Days 6 and 7, Tarik Saleh Bike Club 100 Challenge

Day 6 was busy with measly riding right at the end. I started with fresh fish market and farmers market buying of stuff for a combined family birthday party.

Vermilion Rockfish, got it and eated it
Then we eated it...

Then some shopping and walking around downtown with the wife. Saw a plating shop on state street, right downtown, looks like they do lots of bike parts. Joes plating on lower state:

Plating of sundries...

And snapped a photo of this old welding shop sign, and grills!

And grills...

Did some massive and fun eating of scallops, thresher shark, rockfish, crab legs and such and then went home with the family. Nearly did not ride, but my wife needed some stuff from the store, so I lit out at night for a 7 mile round trip to the supermarket. These days, most if not nearly all my rides are utilitarian, usually replacing a car trip. Going to work, going to the store, getting some take out, going to the PO. Many longer rides are just taking the long way (or the super long way) on an errand. This was my first utilitarian trip of the week, might be the only one, I have nothing against riding for riding sake, but I have not really had time to do this much in the last couple years, so big thanks to my wife and family for indulging me this week. The 7 miles put me at 74 for the week.

Day seven started with my brother and mom and I shepparding the kids on a ride around campus. The cousins on big kid bikes, Aida on a way too small balance bike, the adults on foot. It was great fun and Aida went much further than ever before on a balance bike.

Cousins... Balance bike instruction

Later in the afternoon I road the long low route to the harbor and met the family for a walk through the marina and dinner.

A bike rack air station on campus
Air station

Good car action
El Camino with a dingy in the back and a bus with a chow in it.

the Friday fits well in old style bike racks
20" wheels work great on old school bike racks

After dinner my Brother, his wife, Elena and I went to see the Hobbit. It was pretty good. Not brilliant, but worth watching. My bro and I started with some severe conversation, then transitioned to the dream world of middle earth and stuff
Deep in conversation
I put in a total of 21 miles on the day, which puts me at 95 for the week. The last day is a travel day, but I should be able to sneak a 5 mile short ride in in the morning to get the 100 on the week, barely. I am not convinced I will make it home before midnight to get any riding in Los Alamos before the new year, but any which way I am satisfied with the week.

Seems like we have a bunch more participants, Scott from Spokane, Mindful Mule, and SeanM. That takes it to about 13 participants, plus 14 for me. Awesome. Or as my brother says, who are all these people again? CycloTourist seems to be trying to say he is DNF as he is sick, but I am not sure if it is possible to DNF the challenge. He put a nice comment in with a SB bike trailer pic. I accidentally deleted it, but here is his photo:

Santa Barbara Bike Culture

For some reason the comments have been coming through in bunches and doubles, let me know if your comment never appeared or some such.


Day 5, Tarik Saleh Bike Club 100 Challenge

Whoop, long day. Had some brekkie with the famly and then my brother and I took off for some Stand Up Paddle board lessons.
Old man and an old man sport, brah...

Which was good fun and all, I found it ridiculously easy in the smooth harbor and then fairly challenging in the (very light) swell and wake area just out of the harbor. I did not fall off until we hit cross wake, and then I fell a few times, my brother did not fall at all. Seems like I liked the longer narrower SUP than the beginner wider one, but it may be that the beginner one was not quite big enough for someone of my massive presence.

Car watching here on the streets is insane
Streets are paved with cherry VW's

I clearly had some balance problems that I was not expecting, maybe due to some knee issues and lower back issues, but all in all it was pretty fun and I would do it again. We got right up to a bunch of sea lions piled on top of each other on a buoy. Other highlight included paddling under some monstroso catamaran yacht parked in the harbor.

In unrelated news, I am enjoying all the rolling shamble bikes here in Santa Barbara, lots of great homemade trailers and basketed cruisers piled high with stuff. I saw this couple down by the harbor
SB apocalypse trailers
I saw one other similar trailer up by campus. Both of these trailers were piled high with reeds or tall grass. Maybe for shelter building? Not sure what is going on, but it is a thing here apparently.
Later I rode down to my brother's house for pizza and movies for the whole family. My nephew has better hair than me, but I got him in the mustache department for now

Nephew still has better hair than me...

