Monday
Oct292018

Just One of Those Nights!

Now I know you guys have all had more than one of those nights. You know when you go to bed but there is No Way you are going to sleep. Too many things on your mind, which tire am I going to run next, does my air filter need service since I rode last time, gotta get the bike out of the van so I can use it to haul body parts to the painter, will I have time to bust out a bicycle ride before I have to go out to dinner with friends and on and on. Well it is only 2 am so I guess I may as well change the oil in my primary ride. My 500 xcw.

I am so glad I am retired and don’t have to go to work tomorrow or I would be exhausted with no sleep and all these worries! So to help me relax and tire myself out I just went out to the garage to change the oil in my 500 xcw. Wow, that sucker has 24 hours on it since the last oil change, last week!  Showing 16,010 miles and 652 hrs.  Obviously I need a couple more bikes so I don’t put so much time on this one, lol.

Almost 3 am now so maybe a little tv will help put me to sleep………………..

#33

“How pleasant is the day when we give up striving to be young—or slender.  Just Ride!”

Tuesday
Oct022018

Stabilizer or just Good Suspension?

SBB Ride

I did a ride yesterday by myself so I had lots of time to explore and think along the way. That sometimes is dangerous in itself!  My thoughts turned to my suspension and how happy I was with it on my KTM 500 XCW. This is my second 500 and it has about 636 hrs. on it now.

I had someone ask me a while back why I don’t run a steering stabilizer. Since I ride this bike everywhere from tight singletrack in Idaho to fast open desert sections in Baja. I had to think for a minute and remembered I did have a stabilizer and took it off to fine tune my suspension when I started working with Buck at SBB.

I had ridden someone else’s bike a few years’ prior that had a stabilizer and a very impressive set of forks. Then I rode the same bike a few months later without the stabilizer and was less than impressed with the fork. I asked the owner what he had changed on his suspension and he said, “nothing”. Then he told me the only change was the removal of the stabilizer. Wow, what a band aid!

So now all my testing is done without a stabilizer, for better results. It just occurred to me that my forks were so good I never felt the need to put my stabilizer back on! I wonder where that thing is, somewhere in my garage I hope!  Oh well, who needs it. I got SBB forks!!!

#33

‘learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t make them all yourself’

Tuesday
Sep252018

Can You Hear Me Now!?

Can You Hear Me Now!?

As the #33 rolling summer circus made a stop in Middleton Idaho at my buddy Rocky Mountain Dave’s place we got another visitor, Don, aka Recon.  It seemed Recon was in the area providing support for his wife, Laura, who was involved with a Cancer charity fundraiser on bicycles from Oregon to Idaho as one of the legs while traveling from coast to coast. We were recruited to provide roadside support and a Tour de France type cheering section on the side of the road as the cyclist and sag vehicles rolled by. We were able to set up our cheering section complete with spectators clapping, signs and chalk on the road to welcome the cyclists. It was a surprise to the riders which made it all that much more fun. It was the final leg of the ride for Laura so Recon was able to hang out to do a little mountain biking and shooting with Dave and I.  Once Laura hopped on a plane and headed home Recon caught up with us for a few days of riding and shooting.

First on the list was a bike ride. Recon was down for this because Dave and I ride mountain bikes about as often as Recon practices with his handgun.  Sporadically and spastically, lol.  We planned to ride a loop Dave knew and should have been part cross-country and part downhill. It started out great on the cross-country loop and got more interesting as we headed for the downhill. Mr. mountain bike, Recon, was leading the charge on his $5,000 bike and stopped to take a few pictures on some of the features of the trail.  Rock sections, log crossings, small jumps and the like. Then it happened. As I came into view Recon was standing there but was not taking any pictures with his phone. He was cussing, “I can’t find my &#%$* phone”.  Apparently he had put it in a pocket and failed to zip it closed. Oops, since we are rolling along about 12 to 22 mph downhill it could be anywhere back uphill 2 to 6 miles! So when Dave rolls up and after Dave and I quit laughing at Recon we begin to formulate a plan. We can ride back uphill, my least favorite option or we can continue downhill, get our shuttle back to the top and slowly ride it again while looking for an $800 phone. Then Recon says he can call Laura and have her go on the computer and track his phone to see if we can zero in on where to start looking. I think this tracking feature was Laura’s idea which shows where the brains of the family are!

Recon asks Dave to use his phone so he can call Laura to start our search. Dave gives it to Recon but I am almost certain I heard him mumble something about getting a deposit first. Fortunately, mine can’t be lost, I mean borrowed, I left it at home on the charger!  Dave informs Recon that his phone is at about 50% on the battery.  This could get interesting.  Recon calla Laura, she goes on the computer and tracks the lost phone to somewhere near a road. By this time the battery is down to about 25%.  We decide it is a long way back up the hill and opt for the ride down and truck shuttle back up to retrace the route. On our way down we decide to try an escape road that leads out to the hiway. It turns out this ‘escape’ is about 3 miles out and seemingly mostly uphill. By the time we get out to the road Dave and my butts are dragging. Recon is waiting at the road and ready to roll. I guess if it was my $800 phone I would be a bit more fired up too!  We find our ride and head back to the top to start lap #2.  Just about the time we start down the trail Laura calls, on one of the phones we do have and says a kid named Benjamin found Recon’s phone and answered it when she called it. We get Benjamin’s number and start calling to see if we can meet up with him somewhere.

We talk to Benjamin and find out he has crashed and hurt his wrist! It just keeps getting better and better!  We set up a meeting spot on the hiway and wait for Benjamin. He finally arrives with his buddy whose face is all scraped up from a crash also. Between these two kids I re-evaluate our predicament and decide we are on the winning team today.  We are not gouged, scraped and tweaked like these two youngsters!  Life is good!  So now we have Recon’s phone back, are a few hours behind our planned ride, hungry, thirsty and have two injured kids.  We call Benjamins mom to see if it is ok if we give them a ride down the mountain since we are a bunch of geezers offering a couple of youngsters a ride. She lets Benjamin make the decision and he immediately says, Heck yeah!  His wrist is hurting and his buddy’s face is scraped up. So we all pile in and head down the hill to a burger stand at the bottom for some much needed food and drinks. Everyone is hungry and thirsty. Besides it has been decided Recon is buying! Our 3 hr. mtn bike ride turned into a 6 hr. marathon.

Benjamin’s dad meets us at the burger stand where we eat and then say our Thank You’s and goodbyes. We are on our way back to Dave house and I can hardly wait for tomorrows shooting day at the range.

#33

‘If you’re not sure where you are going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else’

Wednesday
Sep122018

Light Up My………..Tire?

 

I know you have thought of what you would do and what you would buy if you hit the Lottery. Haven’t we all?  I have done a whole lot of wrenchin’ on bikes, not because I want to but because I have to!  I know what I would do if I hit the lottery. Bigger house, Nope.  Nicer clothes, Nope. Finer restaurants, Naw.  Newer truck, Maybe.

I would buy more bikes and way more parts just so I didn’t have to band aid them to keep riding.  As it is I have several bikes, Dual Sport, Off roaders, Race bike, and Adventure bike. Some are duplicated even though I can only ride one at a time.  I justify that by saying that if I split the time between two of them I won’t have to replace them as soon. Clever, eh?

One could say that if you have to have a log book to keep track of oil changes, air filter changes, chain and sprocket changes then you may have too many. I think that just means a guy really cares about his bikes and the maintenance required to have a perfectly functioning machine.  Sounds good.  Well in my maintenance log book I don’t have a section for “riding buddy’s bike”.