Tag Archives: La Fin du Monde

A Job Half-Done

The CB500T straddles the equatorial line.

 

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Present State

The CB500T presently sits, in all its glory , right outside my apartment window. I can just see the brown of its tank from where I sit typing this blog. Look, it just plain looks great sitting there reflecting the light from inside and I’m falling in love with this little beast all over again. I’ve been breaking her in again gently and my confidence in the vibrous monster grows with each passing day. She’s smoothing out and we’re gonna treat her to some more new parts. But first, lets do a bit of a rundown of what’s been done thus far:

  • new fuel filter
  • fork gaitors
  • starter clutch relegated to the dustbin of history
  • new sparky plugs
  • front break system flushed and gone through
  • wheels trued
  • new fork seals (well, 2009 new enough)
  • new (to me), more functional rear rack
  • LED voltmeter installed
  • new sprockets all around and chain
  • complete tune-up: valves, timing, points
  • carbs taken apart, cleaned, and gone through
  • new gel battery/bettery
  • all electric connections gone through and greased
  • modern rectifier
  • headlight kill switch
Yea, I think thats it. God will forgive me if I forgot anything. Moving on, we’ll need a few more things to shore the bitch up and take care of everything that needs to be taken care of before our rideabout. 
First and foremost, we’ll need to take care of that little muffler crack and get it all welded up. We don’t want that falling off between Yellowknife and Fort Simpson or wherever the hell I’m going. Ditch that crossover box, toss on a pair of CB450 headers and you’re golden.
Figure out that luggage boyo and figure it out soon. Keep that dorky rubbermaid plastic box that saw James Bay, or ditch it for something else? Stay with the army surplus green softbags, or figure something else out? And where to store the soccer ball and surplus gas tank? Decisions decisions.
Will time allow for the drilling of the front rotor? Only time will tell, and the clock ticks on. It waits for no man, nor manboy. There is only so much time left.
Regardless, time must allow for the ordering of some new parts, if only to please the machine Gods and give the CB its due diligence and every chance to make it to ends of the earth. We’ll need to secure:
  • carb rebuild kit(s)
  • new wheel bearings 
  • new tires and HD tubes
  • front break pads
Eh, I think that’s it really. I can figure the rest out on the road right?
I’ll do a little camping/personal gear rundown in due time, but as for tools/spares my basic kit will look a little something like this:
  • vice grips
  • tire irons, tube patches, etc.
  •  needle nose pliers
  • stock tool kit (will handle 99% of fix-its)
  • chain breaker/press
  • volt/ammeter 
  • extra bulbs
  • extra clutch ball bearings (real easy to lose)
  • assorted screws/nuts
  • fuses
  • spare cables
  • extra points/condenser
  • wire
  • duct/electrical tape
  • JB Weld/Epoxy
That’s pretty much it, I’m sure I’m forgetting something. But we will check and double check and rack our brains for anything that might be forgotten so that it will not be forgot before departure, such as extra valve caps.

Mother’s Milk

Note: While it may appear that this website is descending into a hodgepodge of beer and/or bicycle related news bits, please note that the original intent and mission remains true. As the countdown to zero hour approaches, it is hoped that such articles will be of some interest to the like-minded reader/adventurer in the meantime, at any rate.

Now, I know what you all are thinking.

Know that I know about all those thoughts rattling around in your skull like so many dum-dum bullets.

“I wish there was a website that spoke to me directly as a person and not as a dollar sign.”

“Why isn’t anyone talking and/or writing about the things that I care about?”

“Why can’t I find a website loosely devoted to beer reviews, that otherwise doesn’t appear to make any sense?”

“Why can’t I find a website that caters to my perspective/dynamic, the Manboy perspective/dynamic?”

The answer to all of your questions and concerns lies within these pages, so, do not fear!

On the docket for today we have several beer reviews. Pipe Adams has been a busy boy as of late, drinking his fill of delicious tipples and chronicling his thoughts in his diary. The beer store near his house offers a wide variety of all sorts of intoxicating brews from around the globe. A staggering array really, enough to keep any manchild busy.

A constant attractant for the author is anything that comes from Quebec, an exotic Northeast hinterland that enraptures the lonely traveller with adventure served up on an icy platter at all times. Hazy memories of drunken times in Montreal are rekindled when a bottle of Unibroue’s Trois Pistoles is spied, plucked from the shelf, and spirited home. As noted in my previous installment, Unibroue’s attention to packaging is wholly apparent, as Trois Pistoles’ vehicle of choice is a beautiful corked bottle with an image of a winged horse flying majestically over a church through ruddy skies.
Fair enough.

excerpt from Pipe Adam’s beer journal:
Trois Pistoles: 9% alcohol. Delicious. A quality brew worthy of all hooligans. Grapey, winey taste. As noted on the label, “…a remarkably mellow dark ale. To compliment its aroma of ripe fruit, it has a pleasant aftertaste that lingers on like old port wine.” An apt description if there ever was! A beer that should be drunk in a cabin in the woods in the dead of night! In the dead of winter!

