Fork it!

29 07 2011

Sharon wants to get rolling again...

So Sharon needs a new fork for her Surly Cross Check. That’s no problem Surly sells replacement forks, but they only come in black. Rather than trying to get a paint match that might or might not work out we were thinking of getting the new fork chromed for a little front end bling. I’ve never gone down that road so if anyone knows a thing or two about the process and any likely problems we should look out for let me know. The other option is to strip her frame down and get the new fork as well as the frame powder coated together.

Nomad Wrenching…

28 07 2011

DIY workstand!

Since I’ve been riding my Santa Cruz Nomad MK2 a lot it was time to show her some love.

New rubber...=-)

First up some new rubber. I’d like to tell you I did some in depth research about the Specialized Chunder Control 26 x 2.3″ tires I am spooning on to my Nomad but they were on sale for $21 each at a LBS and the reviews on were decent so on they go.

New vs. old...

The Kenda Nevegals I was pulling off had a rip in the rear sidewall – not quite all the way through, but that tire was about to die so it’s going to get trashed. I’ll keep the front Nevegal as a spare for road trips and emergencies.

Rear wheel needs some truing...

While I had the rear wheel of the bike I adjusted the tension a bit to remove a wobble it had developed.

Clean and wipe down chain...

I was feeling industrious so I lubed and wiped down the chain. I also measured it for wear, but it was fine.

Time for some grease...

The lower suspension linkage on my Nomad has zerks fitted for fast re-greasing. Santa Cruz even gave me a grease gun with the bike that I had never used so I busted it out and pumped some fresh grease in the beast. We don’t ride in the rain or mud so the old grease looked fine.

My Santa Cruz Nomad ready for action...

I thought about actually cleaning the frame, but decided that was crazy talk and put the bike away. Next time I throw on new rubber I’ll probably get someone with skills to look at my shock/fork and see it they need any internally applied love.



27 07 2011

One Grand Bois 700 x 32mm tire + tube toast...

Sharon called me yesterday AM after leaving for work on her bike. I knew that wasn’t good because she never calls me while riding and rarely even when at work [we email and text during the day]. I could tell she’d had an accident by her voice and after making sure she wasn’t badly hurt figured out a spot to meet that I could drive over and collect her broken bike.

That's not the usual bar setup...

We loaded her bike in the back of my truck and I quickly checked that she didn’t need to go to the hospital for treatment. She was banged up and had some road rash, but nothing we couldn’t address at home.

A bit of grindage...

I got the full story on the drive home. Sharon was cruising on the bike path to work. Her speed was likely 14-18kph. When another cyclist T-boned her as he entered the bike path at 90 degrees to traffic flow without slowing down to check for traffic. She barely saw him before she was down on the ground. Our local bike paths see very high traffic at commuting hours and I often have to stop and wait for 10-20 bikes to go by before I can turn onto the path myself. It was a bonehead move that could have seriously hurt someone. As it was Sharon’s bike was unrideable and she spent the day in bed icing her knees and wrists.

More grindage...

Luckily she didn’t sustain any serious injuries. The most painful bits were the areas of road rash that she received through her clothing as she was wearing pants, a jacket and gloves.

The Donkey Boxx got scuffed and saved the bike frame from damage - thanks Donkey!

The bike landed on it’s right side and slide for a bit. Luckily that’s the side with the Donkey Boxx mounted. It wasn’t damaged and it saved Sharon’s Surly Cross Check frame from any paint removal.

Gear Damage:

  • Grand Bois tire $65+ $10 shipping
  • Tube $4
  • Pedal and brake lever scrapped, but serviceable
  • Bar tape scrapped $14
  • Donkey Boxx scuffed, but serviceable
  • Front fender tweaked, but not permanently damaged
  • Shower Pass jacket scuffed and torn in a couple places $40 to repair
  • Pants damaged $75 to replace
  • Gloves damaged $40 to replace
  • Total = ~$250

Beaten up, but not broken!

Of course you can always buy more gear so the main thing is Sharon is doing okay. She stayed home from work yesterday and is going in today, but she’s shuffling around the house gingerly with a variety of spots on her body that are in pain. I was concerned this might put her off bike commuting, but she’s ordered up some new Grand Bois tires and I found something in the garage I can throw on the front of her bike to get her rolling while we wait for the nicer rubber to arrive. I imagine she’ll be off her bike until next Tuesday so she has time to heal a bit.