Rode back in the dark, enjoying the humid cool weather and the peepers and abundant herons and suicide bunnies along the trail. Saw some nice crusty abandoned wheeled detritus on campus. Like these encrusted salmon brake pads on a half stripped gas pipe Bottechia:

The ride total was a bit over 20 for the day. Putting me at 67 total . Hopefully I will get a chance to sneak out for one more long day before I leave here on monday. Would also like to welcome UnkyBike MoBabo MichaelL to the challenge, riding on his fat bike up there in the artic north somewhere, he knocked out 51 miles on his fatbike somewhere in search of the a passage to warmer climes, he ate no sled dogs. JerryM in Los Alamos is holding down the fort riding his fixie in the cold. Andy Big Dummy Daddy is updating via his blog. Others are cruising along with notes via comments or email. I think that makes 10 people in on the challenge not named Tarik, so I am pretty psyched.

Mr Jalopy Sends photo evidence of some MTB adventures somewhere in LA
MTBFever Dec 27 - 1 1

Well done everyone.


Day 4, Tarik Saleh Bike Club 100 Challenge

Got up late, made the baby girl some fried eggs:
In California a tiny man individually hand letters the expiration date on each egg
had a nice brunch and a belated Christmas with the family and then put together the dirtiest folding bike in the world.
A dirty bike in a suitcase
Featuring a melange of (most recently) belgian mud/cowshit, marin and east bay dirt, and uniformly distributed chain oil. This bike is really the ultimate in deferred maintenance. I usually do all the work only when necessary, always on the road, usually in a hotel room. I took the time to change the brake pads that probably had a couple more years left in em, but better safe than sorry:
There's the problem -@yojimg

The whole family went to the zoo together to engage in the christmas family ritual feeding of the Giraffes.

Feeding the giraffes

After getting back to my folks house, I left on a daylight ride on my favorite SB miniloop, foothills to the mission. Stopping by the mission canyon Fire depot

Mission Canyon

White firetruck

Descending Twisty roads
Twisty roads

To the nice ocean and island views from the mission
Mission view

Met up with the family for dinner at a restaurant with a cool old skip tooth cruiser parked out front
Parked next to an old timer

And then skipped out on dessert to ride back to my folks house in the dark via the coastal route bike path through campus. It was a really good ride on a really nice sunny day, the ride back was a little cool, but again, noting compared to riding on snow and ice in the dark!

The days mileage ended up just a bit over 25 miles, putting me at 47 total after 4 days and 4 rides on three different bikes. Hope everyone else is having fun riding about.


Day 3, Tarik Saleh Bike Club 100 Challenge

My original plan to get an early ride in Los Alamos in the snow before heading to the airport fell apart due to lack of time and organization, so we had a nice long trip to Santa Barbara, stretching over much of the day. Including lots of drawing

Airport drawing

and some walking on the best airport carpeting in the world in PHX:
Best airport carpet - PHX

By the time we got to SB it was really late and I was too pooped to put together the Bike Friday. We had a nice dinner with the parents, put Aida to bed and I snuck out on my mom's pink flowered Dahon Curve 3 speed. Nominally, I was hoping to head to Trader Joes and get some beers for the holiday imbibing, but I could not remember where it was exactly, so I headed over to campus and down to the beach

At the beach and back

10.5 miles on Moms folder and saw this excellent bike repair center near one of the infinite fields of bike racks at UCSB

UCSB bike repair station

After a bit of noodling around the maze-like bikepaths on campus I emerged next to the Isla Vista Habit Burger and was disheartened to see it closed, I would have emerged with a shake for sure.

All told it was a mighty 10.5 miles on the Dahon Curve 3, which even though it was kind of chilly, (high 40's and humid), and I was pooped, and the saddle was way too wide. it was by far the easiest ride of the week. That puts the total as of Wednesday 12/26 at 22 miles. Over three rides over three days...

There are quite a few more people in on the challenge, in addition to Andy BigDummyDaddy and David CycloTourist. Now we are joined by:
Scott 5 Toed Sloth
Jason Cyclescribe
JLeddy in Vt.
Someone of parts unknown named Builder,
and I think Los Alamos JerryM is also on board unless I misread the comments.

Also the original pin art creator and TSBC founding member Mr. Jalopy is in on the Challenge as well. He and his Coco's variety crew are riding around the hills of LA:

JalopyCrew Anyhow, welcome everyone to the challenge, I am pleased with the numbers. Have fun!


Day Two, Tarik Saleh Bike Club 100 Challenge

Today we got up early, did Christmas, I got a nap in, sledded with Aida a bit and then we lazed about watching the flurries for a while. Most of the day was spent watching Aida swing on her new tree swing, which I installed in the living room:

Step 5: swing madly, crashing into couch repeatedly

See this set for more info... I stoked the woodfire up so it was nearly 85F in the living room and we sort of lost the will to do anything. Finally it sort of cleared up and I busted out a quick(ish) 8 mile ride on the Pugs on the perimeter to roundabout to walnut canyon to bridges loop.

High point of today's ride.

I took the road route (about a mile and a half) through Quemazon neighborhood to the pipeline-perimeter intersection so I could get the loop done quicker. It was a nasty climb, but I was treated with some nice views of the area from the high point of the ride. It was around freezing when I left the house, but the temp was dropping pretty quickly and I was not quite dressed properly. So I pretty much rode as hard as I could to keep warm. The rest of the ride was on snow packed singletrack, choppily packed down by peds. It was pretty much ideal snow biking conditions. 12" wide singletrack that the pugs ate up. I got up to the top at about sunset, descended and rolled to the roundabout in somewhat sketchy flat light conditions. I did the walnut canyon rim trail in increasing darkness, but the moon and other ambient light and the snow cover got me through bridges trail back to home without me needing to turn on the lights until I hit the last couple blocks on the road to home. I will add that this was a really good ride. Despite lingering sickness of indeterminate cause, I pushed it and it felt good and I returned home after and hour and a half to find the ladies napping...

Crossing the bridge by moonlight

So that puts me at a massive 11.5 miles total thus far. I am totally going to cheat by going to Santa Barbara for the rest of the challenge, but I will pay for it by having to travel twice between now and New Years. I will have to be a bit sneaky to get my rides in on the travel days, but I am nothing if not resourceful.

I am pleased that Big Dummy Daddy and Cyclotourist have taken up the challenge. Remember all you need to do is:
1. Just ride your bike 100 miles from 12/24-12/31/12 and you have achieved the challenge.
2. Or just ride your bike every day from 12/24-12/31 and you also have achieved the challenge.
3. Or just try to ride your bike just a bit more than you might have otherwise and you have achieved it.
You can prorate the challenge if you did not see it until after it started, or you can just go for number 3, or whatever. Just let me know how you did and I will send you a TSBC pin.


The Tarik Saleh Bike Club 100 Challenge

Welcome to the Tarik Saleh Bike Club 100 mile bike challenge. There are three ways to meet the challenge.
1. Just ride your bike 100 miles from 12/24-12/31/12 and you have achieved the challenge.
2. Or just ride your bike every day from 12/24-12/31 and you also have achieved the challenge.
3. Or just try to ride your bike just a bit more than you might have otherwise and you have achieved it.
This may appear like another groups holiday challenge, but the TSBC is better and cheaper and infinitely more inclusive than anything they do. I have no roundel prize but I have pins.

I am going to try for all the three prongs of the challenge and will document it here! You can document it in the comments or wherever you want. If you want an achievement prize, I will send you a TSBC pin gratis, email me with what you did to do achieve the challenge and a valid mailing address and I will send a TSBC pin out to you. Remember, club rules are 1. Ride bikes, 2. Try not to be an ass. And in this case, at least ride a bit between Christmas eve and New Years and then tell me about it.

It has been kind of cold and snowy here and we have been slightly waylaid by stomach issues and holiday stuff, so I did not ride during daylight hours, but then just around dark this started happening.

Snow bike miracle

And then Elena and Aida and I went for a walk and then ate dinner, put Aida to bed, then did christmas prep, and then I snuck out for a ride.

Christmas eve pugs honking in some small amount of fresh snow.

