Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Big Oak Bike Shop

This morning, I spent a little time in the workshop, gluing up a laundry cabinet door that came unglued. I picked up handlebar tape yesterday for the tricross, and screwed up some courage and decided to try wrapping it on.

I've had this tape on for some time, and it's come loose a few times. Each time I re-wrap from the brake hoods back toward the middle, a little tighter. Wrapping handlebar tape makes me nervous - trying to evenly space the tape so I have enough, but not space too far so there are gaps, keeping proper tension so it doesn't separate, and on, and on. I was a physical and emotional mess the last time I tried this.

But yesterday I was passing my LBS, and was magnetically drawn in. Without trying to look like a dithering idiot, I purchased some bar tape after the third different sales person came up to me to ask me if I needed help. I instinctively nabbed some bar tape, even though I hadn't planned to buy anything.

Fortunately, I grabbed the relatively cheap Bontrager tape. The Specialized Phat Wrap that I like, is up to $30! Some of you may be able to justify this expense because it lasts longer, provides superior cushioning, blah, blah, blah. But $30 is too much for me.

Earlier this summer, Jon told me the key to putting bar tape on is to keep it uniformly tight as it's being wrapped. Hugh instructed me on cutting and taping the end in one of his blog posts. As much as I seem to screw up perfectly good projects, one half of the bar doesn't look too bad, eh?

And the other half looks pretty good, too. It looks even better if you back up from the screen a couple yards, then squint.

Two cats in a corner. Nothing related to cycling, but how could I resist taking a photo of these brothers in fur?

Last weekend, Alex and I went up to Chain O' Lakes State Park for a long walk. Most of the leaves are completely gone from the trees, and, once again, I am frantically searching for a SARATS entry. This Euonymous was lovely, but it is a small shrub, so it's hardly a tree worthy of entering.

And this bug-eaten black oak leaf (one of my kin) caught my eye also.

A bitternut hickory bud. A dendrologist's treat, the only tree in these parts which has sulfur yellow buds.

I took many pictures of several different lakes on the walk, but this is the photo I liked the best. I forget which lake this is, maybe the largest of the Finster Lakes?

I haven't ridden to work for a while. But very soon, like 1 week from tomorrow, I'll have no excuse to not ride. I've been reassigned within my agency to the area office, which is 2.5 miles from our new home. I'll post more about that new commute as it unfolds. I took a trial run to my new office this afternoon. There are a couple of very busy intersections which have me concerned. But I'll figure out a strategy.

Happy riding!


Steve A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Steve A said...

The bar wrap looks excellent. I have the same SARATS problems, though I have the holy photo ready in case God doesn't direct something different.

Anonymous said...

That tape job looks really good from where I'm sitting...

Anonymous said...

I didn't have to squint at all. Looks far and away better than anything I could even attempt to do. Best of luck on the new work route and looking forward to pics.

Big Oak said...

Steve, Tracey, Ron - thanks! The wrap job turned out better than I thought, although the tape strip partially came off the left side.

Good luck on your photo, Steve.

Anonymous said...

looks good

Jon said...

Tape looks good to me. I like wrapping bars. Like building wheels, bar wrapping is a very concentrated, yet relaxing, activity for me.

Big Oak said...

Thanks Dan & Jon. It wasn't too relaxing for me. I was sweating by the time I got done! But I was pleased with the result.

Chandra said...

I took part in wrapping the Brooks tape on my old Cannondale T-800, but haven't done the whole thing by myself. You did it yourself. That's awesome. Bill!

Nice workshop!

Paz :)

Wilson said...

Love the shop. Looks a tight fit in there but you're obviously well outfitted.
Thanks for the BLOG.

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