Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Riding

United States Airforce Memorial, Arlington VA
After two consecutive late nights celebrating my fifth wedding anniversary I was definitely ready to clear my head and sweat a little bit.  A nice hour and a half ride with the goal of avoiding or limiting using my normal commuting route or other recent rides... success in that goal of course meant hills!  Both Mount Ida Rd, and Alrington Ridge, were conquered!  Even with 5 rear gears and 2 front gears the Atlantis climbed steadily and confidently.  I'm thinking I may incorporate this route into some of my commute mornings to start improving my climbing.  (we'll revisit that in the morning!)  Couple more glamour shots of the Atlantis;

The Hume School, up on Atlington Ridge Rd.

Eyes on the city... there is a lovely couple of park benches at the northern end of Arlington Ridge Rd.  Must be a great view of the 4th of July Fireworks from here.  I-395 isn't so scenic of course...

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Rainy Second Ride... Mount Vernon - Conquered!

Joe in his 'all-season' cycling jacket.  You almost don't recognize him without the orange forest safety vest.  Fantastic ride and better company.  And there wasn't even a discussion about 'not going'... :)

At the halfway point, 29.3 miles all told.  My goretex jacket was sloshing around with water inside and out... not sure that is the intent... the Atlantis continues to impress!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Discovering Atlantis

One of the early blog name idea's I had when I was contemplating starting a bike blog was 'Ride to Rivendell'...  Rivendell Bicycle Works is a small, boutique company with an iconoclast owner/designer named Grant Peterson.  I won't go deep into Riv and the bike industry, rather say that last year when I was getting into biking I stumbled across the recently published 'Just Ride' book he had written.  The book is a more a collection of short essays and (almost) blog style chapters that runs the gamut of bike related topics.  That book truely formed my mind for biking, struck a chord, something like that... anyway I was an instant fan.  Bringing it back to the present, Riv markets a number of high end, lugged-steel bikes, now mostly fabricated here in the USA, in addition to bike gear, 'lifestyle' items and now hatchets... :)

I think it was exactly two weeks ago that I noticed an ad on craigslist for not just a Riv, but the flagship, longest continually carried Riv, the Riv that Grant himself claims as his own daily rider... the Rivendell Atlantis.  The one in question, at 64cm size, is a touch large for me but actually is the same size as the Trek 715.  The price was right so I took the plunge buying the frame and fork with headset, bottom bracket, crank and seatpost included.

Between a couple of drastic alterations to other bikes and a deep dive in my own, and the Velocity Co-Op's parts bin I've cobbled together a fully functional bike now and can share a couple photo's.  The initial ride around the neighborhood this afternoon was excellent, the bike handles very well.  Completely 'neutral'... much more stable front end than the Trek... as advertised!  I'm planning a longer shake down tomorrow morning so I'll have to get back to you on the results.  Enjoy the photo's!

First we have to recoignize the 'donor's...

The B-Stone MB-5 is a touch small for me but my friend Kamal has been getting alot of riding out of her.  I also had a really enjoyable say out at Wakefield Park trying out some off-road with the fat tires.  The cockpit on this bike and one of it's brand new Tektro 720 canti brakes were lifted so that the Atlantis could be built up.
Has a Diamondback hybrid ever been stripped down to provide parts to a Riv before...?  Can't say its my proudest moment, but when you need 700C wheels with a rear 135mm hub beggers can't be choosers.  My wife's hybrid, which she isn't riding these days (it's for sale! - $240) donated its wheelset, tires and pedals.

Just a preview, but the MB-5 isn't done in the cockpit experimentation zone! :)

And now on to the main event!

Original Moustache bars... Nitto Dirt Drop, tube's-as-tape (I've got a couple rolls of newbaum's that are in the mix). The shifters, Suntour power-ratchet friction shifters are awesome... great feeling set of shifters!
I just love this detail on the handlebar shim...

I don't love having the bell on the stem, preferring it closer to my hand position but I'll give it another try.

One of the co-op finds was this sweet Suntour arx front derailleur, shined up pretty nice.... the TA Specialites crank was included with the frame and I believe to be original equipment.  Note the chain-suck scars (beusage!)

Pre-adjustment glamour shot of the FD... the adjustment was a bear, my fault I'm sure.  Anyway I've got all three chainrings dialed in now.
The Deore DX came with my Trek 715, unfortunatey the rear plate of the derailleur contacts the 34T 'MegaRange' cog and prevents me from getting into the two lowest gears... so I've got a really odd 5 speed configuration on the back end.  The limit switches keep me safe with respect to actuall contacting anything as I have it currently set up.  Gotta love those department store wheels!

Onward to many-many happy miles!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Bad morning to be a squirrel

about 22 miles... nice ride!
Bad morning becuase two dropped onto the trail right in front of me and I rolled over one... he did scamper off and up a tree.  Another argument for fat, low pressure tires?!?

Great morning coffee with Wes at Misha's in Old Town and then after dropping him off at work I decided to come home the long way.  The hill intervals known as Custis Trail still are very tough for me but I stayed on the bike through it all, and was stronger at the end of it... the granny gear was definitely in effect though!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Tandeming in Alexandria

Boy do I feel beat tonight!  Not sure if it inherent to tandeming, to this particular bike, or just my own physiology today but I feel beat up.  That being said it was an awesome day out in the unseasonably pleasant, breezy and un-muggy August day.

Our friend Joy was celebrating a new Trek roadbike purchase and met us on the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria.  Our destination on this trip was actually Mt Vernon itself, we fell well short of that but still rattled off over 20 miles included lunch at an old firehouse, and beer tasting at Port City Brewery.  Great day all around!

I know, I know!  I'm the !@#hole for parking like this... it was not a crowded biking day... and Joy didn't have a lock so I went with this solution.
 I think this is the 'introduction' of the tandem to the blog.  We've had the Univega since around March I believe.  To be honest we've been shocked at how much we enjoy it though our total mileage is not that great.  Prior to today our trips had included, Shirlington and back, Old Town Whole Foods, and a Washington National's game - the best part of that trip was using the bike valet at the stadium.... only tandem there!