Today, a mighty 3.5 miles at night on the pugsley in a combination of fresh snow, plowed slop, trails, sidewalks and interstitial neighborhood pathways. I felt like crap, but the trails were fun. It was around 30 degrees F and really humid for here, some sort of post storm inversion layer. It was good.


Belgian Working Cyclists

Grumpy ones at that.

Cops and post cyclists:

Post Bike and Copcycles

I was in Ghent a couple weeks back and happened upon some excellent working cyclists.

This postcyclist graciously let me take her picture, but refused to even crack the hint of a smile. Check out those paniers.

Grumpy post cyclist

These two cops barely nodded in assent when I asked to take their photo, then they refused to actually look at me. This quashed my plan to see if I could trade them something for their awesome jackets. Cop on the left was busy lighting a cigarette, cop on the right was avoiding me.


If you like huge photo dumps (well labeled though), click over to my belgium flickr set. Lots of bikes on the street, cobbled climbs, bicycle bars and cyclocross to be found.

Not really a working cyclist, but I enjoyed watching the variety of child carrying bakfiets in use. The only thing that keeps you from getting run over by street cars is your own self preservation.

bakfiets and trolley


Ocean Air Rambler Kickstarter

Rob Perks and his shop, Ocean Air Cycles, is making a pretty sweet low trail sport touring bike called the Ocean Air Rambler. How sweet is it? I am not sure yet, based on specs alone it is awesome, but I did order one in May and should get it pretty soonish. His first run only had a half dozen or so bikes in it. He is gearing up for a bigger batch now with a kickstarter

Here is why I like it:

It fits 42mm tires and fenders in all sizes. It has 650B in the small sizes, 700c in the bigger sizes. I got a 59 which is a 700c bike. I like 700c for on and off road. I have a million cross tires in this size and bigger tires for my 29er and smaller for my road. It makes sense for me. I think if you are shorter the 650b might make sense. But for me 700c works fine. I would not have minded 650b, but I like 700c fine and I think it is the geometry that is much more important that tire size.

Geometry: Low trail sport touring bike. You can load up your basket/front rack and forward weight the bike and not effect the handling adversely. I am hoping for a nice mix of uber-commuter/all-day bike/ campeur/porteur out of it. I will swap all the parts off the complete failure Kogswell 700c P/R over including probably the specialized live rack initially and start playing with it from there.

Tubes: Not super light, but in the sweet spot for my weight and power and loading habits (I think). Go to the website and read a bit more. Tubes are 8-5-8 in the 650b sizes 9-6-9 in the bigger sizes. 28.6 tt and dt. I think this should be pretty much perfect for me. The 59 pleases me in its dimensions and angles, should not fit me small, should be just right...

Fork: Sweet crowned fork with cast in low profile rack bosses. Threadless fork. I will go on record again as saying speccing a threaded fork on a new bike is just silly, especially on a tig welded bike, especially on a front loader. Threadless is better in every way.

Brakes: Comes set up for and WITH brazed on pivot paul racer centerpull. I have wanted to try these for a while, but never had the right bike for it. This is that right bike. Should be sweet. I will report back.

Made in the USA. I think this is important for a number of reasons, but the most important is I am pretty confident that the design-manufacure loop between Rob and the Fabricator is small and easy and the bike will come out as planned.

This all said, there are other options out there, just before I ordered my Rambler, I actually came about a hairsbreadth away from buying a Box DOg Pelican in 650B with similar specs, but the threaded fork bummed me out. However, more choices are always better. I already voted with my wallet in May on supporting Rob and Ocean Air, but even if you don't order a bike, think about supporting his kickstarter to get a nice production run of sweet made in the USA low trail paul racered bikes.


Ubikequitous 10, Fat Bike Yoga Pants Shootout!!!

Everyone favorite battling purveyors of yoga and sporty gear for women both featured Pugsleys in their latest catalogs.

From Top, cover of Title 9 catalog, back page of Athleta catalog IMG_0274.jpg

From Top, innards of Athleta catalog, innards of Title 9 catalog IMG_0276.jpg

Clearly Title 9 is the victor as they have a cooler schwinn and the cover model actually riding the bike (the catalog also has a lemond city bike and a generic stepthrough in other photos). But well done to both catalogs in capturing the fat bike zeitgeist.

