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  1. #5901
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    OZ inspired me to look at the South Bay bicycle trail maps a little more closely the other day.

    Yesterday was a near perfect bicycling day: bright and sunny, light overcast for times, with temperatures running 64-72°F … and I had no appointments or other errands to take care of! So without further ado, at about 10:30-11:00 am, I pulled on my bicycle gear and headed out.

    I decided to head up to Mountain View to say hello to my Mercedes mechanic and his wife (a great little indie shop!) and get to the trail access point for the start of my “off street” trail adventure.

    The trail route chosen was Stevens Creek Trail north to the Moffett Trail, around the north side of Moffett Field, picking up the Bay Trail there and heading south east along the bay shore area, through that part of the bay that looked like something out of Dante’s Inferno from OZ’ aerial IR view. It’s all actually lovely salt marshes and tidal estuary … gets a bit smelly now and then, but a place where thousands of birds and other semi-aquatic creatures live and breed. There are a few toxic areas where waste dumps and processing plants are sited, and some of the paths are restricted access for both health & safety as well as military reasons, but the Bay Trail wriggles through and is mostly level, smooth, well maintained fine gravel. Once down past the bay, a short section on the street takes you further along, still on the Bay Trail, to the outer perimeter of Alviso (Gold Street), which is where the Guadalupe River Trail head I showed a picture of the other day starts. That would take me down to my usual day ride loop area, where I planned lunch and then back onto the streets to go home.

    Here’s the Garmin map of my route:



    The trail access point is an overpass that arc up over the frontage road, the rail road tracks, and Central Expressway going north. It’s fun to ride since the flooring is all wood plank and it moves a bit as trains pass underneath! It’s quite a long tunnel in the sky…



    Stevens Creek Trail wriggles through a lot of residential property, up and over the larger Hwy 101 freeway, and then flattens out as it runs alongside Moffett Field and the NASA Ames Research Center. I stopped again to snap a shot of the famous wind tunnel there, one of the largest in the world—where the parachute testing for the Mars rovers of recent years was done! It’s one of the best vantage points to photograph this immense machine.



    Yes, full size Jet Fighter class planes can be tested in this wind tunnel. When they fire it up, they have to do it in coordination with the local power companies, bringing enough extra power on line for the effort so as not to cause brown outs in the neighborhood, it consumes that much power.

    Shortly after this point on the route, the pavement turned to fine pack gravel … Ah, the glory of a Fat Bike here! FCC glides over this kind of surface, made for it, and provides both exceptional handling and a wonderful ride! A couple of other bikers on more aggressively sport mountain bikes blew past, then stopped and waited for me … “Wow! Look at those HUGE tires! A luxo-cruiser dirt bike!” We laughed, they ran off to play in the rough and tumble, I spun along clocking 11-13 mph easily at a comfortable pace (about 70-74 rpm).

    The Stevens Creek Trail meets up with the Moffett/Bay Trail at a right turn as you start going around the restricted zone around the airfield. This brought back a lot of memories: In the distant past when I worked for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory on an aircraft-based imaging radar project, we housed and flew our science plane out of Moffett Field. I remember so vividly being out on that airfield, in and out of the administrative and wind tunnel buildings, blasting along the periphery in Jeeps and on scooters supplied by the air base. So many memories … It seems a lifetime ago but like it was yesterday.

    The Bay Trail wriggles out onto these paths between the marsh pools just to the north and east of the airfield. I stopped one more time and made a panorama of Moffett Field from this vantage point.



    If you click on this link, you’ll get the full size image (8.4 Mbytes, 34Mpixel!) and can see (from left to right) the trail heading on, then a couple of the newer airship hangers, behind them some administrative buildings, in the farther distance beyond them some of the Lockheed-Martin buildings, to left of center the remaining framing of Airship Hanger #4 (the skin had to be removed because it was dissolving with age and ruin, and the rain hitting it washed toxic lead based paint and other metals into the ground water and bay), and over on the right the wind tunnel again. Truly a wonderful view of the installation from a different vantage point that not everyone gets to see.

    From that point onwards, I concentrated on riding and spinning along and didn’t stop to make any more photos.

    Where the Bay Trail intersected the waste dump and processing plant, the signs were a bit confusing so I stopped to ask a couple of walkers the way. Just then, my old motorcycle buddy, Steve Wilcox, happened by on a run during his lunch break! Jeez, what are the odds of that happening? He works in a company sited nearby … “Oh, that way (pointing left) you run in to the bay. This way (pointing right) you hit Caribbean and follow that along to Bay Shore Park, the trail picks up there.” He’s another mountain biker, lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains about 25 miles to the south and west of this point. “Damn fine bike you got there!” And off he went again.

    I was curious about the dead end that ran to the bay so I went that way first. A mile or so on and it indeed stopped at a closure with a “toxic poison” warning sign on it. So I backtracked and continued onwards.

    The street section, hopping back onto the trail for a short bit, and finally hitting its terminus at the junction of Lafayette and Gold, I headed east along Gold Street to the Guadalupe River Trail head. That last little bit is an over pass that always gives me the willies: the curb is about 20 inches up, there’s a fence on the right, and the path is very narrow with no room if there’s a pedestrian crossing at the same time. I should have just stayed on the street, but gave it a try and felt a little touch of agoraphobia hit me, so I stopped and walked FCC the rest of the way. It would not be well to fall there!

    The rest of the ride was just wonderful too, but not much to talk about. I spun and spun, enjoying the ease of riding FCC so much, and noted that my energy was beginning to sag. I’d forgotten to stick some energy bars or nuts in my pocket and was running out of fuel. But I pushed on, didn’t make any mistakes, and got to the Panera next to the park for lunch at about 2:45pm. A big glass of water and a sandwich brought me back to life quickly.

    As I parked the bike at the cafe, another gent, slightly older than I am, pulled in on his bike. “You’re too young to need an electric!” he said. I had to laugh … “That’s a frame bag, not a battery. My electric bike is at home.” And then he laughed too, “Looks just like my buddies bike with a battery!” … I think he’s two years older than I am. LOL!

    And then home, revitalized by some food and water. 32.5 miles … I was tired but not hurting at all. (In fact, I showered, dressed, pulled on my motorcycle gear, and went for a fifty mile motorcycle ride to have dinner with friends afterwards!) It was a great little excursion. I am so pleased with how well the FCC works, how easy it is to ride, and how comfortable it is! Quite the machine!

    onwards!
    G

  2. #5902
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    Very nice ride report and pics, G!

    Chief: I've had blood pressure meds do that to me as well. There is a bit of acclimation time needed to get the body used to functioning with the new prescription. But I do think you are doing the right thing in consulting with the Doc asap. By the by, I walked the pup for the first time since this gastro virus deal went down, and the sun and heat was draining me. Could the sun/heat and new BP meds combined to make you light headed as well?

  3. #5903
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    Getting accustomed to blood pressure meds as well as regulated does take time. Gratification is not instant like your supper!!
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  4. #5904
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    9AHOY AHOY AHOY!!!!!
    Jotying much to report today just a nice long walk. About 3.5 miles and then hone. Mamabear is doing well. We are shooting for julyb1st as a goal as we have set ourbsights on
    7ntil later
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  5. #5905
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    Thanks for all the thoughts. Spoke with the DR office today. Back to the original dosage, and to add another 25mg in case the BP creeps up. Doc said to keep an eye on it and I am. I don't like the feeling of being a little off like that. My numbers yesterday during my rehab workout were 70 / 60 and we took it twice to make sure. Feeling a tad better this evening.
    Had a good ride today. 10+ miles in an hour. I didn't wanna push to hard but it felt so good out this evening.
    Mike glad to hear your starting to get back to normal.
    Yes, I have issues with the heat and meds until I get acclimated. I know the meds take some time but the numbers I was putting up were WAY to low.

  6. #5906
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    Hi G great ride and report, nice to see that you do have some areas to ride that are not all tarmac. Did you imagine a year ago you would be knocking out 33 mile rides under your own steam? I believe that the FCC is going to take you some amazing places.

    OZ.

  7. #5907
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    Mike might be on to something Chief, seems like you two have jumped straight out of the fridge and into summer. Thats got to knock your body around a bit, take your time and get the mods right.

    OZ.

  8. #5908
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    Thanks for all your compliments! It was a great ride!

    Quote Originally Posted by Surly in OZ View Post
    Hi G great ride and report, nice to see that you do have some areas to ride that are not all tarmac. Did you imagine a year ago you would be knocking out 33 mile rides under your own steam? I believe that the FCC is going to take you some amazing places.
    I suspect it will. I just love getting out there with it...

    What did I imagine a year ago? Actually a year and a half, when I bought the first electric bike. I don't know... I get bloody minded about stuff like this. I refused to have my partner or any of my friends transport the bike home for me:

    On a chilly day in early December 2016, I picked up that bike from the dealer in Redwood City and rode it home. My partner and even the bike dealer were nervous about it, I could see for sure. I hadn't been on a bicycle for some years, and hadn't been farther than a mile or two on a bicycle for more than a decade or two. But I gritted my teeth and got on, rode 21 miles home. I called both the dealer and my partner when I arrived home to allay their fears, took a shower, and dropped into my reclining chair in pain. Stayed there for two days.

    "No matter what else, I will not live like this!" I said to myself. I remembered back to the days twenty-five years before when I'd hop onto my Cinelli Criterium in Santa Cruz, ride 75 miles through the mountains and down into Los Gatos, find a cheap motel to stay the night, and do the same the next day to get home. I swore to myself that while I'd likely not do that again anytime soon, I was going to ride a fifty mile day without feeling like I was dying, or die in the process. Come hell or high water!

    I'm up to a 32 mile day now, and I could have gone further if I hadn't stupidly forgotten to bring some fuel along. That fifty mile day is just a matter of time now.

    onwards!
    G


    "Aspera ad astra: If you cannot dream of the stars, how will you get to the grocery store?"

  9. #5909
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    Chief: Thanks and good to know that you are working close with a receptive doc who wants to get the BP within tolerances. I'm now itching to get on the fatbike for a ride. And I know I'm missing some very likely prime Snapping Turtle egg laying action going on within the Lock 1 breeding hatchery grounds about right now since the summer heat has turned on.

    G: Indeed, inspiring tale of success. What a long way you've come! With many more tales yet to be told.

