The Monocog Log

This page is an ongoing journal of my experiences with my Redline Monocog. Each bike I've owned has evolved over time and I thought maybe it would be interesting to try to keep some kind of record. My pal Greg Zaborac agreed and wrote: "I think the Monocoq log is a great idea.  There's nothing better than reading about bikes!". So Greg, this page is for you.

If you have questions or comments about this page or any of my other web pages, feel free to drop me a note at

kentsbike (at)    I figure you are smart enough to know to replace the (at) with the real symbol in the email address.

First off, let's have some pictures. These photos were taken over a few different days and things evolve a bit, so don't get confused if you see different saddles or slightly different bags on the bike.

I'm going to be racing the Monocog on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Race so I've been riding the bike since December with basically almost all  the gear I think I'll be taking with me on that 2500 mile ride. These pictures will show some of that gear.

Monocog Left Side

The right side view of the Monocog.

Monocog Left Side

The left side view of the Monocog. I no longer use the little black side bag.

Monocog Front

A closeup showing off the wooden aerobars/front bag holder/light&computer mount. The sticker on the top tube reads "If money were no object, what would you do with your life?" My answer is that I'd be living in a small apartment in Issaquah, working in a bike shop and racing the length of the Great Divide.

I actually made those aerobars alongside the Cedar River Trail. Mike Curiak wrote me and strongly recommended aerobars so I'd been thinking about the problem. I was riding along and saw some fallen branches that looked about the right size so I pulled over and spent a few minutes working with the little saw blade on my Swiss Army knife and fashioned a set of bars. I always travel with tools and some spare cord, so I was able to lash the aerobars in place. Back at home I made things more secure, using toe-straps in addition to the cord and figured out how I could carry the bags, light and computer.

Wooden Aerobars

An extreme closeup of the aerobars. The item at the left of the picture is a bear bell. The blue map holder is a nylon pencil case stiffened with coroplast. The fender is made from a portion of a coroplast campaign sign.

Map Case

Another view of the front end of the bike.

Rear stuff

A view of the back of the bike. The coroplast holder on the top of the drybag holds a solar panel. The main Cateye headlight can run for two nights on 4 NiMH AA cells which means I'll have two days of sunlight to charge the alternate set of batteries. The saddle is a WTB Rocket V, which has a nice shape, but I don't like the stitching on this model. Since this photo was taken, I've swapped the saddle for a smooth-topped version of the WTB Rocket V. Between the saddle and the post is the famous Butt Buddy.

The drybag holds my sleeping bag, tarp and bivy sack. The tarp and bivy will probably be replaced by a Tarptent by the time I actually race the Divide.

I'm currently carrying two one liter bota bottles in addition to my water bottles. The botas attach to the sides of the rack and coroplast panels protect the botas from abrasion. For the actual race, I'll probably replace these with larger capacity bottles.

Wet Kent

Here I am on the Monocog, grinning in the rain. OK, maybe I'm grimacing. Sometimes, it's hard to tell!

Monocog Log

Late June and early July 2004 -- I've been reading on the web about the Great Divide Mountain Bike race. Man, that sounds like fun. I've got to get a bike that will handle the Divide.

7/3/04 -- Sold the Madison to Cindy for $150. I got a ride home from work with her and Michael.

7/6/04 -- Assembled the Holdsworth into a bike for Eric. Assembled the Voodoo into a single speed MTB with various parts I had in the parts pile.

7/7/04 -- Rode from home to the trail behind the high school, up to Highpoint and back via Sunset trail. Rear wheel is shot, creaking like anything. Rode the bike around town some. The frame is really too big and the BB is to short for the crank I'm using. This is going to be too much work for a bike that is too big.

I've been doing some research and it looks like a Redline Monocog is a good way to go.

7/8/04 -- Rick has a buddy named Art Harris at Seattle Bike Supply and Art can get me a really good deal on a Monocog. I've checked the specs and the bikes run a bit long in the top-tube, so I'm getting a small one. If I take to the whole single speed thing, I can always get something else later. I'm a little worried about the narrow spacing in the back of the bike, but it's steel and I can probably stretch the frame to fit a more normal sized hub if needed.

7/12/04 -- My Monocog arrived today but I didn't have time to build it.

7/13/04 -- I went in early to work and built up the Monocog. Tonight I towed the Monocog home by strapping the fork and front wheel to the rear rack of Smokey.

7/15/04 -- Made a prototype cardboard tailbox for the Monocog. Rode up Squak Mountain, out on trail to Sammamish Park and up to the Plateau. Harvested some coroplast. Back at home I made a coroplast trailer. I swapped out the stock saddle for a Specialized Body Geometry saddle.

7/17/04 -- Tailbox sways too much. I'll need to replace it with a rack and a conventional tailbox or something.

7/19/04 --

Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 16:56:56 -0700
From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: [BOB] Redline Monocog -- a brief ride report

Hey iBOBs,

I gotta make this quick, but last Tuesday I got a Redline Monocog and I figured I'd post my impressions of the bike.

First off, it's cool. It's a basic black single speed mountain bike with pretty tasteful looking red decals. I'd been figuring I'd peal the decals off it until I got the bike and I've decided to keep them.

I did trim the stock bars by a few centimeters and I added a set of bar ends for climbing and so I can stretch out. The bike is fairly long, so I ordered a small frame. I've got quite a bit of seatpost showing and I swapped out the stock post for an Easton post I had in my pile of bike bits. I also swapped out the big BMXish pedals for a set of MKS touring pedals with Power Grips. And right now it's got a Specialized Body Geometry saddle (not bad, actually) but tomorrow I'm getting a sprung Brooks from Ken Stagg to try out on it.

I built it up last Tuesday and towed it home from the shop behind Smokey.

I did a few commutes on the bike but Sunday was the real test ride. I rode from my place in Issaquah up to Snoqualmie Pass via various trails and little roads. Nothing real technical but round trip was 174 kilometers of fun, fun, fun.

This bike rocks. It's geared with a 32 chainring and a 16 tooth freewheel. It does wonders for my spin on the roads but it's low enough I can get up everything I found off-road. It's like a giant BMX bike and it just flies. It feels lighter than it's 25 lbs.

Major fun.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA
Subject: re: [BOB] Redline Monocog -- a brief ride report
Date: Mon, 19 Jul 2004 17:40:09 -0700
From: "Kent Peterson" <>

On Mon, 19 Jul 2004 17:24:07 -0700, "Brad Upton" <>

> ><snip>
> >
> >I built it up last Tuesday and towed it home from the shop
> >behind Smokey.
> >
> ><snip>
> >
> Now, I've ridden my bike home while guiding a passive, passengerless
> bike by holding onto the bars and/or stem of the second bike. However,
> it can be tricky to steer two bikes at once using this technique. It's
> also tough to shift and to brake, since I only have one hand with which
> to operate the controls of my bike while the other hand guides the
> "passenger" bike. So I found this statement intriguing ("towed it home
> from the shop behind Smokey").
> Kent, how did you tow a bike home behind your main ride?

Smokey has a rear rack and a tailbox (sort of a trunkish thing that somebody on this list dubbed a "Barbie Coffin"). I towed the Monocog home like this:

Pull the front wheel of the Monocog

Pull the Monocog up behind Smokey on the left side

Wrap the right fork leg of the Monocog in an arm warmer to protect the paint.

Rest the right handlebar of the Monocog on the top of the tailbox with the right fork leg flush against Smokey's rear rack.

Tie the fork leg to the rack and the bars to the tailbox using a couple of old innertubes.

Tie the front wheel of the Monocog across the top of the Monocog's handlebars and the tailbox.

Ride home carefully on a slightly longer route than usual to avoid some of the worst Redmond traffic (24 kms at 19.4 kph average)

Kent "Creatively Carless" Peterson
in Issaquah and Redmond WA USA

7/27/04 --

Date: Tue, 27 Jul 2004 15:09:22 -0700
From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: [BOB] Micro reviews: Cateye HL-EL500, Brooks Champion Flyer and more

OK first off let me state that I'm reviewing these items while under the influence of performance enhancing substances, namely coffee and chocolate.

I spent a good chunk of my weekly allowance (married iBOBs with kids in college will understand the concept of a weekly allowance) on a Cateye HL-EL500 light. This is the 1 Watt LED light with the fabled Luxeon Star LED. I haven't done a lot with this in the dark yet but so far, I'm not super impressed. On paper it rates out at 1000+ candlepower whereas the HL-EL300 rates 400+ candlepower. To my eyes, the EL500 doesn't come out that much brighter than the EL300. The EL500 is maybe a bit brighter with a bit tighter beam but really the lights seem darn close. The EL500 is more waterproof and sleeker looking but if you've already got an EL300, I don't know if it's worth upgrading to the EL500. And the EL500 still has a mount that seems too fragile for the weight of the light. With every Cateye light, I wind up adding some additional strapping around the light and the mount. This cuts the vibration of the light in the mount and provides a failsafe in case the mount fails. I'll keep my EL500 light, but I don't think it lives up to the hype.

The other new thing I got recently is a Brook Champion Flyer. This like a Brooks B17 with coil springs and I got this slightly used saddle from good guy iBOB Ken Stagg. I've got this mounted on my Monocog and it's just terrific. The sprung Brooks is just the thing to take the edge off some of the off-road pounding I do on the Monocog. I've always said that cushy tires and bent elbows and knees are your best suspension but a sprung Brooks is a very good thing.

And the Monocog itself is a joy. I've put 500 kilometers on this bike in the past 12 days and it's a blast. Sunday I rode home from work in a roundabout loop that took in the Puget Power, Tolt Pipeline, Snoqualmie Valley and Highpoint trails. I saw a darn few people, a couple of deer and basically just rode my bike. It would make a very boring Mountain Dew commercial but it's terrific way to spend a few hours on a Sunday evening.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 07:15:41 -0700
From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: [BOB] Brooks Champion Flyer part 2

A few days ago I mentioned how I was enjoying the comfort of a Brooks Champion Flyer on my Monocog. Well, I'm going to revise my original review.

While the saddle is very comfortable in terms of the butt-saddle interface, I'm not sure the springs will work for me. The flex of the springs seems to be causing some pain in my lower back. As part of a quasi-controlled experiment, I'm going back to the Specialized Body Geometry (rigid railed) saddle I'd been using previously. Now it could just be that I'm not quite up to the pounding of off-road stuff but I'll know more when I ride more.

Have any other iBOBs tried the sprung Brooks saddles and then gone back to a more solid saddle?

Kent "an ongoing experiment" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2004 12:40:23 -0700
From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: [BOB] Raid Californie-Orgegon and other races

On Thu, 29 Jul 2004 11:24:59 -0500, "Robert J. Nemeth"
<> asked:

> On a different note, is the Raid California-Oregon being held this year?


> Are you racing it?

Well, it'd be kind of lonely!