The sad part about all this is that the guy that hit her didn’t damage his bike and after making sure he didn’t kill her he rode off and got on with his day!…=-(

Upgraded OMM Sherpa Rack…

26 07 2011

Old Sherpa on left and new OMM Sherpa on right...

I love Old Man Mountain [OMM] racks and have them on almost all my bikes that use racks:

I’ve tried the other contenders in the rack department [Tubus Cargo, Surly Nice rack, etc…] and prefer to use OMM products. I’m coming up on 10yrs of Old Man Mountain rack use with no failures, no hassles and all smiles…=-)

New rack on bottom...

One thing I like about OMM is that they don’t churn out new improved products every year that aren’t any better than last year’s version just to get people to buy the latest greatest gizmo. My very first set of OMM Cold Springs racks looks pretty much the same as what you can buy today 10yrs later. To me that’s a solid design that performs and doesn’t need hype to sell. So I was interested when I heard that OMM had come up with some changes to their Sherpa rack design after all these years.

You can see a comparison between old and new Sherpa racks in these photos:

  • the main rack tubes have been increased from 10mm to 12mm
  • the top rails remain at 10mm for pannier compatibility, but on the new rack the top rail is one unit and is welded on to the larger lower 12mm portion of the rack
  • the new rack platform is 2cm longer than the old one
  • picking them up I can’t detect any weight difference by hand although I assume the new one is a few grams heavier

New rack is on bottom...

The new rack retains the same high quality made in the USA construction OMM is famous for and uses the same modular mounting hardware that can be customized to fit any bike. I really like that my 10yr old OMM rack will fit just about any touring bike I care to throw it on – disc brakes?…no problem….lack of rack braze ons?…no problem, bizarre full suspension frame?….no problem, etc…

Another view of new on left and old on right...

To be honest I never felt that the old Sherpa rack was in need of being more beefy or stiff. I tend to carry moderate loads so perhaps I am not at the far end of the rack abuse spectrum, but I do ride rough dirt roads/tracks with my loaded bikes and that takes it’s toll on gear. I’ll be using the new OMM SHerpa rear rack on my 26″ LHT build so I’ll be reviewing it as I ride that bike, but OMM products kinda suck for blogging purposes because they just work and provide no drama to report on – that get’s boring!

Blade Kites [USA] 2 for 1 Kite Sale…

25 07 2011

The only thing better than a new kite is two new kites for the same price!

Blade Kites [USA] is offering a 2 for 1 deal at the moment – buy a new kite at full price and get a second new kite for free. You can’t argue with that if you need to stock your quiver with new kites. If you click on the image above you’ll jump to a deal for a free 9m Trigger kite when you buy a Blade Fat Lady 17m light wind kite and bar.

Getting Funky!

25 07 2011

Splish splash...

My apologies if posts about mountain biking at Hartland MTB Park are getting boring. I sympathize, but I gotta post about what I am actually doing and trail riding has been on the menu a lot lately. The more I ride at Hartland the better my BC-specific bike skills get and the more fun I have so I want to ride more. As you can imagine that has the potential to spiral out of control…=-)

Where are we?

The trail system at the park can be a little confusing and we usually get lost once per ride at least. Not a big deal as all roads lead to fun!

Goofy fat tire fun...

I just realized this ride my tires are quite worn and I need to start looking for a replacement set. I’ll probably just spoon a new pair of Kenda Nevegals on to my rims, but I may poke around a bit and see if anything else strikes my fancy. My Nomad has never run on anything other than Nevegals so they have served me well.

Kurt checking for damage after a big rock + bike impact...

The other problem I’m having with so much riding is that my pads are getting smelly like hockey gear…=-( BC is humid and even though I lay everything out to dry after a ride it has acquired some funkiness! I’m going to have to wash everything really well.

I just found out that the city is building a mountain bike skills park a few blocks from where I live so I’ll have some even easier riding options if I just want to work on some techy moves.

Beware of the forest animals!

I was riding along when what looked like a stripped bandicoot took a swipe at my leg….ouch!

Berry good snacks along the trail...

I think he was protecting his berry patch, but we ignored him and had a feast…=-)

Summer mountain bike camp...

