Sunday, November 30, 2014


Saturday was beautiful. Messy, but beautiful.
This past weekend was a great example of what the Winter has been like so far. It got quite warm Saturday, and then Sunday it plunged back to quite chilly and freezing temperatures.

I had a bit of a test to complete with the titanium Mukluk, so I headed out in the afternoon after we did a bunch of house cleaning and got into the mucky-muck. It was quite the mixture of slushy snow, ice, mud, water, and sand. It was perfect for what I was wanting to achieve with my testing, (which I cannot get into publicly here), so I was rather pleased with that fact. I was also having some fun as well.

I made a loop that took in a spur trail to the lake, around the lake after messing about on the beaches, and then a pass through Marky-Mark, back to the lake and back down the spur trail and out of the Green Belt back home. The entire time I was dealing with constantly changing trail surfaces and conditions, which made the ride doubly interesting for me. Not that this loop is bad, but part of the fun is how sloppy the Green Belt can get and having to deal with that. I used to go out here after rains on my old 26"ers until I found out that just served to tear up the equipment. Fat bikes and modern technology have overcome a lot of those former issues I used to have to deal with. However; you still have to clean up the bike afterward!

It almost seemed like Spring in places where the Sun's light hits directly for longer periods of time.
You don't need to go to Alaska to ride beaches!
I'm a little concerned about water levels. Black Hawk Creek normally covers up that sandy beach there.
New components- New position.
Sunday the weather was changing rapidly. A strong push of Arctic air had entered the region and the Spring-like warmth was replaced by the bite of the North winds. I still wanted to get out and I decided that it would be a great idea to swap out handle bar, stem, and grips on my son's Mukluk. He had been complaining of sore wrists and I thought he looked a little cramped now that his saddle height has come up to keep up with growth. I scrounged up an old Easton stem and an old, but nearly unused standard bar. I also found a pair of modified Ergon grips for Grip Shift that I used on my old Snow Dog build. A few minutes of twisting Allen keys and I was done with the transformation.

Up from the Lab and with his bicycle in hand we tried out the new position. He seemed pleased by the grips, but never noticed the bar and stem until I pointed those out to him. Funny!

Well, we had to test it out, so we bundled up and headed out for however long he could stand the weather. I needed to tighten a few things a bit more after we figured out his preferences, but within two blocks he was crowing about how much better he liked his bicycle than before. Okay, so now let's pay attention to where you are going! He was checking out the new stuff and not looking when he nearly KO'ed a fence! I think the new, upright position suits him well and his wrists shouldn't pester him any more. That was a good thing.

The cold, on the other hand, was not a good thing. It was one of those North winds with teeth in it. Our faces were numb and my fingers weren't too happy in my gloves. Should have brought out the lobster mittens. The air temperature was hovering at 20°F, but it felt a whole lot colder than that! We ended up making a short loop of the neighborhood and heading back after 40 minutes. Not a very long ride, but now the boy is stoked on his bike again since it doesn't hurt to ride it as it did before. That bodes well for future longer rides. I'm calling it a success.

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