Sunday, July 29, 2018

Three Bike Sunday

Before I get into the 3 bikes I thought I would show off a little birthday gift I got myself.  I was considering another leather Brooks saddle but after reading a number of favorable review of the cambium saddle from Brooks on bike forums, I decided on a C17 and found a good deal and pulled the trigger.  Once its mounted and I have some miles on it I will let you know what I think.

1978 Motobecane Grand Touring

I feel like I have been dragging my heels on the Moto_GT so I got to it on completing the front hub rebuild.

 Fresh grease

 New bearings

Hub complete.

Reshod with the Panacer rubber and back on the bike.

And I got a start on the rear hub which...

Has some sad old grease in it and needs a good clean.

Its important when working on a 3rd floor balcony that you are careful about popping out dust covers with a screw driver...ask me how I know.  This is the view from ground looking up at the apartment - I was sitting where the white t-shirt is hanging on the rail.

Fortunately I was able to find the dust cover where it came to rest way down below. Whew.

And now all the rear hub parts are out and ready for some sonic bath action.

Getting closer on the Moto_GT.

1992 Specialized Allez

I rode the Allez to the farmers market today, it may be my last ride on the Allez before it goes in to dry dock.  I am pretty sure the Allez will get sold after I refurb it and I will keep my eye out for a 58cm frame Allez.

I found some bliss at the crossroads of farmers market and the beer junction.

On my way back to the bike I passed this, any guesses on what that basket is attached to???

Yes its a $40 Schwinn Collegiate,  ok to be fair its got a very nice basket and a  modern twist shifter but $400??! smh.

1990 Bianchi Ibex

I wanted to get a ride in on the Clunker for the challenge today but first I wanted to adjust the rear brake which was a bit weak.  Its better now although it does squeal a bit under hard braking.

My ride took me through Lincoln park which affords great views of the sound and some cool breezes on an 86 degree day.

And in line with my beer theme I had a stop at Beverage place near the end of the ride.

Where I had a recovery drink and some salt tablets after spending nearly and hour in the sun.

And with today's ride I am exactly half way through the challenge distance at 50 kms,

Ride.Smile. Repeat.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Clunker Challenge Brewery ride: Schooner Exact brewing

I was actually Tommy two rides today, the first being my usual short hop to the Farmers markets and the Beer Junction.

Near by was this very nice Soma Cross Check, a nice all rounder road bike, you can strip it down and go fast or load the racks and tour or just use it to run to the market.  A nice looking ride.  I often joke that I am a not for profit Uber driver for my daughter, I asked her on my way out to the market if she wanted anything and she gave me a few items to pick up from the french bakery, the kid has good taste, so now I can add Uber Eats to my not for profit list.

I did of course treat my self to some tastes at the beer junction including finishing off with this lovely stout - Devils teeth from Modern Time brewery.

And I picked up some lovely black berries from Yakima, which for me is the taste of summer distilled with raspberries a close second (had some last week from my sisters garden).

On to the main event, the ride to a brewery, I decided I would try to use brewery rides as a theme to putting in kilometers for the clunker challenge.  Schooner Exact brewing is in the industrial part of Seattle SODO, south of the dome which refers to the now departed King Dome. but to get to just about any brewery is going to mean riding the mean streets.

Urban, paved, gritty, not a tree in sight, but the brewery is only 4 miles away so its not too bad.

I treated myself to a schooner of IPA and then headed back home.  Barney did just fine on the ride, besides one dropped chain, and his granny got me back up Avalon, the one mile 6% grade.  I had to chuckle as I ground my way up the hill, a guy walking kept pace with me on the side walk, and older jogger went right by me and then a teenager on a bmx bike blew by me about half way up, I even had a nice lady on a brompton chant "I think I can I think I can" encouragingly as she too passed me, I said I know I can it just takes a while.   That 8.6 mile ride brings me up to nearly 40 km or about 40% of the way through the challenge with more breweries on my list.

Ride. Smile. Have a refreshing IPA. Repeat.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Clunker Challenge: Spokane ride

Last weekend I drove to Spokane to visit family, celebrate my Mom's birthday, take in a minor league baseball game and do a ride on the Ibex "clunker".  Saturday dawned as a lovely summer day and we headed out around 8:30 am to avoid the heat of the day, mid 90s is plenty warm for this Seattle boy.  The view above is from my brothers deck looking out on the Spokane river.

Its was a pleasant ride along the Centennial trail which is mostly flat and shady.  I got to ride with my brother, sister and sister-in-law (whose bike I built), which made a nice break from my normal solo rides.  I ended up getting in 12.52 miles or about 20% of the challenge distance and took a detour on the way back to Rocket Bakery to fuel up on espresso and pastries.

