Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Fear and Loathing

I just finished reading "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter S. Thompson. A friend of mine, whose opinion I hold highly, recommended this a long time ago. Many years later, I've read it.

A few chapters of drug induced stupidity began to take away my enjoyment of this book, but I stuck with it. Near the end, it was all worth it. By then, I'd come to understand the main character and I enjoyed his critique of American culture and politics. I adapted to his humor and was left laughing out loud in a few places.

I checked out the movie trailer and I don't know if I want the movie to alter my impression of the book.

Did any of you enjoy the book and the movie?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Autumn Lunchtime Off-Road Ride

I see a pattern in my life: Each fall, I realize that Autumn lunch time rides are one of my favorite activities. Today, I rode at Theodore Wirth park in Minneapolis.

This was a particularly interesting ride for two reasons: a guy crashed right ahead of me on the trail and probably dislocated his shoulder. I tried to help him, but he managed to walk back on his own and we were not far from the parking lot.

I assume his tires lost traction on some leaves. The leaves are covering the trail and the dirt is dry and hard with lots of shiny roots exposed. 

Then a little while later, I smacked my foot on a trail-side tree and my shoe came off but stayed clipped into the pedal.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cuyuna Off-Road Trails

I rode Cuyuna Lakes State Trails this weekend with some friends. We've traveled to the Chequamegon trails in past years, but decided to try these because they've gotten such great reviews. The reviews are right on -- these are fantastic trails. The videos and photos don't do them justice. If you have a chance, ride these trails. No matter what your skill level, you'll like them. The trail system is built like a downhill ski area: green, blue, and black trails. 

My favorite trail was the Sandhog loop. It had the toughest climb, the best hilltop view, and one of the best downhills.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

New bike for me

I bought a Surly Cross Check from Hiawatha. I added my Brooks Imperial and aluminum VO fenders. I also got a great deal on a Tubus rack.
This bike cures the ills of my old one and rides like a dream, whatever that means. I don't really care about the "why" right now. I'm happy riding and that's the important thing.

Monday, May 30, 2011

20 Miles for Me

It's Memorial Day and I took a slow, meandering ride that amounted to 20 miles or so. This is my longest ride of the year and I had no complaints from the ankle. This is very good news for me.

I installed a Brooks Imperial saddle on the Davidson 650B conversion. The saddle seems comfortable, but only time will tell.

I apologize for the bad fender lines. This bike has no fender mounts. I used p-clamps and zip ties. I'm considering having real mounts installed and a repaint.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Recovery Status

I had surgery to remove a bone growth from my ankle about six weeks ago. I've been out of the immobilizer boot (a cast you can take off when you want) and walking like a normal person for a couple weeks. I've been taking small bike rides during which I've found riding to be more comfortable than walking. I'm going to start building up the ride distance a little every day.

During the down time, I've continued a couple bike projects. I bought a CETMA 7-Rail rack from a Craig's List seller for $75. It's new. The rack didn't fit her bike so it sat unused. I'm the winner on that one. I have to decide which bike it should go on. I just set the rack on top of this little Bianchi folder (why the hell did I buy that?) and it would fit nicely. I also tried it on my 29er off-road bike and it appears the rack would fit it also. I think the CETMA is very adaptive.

I also have been "normalizing" some of my bikes so I can sell them. For example, I removed the dirt-drop style bars from my Novara Buzz and installed straight bars. It's getting a triple crankset and smooth tires. I hope this makes it attractive to more people. Are you working on any projects right now?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Porteur Racks

This is not my bike. This is a photo I grabbed from the internet showing a type of rack that I'm interested in for my bike.
I've been looking at front racks that provide a flat surface on which to place your load. There aren't that many out there. I found the following, most of them are pretty expensive. The ones made by hand are the most expensive and I'm sure they are worth the price. Please let me know what others are available.

Paul Flatbed
Civia Pizzeria
Pass and Stow
Pret a Porteur (this one is my one of my favorites)
Henbrow Frame Fixing Rack (I like the mounting of this one)

I found a couple do-it-yourself versions too:
Bicycle Quarterly (you have to buy this issue to get the plans)

Some of you may remember that I had a wire basket mounted on top of a narrow front rack. I liked the setup, but I want something less restrictive regarding the load shape and size. A basket limits you to the shape of the basket.

