Tax Dollars at Work…

27 08 2011

Coming soon to a neighborhood near me...

The city is opening a MTB skills park about 5 blocks from me. That’s awesome! On days when I only have an hour to mess around and no time to get my dirt rig out to Hartland MTB Park this will give me a local option to get some useful skills time in the saddle…=-)

Two for the road…

27 08 2011

Art at sunset...

It was my last day in town for a month and I was very busy taking care of errands before I fly out to Ontario. However, for the sake of my mental health I got out for two rides today as I will be bike-less out east…=-(


I rode my fat tire 26″ wheeled Surly LHT both times because it makes me smile…=-)

When I get back at the end of September summer will be over and it will be time to install fenders on the Fat Trucker.

Wow lots of new stuff from Surly for 2012!

26 08 2011

Surly Orge 29er...

If you are a Surly fan jump over to their blog and check out the new 2012 products. There are a lot of them including a disc brake LHT and new even fatter tire [4.5″ vs. 3.7″] fat tire bike…=-)

BTW – to answer the inevitable questions I have no plans to buy any of these new products so unless the Blog Fairy drops them off at my door I won’t be making any major additions to the fleet in 2012.

Hi Ho Off To Work I Go!

25 08 2011

More of this...

I’m off to Ontario for a month of fieldwork starting this weekend. I’m not sure how much free time I’ll have or what the internet access will be like so my blogging will likely be spotty and brief. On the bright side it will be time to hit the waves when I get back and become [I hope!] a real surfer this winter…not just a kook messing about in the ocean…=-)

You can’t lose if you try…

24 08 2011

No I am not selling my Big Dummy!

I’m working on reducing my bike fleet by 2 to get the storage situation into control. Now that Sharon has 4 bikes I need to keep the total number of rigs down to the number we can store in the garage and still get access to our other sports gear. I spent some time organizing the garage this year which made a huge difference in the number of bikes we can store in there and still move around, but I am still by my calculations 2 bikes over what is practical.

As I consider which bikes to let go I’ve been thinking about all the bikes I’ve owned over the last 10yrs – many of which were sold and are in new homes. I don’t feel bad about buying and selling bikes. I’ve had the opportunity to try out some great rides from many diverse niches in the bicycle universe. The fact I didn’t love them all enough to keep them or that I’ve not got the storage to make that possible even if I did isn’t a sad thing. I’ve learnt that the only way to get a handle on a bike is to ride it for a good long while. A quick test ride doesn’t tell the real story – especially with unusual bikes like recumbents or cargo bikes.

On the upside by testing out some many bikes I’ve got a fleet of rides that I think are amazing. Bikes that have stood the test of time and some stiff competition for the limited storage space I have. The trouble of course is that it’s hard to see a way to downsize past a certain point when you love each bike so much.

Ibis Mojo HD - all mountain carbon fiber goodness....=-)

That’s okay…at least for the moment there aren’t any bikes on my mind that I am dying to check out. There are lots of bikes I’m interested in, but I’d need to be highly motivated at the moment to expand my fleet. The one bike I’d really like to ride right now is an Ibis Mojo HD, but the $4K-$5K price tag is simply not realistic when I have a $4K+ Santa Cruz Nomad Mk2 in the garage that’s in fine shape and I’m not interested in selling the Nomad. Of course if anyone at Ibis is reading this and is interested in a long term review just send a Mojo HD my way – I’m your man…=-)

Charlene & Rowan…

23 08 2011

Rowan, Charlene and I...

I’ve known of and chatted with Charlene B [aka Machka] online for something like 7yrs. She is a regular on as well as being an Alberta Randonneur from Red Deer. Our paths never quite crossed over the years and she married Rowan after meeting at one edition of PBP then moved to Australia. So when they were coming through Victoria on a bike tour yesterday we finally got the chance to meet for a yummy dinner. Getting to know folks in person with whom you’ve interacted a bunch online is interesting as you have the normal “getting to know you” routine going on in parallel with the “how’s it going old buddy – remember the time when…” routine going on. I guess in the online age that’s a normal thing now with people meeting first online and then in person at a later date.

We had a good chat over a nice Thai meal. It was great to finally meet in person. I let them know that their recent accounts of trying and buying a tandem that they posted to was the final motivation that I needed to get off my butt and get Sharon and I a tandem for ourselves. That’s definitely been one of the best bike related decisions I’ve made in the last year or two! So thanks Charlene and Rowan for taking the time to share your experiences with everyone online…=-)

They are headed up the island to Duncan today as they continue their tour. Safe travels!

Last Nitnaht Run…=-(

22 08 2011

Packing my trusty Mazda B4000 for the last time...

My Mazda pick up turned over 300,000kms this year and it has been my trusty companion on many adventures as well as being my work truck for many years. This past weekend was our last outing together – a run up to Lake Nitnaht for some kiteboard camping action. My insurance runs out on this truck in a few days and I’ve decided not to spend the $$$ renewing it as I would then need to put some maintenance $$$ into her. It’s time to say goodbye. We’ve had nearly 15 great years together and our run had to end sometime – might as well be now on a high note. On the bright side I’m giving the truck to my friend Kurt who is more mechanically inclined than I am. He can do a lot of his own maintenance so he’ll keep her going much more affordably than I could using professional mechanics. That also means I’m likely to get more rides in this Mazda over the next few years. She won’t be mine which will be different, but at least we’ll get to hang out…=-)

Sharon getting ready to ride...

I’m off to Ontario to work for a month starting this coming weekend so this was my last opportunity to kiteboard at Lake Nitnaht this summer. Happily the weather was warm and sunny – much warmer than usual for Nitnaht – which was a treat. Although not as windy as last year’s kick ass season we did get wind both days so I can’t complain at all.

Sharon did awesome. She has figured out how to stay upwind which is the last thing you need to learn before being an independent kiteboarder.

It’s great to see all her hard work pay off…=-)

Sharon's new kite...

She rewarded herself with her first kite a 9m Liquid Force Envy from Kite Paddle Surf Bellingham. Until now she’s been using my old, somewhat beat up, Naish kites that I learnt on. Great to start with, but 3yrs behind the power curve of kite performance.

Thanks for another fun season of kiting Lake Nitnaht!

I flew the 17m Blade Fat Lady both days. The wind was a bit strong for such a big kite, but I wanted to see how it handled the upper end of its range and there were lots of lulls that would have made my next smaller kite [a 10m OR Rise] struggle so I was glad to have some extra fabric in the sky. She did very well and I was able to depower her effectively while still getting reasonably fast turns cranked out as well as some fun jumps.

Sharon flying pink...

All in all a fine end to the summer…=-)