Friday, January 15, 2016

Do you like the music?

A few years ago at the suggestion of Capt'n Dave I started listening to Bob Mould.
I'm not sure why I hadn't before. He seems to be right in line with the kind of music I dig (which bounces all over the place).
The former front man of bands such as Husker Du and Sugar this solo stuff I find to be quite enjoyable. (And yes I know the u in Husker Du is missing the little dots above it, I couldn't figure out how to do it... sue me)
He has a new album coming out soon and I also recently found a few videos from ol' Bob.

First up is the video for the single I Don't Know You Anymore off the Beauty and Ruin album,
"It will change the way thinking people think about thinking..."
Well OK not really but you'll get it if you watch the video.

Note the cameo of Colin from The Decemberist which is pretty funny although I am unfamiliar with the band.


Then we have the newest effort from Bob with a video from the first single off his new album Patch the Sky called Voices in my Head

Good stuff from Bob. I'm excited to hear the new album.
Check him out on Spotify, or (even better) your local music dealer.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Year = New...

Happy New Year!

We made it. Its 2016 and we are all still alive. For now.

Not a lot is new really for me. Figured I would write a 2015 wrap up post but I plan to do that every year and I can say with out even looking that it rarely, if ever happens.
So not much has changed.

Whats new?
Well its finally cold enough here in Iowa to put my Bar Mitts on my commuter.
I think I've gone through every box of bike stuff I can find in my basement bike shop, more than once and cant find them.
Looks like 2016 is the year of new Bar Mitts.

I've been using Bar Mitts for a number of winters & overall been pretty happy with them.
I improved my original pair by changing the internal Velcro to a wider and longer one to make installing them easier.
I modified my new version (V2.0?) to make installing even easier.
Plus with this mod I can run different grips.

What did I do? I'll show you.

I had an idea (which I think the $130 Bar Mitts Extreme has) which is a bar plug.
I poked a hole in the side of the Mitt.
Put a bolt and washer through it, which in turn went through a beefy rubber bar plug, thru another washer, a gnarled washer and then a nut.
Bar Mitts modificationsBar Mitts modificationsBar Mitts modificationsBar Mitts modifications

And Wa-La! New and improved Bar Mitts!

Bar Mitts modifications

Pretty simple fix if you can find all the bits you need.
The added bonus (and kind of the point) is now you can run the grip of your choosing.
For example on my geared commuter (Straggler) I have ergo style grips. The way Bar Mitts come the internal strap is Velcro and short intended to wrap around the grip to secure the Mitt in place,
Plus with my bar plug mod the Mitts are super easy to swap between bikes.
Which I do often.

I made my Bar Mitt improvements on a slow Saturday at the shop.
The only issue I ran into was when I got home and went to install them on a different bike for the next day.
The Straggler runs the old Surly Torsion Bar, which is steel. The plugs I used were probably for a road bike bar internal diameter. They wouldn't fit in my aluminium bars on my other bikes.

Back to the drawing board, sorta.
I disassembled the bar plug conversion and first just rearranged the washers since the inner one was too big to fit in the bars. Thats when I realized the entire plug was too big.

Trim to fit.

A little careful sanding and trimming later and now the Version 2.0 Bar Mitts fit all my flat
bar bikes.

At this point we are 12 days into 2016 and I have used the Mitts every day for commuting and trail riding.
Happy fingers.

Wednesday AM #sycamorevibes on the Krampus Thanks for reading and Happy New Year! -z

Sunday, December 20, 2015

We're in this Together



I've become impossible
       holding on to when
when everything seemed to matter more
         the two of us
all used and beaten up
watching fate as it flows down the path
       we have chose

 you and me we're in this together now
none of them can stop us now
we will make it through somehow
you and me
if the world should break in two
until the very end of me
until the very end of you

 awake to the sound as they peel apart the skin
they pick and they pull
trying to get their fingers in
well they've got to kill what we've found
well they've got to hate what they fear
well they've got to make it go away
well they've got to make it disappear

the farther I fall I'm beside you
as lost as I get I will find you
the deeper the wound I'm inside you
for ever and ever I'm a part of

you and me we're in this together now
none of them can stop us now
we will make it through somehow
you and me if the world should break in two
until the very end of me
until the very end of you

all that we were is gone we have to hold on
when all our hope is gone we have to hold on
all that we were is gone but we can hold on

 you and me we're in this together now
none of them can stop us now
we will make it through somehow
you and me even after everything
you're the queen and I'm the king
nothing else means anything

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Smoother than me. Fo sho.

Nightmare On KOM Street from Kyle Scully on Vimeo.

New content for this page is all ways spinning in my head.
Rarely does it make it to the keyboard.
If that wasn't obvious.

Been on the bike a lot.
101k race last Saturday. Top 10 finish.
Not bad considering that I hadn't gone with the intention of racing.
It just kinda happened.

