Folbot Aleut First Report

Aleut View Forward

Today, I paddled my new 2003 Anniversary Edition Folbot Aleut for the first time.  Most of you know this already, but the Aleut is Folbot’s 12′ single kayak.  Here’s a link to information on the Folbot line-up of folding kayaks that I think was current when the company went out of business last year (2016).  Weighing about 40#, it’s easy to put on the car’s roof racks.  I used a couple of cheap foam blocks to protect the hull.  The boat’s aluminum frame, probably aluminum in general, ‘feels’ more fragile to me than my previous folders’ wooden frames.  The Aleut’s gothic arch cockpit is huge – it seems even bigger from the inside.  I used a bungie cord to keep the seatback in place.  I remember reading on the old Folbot Forum that the style seat my kayak’s got consistently annoyed users by falling forward when they entered the cockpit.

Aleut Lakeside

The Aleut has zero rocker, is beamy, has a lot of primary stability but I was unsure of its secondary stability so I edged to turn with caution.  It was a little breezy today and I found the kayak didn’t turn into the wind much; no rudder today nor was one needed.  The kayak seems sturdy, stable, not bothered by boat-wake or small wind-waves.

Compared to Campsis Radicans, my old Pouch E68, the Folbot Aleut is pretty slow.  Surely no more than six miles did I paddle this afternoon, but I had no real plan except to put the boat in the water and paddle it around a bit.  It took me a mile or two to remember how and begin to paddle efficiently.   The kayak’s D-rings for perimeter line are placed where I carelessly and repeatedly whacked them with the paddle.  Altering habitual form to avoid that will take at least conscious effort and another excursion to effect.  My form today was sufficiently poor that one of my elbows hurts.

Aleut Beached

As you can see from the pictures, I overprepared – spare paddle, a couple of dry-bags with stuff I might need, a second lunch in case I got hungry, a bilge pump, a bilge sponge, about a gallon of drinking water in a Viet-Nam era military collapsible canteen.

I rode my ’07 Jamis Supernova this morning and again this evening after supper.  Being active outside feels good.

Aleut & Supernova

Into the Pollen Storm Again

Yesterday, I took my longest bike ride – just shy of 28 miles if Mapquest can be trusted in the matter.  My goal was to ride out and drop off a check to pay a bill, then ride home.  My route was pretty simple – long, relatively straight road with a lot of small hills and longer climbs; ride out, ride back the way I rode in.

During the colder winter months, I wore the same kinds of undergarments I wear for winter paddling – compression layer, thermals over that, and whatever semi-technical outer garments (including a couple pair of bargain cycling tights), shy of drysuit and splash top or pants, are clean that day.  As the weather’s warmed up, however, I’m sticking with my normal walking around clothes – cotton boxer, cotton t-shirt, long shorts, cheap Dickies brand short-sleeve pocket-T.  Yesterday, I did wear a pair of Endura knee-length cycling shorts that resemble the shorts I normally wear (although I would have preferred a pair of more Tin-Tin-esque plus-fours), and a pair of Shimano MT-22 cycling shoes.  The cut of the shorts prevents them getting confused at the inner-thigh whilst pedaling, and the shoes, with their soles so stiff you can’t feel anything through them, prevent hot-foot.  With the MKS Lambda pedals, the shoes work fine without cleats or clips.  My review of the shoes, by the way, has been universally panned as unhelpful and self-indulgent, which is pretty charitable considering the readers of Sierra Trading Post product reviews are looking for information to help them decide whether a particular product makes sense within the context of their recreational orientation.

I again overprepared, with a flat repair kit and a few small tools, an Epi-Pen, two water bottles (one with powdered Gatorade mix, one with tap-water), a cell-phone, and all the stuff I normally carry around in my pockets.  Lights front and back for visibility.  A couple of snacks (which I actually needed on the way back).  And, of course, the check, with a copy of the bill to be paid, in an envelope.

You know what?  The ride was pretty easy.  That’s not to say it required no effort, but simply remembering to gear-down a little bit before it became necessary to pedal in a lower gear, and taking conscious control of my postural biases sufficed to keep me pedaling without any serious discomfort or superhuman exertion of strength and willpower.  The road, itself, was in pretty good repair.  Most of the motorists passed me by easily without trying to get too close (although on the way out, after a bridge, the guy in the red truck pulling a flatbed with a tractor moved over a little to the right to express his annoyance).

On the way back, I stopped at a fitness center parking lot to make a call and stretch.  Several miles further down the road, I became hungry, so I stopped and ate my snack of five generic fig-newton cookies and about half a cup of trail-mix, drank some Gatorade and a little water, then pedaled home.  I took pictures of my bike at the parking lot and at the place I stopped – the concrete foundation of a World War II POW camp building.  Then I finished my ride by stopping at a yard-sale on the road leading to Burnt-Down Plantation Estates and paying a dollar a pair of Haggar wrinkle-free trousers in my size to wear to work.

Head-On

The-Lord-is-My-Shepherd

Psa 23:1  Salmo de David. JEHOVA es mi pastor; nada me faltará.
Psa 23:2  En lugares de delicados pastos me hará yacer: Junto á aguas de reposo me pastoreará.
Psa 23:3  Confortará mi alma; Guiárame por sendas de justicia por amor de su nombre.
Psa 23:4  Aunque ande en valle de sombra de muerte, No temeré mal alguno; porque tú estarás conmigo: Tu vara y tu cayado me infundirán aliento.
Psa 23:5  Aderezarás mesa delante de mí, en presencia de mis angustiadores: Ungiste mi cabeza con aceite: mi copa está rebosando.
Psa 23:6  Ciertamente el bien y la misericordia me seguirán todos los días de mi vida: Y en la casa de Jehová moraré por largos días.