Transporting Coffee while using Crutches

The biggest problem with wearing an immobility boot and using crutches is the problem of carrying coffee from the kitchen to my rat's nest (that's what I'm calling the area I've taken over in the TV room). Here's my solution: I pour the fresh coffee in a thermos, put the thermos in a backpack, put the backpack on, then carry it to the rat's nest for drinking.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

My New Shoe

This is my new shoe, just for the right foot. I've been watching lots of Netflix and reading. The surgery went well -- so far. I could still get an infection though. The doctor didn't need to cut me open, he used a "scope."

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Kids

I gave my daughter a black eye last week with a baseball while playing catch. I really felt like crap because no parent likes to see their kid hurt especially when the parent is the cause of the injury.

The only way to avoid childhood injuries is to keep our kids in the house all the time.  Since that's not an option, I'll just have to worry silently and let then be kids.

My son rides his bike to school and it worries the shit out of me, because there are lots of people driving cars who aren't taking it as seriously as they should. If their kids were out on the road, I'm sure they'd be more careful.

I remember being injured quite a few times when I was kid -- bicycling, skateboarding, and fights.

This is a link to a blog post in which the author's kid crashes into a tree. It feel sad for the dad.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Saturday's HC Ride (April 9, 2011)

Last Saturday's HC ride took us, among other places, to the current end of the Cedar Lake Trail. The city is building an extension that will take it all the way to the Mississippi River and the extension is almost complete. 

This photo shows the group reaching the end point and turning around.

Here we've gathered after the turn around and are discussing Raleigh decals or something.

Here we are discussing which brake levers fit best on Lauterwasser handlebars.

Here we are discussing which one of us is dressed better.

We stopped at the Astor Cafe which has changed to table service -- a bit more upscale. We all decided to  give up drinking coffee, at least until the next morning.

After the ride we stopped at Hiawatha Cycles. Someone asked how far we'd ridden and no one knew. I suspect it was more than 15 miles and less than 25. Some of the riders continued on and rode much further.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Raleigh Sports for Me

I bought a Raleigh Sports today at MMRB's 3-speed sale. The bike needs a seat and tire work before I can ride it. I'll even do a little more. I don't have any plans to make it look like a showroom beauty. I want a rider. 

I recently bought some Lauterwasser bars from Soma Fab. I may install them on this bike -- the bars need to go somewhere.

Why do all these old bikes that have lived undisturbed in garages have hair wrapped around the pedal spindles? It's a little gross. Click on that photo to see a large version of ugly.

Someone used a shoestring to keep the hub shell clean. What are those things called? A hub shiner? That sounds dirty.

I really want a pair of Panaracer Col de la Vie tires for this. Who has them in stock?  I should just go to Hiawatha and have them order a pair for me. I've been thinking of a bike just like this for a couple years and Panaracer Col de la Vie tires have been part of my vision all along. Without them, I have failed this bike.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Personal Note

I'm having surgery next month to remove a floating, bone growth from my ankle. I thought I had a bad Achilles tendon, but that was wrong. This has been a problem for two-and-a-half years. During that time, I've gone from an active, sporting cyclist to a plodding, occasional rider. I'm hopeful that I'll return to my old self after healing from the surgery.

I won't say much more about this, but I thought I'd reveal this to those of you who may be interested. The rest of you can just ignore this.

The growth is officially known as a Haglund's deformity. That has a nice sound, doesn't it? If you look it up, I want you to know that I don't wear pumps.

Friday, March 11, 2011

BBC Bicycle Photo Album

I like this photo album of bicycles provided by the BBC.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

CRC Closing

I'm disappointed to see that CRC Coffee Shop is closing. I had lots of good pints of coffee in there and I even bought a bike there. I don't live in the neighborhood so I didn't visit as often as I wanted.

They served their coffee in pint beer glasses. I like that and have adopted the same thing at home. Watch out, though, that pint glass i shot!

Friday, February 04, 2011

2011 Twin Cities Bike Swap

Anybody going to the bike swap this Sunday? I'm going and if you want to share a ride, let me know.

  • Sunday February 13, 2011
  • 9AM – 2PM
  • Schwan Event Center
  • National Sports Center, Blaine MN

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Portlandia, a TV Series

I've watched two episodes of IFC's sketch comedy series Portlandia. One of the sketches had a bike messenger riding through the streets screaming about cyclists rights. It was pretty funny especially if you know any militant cyclists. I can't find the entire sketch, but the trailer for the series includes most of it. Watch it by following this link:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


This is an experiment. I'm trying to find out how to extract GPS coordinates from a photo's EXIF data when the photo has been posted online.

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