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  1. #6001
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    Oh, and a side note: The Alfa Spider-especially the early one (late 60's) was a helluva car-and beautiful!
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  2. #6002
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTowpathTraveler View Post
    ...
    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?
    ...
    ... 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. ....

    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.....
    Thank you! The Racer is to my eye one of the prettiest, nicest motorcycles on the market today for the day rider. Its technology is old school other than for the brakes and EFI, it doesn't have the features and performance of the very latest performance machines. But it has more than enough performance to keep me completely satisfied. What I'm doing to mine is what I'm sure Moto Guzzi would have done, in terms of component and equipment quality, if they felt they could sell them at the required price. Those custom Kineo tubeless spoked wheels are gorgeous pieces, but cost over $3500. The Matris fork innards would have raised the cost of the OEM forks by another $600. Etc. Too few would buy a "low performance 750 pushrod motor" machine at the price required to include those bits off the showroom floor ... It's a $20,000 machine, not a $10,000 machine. Sad but true.

    The Alfa Romeo Spider, by the middle 1980s, had become overweight, was down on power, and full of the "exotic niceties" that took it away from the pretty, light sports car it had once been. It was at that point a twenty year old design that had peaked in 1972 with the introduction of the first 2L models. So yeah, it seems a bit odd to consider it against a thoroughly hot-rodded 914 bespoke custom-build car...

    But I understand the notion of someone trading a custom build-up for a standard, showroom floor car: Reliability, convenience in service and maintenance, a warranty... During most of the time I had a custom build-up car for fun, I always had a "utility car" (even if it was my Toyota MR2 ...) that would reliably get me where I needed to go even when the build-up was being a little pig. Plus ... Well, having done this so many times, when you're done with your bespoke build-up, the satisfaction of having done it and the fantasy of what you were after are rarely the same thing. Regardless of how awesome it might be, your mind drifts to the newest fantasy, and you're tired of working on the old one. It's the creative curse, I've seen it with all my friends in their cars, bikes, bicycles, cameras, whatever. The urge is to to build/to have/to use the latest fantasy.

    I've finally gotten beyond all that, mostly. My Merc is exactly what I want, and satisfies me right as the fantasy predicted. Racer is becoming the fantasy of what I wanted back more and more. The FCC, through luck and accident seemingly, is exactly what I hoped it would be after a year of riding the Sumo. I couldn't be more pleased with all three of them.

    You know that your FIAT Abarth 500 is a re-skinned, modern Alfa Romeo Mito?

    Fat Biking and health-alfa-mito-002.jpg

    One of the coolest little performance sedans of the past thirty years. My buddy in the UK had the original a few years back and I had the joy of driving it on some country roads: What a kick in the butt it was! He unfortunately had a tree jump out in front of him on one of his sallies into the countryside and spend a year or two in recuperation from repairs to his spine, but has since regained full health (and another Alfa Romeo, as well as a classic Morgan and a Moto Guzzi ...).

    Enjoy the heck out of it!

    onwards!
    G

  3. #6003
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    I doubt I will ever drive a plain jane unmodified, overprocessed conveyance, but I do get why people who don't enjoy working on older vehicles buy them. I couldn't afford an SLK if I wanted to, but I can and will afford a Volvo 245 Wagon into which will go an LS1 and a 6 speed. Then I can haul bikes and haul @ss.

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  4. #6004
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    Did not know the Alfa-Fiat 500 connection. I'll have to read up on that snazzy looking little coupe, G. Thanks for that info.

    Back in the day, I'm not sure if Rick's 914 at my old station was the 1.7, 1.8 or 2.0 motor. But I do know it sounded and ran quick as I believe he used bigger cylinders in his motor. Oh to only hit the lottery. I can appreciate what a guy like Jay Leno has done in satisfying his love of cars....

    When Rick traded his 914 for that Spider, back in those days I did not realize how long in the tooth that Spider really was. Only in recent years have I seen photos of the boat-tail version; which is a real beauty with for me, hints of the 61-62 Corvette and mid year Stingrays in that back end.

    I've been in the process of figuring out why my elderly parents Saturn L300 is loosing anti freeze. In between 8 day rain events that just has the car sitting up on the passenger side jackstand (necessary to access the water pump and timing belt); I've come to the realization that I am sick of working on this modern junk that runs fine but when they start to break down, watch out. Just to access the spark plugs on the DOHC V6 is a hassle. To get at the waterpump and timing belt requires removing a motor mount and supporting said motor with a floor jack under the oil pan. To change the timing belt requires the special 3.0 V6 timing tool kit. Careful in what belt you order, for at certain VIN numbers, they went to a different belt and idler pulley design. And I pray to God that my hunch that the water pump and/or seal failed (anti-freeze on the lower crank pulley which requires the timing belt renewal) or else a leak down test is in order by some shop and then, gulp, a head gasket or two renewal......Good grief. It's times like these I just wish I had an old VW Beetle, 914 Porsche or even my GT as the only gas powered car in my life. Today's cars simply are no fun to have to work on, especially for a shade tree mechanic.

    The sun is out now. Think I'll go for a nice and easy cruise on the Haibike and think about anything but DOHC V6 motors!

  5. #6005
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    A new project?

    Hi everyone, used to like cars and my late father in law was a brilliant man who helped me to tinker a little on my car. Without him I am lost and my passion for cars waned.

    I have always kept an eye out on our road side garbage days in hope of finding an old bike that might be a fun project to tinker with. I passed one the today whilst at work and when I arrived home I headed out to see if it was still there. Its an old Peugeot Ventoux...

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09815.jpg

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09822.jpg

    It was getting dark and only had a quick look over it and its seen better days and might be a little small for me, but it could be fun to tinker with. Its running Shimano R600 105 gearing and the old Biopace chainrings.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09821.jpg

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09819.jpg

    A guy from one of my LBS loves those chainrings so if nothing else comes of it he will be happy to get those.

    The frame seems to be Reynolds tubing...

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09817.jpg

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09823.jpg

    and in need of a wash so I can have a good look at it.

    There used to be a local bike recycling workshop were you brought in a project and donate a little time and they would help you rebuild your bike. I might need to look them up to see if this one is saveable.

    Anyone taken on a similar project?

    OZ.

  6. #6006
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTowpathTraveler View Post
    Did not know the Alfa-Fiat 500 connection. I'll have to read up on that snazzy looking little coupe, G. Thanks for that info.
    ...
    The sun is out now. Think I'll go for a nice and easy cruise on the Haibike and think about anything but DOHC V6 motors!
    When I went to work as a mechanic professionally, way back in the 1970s, I lost my taste for trying to work on automobiles at home in my garage. I became too used to having a real shop around me with all the heavy machinery (lifts, jacks, a work bench, power tools, an assistant, etc etc) that's really required to work on them. From that point on, my work on building and developing build-up cars has always been done by doing research, design, planning, and then implementation in conjunction with a mechanic and a shop rather than trying to do it all myself in my garage. There's really no point to that pain, even with older cars, as far as I'm concerned. It's a waste of energy better spent on other things.

    The customization and upgrade work I've done to my SLK280 I did with two shops ... one for the sound system development and one for all the mechanical work other than wheels/tires/suspension alignment, which took a third shop with the rolling road wheel balancer and a full four-wheel alignment jig to set up correctly. It's just enough removed from stock setup to be satisfyingly pleasing above and beyond the off-the-showroom floor example SLK280, and does a remarkably good job when I take it to a track day event. I've done four minor jobs myself because they didn't require lift or diagnostic software to implement ... My Stealth Spaceship is a very sweet little car, and didn't cost me much, really: all told, with all the customization included, it was a little under $20,000. Of course, being a sensible person, I bought it ten years old in very good condition as a starting point; only really wealthy people can afford to buy and customize a NEW Mercedes-Benz while paying cash, and I hate buying anything on payments.

    I enjoy the process of developing a car this way, and enjoy the collaboration with mechanics and the research. I've found many great friends in the process of doing this.

    Motorcycles require FAR less equipment to work on, so I work on them myself most of the time. Bicycles ... I'm still learning, but with just a good work stand I bet I can do anything required now. Happily, nothing is required right now.

    ---
    No bicycle ride yesterday, I decided to devote the time to taking Racer for a suspension run. So I took the run up Mount Hamilton towards the Observatory. I ran out of time and didn't quite make it all the way, but I did catch this lovely view of the Santa Clara Valley looking down from the south-east:

    Thanks!



    (The real magic is in the full resolution view, but it's a 20 Mbyte image file. If you want to see it, here's a link: https://farm1.staticflickr.com/975/2...f7db597c_o.jpg .)

    enjoy!
    G

  7. #6007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surly in OZ View Post
    ...
    I have always kept an eye out on our road side garbage days in hope of finding an old bike that might be a fun project to tinker with. I passed one the today whilst at work and when I arrived home I headed out to see if it was still there. Its an old Peugeot Ventoux...
    ...
    Anyone taken on a similar project?
    Hi OZ!

    That looks like a fun bit of tinker joy! Nice materials in that frame. I'll be watching to see what you do with it.

    G

  8. #6008
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    OZ, time to pull the seat post and have a look into the seat tube. Also yank the fork and have a look in there. If it looks fairly rust free, ya might just have a builder!

    G, if there was a Beta Juliet!
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
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  9. #6009
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    Surly: Nice find! Back in the day, I installed those BioPace chain rings on my Motobecane Grand Touring. I think looking back, it was just the bike supply folks trying to reinvent what that has worked for over 100 years.

    G: I hear ya about driveway mechanics and logistics. It's a game I'm starting to grow tired of playing. Put in to the equation week long rain events and things just drag on even longer. Great pano shot there.

  10. #6010
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    Yesterday's Ride Report.....

    The typical 20 miler to Lock 1, up to it's north end at Duck Island/Trenton NJ. After a good while being off due to the heavy rainy weather we've had and this lower abdominal pain left over from my gastro intestinal bout in April, well, the Lock 1 Towpath seems to have fallen on hard times, maintenance wise. So here we go.....
    Fat Biking and health-100_3139.jpg
    About 1715 hours or so, the usual shot on the pedestrian bridge that spans the original Lock 1 chamber that leads into the ruins of the Delaware and Raritan Canal.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3140.jpg
    Northbound, about a half mile south of the I-295 bridge. The grasses, and other assorted plants are in full bloom, thanks to the previous bouts of summer heat, humidity and heavy & sustained rainfall in this, the Lost Spring of 2018
    Fat Biking and health-100_3141.jpg
    The D&R Towpath system is owned and maintained by the State of New Jersey. This is northbound on the towpath and the weed growth on the entire run is out of control.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3142.jpg
    North end gate, Lock 1 Towpath at Duck Island/Trenton NJ. Both gates, as I reported in the last ride report here, are now wide open. Illegal dumpers have left their calling cards outside the lock gates.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3143.jpg
    North end gate, Lock 1 Towpath illegal dumping. This is what pisses me off: here in this over populated area I live in, there are no prime or choice places I can ride off road legally without violating some private property or No Trespassing sign warning me. This little 4 mile stretch of towpath is pretty much it; unless I feel like trucking at a minimum, 25 miles to the north at Washington Crossing NJ or PA to hop on those canal systems. Or 26 miles to the south at Wharton State Forest in the NJ Pine Barrens. This here is it. The rest is intermingling with cars and big trucks on local roadways. So I am rather protective of this little stretch of towpath, cause it's all I've got to "get away from it all" if on a whim......
    Fat Biking and health-100_3144.jpg
    Southbound, about a half mile from the North Gates. The State parks folks are tasked with the maintenance and upkeep of this park; including seeing it is kept cut. Including patrolling the area. This towpath park has not seen the grass and poison and other growth cut in the year 2018 as of today, 24 May 2018. This is ridiculous in that there has been enough days between the rain events we've had to get out here and get the job done. Our area is experiencing a severe tick infestation problem and it sure doesn't help the dog walkers, hikers and bicyclists that this park has not been touched with a mower since late summer, 2017.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3145.jpg
    Southbound, near the old, sunken canal barge I've photographed before here in this thread. That pickup truck is a likely culprit as to why the canal park gates are left wide open and their locks missing. This is an NJ Transit RiverLine track maintenance vehicle; most likely working on a nearby light rail signal. It was last spring of the spring before, when I got myself involved in trying to get their gates locked and the illegal dumping debris collected and removed on this north end. One entity, the Canal Park folks, blamed the Railroad folks as the north gates belong to both entities, the left side to the railroad, the right side gate to the parks. Talk about govt people diverting ownership and passing off the buck to the other. Last week, documented here, I advised the readers that I would contact the parks folks about the severe flooding coming off the I-295 bridges onto the canal towpath proper in addition to the open gates that I shut, to give the impression that they were closed and locked.

