Sunday, March 29, 2009
Serial number 300 or so according to the owner. He was in Steamboat Springs, CO about the time Moots started up and had the proprietor braze him up a mountain bike frame. The craftsmanship then, as now, was fantastic and no part of the frame has failed despite some 25 years of off road use. The bike has been repainted, got a new fork (not easy with a 1" steerer tube) and also had the shoulder pad replaced. That's right, shoulder pad. The frame maker put two bosses in the top tube and mounted an ergonomic piece of aluminum to that. Around the aluminum was originally a leather shoulder pad, which has since been replaced by a foam/nylon bit. Great for adventure cycling, creek crossing and boulder hopping (before front suspension). On the day this photo was taken, the owner raced it in an XC race, proving that it's not the arrow, it's the Indian...
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
-Forged aluminum crank at first
-Carbon crank to follow
-11 speed compatible
-Beautiful, bright finish, CNC machined big ring
-Carbon brake/shifters in the pattern of the current Record line
-All metal derailers
-Hollow pin chain
The polished aluminum will look great on a steel framed bike or any bike that does not need carbon ornamentation to make it look complete. Maybe it would go great with a pair of chromed chainstays?
I hope to have pictures soon, but I certainly got the scoop. You will not read this as of today on Velosnooze or Cyclingnews and it isn't even on the Campy web site.
Apparently, the original Athena was sold from 1989-1991 and was a notch below Chorus. The new Athena is said to be in the same quality range as ShimaNo Ultegra and run ~2300 grams for the whole set, less with the carbon cranks.
Foolishly, I didn't even have my cell phone camera on me. So, just dream about it for now.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
On a great tip from reader Mr. Beattie, I called Blackburn. They're going to send out a replacement hose via US Mail. In the mean time, I'll have to make do, but that's great of them to stand behind their products like that. This pump has got nine lives!
Monday, March 23, 2009
It finally happened. My Blackburn pump died. I bought this pump in college since I no longer had access to my father's trusty Silca Pista. Well, eventually, the chuck gasket loosened up and began to eat presta valves. I replaced it with a Silca chuck, a hose clamp and a bit of white ductape.
The gasket in that thing took a while to wear in, but once it did, it was good again. Just last night, however, the hose ruptured. At first I thought that the chuck shot off the valve stem. Quick check and it was still there. What was wrong? I found the split tube eventually after listening for the air escaping. I also noticed that the hose was quite warm. Lots of energy being delivered there. Maybe the rubber couldn't take one more thermal/pressure cycle.
Anyway, time to get something more trustworthy. Maybe a Silca of my own, or a Lezyne? Maybe make one myself? I have access to machine tools and this stuff is pretty simple. I'll keep you posted.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
I got a sample pack of some Enervit products a while ago and finally got around to trying the drink powder. I was fascinated by the Euro-chic of the brand and had to test it. The instructions said to mix it with one cup (250 ml or 8 oz of water). Check out that label. There's 1.8 oz of powder in the sack. That's a huge volume of powder. It didn't mix, it just filled the bottom 8th of the glass after all that could be dissolved was dissolved. In retrospect, I should have doubled, tripled or even quadrupled the water. Instead, I just sort of chewed it down. Did I recover? Yes. Was I aided by this stuff? Maybe. Would I rather just eat a sandwich and have a big glass of water? Definitely.
I've also had their energy bars which turned out pretty decent.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I was walking down the street in Santa Fe, NM last weekend and one fixie riding hipster after another rode by me.
Then I saw a lamp post with a bunch of fixies locked to it.
Then, around the corner I saw a ton of bikes piled on each other, using nothing but their oddball handlebars and direct drive gear trains to hold them together (and I see at least one U-lock in the photo).
Apparently they were all headed to the Del Charro.
Santa Fe is not exactly urban, and it seemed like many took the train up from Albuquerque. What lead them here? Was a strong magnet pulling on their chromed steel Nitto handlebars, steering towards this place? I kept walking, so that if that was true, it didn't pull my fillings out.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
photo from http://www.universalcycles.com/
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Roadshow: Bicycle bridges opening this spring
Q Any idea when the bicycle bridge over Interstate 280 in Cupertino is going be ready for use? "... I see there is a bicycle connector going up over Highway 101. When will it open? "... There's some kind of bridge being built over Highway 237 in the Sunnyvale area. I assume this is for bicyclists. Am I correct? "... What's the status of the bicycle path along Highway 85 in Mountain View?
Robin A., James Frank, Bill Ho and many more
A Bicyclists, get ready to roll. The 280 pedestrian bridge near Mary Avenue is slated to open April 30, and the bridges over 101 and 237 are also expected to be ready sometime next month. And about the same time, the Moffett Boulevard bridge over the Stevens Creek Trail will open.
Q I was bicycling up Sand Hill Road from El Camino Real the other day, a common road-cycling route, when I noticed a nice sign. It said "Bicycle Friendly Community" and below, it said "2003-2007." I'm not one to be particular, but hey, they're two years off now. Unless Palo Alto is no longer a bicycle-friendly community, it would be nice to see a nice little "2009" sticker on there. Funny stuff you notice on a bike.
A Julian, you're not the only one wondering about our Bike Friendly communities.
Q My teenage son and I have seen a sign near El Camino that says "Sunnyvale, Bike Friendly, 2008-2012" or something close to that. He wondering what happens after 2012. Is it open season on bikers?
