Paper wrapped trishaw

I finally tagged and descripted all the honey moon photos on flickr, go here if you are bored

Some sort of art bike sitting in the lobby of our hotel in singapore. I have read about the trishaws in singapore, but never saw one in action, or at least a non icecream hawker trishaw. This was was pretty interesting.

Interesting rear hub and gear ratio, I suspect that is a really big drum brake, or maybe a 1950's rohloff prototype:

Nice fork crown amidst the paper art crap:


Super setback custom post

Damn, no wonder my knees hurt.

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This is even more custom than last time.

So, uh, does thompson make a 13/16" seatpost?


Tijeras Moonlight Cross Race Report

I have thus far avoided riding cross this year due to a combination of sickness, wedding prep, wedding and honeymoon. But the NM cross scene keeps growing in leaps and bounds and the variety of races seem to be thinking outside the fast grass track roadie festivals. So how could I resist driving down to Tijeras (just east of albuquerque on I40) for a night time cross race under a full moon with generators powered lights filling in the gaps. The prospect of racing on snow and muck was hard to resist as well.

Chad all crossed up on the run up

By the time we got over to the race course, at about 5:40, it was cooooold and dark and the moon had peeked over the mountains. I am going to guess it was 25F or so with a bit of a wind. I ended up putting all the clothes I had on, Elena and I grabbed some cowbells and cheered on the B race. I am really proud of my buddy Chad, who came out to race his first cross race ever on perhaps the least beginner friendly course and conditions ever. I am also really impressed with Elena and Jill for cheering in the intense cold. Well done.

Chad and Jill post race

The course had a nice mix of grassy chicanes (two sections), a single trackclimb and off camber descent, a long paved section and one triple barrier, a icy slushy wooden bridge of potential death and under it, a nasty creek crossing frozen slippery run up. It was pretty technical, made a bit more so by the frozen ground, snow covering and ambient moonlight on the single track section.

Start of the A race

After spending a few laps watching the B race and cheering for chad, I went through the long and laborious process of figuring out what to wear for the race. I decided on a insulated cycling cap, wool tank top with two long sleeve wool jerseys, bib shorts, wool knee warmers and wool ski socks. I also wore my super warm commuter gloves so I could keep my hands from going numb. I warmed up a bit with a trainer on and was cold. Really cold. I was kind of sure that the race would keep me warm, but not positive. Brrrr. The B race ended, I hit the course for a couple warm up laps and was pretty happy with how I felt. The snow, power sections and run up suited me well, but the long pavement section was half downhill which was problematic.

Patented flailing duck technique on the run up

Now it was time for the A race. About 20 or so of us lined up at the start, shivering and shedding layers. Race Director Jamie Ryan White, resplendent in a Loyal Order of Water Buffalo Hat, gave the pre race direction and offered a $200 first lap prime. The race started too soon and off we went. Apparently cross wunderkid Taylor Layne nearly killed himself on the first lap coming onto the icy bridge of death too hot. $200 prime will done that to you. Thankfully there was no hope for me to even be anywhere near the front at one lap, so I could avoid crashing on the sketchy slush death bridge at my leisure.

Crossing the slushy death bridge under the full moon

I had a really good start for once and held a pretty decent postion through the first lap. Then I actually moved up 4 positions or so through the second and third lap. I felt like I was powering through the grass well, making up a ton of time on the barriers and run up and the single track section. I was even holding on pretty well on the paved section. I was not really cold either. My face was a bit cold and my toes as well, but otherwise I was feeling good.

Not as slick as it looked, hardly any snow/ice/mud buildup on the bike

I was running a 36x17 gear on the single speed and it seemed pretty good given what shape I was in. A little warmer or a bit more training and the 36x15 would have been the ticket so I could keep up better on the paved part. The singletrack section was kind of nice. There was a big berm speedbump at the start of the climb, a brief powerclimb and then a really fun snow covered off cambered descent which looked like a ribbon of silver lit by the moon. This transitioned into a somewhat sketchy steep short downhill then a hard right onto pavement. Everytime I let it go on the downhill I came close to loosing my front wheel at the bottom, so I decided to err on caution side as I was in no danger of contesting for anything.

Thankfully no wet feet

Around lap 3 or 4, it all started going wrong and the complete lack of training, hard efforts and racing caught up with me. My back started seizing on the running parts. I slipped a few times on the run up exacerbating things (note to self, replace toe spikes on shoes), my power in the grass dropped to zero and I was getting dropped badly on the pavement. I lost 30 seconds on the barriers at this time when I had my worst remount in the last decade. I almost missed the saddle completely. Missed my pedal. Came to a complete stop. blindly tried to clip in a few times, finally dismounted again, ran to the pavement and then remounted. Crap. To make matters worse, as soon as it was going wrong, I got a verbal "9 laps to go" as I crossed the start finish line. crap. Long night ahead.

My complete superfan support club, Elena

At this point I changed my race strategy a bit. Instead of powering through everything, I concentrated really hard on not using my brakes ever in the chicanes. Instead of attacking the barriers and run ups, I tried to be smooth and non back jarring. This worked pretty well, but I was not really going that fast. As the race progressed I loosened up a bit and put the power on, but by then it was merely damage control time. The bottom line was that 4 people passed me and two people lapped me between lap 3 and the end of the race. Usually I am able to pass people as they fade in the second half of the race, but I was going completely backwards this time. I think I finished last of the finishers, but it was hard to tell. Attrition was pretty high. I assume results will be here eventually. I won ten bucks for finishing. Thanks pals!

