Cycling in support of Limbs For Life

Cycling in support of Limbs For Life
Cycling in support of Limbs For Life

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Rebecca Grace, Ruta de la Muertos and Davie's new digs

This has nothing to do with this post. Just a photo from a race I was at.

   For her X-Mas vacation the hearty trooper, singer and nacho maker Rebecca Grace came to visit. She unfortunately had brutally sprained her ankle up in Beacon NY right before leaving. I picked her up at the airport hobbling, smiling and making the best of it. We spent a nice time shuffling about Lapaz, hanging out with the other cyclist at the Casa de Ciclista and descending through mist and rain on the Ruta de la muertos (Bolivias famous "Death Road") What better for your first bike tour (with a sprained ankle)?

 RG told me she was embarrassed by photos.

  I took these anyways


Davie Hogan and I have been together thick and thin since leaving Maine just about a year ago. He is more than just a bicycle to me. Were pals, we understand each other. He is usually happy to go where I want, carries my possessions and keeps me sane.

  Other than a smile to my face and some good company, Becky G also brought a box full of replacement parts for Davie. A huge Thank youuu! also goes out to Sarah, Kyle, Jon and Arron of Peoples Bicycle for making that all happen. Y'all are the best!

 This is the start of some part freak out. A.K.A. Sporadic Gear Geekery:
Ahh... my faithful Schmidt Dynamo. Though after almost 5 years, 2 bikes and uncountable thousands of miles. Its given up the ghost. Back up in Peru it developed play that slowly got worse and worse (there are no adjustments or service to be done to these hubs). I knew the bearings were finally shot. The timing could not have been better cuz by Lapaz Bolivia it had locked up.

First in this new parts run: The Shimano replacement dynamo. I'm hoping to have my Schmidt serviced and sent back to me at a later date. 

Surly's new O.D. cranks. The reason for these is 2 things. (First- This new crank steps both the chainrings out away from the tire. The granny sits where the middle ring normally is and the middle to the outer. This way I get more chain- tire clearance when in my lowest gear. Less chainsawing the mud off. (Second- The old crank is a 3 piece set. Both crank arms bolt to the spindle. The left is a nice secure, splined, pinch bolt style. Its easy to remove with no fatigue involved. The right side on the other foot, is a ramped ISIS style spline. Even at the initial installation I was weary. I cranked it down to proper torque spec and still before I knew it, it would come loose.  I would wrench it down the best I could with my little multi-tool and ride to the next shop of any sort that would have allen keys. After having to do this several times the crank interface had seen a better day. The oscillation due to the fatigued taper was putting irregular side load pressure on the bottom bracket bearings, wearing them out sooner than later. I'm happy to be back to a solid 2 piece 

Davie's diet. Stainless steel swaped for titanium

Way back  in the beginning I stitched this up as a temporary frame bag. I was gonna make a stouter version with a few internal pockets and a lining. I got a bit busy before shipping out and left well enough alone. The #8 zipper and single slider held up for a good long while. The eventual blow out was catastrophic. I found this gold zip in a market up in Peru and hand stitched it in. It is still running its track admirably but gettin relieved by this new meaty #10. Progress

Davie's diet- Yes it seems silly but I have been schlepping this large cable lock around. I have used it only a few times. I'm never far away from Davie and only take my eyes off him for a few minutes when I know he is not safely stashed. A deterrent of any sort can be just as good as a hefty lock in many cases.  

  I do prefer a full size stove to a  light weight alcohol burner. It comes with being a coffee drinker- that and gasoline being easier to find in places. This can get debated all up and down the bowling alley but in the end its personal choice. I really like having a power boiler and food simmer'er option. This stove rules- The Soto Muka. For a year of just about constant use it has been outstanding. I've used it some where in the neighborhood of 500 times. It gets a little crabby over bad gas, but so do I. Its to be expected. So why the new one? After so much use the pump was starting to wear and I wanted some spare bits in case I lost any during a cleaning. So I wrote to the company and told them what I was doing and asked if I could buy parts that are not regularly included with the normal service kit. Instead of that they sent me a new stove in trade for my old one for analyzation. I guess I've used it more than most.