We ran into a group of kids on a summer mountain bike camp. Looked like a fun time for all of them. Kurt gave them some words of wisdom – specifically how to climb gnarly rocks and the best colours to wear for a MTB photo shoot…=-)

Not so clean anymore...

When I put the new tires on I may even clean my chain and lube it. If I am feeling super motivated I may remove some of the dirt, but I’ll probably save that for another year or so!

Naish House 2…

24 07 2011

California Tripping…

23 07 2011

We are up at Lake Nitnaht kiteboarding this weekend…enjoy some kite porn and get out of your bike/kite/board/feet for some fun body rocking action…=-)

22 07 2011

I'm wearing a helmet in Sedona Az...

Lane from CETMA racks/cargo bikes shared this link on his Facebook page from a site in the UK advocating for in their own words: “…a site which exists to promote one of the most controversial ideas in modern Britain: that cycling is a safe and healthy activity…”

I used a photo in this post from a MTB trip to Sedona, AZ. There is no mandatory bicycle helmet law in Sedona, but I chose to wear a helmet and heavy duty elbow and knee/shin pads that day based on my evaluation of the risk of the riding we were going to do on the trails. Later that day when we rode slowly 3 blocks from our hotel to grab a coffee I didn’t wear a helmet because I didn’t feel the risk warranted it. I’m not anti-helmet or anti-safety. I’m anti-stupid and anti-ineffective – which is what I feel about mandatory helmet laws in relation to their impact on bike safety and health.

Snippet from the site...

If you are interested in reading the site go for it. He makes a lot of good points worthy of consideration. I’m not suggesting you have to agree or you shouldn’t wear a helmet when you ride your bike. I’m not trying to change your mind. Do whatever you think is right for you.

It’s been a dirty summer…

21 07 2011

Hartland MTB Park is our second home...

I lamented not going mountain biking as much as I wanted to last year. Well I got my wish this summer. We’ve been out to Hartland as much as 3 times per week and I bet we’ll fit in a 4 session week before the year is through.

The trails are world class and the park is free – well not free, but it was constructed and is maintained from our tax dollars.

Cranking up the rocks...

You’ll notice that all these photos are tagged with the blog URL. I don’t plan on doing this to every photo posted, but I wanted to try it out and see how it looked so that when I do have some photos I want to tag I’ll have an idea what to do.

Aaron adding air...

Aaron was discussing the pros and cons of riding a hardtail mountain bike. One of the key things is getting the air pressure in your tires correct as the rear is needed for both traction and a bit of suspension.

Good times...

I do miss the longer less technical trails in Alberta. I miss the sunshine because we are almost always deep in the forest at Hartland. When it’s slick after a rain I’m a crash monkey here in the rain forest. Having said all that I now have amazing mountain biking 10 minutes from my door and can ride 11 months of the year. That’s pretty cool. I also suspect that after riding all the wet techy trails here when I go to Alberta or Moab to ride I’ll be a stronger rider so that will be nice.

BC provides free trailside snacks!

We took a few breaks to catch our breathe and eat berries. If we got lazy the mosquito hordes reminded us we were here to bike!

Resting while the mozzies began to attack...

Time for repairs…

20 07 2011

Riding in the dirt is hard on gear!

We’ve been mountain biking a lot lately. That means stuff is breaking! So I had to sit down and fix a few things so we didn’t have any gear failures on the trail. Number one fix was shoe gooing the front part of the sole of my 5.10 Impact Low MTB shoes back on. A healthy dose of shoe goo saves the day – again…!

Last year's repair to the other shoe...

I fixed the same problem on the left shoe last year and it’s holding up well.

Shoe lace about to break...

I’ve been watching the right shoe lace fray each ride for a while now and don’t want to deal with it mid-ride so it was time to hunt around for a replacement.

5.10 Impact Low shoes back in action...

I found a long skateboard shoelace that looked like it would work fine. These shoes should be okay for the rest of the season now…=-)

Knee pad tear repaired...

Sharon caught the soft back part of her knee pad with the pins on her BMX pedals and tore it. So I sewed it back together and poured some shoe goo on top to seal the repair up nicely. It may not be pretty. but it’s functional!

Ortlieb Messenger Bag Pro

19 07 2011

Ortlieb Messenger Bag Pro...

