Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Down Low On The Down Low

Squirrel asked how I did this mod for my Schwinn cruiser, so I am putting up a brief explanation of how I did it. Actually, it came to me in a kind of accidental way. I had chopped a Huffy frame apart to make a door handle for my firewood box, and since I used only the headtube, I was looking at the rest of the frame and thought, "What else can I make from this?" So I just started dinking around with it, trying this and that. I kept thinking I wanted to make what would look like a girder fork. Then I "saw" what could be done, and in about 20 minutes had this roughed out and fitted, ready for a little paint, and wah frikkin lah! Low riding action was achieved. I put the double brakes on some time later, just as overkill. I only have this one pair of cruiser rims that have enough sidewall for brakes, so they're on it most of the time. I have a killer chrome set that looks nice with some old Goodrich tires too, just have to remember not to use the hand brakes:)

Top Tube, Seat Tube, Seatstay of Huffy donor.

Stem and bars go into seat tube.

Front wheel bolts on per normal location, then the rear dropouts bolt on to the outside of that.

Grab an old, sturdy front brake wire hanger, flip upside down, and bend the end to fit inside of the center of the top tube. I had to Dremmel out about an inch by inch and a half section of the tt to fit the hanger.

Lastly, to strengthen everything up, I pounded a star nut into the tt section, ran a bolt down to it, and cranked it down. Did exactly what I needed it to. Stayed tight over the years too. The only problem I have had is sometimes the stem wants to twist inside the seat tube. I could section a small piece of seat post and re-do that, easy fix. Or hit it with a weld or two, but then it wouldn't be all bolt on, now would it?

To get the seat back and low I simply left the seat post in the clamps, slid it between the top of the seat stays, (wedging the end point of the seat rails around the collar of the seat tube) and made a little block of wood into a spacer to line up with the angle of the seat tube. Finish with a stainless clamp for some extra security, and you're ready to ride!

What else? I would not cut tubes until you get a good feel for how long they need to be to line up. You can always cut more off, you can't cut more on! The whole reason I had to use the star nut was that I cut the tube a little too short to just go straight down through the tube with a bolt. But you know, I think that part is the stealthiest part of the whole mod, so whatever! That's the art of "ratting" on something. If you mess up, fart around until you make something work, right? Later!


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Own Solo World Championship

I was thinking today, on a ride, that I might try a shot at riding my 26 mile gravel route for 12 hours, just to get a feel for long distance gravel. The loop is loaded with rollers, a few decent hills that are poorly placed (right after some rollers), and great views of Boone Couny, Iowa. I'm thinking a 6 am to 6 pm time frame, get some grub at Casey's or Hy Vee, and loop it as much as I can. I wouldn't mind using my light, so maybe a 6pm start to a 6am finish would be better. Sometime in September perhaps.
Also, I got more gear for Father's Day gifts which will enable me to do some recreational homelessness. A self-inflating sleeping pad, a camping pillow, and a sleeping bag (rated to zero degrees) Add these to my arsenal and I will be out in the wild for weeks!

Friday, June 10, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different

Just when I think that we're somewhat insulated from cool stuff, I read this article about, uh, something cool! Bike Iowa had a story about a miniature velodrome being built at ISU by a group of students and their mentors. If you've been around Iowa MTB racing and 'Cross you know Jason Alread. He's part of the leadership on the project. Along for the ride is Kim West, aka Grandpa Kim, aka El Diablo, aka the other bike guy with a white Volvo wagon:) They have a blog set up for it at so check it out, and keep an eye on this. It will be cool! I knew there was a reason I have 9 fixed gear bikes. Later!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Meanwhile, Back At The Louvre

This is a preview, exclusive to you, of a cartoonish statement I will be sending in for publication in next week's 'Toons cartoon weekly, published by the renowned gentleman, Mr. Rick Lem. I think it says a lot about LA and his pathological lying about what I believe to be an inescapable truth, the guy cheated like all of the people he "beat" in the TdF. I don't really have a problem with all of the top riders cheating, it doesn't impress me or bother me either way. But to continue to deny that he cheated, that is a problem I have with the whole mess. And, it's not even a problem really, just wish he would say, "Yes, I cheated, here's how it went down." Surrounded by a team of lawyers, he spills his guts, and all is forgotten.

This cheeseball graphic I made shows what I think he could have done to cheat, while technically maintaining a stance that he never cheated or failed a drug test in his career. OK, so NO dissing him for fighting through cancer. I would never say anything bad about the guy for his efforts to help others with their struggles. Bravo to him, in fact. Likewise, I will not make fun of the fact that he lost a testicle during his fight. Again, not making fun of that!
Lets say that he was a really promising cyclist before cancer nearly killed him. I give him all props for training hard, racing with passion, and laying the wood down on the best in the world. So he loses a part of him that produces testosterone. I personally have two such glands, nothing out of the ordinary about them as far as I know. Now let's keep going down this road. Say I produce a T level of 4 on some scale of averages. Maybe you, if you're a man, produce a 4 too. So, in a sport where it's shadowy as to what cheating even means, the rule makers say that you could, maybe, if you're a stud, make a level of 6 before they would look at you as a cheater. OK, I want to play the game at the highest level possible so I am going to find a way to kick ass! I get a simple topical creme and apply it to my skin, and suddenly I can ride all day at a crazy level. Levels I thought unattainable now come with ease. Going from a "normal" 4, to a "still under the limit" 6, is a 33% gain. I'm crushing it dude!
Now the unthinkable happens. I lose half of my T production crew, and now I only make a 2 level:( But wait, let me continue to train, harder than ever, and see if my fitness will remain high. Ride, ride, rest, ride harder, rest....yep, it's working. I am maintaining a world class fitness level through hard work and good nutrition. Yes! Still, that 33% boost was pretty nice. Maybe I could get back to a T4 if I go back to the creme. What's that? Now I can get a 66% boost from my current level and still be under the T6 limit?! Awesome, I'll train even harder than before, do my extra 33% shot over what all the other guys can do, and still not be braking the "rules."
I know, I'm no scientist, but it seems possible to me that this could be a way to cut around the rules and get away with it. Landis must not have read the script on the day he put on the patch. Too strong of a shot there chief. Busted! EPO/ don't need it if you dose your T correctly. Wishful thinking, but maybe someday all of it will be known for certain. I just have doubts that it will. See ya!