This Space for Rent

Apr 28, 2013

Donut wagon

The GT at Joe's

The GT at Joe’s, after picking up a dozen donuts

Apr 27, 2013

Mount Hood view

Mount Hood and a flock of lenticular clouds

Mount Hood at a quarter past nine this morning. Note that the lenticular clouds are blowing north; this did not accurately represent the wind direction at ground level about 3 hours later.

Why, yes, it appears that I can ride a fixed-gear 200k

Ripplebrook GT

And now all of my bicycles have completed a 200k loop. This time I finished the loop in 9h52, thanks(?) to savage headwinds all of the way back from the summit of the ride (it took me about 4h30 to ride up to the official turnaround control, then another km further up dirt roads to where Ripplebrook Road diverges from the road down to Lake Harriet; the return trip was a somewhat more painful 5h22, because the g-dd-mn headwinds just never stopped no matter which way I was riding. Ugh) – which is pretty much a par-for-the-course timing for a ride with 60 miles of headwinds.

Apr 26, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite & 8x8 rack

Dust Mite measures an 8×8 rack platform.

The 650b roster

3 650b bicycles (1)

To my shame, there are now as many 650b'ed bicycles in my household as there are 700c. From front to back, there’s Russell’s Kogswell, the Murray Baja Experience! (now with a SON dynohub and Ultegra rear hub. If I’d been able to find a cheap White or Chris King rear hub in silver it would have been on the Baja, but as it stands the Ultegra hub is shiny! enough for the bike), and the GT.

Note that all of these bicycles have fenders & lights (battery light on the GT, since I don’t have a dynohub front wheel for the thing yet.)

One interesting thing I’ve found about the GT is that even though it’s got a taller head tube I get more saddle to bar drop (12-13 cm compared to about 10 on the mlcm) because there is less room taken up by the wheels (and the Hutchinson Conféries on them.)

Apr 25, 2013

Bicycle picture of the day

The GT at Llewellyn just before being knocked over by rampaging schoolchildren

I’ve been doing basically all of my weekday riding on the GT, and that includes brevetting around. This photo was taken after I’d returned from a fast (4h14) run of the Estacada 100 (my second run of it this week) – a ride that would have been faster except that my legs just wanted to stop pedalling after the first 58 miles or so.

Apr 23, 2013

More Bee Pictures!

Berthoud bee

A honeybee takes a breather on my helmet straps.

Apr 22, 2013

A few revisions

A few revisions

My handmade stem cracked at the braze again, so I gave up and tossed it into the pieces bin (I’ll probably get a lug and lug it to a quill sooner or later – my brazing skills have gotten to the point where I can fairly reliably get a good layer of brass inside a lug, so it won’t be quite the adventure as this stem has been) and replaced it with a threadless conversion quill and a noname black 1" threadless stem that I found at the CCC sometime last year. So I had to swap the white Electra saddle out for a black one out of my partsbin, and now it’s a little more of a festival of black and white. I should probably pull the rack and rattlecan it black to match the stem and saddle, but not until this weekend.

Apr 21, 2013

Big wheels, little wheels

Sweet fixie & minivelo

Mini-velos are pretty neat looking. But if I was to build one, I’d probably use 520mm wheels instead of 406mm, and I’d certainly use a threadless stem instead of a threaded one.

Apr 19, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Grey cat, grey mite

Dust Mite and Mavis doze on the loveseat.

Yup, racks are easier

A rack full of racks

Built 2 racks this week, repaired a broken one, made a replacement piece for a different one, and started another. In ~20 hours all told (including a few runs to the hardware store for oxygen; next week I have to get off my butt and go out to Airgas and see about getting a new bottle of oxygen instead of churning through disposable bottles as if they were candy) which is about the amount of time it takes me to sew one handlebar bag.

Yup, racks are easier

Apr 16, 2013

Another one done, and an older one finished off

One more rack for the road

Almost finished with a more conventional rando-style front rack for a friend in Seattle (still need to braze on a threaded stud for a light mount and a couple of threaded studs to bolt the wraparound fork stay to) and while I had the torch running this afternoon I also slopped a foot or so of brass into the stem I’m (still) kit bashing, brazed the crown bolt mount onto another wraparound stay, and finally got around to attaching the wraparound stay to the rack on the Murray Baja Experience! to replace the twine I’d wrapped around the fork to hold the rack in place.

