Woohoo! Living large, car camping with bikes. 2 trailers, 1 Big Dummy, 1 Xtracycle, 4 steaks, 20 cans of beer, 2 boxes of wine, 2 cans of bear spray, and 10 miles to go into National Forest up towards Mystic Lake. One fantastic night.

Alleycat THIS SUNDAY, June 29th

Yes, it's about damn time. I know.
We're finay going to put on our first alleycat of the year this Sunday. The start is at Centennial Park, which is at the northern terminus of Willson. That's all the locational help you'll get from me.
Show up at 5pm with five bucks and be ready to race.

See you there!


...aaaand we're back!

Eight hours, one 18" breaker bar and six bottles of High Life later, my car has a new timing belt, replacing a...pretty new timing belt. Oh well, now it's good until 400,000 miles.
This happened while attempting to get the harmonic balancer bolt out. It took a specialty tool (graciously lent to me by a Honda mechanic) with a three-foot long handle and a 1/2" drive breaker bar with a seatpost slid over the handle. And lots of torque. Things went well once I cracked open a Cold Wrench. "That bolt was torqued on in Japan."


Summer just arrived, the weather is beautiful, trails are opening up and for once, it's not (currently) windy. The 24 hour Rapleje race is currently in progress and about half of the local cycling community is over there.
And I'll be working on my car. After going car-free for nearly a year I got a good deal on a well-made car that gets great mileage. Unfortunately I have no idea when the timing belt was changed last, and with 307,000 miles on the clock, it's probably prudent to replace it before I am forced to go car-free once again.

Get out there and ride, folks. I'll be with you in spirit. *sniff*

Help a local Represent!!

From the Trail Report

Bozeman local John Parker, co-founder of the Montana Mountain Bike Alliance has been accepted as a semi-finalist in Santa Cruz's annual Hellride. This is no mean feat and just to be picked as a semi finalist you need to prove to the Santa Cruz guys that you've got Moxie. Now John needs the help of his local scene to make it as one of four finalists that Santa Cruz will bring down to Cali to throw down in a 75 mile race involving 12000 feet of elevation change on a decked out Nomad.

Go here to vote. Help John represent Montana!!

Broken Bike? Learn to fix it.

The Bozeman Bike Kitchen will be having a bike maintenance clinic this week. It will occur at the Kitchen (north of the high school, just off of Durston and 11th) at 7 pm on Thursday 6/19/08. We will be doing this on a semi-regular basis all summer. The clinics will be lead by a local, professional mechanic, who is one of the very few people I would personally trust to work on one of my bikes.

We won't be performing repairs, but we will get you started with the necessary skills to fix yer own bike.

Send The Kitchen an email if you have any questions. info@bozemanbikekitchen.org


Trail Etiquette

I cross posted this on the Bozeman Trail Report.

DNA and I were having a chat last night at the second annual Bozeman Meatloaf and Martini Challenge (I'm not sure if that's the official name, but there was a meatloaf competition and lots of martinis, you get the idea). One subject that came up was our responsibility to other trail users whilst out on a mountain bike ride. I'm not talking about IMBA's rules of the trail, although you should certainly obey those. I'm talking about rules of etiquette, which should govern your behavior towards the people you meet in your travels. This is both because we have obligations to treat our fellow man/woman with respect, and because I'm tired of being treated like a second-class citizen because of certain cyclists who scare the shit out of hikers and make us all look like speed crazed gravity junkies who spend all their time watching X-games and drinking Red Bull.

Be aware of the number of people that may be hiking or riding horses on a particular trail at a particular time, you may either have to check your speed in anticipation of meeting other trail users, or perhaps make some logical decisions about whether you should ride a particular trail at a particular time. Sypes canyon on a Saturday afternoon in June is a bad time to walk your downhill rig to the top and make a 20 mile/hour decent. Ride somewhere else at that time.

Acknowledge other trail users. Say hi. Be friendly. Don't just shoulder past a family of four and be on your way. We're supposed to be having fun out there, share a good vibe with the people that you meet. Leaving people with a good impression of cyclists is probably going to more than anything else to change the sometimes negative light in which we are seen.

Don't intentionally skid on the trail, and especially don't skid up behind hikers. It does trail damage and it frightens people. Again, sometimes you have the responsibility of preemptively slowing down in anticipation of meeting another trail user. There are downhill specific trails for your eight inch rig. Part of riding on a multi-use trail is being aware that other people will be present and adjusting your speed accordingly when you can't see far enough ahead to pass people safely and humanely.

