September 30, 2011

Friday Funday

from Coco



September 29, 2011




September 28, 2011

Fall Essentials

WolfDrawn Dudes in the MKE and MPLS

These videos came out while I was at Interbike and I totally slept on posting them. Matt Spencer, Corey San Augustin, and Antonyo kill a bunch of familiar Midwest spots.

WOLF DRAWN: MKE 2 MPLS from Matthew Spencer on Vimeo.

George The Animal Steele


told ya

September 27, 2011

Skate Video Wednesday

(accidentally posted early)

keeping it old school this week with Gator's part from Vision's 1989 video "Barge at Will."

I remember that the son on "Just the Ten of Us," a crappy late 80's sitcom, had a Gator Vision board with the famous illusion black and green graphic. Man, I was so jealous. I used to cut out those old California Cheap Skates adds in Thrasher and mark out my dream setups. That board with some Slimeballs, Indys and a set of Cellblock risers... forget about it.

As you likely know, Gator's story had a tragic side to it, detailed in the movie Stoked.

Here's part one of Stoked



Took the day off from work and spent the day running an errand to the country and mtbing. First I went to a junkyard to get some seatbelts for my Vanagon, and then went riding at Hillside in Elk Creek with the dog. (Are you sick of hearing about my dog yet? Good. Me neither)

It had been a while since I'd been out to the trails there, and I've got to say they were pretty spectacular. The official signage says 6.2 miles but it's a hell of a workout, and they have the best man made features in the metro area. It's about an 45 minute to an hour drive out to the trails, but I hear there's some sort of commuter train you can take instead, but I have no idea how to do that. It was totally worth the trip out to Elk Creek and I got to do two rad things.

Since I know you're dying to know, Baroo did perfect on the trail. It's really cool to see him take to something so readily. He's a natural which obviously is pretty amazing for me.

Product Review: Shady Boy Awning

*shown with "downdraft poles" mounted

One of the accessories that I've always wanted since the days of the Carmel Starship (my brown van) is an awning. The trouble is that those super heavy duty RV style awnings that you can buy for the Vanagon are a ton of money and heavy as hell.

With a little research, the Shady Boy awning popped up as a viable alternative. However instead of using the hardmount my old man helped me out and rigged up this sweet little quick release setup that allows me to attach it to my load bars on the bikerack instead of drilling holes in my roof.

I bring this awning to your attention because with this simple setup you too could mount a pimp ass awning to your roof rack. Just the thing for car camping or post ride chilling.

Before we get to the mounting part, let's talk about the awning in general.


I purchased my awning in the upcharge reflective material, with the optional downdraft poles (seen in first photo), and the stainless mounting hardware (which I didn't end up using). I think the whole thing plus shipping was around $350 or so.
The heart of the awning is the beautifully machined alloy box that contains the awning while not in use and acts as the major structural element.

You simply insert fibre glass rods into the machined holes in the awning to create it's skeleton

Motherfucking Design Wolf. Made in U.S.A., Assembled in Canada

This is the part that my dad radded out. He simply drilled holes in the case to mount this alloy 90 degree section of aluminum, drilled holes in the top section, then drilled holes in the load bars.

Mount it all up with big bolts and wing nuts and you have a total quick release awning, ready to be transfered from vehicle to vehicle.

There are a few kinks still, I think we could use a thicker piece of 90 degree aluminum and it would be nice to somehow put in some little wedges to give the awning a slight uptick as the manufacturer intended.

Other than that though, this thing is the shit. It's pretty affordable once you realize that you can put it on any car you own ever, as long as you've got a roof rack. It only weighs 15 pounds, and you can take it off when not in use. I've also got to call out the craftsmanship. That is some seriously nice work on that aluminum box.

It's definitely a rain sort of thing though and not something you'd want to leave up in any kind of wind. We used it during a mild rain and it was great, I've got the downdraft poles in case of mild winds. But I've got to imagine that a real storm would shred it pretty quick, and it's definitely not as heavy duty as a standard RV style awning. Though it's half the price and like a fifth of the weight. (I don't actually know how much one of those standard awnings would weigh, but it's got to be at least 75 pounds)

So if you ever wanted something like this, I highly recommend the Shady Boy.

September 26, 2011

Trip to Levis


On Friday B. and I loaded Baroo and some bikes into the Goose for a little family camping trip to Levis Mounds trail system near Black River Falls Wisconsin.

