Friday, November 22, 2013

The end is here.
How do I know the end is here? On Monday I went for a MTB ride with a good friend (10 years older) and he beat me up the hills. On the way back to the parking lot my left crank arm fell off. OK, no big deal. But I am a certified bicycle mechanic. I should have a flawlessly maintained bicycle. 

Another indicator that the cycling season is over for the year. The trails were a bit messy. Snow and melting ice, mud on the north slopes. We turned around at the top of the main trail so as not to leave ruts.

My toes were cold. Not what I want when bicycling. Many people continue riding all year long. Not me. I have the gear but I want to be warm when I ride. When it gets cold, with snow on the ground, let's go skiing.


This morning a good friend invited me on a trip to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in September 2014!

So, untill next year (or warmer weather)
Another cycle year comes to a close.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Made in france

A lot of what I like in life was made in France. 
My wife 
a 1977 Motobecane Grand Sprint road bike my step-father gave me for my 50 birthday.

No need to Frankenbike the Kona with drop bars.
When the French bike arrived from California with most all original parts and newer tires, I was not quite comfortable with the seat height and arm reach. I found a longer seat post, my favorite WTB saddle and a stem with flat bars. The brake levers I first used gave braking a very hard feel. The difference in the pulling leverage with traditional vs. linear pull levers was quite apparent especially after putting on a set of levers with 2 positions for the cable pull. Sorry, no photo of the flat bar setup.
How it was

and now much better

And the Wife?
Glad you asked. The most beautiful woman in the world to me...

Friday, September 6, 2013

Buy; Build or Borrow

To help pay for the truck motor re-build I sold my 700c Cross Bike.  This was a Franken bike cobbled together from a frame I found at the Boise Bicycle Project. The groupo came from Andrew Little Boise, ID Owner at Got Fixed bikes. There is not a photo of it as I only had it long enough to get the stem adjusted for my fit 3 days ago. To ride may age on Sept. 15, 2013 I will need a different bike or Drop Bars on my Mountain Bike converted to a ride to work commuter:
From this

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Close shave

I should know better that to try to adjust my set height while clipped in.

Now I know why bicyclists shave. I was not really hurt at the time. Fell over while attempting to track stand and adjust my seat for the asphalt ride back to the cars after a great mountain bike ride with friends old and new.

Pride comes before the...fall. And it sure did this time. Hurt the most this morning pulling off the first bandage to put this one on. I'll be smarter and shave. Changing the bandage pulls the hair, it gets stuck in the wound and hurts way more then the fall in the first place. As I pulled up the bandage I grabbed some scissors and cut the hair. I never really noticed how long my arm hare is. After a close trim with the scissors I got a new disposable double blade razor and went after the rest.

The photo above does not show how close a shave there is around AND THROUGH the wound. Yes, I ran the new razor over the wound and finished off any remaining long hairs with the scissors or pulled them out with tweezers. Ouch.

This event should not prevent me from attempting to ride may age. The half way to eternity ride September 15, 2013 if I can get a friend to partner for it. Two weeks to train.

(I plan on doing the shorter ride from Adrian, Idaho. The round trip from there to the end of the road is about 55 miles.)

Come join us:

SUNDAY, September 15 9:30 am is the- Jason Werst Memorial "Century" Ride.

This is an informal century ride that has no entry fee. Actually in a typical Jasonesque manner the full "century" is 112 miles. Turning around at the base of the Owyhee dam makes it a regular century. The full course goes to the end of the road.  If you want to get the best 50 miles of the ride you could meet the front of the group n Adrian, Oregon between about 11;10 and 11:20 at the Adrian Market.

The ride group meets at the lower dam of Lake Lowell and will roll out at 9:30 am. The ride is quite beautiful, very rural and provides views of the Snake river, Owyhee river and the canyon that it dug.

No Entry fee, No Registration, No insurance, No organized support. No Numbers, No T-Shirts. Just a group ride in great terrain with fellow cyclists in memory of a fine fellow. 

You can learn more about Jason and the impact he had on people at this Facebook page

The Out & Back route was first ridden by Jason and a group of friends on September 19, 2010 in celebration of 2nd anniversary of Jason's stem cell transplant as he wrestled with his Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

The next edition was being planned when Jason's Leukemia re-emerged in September 2011. This world lost Jason last October.

This should show the route

We have scheduled the ride for the 3rd Sunday every September as an informal fund raiser for the for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Boise chapter in Jason's honor.

The ride is informal and though there will be some limited support this year from G Corsa thanks to the generosity of Mike Cooley. Volunteers to drive sag/water  on course are welcome.

Stores for fuel and natural breaks are available in
Homedale (Miles 13
Adrian Mile 29 (Adrian Market you can do a 45 or 55 mile beaut of a ride from here)
Adrian Mile 83 (or 72 if you turn at the dam)
Homedale Mile 98 (0r 87 if you turn at the dam)

So carry a little cash and support the local merchants.

If you would like we encourage you to make a donation in Jason's Honor online at

Whether you can make a donation or not, and whether you had the pleasure of knowing Jason or not, we welcome and encourage you to join us.

If you would like a shorter ride with the group then drive to Adrian and the round trip from there to the end of the road is about 55 miles.
St. Luke's Sports Medicine/ Lost River Cycling 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Big Surprise

We took the truck in this week for the front end work and got a call with bad news. The main thrust bearing is out.  On Friday I went to go pick it up and got the details.
From what the mechanic said, the motor needs to be rebuilt. It may go 20 miles or 20,000.
We picked up the truck. It just made it home before shredding the serpentine belt so is not drive able now.

