February 2014

  • Short month, a lot of snow and cold.
  • I got a rug for my room. Prob the most domesticated thing I’ve done since well before my last tour.
  • I have a new vest. It could double as a small pillow.
  • and lots of thoughts…

Topeak Micro Rocket CB air pump

Topeak Micro Rocket CB air pump

This is an upgraded replacement because I had a bag stolen and it had my flat fix kit in it. I had an old mini pump I carried vs. always making room for my Road Morph. I took the Road Morph on my last bike tour but I’ll test this one out around the city for the next few months and see if it’s tour worthy.

They say it’s good for 160 psi. Sounds like a lot but I don’t need that much pressure anyway.

I do like the little dust cap thing has a tiny hole in it making it a mini dust blower also.

Weight: 55g/1.9oz

Made in Taiwan

Salewa Wildfire

salewa wildfire shoe

Salewa has a variety of products like tents, sleeping bags, backpacks and even crampons and an ice axe. Also different categories of footwear, these fall under “tech approach”. There is a Gore-tex and a women’s version but I think the basic ones will be good for riding and cooler in summer because they are not water proof.

These fit me well and were of course marked down at EMS. $100 out the door. These are shoes and I’m sure they will do fine while they last. What I’m planning on doing is leaving my road race style shoes and pedals at home for this next tour. So this shoe will be worn all day. I’ll not need to make the decision to change shoes if I’m off the bike for more than a few min. If I want to hop over a guardrail real quick for a photo, all the clomping around in gas stations and grocery stores, and all that. Just way more mobile, which is what I want. Although I do lose a super stiff carbon sole to stand on while I pedal a heavy ass bike. I hope they wont flex and hurt my feet too much.

Also less to carry. But I do need to buy new pedals next.

January 2014

  • My Olympus Infinity Stylus p&s (serial no. 8067786), Canon Rebel G w/ 40mm lens and my NiteRider 700 light were all stolen, among other things. So pissed. I’m gonna replace the light and look for another camera.
  • I bought a pair of Salewa shoes with the intent to switch from riding in road shoes on road pedals to giving good hiking shoes and large platform pedals a try. I ride like that pretty much daily in NYC. And it means I’ll be able to move around off the bike much easier.
  • I’m hooked on the game Clash of Clans.
  • Prob gonna switch from those Nova rear dropouts to a custom laser cut dropout.
  • a couple days later we might have solution to the problem of how to make a fork. A segmented fork. The machining is the hurdle with doing a unicrown. We talked about a segmented fork with raked and tapered fork blades. Also custom dropouts.
  • But the welder it going to Paris for a bit so the build will be on hold either way. And the whole shop is moving. So that leaves a lot yet to be seen.
  • My two roommates are going to bike tour in Mexico for aprox. 4 weeks. Stoked for them, and jealous a bit.
  • Another friend is on Tour d’Afrique in India right now. Mad Jealous of that.
  • soon to be ordering more parts. seatpost/post clamp,  King bottom bracket, brake and shift cable sets, bar wrap, replacement NiteRider light and new mini pump.
  • thinking about if i want to keep the Velo Orange fenders or try out the Honjo fenders..
  • thinking more about what photo gear to take and to leave.. gonna be at least 2. One 35mm and one digital. could be just SLR and phone for digi. or other options. still want to find another Olympus infinity stylus for b/w 35mm P&S.
  • started to make a spread sheet for companies doing made in US.

A segmented raked fork is possible

Segmented raked taper fork
(image source)

I was talking with the welder and understanding more about the history of different fork styles they have made in the past. Much of it is based on the machining tools they have in the shop. Brooklyn Machine Works does have one big milling machine that cuts the frame tubes but to cut the top of unicrown fork blades the set up is much different, so different that it kind of needs to be done on a different machine. If I remember correct its a vertical vs. horizontal thing.

So anyway, there is a style of fork that can be cut with the machine they have, and that is a segmented fork. I want a raked fork and wasn’t sure if doing a combo of raked blade & segmented crown would look weird. But a quick search and we landed on this shot of a nice Geekhouse example. Still need to do more research but this is inspiring.

Chris King Headset

chris king silver headset

I got a brand new one in the parts bin waiting on the frame build to be finished. We had more than one discussion about what type of head tube to use on my custom frame. The simple quality of this component helped us decide to skip all the new new stuff and just go 1 1/8″. Of all the bikes I’ve owned this is only the second King headset for me.

chrisking.com

Catching up on notes

I should stay on schedule with my monthly planning notes. For now here is a catch up.

