Friday, January 23, 2015

Geocaching with Henry

Last week, Henry had a presentation in his class about geocaching. After that, he was all fired up to give it a try, so on Saturday we loaded up some local cache points in my iPhone and hit the road.

To the uninitiated, geocaching looks a lot like someone out for a walk:

I had loaded up five points nearby, but the first two were a bust. Things weren't looking good, but we had better luck with cache #3:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Getting Fat Over the Winter: Gravity Bullseye Monster Intro

I've finally decided to dip my toes in the waters of the fat bike world. These big tired beasts are one of the few categories of bikes where sales are expanding, but my previous fatbike experiences have been decidedly mixed: my Moonlander demo was 15 minutes of awfulness, like attempting to ride a beach ball down a flight of stairs, while my more recent experience on a too-small Pugs was better, but hard to get a final read on due to the medium sized frame. But mix in too much time reading the fat bike forum, a positive balance in my bike budget, and a beer or two, and a week and $500 after ordering, I got this:

I generally prefer to build my bikes from the frame up, but fatbikes take enough unique parts that this would have been an expensive proposition. Also, I'm curious how my knees will get along with the wide bottom bracket, so I didn't want to make a big investment if it wasn't going to work for me. Finally, I've never seen a strong correlation between what I spend on a bike and how much I enjoy it. Typically the opposite, in fact. Call it the "cheap and cheerful" effect.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

New Fork Weekend (Razzo and Cross Check)

I've been looking at a new fork for my Razzo for a while now. I wanted to experiment a bit with something a little longer than the 465mm Fargo fork I had on there. Plus, I wanted something that blended a bit better with the Razzo's oversized head tube. $78 later on ebay, and I had this 485mm X Lite aluminum fork:

My quick demo ride was a bit uninspiring: the front end felt higher, even though the bars were in the same position relative to the saddle, and the steering wasn't great. But since it was dark and about 7F out, I didn't go too far. I planned for a longer ride today, hoping that would give me a better understanding of the new geometry, but in the event, that didn't work out the way I expected.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Comparo Again: Razzo vs. ERB

I didn't get a whole lot of good weather time to ride over break, but I did manage a few days where it was possible to sneak a ride in while the trail was frozen hard ("good weather" takes on a new meaning in winter, I guess) I was trying to solidify some ideas about wheel size and suspension, so I took my Razzo and ERB and headed to the beginner loop at P1 to repeatedly lap each bike over the short, two mile course.

Big wheel vs. small, suspension vs. rigid, carbon frame vs. ERB, big tire vs. er, bigger tire. Here's how it shook out.

Billie Bar Review, with bonus Pine Tar Soap review

I placed a Rivendell order the other day to try out a few new products. My main purchase was a new bar for my Fuji. The Billie bar is an evo...