Friday, November 21, 2008

Fall has left

While we haven't received any snow yet, mother nature brought a bit of winter to the area this week. This morning's commute temp was 10F with a windchill of 2F. Thankfully the wind was mild and the ride into work did nothing more than burn my lungs. The days earlier week were better, with morning temps in the upper teens to mid 20s. The Long Haul Trucker was the bike of choice this week, other than today when I took the Singlecross in, figuring one gear would make me work harder and stay warmer. It worked during the loosely organized run to Coldstone Creamery that occurred last night. A cold ride for ice cream, but a good way to introduce two friends to the joys and issues of riding in the winter. I'm sure they will be back for more. 9 days of commuting out of the last 10. Odd that I am starting to get into a grove now that the weather has turned cold. Maybe it's because I'm not doing a lot of riding lately, other than my commute to and from work.

I spent a couple of days this week building stoves to use on extended bike rides and camping trips, both of which I want to do more of this year. Rather than being a slave to the convenience store, it makes more sense to be able to carry food with me and eat when and where I want to. This surely would have saved me some issues on my ride out to Whiterock Conservancy earlier this fall. The first one I built was the SuperCat, whose construction went off without a hitch. It's easy to make if you have a can and a paper punch. In a pinch, I'm sure a nail and a pair of pliers would work as construction tools. On Wednesday night, I built a penny stove, which is supposed to be more fuel efficient, while also heating better.

This stove will heat 2 cups of water to a full boil in 4 minutes. I'm going to build another burner for this one as I'm not happy with the seal that I'm getting with the penny. There are some other designs I'd like to try, but I'll maybe save those for this week while I'm on vacation.

Bunch of riding scheduled for this weekend. PRC's Cranksgiving Alleycat is tomorrow starting at 1 PM. This will be the second year that I've ridden in this, and I'm sure it will be a good time like it was last year. I expect a large turnout tomorrow. Sunday the highs are supposed to be close to 50, so I'm going to get my November Cup O Dirt ride in while the weather is nice. I've posted the ride dates and times to the IowaGravel blog in case anyone wants to join up.

Vacation this week, which is definitely needed. I hope I can take part in CITA's annual Turkey Day mountain bike ride, but that will depend on what I decide to make for dinner on Thursday.

Last, but not least, I have spent some additional time thinking, and have decided to sell my Bacchetta Corsa. My riding focus has changed and I have decided that I would like to have a Salsa Fargo in my garage before TransIowa in May. Selling the Corsa is going to be the way to get that done.


Neve_r_est said...

Your selling the ideal tool for tackling the Super Randonneur award for a bike that is only slightly different than your Long Haul Trucker or Karate Monkey. How are you ever gonna figure out which one of the three to ride?


Steve Fuller said...

Still mulling some of this over DG. Guess I'm going through a definite period of WTF right now. I could

A) Sell the Corsa and replace it with the Fargo and end up with 3 bikes that are very very similar. I'd likely convert the KM to a SS if I did this.

B) Sell the LHT and replace it with the Fargo. Keep the Corsa, convert the KM to a SS.

C) Keep the Corsa, keep the LHT, convert the KM to a drop bar setup and use that for TI and DK.

Of the 3, C seems to make the most sense. New bars, different brake/shifter controls and front/rear disks. Cheaper than the Fargo, save the LHT for touring, and let me keep the Corsa for RUSA events.

Too many choices.

I'm trying to determine if I'm capable of doing a full ACP Brevet series, TI, DK and Leadville in a year. If I do, then IMBCS is likely out. I want to do some bike camping as well. I don't know if my wife will put up with me riding more than I did this year. :)

Neve_r_est said...

Hmm. To me the Fargo is a touring bike of epic proportions. It could easily adapt to road or gravel touring, but only slightly better than the LHT. A change of tires and swap your racks/fenders over on the Fargo would be a nice upgrade to tire clearance and disc brakes over the LHT.

Fargo is prolly not as offroad capable as the KM. Not as much tire clearance, not as easily SS-able.

Yep plan C. Most bang for the buck. Simple swap of bars and tires and you've still got a monkey.


Iowagriz said...

Funny that I was reading about how to make a penny stove on Friday.....drink some heinekan for me.