Had a handful of weeks where I wasn’t thinking or doing much to prepare for a bike tour. The bike build was on a seemingly endless standstill. The sun was setting at its earliest for the year. I was going home and watching movies and playing phone games a lot to avoid the cold and save money I guess.

I was also getting tattoos finished so I spent money on that and was thinking about art and shit..

Now the days are getting a tad bit longer. Tattoos done for now. Spent 6 days in Mexico late last year. My wrrk schedule is good. My rent went down a little b/c my roommates gf moved in. They both have bike touring plans also.

I’ve added some more pins into my map.
I’ve not made much progress getting into work spaces to photograph workers here in NYC.
My bike could be finished soonish.

Today was 200 days till Aug 1, 2014. That is my projected departure. But really it could be sooner, or much later. But I want my bike, gear and life shit dialed by then.

I thought of a good answer to the “why shoot film? “Question. Because it’s more fun.
The sound of the shutter, the operation of loading and unloading the cartridges, waiting to see the results.

I think I’m going to make a custom rear rack for myself. And I had it suggested to paint them a different color than the bike, so not black. White maybe. I think it would look real good with no panniers on, and loaded just a lil would be visible. My bottle cages are white and I wrap my bars in white.

I’ve gathered 2 new cameras. I bought a Canon Rebel G and was gifted an Olympus Infinity Stylus. I like the Olympus, it’s my first 35mm P&S. Think I’ll bring it for shooting flash in b/w. And it’s just over 7oz with a roll loaded. The Rebel G will stay home.

Thinking about switching to large platform pedals and one pair of shoes vs clip-in pedals and road shoes & walking shoes.
I think I’ve picked out a pedal, now I just need to find a stiff sole hiking/trail shoe (not boot). I don’t really know that segment of footwear but I was looking at some Salewa stuff. Although I’m not sure if that is good for what I want.

Of course there are many thoughts going on too. How excited I am to go traveling for a long time. But it’s not excitement is more like a sureness that I will like a simple life. The gains from shedding down to just the basics. Tent, stove, tools, sleeping bag, camera, notebook.
Another thing is that even though I can’t erase the personal fulfillment motivations that go hand in hand with solo bike touring, I am sure I want to focus on some other bigger project. Not just the I’m going to ride my bike from A to B just so I can say I did.

bike reflector placement

And a reflector placement I hadn’t thought of.

Canon EOS Rebel G

Canon EOS Rebel G body

Canon EOS Rebel G body

I was going to give this to a friend but now that’s not needed so i think I have a new camera. I wanted to find a simple and light 35mm camera that was better than a point and shoot. Also something cheap.

Super small and light for a SLR. It looks like a baby next to my EOS 3. I kinda want to put a 40mm f/2.8 pancake on here. The body is about 14oz (for comparison Canon 5D Mark III is 34oz.) and I think the 40mm lens is 4.6oz.

I don’t know if this will come on my next bike tour but based on size and weight it would be my first recommendation for a low cost SLR camera. If I still own this when I depart on my next tour I’ll be sure to put this in my box of spare crap I intend to leave with a friend so they can mail me replacement/re-up items.

Pros: cheap, light weight, very small for SLR, fun to use, uses any Canon EF lens.

Cons: all plastic so not super tough, only 3 auto focus points & they do not light up, viewfinder only shows 90%.

Made in Taiwan

Update: stolen Jan. 2013

NiteRider Lumina 700 Light

NiteRider Lumina 700 light

I friend of mine goes on night rides often and this is the light he has. I got to check out the earlier model when he made the upgrade to the 700. Just a couple times and I could see the value in having a high output light.

Charges by mini USB, same as my phone, and can be set to only put out approx 40 lumens to have a run time of 18hrs. Or 1.5hrs at highest setting and 2 other levels in between plus a rapid flashing mode. Good clamp, good quick release, the on/off is a press button rather than a slide switch.

Over all a very good light. Not heavy, some US parts or assembly.. I can’t remember b/c i pitched the box. Pretty sure this will be added to the touring kit, and not as a replacement to my headlamp. I figure I will be on tour when the days are short and I may need to get someplace. Plus safety and shit.

Bought this on a deal.

niterider.com

Update: Stolen Jan. 2013 and it was worth it to buy another one.