Sunday, December 21, 2014

Al's Pix and Vids from Veterans Day

Languishing on my desk I'd forgotten to get these uploaded. I particularly like the video pano of Great Falls, enjoy!

Selfie-style Al with Joe in the background.

The whole crew together for coffee at Great Falls.  Left to right; Al, Jude, Pete, Kevin, Tony, Wes, Joe.

Winter Projects

A recent thread over at the RBW Google Group prompted me to list out some of my bike related projects for the winter... seemed worthwhile to put them up here as well;

Lots of projects lined up in the garage... it's been an odd Fall and start to winter for me as I never really got back in a rhythm after my accident back in August.  So several projects languished for one reason or another.  In any case here they are;

0. Get back to regular commuting and recreational riding.  Winter be damned!  My XO-3 is set w/ fenders and studded tires and the drop-bar'd Bomba is such a sweet riding machine, no excuses!  

1. Re-build the Saluki.  My new fork from Riv is in, it took longer and was 30% more expensive than was quoted but at least that part is done.  Next step is the fun part... re-paint.  I'm going w/ a powdercoat from Groody Bros after being blown away w/ the quality on a project I'm finishing up for my Mom.  It's most likely going to be british racing green and cream very similar to it's original 'corvette green' but not quite so bright.  The build itself will be interesting as many of the Saluki's old parts have migrated to the XO-3 and Bomba.  At this point my aim is to set it up as my primary commuter, 1x8 w/ WI Eno crank, Paul stoplight canti brakes, Alba or noodle - noodle or alba...., hetre's w/ dyno front lighting... I'm looking forward to the 're-birth'!

2. Get rid of some random frames.  I've now got three sweet steel frames hanging out that need either new homes or new purpose, so I may try building them up to move rather than my current/previous strategy of frame/fork only.  The two vintage Trek's, a 64cm '82 and 61cm '81 are both 531c main triangles with great lines and then the unmarked but purportedly Bob Jackson frame is probably a 61-62.  I've got the parts on hand to make either Trek a 700C stripped down fixed gear so I think i'll go that route soon, maybe in my time off for Xmas.  The Jackson is the most intriguing as it's super light, i've already slid on some 650B wheels w/ Hetre's and they fit...  38's would be better.  I'm contemplating a minimalist, Roadeo inspired build for that one.  I've been stalking some 120mm OLD hub and wheelsets on the auction site, not that I'm set on a vintage-correct build but I like building up wheels.

3. Tweak the Tandem.  The Burley Bossa Nova got some decent usage this year, never as much as I'd like but last years winter/spring project was a definite success.  I've got some Paul Mini-Moto's that have been waiting to be mounted for several months now, no excuses... need to do that.  Also need a rack solution especially up front.  The real project here is 700C wheels for the beast, the hub's on there are in ok shape, not sexy of course but I could just buy some 700C rims, new spokes and build away. I think I could fit 35-38mm tires which would make this bike a legit C&O ride for my wife and I.  Two wheel build's are unlikely due to time and budget though so between this and the Jackson it'll probably be based on which one I find a compelling part (or price) for first.

4. Try out the Bullmoose Bars.  My amazing Bomba came from lister Tom w/ the truly large and unique bullmoose bars, I only road the frame once around the block in that configuration before switching to noodles which I in no way regret.  I found that first ride pretty odd and uncomfortable to be honest but I definitely didn't give it an adequate test.  So I want to make that happen, perhaps back on the Bomba or maybe on a random '80s MTB frame (a new one of those showed up same day as the Jackson).  We'll see, should be fun and if I confirm my initial reaction you'll be seeing some Bullmoose Bar's available in the Spring! 

5. Overhaul my wife's Townie.  My very first bike build project is my wife's 1970ish Motobecane Mirage Mixte in pale yellow.  Sweet looking bike, I 650B converted it gave it upright bars, a Brooks B67S, VO fenders and a basket.  She loves the bike and it usually gets alot of attention out and about.  I kept the original drive train for the most part and the long reach brake situation was never ideal.  I want to replace the wheels/drivetrain/brakes with a front and rear, drum brake/dyno/3spd IGH setup... probably SA.  That with some new more albatross-y bars and I think it goes from an 80% bike to a 99% bike.

