Saturday, October 29, 2011

Stripped crank brought back to life

Sometimes when we get a challenging bike related issue at GF, we move our process to a super secret off-site location.  In this relaxed, shop away from the shop, we can relax, brainstorm and figure crap out.  Tonight's mission: repair a BMX crank where the pedal threads had been stripped out.  This steel crank also had a home repair attempt and was filled with some sort of JB Weld.  It was a mess, but these were expensive cranks and presented a challenge we were looking forward too.

Of course the right tools always help and we had a drill press, pedal inserts and a pedal tap.  So, first we started by drilling out the old pedal threads/hole to get a fresh start for taping new threads.  Super, super slow process going through this thick steel...and involved a drill bit sharpening in the middle.

Once drilled out, we had a nice clean interior surface for our tap.  Lots of cutting fluid and patience were key.

Now came the fun!!  Tapping in the new threads was rather easy and felt real good.

Once we removed the tap, our new threads looked amazing!  The sight of some freshly cut threads is always a welcome sight.

We took a 9/16 pedal, greased it's threads and then threaded a new pedal insert onto it.  It was easy and doable by hand.  Once the insert was on the pedal, we put some loctite on our new threads and installed our pedal with insert.  It threaded in like butter on those new threads.

We let the loctite sit over night to cure, removed our pedal and the crank was back in service.  A big thanks to Sierra Nevada, Fast Eddie and Annie for a successful evening of fun and bikes.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mystery Trail

So, I went out for a little spin on a local trail and rode it uphill...not normally the way most people go.  Great work out!  If you've ridden this trail, you will recognize this section of large roots (or maybe not as my camera sucks and this pic does not do it much justice).
4 of the 5 root steps pictured
There are 5 roots that act as steps going up a rather steep section of trail.  Today, as I started my ride, all I could think of was finally clearing all 5 of these roots.  As a approached the steps I felt almost sick as tried to put myself in the best position possible to tackle them (speed, route, cadence, etc.).  The first 2 were no problem, but then again I always make them.  Over the third much to my surprise and then the forth one....we let's just say the big rock that takes up a portion of the trail at the 4th root is a bitch!

Looks like the challenge will be there next time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Brush Lake Trail

As you may know, the Pend Oreille Pedalers and the Bonners Ferry Forest Service have been working in conjunction to construct a new mountain bike trail around Brush Lake.  As President of the Pend Oreille Pedalers I am absolutely thrilled with the efforts of the BFFS and outcome thus far on the trail.  Brush Lake is about 20 minutes North of Bonners Ferry and is just a short little jump from the highway.  The lake has docks for fishing, boat launch, camping area and now a cool trail!

With the loop finished, I went up with Larry to give it a ride.  We rode the trail both directions for a total of 13 miles.  What is cool about this trail is the options!  It rides very different depending on what direction you choose.  The terrain is very varied as you wind your way around the lake.  But most interesting is all the stunts, features and short side trails along the way that tug at your sense of adventure.

Now if you are of the downhill, freeride mind then this trail will seem rather tame.  If you head down South or over to the coast there is tons of stuff like this on a much, much grander scale.  Noted.  We are not Whistler or the Northshore.  BUT, for North Idaho where we don't have a lot of trails with features like this, it is a great asset to our list of rides.
several skinnies
rock drops
tight, technical rocks
it's like a playground!
A big thank you to the Bonners Ferry Forest Service and their ability to think outside the box and step outside their comfort zone.  I could not be happier with our collaboration on this trail effort.  The BFFS was a pleasure to work with -- look forward to more trails to come from this relationship.
oh, and a cool creek crossing


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Clifty/Katka Trail #182 Loop

Ahh another fine Fall ride.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love riding in the Fall?

On tap, a big loop ride.  Park at the bottom of the Katka Trail, ride up the road to Black Mountain and the Clifty trailhead where you will begin a sweet ridge top ride followed by a super sweet downhill back to your car.  Don't let the ride up the road fool ya though, it is a grind with plenty of elevation to get you warmed up.

Road ride aside, the Clifty trail is a fun high-elevation ride with several short, steep ups and downs.  There is a short spur trail that takes you up to Clifty proper and is well worth the hike (yeah not much bikable).
spur to Clifty Mountain
After passing Clifty there a couple really nice passes through open meadows as the trail sidehills the ridge to Katka Peak.  Again, at the base of Katka there is a short spur trail to the top of the peak.  Katka is not quite as tall as Clifty and doesn't offer near the view but still a great trip.
Katka Peak uphill or pucker up for the descent back to the car
Once you leave Katka Pass it is one long fun descent.  This downhill is the only time I'm every felt the affects of  my brakes heating up.  As a break, stop and pick off the many huckleberry bushes along the way and let the brakes cool off.
changing colors is one reason I love the Fall
Big work out, amazing views and some really sweet downhill make this one of our top rides.