Dec
23
2010
0

Fargo, Go Far. Ti.

Ok, So I started seriously thinking about buying the Trek Sawyer.  But then got to thinking that my bike stable is getting a little outta hand.  And really the Sawyer wasn’t filling any bike needs that I didn’t already have a bike for.  So this got me thinking. Why am I again spending money on a bike that isn’t exactly what I want.

And so what is it that I want exactly? I want a 29er that can tour on and off road. I want it in titanium.  (After getting a Moots, ti is saweeet)  I want a hardtail.  I no longer want to tour with big heavy racks and big panniers.

The answer came to me.  I’ve always admired Salsa bikes.  The Fargo was always an interesting bike.  Now they have created a Ti version of the Fargo with updated geometry.

“OMG!” I thought. That’s it.  Ti adventure touring bike.  After touring down south on the LHT, I realized that panniers just let you pack too much.  I’m all for bike packing.  Light as possible, minimum.  And if I need to tour with lots of stuff, I have the Big Dummy.

So, this is the plan. Sell the LHT with racks, panniers, and all.  Sell the Beasely 650B SS. Work some overtime.  Order me up a Ti Fargo frameset.  Start building a Ti 29er adventure bike from the ground up!

Ti Fargo

Just sick

Hey I like hot sauce. So Salsa is fitting isn't it?

Written by Mike in: Mike | Tags: , , , ,
Dec
21
2010
0

Two wheeled things

Mmm Stokage.  Got my panniers finally for the GS. I ordered those things probably 4 months ago.  Maybe more.  Anyway, they finally came.  Got them on.  Just in time for 10 days of rain.  Oh well, I got to ride to Palo Alto with them just to try them out.  Surprisingly they seem to stabilize the bike a little more.  At highway speeds the bike doesn’t feel so twitchy anymore.  One negative though is my mileage per gallon meter went down about 5-10 mpg!  Yikes, that’s almost a 20% hit.  Well I guess I am still getting over 40 mpg.  Not bad I guess.

On other two wheel stokage, check this out.  Gary Fisher sold his brand to Trek. That’s not the news.  They produced a bike that pays homage to the days of the klunker.  The birth of the mountain bike in Marin.  Trek is selling this geared 29er called the Sawyer.

I love the swoopy tubes.  Such a cruiser look.  Steel too.  Might have to sell the 650B beasley SS to fund this one.

Here is a production pic.  I think this would be a cool retro bike packing bike.  Although that is what my moots is for… Maybe I need to pull an overtime shift.

Written by Mike in: Mike | Tags: , , ,
Dec
13
2010
0

Do good.

Today I was the recipient of the good that random people can be capable of in this world.  Lately, I am guilty of looking at things in a jaded light.  Compassion has been less than prominent in my day to day life.  Sad isn’t it?  Until today. I’m truly moved by what may seem to be a small and insignificant gesture.

I went riding today out on the Kennedy trail in Los Gatos.  For those that don’t know, it’s a grueling climb to the 2700′ peak. The valley is socked in with low clouds and fog in places.  The trail head is no exception.

 

 

Dew Catchers

 

 

Dew

After about 50 minutes of climbing and about 2200′ of elevation the fog gave way to the sun from above.

 

 

Looking back down at the valley.

 

 

Panoramic shot near the top.

 

So after making it to the top and snapping a few photos, I let gravity take over and do it’s thing.  Midway down there are a set of two good sized water bar jumps where one can boost a few feet of air.  Somehow my camera decided to do a little flying of it’s own.  It store it in the side pocket of my riding pack.  This pocket is open and doesn’t have a zipper for easy and quick access.  Too easy.

I made it home and then realized the camera was missing.  Curse words and explicatives rolled off my tongue.  I wasn’t sure if I was more pissed about losing it or the impending climb up the hill just to fetch the piece of crap.

I drove back to the trailhead after lunch, readying myself for another ride (ok, so that’s not a bad thing).  What did I find when I arrived at the trailhead?  Someone had found my camera, and brought it down the hill.  They left it at the signage at the start of the trail. Amazing. They cold have scored a free camera, but they did the right thing.  Knowing, that no one was around to see their good deed.  Knowing that they would probably never be thanked or rewarded for their good deed.  It was a profound reminder to me that people do good.

I left a nice note, where my camera stood.  I decided that since I couldn’t pay this person back, I will pay it forward.  Such a small deed, yet such a profound effect.

Thanks.

