This Space for Rent

Jan 17, 2017

Messing around with bikes

Agility in the mountains

Wider handlebars (some noname Sakai bars that I think came from Boulder Bicycles), new less-filthy black Chinese handlebar tape, and a Terry Zero saddle (from a Trek 560 frame a friend gave me.) The wider handlebars will give me a bit more leverage when the kit bike is grinding through the slushy ravines of the street (which may be covered with a sheet of ice tomorrow, depending whether it starts raining before it warms up or not), the tape is because the old cork stuff was incredibly grimy and not long enough to wrap these bars, and the saddle is part of my ongoing qwest to find a non-leather saddle that’s close to as comfortable as a Berthoud saddle is.

Jan 13, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Nocturnal Mite

Dust Mite at night

The land with no snowploughs


The main roads have been ploughed, but there’s still a sizable amount of ice on the traffic lanes, and cars + busses with chains are grinding the top layer into tiny ice chunks, which are mixing with blown snow and snowmelt to make a slush that’s much like a foam filled with bbs. Terrifying to ride on, even with studded tires (I’ve already had one fall where the bicycle slid sideways off a ridge of ice onto a mass of slush which kept the studs from reaching the road surface – the front wheel was already sliding sideways and it didn’t stop until after it (and me) reached horizontal.)

Ugh. Maybe I need to set aside some time to make a snowtrike?

Jan 11, 2017

keeping warm

Mavis sits by the fire
(Pentax *istDS, SMC 50mm @ f/ 1.2)

Mavis sits by the fire

Not exactly sane…

setenv SNOW "Almost too much for me"

… but we needed to get paper baking cups, so I had to go to the store and get them despite the foot of snow on the ground. Even with the mountainhack’s Nokian A10s I was still sliding all over the place (too much snow to ride on the sidewalks, so I had to ride on the sheet of ice left by the busses) on the way to and from the store (and fortunately I got there soon enough after it closed so I could beg my way in. Yay for New Seasons!)

I’m not seeing Portland getting back into the regular routine by tomorrow (it’s supposed to stay below zero for the next 3 days, so there’s nothing making the snow actually melt except for warmth from the ground, which means that there’s going to be a lovely sheet of ice under the snow when it starts to actually melt) or friday.

The view from our front porch

Real snow, #1

Yup, it’s the apocalypse.

Jan 10, 2017


THE WHITE DEATH (round 4), #2

The fourth snowstorm of the season has just rolled into Portland and is now making everything grind to a complete halt. Fortunately for me I’ve got a bicycle with studded tires so I can actually get around when there are multiple inches of snow on the road.

Jan 08, 2017

“Ice,” said the maple, “is bringing me down.”

Ice, said the maple, is bringing me down

A slow but persistant ice storm is covering all the trees around us.

Jan 06, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

11x8 hoverrack, #1

Dust Mite helps me align a hoverrack

Jan 05, 2017

Belated holiday gift

Trek 560

A couple of tip finds from my friend Kevin; this one is a size huge Trek 560 with a hodgepodge of Shimano 600 (tricolor & arabesque) and SLX SLR parts, with a set of Ritchey ergo bars thrown in for good measure. Basically none of this is actually usable for me (I might be able to use the fork if I glued on some canti posts, rack, and fender mounts and cut it down to be a proper threadless stem) but I can move some of the parts over to one of my other junk frames or give them to friends who need or want vintage bike parts.

Jan 04, 2017

Flash-frozen chicken? Not exactly…

Rando cargo

The New Seasons rotisserie chicken is cheaper than buying it raw and preparing it (mainly because they use tiny chicken carcasses for the rotisserie, but the ones in the butcher’s cabinet are ~4 pounds. If there were a lot of people in our house, this would be significant, but with only three meat-eaters a rotisserie chicken lasts for a couple of meals + being rendered into broth, and then some of it ends up being tossed or fed to the cats because nobody is willing to eat it) so when Russell said he wanted chicken for dinner tonight I went down to the Big Big Store to pick one up. My historical reenactment porteur-rando bag isn’t officially insulated, but two layers of fabric + the coroplast stiffeners create enough insulation so I can ride the 1.2 miles back in -1C headwinds and arrive home with the thing still hot.

The vegan chocolike sauce isn’t for the chicken; if we were planning chicken mole we’d use cooking chocolate instead of this stuff (which I dump on my non-dairy frozen dessert that fills the ice cream gap in my lifestyle.)

Jan 03, 2017

Midwinter shopping

Ice Bike :-)

We’re having a few days of ridiculously cold for Portland weather (20-30°F) so all of the water-filled potholes on the unimproved streets have become ice-filled instead. Fortunately for me I can get around the potholes when I hit a section of gravel in the middle of running errands.

Jan 02, 2017

Rack #80

10x8 low rider rando rack, #1

A low-riding (at the same elevation as the brake bolt hole) oversized rando rack. 20 racks to #100; hopefully that won’t take all year.

Dec 31, 2016


Gravel Grinding(tm)

The last shopping trip of a fairly awful year.

Dec 30, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite, Dust Mite card

Dust Mite looks at a gift card

Dec 28, 2016

Fork! Fork!

Fork kits

Two fork “kits” from framebuildersupply (I’ve also got two pairs of slotted dropouts – I’d do through-axle because why not? except that I don’t have any through-axle dynohubs – and the various bits and bobs needed to attach rack mounts and either canti or dia-compe brake bosses). One of them (the sloping crown) is going on the 3-speed project bike frame (which is waiting for me to make up a frame jig before I glue on the rear triangle; freehand assembling the front triangle was not quite a complete success in the symmetry department – I need to aggressively face the DS of the BB, then put a spacer ring on the NDS to get the crankset centered) and the other is going onto the replacement frame for my xtracycle (which will mean that the only part of the original Trek 1000 xtracycle will be the aluminum hoops that the xtracycle bags are attached to.)

Dec 27, 2016

Under the bridge

The Portland Spirit sails under the new Sellwood bridge

The Portland Spirit approaches the Sellwood Bridge

Dec 25, 2016

Things have changed

A GG-1 arrives at Harrisburg

No more GG-1s on the ex-PRR electrified district (and, for that matter, I don’t think there are any locomotive-framed electrics left in operation in the western hemisphere unless the two ALL (ex-Sorocabana) Loba (1-C+C-1) are still operating around Sao Paulo) and no more electric freight at all.

Dec 24, 2016

Blurry tree

A tinier than usual tree

Getting the tree decorated at the very last minute (the fascists and their imaginary “war on christmas” makes the holiday much less appealing, but not unappealing enough to not get a tree.)

Dec 23, 2016

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Festive Mite, #2

Dust Mite does some seasonal cosplay

Festive rando bag

9x8x7 green rando bag, #1

A little (9x8.5x7) semi-traditional rando bag that I just finished as practice for the next porteur/rando bag I’m going to build for the kit bike. Green to match the (rainy) season, and it’s going to be mated to the apple green rando rack I’ve got lying around.


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