> Also, I'm assuming that the Monocog is intended
> for next year's Great Divide Race.


> Why'd you choose the Monocog?

I wanted a really tough steel frame. When I started looking into building up a single speed bike, I quickly realized I couldn't put bike together for anything less than what a Monocog would cost me. I figure I have a year to bust any weak parts. I'm a little wary of the hubs but if they go, I can replace them with some very nice, very tough sealed-bearing BMX hubs

As to the bigger "why a single speed" question, for me the interesting problems have always been on the how much can you do with the minimal amount of gear.

I don't know if I'll be able to swing racing the Divide Race next year or not. The big problem will be money; I'll have to come up with a few thousand bucks to cover the money I won't be earning while I'm racing. And getting Christine to put up with my being not just gone but gone in bear country is another battle. Years ago when I'd go mountain biking with my pal Andy, Christine never liked the tales of bear encounters. It didn't help that Andy dubbed me the "bear magnet."

Kent "just back from a non-boinging bear-free 54 km ride" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

8/4/04 --

Date: Wed, 04 Aug 2004 08:08:43 -0700
From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: [BOB] Climbing Tiger, coming home

Some adventures are only nine kilometers long.

Yesterday was one of my days off and I tooled around on the Monocog, heading off to Seattle. I stopped by Ti Cycles and saw my pal Fabien and iBOB pal Brian Parker. Fabien was bright enough to hire Brian away from the corporate clutches of Supergo -- a victory for Fabien and Brian and a loss for Supergo. I also swung by Recycled Cycles and dug through their bins of parts but this really wasn't a day for buying anything, more for figuring stuff out. I looped home via Mercer Island got home with 95 kilometers easy kilometers on the bike and a better idea of how I wanted to dial in the position on the bike. Note that this was not the adventure, this is the prologue.

What I figured out was that I was too stretched out on the Monocog. Even though the bike is a small, Monocogs run long in the top-tube. I had the bike set up with its stock 110 mm stem and since I like bar ends for climbing, I had those on as well and that was stretching me out. 90 kms of flat riding let me finally figure out that I was just too stretched with setup.

Back at home I dig through my pile of stuff and find a 90 mm Koski stem and a set of stubby bar ends. I'm not much of a weight-weenie but when I find a lighter solution that works better on a bike it is one of those things that makes me happy. I take the stock stem off the Monocog and note that based on weight, I suspect that the metal in that stem had been mined from the core of a collapsed neutron star. The stubby bar ends are probably one-third the weight of their much longer brethren and they fit right where my hands want to fall to the bars so I am a very happy fellow. While I'm working on things, I swap out the saddle for a ti-railed Flite TT. The Flite has a shape I like and is delightfully free of any annoying top stitching. I scoot the saddle forward a bit and take some measurements. Things look good, my bike position is darn near the same as it is on Smokey, my megamile Litespeed.

By the way, this too is prologue.

It's seven PM by the time I head out the door for a test ride. I tell Christine I'll be gone for about an hour, I'm taking the Monocog out for ride on Tiger.

Tiger Mountain is one of the western foothills of the Cascades and it rises 3000 feet above the town of Issaquah. I roll out from home and work my way through the crowd of people gathered on the lawn of the community center to hear a free concert given by The Nowhere Men, a Beatles tribute band who are surprisingly good.. The concert is just getting started as I roll by.

I roll down the small paved trail to the high school, cross the street and then I'm on to real trail. The bike is handling well, low sunlight and Beatles songs filter through the leaves and pine boughs. I see birds and rabbits, folks walking their dogs and a few people running along the trail.

There are many paths I know here, but some paths turn off to twisty dark places and I turn onto one of these less-worn, less-known routes. I learned long ago that the key to adventure is a lack of information and in that spirit I pilot the Monocog in a generally upward direction.

I'm quite amazed at the terrain I can traverse with the Monocog. The current mountain biking magazines are filled with photos of big air riding, freeriders taking huge jumps but that holds little interest to me. I'm here, in the woods, climbing a mountain.

The path becomes less. Soon, I'm off the bike, climbing over fallen trees. I scramble, hiking up grades that would be challenging to hike. Hiking here while dragging a bike gives a new meaning to the term cross training.

I'm on a game trail now, a trail that only the gamest of game would follow. I too am playing a game, looking for little bits too show me something living and mobile has passed this way ahead of me. Under circumstances like these bits of garbage are talismen, lucky signs to guide the traveler. The Beatles songs are lost in the distance and what remains of the sunlight is growing low and weak. On a bit of ground that looks slightly less overgrown than the acres of unknown terrain surrounding it

I find a bit of plastic garbage. And in the garbage I find a very odd thing -- a flattened metal ellipse. It's smooth like a river stone, pewter in color and about the size of an elongated dime. On one side of the talisman are two Chinese pictographs, on the other side is the English word "empathy". It's the kind of trinket you'd expect to find in a new-age gift shop. Out here, it's evidence of humanity. Someone else was here before me. I can empathise. I place the token in my pocket.

I work my way thoough the forest. The non-path becomes more pathlike. The choices become easier. Even though the light is getting lower, I know I'm headed home now. Soon the path is back to being rideable and then I pop out on the high trail. I know where I am. The bike has never been here before, but I rode these trails years ago. It's like riding a bicycle, it all comes back to you.

The Monocog flies up and down the rollers along the powerline cut. Now I'm back on the main trail. I greet the evening joggers and dog walkers, the Beatles songs are getting louder now. The Monocog flies down the trail as if driven by a homing instinct. Birds flit in the trees, more rabbits scamper in the undergrowth.

At 8:08 PM, I'm back home. All paths lead to home. 9 kilometers in about an hour is ceratinly no speed record but I'm tired and I feel good.

Keep 'em rolling folks,

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA


Subject: [RBW] Gearing 101
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 2004 09:24:19 -0700
From: "Kent Peterson" <>


> I'm just curious: is this (ie, downshifting at stops) common practice? I
> just leave it in whatever gear is comfortable for the terrain and traffic
> I'm riding in, and stand to accelerate.

> I'm not judging, just investigating.

When I ride multi-geared bikes I'd do this quite often. Judging from the clicky sounds of my brifter-equipped companions, I'd say it's a fairly common practice. It's more common in hilly terrain.

> Someone else remarked that riding fixed is more of a workout than riding
> multispeed. I suppose, all things being equal, it is, but compared to my
> commuter, my fixed gear is so light and efficient that I go considerably
> faster for similar effort.

In general, I find this to be true, except for the period of a couple of weeks when I shift from riding fixed to riding geared. Then I find myself using the gears to shift into harder gears and I still have my fixed fitness. After a few weeks, I get lazy and my times on geared bikes get slower.

I've been riding much of this summer on single speed bikes and I find myself liking the experience far more than I thought I would. I'm geared slightly lower than I was for most of my fixed riding and while I still charge up the hills, I do a more burn & coast technique on flats and descents.

I'm now down to two bikes and don't plan on getting any others any time soon. These two bikes serve my needs. My Litespeed BlueRidge is my roadbike and it has 165 mm cranks and 39*16 gearing on a White Industries ENO fixed/free flip-flop hub. Since I've gotten used to the freewheel, I really haven't flipped it over to the fixed side.

My mountain bike is a rigid Redline Monocog with 175 mm cranks and 32*16 gearing. The Redline is enormously fun to ride and surprisingly quick, even on the road. On my 20 kilometer paved commute route, I'll typically average about 27 kph on the Litespeed and 25 kph on the Monocog. In terms of door-to-door time, it's not a big deal. With the Redline, however, I'm much more likely to go off the beaten path and explore odd places.

I think the division between the single gear folks and the multi-geared folks come down to this: the multi-geared folks seek a constant RPM and effort and vary their gear to stay in that effort/RPM zone. The single geared folks vary their effort and RPMs over a much wider range. Conventional wisdom says the multi-geared folks are using their bodies in the optimal manner, but in terms of training your body, the adoption of a single gear creates a situation more akin to interval training: the variences in the terrain cause you to expand your comfort range.

Some people take to a fixed gear or a singlespeed bike like the Quickbeam and some don't. Some find their favorite bike has 30 gear combinations, some find their favorite has 24, or 3 or 2 or 1.

Kent "single gear but many speeds" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA



Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2004 20:39:07 -0700
From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: [BOB] Context is everything

The spoken word is not always precise and context can matter a great deal. I'm telling you this little story to illustrate this point so I'm going to provide a bit of context so you can get the full effect we can avoid any misunderstandings.

Context item 1 -- There is a small device that adds a small set of shock absorbing elastomers to any conventional bicycle saddle. You can see a picture of this device by pointing your web browser to:

and scrolling down a bit.

Context item 2 -- I used to own one of these devices and indavertantly gave it away with a frame and seat-post to a friend of mine. I recently decided I wanted to try out this device on my mountain bike and when I realized what I'd done, I got in touch with my friend and we agreed that I'd pick up the device at his home in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle.

Context item 3 -- The Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle is a lot like the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City.

OK, you now should have enough context.

Yesterday, I was doing my usual routine of combining multiple errands on a bike trip in Seattle. I stop at Ti Cycles and I'm chatting with my friends Fabien and Bryan. Bryan asks "so where are you headed today?"

and I reply "I'm headed to Capitol Hill to pick up a Butt Buddy."

I'm sure you can imagine the reaction...

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

9-7-04 -- Redlines Tour

9-13-04 --

Subject: Re: [BOB] re: A tour on Forest Roads
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2004 08:05:31 -0700
From: "Kent Peterson" <>

On Mon, 13 Sep 2004 06:38:41 -0700, "Jim Robbins" <>

> Kent, could you post a packing list for your trip? Also,
> it's hard in the pictures to figure out what type of front and rear
> racks, if any, you used? Do you think knobby tires are needed for a
> combo fire road/paved tour? They certainly would give you good traction
> on gravel roads and help avoid pinch flats. I've been using some Conti
> Town and Country tires, which seem like a good compromise. They have a
> reverse tread pattern that rolls smooth on the road and gives you some
> traction off road. They are really tough too.

OK, I'll take a shot here. First off, several people have asked me about tires. I think this would be doable with some beefy 700c tires. Town & Country tires are good. What I have on the Monocog is the stock Kenda Karma up front and a Specialized Cross Roads EX on the back. The Cross Roads EX seems about perfect, knobs on the edge and a smooth center ridge. When I wear out the Kenda, I'll probably swap it for another Cross Roads. Currently my plan is to use the Cross Roads tires on my ride of the Great Divide Route next year.

Here's the Basic gear list with placement of stuff on the bike.

The bike is a 15" 2004 Redline Monocog with 175 mm cranks and 32*16 gearing. It's mostly stock except for the above mentioned tire change. I trimmed the handlebars down a bit so they are 57 cm wide and I added some Profile stubby bar ends. I also swapped the stock stem for a shorter, lighter Koski stem and I swapped the stock saddle and seatpost for and Easton post topped with a ButtBuddy and a Litespeed saddle. I swapped the platform pedals for MKS Touring pedals with PowerGrips. And of course I had to make a set of custom coroplast fenders.

