Monday, March 31, 2008

Old and new...

White, 1994. Blue, 2008. Cool.

Blog Worthy?

So many of these blog type things seem so dorky. What is blog worthy? Who cares about my bicycle addiction? People asking me about more relevant topics that I haven't gotten to yet, like baby stuff and our home improvement issues (which are looming large right now).

Some of this is a learning experience for me too...I'm always iffy about the security around putting too much personal junk on the web. Maybe I'm nuts, but I'll get there at some point, and develop a comfort level that comes with use and practice. Other people I know that blog sure do put things on their pages that I would consider much too private, especially in today's world. Oh well...In the meantime, bike pictures!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Worked a bit more on the blue EWR. Avid BB7 disc brakes installed, wheels trued and cleaned (they are from the Ti bike, which will get a new set of wheels more in tune with its vintage) drivetrain sorted NOS Sachs New Success, Race Face Isis BB and Turbine cranks (single front chain ring and RF bashguard), Kalloy seatpost and a fresh SDG Kevlar saddle. All added to the Revelation Fork and King HS that I installed yesterday. I picked up the Kalloy seatpost as a temporary solution to the odd 29.4 post size. I can only find Thomsons in that size, and while I like Thomson stuff, I'm looking for something that speaks to an earlier generation of mountain bikes. I feel like this frame originally went into production in 1991 or so, and even though the reintroduction has a good many geometry changes, to build the thing with new function but vintage style would be sort of cool. I am a geek.

Baby challenge level was high today...lots of testing and limit pushing. We spent the day with my wifes brother and that was lots of excitement for the baby, but the baby schedule suffered a bit. Anyone with kids knows...don't mess with the schedule! Oops.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Road Bike!

Roadie sighting. 30 miles on the road bike this morning. I felt very sluggish and lethargic. I actually intended to do 50 but I was so bummed with my performance that I bailed on the last 20 and just went home. I road with a friend from the office who has just purchased a Specialized carbon road bike with full Ultegra and while he felt like a million bucks and I could tell wanted me to pick up my lazy butt and get with the program, he insisted on lugging along at my 19mph. I can't decide which is worse, lugging on your own pace, or riding with a friend who wants to ride with you and then not feeling up to their pace. Failure or Guilt?

Came home and started to work on the VW, polishing and scrubbing and so forth. I had washed and waxed the whole deal last night, and then today was the start of the small clean up and adjustment phase. Chrome polishing. ugh. Tomorrow I put the radio back in, reinstall the dash fan and ducting, and button up the luggage compartment.

Then I migrated to bike maintenance and began to build the blue EWR. Headset, fork, stem install completed before the fading light and the responsibilities of fatherhood called and I had to put away the toys. Tomorrow, drivetrain and wheels. After the VW chores, and that whole fatherhood thing again. I need to teach the little monster to wrench!

End of line.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Land Rover more

Sort of gives some insight as to why Tata just may be a very good thing for fans of traditional Land Rovers...

VW lives!

Drove it back to the office downtown after picking it up from Hilltop on the northside. Funny little car...I'd forgotten how exhausting the thing is to drive. Every little ripple in the road makes a rattle and every mechanical process and function makes a full range of funky noises. After driving a modern car for 10 years, you sure do forget how an old car feels. This weekend it gets a bath and a full detail, then I'll button up some trim issues that have materialized over the last 10 years and gone unattended, toss a fresh fire extinguisher and some oil in the boot, and drive it for the spring. Tires are pretty flat-spotted, which is unfortunate, as they are not very old (well, miles wise anyway, they are nearly 10 years old by the callendar!). The new brakes work remarkable well, and the turn signals...I can't remember the last time the turn signals worked with any consistancy. Amazing what a little cleaning of the harness and panel will do for wonky electrics. I'll post a post-bath pic later in the weekend.

Vroom Vroom!

VW comes back home!

The Bug makes it back home this afternoon after nearly $1900 in repairs. The poor thing has been in storage since 1996 essentially, and while I've been able to do some things to it to keep it a viable vehicle, I've not done nearly enough. Finally I just had to admit to myself that the pros at Hilltop needed to do it up for me and then I'd just handle the frightening bill! Paying bills, the thing that there strangely seems plenty of time to do...

Anybody thinks 1900 bones is a nutty bill for a VW repair, just give me a repair item task and I bet its on the recent list of completed items!

Upside is we're in perfect convertible weather right now, so getting the Bug back with a clean bill of health will be very nice.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Tata for LR!

Tata buys Land Rover!

It's been rumored for almost a year now, that the sale of Land Rover by Ford could result in the LR brand being owned by a non-traditional automobile builder (well...non-traditional in the sense that we're not very aware of Tata in the states anyway!) I've been asked by a few friends in the office, rather smugly, what this will mean for me and my love afair with the planet-choking vehicles from Solihull. Look, I was more woried when the dorks at Ford were in control! Somehow Land Rover being associated with an asian truck company makes me feel better than an association with the Taurus!

The number of people that think I own the thing because of blind status is actually sort of scary. I don't have one so I can get a good spot at the "theatre" folks. I also get frequent razzings from those who question what a cyclist and cycling advocate is doing with a truck that gets 12mpg rolling downhill with the engine off. Well, it aint what you drive that will save the planet, its how you drive, and I live 5 miles from work, in a mixed use community, and I carpool or bike everyday. Besides my VW is more of an environmental nightmare than the LR. Oh well.

Sadly, Land Rover hasn't been the same since the last solid axle Discovery rolled off the line in 2004...nothing but station wagons now, and bloody rich station wagons to boot! Buy a Volvo if you're looking for a new wagon...of course then you're back to giving money to Ford!

EWR round two!

Bicycle Content! EWR
Sequels. You can never have too many of these things...

EWR is back( , and selling an updated version of the Original Woods, and since it would seem I am only gainfully employed to provide the dough necessary to feed my habits, of course I needed a new one too... I'll let their site go into the details of the differences if you want to go that deep, but to boil it down, they are shaped the same, but the geometry is different enough to make both in the same quiver justified.
Those of you waiting for something on this blog more meaningful than blithering about bicycles, I say take a seat...I'm getting there.

Eastern Woods Research, Old and New...

Bicycle Content! EWR

In 1994 I attended Interbike Philadelphia, the bicycle industry trade show for the east coast. Some of my mates from college and I were swishing around the notion of starting a bike shop, and after attending the show in Vegas the year before, I had convinced them that the three of us needed to head to Philly to check out the concept with a bit more powerful looking glass and a more skeptical eye. Of course, when we got there we spent more time looking at cool junk we wanted to buy with money we had yet to earn, but so goes being a stupid college kid with too much credit and not enough brains.

Anyway, I ran into this cat walking the halls of the trade show with this mountain bike frame thrown over his shoulder selling his concept of what a real woods-style aggressive frame should be...and I was hooked.

14 years, and a brief stint in the hands of a good friend in Atlanta (thanks Matt!), and the frame is still mine. Large EWR Original Woods, single-speed and rigid. Perfect.

Handy, these here blog-o-web short-cuts!

After writing three versions of, and sweating the security of the whole schmeal, I'm bagging the HTML and letting somebody else do the dirty work. I am an evolving animal. Here goes!...

Testing the Beta baby!

Newbs are on the loose. I have nothing good to say. That is all...