Pretty long video of me smoothly and slowly getting up the run up with a minimum of slipping, 18MB quicktime:

After the race, I changed, got some delicious veggie chili and hot cider provided by the organizers. Then I realized how very cold I was, so Elena and I boogered off and met chad and jill at the flying star for coffee, cookies and a breakfast burrito as big as my head. It took about an hour after the race to stop shivering. We then bid our adieus to albuquerque and made the long drive home, arriving just after midnight to a 10 degree F los alamos.

So very cold post race

All told it was a great race. My lack of form was starkly revealed by this race, but given that starting condition I am pretty happy with the race. It was an excellent course, well organized race and overall, now that I am warm, a complete blast. Big thanks to khsnm for putting this race on. Big thanks to any and all spectators out there too. It was a pretty rough day for racing, but a really rough day for standing around in the snow.

Race Photo set on Flickr


6" of wet and clumpy goodness

Thanksgiving closed with spitting snow and the day after opened with a few inches of kitty perturbing white stuff.

Radium is oh so perturbed

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By afternoon there was 6" of barely skiable snow on the golf course. Wet and grabby, oh so clumpy. Yay! Skiing.

Me modeling the new SWNSC hat out at the edge of one of the greens at the Los Alamos Golf Course, 11/23/2007

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Phoenix Airport Carpet Redux

I went to LA last week and instead of having some time to go running on the beach or biking around with friends as planned I got trapped in 12 hours of airport hell on the way out and in existential airport hell on the way back.

The only high point of the trip was an unexpected visit to my favorite carpet in the whole world in Phoenix. I blogged this before, but this time I noticed, thanks to the setting sun, that the carpet is exquisitely textured.

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Here is what it looks like from above:

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Wink256 is no lover, he is a fierce fighter. But not so good at it, he mostly gets his ass kicked by the orange tomcat in the neighborhood. For the second time in a the last few months, he got a big fight induced abscesses that burst and required vet visits. Last time on his chest, this time, a huge one that wrapped around his neck. Requiring anesthesia, stitching, an inserted drain tube and one of those elizabethan collars. The collar did not last long, but he kind of looks like his head was badly stitched on after an unfortunate decapitation.

Below, see the poodle leg he has from where they inserted an IV during surgery. If you click the image you get the grim view of frankenkitty. Not too gross, but not real pleasant either:

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Wink256 is hereby banned from the outdoors for a few months. Fortunately for him, the snow and cold is imminent and the outside is not going to be all that fun for the kitties anyway.

He is now beyond the need for the painkillers, the tube is out and he is merely on antibiotics. He is much better but it seems he has regressed in to needy kittenhood. Hopefully after some more days of recovery he will be back to his power eating self.

no biking!

Nice carved and painted no biking sign there in the botannical gardens in singapore. I am thinking it really is a "no artistic cycling sign" as you know those circus freaks are the enemy of the very order the government in Singapore is attempting to impose.


Ice cream sammich hawkers

Day three of singapore/bali bike of the day.

They had these great ice cream hawker bikes all over Orchard Road in Singapore.

I had to try some so I picked this guy:

Red bean icecream cut from a big block with a knife, then wrapped in a piece of white bread that is dyed with green and pink food coloring. oooof. I could not even begin to finish it it was so gross. Should have chosen (likely artificial) durian flavor.

It seemed possible that all the other people who were in line in front of me got theirs in a little crepe or waffle thingy, but he kept shouting bread at me, and I was helpless but to agree. I felt cheated, but it was pretty low grade ice cream, and frankly ice cream in a crepe is not as bloggable so I am over it.


Dry Riser Breaching Inlet

Singapore/Bali Bike of the day 2
I am not sure what a dry riser breaching inlet is, but this was a pretty cool modern hauler. One speed,fenders, chain case, what appears to be a bolt on front rack and then some sort of metal box on the rear rack.
Orchard Road, Singapore


Singapore/Bali Bike of the day 1

Wow. I am temporally disconcerted but so back in the high dry air of NM. I think it rained more in one week we were in Bali than in a year in most parts of this state. I will resume blogging starting now. I will try to put up some of the millions of photos we took starting with a week of singapore or Bali bikes of the day. Check my flikr page tonight, I may just dump a million photos up there.

We relaxed, ate, relaxed some more, ate some more, got some sort of nasty stomach bug, so we relaxed a bit more. Good stuff except the stomach bug. Kind of killed the site seeing in Bali, I think it was my best travel induced GI problems ever, full on with fever, chills and vomiting and the other GI fun and games. I think the vomiting was due to the first round of antibiotics being taken on an empty stomach, so maybe that does not count.

Uh anyway. First bike of the day. Singapore trash bike:
We spent two nights in singapore on the way to Bali. Mostly to decompress and dejetlag. We ate and slept. The food was excellent. Singapore is as advertised, an exceptionally clean and well organized asian city. Traffic seemed somewhat under control, the area we stayed in (near orchard road) was like a giant outdoor high end mall in the US. Here is one of the myriad city employees keeping the giant outdoor humid mall looking good on his garbage trike. Looks like an old school asian cargo trike replete with rod brakes up front and leather strap brake on the rear axle. It appears that it has a tensioning cable going from the HT under the BB back to the rear of the bike to keep it stiff or some such. Again it is so tempting to crawl around and take pictures of the underside of the cargo trikes to see how they brake and if they have retrodirects, but it is a bit socially awkward, so I skipped it:

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