Sunday, May 31, 2009

Maybe I Should Try Acting My Age...

...because I sure don't have this down yet. I spent 45 minute or so at the NSCC parking lot this morning trying to figure out how to slide my latest longboard before I had to go pick up Kathy at the train station. I've been getting some good pointers from the interwebs. I think my next time out will be magical. Fingers crossed.

The Tour de Fat is Coming!

It's not until 8/8 but I'm already excited, and so is Whole Foods. This will be my year to recapture the slow ride crown.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Deck #3 All Done

I finished my third deck. This one is for me, it's low to the ground and easy to push. Not quite as surfy as my other board nor is it as flexy. Took it out for it's inaugural run around Greenlake earlier today with Shannon and it rode just the way I was hoping.

And I should add that I'm finally getting over the sickness. Life is good.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Sickness

It just fucking figures. I've got no class from Thursday night to Tuesday night and my ass is sick. Heavy congestion, body aches, and no will to move. Fuck.

In other news, I'm almost done with board number two. It'll be out the door by the middle of next week and I'm ready to start on number three. After that I've got something really special planned for number four and after that, who knows? My parents vanity top is also underway and should be finished and ready for UPS by Wednesday or Thursday, the hard part will be tracking down an appropriate box. If you know of a good place to find one 24" x 36" x ~4" don't hold out on me.

Also, we just found out about two weeks ago that Michele's mom will be coming to visit us during the first week in June. It's been a couple years since we last saw Kathy and over four years since we last had her in our home. I'm pretty excited for the visit, we'll see if I can maintain that through her entire eight day visit.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back from NOLA

Holy shit that was a fun trip. Crazy Joe rented a bad ass house in Arabi(St. Bernard Parish) for a bunch of us to share. In the house we had Joe, Lara, Shannon, John, Eithne, Atticus, and me.

I got in Friday night around 10 or so and picked up the rental car just in time to grab John, Eithne, and Atticus from baggage claim. After getting lost on the way to the house we finally got there right at midnight. B/R unit found their way to bed I headed down to the quarter to play catch up with the rest of the crew. I forgot to grab a camera on my way out of the house and while I kind of regret that it's probably for the best. Crazy Joe was in fine form and living up to his name admirably. Lara and Shannon were loving it and the three of them were quite ripped by the time we found each other. The party continued for nearly another three hours before we finally found our beds and got a little shut eye.

Saturday was party day and it went off without a hitch. Well, there was a little rain and some thunder and lightning but it didn't last long.

There was more than enough cake and pie to keep me riding a sugar high all day. At some point one of Eddie's climbing peeps busted out the slack line and that provided even more entertainment.

We laughed and played all day, by the time we got home it was pretty late, we still ended up going out that night but only Joe had the energy to really tackle Bourbon St yet again. Crazy fucking Joe.

As luck would have it the Arabi Sugar Festival was happening on Sunday less than 100 yards for our house so after a crepe breakfast we went over and checked it out. Back to the crepes for a second, I made crepes for 20 people. That's 5x the normal recipe and with only one pan it took me a solid 2 hours to cook all that batter. Ok back to the Sugar Fest. It was a pretty small affair but the atmosphere was just about right.

Speaking of a sugar high, they were handing out lots of free sugar at the gate and selling things like this crazy ass cookie. Mmmm, big cookie...

After Sugar Fest we went to Star and Eddies to tear into some crawfish. I think Atticus was impressed.

Star's been in NOLA for two years now and this was her fish crawfish. She was awfully impressed with herself when she got the meat out of the tail. For some crazy reason she refused to suck the meat from the body. Weirdo.

Right. Did I mention they got 45 fucking pounds of that shit for 12 people. That was a lot of tiny lobsters. What you see on the table is only maybe a quarter of the total.

That night we all took turns on my board, now everybody wants one. Good clean fun followed by wine and watching Wall-E late into the night.

Um. There's more to this story but some of what happens in NOLA needs to just stay in NOLA. Either that or I'm just to lazy to keep recounting events right now. Your guess is as good as any.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ready for NOLA

I'm headed to the airport right after English class. Lara, Shannon, and the Barton/Reyher clan will all be there. Oh yeah, and Crazy Joe, he rented a house for all of us to share, should be a kick in the pants.

Threw together a little bag to help get my board there.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tire Whoa!(s)

Quick note on the Spokane trip. The Nanoraptors were a great choice for rolling around town but I don't think I've been in the dirt on a worse set of meats in years. The High Drive trails consist mostly of a thin layer of loose sand/small gravel over hardpack and the tires just couldn't cut through at all. I was having a lot of trouble climbing anything steep in my usual monkey man style and the only way I could keep from spinning out was by shifting all the way down to my lowest gear and spin away. As I've mentioned in the past, this kind of kung fu hasn't really worked well for me since singlespeeding destroyed my geary skills. More importantly, I was having a hell of a time modulating my brakes on fast decents because the tires wanted to give up so quickly. Of course this is all really about the rear tire since I didn't really feel comfortable cutting loose 100% going down so I never did get to push the front tire all that much.

In retrospect if I were to do the weekend over again, I'd still go the same route. Tires sucked on dirt and were steller on pavement, most of my miles were on pavement. Maybe I should have just found room for two wheelsets? Nah, too easy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

All Done.

Finish the longboard today. Decided to opt for a spray poly finish rather than the marine varnish I was planning to hurry up the process. Shannon and I went and rode around Green Lake to break it in. I liked it a whole lot more than the S9 he lent me for the weekend. Turned out really well if I do say so myself.