6. General shop cleanout.  It's a mess really, and it's not crowded with tons of really great stuff either.  I need to consolidate, make some co-op donations and move on from a pile of stuff that is crowding my garage.  With the Bomba, Saluki and XO-3 I'm not really eyeing a major acquisition any time soon.  Anything new would either be wildly different (fatbike) or a direct replacement of one of those three  with the ability to swap parts that are on the bike.  Bottom line is that with 3-4 personal bikes, the tandem, and a couple bikes for my wife if a part isn't on one of those bikes it needs to be pretty special to hang out in a bin for another season.  We'll see how I do w/ this one.

Good exercise, I love making lists!  :)



Monday, December 1, 2014

Winter Welcome Wagon

If you are the meticulous bike sort you may want to stop right here...  my bike is ready for winter, we'll see how the rider does!

I'm not sure if I can cram any more 'beausage' onto one bike... The XO-3 is now my single speed winter weather ride wearing alot of zip ties and pats from all around the stable.

Is this zip tie laziness or are the jaunty angles these zip ties jut out at easy to spot tell tales for when one of the ties is loosening...?

Yes there is a zip tie adjusting another zip tie here... these fenders lost their 'L-brackets' when i crashed the Saluki so zip ties made due for crown and stay mounts.

This medium sackville bag has been languishing since April when I picked it up used... it is pretty much a mess w/ no connecting or closing straps left.  (which is why I got a decent deal on it) Anyway, I went ahead and made due with toe straps, surly junk straps and zip ties for now.  Today it worked fine carting my full size laptop and spare clothes.

Surly Junk Strap and seriously 'scooped' Brooks B67

Seatstay zip ties

The XO-3 was briefly a multi speed bike several weeks ago and I had lost the snap in under-BB cable guide.  This little beauty doesn't make your shifting smoother but it does make it possible.

I do love the single speed cockpit... the brake cables are still a bit long and I need to replace the drive side cork plug.

SPIKES!  Nokian Mount and Ground 26x1.95" Studded tires... They just fit though the front canti posts require them to be mostly deflated to install.

Who said studds don't deserve a nice flap!?!

Making it all possible... THE ENO.

Mud splats no more w/ the SKS fenders installed... this beauty is going to remain on the seat tube a bit longer... at least till the first rain.

Holding down the sackville

Retro-Paul Levers, I love the cable tensioner

I don't use the coffee holder enough to justify it but it's already on there so I'm going with it.

TT view down. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Veterans Day - Videos!

The first video's featured here on DR2DC... Wes got some great sunrise footage w/ his stealthy light-camera mounted on the seatpost. Nice job with the filming and the editing skills Wes!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Veterans Day Leesburg Loop

2014 Veteran's Day Ride
Happy Belated Veterans Day to all those who are and have served!

Six friends and I chose to celebrate with an all day ride here in the Nation's Capitol.  We set our sights high, the 84 mile 'Leesburg Loop'.  I've been wanting to do this ride for over a year after I became aware of Whites Ferry and the possibility to complete a true out and back loop all the way to Leesburg.  We departed my place in Alexandria VA around 0630 with five riders and  met two more in Georgetown at the foot of the C&O/CCT Trails.  It was a brisk but gorgeous morning and the forecast promised warmer temperatures and continued pleasant weather all day.

I'll let the pictures and captions tell the story, I had a great time... the distance was pretty daunting and two of our little band had practically zilch for recent bike experience.  Well done Pete and Al!  Great attitudes and the willingness to do something crazy gets you in all sorts of interesting (if uncomfortable) situations!

From left to right; Al, Wes, Jude, Tony and Pete

Al and Pete speeding along Gravelly Point, both were riding borrowed Bridgestones from my stable.  Al on my wife's silver MB-3 and Pete on my XO-3.

Sunrise over the Potomac, note the crew teams out early.  Great color, I love Nov skies in this area. Morning and evening they offer so many crisp horizons and interesting clouds.

Quick detour for the Reflecting Pool and Lincoln Memorial.

