You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2011.

If you ride a bike regularly, especially on the road, you’ve undoubtedly come upon some treasures that you had to stop or make that quick turn around in order to secure your newfound booty.  I’d take a guess that about 1/4 of my tools were found on the road.  There is a lot of construction going on in El Paso which means there are lots of construction workers who tend to not be the smartest guys out there and they drink before work ends and load up their trucks without securing there stuff eventually strewing entire socket sets across the roads. 

While in Sun Valley this summer I found this little beauty.








I didn’t think much of it.  Probably a $4 special from Harbor Freight or Big Lots.  Not big enough to trim the steerer on that new fork.  Maybe large enough to cut your bars down a bit.  I tossed it into the back of the truck with no intentions of touching it until we got back to El Paso and eventually clean out the beast.

About a week later we were enjoying an incredible camp spot in Vernal, UT.  Cool mountain air, a creek, some other kids around that Connor could play with, and some decent trails.  All of a sudden our water pump starts running.  Crap!  We have enough water for about 4 or 5 nights if we conserve.  The pump running and us not using any water is not conserving.  I turn off the pump and rush outside to see water dripping from a winterizing drain pipe. It’s cheap, stiff plastic and it’s cracked.  I take off the end cap and try to figure it all out.  There’s about a foot of pipe hanging down from the camper and the crack goes up about 3 or 4 inches.  Ah Ha!  I can trim it with my new hacksaw and reattach the endcap.  Well, the little saw that could took a while to get through the pipe, but I cut it clean and reinstalled the drain cap.  Good to go.

Best find of the summer.

It’s been tough to blog lately. This past summer I made little effort to get to internet access. I spent most of the summer NOT riding due to an issue in my back/neck/shoulder/arm. I’m better now and after pretty much taking a full year off from doing anything hardcore on the bike, I’m prepping for a next summer starting today.

I spent 2 hours this evening cleaning out my toolbox. This was initiated by an oil spill of some sort in the top compartment. I ended up dumping half my tools into the wash bucket with lots of soap, water, and orange cleaner. I thought all the handles on my Park cone wrenches were black. Turns out they’re blue. I ended up resorting all my tools, picking out all the duplicates and tools I don’t use for bike repair, and removing all the non-tool items like cable housing and zip ties. I completely emptied the box and scrubbed it with a sponge and the hot, soapy water. After rearranging everything, I’m much happier. I placed all the tools I use a bunch like those large T-handled Park allen wrenches, the tape measure, the shock pump, and my torque wrench set in the top of the box instead of in a difficult to open drawer. I put all the chain lube, anti-sieze, and rarely used tools in the bottom drawer. Genius! Should have done that years ago.

Now I’ve got to sort out all the parts I pulled out along with the tubs of parts on my work bench. Once I get that done, I’ll be ready to do actual bike maintenance. And boy do my bikes need some love. So do Jen’s bikes. Her’s more than mine.

I’ll be ripping off the parts from her strange fitting 659’r that was supposed to be a 29’r two time national SS winning Titus to put on her On One Inbred which is currently draped with junk parts, commuter wheels, and a rack. She said she didn’t want to have a heavy SS, but why ride a light one with a strange geometry and a weird sized rear wheel that barely fits and handle like a Corvair convertible?

Did you hear about Jen’s attempt at a 3rd national SS title? I thought it was a valiant effort and I’m very proud of her….and myself. Why am I proud of myself? While I was hanging out with Connor and Jen was pre-riding the shitty national course in Idaho, I saw Rebecca Rusch on a hard-tail that was converted to a SS. I kept my mouth shut all week knowing that if I said anything Jen probably wouldn’t even start the race. Jen was WAY under geared for what turned out to be a running festival and Rusch plowed through the waves of geared riders that started ahead. Luckily Jen has been doing a bit of running herself and moved into 2nd place at the hike-a-bike short cut that was near the top of the course. Rusch put down the fastest women’s amateur course time of the day. Jen finished in 2nd more than 9 minutes down. I was proud of her because I knew she was under geared and she only did 4 mountain bike races previous since the end of Summer 2009 when I knocked her up with Connor. Of course, she was pretty disappointed, but it was Rusch’s home turf. And honestly, nobody really cares. She also beat last year’s champion by 3 minutes. Not bad for someone riding a wierd fitting/handling bike that’s 5 years old.

After I get her bikes all dialed (the Titus will become the Chariot dragging device), I’m going to do some major stuff with my bikes. More to come….I promise. Maybe I’ll even have some pictures.