Sunday, July 26, 2015

New Bikes and an S24O

When I bought Henry's 24" Specialized Hotrock last winter, I hoped it would last through at least this summer. But recently on a whim, I asked him to try a throw a leg over Jodi's 26" wheeled Trek to see if it would fit, and he hasn't stopped riding it since. Since Jodi wants her bike back, I spent some time scouring Craigslist for Henry's next bike. Bike shopping is an onerous task, but it's something I can finally put my well honed skills to use for. A week or so later, we landed here:

It's a 26" wheeled/13.5" frame size Giant Boulder. It has a lousy suspension fork, but Henry finds the trigger shifters easier to use than the twist shifters on his old Hotrock, it's in good shape overall, and he likes the colors. For $100, I think we did pretty well. And it's even steel... though so grossly oversized, it looks more like aluminum. I don't think it's ever going to "plane" for Henry.

Sam has continued to gain confidence on his new bike (Henry's old bike, now two bikes ago):

We're now to the point where we can go on family rides and leave our little cul-de-sac. Next stop, ice cream! I promised Sam we would all go out for ice cream when he learned to ride. I don't think this motivated him at all, but he's still holding me to it.

Saturday night, we had an early dinner at my folks' house, then Henry and I hit the road for an S24O. We were headed to the spot where Sam and I went last year. This isn't my favorite camping spot, but it would be new for Henry, and I wanted a break from our other extralegal camping spot.

Getting to this spot takes some work, We rode north seven miles or so, then down a path:

across a creek:

then up a muddy, rooty hill to our campsite. All the while, we were being attacked by mosquitoes who were not impressed by our bug spray. As soon as we got the tent set up, we dived inside to spend the evening playing cards and reading (I was reading a Kindle book on my iPhone, while Henry brought one of my Calvin and Hobbes collections. It was so warm that we didn't even bring sleeping bags: I slept in my sleeping bag liner, while Henry had his Eric Carle bedsheet.

The next morning, we packed up the tent (more mosquitoes), then stopped to cook some oatmeal for breakfast:

Mostly this was an exercise to use the new cookset Henry got me for Christmas a few years ago, something that we both enjoyed. However, instant oatmeal isn't particularly satisfying, so we stopped at an empty Wendy's on the way home. Henry wasn't so impressed by the cheese on his breakfast sandwich:

Maybe there's a reason we were the only customers. Next time, we'll hold out for Tim's. We continued south through a brief, drenching rainstorm to arrive home wet and still hungry.

I rode my Camargue for this trip:

It handled this load fine, though I was getting some strange clunks from the neighborhood of my cheap generator hub. I would be more motivated to dive into this if I actually used the generator for anything, but in general, I prefer my head mounted battery lights.

Apropos of nothing else in this post, here's a picture of Kate in her jammies jumping on our old mattress:

Turns out Rumpke won't pick up a mattress, so it sat on the curb for an extra day until someone from Craigslist came to pick it up. Nothing you can't find on Craigslist.


  1. I just went through the same thing with the transition up from a 24-inch wheeled Hotrock to a used 13" frame, 26-inch wheeled Specialized Myka for my 10-year old. The Myka's not steel, but I've got a 13" steel Kona Hahanna waiting in the wings as an alternate. Though the Hotrock is a good bike, it can't compare with the more capable, adult type components on a decent 26er.

    Trigger shifters are a big improvement. Luckily, the Myka came with a quality Rockshox Recon fork, and she was amazed that it actually improved the ride as compared to the Hotrock's ornamental suspension. My daughter's short time so far in the 26er world seems to have instilled a lot of confidence and skill building.

    Good on you for the kid overnighter. I'm planning one soon.

    1. The Recon is a nice fork. I'm worried I'm going to be tempted to start upgrading Henry's bike, especially when I watch him go off a curb and the fork barely moves. On the other hand, I want to keep it cheap, because he has a tendency to park it on the sidewalk when he's at a friend's house.

      Kate's asking me for the next overnighter. She's ready!

  2. Congrats on the new bike for the young'n. Looks like you got a good deal. Is the bike train getting ready to pull into the station for the last time? I love reading your blog - I should comment more often.

    Apropos of nothing you wrote - what tires are you sporting on the Cam there? They look nice.

    1. Hi John,
      Good to hear from you again. I'm definitely not using the trailer much these days. None of the kids want to ride in it, so it's only for camping with the twins or big grocery runs these days. Hmmm, maybe time to investigate a BOB trailer instead...

      The tires on the VO are Hutchinson Acrobats. They're a cheapish urban tire, but they roll pretty nicely. Labeled as 700x38 (I think), they measure more like 34mm on my rims. This pair is just about worn out, so I'm looking forward to some Compass Barlow Pass tires to replace them... unless I cheap out, and get some Resist Nomads or Paselas for 1/3 the price.


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