Sunday, January 29, 2012

Mountain Laurel Designs Duomid (cuben) & MYOG Firestarter

My birthday rolled through Saturday. I expected a good day and it was. Just to add a little bit extra I was treated to a pleasant surprise in the mail. Mountain Laurel Designs got my Duomid & solo inner to me two weeks early AND on my birthday. NICE!

Duomid set up with my LT4 and solo inner... tons of space in there and a bomber pitch

You really have to see it in person to appreciate it...
 I also took a little time to try out a project to MYOG your own fire starters that JERMM posted not too long ago. We don't have any candles to donate so I used parafin wax instead. It melts easily on the stovetop set to low and they set quickly on a sheet of aluminum foil (wax paper would probably work better but we didn't have any). They're light, weatherproof and burn like mad. Give it a whirl & thanks to JERMM for the tip.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Monster is Growing...

As if the TNGA (my personal nemesis) wasn't long enough, someone decided to tack on another 300 miles to connect it to Pisgah. Yeah, that's 622 miles with 90,000 ft of climbing. That's like riding to the top of Mt. Everest from sea level 3.1 times if you're keeping score. Here's a link to the route.

I'd go ahead and ride it this month and post a trip report but I'm still recovering from this spinal surgery. Yeah... ;)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Timex Ironman Watch Band Hack

I wear a Timex Ironman watch most of the time that I'm not at work. In general, I love the watch. Its useful for managing the amount of time you spend on a task, timing cooking meals on the trail, distance estimation, alarms, and, and, and...

Not good - Making Flippy Floppy

The bands that Timex decided to use on their newer watches aren't very popular with me, however. I can no longer use those velcro straps (The Band) and getting a replacement band requires that you buy Timex brand gear. Its particularly annoying when the failure point is something as simple as the band keeper. Because I'm a salty, stubborn old bastard I spend my valuable time trying to fix it instead of giving in as a victim of their design for failure revenue strategy.

Nicht Gut - Der Gorilla klappen rund

My first repair was a crude replacement made out of Gorilla Tape. As an aside, if you're not familiar with this tape, you should be. Its the Chuck Norris of duct tape. This replacement only gets a 4 out of 10 because it holds the band in place at first but it slides around eventually letting the band flop around.

O-rings are for champions

The next (and current) solution holds much more promise and doesn't look quite so ghetto. I had a perfectly sized o-ring in my gear closet that pops right on, holds the band in place and so far stays in place. Score? 11 of 10! If this doesn't work, I think I'll ask one of my less evolved cycling buddies that ride skinny tires to donate a section of inner tube. 

So, this is what you get when I have copious amounts of spare time from spinal surgery combined with extreme sleep deprivation & over-powered pain meds. Do you have any other clever ideas?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Simple Trekking Pole Monopod

Here's a simple solution for mounting your camera on your hiking pole to use it as a monopod while you're out on the trail. A video is more appropriate than a step by step photo session for this one.

Apologies for looking rough in the video. I just had spinal surgery to fuze my C6 & C7 vertebrae. You all know I love custom titanium but this surgery was probably a little over the top just to get a plate and four screws in my spine.

Anyway, enjoy and please leave comments if you have alternate ideas or potential improvements to this one!

I updated the video to be directly embedded from YouTube for (smart) people that don't install Flash. Please let me know if it still doesn't work.