Best RockySprints. Evar.

At about 9:30 last night, Casey and I were wondering what kind of turnout we'd get at Rockysprints, since about three people were there. "This might not happen tonight," I distincly remember saying.
Five minutes later, we got our answer. As if on cue, about ten LED's started converging on the corner of Rouse and Main. Bikes locked up in front of the bar. A beautiful thing.
The races started around ten, with strong interest not only by bike geeks new to this, but also a significant number of random bar patrons (which, really has always been the case). We did have a few technical glitches, mainly some software errors caused by racers jumping the gun and a wire falling off a couple of times (due to my forgetting/ignoring to solder it back on).
The racin' went on until just about midnight, thanks to the 16 guys and six women striving for the prizes graciously donated by Sharon at Girls Outdoors (522-0013) and Wiley at Practical Pedal.
Ian won the Men's races, hanging in there through four sets of sprints to narrowly defeat Seth. Sprout (never got her real name) won the Women's races- and with a broken foot!
Casey took a bunch of pics and some video, so I'll try to get some of those up later today or tomorrow.
Thanks to all who came out last night, 317 for letting us play our silly bikey games there, Sharon at Girls Outdoors, Wiley at Practical Pedal, Casey for schlepping the stuff there and back (and for buying the emergency roll of duct tape), and to everyone else who dedicated time, money, and/or equipment to get this running.

RockySprints Tonight!

Don't forget, we'll have RockySprints at 317 tonight, signups start at 9PM. If you checked it out at Seasons or the Bike Swap and you want to see the spectacle in its own element, now's your chance! We will be putting it on for only three more nights; Tonight, May 12th, and May 26th.


Shameless Plug

Ok, everyone. I need your help.
One of my roommates is moving out and I gotta get someone else in here. I live close to downtown and the rent's cheap- $350 a month. There's room for bikes and a nice deck and yard. Email me at if you're interested.

Seasons Alleycat!

A quick note, since I'm at work....

Pre-Movie Alleycat Tomorrow, April 24th!!
Cooper Park, 5:30.
This mini-alleycat will be $8 and includes admission to the premiere of the latest Collective movie, Seasons.

It will end at the Emerson, and any other details will spoil the fun, so you'll have to find out about them tomorrow. Hah!


Bike Kitchen spring events - Volunteers Needed!

The Bozeman Bike Kitchen (BBK) is ramping up for bike season with several events that will require a bit more personnel than our current staff.

Here is a nonexhaustive list of things coming up in the very near future.

-May 10th Recycle your Cycle at First Interstate Bank. This is our annual bike drive, and will be happening at the Downtown branch of First Interstate Bank from 9am - 12pm.

-We need volunteers to help sort, break down, and transport bikes. This is a large source of bikes and parts to get us through the season and be able to supply needed and desired bikes to the community. If you are unable to volunteer, but have quality used bikes or parts to donate, those would be most appreciated.

-May 12-16 Bike to Work Week.

-May: Bike Project with Chief Joseph Middle School--volunteer mechanics needed, commitment is 1-2 hours per week
for 4-6 weeks, exact time/dates to be determined, must be interested in mentoring 8th graders in bike mechanics, safe cycling, and the individual and societal benefits of bike commuting.

And as always there are Tuesday Work Nights, which begin June 3rd, at 1214 Durston Road. We are really looking to expand our impact on the Bozeman Cycle Commuting community this year, but we need mechanics and dedicated volunteers to make this happen.

If you have questions, and especially if you would like to be involved in an organization devoted to promoting our favorite form of sustainable transportation, please email the Kitchen.


The spoils and the punisment of RockySprints. Tonight we did not have the most people show up, but we did have the most intense racing to date. BobbyRob (remember, we use racin' names here) was the ultimate champion, and he certainly earned it. There was plenty of pain to go around, especially since we sorta instituted a new rule: if the computer screws up, if there is a tie, if misinformation gets relayed regarding the format of the beer race; there is an immediate re-race. Great Idea, especially when it applies to others. Terrible idea when it applies to me. On the SECOND beer race. When we learned how the program calculates speed, and how not pedaling while drinking a beer dramatically increases the total time one has to race. Like from 17-19 second to a minute and a half.
I guess it's only fair that the promoter of pain and suffering gets his comeuppance.
(disclaimer: I'm pretty lit.)

