17 December 2011

Looking for Some Different

With everyone living a fast pace life these days the simple thing to do is to go out and buy gift cards for everyone. I hate gift cards! Damn it's Christmas time so put in the time to get someone a gift!

Anyhow we did something different today. We ventured down to Olde Town Petersburg to do some Christmas shopping. To find something cool that you cannot get at the mall. We found it! I had to take this crappy camera phone picture

Making of the movie Lincoln

Most of Olde Town has been there since the Civil War. It was cool to see it turned back to that time.

The Best British Pub is on that street "Brickhouse Run"and it would be closed due to the filming.

15 December 2011

Garmin Foretrex 401- A Review

Over the past 3 years or so I have been using different tools to log my outdoor activities to see how far; fast I have been running, biking or hiking. I had a cycle computer that broke and a GPS (Garmin Foretrex 201) that I used during that time.

But the one thing I did not have was one tool that I could move from bike to bike or carry on me. In the search for the one tool to do all I needed to define what my requirements are and research for something that could meet those requirements.

Requirement List:
1. I need something that I can use on both my mountain and cross bikes. (Two mounts)

2. Heart Rate.

3. Cadence.

4. Altimeter.

5. Wireless.

6. Waterproof.

7. Electronic Compass.

8. I need something that I can use running and hiking.

9. I can download the data (Workout or GPX file)

10. Navigate with it

11. Good price point

after looking at the specs of different cycle computers and heart rate monitors and Garmin products, I think I found the one that meets my requirements. The Garmin Foretrex 401 is my choice.

It's the big brother of the 201 that I already had. The Foretrex 201 is a discontinued model and lacked a lot of the features of the 401. If you remember reading this then you will know I was hard on the 201 that day but it proved to be able to take everything that I was dishing out to it!

As you can see from the picture both units look about the same, but the 401 can do so such more. But compared to most GPS units it does lack a lot of the features that most people are looking for in a GPS. The Foretrex 401 does not have a base map nor can you upload maps to it. Software and updates are also lacking.

The Foretrex comes with a wrist strap, a belt or equipment strap, a USB cord, and a user manual on CD. There are a couple of tools that you can download from the Garmin site. Garmin's BaseCamp and Garmin Connect. You can also use 3rd party sites like Mapmyride or GPS Visualizer. I am still working on how to use BaseCamp... Maybe that will be another post.

So is the Foretrex 401 for you? Maybe or maybe not, you have to figure that out for yourself. For what I can tell the market for the foretrex 401 is military types. It is hands free and there is a tactical pouch made for it. Important when you need to use your hands but still know your location. Also there is a jump master feature. If you check out Dateline's Rescue in the Mountains you will see when they jump from the DC-3 one of the jumpers has the Foretrex 401 on their wrist.

I think the list could go on, para-gliders, UL backpackers, cyclist. But I think having a strong background in navigation and route planning is a must for users of this unit.

I have only had the Foretrex 401 for about 30 days and I plan to give it some more testing and use and will give a updated post.

07 December 2011

Alerts and Other Things that are Happing

It looks like since Richmond will be hosting the UCI World Championship in 2015 there are a lot of things happing that deal with cycling. Some are good and others are a step back. One thing to remember it might not be in your backyard or an issue, but if it can happen here it can happen where you live.

From the Virginia Bicycling Federation website

Happy Motoring ONLY!

Sharrows Not sure were I am at with that one.. But anything is better than nothing..

Your Right to the Road
I have issue with this one so I sign it.

Take a minute to read, get your facts and take action for something that you love doing-riding a bike!

18 October 2011

More Bridgestone Wheel Action

My parts that I ordered from Loose Screws came in over the weekend. This was the first time that I had placed an order with them and I was very pleased with the service.

I went this route for parts because I am fed-up with going to a store and they do not have the item or cannot order the item for you. I think I made this rant on another post...

If you go back to this post, you can see how nasty this wheel was. It looks like bar oil for a chain saw was used on this drive train. One of the things that I have learn working on project bikes, is that you have to take everything apart and clean it before you know if you have crap or not. Most of the time the grease and oil cleans right-up and you still have parts that are in great shape.

