Monthly Archives: January 2009

Hanna and I in San Francisco

Hanna is my 17 year old daughter. A long time ago, she and I hatched a plan to go to San Francisco to spend a few days knocking around the city and then go to the SX race. Since she had a long break from school and the SX race lined up it made perfect sense.

So on Wed 1/28 after school, she and I loaded into the plane and launched ourselves westward. We really didn’t know what we were going to do, but thought we would just wing it. We did line up a couple of bikes to ride around the city while we were there, and I did call up Gary Fisher to see what he was doing.

Things started to fall into place the day before we came out. And, by the time we arrived a plan had been made. Gary would show us all around the city on Thursday, we would knock off the rest of our sights plan on Friday. Then some more city stuff on Saturday morning and then the SX race.

When we landed on Wed evening, we were confronted by no snow and 49 degree night time temperatures. We both were shocked. It has been a long time since we have seen anything green and an even longer time since we were not cold.

Thursday with Gary was incredible. We rode about 20 miles around the city:
– Filmore street
– Haight area for hippie watching and shopping
– lunch at a Tapas place in Haight
– Mission area at some galleries, and a really weird pirate store
– the best cappucino I have ever had at Cafe ritual on Valencia St.
– All the way down Market street through the financial district and down to the warf area.
– All the way down the Embarcadero to the bridge
– Up out of the city and over the bridge to Marin
– Back across the bridge to the city
– Through the Presidio and back to Filmore area
– Dinner in Japan town center at a Sushi restaurant

Here are some photos from the day.

Arrival night in San Francisco.  Look, no jacket!

Arrival night in San Francisco. Look, no jacket!


Gary and Hanna at Golden Gate park

Gary and Hanna at Golden Gate park


Hanna and I.  Sun!

Hanna and I. Sun!


Hanna at Haight/Ashbury

Hanna at Haight/Ashbury


Gary and I on the Golden Gate Bridge

Gary and I on the Golden Gate Bridge

Wow, what a day!

On the second day, Hanna and I did the following

– Rode over to the warf.  When you go accross the city, and don’t know where you are going, you end up riding up and over all of the hills that you see photos for.  Some of them are just too steep to ride up.  ON PAVEMENT!

– Took the Ferry out to Alcatraz.

Hanna at Alcatraz

– Went to the top of Lomard street and rode down the “Crookedest Street in the city”.

Lombard street.

Lombard street.

– Walked all around Chinatown.

Chinatown gates

Chinatown gates

– Rode the Powell st. trolley all the way around once.

Goon on the trolley

Goon on the trolley


Riding the bridge

Riding the bridge


picture-0601

Hanna found the scooter she wants.

In the evening, we had dinner at a restaurant called Incanto.  It was by far the best Italian food I have ever had.  My had is off to the chef, Chris.  Wow.

The best Italian food ever

The best Italian food ever

Today we will finish a few sightseeing things, and do some shopping in the Haight.

Tonight, the SX race.

Joe

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Daylight Saving time and Bike Work!

Daylight Saving time.
Today at 5:30, I think you could still be out in the woods. You wouldn’t see very well, and you would probably be packing it in then. But, the point is that just 2 weeks ago it was pitch black at 5:30.

Wikipedia says that here in Wisconsin, we are gaining approximately 2 minutes of daylight every day. One minute in the morning, and one minute in the evening. Sunset today was actually listed as 5pm, but as I noted earlier that you probably still could have been in the woods today at 5:30. Today is January 25.

Daylight Saving time starts on March 8. That is the day that we will set the clocks forward 1 hour. 42 days from today. We will gain 42 minutes of evening light between now and then. That means that on March 7, sunset will be approximately 5:40 and you will be able to be in the woods until about 6:15. But, on March 8 sunset will be at 6:40 and you could be in the woods until about 7:15.

I am all about March 8.

Bike Work!
I am in the mode now of working on my race bikes every Sunday. They are not being ridden now, so you would think they would need no work. But, the hours just keep cruising by as I work on them.

