Thursday, April 21, 2011

Heading out of town, closed Saturday, April 23


This weekend, I'm going to Grinnell to see if I can ride 322.8 miles of Iowa gravel, dirt, and "B-roads", self-supported, in 34 hours or less. I'm looking at this as a training ride for the 3-speed tour. What's the worst that could happen?

The shop will be closed on Saturday, April 23, but if I survive the weekend, we'll be back to normal hours on Tuesday. See if you can squeeze in a bike adventure or two while I'm gone, and be good to each other.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Let's go on a bike trip!

I frequently talk to people who want to go on a bicycle tour, but are overwhelmed by the apparent complexity of such an undertaking, and, in the end, they get bogged down in internet discussions about tires or panniers and never actually go through with any trips. I am planning for a week-long tour this summer, tentatively scheduled for the first week of August. Anyway, it occurred to me that this would be a good opportunity to invite experienced and inexperienced bicycle tourists to come with me. I especially want to welcome people who are new to bicycle touring, who may be otherwise a little intimidated by logistics and all the potential pitfalls of going it alone.

fillmore county

I don't have a specific route in mind just yet, but the idea would be to cover around 45-50 miles per day at a relaxed pace. Some days may be 30 miles, and some days may be 70 miles (maximum) - it all really depends on the locations of towns, campgrounds, motels, and other points of interest we plan to visit. There's nothing worse on a bike tour than being tired after a long day, but still pressed for time to cover many miles while daylight is running out... Rather than a rigid itinerary dependent on grueling high-mileage days, I prefer to build in the flexibility of a leisurely daily mileage schedule.

There will be no charge for this trip, and I will accept no responsibility for your safety or enjoyment. My plan is to provide a nice route and the companionship of a group, but on a bike trip, as in life, it's not reasonable to expect everything to go 100% smoothly and according to some preconceived plan. The basic idea is that each rider would be responsible for his/her own bicycle, equipment, food, physical fitness, etc.

Food: Some combination of cooking, grocery stores, and restaurants. The route of the trip will not be far-removed from civilization. We will pass numerous opportunities for replenishing food/supplies. Personally, I like to have munchies on the bike, but eat at least one big meal a day at a decent restaurant.

Lodging: Mostly camping at campgrounds, but perhaps one or two nights at a motel. In general, no lodging will be arranged in advance unless it seems necessary to have reservations somewhere. Most of the time, we can decide on the road where we're gonna stay.

If this is of interest to you, or you have questions, please let me know.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Post-apocalyptic Commuter for sale

"The Weasel" is selling his trusty Surly 1x1 (size L/20"). Actually it's a 2x2 fixed-gear with two chainrings and a Surly Dingle double fixed cog. Weasel says he can switch from high gear to low gear, and vice versa, with no tools.
By the way, the Chris King headset is included.

If you prefer to coast, the bike also comes with an extra wheel with a fancy-schmancy White Industries freewheel.

All three wheels are handbuilt on Salsa Gordo rims.

Tires included are the fat Bontrager slicks shown on the bike, a pair of knobby Bontrager MTB tires and a pair of Nokian Hakka WXC 300 tires in great condition (the Nokians would retail for around $140 EACH!!!).

There are also some various small parts, SPD pedals, etc, included.

Get all this for $800.