This Space for Rent

Feb 28, 2014

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite checks out a new rack jig

Dust Mite hopes that I get enough sleep tonight so I can finish this rack and the other one I’ve got in production tomorrow, and then I’ll be able to sew up the bags for them without feeling too pressed for time.

(Normally I’d be riding tomorrow, but it’s supposed to rain and/or snow tomorrow, so I’ll take advantage of the lovely weather and bend/braze/finish/paint the racks I’ve got under production, and hope that it’s less snowy on Sunday so I can stagger out on a 100k loop.)

Feb 25, 2014


Finalist, most awkward load carried on the Trek (1)

A friend was getting out of the framebuilding business, so I bought the contents of his shop from him. And then I had to get it home on the trek, which was kind of interesting because it was fairly heavy and very unbalanced. It didn’t help that there are COLD gale-force winds today.


Feb 22, 2014

Errands, and a not-flat

At Brooklyn Pharmacy

I took the born-again Trek out shopping today (Brooklyn Pharmacy, then Kobos) and managed to get a puncture in my rear tire while I was doing it. But the Trek is running tubeless Confreries these days, and they’re stuffed full of Stans sealant, so I became aware of the puncture not when the tire sagged to the point where it was grinding the rim against the pavement, but when I became aware of an intermittent “whisk-whisk” noise as I rolled along.

I thought it was a leaf, or worse yet, a staple that was working its way into the tire, so I stopped to investigate and saw that latex was running out from inside the fender (where it was sprayed out of the gash in the tire), but since the tire was still mostly inflated I continued on to Kobos and locked up the bicycle with the gash at the very bottom of the wheel (so it would either continue to leak sealant or it would actually seal.)

I went into Kobos for half an hour (to get a couple of pounds of tea and a soy cafe-au-lait) and when I came out I was happy to see that the tire wasn’t laying flat in a puddle of sealant. When I started to ride back towards home, it made the “whisk-whisk” for a couple of minutes and then fell silent when the sealant finally congealed into the hole.

So I rode over half a mile of gravel on the way home, but still made it there without the tire losing all of its air and falling off the rim.

The gash is fairly bad; it’s not large, but it has cut some of the fabric inside the tire, so I should probably consider getting another Confrerie to replace this one (I wish the Ritchey 650×28b Tom Slicks weren’t quite so expensive, because they claim to be tubeless ready and 28mm is a nice width for a tire. But after trying the Grand Bois Cypres – a loan from a friend – and being not particularly happy with them I’d hate to throw down $65/tire for something that might turn out to be junk (an artifact of my experience with the Rivendell/Panaracer Nifty Slothy)) but that’s going to have to wait until this tire messily deflates when I’m out on the line.

Feb 21, 2014

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite & business cards

Dust Mite inspects some of my new business cards.

Feb 20, 2014



I messed up my measurements and built a rack that sat too close to the wheel, so I had to snap the stays off and rejig the thing with the rack deck high enough to clear the wheel and a fender. Ugh, what a pain!

Feb 19, 2014

manufacturing hack of the day

threaded m6 braze-ons

I needed some m6 threaded braze-ons for light mountpoints on various racks, but didn’t want to mail-order them @ 65¢ each (plus shipping.) But I have a drill press at home, and I can buy m6 nuts at the hardware store.

So I bought a handful of m6 nuts (@ 13¢ each), threaded them onto a m6 bolt which I then chucked into the drill press and attacked with files and sandpaper. Not quite perfect (the edges still have a bit of the “I used to be a nut” to them) but they are certainly good enough to be attached to a rack to keep the lights from falling off.

Feb 17, 2014

Waste not, want not

Tubeless Confrerie des 650b

I swapped the tires on the Murray Baja Experience! not just for cosmetics (though the Murray Baja Experience does look nice with cream tires) but because the front (tubeless) tire on the born-again Trek went flat and was resisting every attempt to reinflate it.

So this evening I popped the old tire off the front wheel, stuffed this Confrerie onto the 700d rim, and tried to inflate it. With much better success than the older tire, which is now going to be cleaned up, folded, and set aside as an emergency spare tire for longer brevets. The newly reshod wheel is going to sit on its side for a day or so to let the sealant congeal around any little gaps between the tire and the rim, and then it’s going to be onto the born-again Trek and out to the races (note: no actual racing will be done on this bicycle.)

Feb 16, 2014

Color coordinated

New tires

Cream tires on the Murray Baja Experience!, to replace the Hutchinson Confrerie that I want to use on the born-again Trek.

Feb 14, 2014

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Valentine's day mite

Dust Mite and some Valentine’s day candy.

Feb 12, 2014


Almost finished rack platform

You can’t tell from this picture, but I fixed the crooked rack platform (by the simple expedient of cutting the old perimeter apart and fabricating a new one that I measured before brazing together) and stuck the tombstone on. Now I can – after making sure that everything is square – braze up the legs and fork crown stay, stick them on, and then with rack in hand make a mated bag for it.

Feb 10, 2014

Precision manufacturing

Oh, drat

My signature “can’t get everything square on the first pass” fabrication technique is still as fine as ever. At least it’s not too difficult to melt one of the offending brazes and SHOVE the crooked slat square while the brass is still molten.

Feb 08, 2014

Before the deluge

The GT in the snow

Winter does not last in the Willamette Valley, and this evening was no exception because the snow changed to sleet with a promise of freezing rain in the morning. So I decided that I should do the weekend shopping /now/ instead of waiting (if everything is covered in a layer of slick ice tomorrow there’s no way the bicycle is going anywhere) and made it to the Big Big Store only minutes before it closed early.

I had to use my Unix phone to take the picture instead of a real camera, because I wasn’t going to run into the warmth to grab a camera, then run out into the sleet to get a better picture. Enjoy the low-fi quality of this snap!

Feb 07, 2014

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Snow mite

Snow day.

Feb 06, 2014

The White Death!

Snow day project bike

It’s snowing like the dickens – 3+ inches already today and it’s supposed to continue through this weekend – but I still needed to go to QFC for a few supplies. Resist Nomad tires are almost perfect, except they really don’t do well in snow, so it was a very cautious and slow ride up to the store.

Feb 01, 2014


The MLCM at Brooklyn Pharmacy

This has not been a particularly productive year for bicycle riding; errands are almost all I’m doing on this bike.