Saturday, May 15, 2021

So Long MotoGT


It finally got sunny and warm enough for me to list this bike on Craigslist and it went fairly quickly.   

I did love this bike, I loved the fit and the ride and the quirky Frenchness, and I did do a complete tear down and rebuild in 2018.  I only rode it about 2 or 3 times a year on short rides and so I figured I should find it a home where it could get some more love.

With a 5 speed freewheel, friction shifting and center pull brakes this was my most old school vintage ride but when it only gets ridden a few blocks to the French bakery once in a blue moon its tough to justify keeping it.

And then there were two.  A few years ago I would have never dreamed the stable would fit on one bike rack lol.  I reserve the right for more bikes to filter in but I think I will try to "survive" with just the Handsome devil and the Nishiki.  If I do end up moving in 2022 it will be much easier to do with 2 bikes than with 6.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Back in the Saddle

 Well I finally did something I have not done since October, I rode my bike!  We have been having lovely 70 degree weather in Seattle lately and I got to stop wearing the defibrillator vest in February so I thought it was about time to pedal again.

I did not go far, just up to my local bakery and back so about a 2 km round trip, but it was nice to be in the sun pedaling again.

And it was rewarding to; support my local business,  get out and enjoy the sunshine and have some delicious treats when I got back home.

Due to a number of factors, health, unemployment, potential move etc. I have been reducing the bike fleet and am down to just 3 bikes; the handsome devil, Crest GT and the Motobecane but I have the MotoGT on CL as I just don't ride it enough.  I do have it at a good price so if someone does buy it I won't be giving it away.  Now that the sun is shining again we'll see if I get any takers.

I did recently line up a job so I don't have that hanging over my head currently but I do think I may move in the next year or so and obviously not having to lug multiple bikes along will make that easier.  Passing along the mountain bikes wasn't so bad but I was sorry to see the Specialized Allez go, although the kid who bought it seemed very pleased and I am glad it will get ridden and enjoyed.

One of my goals for this year to is to wipe out my debts, which will be easier now that I am employed lol.   To that end I will probably stay away from bike projects for now as they seem to soak up money more that return it.  I do hope, however, that I may ride more this year as I rebuild my health.  

Happy Spring.  

Monday, November 9, 2020

Be still my beating heart

 A trip to the doctors in late October to figure out why I had been dealing with a shortness of breath for 3 weeks revealed my heart had been slacking.  It was only beating about about 50% of the rate it should have been resulting in a build up of fluid which was why I was having shortness of breath.

My first reaction was "C'mon!"  I spent this year fasting and losing 40 lbs and walking and riding my bike and my reward is heart issues! not fair (you can hear the whine in that complaint).  And then after  awhile I thought that maybe all that work meant things turned out less bad than they could have....and as long as I am still breathing I can start over with weight loss and fitness etc.

My cardiologist thinks I have a good chance to get my heart beating again like it should, a new range of meds have helped and all the water weight I gained has gone, I have been squeezed like sponge lol and am back to where I was after the weight loss.  The biggest thing besides not feeling short of breath is sleep, I could not lie down to sleep in October without the need after a few minutes to sit up to breathe so I slept sitting up and only got about 2 hours of disjointed rest, but now I am sleeping 7 to 8 hours again - lying down.  Bliss.

For now I am neither drinking alcohol or riding my bike per doctors orders so I will not complete this years Coffeeneuring challenge - sad trombone, but I am doing some easy walking and hope to be back on the bike,  and drinking the occasional adult beverage again in 2021.  And when I am feeling up to it I have a few Mountain bikes to tinker with and numerous small projects on the rest of the fleet.

Until then I hope YOU will ride. Smile. and Repeat.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Combo Challenge ride #2


I almost didn't ride today but decided to buck up and get ride #2 in today.

Like last week this is a place I have not been to on previous coffeeneuring rides.  I had a small Mocha.

It was a misty day but I was fortunate not to get rained on.  I still feel like I am riding with one lung tied behind my back so doing any sort of distance is still difficult but I am hoping I will feel better as time goes on and can add distance to complete the clunker part of the challenge.

I also got to see some leaves turning adding some nice color my short ride.

The data:
  1. Where: West Bay Coffee
  2. Date: October 18th at 3:30 pm.
  3. Consumed:  8 oz Mocha
  4. Details:  Misty fall day, it was a drive through so I kept the bike with me
  5. Mileage: 3 miles
  6. Bike Used: 1986 Shogun Prairie Breaker I
Ride a clunker to coffee, smile, repeat.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Look what followed me home....


I did go a bit out of my way for this but it was a slow week and I didn't have anything better to do.  I was hoping for Deore XT but its just nice standard Deore and the original thumbies were replaced by inexpensive SunRace.  The good news it was only $40 and outside the shifters it appears all stock.

Deore pedals and crank including medal bolt covers.

Matching wheels with Deore hubs.

Deore derailleurs front and rear.

The paint is beat up but hey its a Stumpy!!

Not sure what I will do with this bike but I am sure I can clean it up and make my money back, in the meantime I will ride it and have fun.  At 18 inches its probably a bit small but the seat post is long so I can make it rideable.


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Combo Challenge ride #1


I spent Friday finishing up the rear hub, and then doing the bottom bracket.

I even took time to clean up the back of the filthy crankset and by the end of the day all 4 bearings had been cleaned and got new grease although I kept the existing bearings, they just got thoroughly cleaned. 

I had some issues with the rear tube but got that patched and sorted and the bike is ready for the combo challenge.  Since I am still sucking wind and I haven't really test ridden the bike yet the first ride will be the Coffeeneuring minimum of 2 miles just to see how things shake out.

I choose a new coffee shop just down the street from me so most of my riding came before the coffee.   I did ok considering, my wind isn't anywhere near where I would like it but its better than it was a week ago so I'll take it.  I didn't get a picture but I had a zesty westy which is orange zest and dark chocolate, it was good but I hadn't really thought things through as I couldn't sit inside but fortunately they had a bench outside and it was mostly sunny out.  Two miles is only 3.2 kilometers so I have a ways to go but I am on the board.  

The saddle height and position could use some dialing in and the FW is noisy despite my spraying tri-flow into it while dealing with the rear hub bearings but the overall fit and size of the bike feels fine.  We shall see how I feel after some longer rides.

The data:
  1. Where: Youngstown Coffee.
  2. Date: October 10th at 2:15 pm.
  3. Consumed:  Zesty Westy - orange zest and dark chocolate
  4. Details:  Gorgeous fall day, no rack parked bike in front of shop
  5. Mileage: 2 miles
  6. Bike Used: 1986 Shogun Prairie Breaker I

Ride a clunker. Drink Coffee. Smile. Repeat.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Combo Challenge and Shogun update


We are on the cusp of Coffeeneuring 2020 and the clunker challenge is still in effect until the first week of November so I figured why not do both on the Shogun?

Before I get into what I have been doing to the Shogun to prepare for the Combo Challenge I will update other developments in the fleet;


Sold last month for $200, I did something I never do which was I delivered the bike.  I felt in late September as summer was waning that the crazy COVID bike market was drying up so I figured delivering it in order to get $200 was a fair trade.  Doubled my investment on this bike.


The part out route was not my first choice for this bike but I did eventually get $200 out of it and ended up covering my costs and even making a small amount.

Trek 420 (II)

The 420 did end up being too small for my friend and although I toyed with using it as a trainer bike myself I decided instead to just clean it up a bit, make it a functional project and sell it cheap.  I ended up making $10 and the guy buying it seemed pleased with the purchase so it all worked out..


Since  I am doing two challenges in one I figured that servicing the bearings was necessary on the Shogun.  In addition the 10 days of horrible  air quality did a number on my lungs to the point where just walking around the block required multiple stops to catch my breath.  Fortunately things are improving but since I wasn't going to be riding this week it made sense to deal with the bearings.

First however I had to deal with a filthy bike, its not exactly clean now but its better and I don't get dirty just looking at it.

There was also splotchy rust one one fork blade so it got the naval jelly, brass wire brush and then nail polish treatment.  

With dirt and rust dealt with I could tackle the headset bearings, I had to do this with the cabling still in place but it was doable, the grease was present but old so it was nice to clean it all up and get fresh grease applied.

Since I had to do the headset with the cabling in place I found yet another use for a toe strap, it held the bull moose bars suspended from the top tube while I dealt with the headset and allowed me to keep all the cables in place.

I also replaced the absent front reflector with one from my stash of parts.

Finally I dealt with front wheel, the bearings were way too tight although the grease wasn't bad but it got cleaned up, new grease, trued up and finally a new Schwable Jet city tire.  I thought about using the original tires but because I am doing two challenges and the new tires still keep me (barely) under the clunker challenge $100 budget and my experience with old knobby 26" tires is they aren't really comfortable.

Once the combo challenge is done I have some toys for the Shogun; VO leather saddle, barely used chain and 6 speed wide range FW, Ergon grips, new cables and housing, sneaker pedals and tires.   Tires?  but Ryan you just bought new tires??!  well I really wanted some gum walls and after searching around I came across these Maxxis DTH 26 x 2.25 tires, not cheap but on bike forums these tires get lots of favorable comments and I have seen them on builds an really like how they look.  My thought on the Schwables I am currently using on the Shogun is that they may go on a bargain MTB I am yet to find for a quick clean up and flip.

Ride. Buy too many tires. Smile. Repeat.