This Space for Rent

Oct 26, 2013

Out on the line

The born-again Trek at the junction of Helvetia & Logie Trail

Today I stopped at the junction of Helvetia Road & Logie Trail and didn’t immediately proceed up that ramp.

Oct 25, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Mini-rack mite

Dust Mite inspects the tiny front rack and a temporary deck made of cut apart inner tubes.

Danger, Will Robinson!

born-again anti panda

The born-again Trek is amazingly stable at speed, so why not take advantage of it for a few photos?

Oct 20, 2013

It’s been a while since the Trek frame made it up to Ripplebrook

Ripplebrook born-again Trek

About 4 years, as a matter of fact. I’ve got to get the rest of the xtracycle up to Ripplebrook soon, but not until I’ve figured out a way to make the !berthoud saddle situation a little more comfortable.

Note that despite me taking it on a 200k, there is no front rack or rando bag – I carried all of my food in the back pockets of my jersey, and, my, that’s a cruddy way to carry things. I’m going to /have/ to braze up a 6×6 rack, tack a couple of mounpoints onto the front surface of the fork, and sew up a conventionally sized tiny rando bag for it. I’d like to say I’ll do this before next weekend, but that probably won’t happen (I need to resolve the torn sidewall on the rear Confrerie – the torn area is bulging out enough to make the bicycle go thump! thump! thump! and I suspect that the next 100k will see the rear tire going *pop* at an unfortunate time. I suppose I can move the front Confrerie to the back wheel and put the spare Hetre on the front wheel?)

Oct 19, 2013

A nice way to start the day

Mount Hood from Judd Road

Nothing like going for a nice long ride on a clear day when there’s just enough haze in the mountains to make the local stratovolcano look unworldly.

Oct 18, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite helps level the saddle

The bicycle repairmite.

Almost ready for a lightly loaded 200k


I tweaked the stem (to get the handlebars a little bit lower and about an inch further away from me), swapped the saddle (+seatpost mount)(not shown here; I put the Nago TR that used to be on the project bike here), added a second bottle cage and a pump, then dug up the ripped Confrerie, used tyvek fabric to boot it, then glued the rip shut, replaced the CdlV’s and rode it on a 10 mile loop.

Let’s see if I can do a 200k with nothing but what I can carry in my pocketeses. At least Estacada is at mp ~30 and mp ~90, and the Ripplebrook Guard Station is at mp ~60, so if I run out of fud I’ll be able to restock on 2-hour headways.


Oct 15, 2013

And done


I’m not exactly sure what I’m actually going to do with it, but the (650)born again Trek is finished enough to ride now. Not for very far (because the rear tire has a big rip in the sidewall that’s only partially fixed with a boot) but it is ridable.

Not bad for parts from the basement.

Oct 13, 2013

Parts is parts

Yup, it's a bicycle

It appears I have enough leftover stuff lying around in my lab to build up another bicycle, so the Trek 1000 frame that was taken out of service when the chainstay cracked is going to be put back into service as a summertime/spare rando bike, using nothing except parts I’ve already got in the basement.

Oct 12, 2013

I found some more gravel

Looking back down this insanely steep gravel ramp

I rode down to Independence yesterday with my friend Stasia (she was going south to spend the weekend with friends in Corvallis, and invited me to come along as far as I could ride before having to turn back) and I’d made up a route south that tried to avoid some of the more obnoxiously travelled N/S highways without intentionally going out of my way to find Adventure!

Well, that didn’t work; the route I took over the Eola Hills took some backroads I’d already ridden, plus some new ones to link up with the main road to Independence. One of them – Eagle Crest Road – climbed fairly steeply up to the ridgeline, so it looked like it would be fun.

It was a little more fun than we expected; at the very point where the road pitched way up (to 25-28%) it turned into a gravel road and we didn’t make it very far before our wheels were happily breaking loose every time we pedaled, forcing us to walk the rest of the half mile to the top.

I think that I’ll have to try this route a different week, hopefully after it’s been sunny for a while and the ground has stiffened up a bit. Either that or get a set of cyclocross tires and see if they’ll work well for 139.5 miles of pavement + .5 miles of ohmygodthisissteep gravel.


