Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Shake Down Complete

It’s funny how we get so amped up with our expectations and are only disappointed when the real thing happens.  I’ve been around for forty years and still haven’t learned my lesson.  We had been planning a nine-day trip into the Moab desert for our inaugural bike packing expedition.  A bike trailer was procured, maps had been consulted, gear was packed, and my new handcycle showed up the day before we were to leave.

In my mind, we were leaving the cold and snow behind in Colorado for some warm sunny days in the desert.  We soon learned the reality; Moab was rainy and even, to my horror, snowy.  After a nice day of riding and two of rain and snow we decided no big deal, lets go to St. George it will be warm and beautiful.  Wrong.  It was rainy and snowy.  

We ended up doing a short overnight on Little Creek Mesa during a window of clear weather that was fun and not very difficult for our first pack trip.

After seeing good things on the weather forecast for Moab, we headed back for another stab at an overnighter.  The plan was to ride to the Canyonlands, get a camping spot for the night, then ride the next day on the Canyonlands dirt roads and take Gemini Bridges road back to the car.

The packing of the bike needed to be dialed in a little more, so Vic ended up taking the wheels on the trailer.  We each carried a sleeping bag and pad and some clothes.  The mid went on my bike and Vic was stuck with the food and water on the trailer.

The day was almost perfect for riding with low temps and a little sun.  We took the main paved road to the Island in the Sky section, but were unfortunately turned away at the gate, because the campground was full.  

We ended up camping on BLM land and decided we didn't need to put up the mid since it was a beautiful night with only a few high clouds in the sky.  Of course it rained on us early in the morning and after waiting for the "rain to let up a little" we finally had to pack it all up and get going.  It was a cold and miserable ride in steady rain that was nearly snow, but we got to eat at Denny's, so it wasn't all bad.

All in all, the test trips went well and we got our bike packing systems dialed in and we are now planning out our summer bike packing expeditions.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Leadville Spring Conditions: Part 1

Leadville is in the transition from Winter to Spring. Its a love-hate time of year for me, the loving part because I can ride or ski in the same day, the hate part because of the funky conditions that I end up doing said activities in.

This postcard comes from the work bike commute. Its the same route as Ive been doing all winter, but it hasn't got boring because the conditions have always been a little randomly extreme.

The other day I rode down the route and at mile 4 or so came across big road closed signs. Due to my extensive experience in Department of Transportation issues I decided to continue. Needless to say the road is more river and mud than road and the trusty Surly single-speed is looking a little worse for wear.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

My friend the Cross-check

Do you know the Surly Cross-check?


Then let me introduce you. Right now this is the bike for cycling to the coffee shop, getting the shopping in, and getting a sickeningly painful quad workout coming back from work.
Right now the we are pedaling about in single speed mode, but I can see a change to 1x9 in our future.