Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yesterday was the first day I rode to work in more than a week. I had strep throat and just didn't feel like riding until yesterday. Rain was forecast, but the sun was shining at ride time. I got a late start, because I walked the kids to school first. I rode my Raleigh Sprite 3 speed with the Carradice bag. I had a strong tail wind. It was a nice ride.

I got a late start home also. It had turned dark when I left, so I put on all the lights I had and my orange reflective vest. The headwind wasn't too bad.

About 4 miles from home, the rain began. I pulled under an overhang and pulled my new, Campmor poncho out of my saddle bag. I put it on without using the leg ties. I only used the thumb loops. It worked great. I bet I as very visible also especially with the blinking red light on my vest trapped underneath the poncho.

The rain stopped right away. So it wasn't a thorough test of the poncho. I'll have more to report after another use. However in that small amount of time I thought it was comfortable and well ventilated -- especially compared to all the jackets I've ridden with. The wind whipped it around, but not so much that I minded. If I had used the leg loops, I bet it would have blown around much less.

This photo was taken before I put the B66 on it and the Carradice bag. I also built alloy rims onto the existing hubs since this was taken.

Monday, March 27, 2006

I Rode it Home

I rode the Raleigh DL1 home. It rides just as wonderfully as I remember my rides on others like it. It's in very nice condition for it's age. It's hub is labeled 1976, so it's a bicentennial bike -- even though it's made in England. When I hear that year, I think bicentennial. Mr. Carter, especially large fireworks displays, and of course the Bicentennial Edition Schwinn Varsity. I saw one of those recently in someone's garage. It's still a monumentally ugly bike.

So I rode my new 3-speed home, because the streets are dry here in Minneapolis (I don't want to get salt on this old dude). The alley, however was a runny mess with the melting snow and sand. I walked the bike through the alley to my house. Some neighbors driving down the alley saw me. I wonder what they thought of me carrying a bike down the alley?

I wiped off the tires and brought it into the house. My daughter, a kindergartener, walked on by it. My son, a third grader, politely pretended to admire it.

I brought it to the basement workshop. The elves love it. They stopped admiring the Davidson and went right to work polishing the chromed roller-lever brake parts.

The photo is very bad. I apologize. When I have time and sunlight, I'll wheel it outside and take some nice photos. The photo shows my workshop very clearly -- messes everywhere and that's after the big cleaning I put on it a few weeks ago. Since then, I've built two fixed gear bikes, installed new wheels, derailers, shifters and brakes on my wife's RB2, nearly completed my Davidson, and helped a friend replace a freewheel and cassette on his bikes. That's a nice list of accomplishments, proving that cleaning the room was worth it. I almost forgot, I also painted an old chair and refinished a heating grate. Those aren't bike accomplishments, but they still matter, to someone.

Tonight I'll Pickup my DL1

I'm going to pickup my Raleigh DL1 tonight. The first thing I'll have to do after riding it is take a photo or two and post them. I'll ride it in the 2006 Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour.

This is exciting. I bought this one without really looking at it. The guy who is selling it has a mint condition DL1 and he allowed me to ride it. I immediately knew I wanted one. Even my wife could see it in my eyes as I rolled back into our driveway after the test ride. So when he offered me his less-than-mint, but still very nice condition DL1, I agreed. Anyway, this guy takes very good care of his equipment so I'm assured it will be fine.