This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and develops a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Monday, October 20, 2014

It's that time of year!

  
Trees are becoming more and more beautiful 
as each day becomes cooler and dryer.  
There is a briskness in the air and every where you turn there is 
some kind of pumpkin/nutmeg flavored pastry being dangled before us.
It's also a reminder to get a few things caught up before the snow flies.
My son has been having flats.  He came to me after the second one.
I went over the tire and could not find anything still in the tire, the tube I installed held air overnight and another day.  But the holes I patched were in identical spots, and I could not find a wire, nail, grain of sand or anything to have caused each of them.
Oh well, move on I guess.
The "other deal" I have sitting on the table is the front fork for my Hunq.
The paint has been marred badly since I first put 
Blackburn Lowriders on them.  
The wiggling around under load put some really ugly gouges in the paint.
Fortunately when I switched fenders, I discovered a perfect match in color.
Now that I am using the big Surly rack on the front, I feel safe that I should get that matter corrected.
I sanded them down to eliminate the gouges and painted about half of each fork.  Looking carefully under full light you can just barely tell the difference in sheen.  I will probably redo this in the spring and make sure I mask off the lugs so there won't be a noticeable break in color or sheen.
I had actually considered having the bike striped and powder coated before I went to the country bike rally in Minneapolis.   While I was there all the Riv fans were fawning over the paint job and I realized it really is an interesting bike I should maintain.  Not only did I get it from the original Waterford run, it has the first chosen colors for the bike.  It's a piece of history in eccentricity of it's maker.  According to a Blug post, Grant and his painter went 'round about the orange and grey.  Grant liked it, but the painter argued the colors were from incompatible ranges of the palette and shouldn't  be together.  The painter insisted on lug lining to keep the orange and grey from touching.  Grant hates lug lining, but finally gave in.  Is it me, or does this sound like two crazy people trying to collaborate on a rational decision?  Well, now that paint job is a $400 option.

So, I got that going for me.  Along with the first purchased  Bosco Bars on my HIllborne,
I have prizes which should concern nobody, but do.
I hope a grandchild fits,


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Funny thing happened at the mailbox.

Boy this past week got away from me.  I was a little busy with some other work and the last real decent ride I enjoyed was last weekend.   Some locals and I did the annual
Forests and Foliage in the Fall ride in the Yankee Springs area.
It was a bit of a  chilly morning (below 40F) but cloudless and promising.
There were nine of us who braved the morning while I know a number stayed in because they are just plain sissies.  We were toasty and comfortable within a few miles and the air had that fresh autumn briskness that comes with the cool lack of humidity.  The route is initially hilly with a Cat 5 climb through thousands of acres of hardwood forests turning to shed their leaves for the winter.
After the halfway point, the route becomes really fast, with a series of rollers that lead predominantly downhill.   It's a beautiful and pleasant metric for a fall afternoon.  Next year I may schedule it later in the morning so the wimps can come out and play.
In other news I found a greeting card in my mailbox this week.  I don't get a greeting card from anybody but aging relatives at Christmas..  Hell, I only go to my mailbox once or twice a week to clean out the coupons and throw them away.  I wasn't sure what it was, 
but it came from Rivendell Bike Works.
They weren't even thanking me for my business, but more impressively for something I wrote.
Not here, but on a Bike Forum.   Apparently one of them noticed a comment I made on one of the flaming anti-Riv threads on the Bike Forums and they just wanted to thank me for defending them.
I guess that's customer appreciation of a different level, but I am always amused when Riv or Grant are mentioned on the Forums.  It attracts a vitriolic group of children who can't understand there is a different world than than that of the Spandex Hamster.  Thanks, Riv for noticing.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Urban 8

I have been kind of convalescing since my return from Minneapolis.  I threw my chain and hyper extended my knee with all my weight on it.  Damn that hurts, and it just doesn't like anything after that for a while.  After the drive home, it was so stiff I thought of calling for help just to get out of the car.  In the meantime, I have been riding for work or errands, just because.
I did run across this nifty little tool from Topeak.  It's called the  Urban 8 and has 8 tools, like 2 tire irons, two spoke wrenches, two allen heads,  a big hex wrench with a nice long handle for axle bolts and,of course, a bottle opener to help solidify our religious relationship with the brew pub industry.

 All this bolts right to the water bottle bosses 
with a couple of substantial thumbscrews and only costs about $10. 

 It's really neat, a city bike toolkit in a handle. 
 I bought one for Byron and one for my son's Jamis Commuter.  A day after I gave it to him, he had a flat and found that the hex head wrench does not fit through all the over sized tubing and flairs in the rear dropouts, so it was useless for that. Oh well, maybe I am not a good parent after all. 
 It works fine on Byron's Soma Buena Vista frame.   Beware parents bearing gifts, 

Friday, October 10, 2014

I jumped the electric fence.

 I decided it was time to add a dynohub to Byron.  Two things brought this on. 
First of all Busch & Mueller have produced a light with automatic daytime driving light features.
The diagram provided above shows the angle of beam changing from the eyes of oncoming traffic in the daytime, to the pavement at night.  The change is automatic by means of a photo sensitive switch integrated into the EYC Senso + headlight.  The reflective "beard" is included to satisfy German law, It can be removed it you don't like it, I don't care, so I left it.
  Second: Dyno hubs are getting pretty good without being awfully pricey.  I found that a $50 Sanyo dynohub produces only .5 watts additional  drag over the the best Schmidt hub when engaged.
The drag is there, it's measurable, but not really a problem for me in stop and go city use. 
 In this application I would be using it all the time 
and didn't care that the 
cheaper hub created a
 butt load more drag when not being used.
A lot of people complain about the crappy looking wiring all over their beautiful, concourse quality bike.  Above is a photo of Byron at 10 feet showing all the disarray created by the wiring from the hub to the headlight back to the tail light.  I know where the wires are and can't find them. 
 I ordered the wheel from Peter White who built a solid 36 H Velocity Synergy wheel on the Sanyo Hub . The entire system; custom built wheel, dyno hub, headlight, tail light, and shipping was around $375.  That's not a bad upgrade for a system to be used all day every day.   The application of a daytime driving light for a city bike does make the dyno hub a more practical producer of power.  Some randonneurs may like dyno hubs for reliable power, 
but I think a tire driven dyno is the
 best tech for occasional use.  
 I will stick to the tire driven dyno for touring on my Hunq..