I'm sure there are several other specifics that one could codify, but in general we simply need to apply some Golden Rules to our riding. It is our responsibility as mountain bikers to treat other trail users with respect. Part of the fuel for trail closures is the fact that cyclists appear as a threatening presence to others, we owe it to our sport and our fellows to change that.


Ok, so this is a bit out of character for me. No, not the "drinking Olympia while sitting at a bar" part. The "into a BASKETBALL game" bit. You see, I really haven't ever cared for basketball, to me, the game was always something to do in gym class when there's nothing else to do.
But here at 317, when I've been sitting at the bar longer than anticipated (thanks to the owner for giving me a couple of free drinks), and I find myself getting fairly excited about the Celtics/Lakers game. Maybe it's because it brings back high school memories- the last time there was a Boston-LA final I was really into the Red Hot Chili Peppers and BloodSugarSexMagik was new (to the uninitiated- they have a song about Magic Johnson (on Mother's Milk)). Maybe it's the unadulterated competition, Maybe it's the slick, wiley moves each team relies on to score. Which, in an entirely non-linear way conjures up memories of racing alleycats. Regardless, I'm having a hell of a time, getting involved in basketball is a passion I normally eschew.
I suggest you try it sometime.

Extra Awesomeness, this Friday.

No, it's not a name of a band (although that's not worst band name ever). This Friday at the Zebra, Big John Bates and the Voodoo Dollz.
If you didn't catch when they came through last year, let these two words pique your interest:

Flaming. Pasties.

See you there.


Polo Update

So...it's June right?

We had a rather abbreviated polo game tonight. I think people were scared away by the fact that, even though it's June, it was f*%king SNOWING!

DNA implored the skies for something other than flurries, but alas...

I'm moving to Mexico...


Here's a thought:
Bike polo, this Saturday. 6pm. Just east of the south end of Pete's hill. How do you get there? Go up Pete's Hill, head south until you get to the water tank, then look left (east). There's a bunch of new roads, many of which are nice and smooth fresh pavement. There will be pylons there too. We'll try that spot out until we figure out where we want to play. Ok? See you tomorrow.


What is IT?

Well first off It's just stupid. But, stupid is as stupid does so we had to try it. We stumbled across It on the way back from Old Chicago where $1 PBR's were flowing like, well, PBR's. It was located at Smiths where the purvey everything you need for a summer of fun. Food, beer, lawn funiture, Its'. It was not secured to anything so we decided It needed a test ride. Here's C-note on a bit of a pleasure cruise astride the It.
Riding the It can be described in lots of words, but two will do for now, "It sucks". Its hard to pedal, awkward, unstable, and bonus! It comes complete with friction multiplying go cart front wheels. Fantastic!

The Kitchen is up and running

It's maybe not the most glorious of bike shops, but it's the only one of it's kind...in Bozeman anyway. The Bozeman Bike Kitchen is officially up and running. We didn't have an incredibly numerous turn out for the first work night of the summer, but the folks who did show up were all experienced mechanics who came to throw down on some used bikes.

Amongst the eager volunteers was Steve, who is not only a ridiculously qualified mechanic that showed up with an entire bike shop in the back of his Suby, he also brought a portable sound system, with which he turned me on to Groove Armada. My iPod hasn't played anything else since.

I'd say we got three or four bikes together on our first night. I considered it a good start, since we're trying to get ten bikes up and running to provide to a local chapter of Americorps, who will then distribute these bikes to local persons in need of viable, affordable transportation. We're also trying to get weekly bicycle maintenance clinics going, but at this point I'm not sure exactly when that will happen.

So, if you have mediocre/exceptional (or no) skills as a mechanic, and (most importantly) you think that bicycles are a good way for people to get around, send the Bike Kitchen an email at info@bozemanbikekitchen.org, or better yet, come down on Tuesday nights at 6:00 pm. We're located just north of the high school on Durston Ave and we are always looking for help getting bikes ready for people looking to find a responsible way to get around.

We're also very happy to except donations of used, but quality (no 'huffys'!) parts and bikes. So, if you've got an old 80's roadbike sitting in the garage that you want to get out of the way of your lawnmower, we'd love to put it to use as someone's commuter.

Just to be clear, the mission of the Kitchen is first and foremost to provide transportation options to those in need. If you have a bike you need fixed so that you can get around, please see us. If you're just looking for a frame to build a chopper, you'd be better off cruising garage sales.