Friday, January 31, 2014

For The Roadie In You

So you're a roadie.  What's every roadie need?  A skin suit of course!  What better than a Pee-wee Herman skin suit!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Green Mountain Revisited

Friday evening I received a call suggesting a ride on and around (not in that order) Green Mountain.  Green Mountain is a mountain (duh) that is a county park and open to pedestrians, motor-sicklers, horse types, and mountain bikers.  Though those four food groups sound like conflict waiting to happen, that proves to not be the case.  Each group kinda sorta has trails they favor and stick to.

Anyway, back to Green Mountain.  A group of four Gringos met at a local business and convoyed our vehicles to a trailhead I didn't even know existed.  It was quite a ways from the usual Green Mountain trailheads.  This served to show me some new areas to ride, minimize the driving, and maximize the riding.

Here's some pictures that were taken by Not Me.  I didn't bring my camera and this is what's available.  Click 'em, they bigger.

Is was a cooler morning and the layers felt good.  But, as so many mountain bike rides seem to be, it started with a climb.  And then, more climbing.

When we did finally reach the top, there were some decent views.

And some ugly dudes at the top as well.

The Four Riders of the Apocalypse.  Picture by some random dude at the top.

The Olympic Mountains can be seen in the distance.

Three of four riders.  Fourth taking the picture.

Yes, that's frost on the road.  I told you it was a cooler morning.

This "bridge" is a piece of plastic corrugated pipe cut longitudinally and had asphalt shingles nailed to the bottom for traction.

In the deepest jungles of Green Mountain.

It was a great day of riding.  We rode for about four hours.  For early season, that was long enough.  I was exposed to trails I didn't know were there including the "super secret" one.  With only one time in this area I don't think I could find it if my life depended on it.  So, "super secret" it remains.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Saturday Walkabout

I was planning a bike ride for Saturday.  But, a phone call from a co-worker regarding a ride on Sunday thought I should be saving my legs.  Instead I went on Walkabout.

Kitsap County has these nice, small parks scattered around the county.  They are not huge acreage wise, but they are nice hiking or biking places that are close by.  Saturday's first destination was Anderson Landing Preserve.

What's a park without a kiosk including a map?

The trails were generally wide.  They covered most all of the land area of the park.  As you see the trails on the map, I managed to hit every one of them.

I suppose I was there for a hour and a half.

There were some great views of the Hood Canal portion of Puget Sound.

There were also great views of the Olympic mountains.

After I was done at the trails in Anderson Landing Preserve, I made my way a bit farther west to Scenic Beach State Park.  There I found dire warnings.

But great views of the Olympics from the beach.

And more dire warnings.

It was a nice afternoon of exploring on walkabout.  I plan to return to Scenic Beach State Park with my touring bike loaded with booze, gear, food, and such.  It looks like a great place to do an overnight bike excursion.

Sunday I spent much time in the woods on a mountain bike with co-workers.  I'll give that report on Wednesday.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Pacific Ocean

Living in the Pacific Northwest I thought I might focus on the "Pacific" part.  This past weekend I made a scouting excursion to the Pacific coast.  Specifically, Olympic National Park.  There's a sliver of the park that's detached from the main part of the park and it is right along the Pacific Ocean.

After I parked and headed for the beach I was warned.

I did see many remnants of former sea creatures.

But what I really went to see was the sea.  Or, in this case, the Pacific Ocean.  There it was!

What's a beach without a few rocks?

I didn't have a watch so a sundial had to do.  1:30 PM.  Time for the tide to come back in.

Walking the beach I thought, "Yep.  I'm going to have to come back with the Surly Moonlander fat bike along."

Short shells cast short shadows.

I get why the warning about swimming and getting beaned by driftwood.  Most of the driftwood is quite large logs.

There were many nice views.

And funky rock formations.

And waves coming in breaking over smaller rocks with big rock formations in the background.

What's a trip to the beach without a Moment of Zen.

I think I shall return this upcoming weekend with a fatbike, tent, food,  andliquor (of course!).  I'll have a nice weekend riding and sucking up the ocean stuff.  The weather is unseasonably dry right now and it is supposed to hold through the weekend.  Advantage will be taken full.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Back On The Saddle

Sunday evening I dusted off the beloved Surly Cross Check commuter bike.  A single speed, sporting 72 gear inches, it was the perfect commuter bike for where I lived in the Midwest.  Now that I'm in the Pacific Northwest I was guessing the gearing might be a tad high.

Though I'm only in my first week back bike commuting, the gearing is not too high.  It is more like pretty well set for my actual commute and some training rides.  I probably wouldn't chose this bike for the Chilly Hilly, but for right around here it is working nicely.  The gearing provides some zip on the flats and also provides some burn in the quads during the climbs.

Speaking of the Chilly Hilly, I'll very likely make that run again this year.  Last year I took the Surly Moonlander.

This year I'm thinking the Surly Long Haul Trucker

but probably the Surly Big Dummy.  Either is geared well for hills.  Both have a Brooks saddle.  The Long Haul Trucker needs a handlebar re-taping job.  The Big Dummy,

with its Schwalbe Big Apple Tyres and a very long wheel base, rides like dream.  The Big Dummy is a bit of a chore to get inside my vehicle.  The Long Haul Trucker fits nicely on the rear bike rack.

Either way there much biking to be done.  It feels great to be back at it.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Rumors of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

I've been away but now I'm back.  It all started back in December.....

A couple weeks before the holiday season I came down with the Creeping Crud.  I even missed two days of work and I very rarely ever miss work due to sickness.  But I rallied and made it into work for the final two work days of my 2013.

From there it was load the truck and point it East on I-90.  I drove back to the land-from-which-I-moved to visit both friends and family.  However, someone (probably me) forgot to tell the Creeping Crud to buzz off and it came along just for the hell of it.  This put a damper on my visiting.

With the Creeping Crud lingering I actually saw a doctor.  The doctor confirmed I had a nasty virus and/or infection of some sort.  The doctor also said it was too far along and not quite bad enough to prescribe antibiotics, or the like, and I should expect to slowly feel better but it would take at least another week.  This cut into my friend visiting but not the family visiting.

When I rolled into the family's abode, the thermometer on the vehicle told me it was -22 degrees Fahrenheit outside.  Welcome back!  It did warm up nicely over some of the days I was there.

Right after the first of the year I piled myself and some crap back into the truck and found I-90 again, this time pointing West.  Twenty-four hours and thirty-eight minutes of drive time (over two days) and one-thousand-six-hundred-eighty-four miles later and I'm back in the Pacific Northwest.

As I get back into what can only described using quotations as "normal," I'm feeling like I need a thing.  Specifically, something to look forward to and to prompt me to actually train with a purpose.  I think I've found my thing and the thing can be seen HERE.

With the monsoon season seemingly in full swing, I'm not sure how the training will go.  My short term plan is the proverbial "much ass on any bike as possible" training regimen.  I suppose this means roadie type rides mostly and mountain biking in the not-too-muddy places around here now and then.

In order to get this kicked off and such I've decided to update the beloved Surly Cross Check.  I shall convert it from single speed commuter to geared commuter/trainer/all-arounder.  I plan to get a new rear hub ordered, dust off the wheel building tools, and put together a new rear wheel capable of changing gears.

I'm sort of leaning toward an internally geared rear hub.  I've priced some of Shimano's offerings.  All I have left to do is calculate the new spoke lengths and get stuff ordered.  I'll rebuild the wheel some evening.  I might document the whole affair with pictures.  Since blog post material seems to be scant these days, I'm going to milk this endeavor for all its worth.