Saturday, July 19, 2014

Re-tubelessifying the Monocog

Nope. No sealant. Dry as a bone.
Last fall, I went tubeless with my Monocog as a test with the low budget do-it-yourself method. I've since ridden this super dependable bike nearly daily, on many different surfaces, including goathead infested Albuquerque. In all that time, I never had a flat, until a few days ago.

Off and on, I'd been wondering what was going on inside the tires during the past nine months, so when I went out to the bike barn and found the rear completely flat, it was a opportunity to take a peek.

First I tested to see if there was an obvious, egregious leak by pumping it up. The tire held air fine, though it lost much of its pressure in a few minutes. So, I popped one of the beads open and discovered that the Stan's sealant had disappeared.

I suppose it's more accurate to say that the pool of sealant inside the tire was no longer present, but lots of goo was adhering the bead to the rim. A puddle of sealant, or tire blood as Stella likes to call it, is essential to tubeless tire health by coagulating into small leaks, so its absence was the likely reason for the flat.
While I was at it, I was wondering how the Gorilla Tape was holding up, so I pulled the tire off to inspect. After carefully going over the whole surface, things looked good. The single layer of tape was still strongly adhered. Along the way, I cleaned as much goo off the rim as seemed practicable, paying special attention to the bead seating surfaces, so reseating the tire would go smoothly.

I also cleaned the tire beads, ending up with a pile of Stan's sealant boogers.
After I remounted the tire, I hit it with a shot of compressed air. Both beads popped confidently into place and the pressure held well. Bingo. So I cracked open one of the beads and added two ounces of fresh Stan's to the inside. Shake. Spin. Ready to roll for another several months. I'll just have to remember to have some valve stems with removable cores on hand next time.

In all, remarkably quick and easy, especially considering the epic struggle with the same brand of tire and rim that I experienced not long ago. In the end, it's been well worth the time investment, and gets easier each time.

Now, for no particular reason, some recent photos from my yard.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Another trip around the sun

In the middle of July each year around here, it's usually hovering around 100 F. This year, it looks as though we'll have a much cooler respite for most of this week. Today, we took advantage of favorable temperatures to hit the trail. I'd been looking for a reason to take Stella on a real trail ride, and marking another year for her was a good excuse.

We started things off as any good ride should, tanking up on fuel. You wouldn't know it by looking at her, but this kid can put away the food when she has a mind to do so. Once energized, we were ready to attack the climb that begins the Hildebrand Ranch trail. The weather couldn't have been better, never getting really hot, and the trail conditions were excellent. We had a great time and completed our loop before the rain arrived. Here's to many more years and many more rides together.
Eating lunch at the beginning makes for more efficient food carrying.

Pointing out one of the talkative prairie dogs that populate much of the area.

There's no shame in pushing. Forward progress is cumulative.

Lots of butterflies and other insects were enjoying a variety of blooms.

Champion at the summit of the climb. 

This butterfly seemed to like the taste of sweat and sunscreen.

She was certain that pixies lived along this part of the trail.

Riding a swooping trail through this field made us feel like dolphins in a sea of dried grass.  

More prairie dogs.

This colony had some prime territory. We stayed a while to watch the prairie dogs yip and scurry.

This valley was a prairie dog metropolis, spanning the whole area.

The trail, edging along the hillside was flowing and scenic.

Just as we were about to close the circuit, the clouds started to appear.

A trail crew of high school students had just worked on this section.

Once we got home, a celebratory root beer float was in order.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Evening ride with the whole pack

Like just about every evening this time of year, this evening was perfect for a ride. Even better, we had family in town for their annual visit, who were expecting some two-wheeled entertainment.

My nieces knew it wouldn't take much to cajole old Uncle Andy into rounding up an appropriate herd of bikes. After all, we've taken daily rides during their visits every summer since they were knee-high to their current selves. Shortly after dinner we were on our way. This pattern will be repeated for the duration of their stay.

Sisters and bikes.

A pair of Larrys. Human Larry lets fly a wild Minnesota yawp, while Surly Larry the tire grins from the front of my Pugsley.

Friday, June 20, 2014

A long line of pelicans

While on a ride enjoying cooler evening air, we were treated by an encounter with a string of pelicans slowly passing overhead in a flying v formation. Pelicans are rare enough to see in Colorado, and I've certainly never seen this many at once before. It was quite a memorable sight.