New Bike Day!

Photo Feb 13, 2 08 21 PM

The very best kind of day. New bike day. I loved the Spot but no matter how much you love a particular bike there always comes a time where its just time to move on to the next thing.  So why the Niner ROS 9 Plus you ask? Isn’t 29+ just another weird format fad? Maybe. Time will tell but my path to this bike actually probably started a few years ago.

After Mark Tucker took a step back from racing he got himself a Carver Gnarvester 29+ rig and I was immediately pretty jealous.  The thing just looked FUN and the way he would describe how it rode just sounded exactly like how I want to ride all the time.  At the time there weren’t many 29+ offerings and it was just weird enough that I never really thought it would be a possibility for me.  Then in the following years the format caught on a tad.  Trek came out with the ‘Stache and Niner launched a 29+ version of their ROS among others.

I really liked the look of the Niner.  I’ve always been a fan of that classic steel look with the tapered steel fork.  It seemed like a sweet bike but I still never quite thought of is as an option for me being a ‘racer’ and all.  Just this past Thanxmas I was talking with Pog about him thinking about getting back into mountain biking a bit and I was telling him if he wanted to try and get a bike that he could theoretically ride all year and just be super fun it would be a 29+ rig.  He’s on the coast so he’d have enough float to ride sand as long as it wasn’t too deep, same for snow in the winter.  Low maintenance just get on and go type ride.  I even said, “If I wasn’t racing, I would be on a ROS 9+”

I had already been thinking about what my replacement bike would be and in the weeks after Thanxmas it started occurring to me that saying something like “If I wasn’t racing I would have this bike” was kind of stupid.  This is the most fun bike I can think of but I’m not going to buy it because of this other thing I do mostly for fun.  The days of me being concerned about the gear I have really impacting my ability to be competitive are over but apparently I hadn’t quite fully accepted that.  Luckily I came to my senses and now I’ll be racing on a super fun bike.

Of course I had to buy it the time of year that I can’t really ride it so now I get to torture myself just looking at if for awhile. Maybe I’ll post a ride review once I get some time on it.

Attic Renovation – Insulating

Work in the attic space continues! This is actually progressing quite a bit faster than anticipated. I’m breaking new ground on much of this work and while I had a plan it was based on little to no experience so I figured I’d run into all kinds of snags but so far so good.

After the door went in the next stages of my plan were to insulate the ceiling and frame up some mini walls.  Decided to tackle insulating first.  Can you believe I fit eleven 2in x 2ft x 8ft sections of rigid insulation in the Fit?  WELL BELIEVE IT because I did.

Photo Feb 06, 2 27 04 PM

Working with rigid insulation is actually pretty easy.  Cutting it was no problem.  Getting things to fit in my irregular not-square house got a bit interesting but we managed ok.  Just a bit of punching and smashing to get things press fit into place.  But end product came out pretty nice.  A few of the sections of ceiling needed a bit of finish work before we could insulate so we’re not totally done yet.

I was able to move some of the electrical that was in the way Sunday and we’ve got a plan to add some 2×6’s at the end of the room for an additional ceiling plank mounting spot.  Then its walls, ceiling planks, floor.

Photo Feb 07, 10 38 36 AM

Attic Renovation – Building Doors

When we bought the house in ’09 there were a few left behind items in an unfinished attic space over the kitchen.  We had a bunch of things we weren’t quite ready to throw out yet so we stashed them in there as well.  Most of that stuff has just sat in there for the last 6-7 years.  We’ve tossed around the idea of trying to renovate it a bit because its a decent sized space.  We still need the storage but if it was insulated and a bit cleaner/nicer the cats would have more room to roam around and who knows what else we could do, we still need to figure that out.

I forgot to get a pic with it still all full of stuff but I’ll use this as our ‘before’ pic (looking in from the entryway):

Photo Jan 16, 11 29 42 AM

I’ve broken my plan out into an order of operations to get the whole thing done.  First step was to build a door to close off the entrance to the other attic space above the addition.  That attic space is less finished off and really wouldn’t be usable in any way. Luckily I was smart enough to ask Tony to come over to get a second opinion on my plans for the space. He gave me a much simpler idea for the door than what I was thinking of.

Basically a reverse bulkhead door using the existing ceiling joists as the frame. Pretty straight forward except for the whole nothing is square in my 100+ year old house thing. Kinda hard to incorporate new square things into old wonky things.  I didn’t feel like trying to mod the plywood to match the specific wonkyness of the opening which may come back to bite me later when installing the planking I’m gonna use for the ceiling but time will tell.

Photo Jan 30, 2 37 58 PM

Dad and I got things installed without much issue.  There were a few key steps that definitely needed some extra hands and manpower. Decided to cover the opening below the door by just continuing the cedar planking across from the ceiling/walls once I get to that step. Still need to insulate the back of the door as well but that will get done when I insulate the rest of the roof in the next stage of the project.

Photo Jan 30, 4 12 04 PM

Gina suggested also mounting the same cedar planking onto the door as I’ll be putting everywhere else to hide the door a bit and give a more uniform look. A not so subtle way of telling me she doesn’t like the unfinished plywood look.  I didn’t really care much because its just an attic but the planking would look way better and won’t be too hard to do or cost that much extra. So she’ll get the credit when this looks better than it would have.


I’ve gone from making beer to making spirits! Unfortunately this doesn’t mean I have a distillery in the basement now, it means Gina got me a homemade Gin kit for Christmas this year.  I had never heard of such a thing but I guess its pretty common.  In essence its a vodka infusing kit.  Gin is pretty much a neutral spirit (like vodka) flavored with juniper berries and a whole bunch of other herbs and the what not.


Super easy fun little project.  First step: buy 750mL of middle of the road vodka (I went with Smirnoff). Second step: dump juniper berries in the vodka and wait 24hrs, Third step: add herbs and wait 12hrs, Fourth step: Profit.


I actually ended up leaving the herbs in there for 24hrs instead of 12 because I forgot to strain the gin into the bottles in the morning and didn’t do it until that evening. With something like this I doubt it will make a huge difference but I guess I’ll find out.


This kit came with a cool metal funnel and a nice strainer that I will probably use again for other stuff around the kitchen and the little bottles it comes with are cool looking and could certainly come in handy down the road as well.

I can’t wait to show up at my next gathering with my own homebrew and my own gin. #hipster



We’ve killed our individual blogs in favor of this super combo mega blog. No real clue exactly what or how it’s gonna turn out. Plan right now is to be awesome and document it here. It’ll be full of grammatical errors and happenings ‘around the Farm’. Animals, brewing beer, gardens, macro, travel, parties, projects, life. Other topics TBD.

Your new one stop shop for all things Kaulback. Spread the word.


k & G