The befendered snow twenty rides again

I admit it. I never took the studded tires off the Raleigh Twenty this year. I put them on in December 2007 and put the bike away in april and did not ride it again until a couple of weeks ago. The acquisition of the Big Dummy has kind of relegated this one to winter commute duty only.

The twenty in front of historic fuller lodge

I had an original raleigh twenty rear fenders thanks to BillM(?) but could not shoe horn any metal or plastic fender between the replacement fork and the 20" marathon winter studded tire. I was able to use a plastic shorty fender, which is better than nothing. I may cut up a fender or two and make an interrupted fender around the crown some day, but it is pretty good now, my feet get wetter than they should, but the rest is fine.

I just got a lumotec LED light to replace the old generator light with and have to figure out a chain guard, and I am in business. I have one off a Bianchi Milano I am trying to shoe horn on there, but it is not going well. I did festoon the bike with reflectors from my great big box of reflectors that I collected from the unwanted reflector kits that came with 3000 dollar road bikes.

It is a great ice bike. I give the Marathon winters a B in performance. They do slide a bit on smooth ice, but I have not crashed with them yet. Me being me, I like really fat studded tires and these are pretty narrow, but they do roll decently. They are pretty good for commuting in the melt during the day, freeze at night time of year. They are lousy in slippery snow, slush or anything deep. However, they are, to my knowledge, the only 20" studded tires available, so they win handily in this scenario..



We learned that Aida does not enjoy the unwrapping of presents. It is too loud. Maybe next year.
Aida and the twin Cypress of the holiday season:

On an somewhat related note, I came across this on Alabama Studio Style. Furoshiki, traditional Japanese wrapping with cloth:

See the blog post here and a huge pdf from a the japanese ministry of the environment here. Reminds me of getting a box of cannolis wrapped in string, but more reusable like.


White Christmas

Yeah, everyone has snow. We are no portland, but we have had two big storms in the last week, 18 inches last tuesday and then another 12 inches at the house this week.

The commute has been difficult:

The skiing has been sublime, at least on touring skis. The groomers have been overwhelmed for no skating yet:

We are on for another christmas day storm, so bike safe and enjoy the end of the year and the gradual lengthening of the days...


When I was 5

A trip to the pediatrician on monday excavated a long dormant memory. I was a young man of five playing at a friends house. Just as my mother came to pick me up, a chunk of Fisher Price Plastic was removed from the toy closet and playing commenced. Just long enough for me to realize I was in the presence of the greatest toy I had ever seen. The cow went moo when you pressed the lever! Then, just as the holy grail of plastic crap revealed itself, it was time to go. I had a complete meltdown. I can remember how upset I was when I was unable to play with this toy, I think inconsolable, crying so hard I was probably incoherent. Thirty one odd years later, as we waited for the pediatrician to administer shots to our baby, I looked at the toy basket and saw this:

Angels wept, horns sounded, heavenly glow emanated. There it was. The cow barn thing. The source of a dredged memory meltdown. The lever even sort of worked. It blurps "Mo". Joy joy.

It is much smaller than I remember it.


Short track XC ski action

We got something like 18 inches of snow in town in the last 36 hours as well as a bonus day and a half off of work. It was snowing heavily all day today so we hung out at the home most of the day. In between bouts of shoveling and walking the baby to her two month checkup, I set up a little short track XC ski course around the house.

There was a tiny climb, a chicane, a descent that dumped you into a chainlink fence and a million turns. All I needed was three more competitors to make it more fun. I did about 20 laps on the touring skis. more pics of the course

Alas, after the skiing was done, shoveled off the driveway and thus ruined the course. We have a bunch more snow predicted this week, so maybe the course will return! Failing that, there should be groomed skate skiing this weekend up here, unless we get alot more snow. There is already too much for the grooming machines to handle, so if you live in los alamos, get yer back country skis and get up the mountain and pack the trails down a bit...


The other type of child hauler

This is so great that I wept when I saw it:

click for full size glory!

My good friend Andrew (who lives in portland of course) cooked this up for his young daughter. When I asked if I could use the photo, he replied yes as:
the world needs to know that kids can be put to practical use!

