Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Night Ride

I love autumn.  The weather means I can bust out my classy flannel shirts, my beard doesn't look like a desperate attempt to hide my neck waddle, and riding bikes is so much more fun.  The cool, (not cold) weather is refreshing at mile 15, and the landscapes inspire longer rides and bigger grins.
But this beauty comes at a price, and we all know that price is the shorter days.  But this too, can make mountain biking a whole new adventure.  Isn't that why we do what we do?  To find adventure? Fall provides that adventure in the form of a night ride.  I love night riding because as the days get shorter, it is a great way to extend your season, and with fat bikes it is like a never ending season!  But you have to have the right equipment.  Here is my equipment list for those new to this:

1. Helmet, bike, gloves, water, bike...basics you would have on any ride

2. Lights.  I like to have a light on my handlebar, and one mounted on my helmet.  The handlebar light is a given, but the helmet mount gives the advantage of being able to look further ahead and around corners.  My handlebar light is a pro series NiteRider light.  Powerful with a long lasting battery.  The light I mount on my helmet is a Stella Light & Motion, though it is an older model, it has stood the test of time and it is equally bright with a super fast charge time and a long lasting battery.  There are tons of quality light companies out there, but these two are tops in my books because they last, and you can find them at your local bike shop.  #supportlbs
3. Friends who are as crazy as you are.  Seriously, it is nice to have friends on night rides.  I go alone all the time because I enjoy the comfort of solitude.  But it can be scary out there.

So go ride your bike...longer too.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Tour de Laramie, a non-sanctioned sport.

Greetings friends, this blog begins like all good blogs,...with cheap wine.  Last night Jessica and I decided to examine the world around us.  What was around us?  The Tour de Laramie.  It is a grand event, similar to the Marine Corp Ball.  What follows, isn't for the faint of heart.  It is only for the strong, the ideologically profound.  The geeks.  It is bicyclists depraved and acting like children.  And after all, isn't that why we love bicycles.  At the end of a long day, a long week, a long month, a long semester,....bikes remind us of our first freedom.  That first pedal stroke without training wheels, when we ride away from our parents, and into the open spaces where we learn to be the person they taught us we could become.  We ride bikes because it is fun.  I saw some some fun, and I am so excited about the coming season.  Let's go ride.  Because bikes.
1st street, in all its glory.
Winter and Loni! 

Jeff loves love.  

I love Wyoming
Jeff has a pink collar.  So what. 
The Bicycle knows

Security is important, that is why we have superheroes.  I see a superhero, but a name escapes me. 

  That is right, because bikes.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Global Fat Bike Summit 2015

Fat Bikes from there to here, fat bikes from here to there, fat bikes are everywhere! 

The 2015 Global Fat Bike Summit took place in Jackson Hole, WY Jan.23-25. Dewey and I left Laramie with fat bikes in tow, Jeff and Lenny in the backseat and visions of Snake River Brewery Pilsner and Lager on tap. 

Surly brought a whole mess of Moonlander fat bikes. Being from Wyoming and growing up on a working horse ranch, I have a fondness for the bright green and yellow of a John Deere tractor. It's iconic. It reminds me of my childhood. And as it turns out it makes for a good looking bike. 

Felt brought their new aluminum fat bikes, the Double Double 30 and the Double Double 70. They also brought two FAT E-bikes, the Lebowske 10 and the Outfitter. It was a trip to ride one...all of a sudden I had serious skills. I couldn't help but have perm-a-grin as I rallied past a guy walking his fat bike up a hill and another rider seriously struggling. 

Every time I neared the Borealis tent, I heard "Wow, that was amazing". I couldn't have said it better myself. They have clearly built an excellent fat bike.

The Short Track Race was short. Riders seemed to be having a great time!


The weather was beautiful. The company was great. And the beer was oh so good!

This blog started with a google search for songs about bicycles...found one 
I LOVE it! It has nothing to do with Fat bikes. Enjoy!

I also found a new video of freestyle fat biking. It's fabulous too! 


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Making Dreams come true.

"Making dreams come true."  We take great pride in that idea.  

