Tag Archives: Miscellaneous

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.

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.

MSR MugMate

mugmate for bike touring

A small, light, infinitely reusable, coffee and tea filter with lid. I might ditch the lid and  also drill a hole in one side of the handles so i can attach a key ring & mini carabiner.

After some tea and coffee testing ive learned this works really well with tea. Using this for coffee is good but attention to the grinds coarseness is at least a little important. I drink coffee because it is coffee not because i care much about what kind or style it is. So if this thing is light weight and durable but doesnt  correct for variations in grind fineness or coarseness, well i can live with that.

On a short bike tour it might make sense to just buy $2 coffee whenever. On a longer tour saving a few cents or a buck on each cup will add up to something. And with that, the trip could be a extended little longer.

– after some use.. boil water, add grinds into pot, let sit and stir lightly, pour thru the mugmate into coffee cup(s). Most of the grinds stay in water pot. Can make as much or as little coffee as needed in one go.

Weight 1 oz
Cost: $16
Made in Germany

Sea To Summit: Sacks, Straps and a Liner

I made some last minute changes to my system of carrying my tent, pad and bag. I was going to shove it all in a large Bailey Works Messenger bag and I had a friend modify some straps so I could cinch it to the rear rack. That would have worked and it would mean I could use the messenger bag as a backpack if I ever needed one. Plus the other little pockets in a Bailey Works bag would be nice for organization.

But then I wanted to get a water-tight sack for my down sleeping bag, and keep it in a sack, in the bag to really keep it dry. I bought a 35L so not to stuff it into too small a bag diminishing it’s loft. But then I was only using ½ the volume of the sack to still get into the messenger bag. Maybe lose the mess bag?

The stuff sack that came with my tent is way too big for the tent so I wanted to get a better fitting one for that. 9L is just right.

The stuff sack that came with my sleeping bag is tiny, as in back backing tiny, and I’m no longer using it for my sleeping bag but it works great for my air pad (that did not come with a stuff sack) and the sheet cover I made for it.

So now I needed some good straps because bungeeing multiple things is not very secure.

Sleep pad and cover in small sack tied to top of front rack. Sleeping bag in dry bag, tent in new stuff sack, Poles in stock pole bag and ground tarp folded, flat underneath it all. This is all double strapped by two “hook release” accessory straps that encompass the whole mess. But it does not look messy. It looks right and is lighter than adding a messenger bag into the mix.

Also bought a silk liner to save the sleeping bag from my dirt.

The only bummer is that I did this all a little too late to find the made in USA options.

All this shit is made in China.

Adventure Medical Kits Ultra/Watertight 0.5

I bought this because, why not. It’s light and if I use it just once, for myself or for someone else, it’ll be money well spent. I added a few extra water proof bandages and small tube of triple antibiotic ointment. And a slip of paper with my emergency contact. I’ll keep this in a small outside pocket of my rear pannier, I’d like to find a little basic “first aid” patch to sew onto that pocket.

“Assembled in USA of imported and domestic components”


Bike Peddler Take A Look Eyeglass Mirror

Bike Peddler Take A Look Cycling Eyeglass Mirror.

I used to use a Cateye BM-300G Racing Mirror (made in Japan) on my other touring bikes but when switching from STI to bar-end shifting I lose that option. I want to have a mirror when I think I need one, so this is coming along. We’ll see how long it lasts. One thing I liked about the Cateye was if I got a bug or dirt in my eye I would have a mirror right there and it worked for shaving my face too. That’s why I’m going to bring it minus the bar end plug part, it’ll be my vanity mirror compared to this tiny little thing.

One thing I like about this mirror is in the old photos of my dad riding his road bike, like from before I was born or only old enough to be carried in a trailer behind his bike, he had one of these.

Cost: $15

Made in USA


Outdated Hand Signals

I think that riding through many new towns and cities a cyclist is bound to not have a good understanding of drivers attitudes. Signaling helps. The reason I’m thinking of this subject is because I was riding in Brooklyn and some guy rode by me and did what’s in this image showing “right turn”. My thought was – no driver is going to understand what that means. These signals were made for drivers way back before cars had turn signals. And all these signals use the left arm because a driver could not safely stick their right arm out the window. To use this Right Turn signal while riding a bicycle is silly.

As a bike rider we can use either arm to make a turn signal.

Left turn = left arm extended
Right turn = right arm extended

Keep it simple.



EBoost gave a bunch of these to the promotional ride I was on a couple years ago. I liked them, mixed them in my water every day, sometimes a couple few times a day. Looking through some of the photos from that ride I found this.

I never see this product in stores, but on the other hand there are stores I don’t go into. If I find some I might buy more, til then I’ll just remember the good old days of Boosting E’s for free.

It’s been so long since I’ve had one in my hand I can’t remember where they are made.


Edit: Seems Eboost is another one of those companies who do not respond/answer emailed questions. Bums.


Mead Notebook 45-4872

Mead Notebook 45-4872 The Spiral

There were no images to be found so I asked a friend to scan it for me.

Mead, founded in 1846 by Colonel Daniel Mead, made good shit and probably still does. I have not looked into what they have been doing after they moved from Ohio to Connecticut. This notebook is just the thing for me, I don’t geek out about things like this but it says Dayton, Ohio right on it. This is from the 1960’s or earlier because it says Hulman Building. History can be interesting.

There are somethings not shared online. I wrote in a notebook every day on my past tours. Well, not everyday on the sponsored tour but that was a whole different world. On a solo tour my notebook is more valuable than my wallet. Camera, notebook.

I just talked with a friend who did a LA to NY tour with a buddy a couple years ago and he said something about scanning pages of a notebook and printing it as a little afterward project because there are people out there that really like that kind of thing. I always hope that if I write in my notebook it is pure. I think that having in my mind that I could scan it and publish it, one way or another, I might filter things out.

As I think about it more I know that I leave things out already, even in my personal notebooks, because in the back of my mind I know that someone could find it. I don’t want people reading my shit. But I still write. My defense is handwriting so bad only I can read it.

Bought at The Brooklyn Art Library

Cost: $7

Made in USA


Princeton Tec Fuel LED Headlamp


I had a Pretzl, or however that popular brand is spelled, LED headlamp but it would start to flicker like the guts of it were weak and it didn’t want to give a steady stream of light. To the point where I’d used it less often because I didn’t like the light it gave, high, low, twitching in the middle all depending on what mood it was in. That thing was junk really.

This one has a few differences the on/off is a button vs. a sliding switch, and the up/down adjustability is over a greater range. Real high to point up the road if I have my head down while biking or low like aiming right down my nose for reading or such.

Another thing is this is made in the US, the package reads “Made in USA with domestic and foreign components”. I was looking at the pretlzs on the next shelf and they were from all over, France, Bulgaria, and Madagascar from what I saw.

EMS in Manhattan for $24

Made in USA