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 helps us develop 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.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Velo-Orange Bar Covers and twinning

      Since the weather is replete with sunshine and -10 degree windchill, I decided I should finish the handlebar project I started a couple days ago.  For those who recall, I decided to wrap a leather wrap around the handlebars for my new touring bike.  Although the wrap is a great product, my sewing skills really suck.  It looks OK but one side didn't quite finish in the correct line and I did a poor job of cutting the leather at the end of the bar.   So the simple solution is to wrap the ends of the bar to cover my mistake and make sure it doesn't get worse.  I use twine for this, now any twine will do, but the people in California who started this technique insist that hemp twine must be used.  I think hemp has more value in California than elsewhere, I don't know why, it reminds of what Saul Bellow said: "it's as if the country were stood on end and whatever wasn't screwed down properly rolled into southern California."
      Anyway the technique is simple and makes a nice finish on any tape or handlebar cover.  It starts by setting one piece of string across the bar horizontally.

Then you simply wrap the twine tightly around the bar and the loose end,  this gives the wrap a nice clean start   without a visible knot and a smooth cover over those rough ends my ineptitude created.
When you reach the end of the ugly area the wrap is tied off with a tight clove hitch, that's the one cowboys used to tie a horse to a post.  If you weren't a Scout or don't have one handy, you can always borrow one from the neighbor.  Just hang an open bag of beef jerky or some other fuel for volatile flatulence out the window you'll catch a Boy Scout sure enough.  Make him tie off the ends, give him some more jerky, open all the windows and let him free.
    In the end the bar will look like this,

and I didn't feel the finished edge on the top of the bar needed to be repaired or hidden since it was a perfect cut.
The final part of the procedure is to finish the twine with shellac.  Most people use an amber colored shellac which gives the twine a rich brown color
A couple of coats are brushed on thickly and this not only gives the twine a nice color, it seals the twine and helps glue and bind it together making it less likely to come loose and unravel.  After the shellac is dry, you can cut off the loose ends and it's all done.

Now my mistake is hidden with something that looks neat and purposeful.  They'll be good enough for me, last for years and if somebody else likes it, well it's no fault of mine.

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