This Space for Rent

Feb 25, 2017

1½ handmade bicycles

1˝ handmade bicycles (1 scratchbuilt, 1 kitbashed)

The mountainhack and the kit bike sit in the living room.



A Horizon propjet flies almost directly overhead on final approach to PDX this afternoon.

It is traditional

The mountainhack at Joe's Donuts

Testing out a non-leather saddle by riding it up to Sandy. The ride worked (slowly; the rear tire ate a chunk of glass about a half mile from home, so rather than attempt to change the tire there I just walked the machine home so I could change the tire inside where it’s warm) but the saddle not so much. It’s too bad the Brooks non-leather saddles have a prominent waffle pattern on them, because other than that they’re about as close as I’ve found to Berthoud saddles :-(

Feb 24, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Size check

Checking to see if the interior rails are correctly spaced.

Feb 23, 2017

Trolley photo of the day

A southbound train is about to pass under the Springwater Trail

A pair of SD-600s (or SD-660s; Siemens relabelled them as 660s somewhere along the line) pull away from Tacoma & 99E and head south towards Milwaukie & Oak Grove

Feb 21, 2017

The wages of rain


Portland Traction (and then the Springwater Trail, after Metro had the tracks ripped out in favor of a MUP) goes through a fairly deep earthen cut just east of the old Espee Portland<->California mainline. And it’s been raining/snowing a lot this last couple of months, so sometime last week part of the cutting got it into its mind that it would be happier if it was slumped across the trail instead of propping up a fence at the top. So it slid out, and is slowly creeping out onto the trail (ignoring the one strand of safety tape that someone put up to discourage it.) I’m guessing Portland Parks (the agency that manages the part of the Springwater Trail in Portland) is waiting for it to stop raining so they can stabilize the hillside without taking out the neighborhood at the top, but one does have to wonder if all this newly exposed clay will just soak up more water and follow the leader down onto the path.

Feb 19, 2017

Oil delivery service

Heating oil truck

We ran out of oil today (and the consolidation of oil delivery services in Portland has reached the point where there is no longer any sunday service) so I needed to run down to the gas station and pick up a few gallons to keep the furnace ticking over until tomorrow. An amusing discovery: it’s cheaper to buy (taxed) fuel oil than it is to get (untaxed) heating oil delivered to our house. If not for the teeny detail that a 50 gallon tank trailer would weigh approximately a quarter-ton loaded I’d be tempted to leave out the middleman, buy the oil from the gas station, and petition the feds for a gas tax rebate.

Feb 17, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Helping me clean up my desk

Dust Mite helps me sort out my desk

Feb 16, 2017


Northwestern Steel & Wire 05 (3)

The penultimate steam operation in the United States (ca 1975?)

Feb 14, 2017

39 years ago

Before there was a Pearl District

There is no Pearl District, only Zuul.

Feb 13, 2017

The last on-street stop on the last passenger interurban in the United States

A westbound train pulls away from 11th St station

11th St in Michigan City in 1979 or thereabouts; trains still stop there 38 years later despite the CSS&SB’s heirs grumbling about wanting to abandon the street trackage in favor of curbside running.

(When I was in college, I spent as much time as I could travelling down to Chicago to ride the CSS&SB, so I’m not exactly sure which year I got off at 11th St and walked out to the shops to catch a return train.)

Feb 12, 2017

Not the last mainline electric freight in the United States

Russia #801 rots away in the deadline at the Michigan City shops

CSS&SB Russias #802 & #803 were the last mainline traction freight in the United States (also the last locomotive-framed non-steam locomotives in the United States; only the Fepasa Lobas, V-8s & Russias outlived them in the Americas), but #801 just sat in the shop yard at Michigan City until the power was metaphorically turned off, and then was hauled to a scrapyard instead of the railroad museum it should have gone to.

Feb 10, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Still life with bicycle, red bag, and dust mites

A stack of dust mites

Feb 09, 2017

Tubing in the mist

Tubing in the mist

The raw materials for a run of 10 racks for a production run of 650b utility bikes. The mist is because the optics on my camera fogged over when I went outside to bring the box of tubing into the house.

Feb 08, 2017

Mechanical bits

The unhappy hub, #3

A junker (the driveshell split along the seam) White Ti freehub that I’ve pulled apart so I can get a good look at the insides so I can figure out how best to repair it (the expensive way to repair it would be to buy another junker and swap parts around to make one functional and one completely junked hub which I could then figure out to repair; a even more expensive up front but cheaper in the long run way to repair it would be to buy a lathe and machine a new driveshell, then cut the driver out of this one and move it over; a cheaper way to repair would be to figure out how to weld aluminum with firegas, then do just that and hope I could machine the exterior of the shell so it would fit a cassette.) Precision machinery is awfully pretty, and these old machined bicycle parts do not waste any time on cosmetics, so there’s nothing getting in the way of admiring the functional parts.

Feb 05, 2017

Bike hacks

A tight squeeze, #1

It is possible to narrow an 8-speed freehub to 128mm OLD w/o putting an insane (or any more insane than it would have been with a 7-speed freehub) dish onto the wheel, but at the cost of very tight clearance between the small cog & the dropout. And this will keep my wheels portable between the kit bike, the mountainhack, and the (aluminum and thus not possible to safely respace) born-again Trek.

Feb 03, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

rando bag cosplay

Rando bag cosplay.

Feb 02, 2017



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