    I think buried within this thread are two particular rides I took where I simply went a wee bit too far, one was a ride from Groundhog Lock (or Easton a couple clicks north of Groundhog) up to near Jim Thorpe, PA, in the height of summer, a total combined distance of 80 some odd miles. The other was a Homebase ride along the towpaths to Frenchtown, NJ and back. I can still recall that climb from the Blacks Creek watershed; asphalt riding; totally drained and wasted. The speeds were down to 2-3 mph. I was thinking, whatever the liver does in converting this to that; whatever sugar levels were left in the bloodstream were at minus 0 at that point. And I was thinking my old cardiac rehab nurses would most definitely not have approved of this performance.

    There is a local pizzeria in the town of Fieldsboro where I stopped in, bought 2 bottles of blessed, ice cold water and walked myself and my bike over across the street to the town's little war memorial gardens and just laid down for about an hour or two. If the counter help had mistaken me for a heroin junkie abuser, I really could not have argued the point with them. It was a complete draining of energy and especially, spirit. I had hit the wall. No, I had crashed full speed head on into the wall. And still, 4 miles to go to Homebase! Still don't know how I did it.

    I believe it were those rubicon rides of death that helped inspire the idea of the Haibike; that came later. And I'm more mindful of my very limited limitations! But even so, will never look back; as Distance is the goal....to always push the limits.

  10. #5910
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    It's interesting how we each view goals. I very much admire doers of 80+ mile rides, and I've done a few of those in the past (for me, a record was 150 miles in two days). I don't ride as far these days other than the once a week 30 mile round-trip commute. I think I may try to do something longer on the road bike in the future. You guys inspire that. But the real joy for me is on the fat bike in 5-10 mile off road adventures. My girlfriend and I may try a bikepacking trip sometime in the next year or so, but mostly, the sub-10 mile rides seem like plenty to kick this gorilla's butt and the sub-10 mile BMX jaunts are just plain silly fun.

    I wonder ... maybe a ride from here to Tucson soon.
    2016 El Oso Grande
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  11. #5911
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    It's interesting how we each view goals. But the real joy for me is on the fat bike in 5-10 mile off road adventures.
    DH: I think you nail it perfectly. It's not the actual clicking off of the miles as to what counts, but the appreciation in just getting on the bike and those first few rotations of the fat tires, that feeling of control, stability and confidence.

    With a mind that thinks in the abstract maybe too many times, I figured a long time ago, that the nearby freight line by the house goes to Bordentown, from there, that line could connect to any point in this hemisphere. The nearby Delaware River, the same, except it could realistically with the right boat, take you round the world. So too, are the canal towpaths nearby; which could take you north into the next canal system. Or west. All it takes, haha, is time and investment.

    But it all starts with that first turning of the pedals right outside the front door. Each ride is an adventure if we want it to be. I think we all kinda carry that spirit with us on this here particular board. Each ride....gets us to thinking of the possibilities of "what if.."

  12. #5912
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    It's not the miles that matter to me, really, either. It's the ability to do that matters. I use the miles like I use times ... to gauge what my body is capable of, to see improvement or degradation, to guide my efforts.

    Most of my rides now are between 10 and 15 mile jaunts, and mostly on a loop that I ride over and over again. While I don't think of it this way explicitly, I am out on training loops most of the time, working to be ready for the moment when something larger is an opportunity.

    Said another way: I don't intend to do many fifty mile rides. Having somewhere to go interesting enough (to me) to be worth that time and expenditure of energy is an opportunity that only happens every so often. But I want to ensure that I'm both capable and ready for such opportunity when it happens.

    And, of course, I want the side benefits of becoming more fit, having more stamina and strength, that supports all of life being more enjoyable.

    ---
    Did just my usual loop for coffee yesterday, about 10 miles. It was a lovely warm afternoon.

    I was distracted just when I was getting on the bike, mind on other things, and I managed to take a tumble right in front of the condo building. No skin broken, just a little bruise on my left forearm and a bit of soreness in my left shoulder and neck. No damage I can find to FCC either. Happy I was wearing my helmet when my head 'thunked' into the pavement... Such it is, the wost damage was to my ego. Picked myself up, checked the bike out, and started over.

    onwards!
    G

    If you're too scared to fall down, you'll never stand up.

  13. #5913
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    G, really nice ride, report and pictures. Keep it up, good to see different areas.

    Surly, Mike is 8.25 miles northeast of me so yeah we're both in the dead of summer the last 2 days. Yeah, slow and easy until you can acclimate.

    Mike, yeah he's good. He's not a drug guy. He'd rather see me lose some weight and slowy reduce the meds as my body adjusts. I'm working on it.

    I got out today, 8+ miles, 5 to rehab in the heat of the day (90°) and 3 home in the same. Feeling much better and allowing the meds run their course and trying to get back to normal......... or as close as possible.

  14. #5914
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    G: Close call buddy! Remember again my tale of the bike falling on the buoy deck, striking a welded-on shackle for ground tackle gear....shattering the carbon fiber/plastic expensive rim to bits. Between hitting the head and the bike falling over, could have been an expensive all around kinda day.

    Chief: Sounds like a good plan there. Good on ya braving this sudden heat, but not pushing things.

  15. #5915
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    Geez G be careful. When you least expect it or aren't ready for that sudden bump your on the ground.
    My hip is still sore, bone bruise, like a hip pointer. OK in bed or on soft surfaces, laying on the floor lights it up.

  16. #5916
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    Thanks!

    Yeah, if I weren't wearing my helmet it could have been bad... It was a pretty solid wack to the noggin. But I was, it wasn't, and while I have a couple of very small bruises and am a bit sore still, as I said, "The only damage was to my ego." I've fallen off motorcycles, bicycles, ladders, etc, so many times I don't want to think about it. I learned an eon ago that you just assess the damage, pick yourself up, and keep on going.

    Went out for a late lunch ride today. Did 14.6 miles in 1:20 ... It was beautiful out, a little cooler than yesterday, and three times people waved and yelled, "Hey, that's a beautiful bike!" How odd it is to get unsolicited praise for how my bicycle looks when I'm wearing my best bicycling gear ... LOL!

    Is anyone else here on Garmin Connect or Strava? I've been sharing ride info with a couple of friends on both of these services and it's proving to be fun. Let me know if you are!

    BTW: I found a fantastic price from BikeTiresDirect.com for both the M and L sizes of the Ortlieb Saddle Bag I was looking at ... $83. That's only $3 more than what buying just the L one of them would have cost from Amazon.com. And they seem to be a very efficient outfit: I've already got the Priority Mail tracking updates going, the bags should arrive on Saturday. They carry a lot of stuff ... worth keeping a link to, I think.

    Hmm. It's barely the middle of May and my arms, face, neck, and lower legs are already Mediterranean brown. Gods I love being out and about on two wheels...

    onwards!
    G

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    Glad you mention the Med brown arms. legs......... Don't forget to put lotion on before riding as the weather gets warmer. We rolled right into summer for a few days and I forgot lotion on Tuesday and got some sunburn. Melanoma is serious protect yourself.

  18. #5918
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHIEF500 View Post
    Glad you mention the Med brown arms. legs......... Don't forget to put lotion on before riding as the weather gets warmer. We rolled right into summer for a few days and I forgot lotion on Tuesday and got some sunburn. Melanoma is serious protect yourself.
    Yes... I do use sunscreen, but my Italian genes do help a lot. If I'm out and about in the sun for a couple of hours a day as the season arrives, all my exposed skin goes golden olive brown pretty quickly and I never burn. I've always only used a light sun blocker if I'm going to be out on the water or in a bathing suit where the normally unexposed skin has remained frog-belly-white and would burn in an instant.

    My Mexican partner figures he's part Norwegian and I'm mostly African by the difference in the color of our skin in Summer...

  19. #5919
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    Yeah, the getting out the door and to start pedaling and those first few breathes. Then the sigh of Ahhhhhhhhh I'm out and going.
    Nothing like it, that cleansing breathes that I used to get from running. Heading out for a ride in a little bit.

    I chatted with oldbear yesterday on FB. Hang in there Fred.

    Have a good weekend everyone.

  20. #5920
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    Hi everyone, G all the short rides add up over time and give you the fitness for the days when the weather is perfect and you are free to ride as far as you want. I never really worry about my ave speed or distance but the one thing that surprised me after looking at my Garmin stats for 2017 that I logged 587 rides. Most of those are short to and from rides to work, but over a year the miles really adds up. And even if I have not done any training for a long ride I always feel I have a solid base that will get me through a long day on the bike. And great you have taken a tumble of FCC now don't do it again

    Chief as for sun protection I found the best way to avoid sunburn on Friday, ride at night I met a rider on my local trails the other week and he was keen for an after work ride. So well headed out just before five and rode around 30kms. I was a little worried about my headlight not being strong enough, but the Cateye Volt 700 gave me plenty of light. Mostly open gravel roads over to the beach and I added some single track on the way home. A great ride and I will be planing more over the winter months.

    Enjoy a ride this weekend.

    OZ.

  21. #5921
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    I'll need a longer lasting headlight for that strategy to work, OZ. My current little cube runs for about 2-3 hours and then signs off. (It's mostly intended to tell traffic that I'm there... )

    I do not desire to repeat the experience of tumbling off, for sure.

    ---
    Did a nice variation on my lunch ride yesterday: Usual path down to the park in SJ, but I passed the park and headed into Japan Town for a nice little bit of quiche and a cup of water and another of coffee. Then down and around the freeway into San Jose, back up to the other end of the park, through the park, and back on the loop home.

    There's a spot where the road loops around back to the park where loads of construction is going on, in downtown San Jose. Several new high-rise office and apartment complexes going up. It almost feels like they're trying to recreate Manhattan! Pretty horrid IMO. I rode through the periphery of the area and it's all glass and steel towers, little left of a "neighborhood" feel. Bleck.

    Oh well, that'll be for the next generation on to deal with. The ride was great, a little under 14 miles, and the stats all look good. My legs feel great.

    We had our friday out with da boyz last night: I was famished, had a wee touch too much schnapps and became ravenous. Went to a nice little late-evening restaurant and handled that problem. Arrived home and promptly fell fast asleep.

    onwards .. the morning ride beckons.
    G

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    Good night...

