Apr 29, 2008

Sick Again!

I can't believe it. I think have been sick more this winter than ever before. Now it's a cold that I somehow contracted while taking care of my Dad over the weekend. Not fair and no fun. I missed work today and probably will miss a business trip to Maine tomorrow at the rate things are going.

Took myself to Walgreen's and enjoyed browsing the decongestants; I am more medicated than Lou Reed at the moment.

Despite the cold, our magnolia is flowering and the perennial garden is coming up nicely.

Here's a nice weather shot to accent my mood.

Apr 28, 2008


Several folks rode down I-35W last summer when it was closed to traffic for construction. For those that don't know about I-35W, this stretch is the busiest freeway in the State of Minnesota and it cuts right through south Minneapolis, separating "south Minneapolis" from "Southwest".

Unfortunately, our intrepid bicyclists ended up getting ticketed by the highway patrol, but they all lived to tell the tale here

I like that it was organized by a couple of Dads and they took the kids along. Future bike anarchists in the making.

If you are on BikeLove or Surly blog this is old news, but if you have not seen this, enjoy the link.

Apr 23, 2008


Another Photoshop project I like. Moses delivers Aerospokes to the long suffering Israelites.

This was originally posted on the blog "How to Avoid the Bummer Life" (a link is provided at right). The image was created by Robert Kurts. Thanks to HTATBL Life for providing that information!!!!

Apr 21, 2008

The Basic Commute

It turns out my shortest route commute is only about 10 miles. I thought it was a little bit further than that,but Gmaps does not lie.


Out the Door

I am dumping some almost new trekking bars from Nashbar. I bought these to put on Molly's trusty Cannondale to see if she liked them more than her drops. The answer was yes, but not enough. She is now running some flat bars on the C'dale and these are spares.

They are quite wide but comfy and offer a lot of hand positions. You need to decide how you want to mount brake levers, but there are a lot of options and I had no trouble at all installing them or mounting brakes. I am going to list them on MBL for $5. If you are interested, you can comment below as well.

Yeah - I know. There are terrible photos, too, but if you don't know the concept of trekking bars these are probably not for you anyway. If you really care and are really serious, I will go out to the garage and get a better photo, but the bars cost $6 then...

You Sexy Thing

Last summer I came into a very lightly used 1995 50cm Waterford 1200 road frame. It was in nearly new condition, and looked like it had been assembled but never ridden. The problem was that it was painted a purple-pink color with a silver fade on the rear triangle. I snapped up the frame because it was a bargain and I knew I would never let myself get a new Waterford, so my compromise was "get an ugly one for cheap".

It took about 3 months for me to regret that.

I reasoned (rationalized) that if I am going to own a Waterford frame, I should like how it looks, too, (dammit)! So I contemplated getting it painted. For weeks. I finally talked myself into getting it done at the Waterford factory, because I thought it would help the frame hold its value, and it was not all the far out of the way from my parent's house. Plus, it's a chance to see the the Waterford operation up close and personal. So come Thanksgiving last year, I threw the frame (gently) into my truck and headed for Waterford, WI. At the factory I met Richard Schwinn, and talked to several of the folks at the factory, two of whom actually remembered the frame when I brought it in (that is the advantage of a wicked ugly paint job). We landed on a metallic orange color (gold under orange) with new style Wateford graphics.

The results were fantastic!! I finally got around to having Jim Thill and his staff at Hiawatha assemble the thing while I was in Anchorage last week. He called today and told me it was ready, so without further adieu, here it is:

It is a terrible photo. I need to wait for a sunny day and get the damn camera on the correct setting (this one is too shaky) but at least it gives you a feel for the build. It's a combination of Shimano 105 and Ultegra parts for the most part, with a pair of Velocity Aeroheads (off center rear) laced to Ultegra hubs). I gave Jim artistic control of the specifics for components because I trust them and it works great! He stuck on some Tektro brakes that have more power than the Ultegra's on my LeMond. I rode it tonight and got it mostly dialed-in, but I am sure there will be more tinkering to come. I'll shoot some better photos in the next couple of days and re-post them to give you a better feel for the bike.

This just in...

Jim sent over a photo he shot today, so here's a picture that is actually IN FOCUS! Thanks HC for the build and the photo! (Ignore the ugly little troll behind the bike - he is just holding it up and certainly nobody you need to pay attention to).

Apr 20, 2008

Back in the L-48

Got back Saturday about 6:00 PM from Anchorage. I am wiped out; it was a long busy week capped off by a long flight. Hopefully a little R&R on Sunday will put me right.

I was looking at some stats on hits and it was interesting; I got quite a bit of traffic on ghost bike posts from people that came in via Google. Also, I have gotten a some steady hits from folks looking for the gear-inch calculator; if you are one of those, go over to the links list and you will find what you are looking for there.

