Saturday, April 15, 2006

Fixie Fun With Lugged Boys and Girls

I made the Hiawatha ride. I procrastinated in the morning. I like mornings, but I've become proficient at dawdling. Yet I got my act together and made it on time, so there were three four folks there when I arrived. I pulled the QuickBeam off my RhodeGear bike rack, pumped up the tires and stuck with a thin wooly, a Kenwood wooly jersey by Spot, standard bib cycle shorts and wooly Warm knee warmers. I used a skull cap, plus my usual cotton handkerchief headscarf. I had the wool gloves on for my hands.

My riding in a group with a fixed gear went well. We did one fairly steep climb, and one long climb. The steep climb I had a good view and spun up speed, eventually switching to standing up and was able to not collapse and die before the top although my cadence was about 3 per year by then end. Serves me right for spending too much time diddling with the QB build and not enough riding. On the long climb I struggled a lot more alternating between standing and trying to find any cadence I could maintain while seated.

Yet the QB felt good. At first the dashboard seemed too close, but after awhile it felt very comfortable. I'm glad I went with the dirt drop stem, bringing the bars up and reasonably close. The padding under the bars seemed great at first but by the end of the ride I was back to shaking alternate hands on a regular basis trying to dispel the numbness. This will improve as the season goes on, as long as I continue to train/ride. Saddle felt great. No trouble with the fenders. Minor goof, when I had put the front wheel in my haste I had put it backwards making the odometer sensor on the wrong side so that I got no speed or mileage reading. Tough. I didn't let it bother me. The pace was perfect for me, right around 12-14 most of the time, I'd guess. My kinda ride.

We went around Fort Snelling and the Airport and the place to "Run for your Life" Sprawl of America. Beyond that, I haven't a clue where we were as I'm terribly ignorant of that area. I did enjoy the ride a lot as I met a fellow and spoke to someone with a beautiful Kogswell which was gorgeous and fit the fellow well. There were also at least one Curt Goodrich which was simply gorgeous. There were other brands which I couldn't remember as well as one fellow riding fixed on a aluminum frame. Can't say we're snooty, as in all are welcome regardless if they pray at the altar of steel or not. I was really pleased to see three ladies show up, all mates of one of the male riders, but still. A mixed group is far more interesting. At least one fellow recognized and inquired if I was that (I think he would have liked to say, "lunatic" or "wacky" or something) guy Gordy, from the Bob List or else where. Dang, guilty as charged.

We had coffee at a shop called Minnetonka Coffee, which was a former gas station (how appropriate!) where they had a decent selection, were doing a great business, and we were able to sit outside comfortably. I was thrilled. I had a huge muffin (cream cheese icing) and an iced coffee. I needed all those calories like a hole in my head, but down the hatch! Skoal. Salut. Cheers.

After I studied gear in the shop and swapped the fellas straight up an unused pump I had that fit nothing with one that would fit the QB. Then I plunked down some cash (okay, my debit card) and got a B17 Special for the QB. I've been oogling it for some time and since the B17 I was riding is destined for elsewhere, it was time. Yee haw. Later I stopped back and got a shorter nut for the front rack mount that will permit me to level the rack and remove all the dumb washers.

After I left the cycle shop I met up with pal Donna for another ride. She has been nursing a calf injury (which coincidentally was a topic for conversation at the coffee shop) and invited me on a flattish ride for some miles and to help get the blood circulating. I got lost, about eight times getting to her house. Sat and petted her dogs for a minute or two before we got on the road. She has some great happy eager to be petted dogs and I just lavished them with attention. We went on a rather short by comparison ride, but it was nice to get moving on the bike again.

This time I put the bike in the car by removing the front wheel. There was a big scratch on the frame paint from the trunk rack. Bound to happen. I'll have to quiz Rivendell about touch up paint. Maybe there is a Testor's color that is a close match.

All in all a great day for cycling. Temperatures were good. No repeat of sunburn. I'm tired, but I got more miles in one day than any other this year so, I should be. Criminy its April! The QuickBeam is rolling, close to where I want it, and it is doing what I had hoped. Now I have two commuters for use.

What's next? Ride the buzzards! Happy Easter/Passover to all.

Its Time

The maiden voyage of the QuickBeam is this morning. I plan to make it to the only Hiawatha Cyclery ride of the weekend to show of the QuickBeam. There are three coats of shellac on the silver tape. Not sure I like the look, but there you go. It is ridable, so it must get ridden. And I need the miles. I'll have to fit a pump in the saddlebag as the TopPeak I bought didn't fit the frame. Bummed about that. Hope to trade it later. I've got to find some spare tubes that hold air, the leg warmers or at least knee warmers as the temps are about 48°F and that's too cold for my out of shape legs. I think I'll put the bike on a trunk rack so I don't mess up the fenders. Finding the bungies to help hold it down could be an issue. I'm sure other snags will show up, so I'd better get on with it. I shall report back later.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Burnt Fathead - Finnlanders and the sun don't mix well Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 09, 2006

QuickBeam Near Complete

The big problem on the QuickBeam has been the handlebars. Mostly the padding I wanted to use. I tried to just wrap the foam with the bar tape. Bad move. It stuck to the foam like a mother. I ended up having to cut the foam off the tape. It was miserable. The problem with wrapping it directly was that the foam would only spread in one direction.

Great pal Tom suggested trimming the foam diagonally to give it more taper. I tried on a piece of scrap and it was hard to make it work. Finally hit on the idea of using white electrical tape. I'd take a two inch piece and place it evenly on the foam and pull both ends taunt under the bar. Then another piece next to it. Nine hundred pieces or so, and one side was done. On top of the electrical tape, I put the grey cotton tape. After that I edged the tape with hemp twine. I finished both sides of the bars today and applied the first layer of shellac.

The only thing left is to put on the front rack. The bolt on it is long enough to go through the fender mount and accept a nut on the other end. I'd have installed it except I don't have two nuts and bolts to attach it to the front fork braze ons. I'll have to hit Home Creapo tomorrow at lunch or something.

So, why not just ride it tomorrow? Um, because I did something stupid yesterday. I had coffee with a friend. It was warm so we sat outside. I had a hat, but I didn't put it on. I wore my sunglasses. And yeah, now I've got a flaming red tomato head. I could hardly sleep last night. I've been outside (in the garage) some today without my usual hat. It felt fine as my head was like a sizzling burner. When I'm inside, I've been putting wet washcloths on it. I chill them in the freezer. Yeah its that bad. I asked a friend to come over and take a photo. Maybe if you write nice comments I'll post one.

I could have gone for a ride with a couple of friends, but no. No helmet wearing for me. Probably not tomorrow either. Even if it is going to be like 70°F. I just can't imagine my head being able to take a shave, a hat, nor a helmet yet. I can't wear anything yet unless its soaking and cold. Sleeping is a pain as there are few positions that are comfortable without my cheeks, my head, or my neck feeling prickly. Yeah I should know better.