Saturday, November 29, 2014

Just like John Lennon, but without the music or the talent.

I think it was him who said the best song is one which is written in the morning, recorded in the afternoon, and out by the evening. Brief research reveals that "All The Young Dudes" was written in a day - not be John Lennon though. It is however a great song, and that makes it worth mentioning.

In the sprint of this "in one day" thing, and because I wanted to go for a ride today, I welded my favorite old frame back together, built a bike on it, and went for a ride. The welding is pretty shocking, but that's because I am not very good at it yet, not because I did it in a day. Words are too wordy, so here are some pictures:

Notching it (I cheated and did this yesterday after work).

I did a drawing and it ended up almost the same shape as it was supposed to.

I added some length, and removed some broken.

Mock-up #1

Mock-up #2, with clever magnet things kindly given to me by Marc and Nikki.

It might just work

...even from this angle, it still might work.

This is the least-ugly part of the welding. I am rather ashamed, but at least I got some practice.


I went for a ride, and it didn't break (yet). I think I like it better with my revised geometry too... so that's good.

100% exciting update... I went for another ride and it didn't break! Thanks for the day out Paul and Alex.

Monday, November 24, 2014

If it ain't broke.

Before getting into the the meaningful (well, I suppose that's debatable - but whatever) part of this bloggery I want to make note of the clever joke that I made with the title. You know, just in case I forget that it was a joke this will remind me to laugh next time I read my own blog. That is a thing I do incidentally, and it's much easier than actually remembering what I have done, I just read about it on the internet.

As I recently wrote to my hand-picked team of bicycle advisers, "You will be pleased (or perhaps indifferent) to hear that I have taken up the challenge of building this fixie". There's that joke - see? I then continued, "I have set the budget of this enterprise at $50 plus whatever I can find in my parts collection".

Now I have to back-up a bit so I will remember what the heck this was all about when I've forgotten all about it and read it on the internet. Mark (no, not Marc) gave me a bike frame, intended to be a singlespeed or fixed-gear road bike that he had ended up with. I've never wanted a fixie, because I don't like riding them. I also have nowhere to keep another bike and generally prefer off-road bikes anyway. As an aside, I am running at an all-time low of off-road bikes at the moment. Seriously... I have just one mountain bike. That's going to change though, mark my words.

I think it's worthwhile making note of my bicycle adviser's fixie heritage here. Jacek has ridden a fixie to work every day since before he was able to walk, and recently crashed on it because he was pulling up his trousers. He's also stripped the threads off every fixed-gear hub known. Paul had a mixed wheel-size 1990's mountain-fixie mashup thing that he rode to the pub for a while. I tried to ride it down the lane behind Tracy's house and nearly died in several hilarious ways. Both of these highly-qualified advisers told me it was a good idea to build a fixie. Now I read that back to myself I'm having doubts about this project... but whatever. Onward!

So I was given this frame. Then, I looked at all the bits of bikes stashed away in my bicycle treasure-boxes. Some mental-configuring later I realized that I was "that" close to having all the parts I would need to build a bike out of this frame, and what better kind of bike to build, than one I don't want? You see... then I might not keep it. Clever, right? Like my joke.

Predictably, I didn't quite have everything I needed, so I bought a pair of Chinese hubs from eBay and a fork from OCB. I have all the other wheel materials already from a pair of road wheels I built for Kermit when I thought he might be a road bike - and then he became something far more practical. The only part I know I am missing is a brake lever, and I am confident I can bring that in on-budget by rummaging in the bin at OCB. So that's good.

The internet's finest cheap fixie hubs.
Chosen to work with some spokes I had already,
and because they had sold out of blue.

During my rigorous mental preparations for this project I discovered that all fixies need to have parts that don't fit, bodged together with shims. So I did some of that. Shim #1 attaches the vintage Syncros seatpost of indeterminate diameter into the shim that was already stuck in the seat tube. This shim-shim-(shiree) was fashioned from a coconut water can, which appropriately is a hipster-approved beverage.

