Category: bicycles

New Camera (Sony A7RII)

Found a great deal on a used Sony A7RII and decided it was finally time. The camera is phenomenal, and much better than I expected in handling my Voigtlander lenses. The color shift on my Nex-7 was insane, especially on overcast days or in the snow. This doesn’t seem to have the issue, or or at least not to the extent of the Nex-7.

Taking it out for a spin this week, so hopefully I will have some more photos to post. This was just around the apartment while I was getting everything set up. There are a lot of options for custom shooting modes and navigation/buttons, so there will be a break in process until I find what workflow is best for me.

I also finally got the fenders on my Raleigh Competition (pictured below from my old Nex-7). It was a process. The frame wasn’t even meant for 700x25c tires, and the fenders weren’t meant for the 1.5″ wide tires so I stretched out the fenders a bit. Cut some bolts down as well because the clearance couldn’t take it.

Raleigh Competition RacingUSA with 555sl tubing.
  • VO Fenders
  • VO Constructeur Front Rack
  • Acorn Bag/Tool Roll
  • XS Timbuk2 Snoop Camera Insert inside Acorn Bag
  • VO 650B Wheels Build Locally (Bike didn’t have clearance for 700×25 tires, so stepped it down)
  • Paul Skewers
  • 2x King Cages
  • 1.5″ Gravel Kings

Loving it.

Illinois R12-2420

Nearly forgot to post this. Has anyone else had an encounter with the motorist driving Illinois plates R12 2420? They were in Minneapolis the other day and as I was heading onto the street they took a right turn and laid on their horn. I asked him if he was just trying to let me know he was there and there was a hilarious exchange.

Me: Were you just letting me know you were there?
Me: …and you were driving in the middle of the road, like an asshole.

Some other words were said and then he left with this line, “I am not MN nice”.

Turns out he wasn’t even Minnesotan. I got a picture of his plates that really seemed to concern him.

Bike Ride Photos

Here are a couple of the photos I took while biking up South Mountain Yesterday. I did get a little lost and went up the wrong way to a hiking trail the first time. Granted, a pedestrian only trail would have been safer. There were so many cars, many of which I only were were approaching through auditory indicators, since the road wrapped around the mountain so tightly at many points.

Awesome Road Ahead
Awesome Road Ahead
Phoenix from a Distance
Phoenix from a Distance

Riding Weather

I love the fall for the colors of the leaves, the brisk air, and the overall beautiful riding weather.

Fall Colors
Fall Colors

The Wayzata ride I normally do was absolutely gorgeous. I have missed out the couple Saturdays before last weekend, but I think this Saturday I am going to try and make it out there again. I am not sure how much longer my rides will be feasible with winter approaching so I really should be getting out as much as possible. I wish I had the money to invest in a really nicer 29er for this winter, but considering the time I spend in Arizona I just couldn’t justify the purchase. Next winter 🙂

Now Entering Hudson

I have been missing out on quite a few rides in order to finish up a couple projects with work that had missed their deadline due to feature creep. Today though… today I did over 60 miles which was nice. Unfortunately I am pretty out of shape , especially while using a fixed gear in Wisconsin. I was thinking of trying to make it up to Duluth before it gets cold, but I think I would miss having gears too much for that, and my touring bike still has a broken fork. If I can get some more riding in during the week, maybe I can get to where I would feel comfortable doing over 100 miles a day once again.

The Leaves are Changing
The Leaves are Changing
Fuzzy Caterpillar
Fuzzy Caterpillar
Now Entering Wisconsin
Now Entering Wisconsin
Fun Shadows
Fun Shadows

The Route

View Larger Map

Common Route

I have really been liking this route I do, but I am not sure how well it will work once winter (mainly the snow) comes. I didn’t discover the route until this year, but it is almost 40 miles which is perfect. The route takes me through Wayzata which is a fancy pants city in Minnesota, which means fancy pants milkshakes. I will likely write more in a couple weeks after I get some big projects for work completed and have more time to enjoy the fall (my favorite season).

View Larger Map

Hudson, WI

I am tying this out as my neighbors kid is yelling, “mom” incredibly loud to try and get her to open the door. My windows are open, making the yelling even more annoying. Anyhow…

I headed over to Wisconsin at the end of last month just so I could give myself a pat on the back. The route wasn’t too bad, but there were more hills than I wished while on a fixed gear. It was however incredibly beautiful, as Minnesota/Wisconsin tend to be. The sun was shining and the air was heavy with humidity. I normally don’t ride out east of Minneapolis, and I am rarely even in St. Paul.

After a few miles in I already felt like I was exploring and seeing parts of St. Paul I am not sure if I have ever seen. I found a trail I have never been on, which connected to another trail, and eventually the road I would be taking for the majority of the trip. With the heavy air I was going through water like crazy and by the time I was a quarter or so of the way was drenched. As I walked into the McDonald’s I got some pretty strange looks; I was close to dripping sweat by this point. I picked up a smoothie and went on my way. Once I started coming into Wisconsin I saw the St. Croix river, which is AWESOME. So many people were out boating in it unlike the Mississippi, which I think is in part because the Mississippi seems mostly for commercial shipping and whatnot.

St. Croix
St. Croix

Hudson, WI was not far from here, and neither was a Dairy Queen! I stopped for a blizzard and then headed to the pizza joint a couple blocks away. Before I got to the pizza joint I had to pick up some Advil at a gas station, as the heat induced headache didn’t seem like it was going away. The pizza joint, Eat Bricks, turned out to be a little fancier than I expected. I sat down, still sweaty from a ~35 mile ride and proceeded to scarf down an entire pizza. The people seemed really nice, as they are in most small cities, and I got a honk and wave during the few miles I was in the city. Definitely endearing, and definitely not a place I could live.

I headed back on a full stomach and some Advil in me as well. Before crossing the St. Croix river on the way back I thought I would get a photo of the bridge.

St. Croix Bridge
St. Croix Bridge

I forgot the memory card to my camera, so these photos are from my phone. I was just glad I had something on me to store and share captured light. The ride back was as to be expected, and included lots of stops for water and rest. Once those heat headaches set in, they just get more and more debilitating. I was definitely glad I made the trip though, just to know I can.

4th of July

Leading up to the 4th of July I was doing a 40 mile ride every other night so I could build some endurance for what would be a 130 mile ride from Minneapolis to Brainerd. I found a pretty nice path that goes along the greenway and then up through Wayzata and comes back into Minneapolis through the Luce Line trail. I got lost the first couple times but have the system down pat now. Minneapolis has a crazy amount of bike paths which is really nice.

I planned to be out the door by 6am on the 25th, but I should have known I wasn’t going to be heading out until after 8am. I am not a morning person. I packed hastily and ended up forgetting a couple things, iincluding my camera unfortunately. I ended up making pretty great time and averaged over 15mph for the trip which put me in St. Cloud (80 miles in) at around 4pm after getting lost and making stops for eating and whatnot. I had some great pizza at the place across the street and took a nice long bath. I am so thankful for whoever decided hot water in a bath was a good idea.

The next day was pretty simple, just straight up North. Around 40 miles into the ride my mom calls me and says the rooms aren’t availbile yet and they want to pick me up to see me. I am only 20 miles outside of Brainerd at this point, haha. I tell her to head down the highway and I will head into Brainerd and we will see each other as the highway is pretty small. Well, she got lost and I figured I would have passed her already so gave her a call after 10 miles and decided it would be best to just wait where I was (50 mile mark). We eventually find each other and I throw the bike in the trunk and we (mom, brother, and I) head to the hotel.

Once we get in we start having lake adventures almost right away including a water trampoline, water skiing, tubing, and hanging out on a boat and pontoon. I got ridiculously sunburned, we lit off fireworks, and it was nice to see everyone again. It was also nice to be back in my apartment after the 4th. I threw my bike in the car for the ride back because I was already sunburned, and I made it up which was good enough for me. We spent the 4th watching the fireworks on the lawn of the resort we transferred to after a couple days up North and they always put on a good fireworks show. Between work and family every second was packed, so when I got back I took a week off from biking and just worked and rested.

These are the only decent photos I got, and it is from the old iphone 3G which has a pretty lackluster camera and took some editing.

green vegetation
At the Lake
At the Lake

The Mountain Goats at The Varsity

Tuesdays are looking to be good show dates. Last Tuesday I went to see The Mountain Goats with my friends Danaca and Levi which was pretty awesome. The band Communist Daughter opened up for them and I ended up really liking them. They were not at all what I expected. This Tuesday I will be seeing Against Me!, which will be good even if they only play a few of their older songs. The last time I saw them was with Andrew Jackson Jihad in Arizona where AJJ was double booked and actually played both shows. I doubt this time will be nearly as great, but good music is like good pizza. Even when it is bad it is still pretty good.

I have been doing pretty well getting myself ready for the trip up to Brainerd, MN. I can do 40 miles pretty easily and way under 3 hours. Thursday night after work I went for a 40 mile ride, and yesterday I went for one as well… so far so good. I had to replace my rear tire though as it basically became shredded after one of the 40 mile rides, much of it through gravel. I am thinking about doing the same for the front as a precaution, but it is only 140 miles up to Brainerd, which isn’t really THAT far. Anyhow, here is a photo from the Saturday ride.

Luce Line back to Minneapolis
Luce Line back to Minneapolis

It was also nice to find out the GPS does work in rain. I had a chance to test that out thoroughly.

Anyhow, in other news I also have a bike trailer and a new office chair thanks to my boss. Already made two trips with the bike trailer. One was to pick up the office chair and the other to grab a million groceries. Loads of soda (12 pack of Barq’s Root Beer, 2x 6 pack of Sanpellegrino), orange juice, grape juice, chocolate cake, pretzels, pasta, gushers, and a bunch of other stuff fit great. Ah, summer.

Sunny in Minneapolis

Last week was great. Sunny came up from California and we rode bikes around the city. I showed her the nooks and crannies of nature in this city, as well as some vegan friendly restaurants. I realized after she left we didn’t see any of the museums or artistic aspects of the city, but I will just save that to entice her later (mwahahaha). I really should have taken more photos of her and us, but I just wasn’t thinking about that. We had a great time though and definitely filled our days with adventures.

Sunny and I found a nice beach by the Mississippi that had a nice walking trail running alongside. Seeing the trail made me excited to get a mountain bike for the coming winter. The path might be a little difficult on a single speed (winter + gears = no gears anyway). We also headed to The Depot with Danaca and had some awesome food. The first night though we had to go to Pizza Luce. For me, Pizza Luce really is Minneapolis cuisine. Between that place fueling IndyMedia during the RNC and it being my last hearty meal on my bike ride to South Dakota it just has a lot of awesome memories. Minneapolis, your food rocks.

Some side notes: I finally picked up a GPS and started logging my longer rides. Anything under a few miles though I leave the GPS off the bike so I don’t have to take it off every time I go into a place. According to the data from the last ~10 mile ride I averaged 16.4mph, and I just ordered some clipless pedals on ebay because mine are on the touring bike. My boss is also coming into town tomorrow, and my family later this month, so it looks like this is the time for people to visit the north.