Archive | December, 2010

And I Quote… Week #19

26 Dec

Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect. - Oren Arnold

Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect. - Oren Arnold

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And I Quote… Week #18

19 Dec

One must learn by doing the thing; though you think you know it; you can't be certain until you try. - Sophocles

One must learn by doing the thing; though you think you know it; you can't be certain until you try. - Sophocles

And I Quote… Week #17

12 Dec

No matter what road I travel, I'm going home. -Shinso

No matter what road I travel, I'm going home. -Shinso

Hubs n’ Wheels

7 Dec

Today was day 2 at the United Bicycle Institute in Portland, OR where I am attending their bicycle repair and overhaul mechanic certification course. Yesterday we focused on the assembly and disassembly of hubs and discussed the finer details of their purpose and function; while today was dedicated to building a wheelset using our assembled hubs.
Hub day was pretty straight forward. Introductions and book keeping took up the first hour of class, but we quickly dove into a discussion on the importance of accurrate measurement and the development of current bicycle hubs.
In front of every individual was a front and rear hub which we were tasked to disassemble, clean, and inspect at our workbenches. After a quick overview of proper hub assembly, we put the pieces back together, more or less the way they were at the beginning of the day- maybe with a few extra pounds of grease.

Class was dismissed early, just before 5, and a few of us from the Friendly Bike Guest House joined Dave, a recently found Portlander, for food and drinks at Amnesia, a local low-key brewpub with an excellent IPA and tofurkey. We warmed ourselves up at a table and enjoyed the drinks, food, and company. Even though we were out of class, our conversation cycled ’round bicycles. After Eric and myself expressed some grief at not having wheels here in Portland, Dave offered to lend us bikes during our stay. Awe struck by his generosity, we meandered through NE Portland after dinner and picked up our new wheels. Eric got a sleek steel roadbike with pink camo handlebar tape while I received a blue cruiser with coaster breaks- it’s the sweetest ride since ever.

Wheel day was today. With introductions out of the way, we got straight into building our symetrical 32 spoke 3-cross wheelset. The first half of the day we prepared our hubs by loading spokes into hubs and lacing our wheels. After lunch we added tension to the spokes and then trued and dished our wheels to ensure optimum roundess and a quality build. For better or worse, much of my time was spent trying to true wheel with a cracked rim… why does every bicycle around me crack? Of course, once our wheels were inspected our task was to disassemble them. The wheel build is one of the more time consuming and sometimes frustrating aspects of this class, but most everyone pushed through and had a wheelset by the day’s end.

Greetings from Portland, Oregon!

5 Dec

Today was a flurry of activity as it was my first day in one of America’s most bike friendly and “up-and-coming” cities. The weather was unexpectedly sunny but the sunshine was deceptive as it was bitter cold. Even so, I trekked about the Mississippi, Rose, and Pearl districts, traversing my way on foot while musing over the abundance of bike lanes and cyclists that used them. While discovering Portland’s neighborhoods I happened upon a number of venues and local hotspots that I hope I can devote some quality time to in the future.

I’m staying at the Friendly Bike Guest House for the next two weeks. The guest house is one of the nicest places I’ve stayed while traveling- it’s spacious, clean, and it has a basement with a home bike mechanic setup. Not only that, it’s just a stone’s throw away from the United Bicycle Institute where I’ll be attending a Bicycle Repair and Shop Operation two week intensive class. With such a nice place to stay, I wish I had made a vacation of this trip!

And I Quote… Week #16

5 Dec

It's alright letting yourself go, as long as you can let yourself back. -Mick Jagger

It's alright letting yourself go, as long as you can let yourself back. -Mick Jagger

Insomnia Bytes

3 Dec


oh i’ve been stuck in a rut
these past few days…
oh who’s kidding-
it’s been weeks since i
could hold my head up high and say:
“good morning,
how are you?
i’m fine,
thanks for asking…”
oh i guess i confess i need
a friend
someone to share the moments
from start to end
oh i guess i confess i need
some help
‘cus life’s just not worth living
by myself

**Apologies for the low hum… this is the built in compy microphone**

insomnia bytes 12.3.2010

The Best I Ever Had

1 Dec

 

Ah, freak out!

I never will forget the day we met
Girl I’m gonna miss you

I hope you were mildly entertained by the music videos above- at least more so than when the LBS confirmed that the crack on Tank!’s top tube was more than just a paint chip- or when I discovered the horizontal crack on the side of the TT just below the one in the picture. Lovely.

So there I was… riding a compromised frame and since carbon fiber deteriorates from the inside out, it was difficult to gauge just how insane I was while riding Tank!. Though, after a few days to letting the idea of my bike snapping in half marinate in my mind, I finally decided to let the bike rest and went on the search for a replacement frame or bicycle- whichever was more financially feasible.

I wandered the west coast (not so far and wide from San Francisco). Combing the local bike shops, I retold my sob story. I received some empathy, a few sales pitches, and advice on where to get a Giant frame, though in the end I settled on a replacement bicycle- a wicked closeout deal on a 2010 Specialized Ruby Comp (above).
She’s pretty… and blue… and not cracked; the last 2010 Specialized Ruby Comp in the company and in the smallest frame size- perfecto!

I knew the bike would be a good fit since a salesperson had me ride around on a 2011 Ruby just for kicks and giggles- we both knew I wasn’t dropping a few grand on a bicycle right then and there. But we both didn’t know I’d find a closeout on last year’s model in the exact same frame size!!! It’s ridiculous. It’s phenomenal and I’m pumped to have a bicycle that won’t break in half while I’m riding. She’s no Tank! but she’ll do.

***

This blue angel is en route to my LBS and should be ready for pickup on Friday. I’ll use Tank!’s pedals and my scuffed up shoes from Bike & Build for the ride home. I just hope the shop doesn’t judge me too much when I roll out. New pedals and shoes are an investment that has taken the back burner what with having to replace Tank! and all… I’m just looking forward to getting back on the road