Shim #2 was an interesting one. By almost sinister chance, OCB not only had a 700c fork with canti-brake bosses and a long-enough 1" steerer (which is what I wanted), but it was threadless. It is a true fact that the prospect of finding a 1" threadless steerer fork when you actually want one (pretty much never) is approximately equal to the number of times you will want to find that fork, ever. Figure that one out. Compound this with the fact the threadless 1" headset (an item that is actually constructed from an infinite number of hen's teeth) had been thoughtfully stashed on the fork, and you have some might long odds. I'm surprised the universe didn't spontaneously evaporate at that moment and condense back into the exact form it was previously, just to prove a point. Or perhaps it did. Anyway, back to this shim. Having the mystical forces of the universe align once already that afternnon, I decided not to try looking very hard for a 1" threadless stem. I think if I had found one of those at the same time as all the other stuff, the law of entropy would have been so convincingly disproved that I would have needed to spend the rest of my life on top of a pole... like that Simeon Stylites. A lucky escape indeed. Existential crisis avoided, I decided to use a chunk of cut-off 1 1/8" steerer tube to fashion a shim and use one of the pile of 1 1/8" stems I already had, and a cable-hanger whatnot for the front brake. An agreeable solution all-round.

It's upside-down because it actually was upside-down.
This photo does fail to show any of the interesting tinkering I did though. Oh well.

The fun thing about this shim is that it preloads the headset via the top-cap, and you can fit the stem anywhere you like on it without any spacers... and I didn't even have to spend the rest of my life sitting up a pole to figure it out.

Where does that leave me? In the larger sense, almost exactly where I started from - with a pile of bits of a bike that will assemble into something I neither particularly want, or need. I am looking forward to building the wheels though, when the internet's finest hubs arrive.

As if that wasn't enough, this weekend I finally got around to starting another project (and actually riding bikes too, incidentally). A while back a sad thing happened to my favorite bike, with the result that what was once one became two and the sum of the parts was less bicycle-shaped than the whole. In an attempt to resolve this situation I have put my name down on the list to get a new favorite bike from someone very good at making frames. Simultaneously, someone not so good at making frames (me) is going to repair the old one. I am confident that at least one of these will provide satisfaction. If I get on with it, I might actually beat the real frame builder too, ha!

Can you tell what it is yet?


I'll just wrap this with duct-tape and it will be fine.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

And there was much rejoicing.

So, first there was this... which went terribly well, right up until the point I snapped my bike in half. On the positive side, I didn't snap myself in half at all during the event. Another consoling thought has been that if you're going to break something, it's nice when it doesn't just break a little bit but really breaks beyond any doubt that it is broken. This was one of those times.


 And more recently there was this, which just went terribly well.


In other news, I'm experimenting with starting sentences with the word "and". It's intimidating at first, but as the old saying goes, "If something's worth doing, it's worth doing wrong". The old ones are always the best.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

You know when something's really trendy? Sometimes it's because it's actually good.

So, Trans-Provence eh? More on that later.

Before I got over to La Belle France, I caught up with friends and family, ending the week in Sheffield.  Sheffiled Ski Village was a place I enjoyed during my 10 years in Sheffield, and I even ended up working there for a year, which was a nice antidote to thesis-writing. Sadly, it seems the place has become a wasteland, despite efforts to save it. Duncan and I went up to Parkwood Springs to ride the new mountain bike trail, and whilst the trail was really fun, I couldn't help but be slightly distressed by the sorry state of the Ski Village. I hope the group attempting to re-build it are successful. Other Sheffield fun included a damp night-ride culminating in the New Barrack Tavern and then a beer-influenced ride back home through Morrisons, a curry, and a day riding in Wharncliffe and Grenoside Woods. Thank you to all who came out and made me feel welcome in a place I have not seen in far too long.

After all that fun, it was time to head south again and get on a 'plane to Nice. Like BA (Baracus, not Airways) I don't enjoy flying. Well, it's more complicated than that... I do rather like the actual flying-in-the-air part. What I don't like is the massive preamble and post-flight fiasco that always seems to be involved, coupled with the guilt of destroying our only home with my high altitude emissions (from the engines, not me personally). I should probably just ignore all of that, or get someone to drug my milk.

I digressed.

Trans-Provence. It's really hard to get in and is mostly populated by pro racers, nearly-pro racers, bike industry movers, shakers, and hangers-on... and a few lucky others who make the cut. I'm in the "industry hangers-on" category in case you were wondering. The results and all the official video updates are nicely here, which leave it only for me to provide a summary of my hazy recollections and a rather narcissistic video edit I made of all my appearances in the daily updates.

Day 1 - I got bored of waiting and volunteered myself as the sacrificial lamb to be the first rider on the first stage. The trail was a wet ditch full of rocks, which I failed to ride with any style at all... but you have to start somewhere. The second stage was really quite fun, and I managed to catch and pass the rider ahead of me (who is called John and later ended up spending a lot of time riding with). Sadly my triumph was short-lived when I ENDUROed some rocks too fast and pinch-flatted my front tire. Fortunately my lack in racing prowess is accompanied by sub two-minute flat-changing skills, even with a hand-pump... so I didn't lose too much time fixing it. After the two remaining stages I rolled home in 51st place overall, which left room for improvement.

This Yurt is 100% ENDURO

Day 2 - This was the day with the massive hike up a mountain, which was quite fun. The ride down the other side wasn't quite as thrilling as I had hoped for, but the stages that followed were good and I finished in 39th place for the day... rather closer to where I was hoping to be in a field full of pro racers and the like.

Mountain refuge
Day 3 - This was my favorite day. It started off with a fast and sketchy ride down some wet grass and mud trails, where I got my first sub-30th position stage finish. The riding was made even better as the not-racing parts of the day were just as fun as the actual racing parts. I rode the "Grey Earth" section with Patrik and Olav, which was a great contrast to all the riding alone with just the tick of the clock in my head.

Day 4 - This was the "easy day" with a chairlift run in the middle and more flowing trails. I got my best overall finish in 32nd place for the day and another sub-30th (just) stage finish. The final stage had a monstrous descent of nearly 900m vertical, which Patrik demonstrated the effects of well at the finish line.

Day 5 - was a strange one. It was my birthday, which felt a bit weird. The riding was not the best of the week and featured an almost universally-hated stage that I managed to get 21st place in - my best result of the event. Apparently I have skills on wet, mossy rocks and crashing into creeks. I promptly reversed my good fortune by getting another flat in the final stage and finished 45th overall for the day. Ho hum.

Day 5 lunch stop - not a bad spot.
Day 6 - Having spent the previous evening patching up my inner tubes, and being given a new one by the excellent Jamie Nicoll, I was ready to tackle the final day. My usual gang of Simon, Patrik, Olav, Kevin and John assembled and we set off to tackle the last big climb of the week. The first stage of the day was my favorite trail of the whole event... another 800m-plus monster with forest singletrack, rocky puzzles, and steep, loose chutes to navigate. I did my best to stay on top of my bike to the finish, and despite the efforts of the final hair-raising stage to unseat me, made it to the end fairly-well intact. For the record, I finished 42nd overall (but what is the question?) and my hypothetical calculations show that my punctures only cost me a few places in the end. Given the strength of the field I am very happy to have crept close to the mid-pack. Even more so, I am happy to have ridden my bike somewhere new, met some excellent people, and visited places like this:

I extracted myself from the high-five fest at the finish line to go in search of a patisserie. French baking had been sadly missing from my diet all week, so I seized the opportunity to add my own special stage which consisted of tackling a croissant, a tarte au myrtille, and a crepe au citron. Now that is 100% ENDURO.

Monday, August 25, 2014


Chromag bikes turned 10 this year (or 11, but who's counting?), so they organized a party. Despite having been a "proud owner of a Chromag since 2007", I've never made it out to any of their gatherings, or ever ridden with anyone else who was also riding one. Riding with 50 or 60 other folks on similar bikes seemed like a good way to catch up on what I had been missing.

The concept seemed to be to ride most of the trails in Whistler - ambitious.
The plans were intimidating to say the least, and I was going to need some lower gears on my bike to drag myself up some of those climbs. Having fairly recently removed most of the gears from it to embrace current mountain biking fashions, I was stuck with just one chaining up front - though fortunately quite a small one. What I needed was a great big cog out the back. This sounds easy enough, all I needed to do was buy a big cog (currently fashionable for ENDUROing) and put it on there. Obviously it wasn't that simple, because I still have a 9-speed drivetrain and the cogs are meant for 10-speed, and blah, blah, blah... so out came the power tools.

Those knobbly things on the top were monkeying with my chain, so they had to get smaller. 

If at first it doesn't fit - grind some bits off it.

12 to 40 teeth of fury - a 40T OneUp adaptor, a 9 speed 11-34 cassette with the 11T and 13T removed and a 12T added from another cassette (in case you were wondering).

Bicycle vanity shot - I think it looks pretty.

The coggley-ring that winds the doofer around the whatnots. 

The click-clacker that shunts the jangly over the platecrowns.

