Saturday, June 23, 2012

eBay out door!!!

It Begins!!!  The trimming of the fat!

Altek BL25 levers, faded anodizing, but fully functioning.

Deore short cage rear derailleur.

SGD in black, well traveled.

SDG in blue, also been around the world.

And some XT cantilever brake goodies.  Badda BOOMage.  Buy now and save.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Grove Ti RIP

Remember that beautiful Grove Ti frame I was just talking about a few posts ago?  Well, apparently it didn't take well to being dropped off a 500 foot cliff in Utah.  EEK!

The tale...

Underground Ozarks - The Land of Kong!

For years I posted a link to a website called Artificial Owl.  The site featured all sorts of wild abandoned man made features and vehicles, from shipwrecks to Soviet war memorials.  It is an awesome site and one you can get lost in for hours.  People build such crazy stuff, and then in the drop of a hat they throw it all away.

Same goes for VW Transporters, Kombis and Sambas.  These things were manufactured in ridiculous numbers and were utilized, much like Land Rover Series trucks, for everything from school buses to fire trucks to airport and military bucket trucks and support vehicles. The choices and uses available from the VW factory were endless, and there were nearly as many variants from outside coach builders and specialty conversion companies  Some of the funkiest of the retired 'working trucks' are the second or third hand private business vehicles scattered across the country, retired now and sitting waiting for resurrection after years of supporting some bizarre poorly conceived business venture.

Take for example, the Land of Kong / Dinosaur World bus from Beaver Arkansas.

Shown sitting here advertising in colorful if historically inaccurate murals, "65 acres of Dinosaurs".

Here is a shot of the now defunct Land of Kong from Google Earth.  Land of Kong was a drive through park with a gift shop and a restaurant back in the day, playing on the love affair the middle class America had with the automobile in years past.

And from Street View, an awesome shot of a concrete Stegosaurus just chillin' out in the woods, roadside in Beaver Arkansas.

Today the Land of Kong bus is preserved, on the road, and being enjoyed, as it should be.  Land of Kong still awaits it's fate.  According to Wikipedia, Land of Kong has been closed for a few years now, and in fact the main building that housed the gift shop and restaurant apparently burned recently, the possible victim of arson.

More derelict and forgotten goodies from the area can be found here..

More info on the Land of Kong bus can be found here...

For more gloriously documented weirdness and urban decay, visit Dark Passage and The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shift Lock Follow-up!

More information for the non technical inspired by the following comment from my brother...

"I'm cringing.

Actually, I'm not. I lied.

This is such a JM sentence: "The key spins the toggle at the top and pushes down on the cam directly below it, which then contacts the plates and interrupts the natural motion of the gear selector when the lock is engaged."

My non-technical, non-mechanical head is spinning!"

Lets break it down.  It aint too hard.

"The key spins the toggle at the top and pushes down on the cam directly below it, which then contacts the plates and interrupts the natural motion of the gear selector when the lock is engaged."

This is the shift lock not installed yet in the bus, and with the cover plate off.  The cover plate acts as the housing for the keyed lock , which would be located on the upper portion of the mechanism.  

On the backside of the key mechanism is a square peg which catches in the channel on the key toggle, such that when you turn the key, you turn the square which turns the channel which turns the toggle.

 Turning the toggle pushes down on the cam which rides on a pivot on the left.  The bulb on the lower right of the cam pushes down on the shift plates and holds them in place...

 ...and when the plates are locked in place, the natural motion of the shifter through the 'H' pattern of the gears is interrupted.  If the lock is open and the cam is not pressed against the plates, then the shifter is available for use and the plates simply slide around on top of each other, free to rotate on their own pivot.

Clear as mud?  Good!  Any more neophyte questions and the cat gets it.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Shift Lock for the Bus

One thing VW Buses are not known for is theft prevention features.  Lets face it...sliding side windows, pop-outs, accessible electrics; not the characteristics of a car with a high degree of theft deterrence.  That isn't too much of an issue where I am, but in Southern California, and Arizona, where many rust free buses live and play, they apparently get up and walk away on their own quite often.  I don't want that to happen to my bus so I want to do everything I can to make sure it is where I parked it when I come back to it.

This is the Wolfsburg West replica "Sperwolf" shift lock.  The goal if this little beast is to lock the transmission in gear and prevent the bus from moving when the lock is engaged.

On the inside, a smattering of plates pawls and teeth.  The key spins the toggle at the top and pushes down on the cam directly below it, which then contacts the plates and interrupts the natural motion of the gear selector when the lock is engaged.  Simple and effective.

Installed and working.  The black paint is POR15 rust inhibitor, as the recessed area around the original gear selector base and the original base itself were very rusty, probably from 30 years of wet little suede 'earth shoes' dribbling puddle water on the cab floor after a trot through the Math Building parking lot in an afternoon downpour.  (This bus spent quite a bit of time on campus at USF in Tampa.)

And with the boot and the floor mat back in place.  The original mat did not survive the shift rod coupler replacement procedure last month, as when I tried to remove it it just came apart in my hands. The replacement you see here may very well be an OEM mat, as it has VW-Audi markings on it and not some other markings from the usual suspects like Wolfsburg West or West Coast Metric.  The Sperwolf lock requires the gear selector hole to be enlarged, and I debated for a while about whether to order a repop mat and trim it instead of trimming what may be an original German mat, but I passed and just used the OEM mat.  At the end of the day, which is better, to save the OEM mat wrapped in a blanket under my bed where it will never see the light of day and probably dry rot to dust while never being used, or I can press it into duty and enjoy it, bigger gear selector hole cuts and all.

 I opted for the latter.

Purists feel free to cringe.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

EWR Update

I've been having issues with the Rock Shox Revelation, AKA the Rock Shox Valdez.  When you invert it for storage it pees oil everywhere.  Not a big deal if you are riding the bike, but if you are storing it, then watch out below! 

I picked up this Fox Float 32 from a friend, and threw it on board.  I think this is a 2010 fork.

Tonight is the maiden voyage.  I had to dust off my shock pump and throw it in the truck.  Wish me luck!

Friday, June 15, 2012

I need a change!

Been toying with the idea of dumping a few bikes and buying one new fancy shmancy steed.  Something up and above even the ridiculously expensive bikes I've been riding for the last 20 years.

Found this on Retrobike... Reproduction Grove Innovations X frame in Titanium, 29 wheels, Grove Hot Rods (by Groovy Cycles) two piece cranks, integrated bar stem (Groovy), Gates belt drive, Rohloff internal geared rear hub, eccentric seamed bottom bracket shell to tension belt, internal cables. And of course, custom pained by Groovy. Now THAT is a bike. Full technology and no Chi-Carb. Boom.

Waiting list for a Groovy runs 2 years or so I think. I can't imagine that a collaboration between Bill Grove and Rody at Groovy would be faster than that. Technically something like this would be my second Grove, as my white EWR was welded by Bill Grove for EWR. 

Would be a great compliment to the Turner.   Hubba Hubba.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Separated at Birth

Saturday was trail maintenance day our at Hanna, a little more trail cleanup post-tropical storm Beryl.  And then Sunday I joined the crew out at Nocatee on the St Johns/Duval County Line and did a little new trail construction.  Something with a stinger blasted me with toxins right under my left eye.  I didn't think much of it until I went home, cleaned up, took a nap, and...

...woke up looking like this!  Crazy bed-beard and all, I look like a...

...well, you get the idea.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Birdwell Beach Britches


Blog reader brought it up, so you know I had to go there.  Pure Awesomeness. (nice reference, TP!)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Badda - BOOM!

This past Saturday the local VW club held a little shindig at a local bar/pub/tavern/brewery called Engine 15. I had been planning to head on down there with the bus and hang out with some of the VW locals, but unfortunately, the best laid plans and all that...

...had me driving down there with a friend and his family in their Honda 'bus'.

I'm not so sure, but this doesn't look right to me. It was also quite a surprise at 40mph on San Jose Boulevard! (coming back from the ethanol-free gas station.)  This is the second time Mr Bus has tried to kill me.  I think he misses his Daddy.

Anyway, no damage other than the tire and my ego, so 5 tires later and I'm back rolling.  Too bad too, as the Continentals that were on there were great looking tires and showed no cracking to speak of, so this was a bit of a surprise.  Age was a factor I'm sure.  The replacements are Hankook Optimo's, as they were the only whitewalls I could find.  The Hankook brand is not junk, but they sure don't put my euro-trash sentimentality to rest like a nice set of Michelin's or Continental's would.  Beggars can't be choosers I suppose...

You bike nuts out there...I did trail maintenance earlier that same Saturday, and I'll be out again this Saturday and then doing trail building on Sunday.  Trails trails trails!!!

And watch for the eBay outdoor to swing wide here in a bit too.  The gleaming loading docks and facilities here at Utahdog World Tower, Congress of the America's are crowded with booty and looty!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Power to the separatists! 

Friday, June 1, 2012