Gone Fishin'


I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!


Welcome to New Ireland

At least that's what Vermont is feeling and looking like these days.  We've had an awful lot of rain, much of which passes close to our apartment in the form of a a very swollen Winooski River.  In recent weeks, it has been possible to feel the spray of the falls even while riding a bike on Riverside Avenue.  As to looks, the whole state is an explosion of every shade of green in the world.  Coming from brown, dry Missoula, it seems almost tropical.  When we first moved back, the humidity was noticeable, as if something was on me all the time.  Now it just feels normal. 

Despite the moist weather, Kate and I headed up to Maidstone Lake this weekend for a little camping.  We reserved a lean-to site, which is always worth the extra couple of bucks on a rainy weekend. Maidstone is a great little lake in the middle of nowhere, sadly ringed by camps and fraught with powerboats, but still incredibly peaceful at night.  And, there are loons.  I've never seen one, but the sound of their calls across the lake in the early morning is one of the biggest reasons I have for wanting to go to Maidstone. The whistling calls cut through the sound of rain, the sound of the crackling fire, even sound of the kids who have appropriated the empty lean-to next door for a rainy-day iPod karaoke session.   

Much of this trip was also about doing a shakedown trip to get all of our camping stuff back in order since the move.  I'd really like to get things to the point that an impromtu camping trip involves packing clothes, throwing three or four duffles in the back of the car, grabbing groceries on the way out of town, etc.  How did it go? Pretty well.  There's a duffel with all the stoves, pots pans, and eating stuff, another with sleeping pads, tent and folding chairs, and a cooler.  What did we miss?  Well, there needs to be a toiletries duffel.  We ended up with one hotel size bottle of Dr. Bronner's between the two of us for the weekend, and while in a backpacking scenario this would be fine, toothbrushing with Dr. Bronner's is my least favorite of its fabled 18 uses.

Adiitionally, I set up a board and some old front hubs so that the two road bikes can travel in the back of the Jeep in a stable manner.  That all worked well and left plenty of room to pack other stuff, but it was all for naught when we got to the campground and I discovered I hadn't brought my shoes- and sandals on Look pedals just wasn't going to cut it for any real riding. It was pretty wet out there anyway, but I'd love to come back in  the early fall and ride up and down the Connecticut River Valley.

On Sunday, we packed up early and heded out.  We too the Granby Road from Guildhall across to Lyndonville, through such Vermont gems as Stannard and Victory, towns with little more than a church and a whitewashed one-room town hall at their centers.  In Lyndonville, I introduced Kate to breakfast at the Miss Lyndonville Diner, which was a gem as always.

Once we got home and unpacked, we headed up to Old Spokes Home to get a helicoil put into Kate's left crankarm.  This has been something of a saga- week one- we took the crank in, they tapped it for the helicoil, but found that they only had one helicoil in stock and it was bent.  Week 2, we went back and waited while they tried and discovered that each and every new helicoil they had ordered was mis-tapped on the inside.  This week, sucess! Just waita day for the Loctite to set up and Kate will have her old crankarm back again.  We cruised on over to the Alpine Shop in South Burlington for a look around- they deal in Redline, Masi and Bianchi, three of my favorite bicycle brands right out there. They had a Redline Monocog Flite 29'er in stock as well as many sizes of Masi Speciale Commuters and Bianchi Volpes.  All really fun to look at. 

Finally, I spent the night wrestling with Nick's front wheel.  I just cant get the tension right, and ended up driving myself to distraction and mis-lacing some of the spokes.  Back to the workbench for tonnight then- it's tantalizing how close this bike is to completion.  And nick is champing at the bit to get out and ride the Colchester Causeway now that the August ferry is back in operation.  Soon.

Oh, and there are no pictures with this post, since I left the camera with my bike shoes all weekend.