Again, I can’t quite say enough about Unibroue’s wonderful and thoughtful approach to quality. They even make up a little story about each of their beers. Please follow this link to learn the legend of Trois Pistoles and become enraptured in ecstasy. Wunderbar!

On a separate note, whilst searching for decadent and quality beers it came to my rapt attention that many, many beers of high quality are brewed by monks. Now, why would monks, a pious lot not necessarily associated with alcohol consumption, feel it necessary to produce excellent beers? An internet query yielded the answer. Apparently, in days long ago it was not always safe to drink water. Beer provided a safe alternative to merely drinking water because, although unknown at the time, the alcohol contained within destroyed harmful bacteria and parasites that made drinking water so dangerous. Of course, this doesn’t really make sense because alcohol dehydrates you. But, we’re talking about the Dark Ages here, so whatever. In addition, the carefully made brews produced by the monastery yielded a relatively nutritious and caloric intake during times of fast. As such, many of these quality brews can be sipped and/or supped as a meal replacement. Travel Tip: You will likely get pretty drunk if you do this.

Next up on the docket is Anchor Steam Brewing Company’s 2009 Christmas Ale. Like Unibroue’s beers, Anchor Steam’s Christmas Ale suffers not the detriment of age and its constitution will, in fact, improve over the years.

2009 Christmas Ale: 5.5% alcohol. Also good. Delicious even. Tastes similar to a Manhattan Special soda in beer form. Name does not disappoint and all the joys of Christmas are imparted unto drinker. Special. Hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.

In addition to the aforementioned alcoholic tipples, our author was lucky enough to meet up with old time crony and enigma unto himself, DJ Jared as a trip to the Peekskill Brewery was in the works! Our dynamite and dynamic duo was able to thoroughly sample both food and fare. A sampler round of eight beers was ordered as the hooligans saddled up to the bar to munch on sandwiches and artisanal meats.

The Peekskill Brewery is a carefully thought out establishment with an air towards quality. Our chums were immediately delighted with the bar seating arrangement, for at each of the corners of the wooden bar a half circle is built into it; which, if you and your buddy sit on either side, functions like a bartop/table hybrid. The best of both worlds!
This establishment is similar in appearance and style to most other brewpubs in that the interior is softly lit and contains lots of wood, which provides for the appropriate atmosphere. The staff is friendly, courteous, and knowledgeable about their products.

Now, although I truly wanted to love this place with all my heart, I found the beer to be lacking…something. I could not quite put my finger on it. Now, it is quite possible that our old friend from Unibroue hath visited this site as an impish saboteur, but this is only theory.

Peekskill Brewery journal excerpt…

Keegan Ales‘ Mother’s Milk: An average brew at best. Nothing remarkable. Only 3.2% alcohol. A tasty stout no doubt but nothing more. Imagined this would be creamier, owing to its name.
Peekskill Brewing Hop Common: Hoppy. Pilsnerish. Nice bubbly bite to it.
Peekskill Brewing Ry Guy’s Rye: Strong alcohol taste that does not quite jive. Not great but not terrible. Fresh.
Peekskill Brewing Cha Cha Chai: Gimmicky. Literally tastes like Chai tea. Halloweenish pumpkiny brew. Another stupid name.
Old Wagon-Ale: Tasty, high alcohol content brew at 8.2%. Nothing special.
Captain Lawrence Double IPA: eh!
Pussy Sweat Pale Ale: Salty and sweet, a true beer lover’s treat!
Lagunitas Brown Shugga: eh. Another stupid name.
Dogfish Head Chicory Stout: a little watery. DJ Jared did not like it. enough said.

And there you have it. I was not impressed, really. Just wasn’t feeling it that day.

We often speak of quality here at the promised land, but one must never confuse quality for the act of trying too hard. I hope you catch my drift. Emoticon: wink!

It is a very hard thing to produce something that is wonderful. You can never really blame someone for trying…can you?

An Exercise in Taste

Short of doing pushups with your tongue, Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde represents the latest, greatest exercise that one can do with their taste buds.

La Fin du Monde is a beautiful beer in a beautiful bottle that looks great on a shelf next to other beers, or even beets as beers is sometimes misspelled. La Fin du Monde looks better than beets. This is why I picked it out of a sea of different craft and imported beers lining the shelves at my local beer distributor. It’s stopped with a cork and bears a stylish rendering of Quebec and all of its icy northlands. The bottle and name of this beer, translated as The End of the World, draw on powerful images of quality and excite the subconscious. Carefully chosen, no doubt,  by Unibroue’s creepy Bruce McCullochy propagandist to snare the curious drinker (please, please see video here).

Excerpt from Pipe Adam’s beer journal:

Very strong. 9% alcohol. Truly the champagne of beers! (this is because it tastes like champagne) The quality is unmistakable. It tastes like hefeweizen with champagne in it, but in a good way. The high alcohol content is no detriment, and adds to the taste. This beer tastes better when swished about in the mouth, drinking slowly. As recommended on the bottle, a snifter would be most beneficial in enjoying the complex subtleties of La Fin du Monde.

Almost like a meal, hours later I am still sipping and full.