Years End ..New beginnings!

First off, cheers to all fellow cyclists, kayakers, coffee and Scotch lovers : ) I always think I have lots to share but as for others who are interested its always a guess? I can only post what I can appreciate and hope others do as well.

Big plans for me in 2015 for both cycling and kayaking so stay tuned! Fads and trends come and go and don’t always follow hype but am intrigued by a few, some more affordable than others. First mention…. being a coffee lover is Bullet Proof Coffee. I received the below bundle for Christmas. The Nutiva Coconut Manna is a personal touch as I’m a huge coconut fanatic and been known to put this in my coffee past several years as well as on my sockeye salmon fillet. I avoid using coffee-mate coconut creamer fake crap although it’s very tasty lips don’t agree with artificial coconut. I don’t use the Nutiva manna and the Brain Octane (coconut oil MTC blah blah) together as it’s either one or the other depending on mood. I can honestly say it’s in deed most satisfying experience. Recipe is simple but Google it for granularity if need be and adjust to preference plus or minus portions etc..


1 8oz cup of Bullet Proof Coffee. I recommend using an AeroPress from Arobie. Otherwise pour over method works too. Other Arabica bean will work or use a Peruvian coffee (shade grown) coffee. I prefer Maryland roaster ChocoSombra 416 degree. A light roast and so very delicious with tons of character. 12oz bag can be purchased from Frederick, MD Gravel & Grind for $13. Gravel & Grind (Steel and Wool) Adventure Cycling & Hobo camping culture has the 416 roasted exclusively for them. Try it you will thank me I promise.

As for the Hobo mention, no disrespect to the homeless whatsoever but rather depicting minimalist supertramp have coffee will travel adventure cycling with camping. Check out Gravel & Grind online. They are new and building up the brand. They will also have a brick and mortar shop downtown Frederick MD which opens in early Spring 2015. We also will be hosting rides and portion will support local soup kitchens to feed the homeless. Moving on to the recipe.

1 scoop AeroPress coffee slightly packed.
1 tbs Kerry Gold Unsalted Grass Fed Butter
1 tsp of Upgraded Brian Octane or Coconut Oil. If coconut lover like me use Nutiva Manna as it has the oil on top and the pureed coconut meat (super good if fan otherwise skip and use tasteless organic cold press coconut oil of choice. Combine ingredients and blend for 30 seconds and serve.


In closing… Is the above a fad or hype? I don’t know but it’s tastes really good IMO and has cognitive benefits or so they claim? To me its just a vessel in delivering fats. Can’t argue it does make for a good vessel : ) Some fads stick around and evolve others die off. Below are some 2014 fads so time will tell?

Gravel Grinder specific bikes
Bullet Proof Coffee w/butter and coconut oil
Fat Tire Bike Boom
27.5 MTB Wheels / Geometry
29er+ MTB continues
Boom in Small craft Bourbon / Rye Whiskeys (ugh = overpriced)
Ketosis Diet (high fat zero or minimal carb ) It works but = zero energy riding bikes : (
No Age Statement Scotch Releases…. booo. And independent USA Whiskey bottlers (not distillers….booo).

There are a few more but will post on that and the above separately in 2015.


18.6′ Expedition Kayak on Jeep Rubicon

With roof rack completed, today seemed like a good day to test load / mount / secure the kayak for transport. I staged the loading so I could eyeball and adjust for proper fitment as needed. First few pics are Stages 1&2 preload. I used a bathroom rug with non-slip bottom to protect hull during loading.


Rear goal post trailer hitch lowers which is designed for opening pickup truck tailgates I use it for preloading the kayak. Rear goal post also have hull rollers for assisted placement. Stage 1 preload pic below.


Stage 2 preload


Rest of the pics are adjusting / tweaking saddles and footings and best way to secure with straps etc. Decided to test fit the 12′ outrigger as well. Not 100% dialed yet in but very close. I’ll test load a few times so I’m good at it and faster.





I still have rear led flood lights to mount for night / early morning rigging. More pics to follow shortly.

Jeep Roof Rack / Kayak / Bike Rack Progress

Ok fellow adventure enthusiast, I finally completed my adventure jeep rack! Portions of this is custom built or altered but used off shelf products where I could. If you been following then you know I have a 19′ touring / sailing kayak with 12′ outrigger that needs to be transported with ability to load and unload safely solo . Being a jeep is challenging in the sense that it’s wheel base is short but also need clearance to remove freedom top or entire top for soft top season. With jeep having a 3″ lift comes with it’s own challenges. Knowing those challenges knew I needed to fabricate several components for all of this to work together. Oversized spare tire caused some challenges as well so I set out to cater to both kayaking and biking whether it be MTB or road biking with option to remove either bike or kayak modules as needed. Also wanted a well fit snug cradling of both Kayak and bike while keeping security in mind. Also needed the ability to lower the rear field goal receiver post extension to assist with loading and unloading the 19′ kayak solo. Kayak only weighs 54Lbs. so not too heavy but big and cumbersome so any assist is welcomed.

After this weekend now I can safely and securely load and transport both my bike and Kayak rig. Video of loading to be posted shortly.


First photo is of the adventure transport system. Keep in mind this system is the Roof Rack, kayak mounts / bike mount. Still need a box for up top that is 10′ for outrigger polls paddles, leader boards and dual air foil sales etc.


Some more photos, some of me test fitting my Single Speed MTB bike. Kayak test fits to follow shortly.




More pics to follow shortly, work in progress so stay tuned : )

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…

LifeLine Extending Shovel / Paddle


Picked up a pair of these retractable shovels for $29 shipped. Super light weight and easily packed and carried. Good for dirt snow and sand ….fire pits or shit pits it’s a nice to have resource . Can store things in the hollow handles. Best of all they can also be used as kayak paddles which I’ve done and they perform rather well. I keep one of these in my Jeep and other in the wife’s FJ Cruiser.

Klean Kanteen Reflect Bottle


Aka …Hydro bling : ) Polished stainless, holds 27oz / 800ml top cap is bamboo which is a nice touch. I purchased two of these along with polished stainless bottle cages which complements my other polished LHT components. Ooh now I can bring my Scotch camping…. WOOT! Bike is just about complete and planing for its first outing this Saturday. Final touch are my Nitto tour racks I have on order.

Hobie Mirage Adventure Kayak


Almost that time of year again, Time to UV protect and carnauba wax it. This is a great Kayak if you at times need hands free operation. Hands free propulsion is performed via Mirage Drive system. This kayak is 16′ and material is rotomolded polyethylene, I prefer Kevlar \ Carbon composite but have to consider price point. I have the sail option kit with is freaking awesome and optional daggerboard for added control. Has remote retractable rudder and steering via cockpit hand levers.