Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Better bags and some year end totals.

So... bit by the creativity bug and a case of boredom, I tackled the problem of the Nashbar Townies. After remedying my shortage of 1/4x20 screws and nuts, and picking up a sheet of 1/4" thick masonite, I did this:
Replaced the back and floorboards with pieces of masonite, as well as putting a piece of oak across the top of the outside panel, replacing the flimsy plastic piece inside the fabric. I also moved the hanging hooks further apart and up, letting the bag hang lower on the bike, as well as making it more stable on the rack. I've tested the modded bags with about 50 pounds worth of stuff in them so far, and they don't deform now. And they still fold up flat!

In other news, with the impending Pugsley invasion, I had to run around town today, picking up tools that I needed but didn't have yet. As I was riding through the NAU campus, I had to stop and take a couple pictures:
The bike racks at the NAU Student Union... don't they all look sad and cold? There's not even any footprints going to most of them.

Happy bike with a winter kickstand! Studded tires make ice fun!

And so... since tomorrow is a new year and all that, I figured I'd post my recorded mileage from the past year, and re-visit it next year. I've only kept track for the last half of this year, and not on all the bikes at the same time, so yeah. It's still pretty crazy what I've done in just 5 or 6 months though.

Bi (Commuter and all around bike:) 814.7
The Giant (Mountain bike:) 139.3
Spork (Road bike:) 425.4
Total recorded mileage for 2008: 1379.4 miles

Tomorrow's another year.
Mileage: 13

The Fathomless Depths

So, I can not fathom the levels of depravity that accompany this post.  It really makes me want to abandon my car all together and go completely two-wheeled when I see car drivers make horrible decisions like this.  If only my Pugsley were done.  -_-

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


So with all of my wheel problems, I decided that I had to do something different.  So I got a Pugsley.  For those that don't know, the Surly Pugsley is the end-all be-all of go anywhere bicycles.  4" tires.  Come on, it rocks.  It is also a full rigid with disc brakes, too!  Hopefully the wheels will be here shortly and I'll get some mileage in.  Pictures after the break.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

We can make it better...

It is a common and well known fact, among those that know me, that I cannot own anything without making some sort of modification to it. Case in point, the Nashbar Townie grocery panniers.

They look decent here, but don't let that fool you!

Because of how flimsy and flexy these are, with about 8-10 pounds of stuff on either side, I was paranoid about stuff falling out (which almost did happen at one point...) and they almost doubled the width of the bike. With the way I overbuild stuff... this simply will not do. Though, to be honest, these only cost $13 each. Which to me means they are an excellent platform for "improvements."

I have a plan... which means they will either be mangled beyond recognition, ow will work better than most $50+ solutions.
Mileage: 5.7

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bi's Electrical System

So, I had the urge to build stuff tonight, and I decided that I would wire in my Planet Bike Super Blinky tail light into the battery pack I built for my headlights, since the batteries in the blinky died last night. Then, while I was at it, I thought: "Hey, I like things to be symmetrical, why not do two?"

Two Super blinkies, wired together, with the power wire running along the rack brace to the battery pack. Both lights are independantly switched, since I soldered the wires straight to the battery contacts on each.

The headlights, which are two Dorcy K2 120 lumen LED flashlights. Originally they ran on three AAA batteries each. Wired in a similar setup to the blinkies, they are also independantly switched. The power line runs along the top tube to the battery pack.

The battery pack, consisting of three "C" cell batteries. Two batteries power the tail lights, while all three power the headlights, via two separate output leads. The bag is just temporary until I make a better case.

Future plans for this system are a better more weather proof battery case, and possibly doubling the battery count, but pairing the batteries in series, so I still have my 3 and 4.5 volt outputs. With all this so far, I have enough lighting to rival a 747's landing lights. We'll see how long the batteries last now.

Mileage: 0

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Brave Soul For a Pair of Toe Warmers

So by the time I left work at noon, it snowed a good 5 or so inches. I decided I didn't want to go home yet. I'll hold this to a testament to how crazy I've gone in the past year, and I present you with the thought process that decided what I did for my ride:

Hmm... I like bikes, so I should ride my bike.
I also like cold, so I should be outside.
I like snow, so I should do something in the snow!

I ended up riding in the falling snow, with visibility less than 1/4 mile, to Absolute Bikes downtown, and it was fun! They were impressed that I actually was out riding in all this, and called me a brave soul for being one of the few riding in this weather.

While I was there, I bought a set of toe warmers, since by the time I got there, my toes had gotten pretty cold. With these on, I rode all the way home, and my toes were not wet or cold. I didn't want to get full on shoe covers, because my whole foot wasn't cold. I'm pretty sure it's because of the slush my front wheel was kicking up.

Mileage: 10.0

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Yes, yes, SNOW! and I actually rode to work in it... and then took an indirect route home! Does this make me crazy?

Trees with snow along the way home...
Mandatory bike shot in snow... This is Bi, my singlespeed/fixie mountain bike.

All in all, a fun ride. I have studded tires at low pressure, which do pretty well in the snow and ice. I haven't biffed it yet, so I'm pretty sure they're doing their job.
Mileage: 7.4