A few things that worked REALLY well...

Questions, answers, tips & tricks for newbies and veterans alike
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Weebdog
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Post by Weebdog » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:25 pm

Sheets on the upholstery and a foam carpet pad custom cut to the floor plan of my trailer made post playa clean up easy. The foam pad was about 1/2 thick and had a "shiny" surface which made it easy to sweep off as needed. It was pretty comfy to walk on in socks or bare feet.

Pre-cooked food from home made meal prep easy also.

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Edana
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Post by Edana » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:09 pm

Oooh, forgot to include those little single serve Crystal Light drink powder things. I'm not normally a big fan of water, but these made water taste great! I had a variety of flavors so I didn't get bored. And one pack was the perfect size for one of the water bottles I used. Mixed with cold water they were just awesome. In particular the Peach Iced Tea and the Wild Strawberry flavors were just what I needed.

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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:22 am

Edana wrote:Oooh, forgot to include those little single serve Crystal Light drink powder things. I'm not normally a big fan of water, but these made water taste great! I had a variety of flavors so I didn't get bored. And one pack was the perfect size for one of the water bottles I used. Mixed with cold water they were just awesome. In particular the Peach Iced Tea and the Wild Strawberry flavors were just what I needed.
I use them too, but most of mine are Ocean Spray in juice flavors, or Lipton teas. What's on sale at the commissary on base, basically.

Ice water. We have one of those orange dispenser coolers used at job sites. MyLarry throws in a bag of ice a day, and maybe a gallon of water. We drink it as it melts down. Very refreshing.

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knowmad
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Post by knowmad » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:41 am

What works:

Remembering That I am in my happy place both physically and Spiritually. worked pretty good, when I found myself stretching to be accommodating for some inconsiderate bungholeio, I just garbbed a water bottle and headed to another region of my Happy space and shared it with others.

Making and keeping playa dates. (4 out of 5). Last year I saw a few things going on and wanted to join in but... So this year I found a few workshops to contribute to. marched with the bunnies. and chased down a friend that is harder to find on the playa than an actual virgin.

Androgynous approach. Something I'm trying to do more of in Defautia, and had real good results at Burn. I am what and who I am, and I'm getting better at it.

Latex gloves for Sex! that and keeping the ky in the cooler. (thanks Dana!)

Things that Didn't Work

Stupid Camera!
moopie gifts I was too drunk to refuse.
my Gaydar. fortunately in BRC the thing's 'bout useless.
............................................Image...........................................
Oh yeah, this year I was totally twerping out at the fence. ~Lonesombri

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Fire_Moose
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Post by Fire_Moose » Fri Sep 10, 2010 8:53 am

VeganChoirGirl wrote:
Savannah wrote: * Meeting FireMoose worked out really well. After his little history with indiscriminate slurs, etc, I was worried he was going to be a dick, especially 'cause he was camped with my friends and I didn't like the idea of them having to deal with any mishegoss, but the few times we crossed paths, he was good-natured and generous. He just plays an asshole on TV. Sorry to Out you, FireMoose. :lol:
No doubt. I camped with FM and though he wandered a great deal, the times I did get to hang a bit with him...totally awesome. :) What an awesome playa surprise!
Aw shucks laydeez thanks!

I don't know if wandered is entirely correct though. I kinda had 3 camps (didja see the orphan shirt?) and at the camp farthest away was usually food. I swear i had to have biked 200 miles last week.

What worked super well for me was not loaning my bike to anyone and my word combo lock
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VeganChoirGirl
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Post by VeganChoirGirl » Fri Sep 10, 2010 1:18 pm

Fire_Moose wrote:
VeganChoirGirl wrote:
Savannah wrote: * Meeting FireMoose worked out really well. After his little history with indiscriminate slurs, etc, I was worried he was going to be a dick, especially 'cause he was camped with my friends and I didn't like the idea of them having to deal with any mishegoss, but the few times we crossed paths, he was good-natured and generous. He just plays an asshole on TV. Sorry to Out you, FireMoose. :lol:
No doubt. I camped with FM and though he wandered a great deal, the times I did get to hang a bit with him...totally awesome. :) What an awesome playa surprise!
Aw shucks laydeez thanks!

I don't know if wandered is entirely correct though. I kinda had 3 camps (didja see the orphan shirt?) and at the camp farthest away was usually food. I swear i had to have biked 200 miles last week.

What worked super well for me was not loaning my bike to anyone and my word combo lock
:hug: hope you had fun in Stag
Finally moving to SF...can't WAIT!

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dragonpilot
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Post by dragonpilot » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:14 pm

EmilyD wrote: What Didn't Work

* Unfortunately heavy duty earplugs coupled with high decibel earphones couldn't keep out the horrendous pounding of shitty rave music all night. We were located between DPW and Anonymous Village on Detroit and every goddamn, crappy, mutant vehicle seemed to drive down our street every night. Sometimes they parked outside our trailer for an hour blasting their pointless single-note pounding ear poison. This was the only part of my entire Burning Man trip that I couldn't find a way to embrace. The only thing that helped me laugh about it was when a campmate described it as "the sound of a tennis shoe in the dryer."
NOTE TO SELF: Set up camp further out!
Don't bore your friends with all your troubles. Tell your enemies instead, for they will delight in hearing about them.

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baconqurlyq
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Post by baconqurlyq » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:34 pm

Ballpoint pens work for about 2 minutes out on the playa. My husband found that out the hard way, and thankfully I had brought a handful of fine-point sharpies. Those things work much better!

We camped way out on the fringes, and I'm really glad. It was much quieter, much more chill, than towards the center. It was like the difference between downtown and the suburbs, except it was a 2 minute bike ride from the suburbs to downtown!

The electrolyte tablets for the camelbaks were fabulous! They tasted great and did the job they were supposed to! However, I didn't like having to sling the camelbak off to grab stuff every two minutes. I just ordered the greatest fanny pack for my most-used items for next year :D

I was also glad I always had toilet paper and hand sanitizer on me. I also encountered people who were glad I had TP and hand sanitizer on me at all times. I think the portos were properly restocked maybe for the first two or three days, but after that we were mostly on our own. I didn't mind too much, as those guys had a horrible job cleaning those things out twice a day anyway, but I felt bad for those that maybe weren't in a state to remember to bring stuff with them.
Popped the playa cherry!

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AntiM
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Post by AntiM » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:40 pm

The ballpoints I use for the Home are the crap ones you steal from motels, non-retractable. Some are going on five years now.

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Eric
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Post by Eric » Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:11 pm

my best post-playa cleaning discovery?

Swiffer pads (or knock-offs).

Wipe everything down with them first, then do the vinegar or club soda spray. Next year we're carrying them in the RV with us so we can start wiping down the inside once we hit 447. They work fantastically!
It's a camping trip in the desert, not the redemption of the fallen world - Cryptofishist

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MartyZion
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Post by MartyZion » Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:47 pm

Oriental rug bought on the cheap @ Deseret Industries really tied the monkey hut together, plus hardly had to use the little dustpan and broom in the tents. Made a habit of changing TP rolls early throughout the year resulting in many short rolls of TP to hand out to distressed morning potty patrons. Tin BSA camp cup on a beltloop carabiner was a friendly bartender conversation-starter. But best of all was a 12v light with a magnetic base on a hinge that made for EZ nightime arrival and camp setup.

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Trishntek
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Post by Trishntek » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:16 pm

Fire_Moose wrote:All my planning worked swimmingly.

The only thing that didn't work was the orientation of my monkey hut. It got set up in the entirely wrong direction because the first couple mornings were very cloudy and you couldn't see the sun at all.

Monday morning rolled around and it was like "dammit"
COMPASS,,,,, never leave home without it.
RETROFROLIC, the place of Pink, Pain and Pleasure!
http://www.retrofrolic.com
Some call me Tnt,,,, works for me!

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EmilyD
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Post by EmilyD » Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:34 pm

dragonpilot wrote:
EmilyD wrote: What Didn't Work

* Unfortunately heavy duty earplugs coupled with high decibel earphones couldn't keep out the horrendous pounding of shitty rave music all night. We were located between DPW and Anonymous Village on Detroit and every goddamn, crappy, mutant vehicle seemed to drive down our street every night. Sometimes they parked outside our trailer for an hour blasting their pointless single-note pounding ear poison. This was the only part of my entire Burning Man trip that I couldn't find a way to embrace. The only thing that helped me laugh about it was when a campmate described it as "the sound of a tennis shoe in the dryer."
NOTE TO SELF: Set up camp further out!
Yeah no kidding but it was our first year and we were very happy with our campmates at ArtCar Camp. I think we'd have been really lonely further out as newbies. Next time there may not even be an ArtCar Camp so we'll see.
You don't have to be skinny, naked and under 30 to be a Hottie!

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MistressSybs
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Post by MistressSybs » Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:56 am

Northpole shade structure!
Opinions and Assholes, everybody's got one!

.:: starfuckers incorporated ::.

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Bling
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Post by Bling » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:35 am

We found the standard (small) size bottles of hand sanitizer in rubber "carabiners" at the checkout line at Office Depot for a buck--perfect! They'd make great gifts, too.

Also, was really glad we all brought an extra box of contact lenses. I usually wear mine for a couple of years, but zipped through 3 pairs that week.

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C.f.M.
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Post by C.f.M. » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:05 am

Bling wrote:We found the standard (small) size bottles of hand sanitizer in rubber "carabiners" at the checkout line at Office Depot for a buck--perfect! They'd make great gifts, too.

Also, was really glad we all brought an extra box of contact lenses. I usually wear mine for a couple of years, but zipped through 3 pairs that week.
Ditto. Last year I had the same pair, this year I brought the ones I was wearing, a pair for the backpack and another spare pair. It was nice to just throw the offending one away.

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Fire_Moose
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Post by Fire_Moose » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:42 am

VeganChoirGirl wrote:
Fire_Moose wrote:
VeganChoirGirl wrote: No doubt. I camped with FM and though he wandered a great deal, the times I did get to hang a bit with him...totally awesome. :) What an awesome playa surprise!
Aw shucks laydeez thanks!

I don't know if wandered is entirely correct though. I kinda had 3 camps (didja see the orphan shirt?) and at the camp farthest away was usually food. I swear i had to have biked 200 miles last week.

What worked super well for me was not loaning my bike to anyone and my word combo lock
:hug: hope you had fun in Stag
I had a great time with stag and hope to add them(you) to my list of on playa outposts...although I'll prolly be back if you guys accept me :)


More stuff that worked....

I put a new pair of contacts in when i left phoenix and kept them in all week (11 days) they worked fine and i just eye dropped every now and again.

giant fucking sledge

ditching the air mattress in lieu of 2 sleeping bags, 2 comforters and a thick blanket
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Token
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Post by Token » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:51 am

I never wait in line for anything.

I walk up to the front of the line, do some magic, and get served right away.

DMV, Pyro inspection, Ice, CC Coffee, etc.

If there's a line, I work it.

Works like a charm every year.

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C.f.M.
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Post by C.f.M. » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:00 am

Token wrote:I never wait in line for anything.

I walk up to the front of the line, do some magic, and get served right away.

DMV, Pyro inspection, Ice, CC Coffee, Greeters, etc.

If there's a line, I work it.

Works like a charm every year.

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Savannah
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Post by Savannah » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:10 am

I almost forgot to say . . . AntiM suggested I use a wrecking bar to extract my twelve 9-inch tent stakes from the playa after last year's ordeal. (It really sucks when you think you're going to risk missing Temple Burn 'cause your normally easygoing campmate is newly obsessed with getting out of Dodge right after. Trying to pull my pounded-flush stakes in '09 so I could chill one last time with my friends was the closest I've ever come to a meltdown out there.)

So, this year I brought this bad boy:



And I love it. Got all 12 stakes out in 5 minutes. Watch out for the blade end, though. I knew I should have taped it. I got cocky on the last pull and nicked myself on the thigh. (Worth it.)

thexmark
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Post by thexmark » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:53 am

IN:
Dry ice - 50lbs in our 'freezer/re-freezer' cooler lasted 8 full days
Baby wipes
Cot for sleeping
Camping on the outer streets for good sleep
Lotion for hands and feet
Finger LED's
Pre-cooked vacuum-sealed meals - just boil and eat - we had stir fry, lasagna, chicken, brats, mac n cheese, rice, etc. - worked perfectly
Solar panel & battery for 12V needs
Wet trash mesh bag for drying wet trash for ride home

OUT:
Evaporative cooler - more bulk than benefit this year - sleep out in the shade if your tent it too hot
Elaborate wood/insulated structure - again, more bulk than benefit IMO
Elaborate showers - too much grey water to deal with - use more wipes and a wet wash cloth next time

IMPROVEMENTS:
More baby wipes
Less water (brought 65 gallons - used maybe 15)
Springbar-like tent and larger shade - less bulk
Better bike seats - holy ass-ache - some foam and towels saved our asses
Better bikes? - 3 wheeled trikes perhaps
Basket on bikes - then no need for Camelbaks
Bigger outdoor rug for camp
More shoes
More EL wire
Alcohol dispenser in camp
Refined grey water evaporator

All in all it was an awesome year.

-tXm

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jella
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Post by jella » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:37 am

Savannah wrote:I almost forgot to say . . . AntiM suggested I use a wrecking bar to extract my twelve 9-inch tent stakes from the playa after last year's ordeal. (It really sucks when you think you're going to risk missing Temple Burn 'cause your normally easygoing campmate is newly obsessed with getting out of Dodge right after. Trying to pull my pounded-flush stakes in '09 so I could chill one last time with my friends was the closest I've ever come to a meltdown out there.)

So, this year I brought this bad boy:



And I love it. Got all 12 stakes out in 5 minutes. Watch out for the blade end, though. I knew I should have taped it. I got cocky on the last pull and nicked myself on the thigh. (Worth it.)
Gotta love a lady that can use a tool !
Burning Man isn't about the stuff you see when you get there ....it's about the people that brought that stuff there

ConnieH
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Post by ConnieH » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:32 pm

We ziptied two camp cots together and put two XL self-inflating camp pads (thermarest style) on top - best camp bed I've ever slept on! The cots and pads were bulkier to transport than an air mattress, but no fear of the air mattress collapsing in the middle of the night. And the cots provided a ton of storage space underneath, which kept our hexayurt much more tidy than last year.

I need to remember to bring one of those wall mount can crushers next year for the bar...my cowboy boots worked well, but my back was killing me from bending to get the can, setting it up, SMASH with foot, bend to get can, repeat 200 times...for some reason we can't get our bartenders to do this :P

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SnowBlind
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Post by SnowBlind » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:41 pm

thexmark wrote:IN:
Wet trash mesh bag for drying wet trash for ride home
We always have a trashbag lined plastic box out where we dry all wet trash, but you bag sounds like a better idea. What type of a bag did you use for this?

thexmark
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Post by thexmark » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:51 pm

SnowBlind wrote:
thexmark wrote:IN:
Wet trash mesh bag for drying wet trash for ride home
We always have a trashbag lined plastic box out where we dry all wet trash, but you bag sounds like a better idea. What type of a bag did you use for this?
We bought a yard of fabric and sewed it into a bag and also sewed in a drawstring and hung it from out shelter.

The fabric looked like this fabric I found in an image search:
http://www.texindex.com/Sell/Detail/150352.html

First we'd drain any excess liquid into a glass jar with lid to haul back with us, then put the now non-dripping, but still wet trash into the bag and it would be dry within the day. Worked very well. Next time I will have a couple of them to separate burnable trash from recyclables


-tXm

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Miles
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Post by Miles » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:09 pm

Worked
Orienting our monkey hut SSW with a compass. Wind passes through and shade throughout the day.

Cooking good meals at home and freezing them. Less time spent cooking, still ate great!

Putting our ice in freezer bags! No grey water in the cooler! No soggy food! And you can drink the melted ice!

Our run of the mill passive evaporation pond (4' x 4' worked great for the two of us)

Showering with a spray mister (VERY little grey water left over!)

Organizing everything into big rubbermaid tubs and putting it back in its place!

:arrow: Using a Futon!!!! after the nightmare of air mattresses and sleeping pads deflating on me, this was gold! We got it for free on craigslist. Kept two futon covers on it, and the futon itself stayed dust free enough to keep in the apartment now! We kept a plastic sheet tucked around the futon when we weren't sleeping so that really helped.
I like bikes and stuff

uski
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Post by uski » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:03 pm

This is about our 2-person camp, made of a big monkeyhut housing two tents and our stuff.

Here's what worked:

The monkeyhut. Awesome. Using 24" stakes (not rebar) (Lowes item 9883 model 655122). Our tarp was a bit too big tho, so it prevented the hot air from leaving. Get the right tarp!

Solar power: 2x 10W panels (could get 7W peak per panel), provided enough power to light up our camp at night, and for the few RGB LED christmas lights we had around. We could also charge our cameras, listen to music (with portable Altec Lansing "InMotion" speakers, perfect for the monkeyhut), and charge AA/AAA batteries for our bikes. Will get a better charge controller next year and more panels. No battery waste to deal with!

Car rental. We rented an economy car from Budget. Didn't tell we were going to BM. We could fit 2 bikes, 3 big bags, all our food and water, the monkeyhut, 2 small bags, and a few other small things inside the car (had to disassemble the bikes). We spent two hours cleaning the car (including the engine compartment). Didn't pay any extra upon return. Use baby wipes to clean the inside, and a sponge and car soap for the outside. Works perfectly.

Our food menu. Canned food, Pringles, beef jerky (important for hydration: eat some salt too), dried fruits, and instant noodles. Used a small gas camping stove. Perfect. Also got some Mtn Dew, Coca Cola, lots of apple/orange juice, and water of course. Didn't need a cooler.

Waterproof digital camera. Stylus Tough from Olympus. Could use it without worrying, and you can use water to clean it (no need to worry about scratching the lens). Has a nice in-built panorama feature. Battery life seemed a bit low so bring an extra battery and a charger!

Having bikes. I've seen people telling you can go to BM without a bike... I would never recommend this to anyone. You'd miss so much!
Don't forget to get a lock and lights (front&rear), you need to see where you're going.

Bike lights, blinkies. DO NOT BE A DARKTARD!!! If you're cheap, get four $2 red bike lights, 2 for you, 2 for your bike (front & rear). Mandatory in the streets if you don't want to be ran over at night! Personally I used RGB christmas lights around my bike and my body - much better.

I can't understate this, BE LIT AT NIGHT, for your own safety if not for fun.

Improvised shower. We couldn't really afford to bring a shower from abroad and had no room to put one in the car anyway, so we made one using 3 empty cardboard cola cans packs (on the floor, making a triangle) and an emergency foil blanket (on the top of the packs) to collect grey water. Used no evap pond, we brought the grey water back. If done correctly, very little grey water leaks to the playa. Used a cut bottle as a funnel.

Homemade gifts. I wasn't sure what all this gifting stuff was all about (being a virgin), but I still came with some gifts (personnalized white LED lights). People loved them. Made little & gave them only for special occasions. Better than stickers yet not very expensive.

And finally...

GETTING THERE, PARTICIPATING AND ENJOYING THE EVENT. Totally worth it! :)

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Elorrum
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Post by Elorrum » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:55 pm

thexmark: I built a trike this year and really loved it. Didn't take a picture of it all put together... dang.
Image
got one of these kits from ebay, three speed with derailleur. I invested in reflective colorful fat tires by Sweetskinz... not visually effective after 5 minutes of coating with playa dust. but I knew they were there. will be fun for pavement rides.
Springy, lots of springs on the saddle.
Image
then I put it on this bike:
Image

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Token
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Post by Token » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:16 pm

C.f.M. wrote:
Token wrote:I never wait in line for anything.

I walk up to the front of the line, do some magic, and get served right away.

DMV, Pyro inspection, Ice, CC Coffee, Greeters, etc.

If there's a line, I work it.

Works like a charm every year.
A sealed flask (8 or 16 Oz) of whiskey will get you to the front of almost any line. Bring a half dozen of good stuff for ice or coffee runs.

For Thunderdome you need a fifth of good stuff.

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Weebdog
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Post by Weebdog » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:13 pm

Snowblind wrote - We always have a trashbag lined plastic box out where we dry all wet trash, but you bag sounds like a better idea. What type of a bag did you use for this?

I use a simple burlap bag. You can usually fnd them during the winter in hardware stores or lots of places that give away sand bags. Put your wet trash in, hang it out and the desert works as a natural dehydrator.

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