One of the first issues that I had to work with was the schrader hole that had been drilled in the Araya RM-20 rim. The rim was a presta that had been drilled out for a schrader tube. My friend said he did that because it was easier to get schrader tubes back-in-the-day! I guess it is just me, but schrader tubes just yell out department store bike to me. So I fix that problem I ordered a presta valve rim grommet.



Next was replacing all the bearings that fell out of the freewheel. I ordered a bag of 100 bearings and I used 73. I think I should have used 75 bearing but maybe the amount of grease I used I could not fit anymore on the race.

I used a Teflon based grease that I have found to work well and takes a long time to breakdown.Rubber rim tape is what I took-off the rims and I replaced it with 22mm Velox rim tape. Velox is the only rim tape I will use.

Next week I will take the wheels to the LBS or see if Dartman has time to true the wheels.

13 October 2011


This post is not one of my normal bikewright post, but I wanted to share a little something that happen with my kids bedtime. Let me set the seen. On most days you will see me wearing a hat. The one that I wear most of the time is a khaki operators cap with Velcro on the front, top and back. On the front I have a US flag patch.

Before reading a story tonight my daughter said " Daddy I know what that flag badge means on your hat". I said what does it mean? She said it means you are a hero.

So for the rest of you that wear a flag patch for your job, just remember there is a kid that thinks you are a hero!

07 October 2011

Starting Back at it- MB-1 project

The 86 MB-1 has been on the shelf for many months and I just started back messing with it. Some of this is because my office will be moving from the sticks to the city and I will have a chance to do some commuting. I figured the MB-1 would be a good bike for this.

There were a couple of reasons why this project was put on the shelf. One was what did I want to do with the Bridgestone. Was it going to be a full-on mountain bike that was original or was it going to be a single speed or what have you.

Second was the wheels. This has been the biggest issue for me. The spacing for the rear hub is smaller than modern day spacing (road and MTN). This leads to a lack of hubs. But Paul Component Engineering came out with a fix with the Jono Hub. I figured a nice new set of wheels built with the Jono hub would be nice and could drop some weight off the bike.

But before I was going to drop the cash on new wheels I needed to see what shape the old wheels were in. The wheels that came on the Bridgestone are Araya RM-20 with Suntour Cyclone hubs lace with 14 stainless spokes and brass nipples.

They are covered with years of dirt a old grease. I never had a bike with a freewheel so this is all new to me. I don't have the best pictures in the world but here you go.

Here is a picture of the freehub. Plastic disk still hard as a rock after 20 years..

The freewheel! Looks like a mess but this is not the original one that came on the bike and still has a lot of life left in it.

Now I would like to give you a learning point. On the front and back of the freewheel are bearings. Since old grease turns yellow and dries out and the bearing are loose, there is a good chance they are going all over the floor when you pull the freewheel off the hub. I would also guess there is about 50 of these bearings. But I would not know since I am not sure if I have found them all...

Everything is cleaning up real nice and I think these wheels have many more miles in them. So for now I am going to keep what I got. I am going to have to purchase some new bearings and rim tape.

So that's it! Until I get the parts you will just have to wait to see them finished.

05 October 2011

Still Clearing the Way

This past Sunday I was in Pocahontas State Park with a crew clearing the way on the Blue Trail. I was one of the original trail builders of the mountain bike trails in the park. This was back in 1995 and I believe we called the "Blue Trail" Towering Pines. But it seems today that they are known by their color.

I took this picture at the trailhead of of the Double Red or Little West VA. As you can see you cannot see the trail. This is from the storm at the end of August.

After shot

I was on one of the blowers and three tanks of gas got me to here

It is hard to see but there are about four guys in there cutting and clearing. I would say another good days work by all that was there.

I have only been able to get out twice to help since the storm due to one thing or another. But the folks that come out to do this work must only be about 1 1/2 percent of all the people that use the trails.. Just think if the 20% that do 80% of the work came out we would have been done weeks ago.

