Monday, July 30, 2012


This morning I rode to the top of Streaked Mountain (pronounced "STREEK-id").

According to GPS, it was a climb of about 1,700 feet which seems way on the high side, until you consider the view from the top. As you can see from the pictures, I was high ABOVE the clouds. Granted the clouds were very low (dense ground fog really) but the effect was stunning.


Friday, July 27, 2012

The Bike Will Choose

"The Bike Will Choose"
Friday was a rare double-dipper. And on this particular Friday, "the bike would choose." Let me elaborate.

The first dip was a morning of rolling single-track at Fair Hill. About an hour in, Mike's rear derailleur sucked up a loose branch and twisted off his frame. Without a spare derailleur hanger, we had to resort to converting his bike to "dingle" speed by removing the derailleur entirely and shortening the chain. As you'd expect from any mechanical, there was no shortage of advice for Mike as he worked on the bike. There was even some debate about "what gear Mike would 'choose'" for his new dingle speed. But anyone who has done the s/dingle-speed field conversion (I did one myself last year) knows the mechanic has no say in the matter. It's all about the chain line and in the end, we knew"the bike will choose." Thankfully it chose a merciful 34:21 ratio for what little was left of Mike's morning ride.

After three of us rolled the single track in The Fox Pen, we returned to the cars to cap off the ride with some cold Shift Ale and talk of Moab, then home to clean up, refuel, and head out for the Friday happy hour ride (our second dip of the day). That afternoon was not my fastest time to The Overlook (legs like cement), but the siren call of bikes and beer (and baked goods) would not be denied.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Recipe for Disaster

Stan's Miracle Sealant
I have four recipes I would like to discuss with you.

Recipe #1 is for STAN'S Tire Sealant. My El Mariachi is rolling tubeless on Stans ARCH rims and Continental X-King tires. The only thing between a thorn and a flat tire is a couple tablespoons of Stan's sloshing around inside the tire. So imagine my surprise when I found this 1/4" gash in the rear tire which is still holding air even after a one hour trail ride at Marsh Creek.  Whatever did that (probably a shard of glass) would have certainly sliced a tube and flatted instantly.  What the heck did Stan put in that stuff?  And do I try to repair from the inside or do I just keep riding it?

Recipe #2 is for vegan pumpkin oatmeal COOKIES (which by the way go great with beer).  Once again, Jesse's considerable biking and baking skills combine to make the Friday Happy Hour Ride even happier. Maybe she'll post the recipe on her bog.

Add caption
Recipe #3 is the one for the FRIDAY HAPPY HOUR RIDE. There are a lot of intangibles in this recipe, but the basic ingredients this week were:
  1. A Friday afternoon with the whole weekend in front of us 
  2. Eleven mountain bikers with a passion for fast singletrack and cold beers 
  3. A few miles of fast and firm singletrack (no rain in weeks)
  4. Assortment of thematic microbrews including New Belgium's Shift Ale and Fat Tire Ale
  5. An occasional civilian through-rider to stir up the crowd
  6. Fresh homemade pumpkin oatmeal cookies
  7. Did I mention beer?
Recipe #4 is for DISASTER. Almost. There are two versions of this recipe, one of which was perfected by Mark on the ride back:
  1. Recipe for disaster #1 is drink one beer at The Overlook.  On the way back (while riding some twitchy hillside singletrack), reach down with right hand to tighten ratchet on right shoe.  This is survivable in 5 out of 10 attempts.
  2. Recipe for disaster #2 is drink two beers at The Overlook.   On the way back (while riding some twitchy hillside singletrack), reach down with right hand through the frame to tighten ratchet on left shoe.  This is survivable in 2 out of 10 attempts.  
Mark tried the 2nd version and arrived at the boat launch a little bloody but still smiling...and we all agreed that this recipe tastes great and is much more memorable than the more pedestrian (literally) "happy-hour-on-the-back-deck" variety.

Already looking forward to next week.


“Like dogs, bicycles are social catalysts that attract a superior category of people” 
     -- Chip Brown

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Clockwise from upper left: Belt drive Raleigh XXIX departs
with precious cargo; about 100 degrees in the sun; close up
of belt drive with break-away chain stay; and ice cream
being served on the dirt at The Overlook.
We thought we'd taken the Friday Happy Hour Ride about as far as could be expected for a handful of middle-age biker guys. 

It started with a garage beer thrown in the backpack for our Friday afternoon ride to The Overlook. 
Tangent: Garage Beer is always in a can, usually inexpensive, and is kept in (or in close proximity to) the garage for spur of the moment consumption or sharing with friends.
Oh sure, we dialed up the event by switching to exotic micro-brews, and finally by upping the ante to 2-3 beers apiece, but the basic formula has remained the same. Bikes+beer. A simple but a very effective way of slamming the door on the workweek and stepping into the weekend with some style.
Another tangent: That last innovation (the 3 beer thing) was a silly stupid which we learned the hard way.  We've since voluntarily dialed the limit back to 2.  We're smarter than we look.  
But all that changed a few weeks ago when Jesse and Steve turned up for the Friday Happy Hour.  We frequently have drop in guests (once we had one from Vermont), but this time the visitors brought fresh homemade vegan chocolate bundt cake. The only thing better than chocolate cake and beer is chocolate cake and calorie-starved cyclists...or so we thought...

...turns out that beer, calorie-starved cyclists, and fresh homemade ice cream on a steamy 94 degree Friday afternoon is an even better combination. Yessiree. 

But now where do we go from here?  Drag yourself out the The Overlook to find out!  With the safety net of good people, a relaxed outdoor setting, and cold beer, you really can't go wrong.  And who knows what kind of culinary feat of daring-do you might whitness?  


The Green Lane Tickler

The Tickler
What is about 8" long, made of flexible plastic, and tickles the inside of your thigh for almost 3 hours on Saturday morning?

Correct Answer: The Green Lane Tickler

Closely resembling a broken bike seat held together by some duct tape and a zip-tie, the Green Lane Tickler was conceived about 2 miles into our 15 mile ride around Green Lake. The Tickler provided Bryan with 13 miles of biking bliss. 

But the question remains, will The Tickler return for another ride? Or will The Tickler be retired to the bedroom nightstand fun drawer? Stay tuned to find out.


"Put some fun between your legs"
     -- unknown