Big 'Cross Ride, 2nd AttemptFAIL!!

A couple of months ago, after I first built up my 'cross bike (Cannondale Cyclocross Disc!) I wanted to take it on a ride that would showcase its qualities: a light, fast, efficient road bike that's not afraid to get dirty. Unfortunately, on that ride, while heading out Axtell-Anceny Road to ultimately come out on Norris Road I ran into deep snow. Upon climbing by foot I got to a vantage point that revealed only many more miles of the same, so it was time to turn around.

Today, with the balmy temperature, clear sky, and minimal wind, I decided to tackle this ride again. Last week I had unceremoniously removed (and dismembered) my rear derailleur from the Cannondale, an event I believed had been hastened by my use of a too-short chain. With a brand-new (as in installed last night) 105 derailleur and a freshly-tensioned and trued rear wheel I shoved off.
The ride could be described as "blissful" up to about mile 24. Sun, warmth, a perfectly-functioning bike, feeling strong...this was shaping up to be an all-time best ride for me (not to be confused with that awful concept of a "personal best").
Mile 24, about the same point that I hit impenetrable snow last time, I encountered streams of water running down truck tire tracks in the road. And mud. Thick, sticky mud. Mud that continued up above the surface of the road, where grass helped to bind it to normally free-rotating bike parts, like wheels. I was forced to walk for a bit, until the grade lessened, but until I got to the very top it was still an exercise in slow-motion solitary cyclocross racing, just without the crowds, competitors, and gin.

The top made it all worthwhile. Fantastic views, few man-made structures (except for "no trespassing" signs on fences) and what looked like a fun downhill.
After a few bites of my favorite long-ride endurance fuel, I attacked the downhill. The twin tire tracks made it something like parallel singletracks, except without things like trees or rocks. The 'clean' line alternated between the two, occasionally traversing the ever-present stream of runoff down one of the many ruts following the road.
For about a half mile this continued,, until the road took an abrupt turn to the left (west) presenting to me:

Miles of straight, mildly rolling...


I briefly entertained a thought to turn around. I had no real idea how much further it was to Norris road, and I especially didn't know how long the road stayed as muddy as it was.
Hurriedly, I shoved these thoughts aside and continued. Well, for about another half mile, at least.
While crossing yet another pit of thick, icy, gritty mud I shifted into my lowest gear and while wheelieing up onto the grass a familiar sound revisited me:


Another muddy ride, another 105 derailleur, I suppose.

While organizing my stuff for this ride this morning, I decided against bottles and for my Camelbak. Iwas planning on a long ride where there was questionable cell-phone service, very little car traffic, and no place to get food. Lying in one of the pockets in the Camelbak was my Surly Singleator , removed during a recent Mountain Bike ride at Pipestone.
"Hmm, I think I'll leave this home" thought I.
"No, remember what happened last time?!"
"Yeah, but I got a new derailleur, and I know I have it adjusted right...I won't need it"
"Jackass, leave the ounce of aluminum in your bag! It'll suck to walk 30 miles back!"

For once in the tragicomedy that is my life, a good decision was made.

Before removing the distended drivetrain bits, I looked west, then east...briefly considering continuing. Clearly, better judgment was on a winning streak since I quickly nixed the idea of heading west.

At this point I was faced with about a mile of fairly steep climbing followed by mostly downhill, then fairly flat, then slightly rolling terrain. I chose a gear suitable, if a bit on the high-side: 50x19.
Climbing anything steeper than a few percent was clearly out of the question, so I started walking east (and up). Mud, snow, water, mud, snow, mud, grass, pick muddy grass out of everything. That's pretty much how it went for the next 45 minutes. Oh, and looking at the ranch hand ride away on the ATV who conveniently turned around when he saw me walking. Yep, good old-fashioned "western values" there.

Finally, the top! Back on the bike, and down a lot of the stuff that I had to walk up. Exceedingly sloppy and fun!