A I hope not. The Bicycle Friendly Community designation is an award given by the League of American Bicyclists and is based on a review of a community's facilities and programs for supporting and encouraging bicycling. The League awarded Sunnyvale the designation until 2012. Palo Alto had it for a few years. Both cities can reapply for the honor.
Q As a part-time bicyclist, I have noticed many other vehicles in the bike lanes, from a Segway to mopeds. I asked one moped driver why he drives in the bike lane and he said that he had a 50cc bike and can't keep up with traffic. He says the 35 mph speed limit is pushing his moped to the limit. Is this legal?
A The only ones who are supposed to be using the bike lanes are bicycles and motorized scooters. Segways are actually considered pedestrians, and mopeds (same as motorized bicycles) are vehicles that are supposed to follow the rules of the road.
Q What would it take to make high-traffic bridges more bike friendly? I used to bike to Eastridge once in a while, but would hesitate to go over the bridge at Tully Road and Highway 101 on a busy Saturday now. There are many other choke points where bridges or limited access streets are murderous to pedestrians or bicyclists. Will we ever see traffic calming in those areas?
A You will see improvements at Tully. There are now bike lanes on both sides of the overpass, but not on the 101 bridge itself. That will change in maybe three years thanks to Proposition 1B, passed by voters in 2006. It will fund improvements to the Tully-101 interchange, including bike lanes. Construction could begin next year.
Q Do you know if there will be bike lanes on the Benicia Bridge?
A Yes, when work ends late this year, there will be a two-way bicycle and pedestrian path on the far right side.
Q We love all our new bicycle commuters. Really, we do! Saving energy, cutting congestion, and staying fit. But, Gary, could you please, please have a word with those who think it's OK to go the wrong way in a bike lane? These aren't club cyclists, so we're counting on you to get the word out because, apparently, those new "Wrong Way" signs aren't doing the trick.
A I, too, am dismayed at the number of bicyclists I see riding against traffic. Bicyclists need to follow the same rules of the road as motorists. That means driving in the same direction as traffic, whether in a bike lane or not.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Here's a link to the bike.
And here's a picture of the crazy fork:
Photo from http://mig-cycles.co.nz/products/offroad/suspension.html
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I used to do a lot of business travel. Once a month, sometimes every other week, I flew out of
Check out this stool welded out of steel rims and fork blades!
Who even knew they had their own restaurant? The food was better than most airport restaurants and the menu has more interesting stuff than the ubiquitous soggy chicken ceasar salad.
I went on the brewery tour a few years ago and I don’t even think they serve food in their tasting room! The tour’s pretty cool. While I was there I learned that every employee earns a cruiser bike and gets a bunch of beer every payday.
If you’re not a New Belgium fan, you should become one. These folks are pretty good to their community and the planet. They sponsor lots of bike related events like Fat Tire Festivals. They also put on a free show in cities around the country called the Tour de Fat. Go there when they come to your neighborhood. You get to ride silly bikes, drink good beer, listen to free music, learn about using the bicycle as transportation and meet up with some local non profits that could use your help.
Mmmm, just writing this makes me thirsty for a Fat Tire.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The Velotron is a pretty cool machine that has a very adjustable bicycle-like riding platform and the ability to vary resistance and measure power output. It is linked to a computer system that is interactive in that the rider on the screen moves as fast as you move, and the hills on the screen can be reflected in resistance on the machine. Courses can be programmed into the computer so even when it's snowing out, you can mimic your upcoming time trail and all the things (except cross wind I guess) that you'll encounter. A serious tool for people serious about athletic performance.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Check out the circled bit in the picture. Looks like this ->
Photos shamelessly stolen from www.usacycling.org and omg.yahoo.com
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
on an unrelated note, I once worked with a crusty, violent SOB who, when faced with a DUI drivers license suspension, reverted to commuting to the lab on his Schwinn Paramount. It was probably the vintage of this one, and a good looking bike. It was the only thing about him I could respect. I was surprised to see that Cyclingnews posted a review of a newly built Paramount. James Huang wrote the article (and it looks like he rode the bike for the photos). He's my new favorite journalist. He gave it a really positive writeup, raving about the comfort and beauty of the steel frame and pointing out that when built up with high zoot components, it came in at under 17 lbs. Then he dropped the bomb. This thing was being made by Waterford and being sold by Schwinn for $7000. I guess no one is set up to mass produce frames with polished lugs and high performance steel tubing, although the technology did at one time exist. We can only hope, that by the miracle of marketing trickle-down, the rave reviews this frame receives will bring about more traditional, repairable, recyclable steel frames. Schwinn has at least one lower end model with lugs, the Madison, on the market.
The steel bike re-revolution is here!
Monday, March 2, 2009
Anyone know where I can find some super oddball 20 x 1 3/8" tires for this Montgomery Ward's folding bike? It would be fun to have, if I could just get it some new rubber. It's almost too much hassle, given that I can buy a Dahon folding bike brand new for $199...
Sunday, March 1, 2009
-It's different, and cyclists like their rigs to be unique
-We already shave our legs and go out in public in what other people consider underwear, why not go for broke?
-Several component makers are making good pink stuff
Case in point:
-Chris King's Pretty and Strong pink components
-Hope Components pink hydraulic brakes
I'd sport a pair of those, just to see the looks on people's faces. Flower cutouts in the rotor? Why not.
Speaking of highly individualized bikes, check out James Huang's coverage of the North American Handmade Bike Show. All killer, no filler. Lots of pictures of good stuff.