January 2005 Posts

Bikes Ordered

This last Sunday, we went down and visited Doug Fattic and ordered two Surley Long Haul Truckers. Keith will be getting a 56cm frame and I will be getting a 62cm frame. It was a trip that was very worthwhile. I learned alot about bike fitting, most importantly that I know just enought to be dangerous! These bikes that fit properly should make a big difference for the type of trip we are planning for this summer. Keith will grow, and we can replace the frame at a later time and move all the other parts over to the new frame without having to buy a completely new bike.

We also took Lois’ road bike down to get recommendations adjusting it. She has never been really comfortable on it. As we were carrying it in Doug said, “Oh. I see the problem, that bike should fit someone that is 5-3.” Lois is 5-10. So we will now be looking at replacing it with a larger bike.

Snow and REI

It’s been a busy weekend.

Thursday the office and Keith’s school were closed due to “inclimate weather” but by afternoon the snow had stopped and the roads were clear again so the two of us took off for the REI store in Northview.  I had some shoes that were defective that I needed to take back and we wanted to see what gear they had.  In particular we wanted to know if they rented backpacks and other gear for an upcoming Pathfinder backpack trip our club is planning for the spring.  I got a new pair of shoes and we looked at all the cool gear that they had.  REI has to be one of my favorite stores.  In the back of the store they had a clearance section.  In the boxed of reduced items we found paniers!  Ah what a find.  I know there are some better paniers, but they are also at a “better” price.  We got one complete set of panniers (a pair for the front and a pair for the back of my bike) for less money that we would have paid for just one pair of the brand I really wanted.  They will work great for now, and we can upgrade another year.

We are looking at having Doug Fattic build us some bicycles – not from scratch.  We will work with him to buy frames and add the componets we want.  I am really interested in the Surley Long Haul Trucker.  It’s a sturdy frame, made to the right dimensions.  One of the things that many not-so-serious frames do is make the chain stays too short.  (The chain stay is the part of the bike from the pedals to the back wheel hub.)  When that happens, it’s too easy for your heals to hit the back set of paniers.  The Long Haul Trucker has this problem solved and is well recommended for the price. We’ll have to see how the budget works out.

This weekend Keith and I spent at Camp Au Sable for an area Pathfinder campout weekend.  It was a great weekend.  We got just enough snow to make it fun.  Earlier in the week all the snow had melted off and turned ice, but a last minute snow storm dropped 3-5 inches and make for a great weekend.  We “camped” in the Cedar Lodge,” so we didn’t have it too rough.  A friend (Jason Whittaker) and I went out about 11:30 at night and took some night pictures you can see here and here.  It was fun to try that out!  I also had fun with another image.  I’ll just say that things are not always the way they appear.  The bad part is that my camera bit the dust.  It had recieved some accidental water damage last summer and was showing signs of problems.  I’ve got a new body ordered that should be here by Thursday, so I’ll be back in business.  Forturnately insurance covered most of the cost.

We’re Really Not Crazy

Just in case you were thinking that we were, here’s a web site to give some perspective. It’s about a couple who saved some money, sold everything they had (except their bikes and gear), and set out to bicycle around the world. http://www.downtheroad.org/ Makes the Lewis and Clark Trail seem like a short walk around the park!

The Planning Begins

We have begun the planning of our bike trip this summer in ernest. Keith (my son) and I are planning to begin a bicycle trip of the Lewis and Clark Trail this summer. We will be starting just after the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s General Conference Session which will be held in St. Louis, Missouri from June 30 – July 9, 2005. The trip will begin on Sunday, July 10 and we will ride for three weeks attempting to make it as far as Bismark, North Dakota, by Friday, July 29. We will be following the trail that has been established by the Adventure Cycling Association. We currently are planning to having my Uncle Wes meet us with our van at the end of the trip so that we can journey on to the ASI Convention in Sacramento, CA in early August. Here are some links we are using in planning the trip. http://www.adventurecycling.org/routes/lewisandclark.cfm
http://www.biketouring.net/
http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/touring/
http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/howto.cfm
http://www.coloradocyclist.com/bikefit/ We currently have the following bikes:
– Trek 1220 (mine)
– Trek 1400 (Keith’s)
These are standard road bikes and not specially suited for touring due to the added weight and larger tires usually used in touring. We are considering acquiring new(er) bikes or modifying these for the trip. We have one set of smaller panniers and may consider a trailer for my bike if we use the existing bike. If you are interested in joining us for the trip or assisting in any way, please let me know.