Two Wheels - Six Strings

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

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Lou Reed Dead at 71

I don't know what to say. He was such a hero of mine.

Back in the mid 90s, when I was still married, Val and I went to see him, here in Denver.

after he walked out on stage, Val leaned over and asked me, "Why are they booing him?"

I pointed out to her that the crowd was not booing, they were chanting, "Lou, Lou, Lou..."

The guy was a musical genius and had a huge influence on my songwriting and delivery.

Lou, Lou, Lou, Lou...

More here.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Silk Purse

They say you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but this bike comes close to disproving that. It has come so far from its humble WalMart beginnings, that it is almost unrecognizable.

I rode it to the coffee shop, yesterday. Then, on the way home, I rode around, aimlessly, for about an hour. I took the bike path which follows a drainage ditch through the D.U. neighborhood, and comes out behind the YMCA. I stopped in at the bike shop and grabbed a cable, then continued riding up and down alleys in the D.U. area, just enjoying the warm weather and celebrating the fact that I finally felt almost normal, again,

When I got home, I put the bike on the stand, and pulled the rear wheel. Twenty minutes later, I had re-centered the axle so that I could add a spacer on the drive side. This allowed me to adjust the derailleur to the hit all five of the cogs on the freewheel.

Speaking of the freewheel ... I found a five-speed freewheel at VeloSwap, last week, which has a 34-tooth large cog on it. With the 22-tooth chainring, the bike now has a 17.5" low gear, which matches the low gear on my 29er. At this point, the bike should be rideable on any trail I would ride on the 29" mountain bike.

I also drilled the dropouts and bolted the rack directly to the bike. I was not satisfied with the P-clamp mounting. It set the rack too high on the bike, and it wasn't very stable.

The relocated lower mounts moved the rack back far enough tht I had to fabricate an extension for the front struts.

While I was at it, I installed these Simplex shifters. They came off of a Peugeot mountain bike which I fixed up for my friend Paul's stepson. They really don't work any better than the shifters I had on the bike, before. But, they are a matching pair, and they just have that cool 80s vibe.

So, I think the bike is ready for a GrinderBikes sticker.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sick Of Being Sick

The doctor said it was the flu. All I know is that that I had over three weeks of fatigue, body aches, congestion and the ennui that illness brings.

I think that I am finally over it. Now to get back on the bike and regain some fitness...

I have a few things to post, but I just didn't have the energy to post them as they happened. Stay tuned.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Motorbikes Seen On The Street

I have a habit of snapping photos of interesting motorbikes that I see on the street. I lost a few of those pictures when I changed phones, last a while back, so I thought I would load a few up, here, just in case.

I spotted this guy, last week, as I was on my way home from the  coffee shop. I like the stripped-down crotch rocket look. This is a Yamaha, of some sort...

 I may have posted this before. It pulled into the parking lot of the joint where Steve and i were eating, post mountain bike ride, in Idaho Springs. Crazy.

 This 1996 Speed Triple was in the same parking lot. I still want one of these.

 I saw this one on the street, as i was riding my own motorbike home from work. Looks good, but I think I would miss the front brake. Early 80s Honda Hawk 400T.

 This CB 550 was parked in front of an apartment building in Capitol Hill.

This is the same model bike as the one with no front brake. For all I know, it may be the same bike, as this is an earlier picture. But, this one was taken in a different neighborhood, as I rode my bicycle home from work.

Brad and I saw this one in Salida, when we were on a 3-day motorcycle/camping trip, a couple of years ago.

Co-worker's bikes, next to mine, in our parking lot at CDOT.

This is outside of Erico Motorsports, where I bought my Scrambler. This Bonnie was tres cool.

 This GoldWing, and the bike below, aren't exactly on the street. They were competing at the Bonneville Salt Flats, last year. They are cool, though, so I included them, anyway.

Motorbikes are one of my biggest passions in life. I often point out that I got my first motorbike 39 years ago, and i have not had a day go by, since, that I didn't own one. Along with guitars and bicycles, they provide some of my best experiences and memories.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Fat Bike Friday - Built Marty's Motobecane Fat Bike and Finished Danny's Beast

How's that for a descriptive title?

I pointed out the Bike's Direct fat bikes on the blog, a while back, and happened to mention them to my buddy Marty, from down the street. He ended up buying the top-end model, because he doesn't have boxes and boxes of bike parts lying about to use in upgrading, and he figured that was the way to go.

One of the selling points for the $950.00 model, over the $850.00 version, was that it was spec'd with the 120 tpi Vee Rubber Mission tires. But, after he had placed his order, Marty got an email informing him that htere had been a problem in the supply line, and those tires were not available. So, he opted to go with the next model down, for $100.00 less.

The bike arrived, Thursday, and it was the $950.00 model. Bikes Direct refunded Marty his $100.00, and he ended up with the nicer spec, other than the tires (which are still a respectable 78 tpi). On Friday, I assembled the bike for him.

The bike was packed in a pretty standard manner, as I expected it to be. The frame was well-protected with both foam and cardbord wrapping, and the paint came through without a scratch.

The front rim is 100mm in width, and has double-walled construction. That was something of a surprise. I really expected single-wall rims at this pricepoint.

I measured the rear rim at 88mm (I suspect the published width is 85...). The front rim is drilled with a double row of holes, while the narrower rear is drilled in single-file.

Here, you can see the frame protection, for shipping.

The rear of the frame is offset, similar to the Surly fatbikes, and the rim is drilled assymetrically to allow for the wheel offset. The full 9-speed cassette is usable, without having the chain contact the rear tire.

The only problem with the bike, out of the box, was a missing water bottle cage bolt on the downtube, with the rubber painting plug still in it. There were extra bolts with the bike, so I just pulled the rubber plug out and installed a bolt.

The cage fitting, missing a bolt.

The front derailleur is an e-type. That allowed the company to spec a less-expensive front derailleur than if using a direct-mount type (which only come in XT and up, to my knowledge).

Complete, with a pair of my platform pedals, the bike weighed in a t a respectable 36.30 pounds. My Beast, with rack, tool kit, etc, weighs 48.3 pounds, by the way...

I pulled Dan's Beast, and mine, out for a group shot.

 Another view of the gang.

Lots o' rubber in the driveway.

Beauty shot.

And, another.

Marty, with his bike and mine.

Here, I am filing down a seat shim to fit on Danny's bike. He got a custom-made layback seatpost, which needed two shims. The inner one was a bit too big, so I fixed it up.

Beauty shot of the completed BlackBeast.

It was a big day, here at World HQ. Or, at least, it was a big tire day.


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

New Hat

Steve and I played at Bushwacker's, on Friday, and I stayed until closing in order to get our cut of the drink sales. I ended up getting into bed at 2:30 AM. Saturday night, I went to see Robert Harrison and the Outsiders at Herman's. They went on late, and I stayed after the show to help them load up/just hang out. I ended up in bed at 3:00 AM, Sunday morning. I was up by 7:30, both mornings.

Steve and Adam M both had colds, over the weekend, and I ended up with my own, yesterday. I think that all of the staying up late lowered my resistance, or something. In bed at 7:00 PM, last night, and finally out of bed at 12:30, this afternoon.

In the meantime, my new helmet showed up. It is a Daytona, DOT-certified full face. They advertise it as being the lowest-profile DOT helmet available, and you can see that it is noticeably smaller than my Bell 500. I wore it on my commute, yesterday, and I found that the interior isn't as nice as the Bell.  But it cost about half as much, so that isn't a big shock.

I need to figure out some graphics because, while the gold metal flake is cool, I just can't leave stuff alone...