I spent the weekend down near Aqua Caliente hot springs for a gathering of fatbikery. Brendan and Mary from the Hub Cyclery in Idyllywild scheduled a weekend of group camping and desert pedalin’. Pretty low key and good times were the plan. Pretty much nailed it.
Saturday we pedaled, cooked and then soaked in hot springs. Sunday we cooked and pedaled again. What else can I say? Oh yeah, it was rad! Here are the pics from day one!
I have a favor to ask of you. As you know I try and do as much do-goodery as I can for MS every year. This year I participated in not one, but two centuries for MS. One in Utah and one for my local chapter here in Los Angeles. Oh yeah, both on a fatbike! (Cool right?)
For my local ride here I am the captain of Team Frontage Roads. This year I alone raised $5843 and as a team we raised $9706!! Our team goal was $10,000 so we got really, really close. Here’s where you come in. I just found out that if we raise another $300 in the next few days and meet the goal of $10k our team will win our own tent for next year’s (October, 2015) ride. This tent will be placed at the finish of the Saturday ride and the start of the Sunday ride. This will give my mom, who has MS, as well as any of our supporting team members a place to hang out, relax, chat and cheer the riders on. It would mean a ton to me to get your support to put us over the top.
We had a great turnout today. The bad weather of last week is gone (for now) and that brought out the people. A few new faces joined us and appeared to have a good time. Hopefully they will be back. John was in town and stopped by for a visit. Always good to see him. Chris brought me a surprise gift that was a hit with all the Smokey Bear fans. Thanks Chris! Oh and Pete snuck a pic of me on my camera! That guy is the best.
Last week while riding home in the rain my knickers soaked through. I didn’t think that much about it other than it was just raining and it was too much for the material.
Then later in the week I saw a link on Facebook about repairing your outdoor gear from Backpacker.com. One of the things they talked about was reapplying water repellant to rain garments. I guess it wears off after some time and it needs to be freshened up. I realized that I’ve had these knickers since 2010 and they’ve seen many storms including some gnarly stuff on the Great Divide. It hit me that they’ve never soaked through like this and maybe they just needed a tune up.
So this weekend I went to REI and picked up the Nikwax treatment. I first washed the knickers in the special tech wash. Then I reapplied the water repellent and let it dry. Now I just need to wait for some rain to test it.
Earlier this week I recorded an interview with Alex of ibrewmyowncoffee.com for their podcast. He reached out to me last week to talk about the growth of #larivercampcoffee. It’s so strange to see this thing growing like it has been. I guess we’re hittin’ the big time!
It’s been a while since my rear fender cracked. Several bodge jobs have kept it together, including Duct Tape and JB Welding some extra aluminum to the crack. These have only delayed the inevitable though and the fender was showing more signs of falling. I could hear it every time I rolled over a bump, dropped off a curb or did a sick tabletop off a kicker. Is that a thing?
So the good people at Golden Saddle Cyclery ordered me a replacement set of fenders ( hope I don’t need the front) and I was able to pick them up yesterday.
These are the Gilles Berthouds. I was using the Honjos before. Not for any specific reason that I can remember, so I thought I’d try the Berthouds. The Berthouds seem a bit wider, but I didn’t measure them so don’t hold me to it.
The rear fender comes with only the lower bridge hole drilled so I mounted up the fender to determine the proper place to drill the upper mounting hole. This is where patience comes into play. I installed, removed, installed again and tried to make sure I had the fender in the right place before drilling the hole. I did not want to stress the fender as that is what caused the failure on the Honjo.
After more time than I had planned I finally had the fender installed. It still needs the taillight moved over, but that will have to wait. I also want to add some mudflaps as the rear seems to sit higher than the Honjo. Always more to do! Now bring on the rain!
Yesterday on my ride home, or maybe it was the ride in (who knows), I passed a personal milestone. As of yesterday I’ve passed my most miles ridden in a year mark. 5100 miles pedaled so far this year.
