Aluminum Fatback

31 01 2010

Photo: Speedway Cycles Aluminum Fatback

Speedway Cycles now has an aluminum version of their Fatback frame/fork selling for $600 and it comes in sizes as small as 14″.

The Fatback uses:

  • 100mm e-type derailleur
  • 165mm rear hub spacing
  • 135mm fork
  • 120mm tire clearance – that’s 4.7″
  • available in pink!

Klaus’ Photos

31 01 2010

Photo: Klaus Kommoss

One of the interesting people I’ve run into in Baja several times over the years is Klaus Kommoss.  When my path crosses with his it’s always a treat to share some time chatting about life and our travels.  Klaus has posted some of the great photos he takes in Baja and other spots around the world on his Flickr site.  It’s definitely worth a look.

Memories of the Summer

30 01 2010


Cheating Family

29 01 2010


Typically I don’t waste much bandwidth on doping in cycling.  However, this article on Velonews just made me think WTF???  So your boyfriend and father of your child gets caught doping so what do you do???….keep on doping and get caught yourself. Idiotic…the only thing that can top this is if their kid goes on to be a pro cyclist and gets caught doping….=-)

Moab Warhol Moment

29 01 2010

Part of a Moab Parks Display

I was stoked to be contacted by Jason from the Sand Flats Recreation Area in Moab asking to use a photo I took last year when I was biking in Moab for a new display they were setting up.  I got a free annual pass for the area which I hope to use at least once or twice this year when I ride the Porcupine Rim Trail.   I’ll have to snap a photo of me standing next to my own photo at the display when I’m there next time….=-)

Baja SUP Report

28 01 2010

Kristin cools off

I’m really glad I took some stand up paddle boards [SUPs] to La Ventana Baja with me this year.  Although I was really keen on kiteboarding, many days started off with no wind and calm seas ideal for a SUP session.  This was a great way to start the day and get an upper body workout.  It was also really nice to see the marine life and coast of the La Ventana area from a SUP.  Kiteboarding is a very active sport and you just don’t get the same amount of time to quietly observe the area you are in.  SUP in the AM is a bit like doing yoga when you get up.  It’s athletic, but in a calm meditative sort of way.  The other advantage to flatwater SUP is you can take pretty much anyone out and they can learn the basics in 5 mins and have fun.  That’s definitely not true of kiteboarding!

There was a 7 day stretch with little to no wind early on during my stay in La Ventana and the SUPs [as well as the Surly Pugsleys] proved critical to keeping occupied and burning some energy while we waited for the wind to return.

As far as flatwater SUP goes the La Ventana area has a lot to offer with mile after mile of coast line to explore.  There is also the potential for long downwinders if you are in the mood for more challenge.

Sharon SUPing it up!

On the surfing side of the SUP equation La Ventana doesn’t normally get ocean swell so there isn’t a great surf break there. However, it does get wind driven swell from further North in the Sea of Cortez which does result in some breaks forming from time to time.  I didn’t end up surfing at all while in La Ventana.  This was largely due to the fact that I had decided not to drive my truck while I was in Baja and none of the breaks that did form where close enough to paddle to.  The other consideration that affected my decision was that I didn’t have anyone to learn to surf with so I was a bit leery of tackling that alone and possibly getting injured.

If you are keen to SUP surf in the La Ventana area you certainly can get some surfing in locally and within a 2hr drive there are some excellent surf breaks on the Pacific Ocean side of the Baja, such as at Todo Santos.  When the wind looks grim you can load up your truck and head East for a couple days to take advantage of the swell.

photo: Balmoral Boards

Not wanting to end the trip without making some progress towards becoming a SUP surfer I stopped in Santa Barbara, CA to get a lesson from the folks at Stand Up Paddle Sports.  I’m really glad I did!  I learned soooo much in my time in the water and I really appreciated the trouble I could have have gotten into trying to figure this out on my own.  Catching my first real wave was amazing!  The acceleration and power behind me was impressive and it felt so smooth and peaceful at the same time.  My stoke was brought back to reality when I rode the wave deep inside the area where the waves were breaking and had to battle my way back out with wave after wave crashing over me and my 11′ board.  Tumbling underwater, bouncing off rocks and fending off my huge board was quite the ordeal.  I sure was glad there was an expert surfer/lifeguard looking out for me and giving me tips on how to work my way back out beyond the breaking zone.

They say that the first ride hooks you for life.  I can believe it!  Even though I had been worked hard and had to struggle to get back out of the break I was excited and ready to catch my next wave…=-)

Thorn Nomad MK2

27 01 2010

Thorn's new Nomad MK2

Thorn has revamped their Nomad S&S touring bike by:

  • offering the frame with or without the S&S couplers
  • changing the frame and fork to be compatible with 80-100mm suspension forks
  • offering new colours [gloss yellow and matte black]
  • offering 6 sizes vs. 5 for the Mk1

Here is the Nomad Mk2 brochure in PDF.

My Thorn Nomad S&S MK1

I think having an option for a bike without S&S couplers is a great idea.  I know that it put off a lot of potential buyers who didn’t want the extra cost of a feature they had no intention of using.  I’m not sure how many Nomad MK2 owners will fit a 100mm suspension fork?  The Mk1 frame was offered with an 80mm fork which seems like plenty if you want suspension on your touring bike.  My guess is most Nomad MK1s and MK2s will remain as rigid bikes for simplicity and reliability.

Overall I can’t argue with any of the changes.  They are sensible and will either make people happy or will not cause any issues if you aren’t interested in them.