My camping kit has evolved over the years. It was pretty simple when I toured back to Minnesota a few years ago and it's simpler now. My sleeping bag is a Golite Fur, designed by Ray Jardine. This is a very light synthetic loft bag that has no bottom or zipper, so it's more like a mummy shaped quilt. I pack this in Alps Mountaineering Compression stuff sack. The stuff sack isn't particularly light (I don't think Jardine would approve) but it lets me compress the bag down to a cylinder that is 18 cm in diameter and 30 cm long. I secure the bag to my handlebars with two toe straps. At the forward edge of the bag I strap my sleeping pad a cut down 1 cm thick closed cell foam pad that is 45 cm wide by 83 cm long. Rolled inside this pad is a cut down space blanket that is 70 cm wide by 214 cm long. Rolled inside the space blanket are 4 aluminum tent stakes. The pad-space-blanket-tent-stake roll packs down to a cylinder that is 10 cm in diameter and 45 cm long. It is secured by a couple of velcro straps and attached to the sleeping bag by a couple more toe straps.

That's it for the front load on the bike.

I also have a Cateye EL500 Light on the handlebars as well as a Cateye Enduro cycle computer. The light shines over the packed sleeping gear without problems.

In the main triangle of the bike I have 2 water bottles. The lower bottle hangs below the main triangle. Along the downtube I have an old Topeak Master Blaster pump (the forerunner to the Topeak Morph). Also inside the frame triangle are a couple of small bags containing: 2 inner tubes, a patch kit, 3 spare chain links, a Topeak Hummer multitool, a 6 inch crescent wrench, zipties, and TriFlow.

Under the saddle I have a large Orlieb saddlebag. This is a big wedge bag with a top-roller design and it's completely water-proof. My spare clothes are in here. As weather changes, what I wear vs what I carry changes but here is the basic clothing list:

Shimano SHM038 shoes
coolmax socks
Wool socks
Voler leg warmers
Voler cycling shorts
Nylon baggy over shorts with pockets
Golite rain pants
Allesandro Wool short sleeve jersey
Voler Arm warmers
Swobo long sleeve jersey
Mountain Hardwear Tech T -- This thing is Gore Windstopper and while I'm generally not a fan of Goretex type stuff, this is really a terrific garment.
Moonstone Activent yellow jacket (sometimes this is replaced by a Showers Pass yellow jacket)
Coolmax Buff -- A very versitile tube/hat/earband thing.
WTB cycling cap
Mesh short fingered gloves
Swiss Army wool long fingered gloves
Mountain Hardwear shell gloves.
Giro Helmet with Take-a-Look mirror
and Catey EL-400 light and Cateye LD100 tail light.

Attached to the saddlebag is a cylindrical bag 23 cm long by 11 cm in diameter. It contains the rest of my shelter: a sylnylon tarp/poncho and a section of bug netting. Also contained in this are various lengths of parachute cord for stringing the tarp. I virtually never use the poncho as a poncho but have used it plenty as a tarp.

A few years ago I stopped bringing cooking gear with me on my trips. Food will vary but this two day trip was typical. I carried a mix of peanuts, golden raisins, chocolate chips and white chocolate chips as my main snack. I also had a supply of gingersnaps, a ham sandwich and 4 cyclinders of string cheese. The snacks rode in a small bag that attaches to the top-tup of the bike just ahead of the saddle or in my backpack. As I have mentioned many, many times I AM NOT A NUTRITIONAL ROLE MODEL. (BTW I'm thinking of selling shirts with that slogan to finance my Divide Ride. Let me know if you are interested)

The backpack is one of those bits of contoversial gear, some cylists can't stand having weight on their backs. But a small backpack can be very handy. My current pack is a heavily modified LonePeak bag that started out as a Camelback type of thing. I removed the bladder and padded the back with a bit of closed-cell foam. This pack carries a spare water bottle (an old Hersey's syrup bottle to be precise). I added a lot of reflective material to the pack and a rear flasher. The pack contains my wallet, a small bike lock (yeah the weight could go elsewhere, but having it with the pack is easiest in day to day use), keys, wallet, tiny swiss army knife, Gerber M400 multi-tool, magnesium/flint fire starter, maps, notebook, pen, bandana, camera, sunscreen, first aid kit and water purification tablets.

Wow, that's a long list. I think that just about covers it. It's somewhat similar to my list of stuff that I took with me on my trip back to Minnesota a few years ago. That list can be seen here:

The Monocog carried the load very well and I'm very pleased with the no-rack approach. The bike was rock-solid on 50 km/hr smooth road descents and handled fine in the woods and on low speed climbs and slower off-road bumpy descents as well.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA


9-16-04 -- Flatted front tire on thorn.

9-19-04 -- Installed new Specialized Crossroads EX front tire and tube.

9-26-04 -- Bought Jandd handlebar bag for Monocog.

9-27-04 -- Flatted rear tire on a staple.

9/28/04 -- Rode up to Rattlesnake Lake. Stopped alongside the trail and made a small light & computer mount out of wood.

9-30-04 --

Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2004 08:38:21 -0700
From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: [BOB] A small ride to Rattlesnake Lake

I don't know if this is on topic for this list since it doesn't talk about ugly cars, which region has the best food, doesn't talk about whether or not I've gotten the latest Riv Reader and doesn't mention that I've got some gmail invites. But what the heck maybe I'll write about a little bike ride.

Tuesday morning I'd been figuring I'd ride up to Snoqualmie Pass from my house via various trails and a few mostly unpaved roads. I'd sent mail to the Seattle Randonneurs mailing list asking if anyone wanted to join me. But most people have jobs that entail working on Tuesdays so when nobody called me at the shop on Monday, I figured I'd be riding alone. And then when I got up, I found my rear tire was flat. I located the staple that had punctured the rear tire (I must've picked that up near the end of last nights' commute), patched the tire and got out the door a bit later than I'd planned.

It's a misty morning that promises to evolve into a clear day and I pilot the Monocog through a few neighborhood streets of Issaquah and then roll onto the gravel trail connecting my town with Highpoint. At Highpoint I rejoin the pavement, a small frontage road that takes me to Preston. At Preston I get on a paved rail-trail. Today the trail is carpeted with red, yellow and gold leaves and my bikes tires make a muffled whirring sound as they cut a thin track down to the asphalt. I see a few dogs walking their people and we exchange quiet morning nods. This is about as non-technical as mountain biking gets, descending the gentle grade the only challenge is avoiding the dozens of fat slugs lazing their way home in advance of the day's increasing heat and hurry.

This trail ends where a trestle used to be. A sharp turn and a steep descent and I'm on the road to Fall City. Past the camp ground, through the tiny edge of a tiny town, over the river and then I turn right on a little road whose sign promises a "DEAD END". I know better. The road comes to a gate with a little trail snaking around one end. The gate says "NO MOTOR VEHICLES BEYOND THIS POINT" and that's fine with me. Beyond the gate the road is dirt double track, climbing gently away from the river.

As I'm climbing, I detect a problem that I'd suspected with my gear. A couple of days ago I'd picked up a small Jandd Mountain Handle Pac and I was trying it out on the Monocog. This is a small, roughly triangular bag that mounts on the bar and stem facing back toward the rider. The problem is that with my light and cycle computer on the bars, the bag is pushed back far enough that I hit my knees on the rear of the bag.

A solution would be an extension unit that would extend ahead of my handlebars. I could mount the light and computer on the extension and then move the bag up about an inch. Sidetrak makes a unit called an "Excess Access" and Minoura makes a similar device called a "Space Grip". Of course both of those solutions involve spending money. Spending money is never one of my favored activities and money won't help solve the problem of the moment.

The road becomes more of a trail and joins the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. I'm scanning the ground now, no longer just looking for slugs. It only takes a few minutes before I see what I need.

It's a section of a fallen branch. The bark has weathered off it, but it's still sturdy, fairly light and strong. Wood: nature's original carbon fiber. The branch is about the diameter of a handle bar and it's just what I need. I stop the bike, pick up the branch and find a handy fallen log to sit on while I work.

Long ago I learned the value of traveling with tools. My Gerber has a strong, sharp blade and it doesn't take me long to cut two lengths of wood. I notch one near the center and the other near one end and then lash the two parts together to form a T-shape. In addition to carrying a knife, thin, light cord is often a handy thing to have. I carve one edge of the base of the T so it will settle snugly along the length of my bike's stem and lash the contraption to the stem. My new creation extends a few inches forward from the bars. I transfer my light and computer to the wooden frame and move the handlebar pack forward a bit. Not perfect, but pretty good. When I get home, I'll carve things a bit smoother and do a better job with the lashing, but it looks like this effort is a success.

I ride the trail up to Tokul Road and then cut into the town of Snoqualmie. I spend some time looking around in the Railroad Museum there before I continue on my way.

I rejoin the trail and ride up to Rattlesnake Lake. My original plan had been to ride up to the Pass, but the weather has cleared now and I've never really poked around the lake, so I decide instead to spend some time hiking around the lake. It's really beautiful up here and the place has an interesting history. Back in 1912 what is now the lake was a town of 200 people called Moncton. In 1915 the power company built a damn upstream to increase the storage at Cedar Lake thus increasing production capacity at the Cedar Falls Power Plant. Although the dam was watertight, the surrounding aquifer was porous and water seeped, submerging the town in about two months.

I eat lunch at the lake and then roll on for home. It's warm now, a good day for a ride. But they're all good days.

Keep em rolling,

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

PS. I didn't take any pictures up at the lake, but it's really nice up there. I did a quick web search and found these pics:

They might give you some idea of what it's like there.

10-2-04 -- Flatted rear tire on a staple.

10-8-04 -- Installed new PC-48 chain.

10-15-05 -- Installed Halo Twin Rail 56-559 tires. Computer rollout number is 209 cm.

Subject: Re: [BOB] If I could have any bike...
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2004 21:06:51 -0700
From: "Kent Peterson" <>

On Fri, 15 Oct 2004 20:07:54 -0700 (PDT), Richard
<> wrote:

> The bike I really want doesn't exist. The bike I'd want would create
> that same feeling of
> longing after it was possessed as it did prior to being possessed.
> The pleasure is in the
> longing. There is no particular bike that is that bike. That bike
> is in your heart. Which
> isn't to say you don't need a bike. Ya gotta have a bike. It's just
> never going to be that conceptualized bike.

Kenneth Stagg <> added:

> Maybe not for you but I still have the same feeling about the Mariposa
> that I had before I got it and it gets stronger every time I ride it.
> I just haven't been able to get used to the fact that a bike can
> handle that nicely.