    No reply back, unfortunately. Right now I've the mind to not even bother anymore. Continuing to ride on this path in this condition is risking getting ticks crawling over you as the weed & poison growth intrudes upon the canal right of way. Planned, benign neglect of ownership is what is going on here. And now the Dumpers know that nobody from the state gives a damn to patrol their own park, so it appears to be open season on dumping in the canal path again. This is what happens when you live in a state, one of the highest taxed of all in the union and the funding and the ownership and the staffing is not there for a little gem of a park such as this one.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3146.jpg
    Meanwhile, back at the Crystal Lake Park property, the difference between the upkeep, maintenance and care for this County-run park is in direct contrast to what is going in the State of New Jersey run Delaware And Raritan State Park......
    Fat Biking and health-100_3147.jpg
    A night and day difference. Everyday, morning sunrise and evening sunset, a County Park Ranger is there to open the park gates for the day and lock them at sunset. Porta Potties near Route 130 and the facilities off Axe Factory Road are monitored and kept spotless.

    Our little state park is being ruined by the neglect of the very people in charge of it's upkeep and security.......

  11. #6011
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    Sad to hear of state and county run parks being left to go to seed like that Mike.

    ---
    It was a nice cool, crisp morning today. My partner and I get together with a small klatsch of my moto folks for breakfast every Thursday up in Mountain View at a funky little coffeehouse/roasting company. I decided to ride the FCC ...

    Not much special about the ride. The usual morning commute hour stuff: the goofy lady who walked across a street completely absorbed in her book all the while, traffic waiting in both directions as she ambled across with nary a care in the world; the old man, a double amputee, in his motor wheelchair watching me intently as I cycle past; a handsome young runner clad in running shoes, the briefest of running shorts, and naught else who was clocking 9 mph along the flats outside of Sunnyvale—and turning every head as he passed (gods, he was both good looking and very very fit!); ... I chanced to see something in the lumberyard that caught my eye and planned to stop there on the way back. Breakfast proceeded apace, the usual stories and good humor.

    Then home again, retracing the same path. I stopped to visit my mechanic and show him the FCC, which he goggled his eyes at for its light weight and the huge tires. I stopped into the lumberyard and photographed what I'd seen after talking to the foreman for a few moments. I had my Polaroid SX-70 with me:

    Fat Biking and health-door_shop-4646.jpg

    I don't know why yet, but this "Door Shop" just really appeals to me. I'll figure it out I guess.

    And back down to Santa Clara. I figured I'd stop by the LBS and say hello, tell the guys that the bike rack works a treat on my car now, but they don't open until a little later so I'll stop back another time. Took the long way back home from there and rolled in as the distance reading came up with seventeen and a half miles or so.

    A good ride! And now on to the rest of the day's craziness.

    onwards,
    G

  12. #6012
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    Hi G,
    Just to set things right, the Crystal Lake park property is expertly maintained and patrolled with the utmost of professional standards. Those final two shots are summer wheat growing on the farm fields within the park, which Burlington County has allowed the former farmer to maintain, in return for allowing his land to become this park for all people to enjoy. My home county, Burlington County, does an excellent jobs in all facets assisting citizens. Now, state administered parks like the Towpath? That is a different story altogether.

    Sounds like you are having fun biking and motoring about in your particular spot in this world! Keep the ride reports coming.

    Meanwhile, we got a bunch of AWOL fatbiking and health riders that need to check in!

  13. #6013
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    Dunno where everybody is lately. Perhaps out riding? ...

    ---
    Yesterday was "the Friday before a holiday weekend" which meant my planned motorcycle ride was aborted because all the roads to where I wanted to go were totally clogged. Yech. So I said to myself, "Well, if everyone is on the outbound roads getting away from here, I'll just take the bicycle out and ride locally..." So I headed back home, swapped gear, and went out on FCC. Nipped by the LBS shop to show them the totally awesome new bike lock I bought ("OTTOlock" ... really really light, small, strong band-type lock. Check it out at OTTO Designs .. ), then a mile or two away I stopped for a bit of lunch. As I ate lunch, I glanced out towards the FCC and ... It was raining.

    Only a light drizzle, but as I cycled on I was getting wet and cold, so my ride pared down to just a miniscule 6.5 mile loop. Gads, I remember when that was a big achievement a little less than a year ago...! Now it seems like what I do to warm up for a ride. Thank you, Sumo; thank you, FCC!

    It's supposed to be warming up and dry starting today and running through the next week.

    onwards!
    G

  14. #6014
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    Got back from AC on Friday. I rode Wednesday morning prior to leaving. We got down to the Borgata Water Club and had a nice lunch and swim in the indoor pool (outdoor pool was closed). Weather was beautiful. Thursday we went over to the boardwalk, I drove to the lighthouse on the northland of AC. I saw a guy on an electric fat bike by the lighthouse cruising around. We headed down to Caesars, we parked there and walked the boards. We headed south on a bench was a heroin addict nodding out. We got in a quick walk. The place has gone bad to worse. As we were walking back to Caesars I saw the E fat bike again heading out the pier to the end. LOL
    I got home yesterday and got in a warm 10 miles. Cut the grass (mine and a neighbors) then chilled with a few beers. Our kids came over a cooked us dinner for our anniversary. Chicken on the grill, corn, salad, cole slaw. Nice time.
    Hit it early this morning. Watered the flowers and veggies, then grabbed the Fuse and pedaled north into Tullytown, over the bridge and out Old Route 13 to Falls Park. 7 miles to the entrance. Around the park and back down the canal to Bristol.
    I bonked during the ride. I didn't have anything to eat. I had to stop to grab something at 12. Then finished up with 17.5 in 1:43:36 with an average speed of 10.5.
    Man it was warm.
    Got home and took my other bike to my shop, having some shifting issues I couldn't get worked out. Wife hit the farmer's market in the parking lot behind the shop. We headed home, we stopped at a nursery where I picked up flowers to add color to the front of the house that gets the afternoon sun. The girl there (sharp looking) is pretty good with recommendations plus she's VERY easy to look at. Then I stopped ay Home Depot for tomato cages and some fertilizer. cleaned up the front, planted the flowers then stood under the hose to cool off. We had some lunch. Got a wine cooler asa gift from our kids, got that set up and now I'm headed to a kids birthday party.
    Monday I'll do my traditional ride to the Memorial Day services at the 4 locations they do the ceremony.
    Have a great weekend everyone.
    Fat Biking and health-img_4477.jpg

  15. #6015
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    Hi everyone and greetings from a picture perfect OZ this weekend. Had a great 50km cruise on the CC yesterday and will head out again soon once the sun gets up.

    G I would take a "caravan in the hills" from your photo above Santa Clara, very nice. I washed the dirt off the Peugeot yesterday afternoon and it looks ok but a size or two to small for me so I might pass this one along to a mate in my LBS. I like the shop front photo, very well "framed" sorry. I have been running through my camera bags this last week trying to decide what to take on our upcoming trip the Europe. Only going for two weeks and I want to go only with carry on luggage. I have an Lowepro Gear Up Camera box on order that looks like it will take a small kit.

    Hi Mike don't believe that green gets greener than those photos all that water does do some good. Now if the grounds keeper could just keep up it would be sweet. Its nice to see a working farm in the middle of suburbia.

    Hi Chief, great to see you out and about. I did not eat anything on yesterdays two hour ride just to see how I would go. And as expected the last half an hour had me bonking, I normally have a gel or bar after every hour and I will maintain that on future rides. Is that a Flamingo in your photo? I thought those guys lived way south of you.

    Enjoy your Sunday and sneak in a ride if you can.

    OZ.

  16. #6016
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    Just back from three days in California. Glad to be home, though we had a great time.
    2016 El Oso Grande
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    90's Skykomish

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    Sunday afternoon ride...

    Hi everyone, after spending the morning catching up with the gardening I took Farley out for a ride to check out the trail improvements made for a MTB race that pasted through today. A four day stage race, the Port to Port now runs from the Hunter Valley through the Watagans and up the coast to Newcastle. The trails were cleaned up and some new ones added so after the last of the rides had finished I took advantage of the trails still being posted and in prime condition for an afternoon spin.

    The first trail I took is defiantly not on the race route.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09824.jpg

    A few kms of very loose sand thats a long way from the beach. Even with the tyres down at 5 psi it was a slog, not helped by the fact that someone had recently ridden a Horse through it. The deep hoof marks in the sand made it extra tough.

    I was glad to clear it as this was supposed to be an easy ride Soon I came to the first trail built for the race and since my last visit the bush has been cut back and major trail erosion filled in. Looks like these log roll overs will need fixing before next years race.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09830.jpg

    Across the Fernleigh Track and into what use to be an old rubbish tip, I am sure most riders had no idea. The lack of trees is a give away and some non native species have found a home.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09832.jpg

    Soon we have wound our way back into the native bushland. and the trails are better for it.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09837.jpg

    After 600 odd bikes rolling over them today the trails were in prime condition.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09841.jpg

    Just after I took this image a stealthy rider came up behind me and as I moved out of his way he asked me if I was riding an E bike. I wish as he would not have been passing me

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09842.jpg

    I reached the end of this section of trail and found the start of the next but with the light starting to fade I turned for home. I will come back on Tuesday to see the next section.

    It was still a beautiful afternoon as I neared home and I took the lake bike path to enjoy the views. A couple of fisherman trying their luck.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09848.jpg

    Up into the park on the end of the point and a nice view across the lake towards Marks Point.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09852.jpg

    Another great ride on Farley, not the quickest or the flashiest bike but it can ride any trail.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09855.jpg

    OZ.
    Last edited by Surly in OZ; 3 Weeks Ago at 05:54 AM.

  18. #6018
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    Mike I'd put a lock in the arsenal for the ride and lock the gate yourself. Them having to cut it off to get out would make it worthwhile for me.

  19. #6019
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    Looks like some pretty fun riding, OZ!

