Going to Specialized World Headquarters for a week to get brainwashed by the Big Red S - ride some really expensive bikes, learn about products, see some really cool things.  Also my first time in California.  So I won't be around until Sunday the 5th, but I'll try and update on twitter, and maybe send some pics to the blog. 

Talk to you all soon.....


tradesman update

The Tradesman is still going through a "get to know you" phase.  That, and I'm trying to get some other projects complete, so I can free up the money to purchase the last few items I got for the bike, so I can take it home.

Anybody want to buy a Trek Transport?

I switched out the handlebars, putting on the original Rivendell Albatross bars that I wanted to put on.  When this bar becomes available (look about half way down the post) it will go on this bike.  I still want to be a little more upright I think.  (edit- I'm not putting on the Bullmoose version, I'll go with the regular style discussed at the top of the post, I was just showing a picture of  the sideview of the bar.)

Have the thumb shifters in a weird place, don't use them very much, so I put them out of the way (and it created a shorter piece of housing - so smaller loop).  I'm going to move them toward the ends a little more though.

You'll notice in this picture, the cables are brought around in big loops from the shifters and brake levers.  They were still sticking out pretty bad, so a little zip tie hold them all together.  This will facilitate a snag free platform for a bag that will be discussed when I get the money for it, or discussed before the money comes, but not shown until its paid for.

Switched out the saddle to an old Specialized Sonoma saddle and here is my Portland Design Works awesome Radbot 1000.

Lastly some new pedals, Fyxation Mesa pedals, in black.

Of course, I got these pedals, and they come out with ones that have replaceable metal spikes.  The all plastic ones will work fine, they are plenty grabby, and on an urban cargo bike - not one that is going to be jumped or super stupid stuff done on it, they should last a long time.  I'll get a review out of these after they have been ridden for a few months. 

So far, this bike has been great, nice and mobile, really handles like a normal bike - once you get used to not looking at your front wheel.  I'm digging it for the short trips I've made doing errands for the shop so far, dropping off packages at FedEx, picking up copies at the copier place, going to the bank, getting donuts and pizza, the longer commute will be coming in February, along with the hills.

More to come.....


tnf torpedo

Back in August I purchased a new windbreaker, the Torpedo Jacket from The North Face.  It has been my constant companion over the past 4 months, and I have to say, I'm a Patagonia man, but this jacket is awesome. 

 I ended up getting the jacket in Molten Red, and the polyester fabric has a real nice hand to it.  It doesn't make much noise when you are wearing it, and it feels good against your bare skin.  The jacket is technically a running jacket, so the back isn't very long like it would be on a cycling specific top, but gives you enough coverage so that your crack doesn't show.  

Reflectivity is actually better than on some riding coats, a line like this along the top on both the front and rear, but nothing down by the butt, remember this is a running jacket.  

Two hand warmer pockets on the front hold your hands - or gloves when your hands get a little on the warm side.  Also a drawcord waist can help keep the drafts out.  The wrist cuffs have a nice finish elastic to them, but it would be nice (but heavier and bulkier) to have a velcro type closure.


There is a vent along the rear of the piece, lined in a soft mesh.  This is supposed to allow some excess heat and moisture escape.  It does a pretty good job when the front zipper is down, and you have nothing across your back.  But this Fall was either cold or too warm for the jacket to be on (more on this later), or I had my messenger bag, so the vent wasn't that useful for me so far.

Hard to see on this pic, but down on the bottom back, there is two pockets.  A small zippered pocket on the right, which is the perfect size for a few pouches of energy gel or your keys, and a full length pocket is able to be accessed by your left hand.  No closure, but my waterproof electronics case slides in and stays fine in the pocket.

The material has a real nice DWR to it,keeping light rain and snow showers off of my body, but steady rain soaks right through.  The down side is that the fabric doesn't breathe really well, and besides the front zip, and the yoke vent, there isn't any other way to get excess heat and moisture to escape - even though the web description claims that there is "strategically placed mesh panel" on the side and underarms.  Maybe I have an older version, but something to look at if you are on the warm side of things. Also check on fit, even my fatty belly wears a size small, you'll want to try this piece on. 

I expect this piece to wear very well, and through the 3 washings I've put it through, multiple days in the saddle with backpack/messeger bag, and the rain and snow, the jacket is showing no signs of wear.  I'll let you know after this season of touring and mountain biking. 

Over all, a great coat, a good fit that doesn't look to tech-dorky - good for casual wear, and it is very comfy.  Can't wait for the rest of the year.....



Come on Mother Earth, get on the freakin' ball.  Its Winter, not Spring, not Fall - its FUCKING WINTER.  I don't even ski, or snowboard, just bike and do some hiking/snowshoe, but in this season which those sports are not perfect for, I've found my place and my peace with it.

Give me snow, not some dusting, a few 40°, sunny days, and then more snow.  That causes ice, which can ruin my bike ride, it messes up the respiratory systems of the humans in my household, and it makes the sun, although beautiful (and helps with my SAD), makes me long for Summer - which is a half of a year away. 

Give me months of the frozen white precipitation, let it fall, stay around, and have more fall.  Give me some cold ass temperatures, and let them stay that way, throw some sun in to cheer me up, and let my body get accustomed to one season - not 3 in one week.   

Even though I hate the cold, let my pay my penitence of the frigid and the slop, so I can bask in the heat and humidity. 



Not really resolutions, just things that I want to do better, or accomplish for the new year.  Usually these don't work out very well for me, but I'm going to try my best.  These are not in any specific order, just the things that need to get done.

1 - Ride more.  I rode about 6000 miles last year, and in 2010 around 8500.  I'd like to be closer to 8500-9000 for 2012.  Need to do more rides not associated with commuting and longer distance rides.  This does correlate to getting a bike designed for this type of mileage - the matt chester. 

2 - Spend more time in the woods.  Not just a short day hike here and there.  Some actual all day hikes, overnighters by foot and by bike, a long bikepacking trip and a backpacking trip.  Time in a tent, under the stars.

3 - Time with the family.  The kids are getting older, they'll be 3 and 8 this year, and I need more quality family time with them.  The job doesn't always allow that, but I need to make more of an effort to make sure we are doing things with them.  And with my wife.  Maybe a short bike/camping trip will actually get done this year.

4 - De-clutter.  Get rid of things, tidy up, organize the house.  Make life simpler materially, so life can be lived simpler.

5 - Do more cooking and baking.  Working 52 hours plus a week, with 1.5 hours of bike commuting a day, and a spouse that works 40-60 hours a week with an hour drive each way leads to poor supper choices.  Need to do more cooking - which I enjoy - and baking - which I enjoy more - will destress the body, and help make healthier food choices. 

6 - Have more fun.  I'm pretty tense and stressed all the time.  Needs to change.  I think that it will help with more than one of the above goals.

Six things to work on for 2012.  I guess that you can call them resolutions, but I prefer "Freakin' Things to Get Freakin' Done" FTTGD