Archive for March, 2016

Stay Thirsty, My Friend

Well, Hell…

I reckon sooner or later this – like the Ghostbusters remake – was bound to happen.  They say there will be another MIMW, but – also, like the Ghostbusters remake – I don’t have high hopes.

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Buying Local and Other Things

Right, then…

So now that I have the Bob Jackson sorted out in fixed gear trim, my attentions returned to the Jamis.  For all intents and purposes, it’s together, but needing dial in. The chain was too long, so the derailleur collapses upon itself when in low gear.  Also, the handlebars are are too low for my taste and the stem is at max height.  Finally, I wanted to pick up a set of dirt drop bars to try out.

When I buy something, I have a general rule:  If I go into a shop and ask questions about a product, I buy it from them.  Conversely, if I can do my own research and figure out what I need, and am willing to wait, I’ll buy online.  Never, will I ask questions about something in a shop, then buy it online…that’s just tacky.  Tonight, however, I did the opposite:  Researched online and bought in a store.  I know I paid about 25% more for the handlebars, stem and quick link (including the quick link tool that I didn’t know I needed until the guy showed it to me) than if I bought them online.  But, that’s OK.  I like that there’s a place that I can walk in to and ask 90 questions and get decent answers from, so it’s not too bad of a premium.  Also, truth be told, I get a little charge from going into the shop.  You don’t get that from buying off of Amazon.

Back to the Bobby J, I took the derailleur cables off, the other day, as my tape up job was loosening and the cables were flopping around and looking Jenky. I’ve decided to hold off on swapping out the 15T cog after reading that Sheldon Brown had his bike set up at 42/15…if he can live with that, then I sures the hell can gut it out for a while.

Related, methinks I’m starting to gain some fitness.  Last Sunday, I did my normal Canada Rd loop and the climb to Polemus Rd at the end was not as arduous as it usually is.  Also, I wasn’t completely wiped at the end of the ride, like normal. So I got that going for me…which is nice.

Unrelated:  Did I mention I got into film cameras, last year?  Nothing like eschewing technology for something that may or may not be better.  Anyway, for the trip to Glacier NP this summer, I’ve decided that none of the 8 or so cameras I already have are small enough for bike touring, so I’m now trolling eBay.  I’ve settled on an Olympus XA-2…small, light, excellent optics, 3 focus settings and a thumb wheel for winding (so no extra batteries needed for an autowinder).  Problem I’m having is that folks overvalue their 35 year old cameras, so trying to find one cheap is going to be a challenge.  But I’ve got time…



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First Ride on the Fixed Bobby J

Right, then…

First, I’m typing this on the iPad as my MacBook died and I left my work MacBook at…well…work (don’t like taking that on a bike commute). So, if this is poorly punctuated, or spelled, you know why.

Anyway, maiden voyage on the Bob Jackson after I converted it to fixed.  What’s nice is that the FG muscle memory from 5 years ago (yes, it’s been that long) stuck around, so I picked it right back up, no problem.  As suspected, however, the 15T cog is geared crazy tall, so it was a push on all surfaces except the slight downhills.

Uphills are a thing…I mean, they alway were, but now I can’t drop down to a 34T cog and go for it. Also, did I mention I live on the side of a hill?  Nothing massive, but enough to that I have to stand on the pedals to get up them   Hell I have to stand on the pedals to get going from a stop while on the flats.  If there’s a stop sign going uphill, I check my 9, 12 and 3 and go for it.  Pisser with that is that I lose my moral high ground when it comes to other assholes that regularly blow stop signs.


Dig the groovy red seat.  Also, I realize that the derailleur cables are still there   Those are coming off, soon.

Also, I fitted a Wald medium basket to the front.  I noticed that when I have full panniers on the back, it gets light in the front, so now I have a way of balancing it out, a bit.  Small challenge was that the basket it just barely narrow enough to fit between the drops, but I was able to mount it low enough to make it work.  The few pounds up there do seem to make a difference, handling-wise.

So the verdict:  I like it!  I missed riding FG.  While I’m overgeared, I’m inclined to gut it out with this configuration in order to get in to shape.  Maybe after a while, I’ll either get a bigger cog or even one of those slick Surly dingle x cog things.



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