Tuesday, April 7, 2015

We have a balancer!

Little sister made a breakthrough in balance riding on her Strider bike tonight. In the last few weeks, she's gone from walking her bike along, to running her bike along, and recently started lifting both legs simultaneously for just a half second as little self-tests of her courage. But during our evening ride today, she discovered she could lift both legs and coast. It seems she's over the crux and just about has this balance bike thing figured out. I predict more speed and coasting in the immediate future.

Friday, February 13, 2015

DIY Longtail of the future: Xtracycle MegaRack

A Surly Krampus with a MegaRack and kid seat. Looks like fun. Images in this post are from Xtracycle.
I ordinarily post only photos and content that I've created, though I occasionally make an exception. This is one of those occasions. The images in this post came from a Google Hangouts video hosted today by Ross Evans of Xtracycle, in which he announced a replacement to the vaunted Xtracycle Freeradical bolt-on kit that was retired last year. I have long been a fan and DIY enthusiast of Xtracycle, and beside my Big Dummy, have owned two Xtracycle Freeradicals.

The new Xtracycle bolt-on looks to be an improved and more capable design, called the MegaRack. It is designed to be considerably more beefy and stable than the old Freeradical, with versions for multiple tire/wheel sizes, including 29+. For me, this is great news, as in the past few years, I've discovered that 29-inch wheels are more compatible with my height and preferred fit of a bike, and the larger diameter wheels excel for much of how I ride.

Functional though it may be, the Xtracycle Edgerunner never appealed much to me, with its 20-inch rear wheel. I understand that designing a cargo bike around a smaller diameter wheel lowers the center of gravity and makes for a stronger wheel, but small wheels are not ideal for the rough surfaces where I like to go, and make for a more jarring ride elsewhere. I've nearly maxed out the clearance on my Big Dummy with 26" x 2.3" tires, so the possibility of going much bigger has me cogitating. As a matter of fact, with a set of 29+ wheels, the new MegaRack would make an unsuspended 29er like my Monocog 29er quite a viable supersized cargo and passenger machine. It's hard to say when or if I'll get my hands on a MegaRack, but it appears to be more than worthy of consideration.

CAD images of the MegaRack design. Via Xtracycle.
A MegaRack on a folding bike. For this, 20-inch wheels make sense. Via Xtracycle.
Ross showing the new, more stout chainstay bridge connector. Welcome indeed. Via Xtracycle

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Quite likely the best thing about winter in Denver

It's 75F/24C on January 27th, I'm wearing shorts and a T-shirt, and taking an afternoon ride on a suburban trail with the sun on my face. Sure, I know winter will be back soon, but it's great for spring to stop by for a visit.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Adios, 2014

Whatever width of rubber you prefer, may you keep it rolling in 2015.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thinking of snow

Scout and Pugsley are ready for a blizzard.
The past couple of weeks brought us some unseasonably cold weather and a bit of snow, but not a lot is left around these parts. During our daily ride today, we were caught in a brief swirling of granules that looked just like crumbly pieces of Styrofoam, but they quickly melted. It's usually around this time of year that I'm in the mood for a nice, substantial snowstorm. In a couple of months I'll likely change my tune, but at present, a thick layer of the white stuff would be most welcome.