Sunday, November 11, 2007

And In The End...

I've been thinking about this for a few weeks now, and I've decided it's time to end this blog and fold the content into the new blog, Cycling Carson City.

My idea is to keep this blog for archival purposes, and create a column or daily feature on the new blog that has stories of our lunch time rides. This will benefit me, as I will only have to maintain one blog. It should benefit you, the reader, as you'll only have to go to one place for content. It should make the new blog a more well rounded blog that will be more fun to read.

I think the only drawback will be for the loyal blogger readers that can easily make comments on this blog. It will take a little more effort to make comments on the new blog if you don't have an account on Word Press.

Please update your links! I noticed some of you already have, and I thank you for that.

So if there are no massive protests or objections, I'll see you over at Cycling Carson City! The cycling revolution begins...

The Deer Run

If you were every wondering why they called this trail, "The Deer Run", now you know!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Saris Thelma II Bike Rack

The Saris Thelma II is a great bike rack. I had a Yakima bike rack that was a hitch mount rack that could hold 4 bikes by the frames. The problem was, the only bike that I could put on their easily was the road bike. The Mt bikes were so hard because of the frames. I have for the last couple of years been looking for a bike rack that holds the bikes by the wheels, that was not so highly priced. The Yakima and Thule Racks were about $350.00 Compared to the Saris Thelma II at $249.00. I bought mine at Bike Habitat in Carson City.
My first impression was that it may be a little weak. The assembly of the product was quite simple and only took about 20 minutes. At first glance the wheel holders looked like they would break really easy. But on closer inspection, I could see that the tray that holds the front wheel was re-enforced with steel or aluminum. The straps on the Saris are not that user friendly. They do secure the bike properly but in my opinion they could have been a little longer. It would make it easier to strap the bike in.
Other than the straps I am really happy with the rack. It is very easy to deploy and to stow. You just take out one large pin and then swing the rack up for stowing. At first it took about a minute to load the bikes. Now it takes about 20 seconds. It seems like the bike would wobble a lot back there but it does not at all when you are driving. It is really solid.
The best part about it is that when you look in your rear view mirror you can see your bike. That always makes me smile! So on a recent trip to Sacramento, while on the freeway, I realized I missed my exit, I looked in the rear view. Dang there is the exit, but look at that BIKE! What a sweet shock mount pivot point! Yeah! And then I thought there was a cop behind me. Nope! Just a rad bike! Smiles....

So overall, I would rate it 4.5 stars out of 5. It is really easy to use, it holds the bikes really good and stows easily. Priced right.

Between Homes

You may have noticed the lack of activity here at FBC this week. Thankfully Marcus got a post up in my absence. Most of the usual readers know that I was moving in the near future. That future became a reality the last couple days as we packed up the old house in Gardnerville, and moved most everything into two storage sheds. We have the keys to our new house, but we can't occupy it until the floors are done, a week from today!

So where are we? In Carson City! Thankfully, Jeff and Amy volunteered to put us up in their camper for the week. It's pretty comfy and even has wireless internet. I can send Jeff P. emails, "Hey! Bring me a beer!"

Kristy, the boy, 2 dogs, the cat, and I are all snuggled in the camper. The mouse went to my son's school to visit. My son was the only one who could sleep through my cat's nonstop meowing last night, and the rest of us are delirious. Tonight should be better though, since the animals seem better adjusted.

I was driving a 26 foot moving truck the last couple days. A huge, manual 5 speed, diesel, that I'm guessing was built in the early 80's. The side of the truck advertised, "Cloth Seats and Power Steering!". I felt like I should have been wearing old Soviet military clothing when driving the beast. I was so glad to return it!

Smudgemo recently said, "Three moves equals a fire". I wasn't totally sure I knew what that meant, but I realized what he was talking about these last few days. I got rid of truckloads of stuff! Unfortunately there was still tons of crap to move, but no time left to sort it out. Box it up, ship it out.

It was strange to leave the old house last night. Without our stuff there, it seemed to be soulless. Just an empty shell. We said good bye to a couple neighbors, and then drove off into the night.

Today was a rest day...

Tomorrow I hope to ride, and if I'm lucky, I'll even find my camera in one of my bags.

Monday, November 05, 2007

The 80's called, they want their bike back!

