Saturday, October 24, 2020

Odds and Ends, Odds and Ends

 ~ lost time is not found again. 

i’ve been working from home since late march and haven’t been getting a whole lot of riding in. i’m about ready to volunteer to head back to the office a few days a week just so i can get more bike mileage in, loosen up those jeans. here’s some pics from when i did get out  

the plan is to turn my marin muirwoods into a 1x10. or maybe
3 speed. first order of business, get some leverage to get the 
bottom bracket out.
a trip to warrior liquor

wasn’t sure what the occasion was here at first, but it was me
saying i’m out of shape and not gonna make it up post street
hill in the heat 
we biked up to best buy to pick up an order, stopped at target
and petsmart, bought more than i planned on, then picked up
some lasagna too
a trip to the post office
another trip to the post office, for a money order. 
sent my concertina in for tuning and my concertina guy said 
send a check to pay for shipping back and i said....a check? i
don’t think we have any.
dash didn’t want a ride home in the jump bike
converting fargo rival to tubeless. the worst ever tire/rim 
combo to separate.  so glad i never had a flat
scout loved riding in the basket. heading up monroe with
the pedal assist set to 11
virtual bloomsday 2020 with dash and debbie. which reminds
me - why can’t there be a sidewalk/bike path on the 
other side of Fort Named After Guy Famous for Hanging 
Indians and Killing Hundreds of Horses Blvd
scout, a few weeks before he passed away. it’s been tough.
he couldn’t walk far so i biked him around in the
radwagon basket to his favorite places. 
fillerup! gas can needed filling
summertime house hunting in west central

 vote by bike





Sunday, August 16, 2020

Beacon Hill First Timer Reporting

Back in December when we picked vacation days at work I picked a random weekend in August for a 4-day weekend as is my wont. I think everybody needs some time off in August and maybe we’ll want to go somewhere. We didn’t, as usual, (it’s just too hot) and sometime after I woke up on Friday I said today is the day - I’m biking to Beacon Hill! Finally, after who knows how many years of biking in Spokane, I’m going to one of the premier mountain biking spots in Spokane. I even got out of the house by 10am while it was still cool. Luckily, the forecast was for only temps in the 80° range.

The Beacon Hill trails start at Esmeralda Golf Course and I had hadn’t been there for years. I searched for a bike route there the night before: I didn’t look too closely but saw that Bridgeport will lead to the golf course. It’s about 5 miles away from our house. 

On Friday morning I headed east on Garland Ave, thinking for some reason it becomes Bridgeport somewhere east of  Division.  After Division I went a block south and took Providence Ave paralleling Garland; East Garland is a narrow 2-lane street with parking on both sides. I avoid streets like that. Arriving at 4-lane Regal Street, I said ok where’s Bridgeport and pulled out my phone. Google maps was now telling me to go down to Euclid and cross Regal there.  I headed south and found Bridgeport:



Well ok then, I headed to Euclid and didn’t follow the directions and found Minnehaha Park:

and then found my way to the Esmeralda Bike Trail


The Esmeralda Trail is a loop up to the top of Beacon Hill and back down. It’s mostly smooth with banked corners, a change from the alternately smooth and rocky trails I usually ride out at Riverside State Park. Evergreen East/Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance does a great job in Spokane developing and maintaining trails in the area. 


Big views nearing the top:



more smooth banked trail

and the top, after walking the last bit
Looking at my Fargo with its drop bars and no suspension reminds me that on the way up I went over a little jump off a rock and remembered just as I launched that this bike isn’t really made for jumping. Luckily, I made the landing without crashing or hitting my mouth on the handlebars. 


At the top there are signs for some of the other trails with names like Upchuck to explore. Plenty of trails to explore. Being out of shape and not sure how far afield the trails went, I took the Esmeralda Trail back down. It was a fun ride down and for once I was careful not to get going too fast for my skill level and bike. 

I got a sandwich at the golf course afterwards and eyed the bike and scooter-style carts available to rent. I’ve been thinking about trying a little golf again and next time I could do a mountain bike/golf duathalon.


Wednesday, June 24, 2020

out and about in wileydogland


no ride on mission and  deno is complete without getting chased by a dog. this pic was taken after i was safely far enough away. this dog was a sneaky one - as i came around a corner that merged with his driveway, he came silently running at an angle from behind. no bark ninja dog.  

i couldn’t lift this tree. anybody have a chainsaw i can borrow?

somebody did a good job of improving the merge of the upper trail with the merkel trail

multicare rockwood moved my dr’s office from the main clinic near downtown to up yonder on the south hill moran prairie area. i took southeast blvd cause i’m out of shape and didn’t think it’s as steep as some of the other routes. i barely made it.  at least i got pizza at the perry street market on my way home (see below).

i got some of those funky surly bars from velofix grafton’s garage sale and put em on my muirwoods. the bike actually fits me now. i have some orange pedals on it now and thinking orange cables will look good on it when i convert it to 2 or 1 x10 or single speed. maybe orange tires might be too much?

i moved some logs and rocks out of the way last year that were blocking the trail and next time rode by there was a bigger log blocking the trail. maybe some homeowner thought it was ok for them to block a trail on state park land that runs in front of the houses to the right. i was ready to go buy a little electric chainsaw but when i came out again in early spring i found mother nature or somebody already took care of it for me. 

thanks, mother nature! or folks!

rats one of my favorite routes is blocked. euclid road. some guys have still crossed on the bridge here but it looked a little too rickety for me. 

more biking on the riverside state park land between aubrey wright parkway and joe albi/dwight merkel/ housing development off 7-mile. i’m really growing more appreciative of these nearby trails. 

the well deserved pizza after biking up to moran prairie 

this year’s bikepacking get up. might get out in september or october. 

more hauling stuff

not my favorite way to lock up bit i desperately needed new guitar strings


Saturday, May 23, 2020

Preliminary bike camping setup

perhaps maybe i’ll get out this year and do some bike camping/packing/touring. and what’s that i hear? the snoqualmie tunnel is open now!

so here’s my current setup i’m fiddling with. i found i don’t like using  a handlebar roll, especially with the woodchippers on my 2013 fargo. not much room between the hoods. what i’m trying instead is the revelate nano panniers on the racktime topit rack up front. a dry bag with bivy bag and quilt stuffed in it on the rack. handlebar bag. feed bag. anything cages & bags. frame bag. portland design works brindle rack holding a revelate terrapin bag. another handlebar bag on the terrapin.

i’m also using the wolf tooth b-rad to offset a water bottle on the down tube and a topeak bottle cage to hold 32 oz water. thinking of another water bottle on the top tube. i have a couple bear spray canisters i’m deciding where to put.

i partially packed the bike for a test ride - clothes and sundry items in the terrapin, 2 liter bladder and tool kit in the frame bag, jetboil, food, misc in the anything bags. it rode pretty good with none of the wobblyness i had when i used a rear rack with maybe overloaded ortleib panniers a few years ago. of course that could change when i get it fully packed. i’ll have a 3 liter camelbak and extra osprey bladders.  there’s more room in the dry bag and terrapin, but the goal is not to overpack, carry the essentials plus a little more.



Sunday, March 8, 2020

Salsa Vaya 650b 46/30

Well, I finally did it. My 2013 Vaya has clearance for 700c x 38 with fenders and 700c x 42 w/o and I wanted a little wider tire. Despite not being completely sold on the 650b wheelsize, I watched that Path Less Pedaled video again on converting their 2013 Vaya and ordered an inexpensive wheelset.

BEFORE I GO FURTHER, I should mention Salsa says don’t do this, the bike was not designed for 650b. Death or dismemberment could ensue.

In the meantime, my left shifter paddle was broken and the 11 x 42 cassette I put on last year wasn’t shifting the greatest with a derailer spec’d for 36t max. I was tempted to wait for a nice new orange 2020 Vaya with 11speeds and clearance for 700 x 50c. I love this Vaya and wasn’t going to be able to sneak a bright orange bike into the garage so I ordered new Apex shifters and an FSA MegaExo 46 x 30 crankset. Gonna do a complete overhaul, and still get close to the same low gear range using 11-36t cassette.

Because of winter weather, I hadn’t ridden the Vaya for a couple months. Just after I ordered the wheels we had a nice day with clear roads and I rode it to work and the Rockwood Clinic. It handled great with the 700 x 38 GravelKing slicks. Bumpy 4th Ave wasn’t too rough. I had second thoughts about changing. With the wheels on their way, I was committed to trying 650 now.

The next decision was, how wide of a tire did I want? 42 or 43 is probably enough to smooth out city streets and the occasional off road riding. So I went for the whole hog and went for 47s. Threw a dart and came up with  the Teravail Rampart Light & Supple TR Road Plus tires. I don’t know how they compare to your Compass/Herse tires in suppleness. They were tough to get on the rims which I took to be a good sign that they would stay on. I’ve been riding around on regular rims set up tubeless with Stan’s rim strips without the tires falling off but feel better with actual tubeless rims. One wheel I was able to set the bead with out using a compressor, only a pump.

The tires done, and the rear outfitted with the 11-36 cassette I had, I tackled the next part: changing the crankset and bottom bracket.

prior to adjusting the fender line, sorry! kept the same 700c
fenders. also oops didn’t notice till after i struggled to get 
the tires on that the label wasn’t opposite the valve stem
too late!
In an amazing feat in the annals of bicycle maintenance and repair, not only did I remove the crankset AND bottom bracket all by myself, I installed the new BB and crankset, too. Had two washers left over, a rubber one and stamped metal one, both thin. Took it for a test ride and it worked! Well, mostly, had a little trouble with the front shifting. I hoped that would get fixed when I had a professional install the new shifters. The rear shifting was good, even with the extra links in the chain put in when I switched to the 11-42 cassette.

I commuted on the Vaya the next few days, and sometimes I could shift the front gears up or down, and sometimes I couldn’t. Weird. I poked around and found the pedals slid back and forth and I had an extra 1/4 play in the crankset. Maybe that’s why sometimes it shifted and sometimes it didn’t! The bottom bracket directions showed 2 spacers on the right and 1 on the left, but then again an online video installation said they called FSA and were told that was incorrect and no spacers were needed. Not sure which spacers to get, I decided Nigel at Simple Machine Bike Repair could hopefully figure it out when I took the bike in to get the shifters installed. Long story short: he figured out I didn’t need spacers, just those two thin washers installed and everything fit correctly. Didn’t even need a new front derailer.

On my first test ride after everything was done, I took it up Pettet Drive aka Doomsday Hill. Made it up with 3 gears left in reserve. Woo hoo! The Teravail Ramparts roll smoothly and dare I say faster. Could be just my imagination. I’ve ridden them on some gravel roads and dirt trails and they’ve performed great.

The overall diameter of the tires are a little less than the 700 x 38 tires so I lost a little in the top gear, but gained a bit in the lowest gear. The pedals are lower to the ground but this hasn’t been a problem. The only time I really noticed it was riding up the Merkel trail cut into the hillside - I would scrape the hillside at the bottom of the pedal stroke.


And here’s my Vaya all fitted out for commuting adventures and breakfast tacos from TacoVado