Today, I completely rebuilt the motor on my GNCC bike from last year. It was a hard season on that bike, and it will become my Enduro bike this year. I put in a complete new top end of piston, rings, wrist pin, top end bearings etc… The power valve needed to be cleaned. The clutch plates needed to be replaced, along with the clutch springs. The clutch basket actually still looked really good.

Unfortunately, the stator/lighting coil that I bought to try to run some lights would not fit on the bike. I guess I will have to talk to Baja Designs, and see if I can run a battery headlight instead.

It will be a couple of weeks before I can work on it again, as I will be out of town for the next 2 Sundays. But, bearings and the rest of the chassis are the next on the list.

San Francisco next weekend, where I will be at the SX race. Taiwan the following weekend.

Out for now.
Joe

36 days to go!

Seems like forever.  Although, it was a balmer 35 degrees today.

My friend Mat Herrington is planning to go down to Florida to do the first GNCC race.  My friend JD Freibel is going to Georgia to do the first National Enduro.

I feel some twinges of longing.  I am not getting to the first GNCC races this year.  In fact, I may not get to any of the GNCC races until after the summer break.  Ugh.  I feel a bit lost. Last year was so focused on the GNCC series, that the later start this year has me a bit out of focus.

But, it is just 36 days till the first down south riding trip.  We are heading to St. Joe in central Missouri to ride over the last weekend of February.

It is also only 80 days till the first race that I can do this year.  One of the MXC races in Illinois in April.

In the mean time, here is the new logo for the WIXC series.

Cool new logo for our new WIXC series here in Wisconsin!

Cool new logo for our new WIXC series here in Wisconsin!

Unfortunately, the April race that I can do will not be in that series.  The WIXC series does not start until May.

Man winter is long.

out!

Joe

Bike work – 1 down

Today I spent the day working on my HS bike.  It has been a while that it has been in pieces.

This is how both bikes looked when I got started.

This is how both bikes looked when I got started.

When I got started, my HS bike was just a frame.  That is it on the right above, the Enduro bike is not much better (on the left), but it at least has a motor in it.

If you have been paying attention, you know that I ran my bike without oil after it sat for a while and fried the crank and crank bearings.  Mark at Vesrah completely rebuilt it for me.  In effect, it is a new motor.  It received new cases, a new crank and bearings, we put in a new top end, new clutch – pretty much everything in the motor is brand spanking new.

Motor in a box!

Motor in a box!

A motor is supposed to be in a motorcycle, not in a box.  So, that is what my first order of action was.

A fresh motor is a good thing.  It felt good to replace all the bearings in the swingarm, new bearings in the linkage, new bearings in the wheels etc…

The motor in the bike.

The motor in the bike.

Next the bike got an old set of wheels, and old plastic etc…  I am setting it up for a training mission down to St. Joe in Missouri in 4 weeks.

The motor is fresh, the suspension is fresh, but most of the bike will be old for that trip.  After that, it will get updated all the way around for the first races.

If you are keeping notes, you will notice that is oil draining into the crankcase.  I will never make that mistake again.

If you are keeping notes, you will notice that is oil draining into the crankcase. I will never make that mistake again.

Ready to be ridden.

Ready to be ridden.

In addition to getting my bike ready, I also unpacked some new gear.

Scott and I are riding in Moose Gear this year, and again in Alpinestars boots.  Below is what our cooler weather gear will look like.

New blue cooler weather Moose XCR gear.

New blue cooler weather Moose XCR gear.

Spanky new boots also.

Spanky new boots also.

I cannot wait until we can do some riding.

Out,

Joe

85 days and counting!

Lot’s going on, and lot’s to do!

It seems that the season is never going to get here this year.  We had high temperatures in the below zero range all this past week.  Lows were well below minnus 20 overnight.  I mean, once it is below minus 5, who cares anyway.  There is a ton of snow outside, it is so cold that salt and sand really doesn’t help the snow covered roads.

There is a lot of stuff to do before the season

– new gear that has to be sorted from Moose Racing.