Overdue Spokane Post

I apologize in advance for the suckitude of this post, I'm going to make this short, word wise anyway. I left Seattle right after my english class on Friday and drove straight through to Spokane. It was raining in Seattle when I left and as soon as I crossed the mountains it looked like this for the remainder of the drive.

Once there I broke out the bike and went for a ride from the house. Only a few miles on pavement to the High Drive trails and then many miles of sweet singletrack.

I don't remember there being near this many houses down there.

About to enter the land of shitastic mcmansions.

After bombing down Hatch at insane speeds I crossed over and worked my way back up to the top on trail. Popped back out at mcmansions once again.

Tired and slightly sunburned I hauled ass back to the house.

Saturday was the main event. I finally got to submit my application to become a lifetime member for life of the Fucking Bike Club.

I got there a little early...

..but was soon joined by a crowd.

When I stepped outside again I was treated to quite the bike pile.

We rolled to the fountain(fountain? there's been some changes in the last 6 years) 100 deep.

Once to the fountain we were given the destination, the Illinois Ave B&G. An easy roll along the Centennial Trail to get there.

This was my favorite bike pile of the night.

I left a little early. Waking a 5:30 and failing to get a nap was not the best plan. Here I am headed to bed, a little drunk and a lot tired.

Til next time...

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Swapped out the wheels on the El M. to the back ups for the coming Spokane weekend. I felt inspired to take a little comparison shot. Anybody remember back in the day when a 1.95 was a huge tire? Now a 2.1 seems crazy narrow(to me at least), not 100% excited about getting these low(er) volume meats out on dirt, but they are much more appropriate for the pavement miles I'll be logging so there you go.

2.55 Weirwolff on the left and 2.1 Nano on the right.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Don't Know What I'm Doing...

...but it's not like that's ever stopped me before. I abandoned the purpleheart and bubinga core and instead went with three layers of bamboo. Horizontal grain running lengthwise on the top and bottom and vertical grain running perpendicular in the middle. Even though the veneers are listed as 1/8" they measure a little thicker making the total thickness ~1/2". It's pressed up so that there's a 1 1/2" arc over the 47" of material that I've got set up. Shannon's going to come over a little later today and drop some knowledge about how I should be setting it up when I'm ready to start cutting and drilling. Hopefully this isn't all for naught, I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Current Project List

My list of projects just keeps growing. Here's what's currently awaiting completion, in no particular order:
  1. The boat. Does anyone even remember the boat? Well I've been getting some work done on it lately. As of right now the keelson is repaired, the bottom is finished, and it's right side up in a webbing cradle. My hope is to get it done by late summer, use it a bit while the weather is still nice, and deliver it back to Pat sometime in the fall.
  2. Bamboo vanity top for my parents. The cost of bamboo ply in the 'nix is downright unreal, it cost nearly three times more there than I can buy it for here in Seattle. I picked up a sheet of 3/4" blond vertical grain ply today and fab will go down the next time I get decent weather.(I don't have room in the garage to make it happen)
  3. Paul and Sean's couch. It's a little repair job that's kind of fallen to the back burner, the new part I've built is ready to go, I just need to find some time to go over there and take care of the hard part.
  4. Shannon's new bike. I brought home Shannon's new(to him) mountain bike from the party on Friday. It needs a bit of a tune up and some minor misc parts. I'm mostly done right now, I just want to swap the tires out for something a little less shitty than what he's got currently.
  5. Longboard. Oh yeah, a longboard. I've been captivated by longboards for a long time now and when I was picking up the bamboo for the vanity I was able to get some 1/8" veneer remnants for just a couple of dollars. I've got some purpleheart and bubinga I can use for the core already in the garage. I'm going to try and get the core ready today and laminate the deck together tomorrow. This might end up being a complete and total failure since I don't know shit about what I'm doing so don't expect anything great to come of this.
  6. Front fender for the tank. I could have used this today, it was raining like a mother fucker on my way to class this morning. I've got the walnut bent and ready to go, I just need to get to work on it. Longboard first.
I think that covers it. I'm going to have a half sheet of 3/4 ply left over when I get done with the vanity so I'm sure that will lead to something else I can add to the list.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Paradise Found

One of the first things I did when we got to Seattle was buy a mountain biking guide book for the area.  One of the crazy things about this guide is that it lists a number of places that are currently closed to bikes.  After a brief explanation about the trail closure the book talks about how you might have wanted to drive to the trails, routing suggestions you might have wanted to take into consideration, and a detailed description about utterly fantastic these tails you'll never never get to ride are.  At first I thought this might be just to help pad out what is a pretty thin book to begin with(at least by AZ standards), or maybe an invitation to poach(although the book clearly discourages that), but really it's call to action.  Paradise Valley is one of those trails.  A week ago it reopened thanks to a great deal of work put in by our local advocacy group. 

All of the trails are very well marked, although a map on my person might have helped a little since I was riding around with near zero beta to begin with.

The "Mt. Bike Park" isn't much more than about a mile worth of twisty trail.  Don't think it's not any fun though.  I had a blast for I do so love those little twisty switchbacks and such.

Someone was thoughtful enough to put a number of these nice little log skinnies alongside the trail.

I don't remember the trail being this purple, odd.

Nicely built section of elevated trail.

The book was right by the way, the trail is fantastic.  I'm considering heading back today with TBFKaU.