Thursday, May 31, 2012

Out, Then In and Back Out

Something I don't usually do.
I mean once I'm on the bicycle, I'm on the bicycle and it's difficult to even stop.
Then once I get home, I'm pretty much home for good.
Except for today, and maybe more often.
More on this later.
Well I had to go out and do a Hele On recon mission, since it's getting down to crunch time and we need to make some decisions.
Again with the Rockhopper, off I went!
I think it's time I put a Prevaricating Garmin mount on it, you know, so I can track all these incidental miles.
They add up don't you know.
The miles I mean.
So I was off and about on the Rockhopper, a little later in the afternoon that usual, late enough to see this:

I mean I pass by this place when I'm on my usual ride, but it's one street over and that's all I do, pass by.
I've never actually been to the farmer's market when it's open.
I still haven't actually been to the farmer's market when it's open as these pics were taken about a half hour before the were officially open for business.
Despite being a farmers market, there seemed to be more food vendors than actual farmers:

Thats's just half of it, the other half is under the parking lot.
I wanted to purchase some lychee, but seeing as how it's against the rules to sell anything early, and I didn't want to wait a half hour, I passed and headed on back to Flat Tire Central.
Lemme tell you though, I will be going back.
Too much nice smelling stuff to ignore.
If anything, I may make it a Thursday evening summer ritual.
So anyways, the Rockhopper with the new rack!

That's what I'm talking about!
So anyways, like I said earlier, once I'm home, I'm home.
The comfort of the couch.
If you know what I mean.
Tonight though, my presence was needed at a meeting, more Hele On stuff, and it just didn't seem right to drive the two miles or so there.
I mean seriously, two miles?
So back on the Rockhopper and off I went!
I had to install some lights first.
Thank you Planet Bike.
It's pretty nice riding at night.
Back when I first got back into riding, I would ride out for some night classes I was taking and to tell you the truth, I don't remember it being such a wonderful experience.
Maybe I was still in my huffing and a puffing stage, so the ride back was a stretch and by the time I got back home I was all sweaty and cooked.
Tonight though, I rather enjoyed it.
A lot.
In fact I thought about riding some more, you know, taking the long way home, but I was hesitant because of my lack of a good front light.
The wind here dies down at night and riding is more of a glide.
I can hear the bicycle and the roll of the tires and for whatever reason, it seems like I'm going faster.
Super Super Sonic.
Okay, not really.
Just regular Super Sonic.
Sort of.
Riding at night is something I've always thought of doing, but I've never been able to separate myself from the comfort of the you know what to actually go out and do it.
Summer here is perfect for some after dark gallivanting, if only for some short runs.
I'm already thinking of a good route.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


So recently I've been spending some time on the ole Rockhopper.
It's been the go to bicycle for just getting out and about, when I'm not counting miles going and Super Sonic.
Reminiscent of when I first started riding regularly, it let's me roll not only on the road, but off of curbs, on the grass, and basically wherever I steer it.
Sort of non thinking, unplanned bicycling.
I was missing a few items though, and I took care of them today:

Anonymous donor don't you know.
Well, I had to pay for the cages, but the rack was handed down to me free of charge.
It's one of them universal racks so I had to make some modifications like spacers on the rear clamps:

Also, the bolts weren't long enough, well they were long enough, just not long enough to make it all the way through the lock nuts.
I'll have to go the the Man Store and find some longer ones:

I also wanted to fiddle with my riding position as this is just a putt around bicycle and the bars sit sort of low.
I dug around in the box o'crap to see what I could find.
There was a riser bar I picked up somewhere along the road, I think it came off my old 29er and I also found this:

I don't remember why or what I have that for, I think it was a mistaken eVilness purchase from back when I had the Lanikai Express.
Anyways, it won't help me much with rise, and I'll have to do something about the front brake cable routing:

I like that down through the stem thing, it doesn't flex as much as them brackets that screw onto the head set.
So I'd have to drill the new stem if I'm going to use it, which I might have to for I'm not sure I can get the riser through the mount of the old stem.
Them clamps on the steel stems don't open up enough to allow any bends to go through it.  I may just try to spread it somehow and squeeze the riser bar through.
Or I may just leave it alone and ride it as is.
I'm still looking at it.
I'm also still looking at the drive train, wondering whether or not I should upgrade the whole thing.
If I want to change from canti brakes to v brakes, I think I need to change out the levers and right now I'm running them integrated shifter lever thingys.
If I change that out, I might as well add few more gears.
If you know what I mean.
Then again, it's sort of nice to keep it a period piece with parts from around that era.
Maybe if I can find some NOS stuff I'll start changing things out.
For  now though, equipped with rackness, I'll goof around Flat Tire Land, on and off the road.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


What the hell?

