Sunday, November 22, 2015

Rolling Along (and the Privateer)

The big news in our neck of the woods is that our kids will get redistricted next year, changing up their elementary school. Under the current plan, they would go to Wyandot Elementary, so a few weekends ago, I took the kids there on a playground familiarization trip:

I was riding my Camargue, which is handily squashing my idea to have the New Albion Privateer take over its role. Better tire clearance, longer chainstays, and I like the handling better. It's too bad the NAP is a little handier to pedal.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Bloggers Get Together with Fatbikes, no Beer is Drunk

A few weeks back, fellow Buckeye bike blogger Cody posted up on looking for other fatbikers to ride in the Cincy area, or maybe up to Caesar's Creek. Since Caesar's is roughly between Columbus and Cincinnati, I said I'd be there for a ride at Caesar's. This weekend, our schedules were both clear for a ride, so we set a rendezvous at 8:30 at Caesar's.

The theme for this ride turned out to be "old school." Caesar's Creek is one of the oldest mountain bike trails in Ohio, and it still has some fall line trails and tight. bumpy corners to keep us on our toes. Further, between our fat tires, abundant leaf cover, and relatively dry trails, we were able to do some bushwhacking, beach riding, and exploring:

Sunday, November 1, 2015

New Albion Privateer

Sometimes my bike builds are occasioned by my parts bin. In this case, I have had a somewhat rare Soma Champs Elysees low trail fork sitting above my work bench for some months. These forks are rare because Soma has (so far) only made one batch of them, which turned out a bit longer than spec (about 10mm off, from what I've read). I've had my VO for sale for some time, and I've been looking for a replacement. I ended up getting a 60cm New Albion Privateer, a somewhat budgetish frame from one of Soma's sister brands. It arrived last week, and I got it built up and some miles down this weekend:

It's my typical crossy kind of road bike frame. Like my old Crosscheck, it has long horizontal dropouts for running single speed, but in this case I have it set up for eight:

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Fall Weekend Riding, and a Quiz

Fall is the best season for riding in Ohio. In addition to enjoying the beautiful trees, the trails are usually in pretty good shape, I'm usually in pretty good shape, and the weather is often ideal, cool and no bugs.

For various reasons, I haven't done any mountain biking in the past month, so I set out to fix that this weekend. Saturday after soccer, we were talking about what to do for the rest of the day, and Jodi asked, "why don't you go riding?" No need to ask that question twice, I headed out with the Ritchey for my first lap of P1 this year:

P1 was quite a mess all spring and summer, so I've been avoiding it until now. It's a nice change of pace, and nice to get back to, but man is that a bumpy, rooty trail! Almost, I was wishing for full suspension, but I'm not there yet. After all, I still have my fatbike:

Sunday, October 4, 2015

This Post is Actually About Bikes and Playgrounds

This evening, we did something we didn't do much this summer: we hopped on our bikes and went to a playground. Sure, the eldest child was whining about leaving, about being drug out of the house on a beautiful fall afternoon to get outside, but once he spotted the playground, his mood improved.

We headed for Park Place:

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Recycling Old Bike Boxes: Henry's 9th Birthday

The end of September, and Henry's birthday has rolled around again. We've had his last two parties at Scioto Park, but wanted something different this year. Henry initially talked about a game truck or a laser tag truck, but when we priced those out, the laser tag truck came to something like $300 for 12 kids for two hours. Ouch! Too rich for my blood... I figured for less than half of that, I could do something better.

It started with a big order of Nerf guns, darts, and safety glasses from Amazon:

Sunday, September 20, 2015

So I Bought a Rivendell

I've been a Rivendell fan for a long time. I had the classic Bridgestone catalogs that I picked up (new) in college, and found out about Rivendell back around the time of Rivendell Reader #3. I've watched Rivendell develop from a purveyor of NOS parts and classic bike aesthetics to where they are now, with their own line of Silver components and and some rather unique frames.

Despite this interest, I've only ever had one Riv frame, a Romulus that I never really meshed with. Until last Sunday, that is, when I came across a frame of interest on the rivbike mailing list. I slept on it, decided I still wanted it on Monday, and I finally made the purchase from the seller as I was boarding a flight to Atlanta on Monday afternoon. Smart phones are cool. He was super quick about shipping it, so when I came home from my business trip Thursday evening, there it was in the hall. Along with my lovely wife and three super kids, AND the new issue of Bicycle Quarterly... it made for a nice homecoming.

While the kids had their bedtime snack, I got to unpacking: