Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Car Fire on the LIE!

Car fire on the LIE today. I was three lanes away and could still feel the heat like I was sitting next to a fire place...INTENSE! I hope whoever was in there got out.

Southward Bound

On our way to LI. Just got to exit 22 and already stuck in traffic...ugh.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Biking Carol, sung to the tune of White Christmas:

I'm dreaming of a gray Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know.
Where the riders clip in
And there's no flipin'
On icy roads or piled up snow.
I'm dreaming of a gray Christmas
With every spinning class inside.
Please forgive. I won't be your guide.
Oh how much I want an outside ride!

Got this from a friend, thanks Jenn!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Forbidden Love

Here's what happens when an Aston Martin has sex with a Smart Car...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lunchtime Ride: Colonie Town Park

Hey Mother Nature, I punch your
20 degree weather right in the head!
Was supposed to meet a couple of people for a lunchtime ride on Thursday but they left without me so I rode alone. Trails were in good shape. Icy in some spots but not impassable. Lots of frost heave which made the ride crunchy and bumpy. The leaves actually provided traction on some of the icy spots. It was pretty cold, about 22 degrees. But the sun was out and the trees sheltered me from the wind. My fingers were the only part of me that was cold, an extra set of gloves would have made the ride more comfortable. I rode for about 45 minutes and then headed back to work. Nice to get out and ride a bit more before the snow flies.

The Mille Miglia

I've been into vintage race cars lately, mostly European. Watching the Mille Miglia: The Spirit of a Legend on HD Theater. This is like the Tour de France of Automobiles. What an amazing race.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter has finally arrived

I put the studded snows on my singlespeed last night...it is now officially winter. Go fourth and rip it!

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Good Week for Rides

My mom was coming up to stay and visit the week of Thanksgiving. I was able to take the whole week off. My Mom lives on Long Island, where I grew up. She drives, but not long distance and since I live near Albany I'd have to drive down to get her. I had planned on riding at some point during the week and this afforded me the perfect opportunity to do so.

Mike Vitti of C.L.I.M.B.
The plan was on my way down I'd stop and hit Cunningham Park in Queens and maybe hit Glacier Ridge the next morning before I have to head back home. I had ridden Cunningham before and the trails are well marked and well made but having someone who knows the trails always provides a better experience. I was able to contact Mike Vitti, President of C.L.I.M.B. and NYS I.M.B.A. representative, to take me for a tour. I rode with him last year here but they had completed some recent projects that I did not want to miss out on. Once again the trails were stellar! We ran into many other riders all of whom were very friendly. Whoever said new yorkers aren't nice haven't met many mountain bikers. And they all held such respect and admiration for Mike. Kind of made me proud to be a biker and a New Yorker at the same time. Mike was an excellent guide. I always enjoy discussing trail building issues or ideas with him, he's always got good sound advice and it nice to see that implemented in the trails. If you ever get the chance to ride here, it's a must see for how a well managed trail network can function and what it can provide to the community. After the ride we chatted with some other bikers and then we went our seperate ways. Thanks so much Mike!

2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon
I have a friend, Mike Musto, who saw my post on fb about driving down to ride at Cunningham. He emailed me about stopping by his place after my ride. Turns out he lives 10 minutes away from the park. So after I was done riding I called Mike, got his address, and headed over. Now I hadn't seen Mike in a long time (probably several years) so this was a great opportunity for us to catch up. He now works from home and is the Editor-in-Chief of an online car blog called Ride Lust. Part of his job is writing articles, lots of them, and posting them online. The other part of his job is test driving vehicles. Companies like GM send him cars to drive for a week and review online. He recently had the opportunity to drive the Chevy Volt and more recently a 2011 Corvette Z06 Carbon. The Corvette just happened to be sitting in the driveway...in all it's $98,000 splendor. So after I changed out of my riding clothes and chatted for a bit, we of course went for a ride. All I can say is HOLY SHIT! What an amazingly fast car, I hadn't been thrown back in my seat like that since I went for a ride in my friends 650 HP pro/street Chevelle. This car was doing all it could to transfer the 505 HP to the pavement...really just unbelievable. I believe we were actually giggling like school girls...what can I say, machines like this can do that to a man. After our joyride, we went back to his apartment. His wife Aisha came home soon after and we went out for a bite to eat. We went to a pub, the food was actually really good and the beer was cold. We had a few good laughs but then it was time for me to head to my sisters out east. These are two of the nicest people I know. They were also nice enough to buy me dinner. So thanks to Mike and Aisha for the joy ride, dinner, and your excellent company. I am really glad I got to see you.

I ended up not getting to my sister's until 10:30p or so and didn't get to bed till almost 12a. I had the best of  intentions to ride Glacier Ridge in the morning but was just too tired and too sore from Cunningham the day before to do so. I had a 4 hour drive ahead of me so I figured I would take it easy and get back home. I picked up my Mom and we headed back North. It was a really nice day for a drive too.

Cunningham Park...Oh Yeah!

Riding in Cunningham right now with Mike Vitti of c.l.i.m.b. The trails are SICK!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Took the girls out this morning while Tasha was out getting last minute stuff for dinner and picking up my Niece from Siena. I had to get them out of the house to "get the bugs out". Can't keep them cooped up when the weather is this nice. I raked up a pile of leaves for them to play in and got some great shots. They had fun. After that we went in and had lunch. Later on we had my in-laws over for dinner, which was awesome...so tasty. They were nice enough to stick around and give out candy while we went around the neighborhood with the girls.

Eliana was Cleopatra and Karina was a cute little puppy. Both costumes were fantastic, props to my wife for hooking the girls up. Our new neighborhood is great for trick-or-treating. Lots of kids. Everyone we've met so far seem so nice. We ended up walking around with our next door neighbors. They have three kids. Karina had a blast, this is the first time she's really gotten into the whole Halloween thing. After the first couple of houses she was on a mission to get more candy. It was windy out so it was kinda cold and it started to rain and then hail the first 10 minutes we were out. It cleared up after that but I ended taking Karina home early, besides her bucket was full. Tash came back later with Ellie. Moving was a good idea. Today was great! Trick or Treat? Definitely  treat!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wow...I had forgotten how much I like crumb coffee cake. But alas, now it's all gone. :(

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: The Lawn Mower...It's ALIVE!!!

So I stand here looking at the lawn mower that I've owned for the past decade. Six years of which it sat dormant and unused since we had a service take care of the lawn at our last home. The four years before that it was used and abused at our first home. I got this used from Tasha's uncle, I guess he didn't want it because the self-propelled part of it no longer worked. I was happy to take it since I didn't really mind pushing. I swear never once in the first four years of ownership did I change the oil, the spark plug, the filter or even sharpen the blade. If it ain't broke don't fix it...or maybe I was just too fucking lazy to do it. Whatever the case I never did, then we moved to a big house in an association where the grounds were taken care of. So I  brought along the old mower fully expecting to get rid of it but never did. I always wanted to tear it down just to see how it works and maybe fix the self-propelled issue, you know as a hobby, but with work, family and biking it just took a back seat.

We recently moved and so it came with us because it is once again my responsibility to keep the yard neat and tidy. In a sick and twisted sort of way I am looking forward to this. Guess I like working outside and gardening. Now with Tasha in school full time, she's working less so we have to keep an eye on expenses. We could have certainly afforded a new mover at $300 to $400, but I just could not bring myself to spending that money if I could get this old one running which brings me back to me looking at the mower thinking "there's no fucking way this is gonna start." Of course I said the same thing about the laptop I now use. But this thing looked like hell, caked with dust, dirt, and grass clippings it really looked like one of those old cars that's been sitting in a field for 20 years. I am surprised I didn't find mice living in it.

My Dad was up visiting and helping me out with some of our home projects, the mower being one of them. He certainly has had more experience with them than me so we got started. Pulled the spark plug and cleaned it, pulled the air filter and cleaned it, removed what was left of the gas, drained and refilled the oil, and fixed the self-propelled drive. Turns out the belt had slipped off and the drive was just loaded with grass cuttings, dirt, etc. The blade was also replaced since it had huge chunks missing from it...guess I shouldn't have hit all those rocks huh. Moment of truth...we take it outside, fill the gas tank, prime the carb and a few pulls later the thing roars to life! Unbelievable that after sittings for six years that it would start up so easily. Thank you Briggs and Straton...and of course to my Dad for helping me out. So basically for the cost of some gas ($3), a quart of oil ($2), a new blade ($19), and some elbow grease ($0) we have ourselves a working mower and saved a few hundred bucks. Now for the snowblower...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Bicycle Drag Racing

