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Posts Tagged ‘Dawes’

Updates, El Nino, This and That

Right, then…

So, since Christmas there have been some new developments:

As stated earlier, I bought a rigid Jamis Diablo frame with designs to build it up as an adventure bike/commuter/whatever.  That’s about 80% done.  I dropped the frame off at Bronson Silva and had a bunch of braze-on’s added (rear dropouts for racks, front drop outs and mid-fork for racks, bottle bracket underneath down tube and a couple of others that I don’t rightly remember).  I fairly gutted the FSR of all of it’s rotating equipment and bought some random parts (stem, handlebars, thumb shifters, etc…) from a place called Changing Gears Bicycles on Alameda.  Changing Gears is a charity place – they take in donated bikes and parts and have a community work shop area to train underprivileged kids skills about repair and such…so not only do they have stuff for cheap, but it’s for a good cause.  Anyway, it’s mostly built and I was out riding up and down the street last night….I have some things to dial in (shorten the chain and tweak the derailleurs) but I think it’s coming along.  Once I get it sorted, I’ll head back down to Tahn to talk about racks…then we’ll work on the powder coating.  I always thought of keeping it rattle can black, but my mind wants a metallic burnt orange…which, of course, will be too nice to fuck up, so I’ll be afraid to ride it.

Got the front wheel back on the Dawes and lemme tell you:  That new hub is the shit!  Something called and SP-8 – fairly new to the market, I think.  Fairly cheap – I think I paid $130 or so for it – and, most importantly, I can’t really detect any rolling resistance.  So, now not only do I have a full-time headlight, but it also now works great in the rain!

Speaking of rain…  So, I’m cycle commuting more (I’ll get to my reason, next).  Last Wednesday, I roll out in 60 degree weather, take the train to Palo Alto and then proceed my ride in to work.  I knew that there was a storm coming in that night, but the forecast showed some rain later so it didn’t seem that threatening.  As it was warm, I forgot my rain jacket.  The ride in was somewhat glorious – great weather, and Google Maps was routing me through these great neighborhoods in Palo Alto (not like there are bad neighborhoods in PA, but still).  So, work all day, and start to head out.  As I’m wheeling the bike out of the building, I get hit with a few drops and it’s windy.  No problem – a few drops is not a thing, so I head back to Mt View station.  About 2 blocks away, the rain gets heavier.  I remembered that I had stashed a backpacking poncho in my handlebar bag to try out, so no better time, right?  No.  I learned that a poncho in 15 to 20 mph wind works like a goddamn airbrake…so that came back off.  Now it’s windier and rainier and I’m just battering into it.  Normally, I like to ride to Mt View station so I can get a few more miles in, but on this particular occasion, temptation got the best of me and I gave up and went to the closer station in Sunnyvale.  Once I get to my home station, I was going to ride the final 2.5 miles home.  And it’s a pissing rainstorm with stronger winds.  Also, I live on the side of a hill.  Survey says:  Fuck that.  On the taxi line, there’s a minivan.  “Will you take me and the bike?”  “Can you fit it in?”  “I will”.  Best $18 I ever spent.

So, why am I riding so much, again?  Well, a friend is having a milestone birthday and to celebrate, we’re doing a Backroads Tour through Glacier National Park.  Each day is roughly 30 to 50 miles.  Day 2 is Going to the Sun Road, which is something like an average of 10% grade.  So, I gots to get in shape.  In addition to training rides on the weekends with others, I’m getting my legs back in shape by cycle commuting.  So there’s that.

To help with this, I’m building up a fixed gear bike.  This will be the Bob Jackson that I recently spent money on to get cabled up.  When I lived in Santa Clara, I had a fixed gear bike, but when I moved to hillier terrain, I tore it down.  Now, I’ve learned that fixed gear + hills = good fitness.  Having more money that I did when I built up the original FG, I’ve ordered a set of Sun CR18 rims with Formula hubs (which I’m told are just fine, despite not having snob appeal), the rear being flip flop.  So now, I’ll have the bailout option of a lower gear and freewheel, if needed.  Not sure what I’m going to be doing with the cranks as I’ve half a mind to do a 2×1 or 2×2 setup to give me more bail out options…time will tell on that one.

One final thing:  Sometimes the gods speak to us and we ignore them at our peril.  On Feb 15, I roll out to go in to work.  About 3/4 mile from home, I flatted.  Having the skills and materials, but not the time, I head back home to swap bikes.  Now, I make it all the way down to the train station.  While I’ve missed the earlier train, one should be expected in 15 minutes, or so.  I check to see when it will arrive and the website mentions a “Saturday Schedule in light of the holiday.”  Holiday?  Aw, shit – it’s President’s day.  The next train won’t be there for another hour.  Can’t hang out that long.  So back up the hill I go, shower change and drive in to work.  The gods were speaking to me when I flatted; I need to get better an listening to the gods.

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.

A Teensy Bit of Progress

Right, then…

A couple of days ago I mentioned building up the Bob Jackson frame which would basically be a mash up of newly-acquired (but not necessarily new) parts, and parts from my two existing Dawes’ – the fixie will be stripped of parts and will be going out of commission/sold/donated; the touring bike will swap out some parts and be reincarnated as an upright townie bike.

Welp, I finally got off my ass and made a move – the FG has been torn down.  The BB is now on the Bob Jackson; the frame and the Dawes fork will be dropped off at Willow Glen Bicycles to have a headset installed (and have the steerer tube shortened and threaded).

The main purpose of this is due to the fact that I’m moving.  I already fell silly with five bikes (only two of which are in regular rotation; the other two are in occasional use and one (MTB) is hanging in the rafters).  I did not want to show up with six bikes, so I figured now would be a good time to start the project.

Also, the focus now is to see how cheaply I can build up the Bobby J, using existing and used parts.  Granted, some stuff will need to be new.  It’s more of a challenge for me, now.

The bad news is that I no longer have a fixie…sooner or later that vacuum will need to be filled…along with a Mixte and 17 thousand million other bikes.

Updates and Whathaveyou…

Right, then…

So it looks like it’s been almost 2 months since I last posted.  In my defense, I was traveling most of April for work (with one week of vacation).  By the time I hit may, I didn’t want to see the inside of an airplane ever again.  Lots have been going on.

The living situation.  The one roommate that is getting married finally found an apartment and is in the process of moving out.  Right now the remaining roommate and I are still in limbo as he’s vying for a job in Novato – if he gets it, we all move out; if not, we stay.

The job situation.  It looks like I’ll be picking up another 2 day/week gig up in Berkeley.  So if I wind up moving, I’ll be going back up to Fremont.  That would put me at the end of the BART line for when I need to go to Berkeley, but will be 20 miles from my Santa Clara job, which would help me get my weekly riding miles in.  If I wind up staying, then I’m riding to Fremont BART at Bitch:30 in the morning on the days that I ride.  So we’ll see how that shakes out.

Riding.  Naturally, my miles in April were off.  My miles in May really weren’t better due to work, fatigue and general malaisiness.  It’s frustrating in that I was doing quite well and in the groove before April, but this always happens:  I get a good routine down then something comes up and jacks it.  Right now I’m just trying to ride it out until I get back into the swing of things.

Bikes.  As part of the Berkeley gig, I know that I’ll be riding some hills from the Downtown Berkeley BART to the site.  Not just wanting to rely on the Dawes, I converted the old mountain bike from single speed back to multi-speed.  This required some parts, so I wandered down to Willow Glen Bikes.  Upon arriving Tahn asked of my whereabouts and informed me that he had something for me.  It seems that when Shaw’s closed down, all of their excess inventory was purchased by Phil Wood, who was now selling it from their shop in downtown San Jose.  When Tahn was there, he came across a Bob Jackson (hand-built lugged Reynolds 531 frame – very desirable) for – get this:  $20.  It’s a bit big for me, but not nearly as large as the Dawes – I think the Dawes is 63cm and the Bobby J is 60cm – so I have an extra inch of space.  My original plan before all of this was to refurbish the FG Dawes with upright handle bars, flip/flop wheel, wider tires, powder coat the frame, etc…  Now I’m going to convert the other Dawes to an upright single speed and move the drivetrain, racks and such to the Bobby J.  So there’s that.