    Hi everyone hope your Sunday is dawning as nice as it was down here in OZ. A truly beautiful day today no wind, temps in the low 20 deg C perfect riding weather. Only I had a nice sleep in, things to do and the hours ticked by without a bike ride. Not to worry after my night ride on Friday I knew there was still time to head out on the local trails after I made some soup and put it on the stove.

    My front light is only 700 lumens and just strong enough for trail riding. A helmet mounted light would be handy on the twisty sections. Knowing the trails made it much easier, still you don't want to miss a corner as plenty of trees are waiting

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09760.jpg

    Not a large light the Cateye Volt 700, self-contained on the handle bars.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09763.jpg

    Down in the lowest section of trail and no light was left through the trees.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09770.jpg

    It was great to pop out the end of the trail on the lake shore as the last of the after glow lit the western horizon. With Venus setting too.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09781.jpg

    Christmas lights anyone.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09786.jpg

    Soon we are heading up to the highest point of the trails looking east and into the darkness of night.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09789.jpg

    A great quick ride, one I can see me planning a lot more of over the winter months and indeed into summer to avoid the hot days.

    OZ.

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    OZ, that third photo down is glorious. What a great ride. There's good night riding here. I need to upgrade my lighting and give it a go.
    2016 El Oso Grande
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    Time for a relative short ride yesterday morning ... Only 12.5 miles. LOL!

    It was chilly out at the start, about 57°F, but I knew it would warm by 10am so didn't bother with overpants. I just used the heavier weight jersey and gloves: It was fine. A fast dash down to the group's meetup point on FCC, I made it there in record time (19 minutes) and before my partner who left in his car at the same time I did. Pumped hard a good bit of the way and felt great... I'm getting so darn comfortable on this bike! I took the longer variant of the loop back, using the part of the Guadalupe River Trail that arcs through downtown San Jose.

    ---
    My order for the Ortlieb Saddle Bags arrived... I thought I'd ordered one each of the Large and Medium size, but I must have blinked and not noticed that I clicked on the Small instead of the Medium. No worries, biketiresdirect.com gives 60 days for returns, so I just ordered a Medium ... I'll have all three on hand together to decide what works best now.

    The Large is quite big and has a 3kg (or six and a half pound) maximum payload rating. It's big enough to fit my Leica camera in its wrap and two additional lenses, plus other stuff (including enough space for a jersey, some food, etc). That camera with three lenses is less than half the payload rating, and I rarely carry more than two lenses at a time, so this is a very useful bag for my needs. And I'll be so happy to take that load off my back!

    Biketiresdirect.com seems a pretty good vendor. Their service was very fast and their website is easy to work with.

    ---
    We had our annual Cinco de Mayo party last evening. A whole bunch of people attended. We do it in the complex' clubhouse, but a ton of folks wanted to see all the new things we've done to the condo over the past year so we did ad hoc "Home Tours". An amusing detail was that whenever they'd come in and see Sumo and FCC sitting together there in the living room, the conversation would immediately swap to bicycling and, "Wow, what amazing machines! Where can I buy one? How do they ride on those bike tires? Let's go for a ride together, I have to test ride them! ..." etc etc.

    Fun stuff!

    onwards,
    G

  25. #5925
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    QHello everyone!
    I am leaving bama tomorroe to go back Rolla. Mama is going to have surgery nd i couldnt find any place to stay. But going north to my support system is best.
    7Ntil La5r
    Oldbear
    Oldbear sez: REMEMBER USE YOUR SUNSCREEN

  26. #5926
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    Best of luck, Oldbear, and all good thoughts to Mama as well!

    ---
    From my bicycle ride on Friday, a cafe stop at Roy's Station in Japan Town, San Jose for lunch:


    enjoy!
    G

  27. #5927
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    Felt lazy today, so just did an 11 mile road ride. It is amazing how much less physical it is to cruise at 15 mph on pavement than 5 on the trail.
    Fat Biking and health-img_20180506_092357859.jpg
    Cruised through the Riparian and then back home.
    Fat Biking and health-img_20180506_094030730.jpg
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  28. #5928
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    Yeah best of luck oldbear52 and momma bear.

    It was cool and cloudy yesterday morning. I rode up to Tullytown to do a few miles and took a few pictures of the other side of the mountain the Mike rides on the east side of heading down to Burlington. Once into Tullytown I sneak through a concrete block manufacturer to get back to the river.
    Fat Biking and health-ex1kcurwtuqzcbyj8i2oxa.jpg
    Then Mt. Waste Management
    Fat Biking and health-fgv3votnqpedn4-dx8khvg.jpg

    Fat Biking and health-sgn3h8wrrz27n35h4upumw.jpg
    Then over the RR bridge that gets me over Conrail NE corridor.
    Fat Biking and health-9p84qitlquiqbawhjqifiq.jpg

    Then crossing US Rt 13 and head down the canal to home.
    I planned on doing 8 miles and ended up doing 10.5.

    I had a my great nephew's 7th birthday party. The invitations were Pittsburgh Penguins tickets, he's a massive Crosby fan. I went in Flyers jersey and bike helmet. I played some street hockey with the kids. I had a blast.
    A kid (54 now) that knew OD'ed across the street in a parking lot yesterday. I found out about it today. What a shame, the choices we make define us. We went to see Cheech and Chong with his family and LONG time ago.
    I got my Fuse squared away yesterday afternoon. The computer was having issues. Drove me nuts. I changed batteries, then had issues with the thing not reading anything properly. Mileage, speed everything was off. I got it set up finally and I had a bad battery besides.
    I got it out for a ride this morning. I hit the power line easement and into a local park using a different entrance. First I stopped at the lake across the street and watched some little power boats race.
    Fat Biking and health-lyyi9xhsn-thbdxzxkjrq.jpg

    Fat Biking and health-pcnkylg6skqm7kiee%25couq.jpg

    Fat Biking and health-tnupb11ztdc21wz2yatlqq.jpg

    Fat Biking and health-hnh9eypvq4ezkbmjfeblxg.jpg

    Fat Biking and health-iqb6s3hjriucgp4g-njjpa.jpg

    Pretty cool, I watched for a few minutes. They have a speaker that announces the races and stuff. Everything is timed. And they have arguments over race results. I had a good laugh.
    Then off into the park from a new direction. The trails were tight in spots. I will ride this section again to get familiar with it.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fat Biking and health-fullsizeoutput_bfa.jpg  

    Last edited by CHIEF500; 05-10-2018 at 09:34 AM.

  29. #5929
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    I spent some time today fussing over the Ortlieb Saddle Bag (Large) and how it fits on FCC. It's a nice bag, with enough space inside to hold my small field pouch stuffed with iPhone and camera as well as a spare light jersey (really testing it to see "if I want to take my jersey off, is there space for it in the bag?"... there is).

    Two issues surfaced:

    • One is that the bag hangs a bit lower on the seat post than I'd imagined and prevents my bike lock from fitting where I've been carrying (on the back of the seat post). If I rotate the seat post clamp 180 degrees, I can fit the lock in front of the seat post, but that's a lot less stable position to have the lock in for a couple of reasons.
    • Two is that there isn't a great spot to put my signalling tail lamp except on the end of the bag where it rolls over using a different kind of clip mount. This works but makes the light somewhat less stable and not very precisely aim-able.


    So I'm a little ambivalent about this setup for the moment. I've taken it all off the bike and repackaged it, I'll think about what to do about it. I guess I'll just have to wear my sling bag for a while longer...

    G

  30. #5930
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    I've never owned this many bicycles. I never thought having so many would increase my cycling pleasure. It truly has. I think the macaw agrees.

    Fat Biking and health-img_20180506_174109912_hdr.jpg
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  31. #5931
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    OZ, that third photo down is glorious. What a great ride. There's good night riding here. I need to upgrade my lighting and give it a go.
    Thanks DH, I was thinking that your trails would be made for night riding, especially during summer. You would not need a mega watt light for the open parts of the trail. I will also so assume that there are no big biting things lurking in the dark?

    Thats a bonus down here in OZ as all the things that can kill you go to bed when the sun sets

    Its nice to have a few different bikes Dh, keeps things fresh, or having the right tool for the job, or whatever other reason I want to give myself/my wife for having more than one bike

    OZ.

  32. #5932
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    Hi Chief, nice rides you had, and like most of us someone goes too far with their toys. Thats one serious set up for model power boat racing. Still most people say the same thing when they see our garage and my bikes

    Shame about your childhood neighbour, I have one of those although he has not killed himself yet. As a young surfer he always looked the part, had more money at the shop than we did and really always overdressed. Then he found weed and that changed his life, not for the best. Last time I came across him he was stick thin, not well off but still had a little of that old look about him. Hard to see past some of the choices we make as young adults.

    OZ.

  33. #5933
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    Nice, nice ride reports, everyone!!!

    No ride reports to report here. I hope to have something maybe today or tomorrow as we again try to get back rolling and into condition.

  34. #5934
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surly in OZ View Post
    Thanks DH, I was thinking that your trails would be made for night riding, especially during summer. You would not need a mega watt light for the open parts of the trail. I will also so assume that there are no big biting things lurking in the dark?

    Thats a bonus down here in OZ as all the things that can kill you go to bed when the sun sets

    Its nice to have a few different bikes Dh, keeps things fresh, or having the right tool for the job, or whatever other reason I want to give myself/my wife for having more than one bike

    OZ.
    The Diamondback (the snake-not my bike) tends to be active at night during the summer, so there is that ...
    2016 El Oso Grande
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  35. #5935
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    Rather quiet here this morning!

    I took Sumo out for a ride yesterday. Did an interesting variant of my usual route that ran 13.5 miles or thereabouts.

    Sumo is so different to ride compared to FCC: the bars are narrower and higher, the gearing is much taller overall, and the ten speed drive doesn't give me quite as many different speed options at my best cadence and effort. But it remains a fine ride! Of the two bikes, Sumo is the one that desperately needs a bag now that the little frame bag is on FCC, so one of those Ortlieb bags will likely find a home on it.

    I think I'm becoming resigned to the idea that if I want to carry anything beyond the bare minimums, I'll have to use a sling bag or the handlebar carrier on FCC, or the big Ortlieb on Sumo. There just aren't any decent options beyond that for what I want, other than a rack on Sumo.

    Hmm. Now I have to think of where to go today...

    G

  36. #5936
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    Hi G if you have not already discovered fully fitted racks for the back of a fat bike are a little rare. And there is another way the Topeak MTX beam rack V-type. It can easily swap between bikes, not sure if you are running a carbon post. Might not be compatible if you are.

    It was the first system I had when I was setting up my old Specialized MTB as a commuter. Gave me a few years of fuss free use and still comes out when needed.

    Fat Biking and health-img_2337.jpg

    The bags slide on and off easily and clicks securely on.

    Fat Biking and health-img_2327.jpg

    And the mount is a simple yet firm and well padded quick release on the seat post. Which makes it very easy to switch between bikes or remove altogether.

    Fat Biking and health-img_2338.jpg

    Rated to 20 Kg and there are a few different types of bag for the system.

    Worth a look.

    OZ.

  37. #5937
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    Thanks OZ! Definitely worth a look! I like how easy it is to fit and remove too!
    That setup can work for either bike. :-)

    G

  38. #5938
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    Just back from today's ride.. did the loop, this time a variant out to 14.6 miles.

    It happened three times today: Someone sees me on FCC, sees the frame bag, and says, "Oh, that must be an electric bike!" Uh, no it's not. My electric is at home. "So why does it have a big battery...?" I roll my eyes.

    No one ever said that with Sumo. Most were surprised the that it was an electric. Why does the Fatboy with frame bag look more like an electric then the electric bike?

    Anyway, so the third of these incidents happened at a busy intersection before the Hedding Hump (the steep train bridge). A woman on a very touring set up crossover pulls across the street and orients her bike to cross when the light changes. "Oh, you're going to just pull away from me, you should go first." Um, it's a pedal bike ... no electrics. She peers closer, "Oh, I see. I thought all bikes with big tires were electric bikes! But you'll beat me anyway. I'm almost 60."

    At which I really laughed out loud. "Beat ya there too. I'll be 64 in a couple of months."

    We pumped and sweated up and over the train bridge, and blasted downhill to the next traffic light.

    "Okay Grandpa, you do pretty darn well for an old man!" she grinned.
    "Well Grandma, thank you. You don't do to badly yourself!" I quipped back. We said good by and took our separate ways onwards.

    G

  39. #5939
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    I've never owned this many bicycles. I never thought having so many would increase my cycling pleasure. It truly has. I think the macaw agrees.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hi Dh speaking of three, have you seen the new Dream Ride III by DiamondBack Bikes?

    The whole series was fantastic, well worth a watch. Looked up that snake might want to keep and eye out for those too

    OZ.

  40. #5940
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    OZ, I just watched the first one. Stunning-visually on multiple levels, and even the Seussian poetry is mostly great. I also looked up Mike Hopkins. What a wildman! Great looking girlfriend, too!
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  41. #5941
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    Fat Biking and health-img_4341a.jpg

  42. #5942
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    Nice color on that bike, Chief!

    ---
    The bicycle carrier I ordered for my little car arrived yesterday. I ran by my mechanic's shop this morning with it, fitted it, and he inspected the fitment to see if was going to cause any problems by itself. It all seems good so far.

    I'm heading down to the garage with the FCC now to test it out and see if the bike actually fits on the car without damaging anything, either on the car or the bike. I'm pretty sure I'll need to make up a couple of bumpers to protect both, but they have to be able to fall onto surfaces that imply minimum damage possibilities.

    fun fun fun...!
    G
    Last edited by ramarren; 05-10-2018 at 12:25 PM.

  43. #5943
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHIEF500 View Post
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    A blue bike nuff said!!

    Even Sarge knows that blue bikes are bitchen!
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  44. #5944
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    Quote Originally Posted by ramarren View Post
    ...
    The bicycle carrier I ordered for my little car arrived yesterday. I ran by my mechanic's shop this morning with it, fitted it, and he inspected the fitment to see if was going to cause any problems by itself. It all seems good so far.

    I'm heading down to the garage with the FCC now to test it out and see if the bike actually fits on the car without damaging anything, either on the car or the bike. I'm pretty sure I'll need to make up a couple of bumpers to protect both, but they have to be able to fall onto surfaces that imply minimum damage possibilities.
    Okay, well, results are mixed. The carrier fits but the two carrier arms are almost vertical when it's fitted as designed, which makes it quite difficult to fit the bicycle without the pedal resting directly on the bumper cover. Moreover, if I remove the pedal, the bike is again so close to the car body that a bit of the frame will rest directly against the trunk lid, which is absolutely no good at all.

    There's a chance I can reverse the straps on the rack such that the rack is flipped around by 180 degrees when mounted to the car. If this is possible, the bike might be able to hang just clear of the car since the arms of the rack are not symmetrical. I'm going to give this a go at the bike shop on Monday or Tuesday since I'm leaving town early tomorrow morning to be back home late Sunday or early Monday.

    There's a possibility that I might have to return this rack and look at one of the other two-bike racks, and use the second bike position specifically to move the bike a bit farther away from the car when fitted.

    So it goes ...


    Regardless, I got a nice quick ~13 mile ride in around my customary loop. A stop for lunch, and just pounded my way quickly. Too much to do today while I get ready for this trip, so no dallying.

    Onwards!
    G

  45. #5945
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    Hi Chief, bike looks great out on the trails. By the look of the trees summer has finally edged winter aside. Thats the case down here today, around 16 dec C and a cold strong wind blowing in.

    OZ.

  46. #5946
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    Monkey 2.0 complete...

    Hi everyone well my changes to the Monkey are complete now. I took into my LBS to have the bars trimmed and ended up getting the tyres swapped out as well. Was not going to do that until much later oh well

    So the bike is now much more capable of being pushed a little harder on the trails.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09802-2.jpg

    Just back from a quick lap of my local trails, too cold to stop for ride photos, 16 dec C which is very cold down here.

    The tyres are 3 inch Specialized Purgatory up front,

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09806.jpg


    and a 3inch Ground Control out back.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09809.jpg


    Lots more grip on the front end and the tyres still roll well on the road. Both are the grid casing so I hope they are as reliable as the WTB's I was running.

    A quick adjustment of tyre pressure on the trail had me running 12 psi on the front and 14 psi out back.

    Might be the last trail ride for a few days as the cold front pushes further north bringing some heavy rain. The commute to work might be a little challenging for a change.

    OZ.

  47. #5947
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    I always liked the Ground Control tire series. I remember trying the first big GC (wanna say it was a 2.5) way back when. It was a bit too much of a marshmallow on 30 mm rims, but they were onto something. The old GC 1.9s were a favorite.
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  48. #5948
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    I was carrying my Polaroid camera yesterday when I went for my ride and snapped this photo of FCC parked out in front of the cafe were I met a friend for coffee:





    onwards!
    G

  49. #5949
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    Yeah OZ, it's warm now 84° F (29°C) yesterday with some humidity. It's getting there finally. The pollen has been off the charts this year.

    https://youtu.be/zxgRNK2EysI

    This is southeast of me in Millville NJ. I'm sure Mike has seen it bad too.

    Off yesterday, no ride. I'll get out for a few today and tomorrow. The day off recharges the want to ride.

  50. #5950
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    Im away on a motorcycle trip for the next few days. Ride well and be safe!

    Onwards!
    G

  51. #5951
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHIEF500 View Post
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    Chief. Great looking. Ride. Enjoy it. Btw the. fundme. Iis up.
    Oldbear sez: REMEMBER USE YOUR SUNSCREEN

  52. #5952
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    I got in 2 good rides the past 2 days. I did my mid-season Friday ride, its a 13.5 mile loop through Croydon PA and then back up to the PA Turnpike bridge. It felt good, rode the Crosstrail, its mostly on streets. Then yesterday I rode the Fuse 7.5 miles to a friends house to drop off plant bulbs for them to grow and then back home along the canal. They were given to me by a old friends wife after he passed and I'm spreading them around to friends and family.

    Mike if your out and about in Bordentown these were placed yesterday.
    Fat Biking and health-32267209_1480994455362123_4439998948492443648_n.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-32337061_1480994488695453_4822662628847386624_n.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-32549694_1480994298695472_3385801970173345792_n.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-32488060_1480994405362128_3469940774638977024_n.jpg

  53. #5953
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    I love those rocks. So far, I've only found two.
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  54. #5954
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    Chief: I believe I passed these folks yesterday afternoon as they were at the Paine statue on my way to do the Lock 1 run to Trenton. Gold colored 4 door car. Did not stop to talk to them.

    But I did go past the statue on my return. And there was no painted stone on Tom's palm. That did not take long..... I hate to see this hard and loving dedicated work wasted on people who don't give a damn. That paint work took time to do, with a good bit of skill level. And they couldn't last but a few clicks of the clock to disappear as the time I I went by that car, made my trip up to Trenton and back may have been 40 minutes at the most......

    Speaking of the Lock 1 ride: There are 2 Canal path gates that are kept locked; to be opened when park personnel come in to mow the weed growth (figure once every 2 months in spring/summer growth season) and whatever tree fall-downs they need to tend to. 2 gates that have been kept open cause the locks to them are missing. Soon, when word gets around, the illegal dumpers will be at it on the north end, as they were a few years ago when the most northern gate was left opened wide by the RiverLine train maintenance folks. Guess I'll have to inform the folks supposedly in charge of the canal system as to what is up before the northern end gets trashed.....

    And on another front, the I-295 overpass that goes over the towpath has it's water drainage system outflow directed right onto the towpath, creating a large puddle of water that won't go away until we get into a period of no-rain for weeks on end in the height of summer. It's to the point where this outflow is creating a small eco-system of a wetlands. Now, would this kind of stuff go on at the more trendier and hip areas of the towpath to the north of the Lock 1 towpath? No. Guess I'll have to send a feeler out to the canal reps via email about remedying this situation for the towpath bikers and hikers.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3136.jpg
    Large puddle created by I-295 overpass water drain run-off onto canal towpath, looking northbound. Note the cat-tails growing in the water!
    Fat Biking and health-100_3133.jpg
    Same puddle, looking southbound at the I-295 overpass.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3135.jpg
    This puddle is just off of the "mini pond" and will hang around until natural evaporation takes place, as there is no proper drain off of it into the nearby canal. Good place for mosquito breeding, too.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3137.jpg
    Same puddle, looking towards the canal. Nothing to help facilitate this run-off from draining into the canal, like a concrete raceway....
    Fat Biking and health-100_3134.jpg
    The culprit. There are 2 overpass bridges here. Each with 3 lanes for traffic. And all of the rain and snow melt for the one overpass drains here, right on to the canal towpath. The other overpass drains into the field adjacent the canal towpath, making for a soggy, mosquito infested mess. And they actually paid professional highway engineers to figure out this is a proper way to drain a heavily traveled highway, LOL.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3138.jpg
    Under the I-295 overpass.

    Chief: PM me for a meet at Bristol next week, tail end of the week. I'd like for you to show me the Delaware Canal towpath run from Bristol to Pennsbury or wherever it ends. I've not taken the truck out of service yet, so I can meet you in the parking lot there at the start of the canal there in town. Thanks.

  55. #5955
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    I always liked the Ground Control tire series. I remember trying the first big GC (wanna say it was a 2.5) way back when. It was a bit too much of a marshmallow on 30 mm rims, but they were onto something. The old GC 1.9s were a favorite.
    Those marshmallows were ideal for sand and loose terrain. I used em on Ukai wide rims and they were just perfect for the area I was living at the time.
    Today, finding something in a +tire that isn't as heavy as a 4.8 and feels like it would work well for the deer trails is challenging. Now that I found two pair
    of Nobby Nic 3.0's in the performance version, I have it going on. Aisan and Sarge have those tire pumps for a reason! We can air down and ride deer trails and peeps that try to follow have great difficulty since they are not taking the time to drop some pressure and make it like riding a paved road.

    The air down is in order to squish the tire to the point that 60-70% of the tread is in use, giving the required flotation to keep the tire from sinking in like an anchor. Same holds true with the Mayor. When I find a place that gives Aisan and Sarge a run for their money, you can be assured that the Mayor will get a chance to conquer it with his 4.8" JJ's on the job. Range of pressures used is 8-15 psi. Go higher than that and a grain of sand is the same as hitting baby heads at speed! Fvck that! No can do! Ain't gonna, nope! Well, maybe, if Aisan had 20" of suspension!!

    Making the +bikes street session ready! I'm considering a pair of Schwalbe G-One 2.8's for them to wear when they have a street session. This will give them the traction needed for proper urban assault. And yus, I'm using tubes with the +bikes so I can readily swap tires depending on the terrain planned. Scumless tires are indeed handy and useful. Tubeless is a whore of a bitch when it comes to tire changes.
    So far, Sarge and Aisan have a pair of Rocket Ron liteskin 3.0's and a pair of Nobby Nic 3.0 performance tires they switch between.
    I think OZ is on to something there, GC and Purgatory are very nice looking and hafta be solid performers.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  56. #5956
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    Hey there, Wade! Always love to read your thoughts. Love your knowledge base.

    Here are a couple pics from this morning out at Usery on Blevins. Did the loop twice.

    Fat Biking and health-img_20180513_080802615_hdr.jpg

    Had to exercise trail discourtesy at one point when a very large, very slow fellow hiking with his dog refused to step over despite my request. Just rode around him and back onto the trail after waiting for 30 slow feet for him to get over. When I hike, I always step aside for bikers. Some "hikers" think that the only folks with rights to the trail are them.

    Fat Biking and health-img_20180513_082115245.jpg

    As I was loading up, a guy on a full suspension NORCO (I loved my old NORCO) rolled up to chat about bikes. He has a Rocky Mountain Blizzard and races it, so he knew what he was saying. Still haven't seen another fat bike out on the trail, in nearly ten months of riding.
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  57. #5957
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    Howdy DH!

    There have been those encounters on trails here just the same. When a bloke on a heavy ass downhill bike approaches and ya don't get outta the way, ya might land in the hospital following your last great act of defiance, as the mouse displayed a finger to the hawk!

    Next winter, hope to spend some time in Tucson and hit the trails in the region once again. It was a great pleasure last time about. The terrain and features are amazing +bike and fatbike habitat.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  58. #5958
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    Hi everyone! It is I oldbear coming to you from the Bearcave of cousin Near [Matt. I have been back since last Tuesday
    I have started the Gofundme om FB. its under Help us gain Housing. We are trying to raise enough to get an apartment and some furniture and ultimately retrieve Mama Bear from Alabama. let me tell you although the weather might be nice some people sure aren't!!!!!! Our own son pulled a fast one on us and we almost wound up Homeless. But qwqe didn't except that Mama woundup in a nursing home and I wound up in a boarding house that was actually another warehouse situation. And now i am bikeless too. Both Blue and Ryback are at my son's and i dont know when I will get them baCK.
    So if anu
    tyof you are of a mind to just go over to FB and look for Me As Fred Cotterell theres a couple old accvounts but the most current has me wearing my old surly shirt. We will be grateful for any support.
    Until Later
    Oldbea
    Oldbear sez: REMEMBER USE YOUR SUNSCREEN

  59. #5959
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    That's just not right, oldbear. Makes me damn angry to hear of such cruelty and misfortune.

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    Had a very fun three-day putt on the motorcycle over the weekend. My first longish ride (430 miles or so) on a motorcycle since 2004. I learned a couple of things about both the motorcycle and my body at this age that will enhance future travel, both on the motorcycle and on the bicycle. Looking forward to today's bicycle ride and the longer motorcycle trip I'm making this coming weekend!

    I owe a good bit of the success of this past weekend's ride to my time on Sumo and FCC. 'Nuff said.

    onwards!
    G

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    Took a nice ride today, around 13-15 miles. Not much to get excited about: something was attacking my stomach so I just got home and took a nap afterwards.

    G

  62. #5962
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    I got out yesterday, I went skinny tires Crosstrail with all the rain recently I knew I'd be staying on the hard stuff. I didn't feel like riding on the way home, tired from work, normal BS. I knew once I got out and moving I'd be good. I started with I'll ride 6 - 8, once I got moving I felt strong, really good. First time in a long time I felt this. I went for a 10 quick miles with 2 bridges in the loop to get over. I had one idiot playing with his cell phone while driving get close. I ended up in the grass along the road. Then at the approach to the last bridge the traffic made me stop right at the bottom, no momentum at all. Felt good to get up and over.
    Can't wait to ride today. Weather permitting, supposed t get bad here today.

    Towpath Mike check your PM's.

    Whew, hot and humid today. I rode out to rehab (2.8 miles), did my work and then rode home a longer way back. I got 8 in total on a very warm day. Raining hard now, I'm sitting and watching it.
    Last edited by CHIEF500; 05-15-2018 at 03:30 PM.

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    Hi DH, nice ride I am surprised that you don't see other fat bikes out on those trails they seem made for one. Not so nice of the hiker, seems like the hard core hikers cause a lot of problems for mountain bikers in the U.S with trail access.

    Hi Oldbear, well thats a pretty awful story, and not something you expect form a son. Hope things turn around soon and your son redeems himself.

    Hi G back on both bikes, how do you chose

    Chief as for your run-in with distracted drivers thats one of the reasons I looked to bikes that can keep me off road as much as possible. Although I commute by bike everyday and that gives me plenty of chances to have a discussion with drivers. I pulled up next to one the other morning at a set of traffic lights, he had just skimmed past me and I tapped on his window and politely enquired as to why he passed so close to me, only for him to answer that he did not know what I was talking about. My bike is orange I was wearing a hi vis vest a white helmet and my rear light is brighter than most motorbikes! As you said phones, music or whatever else driver do these days are a killer for other road users.

    Anyway the weekend is only two days away down here and the weather forecast is looking good.

    OZ.

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    Hi Mike, well would you rather your water frozen Great to see your reports again and meeting up with Chief would be cool.

    OZ.

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    Hi, OZ. Yeah, much as I like my big beast of a bike, most folks ride skinny tires here. That hiker was an anomaly, thank goodness.

    How's that weather?
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  66. #5966
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surly in OZ View Post
    ...
    Hi G back on both bikes, how do you chose
    ...
    Anyway the weekend is only two days away down here and the weather forecast is looking good.
    Good morning, OZ!

    I swapped off between the two bikes a couple of times last week. What's coming down is that the FCC just fits me better, since I did most of a "build up from scratch" to suit me with it (regards the tires, seat, grips, brakes, and drive) and the Sumo other than the tires and the seat is bone stock. The FCC's much lighter weight and perfect gearing for my use makes the FCC more comfortable and easier to ride most of the time. I pick the Sumo when it's unclear as to whether it would be better to have some assist due to terrain issues (long steep climbs mostly), but the more I ride the FCC, the less even that separates them due to my legs' development.

    This does not bode well for Sumo staying with me very much longer. My space to store bicycles is extremely limited and if I find myself not using it enough, I will sell it and put the money to other uses.

    ---
    Yesterday was a bit of a rush tinged by a bit of sadness. First thing in the morning, I was informed that one of my cousins, a man almost a decade younger than I am, died late the previous evening quite unexpectedly. His heart just gave out and stopped; it doesn't seem he suffered much if at all, but to see someone I grew up with, the same age as my youngest brother, taken by heart failure so young ... It is just very hard to take.

    The rest of the day was busy with many things but I did manage to get in a 12 mile ride and visit with a good friend at one of my more remote cafes. And learned yet more sadness there: He'd unexpectedly had to put down his cat the day before, a handsome gray tom whom he'd adopted as a rescue cat sixteen years ago. Another family member, essentially.

    It's been a terrible year of sudden deaths like this so far.

    Anyway, the ride was good, we had a good talk, and the weather was very nice and amicable for riding. Today I have a 20 mile ride planned, which I'll do early, and then I'll finish prepping for another weekend motorcycle jaunt. This time to Southern California, about a thousand miles round trip. Back home on Sunday.

    onwards,
    G

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    Hi DH, weather wise the next week is looking fantastic, no rain and a range of 7 to 20 C. Perfect riding weather then, as for the lack of fat bikes they are on of those thing you need to ride one to understand them. So much fun and you can truly ride anything on one, as the guys at GMBN youtube channel showed the other day.

    I suppose that your riding involves early mornings now to beat the heat? Nice to be out early anyway, riding to work the last few mornings as the sunrises has been fantastic. Riding home as the sunsets not so nice

    OZ.

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    Hi G seems like Sumos days are numbered make sure he goes to a good home

    Sad about your cousin, we truly never know when our last day is here so cherish each one and love your family and friends. RIP.

