Monday, August 28, 2006

Creaky Snake Goes Dancing

It seems as though just when one thing starts working right, something else fails. Especially with bikes. Case in point, the Jamis. Saturday I put 24 miles on it with no issue. Then I installed a rack. Then I rode 6 miles home. So far, so good. I hooked up the tag-along and rode another 15 miles without incident. Then later I did another 12 miles. On the last 12 miles, my Flightdeck computer stopped working. But in the strangest way. It is showing me current speed, estimated cadence and the odometer is updating normally. But it won't track individual ride time or distance. How the frell can it pick up my miles per hour but not record distance?? Grrr. I cannibalized the battery out of the wife's bike computer, since Shimano didn't see fit to pack a battery with the unit. I'm going to try a new battery and see if the issue goes away.

Then this morning on the way to work I developed a creak. It sounded like it was coming from the bottom bracket, but that seems too easy. I tried pedaling with my feet unclipped and it still creaked, so I don't think it's a pedal issue. It only creaks when I'm pedaling, not when I'm coasting. I tried stopping and moving my pannier from the left side to the right, thinking the weight might be causing it. No change. So I rode the rest of the way getting annoyed by the creak. Then, on the way home, no creak. I'm not sure what to think at this point. I hate trying to track down creaks.

Date: August 28
Mileage: 23
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Jamis
August mileage: 268
Year to date mileage: 2382

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Long Saturday = Lazy Sunday? Not so much.

I finally had a weekend at home when I didn't have about 1000 things going on, so I got permission to do the Hiawatha Ride on Saturday morning. I headed out from home around 7:15 and met up with the group for the 7:45 flight time. It was a much bigger group than the last time I rode with them, which was sometime back in May or early Jume. Have I mentioned that it was a busy summer? And there were women! The previous Hiawatha Rides I'd been on had been all XY. Good changes, all.

We rolled out and made a lazy loop around the Mpls lakes and up to the Greenway. We jumped off the trail at Uptown for some refreshment and caffeine at CRC. I'd never been before, and I liked it quite a bit. Nothing quite like drinking coffee surrounded by bikes hanging on the walls, bike stuff for sale (including the bikes on the walls), and even a fairly complete-looking repair station for that unexpected mechanical.

Once back at Hiawatha, I started shopping for rear racks for the Jamis. The Jamis is a great ride, but I don't use it for commuting all that often because I have to wear the messenger bag to do so. And I really don't like commuting with the messenger bag. I'm more of a pannier kind of guy. The frame has braze-ons for a rack, but most of the racks we tried interfered with the rear brake. Big thanks to Jim and Kevin for letting me open up damn near every rack in the place to find one that would fit. I had started with the most expensive rack in the place, and found that the cheapest one fit best. The frugal part of me loves it when stuff works out like that. So I'm all racked up and ready to roll.

Nancy called as I was finishing the rack install and said she and the girls were back to school shopping and told me to meet them at Old Chicago for lunch. I got the bike home with just a hair over 30 miles on it and went for lunch. While there we ran into one of Morgan's school friends, Laura, and set up an impromptu playdate for that afternoon. Laura came to our house around 2 and our other daughter Emma tried to pal around, but she doesn't know Laura and felt kind of left out. Nancy quickly suggested that I take Emma for a bike ride with the tag-along. So I hooked it all up and off we went. Nancy also called Emma's friend Sophia and set up a playdate for 5:00.

We had a great ride. I took her up along my normal commute route and we stopped off at Minnehaha Falls. After fooling around at the falls for a while we headed up the trail a bit more. After a couple more miles we turned around because Emma didn't want to be late for her playdate. We buzzed back home and I had 45 miles for the day. Emma's a good little pedaler, but it's still hard work pulling her and the tag-along.

After Nancy took Emma to Sophia's, Laura's folks picked her up and Morgan and I were on our own for dinner. Morgan looked at me with the big puppy-dog eyes and asked if we could bike to the waterfall. So I changed back into the bike clothes, hooked the tag-along up again and off we went. We saw the falls and tacked another 12 miles on to end up at 57 for the day (for me). This was the longest distance either of the kids had done on the tag-along and it went great. We'll be doing this more often.

I wanted to take it easy today, but ended up taking the kids to the Fair for nearly 6 hours this afternoon. A lot of walking. I think I'm gonna hit the hay.

Date: August 24
Mileage: 23
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
August mileage: 165
Year to date mileage: 2279

Date: August 25
Mileage: 23
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
August mileage: 188
Year to date mileage: 2302

Date: August 26
Mileage: 57
Ride type/Bike: Hiawatha/Kid/Kid/Jamis
August mileage: 245
Year to date mileage: 2359

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Rocket Power!