Today I had only planned a short trip to the LBS to drop off a flyer when yes,  I was diverted.
This time, only a couple three miles extra.
I was being niele(knee-eh-lay = nosey) don't you know.
So off I went!

Apparently the fire had been going for a bit as it looked like it started in the back of hill.
The wind was blowing pretty good, which didn't help any:

There were already some firefighters walking the burn line below the ridge.
I got to see the helicopter folks dumping water on some hot spots:

They were just making sure the fire didn't go down the hill towards the houses.
Not much they could do about the top part so they just let it burn:

It was pretty much flaming out when I left.
Checking the news when I got home, seems there were two other brush fires today.
I guess it's summer.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Monday Cactus Update!

It's been a while since my last Cactus Update.
For one thing, cactus ain't exactly the fastest growing things on the planet.
I mean you don't blink your eyeballs and all of a sudden you got humungasoid pokey things sprouting from a pot.
More like you blink you eyeballs and everything is the same, day after day, month after month, year after year.
Well okay, not really.
There has been some progress.
One of the neobuxbaumia is doing really well:

Compared to the other ones I started at the same time I mean.
This one just started to balloon up and it hasn't stopped!
I mean the other ones are growing too, just not as fast:

Most of them are still on the small side, though I can see some growth.
Sort of.
I can even see some of the Saguaro getting bigger:

I think.
I mean I think they're getting bigger.
The carnegiea gigantea must be like the slowest growing cactus ever and if I live to be a hundred, they might finally stick up out of the pot.
Okay, I'm exaggerating.
Maybe in like five years.
I also got this blue cactus that's doing well:

When I bought these guys they were only like four inches tall or so.
The star though, is my cross bred Hawaiian cactus.
I took some koa wood, and of course a cactus, and grafted them together to make this:

That's right pokey things fans!
Canoe Paddle Cactus!
Okay, not really.
That's my opuntia!
It's finally getting getting flat!
Something is also munching on it as you can see so I moved the pot into a vase so crawly things can't well, crawl up on it.
I'm so stoked!
I swear it was looking like string bean cactus then a couple of months ago that flat part started to well, get flat.
I'm not sure exactly what kind of opuntia it is so for now it's Hawaiian Canoe Paddle opuntia, but I hope it's the kind of opuntia that gives edible fruit.
Then I'll be a cactus eating sonofagun lemme tell you!
The Cactus Army grows.
World domination looms.
You just have to be patient.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sunday Final

I finally got off the couch.
It was one of them days where the couch was a viable alternative to anything else since the weather was acting all wacky and there's this thing called Netflix.
Oh I was thinking about it, all day in fact but I got like 364 movies in my queue and it's time I started doing something about it.
So now it's like 3 down and 361 more to go.
Anyways, off I went!
First stop was to case the street we plan on closing off for the event:

Oh I been here plenty of times, especially since I ride by it all the time and it's where we have our meetings.
Still, it's good to just stop and look at, to try and visualize what we want to do.
The street is short, I'd guess a couple tenths of a mile.
It's also not very wide, which may be a good thing.
More on the street later.
Well today was one of them days were I had planned on a short ride, but it sort turned into a long ride.
I didn't even bother with bicycle clothes!
No ride is complete without a ride to the beach although today was windy and overcast for most of the day and nothing much was happening there.
Then I got a hankering for a cream soda but the cream soda place is like four miles out of the way but since I was at the beach I was sort of half way there so off I went!
Riding around on the Rockhopper reminds me of way back when I first started riding.
Almost the same bicycle, riding around the same streets brought back some memories.
I can't believe I rode all over Flat Tire Land on a mountain bike!
It's different riding around on the Rockhopper.
I mean I'm not a huffing and a puffing like I am on the road bikes and I take more time to check things out like this:

What all those guitar parts were doing next to the road I got no idea but I did have a urge to go knock on the door and ask.
Then I thought, where would I put it?
I need a rack.
The good part is that I don't have to pay too much attention to the road.
I can ride over rocks and stuff without worrying about no wussy skinny tires.
You do have to sort of get used to being slow though.
I mean I'm so fast the Rockhopper felt like I was going about a half a mile per hour.
Don't you know.
So anyways, my little 5 mile ride turned into a 15 mile ride, my best guess for I didn't even bother to computer up.
Funny, it didn't even feel like I went that far.
What did I originally get off the couch for?

361 movies left to go.
I got all summer.
Sort of.

Sunday Early Edition

Well then.
What's next?
I mean there has to be a next, right?
No, things around Flat Tire Land just don't slow down to a standstill.
Well, not unless Law & Order is on and I got some tater chips handy.
See I was thinking about my two bicycles and where I am in terms of bicycle aquisitions and deletions.
Okay, a bit more investigation is needed, but it seems to me that it's a pretty good thing to have two bicycles with similar ride qualities.
Or is it?
I sort of like some variety, I mean I don't get a double scoop cone with two scoops of vanilla.
Which reminds me, I haven't had a double scoop cone in a while.
Anyways, the riding position on the two bicycles is different, the Deda having a more contemporary cockpit and the Celeste Devil set up along classic lines.
The differences are subtle yet when you pay attention they are noticable.
I prefer the Deda, though not by much.
Now that we've gotten to the fact that steel does ride like carbon and that carbon does ride like steel out of the way, there aren't too many comparisons left to be made.
I'm a bit less careful on the Celeste Devil, I don't toss it around or anything but with the Deda I'm more aware of stuff that might chip the paint or damage the frame.
I don't just go and park it on anything handy; I tend to search for a safe harbor to land.
What I mean is that there is an unfounded sense of fragility with the Deda, maybe because it's so darn light, that I just can't rid myself of.
It is the first new bicycle I've bought in a while so that may be it, but I don't remember wearing kid gloves with my 29er.
Maybe it's like a new car and I just need my first ding before all that goes away.
If you know what I mean.
Getting used to how a carbon bicycle sounds takes some time too.
In the back of my mind I keep seeing them catastrophic faliures and every little ping and pong makes my ears stand up.
There's also this hollow buzzing, something you have to listen for, that's quite odd coming from a bicycle.
It just doesn't sound the same.
To be honest, when I first started riding the Deda, I though it would be my main bicycle.  It would turn into a favorite because first it looks nice, second, I would like the ride of carbon over steel.
Getting back on the Celeste Devil the other day changed all that and besides, there's just something about riding around on a celeste bicycle that's difficult to put into words.
It's like being pro and goofy at the same time.
Anyways, it's a nice day today and what it al means is that I'm  going to have a difficult time deciding which bicycle to ride.
Which I suppose is a good thing.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thank You!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.
You know who you are.
The first school to approve our use permit!
Today, another volunteer and I rode around Kailua to check out some of the places we are looking into using.
Part of Hele On Kailua don't you know.
Well anyways, we stopped by one of the schools to check on the permit and hooray! it was approved.
That's one part of the event I won't have to worry about.
We actually have permission to ride on Marine Corp Base Hawaii, and that school is going to be a rally point were waivers and stuff are to be signed before actually riding on base.
That's a load off my mind.
One more school to go.
It was good to ride around with someone else to check out the various places we are thinking of using.  I've been doing most of the route planning and I was feeling like another opinion was needed.
So far, I'm the only volunteer that actually lives in Flat Tire Land, so naturally I was elected.
Well, the volunteer I was riding with is coordinating the activities and I figured it was important he at least look a the sites so that he can get a feel for what kind of activity will fit.
A nice little fifteen mile tool around Kailua/Flat Tire Land.
Okay, now I'm excited.
Sort of.
I mean that's was just one small piece of a bigger puzzle, and it'll take a whole bunch of puzzle pieces to fit together to make this thing happen.
Today, I also decided to ride the Celeste Devil:

Here I was, waiting under a tree for the other dude to show up.
Anyways, I figure I've been riding the Deda for a while and it was time to change things up again.
No difference.
Not that I could really tell.
Okay, the Deda feels lighter, but as far as ride quality it felt pretty much the same.
The steel of the Celeste Devil soaks up bumps and vibrations same as the carbon frame though I think the Deda handles a bit better.
One thing I am thinking about is pulling the quill stem off and using one of them adapters so I can run a newer type handle bar, one with a flatter transition to the hoods.
Then again riding around today, I wasn't uncomfortable, but I have noticed that on my regular rides, over twenty miles, I do get fatigued.
I don't know.
I sure would dislike breaking up the classic look.
Anyways, off I go to meet with the big bad national chain store to see how they want to be involved with our event.
Time to some Jedi Skilz.
Hopefully I'll be saying more thank yous.
If you know what I mean.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Best Shot

Sometimes is not good enough.
Oh you try and try and then try some more but just trying doesn't always mean doing.
Or getting.
Today, I went on yet another job interview.
For my real job I mean, the one I went and spent like ten thousand dollars to do.
Not the one I'm doing now.
I didn't spend any money to do what I'm doing now.
Which sort of means I'm doing that for free.
I do get paid though, even if it's not the big bucks.
The job I trained for, that's kinda big bucks, but I'm not doing that.
Anyways, I updated the ole resume, begged all the teachers I worked with this year for letters of recommendation, you know, to sort of stack the deck, then I sat and waited.
I don't like much waiting for job interviews, it's sort of like asking for money; I feel like I'm begging.
Which what usually happens.
I end up begging I mean.
Sort of a: please, please, please hire me cause I need this freakin job cause my freakin certification test scores are going to like expire soon and I don't wanna have to go back and take them tests again and I promise you're not making a mistake cause I just can't live on my current pay no more.
Or something like that.
Okay, not really.
I mean it/I wasn't that bad.
I don't think.
I tried not to grovel and claw at the desk and I even wore my non-Goodwill shirt with matching dress socks.
Actually I thought it went pretty well, until the end that is when all I got was a handshake and a we'll call you.
So now comes the torturous part, the waiting for the phone call or if you've been following along at home, the dreaded rejection letter.
Why am I getting so down?
I've got more important things to do!
Getting a job is pretty darn important!
Still, I'm working everyday doing something related to Something Wonderful/Hele On Kailua and today was no different.
We've begun to start putting together a budget and lemme tell you, stuff is adding up pretty fast.
Believe it or not, the most expensive thing so far is the portable toilets!
Portable ones!
I never thought having to go was so expensive!
Still, we've got a long way to go and everyday we get closer to our goal.
I guess the main thing is to stay focused and not let something trivial like gainful employment get in the way.
If you know what I mean.
The main thing is to know that I gave it my best shot and that's all I can do.
Or  I can sit back, eat potato chips, and peruse my latest copy of Paved magazine:

Which is what I think I'll do.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I think.
I mean I'm sort of going to be busy with the Kailua/Flat Tire Land thing, so it will sort of be a working vacation.
Still, there are some things I hope to do.
For one thing, ride a lot more.
I want to get at least two epics in along with one or two mountain bike rides.
You Mr. Flat? Mountain bike? I thought there weren't any mountains in Flat Tire Land!
Well okay, not like mountain bike up some mountains, more like on some flat(get it? flat? Flat Tire? nevermind) trails I've been wanting to do.
My brother has been talking about going around Kaena Point, which has an old non drivable road that goes around the western part of the island.
I also want to go deep, deep, deep, into one the valleys here.
The Pearl Harbor bike path is also on the hit list as there's some things I want to check out again.
If all goes well and I don't run out of gas, maybe another ride Around the Horn.
You know, since I got a newfangled carbon bicycle now.
Come to think of it, that's a lot of riding, more than I've done in the past five months!
The Haleiwa Art Festival is also coming up towards the end of July and I've got no inventory at all.
I gave a lot of stuff away last year so I need to get busy so I can make some bicycle bling funds!
We're also still working on the The Holy Oracle of the Copper Red(HOOTCR) and we hope to have that up and running soon.
I need to figure out a system as I'll be working with two different types of clay and it's not a good thing to get them mixed up.
Then there's a couple of bicycle projects, mainly the Rockhopper and I'm looking at the Celeste Devil.
The Rockhopper is fine as it is:

I was really diggin riding it the other day, I mean compared to them skinny tired road bicycles, you have more freedom to go where no bicycle has gone before.
If you know what I mean.
I'm thinking of upgrading the drive train to nine speed, which means new everything, or I was going to keep it all vintage seven, but looking for NOS stuff.
No amount of polishing will bring a lustre back to some of them parts.
First off will be getting rid of them pesky canti brakes and some new V brakes are on order.
More on the Rockhopper later.
Anyways, Law & Order is on and it is vacation.
I'll get started tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Damn the Torpedos

Full speed ahead!
Famous last words, I think.
Okay, not really.
Admiral David Farragut led the charge at Mobile Bay in 1864 and captured the port.
I hope we achieve the same success.
No, there aren't any torpedos or mines in these waters, but there might as well be.
Lemme tell you, asking for money ain't easy.
For one thing, it makes you feel poor.
Well, I'm kinda poor, but I don't like to admit it.
Admit it I do when I have to ask for cash.
I mean it's not cash for me, though they, the donors, look at you like it's for you.
That would be okay except I'm not the most savory character on the planet.
If you know what I mean.
First I give them the spiel: non-profit yada yada, bicycling yada yada, healthy stuff yada yada, community involvement yada yada, volunteers yada yada, no I got this shirt at the local Goodwill.
Yada yada.
You know it's coming: we'll let you know.
Now I sold cars, back in another life, and that was sort of like asking for money except that when I got money folks got something in return.
Like a car.
Now, the return is not so tangible.
In fact it's sort of fantastical.
Unless you really really like riding bicycles.
Even then, it's not like you're giving me money and I'm giving you something back.
Seems I was in the wrong line at Jedi School when it came to begging.
So now I've got to rethink this whole thing.
Rewrite the sell.
Or maybe I need to carry around a bottle of Windex and a squeegee.
Every little bit counts don't you know.
I knew this was going to be the hard part, and like all things difficult, it was sort of left for last.
Time to shine the shoes, put some slacks and my Goodwill shirt and hit funding road.
Watch out for them land mines!
Damn them torpedos.
I'm in The Big Ring!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Final

What a day.
I did manage to get short ride in, but it was really short, under ten miles.
I just went down to the beach to make sure it was still there.

It was an overcast day with not much wind, not exactly pleasant riding, but at least I was riding.
The Cool Goofy pancake bag was well, Cool and Goofy:

I did also manage to lunch on a pastrami sandwich which was okay.
I'm still looking for a honking pastrami on rye that will make me forget any other sandwich exists.
Very difficult to get here.
Anyways, that is not what this is all about.
It's about this:

Oh yeah baby!
Something Wonderful has a name!
Hele On Kailua is being sponsored by a new non-profit called Cycle On Hawaii.
Hele in local speak means to get out, or let's go so it's like Let's Go! Kailua!
The event is scheduled for August 26th, so we don't have much time to get going but going we are.
There was some talk today about postponing the event, but we all agreed to go forwards.
It's not going to be exactly like other Cyclovia events since we are only closing off a short section of street, but hey! you gotta start somewhere.
The idea is promote bicycling and health so most of the activities will centered around that theme.
Right now we have a core committee of about eight people, but the City and County and  folks representing the district are also involved.
Most of my time has been spent working on the permits we need to close the street and just about anything else that needs to get done.
Kailua was chosen as sort of template, the first event, and the idea is for it to move from community to community.
Hopefully it's not going to be the last one we see, and hopefully we get to do one next year too.
So I'll be letting you folks know what's going on behind the scenes as it'll be interesting to see what exactly it takes to get an event like this off the ground.
So far, so good, but we have many miles before we sleep.
In fact I don't think I'll be sleeping at all.
Okay, not really.
I mean I got to sleep, right?
Anyways, that's what I've been working on this last couple of months, and we only have a couple of more months to go.
Wish me luck.
Oh, and we are accepting monetary donations(BIG HINT).