    It was cool yesterday morning and lovely for a FAST street run. I took FCC the long way down to the meetup point for our Saturday gathering and beat my best time to date: seven miles in about 26 minutes, or just over 16 mph average speed. A lot of fun!

    onwards!
    G

  20. #6020
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    Long rainy stormy day yesterday. No ride. I'm off soon to attend 4 Memorial Day services at the 4 sites in and around our town to give thanks to those warriors that have given their lives for our country and our freedom. I'll be out a few hours in a mist and I ride to each service. Be well all. Happy Memorial Day.

  21. #6021
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    A good Memorial Day to all!

    I went to Moffett Field in Mountain View, CA, on Saturday to catch a look at the "Wings of Freedom" air show before they moved on. Every time I see a B17, a deep sadness consumes me and I can barely keep from sobbing. I don't know why, specifically ... I was born almost ten years after that war and had no personal experience of being in the conflict myself. But the memory of it was still fresh and raw amongst my parents, uncles, and aunts when I was a child: It has remained with me all my life.

    While there, my partner and I stopped to look at the planes on exhibit next to the Moffett Field Museum, at the foot of Hanger 1 (the historic dirigible hanger on the site... now stripped of its skin but still mighty imposing). I decided that a panorama like I shot of Silicon Valley might convey something of the size of this amazing structure.

    I held the camera vertically and made seven exposures ... The resulting panorama merge file is about 33,000x7000 pixels in size, big enough for a print about 92 inches wide at 360 ppi. This is a 1/10 scale rendering:



    If you want to see full resolution and marvel in the details (45Mbytes):https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1750/...0775e17a_o.jpg

    I added an intermediate but large size JPEG because some folks could not get to the 45Mbytes one pointed to at the above link (4Mbytes): https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1732/...9be680d7_o.jpg
    This image file is 1415x6800 pixels or thereabouts.

    onwards!
    G


    "Mourn the losses, because they are many. Celebrate the victories, because they are few."

  22. #6022
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTowpathTraveler View Post
    ... Our area is experiencing a severe tick infestation problem and it sure doesn't help the dog walkers, hikers and bicyclists that this park has not been touched with a mower since late summer, 2017....
    Do notice the thread on ticks and Permethrin-treated clothing.
    Ticks: Permethrin-treated clothing
    Crazy on this ship of fools...

  23. #6023
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    I rode to the first of 4 Memorial Day services in town. My town is about 2 miles square with 10,500 people. The first one at the Harriman Memorial was well attended.
    Fat Biking and health-img_4482.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-img_4479.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-img_4480.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-img_4481.jpg

    The 2nd at ST. Marks church had a few less.
    Fat Biking and health-img_4487.jpg

    The 3rd was at St James, this is one of the older churches in town with some old veterans buried there. French - Indian War, Revolutionary War, Civil War, WW1, WW2, Korean, Vietnam.
    Fat Biking and health-img_4517.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-img_4503.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-img_4504.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-img_4505.jpg
    A special one for Towpath Mike and I with all the canal travel we do.
    Fat Biking and health-img_4506.jpg

    Fat Biking and health-img_4490.jpg
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    Fat Biking and health-img_4502.jpg

    I rode to the last one at one of the larger cemetery's, stopping for a bite to eat on the way.
    Fat Biking and health-img_4511.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-img_4513.jpg

    While I was there my cell phone rang. I looked to see who it was, it was my MIL. She's 83, she walks most days. When I picked up the phone there was this crying on the other end. I couldn't understand her. I tried to clam her, she was crying and sobbing. I asked where she was Wilson Ave, about 2 miles from me. I fell and I'm bleeding; is what I finally got from her. She didn't want to call my wife and worry her. I told her I'm on my bike, I'll be right there. I jumped on my bike and started pedaling. I called my son who lives with her ....no answer. I called a nephew, her grandson that is in the FD and he answered. I told him she fell and was on Wilson Ave (its about 3/4 a mile long residential street). He answered, I'll find her. I started pedaling HARD. I got there pretty quickly. I rolled up to find her still sitting on the ground surrounded by 5 people, 2 being grandsons. She was all marked up from the fall. Hands bleeding, knee scraped, 2 nice cuts on her head. A nice puddle of blood from her. A few people on the street saw her on the ground and came to help. My son has a thing (vasovagal syncope) where he passes out from certain things ..... which blood is one of the triggers. He was sitting on the ground not doing to well from being the blood. We got her up, straightened out and moving and I walked her home. A little first aide and she's good.
    Fat Biking and health-img_4516.jpg

    Quite the morning. I got 10.6 miles in riding to all the services and I got a speed workout in riding to my MIL.
    Have a GREAT Memorial Day everyone.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fat Biking and health-img_4484.jpg  


  24. #6024
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    Chief! I'm glad to hear that your MIL is okay. That's a bit of trauma...!

    Sounds like an otherwise excellent day of it.

    G

  25. #6025
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    Did 5.9 miles out at San Tan today, Moonlight to San Tan to Dynamite to Goldmine to Little Leaf and a bit of Stargazer.

    Fat Biking and health-img_20180528_092651322.jpg

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  26. #6026
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    Rode the bison butte trails in fort whyte wpg Canada
    A great series of trails they have put together http://cloud.tapatalk.com/s/5b0cccff...164157_565.mp4

    Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

  27. #6027
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    Hi G nice photoshopping, every Pigeon in a hundred miles would call the old Hanger home

  28. #6028
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    Hi Chief, Lest we forget...

    Great turn out at the services and I enjoyed reading the stories of the fallen.

    Shame that your MIL took a tumble, lucky that family was close by to help. Hope she recovers quickly.

    OZ.

  29. #6029
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    Hi DH, seems like all the rain the rest of the US is getting is passing you right bye. Those trails don't look like they have seen water lately.

    As much as fat bikes are made for snow and sand, those dry rocky trails seem like the perfect home for a fat bike.

    OZ.

  30. #6030
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surly in OZ View Post
    Hi G nice photoshopping, every Pigeon in a hundred miles would call the old Hanger home
    LOL! I imagine that's a problem...

    I did take a few other photographs while there:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/gdgpho...57667472749557

    enjoy!
    G

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    A Trolls day out...

    Hi everyone, a day off work and light winds, blue sky and 23 dec C had me looking forward to a ride.

    I had to go into Newcastle to pick a new camera bag for our trip to France and Italy in July so that was going to eat into my planned off road ride. I thought about taking the wife's car and throwing the Brompton in the back and riding the last few kms into town.

    Some explaining the Main Street of Newcastle where the camera store is located is a mess of closed roads at the moment whilst a new tram line is being built. A crazy waste of money as the tram is running partly on the railway line that was cut to allow the tram to be built. The train line connected all the way from the top of town direct to Sydney. Now we are getting a tram that runs about two kms in a straight line Such a waste.

    Anyway its killed a lot of business in town during the construction, and I hope the camera store survives as its the only one left in Newcastle.

    Being such a great day and seeing as my poor Troll only takes me to work and back everyday I thought I would take it out for a spin. Along the Fernleigh track we went listening to the chorus of birds along the way. The old railway tunnel at the Adamstown end of the track is always a highlight of the ride.


    Looking out...

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09860.jpg

    Looking in...

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09874.jpg

    The Troll is a great ride, just not a fast one. The new Ergon GC1 grips are great on the Jones bar. The Fabric saddle on the other hand was not so great over the longer distance, 50 km today. Might change that out for a Brooks, and my bottom will be happier

    Troll in the sunlight...

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09875.jpg

    As I was riding through town a passed a new E bike hire docking station so I pulled over for a look.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09876.jpg

    Only installed last week and I wonder how long before they are trashed. Looking at the hire prices its hard to see how this will succeed.

    Anyway picked up the bag and turned for home and by the time I arrived the saddle was on the outer Will be riding my LBS tomorrow to see if they can order me a Brooks Cambium C19 Carved.

    OZ.

  32. #6032
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    Yeah a saddle not feeling good does add to the ride. Between my 2 bikes the Crosstrail has the better feeling saddle. The Fuse is a tad thin compared to the Crosstrails and tends to wear on me. I look for newer riding pants when I take the Fuse.

    MIL was sore last night. No report yet today but I'm sure she's going to be real sore today.

  33. #6033
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    I have Sportour Garda GelFlow saddles fitted to both my bikes now. They're not too outrageously expensive, not overly too heavy, and they're extremely kind to my butt.

    OZ: What kind of camera bag did you get? I suffer from an addiction to good camera bags...!

    These electric bicycle racks are popping up all over San Jose now. I see a remarkable amount of use happening with them, despite the prices, and also with the three companies electric scooters and bicycles that don't use them—each bike is equipped with GPS and a homing device, and the company has employees who retrieve them, charge them, and redistribute them as required. I hope these efforts are very successful because we definitely have a serious automobile problem. Anything to consume less space and fuel while providing individualized transit, is a plus. Many of the streets are being reworked with one less automobile lane, a good size bicycle lane and guard zone now. It's encouraging to see, particularly to see that ridership is growing.

    ---
    Weight check this morning and I'm down four lbs again! I've been on a plateau for several weeks—building muscle faster than losing fat—that I hope is now letting me slide down the fat scale a little faster.

    onwards!
    G

  34. #6034
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    Warm today: 84-87°F. So I took a ride to Camden and visited Trail Head Cyclery again. I've been interested to try a slightly shorter steering stem and Specialized has one specifically for this bike that is 45mm vs 60mm. Their website indicated that Trail Head might have them in stock, and yes they did. More and more folks on the road on bicycles now, it's really good to see.

    I tried a couple of new routes there and back, and both were fun, all told a 20 mile ride. Easy now: My legs have no problem with that long a ride anymore. I tried the Highway 17 overpass this time, it's a good bit shorter than the I-280 overpass and not as high.

    Arriving home, I fitted the new stem and took a short ride on the bike. Ah, satori! That 15mm difference puts the bars in a more comfortable position for sitting up and looking around in traffic, but they still let me get down and crank the pedals. My forearms and shoulders don't feel quite so stretched out.

    I'll see what I feel about the shorter reach after some more serious riding .. it only takes few minutes to change the stem in and out so it's no big deal if they don't do what I want.

    G

  35. #6035
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surly in OZ View Post
    Hi DH, seems like all the rain the rest of the US is getting is passing you right bye. Those trails don't look like they have seen water lately.

    As much as fat bikes are made for snow and sand, those dry rocky trails seem like the perfect home for a fat bike.

    OZ.
    OZ, it is a perfect machine for where I ride.

    And you are correct: We haven't had rain in an age.
    2016 El Oso Grande
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  36. #6036
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    Hi Guys,
    I kinda checked in to look over the ride reports but did not go into them with the usual close attention to detail I devote to them as I usually do. But I promise to do so in a few days. I consider each and every one of you, even though we have not met, part of my extended family. Your adventures become my own, they hold my interest into wanting to travel those trails, hills and valleys. Chief: Outstanding response to help your mother in law. You ARE that spirit of volunteerism that is the hallmark of our small town volunteer fire departments. I know your family is very proud of you!

    My Dad passed away sometime on Friday night/Saturday morning. He was found by my Mom in the small bathroom adjacent his bedroom. When I went in there to help him, I automatically assumed he was suffering from a major stroke as he was unresponsive yet seemed alert. But when I touched him, to move his left arm left dangling in the toilet, it was then suddenly clear to me that he was no longer with us. He would have been 86 this June. Not a bad run at all considering he had undergone a triple bypass some 20 years ago and had suffered a series of small mini-strokes over the past decade. It all conspired to slow him down, bit by bit. Since then, with the help of my sister, brother in law and niece (my undying gratitude go to them for being here, helping Mom with everything that accompanies the passing of a loved one....and we're still not done yet. Without their help, I don't know where Mom and I would be.); we'll start to get this thing back on somewhat an even keel again; though with this event, things will never be the same ever again.

