Early Pipeline

I've come down Rattle Snake Gulch several times, but hadn't tried to go up it, until this evening. Couldn't ask for better conditions, tacky dirt and not a lot of loose rock. I dabbed a few times and pushed the bike up the last 50 yards, dang that's steep at the top. I found a new quest, climb that by year end.

Pipeline was a good. Tacky dirt and fast. There were a few mud puddles, one or two small spots of mud and a few strips of snice.

Surprisingly I made it all the way to Elbow Fork.

I got a late start and the light was fading fast on the way back. The gullies were dark. There was just barley enough light to descend Rattle Snake, riding by braille.

The ride felt good. Just what I needed.

Quadcopter mQX

I've been interested in quadcopters for a while now. So when I saw the Blade mQX for $170 ready-to-fly, I bought one at a local hobby shop.

I've had it for 3 weeks and I've really enjoyed learning to fly it.

Here's me flying it around the front yard (and crashing it into the neighbors tree).

It takes some learning to fly, but the built-in 3-axis gyro helps stabilize it. The first day I would get it up then crash it pretty quick. The second day I was flying a bit longer. The third day I was having some good flights. Now I rarely loose control of it and I'm trying more advanced moves.

All of the kids have flown it. Here's Kade flying it, although this is not one of his better flights.

It's been crashed hard several times and it hasn't broken yet. I have had to bend prop blades back, re-seat motors and gears, but these are quick fixes and I'm back flying again.

It can fly for around 10 minutes on a fully charged battery. I bought a 2nd battery for $10 so I can fly longer (highly recommended). It takes around 30 minutes to charge the battery.

For more in-depth info, this review was helpful.

I've had a lot of fun with this "toy" and I recommend it.

Two Short-Sleeve Rides

Yesterday and today it was warm enough to ride with just a short-sleeve jersey. Bolted out of work and hit the foothills.

Yesterday I rode the BST from the firing range north to Battlecreek via the "alternate" trail. The old double-track parts aren't so great but it has some single-track sections I like. And it makes a little loop at the end of the BST.

On the return I made it up the steep section. (Almost crashed there on the way out - had the Spring looseness and I was going too fast.)

Good to blow out the cobwebs, of which I have more than usual this year. For some reason my knees ached.

Today I headed for the Altar. I took Mouse up, just a little snow but good to go. Here's the obligatory Altar shot (notice the patch of snow is gone from Rick's ride yesterday.)

I went down Frank, which was pretty loose from the thaw.

Then I went down Dragon's Back and took the dirt road back to the Race Course and climbed back up to the watertank road and home as it got dark.

Sure feels good to be on dirt again.

P.S. Last post I promised to talk about my new toy, sorry. I need to get some video to do it justice. I'll get it done.

Round Valley Redo

With fresh snow from storms Thursday and Friday, I took Jolene to Round Valley to show her the cross country ski trails.

The snow was soft and grippy but would also glide, it was excellent. And the snow was deep enough they put in classical glide tracks.

We started at Quinns and went up to the short ridge then down into Round Valley and back. The distance was just right for Jolene's leg.

And a shot of me, just to mix things up.

We stopped at Dairy Keen and split a Train Burger meal (good eats).

I picked up a new toy. It's way fun. I'll talk about it next post. Here's a teaser:

Fresh Brighton

I had fun night skiing at Brighton Tuesday. Yeah, I know, it's kind of lame now since there is even more fresh snow today. But it was still pretty good Tuesday. After having "very firm" to icy conditions the last two times out skiing, the soft, fresh snow was nice, even if it was skied out.

And this time of year the bonus is more light. We got four runs in before it got dark. I could get more in if I got there at 4 pm.

I also met up with Mark for a few runs.

Here's my coworker, Dave, and my lonely ski pole before it got dark.

Speaking of my ski poles, I think they need to be retired, or at least I need new baskets.

I've had these poles nearly 20 years. The straps rotted off 5 years ago. Should I be proud or ashamed?

Well, it's good to see some fresh snow in the mountains. I'll be getting out again as soon as I can.