Wednesday, April 20, 2016

This year's project. The Bridgestone WT-F

So it happened again this year.  I somehow ended up bringing home a stray bike from the Recycle your cycle event.  Do I need another  I really really don't.  Is the bike interesting, sure.

So lets get down to what it is.  It's a Bridgestone of unknown vintage.  It's somewhere between a 92-94.  I have perused Bridgestone catalogs from the era and have found the purple color of the frame and the original wheel size 26".  What I haven't found are the rack mounts.  It looks like a XO-2 but the fork isn't right.  It's not a MB-3.  The MB-3 doesn't have the rack mounts.  However it does have the right fork and the right color.  The MB series was also a lugged frame.  Mine is not.  So it looks like what I have is a 1994 XO-5 except the wheel size is all wrong.  Have a look, try to figure out what bike I have -

Here's what made it home in the back of the bed of my truck...

 So lets take stock of what we have.  It's a steel framed Bridgestone bike.  Some one has added canti mounts to run 700c wheels.  They have also added top tube shifters.  Not downtube...toptube shifters.  It's missing it's rear wheel.  Some one added Tektro mini v brakes.  It has a older Salsa drop bar on it.  It has a Shimano 105 rear derailleur.  There's a lot of rust everywhere.

My plan.  Find a rear 700c wheel add that to the bike and see if it fits me.  I think it will.  IF it fits I will strip it down to the frame.  Then I will strip all the paint off the frame and remove all the rust.  I'll try to work out the pits as best I can.  Add a Bridgestone sticker to both sides of the raw frame and clear coat the whole thing.  Lacquer clear over the whole frame and fork.  After that clean up all the parts that are on the bike and assess if they can be reused.  I'm pretty sure the shifters, headset, 105 rear der, and maybe some bits off the Tektro v's can be salvaged.  I gotta change the huge blocky chunky front derailleur thou.  It looks awful.  I think I actually have a XT one sitting around.  Hope it's a top pull.  Rebuild the bike.  Add racks and panniers front and back.  We will see how far I get on this project.  Should be interesting anyhow.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Food Review: Mountain House Breakfast Skillet

As I am going to start traveling the land some time in the near future I figured I should have some idea of what sort of food I might be making.  This brings me around to my backpacking days.  The days of freeze dried food.  My fondest memory of freeze dried food is Jenny, Jake and I huddled under a tree/bush in the rain making spaghetti.  I probably could have made two more bags of the stuff.  I don't remember it tasting that great but they loved it.

However this review isn't about that time.  This is many years in the future and I'm thinking about bikepacking.  That's right BIKEpacking.  Someone asked me why I'm trying the food before I go.  I told them I don't want to be out on the trail with a empty belly.  I'd like to fill it with foods l like.  Hence trying before I go.  Alright lets get started.

 I am going to rate these all against the real thing.  That's the only way to be fair.  So I prepared it per instructions.  WITH the optional stir point at 5 minutes.  After 9 minutes in the bag the result was about 2 cups of ...stuff.

 You could tell the eggs and the green peppers and red.  That's about where it stopped.  I was hoping for a little more from the potatoes.  They were pretty runny and not the greatest in consistency.  You could tell the eggs were eggs but there taste was pretty bland.  As I ate the taste did get better.  I only ran into a few bits that weren't re-hydrated.  As a test I put some in a skillet and fried it all a bit.  I thought maybe getting rid of a bit of the excess moisture would help it.  It did help the potatoes a bit but it made the eggs very spongy.  I wouldn't recommend this.  I would recommend some cheese if you have any and maybe a tortilla.  These two thing would have made it very good.  Even just the cheese.  As a final test I asked the cats to have a taste.  Both wouldn't come near it.  Fail.

I'll give it a 6 out of 10.  You can eat it but I feel there are better breakfast foods out there.  The consistency wasn't what I was hoping for and I think it would be displeasing to others as well.  Taste was overall ok.  Nothing put me off that much.  The few bits of unhydrated food were a turn off as well.