Monday, November 26, 2012

First (real) Snow

It snowed for real last night.  Or maybe I should say that we came back from our Thanksgiving visit to my 'rents in southern Wisconsin last night and things were white.  Don't know exactly when it snowed - just that it was snowy when we got here.

Now after that annoyingly accurate depiction of our weather I'll continue with the rest of this blog entry.

As you can see from the above picture I'm not too in to cleaning my bike.  And I've convinced myself that this is fine - that it doesn't really affect anything.  I can definitely see how getting grit and grime in the moving parts wears 'em out.  And I actually clean that stuff fairly regularly.  But if I'm out for a ride and go through a puddle and splash mud up on my rim or frame I really don't care.  I've got better things to do than be OCD about the cleanliness of my bike.  Like take a nap, watch grass grow, paint dry, or the fur grow on Jenny's rabbits.

I went to youtube to search for a funny video about "cleanliness is next to Godliness" and found this video which has a promising title and starts off decent.  But most of the video just consists of a couple of cats laying there.  What possesses someone to take a video like this and think they have something good and then go to the trouble of posting it on YouTube?  Maybe it's supposed to be ironically funny because its so bad.  I bet that almost all of the 127 hits they've had have been people like me who watch and it and then keep watching it because, well, something has to happen, right?  It's kinda like if someone just watched the end of Monty Python and Quest for the Holy Grail without having seen the first hour and a half of the movie. Reminds me of this.

If you look closely you can see that he's running an Endomorph on the front as well - this was in '09 when there was no choice.

The above 3 photos were taken by Mike Curiak during the '09 version of Arrowhead which I participated in although my tracks were made by a 2.4" WTB Motoraptor.

I've been noticing recently, especially with the advent of all the new tires available for fatbikes nowadays, that I get kind of a warm fuzzy feeling when I see an Endomorph tire track.  (In case you don't know and Endomorph is the original production fatbike tire)  Everyone who has ridden fatbikes for very long has either ridden them or seen them being ridden.  When I got the bike it came with a Larry up front and an Endomorph in the back.  I frankly don't know if other tires are better.  Haven't tried any.  Have never seen a need to.  I'm sure that it depends on the conditions you're riding in and your riding style.  I'm not a particularly aggressive rider and so don't push things hard enough (in corners or up a steep hill) that a more aggressive tire would make much of a difference.  And I'm not ashamed to have to walk up a steep hill.  If I push hard enough to make an Endomorph spin out then 1) I'm probably riding something so steep that it's almost as fast to walk and 2) feel pretty good about my fitness - it's no small feat to push an fat tire so hard it spins out. 

Did you know that there is actually a bamboo fatbike?  They claim that the one in this video is.  Of course I know that bamboo can be fashioned into perfectly good bike frames.  And or course bamboo is a renewable resource.  And a bike made from it is kinda an art form.  I get that.  But when a well-made steel framed bike is perfectly serviceable, relatively cheap, strong, durable, and also an art form it doesn't really make too much sense.  I understand the need to use sustainable alternatives in almost everything.  But I don't think the priority right now should be to develop an alternative to steel (or aluminum or titanium or whatever) it should be to use the steel (or aluminum.  I'm not aware of any piles of scrap titanium lying around but I'm guessing that's because I don't have the inside line on the world titanium market) we have laying around - and we have plenty of it to supply our need for new bike frames for some time.  And now that I've gone on the record saying that bamboo bike frames don't make sense Arrowhead 2013 will probably be won by someone on a bamboo frame.

And I can hear claims about bamboo's strength, even see videos such as this one.  But a real world test of bike strength should go something like this.  I'm not a big fan of carbon bikes (such as the one in the video I just linked to) not because they're no strong or light or fast or anything.  The main reason I like the video is because it's cool as hell.

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