Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday Escape

Got out on the roads Tuesday and it felt great! I rode my usual R. Ave to the county line and then back on Q. Ave. It is such a scenic little bit of county road I can't believe I am lucky enough to live close enough to ride it whenever I want to. The snow/ice was just grippy enough on the way up to allow me to ride it at speed and make little to no roost. I rode the white snow and stayed away from anything dark (read: ice) or the powdery gravel. It was just starting to get wet on the way back, but still a great ride. I stopped here to have some water and enjoy the day that was provided for me, and the rural postal carrier that I had waved to three miles back pulled up to see if I was "ok" or needed "help" !! Couldn't he see the huge smile on my face? He rolled down his window and I said, "How's it going?", to which he chuckled and responded, "How's it going with YOU?" He thought that it was pretty cool that I was riding for fun on the roads he mis-trusts and feels a little unsafe on, even with his studded tires. I laughed and told him that my tires (Michelins ROCK!!!)were biting right through the snowy surface and that I hadn't spun a wheel or slipped at all. He just chuckled and said that he didn't feel right driving along without checking on me. I told him thanks and that I would watch out for HIM if he ended up in a ditch. He was cool.
This old country school is also cool. It is just up R Ave. between 180th and 190th. There is a movement in Boone to preserve it and use it as an educational tool. They wanted to move it from its site to an area off one of the school grounds here in town, but the $ needed to do so was too much. Also the risk of loosing the structure in the move was sky high! I am happy that the land owner is donating the building and land to the town and it will remain on the original grounds. The bricks are being shored up and replaced, and they will tuck point the whole works later. A cool tool for the community. I would love to see a KCCI weather cam there to help with security as well as providing a boost to the science curricula. Might be a good place to try for some Project Mainstreet monies too.

Cracked the rear ski all the way through on my ski bike so now it is in dry-dock until I can get another one, or nail some tin on to get me by. And with fresh powder looming, I will need to do something! Have fun out there and don't forget to check over your shoulder once in a while. Later!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On Hot Rodding Bikes

So it appears to me that if I had more time to dream up things to do with old bikes I would be spending ALL of my time dreaming, and not enough of my time riding. But as winter approaches and the odds of running out the door and riding 30 miles are getting smaller, I will share a link that has inspired some crazy ass builders to do way more than just tinker. Check out and look beyond the feature bikes. Look through all of the home built bikes and the show coverage. Some of the bikes being built in the Amsterdam show are insane! I love the mini bikes (10" wheels?) in that show. And all those black wheels! Big meats up front, even white tires. Granted, some of these guys struggle with the negative space and proportion, and I can't really tell you why I hate Ape Hanger bars so much, but they're at least doing something to grow and learn. Entering a judged show is a quick lesson in anything. Imagine a judged race! "I didn't like the colors on your kit as compared to your bike, and you don't do a hard enough effort between climbs, I'm relegating you five spots back from your finishing spot!" WTF?
The site is usually updated about every 3 months. So go to this site once in a while and spend some time looking at the creative side of bike culture. You may just have an inspiration to go with your perspiration. Later!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bike Of The Week: Line Rider

A bike that came together so ridiculously easy I can't believe it! No welding required, just nut and bolted, screwed and spacered. It started out as a free bike that I had intended to make into a crotch rocket inspired road singlespeed. It sat around for about 2 months before that idea was supplanted with the ski bike idea. I scrounged around for some additional free materials and thanks to freecycle (Thanks Karl!) and a co-worker (Thanks Sheila!) I procured the garage door hinges and old skis needed to get this thing "rolling." I started off by removing every part but the seat post/seat, bars, and bottom bracket. Next I took the axles out of the hubs, keeping all spacers and nuts for re-use. I put the axles through the center pin of the garage door hinges, put a nut on the outside of the hinge pin, and bolted the axle to the drop outs.
Now to attach the skis. Out front I simply took the binding off of the ski and screwed the hinge to the ski. Had to re-drill a few new holes, but the ski material (presumably fiberglass) drilled very cleanly, so it was easy. I used a strap of Natuzzi webbing for a limiter on the ski, to keep the nose pulled up and prevent a high speed get-off into the snow!
Out back I cut some spacers out of an old decking board. this gave me the lift-kit needed for the ski to clear the bottom bracket and allow the rear suspension to work. Screwed it all together with deck screws (counter sinking the bottom 4) and it was almost time to get going. I put another limiter on the tip of the rear ski, using a water bottle mount to anchor it to the frame. Mounted the axle, but with some Delrin spacers to fill in the loose play.
I took it to "Murder Hill" out in the park and right out of the box it was PURE fun! From the top on the first run and it was just like riding a regular bike, maybe easier. I need to fab up some foot pegs, but other than that I think I got it all right. I could not stop giggling about how cool this thing is! Just a blast! I rode a chute today for about 3 hours that was banked up about 3 feet on each side, and it carves in the powder very easily, but the back ski could be a bit shorter ideally. Good quad workout running it back up each run too.
I would be happy to help any of you make one of these for yourselves if you want to have fun. It would be a blast to get about 4 or 5 of us and bomb the Y Camp hill and Devil's Backbone!
Squirrel, I hope you still have the Raleigh! Let's derby!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Bike Of The Week: Bridgestone RB-3

Right out of the box you can see that this is a very large frame. Bigger than I should be riding, but I ride it once in a while anyways. And besides, it was free. It has decent index shifters, Bio-pace chainrings, and Ling-su (or something) brakes. I switched out the drop bars for some old English looking mustache bars, flipped for some drop. I have dreams of making this into a fixed gear bike someday, which is really the only reason I have held onto it for 2 years. I would hate to just strip off the shifters if it the frame was more my size, but I predict that it won't be too traumatic once I get some fixed wheels in my hot little hands. That leads me to a question for any of you who might be reading this. I have a set of wheels from Alien Bikes that I am lusting after and hope to buy in the spring. They are all black, deep section, fixed only wheels and I have about 8 or 9 bikes that I think I could use them on. My hangup is that the rear wheel is only threaded on one side, and I don't know how much chainline adjustment I can get from this. Some of my bikes would have to use the big ring up front for it all to line up, which means I'll have to get a pretty good size cog out back to keep the ratio realistic. If you want to see the wheels online you can link off of fgg and check them out. ALL BLACK, the only way wheels should be made! I can see these wheels on my Il Pirata Bianchi, Miller Beer Puch, yellow Puch, Old Trek, Falcon San Remo, Rolls Racer, Mitzutani Seraph Spree, Toys-R-Us, Raleigh Record, RB-3, the possibilities may be endless. So if you have time please comment or ask questions in my comments section. Later!