28 June 2016

The E-bike Debate

A few days ago in my Facebook feed there was a post about a E-bike demo day that had just taken place on a local trail system. That post started up the hold debate about E-bikes.

The opinions on this subject are everything from, they are motorized vehicles and should not be on the trail. To they are not because you still have to pedal the bike.

I guess a year or so ago when I was at the beach, was the first time I heard about an E-Bike. I belive my first comment was why would you want a E-Bike? I was told because your non-riding friend or family member will be able to ride and keep up with you (people who ride all the time). Well at the time that made some since.

After reading the post about the E-Bike demo day I have more of an opinion on this debate. First off I want to say I do think the E-Bike has its place but it's not on the trail. I am under the opinion that if it has a motor then it's motorized and is a motorized vehicle. Now I know that can be debated and I am okay with that.

I think we have to think back years ago to the first motorcycle. The first motorcycle was built when someone put a motor on a bicycle and overtime the  motors got more horsepower and the bicycle with a motor became a motorcycle. I see that the E-Bike of today is just the first generation and that we will see the E-Bike motor either get smaller and lighter or stronger/faster or both.

So my E-Bike opinion is not based on where we are at today but where we will be at years from now.

Okay, I did state that the E-Bike has it's place. I believe that place is with the cargo bike. This is the perfect application for a pedal assisted bicycles. If you do the cargo bike lifestyle thing, and use your cargo bike inplace of a car. I can see needing a motor to assist you on that type of bike.

Well for the three people who might read this I would like for you to leave your comments on this subject/debate. I am interested in your point of view on this.

20 June 2016

Be Safe Out There

I got a call from my wife today to telling me that one of the Dads of my daughters friends was hit by a car on Father's day. I was in a bit of confusion.

We had just been to dinner with that family on Saturday because both of our daughters were in the same dance production. They had talked about the Dad and son riding on the Cap to Cap trail on Sunday. So knowing that information I was confused how he had gotten hit.

Well a change of plans put him out on a back county road and a lady going to church turns in front of him and then stops causing his bike to hit the car and him going across the car.

He's a little broken up and will recover. The driver did get a ticket. I was surprised that happen. You hear so many times that the driver does not get a ticket or a charge.

I when this afternoon to pick the bike up from the church. I figured that I was going to see a bike that was broken up. To my surprise the only thing I can find wrong with the bike is a flat front tire and a drop chain. I am going to take it to a bike shop for them to get the shop to make a proper once over.

This could have ended up very badly and I hope for him a speedy recovery.

15 June 2016

Technical Difficulties

The title says it all! Last August I purchased a tablet to surf the Web and check emails. This was to free up one of your laptops for a child to do homework on. In today's world the kids homework is on the computer and not on paper.

With this change writing a post for the blog has been harder for me. One issue is the tablet does not fully function like a laptop or desktop computer. So I have had to research how to use different apps to do the same things I did on the computer.

Second issue is that I have had a hard time getting into my outdoor activities or projects either because of rain, time or waste of time....

I hope in the next few weeks I can start putting up some more content that you will find interesting.

So please check back soon!

09 April 2016

Public Servive Announcements!

This is a public service announcement! Pocahontas State Park will be closing the Morgan and Lakeview MTB trail systems on Friday April 29th and Saturday April 30th to host the Ragnar Trail Relay series.

The Swift Creek Trail System (Blueberry, Bell and Gateway) will be available to riders but it is has beed asked that you keep in mind the limited parking availability for these trails. Please keep in mind that this event is expected to be a substantial fundraiser for the Friends of Pocahontas State Park (the money will go back into the park to fund projects) and  your support in this endeavor is appreciated. It is asked that you consider enjoying the trails at another (Powhite, James River Park System-Forest Hill) facility of your choosing during these two days.

On another note, a service that the Friends of Pocahontas State Park started this winter is a Automated Daily Mountain Bike Trail Conditions and Closure Information Alert. If you text "POCA" to 804-292-2939 you will receive a text when conditions at the park close down all or parts of the trail system. This text is sent out by 6:30 a.m.. The text will tell you how many trails are closed and open and there is a link to the Friends website that will list those trails either open or close. If you text the word "ALL" you will receive a alert every day even if all trails are open.

