Monthly Archives: November 2017

Post T Day

Not a lot to report on the Turkey day front. Ours is not until tomorrow as some of my family worked on Thanksgiving. So we are having it Saturday, ironically when I have to work. But then again I don’t do any of the cooking so that makes sense.

I had a ride called out for yesterday morning and two others showed up. We rode about two hours in and around town. Then, on Thanksgiving, I went to the store to work a few hours. Paperwork is so much easier when the phone’s not ringing and I can blast my music without consequence. Usually, that day is when I start my year end bookkeeping stuff. And that’s just what I did. Moving on.

This morning was a first for me. On my way to work I seen three big ships at once. All visible to the naked eye.

The most visible ship is the Edwin H Gott.  The upper right is the Burns Harbour. Ive seen that one a few times. Then the last one, which you can only see a smidge of is the Algoma Transport.

All three ships were visible at the same time. Three at a crack almost never happens here. Moving on.

I don’t remember if I mentioned on Wednesdays post that the beach was froze that morning and very rideable and I should have. I was a bit under the weather that morn but could have suffered thru my first frozen beach ride of 2017.

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Here’s the classic frozen beach. You have a strip of very thin ice in the middle. It’s usually pretty rideable cuz you have sand on your tires or sand has blown over it. To the right of that ice\sand is dry sand. Usually not froze as much. To the left is the darker sand thats the sweet spot. Hard as concrete. You dont even leave a tire print. You could ride a road bike on that. The rideable beach area has been very small these days with the high water. But on days of calm surf just enough is there to ride on.

Looking at the 10 day forecast temps are above average. All above freezing. Bummer. All I hear about is below average temps and above average snowfall this winter. But not quite yet I guess. Its early.

Here’s a few pics of the Borealis I build for me. Perfect for those beach rides. This thing is just waiting for the groomed trails.

Eagle 12 speed. I splurged on the XX cassette and chain, but went with GX for shifter and derailer. That just made sense as you don’t save a lot of weight on those pieces but a lot of money. Just spent it where it counts. Bontrager Wampa wheels with Bonty Barbegazi tires. Both 27.5 of course. I used a stock Borealis handlebar cuz they are nice but used a NEXT seat post and Bonty seat I had from the EX I just sold. It’s a great winter bike for sure. Now just wait for the snow.

Having yesterday off of work has really screwed me up and I never know what day it is now. It’s Friday. So I’ll be on the group ride in the morning. I have no plans for Sunday yet but that’s not always a bad thing. I’ll figure something out.

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Have a good weekend, get outside.

DLD

Pre T Day

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Tuesday morn

This is the US ST. Clair. It’s a smaller boat. But these guys are used to get in much smaller ports. It was pretty close to the shore as you can tell by the breakers… There is a ton of ships now hugging my side of the lake.

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Tuesday nite

Last nite was the Tuesday nite ride and we had about 15 bikes show. It was a nice ride. Actually the first on my new winter bike of choice, The Borealis Crestone. I finished it late in the day and pondered whether to ride it but that the hell, its got to get the maiden voyage sometime so I loaded it up and headed to the park.

This bike goes against all I have been saying the last two years. Full rigid. But lighter. I was impressed with the 23 pounds 14 oz weight less pedal. Very respectable considering the wheels and tires are 27.5 by 4.5. This is the biggest tire I have ever run. I sure do hope it snows so I can actually use them. I’ll give you first ride impressions here but will post pics next week.

I was and still am leery about ditching the suspension. I would not have sold my Farely EX under different circumstances. I’ll explain those circumstances later. (It’s a good thing.) So, back to the bike.

The theory is, instead of having a rigid fat bike for winter and a MTB for the summer do two in one. Throw on a set of 29+ wheels and tires and you have an amazing and smooth riding summer bike. Put the 4in tires back on for winter and you have a fatbike. Advantage is that you have one awesome bike to ride 12 months out of the year. The disadvantage is that its heavier than the MTB and the rigid fatbike. But to me, not a big deal. The EX performed perfectly out west a few weeks ago. I could not imagine do that stuff with any other bike. But in the winter months, if you have snow, you are lugging that suspension around without needing it. And that too, I can get past.

Really, how many months do we have with smooth groomed trails in winter. Last year was maybe 3 weeks up north, with near zero here.  So I’m disadvantaged with extra weight for 3 weeks out of the year? I’ll take that hands down.

But riding the new bike last nite I sure did notice the weight which is almost a full 10 pounds lighter. I noticed the climbing was easier. I could flick the bike around easier. So that’s all good. This thing will be a rocket on the groomed trails…

But we don’t get any snow I’m screwed. While I know I can take more air out of the tires the ride was, well, as rough as you would expect on a rigid bike. I missed the suspension less that 10 minutes into the ride. There are some rough, rocky trails I just wont go to now with the rigid bike. I’m way too old for that shit. Or at least my back is.

