Month: May 2014

Surly LHT Deluxe Build Is Finally Done!


SON Schmidts Dynamo Edelux II mounted and functional. Light is way bad ass to say the least. Extremely pleased with dyno hub & dyno light choice. Mounted the Edelux II light using a pimp mount from


Wasn’t entirely sure where I wanted to mount the front light. I didn’t want to mount upside down as I opted for the light senso feature which only allows for right side up mounting. When set light will come on when dusk that and reflective facet design is for right side up mounting. Upside down model doesn’t have the auto senso feature.


Rear light is mounted as well, I opted not to use dyno rear version which would of been cheaper but didn’t want to route a power cable splice off front hub. Rear light takes a single AA and can get 38-40hrs. (Due to auto senso) so figured a AA battery was better than needing a cable routed from front to rear.

My Expedition Kayak In Route


Bye Bye SeaArk and hello Eskimo. I’ll explain; so I finally sold my 2006 SeaArk 1660 Pro last weekend. Took a bit if a beating on price, which is to be expected with most used boat sales.

I only purchased the SeaArk so I could include my family on boating adventures which only happened three times total, two of which I feIt I forced and they all hated it every time. Funny thing is it was the wife that said “you should buy a vessel so we all could go out together” a husband dream come true right? That very comment was a free pass to purchase a boat big enough for us all but them hating it the boat just sat. The SeaArk was just too big for me alone so I would always just take out the Hobie kayak.

I still have my Hobie Adventure 16′ kayak that I can sail but have been eyeballing a newer high-end better sailing more potential and faster kayak. Buying a real sailboat is just not realistic given my family not being interested can’t justify the expense.

Thing is I was born and raised on an island from birth to age 18 before I moved away : ( so being on the water was a big part of my life and enjoy it a great deal.

With all above being said used the SeaArk money to help fund My Eskimo 18.6 Sea Kayak cost.

The Easy Rider Eskimo model I chose is made of Carbon Graphite / Kevlar composite weave. 18.6′ in length weighs only 48Lbs. Can carry 450lbs of gear.

Eskimo 18.6 can be regular kayak as well as a bay / ocean worthy sailing vessel. I purchased mine with 2 large air foil sails, 2 mahogany leader boards, 12′ outrigger for counter weight stability to include a weight bearing trampoline.

I’m touring the Chesapeake Bay this summer, easily a week long trip with beach camping etc. I know, I know… I’m crazy but very excited about this .

Below are couple more pics of my custom rig before being crated and shipped to local terminal.



I posted from my iPhone so please forgive writing grammar etc…

Arkel Grand Tour GT series 54/18BP


My Arkel Grand Tourisme panniers arrived yesterday. So I test fit them and snapped a picture for a visual. Rear is a GT-54 and fronts are GT-18.

One of the GT-18’s transforms into a back pack. I can hold a ton if stuff with these. For smaller getaways can just use the GT-18’s. Also picked up set of the rain covers.

These bags are very well made, I plan on using these on my Eskimo 18.6′ touring kayak. GT-18’s will fit it the front and rear hatches and larger one on the ridged composite plank between outrigger poles. I’m getting ready for a week long Chesapeake Bay tour the second week in June. More on that later.

Busch & Muller Toplight and Crane Bell


My rear light came today for my rear Nitto rack : ) I decided to go non dynamo for the rear as I didn’t want to run cable to the rear from front dynamo hub.

Light is a Busch & Muller Toplight Linetec LED Line Senso and takes just 1 AA battery so it still minimal. I think they last about 38 hours. With senso that may vary?

I purchased bothfrom Harris Cyclery which had the Senso technology version. Rivendell carries them but were out of stock and didn’t offer the senso version. Light cost me $48.

Decided to also pick up a copper crane bell. I liked that tone better over the silver and bronze versions.

Also Thursday my front and rear Arkel Touring Panniers will be here. So I’ll
Be sure to post those as well.

New Fixie Berthoud Gilles Saddle & Front Brake


Month or two back I replaced my Kagero Fixie San Marco Concor black suede saddle with a Berthoud Gilles black-ish / brown-ish cork pattern leather saddle. I wanted the Concor for my Salsa Warbird Ti gravel grinder to replace the OEM that it came with it. Whether it be a Brooks , San Marco Concor or a Berthoud my bikes and ass are happy.


I even picked up the Berthoud bar ends for my Cinelli horn handle bars to finish off the look. May have to zoom in to see them?

Also as you can see from the title and pic I decided to add a front brake for those “OH SHIT” moments where skidding alone doesn’t not help. I’m using a CX style brake short pull lever with Shimano Ultegra calipers. The B43 Velocity wheels are not machined lipped for rim brakes however rim being deep flat and anodized works and helps. I also run a special brake pad compound that aids in stopping (no squeal )


Surly LHT Deluxe w/Nitto Racks


Installed my front and rear Nitto Racks on my Surly. It’s storming here so had to snap indoor pics but I’ll post better ones tomorrow maybe. I still need 2 more Nitto Rod bolts and spacers before I can call the racks done, those are on order.

Today I purchased online a rear light to mount on the rear rack. They too have been out of stock so had to wait for new shipment. Tomorrow I’ll be mounting the front dyno light and wire to SON hubs. Can’t wait to mount the pannier bags and head out for its first 3 day ride and camp.

HIBIKI 12 Whisky


In honor of my Japanese Nitto bike racks arriving I popped the cork on my HIBIKI 12 whisky distilled and bottled in Japan by Suntory. This is a 12 YO blended malt whisky with 43% ABV. matured in plum liqueur casks.

Bottle in its self is a thing if beauty. 24 Facets representing both hours in a day and seasons according to lunar calendar. This product wasn’t the easiest to locate and is available in limited supply. Most places only get a couple bottles if lucky enough to get it in the first place. Price runs $64-$69.

HIBIKI 12 is very good and has won ton of awards in 2013 alone. Grain taste is noticeable in this blend but not in a bad way, just different. It’s worth the. $64 I paid and will enjoy it in my rotation.

A toast to good health and safe adventures.

Nitto Bike Racks Arrived : )


Ordered front and rear Nitto racks for my Surly Long Haul Trucker Deluxe In native color of “polish bling”. Both front and rear I purchased online from Rivendell Bicycle Works. Front and rear racks were out of stock when I went shopping so I waited patiently for some time for them to arrive. Received email notification that they where back in stock last week and pulled the trigger on the below.

Qty. 1 Nitto Big Front 34F
Qty. 1 Nitto Big Back Rack Large 33R

Nitto custom makes these racks for Rivendell. Nitto racks are beautiful, hand made in Tokyo Japan. Racks are chromoly with nickel plating. These ultimate touring puppies cost me $200ea. (free shipping) and well worth it IMO.

Touring pannier bags are on their way as well. I plan on mounting up these racks this weekend. Mounted pics to follow shortly. Wear sun glasses when looking at these in the sun.