I’ve been using an Ortlieb Velocity waterproof backpack for over 3yrs and love it. You can click on the image above and below to read various reviews I’ve posted over the years about this awesome backpack. It sees daily use and has become one of my mission critical bits of gear that if I ever destroyed or if it was lost/stolen I’d go buy a new one the same day without thinking about it. Even when I bough the Velocity I was keen on it’s much bigger brother the Messenger Pro. I’ve had the Messenger Pro on my wish list all these years, but it’s never climbed my priority list and made the cut to be purchased. Well that was until my birthday this year when Sharon asked me what I wanted and I thought the Messenger Bag Pro was one of those gifts I’d never buy for myself so I suggested it to Sharon who got it for me – thanks!…=-)

Ortlieb Messenger Pro details...

The Messenger Bag Pro is a 30L bag compared to the 20L capacity of the Velocity. It feels more than 1.5 times bigger though. The construction is similar with a very durable waterproof PVC body and welded seams to ensure your stuff stays dry. The Messenger Bag Pro comes with two organizer pockets and a stiffener sheet to keep large documents from getting bent/damaged. One neat feature is a clear window on the back of the bag that you can slide a large piece of paper into to act as a mini-billboard. I haven’t used it yet, but plan to – just for fun!

Ortlieb bag comparison...

I expect the Messenger Bag Pro to be as durable as the Velocity which means there is no point talking about how it is wearing after 3 months! I use the bigger bag about 25% of the time and use the smaller bag 75% of the time. If I could only keep one I’d keep the smaller bag. I like a bag being 50%-75% full most of the time because it carries better than a bag that’s under utilized and flopping around. Having both is a nice luxury so I can grab whichever fits my needs better.

Sharon got dirty!

18 07 2011

Sharon was jealous I went to Hartland MTB Park twice during the week...

The weather in Victoria has not been awesome this summer…=-( But, the one thing keeping us sane is the fact that unless it’s raining be can usually head out to Hartland Mountain Bike Park and have some fun. The trails dry out really fast and the extensive network never seems to get crowded even on a weekend. We aren’t getting to kiteboard as much as we’d like, but we are getting our Santa Cruz Nomads dirty which is a good thing…=-)


18 07 2011

SPOT satellite beacon...

I’ve been keeping my eye on the new SPOT Connect satellite beacon that connects to your iPhone so it can send short text msgs via satellite in addition to the normal SPOT SOS & tracking functions. It hasn’t gotten high enough on my To Buy List to fit into my budget yet, but Kurt had a new SPOT beacon he received as a warranty replacement for his older model unit. He is a fulltime student for the next few years so he wasn’t keen on spending the $$$ to activate the SPOT service given his limited free time to get into trouble! So he gave it to me to use. It will come in handy on brevets and road trips so Sharon can keep tabs on me!

Operating instructions...

I’ll use this SPOT for the next year or two and see how the SPOT Connect product develops. Richard left me a comment on a previous SPOT post to let me know DeLorme was working with satellite phone company Iridium to make a satellite messaging unit similar to the SPOT Connect called  inReach. It’s clear basic satellite messaging capabilities are going to be more and more common so holding off a couple years should open up quite a few options.

Safety makes me sad…=-(

17 07 2011

This what I love about SUPing...

When I saw my first stand up paddle boarder [SUPer] down in Hood River OR I loved how simple an activity it was. You just needed a board and a paddle. You could use it on a lake, river or in the ocean. You could paddle for distance or catch waves. So simple. So much fun. I got a couple SUPs and have enjoyed them in Canada, the US and Mexico. It’s a great way to get some exercise and so easy to teach someone that it’s an awesome way to get your friends out on the water.

Sadly my days of SUPing like in the photo above have come to an end – at least at home….=-( The local Coast Guard has decided that a SUP is a small boat and must have life jackets aboard. There is some uncertainty if a SUP also needs a throw rope, a signaling device and other safety gear…*sigh*! Trying to SUP with a life jacket on is hard and not much fun due to the paddling motion. The rules don’t actually require you to wear the life jacket so if you can figure out a way to attach it to the board you can paddle without one on, but now it catches the wind and makes staying on course harder.

