Tuesday, March 06, 2012


More disjointed meandering today... Enjoy!

Disgustingly dirty!

This "tweener season continues with a day of snow, then a day of thawing. I have been riding the Snow Dog to work lately and have found a couple urban mud holes to try my skills at.

It's pretty amazing when I look at how deep the wheels are sinking in, (over the tires and up onto the rims at points), and yet I can keep moving forward while keeping my balance.

The real tough thing to negotiate is to cross back over where I have gone before and try to not get taken out by my previously made deep ruts. It ain't easy. The real bad thing about this is that my bike is disgustingly dirty. Like a low down, jacked up Ford F-150 with 36" mudders. This will take a while to get all cleaned up again. But man! It's soooo much fun!

And to ward off any Eco-critcisms, these places I am riding are both not sensitive. One is a former drive in theater lot, (or more correctly, what hasn't been eaten up by urban development), and the other is a tiny stretch along Highway 63 which levels itself out every rain storm. So no worries there, and given that each of these stretches are far enough from each end of the route, I get most of the goop slagged off before I arrive at my destination.

Lejeune Update:

Well, the spokes which were the last thing I was waiting on have been delivered. These were hand cut and threaded on a Japanese spoke cutting-threading machine. A friend in town has this amazing machine, and I am grateful for the work done.

Now on to lacing these wheels up onto the Salsa Delgado rims. Then it will be time to throw on a set of Panaracer Pasela shoes. Once that point is reached, the bike simply will need new cables and housings, along with a rebuild of the bearings throughout with new grease. Finally, a new wrap of fresh bar tape, and then it will be on to riding some gravel.

I suspect by the time I get through everything, the gravel should be pretty dry out in the rural areas, so timing should work out great for this.

NAHBS Update: 

I saw more of James Huang's Bike Radar coverage of NAHBS, which if you haven't checked out, you should. It's as good as going to the show as anything, minus the people. (Which could be good or bad depending upon your viewpoint.) I myself would like to go to NAHBS someday and just talk to every interesting person I could, then go home and look at James Huang's images in the comfort of my home with a cuppa joe in my jammies. (But that's just me maybe)

Anyway, all that to say that the "all-road", "fat road" term did indeed pop up more and was tagged as a trend that would be making inroads on your local bike shops soon. I guess we all could see that coming if we were paying attention.

For Ben:

Well, Ben won't see this right away, most likely, since he's off riding fat bikes in Northern Minnesota, but I have to confess I am liking the fenders on my Black Mountain Cycles "Monster Cross" rig. Ya know, if they don't cause too much calamity on the gravels, I think I am going to get some nicer ones to mount up on to it.

It'd be cool to get some aluminum ones, then paint them a contrasting color, but that would be better for the "fat road" bike he and I have discussed before. Well, we'll see, but I am just saying the fenders are starting to grow on me.

Okay, that's it for this time..........


Exhausted_Auk said...

Only thing I have found with fenders on gravel is that, if the clearance between fender and tire is not big enough, then pieces of gravel that the tires pick up from time to time get pushed around the fender with a nasty scraping noise. Ironically of course this happens more often in the wet.....

Guitar Ted said...

@Exhausted_Auk: Rode home the long way. Pizza-cuttered through some squishy gravel, mud, peanut butter road, and gravel. No skritchy-scratchy, so that's a good sign. I did leave plenty of clearance over the tires, so that obviously helped.

Erik said...

I've ridden hundreds and hundreds of gravel miles with VO aluminum fenders. My riding buddy has plastic SKS fenders. Both have held up great, but my aluminum fenders are dramatically louder. Every little pebble that gets kicked up sounds like a BB being shaken in an empty soup can. Irritating. If I ever need to replace them, I'll go with plastic, even though I prefer the looks of the metal ones.

Bobby said...

Went to NAHBS for a 1/2 day on Saturday. Ended up spending most of that time catching up with old friends and had to do a retroactive geek out when I got home to see all the bikes I missed.

You should definitely go if you can. You'd love it.