Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Ride and Doing Stuff with Some Success.

I am an active person.  I have a hard time sitting and doing nothing.  The other day I decided that I wanted to make top tube bag that I could put some quick access items in.  I pulled out an old uniform top and pulled the zipper, cut out the back, and went to work designing.  All in all it was a fairly smooth project for a hack and it only occupied a few hours of my life. 

The pattern worked out well and the pieces went together as designed.  

The zipper is a little off center but I can put stuff in it and it zips shut.  That is about where the functional aspect of it ends.  Christmas Day I decided to get out and enjoy the balmy 19 degrees and sun on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi.  The day was great but the top tub bag was a flop.....literally.  As I rode it flopped to the side.  I need to beef up the Velcro and make it so I can tighten it better.  Hopefully I can retro-fit this otherwise it will serve some other function.  Not an epic failure, but a failure just the same.

Aside from my flopping top tube bag, the remainder of the ride was amazing.  I have not lived in the Quad-City area for a long time so I don't know what the usual river levels are but there is no doubt that the summer drought has left it pretty low.  This allowed for a wide range of riding opportunities and the Salsa Mukluk has far exceeded my expectations.

I dropped onto the river bank below the old railroad swing bridge and rode most of the way around Credit Island.  There was a wide range of riding conditions from drifting snow to ice, sand, and larger rocks and boulders.  The width of these tires provide a lot of stability in all of those conditions.  I am particularly surprised with how they handle on the baseball size rocks, these wheels eat them up versus sliding off the side of the rock.  While my 29ers would handle it but it would be rough.   
I found the ice on the rocks and logs to be very interesting.  I am not sure what would cause ice to freeze like this, but the banks were lined with it and it was beautiful.

The top tube pack was not my only failure of the day.  As I rode around Credit Island I came upon a fallen tree with root ball.  I was presented with three options; left through the water, right through the snow, or over.  The water was clearly out of the question and the snow looked to be deep enough to cause problems.  Since the tree was only waist high I decided to lift the bike over.      

As I lifted my 35 pound Panzer over the tree I suddenly found myself in desperate need of traction.  I don't know if the ice broke and then I slipped or I slipped and fell breaking the ice under me.  Either way, I found myself lying on the ground trying to brace an awkward bike and get up off the frozen ground.  This was an epic failure. 

I decided on the return that I would ride around the tree and had far greater success.  Over all it was a great way to enjoy a quiet Christmas afternoon.  Much better than laying on the couch feasting on left overs.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Is it Global Warming or I am I Trying to Hard to Have Fun? You Decide.

It is the 10th of December and the grass is still very green even though the trees have shed their leaves.  While the temperatures are getting cooler, it is not frigid.  In fact a week or so ago we had a 70 degree day, in December!    I keep telling my wife that I need to get out and go for a ride because it will be the last decent day of riding this year.  She is beginning to get skeptical and is growing tired of hearing this reason to abandon responsibility for a couple of hours.

 I keep waiting for the weather to really go to heck and it looks like I may have to wait longer.  That sounds odd I am sure.  Who doesn’t want beautiful weather?  I for one would like some snow, snow can be beautiful to.   When I found out that I would be moving to the good old Quad-Cities all anyone would tell me is how harsh the weather is.  I would respond with “I have spent a few winters in Alaska, -58 degrees is pretty cold.”  The common response would then be “yeah, but the wind blows really hard here.”  I would respond with “well, I think that at a certain point cold is cold.  By the way, I am from Montana, there is wind there too.”  Apparently Montana wind is different than Iowa/Illinois wind.......whatever.
My point (yes, there is one) is if it is going to be cold and dark, there might as well be a whole bunch of snow.  It seems as though the weather is always a topic of discussion, and it always sounds like this "This is the strangest weather I can ever remember I don't ever remember it being this hot/snowy/dry/cold/rainy!"  If it is too warming!  If it is too warming!  If it is too warming!  Last but certainly not least, if it is too COLD.....that's right, Global warming!!! 

I am not sure that anyone (except for Al Gore maybe) knows exactly what the cause of global warming is.  I have read about cows producing to much gas or volcanoes and industry spewing stuff.  All I know is that when I was told I would be moving to Iowa/Illinois that I should expect horribly cold conditions.  Quite frankly, I don't think this place is any more extreme.  

I do have a theory about global warming.  While it may not be based on scientific data, I have a much more simple reason; I bought a fat bike and I want to have fun!  While this may sound silly it falls in line with a similar situation in the same line of reasoning last year with my boss.  My boss was told to buy a snow blower when he moved here.  He did and it did not snow much last year making the snow blower useless!  This year I bought a Salsa Mukluk........coincidence?  I think not.  While this may seem completely coincidental and somewhat lacking in scientific research, the proof is there!  Snow snow.  Snow snow.

Think about it, I believe there is something there!        

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Best Reasons to Ride

The other day I was dropping my poodles off at the kennel and I noticed that I was a couple of miles overdue for an oil change.  I mentioned this to my wife and she said that is has almost been a year since it was last changed.  I could not comprehend this because I try to change oil every 3-4 thousand miles.  I stated that cannot be right, it had to be more miles and we debated this for a little while when it was settled after she said it was changed when the dealership replaced a seal for my window nearly one year ago. 
The point of this is that in during a 1 year I will have put less than 4,000 miles on my car.  I typically ride 4 days per week and it is amazing how many miles are saved by riding a bike.  Not only the 16 miles (round trip) every day but the additional miles I put on as I go to a bike shop at lunch or drive to the store for something to eat or drink.  I am much less likely to just kill a lunch hour by driving around and I can walk the ½ mile to get my munchies.   
I then told my wife to think of all of the money I have saved us.  Then she became Debby Downer and pointed out that everything I think I had saved on gas went into bicycles.  While it is true that I increased my fleet by two during this time period and also bought numerous tires, inner tubes, brake pads, wheels, chains……I think the important thing is that I would have probably bought random bike stuff anyway.  Therefore I saved money!!
I am not sure that I help the environment much; I consume tires, inner tubes, chain lube, and peanut butter w/honey sandwiches like they are going out of style.  What I have noticed is that my overall attitude, mental health, and physical conditioning have improved.  Those are the best reasons I can think of to ride a bike. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Surly Ogre: On the Trail

I finally got around to putting disc brakes on my Surly Ogre so I can run 29er mountain bike wheels/tires in addition to my 700c wheels.  The original set up was geared for commuting and I ran 700x45c tires which fit great and had plenty of clearance with the front derailleur.  This would also be true for single speed setup if you are into that kind of thing (I have decided I am not). 

I have been wanting to take the Olive Drab Roller for a spin in the woods so I borrowed the Avid BB7 disk brakes and Salsa Semi 29er wheels from the El Mar.  Adding these wheels with the larger tires required me to install Surly Monkey Nuts (included with the the frame) to get the additional spacing required for the tire to clear the front derailleur.  This meant that I had to get a new chain; I should have set it up with the Monkey Nuts in the first place as it would have made no real difference in performance and saved me $25 last week.  I am also considering dumping the 48 tooth chain ring if it gets in the way.

Live and learn I suppose.

Winston and I took it for ride and I was extremely pleased.  Again, it is based on the Karate Monkey and it is a tried and true frame design which I had considered buying when I was ultimately seduced by the beautiful El Mariachi.  I am not a professional bike review guy so I am not going to use fancy words "spry" or "nimble" or "fast" to describe how it handled, mainly because I am not so therefore the bike will never be.   I will say that I love the feel of a rigid steel bike and with the Jeff Jones Loop Bar, it made short order of climbs and technical spots on the trail.

I have some Maxxis 2.10 CrossMark tires on it now, but I am going to test the Surly "Fatties Fit Fine" with some out of production WTB Weirwolf tires that measure in at 2.55 (I don't know if that is actual or exaggerated as tires often are).  I love those tires, the came on the El Mar but there wasn't a lot of clearance in muddy situations.  I can run them with tubes at 20 psi and not flat.

I am pleased with the purchase, it served me well riding 500 miles across the state of Iowa with 700x32c Continental GatorSkins and it will serve me well on the trails.  As for reducing my bike fleet by one, I think I have a new plan for the El Mariachi to keep it fresh and relevant.  More on that later.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Missed Opportunities

This week has been the most painful shifts in daylight savings time I have ever had.  Between the cool fall weather, shortened days, and the "gain" of an hour I have found myself missing opportunities to ride.  I try to ride to work at least three times a week.  This week, the kids and household 6 had activities every night which more or less hijacked my riding.  On Tuesday I brought a bike as my Tuesdays get really long.  I figured I could cut out a little early and hit the trails.  It had lightly rained for a few hours and at 3:30 I found myself making the following excuses:

1.  By the time I change and get to Sylvan Island I will only have 45 minutes to ride.
2.  I don't want to get my bike muddy and spend hours getting Mississippi JB Weld (I am convinced you can use this mud to fix anything) from all of the nooks and crannies of my Anthem X29er.

These were two very pathetic excuses and translate to missed opportunities to ride and enjoy life, even in it's cold, dark, muddy glory.

Well today I had to seize the day.  It was 72 degrees and although there was a bizarre spattering of rain while the sun was blinding, the Chick and I took Winston and headed to the slough.  When we got  there we found that the Chicks helmet didn't make it into the car.  Sounds like another opportunity for an excuse so we rode sans helmet.  I know another nomination for father of the year! 

I have stated before that Sylvan Island is an amazing place to start kids mountain biking.  There is not a lot of elevation change but the small hills provide my kids an opportunity to learn to ride down hill with out gaining to much speed and freaking out.  

Riding off of the old steel mill foundation.  I love how nature is reclaiming an industrial area.

Winston loves to get out and run.  He stays close and out of the way for the most part.

The Chick is riding a small 26 inch mountain bike and sometimes it looks huge.  She is learning to control it.  Right now I am trying to get my kids to look ahead and anticipate gear changes.  Small hills and mounds pose a problem because she doesn't shift in time and stalls out.  We will get there.

For some reason this picture makes look and feel old.  It is hard to believe that my Mukluk has the same rim size as the Chick's Giant Yukon.    

This turned out to be great opportunity to enjoy some time with the Chick.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Never Ending Tinkering

The Ogre (aka Olive Drab Roller; ODR)

I have a bunch of bikes.  I use them a lot.  I use them hard.  I have mentioned all of this before with my hopes of someone sponsoring a serious commuter and enthusiast to help offset the costs.  At this point I am an unofficial spokesperson for QBP, the folks who own Surly and Salsa (combined I have four).  The best I have received from them is a stem and a handlebar which were awarded for my literary talents and desire to get a tin sign of their logo half way around the world with out it being destroyed.  I have been riding the Muk to work a lot.  My boss calls it the Panzer, I think it is fitting.  The other day, I was trying to get out of the office so I could assist with taking one of the strap hangers to the dentist.  I literally couldn't get past people with the Panzer.  They blocked my way and asked questions, people are fascinated with the size of the tires on the Mukluk.

If you are considering ordering or purchasing a fat bike I will warn you right now; people will inquire, stare, make comments in passing, and ask you what it is for......the questions are endless.  I haul this thing up a flight of stairs and keep it behind my desk (when it is not nasty out) and I will have someone come to speak with me and the whole time we are talking the person is looking over my shoulder at my bike.  One of the people I supervise is completely distracted by it.  He stares and than mid-work related statement says "I am sorry, I can't help it, those are the biggest tires I have ever seen."  They speak to others and their relatives, it is amazing.  Great PR for the Quality Bike Parts.

Today for no great reason I cannibalized my El Mariachi for some wheels and brakes.  I suppose will not ride it again this year.  I have wanted to do some off road on the Ogre but wanted some decent stopping power.  I have it geared towards commuting with a 48 tooth chain ring, but this will allow quick wheel change outs to some wider rims and big rubber.  I have been wanting to do some single track on it, now I can!  I missed a great deal on some disc brake calipers, two sets for $50.  This would have been amazing because I now need (want) Avid BB7 brakes on two bikes.

I also did a night ride last weekend in the freezing cold.  Just before, I switched handle bars on my Giant Anthem X 29er for a Salsa Low Rise bar with 17 degree sweep.  I won that bar and if felt great on the ride, I am fond of a bar with some sweep and with just a little more tweaking on lever position life is good!

On a final note I do not like to post random stuff from bike part companies and their product announcements, but this is special because it takes me back to my 1994 with my GT.

There was a time when I was riding in purple anodized bliss.  Anything I could get in purple was on that bike.  You name it:  chain ring bolts, bar ends, caps, binders, skewers.  At one point I took the rear derailleur apart to replace the mounting bolt with a purple break away variety.  By the way, that can be a nightmare if you disassemble wrong, tension springs can be a pain.  In fact a friend of mine was doing the same thing and he called me to tell me not to remove X piece.  I thanked him for the advice as I crawled on all fours looking at springs.  Thanks again Dan.  But it was worth the hours of reassembly for that one more accent of  Purple. 

Then it seems Purple died off, but not my love of it.  Great times.  If I had the coin this would be the time to get the hubs and headset.  I wonder if it would look good on the ODR?

Monday, October 29, 2012


It is the time of year when I look at the temperature before I get ready for work and let out a little sigh.  I don't mind the cold, after all, I grew up in a cold place and even lived in Fairbanks, Alaska for four years.  I have ridden in -30 degree Fahrenheit weather.  It is kind of like swimming in a high mountain lake, you just need to get in past your waist!  The easiest way is just to jump in. 

The problem is that every year I run into the same problem, 28degrees, 20 degrees, 10 degrees......what should I wear.  My shoes are half mesh as are my gloves.  My helmet is full of vents and my head is bald.  Every year I say that I am going to make some sort of matrix that shows temperature and what to wear.  I never do. 

To much clothing and I panic in the sweltering heat, sweating until I stop where I promptly freeze.  To little and my fingers and toes go numb.  It is better to start a little chilly and warm up but the other night my toes froze.

This year I plan on riding as much as possible, my biggest problem is that all of my cold weather stuff is shot and since I have been living in Virginia, I have not bothered to invest in cold weather stuff, at least not the stuff for Iowa. 

I think I am going to stop typing and develop a matrix.......oh, who am I kidding.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I am a Winner.....Sort of, thanks Salsa Cycles

I tried to win a bike one time in an online contest with a major bike company.  The entry requirement was a blog about bicycling and how it fits into your life.  Hence this blog.  I didn't win.  You will probably understand why when you stumble through this.  Besides, it was a stupid bike anyway.

Not long ago, I saw a link to the Reveal Your Path Postcard Contest on Salsa's Facebook page:
It reminded me of my previous failure so I quickly dismissed it.  Besides, I lack creativity and artistic ability.  But then I looked at the entry requirements and the Post Card could be anything and this is a great bike that I really want!  Then it hit me like a ton of heavy stuff (really it could have been light stuff adding up to a ton). 

While living in Islamabad, a friend made connections with a Jingle Truck guy.  Follow this link to a great article on Jingle Trucks.  It really is a great article on the culture of Jingle Trucks and you should read if you didn't.  The idea was that we could buy bits and pieces of their art for souvenirs.  It quickly became a trend and we found out they did custom work.  As a fan of Salsa Cycles I knew what I wanted so a friend of mine looked up the Pepper Globe on the Internet and we used his photo printer to make a terrible small print of the Pepper Globe.  A friend of mine translated in Urdu that I wanted the top green and the pepper red.  We used hand gestures to approximate size and agreed on the price of Pakistan Rupee 3,814 ($40).  I figured I would get a really bad rendition, but that is part of the fun too.  To my surprise it turned out far beyond my expectation.  The detail was amazing!!!  The best part was the Rs 3,814 got me two.  

So I used this amazing piece of work and wrote a "post card" applying it to the back with spray adhesive.  I packed it carefully and a few days later I saw this on Facebook!

  "Holy tin snips!  Wait till you see the latest "post card" entry that arrived today...but just remember, simple entries are great too!"

Then I went to their site and saw the following. 

They captured the detail well. 

In the end I did not win the Grand Prize, however, I won a nice Pro Moto stem with Ti hardware and a handlebar.  This was not a stupid bike and I would have loved to win it, but I will take a consolation prize of this magnitude.  

I replaced the stem on my Mukluk with this shiney and light upgrade and but the bars on my Giant Anthem X29er so I would have something with a more comfortable sweep.

This is the greatest thing I have ever won (besides the Alberston's grocery store coloring contest in which I earned $5 which was a lot for a 5 year old) and I love Salsa Cycles. 

Thumbs Up!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Old Man Mountain Sherpa meets the Salsa Mukluk

In previous posts I have discussed different methods of hauling stuff.  Stuff is another word for junk.  Of course I have used backpacks, messenger bags, a B.O.B. Trailer, Porcelain Rocket seat bag and handlebar bag (not frame bag).  These have all been effective methods some carry more than others and there are so many variables. 

The trailer was great but cumbersome and challenging to park.  If you want take everything inside out of the weather, cumbersome and time consuming but the dry bag is huge and works well.

Porcelain Rocket is great, may be a bit on the pricey side, but there are few companies that do what Scott does.  I guess that falls into supply and demand.  Well made and highly functional.  How much thought can you put into a seat bag....he has though of it all, there is even a rigid plastic sheet in the bottom so gravity doesn't pull your stuff out when you open it.  I also like the minimalistic approach.  I can carry boots and uniform and towel to work in a compact streamlined fashion.  Only drawback is it is not water fast, though the front bag is designed to hold a 10L dry bag. 

Now that winter is fast approaching I have decided it is time for another way to carry junk.  Technical winter clothing works great if used properly.  The right synthetic fleece and jacket can keep you comfy and dry.  Put on a backpack......the wet and cold sets in with the sweaty back and the stuff takes a long time to dry.   In order to ensure I have ample space to carry extra dry clothing and my work attire I have decided to go with a set of Ortlieb waterproof panniers and an Old Man Mountain Sherpa rack for the Muk (The Salsa Mukluk will hithertoforthen be referred to "The Panzer" (the German word for Armor, as in a German Tank or the Panzernashorn).

I typically do a lot of research before buying something.  After all, that is part of the fun.  What I found was that racks for bikes, even those made by companies that manufacture and sell fat bikes, require "manipulation" to fit on a fat bike.  The one exception that I found (there may be others) is the Old Man Mountain Sherpa.  They have specific models for the Salsa Mukluk and Pugsly.  I spoke with John and he was pleasant and quick to respond to questions sent by e-mail.    

It was simple to install with no manipulation required.

The fit kit (aluminum pieces on the left and right side are perfectly spaced.  I put a small washer between the frame and fit kit.  The rack was shipped with the fit kit pieces on the inside of the rack but this would require manipulation, which I was told it could handle.  However, with a hex wrench and a few turns of a 10mm open ended wrench I moved them to the outside.  Perfect. 

The guys at OMM recommended connecting the stabilizers to the seat stays just below the rim with the supplied rubber coated clamps.  I ride and XL and it does not appear that there is a big distance between the anchor point on the rack and eyelets.  I should probably pull our a tape and measure to see if there is a big difference.  After leveling and tightening I put some big dumb animal strength and tried to shift it laterally.  I didn't move so I think I will continue to use the eyelets vs going to the seat stay.  

The Orlieb Panniers with  dry bag construction and roll top will be here next week.  All I can say is that it better snow this year!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tsunami Rolling: Colombus Day edition

Pre Ride Action Stance

 We went for a ride on Duck Creek.  It is a paved path but this small his has a trail that the kids like to roll down.  It is not to intimidating and great for building confidence.

 The Chick on her full size ride.  She is cruising on 26" wheels and doing great.

Salsa Mukluk 

 Digga Attacking!

Nater needs to get off training wheels.  I don't think we will get there this year.  I am suprised he didn't rip them off going down this!

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Ogre

The Surly Ogre has become one of my favorites based on comfort and utility. 

I would like to quote a hero of mine, Han Solo, who said "She'll make point five beyond the speed of light. She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid."  Well except for the point five stuff but that is probably more my fault than the bike. 

The Ogre Crossing the Hennepin Canal

Here are the top three reasons I like this bike:

1.  As the Surly web page says, it is very versatile.  I will not go into all the details since Surly did a great job.  I was considering reducing the fleet by getting rid of my El Mariachi due to the infuriating Bushnell Eccentric Bottom Bracket.  The Ogre fit the bill nicely since I had once considered getting a Karate Monkey which is what the Ogre is based on.  The nice thing about it is the thought Surly put into it, allowing me to do just about anything I want.  I can easily mount racks and fenders.  I can use the wheels from my Las Cruces (which are rim brakes) or I can put disc brakes on.  29er MTB tires or 700c road/touring tires.  If I come across $1500 I can purchase a Rolhoff Speed Hub.  Basically the bike can change as my needs change.

Heavy Rear End:  trailers, fenders, racks, Rolhoff mounting plate on non-drive side.  This baby can do it all.

2.  Very reasonably priced.  I bought the frame from a LBS in Rock Island, IL and I paid under $500 so I was pleased.  Even though I bought the frame and built it up, the complete version is very reasonable but geared more toward the MTB side. 