Saturday I had to go to Sacramento. It is always nice to get a ride in along the way. At the last minute, my old roomate from college, Eric V. and I put together a ride. We met at the parking lot of the foresthill loop just above Auburn, CA. As usual, always good to see " Das Voosen" but what a surprise when he rolled the bike out of the back of his truck! It was from when we were roomates! The Klein! I remember the day that Eric got those spinergy wheels for it! I was soooo in bike envy! Eric tells me, that now, people smirk at him with the wheels. He has kept this bike as his back up bike and states " I just cant sell it. I could probably get $500.00 on ebay for it, and I have put so much more into it" Well, I would never sell it at this point. It still looks great in my opinion.
While Holly and the doggie went for a run, Eric and I banged out the Foresthill loop.It was fast and fun. Warm but shady in the cover of the trees. I told Eric he needed to keep the bike and tell anyone who asks that he actually was the stunt coordinator for Pacific Blue

Eric acted like he had never heard of Pacific Blue... C'mon Eric, come clean. You know thats why you bought the wheels braaaa!
If that first link was not enough... here's more!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

How Many is That?

I'm often asked, "So many bikes do you guys have now?". My reply is always, "I'm not sure...".

Moving to Carson City began today. The first order of business was Operation Bicycle Drop. We filled up a pickup truck, a horse trailer, and a roof rack with bikes, and almost got them all! The bikes have all been delivered to an undisclosed location somewhere in Carson City. We held two bikes back for riding this week (like we're gonna have time, yeah right!). I also have a few derelict bikes out in the back yard that need to find their way to the Reno Bike Project.

So how many bikes are in this picture? Over 20! As bicycle owners, we often joke about how you can never have enough bikes; that the number of bikes one needs is the number you have now plus one, etc. After moving all these things today though, I came to the conclusion that I do have enough bikes. I think I will get rid of a couple before buying anymore!

Rusted Chain Gang Poker Run Report

Go read about this event over at Cycling Carson City!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Facility Bike Club Expansion Team

It was my INTENTION to ride every day this week. However, with a little girl who got sick and had to stay home. A client that could only meet me at noon. Various other reasons, Today was the only ride I could make. But man was it a good one. As John Lennon once said "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." Today life was really good. The ride expanded into an almost two hour tour of Ash Canyon. We started early, at 11 am. It was Sandie, Ryan, Mike, Kathy, Jon and I. We rode up the dirt road past the water towers. The sun was shining and the air was crisp. The trail was packed from all the recent precipitation. Ryan of course was way ahead and I was pedaling hard to try to stay at least within sight distance. This caused me to get my heart rate up and good blood flow going as I tried to have a conversation with Mike without gasping too much. We made it to the top of Deer Run and Jon and Sandie had to go. Mike, Ryan, Kathy and I decided to keep going up and do the creek trail. We were the Expansion Team.... Our mission? To inspect the Ash Canyon Trail System for Safety and Security in what could be considered a hostile environment of Bears, Coyotes and even beer drinking Jeepers. With our mission cut out for us we did the creek trail and found it to be safe. Upon completing that trail we split up again. Ryan went down and did the " Sandie goes Postal" route while Mike, Kathy and I went back up the fire road and climbed the Baldy Green trail. Aaaaaaah! it was a splendid climb! Cant believe the day! It was cool and crisp and the traction on the trail was the best ever. We all STUCK that climb. Switchbacks and everything. The ride down was also mind blowing. A most excellent day! Now, back in my office. I have given myself the " office Bath" with my wash clothes and pit juice. Dressed back up in my Mortgage Guy clothes I am off to shake hands and kiss babies with prospective clients. Little do they know I am an FBC special agent who completed a much more worthy mission earlier in the day... Fall Riding at its finest.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Photo Dump

Not much to say tonight, so it's Photo Dump time! Here are some of the pictures from the last few weeks taken by FBC riders of FBC riders...

Ryan - Big Air on Jackrabbit

Jon - Finishing up a fast run on Jackrabbit

Sandie - Eyes forward for the upcoming turn on the V&T

Me - Peace, Love, and Mary. Love the bars!

Kristy - Riding the chute on the creek trail

Amy - Riding the chute

Jeff P - setting it up

Jeff P - Bravery and Balance

Amy - Loves to be photographed, and it shows

Sandie - Blew out her shock on this jump!

Monday, October 29, 2007


How about that last post, huh? A comedic piece that turned rant! I loved the discussion though! I'd like to lighten up the mood a little bit tonight though, and slip into something a bit woolier.

In a previous post we debated the coolness of shorts over your tights. There were some for the look, and some against this abomination. Some readers were even inspired to take fashion to areas not yet explored. Tights over jeans? Smudgemo has the full review.

The suggestion of knickers came up in a couple comments and settled in the back of my mind. While cleaning out the garage this weekend, I happened upon my Father's Nordic Ski outfit from a decade long passed. I snickered at first, but then the revelation came to me. Wool is hip. So are knickers. Mork from Ork's rainbow suspenders were also cool.

What you now see before you, is the outfit that can be plainly worn about public and the trail alike, appealing to both the young and the very old, worn free of scorn and ridicule, and appreciated by those with the most discriminating taste.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Angry Highway

Impatience, intolerance, and hatred is building in America, and the best place to express these feelings is on the Highway! Hidden safe in our metal cages behind tinted windows, we are free to tell people how we really feel. And if someone disagrees with us? We just flip them off, mouth some dirty words at them, and pray that we don't run into them and the next stoplight.

There have been a lot of stories around the bicycling blogosphere of road rage and hatred towards cyclists. Fear, anger, sometimes even death. The family had to drive to Reno yesterday, and Kristy and I decided to take a sampling of some of the rolling billboards along the way. These three pictures are from a five minute stretch of traffic before entering Carson City. The theme? Meaningless Jingoistic Symbols.

My favorite of the three is the first one. "America. Love it or Leave it". What does this mean exactly? "If you do not do things exactly the way I do things, and do not believe the same things that I do, you must leave the country." Half of America hates the other half. We pollute the land, air, and water. Our tax dollars go to destroying far away lands, while our own is left to decay and crumble. We don't make anything for ourselves anymore, and send our money to communist countries so we can buy cheap appliances that will last one year if we're lucky. We want to deport anyone without a legal piece of paper that says they are welcome to pick our lettuce or flip our McBurgers for minimum wage or less. Americans are content to sit back and be sickened and fattened by government subsidized, corporate corn syrup. And if I don't like this, I am to leave? Time for another Boston Tea Party! TSOL! This time we'll be dumping barrels of High Fructose Corn Syrup into Boston Harbor...

Not much to say about this picture, except that I feel sorry for you. You don't know that the 2004 elections are over. You are among the small percentage that believe the country is headed in the right direction. My country right or wrong. There is nothing patriotic about supporting a billionaire politician that could give a rats ass about some piece of white trash living in the desert. Because if you die, there will another along soon to replace you. Another soulless consumer to buy their crappy products or make the ultimate sacrifice for a better corporate profit margin.

Bill Maher recently said, "This generation doesn't do real sacrifice. Or even pay for our own wars. That's what grandkids are for! No, we do flag pins and bumper stickers. And not even bumper stickers. Bumper magnets. Because stickers are tough to get off, and we may change our mind about never forgetting." There is much conflict here. By continued support and funding of the troops and war, it keeps them in harms way. I say bring them home. Supporting them just prolongs their exposure to bullets and bombs. These brave men and women could better defend their country at home. These magnets though... Communist, Chinese products. We're buying magnets from a country that is competing for the same oil reserves we are fighting for in the Middle East. Buying these products puts a greater strain on the situation, and further endangers soldiers abroad.

I hereby decree, that $3.00 gas is now a tax on impatience, intolerance, and hatred!

Opt out of the madness! Riding a bicycle is part of the revolution! I'll see you there.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ooooh Yessss! A ride did happen....

In honor of Nevada Day, Jon and I did timberline and the Creek Trail. We did this as an unselfish act of kindness for the other trail users. To ensure that the trails were free of bears and wash outs.

Also, Did the same trail last Thursday night, under a full moon and warm temperatures with Dennis C. Take a look at the nice rock/tile work of Jeff P. on the Baldy Green trail. Wow. Nice to make that turn in the moonlight.

The trails are in GREAT shape! Firm and grippy. The weather has been warm. Perfect fall riding conditions.

Nevada Day

Mark Twain
Originally uploaded by Facility Bike Club.
The FBC Blog will be closed today in observance of Nevada Day. Sorry you all have to work today, but we'll be out playing!

Normal Business Hours will resume tomorrow...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Listen to Your Jedi

A wise and powerful Jedi once said, "Be mindful of the future, but not at the expense of the moment."

We rolled up to this intersection yesterday, and got in line behind a couple cars at the red light. An older man with long gray hair, a black trench coat, and a guitar case slung over his shoulder walked up and took a position on the sidewalk right next to us. At first glance he looked homeless, but upon further examination, he was well groomed and clean. All the while though, he was muttering nonsensically, almost rhythmically like he was rapping. I couldn't make out a word he was saying, but I was getting a creepy vibe from the dude. My instincts said it was time to roll!

I was half watching the cars in front of me, and half watching Weirdo McRappypants on the sidewalk. The cars took off, and I just followed their lead. What I didn't notice is they were making a right turn on a red light! I was inches away of riding into the intersection, but Ryan called out to me and stopped me in the nick of time.

I'm not sure what would've happened if I had continued on, but it kind of creeped me out the rest of the day.

"Be mindful of the future, but not at the expense of the moment." Meditate on this I will...