28 April, 2011

Buffalo Bill's Brewery Alimony Ale IPA

6.8% abv

I liked this quite a bit. Which is why I managed to down the entire bottle during dinner. However, it really isn't an IPA. It is all malt, from aroma to flavor to a smooth finish almost totally lacking in bitterness. Very good, but not really an IPA.


Bridgestone BS-7 Disassembly

I started the process of breaking down the BS-7 tonight. Maybe I was just having a rough night, but it sure seems like this little monster is way more complicated than my other bikes of this same vintage. At minimum, there is roughly twice the amount of wiring since this bike came stock with turn signals front and rear, and an electric starter. Which I didn't realize until I finally understood what the service manual was referring to as the "cell dynamo."

It also has this jewel mounted to the frame. Seems to be a combo voltage regulator, fuse box, and cell dynamo relay:

I managed to get all of the wiring disconnected, labelled, and removed. As well as the seat, tank, bars and control cables:


Bridgestone BS-7/D Has Come Home

The little Bridgestone BS-7/D came home yesterday. It has been sitting at work for a few years, pateintly waiting it turn. This will be a nice "simple" restoration. No mods, no building it into a cafe racer. Random photos below, with a few captions on the detail shots:

"Passenger" side front fork housing has been crumpled. This could be a bit of a job to straighten out:

Love the brake and turn light combo housing:

More detail on the smooshed fork housing:

This confirms it is a BS-7/D. "D" standing for Deluxe model:

Every other bike I have just has a harness that connects to itself. This little bike uses a small distribution panel:

Love the fact the terminals are coded:

Tiny little carb:

This motor uses a small fan attached to the end of the crank to cool the cylinder and head:

Intake screen for fan mounted on driver side cover:

Clock shows just over 4,000 miles:

Most bright work is very nice:

This is going to be a nice slow project over the spring and summer.


26 April, 2011

Victory Hop Wallop Ale

8.5% abv

A brewery I hadn't heard of before, Victory Brewing, with a nice hoppy ale. I really enjoyed this. Great balance of upfront hop aroma, malt flavor, bitterness, and alcohol warmth. When cold, hop aroma and flavor were a bit more noticeable. As it warmed, the body got very smooth, with an almost honey feel to it. As it warmed further, bitterness got stronger, but not overwhelming.

A nice surprise!

Spark Plugs

I had my local NAPA order me in some spark plugs for various motorcycles. The little Honda 50s use the C7HSA while the Bridgestone and Yamaha use the B7HS and B8HS.

The little Yamaha is actually rocking a B9HS, which is a colder plug guys use for all out racing the little YSR50 bikes. I've never noticed any issues with the colder plug, but figured I might as well replace it with the proper heat range plug, since I'm typically just putting around town.


23 April, 2011

Hometown Boy

What happens when the hometown boy becomes the MVP of the Superbowl? He takes out a full page ad in the local newspaper thanking his family, friends, and fellow Chicoians.

22 April, 2011

Lagunitas Undercover Investigation Shut-down Ale

9.87% abv
72.41 ibu

Susan surprised me with a fresh selection of commercially available brews to sample. So of course I cracked one open with dinner.

Aroma has a lot of citrus notes, with a good balance of malt. Flavor is very interesting, with a nice crisp bitterness up front that remains throughout. It isn't overly bitter, but it does have a nice crispness to it. Lots of very smooth maltyness and warm alcohol flavors stick with you. The alcohol notes were much stronger early on, but after it warmed, it really mellowed out. Color is a deep amber, and mouthfeel is thick but clean.

Overall, a really nice beer. Full flavored, lots of punch, bot very well balanced.


14 April, 2011

More New Kicks

Check is in the mail Craigs. Thanks a ton.

I needed new running shoes. Craigs hooked me up with some fresh New Balances.

11 April, 2011

Oh Hi There!

They see me rollin'

10 April, 2011

Home Brew: Cascadian Dark Ale

Today is sample day, and this time it is a Cascadian Dark Ale I bottled two weeks ago. This was a wild shot in the dark at making a dark roasty pale ale, and it came out pretty good. Great balance of malts and hops, with a bit of chocolate on the back end.

Recipe Characteristics
Recipe Gravity 1.060 OG
Estimated FG 1.015 FG
Recipe Bitterness 68 IBU
Alcohol by Volume 5.8%
Recipe Color 31° SRM
Alcohol by Weight 4.5%

1.90 lb Alexander's LME - Pale Extract
0.50 lb Brown Sugar, Light Sugar Other
0.50 lb Chocolate Malt (US) Grain Mashed
0.20 lb Molasses Sugar Other
1.00 lb Two-row (US) Grain Mashed

1.00 oz Centennial Whole 35 minutes
0.75 oz Cascade Whole 15 minutes
0.50 oz Yakima Golding Whole 10 minutes

4.00 unit Generic ingredient Other 4 teaspoons of cocoa powder
1.00 unit Irish Moss Fining 1/2 tsp
0.50 unit Safale S-05 Dry Ale Yeast American: Temperature Range: 59°-75° F 11.5 GRAMS


Home Brew: Blonde Ale

I sampled my first bottle of Blonde Ale, after two-weeks in the bottle. It is quite nice. I used some Yakima Golding hops in the aroma stage, giving it a nice citrus quality. It is very clean and crisp, with nice carbonation.