At the bottom of the road I was actually feeling pretty damn good. 20ish MPH was no problem on the hard-packed dirt and the chain was staying on, so instead of retracing my ride back to Bozeman on Cottonwood Road I hopped on River road before getting back into Gateway.
This road was thick, wet clay a week ago, when I took my fixed-gear on it (much of which is still on that bike) but today it might as well be hard, fast, undulating bumpy pavement. Awesome. That road is one of my new favorites. It's just up above the Gallatin River and it meanders enough to keep things interesting.

Well, since that went so well, by the time I got to Norris road west of Four Corners there was no way I was going to end my ride by riding on the four-lanes-of-unpleasantness called Huffine Lane. Nope, I continued down River Road, on the section that is a showcase of how beautiful asphalt can be when it's not chip-sealed after installation. Glassy smooth, fast, and ever-so-slightly downhill. I was able to maintain 18-22 MPH until I got to Cameron Bridge road and turned east to get back to Bozeman. After a quick food break on the river (Ham, cheddar, and tot burrito with BBQ sauce) I completed the last few miles home. The dreaded bonk set in with only about four miles to go, but I had *just* snough in me to stop at the Holiday gas station for a can of Sparks* for a recovery drink.

*It's good with ice, honest!

Here's a map of the ride.

Here's some more pics.


Montana Beer Fest

The following post might be somewhat hard to understand, due to the excessive level of beer provided.
It's 9ish PM, do you know where your pint is?
[his ha bees a public ervice announce.ent from the Bozeman Fix.
Thanky ou

Mark your calendars

Just a quick reminder of upcoming events. We're having a pubride this Saturday (4/12). Meet at Spectators at 9:30, prepared to drink n drink n ride.

And Monday (4/14) RockySprints returns to 317 to punish your asses. Sign up starts at 9:00pm and racing starts 'promptly' at 9:45...

Keep it safe and keep it sexy.



Tonight Sethanol, C-Note, and I went for a quick evening fixie ride. Whilst savoring the smooth, car-free road, C-Note took a couple of pics. Here's one:

Which Immediately reminded me of this classic :
Namely, uber-cool guys who merely masquerade as total and complete nerds. Yep, that's us.
Are we not Men?

-Mr. DNA


Ok, I know. I live in Montana. It gets snowy here. Sometimes for half the year. We frequently get snow in May. And all this snow is exactly what we need to keep fires from ravaging our forests (provided all the snow doesn't melt at once).

But damn, this cycle of "a few nice days/lots of snow one day" is really starting to bring me down. Stay snowy, or stay sunny, that's all I ask.

At least it keeps the neighborhood cats from pissing on my deck. Oh yeah, I'm getting a Super Soaker. Bastards.

Ok, that's it. Infantile rant over.


Basketball Trumps RockySprints

No RockySprints tonight. The NCAA Finals are on, and will be done much too late for us to set up and run some races. Sorry for the short notice, and we'll see you next week.


What is a good ride? What is a good bike?

My perception of what constitutes a nice bike or a nice ride has changed much in the last couple of years. I've been a 'cyclist' for somewhere around seventeen years and before that found the most happiness astride a bike. In the early 90's I considered myself a Mountain Biker (an untfortunately awkward term) but I'd dabble in a bit of road riding occasionally. In the late 90's I built my first fixed-gear on a whim, subconsciously searching for The Meaning Of Riding.

In 2001 I moved to Bozeman and found a thriving, if disjointed cycling community. Lots of people riding trails, lots of people riding roads, but there was still something missing.
Last year Captain E. handed me a copy of The Bicycle Quarterly, a rag dedicated to classic cycle touring, racing, and the history of classic bikes and bike design.

This event forever changed my perception of what "Cycling" is.
The cover has a Frank Patterson illustration depicting a British gent pausing at the side of a road, taking in the countryside while enjoying a pipe. His bike, likely a Raleigh or Dunelt or Rudge with a Sturmey-Archer hub rests on its stand next to him. The bike appears to have a largish bag, perhaps a Brooks Millbrook. It's probably the same bike that takes the guy to work at a steel factory. He might also use it for time-trialing on race day, with fenders and bags removed, of course.