I can't wait to yoke Aida to a velocipedal hauling contraption. In the meantime, her tiny fingers are being trained to lace spokes.


The Golden Age of Twin Plate Fork Crowns

Some recent nice handmade examples of the twin plate:

Naked Tony Pereira fork:

click for source

Courage Cycles with nice caps:

click for source

Hollow topped restoration via Keith Anderson Cycles

click for source

and the twin plate blog
not updated often, but good browsing if you have not seen it before...


The time for studs is now

Scenes from the commute

Not quite ski time yet, but maybe a couple a more storms, which seem to be on the way. Go winter.


And then he did me smitely didely

A couple of weeks ago on a nice mailing list run by the highly opinionated and often but probably not always right Peter Jon White (aka PJW), he wrote something I thought was dumb. In a thread started by the innocent question can you use 700x25mm tubes in a 700x 35mm tire, Peter said that:
It's a very bad idea to use inner tubes designed
for skinny tires in fat tires.

and for people who have used this combo successfully in the past
You've been a bit lucky.

His point was that if you use some smaller tubes than the tire you are using, the tube will stretch and cause strain at the valve stem and tearing in that spot.

I replied that this is BS for a variety of reasons. Bottom line is that if you are tearing out valve stems regularly, you either got a bad batch of tubes or you need to learn how to use your pump without pulling the valve stem out. Mostly the latter. I and many others have done this with no issues at all for years. If you want to read the thread it is here.

The thread is a microcosm of why I try not to participate in email lists anymore. I am impatient with others on the internet now and again, especially so when people have a knee jerk anti racer/carbon backlash. Also when they are wrong and I am right. I totally hate that. Bikes is bikes, i says, but everyone needs to ride a bit more, especially me. I probably was grumpier than I should have been and should have just let it lie.

But that is not what I am here to talk about. What I am here to talk about is PJW's disturbingly long reach.

Last Friday I was cruising through the canyon on the Big Dummy on the way to the grocery store, I hit a rocky whoopdedo going a bit too fast and I pinch flatted on the front tire.

No big deal, I quickly take off the tire and pull the tube out. It had two big snakebites on it, so no quick patch. I rummage around in the Big Freeloader bags for a spare tube and found I only had a 26x1.0 tube in the bag, but, gasp! I was running 26x2" tires. I immediately thought back to the email exchange and smirked. As I have done for thousands of miles before, I put the skinny tube in the fat tire, pumped it up and rode on to the market.

Later at twilight I was toodling around in the canyons on the way to my next stop when I ended up on a old trail behind the highschool that ended in a new fence. Rather than ride back from whence I came, I cut along the fence through some invisible scrub back to a trail that actually went somewhere. I rode on to the pharmacy and as I pulled up I could feel the front tire going flat. Crap I said. I rushed in to the pharmacy before they closed and when I came out the tire was completely flat. I pulled the tire off and looked and saw not one, not two, but threehundredandfiftymillion goatheads in it. Shit.

I pulled out the easy to find goatheads and then started fishing out the the broken off hidden ones. It took about 30 minutes and the borrowing of a pocketknife from a stranger to get them all out of the tire. Fortunately I had another spare (correctly sized) tube tucked in a hidden spot in the bag and I finished up the flat repair. Curious I thought, usually there are no goatheads in Los Alamos, only once in the last 5 years had I seen a goathead in town.

I briefly checked the rear tire, which was still holding air and appeared not to have any goatheads in it and had a slimed tube in it and rode on home. The next day I hopped on the BD and rode on downtown for some more errands and as I pulled into the post office, my rear tire was going flat. I hopped off the bike and took a quick look at the rear tire and saw not one, but two huge intact goatheads in the SIDEWALL of the tire.

Sidewall? How in the hell did they get there? I pulled them out and pumped up the rear on the big dummy, hoping the slime would hold. The rear tire on the big dummy is pretty hard to get to due to the rack and bags (previously) which is why I put a slimed tube in there. But even pumping it up is a pain with a small pump, I was kind of half lying on the ground as I pumped it up, but I got it full up. With that done I dipped into the coffee shop for a bit, got some bags of grounds for compost and, as I came out, I saw the rear tire is flat again.

Crap. I pump it up again and spin it real good to get the slime to spread and wait a bit, it is still holding, so off I ride. About a mile down the road, I feel the tire going flat. Crap crap crap. I guess there is no getting around it, I unload the bags on the back, pull off the rear tire and look for thorns. There are none. I pull out the tube, and pump it up and there is no leakage. I pump it up more and see one tiny hole that is more or less sealed by the slime. I pump it up a bit more and see that it is less sealed by the slime and the tube deflates. There is very little that is more depressing than a slimed tube that does not seal. Then you have a heavy messy flat tube that is hard or impossible to patch. Crap.

I check the tire for remnant thorns. There are none. I flip it inside out so I can really feel the inner surface... Nope, no thorns. I flip the tire back right side out and the bead is rolled up on itself. Huh?

I invert it again and flip it back the otherway. Now the other bead is rolled up on itself. crap crap crap. I have changed hundreds, maybe nearing thousands of flats in my life and I have never had this happen before. After about 15 minutes of this I bust out the tire irons and force the bead to unroll, cutting my hands in the process. I replace the tube with a fresh (correctly sized) one and pump it up and spend a few minutes getting the wheel back on the bike and the bags repacked and off I go home. And on the way home, the rear disc brake stops working and the front one starts squealing uncontrollably when applied.

I think I spent about 2 hours over two days fixing flats that should not have happened in Los Alamos. I also now have two disc brake problems that I did not have before. I blame this on angering the more-powerful-than-I-thought Peter Jon White.

I conclusion, even if you disagree with PJW and you know he is wrong, do not do so in public internet forums. He will visit upon you a whole mess of goatheads and unusual tire misfortunes plus odd braking issues. I am sorry PJW, I am sorry I was uncivil on your email list and I am very sorry that I said that you can use small tubes in big tires with no ill effects. Clearly if you do, bad bad bad things will happen. Please, no more goatheads. I am sorry.

Maybe I need to order some LED generator lights to appease him.


Some views from about Los Alamos

Saturday sunset out on north mesa tip:

Sunday sunset running down Quemazon trail:


The view from the living room

Taken a few weeks back.

In case you can not make out the critter:

I think it is one of Wink256 larger horned relatives.


2008 Fort Marcy Cross race report

Since little Aida has come along my riding has consisted exclusively of a 6 mile rt jaunt on the Big Dummy to work and back. I was getting a bit jumpy about not riding that much and had an opportunity to run some errands in Santa Fe that neatly coincided with the NM cross series #7 race in Fort Marcy Park, which is a few blocks from the downtown plaza in Santa Fe. I knew I was not in great shape, but I was hoping that my veteran cross wiles would get me through the A race happy and no worse for the wear.

pre race. Luckily the little girl in the back was not in my race or she might have lapped me too

I got down to the race site around 11:30 with a half hour or so to spare. I quickly changed and registered, but due to an unfortunate snafu I spend 15 minutes looking for a restroom that did not exist. Apparently the portojohns were never delivered and the local gyms restroom was not open as planned. Bummer. I climbed down into the arroyo that cut through the park and somewhat stealthily watered some trees. Problem solved but course pre-ride was not completed before race time.

training the night before the race, like 95% of my cross specific training this year

The course was a nice example of public park twisty chicane celebration. Making good use of natural berms, sidewalks and bridges. The first half of the course was something like start, hard left, hard right onto bridge, hard left off bridge down dirt path across another bridge up a loose climb, tricky right onto gradual dirt climb along the road at the edge of the park, short right turn onto a downhill into a series of chicanes through sand and then up a set of stairs. Back down the gradual climb with a loose detour around a truck parked on the course. Hard left back down the park with a loose turn leading to another bridge.

This lead to the second part of the course which started with a hard right off the bridge along some pavement to a 270 wide paved turn to some dirt leading to a hard right up a loose bumpy climb. A 180 at the top of the climb right back down to a loose left and then a dirt gradual climb to a tight left that led to a three long straightaways with a couple of very loose tight 180 turns linking them. After this a sweeping loose right hand descent on to pavement followed by a tight left and short straightaway leading to a final bridge. Hard left off the bridge onto a paved path that surrounded a soccer field with sharp corners with the start/finish at the end.

