Monthly Archive for October, 2010

Ride of the Dead

More heavy rains during the week made prospects for a weekend ride abysmal at best, but after a bleak Saturday, the sun rose Sunday in a clear sky. Everyone bailed on the ride except Taro and I, so we just turned in the normal Ditch ride in the cool afternoon. With all the rain, I was expecting at least a bit of dampness, but one would be hard pressed to spot any signs of the week’s precipitation. The leaves filling the runoff grooves along Government Road were undisturbed, and the places that accumulate water after the rains were bone dry. The only observable effects of the rains were a significant reduction in dust compared to the week before. The trail was mostly deserted, save for some people we heard but didn’t see when we were in the side loop and a couple with three dogs along the terminal extent of the Ditch. On the way out, we saw a pair of ownerless tan dogs that were gone by the time we came back along the trail. For post-ride food, we bypassed he normal pub and hit up El Mariachi in Kaneohe for some good Mexican food.

Pictures here

D = 12.5 km (7.77-miles), Vavr = 12.4 km/h (7.7-mph), Vmax = 33.2 km/h (20.6-mph), T = 1-hour (total trail time about an hour and three quarters)

Convenient Secret? Mexitlan Grill

Update: it’s been closed for a few months now, that didn’t last very long….

P1020439Tucked away in that odd cubbyhole space off of 11th avenue behind the strip of shops that holds Big City Diner on Waialae, on our way to Himalayan Kitchen, we saw a new Mexican place show up. A few weeks later, we decided to try it out. Its a small, intersting space. I’m thinking some of it is holdovers from when it was a Japanese restaurant, Bozu. We spent some time hemming and hawwing outside deciding if we wanted to do it, looking at the menu posted didn’t help, it was in microprint that all us old fart hyperopic eyes couldn’t deal with. I went in to grab a printed menu and that sucked us in. As soon as we we headed inside to a table, I had to arch an eyebrow at the bottles of Tabasco on the tables. That already raised a question mark in my brain. Continue reading ‘Convenient Secret? Mexitlan Grill’

Beer is Good – Machiya Brewery Hanamachi Beer Jibiiru

Kyoto_Hanamachi_backKyoto_Hanamachi_frontThis altbier from Kyoto’s Machiya Brewery has the eponymous qualities that distinguish alts – a bitter, ale-like flavor and matching color. When poured, there is a finger-thick head, which quickly dissipates. Although the head is not persistent, the carbonation is actually reasonably high for a Japanese craft beer: From beginning to end, the bubbling can be felt on the tongue and lips, and each tip of the glass excites new outgassing from solution. The initial flavor is bitter with no flowery or sweet hop note. The bitterness moderates in the middle, allowing a light flowery aromatic to bloom before the bitter fully fades to reveal a maltiness that subsides into a clean, even finish. The color is a light reddish brown, somewhere between a pale ale and a red ale. Compared to the Onuma Alt reviewed here earlier, this one has more carbonation and a stronger bitter. Continue reading ‘Beer is Good – Machiya Brewery Hanamachi Beer Jibiiru’

Answer Scythe Pro 20” BMX Fork

Answer_Scythe_Pro_20After seeing one of these on a Redline pro BMX at McBike, I had Jarrel bring one in for me. It arrived just before I went to Japan, so I had to wait until I got back to install it. When I took it out of the box, it didn’t feel particularly light, that is until I dropped the CroMo fork out of my bike and compared the two. There was a significant weight difference! Installation was a bit of a bee-yotch. The crown race seat was a bit rough, long, and possibly slightly oversized. This made getting the probably slightly undersized Race Face crown race on a PITA. The supplied preload lag bolt had a larger diameter shaft than the fully-threaded bolt supplied with the Race Face top cap, so a bit of reaming was required to allow the bolt to pass through the cap hole. Lastly, the safety tabs on the fork dropouts were too close in to accommodate the giant axle bolt washers on my Atomlab hubs, so some grinding with a rotary tool was required to relieve them about a millimeter so the washers would sit flush. All the sweat and blood was made worthwhile the first time I took the bike for a spin. The vibration damping qualities of the fork are excellent. No longer do my hands get blasted off the grips when I land hard off a jump or bunny hop. Of course no sooner do I get this does Answer release the even lighter Dagger fork. Dammit!

About $275 USD MSRP/ $200 street


Three out of four BMX monkeys

New GU Flavors

New_GU_flavorsNot quite sure if these are new, or just new to McBike, but I found two new flavors of GU energy gel the other day. I bought one of each to try and tested them on this Sunday’s ride. The Jet Blackberry with double caffeine had a nice, rich berry flavor that didn’t taste like “chemical berries” or some kind of cough medicine. The double caffeine didn’t hurt. I’d buy that again. It didn’t quite give me a euphoric sense of well-being, but the berry flavor gave me a momentary bit of happiness during the grueling, humid ride. Continue reading ‘New GU Flavors’

Slow Pokes

Hit the Ditch with Jeff, Sara, and Danny this afternoon. I haven’t been on the bike since the ride after I got back from Japan, so I was off the back. There have been few opportunities for after-work rides recently, with either rainy weather, early sunset, or general malaise getting in the way. Near noon, there were ominous dark clouds hanging over the windward side, but as ride time approached, skies became clear with bright sunshine. No sooner than we entered the trail, the clouds closed in again. There were no portents of rain though, just a canopy of white. We started as usual with the side loop. Danny high-sided off the trail at the first valley, his tire stopping on the boulder on the inside of the turn. It was a silent, ninja-crash. If he had laid still, I might have just passed him without noticing. At the switchbacks, I detoured onto the original line after Jeff said someone had been riding that way. My brakes were still cold, so I was going too fast at the bottom of the chute to make the transition onto the switchback line, so I lowsided in front of Danny and Sara. Weak. Continue reading ‘Slow Pokes’


Fighting schoolgirl in uniform, how can you go wrong? You figure with the decades that Japan has been producing them they’d have it down pat. Well, I’m sad to say that what is being titled as Mutant Girls Squad and screened at HIFF, it is not true. I thought the original Japanese title, roughly literally translated “Girl Warrior, Legend of the Bloody Iron Mask” was more cool, but perhaps this English title matches this movie better. It had the elements, not one, but three cute fighting girls, blood spatter fountains and guts, weapons sprouting from all manner of body parts, cheesy effects, and yet it didn’t come together. I found it very uneven, jerky pacing, abrupt editing which was intentional, humor often feeling too forced. Perhaps it having three directors had something to do with this. The movie makes obvious reference to others, the iron mask bit and line of dialogue lifted straight from Sukeban Deka, and other pop culture references, some which I got, which gets a chuckle when you get it, but not much more. Continue reading ‘Mutant’

Conformist nonconformists

So I’m at dole cannery theater to watch Mutant Girl Squad & there’s a pile of fixies leaned against benches locked together. Going to line up & spot them a mile away. Why is it for people supposedly wanting to be different, you can spot them in their similar dress?


Beer Is Good-Sam Adams Pumpkin Ale

P1020433The second exclusive flavor in the SA Harvest variety pack is this Harvest Pumpkin Ale. Pours a medium dark amber with medium head that quickly dissapates. Lingering carbonation is light. Mouth feel still fairly crisp, but a bit more weight. Unfortunately I can’t say much about aroma with my current hampered condition. Not a whole lot of bitterness, none of that lingering in the back of mouth and tongue. I can’t taste the pumpkin, but can detect the faintest hint of the spice. I don’t know if this is in combination with the earlier Hoegarten I had and busy day, but it seems to pack a little punch. Anyway, all in all I’d have to say I enjoy this beer, despite misgivings of thoughts of pumpkin in my beer. I’d give it a 3 out of four boogie woogie monkeys.

Beer Is Good-Samuel Adams Black Lager

P1020431Another from the Harvest Collection variety pack is this the Black Lager. Pours a opaque and true to its name, pretty much black. Moderate head that dissapates quickly but the carbonation persits, which contributes to its crisp mouthfeel. I don’t get a strong aroma, but my sinuses prevent that. There is a strong bitter that persists throughout with a bit of roastyness lingering. I’m not sure what to say about this beer. I’m a fan of darks, but this one seems to lack any complexity. While not bad and I’d certainly drink it, it’s not one I savor and go out of my way to find. I guess I’d have to give it a 2 out of 4 dark roasted monkeys.