Saturday, April 01, 2006

Parts Obtained!

I'm so excited. It took a ridiculous amount of driving, but I did it. If weather might have been better I'd have done it by bicycle. That my friends is an excuse. All wussy and no guts. Pfft.

So first, I went by the Hub and looked their used parts cabinets. I also asked if they had any Esge/SKS fender parts. I knew from the web that Sheldon at Harris had spare parts like I desired available. I found nothing. They had lots of Planet Bike stuff in little bags, but nothing for SKS, although they had a few sets of those too. I asked, and they didn't have any hidden in the back. I know Terry Osell had them when I worked there, he must have kept them. Rats. I did buy some lonesome brake parts like the curved washers that go on brake bridges and fork crowns and are curved to reduce abuse. I also got a set of Velox rubber handle bar ends.

Next I went by Hiawatha as I just wanted to stop by. First off there was not only Jim, but another guy Kevin there. All know about some of my other cycling pals and such. It was great fun chatting and then I got the best surprise in that they had a bridge mount exactly as I was searching for. Woo-hoo!. I also picked up a bottle of lube as no where else I've been seemed to have it (Pro Gold or Pro-Link) and then a couple of water bottles. I really longed to buy a Honey B17 Special as they are so sweet, but I can't afford it. I'm so pumped to finally have the part so I can ride the QuickBeam.

Next I had bought the Planet Bike parts that I thought might work. It was plastic and was just too wide. So back to Freewheel to return the unused parts. I spent quite a bit waiting for the clerk that was helping a small family buying a bicycle for their oldest child. I think this is a marketing ploy. So I'm patiently waiting. Oogling high zoot shit. Unobtainium this, carbon fiber that, 7.25 spoke wheels, and all kinds of goofy stuff I have no interest in. I do come across a bunch of stuff on clearance. Thirty and forty percent off. So I get a wireless cycle computer. I'm sorry my other friends don't like them, but I always want one. I don't concentrate on them, but like to know how many miles the bike has gotten. Stupid, maybe. I'm okay with their dislike. So I get $5 back and spend $30. The story of my life, but it was a great deal.

My real problem? Too many shops I like. I really want to support Hiawatha, because they have the most stuff I covet. The stuff I believe in. I'm convinced I've got to buy that Brooks saddle when I have the dough. I think I should support the Hub as the continuation of Osell's and the fact they sell used stuff. I think that is so cool to recycle good bikes. Beats the socks off of "Eric the Bike Man" the most overpriced black hole for money in town. Then I like Freewheel because they have so much in small parts and things that you can't get elsewhere. Sure they have Brooks saddles too, but they aren't really believers. Too much Trek and other crap that ninety percent of the riders don't need that I won't buy those from there. I just wish I lived closer to Hiawatha. I think I need to try riding the train or something there and then put the bike on the front of the bus and train. That would be a great way to reduce the length of the ride. I'm guessing its near a 40 mile round trip. I so hope it is a good location for everyone else though. I truly want them to succeed.

My winter commuter. This is a Trek 930, a tigged steel frame I bought new from County Cycles. I asked Bob Brown (yes that Bob Brown) to replace the original short standard drops with nicer Campy style. The longer drops better allow me to run it as a single/fixed gear. I use Nitto Dirt Drops with 287 levers, used Shimano cantilever brakes, Nokian studded tires, SKS black fenders, Brooks black Flyer and a Carradice Lowsaddle Longflap. The crank is some no name I got at a swap somewhere. Sorry for the poor light, but it was the only way to get it without the reflective tape creating a crazy appearance. Posted by Picasa

Atlantis, 2001, first build with Blackburn low-riders in front, SKS fenders poorly mounted Posted by Picasa

My Best Side Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 31, 2006

Photos and Weirdness

Comments to my recent entry quizzed why I'd shellac cardboard.

I can't tell you. Seemed like the thing to do? It was there (cardboard) and the can was open the brush still wet from the chainstay application. I have no rationale, reason, or defense that the idea sounds completely wacky. Maybe it is, and I'm okay with it being so, and that I just might be. Or actually am. Guilty as charged?


I don't need no stinkin' photos is my first inclined response.

Its a joke, son (think Foghorn Leghorn).

I'm lame. I've not bought a digital camera. I've been taking photos as best I can using a disposable. I haven't finished the bike so I haven't developed the photos on the roll yet. I'll post a few when I do. Meanwhile, I'll go look for a few from the Atlantis build up, from about 2001 I think. I know I have a photo of me applying shellac to the bars. Another one with the first set of fenders which were mounted in a rather goofy manner so I could swap from big thick off road tires to street commuting tires. The fenders were Esge/SKS and looked stupid. At least in the photo I took with the commuting tires on. Big huge dopey gaps. Pffft. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

If you go look at one of the first entries here you will see a photo taken by major pal Jon while on our tour around Lake Superior. It shows the Atlantis in the current build. It has Dirt Drop bars, 297 levers, some odd cranks and basic Shimano clipless pedals, bar end shifters (eight speed Shimano), the first version of the Rivendell/Nitto front rack, rear Nitto rack, Carradice Lowsaddle Longflap saddle bag, beautiful dimpled Honjo fenders, Schmidt front hub generator and B&M light, Brooks Flyer in honey with a Bagman Expedition saddle bag support. White cotton tape shellacked to a lovely worn brown with amber shellac. Much is obscured with the four Ortlieb panniers.

The Atlantis has been my primary commuter and touring machine since I bought it. I have less than 10K miles on it at this point, but it has seen plenty of sunshine to light snow and heavy Canadian wind and rain. It was my first upscale bicycle and I bought it as a frameset from what used to be Old Town Cyclery. I'm not sure if they are open anymore. I just know they don't seem to have any sort of web presence. I had a very good experience with them and have been very happy with the Atlantis. I met the owner once when she came to the Wisconsin swap meet in Madison. She was a hoot and her name was Sarah.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Progress - Slow as Usual

Okay, so I tried on Wednesday to go visit Hiawatha Cyclery. Trouble is they were closed on Wednesday. Not that I complain that they were closed. The drag with working in a shop, is everyone wants you to be open when you want to be cycling. Bummer. I knew they were closed on Wednesday, but just forgot. Rats.

The saddle bag did arrive. Its awesome. Its really heavy waxed cotton and I like the color. I got it mounted and even made a piece of cardboard to fit the bottom. I made it from the QuickBeam box and used the part where it said "Quick". I then shellacked it to make it water repellent. Both sides, it will maybe hold up better that way too.

While I was shellacking, I applied it to the chainstay guard. I then put cotton tape and twine on the saddle post that was exposed. Its an ugly black post I got cheap, because it is a double bolt. I really like to be able to get a Brooks saddle level or slightly tilted up at the front or nose.

I did pick up a mount for the rear fender from Freewheel. It was intended for a Planet Bike fender, but it won't fit. It looked appropriate in width and it was plastic so it would have some give, but it was far too wide. I think I could screw or rivet it on, or maybe put it under heavy tension, I think it would break or have a short life.

Oh yeah, got the performance appraisal. It went okay. The new boss is okay, I could do so much worse. Yeah, there is stuff I need to work on, but there always is. I'm glad to have my job, I like many of the people I work with, and it has lots of challenge.

I plan on riding the QB quite a bit before I put the tape on the handlebars. Really want to make sure that I like how the brake levers feel before I make their location permanent. Once the QB is road worthy, then it will be time to go to work on the Atlantis. I want to replace the break levers on that, plus service the headset. Finally put padding under the bar tape and put new tape and shellac on it.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Curses and Yippee Doo Dahs

My townhome association had the annual meeting tonight. Me and my big mouth got myself elected to the dang governing board. I need that like a hole in my head. The current board wasn't doing a bad job, and I figured someone would want to run against my loud mouth. Fat chance, America is full of folks that like to bitch, but refuse to get involved when the going gets tough. Too late now suckers.

The QuickBeam is almost done. Only thing left is the last mount on the rear stainless steel fenders. I'm going to mount it to the brake bridge mount since I'm using cantilever brakes. I think I've got a left over mount that would work great from a pair of Esge/SKS that died after much use. As usual, I can't find it. Except in my mind. I'm about as organized as a dump. I'm lucky that I found the little bag-o-parts that came with the fenders. Getting the rear wheel in or out with the rear fender is a tough one. I wish the stays had been another quarter inch longer. I really like the gum hoods on the new Crane Creek brake levers. They are so sweet, I'd like to get another set for my Atlantis. I'm just no big fan of the Diacomp 287s. They may pull a lot of wire, but they don't fit my hand for beans. I do like how the blue bar tape looks. So far I've only put it on as a chainstay chain guard, but it looks great. I don't want to put tape on the bars, until I'm sure where I like the brake levers on the moustache bars. Today my saddlebag that goes with arrived, but of course, I wasn't home so it is at the UPS joint.

Work has been going by light speed and my boss (from NM) is in town tomorrow to give performance appraisals. I'm so looking forward to tomorrow. Thing 3 is on break this week. I'd like to get some time off and spend it with him. Just hasn't happened so far. Rat fink.

Man how I loved this pas weekend in sports. First on Thursday the Dukies lost. Yes, the Yankees of mens basketball, the Duke Blue Devils, lost to someone, anyone. To see Redick cry on the court was just so much icing on the cake. Next, an even bigger upset for me. The Yankees of mens college hockey, those arrogant Minnesota Rotten Rodents lost to who? Holy bleeping Cross. Do they even have scholarships?

Look I didn't see the game. I don't care about hockey, because I live in a state that cries and whines over every Rodent spit and crotch grab. For 19 years, I've listened while they get more coverage, more press, more radio than the NHL team. They get players that beg, that spend their pathetic little lives wishing they could play as a beloved rodent. In the WCHA, there are 3-6 teams in the upper division and the rest are wanna bees because they don't offer courses any moron can pass like "sports management." Hey! Stick boys? Manage this! Every report I've read and heard, tells me the Rodents were out played by the Crucifixes or whatever Holy Cross is called. My hat, my hair, hell, my friggen eyebrows are off to Holy Cross. Thank you, a dream has come true. The Rotten Rodents have been humbled to a level only they deserve.

Then it was topped off, by the women Rodents getting their ticket punched to that hated next state rivals, that Buck Toothed Rodent of Wisconsin. Yup, the cheese sniffing runts beat the women rodents. God, I love living in America.

And then tonight it got better. The Yankees of women's college basketball, those Tennessee Volunteers with Pat "I Got Bigger Balls Than You" Summit as coach, got beat by hated arch rival Duke. Now if Duke gets taken out by Old Dominion or something it will get even better.

betting the age of the Yankee pitching staff, and that mental midget catching passes for the Cowdungs in the the NoFunLeague, it could be one banner year. I still would rather watch someone wipe snot on the wall than watch football.

Got to get out and ride more. Man, what a lazy bum I have become.