Thursday, March 06, 2008

The pointless search for the fork less tarnished

It came to me that a new fork was really the thing for the Fat Chance. I can't get one right now, but in a few months maybe.

I ended up on the White industries webpage, where I found some sweet carbon 29er' forks. Really nice, but no 1 inch steerer tubes.

I have been thinking of turning the Fat Chance into a 69'er. It really boils down to finding the right fork. I have a Kenesis 700c cyclo cross fork somewhere. I just don't know if it it will be wide enough for the knobby. I have been running a 1.9 in the rear due to the narrow chainstays, and not to mentioned the fact that they are shortened.

I then decided to go back and look for forks from certain bicycles of the same period.
It didn't take long before I was looking at forks from Bridgestone MB1's. There was of course the strange, double crown version. And the other fork used was the Ritchey Super Logic.

So I turn my head to the left, and look at my bike, and what do I see? A Ritchey Super Logic. Isn't that a bitch? I turns out that the fork I bought on a $25 dollar Cannondale mt bike is exactly the fork I should be running on this bike. It actually had weeds growing around the fork when I got it.

Of course I have long understood the quality of this item. I recognized it when I saw the bike in the weeds. And it was strange to have the internet remind me of just that fact.

I of course would love to have a Fat One fork, or a Tange Switchblade. Bontrager also has a decent looking for out there.

As for the 69'er fork? It will come to pass, and this could be the finest hour yet of the Ole Fat Chance. It will pop the geometry up just a bit, and put more momentum up front.


Monday, March 03, 2008

Over The Shoulder

After the frustration of Thursday's ride, I spent a small part of Saturday night working on the Fat Chance. I installed a Selle San Marco Rolls "Due " saddle, and went over the bike. There is virtually no clearance between the rear tire and the chain stay, so if the wheel goes out of true, which it always does, I need to re-true it to get it to clear. This of course would turn out to be the least of my worries as I headed out Sunday afternoon.

Ward Rd. is right by my house, and a quick trek along the most dangerous stretch of road in Clark County put me at a right turn onto Davis Rd. I took Davis out to 112th avenue, and turned left for a couple of miles.

There is an old garage at the intersection of 112th avenue and Powell RD. I stopped here to refuel, drink, and sit in the sun before entering the trees just ahead. Powell is a fine ride, but preferably down, as the road from there just climbs and climbs. I stopped by the fire station and took my first pic of the day.

From here Rawson Rd. keeps climbing. Past the gun range, the fence of which is in the next pic.

From here one must continue on up, but will soon come to a rolling section of smooth asphalt. This was laid not too many years ago to replace the old gravel forest rd.

I came to the sign stating I was entering the Gifford Pinchot forest, and decided to make a safety stop. And what do I discover when coming to that stop?

My front brake bolt has rattled out entirely, and the brake is hanging in the wheel.

I ended up disabling the brake, and using one of my pump straps to attach it back onto the post.

This will hold well enough to get home, as long as I don't try to use the front brakes. The idea of this is not fun, as the hills I have chosen to descend are serious business.
The rolling hills along this stretch of Rawson Rd. are relaxing, with some long uphills, and nice downhill cruises.

It seemed like, after the braking incident, I was at the top in no time. I suppose it must have been victorious for everyone there, as there was shooting and hooting and hollerin' going on all around me. (Why do people feel they need to shoot at rocks? Or anything for that matter.)

A on board shot. I had just really hit the snow line here, but was rolling along so well I didn't want to stop.

Ironically, the no shooting sign seen here, right where the people were shooting....
I wanted to linger here longer, as much as I love gunfire. But the sun was going down, and so was I, as this Forest Road loomed before me.
This is Forest Road L1400. It is a combination of fun, hard packed dirt downhills, climbs, and mellow riding across a ridge.

It soon turns into L1000, then begins to drop quickly. My front brake being useless, my speeds were very quick, and my knuckles very white, as I flew past the junction of L1000 and Livingston RD. MY brakes howled as I turn at speed onto 53rd St. This is near the start of Bradford RD., that I had climbed on Thursday, and dropped down like a rock today.

In no time I was somehow on Fourth Plain Blvd, having missed my proper turn. It had taken me 2 1/2 hours to do the traverse, even with my small gear. Fully satisfied, I rode home, sat in a chair, and did not move for two hours or so.

These training rides up the hill are leading to a bigger, better goal. I have my sights set on a three county traverse, from East of Washougal to Moulton Falls, North of Battleground. Therte is still too much snow on the mt. to scout the trail routes yet, so I use Google Earth till the spring thaw.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Temptation explained, frustration refrained, success gained.

I don't know how many of you know what this is we are looking at here. It is the greatest temptation in these parts, full of great fishing, hiking, mt. biking, and lots of wildlife.

This is a picture of the promised land, with an open gate. Camp Bonneville. Located kiddie corner to the family compound, it has always called to me. While I cannot comfirm nor deny the existence of sweet trails, hillclimbs, fire roads and stocked trout ponds, I can confirm that you should in no way enter Camp Bonneville.

Hence my issue when standing in front of a legitimately open gate. A fire road turns right a mere ten feet inside the gate, and I know it winds around the SE side of the camp, but sadly brings you back around to the center of camp, where the trouble lies.

I had ridden my Fat Chance single speed Mt. Bike out there, with the intention of turning back around and riding home. But just seeing that taunting open gate put a fire under my burner the likes of which I had not felt in a while. I turned south, with intent, for if I wasn't going to be allowed to ride through the camp, I would just damn well ride around it.
" This is Livingston cemetery just east of the main gate to Bonneville."

After relaxing at the cemetery for a few minutes, I headed around the south side of the camp, somewhat remembering the layout of the roads. I was planning to go up the side of Livingston Mt., but ended up taking an earlier turn, in my quest to hit the dirt roads as soon as possibly.

Bradford Rd., on the way out, has nice, steep climbs, which really tested my gear ratio, choice being one of course. The turn I took uphill contained even steeper climbs, as turned to gravel sooner than expected. I was on Haddock road, just below where it runs into Livingston, and had reached my turn around time. I had to be in town to meet my parents, as I was dogsitting for them this weekend. I could see the houses on top of Livingston Mt., which meant that the fire road across to Larch Mt. was just beyond today's reach.

I adjusted my brakes, and turned down hill, for a great, fast downhill experience. The ride back down Livingston and Bradford was exhilarating, and I was back in Hockinson in what seemed to be no time at all.

I went home and vowed to return in mere days, and conquering the shoulder of Larch and Silver Star Mts, circumnavigating the promised land of Camp Bonneville.