It was a long fun course with lots of loose stuff and tricky bits. The stairs were the only place where you needed to get off the bike. The course was really narrow, but there were probably only 20 starters or so in the race so it was not a big deal.

looking fast, although reality was quite different

Anyhow, here is the report, I started in the back, yo-yo'd off the back of the pack a bit as I screwed up every technical section in the first half of the course. I passed a three or four people who I think had raced earlier, jumped in the A race for a few laps and dropped out. Then I popped, dropped off the back completely. And then I finished the first lap. I then rode on my own for a number of laps and then started getting lapped. I started riding a bit faster as the lappers came through, taking better lines and enjoying myself, attempting to hold onto wheels.

I did do great on the stairs though, I was able to take them two at a time almost every lap, and look smashing while doing it. The course could have used a second set of barriers or other forced dismount feature, but overall it was really great.

Crossing the start/finish line

I was probably running my tires at too high a pressure and was unable to hold some of the loose lines on the course. It is a delecate balance for me as I ride pretty light, but I do weigh 200 lbs, so no sub 25psi pressures for me. I think I was probably up around 40 on my michelin sprints which was a bit hard and jarring, again, getting there earlier and preriding would have shaken this out a bit. I did end up flatting, but it was a slow leak over the last lap that pretty much held until the last corner where I almost bit it. Goatheads. It did not cost me any places though as it happened over the second half of the last lap and no one lapped me and I was already last. I had some specialized airlock tubes in there, but they are probably the same tubes I have been running since 2003, so they might be a bit light on the sealant now.

After the race I headed over to 2nd st brewing company with my Ski Club buddy John D. and his Nob Hill Bike club teamates for some delicious beer and sammiches. Good time was had by most.

Results over on nmcross.com I took DFL in the A race. Yea me. If you want to get some idea of the course and racers, there are some good photo galleries here and a big one here where I borrowed a couple photos fro

My buddy Glen is the race promoter and I heartily thank him for putting on a race in Santa Fe. In my dotage I am reluctant to drive two hours to albuquerque for a cross race anymore. Glen has lined up the Santa Fe PD to help sponsor the race next year and allegedly they will bring their big barbeque truck, so it should be a can't miss race. Thanks to Glen and the other volunteers for putting on a good race.


Quadzilla Cycle

Click image for source

Found via some sort of non-reproducible link following. Some sort of norway based stolen fashion photo blog, not sure what the deal is or how I got there, but one can not deny the powers of the monster army stoking your quad.


The communist mock olive

After reading about this excellent olive harvest at Cal Tech over on ramshackle solid I thought to my self, well my neighborhood is lousy with Russian Olive trees, I wonder if you can eat the little fruits on these trees?

Turns out you can, thanks Wikipedia! They are not really olives, but they are loaded with lycopene, which is the same stuff in tomatoes that repels werewolves allegedly helps prevent prostate cancer. They were rumored to be tasty after the first frost, according to the internets. Huge bonus as we just had our first frost in the last month or two.

Russian olives are a pesky invasive tree that is planted everywhere around Los Alamos as shade/windbreak, but unlike Chinese Elms which have no known use except for reproducing like mad and being impossible to eradicate, the Russian Olive is kind of edible.

I hopped the fence into my snowbird neighbors yard and picked a bunch of tiny mock olives from the tree. I put a few in my mouth, they were kind of delicious. They were sort of tannin tasting, but had a bit of sweet to them, not too dissimilar to fresh dates that have the skin you should peel, but are too lazy to do so...
They are probably much lower on the desirability scale than any of the bountiful crab apple trees in the neighborhood, but they are edible right off the tree, which makes them more desirable than, say, juniper berries...

Apparently there are much more delicious mock olives from the similarly invasive relative Autumn Olive tree which grows in the east. But these are not terrible, I may raid the neighbors yard some more for some low reward snacking. I am not sure if I can actually get enough flesh off these little pitted fruits to do anything with them, but they are not unpleasant. In fact, I think the more shrively ones are almost tasty! The firm ones are a bit bitter.