Kent Peterson adds:

I've got feelings similar to Ken's about my Monocog. In theory the Litespeed Blueridge should be my perfect bike, especially since it was scrounged from the ashes and it's now a single speed/fixie. And I really do think Litespeeds are great bikes.

But I don't need a great bike. The Monocog is an ugly little mutt. Not particularly fast but infinitely persistent. Very solid on the road and surprisingly agile on the trail. I occassionaly feel under geared on the road and every once in a while I feel over geared on the trail. But that never seems like something wrong with the bike but rather something more I can work on. The bike is fine, the motor still needs tuning.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA


10-22-05 -- Installed Campy MTB Pedals with Powergrips.

10-24-04 -- Freewheel is making ticking noises and the pawls are catching.

Date: Sun, 24 Oct 2004 19:01:18 -0700
From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: [BOB] Any Distance Is Biking Distance / Not A Nutritional Role Model

Hi iBOBs

This post has some blatantly commercial stuff in it so if that's not your thing, you can stop reading now.

As some of you know, I'm planning on racing in the 2005 version of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Race. This will involve taking several weeks off from work and to somewhat blunt the economic effect on my family, I'm doing a few little side projects to raise funds.

You can see one of these at:

It's a small online shop selling t-shirts and a few other items featuring the slogans "NOT A NUTRITIONAL ROLE MODEL" and "ANY  DISTANCE IS BIKING DISTANCE"

Proceeds from the sales on this site go to me. Not to some worthy cause like saving your favorite critter or building a hospital in Nepal or something like that. I'm going to try to raise enough money so I can go biking in the mountains. It's kind of a silly thing to do but then again, the stuff on this site isn't that serious.


Kent "small time capitalist" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA


10-25-04 -- Lubed freewheel.

10-26-04 -- Rode a couple of hundred kilometers today, about 100 kilometers of that were with Mark Vande Kamp, Will Roberts and Brad Hawkins up around Monre and north of Sultan.

10-28-04 --

Subject: [BOB] 26x1.9+: Higher-pressure tires?
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2004 07:26:04 -0700
From: "Kent Peterson" <>

"Scott Clark" <> wrote:

> I'd like to switch from 26x1.5 to about 26x1.9-2.0 for various reasons.
> From what I've found so far, it looks like the Avocet Cross II 26x1.9 will
> go to 85 pounds, while the Schwalbe Big Apple 2.0 goes to 70 and the Conti
> T&C 1.9 to 65 (iirc). Are there other slick/mild-tread tires out there
> that will take higher pressures like the Avocet for pavement riding, but
> also take lower pressures (40?) for dirt/gravel?

A Specialized Crossroads EX (26*1.95) is rated at 35 to 80 PSI. It's fairly knobby with a raised center ridge. You can see it here:

I've used these for several months on my Monocog and I may use these when I race the Divide next year.

Halo also makes a good tire, the Twin Rail. Although the Twin Rail is listed as 26*2.2 it's not as knobby as the Crossroads and the two tires seem to have similar clearances. The Twin Rail has a very round profile, corners really nicely and seems to roll better. A buddy of mine at BTI hooked me up with a set of these and I'm currently riding them. You can see them here:

Right now the Halos are are the tires I'd choose for the Divide ride but I've only got 500 kilometers on this pair so it's really too soon to tell.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

10-30-04 -- Swapped back to Specialized saddle. Installed Koolstop salmon brakepads on both brakes. Rode up the Northfork road.


Date: Mon, 01 Nov 2004 08:09:54 -0800
From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: [BOB] Geat Divide Mountain Bike Race

Hi iBOBs,

As some of you know, I'm planning on racing the Great Divide Mountain Bike Race in 2005. I've put up a prliminary page of info about the route and the race at:

By the way, even in the early stages of this I've been really amazed at the generosity of people on this list. I'm working on a sponsor page and I don't want to clutter the list with too much about this but I do want to say thanks.

Keep an eye on the above page if you want to be kept up to date on this.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA


11-4-04 -- Got a new 16 tooth freewheel and a super bright Cateye taillight.

Subject: Re: [BOB] Re: I wanna ride a Brevet
Date: Thu, 04 Nov 2004 21:33:01 -0800
From: "Kent Peterson" <>

timothy bartoe <> wrote:

> I think Kent should chime in.

Actually, anyone who wants to see my beginings in randonneuring can go to my webpage at:

and start reading the stories from 1999. That was the first year I did brevets. But I do caution people that my experience isn't typical, I've pretty much always been a randonneur, I just didn't know what randonneuring was until 1999.

I like telling people this story. Back in 1982 when Christine and I first started dating, she met my parents. One of the very first things my mom said to Christine was "so, do you bike?" Christine didn't miss a beat and blurted out "well yeah, but not like him!"

> From what I've heard the guy can ride forever on chocolate milk.
> Come to think of it if he can run all day on Chocolate Milk and
> has cat like night vision he may just be an alien, and not the
> kind from another country.

> Tim "So is it low fat or nonfat chocolate milk?" Bartoe

Actually I read labels differently from most folks. When I'm on the road, I'm looking for the most calories per dollar (John Stamstad reads labels the same way). Most chocolate milk is lowfat, so very often I will get regular whole milk and use it to wash down a Hershey Bar.

Remember, I am not a nutritional role model. And if you want any of the "Not A Nutritional Role Model" t-shirts or other items you can get them at my online shop at:

Kent "eating Cherry Garcia ice cream as I type this" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

11-6-04 -- Flatted rear tire in the rain. I couldn't find the cause.

11-7-04 -- Ride to Calligan Lake with Mark V and Will R.

11-11-04 -- Rear hub was loose. I tightened it up this PM.

11-12-04 --

Subject: [BOB] how many all-purpose bikes are enough?
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 2004 07:59:50 -0800
From: "Kent Peterson" <>

"michael burdge" <> wrote:

> how many 'all purpose' bikes are enough?

My friend Mark Vande Kamp has come the closest to anyone I know to reaching the one bike ideal. He does have a commuter and a frame that he sometimes has built up as a fixed gear but his main bike is a custom steel frame he had built by TiCycles. It has canti brakes, horizontal dropouts, loads of tire clearance and it's just plain versatile. Pretty much all his riding could be done on this bike and pretty much all his riding is done on this bike.

I've managed to pare down to two bikes: my Litespeed Bluerige and my Monocog. The Blueridge is faster but if I grow wise enough to pare down to one, I think it will be the Monocog. You don't have to be fast if you are fiercely persistent.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

11-14-04 -- Morning ride with the Randos before work.

11-16-04 --

Subject: [BOB] how many all purpose bikes--redux
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2004 06:01:22 -0800
From: "Kent Peterson" <>

"michael burdge" <> wrote:

> Well this thread was interesting! However, I was most interested to read the
> posts that seemed to conclude that the right amount of all purpose bikes
> happens to be about the amount the writer happens to have in his/her garage.

I'm reminded of George Carlin's classic "Morons and Maniacs" bit in which he describes how most car drivers see themselves as driving at the proper pace and anyone choosing to drive slower is a moron while anyone driving faster is a maniac. It's human nature to see our choices as the rational ones. If Doug has more bikes than I do, well then he's obviously some kind of out-of-control hyperconsumer who has been sucked in by a carefully orchestrated marketing scheme. If Mark has fewer bikes than I do, then by golly he's just some sort of ascetic freak who gets some kind of weird kick by depriving himself.

Or maybe, just maybe, we are all what Buckminster Fuller called "experiments of one." And some of those experiments of one have lots of bikes and some have few. Some bike in shoes that let them walk softly and some proudly clack across the floors of the 7-11. Some pour themselves into spandex, some wear wool. Some do both.

In the part of the world where I live, these are the dark days. It's cooler now and wetter and darker. It's slow at the bikeshop and people are bored. It's easy to get grumpy and to think the worst of folks. I try to keep my curmudgeonism in check but I don't always succeed. It seems like the same thing happens on bikelists this time of year.

Keep 'em rolling folks, whatever you're riding,

Kent Peterson
Sammamish Valley Cycle
Redmond WA USA

11-18-04 -- Replaced piece of crap ACr 888 freewheel with a 16 tooth Shimano freewheel I pulled off Scott's wheel. I ordered in a couple of ACS 16 tooth freewheels.

11-21-04 -- 107 kilometer ride up to Phelps Ridge area with Mark V. The rear fender sways a bit on climbs and rubs the tire.

11-22-04 -- Bought and installed a Blackburn Expedition rack at work.

11-24-04 -- Monte Cristo Tour

11-26-04 -- Installed new ACS 16 tooth freewheel and swapped Shimano freewheel back to Scott's wheel.

11-28-04 -- Sent Clif Bar an application for sponsorship. Wrote up an article proposal and sent it off to Dirt Rag. Also sent sponsorship proposals to Energizer Batteries, GoLite and Bag Balm.

12-01-04 -- Reset computer to track miles instead of kilometers. Computer calibration number is 209 with Halo Twin Rail tires.

12-01-04 -- Riding with full Divide camping gear load from now on.

12-05-04 -- Flatted rear tire on a Michelin wire.

12-06-04 -- Fell on wet railroad tracks on this morning's commute.

12-07-04 -- Installed Sorbothane under bar tape this AM. Got inner drybags for side pockets of rear pack.

12-08-04 -- Rethought bag situation and bought two Seal Line Kodiak drybags, one to hold my sleeping bag and one to use inside a trunk bag. Sent story ideas to NPR and Issaquah Press.

12-09-04 -- Flatted rear tire on a sharp rock in the heavy rain.

12-10-04 -- Flatted front tire on something small and sharp. Wrote to White Industries about freewheels and sponsorship.

12-11-04 -- Bought and installed 2 Specialized Crossroads EX Armadillo tires, 26*1.95. Verified 209 cm as the correct rollout number for these tires.

12-12-04 -- Ride around Bainbridge Island with the randos. Swapped Thermarest for Z-lite and Water purification tablets with Trent Hill.

12-13-04 --

Subject: Re: [SIR] Ride Sundays - The "Mo in the Snow" series
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 14:43:57 -0800
From: "Kent Peterson" <>

On Mon, 13 Dec 2004 13:49:56 -0800, "Michael Rasmussen"
<> said:

> How did the ride go? I let a few hours of driving and local 30mph+ winds
> keep me from joing the "real randonneurs" or even doing a shadow ride in
> Oregon.

It was actually quite nice here. The temp was 30 degrees F when I zipped by the Honda dealer in south Bellevue on the way to the ferry. We had a pretty good turnout (at least a dozen folks) and things warmed up to about 45 degrees by the end of the ride. The ride was both chilly and hilly and the only flat thing was Peter McKay's tires. Three flats in one day is really more than anybody's fair share. Peter Beeson was taking pictures, so maybe there will be something on the website soon. Dustin Wood road the whole thing on his fixer and he just rocketed up the hills. I was on my singlespeed Monocog with my full Divide Ride load and let's just say that I didn't rocket up the hills but I made it up all of them. I was hanging
at the back being social. Yeah, that's it. I was riding a social pace.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

12-16-04 -- I don't need a trunk bag. The rear drybag alone can serve as my trunk.