Did I mention it was a glorious summers day?  The bike performed admirably,I certainly learned the shifting  and the saddle while not awesome, was not as bad as I feared and was fine for a 12 mile ride with a few breaks.

The genesis of this trip, besides visiting family, was to attend a minor league baseball game; the Spokane Indians of the Northwest League, a minor league affiliate of the Texas Rangers.  My brother scored good seats and it was pretty accessible for my 87 year-old mother; great park, great atmosphere and they won!

Now Indians isn't the most PC name but to their credit the name on the jersey is in the native Salish language.

On my long drive home I was thinking of bikes, of course, and my thoughts are these:

  • July -finish the Moto_GT,; hub parts are taking a sonic bath as we speak
  • August - build the Cresta GT;  really looking forward to riding this bike
  • September - rebuild a few to sell; the Schwinn Prelude and probably the Specialized Allez.

I am really of two minds on the Allez, there is a lot to like about this bike but I come back to the fact that I have tightness between my shoulders on any ride of more than 20 minutes.  I want to get the Cresta GT together and give it a ride for comparison, but I think the Allez is trying to tell me its not the right fit.  

Ride. Smile. Repeat. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

A tale of 4 bikes...and Clunker Challenge shake down cruise

Allez Sport

On the 4th, I rode to my second baseball game in a week.  I had noticed on the Allez that I would get some upper back tightness on rides longer than about 20 minutes, so I swapped out the cockpit and I'm giving the new Nitto/Tektro combo intended for the Cresta GT a dry run.

I was also tired of the super crooked rack so I removed it.

And replaced it with a recently acquired Banjo Brothers Barrel bag.  I had one and used it for many years but it got sold with the Passage, and I found I missed it so I ordered one up.

Ah much better and the barrel bag still fits a mini u- lock as well as all the emergency kit.

You really can see Mt. Rainier from the top of the bridge.

1978 Schwinn Traveler III (aka the Campus bike)

Even at a bargain price this bike has been languishing on CL, but I had a recent inquiry  I felt good about so I put it in the stand to give a once over.  Air in tires, I tightened up the brakes a bit and in doing so noticed that the chain was slack in the small/small combo.  I used my last ^%$# pin connector style chain on this project but I had recently purchased a package of quick links so removing a few links and reconnecting the chain with a quick link was no big deal.  My prospective buyer showed up and bought the Schwinn so it has finally left the apartment.

1978 Motobecane Grand Touring

I finally got around to pulling off the rubber so I could tackle the hubs and clean up the rims and the FW.

I got the very dirty FW off to give it a clean.

After lots of elbow grease and Simple Green you can see its gold again.  I also dribbled penetrating oil into the seam in back and let it soak in, then spun it to spread it out inside.  The FW spins nice and quiet now.

While cleaning the rim I discovered the rear wheel had a broken spoke so before I work on the hub I am going to take it to the LBS for a new spoke. Not in my wheelhouse....yet.

I moved on to the front hub and while it still had grease it was a tacky syrupy feeling grease.  The axle and cones will need a long soak.

The cups are now clean and I dribbled 3 in 1 oil onto each spoke nipple so when I get around to truing the wheel they will (hopefully) not be frozen.

1990 Bianchi Ibex (aka Barney)

I got the Ibex in the stand so I could give it a thorough going over before I rode it.

I have an 8 mm wrench but sometimes that isn't small enough and the tiny adjustable wrench comes in handy.

No more clips and straps just a nice flat pedal.

I also removed the rear fender since the challenge is going to be done during the summer months.

And I replaced it with a Blackburn rack I got from the co-op for $5.51, so I still have $14.49 of wiggle room if I need a tube or cable or something.

While the bike was in the rack I not only checked for braking and shifting etc. but I did a bit of sleuthing.  The front and rear brakes are mismatched, rear are Dia-Compes branded like the derailleurs (XCE) and the fronts are Shimano Alivio.   The shifters are also mismatched, rear shifter is Suntour XCE the front SRAM X.7.

And the water bottle cage is broken but still usable.  Throw those things in with the mismatched wheels and tires and this bike has had a life, which I kinda like.  It was finally time to throw a leg over and do a shake down ride to the market.

After all that work I treated myself to a Nitro pour of Rasputin Stout.  With the market ride I am now 2.5% done with the mileage portion of the challenge. I did end up raising the saddle and had the following observations; in the ballpark for fit, wouldn't mind a taller stem, the rear brake is a bit mushy,  and with a 1.25" front tire the handling is a bit twitchy at low speeds.  I am not sure about how the saddle will do for longer rides but I have a few other choices in the parts bin I can assign value too if it becomes and issue.

I have plotted out some rides that involve bike paths and breweries that I think will get me to 100km, kind of a beerneuring clunker challenge.

Ride. Smile. Repeat.