Friday, October 20, 2006

Fender Prototype

I made this fender last night with the anticipation of today's rain is an idea I've had for a while and the other day I saw a cruiser fender I took of a bike a long time ago hiding under a pile of tires, it has two support pieces attached with bolts,so I took it apart thinking it wouldn't fit around the 700c wheel, being made for a 26" cruiser, but it worked fine with plenty of position choices. The support piece bolts into the drop out where a rack would bolt up. In the seat stay bridge I used a simple hose clamp,this worked suprisingly well, it is easy and fast to thread through holes in the fender and a flat screw driver tightens it once you get the tongue started. For the chain stay bridge I used a bolt with a big washer and ,all the threaded bits have them, a lock washer. This bolt along with the drop out bolts are the same size Allen wrench, so you need a flat head and one Allen to attach/remove it from a bike.

The wood is Teak, I don't have very much and it's real expensive,so I want to make more of these with Oak, a suprisingly springy and durable wood with quarter sawn wood there is such minimal movement, the chance of the fender splitting from swelling or shrinking should be a non issue.

So howed it work? Great! Yeah it was one ride and the first try at it and yeah it's not rocket science but to be dry when every thing around you is wet,well that's something that kept a big grin on my face.
And what a great day to test it, it was over cast this mornig after raining a lot last night,and warm, like swimming in the air.
I needed to go to Hunt Valley, to the bank. I did the three miles of road too the N.C.R trail, a good test of the hardware, and wood. It's a very similar surface to the C&O, just without the pot holes. Eleven miles of on and off rain and clouds of falling leaves of many deferent colors, puddles and some mud.
If you have ever spent much time with a rear fender, the plastic clip on kind, you have hit it with your foot getting on and off the bike, it's annoying and more than a few brand new fenders have been broken beyond repair this way.
Not once did I hook a foot on it, sure I was more aware of it's presence than previous fenders, but having the support holding it to the contour of the tire more than a clip on fender is key.
So I did my bank stuff and I need bike tubes both mtb and cyclo, I was going to go to R.E.I, they seem to always have a good selection of tube sizes, but Dicks is so much closer, its right there, I wasn't sure if they had what I wanted, they didn't, but I tried it.
Crazy.... Entering the parking lot I got a flat, a gushing, loud ,rear tire, big piece of glass flat. So they did have tubes but only a couple were presta, really like two, so I got the only 700c, a road tube 700x25 my rear tire is a 38, whatever, it worked with a lot of hard pumping. And an M.T.B tube.
My next dilemma was getting the rear tire off without taking the fender off, when setting it up it looked like this would be the case, I have horizontal drops so the wheel moves straight back into the fenders curve.
It was a huge relief when I loosened the axle bolts and slid the wheel of, with barely enough clearance what a pain it would be to take part or all of the fender off to get the back wheel off. I am into making my life easier not harder.
The ride home was awesome! The sun was out and it was windy with gusts around 25 or 30 the leave were really falling now, I was concerned I might get hit by a falling tree limb or a tree, there were lots of branches falling and littering the trail, some quite large, The wind was variable but mostly from behind me. The coolest thing happened twice, the wind blew a bunch of yellow and red leaves up off the ground all around me, it was like ridding though a school of fish, startling them, and they were trying to out run me and all moving up and down in a natural rhythm.
I stopped and watched the river go under me at a bridge, there were so many leaves in the water,colors flowing an dancing, I could see exacly were the eddy's and all the current changes were,it reminded me of a kaleidoscope.
Back on the bike, I ran over a smallish black snake, iknow I lifted my front wheel in time to miss it but the back is questionable,it happened so quick, when I looked back it was still crossing the trail,it didn't look hurt.
I made it home dry and without gettin nailed by some falling debri, and wished I could just keep riding but reality was calling.
I am going to get some hardware for making fenders now that I know what I need.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Surly, true innovators

Surly got together with the guys at Xrtacycle and came up with this, a committed carry-all, this looks like a great bike, if you live in town you'd hardly need an auto.
Or touring, it could open a ton of options.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Last year this time.........

One year ago this week, this is the view I had every morning with coffee and a passion fruit.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

One Year

I picked up a pumpkin a couple weeks ago while driving through the eastern shore.

actually I had to get help picking it up.

Been on some fun rides lately,Saturday I met Sieverts and biked the three miles from his place to the lower where we met up with Al at the church. We rode in and it started to rain, theirs still a full canopy so it took an hour or so before we really saw any effects, we rode over to Providence side and back, then took the fire roads out. It was raining pretty good and the baby head rocks were suprisingly slippery but it was still fast. We departed from Al at Seminary and Dulaney Valley and it was definitely raining, didn't mind it though, coming out of the woods really reminded me of when I started and getting caught in the rain was just part of it. When I got home it had stopped raining and I took the dog for a nice walk on the Gun Powder trails.

Sunday 10-1-06 was my 1st wedding anniversary, crazy, it's crazy to think I am married, it doesn't feel like I am, that's a good thing ,I'm not much for the traditional marriage of being miserable, or so people claim to be.

Man it was a god send, last year on this day was killer! The weather the people the food, everything and this past Sunday was a real close carbon copy of last year, and it was forecast to rain most the day. Worst part was A-Fish had to work, that sucked, but we made dinner plans at The Bicycle , this place is great , I have always really liked this part of town, it's a block from Mr. Johns shop.
Mr. And Mrs. Outlaw gave us a dinner as a wedding gift and we had a great time so I thought we should go back.
Yea so I biked downtown, me the Quickbeam, and lots of sun and perfect temps, stopped in Hampden to get a gift then a beer and then to Brewers Art for a couple then I met her at the Camden Pup, its right next to her parking garage at Shock Trauma, where I changed and hydrated again, hey it's my aniversery.
It was a good day.
Today I really wanted to ride some trail but opted not to drive and go for a road/dirt road ride around here on the QB. Super fun, the temp was back up in the 80's with no humidity, and lots of fall colors starting to show, I really want to get up to Lake RedMan this week.

The Fuel channel has a show called check 1,2 and this episode features soul skater Ray Barby and punk icon Mike Watt, they jam some smooth lines together, check it out.