Showing posts from June, 2018


I haven't ridden my bike in a week.

Every day I get home from work, quickly change into my crusty clothes. and go out and work on the latest project.

Another fucking canned ham travel trailer. I'm an idiot.

This one is by far my most ambitious and stupid project yet. It's a 1968 Aloha 16T Custom- sorta. Actually it's a good trailer frame, some windows, and some aluminum siding. All of the wood is rotten and is being replaced. All of it, down to the floorboards. All of the appliances are being replaced. I'm not kidding.

I have a large dumpster in my driveway that is almost completely full of rotting wood and other junk that used to give the camper its shape. The aluminum siding and roof are currently laid out neatly, killing my lawn. Choice pieces that I want to retain for reference or to reuse somehow are under plastic up against the garage.

I've already framed out the wall panels with new lumber. I'll add the paneling before I put them on the frame because in c…


Yesterday, a mile and a half into my ride, I hit a sharp rock thoughtfully deposited by one of the many dump trucks roaming the base with no identifiable purpose. I swapped in the spare tube, puffed it up with CO2, and was off in relatively short time to continue on my way.

Today, before my ride, I replaced the spare tube in my saddle bag, because you never know. Plus, the rear tire was looking a bit square, which indicates the center section is probably just about down to the cords.

I set off into a mild headwind, and had a marvelous ride. For some reason the legs could respond when I asked them to, and I was able to sustain more wattage than I normally do on sections. On the last third, I caught a nice tailwind and was flat out hauling.

So, a mile and a half from the end of my ride, I hit a sharp rock placed there specifically for me by my dump truck friends. Not one flat, but two. I pulled out the front tube, found a pair of pinch-flat holes, and patched them. After reinstalling the t…

Logging Off.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

When looked at objectively, I don't really train anymore. What I do is ride around and pretty much do whatever I feel like and then download it into some tracking medium. If I'm really feeling disciplined (rarely happens), I'll plan out a week or so of rides ahead of time. Then I'll go in later and edit them to match whatever it is I did during a particular ride, giving the outward impression that I planned it this way all along.

Years ago, I used to use Garmin's online application to track my ride data. Then I added a spreadsheet calendar and WKO+. Eventually I dumped the Garmin application and spreadsheet, which was getting progressively less functional and moved onto TrainingPeaks, with a local backup in WKO+. When WKO was updated, all of the features confused my unfrozen caveman mind and I retreated to TrainingPeaks, where I've been ever since.

So, I've been paying for a training program to track my cycling m…

Spoke Too Soon.

I had just finished penning yesterday's post when my wife came up to me with exciting news. A friend of ours was willing to buy a moldy old pile of camper and I would have carte blanche in terms of finances to resurrect it. Isn't that wonderful?

No. No it's not. Not only no, but fuck no.

There's several reasons for my refusal.
It's far beyond salvage. Basically what you'd be getting for the far-too-high asking price is a trailer base of questionable serviceability, a few windows, some hardware, and the aluminum sheeting to use as a template. It would be a ground-up rebuild, with all of the fun that entails. Just to get it to the non-death trap stage would deplete the proposed "unlimited" budget. It's a really cute and unique design, but that's all it is.I have no room for such a large project. These things need space, and I've imposed upon the neighbors enough. An off-site location was purposed, but that would limit the number of hours I coul…

No, Don't Be Stupid.

I'm a bit of a hoarder.

Check that. I have a serious, serious problem.

Once I get into something, I usually collect far more equipment related to that pursuit than I could ever need. I have piles of race skis and all of the stuff that goes with the sport. I have stacks of Jeep and Land Rover parts. Bike parts? Yes, I have far more than my share. Local bike shops carry less than I do.

Now it's RVs and campers. Fuck.

However, the real problem is my wife is interested too. She usually acts as an effective defense for overindulgence, but not now. All of her friends want their own campers or RVs, not realizing how much work they are or how much of a money pit they can be. So, my wife is on the lookout for old campers that are most useful as breeding grounds for hantavirus. She overestimates my skills as a carpenter, and rarely sees the receipts for all of the supplies that have to be brought to bear to prop one of these rotting hulks for five or ten years more of usable service life. T…

I'll Take It.

It wasn't perfect.

Rolling out after work, a day's rest stored up in my legs, I was looking forward to getting in some miles. The sky was blue and the sun was warm. I ditched the knee warmers and merino wool base layer that had been my uniform up until this point. I was pretty sure my black cycling cap, already streaked with salt, was going to get a whole new set of stripes.

The only small pebble in my shoe was the wind.

The blue skies had warmed up the inlet, and the air coming off the water was causing the flags to stick straight out as it charged towards the mountains. Unfortunately, the exact direction the wind was heading favored me in about .05% of the ride. The rest of the time it was either neutral or actively working against me. Having dealt with cold and wet wind blowing in my face the last couple months, this wasn't so bad. Nothing like having a little perspective.

I pushed to make the self-imposed time cuts at various checkpoints along the ride, with success about …

I Can Tell.

There are several signs that I usually ignore.

The aching legs and high heart rate are probably the most common. There's also the tiredness around my eyes, which indicates things have probably gone on long enough.

However, when I finally get to the point where I can no longer regulate my body temperature, I figure it's time to take a day off. The other night I threw on a hoody to stay warm, while my wife and kids were all wearing shorts and t-shirts. I looked at the thermometer in the car as we headed to the Tastee Freez for what can only be described as Complete Nutrition™, and exclaimed, "that can't be right.". It read 64 degrees. That's downright balmy in Southcentral Alaska. And yet, there I was, shivering in my hoody.

Today I decided I wasn't riding.

Even with the miles I did over the holiday weekend and since, I still don't see the numbers as being all that great. However, in context I guess they are. When you don't ride much, any increase is si…

How To Make A Thing Not A Thing.

It was usually a lot of fun (for me).

Even when the lead rider in the paceline stopped pedaling (without warning) and turned around to see where everyone was. I was second in line, so I rammed right into his rear wheel and hit the ground. The rest of the pack, seeing the opportunity, rode over my back. I still bear a faint tire mark scar. When the carnage was sorted out, I got up and won the race- if only to stay ahead of the rest of the riders who might want to take me down again.

Even when I rode a freshly-built bike, unaware that I had failed to adjust the seatpost properly. I felt weird, but under the influence of my pre-race adrenaline rush I chalked it up to it being a new build that I would have to adjust to. Halfway through my knees started aching a lot, and I could barely hold on to the front two riders. When it came time for the sprint, I had nothing. I came in second. My seatpost was over two inches short and I'd been riding seated the entire time. Bike fit matters.

Even w…