Know your data plan if you have a limit to text that you can receive! This should help riders decide whether to head to the trails due to closures.

Over at RVA News 
Great article on the Do's and Don't on using the James River Park. This list of Do's and Don't can be for any park. The bad thing is I don't think that article or this blog is reaching the folks that are causing the problems.

So that's the PSA for today. Enjoy yourself in the great outdoors and take the time out to volunteer with a trail's group or Friend's group. Give back to what you enjoy!

13 March 2016

Banff Mountain World Tour 2016

This year marks the 25th year that Chesterfield Parks and Recreation has bought the Banff Mountain World Tour to Chesterfield Virginia. This year we had three nights of films from the world tour. A total of 26 outdoor films that were from 4 minutes to 40 minutes in length.



Here are 3 of my favorites
Unbranded


unReal

55 Hours in Mexico 

If you have not been to a Banff Mountain World Tour  I encourage you to do so.

28 February 2016

Bikewright Workshop Project- Diamondback Apex - Some updates

This project has taken a lot longer than I figured it would. Some of that has been to find the time to work on it but most of it has been researching what I believe will work on this build. In this day and age with all the different drive trains, shifters, tires, wheels, etc it can be overwhelming.

My wife came up with the idea of black parts. What she was meaning was black seatpost, stem, cranks and wheels. Well that should not be hard right? It has been more challenging than I figured it would be. The seatpost had been my stopping point for sometime. The post needed for this bike is a 26.6 which is hard to find in black that does not cost $12. I just don't see a $12 post holding up! Anyhow I was able to find a vintage Gipiemme Seatpost.

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Since I was building this up as a drop-bar I needed bar end shifters. Out of all the different drive train set-ups that I could have gone with, I figured 9 speed is where I was going to go with this project. Searching for a set of used bar end shifters at a price point that was not close to a new pair was impossible.  So I went with a new set of Microshift 9 speed bar end shifters. I had not heard of Microshift and figured why not give them a try. I am all for trying out the little guy over the big two companies that make shifters and drive trains.

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Easy to set-up and looks good. Very please with how the bar tape looks at the shifter.



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Very pleased with the shifter and it has a good feel to it. Now the next picture does not look as good as it does in person.

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I could have gone up the bar past the bake lever and had a smaller loop of shift housing but I went with the old school routing and had to put a bigger loop in the shift housing. I think this is the way to go because the Gary II bar does not have a housing routing grove and I think feeling the housing would drive me crazy.

I am really please with how the mouse pads and bar tape worked together. I am sure once I get riding I will have to post how well that works. This is the first time that I have used mouse pad to add extra pading under the tape.

25 January 2016

Winter Sports of Sorts

Winter finally came this past weekend and gave us the gift of snow. It has been years since we had a snow storm like this one and this one went in the record books as the 11th biggest snowfall for the Richmond Virginia area. With totals in the 11-16 inch range.

I love the snow and I love to get out in it. This year also let me breakout my Atlas 930 snowshoes. My friend "G" had just bought his first pair of snowshoes and had been dying to use them. So people you can blame "G" for the snow if you don't like it.

 
Just a little ways from the house it's time to peel off a couple of layers. Snowshoeing is a great workout and you will warm up fast. I guess at this point we have 6-8 inches of fresh snow on the trail. We are using different brands of shoes but both are the same size at 30 inches.

We have to be the only people in the park and its cool to be able to lay the first tracks in the snow.


video
This was just a great spot to catch a video of the snow coming down. At this point we had only been out 30-40 mins and the conditions started to get worst. The wind picked up and that caused for low visibility and drifts. I am standing behind a information board to shelter myself from the snow and wind.

Here's a cool picture I took with a app on my phone. Still trying to figure how it works and how good the information is.

This morning was a day off from work and the gym. But I still wanted to get a workout in and snowshoeing by moonlight changes things up a bit.

I think the snow covered trails are calling my name again in the morning.