Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Donkey Post

Two new baby donkeys were born today! A boy and a girl. Thought I would share the cuteness with you.

Days like this are why I do what I do! :)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Little Grocery Shopping

Twice today I've headed down the hill to the grocery store. First was for our Sunday morning tradition of fresh made donuts, coke and OJ. I've got my system down for picking up those items, but later on we decided that we needed ice-cream, deli meats, cool whip and spinach. All things that need to be kept cool. It's a balmy 90 degrees out, so I wasn't sure about bringing home ice-cream. The rest I figured would be ok. It takes about 10 minutes to ride home and figured it was worth a try.

So I bought one of those insulated grocery bags that they sell at the store. It fits on the rack and the triple bungee holds it down. The bag did want to slide some to the right side of the rack. So I looped the bags handles through the leather latch on the Swiss army bag to hold it still on the left.

Worked great! Now I have no excuses left for not buying ice-cream. :)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Never Saw that Coming...

I was playing around with saddle angles today on the Pashley. Over this past week it was starting to feel like I was sliding off the back of the saddle and so I was nosing it down a little. In my enthusiasm, I apparently favored one nut when tightening, pulling the bolt through the clamp and causing it to round out the square hole that it goes through. You can see that the bolt has flat spaces at that fit into the square holes. This keeps the bolt from turning around in the clamp, and when one gets pulled through, neither flat is in a hole.

So, while trying to back this mistake out, I got both nuts cross threaded on the bolt since it wasn't staying still in the clamp! Go me! And boy did I get the nuts cross threaded on there good. So my most wonderful husband, whom I now owe a chocolate malt, came to my rescue and sawed the bolt in half, by hand! This was the only way we could free my saddle from the clamp.

So, lesson learned. With the Brooks type clamps, don't tighten from just one side. Keep the bolt even.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bike To Work

Bike at work.

Some work.

Work playing around and not working.

Pashley after work. Near someone else's work.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Rain Wear for Bicycles

I've been meaning to share this for awhile now. A month or so ago I made a saddle and grip cover set.

I didn't use any sort of pattern, just took some measurements and traced the saddle for the basic shape. These are made from a water resistant outdoor fabric with a PVC lining.

I learned a lot about sewing through PVC. It's sticky, and needs a lubricant of sorts in order for it to feed through the sewing machine. I tried baby powder, and that just got messy. Then I got smart and used tissue paper. It fed through much better, but my machine still complained. Definitely a job for the treadle machine. Shame it's in pieces right now.

Anyway, I was inspired to make something waterproof to keep my saddle and grips dry while I'm at work. I don't have anywhere covered to keep my bikes, and plastic bags just looked bad.

I have the Brooks leather grips on the Pashley. I've discovered that after being out in the rain, once they dry the leather washers shrink in a little, leaving gaps in between. This is easily corrected my tightening the screws in on the ends of the grips, but not something I want to have to do every time it rains. Has anyone else had this problem with the Brooks grips? Did you find some way to prevent the shrinkage?

The covers just slip on over the grips, and have elastic in the open end to draw them in, helping to keep water out.

The saddle cover was the most difficult part of the project. Between the machine throwing fits over sewing through the PVC, and trying to make curves it just was not fun. But it turned out well!

If I were to make one again (I did buy more fabric, in case I wanted variety) I think that I would make the gusset a little wider so that it comes down over the springs more. This one just does cover them.

So far these have worked out nicely! They've been in some real downpours now and haven't leaked or blown off. Since I haven't gone and made another set yet I guess that means I'm pretty happy with them. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Miss Violet Goes Blond. Has More Fun As A Result.

As many loop frame bicycles before her, Miss Violet has gone blond! And is loving her new looks.

I decided to swap the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires that she came with out for some Delta Cruisers after reading Velouria's report on how much of a difference they made to the ride quality of her Pashley.

I had Delta Cruisers before, on my Herclues and was quite happy with them.

But I didn't have anything to compare them to and hadn't ridden the Hercules on any other tire.

I do have to agree, the Delta Cruisers are much more shock absorbative than the Marathon Plus. Since I find that I don't need to brake for every little bump in the road now the Pashley seems to be much zippier. It's giving me a better opportunity to really ride and just enjoy riding instead of judging the road surface constantly. Also I've noticed that I can definitely feel a difference in turns. Especially low speed turns. The tire seems to glide across the pavement. These tires also work well off road.

We went out tonight testing The Husbands new headlights. While trying to find dark places to test them in we went along this little wooded area that follows a creek. We take this detuor occasionally, and previously the ride beside the creek was terribly rough. The Delta Cruisers helped smooth this route a lot! So I am definitely pleased with the tires. Not so much with the packaging though:

I ordered this set through Amazon. Seriously Amazon, TWO boxes? Two HUGE boxes?!?

Two huge boxes with an single tire each! *sigh*

Changing tires on the Pashley is quite easy. The owners manual has easy to follow instructions for removing both wheels. I was able to easily remove the wheels, the chaincase being the only tricky, but not difficult part.

As for dirt. The Cream Delta Cruisers only seem to get road dirt in a narrow area just in the center of the tread.

The sidewalls are still free from grime. Even after riding in freshly mown grass they still look nice! I was expecting to have green tires after that.

So, all in all I am very happy with these tires. I can see why Velouria keeps using them on so many of her bikes, and why so many others have made the switch on theirs.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Meeting the FrankenTandem

Some friends of ours came to visit today and brought along their newest bicycle. The FrankenTandem.

That's Susan, trucking along on it. It's a single speed, coaster brake tandem that consists of two mixte frame bicycles welded together. She picked it up somewhere in NC and just thought it was too cool to pass up. And it is! For someone's homemade tandem.

We both rode it around for awhile. It was fun, but a little terrifying at first! It just doesn't look like it would be safe to ride, but it held up. We even got The Husband on it!

After playing around with The FrankenTandem, Susan tried out my Pashley. She liked it a lot, even though my 17.5" frame is WAY too small for her.

She also took The Husband's trike for a spin, and I managed to not get any pictures of that. Oops! But she really liked it and had a great time on it.

Fun day all around. Lots of sunshine and bikes and too much lunch. I'm beat!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Creepy Gardening

So the other day The Husband was riding along a path in our appartment community and came across this:

Which at first glance looked like some sort of stuffed animal burial grounds. Bur on a closer look it was discovered to be someone's garden that they had decorated with old toys.

You just never know what you might find on a ride!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

We're going to need a bigger stable...

Because the Husband finally got himself some wheels! A Terra Trike tadpole recumbent.

He loves it. And it's quite speedy! Here he is zooming:

You can read up on that here: http://www.dailycypher.org/

Since then we've gone on several rides together. I'm trying out my various bikes to see which are best with his. So far, while he builds up stamina, the Pashley seems to be the best. We'll see how long that lasts!

In other news, the Fuji now has tires:

But is going to need a new chain. And there is ANOTHER mixte in the house!

I'll take some better pictures of it soon, but since it's just a frame I'm going to give it all new components, and a new paint job. Obviously it will need a fork as well. Once I have that, I'm going to have it stripped and powder coated. I'm not sure of the color scheme though. What do you guys think?