Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My New Workshop

The downside of buying a new house is an additional six years of grinding debt. The upside is my bike workshop has noticeably improved. Our garage has a nice bumpout in the back that makes a great shop area. We had to add some electrical outlets to the garage (it turns out the one outlet that Pulte provided wasn't quite enough), so after repairing and mudding that drywall patch, I painted it blank white and enlisted some help to liven up my shop area even more.

I told the kids they could paint what they liked. They thought for a moment and got to work:

Sam claimed the back corner. I eventually prodded him to use colors other than orange:

Kate needed no encouragement to use all the colors:

They did fine work:

You can see my latest project on the stand:

One small downside of the new garage is the ceilings are very high. Too high to hang bikes by both wheels, but I'd be conking my head if I hung them by only one wheel. I compromised and installed a makeshift bike rack on the back wall of the third bay:

This is good enough for four bikes (and one trail-a-bike), but that leaves me with three other bikes (and one trail-a-bike) to put somewhere. And that's just my bikes. Everyone else in the family has a bike that has to go somewhere, and Henry has been hinting that a second bike might be just the thing. We had to have a short talk about hypocrisy when I told him no.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Down on Jones Street

After a month of moving related activities, I had a free Sunday morning to head out mountain biking. Alas, Saturday night rains soaked the trails, so I hit the road on my Jones early Sunday morning for a library run:

Thursday, August 11, 2016


Just before we moved, I picked up a '98 Rockhopper off CL. It was so:

Not a bad find overall for $50, but there were clearly some issues that needed addressing:

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Road Bike Update: New Albion Privateer and Raleigh Technium

I had intended to do a post updating my thoughts on each of my bikes. I got the Jones update done, but now I'm already deviating from that plan by combining two bikes into one post. But, as I rode my New Albion Privateer and Raleigh Technium this spring, I couldn't help comparing and contrasting them:

Living (temporarily) with my parents has many nice features beyond free rent and inter-generational quality time: they live close enough to my work that I can easily bike commute. The (non-drive side!) shots above are from my "long" route to work, just eight or so miles of quiet country roads. Besides commuting time, I'm finding more quality road time than mountain biking time lately. The roads around here are new to me, and better than around Dublin: hillier, for one. And, it takes about 20 extra minutes to drive to any mountain biking trail I usually go to. So I've been pulling out each of these bikes almost in turn for road duties. How do they compare?

Really, I Could Stop Anytime

So here I am, homeless, sitting in my parent's basement, most of our worldly goods boxed up elsewhere as we squeeze seven people and ten cats into one house... but I don't let that slow my daily Craigslist scanning down. Not me. I've had an itch for another vintagey mountain bike, and ended up getting this for just $50:

It looks to be from '98 or so. Not "vintage" in terms of long chainstays and slack angles, or vintage in terms of pre-suspension, but a nice XC bike from before full suspension took over. By this point, Specialized had moved their Stumpjumpers to all aluminum, so this RH has a pretty nice Ritchey Logic "Nitanium" steel frame. I'm hoping it will ride nicely. I can't really tell, because the rear derailer is twisted and the chain is shot. It will bide its time here in my dad's shop until we can move into our new place.

I'm also kind of looking for a tandem. Good thing the new garage is big.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Henry Meets John Bryan

Henry has been showing a lot more interest in mountain biking this summer, warming my fatherly heart. He's had a bit of experience riding off road in the past, but he's getting old enough and big enough that he's capable of more trail riding.

Of course, me being me, the first order of business was getting his bike in order. I had dreamed of building him up a rigid 26+ bike made around an XS Surly 1x1 frame or something similar, but in the end we just pulled the fenders off his/Jodi's Trek and mounted up some knobbies in place of the slicks:

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Bike Update: Jones

Five months in, and I figure it's time for an update on the Jones. I haven't ridden it as much as I would like--moving has kept me busy this spring--but I'm well beyond the happy new bike stage. So what's it like?

Really, really good... but not perfect. Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first, shall we?