Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bridge closure on the river through Feb. 15th!

Saw this over on KTVN Channel 2.

So for those of you who take the river path for your commute.....find yourself a detour!  If you don't know where John Champion Park is.....its here (see the A).

If you do need to get across the river your closest cross street is Sutro (about a 1/4 mile back from the bridge) and then you're pretty much stuck on 4th st. until Galletti Way, if you want to get back to the river path.  I'm sure they'll have it adequately signed for the detour (NOT)!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WTF!? And I'm conflicted....

Seriously, I mean wow......I can't even begin to express how lame this is.  The conflicted part isn't that I want to go key this guys rig either.  You can't see it, but this is a recycling company's truck.  So their the good guys (right?), but their still parking like morons!?

And by the way, I get it....It's not that hard to get around the guy.  It's the principal of the thing.  And for any drivers who want to comment.  Before you say anything, imagine this guy parked across the intersection you needed to get through to go to work.  You'd be pissed!  Yes, you could just turn and go around the block....but you'd be pissed.

Anyway, enough said.  Frick'in lame!  And yes, I did get up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.

Monday, January 28, 2013

"Normal" cycle attire?

I know that many times I get on here and talk about "regular" cycling cloths (ok, perhaps not lately....but I used to).  The question is what are regular cycling cloths?  A lot of people's minds go right to the spandex outfits you see "serious" cyclists wearing.  For me this just isn't the regular cycling cloths are whatever cloths I happen to be wearing at the time.  That's the thing....if your ride is only a few miles (or under 10 or so), no special cloths are needed.  You're just riding a bike!  Secure that pant leg so it doesn't get greasy and off you go.

So normally I don't give spandex much credit.  This morning however, I may revise my views on spandex.  So without further delay....if you must ride in spandex, I believe you should also show some style.  And nothing says style like a one piece PeeWee Herman spandex suit!

I don't know where you can buy this, but someone in Reno definitely needs to get one of these for the next group ride!

Friday, January 25, 2013

College Memories!

 Daily Afternoon Randomness in HQ (42 Photos)

Free bike lights trial run.

Last night was a stealth trial for a new program called "Bright Reno Lights", that gives out free bike lights to people who need them.  It's housed under the Nevada Bicycle Coalition and includes organizations like the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC), the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC), and Nevada Department of Transportation (NDOT).

We set up from 4 - 6:30 at the downtown bus station to try to catch people who use their bikes as their primary source of transportation along with the regional bus system.  Our target number was to distribute 25 light sets during that time.  I had to leave a bit early, but we were well on our way 12-15 sets installed when I left (UPDATE: We gave out all 33 and 8 helmets and there was a line at the end....even with it raining!).

There are only a few rules (mainly to make sure our lights don't just end up on craigslist within 24 hours).  You must have the bike with you when you request the lights.  We must install the light set on site.  You have to give us some basic information about yourself (which doesn't even include your name, email, or telephone number)...just statistical stuff!  Other than that, it's a no strings attached bike lights program.

Here's what you get!

And here's a few pictures of the crew hard at work and some of the happy recipients.

The first installation completed!

Yep, you can definitely see them....even in the daytime!

Another candidate.

Did I mention that we have free helmets too!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Last weekend...bicycles and beer!

To be honest last weekend was really not about bicycles....given the weather in Chico it should have been.  Instead it started here!

There was a lot of this....

Then there was a tour!

They use just a little  hops in their beer (one bin of 20 or so)...and encourage you to put your hands on the hops and huff that great smell!

They show you kettles that make a homebrewer feel just a tad insignificant (but damn they're pretty)!  Notice I am as giddy as a kid in a candy shop.

The hundreds (?) of miles of piping that connect everything!  By the way....your looking at a the bottom of fermentors that stand about 300 ft high.  If you attempted to drink one of these dry (say 13 pints a day) it would take you 40 years!

The preacher joined me on this trip (with his fancy new camera)...I handed him a sign that seemed appropriate!

Wifey was also along for the trip.  Here we are in front of the dormant bottling line.  They shut it down on the weekends.  Bummer....would have loved to seen this massive line running!

Oops!  Almost forgot the tour tasting room.  Here we shotgunned six different Sierra Nevada beer samples in about 15 minutes at the end of the tour!

Finally, once you've had a few beers they set you in front of a huge gift shop.  Notice that the Preacher's wifey is strategically between him and the gift shop.  Coincidence?  I think not!

Just to interject some bicycle content.  They have a complete workstation on site at the brewery with all the tools and pumps you can handle.  Just for a little kitsch it's made out of 5 gallon corny kegs!

As are the bike racks themselves! 

So, after about 5 hours at the brewery, it was time to head back to camp with a couple of growlers for a well earned evening off!

The homes for the evening.

All in all not a bad way to spend a weekend!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Brake upgrade and handle bar wrap clean up.

As part of the Xtracycle rebuild that has been taking place, I decided it was finally time to properly upgrade my brakes.  The Xtracycle requires V-brakes which need relatively long "pulls" on the brake cable.  The brake levers on my old Raleigh were anything but long pull so I used a little gizmo called a travel agent to increase the length of pull a bit.  It worked, but only if everything was perfectly adjusted.  So....given my general attention to maintenance, this usually meant my rear brakes were not that great. So with some Xmas $$ I finally bought a new set of brake levers.  The replacement goes a little something like this.

