Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Passage retro-fit and throw back shake down route

I have been making use of the Schwinn Passage for about a month on the original back wheel and with a old black on black tire.  Not pretty but functional.  That changed this week.

This is the old wheel that got out of true and won't go back.

New and true rear wheel after some extra grease and a spin in the truing stand

And finally the new wheel with all the goodies; tire, tube, rim strip and free-wheel transferred over.

My shake down cruise was around Lake Sammamish and the route starts in the park.

I rode this route allot from 2000-2010, I worked in the area during most of that time and had cyclist friends who were also nearby.   When I first starting riding the lake I thought the route was hilly, later I realized that to a fit cyclist this is a rolling route with inclines not hills.

With that in mind I challenged myself to keep the granny ring up front clean and only ride in the middle and big rings.  On the west side of the lake I held true to the challenge and full disclosure I was expecting to ride on a trail on the east side of the lake that would avoid some of the longer and steeper inclines on the route.

This wasn't a death march so a coffee shake stop was in order at the midway point.

As I started toward the west side of the lake I passed one of the many Microsoft Campuses where I used to work.  I was there during the Nisqually Earthquake in 2001

As I turned onto the trail to start down the east side of the lake I thought "wait a minute this used to be gravel not asphalt".  Not complaining just thought I would ride some gravel today.  Its been 7 years since I was on this route and things change.

Along the path there are some green spaces like this marshy area on the edge of the lake.

A little farther down the road I hit a wall, trail closed! Back on the road and maybe not avoiding the east side inclines after all.

After a few klicks on the road I thought I saw and open area on the trail side of the road and sure enough the trail was open and it was gravel.

There are some very nice views of the lake from the trail and rather large houses.

Another nice thing about the trail is its got regular areas of shade whereas the road is mostly in the sun.

I knew I was getting close to the end but when I saw a lay-by with benches I stopped.  I was starting to feel the ride.  In part it was the fact that this ride was nearly double what I had been doing and in part it was a lack of proper pre-ride fueling.  I found myself starting to catalog my aches and pains rather than enjoying the lovely trail and beautiful day:

  • Crick in neck
  • Ache in right shoulder moving into upper arm
  • slight tightness of right hamstring
  • overall fatigue
  • aches and pains in the "sit area"
So I hung out on the bench for a few minutes, stretched and counted my blessings that I was on the flat trail and not the rolling road or what was merely a "I'm tired and running out of gas" feeling could have turned miserable.

A little more time in the saddle and I could see the end of the lake which meant I was almost to the park and then I just had to traverse from the east entrance to the west entrance and I was done.  A little over 22 miles (36 km) later I can knock this ride off the goals list for the week.  Because of the varied terrain I did more shifting than on any previous ride and the bike performed well and the rider did OK too.

Once upon a time a very fit much lighter me with allot traffic breaks did this ride in under and hour and 15 minutes but it took a bit longer today.  Next week I head back to work and I won't have time for this sort of midday midweek fun.  Ride. Smile. Repeat.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Bikes, Beers and Birthdays

I went down to Portland over the weekend to hang with family to celebrate my Mom's birthday and my own - they fall 3 days apart- and also to hang out with old friends.  I got down to Portland early in the day and went to what I think of as bike church - velo cult.  I can drool over cool steel bikes, they had a lugged Stump Jumper built up as a touring bike that I had a cool conversation with owner about "not zippy but you can rack up touring miles all day on it".

Since they also serve beer I had a lovely hop nosh IPA from Uinta and as an extra bonus Le Tour was on.  I have only been half halfheartedly following this year, I'm too cheap to pay $30 for the NBC coverage and the Eurosport coverage I got for free online for the past 3 or 4 years was not available (restricted) this year so I have just been watching summaries.  It was cool, though, to be watching in a bike shop with other bike nerds, surrounded by cool bikes and drinking great beer.  And Boss Eddy powered to the stage 19 win by going right on a round about when the rest of the group went left, it always astounds me how so much effort over so much distance - about 140 miles - can be undone by one small miscalculation.

After celebrating birthdays with Family on Saturday it was on to a bike ride with friends on Sunday.  Every summer Portland hosts a series of Sunday Parkways  that I envy.  In Seattle they do close down a portion of lake Washington blvd. on many summer Sundays for cyclists but that pales in comparison to the bike events Portland puts on.  As it turns out this event was only 10 blocks and a hill from my friends house.  The parkways events are very family oriented and there are usually a number of parks along the route with various activities.

The bike line up for the day included my buddy's Klein Q Carbon, he goes about 6'8"

His daughters lovely hydro-formed aluminum Specialized Secteur, she goes about 6' 5"

And for me the workhorse Handsome Devil.

Closed streets, blue skies, warm but not hot temps, just about perfect for riding.

The Portland Opera was putting on a show at our first stop.

And there was yummy hand made ice cream - lemon marionberry.

An in an effort to keep Portland weird there was this giant wheel bike.  I have no idea how it worked but it was cool and as I passed him I made a quip about thinking that burning man was over this year.  I should have asked where to you get a tire for that thing?

I didn't get the greatest shot but at our last park stop there was a circus school performing.

And after a 10.5 mile ride it was time to sit on the porch in a comfy chair and sip beer.  A happy birthday indeed.  Ride.Smile.Repeat,

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Whinging about Wind

view up top
I have been trying to take a longish, longer than my 2km market run, ride with a hill every 2 to 3 days lately.  One thing I forgot about long rides is that sometimes its windy, some times that means a headwind and sometimes that headwind is in your face for miles.  Headwinds suck.

same view after descending the hill
I had planned on doing a new hill today, 48th ave, a hill that starts gradual and ends steeper.