Finally, I got a surprising number of hits from overseas. Blogger has a "view next blog" function and they seem to delight in flinging off to some random blog from a foreign land. About half the time I have tried that, I get sent to someone's blog about their favorite Brazilian soccer team, it seems. Here is a great example... I just hit "next blog" and here's what I got:


This would make a good drinking game. If the first photo is a baby, drink! If the site is foreign, drink! etc. etc.

Things to do today include breakfast, a run to REI to pick up an order, maybe a run to Northern Tool, some reading and some more sleeping, hopefully. Tomorrow I'll feel better and light the world on fire.

Apr 16, 2008

So... What Brings You to Town?

Back in Anchorage again this week. Why? See for yourself...

Apr 12, 2008


It continues to be cold and nasty out. The weather forecast called for something like 10 inches of snow and high winds on Thursday but thankfully we only got less than an inch of slush because it stayed around 35 degrees. Nevertheless, a whole day and a half of cold rain after this winter was more than I wanted to face.

I ducked out of work a little early on Thursday to attend a police auction of bicycles at the evidence building near Bachman's. It was a pretty disappointing collection of cheap mountain bikes for the most part. Makes the Schwinn at the right look like the catch of the day. I did not stick around for the bidding since there was nothing there worth bringing home.

On another note, I brought my re-painted Waterford 1200 in to Hiawatha Cycles today to get it built out. I got the frame second-hand (quite cheap) but it was a ghastly pink-and-gray fade job. I had it stripped and re-painted by Waterford over the winter (now it's a hot burnt orange metallic and looks really good) and am finally getting around to building it out. I'll have the guys at HC tinker with that while the weather waits to improve and hopefully have a nice ride for the summer. Pics will be posted when available.

I am now off to Anchorage for another week. Things are picking up in AK with the big pipe and I have back-to-back meetings for the first three days this week, so it's going to be busy.

Apr 10, 2008

The Pug

Re-running a photo of the Pugsley for some people that wanted to see it.

It's not that I am lousy photographer - the damn tires are too big to fit entirely in the picture.

Apr 8, 2008

It's Vegan Except for the Saddle

I am stealing a page from Bike Snob on this, but...

Wooden tall-boy!! One of a kind! - $400 (NE MPLS) Reply to: xxx@craigslist.org
Date: 2008-04-08, 2:30PM CDT

Yes, this bike is made of wood. Specifically dowel rods and plywood. there are sealed bearings in the headset and bottom bracket. Not only is this bike a single speed fixed gear, it is also a direct drive, which is one more step up the hard core ladder. It is built for people about 6 feet tall. If you are shorter, you will need some platform shoes to reach the pedals. The seat is padded and covered with leather. I built this bike 4 years ago and have not ridden it since. No test rides. Serious inquiries only. Buyer must pick up.

"Not only is the bike a single speed fixed gear..."

Wait, wait, wait. It's actually a single speed no-gear, I believe.

"I built this bike 4 years ago and have not ridden it since." I could have guessed that.

I bet it sells. I suspect it will end up in someone's rec-room, or on the front porch of a nice house on River Road - but I would really love to it on the Stone Arch bridge at about 6:30 PM some summer evening, or maybe u-locked to a sign outside of a bar on the East Bank.

Apr 6, 2008


I put gas in my pick-up today. The pump stopped at $50, the maximum authorized, and I got up 3/4 of a tank of gas. With spring just around the corner, I am toying with the idea of going car-light. I don't think car-free is very realistic for me, but certainly car-light is a good possibility. I can commute to work with no problem, and this weekend I have begun experimenting with more utility cycling. I ran errands yesterday to Freewheel (not open yet) and the Hub, and today I ran over in the drizzle to Highland Park to re-supply the cat with her favorite chow. All-in-all, not a big deal, so I don't think it will be a big stretch, but it's going to take some motivation. I put 26 miles on this weekend on errands.

On another note, the Ed G. ghost bike has disappeared. People are wondering if it was stolen or if the city removed it. My bet is that the city removed it. It was pretty securely chained to a street sign post, (which I believe is technically not permitted), and the bike was disabled before it was installed. There are probably hundreds of bikes that get chained to signs for a long time, sometimes so long that the seat, wheels and other components get scavenged and only a rusting frame remains. I expect the city opened what is typically a blind eye because it commemorated a death. I expect they got a complaint, determined that it could interfere with snow removal and was a violation of some city ordinance and had a crew cut it off and toss it in a truck for removal. I don't know how I feel about that. Certainly it was a moving event for everyone that participated, and at some level I understand that these cannot stay out there forever, but still, it seems a little callous to 1.) steal it, or 2.) get a work crew to cut it loose and toss it out.

Apr 3, 2008

Spring is Supposedly Coming!

How do I know? Because my neighbor throws his damn "Slow" man out in the middle of the street. These things get deployed every time the weather is nice, and he sticks them out in the middle of the street so we all get the message. At first I wanted to run these over with my 4 wheel drive truck, but I am now toying with the idea of hitting it while I am on my bike. That would play better in the court (if it ever came to that).

Of course, now that I have posted this, it probably wipes out my defense.