Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Profile Shots

I spent most of Tuesday morning getting some profile shots of some of my bikes for a special project I'm working on. Since I had them, I figured I would put them up for fun. So......












Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Fatbike Donuts

video
Big thanks to my wife for the tech support. I took this video and another on yesterday's ride in Ames. I was up a creek...literally! I rode from Peterson's Pits to near Story City on the beautifully frozen Skunk River, and found this nice patch of ice with just the right amount of tackiness to it. So what else was there to do but whip out the cellie and record some fun. The second session was recorded on my other phone, but it is not playing nice, so there may be some other donuts, or not. Here is a taste....of Fatbike Donuts.
Note: Front tire is spike with self drilling screws, back is free spinning. Look closely to see if Bigfoot lumbers through the background.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Wish List 2014

Looking back on my list from 2013 I realize that I achieved more fun on my bike than I ever would have had I not posted a list. I am in the process of getting over the death of Comet ISON, but it should be OK in the end. In the interest of getting some joy out of 2014, I have a new list. Here goes:
       Iowa Games Gravel - Had a blast last year. Got a bronze medal, and shocked myself about still having some fitness on the bike. Might as well do it again, maybe get faster before...
      White Rock and Roll - I want to check out the White Rock Conservancy in Coon Rapids. I will ride over with some camping gear and get a good feel for what all is over there. Expect to hear more about this place in the coming year or so. Pure Iowa!
      12 Hour Gravel Solo - Last year's effort was well intentioned, but ill conceived. I tried to watch meteors, while riding, at the same time, for 12 hours? Yah, No. Saw a few good meteors, but only rode for about two hours. I will just shut up and ride this year. Same beautiful section of N.E. Boone county.
      Grotto Grinder - A two day trip to Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend. This is left over from last year. There is no place like it, might as well ride up there and enjoy. This is about 100 miles each way,so lots of saddle time. Luckily, about a third is on Three Rivers Trail, an all-rock surfaced trail.
      4 Corners - Another hold over from last year. Trying to ride to the four corners of Boone County, Iowa.
      Dirty RAGBRAI - It is available any summer in July. I just didn't get it together last year to ride it. Had the opportunity for a drop at Perry, but ended up driving for my brother and some friends instead. There's always July people...Northern route this year.
      Guitar Ted Death Ride Invitational - I still have not made it to this one. It sounds like a lot of fun riding. A three mile gravel climb??? I think this was an either or last year with Iowa Games, so hopefully not this year too.
      * NEW * Tweed Ride - I am thinking seriously about riding the Des Moines Tweed Ride. I have a Raleigh 3 speed that I plan to steampunk, so I might as well ride it where it will fit in. Start hitting the Goodwills for some tweed and I'm good.
      * NEW * Rent bikes out for window displays - I have this dream of going down to Des Moines East Village area and talking to various store owners about using bikes in their window displays. If I rented out a few of my 45+ bikes for a dollar a day, maybe for a month at a crack, I could make some change. I Googled a bunch of images of bikes as window dressings, and the concept is solid. I figure that pounding the pavement in the weeks leading up to Bke Month will be a great time. Missed the chance at doing it last year when RAGBRAI was overnighting there, but hey, I just thought of doing it last month! Should be cool.
      * NEW * L'Eroica Iowa - Gravel, bikes,Iowa. I figure that there would be a few people interested in hopping on a vintage bike (think lots of chrome and fenders, chainguards, etc.) and busting out some miles. Ideally, Heart of Iowa Nature Trail would be the venue, with it's crushed limestone surface and ability to generate white dust, there is no better place for this event. A mandatory stop at Logsdon's Grocery store in Maxwell, and a destination of Hoy Bridge and Rhodes. Short of "promoting" this ride, I will have to do some networking and talking to some people to build it up, but I think it will be a go. I have a short list of 5 or 6 people, and if each brought a couple of friends, it could be a good time. Hot and dry time, thinking a Sunday in July.

I have just about given up on any celestial shows for the new year. Every, I MEAN EVERY thing I hoped for last year got clouded out, or in the case of ISON, vaporized!!!! I even missed a sure fire Aurora Borealis event last week, so 2014 is not even playing fair! I am sad about this. Oh well, still a lot to look forward to. Later!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Spike In Activity

I decided that ridinc donuts was so much fun that I wanted to get just a little bit more out of it. A trip to Ace Hardware and about 45 minutes with a drill and I have a spiked front tire. Trust me when I say, this is a good thing! There is now enough grip with the front wheel to twist donuts like a madman! I can even do figure eights. It is going to be a sad day when there is no more ice around here. Even plowed roads are good for donuts, since the blades are never down very far around here, there is usually a skim of hard packed snow to ride on. I was doing some donuts under a street light last night. Then I headed down to the skating pond in the city park and did some more.
The trick to a complete 360 degree donut is to look at, and steer toward, an imaginary point about seven feet in front of your front wheel. This keeps the path of travel at about a twenty foot diameter. It also keeps you from turning a corkscrew inward. The energy of a turning rear wheel and a relatively static front will end up at a central point. you have to counter steer and ever so slightly expand this tendancy outward to complete a full donut. Or, as I have found so far, up to 3 donuts at once. So much fun! Whoever thinks that a Mongoose Beast cannot be fun because it's not a "real fat bike" needs to have their priorities examined! Trying to think of how to get video of this stuff, stay tuned.... Later!


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

So Proud

I feel so happy today that it is difficult to put into words, but here are a few. One of my incredible sons, Marshall, joined the Iowa National Guard today. This has been a dream of his since he was in fifth grade. He wrote an essay about the value of American Veterans and poured his heart into it that year in Mr Gard's classroom. We didn't realize what had been awakened in his heart and soul then, but we saw it in its glory today as he took the oath and joined the Guard. Here is a kid who has backed up all of his plans and took the steps he needed to take to see them to reality. He has been lifting weights and running since 9th grade to ensure that he could get in as soon as possible and continue his chosen path. He has kept up outstanding grades, kept his faith in God, and made his family so proud of him! So today, with our support and a healthy bit of  hurry up and wait, he smashed a 92 on his ASVAB test and gained a position in the 186th Military Police Unit of the Iowa National Guard. And may I mention that his 17th birthday was yesterday, now that's an awesome kicker! SO PROUD!!!! Later!
 
 
 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Frosted Donuts

Anyone who knows me knows my penchant for junk food. It seems that I eat all of the time! If there was any justice in the world I would weigh 300 pounds, and my wife would cook all kinds of delicious, wholesome food. Thank heavens for small miracles!
It was a blessing when I heard that there was going to be a Dunkin Donuts opening in Ames. The rumors and speculation started swirling around about two and a half years ago, then an official announcement, opening date, and actual OPENING! I thought I would be there all of the time. Every day off (Tuesdays) and any chance to "happen to be going past there" would be a great reason to indulge in their particular brand of magic. It's a nice 20 mile ride each way, and about 75% gravel, so I thought I would be there frequently, but have actually only been in 3 times.
Today, however, I had some donuts in Ames, riding my bike the whole time, and didn't injest a single calorie! I rode my Ralph fat bike down Squaw Creek, and the 1/2 inch of snow we received Monday morning had created the perfect storm of ice and traction. This creek is dry as a bone right now, with the exception of a few pockets of water that naturally stay in any water way. At the confluence of the Squaw and the Skunk River, however, there is a small body of water that still flows. This has mostly turned to ice with a little snow on top. In a five mile stretch of creek I came across this 30 X 50 foot area that looked perfect, so I made my own donuts! You have no idea, unless you have turned donuts for yourself, just how much fun this is! Just stand on the pedals, weight the front wheel with about 70% of your weight, and start the rear wheel spinning. The trick, besides the balance part, is when the donut is half turned and the front wheel wants to flop in the other direction. You have to keep the counter steering locked and pedal through this part, but the front wheel wants to pop and slide out from under you. If you look carefully at the dark tracks (Rear wheel) you can see where I had one almost turned and then swung around at the moment of truth and started turning one in the opposite direction! It was so much silly fun I couldn't stand it! I crashed a few times and lay there laughing at the whole crazy thing. A guy in a garbage truck was driving over the bridge near bye and honked in approval. Or maybe he just likes donuts. Later!


                                                     Straight line donuts, "Long Johns"


                                              Donuts with sprinkles, "Frosted Donuts"


                                        The tires even look like donuts. Ralph loves 'em!

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Lower 48

A few weeks ago I went out on a Tuesday and rode my birthday ride. That's 48 miles for 48 years. I decided to go for the end of my absolute favorite trail, The Heart of Iowa Nature Trail. To ensure my mileage would be accurate, I used G-maps Pedometer to back track 24 miles from Rhodes (the Eastern trail head) to a starting point. That left me with a start right on the edge of Huxley, and a super easy access point. It was a great day for a ride, as they all are, and this one did not disappoint. I had never been to Rhodes Iowa until that day. A charming small town, with two bars, a service station, a post office, and a Vietnam-era M48 Tank!!!!! Here are a few images from the day.