This Space for Rent

May 31, 2017

A little brazing before going downtown

Maybe these tires won't be flat magnets?

The rear flat magnet on this machine found a michelin wire yesterday afternoon (and as a point of interest latex sealant doesn’t when the wire is embedded in the tire and continually poking at the tube. I got some lovely geysers of latex, but not so much in the plugging up the hole department) and my patience for the cruddy Zefal hpx-2 pump I had on the thing finally ran out (it inflates, but very slowly, and the valve seal leaks) and I decided to replace it (with a pump that was designed to be fit between two pump pegs, so I had to braze in a second pump peg first) when I got home that afternoon.

Well, I forgot by the time I got home, but when this morning came around I realized that I had naught but a fistful of co2 bottles to provide puff for the tire. So (since I had the rear wheel off anyway because I was replacing the flat magnets with Schwalbe G-Ones on the hope that they would be less magnetic) I took 15 minutes to sand a bit of paint off and braze that second pump post on. I still need to adjust the peg angle a little bit, as well as wirebrush away the gobs of flux that didn’t explode off when I dumped some water over the not-red-hot-but-still-pretty-toasty tube+peg+dropout, but no more hpx-2 and hopefully a pump that will be much less dramatic when the next flat happens.

May 29, 2017

I think they really mean it this time

The state of Washington is serious when they say this road is closed

Washington State highway 501 (south end) is being progressively eroded by the Columbia River; the state piled these jersey barriers up at the end of the (ped/bike; cars are stopped a mile south) road to let people know that, yes, they really don’t want people going any further and falling into the river if they misstep and a section of the road crumbles away with them on it.

May 28, 2017

Mass Production

Twelve jigged rack platforms

12 rack platforms built with the assistance of the rack jig I fabricated last week. It’s a lot easier to square the rails when I can just lay them out on a jig instead of relying on a ruler and my vision to line everything up.

May 27, 2017


Mount Hood from Bluff Road

Still there, still not erupting

Yes, I believe this counts as “ROAD CLOSED”

Well, there goes faraday road (again)

Faraday Road (the old chunk of OR 224 that connects the Faraday & North Fork hydroelectric plants) is built around a point of land that’s basically an immobile landslide. Every now and then it mobilizes; the road around this point of land is reduced to a single lane with a rock cage retaining wall protecting it from the landslide. Well, this winter’s landslide doesn’t think very much of that retaining wall, and from looking at it from the other side of the jersey barriers I’d guess that the hillside is piled up right against that retaining wall and little bits of it are spilling over the top every time the slide adjusts itself.

Sadly, this meant that I had to take the new OR224 to get back into civilization from here, which involved a couple of miles of 6% grade up to the top of the gorge, then a couple of miles of 7% grade back down to the vicinity of the river. Not the most pleasant thing to do on a hot spring afternoon.

May 26, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Tandem mite

Balancing between two types of bicycles

May 25, 2017

A little jig (not of despair)

Rail fixture dress rehersal

A rail-setting fixture to position the central rails of a rack at ~4" apart and, more importantly, at the right position on the platform instead of where my lying eyes tell me they should be (I have spent too much time on too many racks melting out one central rail or another because what looked good to my eyes at brazing time turned out to be WAYTHEEFFOUTOFALIGNMENT™ when looked at by the gimlet eye of a caliper.) I will still have to do some eyeballing of the tombstone placement, but this will work better when I’m looking at the tombstone against a pair of known good central rails + a pair of sharpie marks instead of just a pair of sharpie marks.

May 19, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

12 racks, 1 mite


May 18, 2017

Bagel truck

High-speed bagel delivery truck

It’s a very tight fit, but I can (barely) fit 16 bagels into my little red xpac rando bag.

May 12, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Mass Production Mite

Dust Mite & the perimeters of 11 of the next 13 racks I’m working on.

Trolley photo of the day

Blue/Yellow takes the curve onto the embankment leading to the new trolley bridge

Blue/Yellow takes the curve onto the line across the new trolley bridge. I’d stopped at the end of the embankment leading to the bridge (I was stripping off my raincoat because it wasn’t actually raining at that moment) when I noticed that there were two cars lined up at the station just north of the junction between the N/S and city loop lines, so I had to stay stopped and take a picture.