26 September 2011

Richmond to host 2015 Worlds

Not since the days of Tour Dupont and Tour de Trump and don't forget Coors Classic has Richmond really seen any true road racing events.

The question that seems to be out there is; "Richmond going to be the next Cycling City"? Is this event going to give cyclist (Bike Commuters) the bike lanes, routes, parking, and other services that they have been wanting? I don't know answer to this question or if we will be the next Cycling City. But I would think that something has to happen.

Check out here as one source that links to other sites on this subject and what people are posting about it.

For somebody that will start working in the city in the next six months this could be a really cool thing to happen. But being what seems to being the Capital of NASCAR, tobacco, and the NCAA it seems like there is a long ways to go!

18 September 2011

Eagle Scout Project At Camp 7

The trail crews are back working another weekend to get the trails open and I ended up on the other side of the park to see this project off.

Scouts working on phase I of the project

The gate has been put up to keep the Equestrians from riding into the camp area. The issue is the horses doing their thing and it being on the ground where you need to eat and sleep. You get the picture...

The pad still needs somemore backfil and will be completed Monday night. This is where the port-a-johns will go when a group or Troop will be using the site.

I did not get to help like I wanted but did get a few pictures and scouted out some rock for backfil on a fire road about a mile away.

Great job to another young leader!

17 September 2011

I am needing to make some room for some new stuff so here you go,

Shimano Xtr Sm-Rt96 Disc Brake Rotor: Like new but has been used $15

Answer MTB Shoes Size 10 1/2 EURO 44 They are used but had only been used with a flat pedal. The bottom of the shoe is like new. $15

1996 Rock Shock Judy XC. From top of race the steer tube 1/16 short of 7". No parts for the insides. Just fork legs and crown. Steer is 1 1/8" Make offer!

For local pick-up and shipping. YOU Pay what it cost to ship!

Contact me bikewright1@gmaildotcom

12 September 2011

The Heavy Work

Weekend number two for post-hurricane clean-up. There was a good turn-out of folks that came out to work. We broke-up into two crews and started work on the Lakeview I trails.

There is a lot more to do. Keep a lookout on the CCVA or RA-MORE sites for trail work dates and times

09 September 2011

That's Normal Wear and Tear

For Father's Day I received a Osprey Transporter 95. Click here to learn more about the transporter series of bags. I readlly like the bag.

I have been on two trips for work and one for vaction and everytime I flew, it was on a US AIRWAYS flight. On my last trip for work I grab my bag from baggage claim and made my way home. I had less than 24 hours before I was to catch another flight to go on vaction. Once I got home I started to unload my bag and could see some light from inside the bag. So I took a look at the end of the bag and see that I have damage to the end of the bag and there are two tears that you can see better from the inside than the outside of the bag.

Outside of bag

Inside of bag

When I went back to the airport I made a damaged baggage claim with US AIRWAYS. I was told this was normal wear and tear and that they would take my claim but would need to call the 1-800 number and follow-up with pictures.

A couple of days later I make the call only to be told that somebody will get back with me. About two weeks goes by and no return call. So I find the time the other day to call back US AIRWAYS baggage call center. I tell the person at the call center what has or has not happen and the bottom line of that phone call and at this time was that my claim has been turn down and that this is normal wear and tear.

I told the individual that this is not normal wear and tear and it is not how I take care of my equipment. In my job my equipment has to be serviceable and in good shape and if it is not then I have to fix it or replace it. The pictures here are the same pictures that I will be sending in to the resolution office. Just one more step (tactic) that the baggage call center is making me take to get my bag fix.

Wish me luck!

16 August 2011

Out My Backdoor

Came in last night and this is the view out the backdoor of the cabin. There is riding in them there hills. I have no set routes or places to ride. I figure I will be a entdecker for the rest of the week.

09 August 2011

You Very Wise Grasshopper

I hope in the next week I will be on track with some bike blogging and pictures but until then. Here is the biggest freaking grasshopper that I have ever seen.

The grasshopper was not hurt during the photo shoot!