    OZ.

  69. #5969
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surly in OZ View Post
    Hi DH, weather wise the next week is looking fantastic, no rain and a range of 7 to 20 C. Perfect riding weather then, as for the lack of fat bikes they are on of those thing you need to ride one to understand them. So much fun and you can truly ride anything on one, as the guys at GMBN youtube channel showed the other day.

    I suppose that your riding involves early mornings now to beat the heat? Nice to be out early anyway, riding to work the last few mornings as the sunrises has been fantastic. Riding home as the sunsets not so nice

    OZ.
    It's still nice enough here to ride during the day, OZ. I'm about to ride the Zeke to the gym and then to a barbecue joint I like.
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  70. #5970
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    Surly In Oz: The only thing I find consistent in our weather lately is the inconsistency. For example, up to 1 day ago, it had a feel of mid-summer. That was preempted by a severe line of thunderstorms up and down the middle Atlantic states; with some areas pelted by ice/hail and high winds near 70-80 mph. Now, what normally happens in an event like this is that after the severe weather passes, a high pressure front settles in, bringing in clear blue skys, low humidity. Not this time. Instead, we are looking at rainy weather and no sun until sometime mid week, next week.

    Meanwhile, look at those pictures I took Saturday and it does have a "tropical foliage type feel to it", thanks to that summer like heat. Frankly put, spring time, 2018 around here has sucked big time. If we weren't going through major northeast snow storms in March, icy cold in April, then we are going directly into summer followed by week long rain events. LOL. What can one do? As Mark Twain was alleged to have said: "Everyone is complaining about the weather, but no one is doing nothing about it."

    Friday's meetup with Chief has heavy rain forecasted, so a tentative hold is most likely for a ride under more dryer conditions......

    Took a ride yesterday before the storms from the west came in; 7 miles total before that long, gray line of storm clouds on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River crossed over to the river. Impressive to see. To the north in Reading PA and on the outskirts of the New York city metro area, Tornado warnings were posted, warning people to seek shelter immediately. Just one over the top weather event after another in 2018......


    G: So sorry to hear of your loss. Surly puts it right here; we don't know when our expiration date comes due; but it's the living and the things we do that leave an impression on others that count in the end. And as you know, I love all critters, be it the ones in the wild and the ones that move in and out of our lives. Their lives as well have great meaning and purpose in our lives, so their passing should be mourned with respect. Be well.

  71. #5971
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    The pall cast on the day yesterday by events lightened somewhat today: I went for a 21 mile ride down to my doctor's office and back, stopping at the bicycle shop as well as the motorcycle shop on the way. It was an excellent ride, taking me through parts of the Los Gatos Creek Trail that I'd never visited before and into neighborhoods unknown. 9.8 miles to the office, did it in a bit under an hour.



    This is a bit of the Los Gatos Creek Trail right near Camden Ave in Campbell, CA.

    Did my business there and realized that I was no more than ten minutes from one of the nicer bicycle shops in the neighborhood, so I rode over there and said hello to the guys, looked up a couple of bits to see if they had them in stock. No go, so on I went, picking up another bit of the Los Gatos Creek Trail on the way back northwards to the motorcycle gear shop.

    Stopped there and found a nice electric vest for my ride south tomorrow, half off 'cause its the end of the season.

    Then home, a shower, lunch, and a nap. That's a pretty fine day of it. I love riding FCC... Just want to keep on going and going with it.

    All the sadness of yesterday dissolves into my love of the world and all the wondrous things in it whenever I ride and let thought go into meditation. Our mortality is our bane and our gift: we do not last. Make the most of whatever time you have.

    onwards,
    G

  72. #5972
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    10 mile BMX ride to the gym and back, with a stop for some excellent brisket, okra and cornbread on the way home. Been playing with 225 on the bench lately. Managed 22 reps in the first set, then 12, then 8, then 3 rest-pause style before moving to back work.

    The neighborhood is going to hell. All the great farm land is giving way to housing developments, all of which are cookie cutter homes.

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  73. #5973
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtyHun View Post
    The neighborhood is going to hell. All the great farm land is giving way to housing developments, all of which are cookie cutter homes.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    DH: This is the story of NJ and the greater northeast and midatlantic states, and unfortunate story at that. Here in Burlington County, the largest county in the state and at one time, the breadbasket of NJ, that gave the slogan "The Garden State", it seems the only farmland left are tended by the families still hanging in there. Other old line farming family's have gotten out, the developers cash too much to resist. And once it's gone, it's gone forever. In the place of corn, soybean, tomatoes, wheat and other crops, what is grown today is more crime, more taxes to support the infrastructure each development requires (sewage, trash collection, policing, roadway maintenance, water supply lines from the distant water treatment plant), more speeding cars, more distressed animals who were displaced by these fake McMansions who are squeezed deeper into what free land remains.

    What's going to happen in that picture is the influx of people from places like my homestate; the very people who have helped create a state with the highest taxes short of NY and CA will be migrating to a neighborhood close to you. What's happened out here is that people from NY state and north Jersey migrated south to here, bringing their own political sensibilities with them, to where one day you wake up and you think you were teleported to somewhere in Staten Island, NY. A bad situation all around.

    Semi-political rant over. Appreciate the pictures of the desert land very much. Keep them coming, please.

    Mike

  74. #5974
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    Yeah, Mike, that may happen. Gilbert is extremely heavy Mormon territory, so it tends to attract family types. There are zero gangs here, because the police (tacitly encouraged by the mayor, city council and Mormon base) are the only gang the town accepts. I doubt it will see much increase in crime (there is almost none) over the next few years, but the traffic is increasing, as are accidents, and all while the farms are disappearing. I miss them. I've lived here and in other areas around Phoenix since 2000, and it's amazing to me how much it has urbanized over that time. I dislike cities, but work dictates that I live near or in one.
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    Hi everyone, hope your weekend is arriving fine and sunny.

    G that bike path looks supersized so much room and a tunnel of trees as well. Its great to have these escapes from all the traffic on the roads.

    And DH looks like you are heading that way with these new housing developments. Taking your fat bike out into those desert trails seems very appealing.

    Well today was a perfect riding day, apart form the lack of riding I was up early and watched the last few hours of the Tour of California some great looking roads up to Lake Tahoe. Had to cut the lawn and do a few other chores around the house, and by the time I was done with them my back that has been little stiff and sore the last few days cried enough and stiffened right up. So a few pain killers and heat packs tonight and hopefully tomorrow it will have forgotten what was wrong with it and I can manage a ride. Either way I will be placing a call to my masseuse of the remedial kind and he will be giving me a good work out on Monday.

    Enjoy a ride if you can.

    OZ.

  76. #5976
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    Cheers, OZ. Hoping that back of yours is right again posthaste.

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    Thanks DH, the back was better this afternoon but no riding as we were off the see the new doco on the Australian rock band Midnight Oil, still to this day the greatest band I have ever seen live. Their live shows had so much power, the songs, the band and if you have never seen the lead singer Peter Garrett dominate a stage you have missed out.

    The movie is called Midnight Oil 1984, about the bands Red sails in the Sunset tour of that year and Peter Garrett's push to be elected to the Australian Senate, and I went to the local show and to this day its lives in my mind. Front of the pit in reaching distance of the stage catching the flying drum sticks and singing every song. And the movie brought back those memories, the hairs on my arms were standing up hearing the music recorded live again. I have seen many bands over the years that disappointed, Midnight Oil sounded better live than most bands studio albums, true power and songs that mean something.

    If you are interested look up on Youtube "oils on the water concert" recorded in 1985 when the band was flying.

    OZ.

  78. #5978
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    OZ, I loved Midnight Oil back in the day! Never saw them in concert, but totally appreciated their contribution to music of the time. They and REM were at one time major favorites of mine. Probably the best concert I've ever seen was Pearl Jam, but there have been so many great shows.

    Glad you're feeling better!
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  79. #5979
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    Surly: Belated best wishes in your back loosening up and feeling better.

    Here on the homefront, this is like, Day 5 of non-stop rain, drizzle and deep gray rain clouds as the entire east coast seems to be in the grip of this insane rain weather front coming from the south. Friday's meet with Chief was cancelled as the heaviest rains were predicted. Predictably, in the hours of the planned meet, a weather window did appear, though very high winds were in the area.

    Including the blizzards in March, the winter cold grip in April and now this, the chances to consistently ride daily to gain some kind of conditioning has taken a back seat to this abnormal weather pattern.

  80. #5980
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    Starting out late today. Had three high ABV beers out with a friend yesterday at San Tan. Feeling sluggish as a result, plus I've got a minor sore throat (probably allergies).
    Fat Biking and health-img_20180519_172635141.jpg

    We rode there-he on his Specialized, and I on the Zeke.

    Fat Biking and health-img_20180519_162454217.jpg

    Gonna drag my lazy ass out on the Diamondback for a mild ride, probably just Usery again.

    First, though, coffee and some protein.
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  81. #5981
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    OZ, I hope that back stops being cranky. Mine was a tad tight the last few days too.

    Lack of riding here. The Bermuda high as FINALLY given way, we went from 50's & 60's and cold to 80's and humid with high dew points. WOW it became summer today.

    I got out for a few and ended up doing 14+, staying away from the muddy trails. Felt good to get out and ride. Glad I took water with me. Supposed to storm this evening and then cool down. Should be a good riding week. Anniversary this week and we'll be away for a few days so I'll miss some riding time and gain it when I get back.
    Be well everyone.

  82. #5982
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    I ended up riding Jacob's Crosscut out and back for about 6 miles today.
    Fat Biking and health-img_20180520_121526844.jpg

    Riding late morning I didn't see another soul.

    Fat Biking and health-img_20180520_122351410.jpg

    Which suited me extra fine.

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  83. #5983
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    OZ! I hope your back is feeling better!

    Quote Originally Posted by Surly in OZ View Post
    Hi everyone, hope your weekend is arriving fine and sunny.

    G that bike path looks supersized so much room and a tunnel of trees as well. Its great to have these escapes from all the traffic on the roads.
    ...
    The Los Gatos Creek Trail is a very nice big trail, yes! It's heavily used by bicyclists, runners, and walkers alike, and generally very well maintained. It's about 12 miles in toto, that shot is from one of the popular sections running through residential neighborhoods. There are spots where it branches out into a complex of trails, through one or two parks, and other sections that are pretty narrow and not often used.

