Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Cat Came Back, The Very Next Day......

Mmmmm... winter approaches and word on the street, well from All Cat Services in Kelowna is that our snowcat will be heading back to Golden fairly soon here. With 25G's of upgrades she should be rarin' to go for this season. New hydraulics, two new tracksetter attachments and a wack load of upgrades means that I shouldn't have to be sitting on a sled at 25 below grooming for 9 hours at a time. I should be playing tunes via sattelite radio and grooming in a Tshirt at minus 25 for four hours instead. Bring on the grooming. Bring on the snow.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

When things go.........

I have to admit, its was really difficult this weekend seeing my observatory leave my back yard. I invested in my telescope about five years ago and was able to pick up a fantastic dome observatory for next near to nothing. I have been spending the day pondering why I feel so shitty. I have spent an unbelievable amount of time out in that observatory. It was there when my kids were babies and I held them up to the eyepiece to gaze at the moon, it was the scope that started the Perseids Meteor Shower event up on Mt 7 and then progressed over to KHMR where we had over 140 people this year. I have spent late nights out during the winter when it was -30 degrees and bundled up in ten layers of clothes to stay warm . IN fact that scope has probably had about 1000 different pairs of eyes gaze through it over the years. I have been fortunate enough to draw and catalogue over 150 night sky objects and have been to a bunch of great star parties making some great, while quirky friends. I feel like a big part of my life is over. ...like I am out of the industry forever, much like I often feel when it comes to bikes as well. While obsessions come and go, read bike polo, appreciation for the universe seems to trump them all. Will I forget about the night sky.....I sure hope not. What it will force me to do is work hard for the observing that will be done. I still have a VERY small telescope which should provide enough light grasping power to see the full Messier list, a group of objects first observed 100's of years ago. What this decrease in technology, aperture and comfort may do for me is rekindle a love which seems to have disappeared this past year.

Sure I can relate this whole blurb to the real world of life, love and family. I have managed to fuck up alot of stuff in my life this past year while creating a new job for myself which I am truely loving. I do take things to the extreme when I do things, as my wife will assuredly attest. Do I really need a specific bike for playing Bike polo? Do I really need an arsenault of XC skis to enjoy my ski experience. And lets not mention the hoards of two wheeled non motorized peopel carriers in my back yard.

We all seem to need and want more. That's what makes the world go round. I think I'm ready for a change. Our basement is full of stuff we haven't used in at least five years, I have a huge collection of tools in the shed which do nothing but collect dust.

While present obsessions will eventually flutter away I do have true passions which are easily visible in our home. While they don't really cost much (ie. skis/bikes) do I need a reality check.

I feel a yard sale coming on.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Post Ramsay Bowl Weekend

The trip to Calgary was fantastic. I'm paying for it now on so many levels but had a fantastic time and learned a tonne. Those boys are on fire over in Calgary on their fixies. Kudos to Justin for putting on such a great event. Also a big congrats to the boys of Easy Van (Rory, Ken, and Pieter) for takin' home the big prize in a screamer final. Unbelievable. Oh and thanks for stopping by on Thursday night and leaving some blood on our courts.
My back wheel was taken out by an out of control mtn biker at teh event and I left some skin but all in all came out unscathed. The wheel cover saved my butt more than once and saved a few screamer goals.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Last polo practice before Ramsay....excited!!!!

Had a great night on the court. Had a few too many mishaps and have a bloody hand to prove it. I'm not sure if I'm pushing harder and getting better or pushing harder and sucking more? The covered wheel worked like a hot damn tonight and even used it on a couple occasions to deflect shots. More things to learn. Adrian came out tonight with a friend and they played very well. He brought his camera and ook a bunch of shots. Hopefully a couple will turn out. If I can get a couple I'll post them here and on the GTBF Facebook Group. It is taking me longer to get into the polo zone than before. I was playing pretty sloppy for about an hour today before I was getting accurate. I'll have to get a good warm up in prior to our games if possible.

Fixed and Free with the SRAM Torpedo Hub

Fixed and Free with the SRAM Torpedo Hub

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Monday, September 8, 2008

It's polo time people!!!!

The bike is ready to go for Calgary. Hopefully my front wheel holds together after this weekends Sunday bash up and also that I don't loose my cog as I still don't have a lock ring. All will work out just fine. Now I just hope we don't get destroyed!

HammerSchmidt + e13 ISCG adapter =SWEETNESS!

I have been throwing around the idea of the new HammerSchmidt drive system for a fixie and sure that it will work. The HammerSchmidt has just been released by Truvativ as a front derailleur replacement system which utilizing a single ring up front with a system of pawls, worm gears and other doo-hickies to create both a 1:1 drive and a 1:1.6 drive all while maintaining tension on your chain. This in effect would create a 24tooth and a 38tooth ring all in one.

This would allow say a bike polo rider to shift on the fly from an easy ratio to accelerate and manoeuvre to a larger ring for covering distance quickly all with the flick of a shifter. This really though has the potential to offer a segment of the market (commuters, singlespeeders, couriers) the chance to have a tensioned system with two gear ratios. Very Cool. The system requires an ISCG mount (used in chain tensioners for DH bikes) but through e13, a rapidly dominating chain tensioner company, you can purchase an ISCG adapter to fit any bike. The only issue is the requirement of a flanged outer shell on your bb to hole the adapter in place. These bb's could become a hot commodity among the commuter community much like the steel road frames from the 80's have become so popular again for singlespeeders and fixie riders.