Not only are the Levis trails amazing (very "western" feeling) but the camping is superb, and it was an opportunity to get Baroo on some trails for the first time. I have fantasies of him being a trail dog, and needed to sort out where he was at with it in terms of manners.


That first night it rained, but the next day's weather was lovely.

the trails at Levis wind up and down a series of bluffs that deliver stunning views, especially when the fall colors are out.



Unfortunately we had a pressing engagement back in the Cities and could only stay for one night.


This was shockingly B's and mine first camping trip together in the six plus years we've been an item. I have a tendency to be a prick and go on adventures with my buddies and not my lady since my trips always revolve around mountain biking or climbing or getting shitfaced.

I'm super happy to report that our first family trip was awesome. Despite the weather B. had a great time, I had a great time being with her, and Baroo actually did amazing on the trails. He followed me the whole time and didn't nip at my heels or try to herd me once (he's part cattle dog). The only issues were when we ran into other dogs on the trail (having to stop and call to get him to break), or when we stopped and he would try to get ahead of me. Though as soon as I passed him he was an angel again. And he was so pooped. Nothing makes me feel better than having a tired puppy.



BMX Video Monday

September 23, 2011

Team Bikes from PH24

Since I started, I might as well finish.

Here are the rest of the bikes that the team rode in the Powderhorn 24 hour race.

B.Ridget's Colnago

My white Big Block

Beth's Big Block

Minnecycle Tonight

Minnecycle, the Minneapolis Handbuilt Bike Show happens this weekend.

Get over there and support.


Straight Outta Brompton

for your Friday fun having


I've got a confession.

I fucking love Footloose.

Though I haven't seen the film in well over a decade, I know every scene and every song.

When I was in like 3rd grade, I dubbed Footloose and Grease 2 (I was into the motorcycles) onto a cassette off the television.

You remember dubbing shit off the television, setting up the timer on the VCR and all that? What about dubbing songs off the radio?

That summer going into 4th grade I watched that tape a million times and those movies were permanently etched into my brain.

If you've been reading the blog for any amount of time, this probably explains a few things.

Anyway, tonight I saw the trailer for a new version of Footloose. Obviously Hollywood has been recycling shit like crazy during the last 15 years, but fuck. Is nothing sacred?

I'm so pissed.

Kids don't need a new Footloose, just watch the old one you assholes. It's a classic teen movie, it's appeal is timeless. You remake something to hopefully do it right, to do it better. Did anyone involved in this new shitpile actually think they were going to do better than Kevin Bacon?

God, I hate that for a large part of the world the United States is defined by the shit they turn out in Hollywood.

Friday Funday - Metal Heads Gone Wild

Enjoy dear friends.

September 22, 2011



September 21, 2011

Skate Video Wednesday

old school

Chirs King Display

I thought this Chris King display at Eurobike was neat.
(going through my photos now)

it's cool to see the inner workings

Fat Bikes at River Bottoms

if nerds on fat bikes is the genre of web video you've been looking for, J.R. has got you covered.

Minnesota River Bottoms trail from J.R.Hunter on Vimeo.

September 20, 2011

Last Day in Germany

While we were in Southern Germany at Eurobike, we stayed about 17 miles from the hall in the countryside. At first we were bummed about the long commute and hills. I didn't expect there to be mile long climbs between me and everywhere we wanted to go, so I was packing my trusty white Big Block. (We made it through just fine, climbed at the front of every pack, but lost time on the descents.)

What at first was an inconvenience proved throughout the week to be a ticket to adventure, exploring and drinking beer on dark German gravel roads, late night dash in pitch black for a forgotten backpack 7 miles away, etc.

On the last day we discovered an amazing river and bridge, and a lovely bike path through the famous fields of Tettnang Hops. (you know, like for beer)

Here are my photos from my last day in Germany.


Interbike Swag Part 2

Another spectacular thing I got at this show was this neat fold up plastic fender. It looks to me like it's only really going to work well on bikes that don't use caliper brakes, but since that's like half my bikes I've decided to keep it in my bag at all times.

Check it out.


water bottle for scale

it clamps around your seattube and the cutouts are for your brake bridge



pretty cool. stoked to try it out.

thanks Dutch guy.

Dose of Awesome