Dark Hollow Pond Trail – Phase 1 – April 27 with Greater Boston NEMBA


Trunkmonkey Racing will be in attendance at the Greater Boston NEMBA Dark Hollow Pond trail project at Middlesex Fells Reservation this coming Sunday (April 27, 2014). Come join us bright and early to move some dirt, build some singletrack, and open up Dark Hollow Pond to mountain bikes! For more information, please see the event page on Facebook or the NEMBA Web site.

The Angels’ Share: Single Malt and Singletrack

The Angels' Share: Single Malt and Singletrack

Back in November an amazing video popped up in my Feedly called Angel’s Share: Exploring Scotland’s Singletrack and Single Malt. I’m a big fan of mountain biking. I’m a big fan of Scotch. And I’m a fan of Ben Howard whom I’ve heard a few times and was chosen for the soundtrack.

But a couple of days ago Dan Barham posted on Reddit “I love MTB and Scotch, so I joined the two and made this article“. The original video didn’t have a link to the article so it was great to read the rest of the story. Even if you’re not a fan of Scotch it’s definitely a great tale.

Chippoke’s Cabin Fever Maple Whisky Bacon Grease Infused Bacon Crumble Brown Sugar Caramelized Ghost Chile Chex Mix

Back to the Bastard at House of Toth (October 2013)

What’s the best way to wind down after a hard day of trail building and mountain biking? Alcohol and bacon of course! And how do we combine the two into a single snack for uncomplicated gluttonous consumption? With Chippoke’s Cabin Fever Maple Whisky Bacon Grease Infused Bacon Crumble Brown Sugar Caramelized Ghost Chile Chex Mix! Just the name alone instills fear in the hearts of cardiologists everywhere! Don’t even bother trying to calculate calories or serving sizes. It’ll just depress you.


Right, let’s do this!

  1. Cook bacon to an almost burned crispy hard consistency. Think potato chips.
  2. Crumble bacon into 1/4″ to 1″ long chunks and set aside on paper towels.
  3. Pour bacon grease into a Pyrex measuring cup.
  4. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  5. Line three large baking trays with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.
  6. In one or two large bowls mix Chex Mix with pecan halves and crumbled bacon.
  7. In a two-quart saucepan heat brown sugar, bacon grease, and light corn syrup over medium heat. Stir occasionally until bubbly around the edges.
  8. Cook five minutes, stirring occasionally, and remove from heat.
  9. Stir in whisky and ghost chile powder.
  10. Pour slowly over Chex Mix and toss or lightly fold with a spatula until evenly coated.

It’s go time!

  1. Spread snack mixture evenly over pans.
  2. Bake 15ish minutes at 300°F stirring every five minutes.
  3. Crank oven up to broil, swap pans from rack to rack, and cook each pan directly under the heating element for an extra twoish minutes until crispy and caramelized. Final consistency will be like peanut brittle.
  4. Cool completely, break into pieces, and serve in large bowl.
  5. Seal extras or leftovers in Tupperware to keep fresh and crispy. Absorbs moisture quickly, especially during outdoor parties.

Back to the Bastard at House of Toth (October 2013)

Trunkmonkey Racing backs Mac Ride!

Mac Ride in Action
But Mac’s our number one customer. His smiles tell the Mac Ride story better than I can.

Trunkmonkey Racing backs Mac Ride! This is insanely cool. What happens when you cross a kid named Mac and a Mountain Bike? You get Mac Ride, a Kickstarter out of Vancouver, eh! From their Web site:

It was my wish for our children to benefit from these same outdoor adventures as well as my passion for engineering and mountain biking that led to Mac Ride.

Riding is not the safest activity on planet earth. But when set against the chaos of traffic and the bubblewrap boredom of an overprotected childhood, I think Mac Ride strikes a balance. I worry about the wimpification of today’s children. I think kids should be exposed to the power of their bodies and the risks of the outdoors. Then they can learn about good choices, while building confidence and resilience.

If my nephews were still toddler-sized I’d be all over this thing!


When counting calories watch out for reporting loops in your Apps.

Photo credit: Hamor Photography

Weight loss isn’t magic. Simply eat less calories than you burn. Easy peasy. That is unless you inadvertently sabotage yourself by getting too geeky and try to use too many nutrition and weight loss Apps to track and manage your progress. I found out the hard way that it’s best to Keep it Simple (Stupid).

The Usual Suspects

How fat am I?

My workflow starts with the Withings Scale. I step on it every morning and it tells me my weight. Because that’s what scales do. But it also connects to my home Wi-Fi network and pushes my weight to Fitbit, Lose It!, Endomondo, and MyFitnessPal. Simple.

How active am I?

I wear a Fitbit Flex. It’s a geeky Bluetooth pedometer that keeps track of my daily activity and steps taken and calculates approximately how many calories I’ve burned. This helps me with meal planning. It syncs with my iPhone throughout the day and pushes my activity and caloric burn total in realtime to Lose It!, Endomondo, and MyFitnessPal. Simple.

Lose It! iOS screenshot showing caloric intake and burn.
Lose It! iOS screenshot showing caloric intake and burn.

How greedy am I?

I use Lose It! to keep track of my caloric intake to plan meals and to keep myself within a 1,000 calorie per day deficit. This is where things start to get less simple.

Using the screenshot on the right as a guide, Lose It! takes my current sex, weight, age, and height and calculates my basal metabolic rate at 3,074 calories (what I can eat per day and not gain or lose weight). I set my caloric budget at a 1,000 calorie deficit (lose 2 pounds per week) so my caloric budget for the day (what I can shove into my cake hole) is 2,074 calories. Simple-ish.

The screenshot shows that my activity for the day has burned about 1,626 calories. So, in theory, I could have eaten 3,700 calories (2,074+1,626) and still lost weight. The app shows that I ended up eating 3,152 calories and was under by 548 calories (1,548 calorie deficit for the day). Simple-ish.

How crazy am I?

I use Endomondo to track the crazy things I do like kayaking and mountain biking. Endomondo is a GPS tracker and more accurately calculates caloric burn for each activity based on GPS movement. Fitbit doesn’t know that I’m kayaking or mountain biking, only that I’m moving, and Endomondo supplements Fitbit with this additional data. Once I upload a GPS track to Endomondo it merges with the data already pushed from Fitbit, does some calculations, merges back to Fitbit, then pushes to MyFitnessPal. Simple-ish.

How stupid am I?

I don’t really use MyFitnessPal. I only signed up because it had some nutritional data that seemed interesting at the time. MyFitnessPal also has an exercise tracker and, after logging exercise, pushes back to Fitbit. Simpl…wait, what? Crap.

How it all went wrong.

Fitbit pushes data to Endomondo. Endomondo nicely merges data with Fitbit but then also pushes to MyFitnessPal. MyFitnessPal pushes duplicate data back to Fitbit. Fitbit sees the MyFitnessPal data as a new workout and pushes both copies of the same data to Lose It!.

So a single 500 calorie workout gets reported twice to Lose It! as a 1,000 calorie workout. Crap.

The moral of the story.

I wasn’t losing nearly as much weight per week as I should have. A 1,000 calorie deficit per day should result in a loss of about 2 pounds per week. I wasn’t anywhere near that even though I was close to my Lose It! calorie budget each day.

Be sure to pay careful attention of how data is being shared to make sure nothing is getting duplicated. There are dozens (hundreds?) of nutrition and weight loss Apps available and I’m sure there are more conflicts similar to this one. Once I disabled MyFitnessPal and deleted two months of duplicate data I’m back on track.

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Trunkmonkey Racing Ghetto Wheel Truing using Zipties

After 10 miles of rough trail riding on the old 1992 GT Karakoram Full Rigid my slightly out-of-true wheel became a significantly out-of-true wheel with a bent spoke; it was rubbing brake pad in four locations. I guess my fat ass bombing a downhill full of fist-sized loose rocks and small boulders was a bad idea.

Thanks to [amazon_link id=”1934030597″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance[/amazon_link] I was able to do a ghetto wheel truing using zipties attached to the frame in lieu of a proper wheel truing stand.

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Airborne Bicycles gives a sneak peak of their new Guardian 29

It’s just a single photo, but Airborne Bicycles has posted a sneak peak photo of their new Guardian 29 on their Facebook page. Since the caption reads “A sneak-peak of one of the new models coming soon~!” there are probably more fresh designs in the pipeline! Speculation is running wild, but so far the consensus is a Full Suspension BMX 29er eDH Hybrid Rig with Integrated Smoothie Machine.

Trunkmonkey Racing and Airborne Bicycles?

In my search for new Mountain Bikes I ran across Airborne Bicycles, a company that has an interesting offering of value-packed bikes (follow them on Facebook and Twitter). I’m intrigued by their product lineup, reviews, and press coverage so I applied to become a member of their Flight Crew. Hopefully the next time you see me on the trail it’ll be on a shiny new Airborne instead of my aging 1992 GT Karakoram Full Rigid.

Introducing the Canon PowerShot D20 – built for adventure

Order at Amazon or Adorama.

The PowerShot D20 is the latest generation of Canon’s waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, and dustproof D-series point and shoot camera line. It keeps the same 12.1 megapixel spec as the previous PowerShot D10 but gains GPS, Intelligent IS, better zoom, larger screen, higher ISO sensitivity, and an increased shockproof rating.

So what does this have to do about Mountain Biking or Motorsports? Simple. This is beater camera designed specifically for harsh conditions where you might not want to carry a full-sized DSLR or risk taking out your camera phone. Toss into the mix built-in support for GeoTagging and a low energy consumption GPS Logger and you have an all-in-one unit that can be used to record trail information and ride statistics.

Continue reading Introducing the Canon PowerShot D20 – built for adventure

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