter act the bag’s position – hard to say at this point. I’ll just have to give it a try and see what I think.

Top-Side View

Top-Side View

Surly Pugsley on Tour

15 04 2009
My fat tire friend...

My fat tire friend...

I posted some thoughts about using a Pugsley for touring on my Bow Cycle blog as well as a review of my Pugsley.  I started a thread over at Crazyguyonabike to discuss this idea and got the response below from Matt that I thought you might find interesting.

“Just saw this thread and thought I’d add a couple of comments, since I’ve logged 5000+ miles touring on a Pugsley. About 4300 of those were from Seattle to Mexico via the Trans Canada Trail and the Great Divide Route, mostly off the pavement. Prior to touring on the Puglsey, I toured several thousand miles around North America, Central America, and Eastern Europe on various other types of bikes, including a Greenspeed recumbent trike.

First, for off-pavement touring, the Endomorphs make for an extremely comfortable ride. I think on most unpaved surfaces, I can actually sustain a faster pace with less effort than any other bike I’ve ridden, since the tires just tend to float over loose gravel, potholes, washboard and the like without slowing down as much as skinnier tires would. And definitely more comfortable than any other bike I’ve ridden for day after day off the pavement. I’ve also found with the Endomorphs at 20-30 PSI the Pugsley isn’t really noticeably slower on the pavement than a normal bike with wide Marathon XRs or similar tires.

Also, you can use other tires besides the Endomorphs on the Large Marge rims. I’ve personally used Schwalbe Big Apples(26×2.35), Schwalbe SuperMotos (similar to the Big Apples, 26×2.35), and Schwalbe Marathon XRs (26×2.25). The bike looks a bit funny with those “skinny” tires mounted, but still rides well. Those tires do lower the bike a couple of inches, so you have to worry more about pedal strike on corners or in rough terrain, but that is the only real issue I’ve found other than the weird looks. So really, you don’t even need a separate set of 29er wheels, just a spare set of wide 26″ tires. I’d suspect in a pinch, you could probably use a standard 26×2.1″ mountain bike tire, though I’ve never actually tried it.

On the TCT+GDR trip, I carried a spare set of folding tires, and ended up using them for maybe about 500 miles or so total. If you’ll be on the pavement for a while and want to save some wear on the Endomorphs, just throw on the other set of tires. Oh, BTW, my Endomorphs were new at the beginning of the TCT+GDR trip, and pretty much bald and ready to be replaced by the time I hit Mexico.

Having the option of riding across sand, snow, loose gravel, and other surfaces that might be impossible to ride on a normal bike is also really nice and gives you more options when touring.


Rain Legs

14 04 2009
Rain Legs unrolled ready to be put on.

Rain Legs unrolled ready to be put on.

I’ve tried many different waterproof cycling pants with varying levels of success.  The two major problems I’ve experienced are:

1) that any pant that is actually waterproof makes me so sweaty that I might as well have just let my pants/shorts get wet

2) getting rain pants on and off over your cycling shoes is a real pain in the butt. This means you wait too long to put them on hoping the rain won’t last and in the process get your pants/shorts wet.  It also means you leave them on too long when the rain stops or you just leave them on between showers getting hot ‘n sweaty in the process.

I got my Rain Legs in black so I could wear them to formal events.

I got my Rain Legs in black so I could wear them to formal events.

So this year I’m going to try out a pair of Rain Legs.  These waterproof rain chaps go on and off in a few seconds without a lot of hassles which should solve one of my problems.  They don’t seal your legs in, but they do keep the parts of them [thighs and knees] that get the most wet dry while letting your legs breathe.  They also look like they’ll be great for cool mornings and chilly mountain descents – keeping me warmer without adding a lot of bulk to my gear.

The compromise of course is that they are not full pants and my legs are bound to get wet where they are not covered.

Time will tell if the Rain Legs end up being keepers or not.  I’ll report back this summer once they’ve seen some action.

