Friday, February 22, 2019

Friday News And Views

From my last trip to Frostbike. Maybe my last one ever?
Frostbike 2019:

Another February, another Frostbike. Another Frostbike I won't be going to. This makes it four years in a row that I haven't gone to the dealer only show in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

I probably am seen as a liability to those in the legal department at Quality Bicycle Products. (Hold that thought) I used to get invited personally every year, but since 2015, I haven't been invited at all, except through the "general admission" channel which dealers get. I am not in charge of that at my shop and those who are don't ask if I want to go, or bother to sign me up when I do express interest, so whatever..... It is what it is. Anyone who thinks I should have gone just needs to ring up the shop where I work and put a plug in for me next time. It isn't that I won't go, just so you know.

So back to the "liability" comment. See, when I used to go to Frostbike, it was complete mayhem, generally. Yeah, I know most of you reading this think I am a level headed dude, for the most part, but Frostbike was the scene of some of my more outlandish examples of misbehavior. The former Northfield bicycle shop, Mike's Bikes, being the primary venue, but there were other times. Like that time I got then Salsa Cycles head honcho, Jason Boucher's car towed. Or that time a bunch of us were traversing barriers in a parking garage with three story drops. Or how about the last time I went, where I walked from downtown Minneapolis to the 494 loop in the middle of the night with nothing but a cotton hoodie for a coat in 17°F weather in the snow.

There was the time I crashed a dealer only party upstairs at QBP, and several times I was in places I wasn't cleared to be in. Yeah....... Those were the days, or so they say. Anyway, I lived a lifetime of hi-jinx at Frostbike so not going is probably adding years to my life.

Anyway...... Surly is set to introduce an e-bike and Salsa is set to introduce new FS mountain bikes. There will be media press release blitz packages broadcast everywhere. This and more media splashes will occur making the going to Frostbike pretty much superfluous. Besides, Minneapolis is supposed to get a blizzard this weekend. Ah! The joys of the internet!

The Honest Air gauge left a bit to be desired.
Blackburn Honest Air Digital Gauge: Mini-Review:

Back in November I got this Blackburn "Honest Air" digital tire pressure gauge. It is supposed to read your pressure and give you an audible prompt when it has that reading for you. Then it holds that reading until you dismiss it. The gauge was made to read Presta or Schrader tubeless valves/tubes.

The head swivels to reach awkward angles and leave the gauge readable. There is also a bleed valve to bleed off excessive pressure until an optimum pressure has been reached.

I liked the portability and that an audible prompt let you know that you had an accurate reading. Valve type compatibility isn't a top priority with me, but the head looked like it was very suitable for Presta valves so I was fine with that. Initial tests with the gauge after I purchased it proved to be good. I figured I was off to a good experience with this gauge.

That wasn't to be the case, however. I tried using the gauge to monitor pressure in my fat bike's tires after riding in 10°F weather and I had a lot of difficulty even getting the gauge to read anything at all. In use on one tire, I had to try three times to get the gauge to read, and the other tire proved that the gauge simply would not read anything at all.

Was it the cold? I tried just the other day to read the pressure on the same fat bike tires after the bike had warmed up after several hours indoors. I still had issues with getting a reading. I had to try three times to get the gauge to give me any reading at all.

Unfortunately buying the Honest Air digital gauge has proven to be a frustrating purchase. When it does read a pressure, it is accurate, but I cannot abide by a product that only works in a random fashion. The Honest Gauge is a subpar effort, in my opinion.

Note- The Honest Air Digital Gauge was purchased by Guitar Ted with his own money. He was not paid, nor bribed for this review. 

Guitar Ted and his snow pile.
Snow Record:
Well, we did it. We broke the record for February snow fall recorded in Waterloo, Iowa. I've lived here since 1991 and I have never piled up snow this high before.

By the way, I'm standing in front of one of about four piles I've shoveled this high. Not to brag, but to say, "We've gotten a lot of snow in the last few weeks." As N.Y. Roll would remind me if he were here right now, this ain't nuthin' compared to upstate New York's "lake effect" band, but for Iowa, this is a bit unusual. Anyway, this and whatever we get this weekend, (supposedly another big dump, or mostly rain, depending on who you believe), will make for a very interesting March. 

Obviously, the Sun is going to win, and very soon. Winter will retreat, and as it does, all this snow is going to become water, and that will need to go..........somewhere. Now, I am no climatologist, hydrologist, or expert in that way, tell me I am crazy if ya want to, but I think flooding is in our future. Yep. And it may end up becoming a real big problem if we have a wet Spring.

Another thing I am betting on and that is that we will have snow in the ditches yet for the C.O.G. 100. N.Y. Roll says "no". Guess we will have to make a wager out of this. Stay tuned........

That's it for this week. Have a great week. Go CIRREM riders!


Ari said...

Jay and my crew have epic stories from frostbike as well. I am so glad we never met up with you. We would have gotten thrown out of the state.

Rydn9ers said...

Oddly enough I think I have pictures of that eBike from Surly, can't remember exactly were I got them though. Will be interesting to see if what I have is what the final product is going to look like and if the name is going to stick.

Rydn9ers said...

Ha, just Googled the name and didn't realize they had already released it to the wild. Been sitting on the pictures of the exact same bike since January 19th, name and color are identical.