Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Drive, no riding.

The last week and a half have been hard for me. I haven't been able to ride my bike because of my shoulder still. Not that I should really compare my plight to the youngin on the left. I mean, I still get around fine, I can still get to work and the bills are still getting paid. I do feel like someones robbed me of my wheels...


Seriously, I really do miss riding. I miss every aspect of it. Especially this time of year with the weather. Sure, it's been rainy lately but I love riding when it's a bit cold. When the lungs open up, the tip of the noise gets a bit chilled and this time of year cars seem to treat me a little friendlier.

I'm crossing my fingers for next week to start the new commute into work. I'll be good to get some more miles in!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Final Day Musings from around the Shop

As I posted last week, I am no longer a shop rat. This past week was difficult and bittersweet in a number of different ways as I closed one chapter of my life to start the next. Fortunately, Friday left itself with some rather fun assuming from around the shop.

As any shop rat knows, and G-Ted posts on these types of occurrences now and again, we encounter some very strange setups, rig jobs, and make shift fixes when customers bring in there bikes. Myself, I've seen a customer come in with a home made recumbent that was pieced together with the parts of two different bikes and held in place with quick releases and pipe clamps; the 'bike shaped object' ie the department store bike with the forks put on backwards and a few others. But Friday, Brent the head mechanic at Alger was working on this gem. You can see part of the bike above. It's an old Cannondale road bike that has been transformed into a touring bike. A very unique touring bike.

If you look closely at picture to the left you will see that this rider has set up his touring bike with a pie plate, I mean, a chain ring that comes in at around 10 inches in diameter... yes, that's HUGE! Lance Armstrong eat our heart out, that's 61 tooth chain ring. The rider loved having this thing that he claims he had reached 55 mph on. This unconventional triple chain ring set up is partnered with a 50T middle and a 36T lower. Yeah, 25T gap and she doesn't shift all too smoothly; and runs a lower chain guide to avoid having the chain fall off the lower.

This gem does not end there of course. The picture to the right shows the stem the rider has switched to because he can't get into the 'aero' position anymore. You can see by the grease mark where the customer keeps the stem, a good 5 inches of rise. We pulled the stem up to see just how long it was, adding an additional 3 inches when maxed out to it's minimum insertion. Everyone in the shop agree that this is the longest stem we have ever seen.

Overall, for how crazy of a set up this bicycle had, the rider was just great to talk to about it. He knew how absurd it was and embraced it. And really that is what I'll miss most about the retail end of the bicycle industry. I'll miss the customers that either have a genuine love for bicycles or bicycling OR there is a budding romance with this sport, this lifestyle. Sure, I could give you story after story of bad customer but I'd rather be able to to now look back on the good than to remember and dread the bad.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Oh shoot. Another Project.

Yesterday, I got my hands on this gem picture on the right. It's a Hon, 16" wheeled folding bike; no not a Dahon but Hon. I had a folding bike before with the intention of making it into a fixie and I'm debating if that's the road I'm going to take this one on.

All I do know is that it'll be getting some new Velocity hoops on it, maybe some white walls and I might put either some mustache bars or bullhorns on it. Either way, it's going to be a fun little project for the next few months.

Speaking of Velocity. A big announcement for me is that my shop rat days are over. A few weeks back, I was offered a job with them and today marks my last day at Alger Cyclery. My time at Alger has been great, I can't state enough how much I've enjoyed working at the shop and with the guys there. I do believe that there is more knowledge and experience there than at most shops. Brent, the head mechanic, is one of, if not, the best I've known. I'm grateful for my time there, the opportunity and freedom Carl gave me to change the store right when I came over and part of me will miss shop life, but I will not miss retail. If you've been in my shoes, you understand completely.

This weekend looks to be a rainy one here in West Michigan, and I wish I could get out and ride but the shoulder still won't allow for it. So go ride, for me at least!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October 4th C-Series Ride : CANCELED

This past weekend, I was partaking in what I'll call a 'killer' game of 4-square and during that I happened to misplay a ball, which then led me to trip over myself when I was attempting to save the ball. Because of this, I wasn't in any position myself for the landing and decided to find out what it was like to put all my weight on my left shoulder for an instant. A 'pop' later, left me on the ground. It wasn't fun by any means and on Tuesday I found out that it was a server strain. I have limited motion now but am unable to ride my bike because of the weight/stress it puts on my shoulder.

So unfortunately, because of this... I have to cancel the C-Series ride down to Kalamazoo this Sunday. The route is still posted on the right sidebar on the sight so feel free to rock it yourself. I hope to be back on the bike soon and reschedule the ride.