Two Wheels - Six Strings

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

Friday, July 19, 2013

All of the Cool Kids Love Choppers

Brad and Noella stopped by, today. I had to show the new chopper to Brad, to see what he thought about it. He seemed to approve...


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Black Chopper

I bought this aluminum cruiser off of the Walmart website, the other day. I had plans to install a wheel with a 7-speed internally geared hub, and some front brakes on it, rhen flip it to make a couple of bucks.

I liked the black frame/orange wheels combo, but I wasn't too fond of the decals. I don't really know why it is that all of the bikes sold in big-box stores have to be plastered with a dozen, or more, decals.

So, I pulled the decals off, and then, as I looked around the shop building, a lightbulb went on, above my head, just like in a cartoon.

I bolted on the bars I had gotten to use on the bike for Tony H's son-in-law, along with the machined alloy grips.

 Then, I mounted a set-back for the seat. (I will paint the new parts gloss black, this weekend.)

Voila ... a black chopper. I'm hoping that Tony's son-in-law likes it as much as I do. If not, I might just keep it and build him something else.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Another Bike, For Another Tony

Tony Gallagher, photographer extraordinaire, contacted me, last week, looking for a speedy commuter/city bike. "Speedy", as compared to his Schwinn 3-speed with ape-hangers and a banana seat, that is...

He came over and checked out what frames I had available, and he picked out one of my favorites, an all-chrome early '80s Ross Mt. Whitney. I have had that frame for years, and just recently pulled it out with the intention of building it up.

Deore DX wheels, Shimano 600 "Arabesque" derailleurs, vintage bar-end shifters, bikini fenders, Shimano brake levers, DX cantilevers, half-step plus a granny touring crank ... good stuff!

Tony picked it up, Sunday evening, with a smile on his face. Another happy customer!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

I Think Tony Likes His Chopper

Now, his son-in-law wants one. And, he's even bigger than Tony...


Sunday, July 07, 2013

It's A Chopper, Baby!

Tony H, at work, wanted me to build him a single-speed bike so that he could ride around the park with his grandson. Tony is a big dude, and a Harley rider, so I figured I would build him a bicycle which would give him a familiar vibe.

I found this bike on Craigslist, Monday, and made a call to the owner. Two hours later, and it was at my house.

 It is a late 60's/early 70's Huffy cruiser. It was complete, and rideable, which is always a good thing when you use a bike as the base for a custom build. It's nice to not have to fix problems before getting started.

 I spent most of Wednesday trying to figure out how to make the bike rideable for a guy Tony's size. The 13/16" mild steel seatpost will not hold up, if it is extended far enough for a full-sized adult to ride it comfortably. Plus, Tony is used to the foot-forward position on his Hog.

I used half of a junked parallelogram fork as a support for the seat. This got the seat low, and back, while providing adequate strength to support Tony.

 I did a lot of "test riding" on Wednesday. The thing is a hoot to ride, and I thought to myself, "I'll build myself one, eventually." Of course, I had to finish this bike, first.

I tore it apart on the 4th, and sprayed it flat black. Today, I reassembled it, with new tires, chain, seat, bars, grips, and some actual grease on the bearings, rather than the 40-years-old crud that was in them.

I particularly like the machined aluminum grips...

"Whose chopper is it?"

 And so, another project goes in the books as complete. I really enjoyed having the week off, so that I could actually get some stuff done and off of the list!


Friday, July 05, 2013

First Mountain Bike Ride Since ... February?

I haven't been on the mountain bike since I rebuilt my old frame with new parts. Weather, the band, and, well, life have just kept me from it. Today, Steve and I headed down to Greenland Open Space.

I left the house at about 5:55 AM, to meet Steve for breakfast. I rode my mountain bike down to Crown Burgers, only to realize that they don't open until 7:00. It was raining lightly, and beautiful, full-arch rainbow was overhead as Steve pulled into the parking lot. We opted to go across the road to McDonald's (much as I hate to do that).

After we were done eating, we drove up to my house and grabbed my CamelBak, and my after-ride clothes, and then headed south. It was still raining, as we drove, but I figured it would clear up, pretty quickly.

By the time we got halfway up the hill, the skies were clearing, and the sun was beaming down.

We completed the Greenland Loop, then rode over to the Spruce Meadow Trailhead, and took the trail over to the intersection with the Spruce Mountain Trail. After a nice singletrack climb through the trees, we stopped at the top to enjoy the view.

Over my shoulder, you see the Greenland Loop, which we had just ridden.

As we sat on the rocks, enjoying the view, a train approached from the south, on the tracks between us and Greenland. I saw some bluish-green tanks of some sort, on the train, and was curious as to what they might be. As the train got closer, I realized what they were.

Those are passenger jet bodies. I don't know what model they are, but they looked to be about the size of a 737. I had never even considered that planes might be transported by rail. I always figured that they just built them and flew them to wherever they were going.

Soon after the train had gone by, Steve and I took off on the loop trail, on top of the mountain.

There are some nice views from that trail.

And, there is some nice, flowy singletrack through the trees.

On our way back, we stopped to check out the plastic lizard I had spotted on the way in.

As we looked at it, Steve realized that the plastic jug was a geocache. We looked in it, and signed the log book, before riding on.

It was a beautiful day for a mountain bike ride, and we ended up with 18 miles of off-road riding, when we were done.


Thursday, July 04, 2013


I took the week off, since I was scheduled for only 3 days, anyway. During the past 5 days, I have worked like a dog on a few projects.

Now, I am tired like a dog...

...but, the projects are approaching completion, and it's what people refer to as a "good tired".

Tomorrow, some mountain biking and furniture rearranging.

Eventually, I'll have something complete to show you.

Happy Independence Day!