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.