Sunday, May 27, 2012

The concept of blooming

This is e. She's training for the Logan to Jackson ride/race later this year. Her month-old Garmin thingy already tallied more miles than I do all year.

I tagged along on one of her "flat" rides. We went pretty fast.

But most days I ride solo (actually most days I don't ride at all, lately):

Those flowers had a bee in it. Are you getting a theme here? If you are confused its because there is none. These are just random pictures I'm throwing up. These pictures are just nice pictures. That's it. But if there was going to be some thematic tie-in, its that going on hikes with the Imms has really unleashed the backyard naturalist in me. We are un-fast. We stop to peer at dirt clods. We find bees, rolly pollys, spiders. I know the names of all sorts of different flowers now. SHE knows the names of all sorts of flowers now. We study the flowers over time. She knows the concept of blooming.

We stop for picnics in the grass. Find more rolly pollys. Eat bars from the backpack.

Airplanes and Helicopters are also big attractions...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Relevate Designs Seat Bag, Gas Tank, Sling, and Jerrycan

I just got my Relevate bikepacking bags in the mail, including the Viscacha seatpost bag, top tube-mounted Gas tank (fore bag), and the Jerrycan (aft bag), as well as the simple Sling handlebar-mounted strap for attaching my sleep pad and a drybag full of stuff.

Together with the Salsa-Relevate frame bag that I've already blogged, I can carry an huge amount of gear and food. For the backyard dry run, I just stuffed a 40 degree down bag and bivy sack in the rear, and a silicone tarp in the drybag to add some volume. I definitely have enough room for a real backpacking cookset and stove, a few days worth of food, tools/tubes/pump, 4 liters of water in the frame bag. The toptube mounted bags should cary some easy-to-access essentials like sunscreen/lip balm, gps (if I get one), energy bars, etcetera. I'll cary a small backpack with my warm clothes and I should be set for long range touring.

Just like a quality backpack, little details like tie-on points, inner stability clips. The attention to detail and overall lightweight design is far better than any cludgy job I could come up with:

That rear-mounted dry bag held together with 5000 straps sort of worked---This photo is from a few years back on the Great Western Trail.

The Gas Tank carries lunch, basically.

The attachment points for the post bag are beefy. Its essentially a three-foot long-ish roll-up drybag. The Jerry Can will be perfect for camera/gps and other essentials.

I got the simplest Sling handlebar carry system. The more sophisticated ones were out of stock. It works well enough. I'll need to put a few more straps on to attach it to the fork crown and the drybag+sleep pad will be snugly suspended in front of my head tube.

The verdict: I don't have one yet, but yes, I know the bags will work way better than anything I can put together myself. The bags offer the only real option for riding trails and carrying a full backpacking kit. There is no other way to do it without skimping on something, or carrying an utterly large back pack.... 

Stay tuned for my first overnighter with the rig in a few weeks.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The longest day in memory

The anual hoedown on the homestead at Steph and Gavin's cabin. About 15 wonderful people showed up.

I woke up with the sunrise for a mountain bike ride on a dusty moto trail down a wash toward the Dirty Devil river. The Henry Mountains are my backdrop.

After some coffee lounging, we started onward to a slot.

The opening of Leprechaun slot, near the Henry Mountains.

Fun happened. Big time.

In the slot.

At the height of noon, the narrow crack in the roof put on a light show.

And after all that, a day at the beach.

And then kite flying! The hits just keep on coming.

It was the longest day in memory. 

Perhaps it had something to do with the moon. It was so close to the earth that it slowed everything down. Slow enough observe the light tracking through a canyon, slow enough to watch the moon rise, slow enough to examine the day before its gone.