It was windy enough that it was white capping on the sound and I was pretty tired of the head wind so I cut the ride short and took a different hill, Jacobsen.  Back in my fitter days I had big ringed this hill when feeling frisky, but today I was happy to just granny my way up.  You could say I have now slew 4 hills in my neighborhood, although it would be more accurate to say slogged or survived,  Four down, many more to go.   All this riding from home is making the rack on my car lonely.

I mentioned previously that I had been given the seat post size for the Miyata Trail Runner by a bike forums member and had gone to my co-op to get a 26.8 post...however when I went to put it on it did want to go in, too big!

My first thought was that someone had over tighten to compensate for the too small shimmed post ala the Junk bike but as you can see the spacing in the seat tube cut out is fine and not squashed.  26.8 is just not the right size,  no big deal the post had only cost $5 and I am sure it will get used but no post means no saddle means no ride.

As a consolation I put on the newly arrived MKS Sneaker pedals to replace the ugly stock plastic pedals the Trail runner came with.  I had the idea that I would hop on the Miyata and do a short ride as I have not actually ridden this bike yet, but even if the seat post had worked the rear wheel has some issues.   It appears out of true, the drop out adjusters might be mis-aligned and the axle assembly (spacers, washers, nuts) seems loosey goosey....sigh.  The Miyata will need some time in the work-stand before it gets ridden.  I have some errands to run today and I'm hoping to find the Goldy Locks seat post for it....just right.

Ride into the wind, grimace, hope its calmer on the repeat.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Ritchey Project Part VII -Done

Just a reminder of where this project started; rigged for triathlons, no seat-post or saddle, no brake hoods, sad mismatched worn tires, and at least a decades worth of storage dust and must. I started today needing to address the front derailleur, after allot of fiddling its not perfect but with some finessing the rear gears I can get the FD to drop into the inner ring.  Then I needed to tweak the front brake and it is also not perfect but its functional.

With those items out of the way it was time to wash up and work on the white bar wrap.  Somehow I got the left side done without too many issues.

Not so with the right side, I felt like I needed 6 hands to address all the issues that kept cropping up; the strip behind the brake lever didn't want to stay attached, the brake hood didn't want to stay rolled back from the bars and those issues kept me from focusing on keeping the wrap taught and evenly wrapped.  I could feel the frustration mounting so I literally threw up my hands and stepped away before I did something dumb.  It was time for lunch anyway and as I stepped away it occurred to me I had a solution for at least one problem.

I stopped by my local ACE hardware after lunch and bought a clamp.

With the clamp acting as my "3rd hand" the brake hood stayed out of the way so I could focus on my wrap job -so much easier!  That was $3.50 well spent.

Taping the bars done! and that puts a wrap on the get the bike ready for sale portion of this project.

Bike forums has an appraisal thread so I have a request in to get some ideas on where to start with listing this bike.  Plan A is to list the complete bike locally, Plan B if it doesn't sell is to expand the listing to Portland and Plan C if there is still no joy will be to dismantle the bike and part it out on ebay.

I am heading down to Portland this weekend so that will give some time to get feedback on the worth of this bike before I actually list it on CL.  With the Ritchey out of the work-stand there is room for me to work on something else....whose it gonna be?

Ride. Smile. Repeat.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Ritchey Project part 6.5 Rear brake redux

Before working on the Ritchey I took the bike ride I've been wanting to do for the last 3 days.  I did another West Seattle loop from home.  I got some forest action in Lincoln park.

And some sound and mountain views on beach drive.  I made a mid point stop.. fuel up on iced coffee and yogurt with handmade granola.  That helped ready me to tackle Avalon hill again....

but this time the granniest granny gear stayed clean, I used the next cog in which is getting me closer to being able to use any bike in the fleet to do this ride.  The Miyata has gears nearly as low as the Passage so if it was ready I could ride it on this route now.  If I can ride Avalon in the next gear down, 3 cogs  in,  then I can use the Handsome devil on this route and if I'm able to get 4 cogs in I can use the Motobecane which has a 40t "small" ring, might need to see if I can find something smaller that will work with the crank on the MotoGT.  Yes, I was geeking out with Sheldon Brown's gear calculator.

A bike forums member who also had an '86 Miyata trail runner was kind enough to pull his seat post and send me the size which is 26.8 and today after recovering from my 21 km ride I headed to the Co-op and found the Laprade above in the correct size - you can see it under the max height lettering if you enlarge the photo.

Where I left off about a week ago with the Ritchey was a self-inflicted torn brake hood.  I gave a try to pulling the hood up the lever and over the front of the housing but that wasn't  working, so I took out the cable, took the lever off the handle bars and got to work.

Going from the back of the housing forward I had the replacement hood mounted in no time and then reversed my process to get the lever back on the handle bars.

Since I had decided to route the cables in areo mode I needed to tape up the housing.

After figuring out the slack needed to make sure the brake cable didn't interfere with turning I used some blue painters tape to hold the housing in place.

I needed to trim some excess cable housing to fit the housing into the brake caliper.

Whenever I am trimming the housing I like to back the cable way off so that I don't end up cutting it by accident.

Everything appears to be working with the rear brake so I capped the cable and called it a night.  I now have 3 things left to do on this bike before I can list it;

  • route the front brake cable and housing
  • figure out why the front derailleur cable keeps coming loose
  • wrap the bars
Really hoping to get the Ritchey sorted in the next few days before I head down to Portland.  And then I can start finishing a few other half baked projects.

Ride. Smile. Repeat