Sunday Early Edition

Well this morning off I went to finish up stuff I did yesterday.
Kiln stuff.
If you've been following along at home you, the reader, know that My Friend Kyle(MFK) and I have been slowly working on getting the kiln going.
As in ceramic kiln, you know, for like clay stuffs.
So anyways, yesterday, we worked on the roof a bit more and I needed to go back and do some waterproofing.
Sort of.
We managed to get the wood part of the roof done and we sort of had the thing for the chimney set, except I, in a banana headed move, cut the hole too large so there are large gaps in the thingy:

You can see the gaps at the base where I misguessed the puka.
So this morning I had to go back to do a makeshift repair, which involved a lot o'electrical tape:

A temporary fix as I need to make a four corner thingys so that the water don't leak all over the kiln.
Next I'll be going back to waterproof the roof before we tar paper the whole thing.
We'll also be semi enclosing three sides:

Then I was off to my brother's place for he was experiencing some free wheel problems with an old friend:

Yesirreebob! the Rockhopper that started it all!
My first bicycle!
I put around 3500 miles on that ole Rockhopper before upgrading, and I just couldn't sell it.
So instead I gave it to my brother who rides it occasionally.
So occasionally that the free hub started to tighten up, like the grease inside had gotten old or something.
I knew all these bicycle tools would come  in handy!

We actually took everything apart even though the free hub was not serviceable.  What we did manage to do was squirt enough WD40 in there to loosen up the grease, enough that the free in free hub was restored.
I would have taken pictures, but my hands were all greased up, with fishing reel grease no less as it was all my brother had on hand.
Hey! I can bring the tools, I don't usually carry around wheel bearing grease with me.
If you know what I mean.
Busy, busy, busy this morning was I.
Now, I think I may be able to fit in some road time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Green Machines!

Part IV.
Yes, it's been four years since the first one, and I remember it well.
The first bike to work/school day consisted of about five or six folks on bicycles riding around the school amphitheater.
Since then I'm happy to say, it's been growing and today the bicycles were out in force!
You had the fixie kids:

I've been seeing a lot more of them roaming the streets in the last year or so.
Not just high schoolers, but younger kids too.
Some of them on some pretty serious iron.
I mean steel.
The folks from Kvibe were there with the cargo bike:

One of the local bike shops had set up that table with prizes and they were giving water bottles and U-locks away to the kids who actually brought their bicycles to school.
I was sans bicycle as I thought it was sort of lame to drive my bicycle to school.
Besides, I had to help out in the lunch line and no way Jose was I going to leave my bicycle unattended.
Anyways, the low riders were strutting their stuff:

Some of them frames looked pretty nice and I was tempted to try and ride one.
Image is everything.
Don't you know.
If you must ride doubled up, ride in style:

Look at the fatness of tireness!

Boy, I wanted to throw a leg over that and cruise around for a bit.
The small ring up front sort of looks funny but I suppose you need the gearing to get going.
How plush do you think it rides?
So anyways, we had some bicycle demonstrations and some bicycle repair stuff going on but it only lasted through lunch.
I know some of the kids that ride, and I think only a handful of them really go out and hammer the streets.
I hope to catch some of them on this ride coming up in June.
More on that later.
A good showing though, and I think more kids are getting on bicycles.
That, can only be a good thing.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Eye is Bigger Than the Stomach

