Gone Fishin'

HEY!

I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!

7.29.2009

Hay! Cool Cards, Dad's Bike and Summer's Here...

Mixed Bag round-up since there isn't time for a full post:

1. Our friend Sarah from Missoula started doing a line of greeting cards, and she's got them up on Etsy now.  (My favorite is the "Hay" card as pictured)

2. I posted a "Dad's Bike After" picture from my cell over the weekend, which was a follow-up to a "Dad's Bike Before" post from around the first weekend of June.  What's different?  We added an  inexpensive suspension fork to his rig (and of course I cleaned up and tuned the whole thing as well). It was an adventure.  Let's just say that just because a steerer is threaded, one should not assume the tube diameter is an inch. Further, new suspension forks do not come with cable stops, since nobody uses cantilever bakes any more, right? Also, yes, I adjusted the angle of the saddle after I took that picture.  Yes, the almost 20 year old bike (last year of the lugged-frame 930's) handles a little differently with a taller fork, but the suspension is worth it.

3. I re-caned my canoe seats over the weekend.  I'd never done something like that before.  Pictures and more description on that later.

4. Another cell post over the weekend showed a view of Upper and Lower Wolfjaw, Gothics, etc. from Noonmark, in Keene Valley.  The hike was nice, but the really great thing was getting back into the Adirondacks after years of not being there.  Driving from Keene up to Lake Placid brought back so many memories (now, shockingly, a decade old!) of driving to and from St. Lawrence.  I need to write more about that as well.

5.  Dad found me a free bike on the side of the road.  It's a Trek 460, from 1984.  Some of these were welded up in the US, and a few were made in Japan.  I haven't checked the serial number on this one yet to see which it is, as I have been occupied with other projects.  It was a model sold only in 1984 and 1985, as Trek's entry-level racing bike.  I have all sorts of designs on this bike, but I may just go for a bargain-basement fixie conversion, as I have not had a fixie in the stable since the demise of the Montgomery Ward conversion (there's a story in that as well).

6. The garden is totally exploding right now, and we will soon be up to our ears in tomatoes. The challenge is slowing the cilantro and basil down a bit so there can be lots of salsa and sauce forthcoming.

That's it for now, more detail later.

7.27.2009

Great range from noonMark.
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7.25.2009

Dads bike after.
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7.20.2009

Dan's CVT Road Bike VII: Test Ride and Photos Outside of the Basement

I got out on a little test ride of Dan's CVT Road bike this weekend.  I really enjoyed riding it.  The extra weight of the Nuvinci hub melts away once you are riding (only to resurface as extra momentum on the downhills). I'll let the slideshow do the talking...

 

7.18.2009

Brew fest:)
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7.17.2009

Dan's CVT Road Bike VI: Shifty


Author's Note:  I tried to post this earlier via email and it seems to have just gone down the rabbit hole.  Apologies it if shows up again resulting in a double post. -Matt

I got some work done on Dan's bike last night.  I installed the shift pod on to the rear hub (the unit that actually rotates the shift rod inside of the hub) and I ran cable and housing up to the controller on the handlebar.  That doesn't sound like much, but with this hub and on this bike, there were special complications.  

The Nuvinci uses to cables to shift, which allows the shift rod to be turned in both directions without the use of some sort of return spring. The shift rod is rotated when one or the other of these two cables is tightened.  The way this works is that there are two pulleys on the shift rod, and each cable wraps around one of the pulleys with the wraps in opposing directions.  This means that the length of the cables and their respective housings needs to be set carefully, and that I spent some time on the floor of my basement with a steel ruler, trying to get exactly 230mm of cable between the end of the housing ferrule and the outer pulley cable stop.  I got it though. Once the pulleys have been wound and installed, an outer housing goes on over them, and the whole thing takes on the look of a neat little package. The entire shift pod can be removed from the hub without opening the pod up again, which means that a wheel or tire change should not result in any need to adjust the shift cables. 

I mentioned before that because our donor bike started life as a single speed, there aren't a whole lot of braze-on cable stops available to re-purpose.  I installed a full run of housing from the shifter pod to the unit on the handlebars.  I put some of the housing under the bar tape, but alas, the cables supplied with the Nuvinci were not long enough to do a cable run completely under the handlebar tape. I went for the next best thing and ran the housing out under the tape to the down tube, where it will follow that tube under the bottom bracket before making its way out along the drive-side chainstay to the shift pod.  I finally have an excuse to pick up one of those cans of assorted zip-ties at Home Depot!  I'll need to zip-tie this housing early and often to prevent it from slipping around , especially in the region where it comes up under the BB and around the chainstay.  We don't want it getting tangles in the chain, on the fire, or in the cranks!

I tested the whole thing out and it the shifter turns smoothly and offers up the full range of the hub.  Once I get the housing all zip-tied on it will be time for a test ride!

Finally, I'll be rebuilding the rear wheel one-cross for a stronger and more durable wheel.  I'll do that last, though.  Dan may also want wider tires than the stock 23s, and I'm guessing 25's or maybe even 28's would work on here. Maybe we can shop and install when he gets up here later this summer/fall! 

7.08.2009

Expanding Musical Horizons: Remixes and Fun Music

I just caught an update from dj BC* about a new project, a Big D and the Kid's Table remix project called Rude Mix Revolution (sequel to Strictly Mixed and Mashed) which led me to my new favorite record company:


Partly because of the bicycle theme they have taken on, but especially because of the song they just posted up by Phoebe Kreutz (who I had not heard of until just now, no I'm not a cool kid when it comes to liking music you've never heard of before) 

Any happy summer song with a lyric about how everything is getting "awesomer and awesomer and awesomer" is OK in my book.  I'll be sure to play it tomorrow when by all predictions, the sun is going to come up and actually stay visible for a while. 

*Bob Cronin, whose projects include two full albums of Beatles/Beastie Boys mashups, an album that mixes New Orleans Jazz with Wu-Tang, and album that mixes various hip-hop artists with works by Phillip Glass, and numerous excellent singles (The Hives "Ride" with Snoop Dogg's "G'ed Up," for example. 

The Indignity of Commuting by Bicycle: Crashing

The more you ride a bike, the more chances you have for relatively improbable events to occur.  When I got my first clipless pedals a little over a year ago, my boss at REI told me I'd fall over while clipped in, at least once.   I actually got the pedals before the road bike came in, installed them on my then-commuterized Trek 930, and practiced clipping in and clipping out on the grass.  I wasn't going to be one of those guys. 

And I wasn't.  Until today, a couple of thousand miles into my clipless cycling career. 

I was stopped at a red light (a long red light) and trackstanding.  As the light turned green, I leaned forward to gain some momentum and started to pedal.  I'm not sure exactly what hapened next, but I did not move forward (or rather the bike didn't) and I went over the handlebars.  My theory is that I jammed my forward foot against the front tire and that when I started to try to pedal forward the rear wheel came off the ground and spun a little.

So there I was, on the ground at a major intersection, with at least one car stuck behind me as i got back up.  I gave them a sort of "Thank you/ I'm sorry" wave and made haste to the sidewalk. I gave the wheels a spin, found everything to be in order, walked the crosswalk and was on my way again.

There isn't really a lesson to be learned here, except that you should be prepared for just about anything to happen on a bike.  I tend to ride pretty assertively and while I don't think of myself as invincible, I'm not a timid commuter.  Still, lying on my side with my eyes at fog light level, trapped in my pedals, put a whole new perspective on the thing. Anything can happen, and anybody can find themselves dependent upon the kindness of strangers at any moment.  Big thanks to the driver of the white Highlander behind me, for their kindness and tolerance of my foolish situation this morning.

7.05.2009

Dan's CVT Road Bike V: In Which it Starts to Look Like a Bike



Yup, that's the Nuvinci Hub built on to the rim from the rear wheel that came with the Clockwork. I built it two-cross with spokes I had on hand, but I'm not happy with the angle the spokes leave the rim. Spokes short enough to build one-cross are on order and will leave Oregon tomorrow. In that order will also be a 25 foot roll of derailer cable housing. I can't believe the Nuvinci Hub, with all of its cable (because it is a push-pull shifter) does not come with housing. Also, with this bike and its single braze-on for the rear brake, it will have to be a full run of housing, from the shifter pod to the hub. I'm hoping that the cables will prove to be long enough that I can get them under the bar tape on the handlebar, for a super-clean look. More updates soon.
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7.04.2009

Bike tour of the outer cape. Coast Guard Beach. Beautiful weather.
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