May 11, 2017

The joys of open source®©™ – bloat

The tarball I got for dnstracer-1.9, when picked apart, gives me the following file list:

size file
38 aclocal.m4
1 autom4te.cache
0 autoscan.log
76 config.guess
56 config.sub
288 configure
2 configure.scan
24 depcomp
14 dnstracer.8
86 dnstracer.c
6 dnstracer.pod
2 dnstracer.spec
3 dnstracer_broken.h
11 getopt.c
2 getopt.h
11 install-sh
18 missing
3 mkinstalldirs
1 stamp-h

The majority of the files here are the lovecraftian horror that is GNU configure, which is used to detect/set WORDS_BIGENDIAN and NOIPV6!

This is nonsense. There’s a grand total of one thing here that would benefit from an autoconfigure program (WORDS_BIGENDIAN, because basically every low-level networking program out there uses hton?() and ntoh?() instead of hand-tweaking byte order, so there really wasn’t much call for actually knowing what the byte order was and as a result the macros defining byte order are named different things and located in different files on different unices) and one configuration tweak that, arguably, is easier to hand off to configure to set.

Note, particularly, that is 14,000 bytes long. 14,000 bytes long for a makefile that is used to compile a program consisting of one (the getopt() here is for Windows, which apparently doesn’t have it) source module.

I looked at this last weekend (I wanted to compile dnstracer on a Centos 7 box), thought “this is bullshit”, and went on a configuration repair spree:

size file
14 dnstracer.8
87 dnstracer.c
6 dnstracer.pod
2 dnstracer.spec
3 dnstracer_broken.h
11 getopt.c
2 getopt.h

Note that 1) it’s 16 files, not 30 (4597 lines vs 12470 lines), that 2) dnstracer.c (the file that’s being built) is the largest file in the heap, instead of one of the many GNU configure support files, and 3) is 450 bytes instead 14,000.

May 10, 2017

Taking 650b to extremes

Every bike a gravel bike

Tubeless is a pretty normal 650b'ism, but fast narrow tires are not the norm for 650b machines in North America. The 650b Schwalbe One is a rare beast indeed; it’s not in Schwalbe NA’s catalog, and I ended up having to mail-order them from Germany (pretty much as I have to do with Confreries, but those come from France instead.) Canyon sells some 650b road bikes and fits them with these tires, so I strongly suspect that the tires will be produced about as long as the bicycles are made (and I will cry bitter tears when they go out of production; They don’t have the exact same “come to Jesus” feel that the Resist Nomad has, but they aren’t actively unpleasant on poor pavement and they disappear out from under the bicycle when the pavement gets good. They’re not nearly as wide as the Confrerie, so they don’t have the same sort of float on gravel that the Confrerie does, but they’re actually faster, at least in the 5-20 mile ride to and from downtown.)

On the SL23 rims I’ve got the tires are exactly as wide as the rims, so they remain ridable even when the pressure gets to an unpleasantly low 40psi (much like the Nomad 28s, except that the Ones get “plush” when the air pressure gets that low, but the Nomad just starts to ride like a normal bicycle tire instead of like being wafted around in the arms of the Almighty) which is sad because the SL23 is already out of production and the only Pacenti rims available for 650b are various disc-only MTB rims and historical reenactment silver ones.)

The saga of 650b in North America is fairly annoying; it’s now an MTB thing, so there are approximately 75,000 disc-specific rims out there, plus a handful of super-heavy touring rims (a 550gm rim should not be annoying, but the ZTR 355 & SL23 have completely spoiled me for rim weight) and 2-3 historical reenactment silver rims, all of which cost approximately as much as a house in the suburbs. You can occasionally get a Zac19 rim for cheap (and they are fairly light compared to the touring rims) but they aren’t set up for tubeless tires (I have run tubeless Confreries on the Sun CR18, which has basically the same interior shape, but it’s an annoying pain to get the tires to seat because you have to shovel a lot of air in really fast to push the beads across the smooth interior to the rim walls) but they aren’t an SL23. And I’ve got one machine with disc brakes, which is fine, but they’re harder to make forks for because the caliper leg needs to be reinforced so that braking forces won’t jack-knife them.

But I’ve got another pair of SL23s, a set of ZTR355s (laced into wheels with, alas, a 7-speed Shimano 600 freehub on one; I might be able to pop that hub and put a 8-speed freehub in its place, but if I can’t I’ll have to disassemble the wheel and rebuild it with one of my repaired White tracker hubs) and a fistful of Zac19s for the mountainhack, so my 650b judgement day is a little bit down the road.

May 09, 2017

Annoying Open Source®©™ feature of the day

Scons. Aka “makefiles are confuuuuuusing, so let’s replace them with python code.” In the grand scheme of things, it’s not the most mindboggling stupid fashion that has infested the Open Source®©™ world (The lovecraftian tentacular mess that is gnu configure is a strong contender for that, particularly when it’s used on a Linux-specific package like FUSE – why, yes, I want to run autogenwrapper→​autogen→​automake→​configure before I can run a make on a package that’s guaranteed by design to NOT BE PORTABLE) but it takes a particularly daft sort of navel gazing to think that having to install an effing python toolchain and then having to write code in that TDVL is in ANY way easier than having to remember to do tab indents.

Jesus, what a unspeakable bit of autoerotic software development.

A trailer full of air

A trailer full of air

Recycling 80 or so of the now-empty cans of fizzy water I bought a few weeks ago, plus a couple of bags of plastic clamshells and 3-4 beer bottles. Almost the most bulky load I’ve ever carried on the yak, but also almost the lightest load.

(shopping content: I bought a single tomato after I finished dumping all of the recycling into the cans for kids bin.)

May 08, 2017

Sunny-day commuter

Sunny-day commuter

Approximately 10 pounds lighter than the mountainhack, so it’s a lot less of a pain to shove up hills (It will only be about 8 pounds lighter if/when I install the pink planet bike 35mm fenders I’ve got lying around, but 8 pounds isn’t anything to sneer at)


Tubeless tire creep

Apparently it doesn’t matter if I use a tubeless ready tire & a tubeless ready rim – creepers gonna creep (when I apply the brakes) no matter what.

May 07, 2017

Hills are expensive

Making the rounds

It took me about 3h45 to go 100k when I rode out to the end of Reeder Road (on Sauvie Island) last week; it took me about 4h45 to go 100k when I rode out to Multnomah Falls this afternoon. Climbing is slower, and the downhill part after the climb doesn’t make up that time very well.

May 06, 2017

Trolley photo of the day

A northbound trail leans into the curve at Interstate & Mason

~32-year-old Type 1 #110 leads a northbound train up Interstate Ave this afternoon

May 05, 2017

Friday Dust Mite Blogging™

Ready for some framebuilding

Dust Mite waits for me to run up to Harbor Freight (new torch) & Airgas (bottles of oxygen & firegas.)

May 04, 2017

Now that’s annoying


I got home from downtown this afternoon to discover my garage door swinging idly in the wind. It turns out that it was swinging idly in the wind because someone had broken into the garage and stolen my brazing torch & my no-longer-used bernzomatic mini-torch (while leaving all the yard tools and bicycle frames I’d kept in there alone?)

Sigh. I guess this means that it’s time for me to get off my butt and tear off the front of the garage and replace it with an actual wall (and replace the cutaway on the roof so that the actual wall/door won’t get watersoaked and rot away like the current one is in the process of doing.) And also to buy a new torch, oxygen/acetylene tanks, and a metal case that I can bolt to the floor, then lock them into.

But as for today; brb, off to the hardware store to buy a new lock.

May 02, 2017

Railroad picture of the day

Meeting EPT 100 along the Springwater Trail

I was coming back from downtown Portland as the working Eng! was heading down the ramp towards the East Portland interchange.


Obéir c'est trahir, Désobéir c'est servir