In this case, how Velocity makes a rim.
In this case, how Velocity makes a rim.
Another bike-filled weekend, and another Monday…
On Saturday, I hung up the bike and spent the day at the BD Bike Swap trying to turn a bunch of parts (too many to count), frames (four), and wheels (nine) into cold, hard cash.
I didn’t sell any frames or wheels, but did sell quite a lot of components, including most of what you see here. More importantly, I didn’t buy anything, which means that I went home with nearly $700 in cash and a much lighter parts bin. Now if someone would just buy a frameset or a couple pairs of wheels I’d be well on my way to the next bike.
On Sunday, we were back on the fat-bikes, riding on the lake.
I racked up about 20 miles meandering back and forth with my friends. Highlights include running into friends on an off their bikes, a close-up sighting of a bald eagle in flight, a visit to the now-complete igloo, and a nice long coffee stop at Barriques on Park. And that ice beard.
Due to snow conditions (3-4 inches of blowing powder over wind-blown hardpack) and a lot of farting around, that 20 miles kept me outside for nearly 6 hours. A great way to spend a winter day–and downright necessary given that the temperatures have dropped well below zero again and look to stay there for the next few days.
Both photos by Nathan Vergin; I took some but then left the camera at home this morning.
One of the things that I like to think about when on (and off) the bike is just how to pare down and focus my own bike fleet so that it serves my needs as well as possible with as few bikes as possible.
This sort of thing sometimes leads to interesting mental exercises. And sometimes it just leads to the appreciation of someone who has done just that. Earl, one of the fine mechanics at Revolution Cycles (my LBS), has unloaded most (or all?) of the rest of his bikes and now rides two Pugsleys (ketchup, mustard).
These two Pugsleys (one geared, one singlespeed; both with offset forks) and two wheelsets (one 29+ and one full-fat) yield six configurations that cover all of his needs. You can read more about it at Revolution Cycles.
This is just the sort of thing that I’d like to end up with myself. And while I doubt my configuration would end up looking the same (I love riding on the road a little too much to go with just fat-bikes…maybe), the well-thought-out collection of just enough bikes and just enough options to suit his needs is what makes Earl’s setup awesome.
I seem to have some kind of weakness for this bike-film genre: a few guys ride their fixed-gear bikes a long way over several days and get filmed. So here’s another one: 8bar Fixed Alpcross.
Riding on frozen, snow-covered lakes is one of my absolute favorite winter-time activities. I’ve been doing it for twenty-odd years, and it just keeps getting better and better (mostly due to the advent of fat-bikes). In the last week, I’ve spent about 10 hours riding on the ice.
Contrary to expectation, I didn’t see another fat-biker at any time when I was out riding. In fact, I didn’t even see any fresh tracks (though wind and snow may have obscured them at times).
The riding conditions were perfect, or one kind of perfect anyway. Firm base with a few inches of fresher snow, with more coming down.
The best time to go to the beach, in my opinion.
There’s a tree spiral on the lake, with wish-ribbons. It’s a little weird.
Sun and snow at once, sorta.
Making tracks.Fresh, untrammeled snow near the Yahara River in Squaw Bay. Well, it was untrammeled.
The frost-bearding was minimal that day.
I stayed out past sunset. The light-show was pretty damned good.
The actual sunset was even better. An explosion of orange.
Another day, another round of wind-blown snow.
Once again, riding with no one but my shadow.
A photo that would have been even cooler if I’d been riding the Necro-Fix (which has no brakes).
On the way home, I rode up Starkweather Creek for the first time this year. There are a number of bridges, including these three.
The snow was starting to warm up and get sticky. Makes for pretty good tracks though.
But it’s not all sunshine and sparkle. That’s a man-sized hole you’re looking at. Both the Ox and I are fine. Very exciting, in it’s own way.
After that little bit of misadventure, I spent the last ride of the weekend on the KM riding the trails with Nate.
Though I did stop on the bridge over the creek to examine and photograph the man-sized hole–which still hadn’t refrozen 24 hours later.
We’ll just add Marquette, Michigan to the list of places that we should be riding fat-bikes in the winter (along with Levis, Sunnyvale, and a few others).
A few days ago, I realized that I did in fact have goals for the 2014 cycling season (which is the entire year, by the way, since I cycle year-round, in all weathers).
Now, when most people think about cycling goals, they often involve winning a race, or completing an event, or perhaps improving their performance-related numbers, or even nabbing an elusive KOM on Strava. And while I’m aiming to complete some events (Trans Iowa v10, the Gravel Metric, etc.) and do some more things, none of my actual goals are related to these things.
In no particular order, these are my 2014 goals:
Basically, it comes down to this: I want to enjoy myself as much as possible, while also cycling as much as possible. Who knows, perhaps I’ll even make some kind of peace with disc brakes–though that would be asking rather a lot of any given year.