Saturday, July 21, 2012

Little More on 2012 6-Pack Alley Cat

Couple things on the 2012 6-Pack Alley Cat happening tomorrow at 2pm.

First, ALL of your $15 registration goes to the Sandpoint VFW which helps vets in our area.  Wanna know more about the VFW?  There will be a rep at the after-party tomorrow and here is their elevator speech:

MISSION:To foster camaraderie among United States veterans of overseas conflicts. To serve our veterans, the military, and our communities. To advocate on behalf of all veterans.

VISION: Ensure that veterans are respected for their service, always receive their earned entitlements, and are recognized for the sacrifices they and their loved ones have made on behalf of this great country.

Always put the interests of our members first
Treat donors as partners in our cause
Promote patriotism
Honor military service
Ensure the care of veterans and their families
Serve our communities
Promote a positive image of the VFW
Respect the diversity of veteran opinion

More VFW info HERE

Secondly, a huge THANKS to all the business who sponsored this years event...Sandpoint truly is a very generous place to live.

2012 6-Pack Alley Cat Sponsors
Eichardt’s Pub and Coffee House
Evan’s Brothers Coffee
Friends of Scotchman’s Peak
Laughing Dog Brewing
Loading Dock
Maps & More
Pedal Talk
Pend d'Oreille Winery
Pita Pit
...and of course the crew at Greasy Fingers Bikes N Repair

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stubborn Crank Arm

Sometimes old bikes at the shop don't behave like they are supposed to and their parts can be stubborn.  And when they need to be replaced, drastic measures are sometimes necessary.  Case in point, crank arm seized on, threads for extractor stripped.  Off to super secret, off site shop location #2 for a little sparks, smoke and flying shrapnel.

Ted trailer in action

With crank arm off, it's back to work...

Surly Ted Trailer

I like to bike.  Often times I need to haul shit.  This can be a problem when you are on a bike.  Surly has an answer, Ted Trailer.  This is not your ordinary trailer...but then again nothing Surly does is "ordinary."  This utility trailer can haul up to 300 lbs.  After assembly, I can say it is the beefiest, most overbuilt bike trailer I've ever seen.
As you can see this is only a trailer frame.  Enter Mike Murray, wood working extraordinaire.  He build a redwood deck, sides and sliding rear gate.  Thanks Mike!
Shadow and I on a test ride

This trailer is bad ass and I can't wait to start using it!  Here a couple more pics...
one hell of a yoke

removable rear gate

110psi tires, sealed cartridge bearings...and you can add fenders

Monday, July 16, 2012

Gold Hill Got Me

remember, no motorcycles on Trail #3
If you live in Sandpoint, no doubt you ride the hell out of Gold Hill and the Gravel Pit.  However, I know some people ride those trails with blinders on.  Maybe it's the climb and their anaerobic state.  If you turn your head every once and a while, you'll notice some less traveled trails here and there.  Most all these "other" trails were put in by motorcycle and hence, some are good and some just darn right suck.

Personally, I love to explore so I'm always looking in the gutters for small paths.  If I see something that looks bikeable, I don't hesitate to make a run of it.  Sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't.  But in the end, I always gain some knowledge and when I get to add a new trail to my list it is always a good thing.

weird angle, but note the cycle damage
In addition, sometimes there is a price to pay for "exploring" a new trail.  Like yesterday when I sucked up a stick and wound up my rear derailleur.  Yes, because these trails are less traveled, they often contain more obstacles and challenges.
another X0 in the trash
I rigged up a single speed and limped out.  I hear people always say, "No big deal, if I break my rear D, I'll just make it a single speed and keep riding."  It's never quite that simple and never really works that great for riding.  Remember a few things, you still need your hanger (it's a hub spacing issue) my case I had to find 2 rocks and hammer it straight again to continue using it.  Quick links are a must, carry some.  With no rear D, you have no chain tensioner, and hence getting a tight chain can be a challenge.

one of many attempts to get the right combo and tight chain
In the end, it was an expensive day of riding but sometimes that's the price you pay.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

4th of July Parade

The Pend Oreille Pedalers had an entry in this year's 4th of July Parade that circles through downtown Sandpoint.  All bikers and their bikes of choice were invited.  40 in all showed with recumbents, tandems, classic cruisers, fat bikes, road bikes, mountain get the picture.

Also in tow was the POP trailer featuring the new trail machine.  This bad ass machine is sure to make trail building easier!

bikers gathering

my view of circling bikers from the truck

stupid slow camera missed the bike pulling the skateboarder

Friday, July 6, 2012

5th Annual Roundabout Downhill Recap

40 riders took a Friday off, or lack jobs that require them to actually show up at work.  Anyhow, the Roundabout Downhill went something like this...

Meet at Pucci's, fuel up, look at crazy decorations and prepare for descent...

yes, there is more than ONE tall bike in town

On to the roundabout (hence the name)...

Then to the overlook...

Then to switchback #4, for a little dance off??

Arrive at Red Barn, after train, for podium announcements...

Down Great Northern, big pull into the wind, to the Tamo

Walk the line and onto TCB for sun rays on the deck and recap our big adventure.  Ahhh, summer in Sandpoint!
Thanks Alex!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

3rd Annual 6-Pack Alley Cat

Yup, it's happening again.  This should be another fun day of riding, thinking and hanging with fellow bikers.  See you there...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Moab Recap 2

This is the second and final entry on my Moab trip.  The second half of the trip featured some blazing temps, breaking into the 100s a couple days.  Nonetheless, we rode and made the best of our time.  However, I must say I don't exactly get along with heat well, especially coming from the 40s back home.

First up, Porcupine Rim trail.  This is probably the 2nd most famous trail in Moab and covers 15 some miles of rocky, technical "downhill."  Don't let the "downhill" part fool ya though, your body will get worked and for some reason you will feel tired.  2,800 feet of descent will be covered.  We took a shuttle, but because of some remaining snow in the road couldn't get all the way to the actual top of the trail.  Half our crew decided to ride up from our shuttle drop-off spot for some additional mileage and it was well worth it.

Riding in Moab can offer some amazing views with endless picture ops.  One could also view these as "exposed" areas, but after riding there a few days you become numb to the threats.

Hot was the word, any opportunity to sit in the shade, no matter how small, was a treat.  Snuggle in friends...

Colorado River 
Pictures don't capture the true rock nature of this trail.  But you will ride over every type of rock formation you can image and them more.  2-4" drops turn into 2-4' drops, but remember it's Moab so close your eyes, lean back and let her roll!  Even with 5" of plush travel, my bike got worked!

The next day, some decided to take a day off from riding and do something else.  Me and Jacob tackled the Sovereign Trail System.  This network of trails can be a little hard to find and navigation as we found out can also be challenging.  This was probably the hottest day of the trip, featured the least amount of shade options and I was definitely feeling it.  It was a fun day of riding with more rock, more sand, more drops and more desert riding.

My shitty camera died for the last day and a half of the trip and so some pics I wanted are missing.  Without a pic I feel it is not even worth mentioning.  All I'll say is the last day we rode MAG-7.  Some day I will dump that thing and get an appropriate recording device for my writings, but then again maybe not, as what then would I complain about?
Balancing Rock

Some people ask what my favorite trail of the trip was and my answer is always the same.  None.  I loved them all for different reasons.  I love to travel and ride my bike in different areas.  Once I've ridden somewhere, I normally feel comfortable checking that place of my bucket list and moving on to something else.  However, even on the drive back from Moab, I was think of what I would ride again and what trails never even got hit.  Moab...I will be back.