Archive for September, 2008

200 & Done? I say NAY!!

So the Chequamegon post was my 200th and I dunno what happened, I suffered a DK-esque collapse.  Well I am dusting myself off and am back at the helm of the good ship SOOT and looking forward to the next 200 posts.  I have been busy of course, helping Ira’s folks finish up their house so they have a place to live this winter that is not their garden shed.  I’m not kidding.  It is long hours as it is crunch time and my only riding has been the to and fro which gets me about 15 a day.  Not pro, but neither am I.  The work is okay, as the young hammer on the crew I get lots of tasks like gimme that level and hold this and even clean up our riding lawnmower but I also get to use power tools and fall off ladders.  Just once so far, and my knee barely hurts anymore!

I have been putting in some hours at the Bike Library, too and that continues to be rewarding.  Saturday was the first day since early spring that we still had bikes left at the end of the checkout brawl.  Rental bench even had a real paying customer, he installed some fenders and is thinking about volunteering.  That is all well and good but what I really want to talk about today is bottle openers.  As most of you know, I keep up on a great number cycling publictions both online and in print and nothing puts the grit in my chamois so much as the continued covering of and reporting on the latest and greatest in bike tool/beer bottle opener technology.

Exhibit A, from the fine misguided tech folk at

A wrench to take off a bolt on rear wheel AND it can open a beer too?


For the sake of the scientific method I performed a test on Friday night last wherin I drank a six pack of bottled beer and I used naught but the touring townie to open said beverages.  I wedged the cap into nooks and crannies and applied pressure and pop!  Beer after beer was enjoyed!  I used my brake lever, 2 spokes (might not work so well for you radially laced folk), the top of the seatpost against the underside of the saddle, front derailleur, rear rack and, of course, a pedal.

Make no mistake, my verbal grumpy squat is not directed at the makers of these tools because, hey, there is nothing wrong with having one (although I must say if I had to lefty-loosey 2 wingnuts to undo my wheel or a beer cap I would be throwing that tool in the bottom of my least used toolbox) or using one, but to consistently report on the latest and greatest in bottle opening technology?  Give me a virtual break!  I’ll take a couple extra pictures and words from the Vanilla booth or about the Sturmey 3 speed fixed hub, thanks.

In other news, Ira and I talked on the phone and my bike is at long last, gonna get built.



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Chequamegon Forty Version 2008

The results are in.  The photos are up.  Some of them, anyways.

from skinny ski

It was a wet course and it rained hearty while we were out there.  I must say things went well for me, as well as they could anyways.  No mechanicals.  I did not blow up.  It was disappointing on the fire road and four wheeler trail sections to lose many places but I spun my 32/16 for all I was worth and I know it was all I could handle.  I made it over most of the climbs albeit by the skin of my teeth a few times and twice I had to hoof it, but once was on firetower where most people have to anyways and the other time I was tired and I took a crappy line, too.  For those that do not want to page through the big leaflet of results and who have pressed through my prose I reward you with the firm stats, I came in 217th in 2 hours 36 minutes and change as the 15th singlespeeder.  To place any better I will either have to work on my big gear pushing and hill top running or just up and switch the bike back to geared.  Lots of time to ponder these things!  All in all it was a great trip and I am already looking forward to another go in 2009.  I love Chequamegon!

Good night.

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It is here.  Call it the fat 40 or the midwest mountain bike championships or whatever you like, it is what it is.  Cody and I are leaving this afternoon for what promises to be a grand time.  Course conditions are reported to be a bit sloppy but mostly in the low puddly places.  The Salsa’s seatpost has undergone a radiospectramography and appears sound.  I feel good and am looking forward to it!

Photos and lament to follow.

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Popular Culture

Nice article in the Times today about gas free vacations.  I love being trendy!

from adventure cycling photo of the week archive

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