Ok, I'm just playing with the camera now.
So, back to actually riding bikes. Things started off terribly well - I didn't get lost (mostly thanks to the extra-friendly locals who guided me around all day), the racing bits were raced, the not racing bits were ridden just as fast anyway, the high-fives were innumerable, and everyone was riding a Chromag. Success! By the end of Side 2, I was more ready than I've ever been for a jump into the lake... really one of the best sensations I have ever felt after about 6 hours on the trails. Refreshed by the lake (and soon after some beers that the locals had stashed in a creek along the route), Side 3 was in the bag. Up to this point my mind and body had been fully functional and despite some hair-raising blind runs down new-to-me trails. All things considered, I was in an excellent state of health.

Everything has a breaking point, and mine was the climb up to Side 4. We were nearly at the end, it was the easiest climb of the day, and then things got weird. I managed to drag myself to the start of the trail and lay down in the dust  with the other weary Chromag-borne travelers. There were some interesting colors and swirly shapes in the sky for a while, I had a strange conversation about the trails we were about to ride where the words swam around each other and could still hear the guy's voice five minutes after he had left - if he was ever there at all. For a while there I was exploring the fifth dimension.

Then the lights came back on and I was ready to get the thing finished. The last downhill was a blur, possibly enhanced by the whiskey shots that the first-aider was handing out at the top - and chased a handy local's back wheel for the final plummet back to Chromag HQ, beer, high-fives, and tacos.

A haggard bear.

Ten hours, 2600m up and down, 75km, one lake swum, and only one episode of hallucinations.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Not Basingstoke, but Revelstoke. Here are a few pictures. For the record we rode Flowdown and the Sale Mt / Martha Creek Shuttle (thanks Flowt for the directions and Wandering Wheels for the ride up) on Friday, Keystone/Standard Basin on Saturday, Frisby Ridge and (Ultimate) Frisby DH on Sunday, and Crowbar on Monday. There were also good croissants from La Baguette - it was good to resurrect my croissant world tour. 

Created with flickr slideshow.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Yellow shorts and backwards goggles

These days, mountain biking is all about Enduro, oh... oops, I mean ENDURO. It's taken me a while to fully appreciate what ENDURO is, but thanks to the internet I've been able to determine that the concept of is to ride mountain bikes whilst wearing your choice of colours shown in the ENDURO World Series logo. Riders are judged on color matching, tonal range, and juxtaposition of bicycle and clothing colour combinations. Bonus points may be awarded for wearing goggles on the back of your head, carrying a water bottle, and duct-taping tools to your bike. Simple really.

Jerome Clementz - EWS champion of ENDURO fashions
I've enjoyed observing the development of the ENDURO scene here in BC, but not felt ready to step up with my own contribution... until now. The tipping point was either getting my entry to Trans Provence accepted, or when a bike industry friend told me: "You can't mock ENDURO, it's putting food on my table". Either way, it's serious business and I'm all about serious when it comes to riding bikes.

Given that I still have a while before launching my attack on the heart of ENDURO in its spiritual home (Euro-ENDURO), I have been able to find some local events in which to establish my dominance of the middle-regions of the results sheet. First was Round 7 of the NSMBA Toonie Races last Thursday. I probably should have gone to some of the previous six, but I was too busy riding my bike. This turned out to be a lot of fun, and I got the hang of the timing system, which any experienced ENDUROist will have ridden past, crashed into, or fallen off their bike trying to operate. I'm not sure why they time the stages, I guess it's something for anyone who forgot their goggles or brought a shirt that clashes with their frame to console themselves with. In truth, it's a pretty amazing system as all the data show up on the race organizer's laptop in real time, allowing the post-race "I knew riding off the trail into that ditch was going to cost me at least two seconds" analysis to begin immediately. The first stage was an old favorite, the second fast and slippery, and the third fast and rough. Overall... a lot of fun. Results-wise, my bike was orange, so I definitely got some points there, and my socks matched my shoes.

Next up on my "race calendar" was the Sunshine Coast round of the BC Enduro Series this weekend. I like the SSC trails, and it's a bit of a fashion backwater so I thought I was in with a chance. The first day went well. I wore the same socks as Thursday (playing it safe) but took a risk on wearing a shirt with a big lightening bolt on it like David Bowie's make-up during his Aladdin Sane period. I couldn't get my goggles to stay on the back of my helmet properly, so gave up on those... it's good to have goals for the remaining season after all. Unfortunately my shirt got dirty on day one so I had to wear a blue one on day two - a disappointing tactical error. My biggest failure however was probably my bike, which was mostly grey and black. It does have some small blue and red parts, but they didn't really co-ordinate with my outfit and I don't think anyone noticed them. Really, not a satisfying performance. Just when I was feeling pretty bleak about my my fashion shortfall I found a new source of ENDURO-points! It turns out that analyzing the course with your bike computer or phone is a big part of Enduroing, so I seized some valuable post-race points by analyzing my stage times. I knew those timers had a purpose. Check out my ENDURO spreadsheet.