So there you have it, the Russian Olive:
Not really olives, somewhat tasty, mostly pits.


And I am back!

Huge thanks to uber guest bloggers Cody and Steve.
Steve (with furry friends and Chad):

Cody (with the mostly rev)

Please go visit their blogs and subscribe to Cody's zine if you like things like that, kind of a better drawn more interesting moonlight chronicles if you will...

Anyhoo, blogging shall return regular like if a bit slower due to difficulty of typing while holding the baby.

Ill advised cross race report, adventures in facial hair, and tales of hunting and gathering the high altitude mock olive to come this week!


Gratuitous Kitty Cute

I had planned on doing a post on our local Bike Library, but I suddenly realized there has been a tremendous lack of cat around here. Enjoy Maru... perhaps the Japan counterpart of the beloved Wink.

Thanks to John L. for the hot tip!


Moscaline Exclusive Race Report: Iowa State CX Championship

Last Saturday I raced cyclocross. I like to say that cross is my favorite kind of racing and it is true, but I had not done a cross race in almost two years.
I rode my single speed townie, shown here from its brief appearance in the Sanford & Son reunion episode. Fuji Del Rey with Kinesis fork. I took off the fenders for the race as they flop into the wheels, and the bottle cage too, and I put on knobby tires and clipless pedals. Other than that it was stock, complete with bell and rack and geared 40X18.

I did the single speed category. There were 11 of us, plus 3 juniors out there at the same time. It is sometimes not too tough to get a top 10 or 5 finish here in Iowa! The race split up at the first barrier, and a group of 5 of us rolled away. Lee V attacked us right quick in his usual fashion but after I called after him to not be that way in my usual fashion he came back and got dropped. I was feeling great about being in the top 4 and we all yucked it up a bit on the first lap before things got serious. I figured I should hang onto the leaders as long as I could so I did. Turns out I had about 2 laps in me.

It was a beautiful day and a fun course to ride with very dry grass and lots of 180's and 2 barrier sections, one with a short run up and the other in the pancake flat area so you would hit them at speed. A couple of hopable logs and no sand section led everyone to agree it was a "roadie" course. Yay said me, I'm a roadie!
So there I am 2 laps into a 35 minute state championship cyclocross race and just off the back of the leaders with 3 laps to go and that is how I later finished. Fourth place, no medal for me but I was happy with my ride. It was not easy, Lee V hung tough behind me and I had to ride as hard as I could for a while to hold him off. It made me gasp for breath and get all wheezy.

Before I had even crossed the finish line I had decided I would not ride the Masters 35+ later. This feeling was cemented after finishing as I inspected my rear wheel. It had developed quite a hop sometime during my last lap and I feared my rim had gotten tweaked but it was just my tire blowing off the rim in super slo-mo. A three or four inch section of bead was up on the rim and I quickly let out pressure and pushed it back on, glad it had not let loose during the race.

I rolled around for a bit and talked with folks and somehow or other found myself registered for the Masters race. I have no good excuse or explanation for this other than I made a promise to blog for Tarik and I felt my first race had left me with a lack of suitable material and nary a nugget of blog gold.

The Masters 35+ and 45+ went together and the field was about 25 riders. I was still on the townie, my "real" cross bike was left home, but I had worked on the rear tire a bit and felt it was sound enough. Off we went, a much more rampaging start than the single speed race and the first barriers had me mid pack. The course was narrow and twisty for a bit so I sat in and waited for the first wide open climb to make my "move" and when I did I passed 2 or 3 people and that was it. For the rest of the race I was 15 seconds behind one rider and maybe 10 seconds in front of two more. I concentrated on riding strongly and steadily and smoothly and alonely.

I was hurting much less in this race, either because my taper was working to perfection or because of my sensible warm up race or because I was riding slower. Who knows. With just half a lap to go and a top ten finish locked up my rear wheel got that familiar hopping feeling and I thought, "Shit - A Blowout!" What to do? I could stop and let a smidge of air out and get the bead back on but I would likely be caught or I could ride it and hope for the best and likely be caught. I rode it and just a quarter of a lap later the tire blew off the rim.

