Monday, February 25, 2013

Spot Check Billy

Spotcheck Billy got down on his hands and knees  
He said "Hey mama, hey let me check your oil all right?"  
She said "No, no honey, not tonight.  
Come back Monday, come back Tuesday, and then I might."

- Fat Man in the Bathtub, Little Feat

Billy K's ride.

Billy Koitzsch of Arctic Cycles is taking a little trip. A 2,000-mile winter trip via fat bike, to be exact.

He's checking in frequently via Spot checks, so I'm tracking his progress and cheering him on. Personally, I think he's gonna rock it this year.

After all, he's traveling light after leaving a toe behind last time. Ride strong, Billy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I’ve been looking at new bikes recently. It’s time to replace my tired old ride, and all the new stuff is shiny, pretty and clean. It’s awesome. And a little unnatural.

As gorgeous as a new bike can be sitting in the shop, it looks far better when it’s wearing some splattered mud, hard-earned scratches and a mishmash of old and new parts.

Some red dirt from the Southwest is a nice touch, too. Especially if it clings to the bike for a few weeks or months after a bike vacation. The alien-looking soil is a nice reminder of fun times on faraway trails.

My bike didn’t go on my latest trip, so it’s sadly free of red dirt. My new frame will be even cleaner, and I’ll admit I’m looking forward to building it up and then admiring its shiny, pristine awesomeness from across the room for a few days.

But what I really want to do is take it out and get it dirty this summer, and then see it in all its glory, leaning tired and filthy against a tree.

Mountain bikes were meant to be dirty.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Things of beauty

Piles of fat bikes

Parties with live music
Finish-line booze

Visions of the future

 (Scenes from the first-annual Trio in Talkeetna)

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

A trip to the powder room

The ol’ Fatback was in need of a little bike love. New tubes and — best of all — a new carbon-fiber fork, because I have to keep up with friends who have been buying all the sweet shit recently.

But when it came time to add some talcum powder to the fat tires, I kept forgetting to buy any when I was at the store. I mean, why the hell would I buy talcum powder except for bike tires? And why would I think of bike tires when I was at Fred Meyer?

So when I started yanking out my old, tired tubes, I thought I was shit outta luck in the powder department. But then I remembered my trusty butt powder. For those who don’t know, Anti-Monkey Butt Powder is the next best thing to chamois cream, but a whole lot more comfortable to have wedged into your goodies on a night ride at 10 below zero.

And it happens to be a super-fine powder. Perfect for reducing friction in your butt and your Big Fat Larry. And I’m talkin’ about the tire, not your Johnson.

I always love finding unexpected uses for bike stuff, so I think I’ll smile when I’m rolling down the trail some afternoon and remember that my tubes are protected by my ass powder.