Recipe Characteristics
Recipe Gravity 1.059 OG
Estimated FG 1.015 FG
Recipe Bitterness 24 IBU
Alcohol by Volume 5.7%
Recipe Color 7° SRM
Alcohol by Weight 4.5%

2.20 lb Alexander's LME - Pale Extract Extract
0.50 lb Crystal 20L Grain Mashed
0.75 lb MrB. Booster Sugar Other
0.50 lb Two-row (US) Grain Mashed

0.75 oz Cascade Whole 10 minutes
0.50 oz Centennial Whole 20 minutes
0.50 oz Yakima Golding Whole 5 minutes

1.00 unit Irish Moss Fining 1/2 tsp
0.50 unit Safale S-05 Dry Ale Yeast American: Temperature Range: 59°-75° F 11.5 GRAMS


09 April, 2011

Trials day: Trophies 0, Crashes 5

What's that old saying? A bad day racing is better than a good day at work. In my case, it was a bad day of trialing. Well, sorta. The day itself was beautiful. 65 degrees, sunny, light breeze, and a fantastic facility just west of Orland called Rocky Ridge.

I had decided to jump up into the #3 line today, after riding the easier #4 line at my first two events. For the most part, I made the right decision. I actually rode quite well on the technical stuff, manging to bound over boulders, wheelie over stumps, and keep my balance on tight turns. But what killed me was the hilly terrain.

At the PITS facility I've ridden on, most of the sections are more rocky, without much elevation change. Out at Rocky Ridge the terrain isn't as rocky, so many of the sections are built on top of little knolls, or in a gully, or up a hill side. So in many ways, the #3 lane was pretty easy, as the obstacles weren't as bad. But I couldn't get my fat ass up several of the short but steep hills. Apparently 4.5hp is a limitation. Who knew?

I found this out after having to bail on a steep hill on the second section. Followed by a steep hill on the third section. Oh yeah, and the fifth and sixth sections too. I would get through the first 80% of the section, mastering the boulders and trees, only to find myself powering up a smooth, clean hill screaming my little 4.5hp monster away. I would almost get to the top and just flat out run out of steam. Which meant both feet down, which means a "5" score, which is essentially a dnf.

I took five spills, three rather epic ones. Part of my problem was the fact I knew I had to keep the throttle pinned up the hills, so if I got offline at all, look out. I got loose on a section while powering up a hill, got turned a little, and just flat out took a screamer off a #1 line boulder resulting in me and the bike tumbling down a hillside. I also managed to loose steam up a hill, get crossed up trying to save it, and somehow did a wrestling federation style move off the top ropes straight into a creek.

I got through two full loops, but just didn't have the gumption to finish my third loop. I was the only one in my class, so I decided to dnf so the club didn't have to give me a sympathy trophy.

In between the spills and chills, I did manage to have fun. Section 7 and 8 were a blast. Both quite hilly, but with the pull of the moon's gravity, I could just crest the top of the hill at about 0.0001mph with the front tire off the ground, get the bike turned, and then finish the stage. I rode the technical stuff very well, and the changes to the bike (suspension stuff) worked great.

Luckily the rest of the events I'll be going to this year are at the PITS facility, so hopefully I won't have to worry about these damn hills! Or I'll try to find a Trail 90 or Trail 110 engine to put in the bike. Or both.

Oh, and I forgot one very interesting part of the day! Rattlesnakes. I saw two of them. Little guys, trying to warm themselves on the rocks. Luckily by the time the bikes got going, most crawled down into their holes.


08 April, 2011

Trials Practice

Tomorrow is my first Trials event of the year, and today they had the event site open for practice. it also gave me a chance to walk a few of the sections, and see if I'm up to the task of trying the #3 line this time (as opposed to the #4 line I ran at my first two events.) I'm going to give it a try, and see if I can hack the harder line.

This site is on public property, and is beautiful. Nice sloping hillside to the west of Black Butte Lake, which is west of Orland. Great views overlooking the entire valley. But...there are some hills I'll need to climb in order to get to a few of the sections, and I can tell already my 4.5hp 50cc beast won't have much reserve power should I lose momentum.

Many of the sections are up in the hills to the left of the photo:


Yes, I'm Alive

I've been laying low since last weekend with a case of the sniffles, so no blogging from me. But I figured I would dazzle my fans with a sneak peak into my casual after hours lounge wear:

On an unrelated note, the little Honda Trials bike is loaded in the truck and ready for action. This weekend is the trials event west of Orland, which is the closest location my club runs at. They are having free practice today, so I might try to sneak off this afternoon for a bit of puddle jumping.