June 23, 2009
June 20, 2009
Today is my birthday. I was born on June 20th, 1983, making me 26.
One nice thing about being born in June was not having to go to school on my birthday. Because of the tour, I’m off today (unlike last year), but there is lots to do before I leave tomorrow. Yesterday, however, I was treated to a lovely mollusk-hunting expedition on the coast, then a picnic followed by frisbee.
The big thing I have to do today:
Some less big things I have to do today:
*As a sidenote, I apologize if you’ve left me a comment and I’ve failed to reply (especially those of you on the tour with me). This blog is mainly a way to organize my thoughts, and I usually don’t look at anything but the “New Post” page.
June 16, 2009
I was having a little trouble with the boards in my h-bag shifting around, so I pulled them all out, drilled some holes, and loosely zipped them all together. This helps the bag maintain it’s structure while still allowing some give.
The other big problem to solve was how to keep the bag upright and off of my brake cable (this is only a problem because I am running centerpull brakes). I found some interesting rack arms digging through my loose parts buckets in the car port. I figured out that with a long enough bolt, I could attach one end to the cablestop spacer. I was going to support the other ends with a brake cable running over the stem and attached to two holes in the arms. This would have worked okay, but was inelegeant. The current structure is maintained with a mounting leg from some Wald baskets we sell. This system is totally solid, and allows the cable to run between. Thanks for the idea Mike!
My trusty 38 tooth E-Thirteen ring is being replaced with a 32 tooth XT for those long climbs through the mountains. I’m going to keep the 38 in my bag just in case I find myself spinning out, but as the Alfine gearing is the equivalent of a 12-38 cassette, it doesn’t feel too tall or short on either end.
Slowly crossing off items on the list as my bag fills up. I’ll probably thin it out a bit before I leave on Sunday, but it’s so tempting to jam it tight as I won’t have to lug it around too much. Still waiting on my sleeping bag in the mail and need to grab a couple small things here and there, but otherwise, this is it ladies and gentleman!
June 13, 2009
When looking for a handlebar bag for the ride, I didn’t like the Jannd or Axiom ones and really wanted something with more of a randonneuring/Grant Peterson flare to it. So I took an old army bag I picked up on a camping trip a few months bag and tricked it out a bit. For the walls and floor I’m using some fiberboard I picked up at Skycraft for $4.
This stuff is fantastic to work with. It’s super strong, but all you need to do is score it and it snaps a clean line.
I ground out the sharp corners so it wouldn’t puncture the bag.
Loosely formed floor and walls. The waterproof liner keeps everything snugly in place.
Tomorrow at work I need to figure out a way to keep it from pushing against my brake cable.
June 10, 2009
This is a picture I have above my bench at the shop. MyGrandpa ran a hardware store that also sold Schwinns way back in the day (when they were still made in Chicago). That’s him on the left. My Dad is on the right holding me at a few months old. Doesn’t have much to do with this post, which is supposed to be about me landing a sweet spot on the Northern route.
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Got my wheel and shifter set up last night and wrapped my bars this afternoon, so the Cross Check is in complete touring attire. It’s pretty heavy, but most of the components are mountain stuff, so it should be bombproof. I’m going to swap the 38 tooth chainring for a 32 tooth, as the high gear is way too tall. That’ll gear everything down a bit and make those long climbs easier to handle.
These are FSA’s equivalent to the 3T bars I was looking at. Love the shallow drop and short reach. Double wrapped. Almost wish I had gone for the Salsa 40 degree stem over the 30 degree Ritchey for some extra sit-up old man points, but live and learn.
Really digging the v-brake in the back, made possible by linear-pull adjusted levers. I’ve heard stories about v-brakes bending forks, so that’s a Paul Neo-Retro cantilever in the front. Plenty powerful and lots of clearance for my 32’s.
Still looking for a good handlebar bag solution. Let me know if you’ve had sucess with anything in particular.
June 7, 2009
June 4, 2009
Got a good chunk of my parts in today, including my hub, rim, and spokes. I couldn’t wait, so I rode home with the rim around my shoulder and everything else bulging out of my bag. This is the third wheel I’ve built, and it went together lighting-fast compared to the my previous set. Laced it all up in about 40 minutes or so… slow by most standards, but about half the time I took on the last one. I’ll probably have to wait until my day off on Friday to tension it, but if all goes well, the whole bike will be in touring mode by Sunday.
For the techies, that’s the Shimano Alfine hub laced to a polished Sun CR-18 rim with DT Swiss Champion spokes in 292mm.