Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This Just In: Brad Still Out Of The Office!

Sometimes on rides, blackberries and iPhones come out at controls. Today was no exception. People check up on news, wives, facebook, etc. Sometimes people even navigate with these things.

Today, we checked in early and often just to make sure Brad was still out of the office. He is. We refrained from calling his assistant and asking if he could come out and play. Hopefully we will see you soon, Brad.

The parrot is thriving, and there are hats near the university.

Mark likes to ride his bike.

One of the best things about the convenience stores -- besides the rotating hot dogs (for display purposes only) - are the things posted on the bulletin boards. Heck, you can find real estate agents, tire chains, and lost dogs on these boards, but today we found this.

Pretty much sums it up.

Vinnie and gang, if you check in before the big ride, give 'em hell.

Y'all have a great Thanksgiving, OK?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hors Categorie

So Kent offered to lead a mixed surface ride. He knows dirt; it says so right on his jersey. After a Metro bus brushed me back on Newport Way -- what's up with that? -- four of us rolled out at 10:00 sharp from Issaquah.

It was windy here a few days ago.

Kent said something about being on I-90 for one exit. At each exit ramp, however, Kent would check the traffic and cross over to stay on the highway.

The three of us in the back were cracking ourselves up as we just kept heading up to the pass.

"I wonder if he's going over the pass?"
"Which pass? There's more than one pass if you keep going."
"I think he will bang a right in Polebridge."
"Nah, I think he needs to start in Banfff this year."
"I think it's a test to see who complains first."

Perhaps 4-5 miles from the top, Kent pulls over and lets us know we missed the turn. Everyone was really upset. It took a while to recover. Well, not really.

Before we knew it, we were bundled up and buzzing down the Iron Horse trail.

Which took us to coffee in North Bend.

And back to the brew pub in Issaquah.

There were two Stumpjumpers of different vintage on the ride. They both roll about the same.

Now let's play "That's Rando!"

There was some serious competition today. From just a few players, there were many worthy entries. I'll highlight just a few.

This pink beverage like substance had a list of ingredients that went on like a grand randonee. If your body needs it, it's in there. It matches Rapha colorways and Pedro's pink tire levers. Lizzie voted for this one. Bravo.

There's not much that good Chicago blues can't cure. I imagine Hound Dog Taylor could write a few mean blues on any number of rando issues. Most days, this would be a clear winner. But this was not most days.

Kent's cheese wedge won hands down. It's an "Hors Categorie" entry. Many state transportation departments have even placed signs on the road honoring Kent's cheese wedge. They typically put them on the hardest climbs to salute the effort. Well played, Kent.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

State Of Clear

I recall from a pseudoscience class that L. Ron Hubbard claimed if you follow Dianetics you can reach a state of clear and see all your past lifetimes. Well I don't know about that, but I thought clear would be nice.

This bike started out life in the early '70s as a 27" Roberts touring bike. When I got it, it had cantilever brakes and a ton of rust. It was a beautiful British racing green color with decent Roberts decals which I'm a bit fond of.

The problem was that I really wanted to be able to swap wheels around and the brakes were in the wrong place for 700c wheels. I suppose this was like a 650b conversion but bigger.

I tried to get Dr. Boxer to take his torch to the bike and do a bunch of braze-on moving, but he's too busy, so I got out the dremel and some cutting wheels and grinding stones and had at it. That's kind of rando, no? I'm actually glad that Dan was too busy to fit this in because it means people are jumping on new Boxer bikes. You should sign up for yours before he has really long wait list, no?

Anyway, once I hacked off the canti studs, I knew I'd be in for a repaint. Seattle Powder Coat blasted the frame clean and put on a nice gloss clear coat for $150 plus tax. It would cost $25 less if I didn't have them mask the chrome dropouts. When I left the bike, I thought it was pretty likely they would call and say they blasted through the frame because it was so rusty; I had that happen with a Paramount track bike on high school.

I fit in some big fat studded tires and went on a run to the coffee shop today. It rides great. It has a huge wheelbase, and some very very slack angles.

I like the way it turned out.

Munchkinhead likes it, but she's just silly.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Wheel Building 101

Greg decided that it's about time he made up a fixed commuter bike. As part of a highly negotiated deal, I ended up with another Brooks saddle and a promise to put together his wheel.

Lizzie was all done moving the barbells up to the attic, so I put her to work.

Seriously, though, I am so proud of her. I showed her the pattern, and she put all the spokes in the hub for me. She also put the first couple of sets of spokes through the rim before she went back to her regularly scheduled pomegranate munching.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Three Rivers Cruise 200K. With Bonus Tooth Fairy

Munchkinhead is in on the secret of the Tooth Fairy's identity; she thinks it's pretty cool since most of her friends don't yet know. She was out collecting rando food last night.

Beautiful ride today. Started at the civilized hour of 8:00. Thanks Don!

My burrito, on the left, with a food-like-substance wasn't as cool as the other which was carried in.

These were on the counter at the same gas station with the burrito-like product. There is definitely a Craig Ferguson joke here involving Hollywood Boulevard.

Surprise! Greg's way ahead and on his crackberry at the control.

Great day, gang.

Now let's play "That's Rando!"

An excellent group of competitors today. This color coordinated bungee ensemble is both stylish and practical. However, this contestant was removed from the competition when it came to the judges' attention that he received professional clothing consultation on his socks from an actual bike shop.

This sporty Look had a multi-tiered laminated fender structure that would make Jaja proud. The photo isn't so good, but if you look closely, you will see eight - count 'em, eight -- stays supporting the structure. These aerospace grade rivets would make the harshest FAA inspector proud. Clearly someone has CATIA 6 and finite element models of this beauty. Notice the clean lines at the joint which must have been made with some kind of a cutting tool.

Ruling: Too nice.

Now, I have spent many miles studying the next loose assemblage of fender parts, and it was a contender for today's prize. In contrast to the entry above, time was not wasted to actually cut the extension; why bother when simply tearing off a jagged chunk of fender is so much quicker?

It's got some serious elements -- color matched zip tie, duct tape, electrical tape, and inverted old bottle flap.

Sadly, the ruling: Too sloppy.

Now, this wing nut mudflap fitting is just right.

As Python would say it is like a stream of bat's piss. It shines out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark.

Today's winner. Well played. Simple. Elegant. Functional. Rando.