Apr 12, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite & Cat (1)

Either the cat got smaller, Dust Mite got larger, or …

Dust Mite & Cat (2)

… there’s a Megamite in town!

Apr 10, 2013

Sunny day randonneuse

Llewellyn GT

The newly befendered GT sits in the sun at Llewellyn this afternoon.. I put the fenders (a set of Tanuka 700×35c alloy fenders rerolled to 650×38c) on this morning because there was a 100% chance of rain before 2pm and I wanted to be ready for the rain.

What I wasn’t ready for was that all of this rain would come down in a big hurry between 1 & 1:30pm, which was exactly the time I was returning from King Harvest with the weekly hummus ration. The fenders did keep the road spray off me, but since I was already being soaked to the skin that wasn’t as much of a nice thing as it usually would be.

Apr 09, 2013

Project of the day, or framebuilder’s deathwish?

The new stem doesn't look quite so hackish from a distance

One problem I had with the GT was that there don’t seem to be any 1 1/8th quill stems out there that don’t have a ridiculous amount of positive rise (or are hideous adjustable stems.)

So I did a DIY solution; I cut apart a positive rise steel stem and rebuilt it as a ~ -7° one. And it’s now stuffed onto the GT so I can do some city riding to see if the fillet brazes fail on me in a situation where it’s fairly easy to get the bicycle back home.

Out on the line

Estacada GT

The GT may not be the most sensible bicycle to take out on 100k loops, but that’s not stopping me from doing so. In the two weeks since I built it up it’s been on 3 100ks and I’m seriously considering trying to ride up to Ripplebrook on it when I’ve got a spare 12 hours to do it.

Apr 06, 2013

All that glitters is not gold

All things that glitter are not gold, but this isn't one of them

… but some things that glitter are.

Apr 05, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite helps me build racks

The rack-builder

The pilgrimage

The pilgrimage

I had to take the GT up to Sandy today!

Apr 04, 2013

Decided on the 9×9 rack

I decided on a 9x9 rack (1)

It took me about 5 hours to make this rack up. Rackbuilding is a lot faster than sewing rando bags, and I’m not exactly sure why. The fastest I’ve ever built up a rando bag has been about 18 hours of work, and that’s after a dozen of them :-(

Apr 03, 2013

Decisions, decisions

Choices (1)Choices (2)

Trying to decide which size rack to put on the GT – a 12×12 rack would give me plenty of room for a porteur bag (and be juuuust barely big enough to fit two bags of groceries), but a 9×9 rack would still fit one bag (and I could ziptie a basket to it if I wanted to carry more) and be a tidier size for the next brevet I take the thing on.

I’m not going to go any smaller than 9×9; I like having enough room to put a rando bag down without worrying about it shimmying into oblivion.

1 comment


Oak Island fixie

I’d planned to take advantage of the weather (the lack of rain, and promise of some sunshine) to go up to Sauvie Island on a 110k perm this morning. I’d made plans to ride with a friend, but he had to bail at the last minute to do moving-related chores, so that means I’d be doing it by myself.

And the GT was just sitting there in the front hall (because I’ve been using it when Silas and I ride to Llewellyn in the morning) and I didn’t have to worry about keeping up with other people, but could just ride along at the sort of constant slow speed that fixies are good at doing.

So I took my sweet fixie™ out for its first permanent – 4h35 loop time, with only about 6 minutes stopped (at stoplights and to take pictures), which meant that I was pedalling constantly for 4h29.


To be sure, the GT really wants to go along at one constant speed (in the band of 15-16mph) and I did end up making it back to town in time to retrieve Silas from school, but, still… Ow.

And not all because I was pedaling; the crappy Cutter saddle is responsible for a lot, as is the terribly high handlebar position. If I keep riding this bike on permnents I’ll probably swap saddles with the project bike, and that will settle the saddle problem. Not so sure about the handlebar position – I’ve cut apart another high-rise quill stem and wll reassemble it as a ~-12° stem, but I don’t know if it will work or even be safe.

At least I’m almost to the point where I braze on the rack, and then I’ll be able to carry a full rando load on it.