    My Dad was lucky in a way. I don't believe he suffered at all. He died in the home he loved, surrounded by family he loved and they loved back. He was not burdened by ventilators and tubes and beeping machines keeping him alive in some hospice bed like he and the rest of us had seen how his brothers, sisters, family and friends had endured until they at last, passed on.

    In September of last year, after Honey passed on, I decided to find another little beagle puppy for my parents. So I looked on line and found the cutest little puppy some 600 plus miles away in Eastern Kentucky. Dad wanted to come along with me to pick her up and bring her back. I warned him it would be a straight down and back shot of a run, but he wanted to go. That pup slept in his lap the entire way back, not a peep. We named her Honey, in honor of our girl who left us that September. I'm glad that he went along with me. Honey has grown alot since that October run, becoming quite the ornery little rascal. She knew how to push my Dad's buttons when it came to dinner time; pestering the poor man as he tried to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner, trying to nose in on what was on his plate. Beagles have a way of doing that. It was kinda funny to see how a 29 some odd pound blue tick beagle can make a person go ballistic!

    When the local steel mill closed down suddenly in 1974, he didn't give up, he and Mom went looking everywhere for a job. When a small heart attack and triple bypass kept him down for a bit, he came back to grow his beloved Jersey Tomatoes, Scallions and Green Beans in the garden. Every spring, till the soil. He was a great home repair man, car repair guy, small engine mechanic, a modern day kind of Renaissance Man. Army vet in the Korean War era who spent his time in Germany. Loved US war history. I took him to stroll the grounds of Antietam one year. He thought nothing of climbing on a ladder to rebuild his tar-flat roof on our one-time row home. Me? I get dizzy when I climb a step ladder. He attempted one day when I was a boy, to teach me the trumpet. Unfortunately for him, I did not inherit his skills as a musician, LOL; and I kinda wore him down with my total ineptitude; until he gave up. I believe I impressed him in my one day taking off on my Huffy 10 speed and pedaling that thing loaded with gear, to Toronto, Ontario and back to home one summer. As too I made an impact on him when I canoed the length of the Delaware River from it's New York state headwaters down to our local hometown here in NJ in 1991. And he always like to share the story with others of the time when I decided one Christmas weekend to walk from my CG Base down in Gloucester City, NY, some 30 plus miles to home, to spend Christmas with family. On the way during that walk, I stopped in the Kiddie City in Burlington to buy presents for my niece and nephew. I wanted to see if I could do it, to push myself to those limits. As NJ car insurance was too high on a young petty officer's budget; in those early years, I did a lot of biking and walking. It was fun. Fun to look back on as well.

    His last day; Friday, was a great one. He installed a small birdhouse in the back yard. I appraised him of my progress in repairing his Saturn L300. I really enjoyed that praise he gave me as any father gives a son on the good work they are doing. Ironic, but I suspect a lot of Dad's do: he was very scant in his praise of most anything I did....to me, yet when I talk to family in the past few days after his passing, it seems he bragged about me as every proud father would at every single chance he could get. I just never really got to hear it for myself.

    He gave me my love for boats, the River and fishing, which gave me my professional career in the USCG. My sister said he was never more prouder of me then when he actually saw me getting my Chief's anchors pinned on me at the Chief's Call To Initiation on Governors Island. He gave me that drive to do your best at all times. He gave me the will to never give up when the going got tough. To put in an honest effort. Though I think back and consider we were Oil and Water; thus did not mix well at all, in the end he is everything, the beginning and the end, to me.

    One of life's harshest lessons is that we don't ever conclude each and every day with our loved ones with a simple "I love you." And when that day comes (and it comes to each and every one of us); we are filled with floods of regret inside us; for we take each and every day given to us by God......for granted.

    So if I can say anything on behalf of my Dad; it will be to hug your loved ones right at this very moment. Never hesitate to go out of your way to tell them how much they mean to being in your life. Cause you never know what comes tomorrow. And a chance not taken then comes to haunt you deep inside your heart.

    https://koschekandporterfuneralhome....#tribute-start

    Fat Biking and health-204cdaef-9f71-4b87-b3b7-dbadb07ac67e.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-aee6c703-2a75-4107-a347-1a74bd8940c1.jpg

  37. #6037
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    Hi Mike, firstly condolence on the loss of your father.

    That must have been tough to write, as the next few weeks and months will no doubt be. It seems he left a lasting and positive impression on his family and friends, and although he will be missed I am sure the good memories will help.

    He fitted a lot into 86 years, most importantly a marriage of 48 years. His dear wife and your loving mum will need all of her family to be strong and there for her at this sad time.

    I am sure tomorrow will be a hard day, however let the great memories of your dad ease the way forward.

    R.I.P

    OZ.

  38. #6038
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    Mike, I'm so sorry to read of your father's passing, my sincere condolences. They don't build them like that anymore, sounds like my Father-in-law. Good man, hard worker, provider.
    The oil and water is the age we grew up in. Now that we gain in age and maturity we look for easier ways.

    The connection you mention about us here, I agree. I started the same way with some great friends that started on a fishing website and grew to face to face real and lasting friendships.

    Thank you for your kind worlds. I'm proud to be able to help people I come across whenever I can.

  39. #6039
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    Hi Mike. I am sorry for your loss. I know how that feels. I miss mine all the time and it's been five years. I'm glad that he doesn't seem to have suffered too much, and I am so happy for you and your new munchkin. Dogs really are incredible.

    Let me know if I can do anything to help you out.
    2016 El Oso Grande
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    90's Skykomish

  40. #6040
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    Let us pray for Mike and his family... Mike, sorry to hear of your father's passing. Hope the family can be as involved with mom as possible as she navigates this change in life. Support can be the largest blessing.

    Perhaps a fatbike and a pedal to some of the places that your father frequently enjoyed is on tap. A changeup in adventure, indeed!
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  41. #6041
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    Mike,

    My condolences to you and your family on your loss. Your father sounds like quite a guy, who lived and loved a full long life. Keep him alive in your heart and mind, and he will live until Time ends.

    My father was gone 47 years ago, my mom 10. They are still with me every day.
    It's been a tough year of deaths, words quickly fail me.

    G

    Only in silence the word,
    only in dark the light,
    only in dying, life;
    bright the hawk's flight
    on the empty sky.
    – Song of Ea

  42. #6042
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    There was pest control happening in my condo complex today, so I basically had to evacuate for about three hours. No decent movies to go to that I haven't already seen. I hopped on the bike ... and just had a grand time riding all over the place, going nowhere and enjoying myself.

    I finally got to ride across one of the really pretty bicycle/pedestrian bridges: It's in Cupertino and connects across the wide expanse of the eight lane I-280 highway, the ramps off and onto Hwy 85, etc. A beautiful bridge too! The view from it is stunning. I stopped in mid-span to take a panorama shot:

    Fat Biking and health-mary-ave-bridge-s_4707.jpg

    Ended up doing about 26 miles total today. The new 15mm shorter steering stem makes the bike even nicer to ride now ... Not as much weight on my arms, much easier to pedal and manage. Really really nice.

    onwards,
    G

  43. #6043
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    Mike I was trying to get over to your Father's viewing but ran into some issues at work and couldn't make it.
    This is for your Dad.

    https://youtu.be/CEvsDuJYEnI

  44. #6044
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    G, the best rides I do are spontaneous with no specific destination. Taking a turn on a whim, seeing places I haven't frequented in some time. This is the kind of changeup that make it a true adventure. Hope you do that more often. It's great way to really unwind and clear the rubbish from one's mind.

    Mike! There's some very kind words in here as of late. Hope you are hanging in there and treasuring every minute you had with your father. Take your time and ease back in the groove. The writeup you did in memory would have been met with an "Atta Boy" from your father and friend as he gazed over your shoulder while you wrote and posted pix! Think about all that you learned from his caring efforts and of course the times when you thought he was being tough on ya only to look back at it and realize the power, strength and depth of his wisdom shared. He touched many lives in his 85 years indelibly and that is a blessing for all he touched.
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  45. #6045
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    A bunch of errands came up yesterday morning, so I took Racer out and got them all done. Managed to fit a nice lunch with an ex-colleague of mine from work days too ... He's another motorcyclist so we had a bunch of ride stories to tell each other and laugh about.

    ...What I didn't know is that he is also an avid bicyclist, so I showed him the photos of Sumo and FCC: he went gaga over them. Lunch extended another half hour or more as we talked about "us old guys on bicycles" and laughed at a lot of that stuff too. "No wonder you're looking so damn thin and strong now!" he says. "I hafta get off my lazy butt and pump those pedals some more!" Thumbs up, guy; let's go for a ride!

    I scooted home then, finished reassembling the kitchen in the condo after yesterday's pest control efforts, and realized it was only 4:00. "Got another three hours of daylight—Woo hoo!" ... and off I went on FCC for the usual loop and a cup of coffee.

    The shorter steering stem completes the bike. It is so SO comfortable and easy to blast around on now. Everything on this bike just clicks and makes me smile, it handles and rolls so well. A guy at a stop light opens his window, "Hey man! Those are some BIG ass tires on that bike. And they're nearly slicks! How'doya like it?" I just laughed: "It cant get better than this!" He nodded, the light turned, and I sped off after giving him a happy ding with the bell. I saw him smile and nod...

    I rode a shorter version of my loop as commute traffic was getting pretty heavy, only 11.5 miles. Dallied a bit at the cafe chatting with another one of the regulars there. It was also a chilly day; I was glad that I'd remembered to stuff my gloves in the frame bag. There was a tough wind blowing at me when I approached the train overpass, but all this cycling is really having a positive effect: I just powered through it and didn't even need to use bottom gear. Didn't go very fast, but at some point in the still rememberable past, I'd have had to get off and walk it up a third of the way!

    A good day, an excellent ride—my bikes, motorcycle, and car are all just right now. I am enjoying this new life so much.

    How's everyone else doing? Any rides to report?

    onwards!
    G

  46. #6046
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    MAN it got hot and humid on the east coast of the US. It was 84°F with 64% humidity, the dew point was at 71°. I rode the Crosstrail 13.2 miles in 70:12 min and my average speed was 11.2. I was wishing for rain and we never got it. Supposed to be a wet Saturday.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

  47. #6047
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    Hi everyone, well Chief I know where your rain was, all over me as I rode home from work today

    Winter arrived with a cold snap the last few days, today was strong southerly winds and temps just making it to double figures C. The forecast rain just skimmed along the coast all day until it was time for me to ride home. The sun was setting too, although you could not see it through the dark clouds and heavy super cold rain. Shame I am picking up my new rain jacket tomorrow rode home without any wet weather gear and was drenched and getting quite cold. Still its only water a quick shower and all good.

    G you asked about my new camera bag the other day well here it is.

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09879.jpg

    A Lowepro GearUp Camera Box.

    Inside...

    Fat Biking and health-dsc09885.jpg

    Currently holding my Sony NEX6 with the Sony 10-18 f4 Emount attached and the Sony 18-55 f4.5/5.6 alongside. Battery charger and five batteries and a few memory cards.

