Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Gettin' Outta Dodge

I just got a call from one of the guys I work with. He had cancelled out on going over to GJ/Gruita, this weekend, but now he can go. So, I don't have to drive by myself.

He's a beginner mountain biker, so I may just take the fixed gear MTB and ride the "easy" trails with him.

Anyway, I'll be out of touch for a couple of days. I have the dogs taken care of until Sunday evening, and I really feel the need to get out of town.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ten Things I'd Like to Tell Aggressive Drivers

I've had pretty good luck avoiding aggression on the part of Denver's drivers, as I've been commuting. But, you'll still run into the occasional person who just doesn't get it. These are some things I'd like to tell them (and I've told at least one driver each of these, at some point or another).

1. You really should check to see if there is room to pass my bicycle before you pass me, rather than looking in your rearview mirror to see if I survived.

2. You are belted into the equivalent of a La-Z-Boy recliner, protected from the elements, listening to music and travelling along with virtually no physical effort required. My presence on the road does not materially inconvenience you.

3. If someone treated your parent, spouse, child or friend the way you just treated me, you'd want to kill them.

4. Cyclists are someone's parent, spouse, child or friend.

5. Every gallon of gasoline I don't burn remains available for you to buy. You should thank me for lowering demand at the pump.

6. Going slower than you is not a capital crime, and I don't deserve to die for it. And, in any case, you are not in charge of executions.

7. Anyone can drive a car like yours. Most people can't ride a bike 100 miles in a day.

8. Driving aggressively toward cyclists is like punching babies: Nothing to be proud of.

9. You own no more of the road than I do.

10. I feel sorry for you.

Those are my ten. Anything to add?


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Commuting Company and Bike To Work Day News

I've had an unusual amount of company on my commutes, these past few days.

Last Thursday, I rode with Rodney and Neal, following their commute down the South Platte. I got off at Evans and came down Iliff to my house. Turned my 9 mile commute home into 17.5.

Monday, Rodney rode to my my house with me, then continued on down Iliff, and eventually to the Bear Creek Trail and to his house. It's about the same distance for him, either way.

Today, I met Steve at Cherry Street, where it crosses the creek, and he rode in with me. Then, we rode together on the way home, until we crossed the creek and he headed east to his house, as I continued south.

It's amazing how much faster the ride goes when you have someone to talk to. I'd say it cuts the "perceived distance" travelled by about a third.

I have been put in charge of the Bike To Work Day festivities at our building, so I am even more of "the bike guy" than before. Oddly, just putting up some fliers and sending out an email about actually having some activities at our building has increased the interest level by a great deal.

We are technically part of HQ, but HQ is 7 miles away from us. So, we are pretty much left out on the HQ BTWD breakfast, and whatnot. I approached the Big Boss, and volunteered to be in charge of getting something going, if he wanted me to, and he was hip to it.

I think people are excited to just be included, this year.


Thursday, June 12, 2008


Jack has a new buddy. Say hello to Oswald.
Mmmm. Gnar, gnar...
Guard dog on duty.
When you hear the phrase "dog-tired", this is what it means.
Just before I took this picture, Ozzie was doing that doggy dreaming thing where they yip, and twitch and "chase rabbits". Only thing was, he was sleeping with his eyes open! Kinda weird.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Super-secret Skunkworks Bike Project #2 COMPLETE

Here it is, at long last: The Scorcher. It is based on an early-90s Specialized RockHopper frame, to which I added a second top tube for the vintage vibe. Brad wrapped some bolt-on grip bases with leather to match the Brooks saddle.

Upside down cruiser bars on a riser stem pretty well replicate the look of early-1900s bikes, as do the white tires.

Bow before me, humans!


Friday, June 06, 2008

Another Milestone

This is the Summary Report on the CDOT Commuter Log page I use to keep up with my trips and mileage to work. (Divide the "Trips" number by two for the days I've commuted.)
I figure I would have used $260.00 worth of gas in the motorbike (at an average of $3.25/gal. for premium) and $305.00 worth of gas in the truck (at an average of $3.00/gal) during the time I've been biking, for a total fuel savings of $565.00 (or 180 gallons of gas I didn't pollute the air with, which is more important).
Factor in how much I enjoy riding my bike, and how much I detest driving in traffic and, well...makes me wonder I ever drove to work in the first place.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Brakes (Amended on 06/08/08)

Phatatude asked me about the wheels and brakes on this Bianchi. (He actually asked me about the wheels and brakes on a Miyata I had built, but I somehow posted this picture, instead of the pic of the Miyata. D'oh.)Those are 700c wheels, but setting the brakes up was no problem, since the frame was originally built for that size wheel.

This is my UO8. It was built for 27" wheels, and I am running 700c. On this bike, as with the majority of the bikes I swap wheel sizes on, the old-school centerpull brakes have enough vertical pad adjustment to line up with the rim.

The Mafac Racer, one of the classiest-looking brakesets ever.

This Mundo, which I built up this week, for a local fellow, presented a problem. No centerpull in my box had enough reach to line the pads up with the rim. So, I ended up using an old BMX sidepull, which had plenty of reach on extra-long arms.

(The brakes weren't the only problem the Mundo presented. I spent about two hours aligning the fork so that the wheel didn't pull to the left, rather violently, as you rode. French bikes, like my Peugeot, and German bikes like this Mundo always have hinky forks, it seems.)

Incidentally, there is a new bike, the Yuba Mundo, which is a long wheelbase cargo bike. No relation to the older bike, but it is all that comes up when you Google "Mundo". If anyone has any info on the older bike, feel free to post it in the comments.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Super-secret Skunkworks Bike Project #3 - COMPLETE

I guess it's no longer Super-Secret, since Kyle now has the bike. It may well be the nicest freestyle BMX bike in Western PA.
In that picture, you can see the handlebars of the 3-wheeled IT and Sean's Klein, which also went to PA from here. I'm just trying to load up their garage with bikes to match mine.
Just call me Crazy Uncle Jon.