Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The NASA Million Dollar Pen Story is a Myth or Another Example of Everything You Know is Wrong

I've had the story of the $1,000,000 NASA pen bouncing around in my head for many years. Now, I find out it is not true. I'm disappointed and realize my knowledge is built on other myths.

http://kottke.org/13/10/the-myth-of-nasas-expensive-space-pens

This article is based on a story in Scientific American and Snopes has also debunked the NASA pen story.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

My Knards are Mounted!

Mounting my new Knards was not easy! One of them was a little loose and I had to seat it twice.

I used my crappy air compressor (garage sale for $25). Airing up fat-bike tires three or four times would have killed me if I had to do it with my skinny little floor pump.

I aired them up to a little less than 30 psi (the max printed on the sidewall) and I rode them around the neighborhood. They felt fast, but new equipment almost always feels that way. I stood up and sprinted -- well I consider it a sprint.

I'm really looking forward to riding them off road, especially Elm Creek. I need a do-over on that trail.


Monday, August 05, 2013

Pugsley Looses a Tire

I've been riding the Pugsley as my main off-road bike lately.
Since riding it in the snow, I have looked forward to riding it on familiar dirt trails this summer.

In the meantime, I picked up a single-speed 29er and have also been riding it. This third (fourth) off-road bike gives me the flexibility to outfit my family with bikes. J rides the Fisher 29er. C rides the Pugsley, and I ride the single speed.

The Fisher started making terrible noises so I put it aside and jumped on the Pugsley for the Saturday ride with friends. It went so well, I stayed with it. The first ride wasn't great -- I felt slower than the other guys and the Pugs handled like a pig.

I increased the tire pressure, installed a longer stem, and lowered the stem by switching spacers. The Pugs now handles great. I'm so pleased that when riding it, I imagine ignoring the other off-road bikes in my garage.

Last Sunday, I went to Elm Creek trail to ride. I got in a few miles of fun before I heard a scraping sound in the rear. I figured it was a stick, but it my tire had popped off the rim. I couldn't get the bead to seat again -- it was as if the wire bead was damaged. I walked out to the parking lot and drove home.

Coincidentally, I had ordered a pair of Surly Knards the Friday before. I expect on Tuesday. I'll install them and give it a try.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Display Windows 7 Computer Properties: Windows key + Pause/Break key

To display the Windows 7 Computer Properties, press the Windows key + Pause/Break key.

This provides a reason for those keys on top of the keyboard to exist.

This post provides a reason for this blog to exist.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review: "The Wonderful Ride"

I finished reading "The Wonderful Ride." Kent Peterson reviewed it here: http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/media/books/The-10-Best-Books-on-Bicycles-10-The-Wonderful-Ride.html for Outside magazine. His review is a good description so I won't rehash it. Instead, I'll add a couple notes.

Bicyclists had a tough time in 1895 when Mr. Loher rode across the U.S. There were very few roads and most of them were poorly maintained dirt. Reading this book reminded me over and over again, that today's cyclists have it easy. Well, except for the existence of automobiles. Next time you complain about a bumpy road, remember that it's much better than riding on railroad tracks.

In chapter 8, Mr. Loher describes riding through Minnesota and the people he encounters there.

"It is useless for anyone to go to Europe on a wheeling tour when he has the same opportunity to wheel through it in America. I had gone through a little Germany in North Dakota, and now I was traveling through Norway and Sweden. I would ask ten- and twelve-year old, white-headed, American-born children questions in regard to the roads and distances from town to town, only to be stared at in a frightened manner, as they could not speak a word of English. What an unacceptable state of affairs in our glorious republic. Our free schools have thrown open wide their doors for education of our childern, only to see them grow up unable to speak our understand the English language."

This is a near identical rant I heard the other day, after our presidential election, from a guy who works in the same building I do, but he was complaining about Somalis.

Bigotry and a lack of knowledge of how immigrants fit into their new homes is not new.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Book review: Joy Ride

I recently completed reading "Joy Ride" by Mia Birk. Mia served as the Portland Bicycle Coordinator in the past and this book tells lots of short stories about what she encountered as she worked to add bicycling infrastructure in Portland and later as a consultant.

The book is definitely worth reading if you have an interest in bicycling infrastructure like bike lanes, bike trails, bike boxes, etc.

The most striking thing I can say about the book is that it caused me to be mindful and thankful of the hard work that's been put for me and other cyclists by people like Mia Birk. They've worked their butts off to make cycling more accessible and safer. Thanks.

I can loan you the book if you are one of those two readers who lives nearby. If you are the third reader who lives out of town, too bad. I'm not mailing it to you.

Welcome Spammers!

I just turned off the captcha quiz. I also turned off moderation of comments when the post is less than 14 days old.

Welcome back spammers.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Dirty Riding

I was really looking forward to a Saturday off-road ride, but I got started late and the rain began to fall. I don't ride single-track trails when it's raining to prevent trail damage.

The disappointment turned into an idea. Could I ride the MN river bottoms? Those trails east of a certain point (Indian Mound school, if you care) are partially limestone packed and double track. Those types of surfaces are not damaged by wet riding.



I gave it a try and a couple hours later was happy that I didn't cancel the ride. Most of the muck on the bike is sand and leaves sticking to the water.

This bike is great on that type of trail. However, on Sunday I rode at Murphy Hanrehan and this bike kicked my butt. The Murphy trails are rooty and rocky. The little tires on this bike make that a rough ride. There is an ideal bike for every condition and rider. Someone with better skills than me could fly at Murphy while riding a cyclo-cross bike. But I'm slow, fat, and a poor bike handler. This means a dual-suspension 29er is best for me because it provides forgiveness for my mistakes, of which there are many.