11 July 2011

DIY Project- MTB Orienteering Map Board

After finding out that there is going to be a local MTB Orienteering here at the park I started my research to find out more about the sport. I found that there is a map board that is use so you can ride and read you map at the sametime. Conducting a search on-line you can find these boards for anywhere from $60-90. A little to rich for my blood for a event that I only see listed maybe twice a year.

With that I figured that I could make my own. So here is my step-by step picture how to.

First is figuring out what parts I would need. So I started here; Five dollar clipboard and a mount for my NiteRider light.

Next need to take this noise maker out.

Next is take this part off.

Next we need to add a spacer so I figured that a tire patch would work.

Here is what the spacer looks like.

I needed one more spacer. Can you guess what I used? Washer from a rear D pulley. See always keep those small parts..

Here is the finish product.

I guess this weekend I will see how this thing will work. I can tell you now that the board needs to be higher off the handle bar. If I had a cycle computer on the bar I could not use it.

19 June 2011

Scouting Things Out II

If you take a quick read back at this post I was trying to find a new route down on the Appomattox River Trail. This past weekend I was able to get back down there.

Now it's only about six miles but it reminded me of old school mountain biking when you had to scout black market trails. Most of the trail is a mix of access road and double track and I guess ATV trail. I did have a hard time after the second wooden bridge to find which trail to take, so with that I provide you with waypoints.

Starting point: UTM 18S 0285544 4123368

First Bridge (Forest Service Type): 18S 0285155 4123128

Train Trussel: 18S 0284218 4122613

First Wooden Bridge: 18S 0283518 4122325

Tunnel from First Bridge:

Second Woonden Bridge: 18S 0283473 4122371

End of Trail Eastside: 18S 0280382 4122610

Westside of Road: 18S 0280344 4122608

End of Trail: 18S 0277854 4122335

18 June 2011


Last night David R and myself hit the local park for a night orienteering event. It is the same as a regular orienteering event other than it's at night. We got there at 2100hrs so it would be good and dark. It's only going to be so dark with the lights from the ballfields..

We did the advance course which had 19 controls that we needed to find. Looking at the right of the map you will see a # 11 with S/F just to the upper left. This is the starting and finishing point. We ran our course counter clockwise. Control # 2 was hard to get to from control # 3. We could see the light from somebody looking for thr control. We went to the road to a horseshoe loop for there I took an azmiuth and lead Daid to the control. We found the control before thr other guy and he was a little pissed.

Now controls # 20, 19, and 18 are in this field and the grass and whatever else was in the field up to our pockets. It was the right conditions for a bank of fog to roll in over the field. I know I had a hard time seeing with my Petzl Tikka and could have used a more powerful light (note to self,search for a new light).

Total time was 80 mins on the course and we found all 19 controls. It was a fun event and I was glad to do this as a team. I think it made it more fun.

12 June 2011

Tour Divide 2011

If you don't follow the ultra-cycling events out there then you need to know that the Tour Divide 2011 started 10 JUNE at high noon. Go over to the site to find out more about the race.

This years race is going to be fun to follow because we have 3 Virginia Boy's in the race.

Race updates are called in by the racers and are put out as a podcast that you can listen to here. Live tracking of the racers can be found

07 June 2011


"No, I can't say I was ever lost, but I was bewildered once for three days"- Daniel Boone (1734-1820), Frontiersman

In my last post I said I was going on a rant about hitting the trail without a map and not knowing how to use it if you had it! Well the other I hit my breaking point on this subject. I went to my local outdoors shop to see if I could find a UTM plotter. Sales girls came up to me and asked, "can I help you find something".

Me- I am looking for a UTM Plotter.

Sales Girl- Is that like a compass.

Me- (I am thinking) you work here in a backpacking/outdoor store and you think that a UTM plotter is a compass. OK looks like you don't have one... Thanks

WTF! I guess I will not be supporting the local shop with a purchase. Don't think that I am going to ask if you can order for me. I can go online to do that.

Call it what you want, backcountry navigation, Land Nav, map reading, orienteering, or using a GPS. If you are going to hit a trail or go into the backcountry or even across town to somewhere you have not been you have to have somthing to help you get there.

