Thursday, December 29, 2011

Serious Mountain Biking Video

I wonder how they learn to do this without dying?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Eve at 4,723,061.7 mph!

We started our Christmas Eve on the bikes. No news there, just a leisurely ride to a lazy breakfast followed by some quality time at our LBS. It's happened before, in fact it's a good model for how to spend a Saturday morning as far as we are concerned.

This evening I uploaded the GPS tracks from my unit and noticed what could be a new land speed record:
I wasn't that tired but is is the first time I burned over 4000 calories in a 19 mile ride. I was curious as to where this amazing speed happened because I didn't really notice when it was happening. So looking at the map I had a couple clues looking at the overview:
It could have been the breakfast joint on the right: 

Or the bike shop on the left:
While there was plenty of activity during breakfast, I suspect the speed surge happened at the bike shop, when the coffee really started to kick in. It's certainly a lot more frenetic, don't you think?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

FatBack Haiku Too

...nish, but now I'm done!
First semester is over
FatBack riding time

First snow on fat tires
Nine months of waiting. Worth it!
So let the snow fly

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Fatback Haiku

Snowbiking today!
Semester end overload
Struggling just to fin...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Blogger, say what?

We're sorry, but we were unable to complete your request.

The following errors were found:
Input error: Memcache value is null for FormRestoration 

Trying to post a comment on another blog...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Siri - What The???

Siri actually seems to get most of what I say but today when asking to remind me to pick up my pants at the taylor on Wednesday afternoon, she(it?) came up with this:
OK, I may have had the music a bit too loud but for the record, I'll not be bobbing Lola for physical, logical or conceptual and need no reminder of what he do or don't do do do.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Little or no original content

I'm a public radio kind of guy yet a few years back when faced with unplanned unemployment, I signed up for Google AdSense in hopes of generating a few nickels.

Then I sort of forgot about it.

Until, that is, Google sent a note explaining they had disabled my ad feed for policy violation #66361.

Turns out my crime was having "Little or no original content". It's a sad comment but true given the current fullness of my plate. Grad school takes a lot of time to do well and there's no point if you don't do well. I also still get in a fair amount of riding so the blog has suffered.

I'm OK with that.

So since I'm not living up to the incredibly low standards required to have ads anyway, I'm returning to my values and running an ad-free format.

Oh, I'll still feature little or no original content just a little less of it.

Go ride your friggin' bike.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Not so epic

Sunday, October 9, 2011

CAMBA's Namakagon Cluster - IMBA Epic

It's the pinnacle
My mountain biking season
Now IMBA epic

Hard to find sometimes
Impossible not to love
Yes, that is the trail

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Cars - Dramatically more deadly than war

From an interview by NPR's Scott Simon of Mike Hawley, formerly of MIT's Media Lab and Principal Engineer on the NeXT computer with Steve Jobs:
Hawley: Well, let's just put a number on it, a sort of a glib number. The grand total of U.S. automotive fatalities from 1975 to the present, about one and a half million people. Now, the grand total of U.S. fatalities from 1775 to the present in every military conflict we've had is 1.3 million. So in other words, in the last roughly 35 years we've killed more people with cars than we have in more than 300 years of warfare.
Just in case the death toll from automobiles wasn't bad enough, we are at war to keep the things on the road with cheap gas. What are we thinking here?

I'm thinking we could do well to encourage more of these to hit the road and reduce the number of cars.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Gradual School

Walt: Daddy what's gradual school? 
T. S. Garp: What? 
Walt: Gradual school. Mommy say's she teaches at gradual school. 
T. S. Garp: Oh Gradual school is where you go to school and you gradually find out you don't want to go to school anymore. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Changes in the wind

Changes in the wind
Education comes around
I'll be tardy here

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

FAA Shutdown

From the New York Times:
The partial F.A.A. shutdown, which began July 23 and is likely to continue at least through Labor Day, has also idled tens of thousands of construction workers on airport projects around the country. Dozens of airport inspectors have been asked by the F.A.A. to work without pay and to charge their government travel expenses to their personal credit cards to keep airports operating safely.
Air traffic controllers, who are paid with separate funds, will continue to work. Ray LaHood, the transportation secretary, said he firmly believed that passenger safety was not at risk. “No safety issues will be compromised,” he told reporters on a conference call. “Flying is safe. Air traffic controllers are guiding airplanes. Safety inspectors are on duty and are doing their job. No one needs to worry about safety.”
So as long as the airport safety inspectors are willing to work for free and pay their own expenses, our airports remain safe. The TSA security will still be on duty checking grandma's diapers though so I guess we have nothing to worry about.