Drinking.  Last Sunday it has been four months since I took a drink.  Proud of that, but it’s still hard at times.  I mean, it’s not like I’m white-knuckling it at all, but there are times when I just want to go and tie one on…but I don’t.  I’ve been doing some substitution still, so I’m trying to get that under control.  But I’m still better for it.

Aging.  Whilst on vacation, I had a Pirate Looks at Forty moment.  Sue and I were driving down the freeway trying to locate Everglades National Park.  She was driving and I was reading the map.  I was trying to read some printing and realized that I was having a hard time…so I borrowed her Dr. Dean Edell glasses.  “Welp,” I thought, “There it is.  Aging.”  Further during that week, I noted more eye strain and headaches.  When I got home I tried to find some glasses at the CVS, but none seemed to be right.  Finally today I stopped by the Optometrist at Costco and had an exam.  The good Dr. told me that right now I’m on the cusp of needing glasses:  Glasses help, but they’re not necessary.  For now, at least – in 6 mos, I’ll need them.  He gave me a prescription for a low-powered lens (0.75 left and right) and sent me on my way.  I wasn’t ready to blow $150 or so on such a light prescription so I just ordered some pre-fab ones off of the internet (CVS glasses start at 1.00).  So we’ll see how that one shakes out.

So lots of stuff, but boring stuff.  It will be interesting why my life will look like in 2 mos.

Moss Beach 200K Brevet – March 12, 2011

Right, then…

So, in one fell swoop I managed to meet two of my goals this year:  Do a century ride and do a Brevet of at least 200K.

Admittedly, I was a bit concerned going in to this.  While this is something I wanted to do, actually signing up was one of those “wild hair up ass” moments.  In short, I saw that I was running out of time and signed up without really thinking about it.  So at the beginning of 2011, I knew that I would not be riding the Gray Whale 200K as I would be out of town.  Also, I hadn’t trained for it.  For that matter, I hadn’t trained for this one, really, either.  I mean, yes, I’ve been exceeding my goal of riding 60 miles/week, but I’m not sure if that counts as training for a 200K ride.  So, again, I was concerned, but optimistic.

Optimistic until I mentioned this to a co-worker who told me that there was going to be shitty weather and headwinds both ways and I was going to hate life the entire time.  That was almost enough to get me to bag out until the summer when SF Randonneurs had something scheduled for August.  What it got down to was the weather.  Up to 10 days before, I had been checking the weather for Saturday.  Initially it started out as cloudy, but then upgraded to partially cloudy; the wind was reported from the south, then the north then the west.  The closer we got, the more confident that it would be livable weather, so I made plans to head over the hill.

Then the earthquake and subsequent Tsunami hit Japan.  Now it’s odd that something that happens 6-ish thousand miles away should affect me, but this does as it sent waves to the California coast.  Not knowing what to expect, we all hunkered down.  In the end, it seems that the worst damage by far was not with the coastline or Pacific Coast Highway…but the Santa Cruz Yacht Harbor.  When I called the hotel on Friday afternoon, they informed me that things were more or less normal, so off I went.

With a combination of nervousness, being teetotal and marathon experience, I started fueling up on Thursday night.  To be quite honest, I don’t know if it helped at all, but I think it made me feel like I was doing something to prepare, especially since I had been backing off on my riding to save my legs.

The Universe must have wanted me to ride this ride.  Not only did I get a surprisingly good nights sleep, the weather was about as good as I could have asked for.  When we all met at the Lighthouse at 6:20 or so, it was in the high 40’s; at its peak it was in the low 60’s.  There were some clouds, but it was mostly clear and sunny.  There was some headwind about hour before I hit Moss Beach, but it wasn’t debilitating – just enough for me to realize that it wasn’t apparent wind.  Also, my clothing selection was spot on – bibs, leg/arm warmers, jersey, beany, wind/rain jacket and gloves were on for over 100 miles with little issue.  About 20 to 25 miles from the end, I finally took off the jacket and beany as I was getting a little overheated.

The ride itself was great.  I didn’t measure, but I’d say it was about 50% PCH and 50% inland farm roads (going north, Gazos Creek, Cloverdale, Stage Rd; going south, Stage Rd, La Honda/84, Pescadero, Butano Cut off, back down to Cloverdale and Gazos Creek to PCH).  Yes, hills were present, but nothing that was insurmountable.  Besides, I have 28 x 32 gearing going on, so while I was slow, it was a matter of grabbing the bar ends and keeping the cranks turning.  All this on a 35 lb bike, by the way.

Interesting surprise:  I figured that after the last big hill (Haskins Hill – about 2 miles at 10% grade) it would be cake on the way back in.  That last 25 miles still took effort – I think there was a wind shift at some point, so there was headwind; also, I had forgotten the hills on PCH that I rode just that morning.

So, I’m tooling down PCH into Santa Cruz when I spot King St – my turn that takes me off of PCH and to the end.  Bing bing bing, I’m sitting down at a folding table, signing my card, signing in on the roster and being applauded for completing my first Brevet.

In the end, I rode 128 miles in over 10:37; just under 3 hours left, if I needed it.  This, mind you, included the control stops.  According to the bike computer, it was actually 9:37 spent in the saddle.  After saying my goodbyes, I spun back down to the lighthouse to where the truck was parked, loaded up and called it a day.

Today, I am a bit tired, a bit stiff and a bit store…and I feel great!

Being one for process improvement, here are my thoughts for my next Brevet (either another 200K or – gasp – a 300K)

  1. Train (which, translated, means keep riding long distances)
  2. Do not rely on sandwiches at the control points; pack my own, or find a subway
  3. Spend a little more time in the controls resting and stretching
  4. No need to bring a lock; there were enough folks around that the bike was safe
  5. I do wonder if I over-fueled before the ride.  I mean, I don’t think there was a long-term detrimental effect; I just don’t know if there was any benefit, other than giving my mind something to do.

Things that worked:

  1. Fig Newtons – about 1 every 20 minutes – is a good ratio
  2. Try to eat 400 to 600 calories at the 4-ish hour mark
  3. For these temps, 2 20 oz bottles of water was fine.  I’d use one by the time I reach a control, then refill.  No Camelbak needed.
  4. I drank 2 20 oz bottles of Cyto-Max (brought mix and poured it into a water bottle) in addition to one 20 oz bottle of Gatorade
  5. Snickers always satisfies
  6. 2 bananas = no cramps (the Cyto-Max probably helped)
  7. I think the Dawes is going to be my Rando rig.

200K.  Ye gods.

A quiet evening at home

Right, then…

The ‘mates are out of the house and all is quiet.  I thought it’d be a good time to catch up on this.

Well, Good God, it’s been what?  about four weeks since I last posted?  Unconscionable.  OK, not that there was major things going on, but there were some things worth chatting about.

OK then, first off, the drinking.  The last post reported that I had quit drinking, and I am happy to say that I’m still quit drinking (or however you say that).  In short, still teetotal.  To be honest, it’s not like I’ve been put to any major test, but still it’s nice to know that I’ve been able to make it thus far.  I have noticed some interesting things like a mild sugar replacement (Trapper Joe’s Dark Chocolate and Clif Bars, mainly).  Also, I’ve noticed how pervasive booze is in society:  Magazine ads, billboards, television – it’s everywhere.  Further, I’ve started a list of things I can no longer do, now that I’m dry:  Scotch tasting is sort of a pointless exercise; bicycling home buzzed no longer is going to occur; body shots are also [sadly] out, though I still might be able to lick off  the salt.

I’ve also noted some automatic reactions that took me by surprise.  We had a Superbowl party for…well…The Superbowl, and I was making bratwurst in beer.  After pouring the beer in the pan, there was maybe two fingers worth left in the bottle, and I went to drink it…only to stop myself about 1/2 way up to my mouth.  It’s not that I wanted or needed the beer; it’s just that drinking the remnants is something I would have done lo these 20 years, so I went to do it again, automatically.

A few friends know now.  So far, they’re really good with it.  Then again, these are fairly introspective or relaxed folks, so I didn’t figure I’d have any hassle.  There are others, however, that have always known me to be a drinker that are not so open-minded; these are going to give me trouble.  I still don’t know how I’m going to handle my next trip to Fresno, it being it’s own reason to drink.

So, now that my most fave-rave hobby is done for, I’ve channeled that energy into bikes.  The first couple of weeks, I spent working on various bike projects:  Cleaning, repacking bearings, installing new brake levers, recabling.  The big project was turning the “other” Galaxy into a fixed gear.  This involved tearing the bike down to the frame, soaking the frame, fork, and other bits in Oxalic Acid to remove the rust, then reassembling sans shifters and derailleurs.  As the rear wheel on this was already a freewheel (vs. cassette), all I needed to do was buy a track cog (18T) and a new 1/8″ chain and I was ready to go.  Go furtively, but go, nonetheless.

The first time out was interesting.  Hell, subsequent times out are still interesting.  I’ve read that you don’t realize how much you typically coast when you’re riding:  Coming up to stops, adjusting in the saddle, looking behind you – so far, all of this has been true.  You go to stop pedaling and sure as shit, your foot is coming back around.  Tahn informed me rather succinctly:  “Keep pedaling.  You are the bike’s bitch.”  Sage words, those.

On the overall, I am happy to report that I do like riding fixed gear.  It’s still an interesting experience every time I ride.  Also – lest one thinks otherwise – the brakes are still in place, front and rear.  I’m told that I can get rid of the rear brake now (Sheldon Brown says that I never needed it in the first place) and that in time, I might remove all brakes from the bike.  I don’t know.  I mean, right now, I am able to come to a stop without brakes, but it’s a long stop.  I would not want to try and make an Oh Shit! stop relying on pedals alone.  I told Tahn that if some day I come tooling up on a fixie without brakes, I’ll be just as surprised as everyone else.  Besides, I don’t think the maintenance for brakes (or derailleurs or gears, for that matter) is really all that much to sweat.  The next change I think will be fitting it with lights and a rack so I can commute on it, when I get the urge.  That would be three commuter bikes, then.   I’ve clearly lost my shit with this bike thing.

Speaking of losing my shit, I’m down about 10 pounds since the beginning of the year.  Naturally, riding a lot helps, in addition to no more booze (or the in-situ and post-booze gorging that occurs on occasion).  I’m at around 217 or so, and I’d like to get down to 200 lbs this year.

Speaking of losing my shit, is it me, or does “Two-and-a-half Men” seem more and more like a documentary these days?

Speaking of losing my shit (this, by the way, is the real reason I was using this phrase; the prior two paragraphs were random thoughts that jumped in), I’ve signed up for the Moss Beach 200K Brevet, which is going to occur next Saturday.  200K; that’s 125 miles.  In this case, 125 somewhat hilly miles, with one big goddamn fucking hill on the front end (Hwy 1 to La Honda).  While I have been riding a lot, I haven’t been actually training, so I’m a little ambivalent about how I’ll do.  Then again, last year I rode 75 miles to Martinez and I was in not as good of shape as I am now.  Also, there’s the possibility of weather, so that might change my plans.  Mildly shitty weather I can deal with, but if there’s a pissing rainstorm then I’m going to take a pass and Santa Cruz Randonneurs can keep my $10.  I’ll get my medal another day.  I just checked weather.com and learned that it’s supposed to be 62F and Partly Cloudy which is better than Partly Sunny.  So I’ve got that going for me…which is nice.  What’s also nice is that Droo was gracious enough to offer up his services, should I decide to bag out and need a lift back to the truck.  Droo, for the record, is one of the awesome friends that did not give me any shit for quitting drinking (in fact, he was very understanding and supportive).  So again, I’m furtive:  I’m looking forward to this, but I’m a bit nervous, as well.

OK, enough of this…

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Errands Day

Right, then…

As the supremely cold “I pay extra to live in the Bay Area so I don’t have to deal with this shit” weather has subsided (for now), today was a rather nice day.  Did some work, then set out to run some errands on the Dawes.

The first stop was Willow Glen Bicycles to get the chain tensioner that I had Tahn order.  This is going on the Biscayne that I converted to single speed.  Currently, it works as I have the rear derailleur sort of forced in place by cutting the shift cable, giving it the correct amount of tension (to hold the derailleur in place) then wrapping the cable around the chainstay.  Okie engineering, it’s true, but it works.  That said, this bike is not only about having a cheap knock around bike but also having something that I can wrench on without fear of breaking one of the “good” bikes.

All that said, I flatted on the way to WGB at Park and Davis.  The last thing I remember was looking down and seeing a key on the ground, then pop.  Got the wheel off, swapped tubes – did not find anything sticking in the tire – then tried to air up…to no avail.  I was using the Crank Bros pump, which I’m never really sure works right.  It’s an ingenious design – compact shaft that lets the user select either high pressure or high volume.  You can also select whether you’re filling through a Presta or Schraeder valve.  The problem lies in making sure you have all your selections made and that the pump is set up to actually move air…

…but, I digress…

So, I switch over to the CO2 cartridge.  This I have a decent grip on how it works.  Again – some slight inflation, then I hear it seeping out.  Well, shit.  I remembered taking the patch kit out of the seat bag and putting it on the Raleigh, as I was doing a long ride; the plan was to pick up a few more tube kits at WGB (really – just dandy timing).  But for now, I was fucked.  I put the rig back together and – through the magic of Motorola – was able to determine that I was slightly closer to WGB than home.  Started out, then realized that Shaw’s Lightweight Cycles was somewhat nearby – the Droid said 0.7 miles, so off I went.

I’d guess that Shaw’s has been there for 35  years if not longer.  Not the cleanest or tidiest shop, mind you, nor does it have the newest items.  There were wool jerseys that I’d guess were from the 80’s and a few spandex-ish ones from the 90’s, I’d reckon.  They did have some new bibs, however.  I’m guessing that clothing is not their big money maker.  As for bikes, they had some Bianchi’s, a couple of brands I hadn’t heard of, and an old Dave Moulton.  It was sort of cool to see the DM, live and in person like that, with chrome lugs and all.  What was interesting was the frames they had hanging from the rafters – all different brands.  Makes me think that I should look a this place for a frame if I want to do a build up.

After about 1.5 hours of futzing about (another customer came in to pick up his Fuso (also built by Dave Moulton), which they just installed a new Campy groupset – they asked if I had time to wait, while he dealt with the customer, which I did), I was back on the road.  [As a bracketed aside, while the bike was on the stand, I noted how dirty it was – time for a good cleaning.  If nothing else, the greasy bits have 950 miles on them – might be time for a deep cleaning.]

It was probably the shortest stop to WGB ever – Tahn and them were in the back, and I was dealing with some guy I hadn’t met, yet.  Nice enough, but that was it.  He got my tensioner and a few other items (tube, 3 patch kits, energy bar) and back on the road to Target (out of Cafe Bustelo) and Trapper Joes (out of almonds).

All in all, a ~13 mile trip – not too bad, but not the 50 milers I’ve done, so far.

For 2011, my goal is to ride 3000 miles, aggregate, between all the bikes.  That works out to 58 miles/week, approximately.  Some weeks, I can see that being easy, but some are going to be harder as there is business travel coming up.

Going to try and ride tomorrow, then do some bicycle maintenance.

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