A brief review of Rain Legs by Kent Peterson.

You can buy Rain Legs from Wallingford Bikes.

Rain Legs rolled up...they can be worn around your waist ready for quick deployment or tossed in a pannier.

Rain Legs rolled up...they can be worn around your waist ready for quick deployment or tossed in a pannier.

Continental Ultra Race

13 04 2009
At $43 it's half the price of the Schwalbe Ultremo.

At $43 it's half the price of the Schwalbe Ultremo.

So I scored a Continental Ultra Race tire in 23mm x 700c to replace the trashed Ultermo.  It’s about 50% of the cost.  Given that I have fenders, racks and lights on my bike I probably won’t notice any performance loss – time will tell I guess.  Hopefully this one will last more than a week!

Easy come easy go…

13 04 2009

That's what $80 of tire damage looks like!..=-(

That's what $80 of tire damage looks like!..=-(

I was keen to try a Schwalbe Ultremo on my BBC 2-4 cross bike.  For ~250kms it was a nice tire….fast and relatively comfortable to ride.  Unfortunately on my way home from an Easter BBQ last night I must have run over some glass as the sidewall was completely ripped open…=-(  Luckily I had friends with me who could assist with some lighting [we were in the pitch dark in a park] and I had a $10 bill to use as a tire boot.  Although in the photo above you can see the inner tube has ripped through the $10 bill and is trying to explode on me – happily I got home without it doing so.

I can’t fault a racing tire for being cut open by debris.  It was made to go fast and it did that really well.  I’m going to see what else I can get at my LBS that might be a bit more affordable.  I can see that this might happen again and I am not as eager to drop $80 on a tire the second time around – especially since this really isn’t an uber high performance bike.

MEC sells 5.10 Impact Bike Shoes

10 04 2009
5.10 Impact Low bike shoes I love.

5.10 Impact Low bike shoes I love.

Canadian cyclists rejoice…MEC is selling 5.10 Impact bike shoes in both the low and mid versions.  These shoes are tough, comfy and feature a Stealth rubber sole for uber traction.  I like them so much they are becoming a favourite for general use and have come through with flying colours during a grueling 8hr warehouse dance-fest…=-)

Combine these shoes with some aggressive BMX pedals and you have a solid connection to your bike that won’t fail you on even the most demanding downhill MTB trails.  For more casual use you’ll be able to jump off your bike and comfortably blend into the crowd and then be back on your bike in seconds.

5.10 Impact Mid bike shoes that Kurt loves.

5.10 Impact Mid bike shoes that Kurt loves.

Nothing says fast like…

10 04 2009
Old Man Mountain Sherpa rear rack

Old Man Mountain Sherpa rear rack

One of the funniest comments I’ve rec’d recently about my bikes was from Hank W..”…nothing says fast like an OMM rack!…”  I can’t help myself….fenders and racks are essential in my world – even on a go-fast bike.  On this red machine’s maiden voyage we were riding along some wet sections and Kurt complained his butt was soaked.  I looked at him smugly and said “…that’s what fenders are for!…”  My next project is to make front and rear mudflaps from a milk jug.  I’m drinking tea like crazy so I can get an empty milk jug to work with!…..=-)

I love how easy these racks are to mount.

I love how easy these racks are to mount.

So I think I am up to 8 OMM racks…just two away from having an official Old Man Mountain rack problem.

Bowness Bike Company 2-4

9 04 2009
My new very red BBC 2-4...=-)

My new very red BBC 2-4...=-)

I’m going to be doing a longish term test of a BBC 2-4 cross bike this season.  I’ll be posting details over on my Bow Cycle Blog for those who are interested in such things.

Tricked out German Tikit

8 04 2009
IGH + full chaincase + no chain tensioner on a standard Tikit

IGH + full chaincase + no chain tensioner on a standard Tikit

A reader [sorry I forgot who!…=-(] turned me on to this cool Tikit from Germany.  It sports a Nexus 8 IGH, without a chain tensioner on a standard Tikit frame as well as a full chain case.  Very nicely done.  The site is partially in German and partially in English so use an internet translator to figure out the bits you don’t understand.