12-18-04 -- Tightened up the rear hub again.

12-22-04 -- Rode to Seattle and met up with Mark V at Ti Cycles and then we rode around Mercer Island. I also got word today that Clif Bar will sponsor me. Cool!

12-23-04 -- Bought and installed new WTB pedals with Power Grips.

12-27-04 -- Sent a sponsorship proposal to Eko Sports (the Power Grips people).

12-31-05 --

Subject: [BOB] tsunami relief: used bikes
Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 06:59:35 -0800
From: "Kent Peterson" <>

Matthew at Kogswell Cycles <> wrote:

> Clearly the smart thing to do is send cash to your favorite relief
> organization ASAP.  These people need help yesterday.

Damn right. These folks:

look like they have a very good track record and really put what resources they get into action.

> But down the road, this might work for some of us:

In the Seattle area, Bike Works

sends a shipping container full of bikes to those in need. Typically these bikes go to Ghana but I'm not sure what the current plan is. In any case, the bikes go to those in need. Bikeworks does many, many good things locally and globally.

Finally, to those of you have contributed to my fund raising efforts towards racing the Great Divide Mountain Bike Race next summer, I still intend to race. I want to thank you folks for what you've given so far and I will make this work but that's just a silly little race. There are some big problems out there and money can help some folks with real needs right now. So please, at least for next month, don't send me anything. Send it to Mercy Corps or whomever.

Yesterday I sent 25% of what I'd saved toward the Divide Ride to Mercy Corps and I think I can send more and still keep faith with you folks who pledged to help me race. So I'll be sending more of my fund out today to the Mercy Corps folks. Don't worry, I'll still figure out a way to race the Divide. That's a relatively simple problem.

Keep 'em rolling,

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA


Date: Fri, 31 Dec 2004 07:22:12 -0800
From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: [BOB] Steady as she goes

Last night on my commute home as I was coming into Issaquah, I saw a guy standing next to his SUV in one of the little turnouts along the side of Sammamish Parkway. He waved me down and I pulled my bike up next to him.

"You've got good lights," he says, "I had no trouble seeing you and I knew what you were, but you may want to add a solid light in the back. When they are all flashing, it's hard to gauge _where_ you are." The guy was very friendly and nice, not at all confrontational.

"Thanks," I said, "I can fix that right now" and I reached back and flipped one of my flashers to the steady mode. "You know, I've heard that and a lot of times I do run at least one of the lights solid."

"Yeah," the guy says, "I ride too and ever since I read this in one of the newsgroups I've been paying attention. It's a lot easier to get a feel for distance with a solid light."

I thanked the fellow and we both continued on our journeys.

So iBOBs, I figured I'd pass on this fellow's reminder.

Steady as she goes.

BTW, I do think a mix of steady and flashing works well. Up front I have a steady white light on my bars and a flashing light on my helmet. Out back now I'm running solid lights on my bike and flashers on my waistpack and helmet.

Ride safe out there.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

1-1-05 --

Date: Sat, 01 Jan 2005 04:49:02 -0800
From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: [BOB] mileage


Here's my input for the annual mileage thread.

In 2004, I logged 17432 kilometers or 10834 miles. This is down a bit from previous years but I didn't have any really big rides in 2004. Pretty much all my rides were on single speed or fixed gear bikes and since July a lot of those miles were on my Redline Monocog single speed mountain bike.

I keep a lot of weird little stats on my riding and here is one: it rained on 80 of my riding days in 2004. So that rumor that it rains all the time in the Seattle area just isn't true.

For 2005 I plan on logging more miles on the Monocog and I'm currently outfitting Smokey (my Litespeed Blueridge) with somewhat fatter trekking tires and lower gearing (170 mm cranks with a 36 tooth chainring and a White Industries ENO flipflop 16 tooth freewheel/16 tooth fixed cogs). I'm about 90% sure I'll be taking the Monocog on the Divide Ride

but Matt Chester has got me thinking a bit more about the 700c route. The fact that my buddy Mark Vande Kamp just has a blast rolling over the same trails that I do with his 700c TiCycles do everything bike also keeps me looking at this option.

I hope everybody has wonderful adventures in 2005. I'll keep you posted on my adventures. I still owe you folks some ride reports. Working through that backlog is one of my 2005 resolutions.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

1-6-05 -- Got the greenlight from the folks at Dirt Rag for a couple of articles.

1-9-05 -- Wrote 1st article for Dirt Rag. Wrote to Henry about the Tarptent.

1-12-05 -- Flatted rear tire.

1-14-05 --

Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 08:12:18 -0800
From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: [BOB] Bike brains (was What I have learned This WInter)

"Larry Powers" <> wisely wrote:

> Mis-calibrate your computer. Commuting this time of year can be kind
> of depressing, it's dark when you leave and when you get home, it's cold,
> it's utility riding more then fun. I was cruising in one morning on
> autopilot and looked at my computer and saw 17 mph. This brought a big
> smile to my face and perked me up for the rest of the ride since I normally
> cruise around 15 mph. The more I thought about this the more I realized
> that I really wasn't going any faster then normal. When I got to work I
> checked the computer and found that it had switched from bike one to bike
> two which I never calibrated. I got a good laugh at how I was psyched out
> by the computer and I didn't change it for a few days and got a chuckle
> every time I looked at it.

Yeah those little bike computers are tricky suckers. I try to caution customers that nothing can slow a bike down more than strapping a computer to it. Before you get a computer you are sure you'r cruising around at about 30 mph most of the time, but strap one of those puppies on there and you slow way down. I blame the drag of the magnet!

Since 1999 I've been riding with my computer set to kilometers per hour. It made sense when I rode PBP and when I got back from France I never switched back. It felt good to see those speed numbers spending so much time in the 20s and 30s.

In preparation for the Divide Ride, I've recently switched back to miles. All the maps and cues for the Great Divide are listed in miles and I figured I might as well switch back. But switching to miles, plus riding a mountain bike, plus carrying a touring load (it's all part of training) plus the usual winter slow-down...well let's just say that it's best not to look at the speed numbers.

So I look to other things for inspiration. Sometimes they are other numbers like the temperature. I like it that 37 degrees seems warm. I like that I've managed to nudge the odometer forward at least a bit every day. I like figuring out how many miles I can go fueled by one packet of cashews.

I don't begrudge my bike computer. I'm actually kind of fond of the little thing. But it's the ultimate spectator, it's just sitting there while I'm the one turning the pedals.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

1-17-05 -- Jon is on a cleaning binge at the shop. I hauled a ton of stuff home on my bike.

1-18-05 --

Subject: Re: [BOB] touring on a fixed/ss
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2005 10:17:44 -0800
From: "Kent Peterson" <>

On Tue, 18 Jan 2005 09:45:11 -0800 (PST), "alex wetmore"
<> said:

> On Tue, 18 Jan 2005, Kent Peterson wrote:
> > In general, most of my fixed gear riding has been done on bikes
> > with 42*16 gearing. For single speed, I gear a bit lower with
> > a 39*16 on my road bike and 32*16 on my mountain bike.
> I know that you are riding your mountain bike a lot on the road. How
> is the 52" gear (32*16) working for you?

In general, it's pretty good. Since the first of December I've been pretty much riding the Monocog with what is pretty close to the full Divide Ride load to get used to it. While I'm not as fast as I am on my road bike (not that I'm ever that fast), it seems to work out something like this. I average in the range of 14.5 to 15 mph for the 12.6 mile trip into work and about 13.5 to 14 mph for the trip home. This is pavement riding in Redmond, the Sammamish Pkwy and Issaquah. The traffic in Redmond, slows me down more in the evening. On my road bike I wind up being able to go a bit (1 mph or so) faster on average.

One of my co-workers commented that I my legs spin like a hummingbird's wings when I sprint in traffic. I can spin the bike up into the 20s when I need to, but on average I'm more sedate and I tuck and coast on the hills.

Last night was a very slow commute home in the rain but I had a good excuse. Jon has been on a cleaning binge at the shop and getting rid of all kinds of odd bits that don't fit with current projects. So in addition to my usual 20 pound of touring gear, I had the following extra stuff strapped to my bike or tucked in my pockets:

4 MTB tires
1 singlespeed MTB rear wheel (with a Spot hub!)
1 700c 7 speed cassette rear wheel (105 hub, Wolber rim)
1 700c front wheel (Campy Mirage hub, Fir rim, Conti 2000 tire)
1 Bontranger 8 speed cassette rear MTB wheel
1 (only one) Control Tech bar end (I may use it as a light mount)
1 size L Woolistic LS baselayer shirt

I got all the wheels strapped to my rear rack and had the excess tires folded over my handle bars. To avoid the worst Redmond traffic I rode the trail down to Marymoor and then cut over to the parkway. This made my trip a couple of miles longer and the load cut my average speed down to 10.9 mph.

BTW, I made a little modification to my bike computer and I think I like it. I got to thinking that I really don't like seeing my current speed or that silly pace arrow, especially not in the winter. So I cut a little patch of duct tape and covered up the top part of the display. I can still scroll through the time, distance, average and peak speed functions (I usually just have it displaying time when I'm commutining and trip distance when I'm trying to follow a map or a cue sheet. On the patch of duct tape covering the speed display, I use a Sharpie pen and drew a little picture of a turtle with yin/yang symbol on it's shell. It's more relaxing than seeing those speed numbers.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA


Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2005 11:51:52 -0800
From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: Re: PowerGrips

On Tue, 18 Jan 2005 19:42:24 +0000 (GMT), "Stephen Lord"
<> said:
> I'm curious to see that PowerGrips have made a comeback; I thought spuds
> killed them off. They look really good, and overcome one of the problems
> I have with toeclips - toeclips are prone to break when I most need them.
> The plastic toe cage (I use the sturdiest MTB ones I can find, I think
> they are Specialized) gets smashed against rocks or catches on something
> when I;m not in them. They do dry out with age and become brittle.

They never really went away but a lot of shops don't carry them. When I started working at Sammamish Valley Cycle, I had to convince my manager we should carry them but once we got them in, I sold out the first order in the first month.

> So I like the look of PowerGrips, they look like they would last a long
> time and would flex rather than break. But what about the safety factor-
> have you ever fallen off your bike because you couldn;'t get out of them
> in time? Not to boast, but I;ve never fallen off due to being trapped in
> toeclips, somehow I;ve always got out in time.

I've also never been "trapped". The motion to get out of the straps is a twist and slide-back. It's kind of halfway between the move you do to release from clipless pedals and the move you do to get out of toe clips.

