Destination Utah!

I’m back in Utah, Salt Lake City to be precise. The last time was in June, 2012 for my initial training with Backroads.  Before I left the Bay Area, I was able catch up with some friends and family.  One of these was Jim Thill, the owner of Hiawatha Cyclery, and formerly the writer of a popular blog called Oil Is For Sissies.  I’d been following Jim online for more than 6 years, so I was excited to meet up in person while he was in town on a little sunny winter bike tour away from his native Minneapolis. Hiawatha Cyclery is one of the few Rivendell dealers and focuses on utilitarian style touring and mountain bikes.

Jim Thill WC

We met up in Walnut Creek, grabbed a bite to eat and then headed out to one of the local open space trail networks.

Jim in the hills

Jim and I have quite similar taste in bikes, that is very heavy steel disc brake fat tire Rohloff touring bikes.

Jim Pedals Uphill Jim Full Portrait

Here’s Jim’s full rig. It’s a Surly Disc Trucker, with a Rohloff Speedhub, Shimano Dynamo front hub, Tubus racks, and a combination of Revelate, Carradice, and Carousel Design Works bags.  He was headed out into the hills for a solo campout.

Disc Trucker Front End

Beautiful segmented titanium handlebar with Rohloff twist shifter and Ergon grips. Oh, and lots of bags and cables and such.

Surly Carradice

A handsome and well used waxed canvas Carradice saddlebag.

Surly Rohloff

All the practical accoutrements one could need on a bicycle.  Fenders, racks, big tires, lights, bags. Jim shipped his bike both ways on Amtrack, which apparently is convenient and less expensive than flying with it as long as you live near a train station. My parents had their tandem shipped out from Bilenky Cycle Works in Philadelphia this way when they purchased it.

Inglis WC

My own rig lightly packed, just out for the afternoon.

Before Olivia left for her big New Zealand adventure, we went for a little dirt ride in the Oakland hills.


That sign doesn’t mean anything to her!


Blue Bike with Brown Trees.

Brown Boots Blue Jeans

Blue Jeans and Brown Boots.

White Beard

For Christmas, I was chosen to take on the Santa Claus role, which I fulfilled with my best efforts.

Grandma and Santa

With my Grandma Brown, and a carefully checked list of good and bad boys and girls.

Mike F Bart

Mike Foley with his new road bike.  We worked together in the Czech Republic and got together a few times while I was in town.

Mountain Man

Snowshoeing in Utah.

I’ve run into a little setback recently.  While commuting to work on Friday, everything was all well and good until I reached the parking lot of the warehouse, hit some ice and went down hard.  I sprained my ankle pretty bad and am now off my feet for a couple of weeks. I’m not too happy about this, but things could always be worse!

Anybody have suggestions for a good winter studded tire? I’ve never tried any.

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4 Responses to Destination Utah!

  1. Feet January 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    What a great adventure! We miss you in SF!

  2. adventure! January 28, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    “Jim shipped his bike both ways on Amtrack (sic), which apparently is convenient and less expensive than flying with it as long as you live near a train station.”

    Yeppers to that. The bike boxes are large and capacious, and all one generally has to do is turn handlebars and remove pedals for it to fit in the box. Not the endless futzing and parts removal one would need to get a bike in a box for the plane.

  3. Olivia February 1, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    1. Met a guy recently whose boxed bike (and packed touring bags full of gear) was stolen from Amtrack. Suspected employees but ??? Good to have insurance. Yow!
    2. Haven’t downloaded the images yet, but if that’s the photo of me riding the non bike trail, I am innocent! It wasn’t signed as such at the start. Maybe the stairs should’ve been a hint? 😉

  4. Thomas Keenan March 5, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    Hello Daniel,

    I purchased snowshoes a while back during a season of real personal trauma.
    Having worked in outdoor retail for 15 years I should hove at least tried snowsoeing sooner.

    I personally feel snowshoeing compliments cycling completely.

    I do miss the regular posts. Good luck in the new home!

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