Almost daily trips through Sycamore on various steeds.

Have really gotten back into my Krampus. Really wasn't into it for a while.
Couldn't seem to get the fit right.
Dropped the stem from 100, to 90 and then to 70
70 is prefect. Suddenly the bike was fun again.
Glad I figured it out before it went to the chopping block.

Planning another "Don't Kill the Boss" ride tomorrow.
Gravel loop. I'm sure he'll dig it.
Granted that's not until after the World Cup in Valkenburg
Which is on EARLY
So I should go to bed.
No surprise the typing comes easy at midnight, this post was gonna stop at the video.

Have a good weekend.

#coffeeoutside #sycamorevibes

Friday, September 11, 2015

Sunday, July 05, 2015

The LHT is dead. Long live the Straggler!

Its July in Iowa. What does that mean?
Time for the RAGBRAI

Back what seems like 100 years ago I rode the RAGBRAI.

My first two trips across the state I rode with Team Pink Floyd
On my 3rd year I was "kidnapped" (at least thats what the Floyd's would tell you) by Evil.
I rode the next 4 (5?) years with Evil using the big black "Satan's School for Little Girls" bus.


Ah the good old days...


Then the bus died.
Conveniently on the last day in the last town. We abandoned the bus (on main street where it sat for a couple weeks until a farmer pulled it home deposited it in his back 40 and it became and probably still is a club house for local teens)
At that time a plan was hatched to build up touring bikes and return the following year to ride the week self supported.

I spent the winter/spring building up a Surly Long Haul Trucker
The LHT was a relatively new model form Surly and I was pretty excited to ride across Iowa that summmer on mine.
It was a great year.

RAGBRAI 2006-066RAGBRAI 2006-011

Doing the RAGBRAI self supported was an eye opener.
No more searching over night towns for the bus.
No more worrying about going off route and not making it to the end town were the bus was.
Self supported you have all your stuff for the week with you. All week.
Its the only way to go and the only way I'd do RAGBRAI.
Well except for the following year... I was talked into getting back on a bus.
Evil returned with a new bus and a basically new crew.
In the end it ended up being a weird year and not one I would want to repeat (and I don't think I was the only one on the bus that year who felt that way... sorry gang).

Needless to say I did another 4 years self supported until I moved to Iowa.
Now I don't get to do the trip but that is a whole other story.

Back to the point... there was a point.

As much as I loved the LHT other than the RAGBRAI it didn't get ridden much.
Its great for long miles fully loaded with few stops.
Its not great for short trips or riding around town.
For me this is because when I bought the bike I bought it a little bit too big.
At cruising speed this isn't an issue. But when you are just trying to maneuver around town it just doesn't work.

I've been commuting on a Surly Cross Check for years
My current Cross Check is the 3rd of 4 that I have owned.
I commute on it. Ridden single track on it. Raced cyclocross on it.
I even rode the RAGBRAI on it (the Floyd years).
With the exception of a couple CX season when it was set up single speed (and once very briefly with gears) its always been a fixed gear.
Its has had a few different parts kits but has basically stayed the same.
I love it.

I love this bike. #crosscheck #surlybikes #fixedgear #dailydriver #commuter

Recently I started thinking about building up something similar only with gears for commuting.
I considered just changing up the parts kit on the LHT... but as previously stated its size was a factor.
So I stripped down the LHT and put the frame set up for sale (at the time this is published it is still for sale... 62cm frame set $200 OBO)

Enter the Straggler

The solution I came up with was a Surly Straggler
I purchased a 60cm frame set and a set of disc brakes.
Transferred a majority of the parts from the LHT over with a couple additions.

I've put probably close to 200 miles on the Straggler since I built it up and so far I'm very pleased.
I can add on the rear rack easily if I was to do a tour.
Drop the knobbies off for slicks if I want to add fenders.
And if I get tired of the flat bar and thumbie shifters I have several drop bar options in my parts bin along with a set of 9speed STi levers.

I've commuted on it daily since I built it up.
Have done a metric century on the paved trail.
Used it to run errands.
Even gotten in a little single track time.
I'm pretty pleased with the new rig.

Straggler build:
TRP Spyre SLC disc brake
Chris King headset
Thomson stem and seatpost
Brooks Professional saddle
Dura-Ace 9speed bar end shifters converted to bar mount with Paul Thumbies
Avid Speed Dial levers
Race Face cranks with 44/32/22 RF rings
12-28 9 speed cassette
Ultergra 6600 RD
Sora 3403 FD
UN-55 BB
Surly Nice Racks F&R
Surly Knard 700x41 rubber
Surly 1x1 Torsion Bar by Nitto
Lizard Skins bolt on BMX grips
Arundel stainless steel bottle cages
DT Swiss Onyx 36h hubs laced to Salsa Delgado Cross rims
Shimano M324 pedals
Jagwire cable/housing

The LHT is dead...

Long Live the Straggler!