Friday, April 30, 2010


I put a set of 700c wheels and resingle-speeded my tall bike today. Saw this in the new Urban Velo.

I also saw this picture of Brad from Capricorn Cycles.

Nothing New.

Here's a short video clip I found off a link from All Hail the Black Market blog.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Iron Family

Way to go family! We completed the 30 mile Iron Man ride earlier today, despite some pouring rain, challenging hills, strong winds and a crash.

While some may think this is not such an accomplishment, I am very proud of my family. Harris rode his 24" wheeled Caliente with a limited gear range. He refused to walk up any of the steep hills; instead he stood-up and hammered. To do something this hard for over three hours is an impressive feat for an 8-yr-old.

Claire took a fairly big crash on her 13" Trek 930. Hitting the asphalt knocked her front wheel and handlebars out of alignment and ripped up part of her pants. She literally bounced up saying, "I'm ok." She struggled for a few mile portion of the ride, but finished the last 12 miles strong after the final rest break.

Ling-Hui trooped through adverse conditions on her 13" Trek 930 without complaint. She has not been on her bike for some time causing distress to both her knee and butt. Further, She rode much of the last portion with a low front tire adding to her work. Most importantly Ling-Hui did a great job of not being too motherly, and made sure we had plenty of good snacks.

While the ride itself was relatively simple for me on the Long Haul Trucker, I take pride in being able to have quality bikes prepared, proper gear arranged and my family in the ride spirit to do such an undertaking.

The pictures are of Claire, Harris and a neighbor girl showing off their hard-earned t-shirts.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

40th Earthday

I was planning to drive to school tomorrow since I have a track meet that will run late. But, I think I'll ride,

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Fantastic Mr. Fox and others from the yard

Over the last two or three summers my dad has provided Claire and Harris an assortment of skulls found on or around the historic Probsfield Farm near Moorhead, Minnesota. To me these skulls adorning the back yard are a mix of contemptus mundi, Georgia O'Keeffe, Kurtz and cool science. The original owners were a fox, antelope, raccoon and two cows.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bike/Train Touring

Some of my favorite rides while living in Taipei, Taiwan involved hoping on the subway with my bike and riding to the farthest out stations. I could go from the heart of the city to a peaceful mountain road amidst tea fields 30mins.

I've recently realized that a similar trip is possible from the heart of the Twin Cities.

Any of the Metro Transit light rail trains will take bikes and connect to the North Star Line which will also take bikes. The links explain the procedure for loading bikes on both trains. I remember being intimidated the first time I did this in Taiwan, of course my English reading skills surpass my Chinese.

I plan to start a tour from Big Lake sometime in the near future. It will be a blast to load-up, cyle from my house to Fort Snelling and ride the rails out of the city. A day trip would be fun too.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

March 31 Family Bike Camping

Claire, Harris and I drove to Faribult and loaded up to ride the the Sakatah Singing Hills Trail and to spend the night bike camping in Sakatah Lake State Park. We had an exceptional day of March weather. The high was in the mid 70's and the low was around 50. The registration card shows camp site 51, the kids favorite. They had a great time with this big rock. We could have stayed anywhere, as we were the only people in the park.

But to keep us from getting lonely, we had a barred owl and its mate calling back and fourth several times during the night. The sounds weren't spooky, but they were startling.

Claire's 13' framed 930 rides wonderfully, but we did have some trouble with the seat-post rack which kept sliding down and rubbing on her rear wheel. Zip ties to the rescue. I connected the top of the rack to the seat rails.

A little red licorice keeps spirits high along the trail. The kids did get a bit grumpy the first day, because dad misjudged the distance to the town where we were going to stop for lunch. It didn't help that the only cafe was closed, so we needed to ride on to the next town to eat. Well fed kids make for happy bikers.

Below, Harris is on his 24" wheel Schwinn Caliente. It really does a nice job on such railroad grade tours. He runs out of gears on bigger hills. This is where Claire's triple chain-ring front shines.

We make it a point on our bike camping trips to spend some time harvesting what nature has to offer. Usually it had been the berry variety or wild plum of the season. This time the best we could do was to harvest baby dandelion greens, which were quite good.

My Long Haul Trucker carried a load and a lot of gear too. In addition to me, I carried two tents, two sleeping pads, two sleeping bags, a blanket, all of our food, all of our cooking gear and all of my personal gear. I can't imagine ever carrying so much stuff on a tour without the kids.

We took time to watch animals, to look at cool mushrooms and to play Pooh sticks. Another good trip!