Navigation is problem solving of the highest order. Orienteering is know as the thinking game. It demands you to be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to details. Navigation competence can only be developed by practice.

I don't know how I want to end this post, so I will leave you with a couple of links to checkout. One of the best ways to develope your skill is to go to a orienteering event. They have beginner classes at the event and different levels of courses that you can do. Go here to the Orienteering USA home page to find an event near you. Or go to chapter 12 of the Boy Scout Fieldbook if you want to read how to read and use a map. If you want the UTM Plotter or know what the heck it is then click here.

04 June 2011

Adventures From Last Weekend- A Quick Post

Took a day trip up to Shenandoah National Park last Sunday to have a Daddy and Me day with my daughter. Wife needed to do some work so we got out of the house for the day.

Since my daughter is six I try to plan do short hikes of about a mile round trip. Then we take a break and find another short trail to do. I try to keep the hikes to about 3 miles total for the day. Our goal for this day is to do a rock scramble and see a waterfall.

We had a great day and had two ice cream brakes at Big Meadows. Here are some pictures from our outting.

The wild flowers where in full form. Since we are going at my daughter's pace I get to slow down and smell the roses (wild Flowers).

When we took our first ice cream break I spotted some touring bikes. So I go over to take a look and the cool factor went up when I saw that one of the bikes was a Rivendell.

Off to the waterfall

Now you would figure that getting to the falls would be easy being maked with the trail signage pictured above. Well it is and I still carry a map with me. I don't know how many people asked me how to get somewhere. Please if you are going to hit the trail have a map and know how to use the damn thing! (This will be another post all on its own later when I have time to rant about it).

That's it for now.

22 May 2011

Making the Most of it.

I have not been posting as much as I would like for the last couple of months. My time has been so limited that when I can ride or get some fun in the blog has gone to the wayside.

Well I am not going to rant about work or other things that have been taking up more time than I would like. But last week I had to take a trip to Smyrna TN for some training. I did not want to go but I did try to make the best of it!

I owned two Land Rovers over the years and as bad as it is to keep them up and running I still like them. I just like that somebody else has to deal with the maintenance issue. But I did find this Defender 110.

I don't know the year of the Defender but it was in good shape. With a little bit of work it could be a great truck for adventure. Plus it is plain cool!

Since I could not pack the bike up and bring it with me I did bring the running shoes. Running in the hotel gym just sucks! After taking a look at the map, I figured I could make a big loop around the hotel area. It was pretty cool to find an old farm just on the backside of the hotel.

I hope things start to calm down! But for now I will make the most of it.

01 May 2011

I had to Pull the Plug!

If you remember I posted here that I was planning on taking a trip on the C and O Canal. Starting out today would have been the first day on the trail.

With a lot of regret, Friday morning I called it off. I had been thinking about it Thursday night and it was due to weather. By the time I checked a few emails it was also going to be work.

Today I don't feel so bad after checking the weather again.

The forecast is rain all week. I just did not want to ride 380 miles in rain. I also did not know that flooding had been an issue about two weeks ago. But check out where a Boy Scout Troop was rescued from a campsite on the canal.

So a new date and more planning will go in to this trip later this year.

25 April 2011

A Little downtime- I won't be doing this

Took off for a little spring time vacation this past week. The above picture is of two people kite surfing or kiteboarding. It looks way cooler than surfing. At lest on the eastcoast. Watching it is like looking at fish in a fish tank.

But I am sure that if the wind picks you up it's going to hurt like hell!

14 April 2011

Somethings Are Still Free In This Day and Age

April the 18th (Taxes are due) is just around the corner and I hope you did better than I did this year, I owe Uncle Sam big time! I owe and they shorted my pay check this week, great!

April is also that time again for Spring Break. Its time to get out and have some fun. I hope that you got a tax refund but if you did not and need to do something on the cheap, here you go.Free Entrance Days in the National Parks. How about that, its National Park Week. That will save you some money and if you are reading this blog then I know you like being in the outdoors making your own adventure.

Most of us have to make a road trip to get to one of our National Parks. Well I can hook you up there too. You need your tunes and one great place to get some free music is here.