We have all seen, and been affected by the smile of someone who buys a new bike.  For me, it stirs up the sense of adventure I feel every time I move at a speed that I create making me a part of a symphony of symbiosis. It is a big part of working in a bicycle shop, and it feels pretty good. 

But the reason being a mechanic is special is because of the other part of the job.

"Making dreams come true."  It has a deep meaning to me because I am fortunate enough to work with people who have been well educated in the craft of making broken things work very well again.  If it can be fixed, or made to work, then it is with these hands that it will happen. That is the true meaning of the words; "Making dreams come true."

When there is desperation in the eyes of someone who is afraid they have wounded an old friend beyond repair, my mind searches desperately for a solution. I know what it is like to lose a bicycle to the destructive nature of the universe.  These moments, when we have the opportunity to keep someone on a bicycle they love, they are the reason this job is special to me.

Recently I was presented with something that made me smile:

The Bike: 2011 Brougham by Felt Cycles.
The Job: Add a FreeRadical by Xtracycle

The Problem - Without a chainstay bridge the Xtracycle will float from side to side with a fixed gear.
The chainstay bridge isn't necessary for the Xtracycle to work.  In fact, in their directions, they have a handy dandy way to solve this problem.  But...when using a fixed gear bicycle like Felt's Brougham, there are some extra factors to keep in context.  Chain tension and chain line are extremely important.  If they are off, say because the Xtracycle floats between the stays, then parts could be damaged, and the bike is in the shop.  So it needs to be perfect.
The solution: Make a brace to fill the space.  (Formerly a top tube from a steel bicycle frame.)

Powder Coat it!
Make sure it looks good!

Assemble the contraption!

Make sure it works!

Make dreams come true. 
I really enjoyed this project.  Recycling the world one discarded part from our basement at a time.   I was happy to help make an old bicycle feel brand new.  Thanks Gus, Jackie and Axle.  Happy Trails from the Pedal House.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

2014 Chubby Chaser in Happy Jack Recreation Area

The Sun shown bright, Borealis is light, deep in the heart of Med Bow. In fact, it's the sun that makes winter tolerable for both Dewey and I. Typically, we spend the winter dreaming of biking and hiking on snow free trails in our favorite place on Earth the Happy Jack Recreation Area.

With the introduction of fat tire bikes into our lives, Dewey has learned to love aspects of winter as it keeps him on the trail. Being able to photograph the Chubby Chaser allowed Jessica an opportunity to spend a day in the woods and it was fantastic.

Before the sun started shining, Dewey learned a few things about what it takes to put on a race.  Friday at six the Pedal House has been known to partake in a few beverages to wrap up the week.  Not the Friday before the Chubby Chaser, not for Dewey.  There was work to do.  Bike riding work.  Such hard work.

Evan O'Toole  and Miguel had been working all week to set up the trails, snow shoeing and riding the course to make sure it was packed down.  On Friday Evan, Miguel, Ali and Dewey went out to "work" late, setting up the course markings and making sure that the conditions could support our outing.  Dewey took it upon himself to do check the avalanche danger in Happy Jack....okay so he wrecked and his dent looked like an avalanche pit.
The morning of the race was perfect, and good news, there would be no avalanche in Happy Jack this day!  Safety first, then teamwork. And after the pre-ride, Dewey declared the trails; "PERFECT!"  As riders began to emerge from their dwellings, shaking off the winter doldrums with a Spring outing, the race started to take shape. Evan gave instructions to the 15 participants, Jessica headed out onto the course to gather photographic evidence of the day's events and Dewey ate doughnuts.
The View from Dewey's Bike,....this is the carrot we used to get him to pre-ride the course.
Evan O'Toole describes the course and starts the riders.

They're off, and John kept that lead to the end.  Congrats John. 

A very photogenic group indeed! Thanks to all the riders who participated!! These events would not be possible without all of you.


Zoey is like, "Hey, what's in here?" ....Doughnuts of course, she has a good sniffer.
Borealis was well represented. 

After the race, enjoying stories and more doughnuts!

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped make this a great race...Cydney, Zach, Evan O'Toole, Miguel Rosales, Winter, Seth Sweely and Dewey Gallegos.

Photos courtesy of Jessica Flock