Sunday, September 30, 2018

Sunday Musings

Looking back over September I realized that this month I have done a pretty good job of rotation in the stable for the Sunday Farmers Market ride:

I led off the month with the Moto_GT.

Handsome devil got the call in week 2.

In Week 3 I rode Barney to get some Clunker mileage.

And today, week 5, I was back to the Moto_GT.   And for week 4 I was in Portland riding the Cresta GT for Sunday Parkways.  And that is literally all the street ride-able bikes I have.

While at the Market I got my normal IPA and picked up my last pint of fresh blackberries, these late season beauties were tart and delicious.

Last Sunday I mentioned that I didn't intend to do any bearing work on the Le Tour, well both the headset and bb felt a bit dry so..

I took apart the headset and indeed

It was pretty dry as I had suspected.

 And the bb was so dry.. was dusty, so its a good thing I took them apart.  At this point I'm just planning to clean the existing bearing and races and add some new, fresh, grease.

The Le Tour ends the week down to the frame with just the fixed cup to remove before I can clean up the bb shell, finish cleaning the frame and then waxing it.  I also hope to get some more after work rides in but the forecast is currently calling for a rainy week so we'll see.

Ride. Smile. Repeat.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Chasing Daylight

I have been having a hard time letting go of summer (yeah equinox smequinox) and in the PNW we are usually blessed with Indian summers that can stretch into October.  Also having finished the Cresta GT I want to ride it, and I have a goal of 100km on the new build before the end of October.

My ride Tuesday took me through Lincoln park and up Admiral, I made it all the way up without stopping but I was going at a glacial 3 mph, I think an ant passed me.  Oh well, ya gotta start somewhere.

A bit over 9 miles, not bad for an after work ride in late September which puts me over 20 miles on the bike so far and a 1/3rd of the way to 100km.

I took a different route tonight with another great weather evening and some great views of the city.

To aid in my pursuit of later summer daylight I ordered some USB rechargeable lights from Amazon.   In addition to having a way to light the path home if I stay out too late they are also helpful in making me visible.   With the rubber strap they are easy to get on and off the bike too.

Tonight I went up Avalon which is the most steady climb in my area, I was still slow but it felt a little easier than Tuesday, perhaps because I knew I had already conquered a more difficult hill and it certainly helps that the Cresta has such low-end gearing.

With the ride this evening I am halfway to my goal so perhaps I need to shoot for 200 km?

I still have some ideas about taking the bike to work and riding close to work after quitting time to make better use of the available daylight, and I hope to get in at least one multi-modal commute that includes my bike and a bridge I still haven't ridden across since they upgraded it with a great commuter path cantilevered off the side of the revamped 520 bridge.

Ride.Smile. Chase the Sun. Repeat

Monday, September 24, 2018

A proper shakedown ride and some misc. tinkering

awaiting the ride
My daughter and I did a quick trip to Portland, basically 24 hours, to visit friends and catch the last Sunday Parkways of the 2018 season.  This was my second year in a row and I hope I can start a nice long streak.  It was also an opportunity to do an extended ride on the Cresta GT.

There was Shakespeare in one park and Opera in another along with lots people and bikes and food.

I think I used every gear on the Cresta, there was a decent hill to start and lots of rolling and I certainly got to practice my low speed handling skills in traffic.  The more I ride this bike the more I love it.

We had a lovely late September day for riding and at almost 10 miles this was my longest ride on the Cresta GT to date.  I am already scheming about how to cram in more rides before the end of October.

Misc.  Tinkering

It may already be too late to sell a bike this year, but I figured I would get the Schwinn Le Tour ready so I could give it shot in October and worst case it will be all ready to go come Spring.  Onto the work stand it went.

I had thought about just doing a wipe down and replacing the brake cables and chain but it didn't come to me exactly clean and being on the porch through a smoky summer didn't help matters any so getting it down to the frame is probably the best way to go.  I am not planning on any bearing work unless it obviously needs it but its easier to clean and wax the frame with all the bits off and the drive train can take a trip through the Sonic bath.

Since finishing the clunker challenge I have been thinking about Barney and the changes I want to make, the first being a front wheel to match the rear and hopefully reduce the slightly squirrely handling of a narrow front rim/tire.  A new front wheel on Amazon is about $40 and one from the Co-Op is $15.  I also wondered about a salvage option...

And I ran across this 1987 Trek Antelope 800 on CL in my neighborhood for $40,  

The front wheel is an exact match to the rear wheel on Barney.

And metal thumb shifters with intact shifter covers and their Suntour like the rest of Barney's drive-train.

I also think there is a good chance that the stem will solve the fit issue I am having with the stock stem on Barney.

The derailleurs I can either clean up and sell or add to my parts bin along with the Dia Compe canti brakes.

And the paint and decals are in nice shape so I might see if I can sell the frame for cheap and recoup some of my outlay but if it doesn't sell I'll donate it and the rear wheel and to bike works.  It would have been perfect if it also had a rack and bottle cage but I am pretty happy with front wheel, thumb shifters and drive train, it also has an SR triple crank, for the money.

Ride. Smile. Repeat.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Clunker Challenge: Finito

I started the day only needing a 6 mile ride to reach 100 kilometers total on Barney and thereby complete the clunker challenge, but with September quickly slipping away I figured I better get on it with an after work ride.  Because I had stripped Barney of his rack to put it on the Cresta GT I went bike messenger style with a bag to carry my lock and emergency kit.

My ride included Lincoln park which I entered via the back entrance to see the Sun not quite down.

Quiet paths and lots of big trees complement the view of the Puget Sound

And of course a ferry ready to leave the dock.

A 1/2 mile from home I stopped at Zekes pizza for a bit of dinner which of course meant a celebratory beer. A Scuttlebutt Imperial IPA.

Barney has been a good bike for this challenge not much of a clunker at all, that said I do look forward to making some changes now that the budget restriction is off and see if I can make him a bit more comfortable on rides of more that a couple miles.

Ride a Clunker. Smile. Repeat.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Cresta GT: additional touches

I wanted to add a few things to the Cresta GT today but first a ride to the farmers market to get a few more Kilometers on Barney.

I was going to call this post Finishing touches but realized that there is more I want to do but for now I was happy to add a couple bottle cages.

Wrap the handlebars..finally.

And a rear rack, this Blackburn rack has now been on the Specialized, Bianchi and now the Nishiki.  It just seems that a touring bike needs a rack.

I couldn't spend $60 on a FW and not use it so I took off the 5 speed and mounted the IRD Classica 6 speed, and then discovering I needed the extra room I ditched the spoke protector.

After mounting it I found there wasn't enough space between the frame and small cog so I got a spacer (i.e. a washer) an tried it again.

Its a very tight tolerance, I may add a second spacer. but it works.  Next up finishing up the clunker challenge with a 9 km ride and starting on the Schwinn Le Tour.  Possible additions to the Cresta down the road; front rack, fenders and lights.

Ride. Smile, Tinker. Repeat.