not really news...

The weather looks like it finally wants to become Spring, the rain has been here for a while now, but for at least the next few days, we'll get some sun, warmer temperatures, and a little drying out time. Hopefully I'll be able to get away and get some riding in, only one ride so far this year that wasn't my commute - although I do have about 1,000 miles in this year in commuting miles.

If you've read my blog before, you will notice I changed it around a little bit. Change is good sometimes. I added my favorite comic Yehuda Moon to the left. It is a good read, so enjoy.

The Transport is still proving to be fun. I'm really enjoying riding this bike. I still have to figure out how to carry my 2 year old daughter on it though. I'll have some pictures up of the new 26x2.0 slicks, the new fender set, and of my light mount and extra rear bag. Still haven't gotten the stupid SD card reader on the home computer to work, and my cell phone is charging, so I'll do some new pictures when I get the higher rise stem in. Hopefully tomorrow it'll come in, but the main pictures will be of my new Manager's Bike:

The Store Manager's at the shop I work at get to demo a new bike each year. It is the store's bike, we can let customers or other employees take it out, but we are responsible for the bike at the end of the year. This bike should be fun, it is the almost exact opposite (I would still get a 29er - like I already have) of what I would personally buy - carbon, front suspension, 2x10, coasting, only good at one thing - ripping up the trails. If it ever dries out, that is what I'll be doing.

The Hunter FixieMonsterCross has been sitting doing nothing, I have been riding the Transport everywhere, and now that it is in entirely dirt mode, 33x18 is not much fun for spinning down steep, paved roads. I'm hoping MC is doing better so he'll be able to get my ti road all-rounder out soon, that is the bike I plan on riding mostly, so it is what I have planned most of my "season" and trips around this year. Heal fast my man, I'm getting anxious.

More tomorrow...


trans iowa v.7

The Trans Iowa Version 7 ran this past weekend. I had signed up for this a few years ago, but ended up not being able to go. A big-assed loop over gravel and crappier roads through the ruralness of Iowa, for over 300 miles, with a time limit. Seven runnings - some years not even a finisher, the weather is a humongous factor, along with having to ride through the night.

Check out a blow by blow account by one of its founders Guitar Ted here.



Happy Birthday to my wonderful wife, Julie. I hope that you have a great day! Love You!

Happy Earth Day! Ride your bike.


first transport reflections

I got my new Transport last Friday, and I promptly got it built up.

First thing to get switched up is the controls on the handlebars. The stock shifters and brake levers are fine, good quality parts, but they need my own personal touch. The Avid Speed Dial 7s for the stopping and Suntour Accushift thumbshifters will take care of the (limited) shifting duties. The brake levers feel more secure than the stock ones. The shifters are on there because they are idiot proof, and I hate bike maintence. Also, the bike came with a rear V brake - I upgraded to a BB5 disc to match the front. I don't know why the bike didn't come with a stock rear disc brake, long tailed cargo bikes carry a lot of weight over their rear wheel, and rim brakes just don't cut it for long when you wheel gets tweaked. Thank you Trek for putting a M475 rear hub on the bike, it made for a cheap upgrade.

Stock rear derailleur had a little to be desired - was begging for an upgrade. I had this Deore on the Xtracycle, so on the Transport it goes. You'll notice the spoke reflector and dork disc, coming off when the wider tires get here.

Other equipment upgrades aren't as important, a bolt-on seatpost collar, Portland Design Works Speed Metal Grips, and better pedals.

The Transport comes with one of the side bags. It is held on with 3 clips to the top rack, and the bottom rests on the fold down side supports. When not using the bags, just fold up the support (and tighten down with a toe clip strap makes it not rattle) and you have a svelte machine.

The bag is weather resistant, I think that in a heavy downpour, things will get wet. A heavy duty zipper keeps stuff inside, and an internal strap keeps the bag together while loading/unloading. There is two inside mesh pockets and one velcro pocket on the outside to organize your stuff. Two long straps keep the load cinched down and I wove them through the bottom supports to keep things from shifting around too much.

Rear light is a Portland Design Works rack mount zip tied to the top rack, with a Danger Zone, and the space on the back of the rack holds my u-lock just fine.

Other things on the horizon, a new headset (rant soon), some wider tires (2.0 for a little more comfort), fenders, a second pannier, and a light mount for the front rack.