What’s really dumb of course is that a SUP is a personal flotation device! A much more effective one than a life jacket – especially one you don’t have to wear. SUPers have tried unsuccessfully to argue that the rules should require a SUPer to wear a leash which keeps them attached to their board rather than requiring a PFD. Under the current rules a SUPer could fall off their board and watch it sail away out of swimming distance with the PFD legally secured to the nose acting like a sail! Unfortunately this is far too rationale an approach for the authorities.

I’ve heard arguments made that SUPers need a life jacket because they could fall off their board and hit their head on it rendering themselves unconscious. It sounds reasonable, but upon further examination this is just more safety illogic. First off the rules don’t require SUPers to wear a PFD. They just have to have one aboard their vessel. Secondly the approved PFDs a sea kayaker or SUPer would wear do not support the head out of the water so an unconscious person will drown – it will just be easier to find the dead body!

So what am I going to do?

  • I haven’t SUP’d near home in Victoria this year and I’m not highly motivated to given all the stupid rules being enforced for my safety.
  • There is no Coast Guard presence up at Nitnaht Lake and SUPers can paddle their boards with sanity prevailing at this remote lake.
  • Mexico doesn’t have any Safety Nazis enforcing goofy rules so SUPing there is still sensible and I’ll bring my SUPs south of the border when I can.
  • I’m looking at an inflatable PFD at MEC. It costs $150 adds nothing to my safety given my 200L SUP flotation device, but it would get the authorities off my back so I may have to get one.
  • I won’t modify my SUPs to strap a life jacket to the nose because 1) that’s a stupid place for a PFD and 2) I take them into the surf and any thing that can catch on your skin/wetsuit when tumbling in the waves is a safety hazard for real!
  • Bottom line I’ll just SUP less than I would have last year when they didn’t enforce these rules.

Prior to the enforcement of these idiotic rules I was really hopeful that SUPing would be a game changer as it’s the simplest and cheapest way to get folks out on the water for some fun exercise. However, making people wear a PFD which hinders their ability to paddle or forcing them to spend $150 on an inflatable PFD will just add another hurdle to the process which will simply mean less people getting exercise and being a bit healthier.

I think we should start a new safety campaign – “Be most saferest! Stay at home in front of your TV and order a pizza. No helmet or life jacket required!

What really makes me laugh is that kiteboarding is way more dangerous than either biking or SUPing and no helmet or PFD is required. Not to mention that I can skateboard around Victoria without a helmet, but if I want to ride one of those dangerous bicycles I have to strap on a skid lid ’cause the can kill you….LMAO!

If our goal as a society is to make getting exercise outdoors a pain in the butt we should congratulate ourselves – we are succeeding!

Snoots Soft Tail…

16 07 2011

Photo: Mike Curiak

I wanted to bookmark Mike Curiak’s Moots soft tail fat tire mountain bike [click on image to see info] so I could find it again after I lost it once! So I’m posting it to my blog…=-)

Bike Friday Tandem Stoker Bar Update

16 07 2011

On a test ride...

We decided to test out the new flat bar + bar ends stoker bar setup on our Bike Friday Tandem Traveller XL by riding into town for some yummy Thai food.

Parking out front of Siam Thai...

The ride into town was fun and Sharon enjoyed the new bar setup so that was good news…=-)

Sharon and her happy hands...

Sharon’s only request was that I add some padding to the bar ends so I’ll hunt down some grips that fit and install them. I’m glad to have our only issue with the tandem resolved…=-)

Dirt Slugs~!

15 07 2011

Help - no brakes!....=-)~

I posted some damp mountain bike porn on my Bow Cycle Blog. If you are feeling dirty just click on the image above to jump there…=-)

Blade Kites – Fat Lady…

15 07 2011

Blade Kites Fat Lady 17m...

In my search for a light wind kiteboarding setup I chatted with Andy over at Kite Paddle Surf Bellingham. So far every gear suggestion he’s made has turned out awesome so I trust him to evaluate a lot of gear and point me at the best stuff. He is excited by the Blade Kites Fat Lady 17m light wind model and shares his thoughts below.

Andy here,

I have been on a full on search for the best lightwind kite for years.  I have tried everything from 26m Foils to 23m Inflatable C’ kites… only to end up dissappointed.   Typically big kites don’t turn well, and you lose their size advantage by not being able to turn the kite to generate speed.   This is where I think Blade has it right.