This is how we used to race we I was a kid...bicycle drag racing
I had a bike just like these. Ape hanger bars, banana seat, single speed, lots of chrome bits and it was canary yellow with black racing stripes. I still remember the first time I rode it. My first real bike...the Big Wheel didn't count even though that was cool in it's own way. Till this day no other bike I've owned has had an impact on me like that one did. Okay maybe the Rocky comes close.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Door Stop

So since we moved we no longer have the garbage can built into the cabinets so we had to buy a new one. The one we bought has a lever at the base which opens and closes the lid. Works fine but eventually the can gets pushed into the wall and has started to scratch the paint. I have enough things to fix here already and I hate painting so I've been thinking of a way to keep it from hitting the wall. While looking for some hardware for another project I came across a door stop and thought...perfect. So I drilled a small hole at the base taking care not to disturb the mechanism and threaded it in. Simple and yet so effective, problem solving at its finest. I was pretty proud of this one.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Having a cup of coffee and watching the girls play in the backyard. Moving was so worth it!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: My New Old Laptop

I have been on this kick about not throwing stuff out unless it's absolutely necessary and reusing or fixing whatever I can. I have this old laptop that used to be my wife's. It worked fine in the beginning but then we started having problems with the hard drive and then the battery went and then she spilled a cup of coffee into it. After that the keyboard would no longer work. So we eventually bought her a new one which she needed for school but this one just sat. I hear everyone say "just through it out and get a new one...they're so cheap." It's not that I don't want to spend the money, it's just I have a hard time throwing away an almost perfectly good laptop. This thing is actually in good shape, except for a couple of minor cracks in the case. So I decided I was going to fix it, I could at least use it as a training exercise if I ever needed to work on a laptop again.

I knew it needed at least two things, a new keyboard and a new battery. One of the guys in the IS dept. at work hooked me up with a couple of websites that had parts pretty cheap. I got both the battery and new keyboard for $85 shipped to my door. All of the service documentation I got from Dell's website so replacing the parts were easy. I know I needed a hard drive too but didn't want to spring the $$$ until I knew the laptop was working well so I threw in a 10GB one I had lying around for file transfers. I was also able to get all the required updated drivers I needed and I had the original Windows XP disk the reinstall the OS. So far it's running good, I obviously need to get a bigger hard drive and I'd like to upgrade the memory from the 512MB to 2GB. A Bluetooth card would be nice too and will probably invest in something soon. So for maybe another couple hundred bucks I could have a decent machine. I would like to upgrade the video card from the 32MB to the 64MB version but that would require a motherboard change which is about $250. So unless I find another Dell Inspiron 600m on eBay or Craigslist with a busted LCD I'll just live with it for now. If anyone reading this has parts for this machine that they'd like to unload, please let me know.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Break in the Rain...Quick Go for a Ride!

I was able to get out and go for a ride this past Sunday. Feels like forever since I've ridden. We've been getting pounded with the rain, probably remnants of Nicole...bitch! Anyway some of my family was up visiting but left early on Sunday which gave me a small window...the wife was nice enough to let me get out for a bit too. Thanks sweetie!

BCHS high ropes course sign
I didn't really have the energy to pack up the car and drive to a trail so I just rode around our new neighborhood. After riding a while I remembered a trail that was on a piece of land sandwiched between Delaware Avenue and Route 32 so I decided to go check it out. It's a small piece of property but has some potential for a decent trail. There is some climbing but it's mostly flat and there are some trails existing. Could build a trail that circles the perimeter and then build a fun skills area in the middle. The one trail I took dumps out into a high ropes course which is part of Bethlehem Central High School from what I've read.

View from the bottom
of the trail head
I continued through that area which then led me to the school grounds. I did observe the posted signs for the high ropes course but didn't see anything else regarding the rest of the property. I'd like to actually contact the school or the town to find out exactly who owns that property. Maybe they'd allow a proper trail to be built? I don't like building without permission. This could actually be a really nice short track with a stunts area on the inside. Also it's a short bike ride from my house, maybe 20 minutes, for me to get there. Could probably link up that area and the Elm Ave Park area and make it a decent ride without having to drive anywhere. That's nice when you don't have a ton of free time.