    Soon I'll ride the whole length of it and back again.

    ---
    A couple of motorcycle days for me again: Just returned from my trip to Southern California an hour or two ago.

    I left home on Thursday about noon and arrived in Placentia about 8:30pm, travelled 390 miles.

    Friday was a shop day, doing suspension, wheels, and tire upgrades to the motorcycle. Just as we were buttoning up the bike on Friday, the mechanic noticed a problem that needed looking at, deferred to Saturday morning. My partner Felipe arrived late Friday night.

    Saturday, we both headed over to the shop, Felipe picked up all the take-off bits and headed home; I waited while the mechanic finished up a booked job first, then we took the seat and tank off my bike to see what the problem was. Simple: the tray of electrical bits that fits to the frame under the back of the tank had fallen down because its retaining strap (a zip tie) had stripped its teeth. Fitted a new zip tie, buttoned it back up, and I headed out. I then pushed like heck to get back home last night, but it was too late: fatigue and cold did me in about 120 miles from home, it would have been too unsafe not to stop. So I grabbed a motel room in King City, sat down on the bed and fell fast asleep instantly.

    This morning's ride the last bit of the way home was cool and sunny, very nice really. I stopped and made this panorama with my iPhone:



    That's looking to the Northwest in the mountains between Salinas and Gilroy, CA, right about where the turnoff to San Juan Bautista goes from Highway 101. Lovely hills to ride through—in daylight!

    Trip total: 910 miles. Not bad for an old man on a motorcycle. And I'm not even tired ... which means it's time to take the bicycle out for a spin!

    onwards,
    G
    Last edited by ramarren; 05-20-2018 at 05:42 PM.

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    So I go out on my ride yesterday. A typical lunch ride loop for me, about 12 miles with a stop at the cafe in the middle to have a bowl of soup and a piece of bread. Weather is a bit cool, it's otherwise sunny and pleasant. I'm riding the FCC and enjoying the heck out of it..

    I pass by the same yard that I mentioned many months ago where I see this guy with his fat bike. I ding the bell and say "Nice Bike!" again. He looks over and shouts, "Yeah, no electrics either!" He said something like "you're cheating" the last time I saw him with Sumo, but I'm on FCC this time. He's glancing at my frame bag and assuming it's a battery pack... I was about to stop and show him I had no electrics too, but then I smiled to myself. Just like dealing with truculent jerks on the forums, it's best to just ignore and move on.

    Riding the FCC after 900 miles on the motorcycle brings a smile to my face. Oh, the blessed silence of a bicycle! You're not going fast enough for wind noise, and all you can hear from the machine is the pleasant tick-tick-tick when you coast, or the little "ca-chunk" when you shift.

    I just love being on two wheels. Nothing gives me more pleasure or makes me happier.

    onwards,
    G

  85. #5985
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    The passive aggressive is strong in this one.
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    My most beloved acupressure therapist was in town and had a couple of available appointments today. So I took one and let her beat me up.

    Ah, it's amazing what this woman can do for me: the shoulder that was still a bit tetchy from that silly dump I took on the bike a couple of weeks ago now feels great; the foot that has been feeling wooden and dead has life in it again; my lower back feels calm and doesn't hurt now too. Her hands are simply magic.

    No riding today. A session like this consumes all your energy and you need to spend time resting afterwards, not exercising, to let the muscles and tissues relax and heal. But I look forward to tomorrow's ride: It will be much more fun without the usual old-body aches riding with me!

    G

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    Thanks everyone, after hour with my remedial massage guy tonight I hope to be feeling and riding a lot better in the next few days. I always forget how much pain an R.M gives you, and I have a very low pain threshold

    Great ride photos DH, always looks like great riding weather in that part of the world. Hard to understand that you see no one else out there, still its nice to find some quite space these days. An Oils fan eh, I did not go to see them on their recent tour I just had the idea that it would not be the same but apparently they still rock. Maybe next time...

    G watching the Tour of California the other day those hills look made for a bike, motorised or not

    OZ.

  88. #5988
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    Cheers, OZ. It'll get majorly toasty here by the end of the month. Once temps start hitting 110, folks really shy away from outdoor exercise. So, if you can handle the heat, it makes most of the places I ride into a solo wonderland.
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    OZ!

    Good to hear you're feeling better! Joint and muscle pain is miserable stuff.

    Yes, those hills are a playground for bicycles and motorcycles alike. There are dozens and dozens of wiggly little roads that wend their way through them, and that are just amazing to ride. With the motorcycle, even these are within the radius of a nice day ride and worthy to explore and wiggle through ... Racer and I will be doing that now as the weather warms and the roads get nice and dry.

    They're a little remote for a day's circuit ride with the bicycle (meaning home to ride site and back to home), there are just not quite enough hours in the day to make it except on rare occasion. But that's no longer going to be a problem: I've got the bike carrier solution for my little car sorted out. I ended up returning the Saris Solo rack as being impossible to fit without bonking the car or resting on the bumper or trunk lid, and bought one of the Saris Solo 2 racks to replace it. This now fits on my car's little trunk lid nicely and holds the bike at an adequate distance from the back of the car not to cause any damage to either car or bicycle when I use the hold-downs for the second bicycle. It comes on and off the car in about five minutes and folds down to a small enough package that I can keep it in the trunk.

    The guys at the LBS gave me a great discount on it, even without my asking. I think I've become their favorite "wacky old grandpa" now with my fat bike and madness.

    Looking forward to a nice bicycle ride today as well as a little bit of a moto wiggle and dinner run with my moto folks. It's a bit overcast and chilly right now, but promises to get to sunny and 70°F or thereabouts by noonish...

    onwards!
    G

  90. #5990
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    Nice pics by DH and G!

    G: I traveled to Salinas in 2002 to buy an old, cheap sports call called an Opel GT from the original owner, an older lady. The idea was to tow it back home to NJ with my Ford Ranger. That is, until I met up with the Sierra Nevada mountain range on I-80. It was in May and though there was still winter storm warnings when I left for home in those mountains, in Salinas and the surrounding countryside, the hills were all in that brown that you show in your picture there, the rainy season, for what it is, had passed and it was onto the dry season. She took me for a run down to Carmel so I can see and touch the Pacific ocean before I left for home; passing Laguna Seca and a particular winding and hilly road that would be great for a small sporty car or motorcycle. Fat tired bike, not so much!

    DH: It's not the heat that kills, but maybe in the case of your heat it does.....but we have this particular thing called humidity, where even 80 degrees can feel like a trip to the sauna! I continue to be amazed by the great vistas you show us here. I'd imagine that rock mountain there would be a mountain climbers delight; minus any rattlesnake activity on or around it.....

    On that drive out west, I do remember the heat in Nevada; a sharp contrast to the cool and rain I had encountered in Iowa and points east back to home. A dry heat, it was.

    Well, the sun amazingly came out yesterday after a weeks worth of rain. Today, we're back to rain up to tomorrow. In the meantime, a visit to the doc is in order for today, as a pain in the gut seems to have never gone away since my bout with a gastro virus. Fun times!

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    Thanks Mike!

    It's always so hard to hear of something like an Opel GT being called "an old cheap sports car" ...! I remember well when they were new, and I was young, and I had one customer when I was a mechanic that brought it to me specifically to service at the shop I used to part time at. I'd gained a little reputation at the time for working on the Opels: I'd done a complete brake overhaul on a Manta that the owner was real happy with and told all the other Opel owners in the neighborhood to come visit me.

    This guy with the GT would leave it with me for a week at a time, and told me to go drive it and fix anything that I found wrong. It was a blast to drive and a pretty little thing, kind of a mini-Corvette in looks, and the 1.9L four banger was willing if not particularly powerful. What really made you giggle when driving it hard was that it turned left (or right) better than the other way due to the funky asymmetries of the rear suspension's Panhard rod. Always wanted one for myself to play with but that never happened. It was a sweet car.

    The regulars in the hills, bike and motorbike folks, have sort of divided up the roads between them. Some are where the bicyclists hang out mostly, and others are mostly where the motorcycles live. Most of the older sports cars have some difficulty because the roads aren't all smooth enough not to have them bottoming out all over the place ... My Alfa Romeo Spiders were notorious for coming around a bend, hitting a lump or a dip, and smashing the bottom plate of the oil pan. I think I replaced four cracked bottom plates that way...

    Do remember that my little FCC has roadie tires and, while not as fast as a regular roadie or a plus roadie, is geard to let me climb the steepest paved roads and rolls smooth and easy on the flats at 13 to 15 mph. It also has amazing brakes that can handle the steep downhills with ease, and is totally unperturbed by lumpy, broken up pavement and dirt. I can't wait to take a ride up and down King's Canyon Road and the road up to the Lick Observatory with it! I just need a wee bit more strength and stamina in my legs before making that challenge ... almost there!

    I'll vet the road with Racer first. I need to test all its new suspension, wheels and tires on the wigglies. Probably have to do just a little bit more finessing of the damping rates and preload: the basic setup is now right on the money.

    Onwards!
    G

  92. #5992
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    Mike, that giant rock is a GREAT place to hike. One of the best views in the valley is obtained via a pretty arduous hike up there (see below; I've done it several times). I hike in those mountains often, and hope to move closer to them to facilitate more frequent sojourns by bike and foot.

    Flatiron and Superstition Mountain - Arizona - Rick CrandallRick Crandall
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  93. #5993
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    G, don't let them get to you. Just smile and pedal on.

    I was pedaling home from rehab and stopped for a school bus yesterday, as I was standing waiting for the kids to unload and go on their way a car with 4 young men in it pulls up and waits. The bus moves on and one of the kids says something and I ignore him. Then he yells "You fat f" at me. I laugh and shoot them the bird. They drive off, I make a quick turn through the section following the bus for protection, just in case. They don't come back. You never know.

    Glad to hear your feeling better.

    Last rehab appointment today. Hip feels a little better and I have a few new stretches to get it loose. No ride today, it's pouring out.

    Off to AC and a mid-week get away with my wife for our 34th wedding anniversary.

