Thursday, June 26, 2008


I've been putting in some serious time in the bike room the past 3 evenings. After I finished putting all the finishing touches on Mary I had to spend some time tuning the Monkey and Melinda's BMC. Nothing major just a little TLC, you know lube the chain, check various air pressures and a little brake adjustment. All this maintenance is going on because Sat we head out to Dupont State Park for some serious riding. I hope to take Mary out to the trails at Warriors today to work out any bugs that may cause me problems. Trying to dial in a bike on the stand just doesn't work for me, there always seems to some trail side adjustments that need to be made.
Word on the street in that the Pancake Shack may be coming home tomorrow. A&L RV has had our camper in their possession longer than we have.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Weekend with the folks

My folks came into town for a visit this weekend and what did we take them to do? We went for a bike ride of course. My Dad picked up 2 matching antique Schwinns a couple of years ago that he and my Mom ride around town to get ice cream. Did I mention that they are singlespeeds?

Saturday we decided to head over to the Greenbelt, Kingsport's local biking/walking path, that meanders through town. Conveniently it passes right by a Marble Slab so we were able to stop and refuel all of the calories that were burned and then some.

Later that evening we had my sister Beth and her kids over for a cookout and some Tom foolery in the street on the cruiser.

We did manage to make it over to Norris Schwinn to check on Melinda's cruiser project that just keeps dragging on. It is pretty much finished except for a little polishing that needs to be done to the fenders. Once that's done Dave should be able to put it together. Hopefully we can pick it up this week but I'm not getting my hopes up.

I have to admit it does look pretty good even though the paint does not have any yellow in it like Melinda was hoping.

On a more serious note, all of Mary's new shiny parts were delivered to the house by our friendly UPS man.!!!! Yea!!!!!!

After a short hike yesterday with Melinda and the dogs I ate a quick bite and started the process of turning Mary into a sweet singletrack machine. Some of the upgrades consisted of a new Race Face handlebar and stem, some serious braking power complements of Avid Juicy fives, a Thompson seatpost and some complementing blue Salsa accessories. I also got rid of that useless front derailleur and all but the middle ring and installed a shiny new bash guard.

I still have a few modifications to finish up and some brake adjustments to do but I hope to finish it all up this evening. This weekend will be the true test to see how Mary is going to perform under pressure. We head to Dupont State Park for a week of camping and mountain bike riding. I'm having trouble sleeping just thinking about it.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

ahh the roar of that engine

I heard it twice yesterday and it sent me running to the door. It has a unique sound that roar, one that I recognize as I'm sure alot of us do. Will it stop at my house I wondered yesterday? Nope but it should tomorrow. Oh Mr. U.P.S. man please bring me lots of shiny new bike parts soon. The anticipation is killing me and Mary.

Nine days and counting until Melinda, me and the dogs pack up for our week long camping trip to Dupont for some rest, relaxation and a whole lot of serious mountain bike riding. My whole summer seems to be revolving around this trip and I can't wait until we go. With such a busy schedule this week and next I wonder if we'll get to ride before we go.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

the construction zone

For the past couple of weeks our house has looked like a construction zone. We've been hard at work on the kitchen refinishing the cabinets and installing a dishwasher and a garbage disposal. I have to give alot of credit to Melinda's uncle, Joe. He's been the know how behind alot of the new installation. I'm clueless when it comes to carpentry, electrical, and plumbing.

Here's a pic of the new wall, looks good huh?

This what the cabinets looked like before the demolition. At the lower end to the right of the stove there was an empty space that had been covered up with paneling. We opened it up to add more shelving space.

Post demolition

Got the shelving built and now we're ready for the dishwasher to be inserted.

We still have to wire it up and do some plumbing.

On a different note, I got some pretty cool gifts from Moonshine and Jackson for Father's Day. Check out my new Dale Jr. license plate frame who by the way won his first race of the season with his new team on Father's Day. Maybe there is a connection here.

I also got a pretty sweet Twin Six t-shirt but the UPS man has yet to drop it off. Speaking of the UPS man, he's going to see alot of my neighborhood this week. I've got several new parts on their way to build up Mary with.

Speaking of Mary, here is a pic of her. This is her with all the original parts alot of which will be coming off to make way for some newer nicer goodies.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

back to square 1

The Dos Niner is a no go. I got the word from Brian at Hampton Trails soon after my post that Salsa didn't have any and it doesn't look like there will be any coming this year. Who's buying up all the Dos Niners? I can get one on-line if I want to spend an extra $200 plus shipping but my budget was already stretched at Brian's price. So now it's back to square one. I'm thinking about 2 options.
Option 1 - Support my local bike shop and save money by keeping the Haro Mary and upgrading what lower end components are on it.
Option 2 Buy a Salsa Mamasita online for way more $$$ and build it up with lower end components.
Option 1 will have nicer components, don't get me wrong the Haro is a sweet bike, Option 2 is a nicer frame (Scandium/Carbon frame) but lower end components. Option 2 will be more expensive by a couple hundred $$$.
I'm leaning more towards the Mary but I'm not 100% percent yet. Another cool thing about the Haro is the name "Mary" I like it, it's an unusual name for a bike but that's what makes it cool.
The Monkey and Mary, those two just sound good together. I think they would get along well. The Monkey and Mamasita, sounds nice but just doesn't have the same buzz. Hmm

Friday, June 13, 2008

busy busy

I haven't posted much here lately mainly because we've been so busy. If I'm not at work Melinda and I have been hard at work refinishing our cabinets. We took the doors off a couple of months ago and didn't touch them for a couple of months while we worked on our backyard project. Since Melinda has been out of school for the summer she revived the kitchen project that is taking a little bit longer to complete than we anticipated. We finished the top section but have yet to put the doors back on because we haven't decided if we like the hardware we bought yet. Our next step is to install a dishwasher and a garbage disposal which should make our house even more appealing than it already is, if we ever decide to sell it. We will also re-finish the bottom cabinets as well. So far the project is going well and the top cabinets look great even with the doors off. I'll try and post up some pics later this weekend. We've done so much work to our little bungalow that we hate to sell it and have decided we will probably stay put for a while and enjoy the fruits of our labor.
On the cycling end of life I do have a new steed on order, not sure when it will be here but I hope it gets here soon I'm anxious to go ride some more. We hit the trails 3 times last week and I felt a little pain, nothing bad it was just enough to let me know I'm not 100% yet. Melinda made the suggestion that I get a new ride, something with gears and suspension. This is something that I wasn't planning on doing anytime soon because I love my fully rigid steel 29er singlespeed, it's by far my favorite bike I have ever owned. I have no plans selling it so quit asking Dustin. Your going to have to build your own. If you've ever thought of building a 29er the Surly Karate Monkey is the way to go. It's a great ride at a good price. Back to the new steed on order, I actually bought 2 new bikes, 1 complete, a Haro Mary XC 29er and a Salsa Dos Niner frame. My plans are to build the Dos Niner up with the parts off the Haro and sell the frame. It was actually cheaper to go this route than to build up the Dos Niner from scratch. The specs are pretty close to what I wanted but there will be some swapping out here and there in the future. So if you know anyone who needs a solid 29er frame that's never been ridden give a shout. The Mary is up for sale.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

ahh......... the trails

This week has been my usual 7 days off that I know everyone is jealous of. Every month, it's awesome, and to make it even better Melinda is out for the summer and not teaching summer school. So what have we been doing this week with all our free time? Getting out our mountain bikes and heading to the trails. This week the whole family (us and the dogs) have gotten back on the bikes and back on the trails. It's been a while for all of us so we took it easy the first day and snapped a couple of pics to capture the moment.
Technically I'm not supposed to be back on my mountain bike but I couldn't wait any longer. I feel good, no back or leg pain. We rode the trails 3 times this week so far and I hope to hit it again a couple more times this weekend even though I'm working nights.
The trails are in great shape even with the lack of rain, which I hope we get some of soon.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Haro Mary XC

2007 Haro Mary XC frame only
Brand new - never been ridden
Manadrin orange size - 18"
steel frame
this is a geared 29er frame
$400 obo
give me a shout

SOLD: to me yeah

Monday, June 2, 2008

The weekend that was Nashville

This year Melinda has been helping a book publisher edit their science books for elementary schools. Three times a year they send her to Nashville all expenses paid and put her up in the Gaylord Hotel (Grand Ole Opry). This weekend was one of those trips and I got to go with her, actually we all loaded up in the dog house on wheels and headed out to the land of country music. If you've never been to the Grand Ole Opry Hotel it's an experience. You can get lost in that place. The whole place is like one gigantic green house complete with it's own river and water falls.

This was our view from the terrace off our hotel room.

I had to take a short nap after the long drive, we had a big night planned for us, think free open bar.

Since it was an all expenses paid trip we took full advantage of room service. Pizza & beers you can't go wrong.

One of the many waterfalls inside the hotel. Pretty girl not included, I brought her along.

Supposedly there was a boat you could ride in that would take you down the river complete with a tour guide but we skipped that part. Yes this is inside the hotel as well.

We only got to stay in the hotel for one night because we had the dogs with us who were staying with my sister Becky so we jetted over to her house and crashed with them Saturday night.

My sister Becky, bro-law Jason and Niece Amelia.

Amelia and I having a cold one.

Moonshine giving Amelia a kiss, how sweet.

On our way home we were flying through Knoxville trying to outrun a nasty T-storm and we saw this really sweet van and we had to take a few pics. This thing was 4 wheel drive, had a wench, stove, sink and who know what else. That's all I could see as we drove past. I thought we had the ultimate camping vehicle but this thing was bad as hell. We did have one up on them, the capability to haul 4 bikes.