    The whole idea for this is to go carry on only for our July trip to France and Italy. Playing around with which lens to take at the moment. The 10/18 is definitely going and I was going with the E mount 50 f1.8 but the 18-55 is a handy lens and testing it again this week its has nice image quality.

    The carry on limit is 7 kg and I need clothes for two weeks as well. I had a practice pack the other day and with a new pair of light weight shoes I should be under the weight limit easily.

    Seeing as the rain is still coming down as I type this Sunday looks to be a road ride, if any. So if I don't manage a ride I will play around with my photographic kit choice and have another pre pack.

    Hopefully Pepper checks in soon as I was hoping for a weather up date before we fly out.

    Anyway enjoy your weekend.

    OZ.

  48. #6048
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    OZ:

    That looks like a nice tight camera bag for a compact kit! Thanks! I have something similar to that from A&A, currently slightly overstuffed with a three lens Olympus E-PL7 kit. Jeez, I should take it out and make a few photos with it again.

    Only the gods know how many camera bags I have stuffed in the closet ... I've lost count. The bags have transmogrified over and over again as my choices of equipment to use, and to carry, has changed over the years. I'm definitely in a contraction phase ... carrying less and less these days, and picking the smaller bags and the smaller gear most of the time. Heck, even just the iPhone 8 Plus and a small, light table-top tripod can do so much now it's astonishing. Such it is!

    ---
    No ride yesterday, I got caught up in too many other things, errands, etc. This morning's ride coming up in 45 minutes...

    onwards!
    G

  49. #6049
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    OZ, I'm hoping for some this afternoon supposed to get downpours.

    Took a short easy ride this morning, very sore and stiff. I figured a easy day or 2 was in order. Rode 7+ miles on the Fuse, watched turtles try to hide from my in real shallow water. Stopped to watch some kids baseball and then watched a guy catch a nice 3lb bass.

    Very warm and humid this morning. Still sore and have a head ache. Not sure if I'm getting sick or just dehydrated from the past few days. I'll be pounding water all day today.

  50. #6050
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    My ride today: I took the long way to get there and the longer way to get home, making a typical 10 mile ride into a 20 mile ride. It gets easier and easier to do this.

    Weather service said it was 60°F out this morning when I was leaving, so I pulled on my heavier jersey and gloves. They lied. It was closer to 70°F within ten minutes of my leaving and it soared up to almost 85°F by the time I returned home. Luckily, the teensy little frame bag that fits on FCC is just big enough to fit my folded up heavier jersey, gloves, iPhone 8 Plus, sunglasses, wallet, keys, and headphones ... so I cruised quite comfortably regardless of the heat. Didn't carry anything else. It was good.

    I can see that I'm going to need a water bottle carrier soon: Summer days are approaching. Even for the kind of urban riding that I do, having to stop into a store to get a drink of water is a distraction and a water bottle will soon be a necessity.

    G

  51. #6051
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    It wasn't dehydration, well maybe a little but I got sick. Headache all day, soreness all over with a few other amenities thrown in. We were taking my daughter out for her birthday, local restaurant a friend owns and runs there were 9 offs at the Chef's table. I couldn't make it through dinner. The restaurant was crowded, plus a group showed up without reservations. The owner was trying to accommodate them. Which slowed everything down. I had enough and excused myself, drove home and went to bed.
    I'm sore now but it's from laying in bed for 11 hours. Slight headache. We'll see how it goes today. I feel a tad better. No ride today, recovery is in order. Plus it rained hard overnight and is still wet outside.

    Be well everyone.

  52. #6052
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    Thanks G, yes I have a camera bag problem too. I own more than my wife does in handbags I cannot cut them down as each has an old camera living inside The Olympus needs a few rides around town or into the hills on racer.

    Hope you are feeling better Chief. Plenty of water and rest and you be back on the bike soon. It must knock the body around having such a change of weather as you guys get. Take it easy.

    OZ.

  53. #6053
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    Sorry to hear you're not feeling well, Chief! Rest and get better!

    OZ, I'm solving that problem by selling off all the unused cameras in those excess bags... I'm almost embarrassed to say how many unused cameras I have in the closets, given that I've been selling them off steadily for the past two years already!

    When I was working, I never really looked at the cost and valuation of this stuff because I had a very good position that paid me well in excess of what I needed to live. I put a lot of the excess into investments to fund my retirement, but I also enjoyed experimenting with different photo gear quite a lot. Retired now with a much more limited income, all that gear has become a cache of valuable stuff that I can sell to do the things that are important to me now. There's not much of it that I'm at all emotionally attached to; I'm really only attached to it for what I want to do with it, and that requires only a tiny subset of all the stuff I accreted over the years.

    So, in the end, it's all worked out well.

    ---
    Today looks like it's going to be another nice, warm, sunny day. I've got to figure out where my ride today will take me...

    G

  54. #6054
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    Hello, I'm new. I'm 48 and try to ride my fat tire bike everyday. I plan to start riding to work ion the fall, when the weather is cooler.

  55. #6055
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonsterMTB View Post
    Hello, I'm new. I'm 48 and try to ride my fat tire bike everyday. I plan to start riding to work ion the fall, when the weather is cooler.
    Good stuff, Monster! Go for it! (And if you have a shower available at work for when you arrive, I'd say try to start earlier ... )

    ---
    I ws lazy yesterday and nattered about the house doing little things until about 2. Finally pulled on my gear and went for a ride around my usual loop, with a stop for a bite of lunch at the usual cafe. It was warm and sunny, I wore and carried the minimum. 11 miles worked up a good sweat and the shower once I returned home energized me.

    I don't know whether I've mentioned it before, but some weeks ago I tired of carrying a 2Kg lock around all the time and pulled out my old 'coiled cable' type bicycle lock. For the kind of casual locking up I generally need (to secure the bike for a few minutes while I run for a bathroom break or go into a cafe to get a cuppa) it's just barely enough but it weighs only a half a kilo and I don't need to carry a key for it. The problem with it is that the tightly coiled cable is a pain to use, and of course it can actually be cut in a second or three if the thief has the right bolt cutter.

    So I was looking around for a better bicycle lock that would be as light or lighter, more secure, and easier to use when I ran into Otto Design and the OTTOLock.

    Fat Biking and health-ottolock_4771.jpeg

    It's a 'band lock' ... a woven band of high tensile steel and Kevlar coated in a non-abrasive rubber with a locking head made of a strong cast aluminum alloy. In the photo is a 76 cm (30 inch) long version hung on my seat post using their optional mount. It can be coiled down to about a 7 cm (3 inch) circle as you see there and weighs under 300g (9 ounces). It proves to be very very easy to deploy because it's so thin and easy to pass through wheels, spokes, and frame, and because it's pretty flexible too it's easier to lock up with than either a U lock or the coiled cable. It fits easily into my little frame bag, with plenty of space to spare, but I figured I'd save on the storage space by just hanging it from the seat post with their mount.

    I'm very pleased with it! I think it is significantly harder to cut than the cable lock was, and the speed with which I can deploy it or put it away is much better than the cable. I wish it had a four digit combination, but "you can't always get what you want...!" A little pricey but very nice stuff if you want to keep the weight of what you carry down .. they make it in 15, 30, and 60 inch lengths. If you're interested, check 'em out at Otto Design Works

    onwards!
    G

  56. #6056
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    Thanks for all the well wishes and good thoughts. Feeling better this afternoon. I stayed home from work and laid around some more. I got a nice easy ride in this afternoon, the weather was perfect. In the 70's, low humidity a breeze....... really nice.
    A few cars were broken into overnight in our area. A noise woke us a little before 4am. I thought it was thunder but it was a druggie breaking a car window to access the inside. I watched him waddle off into the trees across the street. Area is getting bad, gonna get the wife a few firearms classes and get her trained.

  57. #6057
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    That's pretty crappy, Chief. Sorry to hear it.
    Sounds like you're feeling a bit better though, which is always a good thing.

    ---
    It was beautiful looking outside today here, with similar low-70s temps and bright sun, but there was a kinda gusty wind to deal with most of the day. No matter ... I had leftovers to heat up for lunch, so I went on a nice mid-day ride: 15 and a half miles without stopping, doing a longer variation on my usual coffee circuit.

    I found myself in the middle of downtown San Jose about 2:30 and was entertained by the wacky antics of anxious automobile drivers who are always in a hurry and can never seem to just get out of their own way and get on with things. I was watching some truly silly kerfuffle as it unfolded in the middle of a busy intersection while waiting for the light next to a patrol car parked on the corner .. I found myself and the office shaking our heads at the same moment, looked at each other and laughed. "Did I really see that in broad daylight?" I asked him. "Yep, you sure did. I guess I better go do my job," he said, smiling at he turned on the lights and sailed out into the insanity. The light turned; I weaseled my way across the intersection and rode on.

    I brought a Polaroid camera along today but nothing caught my eye. Another day, I guess.

    The wind was heavy as I approached home so I took a route that let me ride mostly in the lee of some buildings until the last few blocks. A fine and amusing ride. Lunch after was tasty...

    onwards,
    G

  58. #6058
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonsterMTB View Post
    Hello, I'm new. I'm 48 and try to ride my fat tire bike everyday. I plan to start riding to work ion the fall, when the weather is cooler.
    Hi mate and welcome to the group, enjoy the ride and share your experiences. It a friendly place full of inspiration to ride.

    OZ.

  59. #6059
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    Hi Chief glad to hear that you are getting back on your feet. Shame about the neighbour hood going south. Hard to understand how you deal with that stuff in your day to day life, hope trouble passes you by.

    Hi G nice looking lock, I have a decent cable lock in the bike cupboard that I never use. The bike is secure at work and comes inside any shop I go into on my rides

    Speaking of rides I am still putting my lungs back in after setting a new record for my ride home from work yesterday. It had rained heavily on and off throughout the day and a check of a riders best friend(rain radar app on the phone) showed a very angry looking rain cell coming my way. I did not yet have my new rain coat, picked that up a lunchtime today so I thought I could beat it home.

    Leaving work I could see it away to the South and as I crested a slight hill looking across the lake it looked good for me. The strong southerly wind slowed me down on a downhill run and as I reached the turn for home the line of rain was moving very quickly across the lake. Traffic held me up and its all up hill for the last km, at least the wind was now a cross gale

    I kept it in the big chainring and mashed my way up the hill. By the top my lungs were burning and I was lagging, the first drops of rain spurred me over the last kick and home. It took me a good ten minutes to calm my lungs down, with the promise of not riding like that again

    Hence the lunch time trip to pick up the jacket that goes with the rain pants I picked up a few days ago. Todays ride was wet again but I just rode like it was a beautiful summers day and arrived home smiling. And with rain forecast for the rest of the week the old saying about there being no such thing as bad weather only inappropriate clothing is not a worry for me. The pants and jacket stow into a fist size ball each so they will be living in my rear pannier from now on.

    With this weather the weekend riding options are looking bleak, road at best and hopefully the wind calms down.

    OZ.

  60. #6060
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    OZ!

    Sounds like a very nice ride.

    We get rain so infrequently around here between end of March and end of November, it's hardly worth the expense to buy rain gear. I'm not big on riding bicycles in the rain in my urban environment anyway, for visibility reasons. It's similar with motorcycles, but there I need rain gear for those occasions when I'm touring and the sky opens up.

    I hear ya on the lock and taking the bike into shops with me ... I do that when I can, but I can't count on it. Having a decently secure lock that I can carry easily is important to my use of the bicycle. As they say, "There's no faster moving machine than an unlocked bicycle sitting unattended."

    BTW, the lock can also be coiled the other way with the locking head inside the loop for a bit more compact storage. I've been experimenting with coiling it both ways to see what hangs most securely on the mount. Seems to be a toss up...

    G

  61. #6061
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    A slightly belated, but warm and heartfelt thankyou for all of the wonderful words and thoughts sent out to me, Mom and family over the passing of my Dad. You cannot imagine how much your kindness means at this time.

    Still sorting things out that but I hope to get those ride reports going again once things settle out a bit. In the meantime, again, Thank You.

    Mike

  62. #6062
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    Hang in there Mike, it ain't easy brother.

    Got to work yesterday and got a ride in after. As I headed out I ride the same few streets to get off the roads ASAP. Well yesterday I go 2 blocks and there are about 12 people all running towards me........NEVER a good sign, I slow down and tuck into a alley behind a building. I look farther down the street and there are a lot of people standing around looking. I asked a few people what's going on. Did you see a lady with purple hair run by? No. Ok, and off they run. Seems a lady turned on to the street and smashed into a few parked vehicles (5 total I counted). 1 - BMW had the rear bumper torn off. The others were side swiped. A bunch of people were trying to follow her. She drove a few blocks and parked the vehicle ans started out on foot, right through the area where she hit the parked cars. I rode around a little and pointed some PD in the right direction and then pedaled off.
    Nice easy ride, hit some walking trails that are bike friendly as long as your not tearing them up. Nice day, cool breezy.
    Can't wait to see what happens today.

  63. #6063
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    Good to hear from you, Mike. Take your time, work your way through it. Loss like this is a normal part of being alive, grief*from it is normal. Let it pass, let your love of your father in memory come forward and fill you with joy.

    ---
    No time for a ride yesterday, unfortunately, and particularly because it was a sunny but cool day with no wind. Today, definitely ...

    I've been invited to join two friends of mine on a technical ride in the mountains this coming weekend. "I want to see how well that bike of yours does on the tight stuff in the dirt..." They do a 9 mile, 1000' elevation change circuit in the Santa Cruz Mountains on rutty, gnarly junk. Sure, why not? It's not my usual ride, but should be a lot of fun.

    I might even bring along a tire pump, eh?

    onwards!
    G

  64. #6064
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    Let's hope you bring a pump, patch kit, extra tube, and put dirt tires on it.

  65. #6065
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    Yesterday was near perfect riding weather. I was occupied until around 2:30 so went out for a lunch ride of about 12 miles.

    Since I plan to do this technical ride thing over the weekend, I figured I should find some crappy stuff to plug through and understand the bike's dynamics on those surfaces. So I rode down to the Los Gatos Crrek trail and ran along to one of the small parks where there's a nice bit of a wash and little trail that climbs through a corpse of trees. The ground by the creek is in patches gravelly and muddy, the stuff up in the trees is dry, loose, rutted and gnarled around the tree roots. There's lots of pine tree effluvia and other crap all over the place.

    FCC handled it all without a thought, my standard Duro tires and 25psi inflation notwithstanding. It slipped a little here and there but was never out of control or uncontrollable. What was interesting was that I used the middle gears more than the lower gears, despite the tight trail, because I can develop too much torque in the lower gears for the traction conditions. They also help me stand up while pedaling more easily.

    I honked around the little trails from several different directions for a half hour or so. It was fun, and a nice workout, but ultimately got a bit boring so I headed out. My friends... both 20-30 years younger than me... will likely laugh at me but it should be a giggle. I'm more interested to hear what they have to say when they ride FCC.

    The ride back home was fast and much more fun, with a steep overpass to sweat my way up and cool off going down. I had fun listening to a Lamborghini sitting at a light r3vving his engine for a few moments.

    Oh yes: Checked tires this morning. Pressure holding just fine.

    Onwards!
    G

  66. #6066
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    Sigh ...
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  67. #6067
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    Yesterday just seemed like it was getting later and later before I could get out on the bike. Ended up leaving at almost 4 for my ride, just lots of "stuff" to do. So it was time for coffee ...

    I cruised on my regular loop for a bit and decided to try a different path and a different cafe. I remembered a street that connected two busy streets and wasn't used much, so I hunted for it, found it, and zipped along unfettered by lights and traffic for a whole two miles. Ended up right smack in downtown San Jose and parked in front of the cafe next to the theater.

    They have the best desserts in the area there. I had my coffee and a small bit of cake. Mmmm!

    Leaving, I could have gone back the way I came but decided that the route up through Japan Town was more interesting, did that again. I got to the trail head back onto Guadalupe River Trail and backtracked a little of the way down that—it was just a really pleasant ride through there. Out, and up around the back of the sports arena, under the train tracks, and back up onto my usual loop home.

    It's fun to watch the patterns of traffic as commute hour comes and goes. I don't have to participate any more, thankfully. My routes generally take me around all the kerfuffle, but I can see it happening from the bicycle seat and I shake my head at all of that that I did for so long. There really has to be a better way.

    16 miles, 1:20 riding time. Consumed 1000 calories.
    Gods I love riding this bike.

    onwards,
    G

  68. #6068
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    Today I rode about five miles of fire road/doubletrack around Silly Mountain. Fist-sized rocks, more cholla than you can shake a comb at, and loads of rabbits predominated.

    Fat Biking and health-img_20180608_085644545.jpg

    Fat Biking and health-img_20180608_081835372.jpg

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  69. #6069
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    Hi DH great to see some ride photos, won't be much of that down here this weekend. Plenty of rain forecast so I might get some bike maintenance done.

    Had to look up about the Cholla, nasty looking little things must make tubeless tyres a must out there.

    On a bike note how do you find the Thud Buster?

    OZ.

  70. #6070
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    Hi G seems you have found the best part of cycling, the guilt free cake stop

    As for your weekend off road adventure make sure you take a pump and air down those tyres. Took me years to get the idea of running low psi off road and I can't believe I did that. When I picked up the fat bike the idea of single figure psi was still crazy. Now I run 5 to 6 psi off road, lower on sand.

    Even my road bikes are now running lower psi and the ride is better for it. Seem like the world is catching on to the low psi idea through the growth of gravel bikes. I was running 700 x 42s on my CC years ago and the roadies around here thought I was crazy.

    Really if you are on gravel start at 10psi and go down lower as it gets looser.

    Anyway what ever you do enjoy the ride away from the hustle and bustle.

    OZ.

    P.S. take the Pen along for the ride too.

  71. #6071
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    Cholla are definitely little pricks, OZ. At one juncture, while churning down a small stretch of wash, a natural Rube-Goldberg device fashioned of a mesquite branch on which a cholla piece was resting threw the cactus bit right into the back of my left ankle, where it lodged until I used a smaller branch to pry it lose.

    The Thudbuster is pretty invisible, but it definitely takes the edges off impacts, so it makes seated climbing much better.

  72. #6072
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    Heya OZ,

    ".. guilt free cake stop ..." LOL! Yes!

    Well, I doubt I'm going to change tires for one ride. And these tires I won't run below 15 psi, no matter what ... Tried that once: It was awful. Won't do it again. I might drop the pressures from my nominal 25 to 20. That's as low as I like the handling characteristics.

    I'm just not a fan of the squishy tire feel thing. Whether it's faster or slower doesn't matter.

    And yes: I'll have my air pump and tire pressure gauge with me, as well as the requisite patch kit. I sorta doubt I'll need anything, really, but it's best to be prepared anyway.

    G

  73. #6073
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    Let's hope G posts pics of the bike on the trail!
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  74. #6074
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    I heard that DH was having Hasenpfeffer for supper these days!
    Get fAt, Stay fAt, Ride fAt
    Doctor recommended...

  75. #6075
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    I went out for a short few mile cruise yesterday and I enjoyed it so much I went exploring. I was gonna do 8 and ended up at 12. Nice easy ride, no route, no trails. I just rode and looked around. Through neighborhoods I haven't ridden before, checking out houses, yards, gardens.
    I got home and cut my grass and then my neighbors, tired of looking at high weeds.
    Off soon for another adventure, I'm thinking of heading up to Tullytown and my first run through a Penn Manor Club. It's a private club around lakes in the shadow of a landfill. I run through it a few times a year and never have any issues, I usually go early before it gets crowded. I'll take the phone in case any good shots jump out at me.
    Have a good weekend everyone.

  76. #6076
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    Quote Originally Posted by BansheeRune View Post
    I heard that DH was having Hasenpfeffer for supper these days!
    Hah!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4UWdlfH86s
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  77. #6077
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surly in OZ View Post
    ...
    Really if you are on gravel start at 10psi and go down lower as it gets looser.
    ...
    OZ:

    I forgot to mention: I rode 5-7 miles of pea-sized dry gravel with FCC when I did the Bay Trail a few weeks back. Standard tire pressures ... It was no problem at all, didn't slip or slide unless I pushed it to. These Duro Fleetwoods are really quite good on most surfaces! I like them so much, and they're difficult to find here in the USA, that I bought three more as spares.

    Ride is this afternoon. I'm limbering up with my regular morning ride in a few minutes.

    G

  78. #6078
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    Good luck G, stay safe.

    I cranked out 18 miles this morning. I stopped in quite a few spots to take pictures and document the water level of the canal. In the private club roadways are dirt, gravel and roadway millings all these things in the few miles along the Northeast rail corridor and between a few lakes and 3 LARGE landfills bordering on the Delaware River.
    Looking through a campsite at the landfills in the distance against the Delaware River
    Fat Biking and health-img_4552.jpg
    Road in the private club along the Conrail NE Corridor
    Fat Biking and health-img_4556a.jpg
    Where I fell a few weeks ago, you can see the path under the power lines to the left
    Fat Biking and health-img_4560a.jpg
    The canal lock in Edgely PA
    Fat Biking and health-img_4569.jpg
    A blue herron working the water
    Fat Biking and health-img_4592.jpg

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    Last edited by CHIEF500; 1 Week Ago at 06:03 AM.

  79. #6079
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    Thanks Chief!

    Busy day today, and no time for a ride.
    Yesterday was also very busy, but almost all riding!

    Yesterday:

    The breakfast ride took me on a nice long jaunt down to the meetup with The Usual Suspects and through some kind of event going on in Guadalupe River Park. Had to dodge runners and walkers filling the normally-empty paths there. After breakfast at the cafe, I decided that I needed to amp up for the afternoon's ride in the hills and took the long way back by riding up the GRTrail past Levi Stadium, jogging across on surface streets to the San Tomas Trail, and riding back down to Santa Clara and home that way. Total: 21.5 miles.

    I put the gizmos on charge (lights, GPS, heart monitor, iPhone..) and switched jerseys. Hmm, I really need at least another pair of riding shorts right now. Well, that ain't gonna happen ...

    The guys from the hills arrived with the race truck and we loaded up. Both these guys are motorcycle racers, they use the bicycles to work out for their motorcycle riding. We get up to the entrance of the trail area and they see me turning on the GPS unit.

    "Uh, please don't. This is our property, we'd rather not have it listed on Strava or Garmin Connect."
    Oh. You own this land?
    "Yeah, we bought it together about 15 years ago. It's 200 acres."
    So that's why you didn't send me a GPS map ...
    "Right. ..."
    You guys are like, mega-wealthy now.
    "Right ... if we sell it." big grins.

    And then I realized that I'd left the iPhone on the charger at home. Sigh. At least I didn't forget my helmet, air pump, and pressure gauge.

    The course they have put in place is like a combination enduro/motocross track, up and around the ridge to their little dell below. Pretty steep in some places, mostly smoothed (from riding) single track that's been mostly cleared of branches crossing the path. There are a few gravelly/rocky sections, the rest is typical for this area local forest floor mulch and leaves. It's been dry up there for a month or more, so no mucky stuff like down by Gazos Creek from last week.

    Should I drop the pressures in my tires?
    "If you want. You might just run it as is and see how it works."

    So I did. They're younger than I am and more fit; they're quicker climbing the hills. The traction with my bike wasn't so different from what I saw in the drier parts of the creek area, or the gravel run on the Bay Trail. We did a loop in about 20 minutes and I got a good sweat worked up.

    I'd brought my 4mm hex/torque wrench tool so I could adjust the seat for whomever was going to ride my bike (and measured the seat post in the position I had it set up for me so I could restore it in a second). Both these guys are a little shorter than I am but, as I often find, their inseam measurements are about the same as mine so we didn't end up changing the seat height at all. I got a full suspension Salsa 29 plus bike for the next loop while that one of them took mine. I won last place around the loop again ... Took me a quarter of the way to get used to the suspension, after that it seemed pretty nice for the rougher sections. It soaks up some of your pedaling energy at various moments, but helps the ride a bit. Then I swapped onto a Trek rigid rear, suspension front 27.5 plus bike for the third loop: I liked that more than the full suspension, more predictable for me. Another last place, but closer this time.

    We did three more loops, rotating through the bikes the same way a second time. I was running 22psi, I never did drop my tire pressures any further, it just didn't seem needed, and they didn't ask for it either; probably not going fast enough to matter. After that I was pretty darn tired.

    Which felt best to me of the three bikes? I still prefer mine overall, I like its feel and the predictability of the tires over the suspension machines. The Trek with the front suspension would be my choice if I were doing this kind of training loop a lot: it soaked up a lot of the jolting on the downhills and was nice and predictable.

    What did they think of my bike? To paraphrase: "The big tires make it a bit slow and the tires are definitely more smooth stuff oriented than the other bikes, but it's not heavy or hard to manage at all on the rougher stuff. The surprising part is how fast it is on the smooth and level stuff, feels more like a street bike than expected. Your seat is too cushy, you must sit on it a lot..." I do.

    We headed over to their "cottage" (basically a 1500 square foot house that's half shop area) and cleaned up my bike, took showers, and hopped back into the race truck for the ride back down into town. Stopped at favorite cafe in Mountain View and yakked about the bicycles, motorcycles, and the next moto racing events for a while. Then they drove me home and took off.

    I checked tire pressures this morning ... nothing had happened to them, they were still holding fine at 22 psi. I re-inflated the tires to my usual 25 psi street setting and cleaned a bit more dust off FCC.

    A fine time, a good ride. I'm pleased that I was able to do six laps of their loop in two hours, its about three and a half miles around each time with about a 400 foot climb, so that was about another 19 miles. The ten minute break at the end of each lap as we switched bikes was very helpful. My legs were not sore last night at all ... a good sign that they're finally getting some decent conditioning. Didn't hurt today either.

    Whew, altogether a 40 mile day... A year ago, that would have been inconceivable.

    onwards!
    G

  80. #6080
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    So it was a kind of a BMX course, from the sound of it. For some reason, I thought it was a MTB trail.

    No pics of the bike out there?
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  81. #6081
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    G sounds like a great day. Lots of riding and no soreness which is ALWAYS good.

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    Pics or it didn't happen.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHIEF500 View Post
    G sounds like a great day. Lots of riding and no soreness which is ALWAYS good.
    It was a fabulous day, thanks Chief! About the only musculature twitch I had was that feeling you get when your legs have worked hard and you tense the muscles a little bit too much and they feel like just a moment and they'll cramp .. but I didn't actually get any cramps!

    Although I hadn't planned it, not riding on Sunday worked well to give my legs a break and a bit of recovery time. To the point that yesterday I went out for my usual loop down through San Jose, ran up thirteen and a half miles, and wondered that it went by so quickly.

    Sheesh, I'm going to have to start including South San Jose in my ride loops at this rate!

    Always onwards!

    G

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    Hi everyone, glad to see some of you getting rides in. We just had a holiday long weekend and true to form it rained everyday Cleared up in time for me to ride to work Tuesday and I might be able to sneak a ride in this afternoon.

    As for tyre pressures, the valve on the front tyre of the Farley has a fair bit of tubeless sealant in it and is a real pain to pump with the on bike mini pump. I have just been setting at 6 psi with the track pump at home before I go out. Need to stop in to my LBS for a fix without loosing all the air. I have been looking at the milKit valve system which seems to take all the pain out of tubeless. Not found anyone selling it in OZ yet, might have to try on line.

    OZ.

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    Hallo OZ!

    It was a very warm day today, sunny and hot up to 93°F (34°C). I went out for my ride regardless, I don't mind the heat up to a bit warmer than that. The light MTB jersey I bought from TroyLeeDesigns.com a few months ago is remarkable in this kind of heat ... It wicks all the sweat away leaving me cool and dry most of the time I'm moving. Very nice, worth the rather high price.

    Today's ride wasn't terribly new or different to report on, a variation on my typical loop. About eleven and a half miles, a stop at the Crema cafe downtown, nice chat with an older bicyclist who was fascinated with FCC's tires. Etc. All pleasant and comfortable.

    The FCC is working beautifully, there's nothing left to do really but just ride and ride with it. Just what I was hoping for.

    onwards!
    G

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    Yesterday was 9 days in a row, a rarity recently with all the rain and cool weather we've been having. Took the Fuse and hit the power line trail I can get to from the house. As I was riding I see a mound on the right side of the path. As I get closer there were 3 red foxes picking at something. 2 heard me coming and took off, the third either had hearing issues or something I was right on top of it before it realized I was there and then cut in front of me. I nearly hit the damn thing. Broad daylight with the sun blazing. They usually are tough to spot around here.
    Into the lake trail and around the lake, on the other side riding in grass I see 2 deer bedded down along the right tree line. The bike is quiet in grass but they heard or saw me coming, they got up and ran along the tree line and then into the woods. One of the deer had the littlest baby I've ever seen with her. I stay away just to give them space, watching this baby deer run along the tree line was so cool. They cut into the woods and the baby came back out to look around, then went back to mom. I stopped to see if they'd come back out, the didn't. I could see them in the trees going by but no luck. On I went, out of the trails and into a nasty drug area. I ride a couple streets to get to the canal again. Watched a drug deal go down as I was pedaling by. Onto the canal and in front of me are 5 kids, all on bikes. I smile as I see it but watch the larger boy chase some geese and throw something at them. I pedal up and yelled at them. The kid stopped walked to his bike, I stopped and said some stuff to him. Knock it off, what if I get a few rocks and throw them at you? Would that be OK? The kids were staring at me like I was crazy. One went the way I came from but these 5 started riding and trying to get away. LOL
    I could hear them saying faster, lets get away. I stayed in the saddle and rode behind them for a bit. They stopped, I stopped. There was a bunch of geese on the path. They wanted me to ride on, I told them I'll ride with you guys for a while to make sure the geese are OK and to see where you live. That scared them. They took off trying to get away. I picked up the pace and stayed behind them for a while. We got down to a RR bridge the has a concrete path for the canal walkway that holds rainwater, usually an inch or so after heavy rains. I had enough and when they stopped I powered by them through the water and on to ride past my MIL's house to check. I do this every few days, kids throw things at the house and I do a ride by only stopping if I notice something. I circled around and saw the kids again riding off, they had split up and were heading home I guess it was dinner time.

    Good ride and I got some speed work in. LOL

  87. #6087
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    Great ride report, Chief. And a salute to you for protecting the innocent wildlife against the two legged goons.

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    Like it, Chief!

    Even moreso than the child policing (necessary stuff, kids are often cruel little beasts and need to be taught...) is that you're getting out and getting in a great ride!

    I have to figure where to go today. I want to do something different...

    onwards somewhere!
    G

  89. #6089
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    Wednesday's Ride Report....

    3rd ride since Dad's passing, all on the Lock 1 run. Since this is Fatbiking and Health, this afternoon begins the "prep" for tomorrow's colonoscopy; 10 years since my last (a clean bill of health in that one). But in the past 2 months, some lower abdominal pain during that gastro-virus deal I reported here. So I thought I'd see my doc to have it checked out. Had a cat scan and it revealed a soft mass around my bile duct; so a follow up MRCP was ordered and completed yesterday; with a followup consult with my gastroenterologist next Monday. I'll be honest; this has been playing on my mind during all of Dad's passing, as if the one were not bad enough. One can't help but think of worst case scenarios and I am very concerned while at the same time, can honestly say that aside from "feeling something inside me down there", I do feel good....considering. It has simply been one crap year in the Towpath Traveler's family front in 2017/2018. I think the good times are yet to come and will. Now, onto the ride..........

    Destination: Homebase to Lock 1, Delaware Raritan Canal to northern end of towpath at Trenton, NJ and back to Homebase

    Bike: Haibike FullFatSix
    Weather: Cloudy, slightly humid, cool, 73 degrees, give or take
    Battery Percentage Remaining: 63%
    Average Speed/Max Speed: 8.9mph-25.3mph
    Total Mileage: 19.8 miles
    Total Odometer Mileage: 4313 miles

    Photos to follow....

  90. #6090
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    Wednesday's Ride Report Pictures....

    Fat Biking and health-100_3159.jpg
    At the Axe Factory Road entrance to Crystal Lake Park, a Burlington County, NJ run park featuring walking/biking/horse trails and fishing at Crystal Lake. The early spring daffodills have given way to warm weather yellow Day Lillies.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3160.jpg
    County seal on the main gate, Axe Factory Road. Significant to me is the date of the founding. It's the biggest county in the state of NJ.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3161.jpg
    The park contains sublet farms within; looks to be wheat grown this season. I'm heading basically due west to get to Route 130. This run is a nice diversion from heading north on more road ways. It's quiet too, back here.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3162.jpg
    In the distance is Route 130, where I will ride the asphalt shoulder for about a half mile or so to get to Burlington Road, Fieldsboro, NJ on my way to Bordentown. 130 here has been rebuilt with a nice, smooth highway and wide shoulder for me to ride on.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3163.jpg
    At the entrance to Burlington Road north, I've entered the former North American Shipyard/Doane's Shipyard property; crossing the former Camden and Amboy Railroad/Pennsylvania Railroad/Penn Central Railroad/Conrail/now New Jersey Transit RiverLine tracks to access the former shipyard grounds, now a brownfield to be developed for what we really need more of here in NJ.....more housing.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3164.jpg
    This shipyard was once a scrapyard for ships of all kinds. I remember Submarines here waiting for the scrapper's torch......US Coast Guard Cutters of the 255 foot class (3 of them at once).....even Adolf Hitler's former yacht was scrapped here on the Delaware River!
    Fat Biking and health-100_3165.jpg
    Doane's Shipyard, looking outward to the Delaware River main channel and in the distance, the state of PA and the former Fairless Steel/US Steel Fairless works. My Dad told me the arrival of Hitler's yacht here was a big deal for the small towns along the river. Here is the wiki on his yacht: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German..._Grille_(1935) His toilet survived; and continues on in service in Greg's Garage in Florence, NJ! Link: https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/22714 Rumor has it that Greg found a buyer for the toilet in England, but I'm not sure if the deal was flushed down the toilet or not......