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    Happily, Chief, I've had nothing but nice comments from everyone other than jerk bicyclists, either about me or about my bike. I do just smile and pedal on, with the miserable snotty bicyclists, that is. Some of the other folks who have called out to say "Nice bike!" or "Sexy ass!" (in jest, I assume... LOL!) I've stopped and engaged in conversation, even sat down to have a cup of coffee with. Most of the younger guys I run into are attending the university nearby and most of them are actually good kids, just normal young men trying to become adults.

    Whatever my goddess acupressure therapist did, it is great. No pain in my shoulder all last night or today. No pain in my right foot, the arthritic one. No pain in my lower back. She is just amazing.

    ---
    I did a nice little 11.5 mile ride today, with a stop in a different cafe for a chicken salad sandwich, and got into a nice conversation with a young woman working on her photography final presentation at the U. She had some very interesting photos and showed them as if she wasn't sure they were any good. I enjoyed helping her open up about them to me and to her friend sitting at the table. They told a very personal story that she needed to get out but was shy about. It was so cool to see her eyes start to dance when she got into the story telling and started to lay the photos out as she told it. I wish I'd recorded it because a video of that presentation would have gotten her an A grade, just as she did it.

    And now off on the motorcycle for a short putt, and then to dinner with the moto folks.

    onwards,
    G

  95. #5995
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    Great stuff, G & DH! Chief: what the hell is going on over there in Bristol anymore? Hope you beat the rain before you made it home. Seems to me like your area over there has an overabundance of punks roaming around.

    DH: I read that link, great stuff. Myself, I don't like heights and the idea of grabbing a handhold right in front of a ratttlesnake's nose scares the beejesus out of me. Then to read there are plants that sting and slash like a saber sword and suddenly the 125 degree heat in the summer seems like a walk in the park. But what inspiring scenery that is to a person like me or the Chief, who simply aren't used to these kinds of vistas that you western guys see all the time.

    G: I attempted to copy some photos I took of the GT, but my dvd drive is acting up, so another time after I pick up a new DVD player... Great Opel remembrances there, G. I had my Mom and Dad drive me over to the nearby Buick dealer in late 1968 to look over the new GT in the showroom. Meanwhile, on the street I grew up on, a neighbor's friends would stop by in their brand new 69 GT, a lovely silver with red interior, to me, the best color combo aside from the Strato blue color they wore. The mind's memory banks play tricks, for I recall that GT as having a menacing growl about it that my 73 does not have!

    If I have any questions as I prepare one day to begin a driveway restoration of my GT; I'll ask you. I've accumulated parts in the past 16 years I've had here. Awaiting down the cellar are the 4 BBS RS style rims in a 15 inch diameter for starters. Koni red shocks. Ansa exhaust resonator fed by a later fuel injected, ceramic coated Sprint factory exhaust manifold. 5 speed Getrag (she is originally a 3 speed automatic). MidiKit Single Weber DCOE side draft manifold. Mahle forged 2.0 liter pistons to up the horsepower to 100 or so. Reproduction aluminum performance radiator. Euro GT passing lamps in place of the US round turn signal lamps. 1 inch lowered front and rear springs. 75 Opel bigger brake package, front and rear, including front drilled rotors. Still, more parts to collect, including some fiberglass body mods like a front air dam, side skirts and a reproduction set of stainless front and rear bumpers. LOL, but first, I have to finish the boat project. Too many irons in the fire my friend. So many, I get a headache and decide to hop on the fatbike and forget about everything I'm not getting accomplished!

    I remember back in the day of the GT's introduction in the US well. One of the car magazines of the day, Car Life, did an article on the GT and there, in a sharp turn, there is the GT with it's nose down and back end up in the air in a severe understeer situation. And like the later VW Rabbit, the GT has the back tire off the ground as weight transfer moves from the rear to the front. Was able to locate a near perfect copy of that magazine just for that article; via ebay.

    As you know, the Manta suspension was miles more refined then the GT's Kadett derived single transverse leaf spring in the front and that panhard rod set up in the rear. The Manta was a well regarded car in it's day, a nice alternative to BMW's 2002.

    I love the GT; but I've always had a real soft spot for the mini-Nova SS 396 inspired Opel Kadett Rallye with the venerable 1.9 "big block" motor!

  96. #5996
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    Used to auto cross VW GTIs and Sciroccos (along with a Mini Cooper and, later, a 944). Those were great cars to chuck around.
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  97. #5997
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTowpathTraveler View Post
    ...
    If I have any questions as I prepare one day to begin a driveway restoration of my GT; I'll ask you.
    ...
    LOL! I hope I can remember 1/100 of what I used to know about the Opels. That was 43 years ago...!

    When it comes to obnoxiously large amount of detail about cars, it is the 1969 to 1982 Alfa Romeo Spider that I can rely upon from my memories of working on them, working out problems, and developing their performance. I had six of those over the years, the last one I built up out of three cars between 1998 and 2001. It was affectionately known as Frankenspider amongst the local Alfisti: A 1979 chassis that had a transplanted 1982 Bosch EFI engine in it with all the good bits out of my wrecked 1978 and lots of detail upgrades throughout. I painted it a bright Ferrari-inspired yellow and left the interior very simple and basic like the 1972 models. It was everything I ever dreamed of having in an Alfa Romeo Spider—I drove it for four years after I had finished it and enjoyed the heck out of it, sold it to another Alfa enthusiast who has developed it even further now.

    These things are labors of love and passion, they don't make rational (or economic) sense. But when you do them, they make you smile just remembering the effort. Same thing with my customized, Sport-ified Moto Guzzi 850T, my beloved custom Ducati 750GT, and coming up on the same curve is the new Moto Guzzi V7III Racer I just overhauled suspension, wheels, and tires on. The Specialized Fatboy Comp Carbon fits in the same category, and to a lesser extent the Mercedes-Benz SLK280 I'm driving now.

    I've always been a vehicle gearhead, it's my burden and my pleasure.

    I was testing Racer's new setup on my motorcycle ride yesterday. Damn it's good now! A couple of bumps that used to chatter my teeth and smack me in the butt now just "bump, ba-bump" below me as I speed over them, and the way it turns and grips has moved to a whole different level. Today I think I'll go attack the wiggly road up to the Observatory to push the suspension and grip a bit further ...

    The joy of it all. Onwards!

    G

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  98. #5998
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    G: At one of my earlier CG units, the new first class MK drove a Porsche 914 that he did an incredible amount of work on; at that, this was the early 80's, waay before this current trend of making the 914 a collectible within the Porsche community. His car was perfect, in that similar Ferrari yellow that was popular in the day of the 308's. Perfect too in that it was not a typical 914 with terminal rust, especially in the Hell Hole. Momo steering wheel. Period cocoa floor mats. Dual downdraft webers and exhausted with an ansa style dual outlet muffler. Fuchs rims. It sounded tough and was a great runner. I loved that little car. The Chief MK was no slouch either, driving a gold 74 Challenger Rallye, with the 340.

    Then one day, for some explicable reason in 86 or 88, he traded it in on an Alfa Spider. No offense to your Spider and what you did; for this was a showroom car, off the lot. How does one do this? That car had no soul compared to the 914, at least in my eyes. I believe he also bought one of those first generation Toyota mini vans in this time frame, the mid-engined jobs. Maybe his wife was pushing him behind the scenes to get rid of the little mini-lemans racer in that 914?

    2 years, having come to the realization that the boat project was not moving along fast enough; that I really missed those long day trip rides in the GT, I went and traded my trusty New Beetle TDI for a used Fiat Abarth 500; 5 speed. Let me tell you, there is no better sounding engine at start up and throttling up and down the roadways than that little 1.4 liter motor & exhaust. I love it, as well as loving averaging anywhere from 36 to 39 mpg. Just a fun little car that I hope survives whatever is going on at Fiat Chrysler. I consider it the modern day Plymouth Roadrunner or VW GTI.....

    Great motorcycle shots. Just the other day, I saw one of those Moto Guzzi's; brand new, on one of our county backroads. Nice looking bike and a nice break from the Harley and Jap super bike stuff that plague our roads at times.....

  99. #5999
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    DH: That 1984 VW GTI was a landmark car, one I'd not mind in having; either red or black with the trademark interior seating made famous by that car. That one too, was famous for it's three wheel drift around a hard turn, that inside back tire a few inches off the ground.

    But it was the first generation Scirocco that to me was a beautiful design; almost Italian like, a kind of modern day Lancia within that front end. I remember being in the market for a replacement of my gas sucking 74 Camaro; seeing a First Gen sitting in the used car lot at the local Toyota dealer in the year 1980. Dark gray metallic. Sat inside and it just felt great sitting in front of that wood grained dash. One of my regrets was not test driving that car and maybe even buying it. I miss not seeing them on the roads anymore. I do look them up on craigslist every now and then. Pristine examples are a rare bird.

    944: So one day at my unit in Iowa, I'm in my 86 Fiero GT, 4 speed, V6; heading out of town going north to Burlington, Iowa. I see a 944 in the left lane and decide to challenge it with a spirited run out of town. Well, at least I was doing the challenging. The car had 3 or 4 people in it and so I thought, peice of cake. Not so. I get alongside it and I suppose the driver was thinking he was being challenged to a run....so he increased his speed. Likewise, I increased mine. He returned the favor. It suddenly dawned on me that I had nothing left for that 2.5 or 2.7 liter four cylinder. This 2.8 V6 was topped out, nothing left and he was still gaining ground ahead of me.

    That was one tough engine. Nice looking cars as well, with the built-in fender flares that the earlier 924's did not have. Car and Driver loved it so much that I think it made most every 10 Best year in and year out. That was the car that saved Porsche in the 1980's from going under.

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    I grew up around Porsches. My dad was a service manager for Stoddard in Ohio. The 1.7 914 was not a great car, but the 2.0 was really nice-and the 914/6 is one of the best Porsches ever built. The 944 was an incredible car: Simply put, it drove so much nicer than nearly everything else, you could fall in love easily. I never drove the 944 Turbo or Turbo S, but those cars were unbelievable for the time. The 930 was the car I coveted (and I would still love a 70's or 80's 930), and of course, the Carrera RSR, but that was unobtanium.

    As for the GTI, it will always have a soft spot in my heart. I grew up driving Minis (which also lifted that rear wheel in hard cornering), and the GTI was almost a reincarnation of the original Mini. Too bad that it (and modern Minis) lost their way and became bloated, computer operated blandness.
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