Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Nothing to report,

Except that it looks like I'll be getting an El Mariachi in a couple weeks. I've been in talking to the bike shop almost daily and we've worked out a pretty good deal. Salsa is supposed to start shipping the bikes soon and hopefully it'll reach Arizona before I do. If it doesn't, Tim's still ready to loan me his Niner S.I.R. 9. I'll have something to ride either way, but I'd prefer it to be my bike.

Changing gears now(it's funny because I'm getting a geared bike!), I thought I'd throw up a few pictures of the job that I'm just about done with. I got the job handed to me about 3/4 complete and really enjoyed finishing it up. It's the first project I've had in a long time that allowed for a decent amount of creativity. Of course, it helps to have really cool homeowners too.

On another work related note, I got my business cards today. The box is literally a foot and a half long, I take it as a sign that they like me and plan on keeping me around for a while.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Birthday ride

To celebrate my 31st I went out for a short little ride at Hamlin Park. I didn't cover any distance to speak of, I just rode around sessioning some fun little spots and enjoyed the nice weather. I also played around with the camera's self timer a little.

My timing is pretty lousy.
I don't think the camera's 10 second timer is quite enough for me, I tried this shot a number of times and just couldn't get there.

This is the closest I got to a shot on the bale.

I was at least able to squeeze in one decent bike porn shot before the battery died.

Post ride I came straight home to find that Michele had purchased me a wii in my absence. I was surprised especially since just the day before we had agreed that she wouldn't get me anything and we would call my pending bike upgrade my gift.

By the way, I won't be returning the wii.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Why I wasted my day yesterday...

I listed the Volpe on Craigslist late Friday night and Saturday I started getting hit up early. There were all the normal CL crazies: the guy who was 6'2" and convinced that my 52cm bike was his size, The Lowballer who offered less than half my listed price, and of course the broken English email offer of a cashier's check for a grand over my asking price. Through all the shit I got a couple of genuine offers including one at the full asking price(which was slightly inflated). So this morning I delivered the bike and collected my cash. Cash that's going to help fund a new bike. I'll be ordering through Rage and hopefully it'll arrive before I get to town in three weeks to ride with my dad.

Happy birthday to me!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

New Meat

Just got done putting new rubber on Michele's and my mountain bikes.

Michele's been running the same Hutchinson Scorpions since we picked up her bike over a year and a half ago. I kinda thought them shit tires when I first saw them but never got around to picking up replacements. Our recent foray onto muddy trails confirmed that she needed something new. She gets the Michelin's that I bought for last year's potential mudfest that wasn't, ToWM. They're 2.0s, just like the Hutchinsons, but they have a more open and deeper tread pattern(especially since the Hutchinsons are bald). I only put a mere 42 miles on them, in fact the one that I had up front still has all it's nubbies.

For my bike I picked up a pair of WTB VelociRaptors. The 2.1 tires are much smaller than what I'm used to and they kind of look funny on the bike. The tires have been around forever and have a tried and true tread pattern, very similar to the Kona Scratch and Sniff tires that I loved so much back in the day. I've been running the same 2.5 WTB Weirwolf up front for the last two and a half years and it's held up amazingly well, well enough in fact that it's going to go back on the bike when the trails dry out again next year. My back tire won't be so lucky, it's a Maxxis Ignitor that was new for this year's WOR and is almost completely bald after a mere five months. It's a decent tire with pretty good grip but didn't last me anywhere near long enough. Unless the rear VelociRaptor knocks my socks off I'll be in the market for a new rear summer tire come next spring.

I'm hoping to get in a couple of rides this weekend to try out the new setup. Michele works Saturday but maybe she'll be able to get out there with me on Sunday.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


View from the top of half mile hill

This picture won't mean much to you unless you're familiar with the trail. The local access group built a Devil's Down bypass, it's pretty nice. (not that DD is really all that hard)

Len at the bottom of the bypass

Trail markers are new to me as well


Len's protesters

Ten years ago Michele and I had our first apartment in this building.

Spokane visit

Michele made the decision not to join me on the trip to Spokane which really made things much easier for me. Once I finished up my day in North Bend I just headed straight East avoiding all of the Friday afternoon traffic(the worst Seattle has to offer in my opinion). When I first hit the I-90 the weather was downright biblical at the top of the pass however it was quite serene.I was surprised to see snow at such a low altitude so early in the year, but it wasn’t sticking to the pavement so in my book it doesn’t really count.Twenty miles later the sun was out and the skies were blue and it pretty much stayed that way until it got dark.

Once in Spokane Len and I headed out to find a bite to eat in town and talk both dirt and shop, on Len’s end those two really go hand in hand. He and his business partner recently bought a pretty notorious downtown landmark and has gotten the local homeless population up in arms. They also ended up acquiring, through an odd chain of events, a porn shop which I found to be quite hilarious.

Saturday morning I got up long before the rest of the house and took a little driving tour of town since it'd been a while since I'd last been there. It's pretty cool to see all the things that have changed combined with the constant rotation of businesses that seem to rotate through many of the same old storefronts. I headed back up the hill to Rockwood Bakery for a little something to tide me over and to try and get a little work done. I was a little disappointed to discover that there was no wireless. No wireless in a coffee shop? What is this, 2003? Holy fuck.