I am a firm believer in the NEVER WALK mantra which is especially silly in a cross race and I have ridden flat tires great distances in the past so I was not worried and I kept on with the now floppy tire rubbing on the chainstay and I almost biffed it in a corner so I slowed way down, rode it in safely, lost them two places and got 11th. Not the stuff of blog gold, but sometimes life's most mundane moments are the most precious and are more valuable than gold.

Ha-Ha, I can't believe I wrote that. Glad this isn't my blog!

So there you have it, my cross season open and closed in just one day. Unless?


My Hauling Spectrum

My primary interest in bicycles is getting work done, whether it be getting somewhere or hauling stuff or both. While I fancy stripped down bikes I myself can't stand relying upon a backpack or, worse, a messenger bag to carry my things, and I rarely ever ride without some manner of personal effects.

For most conventional daily loads I use the Wald 137 basket on my SS townie, which is a racy Viner and only partially practical for townie use, as can be noted with the extreeemely tight clearance. A trip up to northern Wisconsin back in September effectively destroyed what was left of that old Bluemel fender on the rear, since I had made the dastardly mistake of lashing the Viner to the outside of the vehicle. But! This is a post about cargo hauling, not moisture protection.

On my 1x5, heart-breakingly faithful Puch Marco Polo (it will wait for hours for me in the rain &/or snow), I use the stylishly simple Wald rear rack, which most often has a pannier hooked to it. This lovely outfit will soon see the likes of an Ira Ryan fork and porteur rack. Any day now...

Okay, on to more serious business. For the bulkier & heavier loads I pull out my cargo bike (I realize this not an agreed-upon term but I use it nonetheless). Yesterday I took yet another load of artmaking magic from home to the studio, coffee included. This bike was built in Iowa City, IA by my friend, Chrispi. He's not a full-time framebuilder, but he has made several of these. It does look a lot like a Bilenky Cargo Bike (thanks, Alex), with some fundamental differences. The perfectly perpendicular head tube puts the handlebars over the basket area, which can be troublesome with an especially beefy load, but I've learned to look for steering issues before I start rolling. I tend to do pretty okay with a Greenfield rear kickstand, but I sure do like the looks of the Bilenky stand. No gettin' nervous turning your back on that.

For loads that are too long or heavy or out of control for the cargo bike, I resort to the Bikes at Work trailer, which I borrow from the Bike Library. Currently, gpickle & I do not own one of these ourselves, but being long-standing volunteers down at the BL, we get the perk of using either of the two trailers housed there.

I'm not a bike racer nor am I even much of a recreational rider, but I manage to ride most every day for utilitarian purposes. Give me a pile of crap to get across town and I'll pedal with glee, even if I'm grunting up a hill.


Don't Drink & Blog...

Hi everyone, sorry about that last post, or at least the way it ended. How pathetic is that to comment on my own writing not once but twice. And to have leveled with you not twice but thrice! What can I say, I was drunk not just with wine but also with the joy of blogging here at Moscaline, which I consider to be the best blog in the world. I can't promise it won't happen again but I assure you I am not now imbibing and this post should be coherent from start to finish.


So let's get to it! Here in Iowa we are enjoying what would reportedly be called Women's Summer in Russia and I am finding it most agreeable. I have been working outside this week, building a porch for one of Tarik's favorite cyclists, and it has been nice to soak up a little more warm sun even as talk turns to winter and snow and skiing.

For those of you who enjoy cycle touring, I alert you to this adventure which should be beginning any day now. Mauro is a most likeable Brasilian man living in Iowa City and he is about to embark on a one year ride to Brasil.
This is him with his custom Teesdale with its custom Brasilian flag paintjob and one of his daughters. Mauro is really tall and went for the 26 inch wheel so the bike looks pretty crazy, plus the super upright aero set up. He said they had to use tandem cables for the rear derailler and brake. The bike looks to weigh in at 45 pounds (yay centerstand!) with no gear or water, which will set him back another 90 pounds or so. Stout wheels required!