I’m a bad influence…

5 04 2009
Deanna's got a new ride...

Deanna's got a new ride...

Deanna is the proud new owner of:

  • Burton Feel Good ES 150cm snowboard
  • Burton EST bindings
  • Burton Supreme boots

If you need any help justifying the purchase of high-end sports gear just give me a call…=-)

Switzerland Gear List

4 04 2009
Gregory Z-30 Pack

Gregory Z-30 Pack

With our 3 week Swiss mountain biking trip only 80 odd days away thoughts have turned to getting our gear sorted.  We still haven’t decided 100% if we’ll ride the Alpine Bike Route or if we’ll ride at various spots in Switzerland and take transit between them.  One thing we have decided is that we are going ultra light.  For us that means all our gear has to either be worn, hang off the bike or be in a 28L day pack.

I’ll be wearing a Gregory Z-30 pictured above and Kurt will be using a Deuter Furura 28. Since we may be riding with our packs on most of the time we want to keep the weight as low as possible while still being comfortable.  We’ll be using large seat bags and hopefully some sort of Gas Tank bag from Eric @ Epic Designs.

Here is my first crack at a gear list:

[P] = pack,  [SB] = seatbag,  [GT] = gas tank,  [W] = wear, bold text = group stuff only one person will carry


•    Santa Cruz Nomad
Spare tubes x 2 [SB]
•    Shock pump [P]

•    Tire pump [P]
•    Patch kit x 2 [SB]
•    Tire levers x 3 [SB]
•    Multitool [SB]
•    Chain tool [SB]
•    Spare powerlink [SB]
•    Chain lube [P]
•    Kevlar emergency spokes x 4 [SB]
•    Duct tape [SB]
•    Zip ties x 4 [SB]

•    Helmet [W]
•    Pads [W]


•    Capris [W]
•    Bike shorts [unpadded] [P]
•    Running tights [P]
•    Rain chaps [P]
•    Thermal top [P]
•    T-shirt x 2 [P]
•    LS top x 1 [W]
•    Socks x 2 [W & P]
•    Boxers x2 [W & P]
•    Soft shell jacket [W]
•    Helmet liner & baseball cap[P]
•    Gloves [W]
•    5.10 bike shoes [W]
•    Sunglasses & cleaning cloth [W & P]

•    Buff [P]

•    Fleece [P]


•    25-30L day pack
•    digi cam & memory cards & charger [GT]
•    GPS & spare batteries & charger [on bike]

•    Maps [P]
•    Guidebooks [P]
•    Micro F/A kit [P]

•    Notebook & pen [P]
•    Mini Leatherman tool [SB]
•    Passport [P]
•    Health insurance [P]
•    Credit cards & cash[P]
•    Headlamp [P]


•    T-brush & paste [P]
•    Floss [P]
•    Tweezers [P]
•    Nail clippers [P]
•    Bio soap [P]
•    Travel towel [P]
•    Chap stick & hand sanitizer [GT]
•    Vitamins [P]

Tikit for Sale [not one of mine]

3 04 2009
Large Tikit for sale.

Large Tikit for sale.

A blog reader asked me to post this Tikit he would like to sell.  Please contact him directly at luciusvalerius@gmail.com for any further details.  This is not my Tikit.

For Sale: 2008 Large “just the tikit” hyperfold tikit with 8 speed derailleur and a bike rack

Price: $1,000

I bought this bike brand new from Bike Friday at the beginning of September 2008. It was assembled by the experienced guys at College Park Bikes in Maryland, who’ve handled plenty of Bike Friday bikes. I absolutely love the bike, but I’m selling it due to getting laid off in this wonderful economic climate we’ve got.

The Tikit is in great condition, Ive only ridden it for about 400 miles and I havent used it since December of 2008. I clean the bike regularly and the chain was greased weekly.

This is a Stock blue Large Tikit. It fits me perfectly at 6 foot and should fit anyone within a couple inches of that just fine.

Other than a couple minor things, the bike is like new. First the right handlebar grip has been worn down a bit, as every time the bike is folded it brushes the ground. Honestly though the stock grips are crap and I would reccommend changing them out at some point anyway. also the paint on the top of the bike rack is scuffed due to the fact that when the bike is folded, the rack comes into contact with the pavement. Bike friday failed to send me the small plastic protectors that go on here, but they should be easy to order or even make yourself.

Finally the chain guard on this bike has been replace by a larger and more effective version. Early on when i bought this tikit,the chain would jump off the teeth occasionally. Bike friday sent us a larger chain guard that solved the problem and does a better job of protecting pants from grease!

I bought this bike brand new for around $1,400 brand new and I would like to sell it for $1000. This bike is so lightly used that essentially you are getting a brand new ticket for that price!
Note: I will only accept Paypal for payment so that risk for both of us is minimized.

I currently live in Harrisonburg, Virginia and would be willing to meet any buyers within a 2 hour or so radius. I can also ship if need be.

thanks for all the interest! If anyone would like more pictures or has more questions feel free to email me at luciusvalerius@gmail.com”

Another vicious powder struggle….

3 04 2009

Another fine day at Castle Mountain...=-)

Another fine day at Castle Mountain...=-)

Had a tough board mtg at work Thursday with my boss. Things went up and down all day. There even a few vicious powder struggles. Ironically at the end of the day we ended up right where we started – the parking lot at Castle Mountain!….=-)

Deanna gets her edges de-tuned by Bruce.

Deanna gets her edges de-tuned by Bruce.

Deanna hadn’t been out boarding much this winter so we took another 2hr lesson with Bruce.  Again it was well worth it.

"There is no snowboard Grasshopper - there is only you!"

"There is no snowboard Grasshopper - there is only you!"

Deanna got to try out all the great techniques Kurt and I learned last week.  I got to practice stuff I learned and refine a few things.

Got snow?

Got snow?

With Castle Mountain getting nearly 150cm of snow in the last two weeks it boggles the mind that they are closing this weekend…=-(  Guess where I’ll be?

I'm easy to spot on the mtn in red!

I'm easy to spot on the mtn in red!

We are working on how to take good snowboard action shots…..we definitely don’t have them sorted out like our bike action photography!  The day was far more epic than this image suggests…;-)

Duct tape to the rescue!

Duct tape to the rescue!

Deanna’s step-in boots literally started coming apart so we fixed them with duct tape.  I guess I’m not the only person that has to say adios to their Switch bindings!..=-(  Red Green would be proud.

Another convert!

Another convert!

Deanna had never been to Castle Mountain before and even though there are world famous resorts closer to us than Castle none of them come close to the terrain and snow quality here.  I’ll be getting a seasons pass next year for sure!

Cleaning off the board at the end of the day...

Cleaning off the board at the end of the day...

I hate to sound like a broken record, but I just can’t get over the:

  • awesome snow [quality and quantity]
  • huge amount of steep ride-able terrain
  • zero lift lines
  • friendly staff [where else do you get a hug from the lift lady???]
  • cheap private lessons
  • safe easy road access to the hill

…why doesn’t everybody go to Castle Mountain instead of Lake Louise or Sunshine????

New Surly Rat Bike

2 04 2009
11yr Aniversary Edition 1x1

11yr Anniversary Edition 1x1

Surly’s latest complete bike:

  • 24″ Large Marge rims
  • 3″ tires
  • single speed
  • disc brakes

Ideal for….ummm….actually I have no idea what this bike is ideal for!

Complete specs here.

Take a lesson fool!

