This Space for Rent

Aug 20, 2017

The frontiers of tire deflation

Parked at the foot of a steep ramp, just after fixing the first of approximately 100,000 flats

Parked by the side of the road after fixing the first of approximately 100,000 pinchflats yesterday. I hit a stone that was large enough to pinchflat the front tire, then discovered that YET ANOTHER Zefal pump (this one is the one that came with my Trek 1000 decades ago) had reached the point where it didn’t have much puff anymore. And I’d just reached an 8 mile section of road that had been repaired(?) with freshly crushed and very jagged gravel. So thus began a sequence of not being able to get the front tire much above 30 psi -> chunk of gravel -> pinch! -> 30 psi -> chunk of gravel -> pinch! (with, after the first three, the additional step of spending 5 minutes visually inspecting the tire for the latest pinch so I could slap a patch onto it and pray that I’d found all the punctured parts) which meant that it took approximately 5 hours to get the next 20 miles down the road (it would have been almost as fast to walk; 4mph walking speed compares favorably to 12mph riding speed, then 0 mph repairing a flat speed.)

Aug 18, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Hello Dust Mite

The programmer

Aug 17, 2017

A blue heron at Tacoma St

Blue Heron

In the section of Johnson Creek between Tacoma, the ex-Espee mainline, 99e, and the trolley station.

Aug 11, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

3-speed mite

Inspecting the hub on the 3-speed sweet fixie.



I replaced the fork crown stay on the big rack that used to be on the kit bike, and then I needed to test it out by going shopping

Aug 09, 2017

Trying to get order out of chaos

Most of the tools that were hiding on my workbench

I bought a plastic tool shelf so I could clean the tools off my workbench, except that it turns out I have more tools than space for them on the shelf.

Aug 05, 2017

I found a cotter pin

I found a cotter pin!, #1

… when riding down 17th Ave this afternoon. It managed to poke through the tire & the tube, then bend and poke a constellation of holes in the other side of the tube. I tried to patch the tube, but it didn’t work very well because the bent legs of the cotter pin tore the tube when I extracted it, and even a fairly large patch wasn’t enough to properly reinforce the tube. (And then I didn’t reseat the tire properly, so about 2 miles down the road it popped off the rim and started rubbing against the DS chainstay – this, oddly enough, was not enough to destroy the replacement tube, so after reseating & reinflating the tire I was able to ride home w/o any further incident.)

Aug 04, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™


A Dust Mite clutters up our nice clean dining room.

Aug 03, 2017

Finished enough to ride


Built up to the point where I can take it out for errands. No rear brake (though I did find the elusive brake bridge casting I thought I’d lost) or shifter yet, and I need to cut off and remake the stays for the front rack, but now I can start riding it around town for a week or so before disassembling the emergency randonneuse for painting and/or powder coating.

Aug 02, 2017

90% of a bicycle

Approximately a bicycle

I scrapped the SE draft frame and am in the throes of moving parts over to this frame. A lot of the parts will need to be replaced or modified (the brakes aren’t quite long enough reach, the chain isn’t quite long enough, the handlebars were too big for the Mutant stem I’ve got for this one), I need to braze in a brake bridge & level the rack, and of course I need to cut down the steertube so it won’t be a sternum punch. But it’s a bicycle now, and just waiting for me to take it out shopping to see if I can make any of the brazes fail before I ride it out into the countryside.

Aug 01, 2017



Front, rear, & seatpost triangles all brazed up, and now it’s waiting for a whole bucketload of brazeons to be glued onto the frame before I strip the 3-speed project bike and move all the components over to this frame.

Jul 31, 2017

Another one (hopefully won’t) bite(s) the dust

3spf mockup

The 3-speed project frame (the replacement for the existing 3-speed project bike’s SE draft frame) mocked up this afternoon (the chainstays are merely press-fitted into the the BB shell – they need to be cut down so that the rear center is 420mm – and I’m using the kit bike’s fork as a scratch fork) and now waiting for me to braze the rear triangle, various cable stops, the rear brake bridge, a rack, and a taillight mount so I can strip down the SE draft frame and move all the parts over to this frame (and then I can strip down the emergency randonneuse & get it painted.)

Jul 28, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite Pie

It’s the first cherry pie of the season. Yum!

Jul 25, 2017

At the jamboree


Jul 24, 2017

Half a frame, but still waiting on a pair of mail-order track ends

Approximately half of the 3-speed frame

With the original fork from the Trek to prop up the front end, and a paving brick to prop up the rear end so it’s more-or-less at the orientation it will be when I get the rear end brazed on. I decided that I’d rather not go down the path of doing a fillet-brazed BB cluster again (the first one wasn’t necessarily BAD brazing, but the BB slid sideways enough to make the frame unsusable) and snarfeled up a lugged BB of approximately the correct ST/HT/CS angles (both are about 1° too tight, but that’s an easy enough adjustment to make) to put into the thing.

Note that I didn’t drill the frame for bottle bosses yet; my previous attempt at a jig wasn’t very satisfactory, so I’m thinking about a way to do it better (without spending a stack of money on the thing – a commercial jig would be nice, but the ones that do tube aligning cost a large fraction of the cost of a hobby mill or small lathe) and until I figure it out this frame will just have to be unsuitable for randonerdery.

Stouter tubing, too (9/6/9 vs 8/5/8), so I can see if it makes any noticeable difference to the ride. I suspect it won’t – the mountainhack has a front triangle made of whatever super-heavy MTB tubing Trek did on the 820 that year, and it still has a sublime ride – because lightweight chainstays & seatstays are the way to go for a flexy-but-not-noodly frame.

The todo list for this thing to make it into a bicycle is

  • the rear triangle (of course), which is waiting on a pair of track ends,
  • shifter stops for the 3-speed hub (a Shimano 333; I do have a Suntour S-A hub, but it needs to be lubricated and it looks, at least according to the net of a billion lies, like S-A hubs without a grease port need to be disassembled to lubricate if you’re doing anything other than pouring lightweight oil into the shifter port on the axle?) I’d love to get a S-A 3-speed fixie hub, but the old ones appear to be few, far between, and expensive, and the new ones seem to have, aside from the ridiculous name, a reputation of becoming a freewheel hub under load(?!?),
  • brake cable stops,
  • a fork (the Trek’s fork would work, but when I braze up an xtracycle frame to replace the Trek I’ll want to put this fork back with the frame when I sell it) either made from scratch or out of my pile of forks,
  • HT reamed and faced,
  • BB reamed and faced

which is probably about 5 hours of work, or about 3 days of clock time, which means if I can do the timing correctly I can get this thing on the road in time to dismantle the emergency randonneuse for the final few frame tweaks (aligning the rear triangle, putting a wiring port into the DT for the rear light, and maybe adjusting the position of the shifter bosses) and painting.

Jul 21, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Inspecting a damaged shipping box

Dust Mite inspects a squashed shipping box (the box contained a rack that was being sent back for adjustment after the owner cracked one of the brazes when attempting to spread the fork leg stays apart; by the time it got into my hand this was the least of the problems with the rack – the cracked fork leg stay had broken completely off, the other fork stay had buckled just past the brace, the tombstone was bent about 30° back (one leg bent & the other leg had failed at the braze) and the fork crown stay was bent 90°(!!!) up and, of course, failed the braze. The box was damaged enough so the postman rang my doorbell to tell me that the box was already mangled when he got it for delivery, and I took advantage of that to open the box where he could be a witness to the damage) to document the first time that USPS has managed to do this sort of damage.

Yes, I have filed a claim with the USPS, because I’m going to have to completely replace this rack instead of just adjusting it.



Jul 20, 2017

Taking the weird out of Portland


The last bit of a muralled warehouse wall which was left standing until the rest of the warehouse it was attached to was demolished, just to taunt us with the hope that the apartment block that’s going to go in its place would have some character to it.

Jul 18, 2017

An ancient Schwinn

An elderly Schwinn

Not klunkerized, but just grinding out the miles as a city bike.

Jul 17, 2017

Network infrastructure


The DNS/DHCP/NTP server for my home network, now with a UPS after we had a power failure this morning that crashed the FS on its previous incarnation (crashed it in such a way that the fsck during the Linux boot process couldn’t fix it, which converted the machine into a very small boatanchor until I could reflash it with a more recent version of Debian.)

It’s going to be relocated so it sits closer to the wifi access point, because right now (~12 feet away) it’s distant enough so that the latency makes dns-intensive things really sluggish.


I want to believe

Roswell Market in Milwaukie Oregon :-)


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