Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Christine's Mystery Bike - Part 2

We took Christine's bike to our local bike shop for some "triage". We still don't know what type of bike it is except that it is a cheap bike from the late 80's. Unfortunately "triage" showed that soon we will be needing a new bottom bracket. They said that will cost about 50 bucks. We did get some new commuter type tires that raised the coolness factor of the bike and made it a little easier to ride. A little while later after we left the bike shop the rear brake lever broke.

We went out for a slow ride on the Burke - Gilman trail anyway. We rode 20 miles! A walk in the park for me but I was very impressed with Christine. After 10 miles I noticed an old familiar pain in my knee although not nearly so bad as before. Today I pushed it pretty hard, up the hills, on my way home from work with no problems.

Odo - 4291.1

I've since replaced the brake levers/brakes.  Soon after her bike went into storage and never gets rode.  :(

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Shellac Handlebar Tape

My old cork tape wore through already. I guess that's what riding through a rainy Seattle winter will do. I was looking for a simple black and white stripped cork tape and finding none. So I chose 2 colors of cloth tape and overlapped them. I was told that cloth tape would absorb rain, rusting your bars and sweat from you hands and eventually smell bad so I did an old technique of coating the whole thing with shellac. The shellac is just painted on and seals the whole thing. Plus it gives a nice shine. These bars look like candy now. I used 4 coats of a clear shellac which only slightly darkened the tape. The first picture is just the tape. The second is with the shellac.

You can see another persons version of this here -

Of course that night after I finished I saw this beautiful diamond weave pattern, which had I seen before I would have done -

Also an example here -

I wonder if I were to take apart, re-wrap, and re-shellac in the diamond pattern how it would look. What would happen to the old shellac?

Aside from the tape -

I've given up on riding in the STP. My knee is still giving me trouble and I don't think it will be able to make it on a 200 mile ride less then then 2 months from now. I will transfer my registration form to someone else.

I rode on the Ride of Silence and I must say it was quite uneventful. I suppose if I knew someone who was hurt or killed on a bicycle this would have meant more to me. Plus there was something about most of those people that I'm not quite agreeing with. Or maybe it's just a mentality that is taking over cycling in general. Example - Two people are talking and one man says he got the latest, greatest carbon fiber thingiee for his bike reducing the weight by like, an ounce. Now if this fellow really wanted performance he should loose the 30 extra pounds of weight he's wearing as body fat! Also all this spandex has really gotten out of hand. Yes I confess, I have a few jerseys in my closet. They look cool, they have some slick graphics on them, but why are we really wearing them? Are they cutting down on wind resistance enough to really make a difference? No. Not for the common recreational cyclist, commuter. There's a great article on the Rivendell site about this. Special clothing just to ride a bike? Are you sure? Here's a small excerpt - "In America, cyclers who are otherwise normal wear spandex shorts and skin tight jerseys with psychedelic geckos, skulls & crossbones, wilderness murals, flags and serious-looking bald eagles, and advertisements for the local coffee shop or podiatrist. The message it sends potential riders is that without special clothing, they’ll have a substandard experience on the bike, but of course that’s not true."

Update - I told my friend Tim about the diamond weave pattern and he went ahead and did it on his De Rosa. Here are his pictures -

Update 2 - See also my diamond weave pattern on my fixed gear.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Christine's Mystery Bike

About a year ago my wife's father gave her his old bike. I didn't think much of it. Just some old bike I would have to get looked at and tuned up for her. But it was free and a good bike for her as she only rides once in a while for fun. Now I've been meaning to get it fixed up a little for her and it's starting to become a project. The more I look at the bike the more I like it. I really don't know what brand it is as it has no markings or serial numbers that I've been able to find except for the number 930se on the down tube. I know that Trek uses numbers for their bike models and suspect it might be one. But what year? The frame is lugged.  I know that Trek also used to produce their bikes with lugged frames. The wheels have 36 spokes. Seems rare to find a bike wheel with over 32 spokes these days. The rims are stamped with Van Schothorst, 05 93, Made in Holland. Is 05 93 a date? Bike Biz stated in '05 that Van Schothorst changed their name to Rigida. My friend, Tim, read on some bike forums that Rigida has a reputation (among the 'touring' geeks) as one of the most sought after makers of true and solid touring rims but I don't think there's anything special here.  The derailleur is a Falcon XT which I know nothing about. It's sort of a trail bike but I plan on making it more of an urban vehicle. I'll change out the fat knobby tires to something a little lighter and smoother with less rolling resistance. Christine likes a more upright position so she lowered the seat almost all the way. I'll might give her a taller handle bar stem. Then she can raise the seat back up, still sit more upright and comfortable, and have the proper leg extension. Then possibly some new handle bar grips, better brakes and make sure that derailleur is working right.  Also the paint is pretty beat up. 

Here are some photos of the lugs and the rim stamp.  

A recent search shows that this bike is a Free Spirit Dynasty.  Apparently the Dynasty decal on the downtube was removed.  Nothing special.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Bike to Work Month - Part 2

Week one of the commute challenge has passed. Looks like we won't be winning any prizes. :( We've only logged 200 miles. Boeing logged over 700 miles. City of Seattle parks logged 900 miles. Group Health Co-Op (one of the companies putting on the contest) logged 1200 miles! Microsoft has logged 1300 miles!! Microsoft's team members are doing commutes of 40-60 miles a day, round trip. My round trip commute is a mere 12. But it's all good fun anyway. Two girls on our team have rode a few times and they are new commuters which is really what this is all about anyway isn't it? Getting new people to bike to work instead of drive. There are somewhere around 8,000 to 10,000 people commuting to work by bike in this contest and so far, just in the first week, based on miles logged we have saved a total of 123,749.6 pounds of CO2 from being produced. This is in Seattle alone during one week. Not to mention the health benefits of riding a bike.

On more of a personal note now I only rode 62 miles this week. My knee was feeling better during the first day of the week and so I went and pushed it to hard to fast again. The soreness came back. I rode to work for the week anyway but took it real easy. I've had the last few days to rest and I'll take it slow this week. Hopefully this doesn't last long.
I did my weekly/bi-weekly cleaning and lubing of my bike (what I do during the rainy season) and take a look at the glass I pulled out of my tires. Just goes to show how puncture resistant those Schwalbe tires are. I recommend them to anyone.

Odo - 4048.3

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Bike to Work Month

The Cascade Bicycle Club and Group Health are having their Commute Challenge. So I formed a little team with the people at work. Teams can have a maximum of 10 people and I was surprised to find more then that. Now I'm looking to see if I can get the extras to form another team. I noticed a lot more cyclists today with the commute challenge going on. Yeah! Where were you people in November when it was pouring rain?!

Also I just surpassed 4000 miles on my bike odometer. That's 2300 miles since July when we moved back up here.