Sunday, June 09, 2019

Bentonville Before Starting the New Job

Loaded up and truckin'! Before starting my new job with Trek Bicycle next week, I had a gap after leaving my last job.  The beautiful Mrs K and I decided to use that gap to trek down to our new home away from home, Bentonville, Arkansas.  We talked it over with some friends and despite the big threats of rain, we all went in on an AirBnB RIGHT in downtown Bentonville.  It turned out to be a great decision because the rain had yet to materialize.
It was a fantastic little house, and after a lot of laughs we all headed to bed so we could get up and hit the trails.  Naturally, I was stressed about the rain so I bolted early in the morning to hit the Back 40 trail.  I had a fantastic ride, 24-ish miles of sweet single track similar to the Ozark Trail.  No rain!  Alas, there were hundreds of thousands of spider webs.
I met Mrs K and the rest of the crew for some more riding around Bentonville proper.  The All American trail is a dirt trail that parallels the concrete bike path around town, and it has the sweetest switchbacks and some really cool jumps.  We ended up in Slaughter Pen, hitting the features there and the downhill jump course.
We also had to hit the local bike shop.  Our main man Chris had broken a seatpost and it wasn't available.  We made the most of it by sampling the local wares.
The Beautiful Mrs K prepares for yet another mountain bike ride.  As you can see, our AirBnB house was super bright and a great place to stay.
I caught Deanna flying down the big jump track at Slaughter Pen.  She's getting better and better at mountain biking.  She had much more fun this time...despite having a pretty big wipeout.  It rained pretty big on Friday so we took to the bike paths.  We had just started down the swoopy switchbacks out of the downtown area and she slid out big time at 21 mph.  Honestly, she was a mess.  Both arms, one leg, full of road rash.  Plus she jammed her right fingers so badly they turned black and blue.  We did ride 15 more miles that day, through the flooded tunnels and over to the pump track at Blowing Springs.  A trip into CVS, bandaged like a war veteran, she was good to go!
Not to be deterred by heavy rainfall or damaged bodies, we all went for a hike to check out Coler.  It's a rugged trail that's only minutes from our house.
Just hiking up the trail (the heavy duty features are at the top), we encountered so many cool details, like the armored sections.  Up, up, and up it went.
Standing on top of the massive steel and wooden structure, one can imagine that it takes a lot of guts to do some of this stuff. This wooden ramp cuts off, letting the rider open-air for a moment before landing on a huge slab of rack and then into a jump line.  I didn't get photos of our line down, but let's just say it has some absolutely amazing berms and jumps on the way.  It was just too wet to ride this time.  Next time, we're doing Coler first...if only for the trip downhill.
 I don't know how she does it, but Mrs K was determined that we go out on the town.  Our basic destination was the Bike Rack Brewery, and once we got there we decided on the Holler for burgers and beers.  Bandaged up, she and Valerie beat Chris and I at shuffle board.  This is only slightly embarrassing, as I really didn't care about winning or losing.  I was more entertained by her.
Our main goal for Saturday was getting to Hobbs State Park for the grand opening of the new trails there.  There is quite a network of singletrack there, but we were worried that it would be too wet to ride.  Not so.  Not only was the drive there very pretty, but Hobbs is one gorgeous place and the trails somehow drained off most of the water.  I say most, because I hit a lot of mud holes.  However, there were throngs of people there enjoying the trails along with me, so I took those puddles in stride.  I ended up riding a lot more than I thought because I had no idea where I was going. I ended up with 63 miles (40 off-road) and 4200 feet of climbing for the few days we were there.  Plus some great hiking (2 miles and 223 feet).

All said, we had a blast.  We rode bikes, ate some amazing food, stayed at a really cool house, drank some good and bad alcohol, learned how to apply Tagederm, and laughed a hell of a lot.

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Webster Groves Pump Track

There is a super short pump track in Webster Groves.  Who knew?  My brother in law Kevin knew about it long before I did.  Eli and I trucked over with our BMX bikes and found this wee little bundle of fun to be a blast.  He's still learning but he's getting the hang of it. Remember, the beauty of the pump track is how little you have to pedal to go max speed.
The corners are naturally really tight, with vertical tops.  But they're really, really grippy so you can put your faith in your tires.  Trouble is, you run out of turn really fast. 
A couple laps and I was going as fast as I could possibly go. Which probably doesn't seem very fast unless you're the one on the track.  It's only about 24" wide in the straights so speed is both your friend and your enemy.
In other words, going as fast as possible in the corners means the speed is too fast for the making the straights.  At least for now.  I'd like to see how fast FAST is.

Utah Whirlwind Tour

Very recently, I took an early morning flight to Salt Lake City, Utah for a job interview.  No, the job isn't in Utah.  But I couldn't pass up this job and I couldn't pass up the trip.  The interview was super positive and super short, which meant I had hours to drive the rental car to see the sights.  I drove straight up the canyon to Brighton, Utah. This 15 mile drive was breath taking.  There was drizzle and low hanging clouds in Salt Lake, and that gave way to moments of sunshine and brilliant blue skies.  As I drove higher, that turned nasty with dropping temperatures and driving snow.  I'll just leave you with photos, which I'll admit are very amateur and tourist-like...but I am an amateur and I am a tourist!  Yes, I'm lucky enough to have gotten the job, too!

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Car Watching - 1965 Corvette Sting Ray

It's finally car watching season and on a walkabout at lunch I caught this 1965 'Vette.  She's beautiful but obviously a driver, not a trailer queen...just like I like 'em!
They're incredibly small, these C2 cars.  But interestingly enough, the interiors are tall and wide.  This one was an automatic, but I didn't want to stick my phone inside this person's car to snap a photo.  You know, for fear of being branded a vandal or something.
This car could have had a 327 V8 or a 396 V8.  Either way, it probably sounds great and gets down the road just fine.
The money shot.  Most of the time, my perception of a car is built on how it looks in the 3/4 rear view, and the C2 coupes do the trick for me.  It's positively amazing from this view.
There is certainly some styling elements that made it to the '67 Buick Riviera here.  I'm fond of the exhausts that exit the rear valance.
And there it is.  Proof that some people will argue about anything... at some point the Corvette was a Stingray, and at other points it was a Sting Ray.  Haha, it's still an awesome car.

Photo Fun in Jefferson City

The Beautiful Mrs K and I had a lot of spare time while we were in Jefferson City this past weekend. Eli's event lasted the entire weekend and we only attended certain portions of that.  So we rode our bikes in the hills, drove around to see the sights, and took a lot of photos.  I hope you enjoy them.