3.  Very durable, like Han said, she may not look like much but I didn't want some fancy finish to worry about.  While I don't go out of my way to beat things up, I am a big dumb animal.  I didn't want to stress about the kids banging on it or parking it at a crowded bike rack.

The Build:  I built it with two things in mind

1.  Heavy duty commuting bike.  The area I live in has concrete streets with big seams in them.  They are uneven and  when it gets hot the tar softens and you can loose a tire in them.  My cyclocross bike can handle the bumps but I wanted a larger tire (700x45c) and my frame would not accept them.  This bike will take any 29er tire.

2.  Gravel Grinding.  Yeah, I jumped on the Gravel Grinding bandwagon.  After all I am in Iowa and there are lots of gravel roads.  Embrace the local culture, that is what travelling the world is all about.  Even travel to exotic Iowa!

Ready To Pounce

I wanted the bike with a 48/36/26 crank set so I could get a little extra power on the flats and descents.  I would have gone bigger but the frame it requires a top pull front mech and 48 teeth was the limit of the top pull MTB front derailleurs.  It has been a pretty good compromise.  I haven't tried it in a single track scenario but chain ring clearance could be an issue.

Aside from the unique qualities that Surly has put into the Ogre there is really nothing fascinating about the bike, the parts are pretty standard SRAM X.9, Avid V-brakes.......except for the handle bar.  I decided on the Jeff Jones Loop Bar over other options to include the Salsa Wood Chipper.  The Loop Bar really makes the bike stand out and it provides a large assortment of hand positions which is nice.   I have found that the back sweep makes them extremely comfortable.  I look forward to trying them on the single track.  It works well with my Porcelain Rocket handlebar bag.  Well worth the money.    

This winter I am going to replace the headset with one that has sealed bearings.  That will be one less thing to maintain.  I really like the Loaded AmXc headset.  It looks sharp.I also plan to put disc brakes on it, then I can use either cyclocross for commuting or the Salsa Semi 29ers from the red headed stepchild so I can take it on the trails.  That will probably be the final step of making the El Mariachi obsolete (I had to have it just sit there, but I don't ride single speed very much).  Since I plan to replace the headset I am going to strip it down and give it a dose of Frame Saver.

Things I dislike:  Obviously I purchased the bike for many of the reasons listed above.  It is a great bike however, there are a couple of minor things that I dislike.  These reasons involve rust.  When I asked the folks at Surly about this they sent me a info paper on their bikes and rust.  Of course they recommend Frame Saver in the frame.  For the outside they state that unless you leave it out in the rain, the rust is not damaging. That said I hate rust.  I am not sure why, it is offensive I guess.  But the Surly full cable housing guides catch water, captures it, and allows for little pools of rust.

  Water Trap

As do the all of the little threaded holes for mounting stuff.

 Bill and Ted Trailer Mount bolt hole = rust

Fork Blade rack mounting hole = rust

The other thing is this. 
I am not sure what this is called but there is a hole into the head tube which makes no sense to me.  

I am not a bike doctor and I certainly am not a rocket surgeon so I don't know what structural integrity this provides. I can tell you one thing, with out fenders water sprays directly from the tires into this contraption, collects and for some reason causes some serious rust that later runs down the frame like a little rusty river.  I am going to hit it with some frame saver this winter and see what happens.

Overall I love the bike and my dislikes are purely cosmetic.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

I love my poodles

This is Winston.  He is a standard poodle. 

Wintson likes to run, a lot.  He is only a couple of years old, 70 pounds, and he is full of energy.  He is great on a leash when we run and he tracks extremely well when I am on my bike.  He doesn't like to ride in cars.  He typically throws up.  That is why I don't buy a new car.  The Muk or El Mariachi are perfect as I don't climb or descend as fast as I do with my Anthem X 29er. 
Winston doesn't care about squirrels, he just wants to run.  My other poodle, Molly is a great hunter or at least she thinks she is.  She is terrible on a leash, lunging at every squirrel.  She likes to run and she would not have posed for photos like Winston does in the above photos.  She doesn't get to participate in these activities because she would be off trying to kill the evil squirrels.  Or mountain goats, one time I thought I was going to lose her over the edge of a cliff as she chased a mountain goat in Montana. 

 Hiking in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Montana.

 We spent a lot of time in the Chena River in Fairbanks, AK.

A classic before we all got old and grey!

Now she is a 55 pound lap dog.

Poodles do not provide much street cred but I love them anyway.