What in the hell is going on that we are running our country like this?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Fatback Upgrade

 Look for it...
 There it is...
 Oh boy...

I ordered a couple of bottle opener spacers from Ahren's Bicycles but since they were back-ordered, they sent me this stainless steel prototype WiseCracker LITE (at no charge-Thanks!) to hold me over until my order could ship. It's thinner than the regular WiseCracker but works great.

An excellent addition to my ride; I can't wait to get the others so I can make certain not to be unprepared when riding my other bikes.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Reincarnated Frog?

I believe I may have been a frog in a past life. The trouble with having been another species in a former life is that somehow certain behaviors leach over in to this life but often without the corresponding acumen that made them effective as that other species.

While that may not be an example of effectivity, it does underscore a certain skill. I too, it turns out, have great skill at catching insects on my tongue. I do it on the bike rather than a lily pad. I seem to be able to catch them much more frequently than anyone with whom I ride. However, just like the frog in the video, it doesn't work out that good for me. Oh sure, extra hands-free nutrition, blah, blah; still not working for me, but no big deal.

Until last Thursday.

After a week of hellacious heat and soggy humidity, Thursday was a delightful day with lower temp and lower dewpoint. I rode home gulping in the fresh crisp air as I warmed up and got ready for some good old hammer time knowing that I wouldn't be risking death by heatstroke. It just as I was soaking in the pleasure of the wind in my face and the tarmac shooting beneath my wheels that I made another fine catch.

Having considerable experience bug catching, I can tell in an instant what I've caught and how to process my bounty. A gnat might not even generate a spit since it's diminutive size makes it nearly impossible to find and so what anyway. A mosquito will generate an ejection spit, a fly a spit and a cough, etc. I have a protocol and I follow it automatically; pure motor response, no thought required.

It works best that way.

In this case I made the mistake of pausing just long enough for a 'what the?' thought as my catch was in a new class that seemed to fill my mouth and it had scored a bullseye on the back of my throat. Lovely. Action then followed using an enhanced fly protocol in hopes of hastening the ejection process but somehow it

Wasn't... going... anywhere...

About ten minutes later, or 1/4 high-cadence turn of the crank, I had successfully completed the maneuver, released my catch and entered the assessment phase. Assessment is optional and usually involves a bit of chuckling and banter with whomever witnessed my catch and release. As in the catch phase, I paused and pondered the pain in the back of my throat. I wasn't going that fast, 20mph (31kph for those so inclined) tops so I postulated that my catch must have had equal and opposite velocity and the impact had bruised my uvula.

I was thinking best case while thinking I was thinking worst case.

Though my mouth was now clear, I invollantarily entered another round of the enhanced fly protocol; spit, cough plus gag just to finish with panache. It was becoming clear that I was in new territory as the pain was ramping up just like when you smack your thumb with a hammer and in the slow motion raising of the hammer off your thumb, the pain wells up like a tsunami as your mind begins to assess what just happened.

My assessment was coming around to the fact that I had just been stung on my uvula by a bee, wasp or cruise missile and had a situation that required more than spitting, coughing and gagging. I know people who are so allergic to bee stings that they carry an epipen to prevent anaphylactic shock in the case of a sting, my sister being one of those people.

So now I am thinking I have escaped heatstroke only to die from a uvular bee sting as I feel my throat start to swell. Though I commute across a major metropolitan area, this part of my commute is pretty isolated and it could be many minutes until someone comes along by which time I will just be a corpse at the side of the road. Oddly enough, this section of road along the river bluff is where the local municipality dumps dead deer carcasses so the stench of my decay won't even stand out.

Knowing outside help is unlikely, I decide it's time to really hammer and start thinking about where the nearest location where I can get some Benadryl. As I ride I realize that the swelling isn't really increasing although the pain most certainly is and that I will likely survive the ordeal.