Starting point with busted up, worn out wraps....the ghetto tape job was from a trial run at brake cable replacement.

Here's the "travel agent" that was helping out the old levers.

First step, pull the brake hoods back and remove tap and twine holding wraps in place.  If your wraps are shellacked like mine, grab some course sand paper and make a mess!

I like to use just a strip of sand paper and work over the bars like a shoe shiner would.

Once you've got them sanded enough, remove the wrap!

It will now look like a twisted nightmare of cork.
Detach the brake cable from the brake assembly and pull the cable out through the brake lever.
Inspect the brake cable while you have it out....if it needs replacing now's the time!
Now you can find the set screw holding the lever on the bar and release it and remove the brake lever.

Reverse the procedure to install the new lever.  If you need to this is a great time to replace the brake cable housing....mine was about 26 years old and cracked in multiple was time!

Find a cable housing route that works for you.  I use electrical tape to hold mine in place.

Repeat for the second lever!

I ended up keeping the travel agent along with the new levers.  Now I can skid the back wheel even with the studs!

Finalize all cable routing, and brake lever positioning.

Re-wrap the bars....I "tack" them in place with electrical tape until I can do the permanent twine wraps.

The next and final steps will be to twine wrap both ends of the wrap (stem side and bar end) followed by several coats of shellac to get just the right color.  I haven't even had time for this yet....meaning, yes, I'm riding around with sand blasted ghetto handlebar wraps with electrical tape.  Time permitting I finish up this weekend so you can see the final product!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Catchup post....pogonip ride, bike summit.

Seems like I just haven't had the time to jump on here and write things up.  A lot of bikey things have been going on too, so it's even worse.  Anyway here's a few things.

The bike summit happened!  Kudos to Tim Healy and everyone else who was involved in getting this together.  It was very well attended (over a hundred people) and we had about 35 3-5 minute presentations from people in every aspect of the bicycle community.

On the down was not dynamic and it was late in the evening, so people seemed uninvolved and tired.  The function was there, we saw the people we need to interact with.  There just wasn't a forum to get to chat with them. At the end of the presentations people just took off.  We really needed some adult beverages and some time to chat with groups we were interested in.  All in all a good show, just needs some meet and greet time!

Next up on missed posts.....IT IS STILL COLD!

There are still massive ice flows in the river.

There has still been freezing fog in the morning.

Enough to give real Pogonip and freeze to the tree branches!

 Some of the freeze even hung about past noon last week.  You could still see it on the trees out my office window.  Thank goodness this week has been a bit warmer, eh? Ok, that's all I have for now.   I'm gonna work on some xtracycle rebuild posts and something on where to get your free bike lights for tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Monday, January 21, 2013

How to start a Monday....or my boss rules!

Ok, He'll never read this so it doesn't really matter, but my boss is one heck of a guy.  A little back story here.  We had a client who happened to be in Tahoe for a ski trip.  Since both my boss and I ski we were planning to meet up with him for a day on the slopes.  Last minute, my boss can't make it, so he pays for 3 tickets to Squaw (at holiday rates) and off we go.

Long story a thank you the client sends us a huge batch of Vermont Maple syrup (which is where he's from).  My boss takes it on himself to make up a batch of waffle batter and bring in a waffle iron so we can take advantage of the client's gift.

So not only does he pay for skiing....he takes a gift and gives it back to all the employees!  Here's the spread this morning!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How to avoid the backside blues.

A long time ago (well last year at least) my buddy the Preacher and I were shockingly, talking about bicycles...while drinking beer.  The topic of bicycle seats came up.  Specifically, how one saddle verses another can affect one's posterior comfort.  The Preacher announced that he had found a rather devine solution to this problem that didn't require communing with the almighty....he simply found the saddle that worked for him and then put it on all this bikes (I think this is like 6 bikes and counting).  You can see here that he does indeed look comfortable....despite (or perhaps because of) the leisure suit.

Now I actually think he's probably on to something with this idea.  I mean, it does make sense that if you have the same saddle on each bike, the only difference should be relative body position caused by the bike geometry itself.  The rear end should meet up with the saddle in more or less the same way (assuming you don't ride a time trial bike and then switch over to a beach cruiser). 

My problem with the Preacher's solution is that a few years ago I switched over to a fancy Brooks saddle (and have loved it).  The problem is they are not $30 saddles and outfitting even my 3 bicycles with the same saddle amounted to a sizable investment. 

Well, I'm here to say Christmas reduced that problem by one more Brooks saddle! 

So now the saddle is headed for the mountain bike for a break in period.  I'll have to take the mountain biking a little easy (don't want to scuff the new saddle).  Eventually, I'm planning to put it on a new pimped out project bike, but at my current rate of bike rebuilds this will be some time off! 

So let the testing old mountain bike seat definitely caused some discomfort on longer rides.  Now if matched seats are truly the "gospel", I should be singing praises on my next mountain bike pilgrimage! (Sorry, I know the play on the good words is terrible....I just couldn't help myself!)