2008 Cycling Recap

I liked John’s entry on this subject, so I’m copying it. It’s a good reminder of what I’ve done and enjoyed.


The truth is that I probably rode less miles in 2008 than in a long time. I didn’t do any multi-day touring and the current version of my commute is about 7 miles shorter than the one that I was doing in 2007 (but faster and more reliable).

The real riding highlight for me this year was spending the week in Mazama, up in the North Cascades. I biked or hiked or both pretty much every day. Some of the rides were with friends, some were solo. I really enjoyed the scenery, the terrain, and having friends come and visit us. I hope we can repeat it in 2009.

My bike camping was in three overnighters. All were great, and very different from each other. The highlight was a quick jaunt with John Speare from his house to Badger Lake. The route was great and it was great to spend some time with him in person. He is lucky to live so close to such great overnight destinations. I think we’re pretty lucky in Seattle too, but the smaller size of Spokane opens up even more options.

The other two were both with point83. One was Ben Country 3.0, which was a nice overnighter up to Fort Flaggler near Port Townsend. That ride always comes early in the year and is a good reminder of how to bike camp. The ride up was great, somehow I managed to ride solo for most of it even though we had a group of 30-40 people. I really liked the quiet time. The ride home was with Remi (now on a cross country trip in the middle of winter) and really nice too…despite the rain and having drank too much the night before.

On July 3rd we had another camping trip to Green Mountain. What a great location and so close into Seattle (about 25 miles plus a ferry ride from my house). I hope to repeat that trip again this year.

Mark Vande Kamp and I also have a weekly (more like bi-weekly) evening ride which I really enjoy. When the weather is bad we skip it and work on projects in the basement instead. The rides are more social than anything, but they are a nice balance of miles and socializing.


I’ve been on a kick to simplify for the last few years. I can’t say that I’m being terribly effective at it, but this year was one of selling more than buying.

New Bikes

I did pretty well here. I only acquired two bikes,and I built half of the frame for one of them. This one (or one like it,I already have ideas for the second version) is a keeper. I don’t use it every day, but I do like having something that can haul larger loads but which rides pretty much like a hybrid.

The other bike was a mountain bike. Every few years I sell my mountain bike, then have some ride where I could use one and regret it. That happened this year, so I bought one. I don’t even have any photos of it. The IvyCycles is built so that I can use it as a mountain bike, but the fit is really better for the road. I have ideas of how to fix that on the next bike that I build.

Sold Bikes

I sold this Bike Friday Tikit. I owned two of them, but I only need to own one folding bike. This one was converted to a SRAM S7 internal hub and was a great bike. The medium fits me better with drop bars, so I kept it. The Tikit got a lot of use in the first half the year, but less in the second.

The Kogswell was my first low-trail bike and I really enjoyed being a part of the prototyping process for it. I just didn’t use it much anymore since building up my RB-T urban bike and the IvyCycles. It went to a new home and then was promptly stolen. There are only two of these bikes in Seattle (5 in the world, the 6th was painted black) and the other one is almost never used. If you see a periwinkle colored Kogswell let me know where and I’ll tell the rightful owner.

My Trek 630 is on permanent loan to John Speare. This is kind of cheating because it just means that it lives in my office at work. It isn’t in the basement, and that is a step in the right direction.

What does that leave me with?

  • IvyCycles light touring bike
  • RB-T Urban Bike
  • Cycle Truck
  • Tandem
  • Tikit
  • Mountain Bike

I’m building a new bike this winter that logically replaces the RB-T. The RB-T probably isn’t going anywhere though. Not sure what I’ll kick out.


2008 was the year of fabrication for me. I rebuilt my workshop and tripled it’s size, making myself a respectable frameshop. I learned basic machining skills and bought a lathe and a mill. I built the Cycle Truck listed above, built many racks and little bits for myself, taught some friends how to braze, and made a lot of metal shavings. I spent a lot of money on tooling, and hope that I can keep the spending down in 2009.

I think it’s obvious from the blog that I enjoy this hobby. Right now I feel like I’m halfway done with too many projects (building a frame jig, new dropouts on the Tikit, rack for the tandem). I’m trying to finish those up soon and focus better in 2009. My major planned project is my first full frame. It’ll look a lot like the IvyCycles or RB-T.

The biggest downside with this hobby is that it cuts into my riding time. I have a finite amount of free time, and right now fab is taking more of it. I’m okay with that, but hope that in the summer of 2009 there can be a bit more balance.

Non-Bike Bike Things

These aren’t really related to bikes, but they are in my mind. 2008 is the year that I first cross country skied and the first year that we owned a kayak. I really enjoy both. They remind me of bicycle touring. Christine is into both too, which is a big win compared to bikes. I don’t like that both usually start with a car ride, but I can live with it.

In 2009 I’m hoping that we’ll do our first kayaking overnight trip.


  1. Brandon Ives says:

    It’’s almost like we”re switched places. I didn”t build much of anything in 2007, but got a bunch of riding in. 2008 is starting out pretty good with 3 fixed-gear rides, about 80 miles total, so far in sub-freezing temps.

    I”m glad you”re branching out into XC skiing and kayaking, they complement cycling quite well.

  2. AlexWetmore says:

    My 2008 started out well too, with about 60 miles of rides late last week, all on the IvyCycles/Rohloff. It was good to get some miles in.