  91. #6091
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    Wednsday's Ride Report In Pictures....

    Fat Biking and health-100_3166.jpg
    Having safely slipped past the No Trespassing signs on the former Doane's Shipyard property, I headed north along Burlington Road, Fieldsboro, NJ and came upon the White Hill Mansion; built in 1723 by the Field family. White Hill was built atop a bluff overlooking down upon the Delaware River. Here is a link to White Hill Mansion: White Hill Mansion Home What a perfect setting for a horror movie! But I'll tell ya, if I ever win the Powerball Lottery, I'd stay in NJ, buying this mansion from the historic commision that now owns it; restoring her back to her former glory!
    Fat Biking and health-100_3167.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-100_3168.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-100_3169.jpg
    When White Hill was an upper tier restaurant, I understand my Dad's band performed here. Hard to believe it was a highly regarded eatery at one time. Today, Stephen King could probably write a great followup to The Shining here, at White Hill.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3170.jpg
    I'm now at Bordentown, at the NJT Crosswicks Creek Bridge pedestrian/bicycle path leading to Lock 1, D&R Canal. Looking south and west towards Crosswicks Creek, the I-295 Bridge overpass and the Delaware River. To the left is the Bordentown Yacht Club and to the south of that, the Yapewi Yacht Club. The tide is still on the ebb but it has slowed, indicating the tide is about due to go slack, followed by the incoming flood tide.....
    Fat Biking and health-100_3176.jpg
    Haibike FullFatSix at the lock chamber pedestrian bridge, D&R Canal Lock #1. And I have a resident swimming in the lock chamber, too....
    Fat Biking and health-100_3171.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-100_3174.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-100_3175.jpg
    Beaver heading up into the canal! What a cool sight to see. I'm always amazed by the size of the trees they can bring down with their teeth. And their Beaver Lodges, found within the Hamilton/Trenton Marshes here, are significant construction efforts that hold these critters over in some of the coldest weather conditions this area has to offer!
    Fat Biking and health-100_3177.jpg
    Turtle eggs on the trail. They either hatched or an animal got ahold of them; for I did not find one dead turtle.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3180.jpg
    There is evidence all over the trail grounds of turtle egg sites. This entire swamp marsh has to be a tremendous breeding ground for the turtles.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3181.jpg
    And of course, the mud puddle caused by the overhead I-295 bridge rain run-off; which I shall dub the Mike Towpath Traveler Memorial Mud Hole. Passing by the second set of mud holes, I believe I disturbed some minnows or tadpoles living life in the water as I passed by!

  92. #6092
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeTowpathTraveler View Post
    3rd ride since Dad's passing, all on the Lock 1 run. Since this is Fatbiking and Health, this afternoon begins the "prep" for tomorrow's colonoscopy; 10 years since my last (a clean bill of health in that one). But in the past 2 months, some lower abdominal pain during that gastro-virus deal I reported here. So I thought I'd see my doc to have it checked out. Had a cat scan and it revealed a soft mass around my bile duct; so a follow up MRCP was ordered and completed yesterday; with a followup consult with my gastroenterologist next Monday. I'll be honest; this has been playing on my mind during all of Dad's passing, as if the one were not bad enough. One can't help but think of worst case scenarios and I am very concerned while at the same time, can honestly say that aside from "feeling something inside me down there", I do feel good....considering. It has simply been one crap year in the Towpath Traveler's family front in 2017/2018. I think the good times are yet to come and will. Now, onto the ride..........

    Destination: Homebase to Lock 1, Delaware Raritan Canal to northern end of towpath at Trenton, NJ and back to Homebase

    Bike: Haibike FullFatSix
    Weather: Cloudy, slightly humid, cool, 73 degrees, give or take
    Battery Percentage Remaining: 63%
    Average Speed/Max Speed: 8.9mph-25.3mph
    Total Mileage: 19.8 miles
    Total Odometer Mileage: 4313 miles

    Photos to follow....
    Yuck: I've been through that colonoscopy prep more times than I like to remember (I had ulcerative colitis for about six years, and I cannot tell you what a misery that horror was...).

    I feel for you, Mike; I hate that stuff.

    Hopefully, all will check out well and it's just something minor that will get taken care of with a little medication and/or some dietary regime. Here's hoping for you! (What finally killed the colitis for me was diet change to go gluten-free and a guideline with the acronym FODMAP (see https://www.dietvsdisease.org/diy-low-fodmap-diet/) ... I can now eat normally if I so choose, although I've gotten so used to gluten-free and the FODMAP guidelines I tend to eat that way naturally most of the time anyway now.)

    Nice ride and thanks for the photos! I've got to get back east one of these days with a bicycle to go for some rides...

    There were some lovely views from my ride in the hills on Sunday since the property there overlooks Santa Clara Valley from a nice point ... But, as I wrote, like an idiot I forgot my iPhone sitting on the charger at home. Not like I stop very often to make photographs when I'm cycling anyway, and my friends are somewhat reclusive (they don't want their photos posted). But I had hoped to get some photos of the valley and perhaps the circuit, if they would assent to that... Ah well, perhaps next time.

    onwards!
    G

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    Wednesday's Ride Report in Pictures....

    Fat Biking and health-100_3182.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-100_3183.jpg
    I came here on this ride specifically hoping to shoot pictures of some towpath wild life and so far, I've been rewarded. Here is a little toad; whom I photographed then chased off the trail should another biker come along and run him down. This is just north of the I-295 Memorial Mud Hole....
    Fat Biking and health-100_3184.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-100_3185.jpg
    Northbound, with the foliage closing in cause the cutting down sometime in late May was not done with any kind of zest to cut the growth back in some.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3186.jpg
    This is the shit that pisses me off. Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park Lock 1 & 2 Towpath, north, near the northern gate. Illegal dumping; down stealthily as the dumpers drove in from the main northern gate, out of sight of any traffic, people, police, etc, to do their dirty deed. Dirt, concrete, flower pots; blocking most of the entire towpath. Complete disregard by these scumbags. And a Canal parks system and NJ Transit railroad work force that don't give a damn to lock the gates after they are done work on the canal towpath and/or the nearby light rail line.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3187.jpg
    This is why the last picture happens: Railroad workers open the gate, drive on the canal towpath to access the rail line; do their work, then drive off without locking the damn gate. And of course, the lowlifes who do this kind of stuff come along and use the state park as their personal garbage dumpster.....
    Fat Biking and health-100_3188.jpg
    Southbound, D&R State Park; in the vicinity of the former Penn Central coal spur rail line to the Duck Island Power Plant.....more evidence of the complete negligence of the NJ Transit RiverLine maintenance workers and D&R Canal State Park staff......this gate here has been left unlocked since last year.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3189.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-100_3190.jpg
    Southbound, heading home and I come across a Mama Turtle burrowing out a nest for her eggs, alongside the canal towpath. The circle of life, continuing.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3191.jpg
    Fat Biking and health-100_3193.jpg
    I'm rewarded in my quest for finding wild life by yet one more turtle, a small fella, on the towpath. I picked him or her up, photographed it and placed her out of the way of the cinder path in hopes she'll go off into the deep brush, away from hikers, dog walkers and cyclists not paying mind. It has turned out to be a deeply rewarding day in it's own right and I am very happy I went out today.
    Fat Biking and health-100_3194.jpg
    Back at the Crystal Lake Park, on the Horse Trail cut by the county; on my way home. I get home and wipe the bike down; place the battery on charge and begin the preps for tomorrow's colonoscopy......

  94. #6094
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    G: thanks for the kind words. Colitis is a nasty, nasty affliction to have and I am glad you beat it back with a proactive diet. Gluten free sounds interesting; my downfall to my spare tire in my stomach are rolls (for hoagies) and pizza. I'm not much of a drinker. Non smoker. And not much of a drinker at all. But those sugars broken down from eating pizza and too many hoagies have not helped over the years.

    Thanks for the well wishes, my friend.

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    Mike good luck on the roto rooter, fingers crossed for you.
    Nice report. Stay at it.

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    Chief, many thanks for the best wishes. After this settles out, I'll pm you about that ride on your canal end. In the meantime, stay safe, buddy.

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    Mike: I like your turtle finds!

    Today's ride was a delightful if somewhat warm 17.5 mile trek around the area. I like very much that I feel completely confident and at ease to hop on the bike and go do errands now, as well as a nice workout/training run.



    G

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    Hi Chief, thats a very diverse ride you had, wildlife around a lake, drug deals in the streets and kids needing guidance, so a bit of everything

    Great report Mike, sad to see that people dump trash anywhere they want. Always surprised to find how far some people manage to get into the bush down here to dump their trash. Apart from that the rest of the ride looks fantastic, is that a snapping Turtle? seems you are keeping your fingers well a way from it. Hope the tests go well, I am sure they will.

    I found a really fantastic channel on Youtube the other day if you all want a bit of an escape from normal riding. Its best watched on a big T.V if possible, look up "The Col Collective" as the name suggests it mountain riding. All the best mountain climbs and the production values are first rate. Dream rides for me and to see them presented this way is amazing. They also have a web page to sell you the ride experience as well, one day maybe

    OZ.

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    Sending good thoughts, Mike. Hope the procedure goes really well.
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    DH: Thank you, good friend! Your best wishes; along with the other good folks here were recieved, as I got a good bill of health. Earlier in the AM my MRCP results came back and though my bile duct was dilated, the soft mass found on the CAT scan proved to be a blood vessel. My gall bladder was taken out of few years ago as it was inundated with many stones; backing up the bile to my pancreas, giving me some very bad and painful pancreatitis. A bit of great news; which I'll gladly accept, over the recent bad news hanging over things around here. Thanks again, my friend!

    Surly In Oz: No, no snapper, but he does look a bit peeved to have been picked up, off the trail floor. The big mama there laying her eggs off the towpath was not a snapper, either. The amount of holes dug by these turtles all over the 4 mile canal towpath run was amazing. What's more amazing is considering the entire vast marshland, and how many thousands of mother turtles laying eggs for the next generation to come along.

    The dumping really peeves me cause I once notified the railroad and canal park people in charge and got immediate results in the gates being locked up and the illegal dumping materials removed. There are no other immediate areas to go off road in this little spot in my world but this one and it hurts to see it abused by the dumper derelicts and too, the folks responsible for it's security and upkeep. Thanks for that link, I'll be sure to check it out.

    G:Finding these turtles, the toad and the beaver cruising into the old canal ruins really made my day. It's funny, I took my camera with the expectation I would find some wildlife along the ride and for once I was not disappointed. Now, if only I could run across one of the bigger snappers that are out there in the swamps, that will really make me smile. It's only during the time of season when the mama turtles lay their eggs do they leave the canal or the swamps to do their thing.

    Sounds like you are having a heck of a fun time with that new bike. Keep the ride reports coming!

    Chief: Thank you for the well wishes, my friend. It means alot!

    For that matter, I'll say it again: I enjoy every one of your ride reports; painting a picture for me of what riding in your part of the world is like.

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