The Fat Lady is a 17m Kite.   Yes… that is larger than most kites out there today, but you have to realize to get true power, you are going to need more surface area.   This kite does that, but does it with a narrow leading edge, and 3 super skinny struts.  Why is this important?   Mass.   This kite doesn’t weigh as much as any other 17m, or 16m, or 15m that I have ever flown in the past does.   This allows this kite to be light in the sky, while still generating all the power that is needed.  With a narrow leading edge and skinny struts, this kite only takes 70 pumps to fill up.   This is typical of what I’d expect for a 12m….. which may be why this kite turns more like a 12m than a 17m.

Up until recently with lightwind specific kites, all you got was a scaled up version of a 10m kite.   The materials were all the same, and as a result, you ended up with a kite that was heavy and not fun to fly.    The Fat Lady has been designed as a single kite.  Ie.. this kite isn’t just a scaled up version of something else.  It was made to be a lightwind kite, and nothing else.   This means that the camber (airfoil curve) is made to be maximized in the 10-20mph range, wheas most other kites are designed to be flown in the 20-30mph range.

So enough tech,  what does this kite feel like?   It is fast enough to loop, turns on a dime, and generates power through both static traction and appearant wind.  Having only 3 struts allows this kite’s canopy to twist, which allows this kite to be manuverable and lively unlike any other large kite I have flown.  It surges forward in the wind window, and goes upwind effortlessly.  Bar pressure is moderate… definately not too high……. and you can fly this kite one handed no problem (either hooked in or unhooked)

This kite is stable and very user friendly.   Put the kite in full power, unhook, and hold it above your head in a steady 10mph of wind…. and it is parked.  No back stall… Just steady as can be.  

Relaunch might be the best I have ever experienced.  Seriously in light wind the Fat Lady just rolls right over and relaunches.   When other kites are falling out of the sky, this kite can relaunch very easily.

What is the realistic range of this kite?   With a race board, I am sure you could break the 10mph barrier.  With a skimboard or Glide?  10mph is when it starts getting powered enough.   A normal twintip?  12-13mph.  Will it power you in 5mph…. No way…  Upper wind range is in the low to mid 20’s.  It is a powerful kite for sure… but it does have very good depower, even on the stock above the bar sheeting system.

Why buy this kite over other similar kites?   I have tested most of what is out there, and this is the one that I am most impressed with.   3 struts is important.  Single kite design (ie.. this kite was designed for only this one kite)  Insanely easy relaunch.  Blade has been around for 5 years and Momi is a great kite designer.   Graphically it looks great!

This kite is very similar to the Epic Infinity, which is also a very nice kite, but the Fat Lady has a narrower leading edge and struts, is slightly higher aspect, and turns faster.   Jumps are higher on the Fat Lady, but there is more float on the Infinity.   Both are great…. but my preference for the riding I do is the Fat Lady.   If you ride more waves, you may prefer the Infinity.

LHT 26″ Wheeled Build PT7…

14 07 2011

I've made some progress!..=-)

The 26″ wheeled Surly LHT project is moving along nicely! I got a bunch of stuff taken care of now that the weather has been a bit grim and work hasn’t been full on.

The drivetrain is installed...

I got a SRAM 9 speed chain installed and pedalled the bike down the block like this to finally get a feel for what she’s like. The big soft tires are fun and it feels like the offspring of a mountain bike and touring bike…=-)

Backend bling!

I don’t normally roll with XTR bling on my bikes, but I found this derailleur in my spares bin and it’s in good shape so on it went!

Crank clearance...

I swapped in a 122mm square taper crank and got the necessary clearance with the chainstay on both sides.

Downtube shifter...

To start with the bike will be a 1×9 that I can shift up front with my hand if needed. Depending on how that goes I may add a front derailleur or I may not bother. The downtube shifter is the second half of the one I used to shift the front triple on my rando bike. I haven’t cabled it in yet, but will do that next session.

V-brakes at the back...

Shimano Deore V-brakes with salmon Koolstop pads are on the back.

V-brakes at the front...

Same setup at the front.

A splash of colour...

I thought I’d try a bit of colour on the bars and with the cable housing. Frankly I’m not 100% on the red yet, but it’s worth a shot. If I don’t like it I will change it later in the year. Dia-Comp 287V levers.

Silver seatpost...

