Friday, August 28, 2009

Bike Therapy

It's been a slow week bicycling for me this week with a sick kid (flu) and lots of stuff to get done at work. On top of that heavy fog and rain several mornings this week made me not want to ride to work. This is the first week in 16 weeks I haven't ridden to work at least one day. On top of that, it's staying darker later in the morning.

I realize all of those are pretty lame excuses for not riding, but tonight after supper I hopped on the trusty Tricross and rode 20 miles in the rain. Similar to Mike, I had been feeling pretty grumpy until I got on the bike and out about a mile from home.

The familiar wind in my ears, the passing scenery, and the comfort of balancing on two wheels once again worked its magic. Here's a photo of my friend on the iron bridge.

An update on the Kuwahara - I've gotten the bike ridable again but the bike wants to pull to the right. I suspect the fork might be slightly bent, but I'm not sure. I've tried several different wheels on the front, so I know it's not the wheel. For some reason, I have to really pull the fork apart to get the wheel in the wheel mounts. If anyone has any ideas on what to do, I'd appreciate your thoughts.

If I can't figure out why the bike pulls to the right, I'll probably just clean the bike really well and make sure it's safe to ride, then sell it.

Happy riding!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Kuwahara Update

I rode 50 miles pretty hard on Saturday and didn't feel like doing too much after I got home (not enough water or food). Anyway, I didn't work on the Kuwahara until tonight (Sunday). I replaced the rear derailleur with another I had, trued the rear wheel, took off the rusty chain.

I adjusted the saddle and coasted down the driveway several times. I really like the geometry of the frame. When I put a new chain on, I'll get a better idea of the feel of the bike.

Here's the basic to-do list to get it operational:

-new brake cables
-new chain
-new tubes
-new tires

After I get the items above on, and if I like the bike, then I'll look for:

-wider handlebars
-different saddle (would like a Brooks B-17 eventually (but then, wouldn't we all?))

The bike needs a really good cleaning, but there is very little rust on the derailleurs, or on the hub skewers, so this bike was kept in a garage at least. The tires are weather checked with age, but the tubes held air!

This bike is quite light, but I don't think it is as light as my Trek:

Anyway, I'm pretty excited about this new bike. It'll give me some more wheels, and if I don't care for it after I do the basics, I can sell it.

Happy riding!

Friday, August 14, 2009

New (old) Bike

Well, OK, I don't need another bike, but I was driving through Butler (Indiana) for work this morning and I saw this bike sitting in front of the 2nd hand shop in town. I immediately saw the long stem tube and slammed on the brakes. The lady who owns the shop told me the price she was asking for the bike so I bought it right there. Actually, I only had $4, but I put that down on the bike and ran back at lunch and paid the rest for it.

Myles has found a similar bike, although this one is in rougher condition and the components maybe aren't as nice.

I don't know much about tubing, but it's 4130 Chromoly.

The head badge is decent.

The model is Pulsar. I did a quick Google search and found lots of Japanese (I think, I don't know which language) entries for the Kuwahara Pulsar, but no pictures. Will continue the search.

Symmetric shifters, as described by Jon in Myles' post above. The rear derailleur cable is sticky and not working very well.

The rear rim is wobbly, but I should be able to true it easily. Will update progress on getting this bike road worthy. I'm looking forward to seeing how it rides.

Happy riding!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hot New Bar Tape

I put some new bar tape on my Tricross because the old stuff was pretty old, matted down, and was stretching apart. Alex suggested I try a different color, like maroon (maroon?), but fortunately all the LBS had was black, red, and blue. I figured red would look better than blue.

Someone else put red bar tape on their handlebars (sorry, I've forgotten who it was) and they didn't like it. I think the red looks pretty cool. It's kinda bright, though. Undoubtedly it will darken with wear.

Happy riding!

Friday, August 7, 2009

A Crunchy Discovery

I am finding more uses for my bike, and am amazed by the different things that fit in my rack trunk panniers.

Hmmmm. What could it be?

Oh Yeah!!!

Note: this is not an endorsement for this product. It is merely a demonstration of yet another item that one Could put in there if one wanted to.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sweet Corn Season is Here!

I picked up the first sweet corn of the season today up in Auburn where I work. As I speak, water is heating to cook these golden kernels to perfection. Tomatoes are ripening on our vines, so we'll eat some of those tonight also.

I like to think there are three seasons here: Sweet corn season in the summer, Panfish season in the winter, and Mushroom season in the spring. I used to hunt, so I used to celebrate 4 seasons, but three seasons are pretty great still.

Happy riding!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Club Ride

Most of my miles on the bike are solo. Alex and I try to ride a couples times a week, and I've been doing a number of organized rides on the weekends, but I'm pretty lonely out on the road. In an effort to enter the cycling social scene, I've decided to start doing at least one club ride a week.

My very first club ride was yesterday. I introduced myself to the tour leader and we set out for Wilshire, Ohio, about 30 miles from the south end of Fort Wayne. I was so tickled to be riding with other folks, that the 21, 22, 23 mph numbers on my speedometer didn't really seem to make sense to me.

After 15 miles, I realized I was sweating much more than normal, so I dropped back to put my sweatband on. When I tried to rejoin the pack, that was the moment I thought I might be in trouble. I did catch them again, but could only hang out at the end, and that was tenuous.

A mile from Wilshire, I dropped off the back, but caught them at the Marathon station in town. The rest there was very welcome, and I ate two granola bars and drank 16 oz of Gatorade. I felt amazingly good when we left, and when we got back to 20 mph, I couldn't think why I ever fell off the back.

After 5 more miles at that speed, I quickly remembered how I was dropped. Louie , who was riding with the group the whole way, dropped back, and that was my out. I didn't want him to have to ride alone, after all.

We rode the rest of the way back at 17 mph, a much more reasonable speed for me. I was glad to ride with the group as long as I did, but I've got to work on my conditioning to get up to the A group speed. Even if I never make it in the A group, it's still good to ride with others.

Happy riding!