Monday, March 2, 2015

Worse Than Salt, Brine Sprayed On Roads Will Munch Your Car (Bike) To Pieces - The Washington Post

I read this story a few days ago in the Washington Post. Today, I drove up to West Yellowstone to ski. It was obvious I was following a brine truck. From about the north Rexburg exit, the road had the brine strips that most of you are familiar with. They were dry at that point, but turned to liquid by about Ashton. I assumed I would be passing the brine truck soon, but did not overtake it until about Mack's Inn. I found myself remembering the advice in the Post to not drive behind a brine truck and at the same time wondering how much brine one truck could carry.
By the time I arrived in West Yellowstone, my car had a coating of salt like a layer of confectioner's sugar on a pastry. The first thing I did when I got home was to go to the car wash where I devoted special attention to the undercarriage and wheelwells.
This liquid brine mixture is more corrosive than normal road salt due to its liquid application form as well as its composition of sodium chloride and magnesium chloride. If you ride in winter, you have probably seen these same salt deposits on your bicycle. Like a car owner, you can ignore them at your own peril.

To pre-treat roads, a liquid salt "brine" mixture of 23% salt and 77% water is sprayed as an anti-icing measure and helps to prevent dangerous road conditions. (copyright Lisa Bolton/The Washington Post)

New From VeloPress: Fast After 50

“In his groundbreaking book Fast After 50, Friel offers a smart approach for athletes to ward off the effects of age. Friel shows athletes how to extend their racing careers for decades—and race to win.” VeloPress. I ordered a copy of Joe Friel’s new book today. People like to say that 50 is the new 30 and I wish that were true. I think it is unreasonable to hope for miracles, but a book like this is worth the purchase price for a couple of new ideas and a little encouragement. I will plan to comment more on the book at some point in the future.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Inaugural Kelly Canyon Fat Tire Pursuit

The first ever fat bike race at Kelly Canyon went off yesterday without a lot of fanfare. The inaugural event only drew about a dozen participants, but the organization was excellent with strong support from Bill's Bike and Run and Kelly Canyon. The fun was off the top of the fun scale. I was initially a little skeptical about the proposed route (two laps climbing to the Y-Junction, following snow-cat tracks from the east boundary to the top of lift four, and down Moose). It turned out to be perfect. It was a great course in every respect with a fairly challenging climb followed by a recovery and then a repeat of the climb. Prior to the race, it was estimated that lap times would be in a 45 minute range. Snow conditions were very good for fat bikes (probably not great for skiing) and that was reflected in very fast lap times. I think most lap times were in about a 30 to 35 minute range with many people riding a negative split on the second lap.
There is perhaps something absurd about otherwise serious adults careening around in the snow on ridiculously fat tired bicycles. And I am not sure there is any point trying to explain it. People are often discouraged when they ride fat bikes for the first time because it can be pretty tough work depending on terrain and snow conditions, but the fun is addictive. It is the kind of stupid fun you had when you were eight years old.
The guys from Bill’s and the owners of Kelly Canyon share a vision in which Kelly Canyon becomes a fat biking hub with fat bikes welcome on the lifts and the ski hill. They plan to organize a number of fat bike events including a couple of races each winter. I am happy we were able to be there for the first one and look forward to many more in the years to come. Many thanks to Brandon Fell and Gray Augustus from Bill’s as well as the people from Kelly Canyon for organizing this event.
You can see race photos (Jeff, Tony, me) at the Bill’s Bike and run Facebook page:

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Kelson Fat Bike Number Two

This green beauty was built to be light and fast with a Sram 1 X11 drivetrain, an MRP carbon fork, and TRP hydraulic disc brakes. Jeff designed the excellent Snow Ninja graphic that it shares with Tim’s bike.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Tony's Pogies

I will start out by stating two fairly obvious things: these pogies are beyond sweet, and they did not come out of some giant pogie factory. If you have spent time on a fat bike in the winter, you know that one of the biggest difficulties is keeping your hands warm. Tony designed, constructed, and sewed these pogies (along with a high quality stuff sack) from his own imagination and ingenuity. This is only his second pair and generation two has already improved and evolved from the original prototype. The exterior is waterproof Cordura with zipper and Velcro closures, strategically placed draw cords with quick releases, and a fleece lining. 
I have been telling Tony he should make and sell a few of these, but I do not think he is interested in taking this on as a business. However, if you would like to make some of your own, Tony would be willing to share a few ideas with you.

From Tate: Funny Cycling Moments


Things Cyclists Say