Elm Avenue Park
From there I went back through the course and to the trail, scoped things out, and made my way back to Route 32. I rode back up to Elm Avenue and then over to the park and just kind rode through, played on some of the rocks and just enjoyed the nice weather. Not looking forward to more rain but at least this helps me get through.
Still trying to figure out the kinks while posting from my phone and then how Hootsuite feeds my fb and twitter accounts.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I am blogging from my phone right now...so cool. Just set it up to work with Blogger last night. Now the fun begins...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Software Favs: TwitPic, Google Chrome and Hootsuite

Here's a few of my favs for software I use almost everyday. Most of these are web-based and accessible from anywhere. My main reason for picking these was probably ease of use. I like simple, leaves more time to worry about more important things.

Wasn't looking for anything in particular when I started using this. Just wanted a way to upload pics from my phone and have them update my twitter account. It works well and haven't had any issues. Simple, just the way I like it.

Google Chrome
Been using it for about 3 weeks now and I love it! Nice and simple, easy to use, and it's got some cool features. Loads fast, uses tabs, has some cool themes and I like the new tab page.

Was looking for a program that would feed my blog to my facebook and twitter accounts. It's nice to only have to make updates in one place. I tried Twitterfeed but would have to manually set it every time to get it to actually work. Kind of defeats the purpose somewhat. I then read an article about using Hootsuite and gave it a try. Another nice feature is that I can see both twitter and facebook feeds at once. At one point I thought it wasn't working but realized I had it checking/feeding every 24 hours but thought it was every hour. So far it's working well. it's got a bunch of features I haven't even tried yet but looks promising. Will have more time to mess around with this in the coming months.

Bigger is Better

Not sure why I switched out the 2.35 Bonty's for the 2.5's but I had to fix a flat and just felt like changing the tires so I did. I love the look of the bigger tires. These are pretty light and the rolling resistance ins't that bad. Now all I need is some time to ride and some decent weather. I need to get out.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Old Road Jersey Found

I came across this while packing for our move. One of the only jerseys I still have from my road biking days. This jersey is probably 20 years old but still in good condition. This was for use on colder days and is thick and warm. Wish I could still use it but the fit these days is more akin to a sausage casing than a jersey on me.

Used Crank Brothers Mallet M's

I scored a pair of silver Mallet M's from a co-worker for 25! Barely used and in great shape. Said he had some pedal to shoe interference whidh made them difficult to clip in. I have a set of the same pedals in red that need to be rebuilt. At least now I can send them back and use these in the mean time. I love a good deal!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Colonie Town Park Ride

According to the Capital MTB calendar it was supposed to be a co-ed Luna Chix ride but I showed up to find an all female troop. Ah well, I don;t mind riding by myself...again. I've been back there plenty of times but I am still not sure of where all the trails go. It didn't matter, I had no agenda...just to ride...so I did. The trails are in great shape, really dry and fast. There are quite a bit of leaves and sticks down which made cornering at speed tricky. Lots of rocks and roots back there to so I was doing my best to hit and kickers at speed and get some air. These trails are really fun on a full suspension bike

Monday, September 13, 2010

Colonie Town Park Trails

According to the Capital MTB calendar it was supposed to be a co-ed Luna Chix ride but I showed up to find an all female troop. Ah well, I don;t mind riding by myself...again. I've been back there plenty of times but I am still not sure of where all the trails go. It didn't matter, I had no agenda...just to ride...so I did. The trails are in great shape, really dry and fast. There are quite a bit of leaves and sticks down which made cornering at speed tricky. These trails are really fun on a full suspension bike. Lots of rocks and roots back there to so I was doing my best to hit and kickers at speed and get some air. I was trying to ride some sections as fast as I could as well as rail the corners. I guess maybe I did have an agenda. I also found the point at which my tires brake loose in a corner. I didn't go down but I did have to hit the brakes. Probably the most exhilirating part of the ride. That and the rock jump at the entrance of the double track trails that lead to the boat launch along the Mohawk River. I love hitting that at speed. Clean entry, smooth take off and nice transition. You can get some serious air on that. Have to get some video next time. I rode the trails down there which aren't real exciting but they can be ridden fast which is fun. There is one section that runs along the Mohawk which is pretty rocky and rooty. It's fairly difficult, so it's an accomplishment if you ride the entire line without dabbing. After exiting this trail, I played on the rocks by the pavilion and then went down to the boat launch just in time to see the sun setting. A nice ending to the day.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Took the Monk out for some dirt time. Definitely liked the 700C wheels on the trail but had to keep the speed down for fear of pinch-flatting. The bike handled really well back there and the only problem I had was the pain in my arm and the lack of cush.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day Red Oaks Ride in Schodack

