Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Tis' the season.

I'm not an accountant, but I support a bunch of them, and it's tax reporting season. So I'm pretty swamped at work and not hitting the roads or trails. Once all the forms and files get sent out, and maybe my own taxes get done, I'll be riding and writing again.
But don't let that stop you. Go ride!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Snow fun

I've started spending the gift certificate I recieved for Christmas. One of the first things I wanted to do was to try a front disc on the Monocog. I got it on the bike over the weekend, but didn't take it out until last night. We've had our first snow for 2008, and it was time for some backyard snow biking fun. Nice!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Worst bike design ever.

Found this on Modern Mechanics

From the clip: "It is believed the new machine will produce speeds far in excess of anyting yet accomplished."

Heh. How's that working out for you?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Monkey Love

A couple of years ago, back when I was shopping for a new bike, I was seriously interested in the Surly Karate Monkey. I went to order one, and I couldn't find one around. Surly had some supply pipeline issues and they were scarce on the ground. I ended up getting my Quickbeam, which I love, but I've still had the tiniest jones for a Monkey.

Why? I'm not entirely sure, but I think because it might be the most versatile bike made.

The KM is ostensbly a 29"er Mountain Bike. But it seems to me to be so much more. Just what do you want?

Internal Geared/Geared/Single Speed/Fixed? Rigid/front suspension? Flat Bars/ Drop Bars? Disc brakes/v-brakes/cantilever brakes? Fenders and racks?

Here are a couple of shots stolen shamelessly from the interwebs to show the broad range of Monkey choices.

Geared MTB

Single Speed MTB

Fixed Gear MTB

Internal geared MTB

Expedition/Loaded Tourer.

Bombproof Commuter


About the only use I haven't come across it being used in is in randonneering/brevet riding, and I suspect that someone somewhere IS out there doing that. UPDATE: Yep I was right. This blog mentions somebody doing a 300k on one.

Check out how some of the blogs whom I regularly visit use their monkeys.

Nine Mile Skid

Blasphemous Bicycler

Lockring not included

It is not a perfect bike. For example there are some front derailleur clearance issues. Also it is not sold as a complete bike, perhaps because of all the configurations you can do to it, but for the price, it just seems like a really good deal.

Now all I need is for someone to give me one.

Friday, January 04, 2008


Well, 2008 has arrived. We made it. The past year was harder and sadder than many past years, and although I had some wonderful times, I'm not sad to see it go. The last week of the year was busy, with Santa being good to all of us. I scored some good biking stuff which you may see more of in the coming weeks, as well as some nice non-biking stuff. On Christmas Eve I got out for a nice ride with Joe, Julie and Alex. First real ride on the fixed in months and my thighs were toast for days afterward. I could barely go up and down the stairs.


After Christmas we headed out to visit family in Ohio and had a good time there as well, except number one son had his cough turn into bronchitis while out there. We went straight to the doc when we got back and he is recovering now, but I sure hate seeing him get sick.

Friend Jake came over the other week to provide some mechanized help on the pump track. The slope of the hill was proving to be just too much for feeble pumpers like myself to overcome, and even the fit guys had trouble making it on the uphill section, so we are leveling it a bit. Then it got wet and sometimes frozen, so we will wait a bit to redo all the berms and banked turns.


After excellent festivities at sister-in-law Amy's place New Year's Eve, I slept too late to do any of the group rides planned for New Year's Day, so I went to do some more Fixing Frederick in Middletown.


I might note that I completed 955 roads in 2007, leaving just 785 (plus a few new ones not yet accounted for) to finish. So that is my ironclad 2008 goal. Finish Fixing Frederick. All the other old standbys, like save weight and loose money, are still out on the fringes, so I'll chip away at them too, but I'm wrapping up the roads project this year!

All the best for 2008!