Power Grips do work best if you settle on one pair of shoes that you use with them. I like the Shimano SHM038 touring/MTB shoes or the Specialized Sonomas. Both of these shoes have fairly stiff soles but aren't too tready. A shoe with real deep lugs could make it harder to get out of the grips.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

1-19-05 --

Subject: [BOB] Kent, Great Divide race on SS?!?
Date: Tue, 18 Jan 2005 16:24:13 -0800
From: "Kent Peterson" <>

bruce boysen <> wrote:

> you're doing the Great Divide race on the SS Monocog?

Yep, that's the plan. For a while it looked like Matt Chester was going to do the race on one of his fixed gears, but he's decided he can't afford to take that much time away from his work.

> Are you going to have another freewheel on the other side of the wheel?

I don't think so.

> Are you going to post race reports during the race? I'd love to read
> them.

We're still sorting this out. If you read last year's reports here:

You'll see daily reports that were called in to a central voicemail and then transcribed. We'll have a similar system in place this time around as well. But I might be doing some Pocketmail reports as well.

I've got a preview piece on the Divide Race coming out in next month's issue of Dirt Rag and I'm under contract to give them a several thousand words for the August issue ASAP after the race, so that's where the main story will run.

> Best of luck.

Thanks. Folks who are interesting in following my plans for the race can keep an eye on this site:

I'm running somewhat behind on the money side of things now, but I think it'll come together by June. I've already got a lot of great sponsors and the Dirt Rag piece should get more excitement going for the race.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

1-20-05 -- Replaced all 4 brakepads and rear brake cable & housing.

1-21-05 -- Jon's cleaning continues. I hauled 4 tires home and a couple of pumps.

Date: Fri, 21 Jan 2005 13:18:54 -0800
From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: How to be a Professional Adventurer

Wayne Estes <> asked:

> Does anybody know of a source for advice about how to become a
> "professional adventurer"? Ten years ago it seemed like "professional
> adventurer" was a very exclusive club limited to people with extraordinary
> athletic, artistic, or marketing skills (or a huge trust fund). Nowadays
> the Internet has made it much easier for "mere mortals" to promote
> themselves and become professional adventurers to one degree or another.

Read Tim Cahill's book "Road Fever" for some good insight into this subject. Tim was the co-driver on an adventure drive from the tip of South America to Prudhoe Bay Alaska. There is a very good chapter in the book called something like "The Adventure Driving Business". BTW, they had all kinds of stuff plotted, tons of logistical issues and had coordinated a big press conference when they crossed into the US at Texas. And then right before they crossed the border that little girl fell down the well. Pretty much every reporter in the state and the entire country's attention was elsewhere.

> I don't think I would ever want to depend on sponsorships and
> advertisement. But I do have some interest in deriving a supplemental
> income from writing, photography, etc. (see my crazyguyonabike trip
> reports for examples of my amateur photography...)

Speaking as someone who is going through this now, it depends a lot on who you are going in and not just lining up sponsors to get stuff. Most of my support for my Divide Race

is extremely grass-roots. I'm doing a Cafe Press store and I've got a lot of people supporting me just because they want to read the story of the race. I approached potential sponsors whose stuff I'd be using whether or not I was sponsored by them. I'm riding a Redline bike because I trust it and I don't think it'll bust. Henry Shires at Tarptent is helping me out to get some exposure for his product under harsh conditions. The guys at Dirt Rag are paying me because they know I can tell a decent story. The folks at Clif Bar are helping me out not because they think I'll win but because they sponsor people who represent their product well. Winning isn't as important as good sportsmanship and having good adventures. BTW, Clif Bar is a really super company. Going through their sponsorship application process and reading Gary Ericson's book have really taught me a lot about how a company and a person can keep their integrity and be successful.

My page at:

will give you more details on who all is supporting my Divide Race. I'm a 45 year old guy who works in a bike shop. Nobody in their right mind "goes pro" at 45 and takes a month off work to do a 2500 mile race. But then again, nobody in their right mind races the length of the Great Divide on a single speed bike.

If you want people to help you in your efforts, you have to give them something of value in return. If your endorsment is simply for sale, then the odds are it has no real value. If you can show people that you are doing something interesting and that they can get value out of being associated with your efforts then you can get some help in having your adventures.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

1-25-05 -- Boiling Frog Tour

1-27-05 -- Got and installed new White Industries 17 tooth ENO freewheel. Installed new Koolstop Eagle Salmon pads, the big canti-style pads. They can fit on V-brakes if I use the V-brake hardware from the old pads and they have about 3 times as much material as a regular V-brake pad. A very sweet set-up.

1-28-05 --

Subject: [RBW] 1.2v AA NiMH batteries replacing 1.5v alkalines?
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2005 06:47:04 -0800
From: "Kent Peterson" <>

Michael Poplawski <> wrote:

> I had in my hands tonight an Energizer battery charger that came with
> 4 NiMH AA batteries. I almost bought it as I would like to start
> using rechargeables for my tail lights and my wireless computer input
> devices. I realized I had a little bit of research to do since the
> batteries were rated at 1.2V. Aren't all AA batteries supposed to
> produce 1.2 v?

Alkaline and lithium AA batteries are nominally rated at 1.5 volts. NiMH and NiCd batteries are nominally rated at 1.2 volts. As the cells use power through use the voltage they put out drops.

> Can the NiMH AA batteries which are rated at 1.2 v fully replace 1.5 v
> AA batteries? As a practical matter, will they deliver the voltage
> required? Are these AAs really designed for general applications, or
> more for photo equipment?

Almost all electronic devices that run off batteries are can and do run with batteries putting out less than their nominal voltage. Many people are successfully using 1.2 volt NiMH AA cells in their lights, GPS units, radios and other electronic devices.

> Are there 1.5 v AA batteries I can look for? The store I was at seemed
> to be carrying nothing but 1.2 v rechargeables.

Yes and it sounds like you had your hands on them. For most electronic uses these days a 1.2 NiMH 1.2 volt batteries will work fine. Look for the highest mAh rating you can find. Those batteries will give you the longest use between chargings. I use Energizers with a 2100 mAh rating, but there might be batteries with higher ratings out there.

The Bike Current list at:

is filled with people who love to talk about lights batteries, etc. Those folks can give you tons of information if you want it.

I've been using the Energizer AA cells in my Cateye EL500 headlight for the past few months. I have two sets of batteries and one set resides in the light and the other set sits in a Brunton solar battery recharger. Currently in the dark and cloudy winter, I swap the the sets of cells between the two devices about once a week (I commute). I'm planning on using this setup when I ride in the Great Divide Mountain Bike Race. In that instance, I'll have more hours of daylight and I should have better sun exposure for the charger (it sits up front on my bike). I'll probably be doing more night riding, however, and I anticipate swapping the cells between the two devices every other night.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

2-1-05 -- Chain and front ring are pretty worn and noisy.

2-2-05 -- Put on a different chain and reversed the front ring.

2-3-05 -- Pulled the BB out of the Monocog. It felt like a coffee grinder. Replaced the BB with a new Shimano UN73. Much, much smoother!

2-9-05 -- Stripped the rear fender off the Monocog and I'm reviewing various ways of trimming my camp kit.

2-11-05 -- Adjusted and lubed the rear hub.

2-13-05 --

From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: [BOB] Kent's article in Dirt Rag
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 2005 07:57:10 -0800

Harth Huffman <> wrote:

> Kent, I am glad you know Steve Fassbinder. I only
> know him through Sacha but he seems like a great guy
> and I imagine he can be a good resource for you.

Steve is a really cool guy, astoundingly strong and one of the nicest dudes you'll ever meet. One of the things I really like about doing these events that are kind of "out there" is finding folks who are making their way through this world in interesting ways and having fun on the trip. I'm still hoping that Steve can work things around so he can race the Divide this year, even if that means he winds up beating me. If he does race the Divide again, I'd put him as the odds on favorite.

I think anybody who can get to the point where they can race something like this has to have a strong base of support from family, friends, strangers, etc. Guys like Steve or Mike Curiak or John Stamstad are all really nice, very grateful, very helpful people. It's hard to feel that you are competing against somebody who gives you tips on route planning and equipment, who helps you link up with sponsors, who sends you gear lists, etc.

> Your writing has genuinely excited me for your
> mission. I will find some small way to support your
> goal and hope others will be motivated to do the same
> after reading this article.

Thanks very much for the kind words and thoughts, Harth. I've said it before, but I really can't say it enough: I'm only able to do something like this because of loads of support from many, many people and I am very, very grateful. The iBOB folks have been a huge help and I only hope that I can repay the generousity of all of you in some small way by racing a good race and trying to tell the stories and lessons from the trail in the best way I can. I'll have a big article in Dirt Rag next August once the race is done but prior to that I'll be working on keeping folks updated with stories of preparation trips and other things on my website.

Thanks again to everybody. Christine and I still freak out about once a week and have these "we're never going to make it!' moments but then she'll be the one who pulls me through and say something like "Of course you'll make it. You just told the whole world in Dirt Rag that you're going to do this, so we'll work it out."

My ever growing sponsor page is at:

and while there are some corporate logos and corporate sponsors there, it really is a bunch of individual people who are helping me pull this off. Thank you so much.

You can keep up with my stories at:

I gotta go put some miles on before I head off to work.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA


2-15-05 --

From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: [BOB] What's it like? (bike biz)
Date: Tue, 15 Feb 2005 07:44:34 -0800

I'll try to keep this brief. Opinions expressed here are soley my own.

David Bianco <> asked:

> For any that have worked in or owned a
> bike shop, how was it? Fun? Hard?


> Sent you to the poorhouse or made you rich?

In 2004 my wife's and my combined income is less than 1/3 of what I made back when I was a software engineer. It's about triple what we took in back 1985 when we went very broke running a used bookstore.

> Challenging? Still at it?


> Also, what's it like being a part of the cycling industry. The trends
> that come and go, the economies that go up and down, the competition.

The cycling industry has some of the nicest, brightest people you will ever want to meet. It also has some real jerks and morons. As a whole I think most bike product design is way too driven by racing. And like a lot of stuff, there are probably too many marketing weasels involved.

Our shop succeeds by being eclectic. We sell $8000 Colnagos and $300 bike path bikes. We've got randonneurs, commuters, go-fast racer types, triatletes, tourists, mountain bikers, cyclocrossers and folks who just go ride as our customers. We don't do BMX bikes, we let the guys at Redmond Cycle do that. We point people looking for used bikes to Bikeworks or Recycled Cycles. We try to keep a good mix of product and keep a good staff employed. We do a lot of repair work keeping old bikes going. That's my favorite part and I'm the guy who works on the oldest, weirdest stuff.

BTW, being close to the Microsoft campus sure helps keep us going as well. It's nice having some clients who buy Colnagos two at a time or pick up both a Litespeed Vortex and a Blade. Sales like that help us keep the doors open so we will still be here to sell you SON hubs and fenders and things like that.