Who knows if this will take off but I sure as hell am going to try and get my hands on one. At this point they are only making the HammerSchmidt for the DH, Freeride and All Mountain crowd but if there is enough interest from the commuting community it has the potential to create a whole new drive train option. Imagine an 8 spd internal freehub with a HS up front. 16 speeds and all basically internal without a derailleur in sight. Is this the beginning of the end for the derailleur, quite possibly. Also STurmey Archer has come out with a 3spd fixed hub (I drool). With that setup you could create a spd fixie. That's absolutely insane. Now is there a market for 6 spd fixies, probably not but it sure is cool.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Golden XC Invitational

I really don't think there's achance in hell that we'll use this for our poster but playing around with it was a heck of alot of fun. We are hsting a joint race with KHMR on Nov29-30th. It is going to be very cool with a night sprint race on the Friday evening followed by awards and a BBQ and then Saturday starts off with a classic time trial and the a team relay. Lets hope for snow!!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Ben the Aussie wizard.....

We really were wondering what the hell we were doing there in the pouring rain. We were soakd to the bone in about five minutes so just decided to keep playing. It was actually a great match and definately was fun doing fixie skids in the puddles and soaking your competitor with a spray of water from your mallet.

First Polo Pic

Squaring off with Tony in the rain.

Golden Alley Cat Poster (Sept 19th)

Check out the upcoming event poster. Very high tech and sophisticated.

Commuter Bike Shootout

With September brings the release of the 2009 bike line up for many of today's best bike companies. I am looking into the best commuter bikes, fixie and single speed offerings and the occasional new super bike. I spent too many years in the bike retail world to really give a crap about the hundreds of 5x5, 6x6 offerings. They really are all so similar today that it comes down to their fancy paint jobs to sell them. As I am aging (I'm only 33) I really am changing my cycling focuses. Gone are the days where hurtling myself down mountain faces on big DH bikes and even the All Mountain type of bikes seem really excessive. I'm thinking of 29'ers, cross bikes and commuting bikes more than anything. I really enjoyed riding my cross bike on the cross country trails this year and was easily keeping up with my friends on their long travel cross country bikes. No I wasn't going downhill as fast but that doesn't really matter to me.
As I spend more time riding with the kidlets I really enjoy spending time relaxing on the bike. I have more than enough fast time when training with the ski team three days a week, with polo and skiing coming I'm not that worried about exercise. I want to get a great steel commuter frame that is a 3 or even 8 spd internal hub with fenders and racks, lights, etc......Actually I really would love to go with a 3 spd hub on my fixie from sturmey that has a wooden fender setup.

I'm going to redo my blue townie I think and upgrade to some skinnier tires and narrower fenders. Replace the rusty stem with a nice fresh chrome one, maybe a moustache bar and a new coat of paint. Def a new chain and rebuild the BB. It is a dump bike with nothing done to it in about 4 years. She's due. That's right I always seem to forget the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle rule even when it comes to cycles.

It's finally stopped raining I'm goin to mow the lawn and listen to DNTO. CBC Forever!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Golden Cycling

I truely love cycling in all of its forms. I to have a certain affinity for townie bikes and unusual cycles. Being in a small town you don't really get the same amount of commuting bikes as in the city. That's what I thought anyway until I actually went looking for some nice old bikes. There are tonnes and I am considering starting a blog for small town commuters. The web is full of incredible blogs relating to urban commuting but there is a distinct lack of blogs on cycling in smaller communities. While most of the ideas are relevant to non urban commuters there is more of an effort required to get the attention of small town community members to get out of their vehicles and ride. Perhaps we can start the pro bike movement with the Townie Fraternity and Bike Polo events. The bike club so far seems really focused on trail development and are not necessarily interested in bicycle advocacy. Well regardless I am going to try and get a movement towards bike commuting in little ol' Golden. If anyone has ideas for cycling advocacy please let me know. Here are a couple Golden bike pics. Love the Fuzzy!!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sturmey Archer 3-Speed Internal Fixed Hub

Sturmey Archer 3-Speed Internal Fixed Hub

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Dawn Mountain In The Summer

Bridge #3

A Steel girder up on lock blocks creates a bridge that will be there far longer than I likely will. We had to use lock blocks here as this has washed out before and is rather wide. The lock blocks are set into the ground 6" above high water mark and was rehabilitated very nicely by Brian. Here are a couple shots of that bridge.

Bridge #2

This one was the wood pilings and is unbelievably tough. The logs that are sitting atop the large cross log are tie backs which go back from the main support log. These keep the support log from rolling away should there be a massive flood. What you can't see is another 27" log beneath these logs. Its not going anywhere. Nice grading on either side too.

Bridges are mostly done, just need to plank two of 'em.

Welll after a week and a half of building we have finished (well......mostly) our three main bridge projects. It was quite the feat. We had five days of fish window where we were legally aloud to cross streams with machinery. This was required to construct the footings fore the three different bridges. There is one that is entirely wood stringers and sill logs on lockblocks, one that is steel on a wood piling , and one that is steel stringers on lock blocks. Three different builds for three bridges. It was a tonne of fun and a great learning experience. The job once complete turned out unbvelievable. Thanks to Brian Lundstrom and Scott Millward for all of their great hoe work. Here area few pics of the project. This series is the installation of the first and biggest bridge. You will see that we did ae rather large amount of reclamation as well in the area. I'll post a few more of this bridge when I get a couple more pics. I ran out of room on my camera today.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I have a dream.......to own a Chrome Bag

Yup, I do believe that Chrome makes the baddest bags out there and the roll top messnger pack is completely kickass. I want someone in town to carry them so I can pick one up. Here is a pic of the dream bag. Maybe I'll talk to Darkside.