Anyway, after a croissant and a semisweet drink I headed back to the house to find everyone up and mostly awake. After a couple more hours we decided it was time and departed for the trailhead. Our plan was to attempt to follow the 24 hours course with some deviations for greener pastures. Right off the bat we ran into National Guard war games taking a break for lunch. I don't really know that I can express how surreal it is to ride through a huge gathering of people in camies, all with M16s slung over their shoulders, eating Lunchables, and drinking from Capri-Sun pouches.

The weather was perfect for the majority of the ride, mid forties, almost no wind, and overcast with the sun poking out a couple of times. The trails were just as I had remembered them, a total kick in the pants, single and doubletrack, nothing too hard, and great views. As always, there was not another soul out there. There's always cars in the lot, but I've rarely ever seen anyone out there riding. I didn't take a lot of pictures because I was just having so much fun but I'll put a few of those that I did take up later. After three hours we found our way back to the lot and went out in search of lunch before I turned tail and headed for home. No snow on the return trip, just plenty of rain.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I didn't do shit yesterday so I figured I might as well at least do a short little spin this morning and go get Michele's car.

Fog ahead.

Fog behind.

Street cat.

Car and bike.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Um, yeah

Spokane didn't happen this weekend. Michele called me in the middle of the night during her call to come pick her up. Then on the way home she went ahead and puked on my copy of Kissing the Trail. Awesome.

Anyway, still in Seattle and looking to do some sort of riding this weekend. Perhaps I'll saddle up the Volpe and go retrieve Michele's car.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Miscellaneous ramblings

Holy shit I just had a long day. Of course it was a drop in the bucket compared to Michele's, she left at the same time I did and won't get back until around one tomorrow afternoon. Whatever.

It just occurred to me yesterday that I'm going to be in the 'nix the same weekend as the PEE. Yeah, I'm not doing it. I don't ride near enough these days not too mention that the purpose of the weekend is to ride with my pop. Something tells me that he's not going to be down with near 90 miles of Yuri imagined craziness even if I was.

Michele will flip out when she reads this next bit, but I'm thinking about another bike. Not so much an additional bike as a replacement. I don't dislike the Volpe, quite the opposite really, I love it. It just doesn't seem to be what I need. When I bought the bike I had commuter dreams that never really panned out. Realistically, given my skill set, it was never going to happen but I had kinda hoped. Right, so anyway, I'm thinking for what I could get for the Volpe, plus the needed hoops and bars to make it right I could get a decent rigid 1x9 29er. You know the deal, more upright, more off road worthy, able to run some serious skinnies when needed, and discs for much better braking. This change really isn't going to happen of course, it's just kind of knocking around upstairs.

On a different note, I'm thinking about getting over to Spokompton for some Riverside action either this weekend or next. I know I'm a very different rider from the one I was the last time I rode there over four years ago. Michele doesn't think the trails will stand the test of time, but I disagree. It's where I started mountain biking over 15 years ago and and has tons of decent intermediate trail. Nothing that compares to the 'nix technically but enough flow to keep things fun, or at least that's how I remember it. We'll see, I just gotta convince Michele.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Google Street View

Just for shits and giggles I was checking out Google Street View today. There was a apparently a neighborhood yard sale the day they drove by my childhood home in Portland. The photo in front of my brothers house is pretty recent, my sister in law's new car is parked in the driveway. Also, it looks like they're getting started in Phoenix, they're pretty close to hitting my last place of residence.

I am so amused by the dumbest shit.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Final post for the day

Today was Michele's last day of vacation. We kick the day off by heading to the farmer's market.

Then up to Bruce and Brandon Lee's graves.

Saw this on the way out. I don't normally poke fun at the dead, but if my last name was McAssey I think I'd try to play it down a little more.

Squirrel and flower in Volunteer Park.

Later we actually got on our bikes and went for a little ride. After a short drive we arrived at Soaring Eagle Park we got in a decent little ride. I've never been anywhere that's so well marked out. Every single trail intersection had a sign post with one of these maps and a little tag pointing out the trail to each of the adjacent intersections. The new cranks and BB worked very well, no noise whatsoever and the added bonus of a lower Q(not that I notice or care).

Michele was having a little trouble adjusting to the mud, I think it's the first time she's really encountered it on any kind of scale.

Still plenty of fun and I think it will be a great place for riding reasonably close to home when the traffic from the evil empire is light.

Continuing the downgrade

Funny how Isis cranks don't work with square taper BBs. I had no problems with the cranks, they served me quite well over the last three years, but like all the other OEM parts on my bike, at some point they had to go.

I'm a little leery about the lack of a bash guard in my new situation, but since I no longer live in the land of crazy rocky trails it shouldn't be a real problem.

See you on the trails!


Last night Michele and I went out for a night on the town with Sean and Paul. We started out by getting to the Olympic Sculpture Garden to early, as in, unfashionably early. So we walked around for a while so Michele wouldn't feel like a big dork and I could snap some pictures.

Once we were sure we would be arriving at just the right moment we made our way into the pavilion to enjoy some free drinks and hors d'oeuvres thanks to the good people at Method and their Detox Seattle event.

Later we went to dinner. I took a picture of this building.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007