Davie's diet- So I have also been carting about 2 sleeping bags. A 32 degree Big Agnes horse thief and this cheap little Quechua bag. Most the time the Quechua bag ends up as my pillow, but paired together they have been my; sleeping cozy well below zero system. This new vapor barrier will take its place (Sorry Grant, usually the only light layer of wool around is still attached to the sheep)  Back to the leaves stuffed in a dirty t-shit pillow. Only half kidding... you can't always find leaves

New and the old- Back to real MTB baggies. Back in the boat yard in Florida my Fox shorts were eaten through by battery acid. Chris gave me these blue work pants. Faded, crusty and blown out, they are ready for retirement. Its not like the old days when I would patch the patches. Though those days will come again I'm sure.

What are you seeing here? Leche de Madre. The sweet tubeless mother of god. A full half gallon of sealant came down with Rebecky. Most will get sent down to Chile with the next set of new tires. I'll keep a little stash with me for when they need topping off. Yes, tubeless is that nice.

  I've traded two racks and four small panniers for this one awesome seat bag. Normally I stitch up my own stuff but... Scott at Porcelain Rocket makes some of the best bikepacking luggage to be found on this spinning rock. His way with fabrics and custom fitting for all manner of frame spaces is unhurdleable. Yea, I made that up. These bags are so good no one cant jump over them?. Really it just means I cant get over how stoked I am to have this new piece of kit.

And with a little inspiration every time I open it.

While we are on the subject of places to store your worldly goods. Thanx to Ariel here in Lapaz for loaning me a sewing machine. Some fabric came down in the box with RG and I was able to knock these front dudes out.

The little stitchin' machine had a mind of its own. I think they'll hold together though

Are those two bent disc rotors in there? Um... Yea

Fresh hub bearings! Butter is not just for your bacon cookies anymore

Time to go get this showboater dirty!

All pavment leads to dirt... even when you ride with yer eyes closed

And then there is that guy...


  1. Lookin fresh. Did you really butter those bearings?

  2. That post good Sir, is magic! :)

  3. How's those heavy Large Marge rims treating you? I know they are discontinued and almost impossible to find - I have tried for a while. Especially hard to find the 36 hole DH one. I may be able to source 32 hole version here in Europe, but would rather have the 36 hole version. Some think it's overkill with such heavy rims. What do you think after quite a long ride so far? I also intend to use them for loaded touring.

    Any other rims (apart from LM XC/DH) you would consider?


    1. Yea I'm kinda a freak about building strong wheels. I'll sacrifice a bit of weight anyday when I know I will be relying on them and running them hard in remote places. Surly strung me along saying they were gonna start reproducing the LM in 36h and then said "just kidding". I called every bike shop (that mentioned anything about fat bikes) all over the states and canada looking for new old stock LM 36ers. I found my rear DH in Canada and the front XC in Minisota. Plenty of shops I called and even Surly told me that 32 will be strong enough. Nahh, I know the strength difference in a 32 vs 36 spoked wheel. Especially in the rear. Those 4 extra spokes go along way. Fat rim or not. Wear and tear plus gear load... I'll take the little extra heft for the reliability. The big thing in fat bikes these days is weight savings not touring strength. Nothing else I've seen latley I would recomend or consider. I would roll 32 in the front. But I already had a 36h Schmidt Dynamo I wanted to run. After all the distance and terrain I've been through? All I'm worried about is corrosion. All the best Christian, Kurt

    2. Yes I ment to spell Minnesota that way

  4. Davie Is looking very good :-) with all the new bits and mods.

    BTW. How does the dynamo fit spacing wide - is it a wider version or have you got some trick to make it fit?

    Cheers and enjoy Bolivia.

    1. Thanx Hamish, A kit list is soon to be released.
      I'm running a 100mm spacing fork. Yep, I know it was recalled. I did a little braze work/ gusset action to re-enforce it. And I try not to do stoppies. Schmidt is now making a 135 spaced dynamo.

      Cheers back at ya, Kurt