This Space for Rent

Jun 28, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite and the rack

A bit of quality control, Dust Mite-style.

Jun 26, 2013

Handlebar experiments

Really wide handlebars

  • The first experiment was a pair of Origin-8 Gary bars, which were too wide and made my elbows ache after 30 or so miles in the drops.
  • The second experiment was a pair of ergo bars that I stuffed onto the mlcm just before my first 600 of the year. There probably are people who fit ergo bars, but I’m not one of them, and I came back from the 600 with my left hand feeling sprained.
  • The third experiment is here; my friend Graydon gave me a pair of 48mm Noodle bars. I’m not sure about them yet, but they do provide pretty spectacular leverage when I’m pushing the bicycle up a ramp.

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Jun 24, 2013

Having a wonderful time, wish you were here

Mount Jefferson from Detroit Lake

I got rained on during the last 150k of Portland-Portland-Portland!, but the weather on the first leg was much better.

Jun 23, 2013

That’s one

I finished my first permanent series of the year today by riding my Portland-Portland-Portland permanent in 40h15 (out of 40h20, because it’s a little longer than 600k.) It’s a new record time, but I will point out that I spent 8 hours at the overnight control and another 3 hours parked at various other controls eating and/or waiting for torrential downpours to subside.

But, ow, I’m kind of sore.

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Jun 22, 2013

Well, that was an interesting experiment

I went out for a short loop on Friday to test out the Gary bars, but discovered about halfway through the loop that they were just a little too wide when I was in the drops. So I swung by the CCC to see what I could scrounge, and found a pair of Salsa ergo bars. “Why not?” is what I thought as I pulled then out of the bin and carried them up to the checkout.

Well, it turns out that the why not is that the ergo bumps give one good position in the drops, but they make all of the other positions kind of sucky. Siiigh.

And of course I discovered this on a 600! Oops :-)

Jun 21, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite watches a fish

Dust Mite and the fishtank.

Jun 20, 2013


MLCM with Origin-8 Gary bars (second round)

I realized that the Nitto B135 handlebars that were on the mlcm had become slightly bent (“I realized” is code for “I knocked the bicycle over and bent them more than they were bent before”) so I had to pull them and replace them with new handlebars. Normally, new handlebars would involve a trip to my LBS or the CCC to see if they had any used ones, but both of those options cost money and I had an almost unused set of Origin-8 Gary bars that I’d tried on the mlcm a few years ago and couldn’t get set up properly. Well, I’m a bit stronger now, so I might be able to make them work now (previously I could either set them up so that my hands were level in the drops or so that they wouldn’t slide painfully into the elbow where the shakes attach to the bars) and it’s not as if I had much choice here, given that I’m riding a 600 on Saturday and I only have tomorrow to take the mlcm out for a loop to check to see if the bars are ridable for long distances.

And to add insult to injury the old cork bar tape was filthy and I couldn’t beat putting it onto the new bars, so I dug some factory reject Fizik bar tape out of my partsbin and made the poor mlcm just a little more garish.

I should see if I can find a pair of used steel drop bars (I’d love to find a clone of the Ava death bars I’ve got ont the GT, but, really, I’d just love to have some handlebars that can take a little more abuse than lightweight aluminum does. But until then, these bars are much better than no bars.


Jun 17, 2013

Having a wonderful time, wish you were here

Sunset on Triumph Road

I rode my Hot Springs-Covered Bridges 400k yesterday/early today, and managed to not ride fast enough to get closer to Portland than the heights between Silverton & Stayton before the sun plunged like a stone below the horizon. But on the positive front it meant I was able to get this lovely photo of the sunset before everything went black(ish).

Jun 15, 2013

Set phasers on disintegrate

Death-ray eyed cats

Mavis and Buckeley warm up their death-ray eyes.

Jun 14, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite pedestal

Dust Mite finds a new use for some of the cut-apart pieces of a gaspipe Mongoose frame I was given last week.

the graduate

Fence-sitting bear

Silas had his last day of elementary school today; next year he’s going to be in middle school (possibly Da Vinci art school, possibly Sellwood; we’re pushing fairly hard for Da Vinci because he is an artistic bear) and it won’t be long until he’s a teenager. But he’s still one of the two cutest babies in the whole wide world.

Trolley picture of the day

Blue-Red climbs away from the temporary OMSI station

I was heading downtown on an errand and when I approached the trolley overpass I heard the casper-the-friendly-ghost buzz of trolley electronics. I wasn’t going to stop to take a picture, but I was going to pull my camera out and see what I could see. And this was it.

Jun 13, 2013

Making do with what I’ve got

48 hole hub, 32 hole rim?  no problem!

The 48 hole Surly Ultra New fixed/fixed hub (laced 32) looks nice when it’s clean.

Jun 08, 2013

Well, maybe it’s time to get a new pair of glasses

I guess it's time for another pair of glasses

These glasses (and the lens prescription) are approximately as old as Silas is, and I’ve been sticking with them stubbornly for quite a while even though my eyes are getting older as I speak. But the day before yesterday they decided to make the need for new glasses a little bit more urgent by having the solder joint on the left side of the bridge fail (not far enough so that the glasses fell into two pieces, but enough so that the bridge was hinged on a piece of solder.


Fortunately I had some steel-filled epoxy in the basement and was able to put a fillet around the offending failed joint, but I’m still going to need to go to the eye clinic for a new eye exam and a new pair of glasses or two.

Jun 07, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Silas and a maxy-mite

Silas and the Mite

Jun 06, 2013

The killer app


There’s a website out there than provides a nice map of all of your routes colored according to how many times you’ve ridden any particular section of road/trail (like the gpsvisualizer options) except that (a) it copies your gps files to itself so it doesn’t have to copy them all over from the source machine every time you run it and (b), it only works with Strava.

Now I’ve been avoiding Strava like the plague because I don’t like the whole competitive KOM/QOM mentality it has, but, um, shiny?

It took about 30 minutes between when I first saw the heatmaps and creating a Strava account. And then it took another day to populate the strava account with all of my >~10 mile loops. But when I was done I had this, which makes it worthwhile in a sick sort of “holy cow, I’ve ridden a lot of places” way.

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48 hole hub, 32 hole rim?  no problem!

I scrounged a 135mm fixed/fixed hub that had one defect on it; it was drilled for 48 holes but all of the 650b rims I’ve got are 32 hole. Not an insurmountable defect; I simply laced it up skip-stop (cross, skip a hole, cross, skip a hole, etc…) and left 8 empty spoke holes on each side.

If I was ambitious, I would have scrounged a 16" rim and laced it in so that it floated in the space between the spokes. But I am not; I simply laced it, trued it, destressed it, and took it out on a ride (with an amazing chorus of pings and pops in the first 1000 feet as it finished destressing itself – I’ll probably pull and retrue the wheelset after the next 100+k ride on the thing.)

Jun 02, 2013


The fork on the Tarckcheck was not as obviously mangled as the top and down tubes are, but it was just as unusable. So I decided that I’d salvage the fork legs so I could braze them into a new crown for the 20" front wheel I’m going to use in its cycletruck incarnation. But when I finished cutting the second fork leg off, I realized that the poor bent crown would make a nice candlestick.

No sooner thought than done: