Monday, February 28, 2011

In the Queue

It took some doing, but I got in touch with, or rather he got in touch with me.
Who Mr. Flat Tire?
Why the Maker of the Unobtainable Lightness of Roundness of course!
Believe it or not, I had this part of the Great Celeste Devil Makeover done first.
I mean I knew what I wanted, there was just a communication thing with the Maker.
I looked over a lot o'wheels, let me tell you.
First instinct was to go Campagnolo, or at least with Fulcrums(made by Campagnolo) but for the price, it just wasn't worth it.
The price per gram I mean.
Which is how I compared the wheels.
In like the least amount of grams per dollar.
You had to really step up to the plate to get some nice light wheels, and for that kind of cash, I wanted something different.
Don't get me wrong, the wheels were nice, but for some reason or another they didn't fit my needs.
Er, wants.
More on that later.
There were some other wheel places I took a long hard look at.
Williams Cycling System 30 seems to be a hit on some of the forums. Hard to beat for the price, you even get ceramic bearings.
There was a newer place I looked at too, called Revolution Wheelworks, they also had some semi aero wheels for a pretty price.
Even had the Sapim spokes I wanted.
The deal sealer came down to the hubs.
None of the above had hubs that floated by boat so to speak.
I mean coming off of Chris Kings, and the buzz, well, I wanted something with some zing.
If you know what I mean.
Okay, the Campagnolo/Fulcrum stuff is loud, but the rim sizes were not what I was looking for.
I was also looking for a certain spoke count, being Lightness of Roundness, I wanted the lowest spoke count my fat body could get away with which turned to be 20 front and 24 rear.
The same thing I'm riding now.
Except I wanted to go with Sapim CX-rays.
I also wanted some semi aero rims.
Not real deep, but sorta deep.
So off I went to check the wheel builder thingy at Universal Cycles, the same place I got my 29er wheels made.
Anyways, I input all the wheel stuff I wanted and-
Oh boy!
Big bucks!
For that kind of money I could have gone full poseur and gotten some Reynolds Attacks:

No, I didn't go and get them.
They sure are purty and I did think about it though.
The Reynolds Attacks, I mean.
Maybe next year.
Anyways, I went with a dude who does this wheel building thing as sort of side business.
What I mean is, he has a day job.
So putting it all together was easy, getting in touch with the Maker was a bit difficult as he was on vacation for a couple of weeks and he also apparently has a whole bunch of orders.
If you've been following along at home, you, the reader, know that it's taken a while, but I finally got in the queue!
Tell you the truth, if he hadn't gotten back to me by next week, I was going with one of the wheels above.
Luckily his email arrived just as I was beginning to get all antsy.
Got the funds burning a hole in my pocket don't you know.
I have no idea how long this is going to take, but I'm just happy I'm getting what I wanted in the first place.
Maybe these new wheels will help me break the sound barrier!
Or something.
Okay, enough already Mr. Flat Tire! What kind of wheels did you get?
Well, after all was said and done, I went ahead and ordered-
Wait, wait, wait, you're going to do it again aren't you?
Would you want it any other way?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Final

The Pretenders.
Great band!
For some reason, I get sort of misty eyeballed and think of James Honeyman-Scott when I hear this:

Alas, not what this is all about.
Yesterday, I rushed to finish up the installation of the group on my bike for I wanted to get a ride in and had some dinner thing to go to.
Thus, I missed posting about a few interesting things, mainly installing the chain.
I was sort of nervous about the chain part, even though I had the Park Tool Industrial Chain Thingy(PTICT):

I usually do the SRAM chain with power links so all you have to do is remove the unwanted section, attach and go.
Now, I needed to carefully insert that pin into the link; one shot for I only had one pin.
The PTICT is great!
It seats the chain not vertically, like most chain tools, but flatically:

The pin thing is also replaceable, just in case you are like me and have a penchant for fouling things up, at least the first time:

Okay, maybe more than the first time, but I swear, it wasn't my fault!
Anyways, the Campagnolo chain pin comes with a guide pin thingy to help with the installation:

The chain pin is hollow and goes onto the guide pin. The guide pin is then inserted into the chain link to help well, guide the pin in.
As you can see, I sort of bent it, but it straightened out in the end.
The chain pin I mean.
This was all great and all, but when I read the provided instructions, I saw that Campagnolo's chain tool thingy looked pretty good:

There is a spring clip thing that locks the links on to the tool, making pin insertion practically Flat Tire proof.
I may have to look into it.
The tool I mean.
Campagnolo also has a different way of chain sizing.
I've always done the big ring, big cog method and never had a problem.
You, the reader, know what they say: when in Rome, do as the Romans.
Okay, I'm not in Rome, or even close to it, but I'm sort of there in my heart.
All this Italian hardware don't you know.
So anyways they, the Italian folks, measure it small cog to small ring:

Then hold the chain together and measure the clearance of the chain to the upper jockey wheel.
Seems to work pretty well.
Here's the what it looks like cross chained:

I'm running a 12-25, so I don't know if you'd have much more play if you were running say a 12-27.
If I was running big gears, I go with the big-big method.
I think for close ration cassettes, I'd go with the small-small.
Okay, there you go!
Italian chain lesson No.1!
Now, I gotta go see how much that Campagnolo Chain Thingy is going to set me back.

Sunday Early Edition

The other day, I was on my lunch when up in the sky!
Is it a bird?
Is it a plane?
No, just some clouds.
White really puffy clouds.
I mean really really puffy:

I was switching between black and white and color, but the clouds were changing so fast I missed some nice formations.
There were darkish rain clouds just below, and these thick white clouds were like erupting above them:

It was odd, in a cloud sort of way.
I mean these clouds looked like boiling marsh mellows.
Or something.
The camera isn't able to catch what I saw, my glasses are high contrast and polarized, but maybe you get the idea.

I see clouds all the time, but these were crazy Mr. Stay Puffed clouds.
All thick and cotton ball looking.
I'm not usually impressed by white puffiness in the sky, but these white puffiness thingys were well, impressive!

I don't know what these fast moving billowing things were called, but they sure put on a nice show.
Made my lunch a bit more interesting.
To steal and to paraphrase:
Get out, look up!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

First Ride

I like it.
I finished up in time to get a shortish ride, just some miles to test stuff out.
The shifting feels better, crispy like a potato chip.
The shifters feel better, more like Shimano how they point upwards in the front.
The levers are great, they got this double curve where you can set your fingers when you're on the hoods:

I followed some kids through the park for a bit, shifting through all the gears.
The guy in the front, with the cooler, has a couple of spears on his surf rack.
Headed out to do some diving.:

I set up the bike so quickly, I forgot to adjust the brakes.
The rear was kinda rubbing all the way, overall they feel like they have a bit more power:

That could also be from the extra leverage I'm getting from the well, levers.
There is a small problem with the cranks though. When in the big ring and small cog, I get some rubbing on the pins.
Maybe the chain line is a bit off?
Boy, maybe I need to take the protective plastic stuff off:

The biggest surprise is the tires.
I got me some Schwalbe Ultremo DDs, in 23c.
I thought maybe the ride would be harsher, but instead it felt smoother.
Placebo maybe but rolling resistance felt better, not as crunchy when going over patches of gravel.
I'll see tomorrow when I can give them a more thourough shake down.
Tom over at GVH Bikes emailed me back and is sending a cable kit next week.
Great guy that Tom.
Overall, I'm pretty stoked!
Was it worth it?
More on that later.

I'm rushing this off cause I need to get out of here and head off to dinner with the family.
There are some small little quirky things I need to take care of, I'll do that when I get back tonight.
What do you think of the bar tape?


Okay, I lied.
About last night.
Boy, where have I heard that before!
Anyways, it seems that once I started taking stuff off, I couldn't help but start to put stuff on.
I was blinded by the Extraordinary Shineyness of Blingness(ESB).
I started at the shifters:

They sort of look the same from that angle, but trust me, they are make the old shifters look like midgets:

I guess this is a good thing, for it will be easier to reach the carbon goodness from the drops.
Not like I'm ever in the drops.
The shifters tighten down with some Torx heads, hence my purchase of the Torx tool.
A bit sketchy, I've heard stories of them getting stripped.
I'll be careful when I tighten them up.
Cable routing is a bit different but nothing unusual.
The rear derailleur cage is just a tad longer:

Can't quite come up with a plausible explanation for that.
Carbon goodness:

I ran into trouble with the bottom bracket. It didn't want to leave it's home.
So, I had to bust out The Flat Tire Bottom Bracket Tool and some Liquid Wrench:

I finally got that off this morning.
The cranks have that Hirth like joint in the middle and the bearings are pressed onto the axles:

A marriage made in Italian heaven:

The brakes, oh boy! those brakes!
Really something to look at.
The rear though is single pivot:

I believe Campagnolo did that to save weight since rear stopping power isn't as much of a concern compared to the front.
Still, the fact that they don't' match, you know, sort of bothers me.
I'll have some time to think about it, for as of right now, work on the Great Celeste Devil Makeover has ceased.
I'm stuck.
The derailleur cables are like an inch or two short:

Now I wish I had gotten the new cable set.
Normally I'd be contemplating breaking into local LBS to get some new cables, but there's a bicycle swap meet of sorts in town, so I'll take a trip to get the cables and check that out later.
For now, I'm just sitting here watching Law & Order, thinking about them new tires.
The new tires are also stuck.
Actually, only the rear.
I was able to get the front one on, but the rear is being stubborn.
So stubborn that I was thinking of busting out The Flat Tire Bottom Bracket Tool for some inspiration.
My thumbs feel like they've been run over by some well, bicycle tires.
Fortunately, my injuries will not prevent my journey over the mountain on my Quest for Cables.
Stay tuned.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Goodness at My Doorstep

Oh yeah baby!
The goodness has arrived!
All packed up and neat like.
In a flat rate box:

After much soul searching and indecision, I finally went ahead and ordered a group from Tom over at GVH Bikes in Oregon.
From what I gather, it's a small shop deals mostly in frames or complete builds. There was also a frame there I was/am interested in, but it was unfortunately Not Figured in Budget(NFIB).
Well, don't keep us waiting Mr. Flat Tire, what the hell did you get?
I am so glad you, the reader, asked!

That's right sports fans!
Double Tap glory!
Cleverly disguised as Campagnolo Centaur!

Here's the back story:
First of all, I thought long and hard about going Chorus 11, or maybe even Athena.
Athena was around the same price as the Centaur group, the hang up was the long term effects of my cycling budget.
The eleven speed stuff, the chain and cassettes, were just too expensive to replace.
I could not justify going there, especially when you have to get a special tool just to peen the eleven speed chain pins.
Okay, I really dig tools, but that was going a bit far.
So, I went and did some research on Centaur.
I wanted last years group and not the new stuff.
Apparently Campagnolo decided to "dumb" down this years Centaur and Athena groups, in the shifters and the cranks.
With the new Power Shift uh, shifters, you cannot dump five gears at a time like the old ones, you are limited to one gear at a time.
The older Ultra shift stuff is basically the same as Chorus and Record.
Same as the cranks.
The older cranks are Ultra Torque, with that funky joint in the axle and the new Power Torque stuff is just like Shimano, etc., with the bearings in the outer BB cups.
It seemed like for 2011, Campagnolo decided to cut some costs in their lower end groups.
The cranks weren't that much of a big deal, but for whatever reason, the shifters were.
Unfortunately, the older shifters only came in carbon, but I can live with that.
The front derailleur was only available as a clamp on, so Tom threw in an 09 Chorus braze on instead. I'll probably search the evilness to find one that matches.
I also didn't get a cable set, but for the price I got, I ain't too worried.
I've sent off and email to see what can be done.
I gotta say, I'm pretty excited about all this, but as I just got back from my oil change, I'm sorta not in the mood to be messing with this stuff right now.
I'll probably take off the old stuff and tonight and save assembly for tomorrow.
Right off the bat, I gotta say, the Skeleton brake set is purty!
The shifters are huge compared to my old ones and the carbon look is starting to grow on me.
More pics in the morn.
Now if I can only get in touch with the Maker of the Unobtainable Lightness of Roundness, I'll be a happy camper.
Sort of.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lighting up the Night Sky

If what I say isn't true, may a bolt lightning strike me down!
The chances of that ever happening to me are about as good as being struck by lightning!
Lightning never strikes twice.
Not in these parts anyways.
See we don' get real lightning.
Not the Hand of God type of stuff that splits open trees so that gifted folks can make baseball bats.
It's sort of rare to not finish a round of eighteen just because the sky starts a rumbling.
I've only seen real bolt lightning like three of four times here.
Once, I was in the sixth grade, it was around lunch time and it was really hot and muggy, and we were standing around waiting for the school carnival to start when these funny looking things came shooting down from the sky.
Didn't stop us from the Ferris wheel.
Oh no.
Then one time about twenty five years ago or so, at night over the Marine Base, we got what's called circular lightning. These bolts or sparks or whatever never hit the ground, they just sort of floated out there in space, looking all neon like making curly cues and such.
That was spectacular!
Never happened again, at least I never saw it again.
Then there was tonight, as I was coming home, again over the Marine Base, a gigantor bolt of lightning lit up the sky!
Do that again please.
No chance.
Not any bolts anyway.
So I sat there at home for a minute listening to the folks in the sky bowling, or shooting craps with some really big dice or something.
I hoped and wished and sent up a kite on copper wire.
Okay, not really.
About the kite part.
I did try to get some images though.
Here it is all dark like, camera set for a five second exposure at F8:

I just kept taking five second exposures hoping to catch something really stupendous for you, the reader, but all I got was this:

Let's try that again.
I just tried to load up an image like 18 inches wide.
I've been sitting here for like ten minutes.
Okay, not really.
About the ten minutes part.
Let's try this:

The idea was to keep taking them five minute thingys until I got one really good one, then I was going to open up the aperture little by little to get a really really awesome once in a lifetime shot.
Then the little blinky thingy started to well, blink, telling me my batteries were about to take a flying leap off a tall cliff.
So the only other thing I got was this:

I assure you, the lighting was quite impressive, lighting up the night sky as if it was high noon.
I swear, there must have been like 3.5 GAGILLION watts of juice flying around out there looking for someplace to land.
I bet if got the camera down to F3 or so, I could prove it, but the lightning missed my batteries and the camera went south.
I tried to use the point and shoot, to no avail.
Then it started to rain.
Anyways, just letting you know, the weather here isn't all milk and cookies all the time.
Boy, my roof is going to start leaking.

Here's some video I shot a little later.
The third flash and thunder made me jump!
Towards the end, the flashes out over the ocean.
They say to expect more of the same tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Other Stuff

That means this is the stuff before the stuff.
The real stuff is in transit so I have to occupy myself with this stuff since the other stuff hasn't arrived.
Still, any kind of stuff is good stuff.
As long as it's bicycle stuff.
There's just one hold up on the Great Celeste Devil Makeover, that's the Unobtainable Lightness of Roundness.
Seems the Maker of the Unobtainable Lightness of Roundness is on vacation and he's not lifting spoke nor hub until it's over.
The vacation I mean.
Anyways, I got this today:

Okay, I have to admit, I got like three(3) other chain tools around here, so I didn't really need another one.
Or did I?
I needed an Industrial Grade chain tool, now that I'm all serious like.
About bicycle chains that is.
More on that later.
Along with the Industrial Grade chain tool, I also got me this:

Seems I may need one of them star thingys soon.
I also took a bit of a cue from JRA of One Speed: Go! fame.
Keeping up with the Jones' don't you know.
Wouldn't you know it though, as soon as hit the Buy it Now button, I find out Park has come out with one of them Y tool thingys for Torx.
I guess I'll have to get one of them too.
I also ordered me a new jersey.
Well, it's new, but I already have one like it, just in another color.
I've been waiting and waiting for this thing to go on sale for some time now, so I picked up the last two they had:

The Castelli Carico jersey is like the bestest jersey to ever grace this well sculpted body.
I got white cause yellow makes me look fat.
Anyways, it's like super comfortable, like it's not even there. I like that it doesn't have them grippers on the arms, the sleeves are sort of loose like and flappy. That's part of why I like it though.
The loose part, not the flappy.
It also doesn't feel so synthetic and polyester like.
So soft and smooth on the skin.
Since nothing else came in today and I'm out of pictures, here's something I picked up this morning:

I ate like half of them during work.
There are a couple of things I'm trying to decide on with the Great Celeste Devil Makeover since I'll have bike all apart.
One is the cables.
Yes, I know I just changed them out, but I've been eyeballing them Yokozuna cables for a while.
I'm also thinking about trying out a different handle bar.
This time going full Italian and going with a Deda shallow drop.
Just a few more things to think over was I wait for the other stuff to come in.
So the wait isn't so bad don't you know.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Twenty Three Millimeter Blues

Not to be confused with 18mm Blues, a book by Gerald A. Browne, which is all about pearls and stuff.
Not a bad read, if you are into that sort of thing.
No, this is about tires.
My recurring nightmare.
I got like Goodyears on my car, so when it's time for new car tires, I'll just go back to Goodyear and be all happy-happy.
Not so with bicycle tires.
Oh my goodness!
There's like a GAGILLION different bicycle tires to choose from.
Okay, not really.
Maybe more like half a GALLION, but you get my drift.
So many tires, so little time.
I could fill my evil eBay watch list with all kinds of different road bike tires!
Well okay, it's already filled up with all kinds of different road bike tires.
So I narrowed them down to four.
The consensus bullet proof tire seems to the Continental Gatorskins.
Easy short list addition.
Then it became sort of confusing.
Conti also makes the GP4000s and that's well liked too.
Then I looked at Vittoria, for I got Zaffiro Pros now, and Rubino Pros looked good.
So did the Michelin Krylions.
I admit though, I always wanted to try me some Schwalbes.
German tire goodness now manufactured in Indonesia.
At least the Gatorskins are still made in the Fatherland.
The Michelins and the Vittorias I don't know, not that it really matters but the Zaffiros I got were made in Thailand.
Vittoria gets a point just because they are like Italian and all.
I have to wonder though, just who makes up all these tire names and why are they so important?
Gatorskins is at least a real word, sort of.
I mean it makes sense and all, if you really think about it, although I have no idea how tough an alligator's skin really is.
I know they make shoes out of them.
The skins I mean.
Specialized has those Armadillos, which is easier to viualize, but don't armadillos get run over all the time?
Not quite sure what Schwalbe was thinking when they went with Snakeskins, I wouldn't want to be slithering all over the road.
If it was me, I'd go with something like Elephantskin or Rhinoskin, that's some toughness right there.
Buffaloskin sounds good too.
Though folks might think that they're buying tangy zesty barbecue tires.
I Googled Zaffiro and it seems it's the name of some pizza place in Milwaukee, so I guess that's sort of Italian.
Rubino's is also a pizzeria though this one is in Virginia.
I did the same for Krylion and that's proprietary to Michelin so I guess they got some dude in the marketing department making all that stuff up.
The Schwalbe guys seems to try and name their tires to make them sound Italian.
Sounds like something from a Steely Dan song.
Or maybe it's Spanish:
Hola! dos Ultremos por favor!
I don't know about you, the reader, but I find it all very difficult to wade through.
I mean all I need is two tires.
Two bicycle tires.
This shouldn't be that hard.
Then it occurred to me, all the marketing and hype that goes into this whole tire thing.
Folks are getting paid to think this stuff up!
Sounds very much like something someone creative like me could do.
I would give my tires names like Longestlasting, or Stupidlight and maybe Bazookaproof.
Bazookaproof being better than bullet proof don't you know.
Then there would be the top of the line tire that I'd just call Themostexpensivetireevermade.
How'd you like that on your sidewall?
Just think of how it would look while it's spinning around and around!
Oh the tire envy it would create!
I'd buy it for everyone knows, Themostexpensivetireevermade has got to be thebesttireevermade.
I bet we'd have a hard time keepingitontheshelves!
Maybe I could get Schwalbe to buy into this.
Then I couldgetanewsetoftiresforfree.
Anyways, all this was a bit overwhelming, and it was getting sort of late and I sort of need some new tires like soon, so I went ahead got me some-
Oh no! You aren't doing this again Mr. Flat Tire!
Oh yes I am.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Final

The Cactus Army was attacked again by something or somethings sometime yesterday.
A couple of them small pots were overturned and the little pokey sprouts were MIA.
Taken! in the still of night.
I think.
The enemy is inside the wire!

The one that hurt the most is the opuntia.
It was doing so well, on it's cactus way to growing flat and all pokey like.
Whatever attacked it, didn't even bother to eat it!
Boy, that stings.
That makes five of the neobuxbaumia that got eaten or abducted:

Maybe it's aliens.
Looking for signs of life.
Or something.
I think I need to string up some tin cans, or put up some trip wires.
Or maybe some punji sticks!
The remaining echinocereus sciurus was also missing in action.
The ultimate sacrifice.
Taps at dusk.
I'll make another order from the cactus place and start all over again.
I did some thinking about this though, about survival of the fittest and evolution and all that stuff. It's sort of interesting to see first hand why cactus probably got all pokey in the first place.
I mean imagine being in a dry desolate place, with all sorts of critters competing for whatever tasty or untasty morsels can be found, about the only thing a plant can do is to grow some pokeys.
For protection.
Pokeys = growth.
No pokeys = critter fodder.
This is Natural Selection: Live!
Anyways, this all made me sad today, discovering the massacre after I came back from my ride.
To top it all off, I found this:

A humungasoidal cut in my rear tire.
Attacked by sharp slicey thingys laying in waiting for unsuspecting cyclists like me.
Boy, and I only got like 515 miles on them treads.
Actually for only 515 miles, the rear kinda looks sorta flat in the middle. The front looks okay, but the rear looks more like I put a couple thousand miles on it.
I'm telling you, I blow some hard earned cash on my bicycles, but I have the hardest time parting with my money when it comes to tires.
I mean I can't see spending a lot on something that's going to wear out anyway.
Then again there's the whole thing with long life compounds and puncture protection that you have to consider.
Then if you are slow, I mean fast like me, there's the rolling resistance and of course tread life stuff to think about.
Seems like the ones that do everything well also cost a pretty penny.
Or more.
Like car tire price range.
Sometimes I think that it might be better to get a whole bunch of cheap tires instead of one humungasoidaly expensive one.
Sure seems like they got you coming and going.
Well, I guess you need tires if you want to keep coming and going.
Quest for Tires begins!
This time, I'm gonna need em pretty darn quick(PDQ).

Sunday Early Edition

So the other day, I was out crushing the souls of women and children, when the inconceivable happened.
My earphone thingy stopped working!
The world as I knew it came to a sudden stop as all I could hear was the wind blowing through my helmet straps at like a hundred miles an hour.
Silence is deafening.
Or something.
Now I do not recommend riding around with both ears getting blasted by Devo or Pearl Jam; it's just not safe.
I run around with one ear getting blasted by Devo and Pearl Jam:

I found this company called Scan Sound that sells these stereo to mono right ear clip on thingys.
I like them for you don't lose out on the left channel when riding around with my right ear getting blasted by Devo or Pearl Jam.
The thing is, the plug part is a bit fragile, not designed to be tugged and pulled on when riding around at supersonic speeds.
After some time, they fail, the wire inside does something goofy and the right ear thingy goes silent.
So I keep buying and replacing them.
Anyways, I got to thinking, how can I, a college graduate, prevent this from happening again?
Out comes the tool box with all the electrical stuff in it and viola!

The Incredible Shrinkness of Tubing!
I put a small loop at the end of the connector so that the area where the wire enters does not take direct stress, then I heat shrink the whole thing together:

I also add a small half hitch to the thing just to make sure.
This should save me like fifteen bucks, the cost of replacing the ear thingy every three months.
Back to Devo and Pearl Jam!
Now for the CFA part.
It is time.
Time to do The Show thingy.
If you've been following along at home, you, the reader, remember The Show.
If you haven't been following along at home, you can find out about it here.
Okay, not really.
That link only takes you to the good part, not the part(s) that led up to the good part which is about to start all over again.
The part that led up to the good part I mean.
The Call For Artists(CFA) is on for the Artists of Hawaii juried exhibition. If any of you out there are interested, you can find out about it here.
Anyways, this is the big one, THE show, if you will, the one at the Academy of Arts, the only art museum we got here.
Standing room only on opening night!
Free booze and food!
Bragging rights!
I've only been in that show once, so it'll be a real Flat Tire Challenge(FTC) to get back into the limelight.
I have a few more UFT ideas and maybe some thing else up my sleeveless jersey, but I only have a month or so to work things out.
Deadline for entry is April first.
We'll see how that goes.
Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Getting the Lead Out

Actually more like getting the lead in then getting the lead out.
Which was sort of what I was doing today.
After my ride.
Which was sort of uneventful but nice.
As usual.
So anyways, I went on over to My Friend Kyle's(MFK) place to make some fishing supplies.
Even though I never go fishing.
Even though I own lots of fishing gear.
I spent the rest of the afternoon getting the lead in and getting the lead out.
Of molds.
To make fishing lead.
For shore fishing.
First you melt the stuff in a pot:

Stay away from the nasty fumes!
Okay, the fumes weren't like the toxic kind, mostly the contaminants on the lead that were later skimmed off the top.
Once the lead is all nice and liquidy like, you get the mold, the ladle thingy and pour:

That's the getting it in part, which takes a bit of skill. You don't want molten lead dripping all over the place.
The mold is split open as soon as the pouring is done as the lead hardens fairly quickly and out pops a fishing sinker:

MFK also did some special sinkers with wire in them. These types are used for shore casting.
Big game shore casting.
The wire in the lead helps the sinker grab onto the bottom. This helps for the wave action and current tend to move the bait around.
These are in the eight ounce range which is needed when you are casting anything from forty to sixty pound test line.
The shore line here ranges from sandy to reef to deep drop off so a wide variety of fishyness can be had, if you know what you are doing.
My brother in law is member of the Century Club, having landed an ulua, or trevally of over a hundred pounds from shore.
You use a rig specially designed for this type of fishing, and the wire sinker is part of the equipment.
Anyways, we made a whole bunch of lead sinkers:

Now I'll be the first to admit that lead isn't exactly good for the environment, but so far no one has come up with anything better or safer.
Some folks around actually go out and dive for lead, so it's not like it all lies at the bottom of the ocean.
It's also better than using old spark plugs, which I used to do too.
Which is sort of like how I used to go fishing.
There may be more on that later.
Well by the time we were finished, it started to rain, like really hard.
It's supposed to rain all weekend, so maybe The Flat Tire Ceramic Works will be open tomorrow.
Weather permitting.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Changes Before the Change

So, the Great Celeste Devil Makeover Challenge(GCDMC) is on!
Sort of like Pimp My Ride, except with a bicycle.
Actually, I wish someone had like stolen my bike and Overhauled it, but I guess that's not happening.
Thing is, before I decided to do what I decided to do, I had already decided to do some other things.
If you know what I mean.
The rear derailleur for instance.
If you've been following along at home, you, the reader, remember that I discovered it was cracked at the cable binder thingy.
Well, it was working fine and all, but just to be safe I went and got me another Mirage derailleur, only that one turned out to be a long cage so even though that one worked fine and all too, it was looking a bit out of place seeing as how I got a 13-23 cassette and am running standard rings up front so I went ahead and got me another derailleur except finding old Mirage derailleurs isn't easy so this time I went ahead and got me an older Chorus derailleur:

Thankfully, that derailleur works fine and all but unfortunately/fortunately it'll come off when the new group arrives.
So much for that.
I'm glad now I didn't go out and get me a front derailleur even though the front derailleur I got now works fine and all it's not a Mirage derailleur but an Avanti derailleur and it just doesn't the match the rest of group on the bike which doesn't really matter anymore now that there's a Chorus derailleur in back.
Which happens to work fine and all.
The Chorus derailleur I mean.
Besides collecting derailleurs, I've sort of started a collection of celeste bar tape, if two sets of bar tape can be called a collection.
Now why in heck do you need two sets of celeste bar tape Mr. Flat Tire?
I'm glad you asked.
It seems that all is not equal when it comes to celeste bar tape.
The colors are different, subtle, but different:

The Original Bianchi Tape is sort of a lighter, happier, glossier bar tape and the Cinelli Tape is sort of a dull, speckly, working class tape.
The thing is, I don't even know if I'm going to use the celeste tape at all for I prefer how the black tape looks.
Right now.
Watch that Cinelli bar tape by the way, it was a bit holy in some places:

Maybe it was blessed by the Pope or something, you know, being Italian and all.
Well, seeing as I had the celeste bar tape, I wanted to see how it would look.
I did a sort of mock up of the celeste look:

Not sure now I feel about that.
I mean it looks good and all, but sort of well, too happy.
The look I'm going for is celeste and nasty!
The celeste bar tape looks like it would attract women and children, not make them run away in fear.
The Celeste Devil should be intimidating like, not all happy-happy.
If you know what I mean.
So anyways, just wanted to try some things out before the Great Celeste Devil Makeover Challenge(GCDMC) moves into the next phase.
Celeste and nasty.
I may have to come up with something a little more catchy.