 

 

Above it all

 

Written by Mike in: Mike | Tags: , ,
Dec
05
2010
0

Life Cycles

 

embedded by Embedded Video

 

One day the river meets the sea,
and then its not a river any more.
It’s past through the wheels of change,
in and out of experience,
stories,
adventure,
grand dance.
Inevitably the ride stops,
lost, but not entirely gone,
for now, as far as we can tell,
the cycle of life, it never ends.
-Life Cycles

Written by Mike in: Mike | Tags: ,
Jun
18
2010
2

Socal Bike tour day 5

Today started out early for me.  I woke about 530.  Slept pretty good last night.  Wonder why.  Anyway, we packed up and headed out for a breakfast.  Down the road was a diner that fit the bill.  When we pulled up the waiter came up in a frantic look and said, ” I’m the only one here so it’ll be ten minutes before I can seat you.”  No problem we thought and we began to wait. 15 minutes later, he’s still running around.  A couple of us decide to try to sit down at an empty table.  They told the waiter that we were just going to sit inside and wait because it was cold out.

The waiter told us we could not sit inside.  So off we went back North to find another restaurant.  We ate in Gorda Springs about 2 miles away.  There is where we sat for the next 2 hours trying to find a one way rental van, truck, car, hot air balloon, biplane, anything that could get us home that same day.  (No we wouldn’t make it home in one day by pedaling.)  We searched Santa Maria, San Luis, Pismo, and surrounding areas.  We couldn’t find a single vehicle.  So we opted for catching the train in San Luis to San Jose.  But we had 3 hours till it left and 12 miles to cover.

After the morning scramble, we rode in to San Luis and waited.  The Amtrak attendant advised us that the train was 1.5 hours late and there was a bus coming in 30 minutes that would go direct to San Jose.  She wasn’t sure if it could take six bikes though…  In fact she was fairly adamant that the bus wouldn’t fit six bikes.  We kept our reserved tickets on the train and decided to wait and see when the bus came to see if the driver would take any of us. I was prepared to take the train and come home late (after 2230).

The bus arrived and told us that he would take all of us, but that we had to hurry cuz he was running late.  We did a mad rush and jammed all the bikes into buses cargo hull.

It would take us 4 hours to get into San Jose.  Two of those four hours the two Chris’s giggled like school girls…  It’s great to be home…

Written by Mike in: Mike | Tags: , , , ,
Jun
17
2010
0

Socal Bike tour day 4

We awoke to a cold dew in the am.  We packed up and were rolling around 9 am.  We went in to town and had breakfast.  After a couple hours we finally left and rode into Morro Bay.  Most of the ride we had tail winds.

Before lunch Chris H. dropped his credit card through the wooden planks on a small pier.  He retrieved it alright.  In Morro Bay we had a gourmet lunch at The Galley.  Seared ahi tuna, salad, shrimp cocktail and home made apple pie with ice cream.  Unbelievably good.

Chris and Ryan both were pretty burned from being in the sun all day.

We went through San Luis Obisbo where we saw the mission. After that it was a short cruise to Oceano.  When we arrived we had a gallon of margaritas, 2 shots each and food. We then went to camp at Oceano state beach.  One and a half bottles of tequila later, night, night.

So it also looks like bringing a heavy hatchet paid off.  We used it two nights in a row for fires.

Time to go to sleep.

Written by Mike in: Mike | Tags: , , ,
Jun
16
2010
0

Socal Bike tour day 3

We had brunch at Gorda Springs.  At this time we’ve begun to realize that some of us are not going to be losing any weight on this trip , me being one of them.  I had another huge omelette.  It’s hard not to eat big meals because you are constantly burning calories all day.  If I didn’t I could be caught bonking somewhere on the route.

Today is the day of flats.  Chris H had three flats.  Turns out that the brake pads had worn down enough that they contacted the tire, which in turn wore through the tube three time till Tim diagnosed the problem.  Luckily we were in Cambria and were able to get parts.  We went to the bike shop at 5:05.  Turns out the shop closes at 5.  Luckily the owner was still there but getting ready to close up shop.  He was a little reluctant to help, but eventually did.  Made about $50  doing it too.  After about an hour of tinkering we decided to eat at a pizza parlor in Cambria and camp in San Simeon a couple miles North.

Tonight we had pizza and beers and camped with a nice fire. Showered and warmed by rum, here I lay under the stars.

Written by Mike in: Mike | Tags: , , ,
Jun
15
2010
0

Socal Bike tour day 2

Marina to Kirk creek

Free camping last night.  The camp host also offered us free tickets to the us open.

Started the morning with some Peets camp coffee.  There is nothing better than having a cup of Peets while out camping.  We then rode to Monterey and had a huge breakfast.

When we left Monterey and Carmel we were treated to the gorgeous views that are classically Big Sur.  We had a really good tail wind going there.  The feeling of rolling along at 25+mph and hearing nothing but the tires rolling on the pavement and the gears turning is awesome.  We also were treated to awesome views of the Bixby bridge.