Oct 11, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite & Chicken

Dust Mite makes a new friend.

Oct 10, 2013

V-brake day

Canti posts for the MLCM (1)

After practicing a couple of days ago I finally cleaned the paint off the midlifecrisismobile’s seatstays and brazed a pair of canti posts into place. Not the best brazing I’ve ever done (bernzomatic torches and bicycle frames have a sort of strained relationship) but it seems solid enough for me to rattlecan (Rustoleum “satin red” is a very close match to the burgundy paint on the MLCM) and bolt on a pair of cheap v-brakes I scavenged from a Wal*Mart special.

Now to take it out on a couple of 200ks to see whether the brazes will hold up.


Oct 08, 2013

It looks better in real life

The bridge at the foot of the street

The east tower of the new Milwaukie interurban’s Willamette River crossing is starting to look very much like a bridge, and is a lot more impressive when you ride around the corner of lower Grand & Caruthers and see it looming above the river end of the street.

Oct 07, 2013



I’ve got a mangled crosscheck frame sitting in the basement that I’m planning on turning into a cycle truck, I’ve got a bicycle kit in my office that I’m going to turn into a(nother) rando bicycle, and I’m planning on putting canti posts onto the midlifecrisismobile, so before I do any of that I need to do some practice brazing larger chunks of steel.

Like, say, canti posts.

My big torch needs a new tank of oxygen, so I didn’t use it. No, I used my hardware store bernzomatic torch, which may not be the best tool for the job because it takes a long time to push enough heat into the casting to melt the brass onto it. But that’s not the horrible thing about this bit of brazing; the HUGE PILE of brass makes up in badness for anything else I might have misdone here.

Oct 04, 2013

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™


Dust Mite leads an army of piggy banks towards a small pile of money.

Post flat tire blues

Eaden MLCM

I had the most annoying flat tire today; I was trying to ride the Estacada 100 and noticed, 20-odd miles out, that the mlcm was starting to ride as if the front tire was going flat. This was annoying, because I’d just had a flat on this tire two days ago (a piece of glass had poked into the tube with the expected results) and wasn’t expecting one for another 460 miles or so. But when I stopped the tire was only down to what I guess was 40psi, so I thought that it would be worthwhile to put some more air in and see how long it would stay ridably inflated. But when I started to open the valve so I could attach the pump, it made a happy whiiissht! sound and then launched the valve core off into the underbrush, followed, of course, by the rest of the air in that tube.

So a 2 minute stop&pump became a 15 minute look for the valve core, can’t find it, then just swap tubes procedure, which just happened to be long enough so I couldn’t guarantee a < 4h30 loop time. Ugh. So I bailed at the top of Eaden Road and went home (at an increasingly slow speed because I’m congested today and the combination of congestion+cold winds ( + not enough tea) is much like getting an icepick embedded in my sinus cavity.) I cut 17 miles off the loop, which I could possibly have done (I left home at 10:30 and got back after 49 miles at 2:09 – 17 miles downhill at 17+mph is certainly doable, but if anything had gone wrong I would have missed Silas’s schoolbus and been in a world of hurt.)

Oct 02, 2013

Life lessons learned from Sherlock

Unemployed? Unemployable? Fine. Just invent your own job. Consulting [insert word here]. Job done.


via Radio Times.

Oct 01, 2013

Embrace the shiny

Shiny 105 dangler

This Shimano 105 dangler came with the frameset for Silas’s Shiromoto but it was pretty grubby, I set it aside when I built up the bicycle. Today I was cleaning up a couple of old Dia-Compe non-aero brake levers (from the gaspipe bicycle I found in a junkpile a few years ago) and decided this would be a good day to clean this up, too.

Soap and water didn’t work, so I hit it with steel wool. That worked, but stripped off some of the grey anodization, so I threw caution to the winds and went at it with sandpaper, steel wool, and polishing cloth.

It looks a lot better in silver and without the manufacturer’s logo on it.