Oh yeah, and you basically do work every darn weekend. My virtual weekends are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Thank God it's Tuesday!

Kent Peterson
just one of the shop guys at Sammamish Valley Cycle
Redmond WA USA

2-16-05 --

From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: [BOB] monocog
Date: Wed, 16 Feb 2005 07:06:59 -0800

"Reagen B. Ward" <> raved:

> This morning I rode the Ant Hills (trails near my office), and I felt
> like I was following the trail without working to follow the trail,
> much like the butcher of Chuang Tzu. The experience was totally
> different from when I ride the same trails on my old Iguana, also
> singlespeed, with similar gearing. I originally picked it up with the
> idea of locking up at the state park where I volunteer, but there's no
> way I'm going to let this bike have its use be so limited.

Yeah, I had the same reaction to the Monocog. Even before I did the initial dial-in of my position, the bike seemed very good. Once I swapped the stem for a slightly one (that happened to be lighter, the Monocog ships with a really heavy stem), trimmed the bars down a bit, added bar ends and got the saddle I wanted (all things I tend to do with any bike) the bike really came into it's own. My original thought was that it would be a cheap way to see if I really took to the single speed mountain bike thing and if I did, I'd get something "better". Well, if there is something better, I don't need it. I've never felt more at home on a bike than I do on the Monocog.

> I know it has a threadless stem and has no eyelets or rack bosses, but
> for once, I don't perceive them as limitations. The bike just is what
> it is, and I cannot explain why I love it so much. Perhaps in a few
> months after the 'new bike' syndrome has cleared up, I'll have to
> revise this statement of praise. I'll let you know.

I've had mine since last July and I've got about 6000 miles on it. I've done a few mods to the bike, but I still think it's a great bike for the money. Naturally, stuff breaks and wears but the main frame & fork are super, super solid. Since I've had the bike I did the above mentioned mods and I:

Swapped the pedals. It now sports WTB Grease Guard Pedals with Power Grips.

Replaced the brake pads with Koolstop salmon pads.

Replaced the stock Kenda tires with tougher tires more suited to my combo of fire-roads, pavement and trails. Right now I've got Specialized Crossroads Armadillos on there but I'm going to be trying some Schwalbe Marathon XRs once the boat gets here from Germany.

Figured out a way to graft a rack onto the back. I'll be hauling some gear for the Great Divide Ride and since December 1st I've pretty much been riding the bike with my ever-evolving race load.

In the slimy weather, I wore out the stock freewheel and a replacement freewheel. I was getting about 2500 miles on a freewheel, so I bit the bullet and got a White Industries ENO sealed freewheel. Gosh-oh-golly expensive but super nice and no sign of wear so far. Since I'm looking at riding in the Rockies with something of a load, I opted for a 17 tooth freewheel so my gearing is now 32/17, down one notch from the stock 32/16.

I replaced the bottom bracket a couple of weeks ago. I'd been thinking that I was feeling kind of sluggish and thought it was just the seasonal slow-down, but when I checked the BB, it felt like a coarse-bean coffee grinder! I've got a UN73 in there now.

> Finally, any bike that makes me yearn to ride more...

Yeah, it does that. My theory is it's the BMX background of Redline. They just know how to make a simple bike that can really take a beating and still hold the trail.

And I'll add my disclaimer: I got a pro-deal on my bike from SBS, but I can get pro-deals on all kinds of things since I work in a bike shop and tend to do things that wind up being magazine stories. I wouldn't be riding the Monocog on the Divide Race if I didn't really, really like it. You guys can probably tell that I do!

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

2-17-05 --

From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 20:53:42 -0800
Subject: [SIR] Why Kent isn't riding brevets this year

Hey SIRs,

I thought I'd just drop a quick note to the club explaining why you won't see me at any brevets this year. This year I'm focusing my efforts on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Race, a 2500 mile ride from Canada to Mexico along the spine of the Rocky Mountains. You can read more about the race in the current issue of Dirt Rag or on my webpage at;

Between now and June I'm working as much as I can to earn money to cover my family's living expenses while I'm gone, so you'll see me at Sammamish Valley Cycle Thursdays through Mondays. In the mornings, evenings and Tuesdays and Wednesdays, I'm squeezing in various training rides.

As always, you can somewhat keep tabs on what I'm doing by checking out my main webpage at:

I hope everybody has a great year of cycling in 2005.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

2-23-05 -- 34 mile ride along the Cedar River and Taylor Mountain. Made a set of aerobars from wooden sticks I found alongside the trail.

2-28-05 -- Ran over a 1" screw on the commute home. The screw embedded itself in the rear tire, but I did not flat. I had to use my Swiss Army knife to unscrew the damn thing from the tire!


From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Subject: Re: [BOB] LOGOS
Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2005 17:38:19 -0800

"james black" <> wrote:

> I did that for a while too, pulling all visible tags off my clothes; but at
> some point I decided, being an influential fashion trendsetter, that I might
> as well leave the tags on if they belonged to companies I would wish to
> support.

I also was a mostly no-logo guy but since I've turned pro* I've gotten more comfortable with logos. Some of my Redline's stickers are covered simply because I tend to ding up top-tube stickers, but I've got no problem telling everybody that I'm riding a Redline. And now it also sports stickers from Sammamish Valley Cycle, Dirt Rag and Acme Bikes who are all good folks in my book. And I've got no problem wearing a cap that advertises Clif Bars or Gaansari Bicycles either. In fact it was kind of funny at the Seattle Bike Expo last week. I took a break from the SVC booth and was wandering the floor when Gary from Gaansari greated me like a long lost brother. "Great article in Dirt Rag! And thanks for wearing our cap in the author picture!" And then he gives me another cap and a bag of Gaansari coffee beans (now if only I carried a portable espresso machine with me...) and a very nice Gaansari coffee mug.

Ah yes, the glamorous life of a pro.

Of course I still need to scrounge up a lot more actual money to race the Divide. Stay tuned for my next wacky scheme.

Kent "this space for rent" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

* the late Hunter S. Thompson wisely observed that when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. If anybody had told me back in my 20s that when I was 46 years old that I'd actually have people sending me money to help me race from Canada to Mexico, I'd have surely thought they were doing more drugs than the good doctor himself. We live in interesting times.


3-8-05 -- Rode the Highpoint, Taylor Mountain, Cedar River loop with Dave Read. First day of the year to ride in shorts!

3-9-05 -- Tested new UK flashlight. It's not as bright as the Cateye EL500.

3-12-05 -- Installed new PC-48 chain.

3-13-05 -- 82 mile ride out Northfork road and CCC trail. Had to tighten rear hub on the trail.

3-14-05 -- Bought and installed WTB Rocket V saddle.

From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Date: Mon, 14 Mar 2005 06:46:35 -0800
Subject: [BOB] Racks on a Monocog

On the iBOB list "Reagen B. Ward" <> wrote:

> I do wish that the Monocog had rack mounts for carrying better
> supplies for long outings, but I'm making do with a backpack.
> Other than that, I'm 100% pleased with the bike.

and another fellow asked me:

> What kind of rack did you put on it? I don't think it has any eyelets.

Here's my solution:

Its a great bike but it doesn't have eyelets. I grafted a Blackburn Expedition rack on to the bike with steel brackets that I'm sure were meant for some other purpose. Picture a steel plate that looks something like this:
{ o o o }
I use two plates on each side of the bike, down near the dropout. Bolts run through each of the three holes, bolting the plates together. In the above drawing the left bolt goes in front of the rear stay (near the dropout), the middle bolt goes behind the dropout and the rear bolt is the one the rack bolts to. On each side one plate is on the inside of the stay & rack and the corresponding plate is on the outside of the stay & rack. When I tighten the bolts down, the plates clamp the stay & rack solidly in place. The plates deform slightly to clamp around the stays but the Monocog is very tough steel so I wasn't worried about crushing the stays.

Just tighten the nuts on the bolts tight enough to snug everything in place. I've got thousands of very rough miles on this setup and it hasn't budged so I'm pretty confident in it. The one downside is that on the left side my clamp overlaps the disk mount. I'm not using disk brakes on my Monocog, but if I was I'd have to fabricate the bracket in some different way. You could probably secure the left leg of your rack to one of the disk tabs, but you'd still have to figure out some kind of clamp for the right side.

On the front of the rack, I secured the rack stays to the seat tube with a reflector clamp and a bolt that is long enough to go through both rack stays and the clamp.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

3-16-05 -- Ride with Nat Pellman. Got the Ibex knee warmers (super nice!). Rear wheel is loose again. The cones are getting pretty shot.

From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2005 08:13:54 -0800
Subject: [BOB] Any Day is a Good Day to Ride

We've had a freakishly warm and dry winter here in the Puget Sound area but Wednesday things got back to feeling like winter. A cold front blew through and in the morning the temps are in the forties, the wind is whipping up from the south, the clouds are thick and the rain was coming down. It's a good day to ride.

The tailwind helps propel the me and the Monocog up to Redmond. It is one of my days off from work but I'm meeting my new pal Nat Pellman at the shop. Nat is a single speed mountain biker from Reno, but his girlfriend lives in Seattle, so he gets up here quite a bit. Our original plan had been for my buddy Mo to join us but Mo was unable to extricate himself from a mass of work obligations and begged off with one of those patented Microsoft workload excuses. Mo had broken free long enough yesterday to drop off one of his spare bikes for Nat to use. Being an indentured Microserf tends to leave you with more cash than time and Mo is wise enough to have converted some of that cash into bicycles. His loaner bike is a pretty nice Bianchi BASS.

As I'm helping Cindy and Jon roll the repair bikes as part of the morning shop opening ritual and explaining that I'm not really at work to work, Jon mentions that more Ibex stuff has come in. Perfect. There is one more item I've been waiting for and it is the perfect item for the scummy weather -- Ibex wool knee warmer with a front panel made of Schoeler windblock. As I'm putting on my new knee warmers, Nat pulls up at the shop. He'd fought the wind from Lake City, so he is running a bit late.

Nat is riding his travel bike, a new Ritchey Breakaway. Of course we do what bike geeks do and talked about gear. The Breakaway seems very cool but we also chat about the big orange Chrome messenger bag he has and the virtues of wool. We both looked like ads for the Merino wool council or something. We both are wearing old Swobo jerseys and I even have a pair of Swobo gloves. Nat is wearing a pair of the Ibex knickers with the Dirt Rag wool socks, while I had the a double layer of wool socks and the Ibex knee warmers along with my usual Voler lycra shorts under black cargo swim trunks (the best, lightest, most comfortable setup I've found for mountain biking). I wore my beat-up Moonstone jacket as a top layer but Nat really had me beat in the style and substance department with a super-cool vest. "It's one of Fassbinder's creations" Nat tells me and it looks like its made of a Schoeler-type fabric. Fassbinder is Steve "Dr. Doom" Fassbinder, one of the nicest, toughest, smartest working cyclists you'd ever want to meet and he also makes custom cycle clothes for people.

We swap the pedals from Nat's bike to Mo's, stash Nat's road bike and the big messenger bag in the back of the shop and head out. We'd already agreed that we'd be taking things easy. Nat is on a lighter bike geared at 32*18 while I've got my full Divide Ride load on the Monocog and a 32*17 gear. Plus, Nat is younger than me and more of a racer, while I'm more persistent than speedy. But today isn't really about riding fast, it's just about riding. Nat may be moving up here later in the year and today I'm showing him some of the local trails.

We roll out onto 202, up the hill and then turn onto the Powerline trail across Redmond Ridge. As we ride along Nat and I take turns filling the other one in on the stories of our lives thus far. At Avondale we're back on pavement for a bit and then it's onto the Pipeline trail out to the Snoqualmie Valley where once again we rejoin pavement. We follow the farm roads across the valley and past the big Carnation farm. In the town of Carnation we stop at Sandy's for some coffee before heading for the Tolt Hill single track.

I really don't ride much single track (most of my Divide training is on old logging roads) and I warn Nat that I haven't been at Tolt in years and that we'll probably get semi-lost. We've got Fabien's map:

which basically tells me what I already know. You climb a big ridge, there are a whole mess of twisty trails that look a lot alike and eventually you'll find your way out.

It's raining pretty heavily now so it's quite nice to get back into the woods and under some tree cover. Nat scoots up the switchbacking climbs like a monkey while I chug and scramble up like a turtle. At the top we enter the maze and Nat got a real good "hey, let's try this one" spirit when it comes to picking trails. We roll around and up and down and over all kinds of things and eventually leave the trails and join up with a gravel roads. We follow the road down, make one wrong turn but figure that out as the road rolls back up and we backtrack. We have a vague notion of where we are and that is enough to get us to Ames Lake Road.

Now I know for certain where I am and we stick to the pavement for the ride over Union Hill Road and back to Redmond. At Redmond we stop at Victor's for the day's second coffee break and then it's back to the shop. Nat's feet are soaked so he buys a couple pairs of socks for his ride back to Seattle, swaps the pedals and heads out. We ride together to the Sammamish Trail and then he heads north while I turn south. On the ride home, it begins to hail.

I've got 61 miles on my odometer when I get home and I figure with Nat's ride to and from Lake City he may have logged a bit more. Like Sunday's 82 mile ride on the Middle Fork and CCC trail, none of this felt like training. It's really just riding, being out on the bike and having fun.

It was a good day to ride.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA


3-17-05 -- Spread the rear triangle to 135 mm and installed Spot single speed rear wheel. I also swapped the chainring to the outer spot on the crankarms to get the chainline right.

3-18-05 -- Flatted the rear tire on the way into work on a big staple. Bought and installed a new rear tire (Spec Cross Roads EX Armadillo) and tube at work.

3-28-05 --

From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Date: Mon, 28 Mar 2005 07:41:35 -0800
Subject: If you build it, they will come

OK this post is somewhat in reaction to Pat McGee and his web-financing plans but I thought I'd add to Jene-Paul's excellent points and talk about web-content, financing a big tour, the business of writing and such. If these things bore you, you should probably move on to another post, I can be kind of long winded!

Anyhow, back in 1999, I got involved with this sport called randonneuring. I was new to this and I started a web page where I published ride reports. I didn't put up a hit counter to track how many visitors I had or work up a bunch of schemes to drive traffic to my site. That page, in it's expanded form is still going in 2005 and it's here:

Back in 1999 I was still making my living in the software business but I had written some articles and stories that had been published in various magazines. I tried unsuccessfully to convince Outside Magazine that a story on Paris-Brest-Paris would be worthwhile but they passed. Four years later they did do a story on PBP, a sensationalistic "I took steroids so I could ride PBP" piece. I guess the editors felt this story would offered more to their readers.

Anyway, I went and rode PBP in 1999, under the influence of no drugs stronger than chocolate covered espresso beans. I took some pictures, wrote up the story and published it here:

Then a funny thing happened. I got emails and calls from magazines. Bike Culture printed the story. American Randonneur ran the story. Some newsletter in Sweden ran the story. In some cases I got paid, in other cases I gave the story away. After all it was already free on the web.

I kept writing ride stories, construction articles and other things and posting those stories on my website. There wasn't really a good commercial venue for most of these stories and I didn't write them for the money anyway. I got a lot more satisfaction from having someone say to me "I got into randonneuring because of what I read on your page" or "I made my own fenders after seeing your page" than I ever would get from some paycheck.

When I managed to downsize myself out of the tech world, I began working as a bike mechanic. The work is more fun but the pay is much less. Pulling together the money to do a big trip is harder so I have to be more creative. When I heard that my friend Mike Curiak set the new speed record on the Great Divide Trail, I knew that I'd have to figure out a way to ride that trail myself. While I doubt I'll break Mike's record, I think I have a shot at setting a single-speed record for that route and in any event, it'll be a good ride and a good story.

So I set to work. I set up a web page about the race at:

I wrote to potential sponsors and I set up a sponsor page at:

I wrote to magazines. I set up an online shop where I sell t-shirts at:

And I didn't quit my day job. Five days a week I'm fixing bikes, building bikes and selling bikes at Sammamish Valley Cycle.

But I'm saving up enough money to spend a month on my bike this summer. Those stories that I gave away convinced Mike Browne at Dirt Rag that I should write for them. Those stories convinced the folks at Clif Bar that they should give me a good deal on their bars. And people have bought shirts from my online store.

But by far the biggest source of funding has been all the individuals who have said "I love the stories. Keep 'em coming. Thanks for giving this stuff away" and then they'll paypal me a few buck or send me a check.

As I said before, I don't write these stories for the money but somehow these stories and my "free" webpage are helping me ride the kind of ride that makes for stories people want to read. Thanks to folks like the phreds and other people, I get to follow my dreams down some mighty interesting roads. I've said it before, but I can't say it enough -- Thanks. Thanks so very much. Stay tuned to my webpage, I've got more stories coming!

My advice to Pat McGee and others is this: Don't pursue the dollar, pursue your dream. If you have something of value, people will respond to that value.

In the early 20th century a poet named Vachel Lindsay wandered the country carrying copies of a thin 16 page self-published volume called "Rhymes to be Traded for Bread". Lindsay swapped those poems for food and lodging. Here is the prologue to that slim book:


Vachel Lindsay -
- Prologue to "Rhymes to be Traded for Bread"

EVEN the shrewd and bitter,
Gnarled by the old world's greed,
Cherished the stranger softly
Seeing his utter need.
Shelter and patient hearing,
These were their gifts to him,
To the minstrel chanting, begging,
As the sunset-fire grew dim.
The rich said "you are welcome."
Yea, even the rich were good.
How strange that in their feasting
His songs were understood!
The doors of the poor were open,
The poor who had wandered too,
Who slept with never a roof-tree
Under the wind and dew.
The minds of the poor were open,
There dark mistrust was dead:
They loved his wizard stories,
They bought his rhymes with bread.

Those were his days of glory,
Of faith in his fellow-men.
Therefore to-day the singer
Turns beggar once again.


Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

3-30-05 --

From: "Kent Peterson" <>
Date: Wed, 30 Mar 2005 11:03:56 -0800
Subject: [BOB] Down to One

Hey iBOBs,

As of tomorrow, I'll be officially down to one bike. I spent yesterday getting Smokey ready to go back to his real owner, Wayne, the fellow who gave me the frame after it got burnt up in his garage. Since I got the Monocog, I'd hardly put any miles on Smokey and Wayne always looked wistful every time he'd see Smokey in his current fixed gear incarnation. Wayne will keep Smokey fixed but I swapped on some drop bars and dialed in the gearing to suit Wayne's preferences.

Kent "one bike, one gear" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA


4-2-05 -- Installed a new 32 tooth LX chainring. The old ring was pretty worn.

4-9-05 --

One of the best things about preparing for the Great Divide Race has been the way this adventure has connected me with some absolutely terrific people. I try to thank everyone on my sponsor page, but there are times when "thanks" just seems to be too small a word. I'm really grateful for all the contributions but sometimes the small things really, really mean a lot. Scott and Amy Cutshall have a young daughter named Chloe and they sent me a care package that I received today. Scott and Amy sent a check and an encouraging note. Also tucked in that padded envelope was a drawing Chloe had made of the family and additional $2.35 in change that Chloe had cleaned out of her piggy bank. Scott wrote:

Chloe is extremely concerned about you. She wants to make sure of a few things. I quote, "He needs to call his Mommy & Daddy from the scary woods when he's on his bike out there! Also he needs to use a compoter [sic] to make sure his wife and childrens [sic] are safe every night too!!"

I'm not sure I'll be able to call in every night, but I'll sure try. And I'll be carrying a few pictures of folks far away, including a small drawing of a very kind little girl and her very generous family.

4-11-05 --

Date: Mon, 11 Apr 2005 6:28 AM
From: "Kent Peterson" <>
To: "Michael Rasmussen" <>
Subject: Re: Advice from other randos

On Sun, 10 Apr 2005 17:22:02 -0700, "Michael Rasmussen"
<> said:
> This is something I think you'll appreciate.
> For the first time ever I"ve received unsolicited advice about riding
> with a heart rate monitor.
> Dave said "You should use one.  You'll know when you're slacking and can
> ride faster. If you're riding along and your heart is only at 120 you
> know you can speed up."
> Susan said "Use one to control yourself. Set a max and don't exceed it.
> When I do this I finish the ride with plenty of energy left."
> Seemingly at odds.  But I know there's a central truth.  Both use the
> tool to meet their goals.  Dave, though I've only met him this once,
> seems to be in it for the challenge of performance.  Besides, he's pretty
> fast, in a native talent sense.  Susan is a slow, extremely steady, ride
> on and on and on type.
> --
>     Michael Rasmussen, Portland Oregon  
>   Be appropriate && Follow your curiosity

Probably both valid points. I haven't used a heart monitor in years and I've often said that it either is telling me info I already know or telling me things I don't want to know. But then as near as I can tell I'm much more driven by internal cues than external devices. For example, alarm clocks always struck me as an awful assault on the body, so I trained myself to wake via internal cues. Thoreau wrote "We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aids, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn, which does not forsake us in our soundest sleep." That always made sense to me. And the late Marco Pantani once said, while speaking of heart monitors, "I can think of no device which has done more to remove the poetry from our sport."

Heart monitors can be valuable devices but I've seen many, many people become slaves to the numbers. The heart monitor can tell you how fast your heart is beating, but it knows nothing of the desire that is in your heart. And that desire is what sends you out to train in the rain, to continue when you feel down, to ride the ride that ultimately is yours alone.

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA