Thursday, October 26, 2006

Fun fact for the day:

The distance a cyclist can travel on 100 calories:
3 Miles

The distance a car can travel on 100 calories:
280 Feet

Sissy cars....

-Taken from the San Francisco Exploratiorium, published in Bicycling Magazine

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


A friend of mine whose name I'll not disclose recently had her screensaver changed to something unwanted by a coworker. Most people, to get back, would return the favor with the same prank, but she did something much better. She went into this coworker's word processor and altered the spell-checker function to always replace the word "the" with "your mom". Pretty funny... :)
Well I'm getting slightly more confident on Little Cottonwood Canyon granite. This past weekend, our good friends Casey and Sarah Grove from St. Louis visited, and Kelly took Casey and I out climbing. We did a 5.7 crack system, and then dropped halfway back down the face we were on and jumped on Green Adjective- a 5.9+ finger crack with a 5.10a variation start that was featured on the cover of Climbing magazine last year. Since the climbs in Little Cottonwood are usually lower than they should be (meaning they feel harder than they are rated, and usually give me a healty spanking), I thought I wouldn't have a chance. But I managed to pull it off and had a great time on a famous Utah trad climb. Sweet. Here's a couple shots:

Kelly on lead...

Me, not on lead... :)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Last night I found Mullet laying as pictured in Alison's backpack. He'd apparently gone in to investigate the contents and then promptly fell asleep. Smart. Hopefully it wasn't from lack of oxygen. He was easily woken, so I think it was just laziness and no physiological danger was present.... :)
Well yesterday was the first time I've ever transported shrimp on a bike. :) I've recently rigged my own rack-trunk set up for my touring bike, cuz I don't have the $100 it would cost for a real one. Mine consists of a $3 on sale basket from BigLots, a $5 on sale bungee net and $1 webbing clips from REI, and some spare nylon webbing from my climbing arsenal. Works fairly well. I ran all my errands with it yesterday, which included hauling another load to recycling, and bringing home groceries from SuperTarget (Wild Oats is an hour ride each way, so that still gets done in the truck most times). So yes, it was the first time I transported shrimp on a bike. It was accompanied by a gallon of milk, two containers of orange juice, and lots of little stuff. I don't know what the load weighed, but it was decent and the bike handled exceptionally. The new fenders also did their job, as about of mile of the ride was following a street cleaner on wet roads, so I'd have been pretty spattered up without them. It's so nice to have a beast of burden bicycle in your stable....

I'm pretty sure Mullet looks like he wants a ride.... :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

For some time, I've had trouble getting Mullet to excercise, but I've discovered now that dental floss will throw him into a rage, thus burning calories and making him feel like he's ferocious and not just a pillow on our couch all day.

Giving it his all..... :)

Yes, fenders are still cool

A trip to REI last night for some window shopping revealed quite a deal on some very nice fenders for my touring bike, so it ended up being more than window shopping. They were practically giving them away, so I broke down and bought them. 14 bucks for a great set of fenders is almost unheard of, but I've found a lot of deals here in one of the outdoor capitals of the world. I like it. :)

Anyhow, installing them proved to be a bit of a project, since like most new frames, there was quite a bit of paint cover the eyelet threads where the fenders attach, so I had to do a little frame tapping. You can see in the attached photo how much crud came through.

All in all, it was a needed addition to a true touring/commuter ride, and I think it clearly increased the bike's sexiness. :) Silver with black pinstripes. Nice!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Yeah, so it's been a couple hours since my last blog and I am patching ANOTHER goathead puncture. It was apparently from my ride home last night after I patched all the other punctures. So that means I suffered four punctures in one day!

Of flatting bike tires...

Utah has too many goatheads! Let me explain. I don’t mean actual heads of actual goats, but in fact a thorny little plant that is bent on letting the air out of your bike tires. I picked up one yesterday while riding my touring bike, and it left two tiny little pinholes, which I was only able to locate by putting the tube in the tub and watching for bubbles. After patching those, I plucked the goathead thorns out of my touring tire (which advertises a Kevlar weave built in for puncture resistance- a load), and went out mountain biking, since it was a beautiful fall day. I road the Mueller Park trail, as I often do now being as it’s so close to the new apartment. I had a really good climb, making it to the top in a very respectable time, and then sitting for awhile to enjoy the view of the mountains and the Great Salt Lake. I then took my descent back down somewhat slower than normal, since, like I said, it was a beautiful fall day, there were a whole lot of people using the trail and I didn’t want to grease a hiker. However, there are a few places on the way down where it is simply irresistible to go fast and get some air under your tires. In one such jump, I heard the huge bang associated with a blown tube right as I lifted off the ground. Front tire from the direction of the bang. So, this gave me a some undetermined amount of time (time moves slowly when your flying through the air on a bike) to think about how if my front tire was flat, I would have next to no directional control upon reconnecting with the ground, because flat tires like to roll sideways on rims. Wisely, I had told a friend where I was going to ride, because I don’t like to be out in the mountains without someone knowing. If something like, say, a bike crash happens and you are solo, it’s no good to be on your own. So I was covered, but it was still going to hurt. So the landing finally came after all the slowed down thinking time in the air….and no crash. No flat! My tire was fine, except I’d ripped off a whole tread knob on the rock I had jumped off, and the huge bang was exactly that. Nice. I rode the rest of the way down happy that I had not crashed, and that I didn’t have to patch another stupid flat. But when I got home, I did indeed have to patch another stupid flat. Apparently I didn’t get all the goathead thorns out of my gimmick super puncture resistant touring tire, and it was flat again! One more time in the tub and third patch now has it holding air again. Enough. No more flats for a while I hope…