Up here in Iowa City we have rides that leave from a city park every Tuesday and Thursday night between spring forward/fall back time at 5:30pm. As far as I know there is no other place in the world that has anything like this going on. It is a pretty good ride, if your definition of a good ride is hammering until your teeth clunk off your stem whenever you hit a bump and then you get dropped.

It was a chilly evening as we rolled out tonight, everyone in attendance on cross bikes with lights except for the Eppens 0n their custom rigid Quiring 29er tandem with lights.

That's them at Chequamegon this year on said Quiring, they won the tandem title outright (no masters combined age or "mixed" rigamaroll necessary for them) for the fifth year in a row. That is Brian up front, his wife Kim on the back and it is her birthday. That plus tandem equaled trouble.

So we rolled out East on gravel and turned North on a B-Road (no maintenence, just dirt or mud if the rain is falling) where the pace went from hard to really hard. The road was super chopped up from rain last week and it was good motivation to stay up front. We rolled through and were quickly onto the next challenge, Hedge Apple. That is what we call it, an abandoned road of not more than a mile that is literally littered with big roly-poly Hedge Apples in the grass. This is typically where this ride will detonate and tonight was no different. I was happy to play my cards right and come out first but on the next section of B road that was just 200 yards off (there is some great riding out that way, if you are into this sort of thing) I got pretty tired and the mighty tandem came raging by. There were still more B roads ahead, and relentless hills and it was getting dark and sure was cold, too.

At 6:35pm I decided it was a good time for me to start tapering for this weekends State Cyclocross Championships so I started sitting in a lot/always. The Eppens had decided that the best way to celebrate a birthday was alone so they went to the front and drilled it.


When the dust settled (and the Eppens finally sat up) I caught up and there were just a few of us around (it was a small group after all) and we were all really tired. I was expecting a jovial romp with lively conversation for the last four miles into town but what I got was more looking at the back of that tandem as we thundered in and scared the crap out of a poor opossum that was just minding its own business trying to cross the street and finally I made it home and collapsed.

Well, not exactly. You see, I have agreed to guest blog here for Tarik until he gets the hang of fatherhood so I am trying to offer something for every facet of his loyal readership. I have the longwinded ride report covered, lets move on to cooking!

So Cody and I made soup for dinner. Really good soup. Taste of Autumn kind of soup. Butternut Squash, that is, grown at an organic farm that I rode by tonight that is owned and farmed by Ira Ryan's mom. So buy one of his bikes! The soup turned out well.

Okay, what might be next you ask? CATS! Of course. We have a couple, (l to r) Wayne (midwest alter ego of Wink, methinks) and Ritchie, who is the sweetest little killer you could ever hope to meet.

This is them post chow. Okay, so I gotta level with you that have so bravely plowed through this entire post, that in addition to butternut squash soup we had wine for dinner and Cody got tired and went t o sleep and I have ben finishting the bottle by myself and I gotta level with you , I am a bit typsi so I am going to wrap it up but do not dispair! This blog will continue until Tarik ca rreturn and spint that blog gold agian like only he can.


Guests in the House of Moscaline

Before we introduce ourselves we must give a big congratulations to Elena & Tarik and say howdy-do to little lady, Aida Mae. We're pretty excited about this whole thing.

While Tarik perfects his diaper-changing skilz, gpickle & I will be filling in.

Mostly because I promised Tarik a photo months ago but also because cargo bikes are simply cool machines, here is one of our stable, sitting in the entryway of my studio with a high quality, dual-sided beasty bell on its handlebar. Said bell given to us by none other than the recently babified author of this blog. (Thanks again. We heart it!)

P.S. Happy to be here!


Aida Mae Saleh


Weighing in at 8 pounds 11 oz and 21.75" in lenghth our little girl was born yesterday. She is great!

If you want baby news, surf over to babynogblog I should have copious photos posted started saturday or so. No internet access at the hospital.

If you are looking for bikes/cats/etc. I think I have a couple guest bloggers lined up for the next couple of weeks while I take a break. So keep on checking in.


Wink256, gratuitous

Post bath:

With his pet boy:

wishing a happy anniversary to us: