From Smooth Rapids to VFW Lodge, McMinnville – Folbot Aleut

With the 2003 Anniversary Edition Folbot  Aleut I bought in late June, I drove to McMinnville again to float the Barren Fork River from Smooth Rapids to the VFW lodge.  My son and I paddled that length of river  in our Grumman canoe.  Longer ago than that, after a rainy week, I’d taken the Aleut to Smooth Rapids only to be advised against putting in there by the guy in charge that day d/t debris, etc.

In late September, I finally got back to Smooth Rapids with the Aleut, but by then we’d had about no appreciable rain on the Upper Cumberland Plateau for about two weeks, and I had some concerns about low water level.  Still, hypalon’s supposed to be a tough material for hullskins, and I numerous times dragged a 75# wood-framed solo kayak with PVC hull over rocks and fallen trees and heaven knows what crud may choke a laughably small river’s channel.  Without mishap.

During my late September paddle/float down the Barren Form & Collins rivers, I had reason to regret leaving a handy painter in the car.  Two or three times I my kayak hung on rocks and one time I just got out and pulled the Aleut, wagon-like, behind me.  I started writing this post about a month ago, but I’d already prepped the snapshots, so here they are:

Bow Half Float Bag

Stern Half Float Bag

Bow and stern sections, respectively, with NRS medium float bags. Inflated, they take up most of bow and stern sections under the deck.  Pretty good displacement for the 12′ Aleut, I’d guess.

Smooth Rapids Put In

That’s the Smooth Rapids restaurant, office, store up there on the hillside. Restaurant seating is available up there  on the deck.  You can drive down near the put in, then back up the hill to a parking lot out of frame to the building’s left.

Aleut Seatback

That’s how I got the Folbot’s seatback to stay in place. I’ve got the seatback’s tension pretty high and lean forward when paddling.  Sort of like a backband, but not quite.  Just making due with what I’ve got.

Aleut & Klepper Paddle

That’s the first kayak paddle I ever bought – probably close to my own age, it’s about 240 cm in length and is a Klepper paddle.  I tried it out on this river float trip and found it far superior for the purpose than my Eric Renshaw Greenland style paddle that’s a lot shorter.  Also, the Klepper paddle’s got metal riveted to the blades’ edges which proved helpful this day.  I think in future this is the paddle I’ll be using with the Aleut at least until I get a longer Greenland paddle.  I think I mentioned in a previous post about smashing fingernails against the Aleut’s deckline D-rings using the shorter paddle; not a problem with the Klepper paddle.

Barren R Steep Rocky

Meadowy Grove

Future Fossil Bed

Confluence Construction

Construction Site Runoff

Too Shallow Need Painter

Barren R Curve

I wish I’d had time to get out and paddle a Franklin County slough, today, but instead dropped off the Jamis for some repairs and the Sprite frame for headset.  Stopped by a gun store and range where I spoke with a fellow I haven’t seen in several years, entered a drawing for a “tactical” shotgun.  If I win it, I’ll review it here.

 

 

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Raleigh Sprite Frame & Fenders

Raleigh Sprite Sandblasted Fenders

A couple of days ago, I got the 1974 Raleigh Sprite’s frame and fenders back from the powder coat shop.  Also took the seatpost and stem, as well as the oddly small handlebars in for sandblasting and finish coating – not chrome, though, I hate the maintenance chrome requires.  I’ll post a picture of those items when I get them back.

The gray I chose is a lot lighter than it looked on the color card and has a bluish cast to it.  Yesterday, at lunch, I took the frame and fenders to the body shop around the corner, as it were, from the office to select a color for the fenders by holding color cards against the frame in sunlight and with a small lamp that approximates sunlight.  Chose a yellow that’s close to a British racing yellow but is a GM stock color used on semi-articulated tractor rigs.  The paint will be a little cheaper than a custom color.  Hopefully, the color scheme will work alright.  At least those fenders will be visible a long way off.

The fellow who originally sandblasted the frame and fenders ran the rear fender through the box with the reflector in place.  After working on its removal at the body shop, I can see why he left it alone.  The body shop guys were able to get it removed, but it was more difficult than expected.

Here’re a couple of pictures:

Raleigh Sprite Rear Fender

Powdercoated Raleigh Sprite Frame

1974 Raleigh Sprite

My father-in-law bought this 10 speed bicycle when stationed in Honolulu and occasionally deployed on an aircraft carrier.  He said for a while he rode the bike from the family home to the clinic where he served as a dental surgeon.  When I got the bike, it’d been stored in one of the small barns at the family farm for about 25 years, the fork and handlebars had been turned and stuck sideways to the frame, the tires dry-rotted and the rear fender dented with the reflector’s plastic broken out.

About three or four years ago, I dsassembled the bike and boxed up its sorry component group – Huret and Sturmy-Archer.  There’s a long story about how I farmed out getting the frame, fork, and fenders sandblasted for $25, then could not find the sandblaster, then figured it out and retrieved the parts sans paint but with the headbadge also sandblasted.

Last week, I took frame and fork to a powder-coat shop in the county where I work at lunchtime and picked a slightly darker, battle-ship gray color.  Yesterday, I took the fenders to body-shop close to my office and talked about getting them worked on and painted a sort of British Racing Yellow.  The bodyshop guy is a midieval history buff, so talking history was a bonus.  Today, I plan to pick up the frame and fork to finalize fender color at the bodyshop.  Will take and post a couple of pictures.

Here’s a link to someone else’s Raleigh Sprite: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1974-raleigh-sprite-bicycle-bike-135554524