Archive for May, 2011

Feeling Blue about Trucks and Bikes

May 30th, 2011 by MTBBill

The last couple handful of months have been a bummer  on the Truck and Bike front.  

 

Last summer my beloved Intense 6.6 was stolen.   I knew that bike so well and it was one hell of a capable rig for get out and about and even the occasional launching.  In the last month  it has actually been seen in Kelso, Washington (where it was stolen) being ridden by some “crackhead”.   There is hope for it recovery as the locals are on the lookout.

Then about two months ago, my Tacoma was totalled when a bonehead thought that the red arrow on a left-hand turn was a suggestion.   Man I loved that truck as I had it just the way I wanted it.  A leveling lift, onboard air system, hidden off-road lights, In-Cab 115VAC and a tricked out infotainment system. 

So while I was in Washington for six weeks all the insurance stuff was settled out and I was online shopping for a replacment Tacoma.    I pretty much wanted the same truck I had before.  Double Cab 4×4 with the Tow package and either the TRD Sport or Off-Road package.  It also had to be in good shape and have descent miles on it.   I found plenty in the category but hitting the price mark was the tough part as I was not interested in having a truck payment.    Cash is king and the day after I got back from Washington I was able score a killer deal on a truck that meet all of my specs.

The new MBB Mobile.    A 2007 Tacoma Double Cab 4×4 with the TRD Off-Road and Tow Packages.   It even had a brand new set of BFG AT on it (My favorite all-terrian tires)

I had thought about a camper shell with my old truck but never got one. I’m still not sure wither I’m a shell guy or not but I going to see if it will work out or not.  I can always take it off.

You may have noticed I have have a new website supporter/partner up on the site,  BikeBling.com.   Recently they have moved to huge place in Escondido and have a ton of goodies in the story.  For users of my site you will periodically see MountainBikeBill promotional codes for BikeBling that are good for a discount on online purchases.   A regular good for me –  good for you relationship.    

Part of the good for me relationship was that when I got back from Washington there was a brand new steed waiting for me.  A well equipped Intense Uzzi.

A brand new set of SpinergyXyclone Enduro wheels were waiting back a Casa Del Bill to bring the build to its ready for launch state.  Considering this rig has a 7″ travel coil fork  up front and a coil shock givng 7.5″ in back this rig  weighs in at a respectable 35lbs 6 ounces.    This rig is built well above my skill level so it should be fun to see what kind of “trouble” I can get myself into with this beauty.  

Closeup of the “Works Blue” finish that Intense did on this.  The finish is slightly translucent which allows the weld mark to show through giving the finish a marbelized look that I think rocks.

Now the color of the bike was picked out long before I brought the truck and the color was pretty low on the criteria in the selection process.   It is however pretty uncanny how the bike and truck are pretty much a spot on match.   One thing is for certain they both need to be taken out and gotten dirty!    I’m feeling pretty damn good about feeling blue!

Views Off The Bike From The “Away From Home Office”

May 26th, 2011 by MTBBill

So I have wrapped up my work project in Everett Washington.  It took a bit longer than expected and I’m glad to be back home.   I did get in some tasty miles of singletrack during my stay but between the work, weather and a nasty bit of crud I had for a while,  I did not get my dirt fix as often as I would have liked.     So why do we ride our bikes?   Geez there will be just about as many answers to that question as there are folks who decide to through a leg over a bike in the first place.    I believe that is part of what mountainbiking so special in the first place.    One pursuit with countless permutations of living life and generally having a good time.     

One of those “answers” for me is seeing beautiful scenery and the occasional critter or two.    I was extremely fortunate to score a pretty awesome place to stay during my visit.  It was a quint little beach house on Possession Sound that simply was fantastic from an experience standpoint.   It made coming home from the “office” everyday seem like a mini-vacation.   When the weather was cooperating there was some incredible views to be had right from the dinner table and deck.   By the end of the first week I had adopted a routine getting up a couple hours earlier than I really need to just to enjoy the views and a few relaxing cups of coffee before starting my day.   In the evening the place just begged you to crack open a bottle of one of the Pacific Northwest’s tasty microbrews.   The views were often a daily dose of “answers”  if you will.

Whales…..Yes I said whales.   Whales were a common sight right out the front windows.   A few gray whales liked to come into the shallows and feed on whatever tasty critters where on the bottom here.   They would swim sideways and use their tails to stir up the bottom and then spin around and scoop up and filter out all of the tasty snacks.

They would work down the shoreline and eventually head back out to deeper water and off to the wherever the next buffet spot was located.  

They made plenty of noise with all of their activity and sometimes the sounds be the first thing that would draw my attention their “visit”.    Seeing these majestic critters was certainly a life enriching experience.

The tidal shift is pretty dramatic in this area.  The lines of  “puddles” you see in the photo above are the divots created by the whales when they are feeding at high tide.  They are typically 6-8 feet long each.  

It was quite a trip to walk out onto the beach at low tide and meander around where the whales were at less than 24 hours ago. 

Even when there were no critters close by, the views were often of the quality that many us pedal for miles to seek out.

I kept my camera nearby all the time as you never knew what was going to pop up on the beach at any moment.  This pair of otters were in hurry to get their take-out order home before it got warm.

So while I did not get in as many miles as I would have liked on this trip, I got of wealth of “answers” that I typically only find along quite singletrack of the backcountry.