Monday, September 30, 2013

Street Life

I had a bit of fun on Sunday at the DSMove street party, in the Drake neighborhood. They shut down University for about 13 blocks to have a giant block party. Among the activities were chances to ride "The World's Largest Bike" a 21 seater!

This thing was a beast. It has a differential from a car, a drive shaft, and 21matching seats, bars, stems, cranksets, and ding bells! It took 7 guys to push it back and forth to turn it around. It is a crazy contraption, that's for sure.

Also on the agenda was a show and shine (or don't) bike show, sponsored loosely by Ichi Bike, Dan Koenig and friends. There were some majorly sweet bikes sitting around. Black rims everywhere (the standard of cool), and these guys like their Sturmey-Archer hubs for sure too, as they were on most of the cruiser bikes and a Schwinn Scrambler too. I perved on the bikes for a while and then had to jet to get back home. I rode my lowered Schwinn and got a lot of positive comments on it. A few guys were trying to figure out how I had the front end assembled. It's not too hard to figure out after looking for a few minutes, but at first it is a head scratcher. Here are a few pics from the event.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dragoon Trail Romp

Today was a rainy day here. Not that you would hear anyone complain about that, as dry as we have been. Being that I had the day off I came up with an idea to spend some bike time, and do a good deed, at the same time. You see, each year there is an event here called The Dragoon River Romp. It is a day where some cool and concerned individuals work up and down the river, and pick up any and all garbage that other, free minded individuals are too lazy to dispose of properly. Cans, bottles, tires, freezers, -no kidding -CARS!!! This is a very cool concept, but they only do it for one day, and it's always on a Saturday, which is a day I take off only twice a year. The thought occurred to me to ride the High Trestle Trail with a garbage bag in hand and stop to pick up any garbage that I could see from the trail. I figure I could still contribute something, and this trail is too cool to be a littered up mess.
 Now I had a size minimum. I wasn't going to stop for cigarette butts (probably the most commonly littered item world wide) or gum wrappers. That's just too much on and off for me. So I set off to ride from Madrid to Woodward, stopping to pick up after the people who are too short sighted to do so for themselves and others. I found mostly plastic containers and wrappers, lots of beer cans, and some glass bottles. Styrofoam is also a common litter item, and there was plenty of it to be seen too. It worked out great to arrive at the trail head in Woodward, since there is a handy-dandy recycling center there. I simply rolled up, sorted the glass, plastic, and metal, and threw the rest in the garbage can. Turned around and rode back to Madrid while enjoying the newly improved scenery. Now this is an idea that I could easily expand upon. Like possibly combining this frame of mind with the concept of a Casey's Crawl? Ride from Woodward to, say Huxley, and pick up litter along the way. Dispose of the junk at each Casey's, grab some refreshments, and ride on. Could be fun I suppose. Must remember to ride a bike with a kickstand next time! Later!

Now that the trail has started to mature as a system it is cool to see what people want to do with it. This bench and deck was integrated into an old rail road signal station. The plaque on it says it is In Loving Memory of Ruth Ramsey. It also had this cool old concrete pole, with a small geocacheing capsule attached to it. I signed in and left my blog address. ("Hi" to you if you're here after seeing it.) 

Also, I found five small trees along the side of the trail that were unusual to me. They were only about four inches in diameter at their bases, and had these fruits hanging on the branches. The fruits look like plums inside, and have a pit too. Not sure what they are, but it was interesting.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Check Please...

Well, another Tuesday ride. Kids back in school, wife at work all day. Schedule open, might as well check another item off my 2013 Wish List.So I set off for my departure spot on the Heart of Iowa Nature Trail and aimed my counterfeit Fat Ralph for Hoy Bridge! I had to have it!!! I cannot recall how it was that I even came to know about this bridge. I suppose that I saw a picture of it on Google images. That seems to be where I learn everything these days, Google images. I'm such a basal level learner. "Me see picture, me like picture, me learn what picture mean." There should be a school curriculum based on Google learning. Home schooled, that would be easy. Anyway, back to the bike stuff. So I had a customer a few weeks ago who lives in Cambridge, a pass through town for the trail, and I asked her and her husband if they knew anything about Hoy Bridge. Stacie Link said that her parents lived a few miles from it, and she gave me some detailed directions about how to find the trail head to get to it. (Also, talked to her husband, Carl, about my Mongoose Beast and wouldn't you know, he went and ordered a green one. Good on ya, Carl!)
So the dusty trail is not continuous between the towns of Collins and Rhodes, and I had to ride about 2 miles of blacktop to get to the continuation of the trail that would eventually get me to Hoy. The day was perfect for riding a fat bike on a crushed rock trail. Plumes of dust followed me in the windless air. Silty, glorious dust peeled off of the tires and coated my legs, and the frame, and the wheels, etc with a fine coating. (Actually provides some sun block I believe..) Non-stop to the trail's continuation and I could feel that I was on the verge of discovery. Exploration, such as it is in today's society, is still alive if you go out and throw a little something at it! Cruising through this more rustic part of the trail was fun. There is more grass than gravel. It got real quiet as a result, and I could hear one of the most elusive sounds of all. Nothing. Not the same as not hearing anything, mind you. Later!
                                  Iowa: It's a magical land where vintage Volvos spit out fatbikes!
                                                         Faked out Nukeproof fat hubs.
One large arch and some vertical supports would have done, but this is a study in concrete form and function. A real cool old gem in the midst of the Iowa wilds. The bridge that is, not me!!!!