My point (as much as there is one), is that many cyclists tend to think of themselves as specific kinds of riders. Mountain Bikers, Road Racers, Tourers, DHers; Singlespeeders, Fixed-gear riders; and they willingly exclude themselves from not just another kind of riding but an expanded way to view life. Sounds grandiose, I know. But try it! Get an old three-speed at a garage sale and take the scenic route to work. Wear regular clothes and take an hour to go eight miles. Ride a road bike on a dirt road (trust me, the bike can handle it). There's a world of experiences bikes can help take you to, once you stop thinking about needing the "right" equipment for exactly the "right" type of riding.

With this in mind, yesterday I went for a solitary ride, in the English tradition. I packed my bag (a Crumpler messenger bag-not the best choice, but it's all I had) with a sandwich, some peanuts, a camera, and a bottle of water (my bike doesn't yet have a bottle cage).

I hopped on my KHS Winner, recently acquired from Sethanol and converted to a fixed-gear. I rode at a leisurely pace, maybe 15 mph on a combination of dirt and paved roads. My route took me along the Gallatin River, where I stopped for lunch. I saw tons of cows, had robins fly alongside me, heard woodpeckers, and saw some ospreys. All this, even if I had noticed, would be diminished had I been on my road bike, or even if I had been riding with another person.

I've been in the process of Anglicizing my bike, with its 32mm tires, 3-speed-esque handlebars, and full fenders. Its current gearing (42x17) allows me to climb pretty much all hills around here but does not hold my top speed down too much; nice on long gradual downhills.
The ride ended up being about 38 miles, and it took me about four hours. It's something that I'll be doing more in the future, and I heartily recommend that you try it. Even if you don't have the 'right' bike.


Whilst riding home from
RockySprints with a couple of the lads the other night, the topic of how nice it was to ride in a group taking up a lane on main street came up. This, in turn, got me to thinking that it might be time for a good old fashioned pubride. And this time I think it imperative that Dirty Pete wear a helmet.

I think this coming Saturday (April 12th) should do nicely. Say, 9:30 at Spectators. Why Specs? Because it's a pub RIDE and should therefore involve some riding (impromptu racing?). So come one, come all. Bring your friends and your bikes and lets usher in spring and all the bicycleness that that entails.

NOTE: I changed the date from the 11th b/c of Das Beeeeeeerfest ja

Oh and don't miss Capt E's post about finding a location for polo, which is something we can discuss over pints on the ride this Friday, I mean Saturday.


Lights, Pavement, Action!

"Man, we ain't found shit." The search continues for a viable location for polo playing.... Remember the qualifications are extremely stringent.
The location must have at least two of the following.



With these limiting criteria we are obviously handicapped from the start so we must keep a eye open and explore all options. I want you to comb the town for locations. We have decided that tennis courts are a no go, the chain-link fences are problematic for both the balls and the handlebars. If a abandoned court were found where we could quasi permanently install boards that would be acceptable. Many of you liked the Bogart pavilion when we played there but we would have to construct boards for half court play and play at predetermined times (like not after dark). Anyway, post a comment if you think you found a good locality and we will check it out.

Polo to the people!


Another Awesomer Rockysprints Night

Another Monday night, another night of great racing. Despite a few technical issues, limited mainly to magnets/projectiles, we had around 25 to 30 people step on up and race! Last week in a "networking" session at the 317 I finally figured out how to work the music player and make a good playlist.
Select members of Team Delphine showed up and presented a formidable challenge, throwing down times equal to many of the fastest men's times.

Thanks to: Specialized Bikes for providing one of the Langsters; Wiley at Practical Pedal for providing the computer, projector, and lots of code labor; Adam and Paul for more computer geekery, Bangtail Bikes for letting me use the store van to bring everything down (and for listening me yammering about this for the last six months), Steve for the fork mounts and one set of rollers, Casey for lots of grunt work in getting this thing set up and going, and Ryan at the 317 for letting us play our bikey games at the bar.

So enough with the words, here's a little video.

...And a tribute to the women who showed up and kicked ass: