Sunday, July 17, 2011

How to move by bike:

First, you build a trailer, and name it Scrappy. This is somewhat optional, as if you have a rockin' cargo bike, like a Big Dummy, Madsen, Bakfiets, or a Yuba Mundo, to name a few, (And their variants) the bike can haul quite a bit on its own. But a trailer behind a Big Dummy is nice for the big and heavy stuff.

Obviously, step two is to pile stuff on it:

First load! Wood lathe!

It's looking like a garage in here.
As I said, trailer optional.

There was another one of these just like it.

No load is too irregularly shaped!

The Captain's chair.

The last Scrappy load!

There are 4 or 5 trailer loads that aren't pictured, most of which could be similar to the above. The most impressive was the queen-sized bed. Mattress, box spring, and bedframe on the trailer. Also not pictured are the few Henry-only loads.

In all, the trailer did better than I expected it to. No matter what I put on it, nothing creaked, broke, flexed, or complained... except me. It is half a mile from the house to the apartment, and the house is on a hill. I was panting and sweating every time I rolled in the garage at the house with a load on the trailer, but taking the time to wind tie-down straps gave me enough time to recover and do it again. The blast back downhill made it easier, too. The weakest link in the system was the rider.

In the end, I probably have more than 20 miles in the move, and got 80-85% of everything over by bike. The comments from other people made it worth it, too. Kids loved it and thought it was awesome, a lot of adults thought it was neat, and asked if it was heavy for me to pull with a load. Though, most adults ignored it. That said, moving by bike will really convince you that you have too much stuff. I have WAY too much stuff.

But, with moving completed, apartment cleaned, and nothing left to do but unpack, (Yes, the bike rack is already up in the Garage, yay!)I decided to meet up with some Absolute folks for a Sunday ride this morning.

I left a little later than I'd have liked, but powered up to the Schultz Creek trailhead at 8:59. Roll out time was 9:00. And there was no one there. I also realized I forgot my frame pump.

When life hands you lemons, don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! I don't want your damn lemons, what am I supposed to do with these?! Demand to see life's manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am?! I'm the guy who's gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I'm gonna get the engineers to invent a combustible lemon that I'm gonna use to burn your house down!

Umm, yeah. Sorry, lost my train of thought.

While I didn't throw any incendiary lemons around, and my legs are still fairly beat up from moving, I did manage to get a great ride in. Up Rocky Ridge from Schultz Creek, up Elden Lookout Road to Onion, Onion up to Sunset.


At the top of Sunset on the way to Schultz Pass, I realized my rear wheel was wobbling, because the wheel bearings were way out of adjustment. This will not do, with the rockin' descent before me. After some fiddling, (And realizing Shimano installed the drive-side locknut backwards...) I had the bearings in adjustment. Mechanical disaster averted!

Resuming my ride, I rode up to Sunset Peak, and by coincidence, right up to the very edge of the Schultz Fire burn. turning around, I flew down Sunset, Blazed down Schultz Creek, and took the Urban Trail through town to get home. Which involved going up a hill to get home. I'm going to have to plan my rides accordingly, now.

I can see my house from here!


The Onion trail. This one's for Josh. I miss riding with ya, man, and your trash-talking at me over the technical stuff.

Wait, wasn't I supposed to be relaxing today?
Mileage: 27.5

Friday, July 1, 2011

And now for something completely the same:

Wherein I ride a bike, work on bikes, and other general bikery.

I managed to rip a soleplate out of one of my shoes the other day, which of course meant a trip to Absolute for new shoes. I also thought about how I use my biking shoes, with cleats that clip into the pedals to keep my clodstompers in place on the pedal. Over a third of the miles I put on them per year are general commuting/errand type miles, where being attached to the pedal isn't very important, and maybe I can extend the life of the shoes and cleats if I start using regular platform pedals, maybe with straps.

The straps didn't work out too well, my feet are too wide for the setup, but I'm pretty sure I can build something myself that will work. However...
I've never ridden in sandals before. What an incredible feeling, especially with how hot it was today.

It is odd to be back on platforms after riding Clipless for so long. I keep instinctively twisting my heel outward as if to disengage my foot from the pedal. At the moment, Henry's the only one with platforms, but Bi will be getting them soon as well, one I figure out some foot retention. (Fixed gear + platforms with no straps = suicide)

However, I did put in some miles today, re-acquainting myself with regular pedals.

After which I came home, intending to do some packing and prep work for the impending move. However, it was decided that I should build a wheel instead. Because building wheels is much more fun than packing and cleaning.

No, I'm not being sarcastic. It really is enjoyable to me.

The manager at Absolute disagrees with me on that point.

I find it relaxing.

He thinks I'm insane.

I think he's right.


The parts: One WTB Dual Duty XC 700c rim, one Surly New Front Hub, 32 Wheelsmith straight gauge spokes and nipples, and some rim plugs.

Fast forward about 3/4's of the way through Tron Legacy:
Bi's new front wheel.

Being able to read the hub label through the valve hole in the rim is a mark of quality.

This was the 8'th rim I've built so far, and it was the fastest and truest build I've done yet. I think I'm getting the hang of this wheelbuilding thing.

Reason for the new wheel is that Bi's current front wheel is in the process of eating it's bearings. It was a cheep wheel to begin with, came with Bi when I bought him, and has more miles on it than any other wheel in the apartment. It's not dead yet, but after ~4 thousand low maintenance miles, it's earned a dignified trip to the dumpster.

Or maybe I just wanted an excuse to build a wheel.

Mileage: 17.1