Sunday, October 28, 2012

Soggy Spring Pastoral, then Fall

Every time I ride this particular trail, I think to myself "I should stop and get a picture here."

Consider it done:
This is late April on the old, closed Hurricane Ridge Road, about a half mile after the end of Mt. Angeles Rd. and a half mile before you reach Heart o' The Hills.  It used to be a regular two lane blacktop, but 30-plus years of disuse, multiple washouts and the fecundity of our local forest have turned it into singletrack for most of its length.

... And here we are at the same location in early November, with some Fall color still clinging to the trees.  (I didn't quite frame it to match exactly, because I forgot to bring an original with me.)

Don't know if I'll be able to get a shot of the same place in a month or two when it's buried in a half foot of snow, but we'll see!   If I do, I'll have to push the bike the whole way.   Those white CST slicks aren't exactly snow tires. 

A great place to walk the dog or ride the bike, most of the year.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Our first fixie! It's pretty junky.

We here at JunkMilesBlog International Web Publishing (weblishing?) Conglomerate are certifiable bike junkies and of course that means you'll see us occasionally buying - and maybe even riding - a really junky bike.

This is perhaps the junkiest bike we've ever personally purchased, but at $60, we couldn't resist the urge to dip our toe into the warm, seductive, hipsterized, fixated waters of PBR-swamped fixed-gear, umm ... fixedness.    The sheer junkiness of this particualr contraption we acquired is hard to beat.

Gaze in awed wonderment:
 Hmmm... we know from our excursions throughout the bicycle-oriented corners of the world wide web, people who convert their crappy 10-speeds into crappy fixies tend to give them some hilariously crappy paintjobs.  But why are the lugs on this one painted a different color than the tubes?  Maybe a closer look, say, at the lugs in the brake mounting area of the fork will give us a better...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ride: Lake Dawn loop

Here's a nice 17 mile ride I like to take sometimes when I feel like a good climb with a long, fast coast-out to finish.

Since Junk Miles Publishing Conglomerate Corporate Headquarters is located in the downtown area of Port Angeles, WA, that's where we'll start.  First, here's a link to the mapped route on the website.

Here's the elevation profile to show you what you're getting into, starting at sea level and cresting at nearly 2000 feet elevation near Lake Dawn:

The first six miles is steady climbing (mostly on the Hurricane Ridge Road), there's a middle section of about four miles descending on a dirt road (Little River Road), then the rest is descending on Black Diamond Road, a two lane blacktop taking you all the way back into town.
(Junction of Little River and Black Diamond Roads)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Marketing advice to Specialized:

THIS is how you sell a bicycle. 

Also, if you're hiring, I'm available for the position of Marketing Director.  

Call me.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The New Elwha River Bridge

About seven or eight miles west of Port Angeles, depending on which route you take, we used to have a pretty rickety old one-lane bridge known as the "Elwha Bridge" or "Lower Elwha Bridge."   Since the road wasn't a main highway,  and the bridge wasn't expected to carry much traffic, it seemed good enough to most of us. 

Highway 112 already had a big wide span over the Elwha about a half mile south, and Highway 101 had another older but perfectly serviceable 2-lane bridge across the Elwha another couple miles south of that.  This old wooden thing was sort of a neighborhood bridge.   A lot of locals probably didn't even know it was there.  Those who did mostly thought it was rather charming.
(They don't make 'em like this anymore.)

I don't know if the local biking community, or the Olympic Trails Coalition had anything to do with it, but the bridge with which they replaced the old one-lane wooden span is pretty impressive.
You'll notice it's actually two bridges, one stacked stacked on top of the other:  one up top for cars and trucks and dumb stuff like that, and the real one down below for bikers and hikers, dog walkers, horses, etc.  I've even seen a guy in a wheelchair there.   He asked me if I wanted to race.  I was on my Wal*Mart Mongoose at the time (long story), so he just might have beaten me.

Those two yellow posts mean you're not supposed to drive your 18-wheeler on this part of the bridge, that stuff goes on upstairs.  You could, however, squeeze your Big Dummy through there, if you're careful.

The new Elwha River Bridge even has an official name:  The New Elwha River Bridge.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Junk Bike 1a

I suppose a good place to start a blog called "junk miles" would be with a junk bike.  Specifically, an attempt to resurrect a cheap, junky, rusty, crappy (can you say that on the internet?) neglected, crummy old Walmart-type kid's 24-inch-wheeled "mountain bike". 

This is what I'm talking about:
Have you ever seen anything more pathetic?  This is an example of what ends up on your doorstep when you place an ad on your local recycling website asking for "any and all old bikes and bike parts to refurbish and give away to people who want a bike."  I spent my first 5  minutes with this thing just gazing in admiration that steel rim of only about 1 1/4" width could physically support such amazingly 3-D colonies of rust.  Another 5 minutes with the Shop Vac sucking up the leafy debris that had glommed onto the tires, spokes, chainrings and freewheel

I took this photo after about 40 minutes of bending this chain with two hefty pairs of pliers, link by link, back and forth, breaking the rust so the chain would even go around when you turn the pedals.  My hands are pretty sore right now.  But after all that work and copious amounts of WD-40, I managed to get an apparently solid hunk of steel frozen into what looked like an outline of the island of Guam to sorta-kinda run across the cogs and through the rear deraileur.

Not without protest, however.  It sounds like SFX from an especially bad 1950's sci-fi movie.  (Reef!reef!reef!reef!reef!reef!reef!reef!reef!reef!)

We'll give that WD-40 overnight, a chance to work its magic, along with a couple more shots of the juice tomorrow and see if the chain can stay in place on short test ride.

EDIT:  Well, after a couple of weeks soaked in WD-40, this chain is still a bit frozen in places, and won't run over the cogs without jumping and jamming.  In for a penny; in for a pound I guess, so I decide to go over the whole length of the chain again, link by link, with two pairs of pliers, breaking those rusted joints up.   Actually kind of a dumb way to spend 40 minutes, when I could walk across the street to the bike store and get a new chain for, what, twenty bucks?

Not really what I want to do for a bike that'll be worth $20 when I get it working.

Friday, February 10, 2012

First post

This will be a blog about just riding around on a bike.  Riding slow, riding fast, commuting, sight-seeing and getting some exercise and fresh air.

This is not a race.