My sources have informed me that there is currently a rocket powered bicycle on display here in the Twin Cities. In Bloomington, no less. I did some preliminary web snooping and came up with a picture of said bike:
rocket powered bike Gizmo

The bike was built by Ky Michaelson, the self-described "Rocket-man". A former Hollywood stuntman who clearly took one too many blows to the head, he is now completely obsessed with rockets. How obsessed? He's built a rocket-powered toilet. I shit you not (pardon the expression).
rocket powered toilet

But there are more intriguing items to be found on his website. My personal favorite is this one, titled simply "Jeff on paules jet"
rocket powered bicycle

Who is Jeff? Was he stupid/brave enough to actually ride this rocket powered bike? Is that helmet ANSI approved? Is that bike really a Hawthorne with BMX handlebars? What happened to his shoelaces?

And this one. A potential winter commuter?? It certainly gives a new spin to the term "track bike."
track bike

I might need to make a pilgramage to the Bloomington Art Center.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Pod Person

There hasn't been a lot of riding lately. There hasn't been a lot of posting lately. There hasn't been a lot of reading done. I'm a month behind on both of the magazines I subscribe to, the bookmarks are at the early part of last month's issue and the current month's issue is sitting unopened, mocking me. I've been mainly skimming everybody else's blog posts, and I certainly haven't been commenting (sorry about that).

There has, however, been an explosion in the amount of music consumed. The House of Velocipete has finally entered the 21st century and gotten an iPod. And it's taken over. And that's just a little bit of all right.

Right now the lawn needs to be mowed, there's a few downed trees that need to be cut up and dragged to the composting place, more trees that need to be trimmed and/or removed. The place could use a good cleaning. The bathroom sink is plugged up. The garage needs to be cleaned and reorganized.

3398 songs, 8.8 days, 11.67 GB. And counting.

Date: August 10
Mileage: 24
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Jamis
August mileage: 96
Year to date mileage: 2210

Date: August 14
Mileage: 23
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
August mileage: 119
Year to date mileage: 2233

Date: August 15
Mileage: 23
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Schwinn
August mileage: 142
Year to date mileage: 2256

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Run, Floyd, Run

Amazing video of local police as they attempt to take Landis in for questioning:

OK, so maybe it ain't Landis. ;-) But stay tuned to the end anyway. It's totally worth it. Found via

Date: August 9
Mileage: 24
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Jamis
August mileage: 72
Year to date mileage: 2186

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

This here's a holdup

As I was sitting at the stoplight on Lake and Minnehaha the elderly gentleman next to me rolled down his window and asked if I wanted to race. I said sure, but told him I'd take it easy on him so he wouldn't be embarrased to lose in front of his wife (who was in the passenger seat). He said it would be especially embarrasing considering he'd just paid over $70 to fill the tank with premium. $3.39 per gallon. Then he quipped, "The oil companies have a knife in our ribs, don't they?" and laughed. At $3.39 per gallon I'm sure he's gotta laugh to keep from crying.

Date: August 7
Mileage: 24
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Jamis
August mileage: 24
Year to date mileage: 2138

Date: August 8
Mileage: 24
Ride type/Bike: Commute/Jamis
August mileage: 48
Year to date mileage: 2162

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Phlandis Phinished?

As expected, the B sample has come back positive. The Phonak statement is:

The Phonak Cycling Team has learned today from the International Cycling Union (UCI) that team captain Floyd Landis’s B sample has also resulted in a positive finding of doping. As a result, Landis will be dismissed without notice for violating the team’s internal Code of Ethics. Landis will continue to have legal options to contest the findings. However, this will be his personal affair and the Phonak team will no longer be involved in that. Team owner Andy Rihs deeply regrets this development. At present, he is clarifying with all parties involved what consequences this may have for his company ARcycling AG, the operator of the Phonak Cycling Team. Andy Rihs and Team Manager John Lelangue will make in-depth statements regarding this matter at a media conference to be held in the next couple of days.

The Phlandis statement is:

It is widely known that the test in question, given as a urine sample after my victorious ride on stage 17 of the Tour de France, returned an abnormal T/E ratio from the “A” sample. I want to be entirely clear about one point of the test that has not been fairly reported in the press or expressed in any statements made by international or national governing bodies; the T value returned has been determined to be in the normal range. The E value returned was LOW, thus causing the skewed ratio. This evidence supports my assertion that I did not use testosterone to improve my performance. I emphatically deny any claims that I used testosterone to improve my performance.

At this point there's not really much to add. Phonak has cut Phlandis loose and the conventional wisdom says that we won't see him on a pro bike race for two years. Buenos tardes, amigo.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Almost Famous

Woo, I got mentioned on Cycle-Licious!