Archive for the ‘utility’ Category

Daddy Daughter Gear Geekery

Monday, August 10th, 2015

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I’ve been fussing with the cargo bike in anticipation of some family adventures – the stock Yuba Mundo is a great town bike – but we needed more cargo capacity – so I swapped the front fork for a Surly Big Dummy Fork, and mounted their Nice Rack so I could carry my old Ortlieb panniers on the front low rider mounts. The rack is wide – so we had a platform for other gear, and in the future will strap an Ice Mule cooler backpack there. Nothing goes completely according to plan – so I had to fabricate a small aluminum bracket to get the fork and the rack to play nicely – but after some hand fabrication everything went together nicely.

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We needed a tent to fit 4 (for when Jen makes a trip with us) – but I didn’t want to get a car camping anchor. After plenty of reviews and research I settled on the Black Diamond Mega Light with the Mega Bug liner. This is a pyramid style tent, with 1 pole, room for 2 adults and 2 kids and gear, or 4 adults – and the outer tent can be used for winter camping or as a kitchen / tarp stand alone. Under 8 pounds for a family tent. And it packs reasonably small for what it is.

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After Lina moved out of the pea-pod baby seat we had some concerns that she could fall off the bike (if she falls asleep, or we hit a rough spot on the road) – so I added the Yuba monkey bars. These work great… although they make towing Ava’s bike more difficult, and the bike is really tippy when the girls climb over the bars getting on and off. We made a little step out of some rope and random aluminum pipe we found at the hardware store to ease getting on and off.

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In order to carry all our gear I acquired a second Go Getter bag… these bags are huge – go on and off easily, and can expand and contract to adjust to the load. We’ve been using them for around town. I have been using one as messenger bag when we shop or head into lunch or swim lessons.

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Loading up I gave each girl 1 Ortlieb rear pannier that carried their clothes, swim suit, sleeping bag, rain coat, and sweater. We strapped their sleeping pad through the Ortlieb straps on top of the bag. We brought Lina’s life jacket that fit in her bag, and Ava’s bag held the common toiletry stuff of the girls – toothbrushes, soap, sunscreen, medicine, etc. And the Uno cards. Both girls brought their headlamps.

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I used my Revelate Sweetroll for my sleeping bag, pad and clothes. This mounts to the handlebar. The pouch held things we might have needed on the bike – sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses, some snacks, etc., as well as my personal items. On the front rack I had my Crazy Creek camp chair strapped, and my Quickshot folding tripod (never used it). On a longer trip we would have brought the IceMule cooler and strapped it here as well. In the Revelate Tangle bag I had my camp knife, pump, and a water bladder with hose strapped to a retractable line on the bars.

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The big Yuba GoGetter bags on the back held tent, bug net, beach towels, blanket, food, small cooler, cook kit, bike kit (lock, tools, spares), and Nalgene canteen.

On the MonkeyBars I mounted each girl a Revelate Feed bag for their water bottles and snacks.

All in I think we had 440 pounds or more rolling down the road – dad + girls + bike + gear + food + water…

Mundo

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

We’ve been enjoying a Yuba Mundo as our new family ride since early spring. This bike is so much nicer for our use than the Burley trailer, which Ava has outgrown (in height!). Hoping to save some $$ and get some cargo bags this fall, and am patiently awaiting a stiffer fork (we’ve switched to disc brakes) from the Yuba folks.

Photo May 05, 10 51 38 AM

Photo May 03, 9 58 05 AM

Photo Apr 30, 7 25 48 PM

Photo May 07, 6 47 49 PM

Begin

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Weather is changing.
Soma is hooked to the little one train for groceries, yoga, and playtime. Body weight is up. Mood is improving. Fitness is down. Kidervals to begin. Stopping at parks is a must.

Thinking about a Schlumpf Mountain Drive. 2 speed fixed gear. Mmmm. Where to find the $$.

House hunting continues. Hopefully townhouse selling will commence magically in the next few weeks. We’ve looked at a handful of properties – and only a few would suit our tastes and neighborhood choices. Those that do fit stretch the budget but also our imagination about life in town, good public schools, and being much closer to friends and family. Walking downtown? To the store? I could get used to that.

Montreal Snaps

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

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I wanted to write a longer post about our recent trip to Montreal… in lieu of the post never happening – here are some snaps from a bike friendly big city.

Quack Quack

Friday, August 14th, 2009

CSA pick up, playing downtown and harassing the locals.

Fixed Train

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Need to smooth out my spin. Very different with the little one and the Burley.

A Strange Creature on Lake Champlain

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

A boat towing tandem?

A boat towing tandem?


Seen this morning near the Maple Street Marina / Boat Dock – a Bilenky Viewpoint with homebrew trailer. The trailer looks rigged to carry a small sailing rig or a dinghy for water access. SS couplers, double derailer drivetrain with idlers… and plenty of on board water storage!

Surly LHT in the Wild

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Surly LHT seen downtown. Nice racks, plenty of water, fat tires.

Camper Longflap

Thursday, July 9th, 2009
Camper Longflap and Surly CrossCheck, fixed, with recent additions of 2 rings up front and a dingle cog on the rear.

Camper Longflap and Surly CrossCheck, fixed, with recent additions of 2 rings up front and a dingle cog on the rear.

The Camper Long Flap after a run to the CSA pick up, drop off posters for the Cycle Celebrate Champlain, grocery store, dinner, bike shop, and mail. Room for more.

Utility

Saturday, May 30th, 2009

After a recharge nap I set out to fix the leaking faucet / pipes / drain / sink in the kitchen. A turn of the shut off valves ended in a crumbled mess, so I had to get at the main water line in the basement. Hunched over, working under the sink, crawling in and out of the cabinets – it was like work. A ride to the hardware store. Then a return under the cabinets to hook everything back up, only to find that the faucet itself is leaking from its innards. Off to the home improvement superstore on the other side of town.

I added a bit of rope as I ran out of straps - but it rode home quite well - and comfortably aside from the sweat.

I added a bit of rope as I ran out of straps - but it rode home quite well - and comfortably aside from the sweat.

Fixed Surly, Carradice Barley, and my messenger bag. Plumbers putty and an updated Pur filter in the Barley, the faucet barely tucked into the messenger bag. Back under the cabinets. Installed with minimal knuckle gnashing and no mishaps save a reversal of the hot and cold (the original plumber put them in backwards) and the filter doesn’t fit without some special adapter. Turn the main back only to see a drip drip coming from the main valve. A slight turn of the wrench to snug it up – I don’t want to blow a gasket and have a flood in the basement – and all seems well for the moment. I need to search around and see if we have a main outside of the house – I’m worried now about the gasket in the basement valve… and have no idea how to repair it without shutting us down from without. Not a bad day after all – sunny skies, three bike rides, and a household chore knocked off the list. I’m hoping the fine weather sticks around and I’ll get in a decent ride tomorrow. Coffee cruise first thing – and if all systems are go perhaps a run out to some dirt.