I got a cheap unbranded silver seatpost that looks more elegant than the F-ugly one I had found in my parts bin.

Next up cable up the shifter go for a test ride. Then racks and fenders!


Surly 1×1 Frame for sale…

13 07 2011

Black and white...

I’m selling my Surly 1×1 frame/fork with headset installed for $300.00. I’ve come to the conclusion I need the next size up in frames. The frame is in excellent condition. It’s been stored inside and seen only short distance rides around town. I’m open to selling the whole bike as it’s a pretty slick unit. I get tons of compliments and always end up stopping to chat with folks on every ride. If you are interested in the complete rig drop me a line and we’ll talk price.

Back end...

My review of this bike is here.

My MK2 upgrades are discussed here.

My Flickr photos are here.

Front end...

If you are not familiar with the Surly 1×1 here are some quick facts:

  • steel frame
  • disc and rim brake posts
  • horizontal dropouts for fixed gear/sing speed or IGH use
  • no derailleur hanger
  • makes a great rigid MTB, commuter or expedition touring bike
  • room for fat 26″ x 2.5″+ rubber
  • can run 700C wheels with narrower rubber [28-35mm] and disc brakes
  • very versatile

Seal Line E-Case Initial Review

13 07 2011

Seal Line Small E-Case...

I’ve spent a lot of time at outdoor stores checking out their waterproof cases in the hopes of finding something I liked for my iPhone. Until I found the Seal Line E-Case there was nothing I could see myself using. My complaints were generally awkward sized cases, hard to use and couldn’t operate phone while inside case. The iPhone’s smooth finish wants to stick like glue to any rubberized surface making sliding it inside a dry bag next to impossible. I had sort of given up hope until I had a breakthrough idea – leave some paper or slippery plastic in the dry bag so the phone can slide on it. This has two benefits:

  • the iPhone slides in relatively easily
  • the other surface holds it nicely in place once inside.

Robust easy to use waterproof opening...

With the addition of a bit of paper the Seal Line E-Case is easy to operate and allows full use of the iPhone including making and receiving calls.  The case is waterproof to 1m for 30mins. Having said that I don’t suggest trusting any case like this for regular submersion of a $700 device. The waterproof zipper can easily be compromised by dirt or you could fail to use it correctly. My plan is to use the E-Case in rain and for accidental submersion like falling off my SUP. The case has a couple loops so you can tether the phone to yourself or your gear. The screen of the phone is much easier to read than it would seem based on my top photo.

A bit of paper on one side of the case is key!

One additional tip is to cut away a small area of the paper/plastic sliding material you use so that the iPhone’s camera is exposed. If not it will think your hand is covering it while talking and the screen won’t light up during a call. The E-Case is offered in 3 sizes. I’m using the small one for my iPhone and they make an iPhone specific case that is marginally wider and a bit taller. They also make a case specifically for the iPad.

I’ve been using Seal Line dry bags while sea kayaking for over a decade with generally good results. I’m hoping this case provides equally positive results. I will report back in a few months.





Blade Kiteboarding

12 07 2011

In my search for a light wind kite I found Blade Kites and their 17m Fat Lady kite. It looks excellent and the reports I’ve received so far from experienced riders is getting me stoked. Now I just need to track down some Blade product down to…=-)

Skateboarding in India…

12 07 2011

Another great kiteboarding weekend…

12 07 2011

The wind has been blowing until 8pm!

I managed to get away to Nitnaht Lake on Friday morning and stay through Sunday while Sharon was off to a Burning Man party near Squamish BC. I had several great kiteboarding sessions over the weekend with Saturday being the standout day. This summer has been a bit grim compared to 2010 and I can only assume the less than stellar weather forecasts have kept people away because the lake has been so empty compared to this time last year. It doesn’t bother me a lot since fewer riders means more space for me to play and the wind continues to blow…=-)

Where are all the kites?

Because it hasn’t been as hot and sunny as usual inland the wind isn’t blowing as hard as last year so I am riding one size kite larger. That’s generally not a big deal except that I don’t have any light wind gear with my biggest kite being a 10m Ocean Rodeo Rise. I’ve used my old 12m Naish Code a couple times, but I’m over that kite as it really is a slow turning school bus and it has so much bar pressure my arms end up sore after 2hrs!

