Thursday, May 27, 2010

doing the dirty work

Sorry for the delay, after writing the post about the race I was drawing a blank on what else there was to say about Hungry Mother and the Night Owl. If you've got something important to do go ahead you won't miss anything exciting here, if not read on and hopefully I'll entertain you.

Last weekend was was a first for a couple pieces of equipment for me. One the Magicshine LED light that has been super popular mainly for it's bright light and really low price. I attached the MS to my helmet and threw the tiny battery in my jersey pocket. Normally I run a camelbak on my night rides b/c the Niterider batteries I own are twice the size and weight of the MS and the weight really pulls on my jersey, something I hate. The MS battery is so light it's almost like it's not even there. The MS light itself is super light compared to the Niterider headlamps, something else I'm super picky about. The Nightrider over time would pull my helmet forward driving me crazy b/c I was constantly adjusting my helmet throughout the ride. Once I had the MS light in place I was set and there was never a time during the race that I had to make an adjustment. Just prior to the start of the race I rolled onto some singletrack in the park lit my lights and made sure everything was pointing in the direction I wanted them to.
Not that I needed another light I went ahead and mounted the Niterider to my handlebar because I could. I figured the more light the better. The MS out shined the NR by a long shot. At first I though my NR wasn't working because I had both beams focused on the same spot. I can't believe I used to race with only halogens, how did I see anything? I might just sell the Niterider and buy another Magicshine, that would almost be cheating with that much light. I could turn night into day.

The other piece of equipment tried out was the new Yakima Bow Down kayak racks on the truck. Loading them was quite a bit easier and it left alot more room on the rack for our bikes which took less time getting everything adjusted. I did have one boat come loose on the way back but not so much that I lost it on the road. It stayed put thankfully, it could have been bad had the boat slipped off the back and hit the camper or road at 70 mph. The reason for the boat coming loose was not really a defect but more of a miscalculation on the mounting. I mounted the Bow Downs exactly according to the directions but now I know there is a need for adjustment. I think Yakima might need to rework their directions. One plus of the Bow Down was the bottle openers that were on the end. You can never have enough bottle openers, especially when camping.

The past couple of weeks leading up to last weekend I discovered a clog in the ECO toilet. I think a roll of regular toilet paper might have snuck into the camper somehow and hid itself among the RV friendly paper. I tried just about everything except Drain-O which was my last resort. I filled the "black water" tank up with water and enough chemical for a whole summer of camping in hopes that it would break down whatever was causing the problem. As soon as we hit the campground I made a b line for the sewer dump station, a place that has generated many good stories for me, and unloaded the tank. As it dumped I heard and felt something move through the line hopefully a wad of tp and ever since we've been clog free.

Everytime I dump the "black water" tank Melinda gets nervous, we had a rather bad experience the first time we did this. Evidently I didn't have the hose clamp screwed on tight enough and once I opened the valve all hell broke loose. I'll skip the details and leave that to your imagination but that was the first time I ever saw Melinda get over her fear of driving the truck with the ECO attached as she was so embarrassed she decided to get out of there before someone realized what we did. The problem was, she left me standing, I thought for a minute I was going to have to walk home. Now everytime we purge the demons Melinda runs me through her mental checklist and stands over top of me to make sure I don't screw up. She must be feeling better about the situation these days since she took the time to snap a pic of me doing the dirty work.

This weekend we are off again with the ECO in tow headed to Chattanooga. Unfortunately we were not able to get into a campground due to it being Memorial Day, so we are setting up camp in a friends yard. No big deal, the campground is nothing special and we're really only going for the riding which more than makes up for it. Raccoon Mountain with the ladies on Saturday and Sunday while they're going shopping we're going to hit Tanasi, should be a good trip.


fishdaddy said...

A camper is the only way to camp. Of course now my wife thinks we need a camper. Have fun this weekend.

Riding with dogs said...

Fishdaddy, while campers are sweet I still have an affection for tent camping but leaving two big dogs in a tent for 2-3 hours in the middle of July while we ride just doesn't sit well with us. You should totally buy your wife a camper. Nice name by the way.


i used the rack to open every one of my beers that weekend !!!

Riding with dogs said...

sweet! I used it a few times as well, I'm glad it was put to good use.

fishdaddy said...

One of these days maybe. I have dropped way too much money this month to even consider a trailer right now. Car insurance due, receiver hitch for van, bike rack to go in receiver hitch, season tickets to our local minor league baseball team (Go Greeneville Astros) and 29" mountain bike of some sort that I am saving for has left me broke. May have to break out the tent this weekend because if I have to hear one more time "I'm bored" from my kids, I am going to scissor kick them in the back of the head. It is the first day of summer break and I am ready to kill them. Camping trip might fix that for a day or two.