The 1991 jeep purchased 10 years ago for $4700 has lasted 10 years and 100,000 miles.
Total miles on it are now near 170,000. I figure all told there have been brakes, tires, fuel pump, water pump etc not more than $5,200 spent in maintenance. For ten years and $10,000 that is cheap transportation.

This year I knew it was time to get ready for a replacement or spend the time and money to maintain it to last another 10 years. To have the wheel and axle bearings replaced might cost about $2k. The motor might last a bit longer and a rebuild one is about $1,200 to $2,000. The body and interior are in good shape.
For this truck I know that to get it to last another 10 years it might take a series of $1,500 to $2,000 dollar maintenance projects. I just thought they could proceed one at a time and not all at once.
My hope was these projects would not happen all at once. Even if $6,000 were spent on the truck it is cheaper than replacing it with one that cost $20,000 - $25,000.
Now is sooner rather than later. Time for a new engine or rebuild this one.
Estimates are at $3,500 installed out the door for motor replacement.

Still not bad considering I had the new brakes, tires and fuel pump done in the last 3 months. With the front end and power steering pump replaced then we should be good to go. Down the road would be the rear end and small paint touch ups. I have been told the transmission and transfer case are good for another 100,000 miles as is. The fluids were changed and looked good.

I'll go to the motor re-build specialists on Tuesday for further research. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

That was then. This is now

The place where all trails lead to great experiences is on fire today (again). Idaho and the world are watching as weather and nature consume single track and homes.

This too will pass. Let us not forget the history of this scenic region. Where 150 years ago there were fields of grass as high as the stirrups of the first white visitors to the Wood River Valley with herds of Elk and Antelope, natural wonders and fields of plenty.

Civilized man wants domesticated Sheep and Cows to raise, harvest and eat. Enter a 150 year period of domesticated civilization that would forever change the natural landscape of flora and fauna.

Terraced hillsides to prevent erosion. Constant fires in the early days where there was no National Fire Watch. White Cloud Mountains named because of the perpetual cloud over the majestic peaks.

In a year from now we can have a better place then we have now. Fires will consume but not kill everything.
As good stewards of the land we can rebuild homes, clear dead fall and come home again to see nature re-birth anew wonder of growth and prosperity.

The above photo was taken, in the grand scheme of things, not long after what many considered to be a devastating fire. As you can see the landscape does change and all things do become beautiful to be visited again with the wonder of how nature can recover. Come back. Rebuild. See the new growth that comes alive after a burn.

Plan you next year in advance. Come see what power nature has and how a little stewardship goes a long way to restore and enhance everyone's appreciation of nature. We are not always in control.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Start with the End in mind

Where will I end up? In this season of my life, approximately half way to eternity, I am reminded of the old adage to start with the end in mind. My wife of 14 years and 13 years younger than me wonders if statistics prove out for us that she will out live me.

I have found my home here in Idaho. Born in Texas, raised in the Pacific North West and California, I have traveled much of the world and know where I am going after this life.

Please spread my ashes in the White Cloud Mountains of Idaho.

I have a fond passion for maps. The hall way to my bedroom while in high school was wall papered with a map of the world. Next to the bathroom entrance was the local street map of our neighborhood. Wherever you wanted to go you had to plan. As my brother in law (from the east) likes to say with a New England accent "Ya can't get there from here".

How do I get there? On this last ride someone will have to carry my ashes. Not a difficult trail but narrow; High in the mountains. Be prepared. Have good shoes, or boots and socks. Plenty of water and a bite to eat. Perhaps a bottled drink and cheese and bread. Hard salami travels well.

Hoof fit by horse, foot or ride a bike. Hiking is required to get to the top. Weather can change fast. Carry a wrap. Bring your eye for wonder. How can solid rock be plastic enough to bend that way?

The geology of creation is a fantastic mystery. So is my time here. When it is my time I hope my friends and family take the hike to my favorite last ride.

Thursday, July 4, 2013


Marketing, Advertising, Sales and Service. How is value added to enhance the Cycling Experience?

This last fall I researched a variety of on line web based mapping sites for the Cycle Idaho dot com index of all the great places to ride in Idaho.

42 was a number that came up in my research. Wow, from the first beta of Google maps in @2001 to a range of online services such as Motion Based, Tremble Outdoors, Map my Ride and now STRAVA.

Data from Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in the raw can be overwhelming and ultimately valuable if it can be compiled into Information that leads to Wise decisions.

As an example the popular SIMCITY game series is based on fictional design elements, However real city and regional planing data and demographics can be used for computer simulation to see how urban and rural life and landscapes would change over time given a change in the circumstances.

A computer can make the single elemental change and project the influential outcome over time to predict what a human might find impossible to calculate.

Change the rural agricultural zoning for 5 acres to residential housing and see how this influences the landscape, transportation, water, public services and air quality.

Much like predicting the weather, with enough data a computer can compile the data mess into information for us to make wise decisions.

But what fun is that? I want to go for a RIDE on my bike, with my girlfriend...and dog...and not spend a lot of time researching where to go in a city I am not familiar with...

Cycle Idaho - THE web based index of the great bicycling opportunities (in development)

Time to get to it!