Thursday, April 17, 2014

Regresamos de México

This kid personified the joy of biciclettas. Note his bikey t-shirt.
It seems that I'm always making some flimsy excuse for not providing timely updates to this blog, but this time, it's a solid excuse. To commemorate 20 years of matrimonial bliss, Mrs. Big Dummy Daddy and I took a trip to Mexico. In fact, this was our first non family-related destination, kidless trip since our 10th anniversary, so we were well overdue.

We found Baja California Sur to be a terrific place to get some sun, spectacular food and drinks, and recharge our batteries. However, the bike element of the trip was passive, limited to spectating the vibrant array of pedal powered life visible almost everywhere. That's right; seven days without a ride. You won't hear me complain though.

I'll post something more red-meat-ish regarding bikes before long, but in the mean time, here are a few random photos from our trip. Some are with bikes and some without.

Another pic of the kid above.

A nice bike lane with bump separators, and protected by traffic control personnel.

Lots of bike traffic in the bike lane, and no helmets to be seen. Residents and tourists alike made good use.

Pedal-powered vendors were omnipresent.

We had this beach nearly to ourselves.

The only other occupants were a mare and her filly.

A cliff with an arch tunnel on Isla Partida.
That's a sea lion underwater. We did some snorkeling and they swam around us.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

458 days: the streak is over

Last night, not long before midnight, I realized that I hadn't yet ridden a bike for the day. I'd had a long stretch of riding a bike each day consecutively, dating back to December 25, 2012. We spent the day driving to Albuquerque to visit family, and though I had a bike along with, I failed to muster the energy to unpack it and ride in the few minutes remaining in the day. So, the streak has come to an end at 458 days. I probably won't track consecutive days of riding again, but it was an interesting exercise in seeing how long I could go. Thanks to Tarik, whose TSBC challenge back in 2012 got me rolling, and to Scout, my riding buddy and chief motivator.

It's a nice day in Albuquerque, and we are all getting ready to go for a ride.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring Break

Sisters, big and little.
It's the first week of spring. Although we've gotten a bit of snow in the past few days, and it isn't quite short-sleeve weather outside, we are enjoying the subtle greening of the landscape. Yesterday evening, the girls were out on wheels during a family walk. On her own accord, Little Sister eagerly picked up her Strider bike and headed down the street, even foregoing offers of a wagon ride. She rode a couple of blocks in total, there and back. She's been picking up speed and confidence, and will likely discover balanced coasting by summer.
On the back yard circuit.
A little earlier in the day, Big Sister came to work with Daddy. Spring Break is an opportunity for her to visit my office on campus in a 129-year old house with old comfy chairs and reading nooks perfect for a bookworm. For lunch, we went out for slices of pizza that were about as long as her arm.
Big girl, big pizza.
A scientific surface traction test of her cool Lego Technic dune buggy.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bike math: 24er edition

My Big Girl on a new-to-her 24er mountain bike.
Sure, 24er is a real term. Why not? In this case, it refers to a refurbished Specialized Hotrock 24, which I purchased and rebuilt earlier this winter. It's a nice little bike with front and rear shifting accommodating 21 gears (three times that of her old bike), 24-inch (507 ISO) wheels, and some newly added choice parts. We haven't yet gotten it into the dirt, but so far, she's liking it.

When I was thinking about moving her up in wheel size, I estimated 24" wheels for a kid her size would be roughly equivalent to a 29+ for me. To examine this idea, here is a little math. The tread diameter of a 24" x 1.9" tire (61.3 cm) divided by her height (134.6 cm) returns a ratio of 0.455. For comparison, using the tread diameter of a 29" x 2.3" tire (74.2 cm) divided by my height (187 cm) is a ratio of 0.392.

Therefore, if I were to ride a bike with the same tire diameter/height ratio as hers, it would have a rolling diameter of 85.16 cm, or about 33.5". If applying the ratio to tire width, the 1.9" tire on her bike is equivalent to a 2.6" tire, if scaled up to my size. With 2.2" wide tires, she'd have the kid-size equivalent of Surly Knard 3.0" tires. Of course, as she grows the ratio will shrink, until the 24" wheel diameter will eventually feel small for her and we'll look to a 26er.

Anyway, for the 3 of you who read this far, I hope you were entertained. In any case, this site has a strict no-refund policy.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Superbowl Sunday

Daddy-powered sled train. Somehow, Picasa added animated snow. 
We took today as an opportunity to enjoy a town nearly devoid of human activity. A city that gets pretty crazy about its professional sports teams equivalently gets pretty quiet in the event that one of said teams makes it to a big game. At least thats the case in the suburb where we live.

Ever-enthusiastic snow shark.
In the '80s when I was working a low-paying job, the Broncos were in a couple of ill-fated Superbowls. During those games, I took advantage of receiving double pay in place of co-workers who would rather see the game. It was easy money, because customers largely stayed home.

Today, things seem much the same, with people likely concentrated around the nearest screen instead of enjoying a really nice day. However, instead of working for extra pay, we took the girls sledding and later Scout and I went for a ride. Superbowl Sunday is a great time to experience a much more lightly populated civilization.

If you haven't already done it, make sure to get outside during the big game. After all, the score isn't dependent on you, and all those commercials that people will inevitably talk about will be available online anytime, should you choose not to ignore them.