This is the busiest photo I could take and it was rare to see this much action in one spot...

My kite budget for 2011 is accounted for so I won’t be making a move until 2012, but that gives me some time to research and demo a light wind setup. Given how gentle light wind riding is likely to be any gear I buy will last a long long time so I want to make sure I make good choices.

These are the companies in the running so far:

My friend Greg turned me onto this article that talks about how addictive kitesurfing is…lol…I moved to Victoria because of it and this girl moved to Nicaragua!.


LHT Repair Kit…

11 07 2011

No more flats for me!

After my recent LHT tire blowout and forced walk to MEC I was motivated to ensure that I always had the tools/supplies needed to fix basic bike problems. So I grabbed a spare seatbag and loaded it up with:

  • patch kit [2 tubes of glue]
  • tire levers
  • multitool
  • 700c presta tube
  • 26″ presta tube


I’ll be adding to this kit:
  • tire boot material
  • chain tool
  • spare 9 spd SRAM powerlink

My Surly Long Haul Trucker taking a break on the Gorge Waterway...

Now as long as I remember to grab a pump I should be able to deal with anything that’s likely to happen while out riding my LHT. I don’t use a seatbag on my LHT most of the time because I lock this bike up downtown a lot, but by keeping everything organized in a seatbag it gives me the option of hanging the bag from my saddle or simply dropping it into a pannier.

VO Chainstay Protector

10 07 2011

Effective, but F-ugly!

The paint on my 650B Boulder Bicycle All Road is delicate and it gets ridden with less care than it deserves as I am usually pressed for time and not at 100% when I’m riding a brevet. I managed to get a couple decent chips in the right chainstay’s paint in the first ride or two so I threw on the Lizard Skins chainstay protector shown above. It works well, but it’s not aesthetically well suited for this fine machine. I could tell it was bugging Aaron as he offered me a clear stick on protector on more than one occasion!..=-)

Velo Orange elkhide chainstay protector installed...

I declined to swap out the Lizard Skin protector until I could get my hands on one of these Velo Orange elkhide chainstay protectors. It suits the bike much better while being cheap and effective at its job.

That's much better!...=-)

You can get the VO protectors in a bunch of colours shown below. I’ll report back with a long term review in the winter.

Lots of options...

Big Bird…

9 07 2011

I'm glad people paint murals...=-)

LHT 26″ Wheeled Build PT6…

8 07 2011

My 26" wheeled LHT with cranks and pedals installed...

I installed some lovely Velo Orange cranks and MKS pedals on the LHT using a Shimano square taper BB. The shot above is a bit low to let you see the saddle vs. bar height, but it’s now set where I’ll be riding it.

Crank and pedal detail...

The Velo Orange crankset is the Grand Cru Fluted Double [34T/48T]. It’s got a lovely finish and useful ring sizes. The MKS pedals are nothing special, but they were sitting in my parts bin and looked like they would suit this LHT build so on they went.

BTW – just realized I didn’t install the decorative covers over the crank bolts in the image above…my bad…you can see them in the photo below.

Bike parts porn...

I used a 118mm Shimano square taper BB. As you can see from the photo of the left crank arm below this does not provide a ton of clearance with the left chainstay. I’m pondering swapping in a 122mm spindle BB to get 2mm extra clearance on each side.


Up next I’ll install the brakes and levers…

Bob’s Electric Catrike…

7 07 2011

Bob's triker grin...

Bob has been enjoying his Catrike for the last few years in stock trim, but has been thinking about a electric bike assist kit for it so he can conquer the local hills that are giving him grief. I connected Bob with my friend Ken over at Power in Motion who specializes in all things for electric bikes. Ken had a new kit called the Mega Motion kit that he recommended for Bob’s Catrike e-assist needs. Ken’s shop did the install quickly and Bob’s been very pleased with the result. He’s out and riding more than ever now that he has some help for the steep hills he faces on his rides and he’s excited to explore further afield than he has done in the past when he only had his own leg power to rely on.

Since I’m not an expert on electric bike kits I’ve uploaded a PDF brochure of the Mega Motion Kit that anyone who is interested can download and read for themselves. Ken is an electric bike guru so if you have any e-bike needs [e-Tikit, e-cargo bike, e-commuter bike, etc…] don’t hesitate to call or email him at Power in Motion.