Tuesday, April 9, 2013

all things new, what's been up, plans for the season

Blog posts are boring sometimes. Maybe even most of the time. I guess I wonder occasionally why I do it? Are there people that are interested in my ramblings? Do I do it for referral to what I've done and plan on doing? I can tell you that there are very few times that I have looked back to things. 

Blog posts are often boring if they are just words. I try to have pictures to add with captions for quick pass over viewing. It is irritating when you bring in a bunch of pictures in hopes to make a story of them and they scramble in what ever order they choose. Not sure how to control it, so I will do the best I can with what I have.

I did a couple of group fatbike rides this winter with my new Necro. I did a ride at Trapps family lodge in Stowe. I did an event at Burke Mountain called Winterbike. These two events were basically my introduction to snow biking. I found it to be quite a blast. I will be looking forward to putting some more time in on the bike this Spring to give it a little go at some trails.

Mark at Trapps

Trapps trail map


 I just rode the Necro for a ~60 miles round trip S24O from Essex to Waterbury and back. I stayed at a leanto at Little River state park. It is close enough to get there and back by bike in a short enough time. It was early in the season for Spring so I almost consider it a winter trip. I had a low of around 18*. The winter bag and some layers kept the cold at bay. I also borrowed an insulated sleeping pad for the trip and I think it made all the difference needed to make the night tolerable.





 I had set the Moment tent up on the leanto platform. I recently got the optional ridge pole for the tent that allows it to set up freestanding. It works fair enough but I think it would work best staked out. I think the plan for next winter is to use a bivy instead of the tent. Especially at a leanto, it would be a better setup.

Trapps (that's a whole lot of FAT)




Well, it's time to get the fitness up and the legs back for the warm riding season. I went for a two hour loop ride with some friends. Plenty of climbing which I have a tough time with but overall the ride went well and it felt good.

I need to get some off bike fitness stacked up to help me with the bike. I have some good plans for this year. There will be the usual events. I will probably to a century charity ride, the VT50. I want to do the brevet series. I want to get out for a 4 or 5 day New England dirt road tour. That will be a pacifier for missing this year's Tour Divide as well as give me a little taste of daily "eat, sleep, ride". I can't wait.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

first day out to play

dry roads but still a blast

meet Fatty McFat Fat

Alfine 8spd IGH

Race Face Chester cranks with purple bling ring

Salsa Enabler fork and Salsa 135mm hub

Surly Nate tire

out on the frozen reservoir at Indian Brook

Monday, January 14, 2013

Fatty McFat Fat

Finally, I have the makings of a fatbike going on! It all started with an email to my friend Barney who had found some fat rims on his local (Maine) Craigslist. Didn't think much more about it than the usual intrigue. Then one day I shot him an email asking if he'd consider selling them to me. I was a bit surprised that he said yes right away. He sold them to me for what he got them for which was a considerable savings over retail.

Vicious Cycles Graceful Fat Sheba 80mm rims

 They are both drilled offset for a typical setup on a Pugsley. Since I plan on running an IGH, one of them would be fine but the other would need some mods for the front.

 Barney also had one tire that I got from him as well. Half way there!

 A rim that is drilled offset is perfect for an offset drivetrain. However, not so much for a symmetric front wheel. Therefore I laid out to drill some more spoke holes on the opposite side.


 I was able to get a promo deal on Sapim Super Spokes so I thought that I would use them in this wheel build. They are so thin yet super strong. They will do their part to keep the wheels as light as they can be giving the components chosen.

now drilled for a symmetric wheel

 Drilling the extra 32 spoke holes went well. I did the layout with a rule and square and got them looking good. Then I used an automatic center punch on the marks and drilled them with sequential sized bits on the drill press. Good to go!

The frame. Surly Necromancer or Neck Romancer, formally Black Ops Pug

 I plan on building a frame. I have a lot of plans like that. In the meantime I bought this frame so that I can get out there and finally play in the snow like I want to. I really look forward to riding this bike. It should be a blast.

The rear dropouts. Decent setup for an IGH

Looks like I got broadsided by a car!

current weight of the GFS rims

 I have laid out for 1.25" holes to pull some weight off of the rims. Plus, you gotta show off the rim tape. I think it looks wicked with all the holes in the rims. If they fall apart, I will start over.

change my mind and stop now or go for it?

FAT Goodness
 The latest score was an incredible deal on a Enabler fork and Salsa front hub. What I love the most is that it is drilled for Anything Cages so I can use my PR bags on the fork. Time to start putting it all together.

For what it's worth

I reset the Tour Divide counter to the right. We'll see!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

letting the cat out of the bag

I've been avoiding this post for a bit too long now. I originally was going to post it on the first day of the new year. Furthermore, I was going to have already told my friends. I didn't do any of that and here I am.

I will NOT be at the start line of Tour Divide 2013.

Oh, there is so much pain in seeing those words. It has been hard enough finally saying it out loud to myself and my wife. For many reasons which add up against me, I have to only hope that I will make it for 2014. Instead of actually making that claim, I am going to continue with forward momentum to make it happen. The "when" will work itself out.

To satisfy my desire for adventure, my wife came up with the clever idea that I should plan a small New England tour for next Spring. It would allow me to still have a trip and help with shaking out the kit and making sure everything is in order.

With that said, I leave it behind me and move forward. I have great plans for 2013 and I will now focus on making those work out the best they can.

Monday, December 31, 2012

last day of the year commute

So, I managed to ride to work today on the Voodoo for what was virtually the only ride I've done in the month of December aside from the S24O I did on the 1st with my friend Joe. I did get out last night for an urban assault on Essex Junction to try out the new winter boots. I have to say that I am glad that I finally got them. It is nice to know that you can walk through a section of snow without your booties pulling up and letting snow all over your shoes that will melt and get you feet wet. Not to mention that they are very comfortable.

In other news, I just ordered and Surly Necromancer frame that I will build up in short order (hopefully) so that I can finally get in some fatbiking. I am looking forward to it. I have a couple of friends that have been at it a couple years and I have just been dreaming about it. +Mike Beganyi is my local authority on the subject and I look forward to finally sharing in the bounty.

Stay tuned for writeups on that build. I will be starting with a wheel build as soon as I gather the rest of the parts.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December (nearly winter) S24O

There was a lot of anticipation leading up to this trip. It wasn't terribly certain that it was going to happen until a couple days before and then the day of seemed to have some events that compromised the departure. In the end my friend Joe and I left his house at about 3pm for the ~30 mile trip to Little River State Park for an overnight at a leanto.

out for another bout

Joe had recently purchased and put together a Taut Terrain Amber Road. It is one fine rig I might add. Dyno light, Alfine IGH, belt drive, integrated rear rack, kickstand! That's right, I am finally old enough that a kickstand is cool again.

the rigs
We rode into the evening on some really nice dirt that I have never been on. That helped make the trip more mystic. The route was off the beaten path but for some reason, the night we were out there, the traffic was pretty dense. We ended up riding out into a valley with some nice expansive views. It was actually bouncing around between cold/windy to warm/breezy. It was on Nashville Rd. in Jericho/Bolton that I was thinking how nice it would be to be on a fatbike. Later on the ride I thought the same thing again when we got to the park. After an incredible and sometimes sketchy downhill on Stage Rd. we ended up at Route 2 in Jonesville, a community of Richmond. We proceeded to follow Duxbury Rd. along the river into Waterbury. Blustery gusts of wind and long stretches of road bring you to realize that you are out there because you love it. Why else would you leave the comfort of your warm home and Netflix to spend a potentially dreadful night in the woods.

After a quick stop at the store for a warm up and a few supplies, including a flask of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum and apple cider, we continued on to Little River Rd. It eventually kicks up and takes you around the edge of the dam and into the park. We embarked on some unplowed roads, snagged a couple chunks of firewood and rode on to our camp. We setup before too long, changed out of our riding clothes and worked on warming up. I was pretty determined to have a fire this time after missing out on one last trip. With a bit of luck and help from Joe, we got something going and it was, if nothing else, spirit lifting to prepare for the cold night's sleep. Oh, and let's not forget the enjoyment of some spiked cider.

I wasn't properly prepared for what was to come so I had a rough night. I ended up leaving the interior of my tent and jumping up in the leanto with one last attempt to get some solid rest. I have learned quite a bit on this trip and will know better next time I attempt a winter S24O. And yes, there will be more! I still had a blast.

We finally saw morning light, got up and prepared some breakfast. Sitting there enjoying our meal, we got some morning sun coming up and life, at least for me, sprung back. We packed up camp and hit the road. It was decided that we would just hit Route 2 back into Richmond and then Cochran Rd. for a bit. The temps creeped up enough to stop and strip off some layers. We continued to ride in towards home and we split off from each other on River Rd. where Joe turned up to his house and I continue on to mine.

Very nice trip, all things considered. I look forward to doing more of these winter trips in the future and definitely a ton of them next Spring.

my body imprint - not all that insulated

packing up for the ride home

Joe's Taut Terrain

top of the Waterbury Dam