Pete at the Memorial.

Quick stop on the spillway

Blow up for two reasons, first to show the Women's Cross Country runners behind us, the girl closest to Pete's shoulder was hauling ass!!! She passed us soon after this picture and it took us a couple hundred yards to catch up, she must have been running at a 8-10mph pace at this point.

Joe in his element (and on his UBI-built custom steel commuter - he still hasn't wrapped his bars!)

Up close to Great Falls this wonderful basin was like a mirror, rock formations on the far wall were also stunning.  

The crew in middle center speeding along towards morning coffee

How gorgeous is this!?! Note the moon... less than an hour by bike from the National Mall, you can't beat this!

The crew enjoying the view.

The first shot of the new ride - say hello to Mr. Bombadil!

How's this for coffee outside, coffee w/ a view even. The Great Falls Overlook on the MD side has an awesome rock formation that offered a perfect stove placement.  Note my new Japanese wire coffee filter holder and Ocean Air Cycles roasted beans.  #coffeeneuring, #coffeoutside

MD side of Great Falls... never gets old!

More glamour shots of the Bombadil

Three bottle cages is pretty sexy... (and useful!)

ok ok I know... gratuitous amounts of Bombadil shots.

Whites Ferry!  We had splendid timing and literally rode straight on and were carried across.

Looking back on the VA side of the Ferry crossing

You have to admit that Pete and the red XO-3 cast a pretty sweet shadow here as we join up w/ Rt 15 to head into Leesburg.

Once on the W&OD the ride did start to grind a bit, we stopped for an amazing lunch at Carolina Bro's BBQ in Ashburn but I think we were about an hour late in getting those calories as it had been a long 50 miles leading up to lunch.  The W&OD's new coat of asphalt was much appreciated though.

Double top tube shadow... I belive this is inside the beltway crossing I-66.  We were chasing the setting sun at this point and nursing our aches and cramps but everyone kept up a good attitude and we finished strong.  Happy Veterans Day!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New Bike 'Day' - Rawland rSOGN

The garage looks a bit different than it did when I went ahead buying the rSOGN off of a RCOG Google groups member, I had intended this buy to satisfy two things; first to be my fat tire trail bike replacing the MB-5 for riding out in Winchester and also at local trail parks and second to satisfy my curiosity with low trail geometry.  After my calamity on the Saluki however those two reasons became a distant second/third to the everyday geared commuter usage until such a time that I get the Saluki rolling again.  Having plenty of versatile bikes in the stable has it's pluses!

While it threw a monkey wrench in my life for the past couple weeks the disassembly of the Saluki did offer some sweet components for the initial build up of the rSOGN!  The brakes, wheels/tires and full drive train all made the transfer to the new frame.  This gives me a good base for setting aside delta's with the components for my initial impressions of the rSOGN.

Here is the build;

Frame: Size ML Rawland rSOGN, stock fork cut to 2.75" above headset
Headset: Cane Creek
BB: Shimano sealed bearing
Cockpit: Moustache Bars, Ritchey 17deg,90mm stem, inner tube tape
Seat: SQ Labs 610 (probably going to be replaced w/ my B17, Kalloy seatpost
Pedals: MKS Grip Kings
Brakes: Paul Stoplight Cantis
Brake Levers: Shimano aero
Shifters: Silver shifter, friction (right only for now)
Crankset: WI Eno, 44T single chainring
Cassette: Shimano 8 spd 12-34T
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Exage
Chain: KMC 8 spd
Wheels: Shimano 105 rear w/ synergy 36T, Shimano dyno front w/ synergy 36T
Tires: GB Hetre EL

I've gotten two moderate rides under my belt of 14 and 20 miles at this point and really like the bike.  I'm holding off getting to definitive with impressions till my fitness catches back up to pre-crash levels and I get some more time on the bike. The stability of the bike, particularly the 'no-hands' stability is impossible to ignore.  I wish I had another inch in stem height somehow and might end up looking for a steeper angled stem to get me a bit of that but I'll probably wait till I try out the build with noodle's first.

That Carradice saddle wedge has seen a TON of use since @dailyrandonneur gifted it to me during a #FMCC!