We all ate burritos at Big Sur except Chris H.  He bought a pack of hot dogs and proceeded to BBQ them up over the camp stove in front of the restaurant at Big Sur. We stopped and enjoyed the view of Pfeiffer Falls.  We then rode on to our second camp at Kirk creek.

Two miles before the Kirk Creek camp, we stopped at Lucia and loaded up on supplies for the night.  I found a homemade chocolate peanut butter bar.  We also bought 2 bottles of wine.

We had the best camp site there that over looked the ocean.  We meet up with two bike tourists that we had been passing and been passed throughout the day.

That night we cooked pasta and chili.  We drank two bottles of wine and had Klondike ice cream bars for desert.  The other bike tourists were dumbfound while they ate nutella on bread…

That night I woke at 230 to rustling and thought it was racoons.  In the half asleep stooper, I hissed and yelled when i heard the noise.  It turned out to be Tim. He was fairly startled while he was trying to get back into his sleeping bag when he heard me hissing at him.  We laughed uncontrollably for a few minutes then went back to sleep.

Written by Mike in: Mike | Tags: , , ,
Jun
14
2010
0

Socal Bike tour day 1

The six of us have completed day one of our Santa Barbara bike tour. Myself, Chris,Tim, Jeff, Chris 2, and Ryan are camping out in Marina, about 8 miles from Monterey.

We started the day with myself, Chris, Tim, and Jeff.  We were detoured from the Los Gatos creek trail due to a project that started today of all days.  So we had to climb up fire roads in St Joes open space preserve on loaded touring bikes.  Also it was about 80 degrees.  The descent from St Joes caused jeff’s rim to heat up so much that it blew out the rear tire.  Jeff’s tubes were filled with green slim to prevent puncture flats.  Needless to say that was a mess.

We then slowly made our way up to Summit Rd in the Santa Cruz mountains.  We stopped at the Summit store for lunch.  I was denied when i asked to fill my water bottles after spending $15 on food.  The clerk said the owner doesn’t want them to fill bicyclist’s bottles.  Hmmmm

Next we rode down to Soquel and met up with Chris #2, and Ryan.  We stopped at the post office and jettisoned about 8 pounds of Jeff’s gear to help lighten things up.  Jeff kept the scotch…

From there we went on to Moss Landing where we stopped for some Tamales and rest.  The next section of Hwy 1 was full of passing cars during commute rush hour. Cars zipping by at 50+ mph is no fun.  Luckily we made it to a bike trail which took us to Marina.

We pulled in at 1930 so we decided to dine at Denny’s. Both Chris’s bought matching Monterey bay sweatshirts because they forgot warm clothes.

At Denny’s, the plus size waitress was hitting on Chris #2 and got really excited when she learned that their were two Chris’s.

Written by Mike in: Mike | Tags: , , ,
Mar
06
2010
0

Big Basin S24O ver. 2.0

This was a shake down ride for Jeff, Chris and I for our Santa Barbara tour in June. My new friend Adam came with us and rode my LHT. Jeff didn’t camp and had to return after nearly making it to the top of Hwy 9 before running out of time.

We pulled into camp well past sun down. We were all hungry and tired. We had looked forward to buying some firewood and having a big fire to warm up by but we were disheartened when we found the camp store closed and no one around able to spare any wood.

We rode around to various camp sites asking if anyone had extra wood to spare but that proved to be an exercise in disappointment. We selected a camp next to a couple that was having a large fire.

The thought had crossed my mind to buddy up with them and warm our cold tired bodies using their fire, but somehow a part of me thought they might not appreciate their romantic camping get away in the woods being ruined by 3 sweaty stinky bikers. So I refrained from asking.

About an half an hour after setting up camp they came over and offered to pick up some firewood for us down in Boulder Creek some many miles away. They had ran out of their own wood and would be heading out to replenish their stock! Lucky break #1.

So after about an hour they returned with four bundles of wood for us. We lite a huge inferno and cooked pasta and chili over my homemade alcohol stoves. Oh and drank other forms of alcohol that wasn’t flammable enough for the stove.

That night we pretty much crashed out as soon as we finished dinner around 10 pm. The food was all put away but the pots and pans were still coated with chili residue. No worries I thought. The raccoons should be that much of a bother once they lick the pans clean.

Around midnight the whole family of coons came out and tried to clean out pans. I say tried because they made so much noise that I had to scare them away each time to try to go back to sleep. After about the 4th time I put the dishes away where they couldn’t get to them.

This same family of coons had coordinated an attack on our neighbors that bought us firewood earlier. They made off with the couple’s bag of marshmallows.

The next day we woke, had a light breakfast and rode back home by noon. The last time I did this same trip solo. I can say that s24o’s are much more fun with friends. As long as you have enough boos.

Written by Mike in: Mike | Tags: , , , , ,

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