I do have to admit being very nostalgic for the Title 9 catalogs of 10 years ago or so which used to feature what I called the "Title 9 Barbies" (ironically, see below) who usually were shown surfing or skateboarding or gardening their organic farms or building a school for impoverished children with descriptions such as "working on her third PhD, raising her 4 adopted children on her organic turkey farm, still finds time to shred the morning break" or "built her own wooden yacht and sailed around the world in between her career as pro kiteboarder and her current job as CTO of a biotech startup". There was one page of the catalog I used to carry around in my lab book for inspiration when I was working on my dissertation, I can't find that page anymore, but I figured if she could look great in yoga pants and get her PhD while she was skateboarding/surfing/alpacafarming, well then, I could finish my dissertation while living by myself and riding my bikes a whole bunch, with little pressure to look great in yoga pants (even though I could totally rock those if I wanted to). I used to call them the barbies as those were the type of barbies I would like my future daughter to play with, alas, now that I actually have a daughter, the current Title 9 catalogs have dispensed with the awe inspiring overachievers for less impressive and breezy descriptions of the models.


Holy F&$%, Doping!

It is like christmas for doping nerds like me, I keep wanting to write about it, but I can't get my head around the magnitude. Well done to Floyd Landis for really kicking this off and the USADA for seeing it through. Twice a day I check velonews and twice a day I am rewarded with even more information. Anyhow, go read for yourself, I really have nothing to add, the Reasoned Decision and even better the spectacularly entertaining/grim/depressing affidavits. If you search around a bit are some entertaining bike racing forum investigation to the names of the redacted people in the Reasoned Decision, pretty much implicates the few obvious american cyclists who did not give direct evidence in the USADA case.

I will say it again. The UCI needs to declare some sort of amnesty program so that we can get more of the scoop from more people without any fear of serious repercussions... It may have been the UCI's fault that doping was so widespread in the first place, but if I am writing about doping scandals in cycling in 10 years featuring riders who are now in their 20's, it is absolutely on the UCI. USPS had a great doping system, but it was built on the bones of the ONCE team's system and it is clear from the affadavits that many other teams were all in as well, there is much to learn from more honesty and openness.


Lots of things from last week

Scored yet another arrow (number 4 or 5?) and whole pile of marking flags.

Road scores

Arrow found right at the intestine and diamond on the lab side. I imagine someone realized they were heading to work with some weapons and jettisoned them out the window. Alas it had been run over, it now is carbon trash. Flags found in bike lane on canyon. Picked em up mostly so they did not become pokey wires in the bike lane.

Aida and Wink256 took a chariot ride around the block. Wink did not freak. Aida might be a bit happy

Wink is her copilot

Got even more wood. Mostly Cherry and Apple. Will need to season the living crap out of it before it goes in the fire, but it will burn for a long time. Spent about half an hour cutting it down out of a massive brush pile on the other side of the neighborhood. Pretty easy 1/2 mile ride back to the house afterwards.

Mostly cherry and apple

Cherry and Apple

Went to the opera in bandelier last saturday night. It was fun. Aida was entranced for 10 minutes and then happily played in the dirt for the rest of the hour and a half. We got to take the bus 4 times on Saturday, Aida was thrilled about this too. Click the panaroma to see on flickr.

Opera in Bandelier

Found this feller on my road bike. I thought is was a big wasp, but I think it is a black and yellow party beetle:


After studiously avoiding a smartphone for a while, I have to say, I am digging the iphone and all the photo options. I also like having the pocket GPS, I have been using Run Keeper to log walks with Aida and neighborhood cruises and I jumped on the Strava moronwagon to help log the local punishing climbs for both running and riding, helps me be a bit more rigorous in my self monitoring. I don't really care to share em, nor will I facebook spam out all my rides, but I will be making up dumb new segments for myself, as I am pretty sure there are a couple road bike rides and runs that that no one else does. The greater quality pocket cam will help on the blogging documentation probably, see gratuitous coffee picture:

The midnight oil