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Boy, I must be mistaken in my ways...

A friend of mine just told me of an article he was recommended to read that explained how enviornmentally concerned individuals come out being harder on the environment than people who are not. Brace yourself, someone's digging deep here. :) You see, the article states that environmentally concerned people are often times outdoor sport enthusiasts, and thus are typically more in shape physically than other individuals. Therefore, they tend to live longer due to good fitness, and in the extra time they spend on the earth, they use up more natural resources than someone who would already be deceased. Like I said, someone's diggin' deep. :) I guess I should hurry up and stop living to help out the planet. Or at least feel very guilty about riding my bike while countless SUV's pass me on the road, containing one person only, while burning gallons and gallons of gas for the sake of convienience. Whoops, I stand corrected....

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

quote of the day...

My wife, after framing our wedding pictures and hanging them in our living room:

"Look how good I like it!"

I love you babe.... :)


Every once in a while I catch up to something that has been out for a long time, but is new and cool to my eyes. The Xtracycle is the latest example. Can't believe the amount of stuff people are putting on their bikes, making cars almost unneeded for local errands. Pretty swell. I was referred to them by the Surly bikes website, as they've created a new frame to work specifically with Xtracycle's creation, without any converting of parts. I was particularly amazed to see that people are mounting things such as kayaks or lumber on their bikes! They have pictures and videos for those interested...

Monday, October 09, 2006

Zero Emissions SUV...

Well unfortunately, UT is way to0 rough on singlespeeders, and I've gone and sold my 1x1. No more Surly in the herd, but I wisely replaced it with a sweet commuter/touring machine, a Trek 520. It's cool enough to ease the pain of parting with my custom 1x1 flatland commuting workhorse. This is a shot of my latest trip on the new steed, to the local recycling drop off. I don't have rack trunk yet, so some cardboard and twine held the load down. It was a wonderfully awkward ride. People looked at me with that "this is what happens when people don't go to college" look. :) Little do they know I have an degree from an aerospace college. Anyhow, it's a great mountain country commuter, and some day it's going to be ridden accross the country (yes, by me.) Edward has already said he's interested in a trip of the sort, and we've just got to figure out when it's going to happen. I sure have the time right now, but the whole money thing is the current tour-block. Careers.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Wasatch Rainy Day

Well, I spent the entire morning attempting to get things done regarding renewing my flight instructor certificate and figuring out how I'm going to go about the process of getting a new airmen medical certificate, all the while running into the endless tormenting roadblocks involved in any amount of aviation related paperwork. So, after enjoying enough of that, I decided that a rainy hike in the mountains was in order to bring things back into the not-super-frustrated category. Works every time. I returned to Donut Falls in the Mill D South Fork of Big Cottonwood Canyon- this time with Ty. And this time, we decided to scramble up the rock face to the side of the falls and travel cross country to a parallel trail for our return. We also eyed up Kessler Peak, which loomed over our whole route, discussing how it needs to be climbed at some point. Apparently the local USGS topo maps cover a couple good routes up it, so we'll have to check them out. Anyhow...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Moab is now a weekend venture!

Since Al wasn't starting her new (yes second new) flight instructing job until Monday, and I'm still trying to be patient and not crazy waiting to hear back on my interview, we decided we should get our mind off jobs and go to Moab for the weekend. Four hours later, this was the panorama around our wonderful Nissan. This particular shot was taken in Arches National Park. Notice how our bikes are no longer laying down in the truck bed as in times of old- I used some of my time off to build a very sweet bike mounting system in the truck bed, and it works very very well. Four bike capacity; anything from road bikes to mountain bikes with 2.5 inch tires. Not bad.

This shot is of Alison and I riding Potash Road, which follows the Colorado river just outside of Moab. It's the only place you can ride 33 miles on in the area without really big climbs along the way, so it was a great weekend relaxing scenic ride. Not to belittle the distance though, it was Al's biggest ride yet- congrats babe! And thanks to Ty for taking the picture...

And in case you all are still wondering if you should visit us and our beautiful new state, I'll leave you with this shot of Double Arch. It's just sittin' out here for you to come look at, and it's pretty sweet...Come visit! :)