Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Gluten-Free Fuel: blueberry, pinion, blue corn pancakes.

A good meal to start the day is just as important as keeping a well lubed chain for a successful ride.
Pancakes for people who don't like pancakes.
These pancakes are a surefire way to carbload and add a smile to your face.
This is my top secret recipe refined to perfection. 

1/2 cup Pamela's Gluten Free Pancake Mix
1/2 cup  Blue Corn Meal
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup blueberries


Toast pine nuts to a deep mahogany

Chop up the blueberries with a sharp knife

Mix dry ingredients

Mix in oil, egg, and water into dry ingredients
Mix blueberries and pine nuts into batter
Heat your cast iron skillet just above medium.
 Cook to a golen brown.

Butter and grade B maple syrup are highly recommend.
Pair with your favorite combination of eggs, veggies,  and breakfast beer.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Shoddy Pseudo-Journalism

Interested in Fat Bikes?

The following article is absolute garbage and full of inaccuracies:
(but the comments generated a worthwhile discussion)

Pondering the Point of Snow Bikes While Riding With Wolves

Thankfully a prompt rebuttal in local media from someone who knows how to write:

Fat Bikes: Setting the Record Straight

Thursday, February 14, 2013

rumor mill: fatbikes gaining girth

Fatback/Speedway to be testing prototype 190mm symmetrical rear spaced frames on the ITI race; will be the first symmetrical fatbike frame to clear 100mm rims with the big meat 4.8 tyres.  This will be a good test of the "real world" benefits on expedition riding the maximum floatation vs rolling resistance debate.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Bigger is Floatier

Awoke to 14" of fresh snow blanketing the trail for my morning commute, a welcomed return to winter, after the 40 degree temperatures over the weekend.  Riding through snow of this depth always leaves an unique track pattern.  Alternating "pedal dabs" at each low point of the pedal stroke, dipping into the untouched powder on either side of the tire track. 
Soft untracked trail conditions such as these is where fatbikes and their large volume rubber really shine.  If a 3.8" tire offers superior traction and floatation to a conventional mountain bike, then a 4.8" tire will surely allow further increase in said benefits.  Is the weight penalty and additional cost of  my 100mm rims with 4.8" wide tires worth it?  The marketing gurus at Surly Bikes would have me believe so.   

The depth of the  aforementioned 'pedal dabs' can serve as a good visual indicator of how much "float" your fat-tires are actually providing in soft snow conditions.  

The sole other bike track on the trail this morning was undoubtedly left by another fatbike equipped with with 70-80mm rims and 4.0" Husker Du tires.  In riding next to the other track and observing the depth of the other pedal dabs, they appeared to be over an inch deeper into the top layer of snow than those left by my Surly Moonlander.  All other variables being equal, my wide rims and tires appear to have afforded me more float in the soft snow in this morning's conditions, or perhaps the other rider weighed 60 pounds more than me.  Maybe it's my susceptibility to marketing or a healthy dose of cognitive dissonance, I believe that my controlled objective scientific study has proven bigger is floatier when the going gets soft, but admittedly a different story on hard-pack.  

EDIT: Surly announced today that they have official discontinued the fat tire that started a revolution in cycling: The Surly Endomorph is no more; Long live Big Fat Larry, Bud, Lou, and whatever gargantuan tires await our future. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Icelandic Single Track Day Dreams

In conceptualizing an upcoming tour of Iceland, the following video serves as inspiration for the planning and good tool for assessing some of the terrain we will be navigating in the back-country. Pretty incredible. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Pirating is the mother of invention

In my excitement of bike-tinkering and cannibalizing of parts to build up the travelers-check, my Long Tail Trucker was left without a crankset and front derailleur.  Fortunately I had an old truvative crankest and even older shimano derailleur, but the derailleur was a top-pull and not compatible with the Trucker's down-tube shifters.  The pictures bellow chronicle rerouting the cable by repurposing a spare cantilever brake hanger mounted to the seat-tube at the water bottle cage brazon.  I also used a brake cable for added strength.   Repurposing parts is much more fun, economical, and good for the earth, than buying new parts. 
Fit in some cable housing, and duct-tape it in place: 

Beginning to build

My attempts to build up the Surly Travers Check on a budget have led me to scrounging through the bins of components left over from other projects, parts taken in trade,  various craigslist impulse  buys, and eying the other bikes in my stable with cannibalistic intentions . 
In looking at the hodgepodge of parts, a vision of the build begins to form.   This Travelers Check is a unique and rare frame (now out of production), easily packable into a suitcase for hassle free air travel thanks to the S&S couplers; and with 132.5mm spaced horrizontal rear dropouts, it has the ability to be built as a singlespeed or geared; with road or mountain hubs.  Equally at home happy road riding on narrow slicks or tearing up muddly trails, Fatties Fit Fine. This particular dark blue Travelers Check will serve as the foundation of a mini-29er of sorts, a MonsterCross bike, with the largest tires possible crammed  into the frame and fork.  The bike will need to serve duty as reliable transportation for commuting,   conquering the muddy rooted local singletrack, weekend bike packing missions, the occasional cyclocross race next fall, and extended backcountry touring in Iceland and Spain come July.  beginning stages of the build: Shimano Triple will turn a vintage XTR titanium 8 speed cassette.   XTR brakes for low weight,  reliability,  and maximum stopping power. Titanium railed Saddle to mellow harsh vibes.  Silver Thomson Elite for strengh and style to color match the S&S Couplers.  Stay tuned for dynamo hub wheel build.