So it's all turned out OK but I have a deep empathy for Babs and will think about looking up a uvula specialist as mine is still at least twice it's normal size and not at all happy.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Can't tell...

...if there's a sign here or not:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Please sort yourselves

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Screaming Fast Fatback Ride!

I picked up a Garmin unit to track my rides. I've had several bike computers but they all give spurious results and messed up my totals. Not a big deal as I don't really keep that close track on things anyway but figured that the Garmin would nail things down without any room for errors.

So when TOB and I did a little neighborhood spin tonight, I was a little surprised at the miles we had racked up but it did explain why she was so hungry and I was so tired.

Next time we ride to the Bay of Bengal, I'd like to take it a little slower because, to be honest, I don't remember a single thing about the trip.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Now Serving ... Fatback

The good folks at One On One Bike managed to get the stars aligned in the Fatback constellation to produce this amazing ride:

It's still a work in progress but rides like a dream. You might notice the SRAM Air front derailleur, a zero gram offering that sets a new standard for weight savings but has no performance either. I'll be replacing that with SRAM X9 to match the rear derailleur. Also looking at options for handlebar/stem combinations which is why I left so much extra length in the cables.

Had it out for a spin on the Bike Highway and nearby rogue hiking paths today and it proved itself as more than just a snow bike. It doesn't make sense, given how heavy the wheels are, but this bike loves to climb. Zips up hills like it's got a motor.

This is going to be one hell of a fun bike!

Friday, April 22, 2011

It Just Doesn't

get any better than this.

Kodiak Alaska Snowbiking from Philip Tschersich on Vimeo.

Fatback Snowbike Riding in Alaska from Philip Tschersich on Vimeo.

Slowly going mad over the glacial delivery pace of my very own Fatback but this keeps my hopes up.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Should be here just about the time the local single track dries out.
Timing is everything.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011



Saturday, March 19, 2011


I should pick up one of these while I'm waiting to get fat:
Pivot MACH 429

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fatback Soup

The recipe is starting to come together but the pantry isn't yet fully stocked.

This will be the first ingredient into the soup pot, blue anodized aluminum goodness. Seems a Fatback frame would be nicely complimented with Hadley-built, Fatback hubs, paired with Uma II 70mm rims to get just the right amount of fat into the pot. Of course being a carbon based life form myself, I figure a Fatback carbon fork will make this recipe feel like a family feast.

SRAM X0 should add some good flavor,
Then toss in some Chris King, season to taste, and it will probably look something like this:

Speedway did a good thing when they hired this photographer to show off their stuff, plenty of fat goodness on display.

As for me, I'm getting hungry and can hardly wait for the soup to be ready!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Beer Friday

Oh and that rock floating in the beer? My iPhone has just started added that to all my photos. I guess it's time for a new phone...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fatback Fever

I know it's nearing the end of the snow biking season but I've started the wheels in motion to join the fat bike club. It turns out there is a local shop that carries the Fatback and when I stopped in yesterday to chat them up, I left with a demo bike to try out. I had been surveying the fat bike landscape, asking questions of one of Alaska's hard core snow bikers and the trail was leading to the Fatback offered by Speedway Cycles in Anchorage Alaska.

It's one thing to have people rave about a particular bike but quite another to get out on it and see for yourself. I was expecting a nice bike and wasn't at all disappointed but didn't quite understand how nice this bike really is. After easily rolling over a bunch of (presumably unridable) snow piles at the local school and some impromptu singletrack where dog walkers had beat a path through a little wooded chunk of no man's land, I decided to head for home. There aren't a lot of hills in my neighborhood but there are a few short ones and heading up one I was mentally preparing for the slog up it. The bike didn't have clip less pedals and I had been too lazy to swap them out so I was expecting hill would be even more challenging with half my pedal stroke unavailable to me.

Turns out the bike is quite the snappy climber and I was cresting the hill still waiting for the hard part to start.

With the fever raging there was only one thing to do: take action to get my own Fatback. It will take a while to pull all the pieces together and I may end up missing this snow biking season but boy will I be ready next year!