Wednesday, June 19, 2019

3-D Printing at the Public Library

I just found out from a Bike Forums Mechanics Tips and Tricks post about someone's public library in San Diego offering 3-D Printing, so of course, I checked to see if Seattle Public Library offered something similar.  It turns out they do, and they had a link to Thingiverse, which has all kinds of drawings that could potentially be used.

A quick search on the Thingiverse site for 'bicycle' revealed several potentially interesting projects:

A holder for Ortlieb panniers.

A bicycle Stand.

Bicycle work stand clamps.

I need to run down to the library and find out more before I get too excited.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Global Bicycle Cities Index 2019

I saw this article published which ranks the top 90 cities worldwide based on their overall cycling conditions.  It was interesting to note that Seattle is ranked 49th worldwide, but 3rd within the US.  Also interesting that the top 3 US cities are west coast, hilly, and not known for great weather, all of which must handicap them somewhat as weather is factored into the rankings and all would seem to discourage cycling.  The top US city, San Francisco is also only ranked 39th worldwide.  Another point of note is that Los Angeles is the only US city to make the grade that is known for good weather.  No Phoenix, Tampa, Miami, Atlanta, etc.  Seems that one could argue that cycling conditions are largely cultural vs environmental based on these results.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Riding Arizona

At the end of April I was afforded the opportunity to ride in the sunny, warm, and dry environs of Scottsdale while on a family trip.

I rode to Rio Verde, Stagecoach Pass, and Bartlett Lake.  It was very nice to visit and spend some time in temperatures in the ‘90’s, but also very dry and dehydrating, like spending one’s time in a hair dryer.  This was especially the case given that I had spent the previous weekend riding well beyond the snow line.

The end of the pavement at Rio Verde Road.
The area has many surrounding hills and mountains; however, unlike Seattle, they are long drags of 2-3 percent, rather than the short but steep coastal hills we have here.

Headed back homeward from Rio Verde.

Stagecoach Pass

The mountains here always seem to be in the distance.

Looking towards Bartlett Lake.  Note the power lines, as this ride heads toward a hydro electric generating lake.

Monday, April 15, 2019

North Cascades Highway 2019

I returned once again this spring to ride the North Cascades Highway car free.  Usually, this is the time of year that the miles in my legs is increasing with the daylight and sunshine; however, this year’s late winter and spring have been spent on house renovation and moving projects.  Prior to the ride, I had been hoping that the hours put in working on the house would translate to some kind of benefit as far as endurance goes, as I haven’t touched the bike in weeks.

The beginning of the ride at the closed gatepost, snowline above and in the distance.

The week before the ride, the weather had been snowy, and I could see the snowline above at the start of the road closure.

One of the aspects of riding that I enjoy the most is getting into the rhythm and flow of the ride, which stopping to take photos or even taking them from the saddle seems to interrupt for me.

The ride was also made slightly less enjoyable this year by the WSDOT workers who hassled me to turn around on several occasions, though I did feel as though their admonitions against proceeding somehow entered me into some kind of Campbellian mythical realm.  The WSDOT site had said that Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays were non work days and that folks could use the road for recreation at their own risk.  WSDOT needs to get their workers and webbies on the same page on this matter.  At any rate, the further up the road I headed, the less of them there were.

I did take a few pictures from my turn around point at around mile post 153 where it looked like recent snowfall had filled the tracks.  The turn around point came just as I was contemplating how much further I could or should continue given my lack of recent riding.  Despite this lack of training, I was purposely not holding back because I was just enjoying going at the limit of what my legs would allow for the grade ahead.

I could have gone further, but it's probably not advisable.

So I turned around and was immediately hit by a cold rain/sleet mix which added with the velocity of winding out my biggest gear descending made me quite cold, but only on the outside.  I was glad that I had dressed in almost full winter gear.  A couple of miles into the descent, I flatted at the rear wheel, pulled over to the side and tried to keep the process of changing the tube as quick as possible to avoid getting cold.  The change actually went really easily, as I was able to spy the piece of flint that had entered the tire casing from the outside and then confirm it with the hiss of air from the hand pump.

The trusty steed.

I got hassled by WSDOT a couple more times on the way down, but just breezed past them down hill, and the further I descended, the warmer it got.

The way back down.

Friday, April 5, 2019

1982 Bianchi Nuova Record 12 Veloce

I recently purchased a Bianchi that’s actually a vintage bike.  I kind of had my eye on another previously that I never responded to while waiting for the price to go down.  In between that and finding this one, I had also painted 3 bedrooms in the remodel a color very close to Bianchi celeste that my wife had selected.  One could say I was intoxicated by taking in so much.  It was advertised on the local Craigslist as a 1980 Nuova Racing but, based on the serial number, seems to have been constructed in ’82.

It was the kind of bike I lusted after as a 14 year old mowing lawns to afford second hand Peugeots, with those beautifully sculpted pearlescent aluminum Campagnolo shifters and derailleurs.  As I recall, I so wanted Campy components on the Schwinn Prologue frameset that I finally saved up for with pizza making money that I built it with a similar front mech as my “new” Bianchi because it was the least expensive Campagnolo part in the Performance catalogue. 

This bike is more than a little rough, but seems to be largely the same machine component wise it was when it rolled off the show room floor in 82 or 83.  My biggest concern is that the originally brazed on top tube brake cable guides have been covered over by clamp style guides.  I haven’t even taken the clamps off yet to inspect them due to more pressing projects like painting and moving into our whole house remodel.  Where the heck did I put my sockets and wrench roll?!  Depending on the damage, I’ll decide what to do with the bike.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Bike Room

I’m remodeling the house I’ve lived in for the last 15 years or so, and with this comes the opportunity to revisit the bike room.  I’ve ceded most control over the decorating decisions for the upper floors to my lovely wife, with the understanding that the decisions in the basement and garage are largely mine.  The theme for the garage is bike room, and I’ve decided to paint it with a theme of some of my favorite and most historic cycling team jerseys.  This is a work in progress, as I’ve now painted it with red, yellow, and celeste.  But I’m super excited by it, and I think it’s coming along nicely.

In fact, I have been so excited by this little part of my project that I've lost sleep on several nights just thinking about what jerseys to include, layout, etc.

I'm planning on including the following:
- Tour de France Yellow and Pois Rouge
- World Champs Stripes around the room at the post in the wall shown above
Around the Walls:
- Coppi Bianchi
- Merckx Molteni and Faema (he gets two)
- LeMond La Vie Claire
- Hampsten 7-Eleven
- Badger Renault
Rest of the ceiling this side of WC stripes:
- Giro Pink

Tuesday, February 12, 2019