Or something like that.
The saying is supposed to be in Japanese, but I forget.
I'd hear it when going for heaping seconds and not being able to finish.
What boy, you eye biggah dan your stomach eh?
You get the idea.
Maybe that's why I'm so fat.
Not what this is about though.
Well, kinda sorta.
More like a biting off more than you chew thing.
I mean I knew the job was dangerous when I took it Fred.
I knew I would have to use all my Jedi Skilz, summon up all my diplomacy and tact, remind myself of the good intentions of all, and not let my enormous ego get in the way.
My ego is enormous.
Don't you know.
Thankfully it's all in my mind and not an outwards thing.
I think.
So anyways, this whole Something Wonderful is getting to actually be Something Wonderful.
Slowly but surely we make progress towards our goal, which by the way is not that far off.
Though it seems at times, it is very far off and I secretly wonder if we will be able to pull this off.
 I suppose though, the thing to do is to just plow ahead, not let the negatives get in the way of the big picture.
Not that there are a lot of negatives, it's mostly little nagging things, small humps to get over.
Just use The Big Ring and mash.
It's nice that Something Wonderful is shines like the Sun and is able to burn through any dark clouds that form.
The Something Wonderful is so bright I gotta wear shades.
If you know what I mean.
Still, I can't help but feel that I'm outta my league.
I don't know why this should bother me so much for I've been out of my league before, you know, just for the hell of it, and have come away unscathed.
Those were small little things though and not big like Something Wonderful, which by the way is truly Wonderful, even if right now it's only Something.
Am I up for this?
Will this turn into another fine mess I've gotten myself into?
Maybe my ego is bigger than my stomach!
I mean I eyeballed this thing and said a hearty let's do it! now it's like boy, this is harder than I thought it would be.
Sort of.
I need a cream soda.
Or maybe I just need a trip out to the Dagoba system, you know, to refreshen the Skilz a bit.
Get ready for the show down.
The gunfight at the Okey Dokey corral.
So to speak.
No, I'm not turning tail and running!
I'm not giving up!
No quit in me!
Well, not unless Law & Order is on.
If you know what I mean.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Final

It never ends.
Well, okay it actually does.
Take the Celeste Devil.
I haven't ridden it in a while but it's an example of done.
Not much left to do to it except ride it.
Actually, I was thinking about some different wheels.
It never does end!
So anyways, I was working on the boomshakalaka this morning as today was more of a work on the bicycles day than it was riding day even though it was a beautiful day outside.
I started off on the Rockhopper since I had it in the stand, you know, from installing that Cool Goofy round bag.
I was messing around with it and noticed them canti brakes were kinda off and boy was that a mistake cause me and canti brakes are not good friends.
 I spent an hour or so looking at them and poking at them and adjusting them and readjusting them and looking at them and poking at them and well, you get the picture.
Finally I decided that perfect adjustment of canti brakes are impossible, at least in my world.
Then I took another look at the Deda and the stem/fork situation.
Here's a better look at what I was talking about:

Tha's the expander bung thingy and how it's tightened down.
The top part is connected to a bottom piece which when tightened makes the whole thing expand and stick in the steerer tube.
Not much of the steerer tube is sticking out:

I originally had it stacked up about 5mm higher, but decided I could live without it.
Now before, I had a 2.5mm spacer on top, just enough so that tightening the stem cap would set the fork in the head set.
What was happening was the stem cap was bottoming out on the top of the bung thingy, so the head set was still a bit loose.
Now I got 5mm of spacers on top:


The stem cap is tightened down pretty good and the fork isn't binding or anything so I suppose that's how it's done.
I took it out up and down my street and the boomshakalaka seems to be gone.
Sort of.
Now I got all these small little rattles and shakes and jingles and pings that I didn't hear because the boomshakalaka had all my attention.
I think that because the frame is hollow, it tends to amplify anything that's loose or vibrates.
Which is not a good thing, but something I'm not going to worry about too much.
I mean as long as the wheels stay on I should be all right.
It's not like I'm riding tons these days anyways.
Speaking of not riding tons, here's my latest blood work:

As you can see, even chicks got better blood than me!
I mean females.
I swear, if my hemoglobin gets any lower, I'm gonna fly to Mexico and get me my own supply of epogen.
I"ve also been getting more iron lately, something I haven't had in a while.
My fatigue hasn't gone away, but to be honest, I'm starting to think it's all in my head.
Or maybe just too much Netflix.
I'm into season 3 of Law & Order.
Only 110 more episodes left to go!
Anyways, two more weeks and then I'm off so I guess I'll just rest up for summer.
Cause lemme tell you, when summer starts, I'm gonna be a Riding Machine(RM!)!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I Know You Want One

You know, round and flat.
Not very aero unless you look at it sideways.
Sort of.
My Friend Hoku(MFK), formerly the eVil one, is a procurer of all things bicycle.
He is the only one I know who presently is in possession of more bicycles than I.
How many I'm  not sure, all I know is that it's more than four.
So  anyways, I was over at MFK's house a while back and tossed me this:

I can always use another bicycle bag, especially one that's frame mounted.
Not your usual bicycle type bag, for it came from lands far away:

You gotta hand it to the Japanese for being so practical, yet stylish.
Sort of.
It's an interesting bag for it also comes with a shoulder strap so you can carry it like a messenger bag or use it like a backpack.
Well, kind of.
The thing is, it's sort of round:

Now if I could mount it in back, like off the back of my saddle, then it might look cool.
Sort of like one of them spare tire thingys off a '56 T-bird.
No, this one mounts in front, like on yer handlebars.
It has a top loading compartment, the bungy thingys for like Frisbees for something, and if you have a really expensive Frisbee, you can use the front compartment to protect it:

So this bag mounts on the handlebars, not exactly great for cutting through the wind.
On the other hand, it may make a great fairing.
You know, I could crouch down in front of it while descending some hills raising my average speed by like 15 miles per hour!
Or not.
Sort of looks like I got a giant Oreo hanging up front.
Okay, lemme just it: it looks goofy.
With a capital G.
I mean there's not too many round things I carry around with me.
It's not large enough to carry a spare and it sits upright so pizza storage won't work either.
Well, unless it's frozen pizza.
Still, I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth so to speak, and I won't knock it until I try it:

To tell you the truth, the pancake bag doesn't look half bad!
In a pancake sort of way.
Okay, it still looks goofy, but not goofy with a capital G.
I mean if anyone can do goofy but make it look cool it's the Japanese.
They got the market cornered on Cool Goofy(CG).
In fact I'll bet that if I ride around with this bag long enough, everyone, no, EVERYONE! will want one!
Just so they can be Cool Goofy(CG) too.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Boom Shakalaka

That's what it sounds like.
Every time I hit a bump.
Boom! Shakalakalakalakalaka....
You get the picture.
Er, sound.
Sort of.
Okay, it's not that bad, just enough to drive me that side of insane as I couldn't for the life of me figure out what the hell was making the noise.
The noise coming from my new carbon frame.
Not a very pleasant experience.
I mean it only happened on really rough roads and at first I thought it was cable slap, cables hitting the side or some part of the frame.
No, I snugged them puppies up pretty good and the sound persisted while I held the cables and rode around.
It's gotta be in the head set.
Well the other day, I finally got around to cleaning my bicycle and the fork came off:

There it is.
The rear of the fork seems to be rubbing or knocking against the back of the head tube.
The frame has one of them hidden head sets, the bearings sit inside the head tube and the fork rides on some sealed bearings.
The top has the usual cap, but the bottom, well it's just the crown race.
Here's another look:

What it looks like is every time I hit a bump, the fork flexes and hits the bottom of the head tube.
I thought I had the fork tightened down pretty good, so good that when I first rode out on it, it was sticking when I turned.
Over time the bearing loosened up and now it's like butter.
Except for that place where it's making contact.
When I took the stem cap off, I discovered something else.
The stem cap bolt was tightened down all the way and it was stuck to the expander bung thingy.
Difficult to describe, but what it  means is that the fork wasn't tightened down all the way.
I think.
Maybe just enough to let that fork flex and hit the head tube.
So was I until I sat down and thought about it.
Anyways, what I have to do is set a wider spacer there under the stem cap so the bolt can snug down that fork.
Actually what I should do is take the fork off and cut the steerer down another half centimeter or so like I need to, but hey! I'm lazy so I'll wait and see if the spacer thingy works first.
If that doesn't work, I'll just fill the frame with some expandable foam to deaden the sound.
Okay not really.
In other news, we had a visitor to our classroom the other day:

That I believe is an orange spotted gecko.
Not native, but an introduced gecko.
He/she didn't introduce him/herself to me, instead deferring to stalk a bug.
Which it chewed on for a minute before spitting it back out.
I guess the bug didn't get an introduction either.
Well okay, I hope my remedy cures the boom shakalaka cause no self respecting bicycle should boom shakalaka without an introduction either.
If you know what I mean.