I got the chance to get out and ride on Labor Day. Since it was kind of last minute I didn't get the opportunity to hook up with anyone else so I rode alone. I don't really know the trails in Schodack, now called Red Oaks by the regulars. But I got a map from my friend Chris Roe, and I have ridden there with him a few times so I figured what the hell.

I got there about 2p and was surprised to not see very few cars there and only one with a bike rack. Not even sure if any of them belonged to people riding. Anyway I started off from the park and ride and tried to follow the normal Tuesday night route. I did my best to follow the map, which was excellent by the way, but I did end up making a few wrong turns. No worries though, I was able to back track and the map kept me going in the right direction.

The snake was unharmed
The trails were dry and fast but newly fallen leaves were everywhere. I guess it's that time of year...already (sigh). I managed to bunny hop a small snake last minute and avoided crushing him. As thanks he allowed me to take his picture and then I moved him off the trail.

Last time I rode here I brought my singlespeed. Gearing was good for the climbing but the rigid fork really hampered my ability to actually cruise at a good clip without loosing control. Plus with my injured elbow, it hurt like hell. I decided to use the Switch this time and man what a difference. I can really carve stuff on this bike and with 6 inches of travel I had plenty of cushion for the pushin'. It does come with a weight penalty so climbing was a chore but not impossible.

My trusy steed.
The strangest trail out there has to be House of Grouse. Not because of any super technical climbing or twisting switchbacks...but because of the male Grouse that is protecting his nest. That thing is FEARLESS! Everytime I go through there he chases after me on my bike. This time I was ready for hime, but where was he? Typically he is at the trail head or close to it. Maybe I was going to get away with not seeing him today I thought. Even though I knew he was there and was looking for him, out of nowhere he swooped down from the trees and attacked my helmet. I saw him out of the corner of my eye and for a moment there I thought he was a hawk. I had seen two flying through the woods just 20 minutes earlier. I let out a yell something like "oh shi..." and went down. He didn't knock me down, I just lost my balance trying to avoid him. Man was I pissed but I guess I can't blame him. I flung a few obscenities his way and I was off again. He followed me for a few minutes and then I lost him...more likely he gave up. Man did I feel like a fool. One of the times I was glad to be alone. I must have looked ridiculous at that moment. Have to laugh about it now.

The diving board
There aren't that many man made features out there other than some bridges but the trails are well built and offer a variety of challenging singletrack. The climbing is probably the biggest distinction of this trail network. Riding here often will definitely up your fitness level. I hope to get back here and ride a few more times before hunting season starts and these trails become off-limits until Springtime. This is a great trail network and having it so close to where I live is always a bonus since my riding time isn't what it used to be. Being a responsible husband and parent can do that. Even if I don't get to ride there often, it's nice to have such a great place to ride so close to home. Thanks to Chris and everyone who put the effort into bringing those trails back to life. Keep up the good work!


Friday, September 3, 2010


Took the Monk out for some dirt time during lunch at Schenectady Central Park. Definitely liked the 700C x 45 wheels on the trail but had to keep the speed down for fear of pinch-flatting. The bike handled really well back there and the only problem I had was the pain in my arm and the lack of cush. The rear end is super stiff so it climbs awesome but unless the trails are super smooth single track, this is not the right bike. Still a fun ride though.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Trials Demo by Jeff Lenosky

I was lucky enough to drive out to Great Barrington, MA to catch Jeff do a trials demo at Berkshire Bike and Board. I took my oldest daughter, figured it would be some father daughter bonding and we get to do something involving bikes. Thought it might help her want to get into biking more too, we'll see how that goes.

Anyway it was a pretty sick show. He was kinda limited on space but he worked really well with what he had. He talked through each type of trick and then demonstrated. He did some really cool tricks with a volunteer from the crowd. I put together a video of some of the stunts he did. It's condensed to about half of the original show. Click the title above and it will take you to the video on You Tube. Still amazes me what people can do on a bike and more importantly, what a guy that is my age can do on a bike.

Jeff with my daughter Ellie
The bike used during the demo. Check out the broken spoke.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Lunchtime Ride at SCP

Fast and fun lunchtime ride today at Schenectady Central Park. I rode everything including all the stunts. 4.9 miles in 41 minutes. Probably my fastest time on the Switch. Trails were dry and fast. The rain actully made the surface tacky. I was railing corners...it was awesome!

New Lightweight Shell for Riding

Sombrio Wingman Jacket
I've been looking for a new lightweight rain/wind shell for a while now. I just didn't want to pay big $$ for one. Looks like my waiting paid off. I saw an add in my inbox from Huck N Roll about a Sombrio sale. I've always like the stuff from Sombrio. I was able to get a Sombrio Wingman jacket in Machete Green for $25! It's wind proof and water resistant, has Lycra cuffs to keep wind from blasting up your sleeves, and the ergonomic fit feels natural, not restrictive. It also has a hood that's big enough to fit a normal vented helmet like my Giro Xen. It also has this cooloff-axis topographic print. Can't wait till the weather cools down so I can wear this.

New Riding Socks

I read on Twitter that Twin Six was having a one day sale on select socks. I was able to score five pairs of socks for 50% off! I didn't really need that many but the socks are cool and I got them at a good price so what the heck...and so far I love them.

New Hydration Pack and Resevior

2009 Ergon BD1-M Backpack
I've been looking for a pack that actually fits me. My Dakine Nomad has been the best so far but when you load it up it's really noticable and it has a tendency to ride up above my waist which is just annoying. I came across the Ergon BD-1 pack that Competitive Cyclist had on sale at 1/3rd of the original cost. This is exactly the kind of pack I needed. Not too big, made to carry a load when needed and adjustable for different body types. This pack doesn't have the organization of the Dakine Nomad but it fits my torso really well. There is some adjustments I still have to make to get it to fit the way I want but I should have it dialed on the next couple of rides. This pack even has a safety whistle in the chest clasp and a clever pocket at the bottom which contains a rain cover incase you get caught in a downpour. As much as I would like to do a complete review of this bag, others have already done so and have done a great job. I will tell you what I llike and what I don't...
Likes: Flink (it really works), pack and harness design (very comfortable to wear, works as advertised), bladder sleeve, and hidden rain cover.
Dislikes: Zippers are a bit difficult to open and close (maybe this will get better once I break them in), Internal organization (would have prefered a few more places to store things), external harness doesn't allow pack to lay flat (not a huge deal for me but it does make packing for a ride or trip a bit more difficult).

The weight I feel when I load this up and ride is less then half of what my Nomad felt like. I only have three rides with this pack but so far I am really happy. All this at a price that just can't be beat.

2010 Deuter Streamer 3.0 Reservoir
The above pack didn't come with a bladder but I thought no big deal, I can use my old one. Problem is my old Camelbak bladder sprung a leak and is now useless. So I ordered the bladder recommended by Competitive Cyclist. They said either the two or three liter would fit so I chose the bigger. It does fit, sticks out the top of the pocket a bit but it's fine. Again I am not going to go into great detail but just list my likes and dislikes.
Likes: BPA free, wide-mouth for easy cleaning/drying, tube length (it's actually right where I need it), hassle free bite valve (can also be disassembled to be cleaned), sealing device is leak free.
Dislikes: Both the bite valve dust cap and bladder clasp can get lost and there is not a good place to hold the bag during fill.
This so far has been the best tasting and best designed bladder I have used to date. We'll see how it holds up, my last bladder lasted probably 4 or 5 years.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Local Rides: Luther Forest STEP Trails

Had a awesome but difficult ride in Luther Forest tonight. It was sooo humid, I never ride worth a damn in those conditions. I don't know the trails that well so it was a bit of back tracking in some sections but they're pretty easy to navigate. Quite a bit of elevation gain back there and some really fast flowy sections. Some rocks and roots as well as some bridge sections. Lots of singletrack and the sections riding along deep gullies were the most exciting. Some hardpack as well as soft loamy sections so the Big Earls I have on my Rocky seem to be perfect. The Nevegals on my SS also worked well back there. Riding here is definitely a good way to lose weight and build fitness. These trails are located off Hermes Rd. in the Saratoga Technology and Energy Park (http://step.nyserda.org/) in Malta, NY.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bicycle Flash Mob in Belgium

Unbelievably awesome!

Courtesy of Cycle Chic (http://www.copenhagencyclechic.com/)

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Plastic Coffee Container

Keeping things organized in your home with two small kids is a tough job. Something is always getting lost or misplaced. I started using some of the plastic coffee containers we were recycling as a mini paint or crayon caddy. The ones with the handles offer a great place for a few paint brushes or pencils and you can store the paint inside. The tops also make a great place for placing and mixing paint.

The ones without handles are great for keeping track of crayons or markers. You could also label them and put your kids names on them if they are possessive like mine are. :)

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: 35mm Film Container

I know probably very few of you if any still use film cameras. With the advent of digital cameras they are a lot easier and less expensive to use. But I know most if not all of you still have some of those film containers lying around. These containers are great for keeping track of small parts in your work area. Typically they are opaque so knowing which one to look in is always a pain in the ass. I took pictures of what was being stored inside and printed them out on small labels. I then affixed the label to the proper container and used a few pieces of clear tape over them so as not to ruin them with my greasy fingers when working on my bikes.

You can use any small container, even glass ones like baby food jars. I like these because they are small and durable. I also use these to carry small parts in my hydration pack like SRAM power links, misc. nuts or bolts, Marzocchi fork air fitting adapter, etc. In pack with fewer compartments these work great for keeping things organized.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Plastic Lanyard

`Typically when you bring your bike or wheel to a bike shop for them to fix they tag it. One of the local bike shops I go to use an adjustable plastic clip which they usually leave on when you pick up you item. I started saving these realizing their usefulness but not really knowing what I would use them for. This past winter I have been cleaning up my bike work area. Trying to organize all sorts of bike parts and hardware that I had scattered throughout the garage. I finally found a use for these clips.

These are perfect for retaining small round parts (spacers, cogs, lock rings, even small washers), they're adjustable, and they were free! These can also be used to retain headset parts and even cassettes. Now whenever I need these parts I know exactly where to look.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Dont lose it...reuse it!

So for a while now I've been thinking about how much stuff we throw away. And by "we" I mean everyone. My family has been doing what we can to control what we recycle and what we throw away. I am sure there are uses for most of the glass, plastics and metal things we all through away. I thought I would share some ideas that I've come up with for things that commonly get thrown away. Most of these will be bike related but I do have some suggestions for other hobbies. If you've got an idea, please send it to me and I'll add it to the list.

New cog on the SS

I was finally able to replace the rear cog on my SS. I had an ACS Claws 20T that was shit, the bearings inside were shit and the grease was just coming out. I traded a friend of mine (thanks Jeff) a stem for a new Shimano 20T he had in his basement. It's thius cool gold color too...so unique. I had my LBS swap out the cog for me.

What a difference! I rode it Monday night on a group ride and it was so quiet and smooth...one of the things that drew me to riding a SS in the first place. I rode it again today on some local singletrack. It feels good to be back on the singlespeed again.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

New blog look

I once again changed the look of my blog. Used Blogger's new template designer and it pretty nice for someone that has limitied understanding of HTML. Still have some tweaks to make but it almost all there.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Making 3D models of bike parts

I've been performing more monotonous functions at work lately so I decided to try and model some bike parts in Pro/ENGINEER. I am putting together an interior gear rack for my Xterra to hold a mountain bike as well as my other riding gear. Some of these parts will have to be fabricated and I figured I could model them up just to see how they would look before cutting anything. I want to incorporate some water bottle holding features So I modeled these versions up and rendered them just for fun.

Bottle cage with wood finish

Bottle cage with black finish

I'll post more pics as I get further along.

New bp logo suggestions

The oil spill going on in the Gulf is terrible. This stuff really upsets me but it does serve to drive home the point that we need to be free of fossil fuels. Why can't we get beyond this!?! One of the good things that has come out of this is all the new logo ideas for bp. I think this one is my favorite...