2 04 2009
How I spent my 40th b-day...=-)

How I spent my 40th b-day...=-)

So I’ve been snowboarding for over 10 years.  Add in a 5-6 year lay off and that makes me pretty old school in that sport.  I remember when you had to check and see if a resort allowed boarding and seeing another boarder was cause for celebration – sort of like seeing someone else on a recumbent today.

That sort of long history makes you feel like you know what’s going on and also makes it hard to admit you have a lot more to learn.  I’ve been out riding some serious mountains since I got back into snowboarding.  Tackling the expert terrain and having fun.  I must know what I am doing – right?

Wrong!  While we were out snowboarding on my birthday Kurt suggested we hire a snowboard instructor for a lesson.  I agreed, but I wasn’t sure how much we’d learn.  The guy running the ski school gave us a killer deal – $100 for 2hrs of private lessons. That works out to $25/hr each.  Our instructor Bruce was super nice and had been riding for 22yrs…ya that’s right at the very beginning of the snowboard era. I was shocked to see how much we improved in the first 30 mins.  Instead of making the snowboard go where I wanted I was able to go where I wanted and the snowboard came along for the ride.  I wasn’t forcing the board to turn.  I  was just using my body’s centre of mass to initiate a carve and the board did its thing.  I felt like I was using a lot less energy and having a much more relaxing experience.

When I was riding the trees last time I was out it felt like I was fighting my board and the whole experience was not great.  After some tips I was actually eager to hit the trees as high up the run as possible so I could get in more turns.  Amazing!

I left the lesson looking at my snowboard with a totally different perspective and tackling challenging terrain with more confidence.

Let’s do the math:

– new snowboard = $600

– new bindings & boots = $600

– lift pass for the day = $70

– my share of 2hr lesson = $50

Clearly the lesson is a total bargain!

I’m planing to go back to Castle Mountain and get another 2hr lesson with Bruce this week.  First thing I’ll do next season is get a lesson and as soon as I find the right mountain bike instructor I’m getting a lesson to make me better at technical obstacles and high speed turns.

I’m fine spending lots of $$$ on gear, but I haven’t spent nearly any $$$ on getting high level instruction how to best put that gear to use.  I’m going to change that.

Post boarding gear explosion.

Post boarding gear explosion.

Epic Designs Framebag First Impressions

1 04 2009
My Pugsley framed...

My Pugsley framed...

I’ve been envious of all the great products that Eric at Epic Designs makes for the winter ultra-racing crowd.  Since the only thing ultra about me is my laziness I can’t really justify the need for his stuff on that basis, but even us slugs have to carry stuff.  I was using a small, but effective frame bag from MEC which is great for the essentials, but has limited space and no organizational options.  So I took the plunge and ordered a frame bag for my Pugsley from Eric.

The bag is custom sized to fit my 18″ Pugsley frame.  It is made up of 2 main compartments split vertically to keep gear separate.  The larger upper compartment has a bunch of internal dividers and organizing pockets as well as a small external pocket on the left side. The bag is wedge shaped when viewed from the saddle with the narrow bit near the seat tube and the wide bit near the head tube.  This gives you maximum volume without interfering with your pedaling.

On top of the frame bag is a smaller bag called “the gas tank”.  It’s not attached to the frame bag so you can use it alone or use the frame bag without it.  With an easy to operate double zipper you can get at a camera, food, map, etc… on the fly.

These bags are so “feature rich”  I’m discovering cool new pockets or design elements every time I look at them.  Clearly they are a labour of love.  The fabric used is very robust as are the zippers – if Eric reads this maybe he can comment on the materials used.  The fabric & zippers are waterproof, but the seams are not sealed.  This keeps the insides dry in snow, but for prolonged rain you’d either have to seal the seams yourself or put your stuff into ziplocks.  Based on how well Eric’s products hold up under race conditions I doubt I’ll be wearing anything out.

A quick look at the Epic Designs site shows that really your imagination is the limit as Eric will do full custom bags to meet your needs – whatever they might be.

I’ll report back in a few months once I have had the opportunity to use these bags a while.