This Space for Rent

Apr 30, 2014

An inquisitive fish

An inquisitive fish

Apr 27, 2014

Pizza retrieval

If I keep carrying pizza on this thing I'm going to have to lower the rack a bit

I blew out my left knee last week, so have been trying to take it easy and only get on the bicycle when I need to go out to get dinner and (nearby) groceries. The midlifecrisismobile is upside down in the basement waiting for the new tubulars to finish being glued up, the born-again Trek has a teeny rack that I wouldn’t want to try and balance pizza boxes on, so that leaves the GT to burn up a couple of more miles as a porteur bike instead of a randonneuse.

(And, yes, that annoying external wiring is slated for relocation as soon as I finish a few more racks and bags.)

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Apr 26, 2014

Look, ma, no zipties!

No effing zipties

… well, except for the two zipties that are holding the wheel sensor in place while I try and figure out where it should go. I should have drilled the steertube years ago. Oh well, haste makes waste.

Apr 25, 2014

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Dust Mite and (one of) its Peeps

Dust Mite and friend

Don’t try this at home

Don't try this at home, #2

I drilled the midlifecrisismobile’s steertube today so I could move all of the electrical wiring to the inside of the frame. If the warranty wasn’t already voided by my reraking the fork to lower trail, this would certainly void it for me.

Now to decide whether to live dangerously or to buy a Headlock so if the steertube up and snaps I won’t immediately do a Hincapie into the nearest ditch.

Apr 24, 2014


As close as I get to a typical American shopping trip

Every now and then, I start thinking that maybe I should pull the Trek 400 frontend off my xtracycle and swap in the Project Bike as a frontend instead, but then comes a day when I have to take the thing shopping and remember again what a nice bicycle it is.

There are really only two things I want to do to this bike (well, three things if you include “make some money so I can put a Berthoud on it”); first, I want to pull the threaded fork and replace it with a 1" threadless one that’s got canti studs (so I can v-brake it and have room for fenders, plus get another centimeter or so of saddle to bar drop,) and secondly I think it would be a little less shimmy-ridden if I cut off the rear triangle and replaced it with an xtracycle rear triangle.

Neither of these wishes stop it from being ridable right now, so it’s likely to chug along like this for a while until my project barrel clears out.

Apr 23, 2014

One more for the road

Giant porteur bag, #8

A 12×15×22 porteur bag w/ matching 12×15 porteur rack, all finished and ready to hurl out the door so I can start on the next jobs in my queue (a 7×7 mini-rack like the one on the born-again Trek except with a wraparound mount to clear a medium-reach caliper brake, and a camera/saddle bag + bagman clone) and maybe,if I’m very lucky, have time to ride a 100k or 50.

Apr 21, 2014

Well,that cleaned up nicely.

Sovos threaded hub + Atom 14-21 freewheel

I pulled a 27" wheel out of the free pile at WTF Bikes and disassembled it into (Weinmann Concave) rim, 36 grubby spokes, and one absolutely filthy Sovos hub. The spokes are in two heaps waiting to have a degreaser bath, the rim is lying around while I decide whether to cut it down to 650b (which would make it a 34 hole hub, which would be, um, kind of unique), and I pulled the hub apart and completely rebuilt it. It was amazingly gross; it was caked in stick black grease (I suspect a combination of enthusiastic chain re-oiling and the grease from the inside that got washed out) and there had been enough water intrusion on the nds side so that the grease there had turned into some kind of toxic taffy.

But that wasn’t a worry, because I zapped it with wd40 until the goo came off the outside, then disassembled it and cleaned the disgusting horrible taffy out of the bearings, cleaned the inside with wd40, then dried it, repacked it, and readjusted it. And the freewheel? An old 14-21 5-speed freewheel (“Atom” brand, from France, and possibly British threaded but probably not – I need to clean the threads, grease the devil out of them, then attempt to thread it all the way. And if it doesn’t fit, why, I could just take spacers off the ds axle and make it into a very narrow single-sided suicide fixed hub.

Apr 19, 2014

Railroad picture of the day

A northbound Coast Starlight passes under the Fremont Bridge

The Coast Starlight departs Portland for points north.

Apr 18, 2014

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Hipster Mite

Dust Mite wears a pair of fashionable sunglasses.

Apr 17, 2014

Railroad picture of the day

A Portland & Western train interrupts my trip down to Milwaukie to pick up some dinner for the family.

Apr 15, 2014

Rotating through all of my cargo bikes

Though it’s sad to admit that the vegan Brooks saddle on this bike isn’t actually all that comfortable on any loop longer than about 10km– it’s a bit wider than my Berthouds, which isn’t actually the problem (I just ride a little further forward on the saddle) but the nose is squarer than they are and the combination of the squarer nose and the anti-skid fabric means that the saddle cheerfully grinds its way into the top of my legs right where they join up with my torso. I’m sure if I did the whole chamois + butt goop thing it wouldn’t be so much of a problem, but the primary use for my sw8 fixie™ is shopping, and if I don’t do the whole chamois + butt goop thing on 700km loops I’m CERTAINLY not going to do it when I’m picking up my weekly hummus ration.

Sigh. Time to see if anyone I know has an Aspin they don’t want and also has a burning desire to try a C17. If worse comes to worse I’ll just drop one of my ($6) Electra Ticino saddles on the thing and see how long it lasts before it drives me to distraction (again.)

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Apr 14, 2014

Gone shopping

Off to Ikea (out by the airport – ~20km by a directish route) to pick up some new duvets.

Meeting a train on Railroad Avenue

Apr 12, 2014

Railroad picture of the day

Two trains cross the Steel Bridge

A southbound Coast Starlight and an eastbound interurban cross the Steel Bridge.

Apr 11, 2014

The fishermite

Dust Mite catches a shark

Dust Mite and a bonnethead shark.

Apr 10, 2014

Bicycle photo of the day

Clackamas Lake born-again Trek

Pausing at the Clackamas Lake boat launch halfway through a flat(tish) 100k.

Apr 04, 2014

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Companion Mite, Companion Bag

Dust Mite and the born-again Trek’s rando bag

Top of Scott

Top of Scott

~4km, 300m elevation difference. All up, at an average grade of 7+% My plan is to keep doing this 2-3 times a week until I can do it in 20 minutes, then twice both in 20 minutes. I find that I need to plan this because after a few months of babytending, then coming down with mono, that basically all of my fitness has gone south for the winter, and the only way to get it back is to mix brevet-length rides with frequent stomps up hills.

That sub-7 200k is out there somewhere, and I’ve become resigned to the idea that I have to plan for it instead of just riding along until I’m fast enough.

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Apr 03, 2014

Picture of the day

Urban chicken

A red junglefowl strolls alongside the Springwater Trail.