My wife bought a pontoon this summer and while I’m not an avid angler, it has given us more opportunities to go fishing. If you’re out on the lake, why not drop a line in? ๐ŸŽฃ

I’m normally one of those guys that buys the waterproof lake map to keep in the boat:

From an eBay Listing

These Minnesota-made lakemaps are no longer produced and considered “vintage” – but you can still get them at bait shops around the state. What about something a little more high tech, but not too expensive? I went to eBay looking for an old multi-mode Garmin GPS and got a nรผvi 500 that has modes for driving, hiking, biking and boating.

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That’s a click-baity title. But seriously I bought a Chevy Bolt without ever driving one. However, I had ridden in one and it seemed perfectly fine. It also met all of my criteria:

  • Is it all-electric? Yes โœ…
  • Does it have a good range? Yes โœ…
  • Does it look like a normal car? Yes โœ…

Great! I’m sure whatever other quirks it has I can get used to. Even with an open battery recall, I think it’s a fantastic car.

I got a great deal on a new 2021 Bolt from an out-state dealer, and they just dropped it off at my house. My first “test drive” was picking my daughter up at school. After driving it for a couple of months I’ve gotten used to it. The number of settings that you can configure is rather daunting, so I put this reference together ๐Ÿ˜Ž

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This is a love letter to Schwalbe. I love their Big Apple bike tires. If you have a mountain bike that is going to serve most of its life pounding the pavement these are for you. My Redline 29er mountain bike does 95% of its miles on the pavement, and it does it on Big Apples.

They’re big and fat so you keep the same look and level of comfort, it just lowers the rolling resistance because you’ll sound less like a jeep driving down the highway.

Changing tires has an immediate and apparent affect on how your bike handles. The same thing goes for toy cars and full-sized ones. It doesn’t matter if it’s 2-wheels or 4, those little patches of rubber are the only thing connecting you to the road.

More Big Apples

I got my son a set to put on his Haro Flightline. We’re going on some longer rides this summer – mostly on Minnesota’s expansive network of paved bike trails. He doesn’t have the luxury (or allowance) of keeping a separate road & mountain bike like dad.

It’s a relatively quick change (~30 minutes) to go back to stock tires if we’re going to head out to the single track trails.

Big Apple equipped Haro Flightline
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Remember how your dad’s 10-speed from the 70s/80s had an extra set of brake levers by the “tops”? They were for the top part of a drop style handlebar, like this:

They are called extension levers, or sometimes colloquially suicide levers because some couldn’t actuate the brake fully.

Whatever the case is, I’m still fond of them and wish they were still a thing. Bike manufactures mostly solved this problem by putting ergonomic hoods on the brake levers so you can rest your hand on the top of the bar where it curves down.

Like driving with your hands at 9 & 3 the paddle shifters are easier to reach… but I can still press the brake when I’m cruising at 12 & crotch ๐Ÿ˜Ž I want the same thing on my bike. I like keeping my hands on the tops when I’m relaxing, and I don’t want to do an emergency hand move if I need to stop quickly.

Enter cross levers

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When I was getting back into R/C for the 2nd time, circa 2003, I made a conscious choice between getting an HPI Super Nitro Rally and the HPI RS4 (electric) Rally. The music of 18,000 RPMs sounded like a ton of fun, but in the back of my head, it just wasnโ€™t worth it. Smelling like nitro fuel, tuning the engine for the weather, proper maintenance and storage were just a few reasons. Plus all my previous experience was electric. At the end of 2020 I donated my Subaru WRX to Newgate School. It was feeling its age and had several gremlins that I didnโ€™t want to deal with: a fuel filler neck that wouldnโ€™t refuel at full speed, an undiagnosed misfire on cylinder #1, and a slipping clutch. Like my decision to bypass nitro, the time was right to give up the rumbly EJ motor sound for the whir of a 200HP electric motor. Introducing the official Meatball Racing vehicle: Chevy Bolt
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