Blue Ridge Outdoors is a regional newspaper magazine that is free at our local bike shops and outdoor stores. I have been picking up an issue for about 13 years now. If you want to know what is going on in the outdoors in the Southeast States this is your place to go.

There you go, something free!I hope that makes you feel better. Go out and have some fun this weekend and next week. Don't let the tax man get you down.

06 April 2011

Gaint Demo Day-By Rowletts

Here is a plug for one of our local shops. Wish I didn't have duty this weekend..Oh wait the government will be shutdown by then. So I can go or I will be working for free.

Anyhow just get out and ride!

Join us and Giant Bicycles this Saturday April 9th in Forest Hill Park
(42nd street and New Kent Ave.)

A free event from 10am till 4pm.

Come take advantage of the opportunity to demo a 2011 Reign 0, Trance X1,
Anthem X2, Anthem X1 29er, or Cypher. Also available for demo are our TCR
and Defy road bikes.

We will also be handing out coupons good for discounts on Bikes and

For more info, visit www.Rowletts.com

04 April 2011


No we did not ride a loop, G and I circumnavigated Lake Chesdin. I was able to get out with G for a long ride. He had plans for a 76 mile route but that soon change whem winds on Saturday started kicking up to 31 mph with some showers.

Lake Chesdin is a 3100 acre water supply reservoir on the southside of the county. Our circumnatigation took us thur three counties.

No pictures of the lake (I would not take my hands off the bar to take a piture).But here is a good one for you..

We took shelter during a little shower at this old school house (Namozine School 1905).

23 March 2011

Trip Prep- C and O Canal

I have been working on some trip details for my miniadventure on the C and O canal. Looking at doing and out and back starting in D.C. It will call for long days in the saddle because I shooting for 380 miles in 4 days.

Right now I am gearing my gear together. I wish I had a full-on bikepacking set-up but I don't so that will be down the road. Hope to take some pictures to post before the trip and I will have a full trip report.

Stay tune!

09 March 2011

To Keep or Not to Keep, That is the Question

When I posted this I figured that I was going to sell the pedals. Well I sat down the other night and took the pedals apart to see what was going on with them. One pedal was good and just needed some cleaning. The other both bearings had rusted.

Had to make a trip to the LBS and they were able to hook me up with a new set. I figured a shop that has been around for a 100 years would have them in stock!

The photo shows all the parts and the bad bearings. Since they are as good as new, I think I will hold on to them a little longer. Who knows when you might need a flat pedal..

05 March 2011

We Have Ignition!

I have been working on a few projects and things have been taking there own time thus the lack of post. Four or five months ago a friend of mine gave me some old outdoor gear that he was not using. You might remember from an earlier post I got a Proflex bike and used it on the Univega project bike.

I pulled off all the parts from the Proflex that I could and the frame made its way over to The Broken Wrench Work Shop. Hope to see the frame as a lamp or something.

Anyhow, my friend also gave me a MSR stove. He said that it leak white gas and he was never going to use it again. Since I have been using a camping gaz stove for over 20 years with no issues I never lusted after another stove nor did a lot of reseach on other stoves.

I figured I was just going to sell the stove since I did not need another one. Wrong! After doing a little reseach I found out that I had a MSR WhisperLite™ Internationale stove. There were three things I liked about the stove; proven reliability,rebuildable in the field, and MADE IN THE USA.

I still like my camping gaz stove from Europe but finding a U.S. made backpacking stove, who would have figured. If you look at most of the MSR products they are made in the U.S.

Okay, back to one of the three things I liked about the stove. It's rebuildable and another project is born. There are two service kits that you can buy for the stove. The annual kit and the expedition kit. Since I did not know how old the stove was and the last time it had been service I went with the expedition kit since it has everything you need and then some. The kit runs about $25.

The following picture show some of the process of rebuilding the stove and the parts that you get.

Stove and fuel pump

Service Kit

Pulling all the old parts off the pump

All the new parts

We have ignition

I have not cooked on the stove so I will have to test that out. But I am very pleased with the project.