The last time I had ridden this many miles was when I was preparing for the Tour Divide. Back in 2010 I was full of determination and focused. Since then I’ve never really come close to logging that many miles in a year. Maybe because I didn’t have that one big thing to focus on? Maybe I was just concerned with having fun and keeping things light?
One thing is for sure, all the miles this year have been fun. This year the miles have almost logged themselves. Maybe it’s no coincidence that this year has been the toughest year for Serbrina and I. She’s so friggin’ tough and puts up with so much, 60% health and 40% me, but she’s had a tough year with her health. Maybe that’s why my pedalin’ stats are up. I guess I’ve been choosing to spend more time on the bike instead of forcin’ myself.
This is the end of November now and I’m actually pretty far behind where I’d hoped I’d be. I really thought I was on track to hit 8,000 miles this year. Looking back I can see where I lost a few miles here and there and they start to add up quickly. It doesn’t really matter in the big picture, but it my small Super 8 frame it does. I had challenged myself, and all the readers of Frontage Roads (two other people) to Make Miles Count earlier in the year. The idea being that if I’m gonna ride my bike there’s gonna be some do-goodery done at the same time. So I pledged .15 cents a mile to be donated to a charity. In my case it’s going to PSC Partners because that’s important to Serbrina and I. So right now I’m on the hook for $750, but I’ve still got a month to go. I’m gonna shoot for at least another 500 miles logged this year. Fingers crossed.
Next year I’ll shoot for more. It’s good to have goals, but it’s also good to make them slightly out of reach. They’re more rewarding if you reach them.
This weekend I was supposed to be somewhere else. Out in the desert pedalin’ bikes with friends. Mostly digital friends, but at least one in real life. Things didn’t work out and instead I stayed home. I spent most of the weekend being lazy and that means playing records. Not a bad way to spend your weekend. Not at all.
I started collecting records when I was in high school. I’d blow just about all the cash I had on some punk rock record that looked good to me. Some that were bands I was able to see live and some that were before my time. Music that shaped my teenage years to be sure. I haven’t strayed to far from those musical tastes, even though I’ve grown much older.
Last night, since I was in town, we were able to join our friends Jon and Cidney for dinner and then to see David Sedaris. I’ve known Jon since we were in the 3rd grade. We played GI Joes together, rode BMX bikes and skateboards together, discovered punk rock together and yes, started collecting records together. We even went to our first punk rock show just blocks away from where we were having dinner. Now we are two grown men approaching 40. That didn’t hit me until today. Deep.
Today the records I pulled out were all old hardcore records that we were listening to as teenagers. Some still have the same effect on me and some don’t. To mellow out some of the hardcore jams I sprinkled in some of The Kinks. I didn’t appreciate The Kinks when I was a teenager. Not sure why, for my money they’re more punk rock than the Beatles. I guess I wasn’t ready for them yet. Now though, I rarely go a day without listening to them.
I know it would’ve been a blast to spend the weekend outside, but this worked out too. Music is a time machine and when I play a record I’m transported back in time to when I first heard it. Or maybe to a show I was at. Or maybe not, maybe I just sit there and enjoy it. No matter what when I’m spinning my records there is one thing I know for sure. This is where I belong.
Introducing the Los Angeles County Coffee Connoiseurs!
For a few weeks now we’ve been meeting on the banks of the LA River to enjoy coffee and hang out before work. What started as just myself has slowly grown into a regular meeting of like-minded folks. We’ve been averaging about 15 or so people for the past few weeks. The word has been spreading by word of mouth and of course the power of social media. We’ve been using the hashtag #larivercampcoffee for a couple weeks now, but I wanted something more official.
Working with the very talented Aaron Edge we designed a logo and had stickers printed up. I wanted it to look like a government logo and sound cartoonishly official. Los Angeles County Coffee Connoiseurs (or the #LACCC) fit the bill. People ask where we meet so we included the GPS coordinates along the bottom. Aaron did an amazing job and I can’t thank him enough.
Follow the hashtag #larivercampcoffee for the next meetup.
They will be available at the LA River or you can get one here. They are $2 shipped.