Sunday, November 30, 2008

After Thanksgiving Ride with Mark


Mark Petry was kind enough to take the ferry over from Bainbridge Island and meet me in the Green Lake area of Seattle. Oh, did I mention he also brought over 2 incredible bikes, one in my size, and drove us both to Il Vecchio bike shop where we started a great ride over the I-90 causeway and around Mercer Island and back? And then dropped me back at Green Lake on his way home? We also stopped at Elliot Bay bike shop to ogle Bob Freeman's incredible classic bike collection and got to talk to Bill Davidson for awhile, how cool is that? Hope I didn't drool too much... Thanks for the great day, Mark!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

10 speeds NOT

OK, so I was curious... Never ridden a track bike or fixed gear before so decided to try it. This is my 1st fixed gear build, don't know if it will be the last. Yes, I left BOTH brakes on - sorry fixed kiddies but this ol' dog needs some trainin' on this new machine. And training I did get. The thing I noticed most is that after climbing and reaching the top of a hill I want to coast for a minute. Well, this bike actually insisted I NOT do that in no uncertain terms. I rode from Hwy 92 to Woodside over Olive Hill and down Tripp then thru town and back. Gears are 52 chainring 16 rear cog - seems a bit long but OK for this route. Would a 50 or 48 tooth chainring be better? Dunno but please comment 'cause I need help - I am a fixed/track neophyte. The other thing that I noticed is chain tension can be critical - too loose starting out today I heard a few chain crunchings (I imagine on the rear cog) on bumps and turns - too tight and it was constantly noisy and binding (hope I didn't kill the rear wheel bearings/races). It appears the chainline is about one cog off so I'm thinking of relocating the chainring to the inside of the crank spider - there's plenty of clearance from the chainstay, so, anyone see anything wrong with that? I put this bike together in about an hour, the majority of that time being attention paid to the frankensteinian bottom bracket. The fixed cup is Campag, the adjustable cup is Peugeot 80's crap, the spindle is Shimano and the "loose balls" (no Viagra) are 1/4" grade 25's from ebay. No good can come of this combo but I am hoping it won't throw me over the bars anytime soon... BTW, I bought my 1st set of Pasela Panaracer Tour Guards 27x1 1/8" for this build and I'm amazed at the ride - so comfy & pillowy!


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Another Ride in Paradise

~Sunday 11.16.08~

Paradise Loop in Marin County that is. Don't know what it is but I could just keep doing this ride over and over again. Weather was fantastic for mid November - low 70's. We had about 12 riders and 3 new: Brian Fessenden on his incredibly clean old orange Pogliaghi, Tom Hardy on his Gios and Stephen Bryne on a 1974 Raleigh International. I was riding my commuter bike, a 1974 Raleigh Pro so we had fun taking pics of the (2) 34 year old brit bikes. Most of us started out at the Log Cabin in the Presidio in SF. It was a beautiful morning so we wasted no time in blasting across the Golden Gate Bridge. Randy and his Woodrup were waiting for us at the north end of the bridge so after photo ops we saddled up again and headed down the hill into Sausalito. When we arrived at the Mill Valley Heliport there didn't seem to be anyone meeting us but Greg spied Charles asleep in his car so proceeded to simulate an earthquake to gently stir him from his nap. Charles showed us a cool new jersey (Belgian?) while the rest of us admired the bikes for awhile and then we were off. The Camino Alto climb seemed a bit longer than usual perhaps because the 3 new guys kicked my ass across the bridge a few minutes before. We met many riders on Paradise Drive taking advantage of the nice weather and everyone was in an upbeat mood. Greg & I sprinted the last few yards into Tiburon where we had lunch at the Italian coffee shop near the ferry stop. After some pannini and Le Dolce Vita we climbed out of Tiburon for the final leg back to the Heliport. We said goodbye to Bob & Charles and headed off to Sausalito - Bob rode from Mill Valley across the GG Bridge earlier this morning to meet the rest of us at 9:30, BTW. We made the climb back up to the north end of the GG Bridge, took some pics and said goodbye to Randy then headed south back across the bridge. We didn't experience the usual afternoon winds and the ride back to the Log Cabin was very pleasant. Thanks for the great day everyone and thanks to Stephen, Tom and Brian for joining us, hope we can do it again real soon!