Home > Uncategorized > Please Do Not Tow; This Has Not Been Abandoned

Please Do Not Tow; This Has Not Been Abandoned

Right, then…

Everything I do in live seems to ebb and flow.  I’ll be completely focused on something for several weeks or months, then I’ll forget about it completely, in favor of some new hobby or interest.  What’s interesting is that I eventually circle back to pick up where I left off.  Years ago, I was into motorcycles, now I hardly ride.  Bicycling is the reason I started this blog, but that dried up after my job was no longer commutable.  Earlier this year, I got into photography, specifically film.  After spending a small fortune on cameras and developing supplies, I’m back to bikes.

The last post had me working full time.  As that job was in the East Bay and I’m on the Peninsula, it had me crossing the Bay Bridge every day, which was not conducive to cycle commuting, so that dropped to zero.  This summer, I switched to a new job in Sunnyvale.  Still a long commute, but now I can take CalTrain and – depending on time and desire – can work in a ride from the CalTrain station to work.  Yes, this is much better.

With that, I have dusted off the Dawes, which has languished for some years in the garage.  Even when I was cycle commuting, I was riding on my old converted Biscayne mountain bike.  I’d still be riding that now, but some fucker stole it out of the back of my truck at my girlfriends house.  As I’m not about to commute on the FSR (no racks, no panniers and FS is really not great for commuting), the Dawes was up.

When I first had it built up, I was afraid to really…do anything with it.  It was too nice.  So while I’d take it out for rides, I’d never want to lock it up to a rack, or bring it on CalTrain, as it would get scratched.  Now, due to lack of other bikeage, I’ve gotten over that.  Also, I’ve come to grips with the fact that it’s silly to not use something out of fear of scratching it.  Bikes aren’t meant to be maintained in pristine condition, forever a showpiece.  They’re meant to be ridden, which means they’ll be crashed, leaned against a tree, locked to a railing, rained on, etc…  Keep the rust at bay, and you’re golden.

So, I’ve been using the Dawes for commuting.  I’ve taken it in a handful of times now, most recently last Monday, when there was a pissing rainstorm.  Overall, the bike did great, but the bottle generator was not able to maintain much grip against the tire sidewall, in the rain, so I did not get much headlight.  Because of this, I’ve decided to break down and get a dynamo hub installed.

With the vacancy created by the Biscayne, I finally – after 3 years – built up the Bob Jackson.  I’d used all the parts that I’d accumulated over the years and finally got to the point where I needed to hook up the cables.  But, I just couldn’t make it work…the routing was never quite right and I couldn’t get the housing length just right.  In the end, I ran out of time and patience and dropped it off at  Walt’s Cycles in Sunnyvale to get completed.

Walt’s has become my go to LBS since Willow Glen Bikes shut down (the original owner sold it; the new owners didn’t quite gybe with the old clientele, in my opinion, and at the same time, a Mike’s Bikes opened up down the street).  Walt’s did a good job of finishing it up.   I’ve taken it in a couple of times now and while it’s good, it gets a little light in the front when I have loaded panniers on the back, so I need to investigate some rackage for the front, I think.  Also, the old Trek seat sucks, so I’ve installed a Selle Anatomica X seat (red, like the head tube color), so that should improve conditions, somewhat.  Finally, fenders would be a nice add as we’re expecting shit tons of rain with The Nino coming in, this year.

Now – just like the old days – I’m working on a new bike project.  Rivendell has a bike called the Clem Smith, Jr.  It amounts to what would be and old, lugged, mountain bike frame, that has been converted to cruiser status:  Upright bars, fenders and racks, sharp looking.  Price:  $1500.  Well, hell.  That’s cheap for a Rivendell, but still a tidy sum.  So, my thought is to build up my own facsimile – buy a used steel rigid mountain bike frame and cannibalize the FSR.  Part of me feels weird going “backwards” from an FS bike to rigid, but truth be told, I’ve always felt that the FSR was far out of my range of capability anyway, so it’s not much of a loss.  It’s a gain, actually, as I’ll have a bike that I’ll actually ride.  The thought, then, is to make an adventure bike – something I can take on trails and do some bikepacking with, but not do any shredding of gnars, gleaming of cubes, or weezing of juices (or whateverthefuck hard core mountain bikers with exponentially more skill than I, do).  I’ve taken the first step of buying a frame – a 1989 Jamis Diablo,  made with Tange MTB tubing.  Overall, the frame is good – I want to get some braze on’s installed for a front rack and maybe for a frame tube, then send it off to the powder coater.

So, with these two items – Dawes getting a new front hub, and the new bike getting braze ons – I needed someone that can actually do the work.

I called Walt’s, but they weren’t up to the job.  I went more localler, and called Talbot’s – same thing, not their thing.  Then I did what I should have done in the first place:  Googled Tahn and see where he landed after Willow Glen Bikes.

Turns out, he’s at Bronson Silva Cycles in Campbell right now.  A very friendly and informative call with Bronson himself told me that yes, they install hubs (Tahn being a master wheel builder and all) and yes, they do braze ons as they build entire frames.  Tahn returns from vacation on January 2, so I’ll be heading over,6-pack in hand, asking for advice.  Just like the old days.

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