Time /s
Fastest Time /s
% Slower
Stage 3: New No Mods
Stage 8: 102
Stage 4: VFR and Addernack
Stage 6: Charlie Brown and Pumpkin Patch
Stage 2: Sniper and Dogtown
Stage 1: Brokebac and 4D
Stage 9: Pressure Drop into Sprokids
Stage 7: Viper
Stage 5: Built to Spill, 103, 2001, Packeko, Janet's Jungle, DNZ

Stay tuned for the next thrilling episode in my relentless pursuit of ENDURO.

Update: Photos have emerged from the Sunshine Coast, courtesy of Scott Robarts photography on Pinkbike.

Day 1: I'm giving myself a 7/10 for ENDURO here, the colour variation and intensity is good in the clothing, though the lack of bike co-ordination and perplexed expression take away from the overall look.

Here's the high point of the weekend... socks visible, plenty of colours (some of which match), you can't see my face, and it looks like I might be about to do something exciting. The black shorts are letting me down here though. I think something in mustard yellow would work well in this setting.


Day 2: Yes, I really let things slip here. The socks are about the only positive in this ensemble, I'm not making any sort of radical facial expression, and I have mud on my face. I promise to do better next time.


Friday, July 18, 2014


It turns out I had a blog, where I used to write about fun things and sometimes not fun things (but who really wants to read about those anyway). 

It turns out I still do have that blog. Who knew? In my defense, spring arrived in Vancouver which has resulted in me spending even more time than usual playing on bicycles and not writing about it on the internet. Compromises must be made.

Other than playing on bicycles, I've finally started the Rapid Visualization course at Emily Carr that was the main reason I started the Industrial Design certificate program there almost two years ago. Along the way I've done four other classes which all turned out to be quite illuminating... especially the "Contemporary Issues in Design" one which I decided I would hate because it has a pretentious name. It turned out to be really good, and not what I was expecting at all... or perhaps I am just far more pretentious that I gave myself credit for. Other than that, the usual goings-on of life, and idly considering changing the town we live in and my entire career, I've mostly just been riding bicycles.

I did also take some photos from our balcony... look:

I call this composition: "Catwalk specter rampant upon gravel pile"

This one is: "Metallic serpent of decay through the blurred eyes of nature".
An exciting thing for me this year is that I entered Trans Provence. There's a bit of history to that, but the important thing is that I'm going to do it and it should be several kinds of fun. As it's supposed to be quite hard, I thought I'd use it as an excuse to "train" for bicycle racing this year. This involved buying a road bike, buying various new tires, buying a new helmet, some shoes, some socks, having my suspension expensively tuned, and spending money entering other bicycle races before the bicycle race. After spending all of that money I was a bit tired, so decided to take the rest of the year off biking and loaf around eating cake.

Just kidding. I have in fact employed a suspicious Italian doctor and started out on an ambitious program of performance-enhancing drug use and blood doping inspired by my idol, Lance Armstrong. It worked out well for him, right?

Well, that's not true either. My real training plan is to think of things I would like to do better, and find ways of being better at them. Stage 1 was to ride up hills faster. My solution here has been to ride my new road bike up a hill near home (and down again), when I feel like it. I've also been riding Kermit to work and other places every day... but I was doing that anyway so maybe it doesn't count. Stage 2 is to ride down hills faster. I think you'll agree that this training plan is absolutely comprehensive. This part is much more fun than the riding up hills part, so a bit more effort has gone into it. Along with the usual riding on the Shore (which I was doing anyway, so doesn't count)... I rode at the new and exciting Coast Gravity Park, entered an on-trend ENDURO race, entered a painful-sounding event on hardtails, and bought myself a day of coaching with Darren from Endless Biking where he'll teach me how to make corners explode, or at least ride around them fast. That's tomorrow, which is exciting. I am optimistic that this plan will prepare me with the form required to dominate the bottom half of the results sheet at T-P.