So why did I do this in the first place? First off I’m now a Borealis dealer and I make it a point to ride what I sell. And I’ve heard a lot or reports that this year will be a normal snow year. Which is much better than last years way below average year.

So I’ll be OK if we get snow to ride on. Between the lighter weight and the bigger tires this bike will be great on the groomed trails that I dream of riding on. But its the here and now that I’ll suffer a smidge before winter gets here. I’ve got my fingers crossed.

Tomorrow I have a nice ride planned at 10am. I’ll use the Crockett for some woods\road. In the past Ive always had a great ride in Tuekey day.   Here’s one from 2012.

Have a great T day!

DLD

The Weekend and Ongoing

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Nice visit to the park this morn. I was here on Friday and got some good shots of a Redtail hawk that landed just 20 feet from me. He was checking me out for sure.

Sort of a uneventful weekend. Saturday was an all day rain out so not much to talk about there.

I saw that Sunday morning was going to be in the upper 20’s for a low and when I got up I was pumped to see 26 degrees. I grabbed the borrowed bike and headed for the beach looking to get in my first frozen sand ride. The water lines are as high as I can remember and there is precious little beach to ride on but I thought Id give it a shot anyway.

Once I got to the sand I realized it wasn’t froze at all. Not sure why. Sometimes it can be hard as a rock at 32 degrees and the next day its unfrozen at 26. I still have 29+ on the bike so I did not ride in the sand too long. Finished the ride with some woods and road to get in at least an hour in the saddle.

Then it was home, to the couch and crappy football and too much food. Not a good  rest of the day. I really need to stop that. I need to stay busy longer on days like that.

Today (Monday) my Wampa wheels are coming. So I can start planning my fatbike build. As I stated last post I have a pair of Maxxis Minions to use. I’ve decided not to based on the tires weigh a ton. At only 3.8in the 1500 gram weight is just nuts. One was 1500+ grams and the other was 1300+. Ive decided to go with Bonty’s Team Issue Barbagazi’s at 1200+ grams per tire. And those are rated at 4.5in. Making them the biggest tire I’ve ever run. When it comes to grams Im not that big of a weight weenie but your looking at almost a full pound of the outmost rotating weight. Thats a no brainer. So I’ll sell the Maxxis tires.

I could have that bike done by the end of the week. But I actually have a ton to do in the tech shop today. Four bikes to build, two to tune up and mine. Mine is always last when it hits a list. Then there’s the Christmas stuff to put out….

Lots of riding this week. Tuesday nite ride. Also a Wednesday ride I might do. I always do a Turkey day ride in the morning. Last year we had almost 20 bikes for that one. Then we are right back into the weekend. Quite the week.

Better get to work.

DLD

Ship\Wheels

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Your looking at the Edwin H Gott. I don’t see that one a lot. And barely got to see it today. It was going so fast I could barely catch up with it. I just caught it as it rounded the corner and headed south.  Hence the crappy pic. About this time of year the big ships hug our shoreline until they stop shipping some time in January. So I’ll be seeing more of them.

Not long after I typed yesterdays post I order a set of Bontrager Wampas for my Borealis. These wheels are double wall, very strong although a couple hundred grams heavier. But when you’re comparing weight you must remember they are 27.5 and not a 26 so its not apples to apples. I decided to go with the wider rim than the Borealis 27.5 plus rim. I could have made that work but just felt more comfortable with 80mil than 50mil.

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So its a Bonty wheel on a Borealis bike. Not a big deal really. These are super strong wheels that mount tubeless so easy you could use a floor pump. These are the same wheels that came with my last two Farely EX’s. So no big deal. Speaking of big deals, I do realize HED now makes a 27.5 fat rim but that single wall is just not for me. Im just too big of a guy and the risk of a rim strike on some rock or whatever would be too great. In out group we have maybe 4 guys running the carbon HEDs. Two of them broke them. They are for sure the lightest but no where near the strongest. They tell you not to use tire levers on the HED rims. Cripes. But they are the lightest and they for sure have their place in the world. Just not mine.

As Im still kinda decompressing from my western trip still and I have a Hayward trip planned December 10 thru 12. That will be the target for finishing my winter only fatbike. Im going to assume we will be riding on snow then. They have snow there as I type.

Im pretty sure this will be the last post for the week. I have a dentist appt in the morn. It looks like the Saturday ride is in jeopardy with snow\rain in the forecast. Cold and rain is the worst.

I threw a setback seatpost on my buddys bike and will give it a try again. In fact he had one on it when he gave it to me but I swapped out for one of my own. Never realizing it came with one. So this post puts the seat back over a cm and that will help a ton. I’d like to keep riding it as it gives me time to build the winter fattie in the next few weeks.

Next post after the weekend.

DLD