How does it ride? So this bike is fun. It rides like a normal bike, except you have to remember the back end is much longer than a normal bike, so the turning radius is a little funny. Something I'm used to from riding the Xtracyle. It is also heavy, that is to be expected. I'll have more on how it rides when I've ridden it for a little longer period of time, more than 15 miles. The fit is pretty good, I might go with a little longer and higher rise stem, I think that being 5"6" is pushing the limit of the size 17" frame size.

Talk to you soon.



Quick picture of my new Trek Transport, more to come.

Happy 7th Birthday to my awesome son, Owen!



Maybe some new pictures on Friday! Cargo bike should be coming on the delivery truck, and I hope to be able to get some parts hung on it. Stripped the Xtracycle to get the Suntour Thumbshifters, Shitmano rear derailleur, and Avid Speed Dial 7 brake levers. Rear brake already at shop, and hopefully the other parts I ordered with the bike get dropped off tomorrow also.

On the other news front.....nothing. MC is slowly recovering from a pretty nasty concussion. Been there, it sucks. Years ago, I was a nationally ranked kata and fighting competior in the two main Sport Karate organizations of the day, NASKA and the NBL. I've had my share of head injuries. I also have had some emergency medical training, and my wife is a Certified Athletic Trainer doing a research study on concussions of female athletes, and the information on concussions hits home. Get well my friend, have a speedy recovery.

Drop bars are on the Hunter, now back to being a FixieMonsterCross, not a FixieMonsterHybrid.

More later this weekend........



So no sooner than I fix the fender on the Hunter, I decide to cut/unbolt/dismantle the fenders, remove the 700x38 slicks, and put back on the tires it was designed for - Panaracer Fire Cross.

The reason, this crappy rain can't stay around for ever, I'll eventually get to ride on some trails, and hopefully the MC will be in my hands soon. The Hunter is a great bike, designed around flared drop bars like the WTB Dirt Drops or the On-One Midges. I've used both on the bike, but I decided to put on a pair of "alt" mountian bars, the Crivitz from Bontrager (and yes my finger is healing fine). The handling isn't too far off, but I will probably be going back to the flare bar soon.

I'll get some more detailed pictures and info on the frame up soon, its getting late and I'm beat. I also have to change a flat on this bike. When I got to work today and put my bike in the rack, I had a flat rear tire. At least at work I have access to a work stand, tools, air compressor, and unlimited tubes. About .25 miles from home today, I heard a "thunk thunk - KABOOM". Front tire explosion. A short walk home and I'll have to fix it before the morning.

Maybe I should have kept the other tires on.....



Lots of weird, bad luck stuff happening. Computer issues, crappy weather, and the really bad insomnia is back. So riding to work on Saturday, a loud plasticly rattling sound starts up. I had just checked all the fasteners, so something was amiss. If you have read my blog for a while (3 months or so), you know that I almost always use SKS fenders. Well, back before I had the Hunter FixieMonsterCross, I had a semi-custom bike from a builder in Texas. Things didn't work out so unfortunately, that bike is gone (I wish I still had it though - a rebuild like they offered instead of a refund). I had bought a pair of Planet Bike Cascadia Fenders for this 29er, because at the time, they were the only fenders of that size out there. When I got the Hunter, I had Rick build the frame around 700x45's or 38 with fenders - the Cascadias came back out. They have worked great. I put the SKS Secu Clip quick release tabs on front for sticks and rocks, and on the rear to help facilitate rear wheel removal, although it doesn't work as well as I hoped. So...

fender breaks right above the jury-rigged bracket. Dangit. So out comes the drill, and zip tie to the seat tube. Clean and simple.

Also, while the bike is in the stand, I decide to cut the Bontrager Crivitz bars down. Being lazy, I tried to cut them on the bike, hacksaw slips,

cuts my finger, not bad, but enough to decrease mobility for a while. That was a stupid move. Bars off the bike, into the vise, cut down, and back on the bike - done.

Hopefully luck will change soon.....

Have a good one.



Started to do my review on the Bontrager Commuter Jacket, but every time I put the SD card in computer, the computer crashes. Yes insert dirty nasty jokes here, I thought of most of them. So it'll have to wait a few days until I can get it sorted out.

I think I've got my choice of Cargo Bikes picked, look for the news in a week or two. Now if I can get some news from Canada.....

Weekend looks like crappy weather. I'll have to keep the fender on and the rain gear close at hand for a while longer. Maybe the insulated shoes can be put away.

Until next time....