Finally, here's a picture that I like... and wanted to put somewhere I would remember it.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

What's new? a question I had trouble answering for someone the other day. This was probably because I stopped to think how I could give a real answer and not throw out a pre-prepared "not much". On the one hand, very little is new; the Earth still revolves in approximately the same way it did last week and as a consequence I am still bound to it by gravity, I like bicycles, and I should get my hair cut. On the other hand I just used a semicolon for the first time on my blog, spring has sprung, snow is melting, and I bought my first real road bike. Clearly there is plenty of new going on if you stop to think about it.

So I should share some of these things with the internet I suppose. I've not taken many photos lately, which may soon change as I just got my first digital SLR. See, another new thing. I do have a couple of pictures of things though, which might be new. I'm not sure.

This picture shows a bunch of us celebrating, via the medium on fruit and chocolate brownie (thanks Angie!), Lina's success at the ISA World Paddleboard Championships. We even managed to sing our anthem without offending any Americans (we were in America at the time). You can also see why I should get my hair cut.

This picture shows Marc performing a ritual head-cooling exercise in Pemberton the other weekend. You know the seasons have changed when you need to stick your head in a creek. That weekend in Pemberton was just one part of the recent high-quality mountain biking fun that's been going on lately.

And this picture is the hard-won summit of a ride near Ellensburg, WA last weekend, which involved more wading through snow than I usually like on a bike ride, and one of those downhills that seems to be half the length of the uphill that got you to it. It was still a fine day out, and we found some much better effort to reward riding in Roslyn the next day... even though that did involve hiking up a ditch for a while.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

It never rains, but it pours.

Springtime in Vancouver can involve weather that is rather like being in a rainforest. Funny that. Along with the deluge of water falling out of the sky  that arrived this weekend, I managed to break my second pair of cranks in a week. Coincidence? Impossible.

The first set are, to be fair, not completely broken as I have managed to bodge them back together. Having one of them fall off five times during the ride was an inconvenience, but fun times were had all the same. Today's broken-crank droplet fell rather heavily though. No amount of bashing it with a stick was going to get it to stay on, and the fun had to be postponed until next time. 

Another one bites the mud

A classic spiral fracture of the left spindle-end
I can't complain, I think I've had 8 years of complaint-free service from these, so it seems fair that their first complaint was a full resignation. Failure analysis with my eyes reveals surface rust on the upper part of the fracture, indicating that the crack has been propagating for some time. I don't like to think of some of the things I've ridden up and down on these with the axle half snapped. Thank you cranks for choosing a non-catastrophic time to leave my service.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Being a pioneer is risky, but sometimes you just have to air it out.

Such is the slogan hewn from a raw chunk of hubris to describe my new spectacles. I enjoy that I managed to pick this pair out of the whole shop, unaware that this would be the lifestyle that I will be representing when I put them on to read a book, check my email, or pioneer some other risky business. I have purchased the dream.

However, I have a suspicion that somewhere in the bowels of a marketing consultancy in California, there's an intern pumping out endless slogans which then get randomly assigned to products. The name of my spectacles is "Amelia" (that's the name written on them.. not my pet-name for them). Somehow "airing it out" and "Amelia" seem like an odd match. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of Amelia airing it out as much as I enjoy that I managed to pick glasses with a girl's name out of a selection including "Tyson", "Chase", "Rhett", and "Braden".

So, what exactly is Rhett doing while Amelia is airing out some risky pioneer-business? I'll tell you. "Frankly, we don't give a damn, and neither should you. Round and retro is a prayer for squares who dare". I'll stick with Amelia.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


In March 2010, Lina, Paul, Kala, and myself climbed Mount Baker in a day. In 2014, Paul, Angie, Marc, Nikki, Guillaume, Chuck, Kala, and myself climbed Mount Baker in two days. This is conclusive proof that the law of entropy applies to not only the order of things, but also the size and duration of mountain climbing adventures. Ok, it doesn't really... but whatever.

What is conclusive is that climbing volcanoes is fun, lemon cake is tasty, MSR stoves need love too, and camping in the snow is great. Photographic evidence:


Something that came to light via the magic of Facebook is that the summit in 2010:

...was rather less hospitable than the summit in 2014 (thanks for the photos Paul):

Especially if you look at it from further away (thanks for the photo Nikki):

I'm done with skiing now, it's time to start riding bicycles. Or more precisely, increase the amount of bicycle riding within the system. We're all part of the system.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Unexpected skiing


Ymir 2014, a set on Flickr.

We just got back from Qua Lodge after a week of fine ski touring with great friends. For now, here are just the pictures.