– both of my bikes need to be rebuilt from the frame and seperated motor that they are now.

– my suspension has been completely redone by Factory Connection.

– I have lots of new plastic from Cycra that needs graphics applied from Victory Graphix.

– There are still a stack of new Pirelli tires that have to be ordered.

– My steering dampers from GPR should be here this week.

– All of my wheels need tires mounted, bearings greased, spokes tensioned.

Mark Junge from Vesrah Suzuki will be taking my bike and Scott’s bike to the Indy show to put on display in the booth.  So, we have a bunch of work to at least 2 bikes that needs to happen between now and then.  I will probably send my bike with my number from the WIXC series this year.  Last year it went with my number from the GNCC series.

Even though there are just 85 days till the first race that I will do down in Illinois, there are actually other things that we need to prepare for.

Time to get moving.

Joe

Pictures from Ray’s MTB park

Snow sucks, but love the photo with the bikes on!  Wish it was summer!

Snow sucks, but love the photo with the bikes on! Wish it was summer!

At Ray's.  In the VIP room.

At Ray's. In the VIP room.

So Ray hooked us up with the VIP room at Ray’s MTB.  Above is my gang getting ready to ride.  Hanna had to face the camera with her bootie.  Liz did not actually ride with those boots on.

I was having some trouble drinking form a water bottle.  It has been so long.

I was having some trouble drinking form a water bottle. It has been so long.

Liz

Liz with Ray and I in the background!

Liz in action.

Liz in action.

Liz in action again.

Liz in action again.

As you can see from the background, Ray’s is expansive.  100,000+ square feet of warehouse space turned into a winter mountain bike playground.  Wow it is fun.

Hanna doing her thing.

Hanna doing her thing.

Hanna is a bit worked after riding.

Hanna is a bit worked after riding.

Hi.  I am Ali.  I am in the VIP room!

Hi. I am Ali. I am in the VIP room!

Ali twisting it.

Ali twisting it.

Ali with poor lighting.  But cool shot nonetheless.

Ali with poor lighting. But cool shot nonetheless.

Hanna working a rock/wood section.

Hanna working a rock/wood section.

I am crunched.

I am crunched.

I was there also.

I was there also.

Liz wanted me to show that she comes off the high drop also.  I didn't do a good job with the photo though.

Liz wanted me to show that she comes off the high drop also. I didn't do a good job with the photo though.

We made our annual trip to Ray’s.  It was a kick.  I am so proud of Ray.  He had a dream, and he built it, and we all came.  It can work.

Love you, love the place – Ray.

out

Joe

Ray’s MTB

So Friday the 9th was my birthday.  Old.  But, I don’t like to act my age.

Liz and the girls conceded to going to Ray’s MTB park with me for my birthday.  On Friday we had to drive Lisa to the airport in Chicago, then planned to head towards Cleveland – as far as we could.

It was raining on the way down to Chicago, but it was snowing by the time we got there.  We really were not in a hurry.  It was quite a bit different than when Scott and I travel together.  We get places.  With the 2 of us we move right along.  With the family, we don’t seem to go too quickly.

We headed out of Chicago into the snow storm of Indiana.  We only made it as far as Elkhart Indiana, where we found a hotel and promptly got buried in snow.  The morning of the 10th, we got going reasonably early (not Joe and Scott early, but about 7:30 family early).

Snow covered truck, on the way to Ohio!

Snow covered truck, on the way to Ohio!

We did eventually get there, but not too early.

Rode for 6 plus hours.  Ugh.  Damn am I tired!

More story and photo’s coming tomorrow.

Joe

New Moose gear on the way!

Today I ordered up my new Moose Racing gear for the season. Scott and I will both be with Moose gear this year, and we are stoked about that.

We are doing blue XCR gear and yellow Sahara gear.

XCR blue - for medium temperature days

XCR blue - for medium temperature days

Yellow Sahara gear for warm days

Yellow Sahara gear for warm days

When everything is hear we will post up new photo’s of the team etc…

Joe