Two Wheels - Six Strings

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

Monday, February 21, 2011

Cigar Box Amp Demo

Check it out.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Tired Of Working

So, I decided to play, a little.

Specifically, I am tired of working on converting an old mountain bike into a commuter, for a fellow I know at the coffee shop.  The bike has been in my shop building for almost two  years, and he finally settled on what he wanted done to it.  I, though, am sick of looking at it, so I am having trouble working on it.

So, I took a break and built another "junk-box bike".

The frame was an old Giant hybrid-bike frame which has been lying about.  My 1-inch steer-tube Kinesis alloy cross fork worked, with a headset made up of parts from three different partial headsets from the graveyard.

The tires are a set of 700x45c, which I had bought for an abandoned project a couple of years ago.  The bike is not quite a "29er", but it is technically a "28er", like a European trekking bike.

 I'll have to find a better shifter.  This one is a stem-mount shifter.  It works fine, but it shifts backward to normal, when mounted on the handlebar.

I also put together a cigar box amplifier, to go with the cigar box guitar.

I'll write up a little build description over on 52 Card, soon, if anyone is interested.


Monday, February 14, 2011

It Worked!

Sixty-five degrees yesterday and today!  The power of the Pogies!

In other news, I got some new bike bags.

They were out of the colorful model, so I had to go with these plain-Janes.

They are pretty roomy, and they have a nice, straightforward velcro mounting system.

From the Organic Bikes website:

Organic Bikes ReClaimed Cycling Bags are made from un-used agricultural bags from Vietnam. These came from the printer as over-runs/misprints/ and end of run pieces and have been hand crafted into the finest quality cycling bags! This material would have been thrown away or burned, but now it has received another life. We use 3M reflective tape and YKK zippers, and the bags are waterproof. No two bags are the same, and proceeds from these bags go right back into the communities that hand craft them.

Today was the first day I've gotten to use them, and so far, so good.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

I Have Brought Warm Weather Back to Denver

In much the same way that washing your car will break a drought, I figure that these will bring warm weather back to town:

My homemade version of these was working so well that I figured I might just get some material and make a nice pair.  Then, I looked on Amazon, and found these for $12.99.  I can't buy the material for that.

So, I ordered them up, and they were waiting on me when I got home, today.

 After I put them on the bike and test-rode it, I went into the house and turned on the news.  The weather forecast calls for highs in the 60s, by the end of the week.

You're welcome, Denver!


Saturday, February 05, 2011

Three Strings, No Waiting - EDIT: Second Video Posted

Here's a video featuring my new 3-string cigar box guitar.  Check out 52 Card Pickup for details on construction.

Posted another cbg video over at 52 Card.


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Homemade Pogies

The temperature was hovering around 10 to 12 below 0 (F) as I left the house, this morning.  The temperature didn't concern me, that much. I've ridden in colder temps.  But, the 15 mph headwind, with an advertised windchill factor of -35, made it seem lots colder than usual.

I was bundled up, pretty well, with snowboard pants on, and a face mask made from an old scarf with a mouth hole cut into it, in addition to all of my regular cold-weather clothes.  And, I mean all of them.  And, I managed to stay pretty comfortable, except for my hands. 

Even with my snowboarding wind mitts over my gloves and liners, my hands were freezing.  My right thumb hurt so much, for two or three hours after I got to work, that I wonder if I didn't get some mild frostbite.

It isn't often cold enough to overcome my glove set-up, but it happens a few times every winter.  And, every time, I wish I had some pogies.  Pogies are basically insulated bags which snap (or velcro) onto the handlebar of a snowmobile or bicycle, and protect the rider's hands from the wind.

So, once I had my work caught up, I started thinking about making some pogies for the next few days' commutes.  But what to make them from?

I looked around the lab, and spotted my stash of bubblewrap, which I had saved when we moved into the building, 5 years ago.  I tore off a couple of rectangular pieces, folded them double, then wrapped them over the bars and secured them with packing tape.  Then, just in case the cold weather made the packing tape fail, I reinforced the edges with staples.

 Voila!  Pogies!

Noon rolled around, and the temperature had climbed to a balmy 8 below, so I decided to burn some comp time and go home early. I got dressed, and headed out, hoping that the new additions to the bike would make the ride a bit more tolerable.

Within a mile, I had to pull over and take the glove liners off.  My hands were actually sweating!  Before I got home, I was seriously considering taking the gloves, themselves, off and wearing just the liners.

The temperature is supposed to drop even lower, tonight.  I'm hoping that the pogies will help on the dark, early morning commute.

I'll let you know.