Saturday, December 29, 2012

Project: Bike Fork Lamp

Some of you might have seen this over on my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Regardless it seemed worth of posting here.

This past week I was able to spend back in the homelands. Unlike most trips where I bring back a bike with me, I wasn't able to this time but I did bring with me items for projects I had rolling around in my head.  Since a vast majority of all of my tools are bike related, when I head to Iowa my fathers workshop is often calling my name - along with his expertise.

This project started back in July when I saw this over on Bike Rumor. Looking at it, I thought simple enough and over the last few months I have been looking for a frame I might cut apart to make my own. As Christmas fast approached and with no promising leads I realized the old fork off of Red would work perfectly as a lamp. So I gathered it up with an old Cannondale crosstop brake lever and a quick release - then drew up a simple design for the rest while explaining it to my father once I arrived in Iowa.

I'm super pleased with how it turned out and it seems like I have inspired a few others to try to make their own and had some wanting me to make more. Which begs the question...

Would you buy one if they were available?
If so, for how much?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

NDJR/20 Liters: Day 12

DAY 12 -

Snow finally arrived in Holland but nothing to go home about. As the day progressed and the sun came out, much of the snow melted away besides a little on the grass. What was on the pavement during the day was the crunchy, not slippery kind so there was nothing to worry.

I was able to be the Cannondale switch back over to all it's glory (meaning, minus the rack) and then simply do a mini-tune-up on it to make sure everything was dialed.

The simple joys of working on a bike.

Nothing special to report today other than with today's miles I cross into the hundreds!


Totals to date:
Miles today: 4.8 miles

Overall miles: 103.4 miles

Sponsor a mile. Change a life. Donate here.

NDJR/20 Liters: Holland to Grandville... and back.


It was never the miles that made me nervous about commuting into Mars but the elements. How to be prepared and how to be safe - and strangely enough as I sit and wrote that it dawned on me that those are probably strikingly similar questions to what those seeking out clean water might have.

Yet again, I am in the privileged position of choosing to do this because I can, not because I have to and that difference is extremely important.

As far as the ride goes.

It was good, as far as the ride into Grandville went, I encountered from the get go a head wind which lowered my speed quite dramatically.  The temperatures on departure were slightly above freezing but I knew as I moved further east the temperatures were going to drop and the chances of some form of precipitation increased.

The ride along the highway took me quickly back to this summer and riding on roads with traffic going 55 mph+ which quickly brought a smile to my face. Although there were narrow parts along the highway shoulder for the most part I was able to stay a safe distance from the road itself.

Then I hit Hudsonville - a little over halfway and a rain/snow mix hit and began to collect on my arms and face. At this point it felt much like riding in the rain during the summer, outside of the temperature, the rain/snow didn't hurt when it hit. That was until I made it outside of Jenison when the snow faded, the rain turned more to a hard sleet. This was not fun, it hurt when it hit my cheeks but especially when it would hit my lips or the part of my ear that wasn't covered.

Fortunately, this was the final leg of the commute in with the most traffic and I was able to push through and arrive at Mars - taking around 1 hour and 45 minutes, if that gives you any idea of the head wind speed.

During my ride in, I received a tremendous amount of support and 'likes' from friends and individuals who were tracking my progress - many of whom also are involved at Anthem. Many voiced concerns about the ride back to Holland, being that it was going to be at night (leaving around 10:15p) and the uncertainty of the road condition due to the weather in the 8 hours between arriving and leaving.

I wasn't too concerned. I did fear ice, not snow but I knew that it was going to be warmer as I made it towards Holland so the question was how bad was it going to be in Grandville and for how long?

The roads proved to be in great shape. During the ride they were simply wet but had not iced over.

There was very little traffic on the roads and highway which allowed for me to experience a very still and beautiful ride home.  In many ways it allowed me to remember and rest in why I was doing but provided a time of reflection and prayer that I had not had in some time.

I did have one interesting encounter some where between Hudsonville and Zeeland. From the picture above you can get a glimpse of how far down the road I could see.

As I was riding, enjoying the slightly erie calm of the night, I saw some thing randomly weaving back and forth across all the lanes of traffic. And by saw, it might be better said I glimpsed movement. It was just out of the range of the lights to give a clear idea of what this was.

Could it be an animal of some sort?
Could my eyes be playing a trick on me?

I grabbed one of my lights, lifting the beam slightly higher to then reveal a reflector on the back wheel of the bike this person was riding down the middle of the highway on.

Yes, I jumped (or at least my heart did). This could be from recently watching a few episodes of the Walking Dead or the fact that I'm also reading World War Z - but my mind immediately went to thinking, 'this is how the zombie apocalypse begins'. Needless to say, a quick shift of gears and wave to the mysterious rider and I was off and past them in no time.

A mile down the road, I sat back and laughed at what I had just experienced and then said to myself 'I will call you Walker'.

In the end, I made it back safe to Holland in slightly over an hour. A great commute.

A huge thanks goes out to NDJR contributors Tom - for supplying me with an additional light - and Geoff who made some great suggestions on how to keep my feet and hands dry (I'll post on that later), along with all of you who gave me encouragement during the day.

Remember, you can still donate to my campaign until I reach my 140 mile mark (tentatively reaching that late next week).

Totals to date:

Overall miles: 98.6 miles

 Sponsor a mile. Change a life. Donate here.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

NDJR/20 Liters: Prep


Tomorrow, I ride from my home in Holland to Mars Hill in Grandville - 35.4 miles round trip.  I stated upon starting this campaign that I would commute regardless of weather to 140 total miles. You might remember that this trip into Grandville was suppose to conclude the campaign, but due to my gorilla math and not factoring in a week off for Thanksgiving and being sick - the roughly 40 remaining miles will be ridden in the following days.

Well, tomorrow calls for 70% chance of precipitation - yes, that means snow and rain. But the temperature in Holland is not suppose to go below freezing, although in Grandville is it will be a few degrees cooler.

This all means that I needed to seriously consider whether to switch wheelsets over to my knobby 'cross tires or stick with my slicks. The dilemma was simple - knobby tires will work better in snow, slicks often better on ice.  I've landed on knobby and will play around with tire pressure. I also installed a rack onto the rocketship for the sole purpose of carrying on of the 20 liter jerry cans on it to help promote and hopefully help answer the question running through every rider on the highway that passes of 'Why are they riding/on this road in December?'

Since winter decided to finally show up here in West Michigan I fished out all my gear and prepared for layers.  Which go as followed:

_ Long Sleeve Baselayer
_ Short Sleeve Jersey
_ Fisher Long Sleeve Wool Jersey
_ Cannondale Jacket, with detachable sleeves and will start out as vest.

_ Tights
_ Chrome Knickers
_ Wool Socks
_ Shoe covers

I'm also going to run 2 front headlights for my return trip in the evening and 4 rear taillights so hopefully I'll be seen.  It should be an exciting day! Be sure to follow me on Twitter or Instagram for posts along the way at @adamlorenz or #ndjr20liters.

You can still sponsor a mile by clicking here.

Totals to date:

Overall miles: 63.2 miles

Sponsor a mile. Change a life. Donate here.

Teaching Respect

Maybe we this sort of thing should happen more often...

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

NDJR/20 Liters: Day 11

DAY 11 - Cold.

Another day. Another ride. December in Michigan, it should be cold right?

And the last few days of warmth have spoiled me and left me to think how different my commute from Holland to Grandville this Sunday will be. 60% chance of rain and temps in upper 30s - bike selection, gear and tire selection are all the table with having to consider ice being the roads for the evening return.

But at the same time, it's exciting.

It's amazing how in a simple act like riding bike, helps to center me - reminding me of what matters, showing me things that I often overlook and refreshes me.

Totals to date:

Miles today: 4.8 miles
Overall miles: 58.4 miles

Sponsor a mile. Change a life. Donate here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

NDJR/20 Liters: Day 10

DAY 10 - Got to love technology

The last two days I've been commuting on my Cannondale which has slowly been gaining the name as 'The Rocket Ship' in my mind for the simple reason that this bike would be the closest race-day bike I own - carbon fiber and lightweight/high end components the whole nine yards.  Outside of Red, my Cannondale is my baby - I've ridden the gravel roads of Iowa with it and rode around Lake Michigan this past summer on it.  I have bonded with this bike, I've seen how small amounts of technology and upgrades can be felt and improve.

The timing of switching over to this bike was perfect timing in many ways.

Yesterday I received a check in the mail from another Aunt and Uncle in Iowa supporting this campaign. With their donation, it pushed what has been raised to 121%!!! That's right, I have met the goal and then some and I haven't even gotten reached the 140 mile goal yet! Upon this discovery, I was over on the 20 liters site and saw that they have been improving on the filtering technology which made for an encouraging realization. The new Slow-Sand Filters now can provide 4 families clean water for 10 years!

Yes, that means the original goal of raising $140 to help 7 people, is now going to help around 25 people get clean water!

90 miles to go. I would love it if we could bring in $280 total before I hit the 140 mile mark. Can we do it? Could the simple act of riding a bike, directly effect the lives of 50 people?

I believe it can.


Totals to date:

Miles today: 9.6 miles
Overall miles: 53.6 miles

Sponsor a mile. Change a life. Donate here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

NDJR/20 Liters: Pardon my Absence

DAYS 7,8, &  9 - Pardon my Absence.

When I decided to take on this challenge, it was simple - Ride. Ride 140 miles regardless of weather, raise $1 a mile and give a family access to clean drinking water for 10 years.

With classes for this semester hitting their final push and responsibilities at Mars, I have been running at a rather high capacity and as it normally does - my body does not enjoy this time of year and often pulls me out of commission for a morning or day.

In the most recent case, it was both - last Thursday for the morning and all day Friday. Because of this I was left to choose either letting my body rest and not ride or ride and risk getting worse. I choose to refrain from riding.

Which left me with things to think about and ask myself concerning why I was riding.  As it goes, the question that came to mind is how could I ask others to support this cause financially and not do so myself.  Was I really willing to put my money where my mouth was?

The answer was yes.

Was giving $20 difficult? Yes and no, given being full-time in grad school and not currently having a paying gig - money is tight. Every dime is being counted and going towards some thing. Yet, because I am not driving as much as I normally would 'extra' money began to show itself and the choice became clear.

Giving even a $1 or the $3 you might spend on a latte in the morning has the ability to change a life if we are willing to 'sacrifice' just a little.

Will you join me?

Fortunately, today I was able to get back on the bike today and enjoy this extremely warm/misty weather we are currently experiencing here in West Michigan. It's strange reducing layers at this point of the year.

Totals to date:

Miles today: 4.8 miles
Overall miles: 44 miles

Sponsor a mile. Change a life. Donate here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

NDJR/20 Liters: Day 6

DAY 6 - Why Ride Fixed.

Outside of the first day of commuting and a few bonus miles last, I have been riding solely on my fixed gear bike, Red.

Now, unlike some who will try to persuade you into thinking that by riding fixed I am more in-tune with my bike, that it is a more 'pure' way to ride or some other bloated belief that riding a track bike is the only proper way to cycle.

So... why do I ride fixed?

Honesty, the reasons vary. My choice to ride fixed at this point of year is simply that my legs are required to keep moving. It's cold often when confronted with a brisk winter wind, I am guilty of often coasting in those moments.

Am I more aware of the environment I am in when riding fixed? Certainly. Riding without a hand brake I must constantly be aware of my surroundings and my position on the bike in order to control the bike properly.

But right now. I want to do everything I can to stay warm.

And you'd do the same, you do make choices to stay fed, to stay warm, to provide.  No matter where we are, people around the globe make these choices. Some of us are privileged that we have multiple options among many choices - what if you didn't?

What if the choice to drink dirty water to live was your only choice, even if it mean that was actually going to take your life in a different manner down the road? What if you had the ability to clean that water so that you might live - isn't that a choice someone should have?


Totals to date:

Miles today: 10.6 miles 
Overall miles: 39.2 miles

Sponsor a mile. Even a dollar can help change a life. Donate here.

Monday, November 26, 2012

NDJR/20 Liters: Day 5

DAY 5 - Back at it.

Today was cold. 31 degrees to be certain, at least that's what a sign said as I passed it on my way to class.

Fortunately the normal headwind I encounter riding in wasn't present this morning, so you'll have to wait for some beard icicle photos as winter makes it's way into West Michigan. I did get to bust out my first piece of my winter riding gear today. My trusty Salsa Lobster gloves - ok, more like ninja turtle hands but you get the idea.  These have been with me for at least 7+ years, although they don't have windproof front keep my hands nice and toasty. Though I should note that unlike most riders, my hands typically get warmer as I ride.

If you are new to No Drive, you might be wondering what I might wear when I ride and commute.  On longer rides and tours I will Superman suit up but really no one needs to see that and often seeing riders in 'So-pro' spandex doesn't help promote cycling to the world around.  Over the years, I have found a few companies that have made clothing that not only is cycling appropriate but also allows those around you in the office or at school not think you're about to race Usain Bolt in a 100 meter dash - namely Levi, Chrome, and DZR.

As winter begins to really take shape, I'll try my best to give a better idea of how I go about continuing to ride - not only with what I wear but with how I outfit my bikes.

Again you can follow all of this on my Twitter and sponsor a mile by  donating here.

Totals to date:
Miles today: 4.8 miles

Overall miles: 28.6 miles

This Cyber Monday, give the gift of water by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NDJR/20 Liters: Bonus Miles


You might have been wondering my absence from updating on my progress with my 20 liters challenge. I neglected to mention that this week, I have Thanksgiving break from school. Meaning obviously I wouldn't be commuting everyday but that this has been factored into my mileage.

Today, I decided to head into one of the local coffee shops to get a little writing done; also it would allow me to do some fine tuning on my touring bike which I hope to use for the trip to Mars in December to cap off the fundraising.

My Voyageur in many ways has been cursed ever since I finished 'restoring' it. Soon after getting it together and installing a fender set on the bike, I was riding home when the rear derailleur was thrown into the wheel on a climb - leaving it in pieces. Since then the new derailleur has been loose along with threads on the hanger being close to stripped making shifting a struggle and trusting putting any force on pedals. After some tinkering, I believe that I had it all dialed.

Links shouldn't bend.

On my trip back from writing, I was crossing the busiest road on the commute and suddenly the slight clicks I was hearing earlier but ignored made sense as the my chain proceeded to break. Fortunately, without any issues I kept the bike upright and was able to coast into a parking lot to discover the mess.

A beautiful day for a ride... and a walk
After walking home and getting the bike in the stand, I was able to discover that the hanger is pretty much toast and the chain was salvageable. Fortunately, I was able to find a potential replacement part for it and hopefully I'll be able to get every thing together or move to plan B for a bike to use in December.


Totals so far:
Miles today: 3.4 miles
Overall miles: 23.8 miles

Thank you for reading and supporting No Drive and 20 Liters. I'd love to have you join with me in bringing clean water to those in need.


140mi = $140 = 10 yrs of clean water for 7 people or 1 family $1 sponsors a mile, do so by clicking here.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Exciting news!

In the latest issue of Bicycle Times NDJR contributor Alxndr Jones had some of his work used for the Letters from the Editor section. Alxndr is a great friend of mine and has been behind the continual updating of my own personal website, maybe one day he'll spruce this page up.

Check it out or better tell Bicycle Times you want more of it in their publication and better get support Alxndr by getting one of his prints!

Friday, November 16, 2012

NDJR/20 Liters: Day 4

DAY 4 - Blind spots.

As cyclists, the more we ride the more we learn when and where we are seen and more importantly when we are not.  Over the years, my mantra has always been when commuting to ride like you aren't seen.

In the summer it is easy to assume when we are not seen. In the winter visibility goes even further down with snow and the elements coming into play.  The transition from fall to winter with frost and losing daylight due to the time change seems to be when cycling can be even more dangerous.

In these mornings, some are running behind and many have yet to find their windshield scraper, leaving windows often not fully cleared off.

When commuting today I had an irregular number of close calls with vehicles turning onto the road.  After the first encounter I noticed that this car had only scrapped enough of their windshield to see forward not out the side.  Yes, frustration grew as I had the privilege of yelling at other cars with similar self-made blind spots as they came far too close for comfort.

Fortunately, I made it safely.

Of course this led me to reflect on my own blind spots -
Which of those am I aware of?
Which might I have created or reinforced?

And most importantly what might be the next right step in working on these?

Totals so far:
Miles today: 4.8 miles
Overall miles: 20.4 miles

140mi = $140 = 10 yrs of clean water for 7 people or 1 family
$1 sponsors a mile, do so by clicking here.

only love.

Great music. With bikes in the video... and as I wrote on a friends Facebook wall that posted this:
... but I'll take it and may or may not serenade my bikes with it while I ride.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NDJR/20 Liters: Day 3

DAY 3 -

One word - cold.

As I left, frost was on the leaves and though it was daylight out cars had their lights on around 7:30a.

A good reminder that as cyclists, though we might feel that we are seen - if cars have lights on so should we.

Totals so far:

Miles today: 4.8 miles
Overall miles: 15.6 miles

Did you know that $20 can give one person clean drinking water for 10 years?

140mi = $140 = 10 yrs of clean water for 7 people or 1 family
$1 sponsors a mile, do so by clicking here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

NDJR/20 Liters: Day 2

DAY 2 -

Today while riding as I got frustrated with a car that wasn't giving me much room on the road, I was reminded...

I love riding my bike.
I love working on bikes.
It's a hobby.
It's a choice.

I have the privilege of having ability to choose to ride (one of my 6 bikes) or drive my own car on any given day.

How many others don't have a choice?

When I was home from commuting I quickly grabbed a glass and drank some water, then had a coffee. Not even having a second thought that the water I was drinking would harm me.

For many in the world, 1 in 8 to be precise - water has the ability to give them life - also has the ability to kill them.  But they have no choice, they take the risk.

This unsettles me and challenges me.

Miles today: 6 miles
Overall miles: 10.8 miles

140mi = $140 = 10 yrs of clean water for 7 people or 1 family
$1 sponsors a mile, do so by clicking here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

NDJR/20 Liters: Day 1

DAY 1.

Today began the following weeks of commuting for 20 Liters and what better way than starting out with an easy cruise to class on my cruiser -  a sunny day for a ride, with a chill that shook me from my afternoon slump once on the road.

The image above shows you my typical route to school and back, roughly 4.8 miles - which is slightly longer than the 3.7 miles individuals walk to get water each day (Source: CMU). According to the World Health Organization, 20 liters of water from a source 1km or 0.62 miles is deemed the minimum requirement per person per day. Meaning, most are traveling further to unclean water sources simply to survive.

Kind of puts things in perspective.

How can you join with me?

Remember my goal is to raise $140 for 140 miles for 10 years of clean water for 7 people or 1 family.

- Go to my 20 Liters Page.
- Donate.

A few suggestions on how:
- Forgo your morning latte and sponsor a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday of riding 4.8 miles or $4.80
- Take the money you'd use for a movie or going out to eat and sponsor my commute on Tuesday 9.6 miles or $9.60
- Donate per total miles

Riding for Water

There are roughly 6 billion people in the world.
1 billion of them do not have access to clean drinking water.
20% of the world, consumes 86% of it's resources.
There are 2.2 billion kids in the world
of those 2.2 billion kids half of them, a billion of them, live in poverty. 
I don't know your worldview,
I don't know your perspective,
your background,
or your religion
but that is not right.
[taken from Rob Bell's 20 Liters Vimeo]

In the spirit of No Drive, I will be joining with students and volunteers I work with at Anthem at Mars to raise funding for the organization 20 Liters to help provide clean water for those living in Rwanda by commuting by bike for the next 4 weeks.

From today until December 9th, I will be commuting regardless of weather via bicycle to and from school (roughly a 4.8 mile round trip) along with commuting once from Holland, Michigan to Grandville, Michigan on a Sunday evening (tentatively December 9th) for Anthem programing.

As luck would have it, my proposed mileage totals nearly 140 miles and my goal is to raise $140.00 which will provide clean drinking water for 10 years to 7 people or 1 family in Rwanda.  To put it simply:

140 miles = $140.00 = Clean drinking water for 7 people or 1 family

For more information or to donate please visit my page on 20 Liters. I also will be updating here and via my Twitter (@adamlorenz and #ndjr20liters) on milage and stories during the upcoming weeks.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

For my birthday? Yes, please.

Was over on Bike Jerks during class today and saw what he had just recently been given, a vintage Schwinn derailleur demonstration display.

The immediate thought was...

'Yep, must have.'

Seeing that tomorrow is my birthday, if you have yet find some thing for me. There you go, I'll even provide you with a link to getting one.

It's a steal of a deal. Not really.

And it's art.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Retro-Direct 2 Speed.

This is the strangest thing I think that I've ever done with a bicycle...

Now...if that doesn't look like a bunch of scrambled eggs to you, I don't know what will. This, my friends, actually works! It's what we call a "Retro-Direct 2-Speed."  

What a Retro-direct drivetrain is....confuses me. What the result is, though, is pretty cool. Basically the bike has two freewheels, each with a different number of teeth. Both are mounted on the same wheel, and both coast in the same direction. The chain engages one, passes through some kind of idler (in our case...we used a ran-sacked derailleur pulley), and coasts over the other, back to the crank.

Why, then, is this so cool? Because when you pedal backwards, you engage the other freewheel.

That means.....

Pedal Forward: One gear.

Pedal Backward: A completely different gear.

Boom. Just blew your mind.

...I had a lot of fun yesterday pedaling backward down the street. You know what kind of looks you get when you do that? 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lance Might Need A Pep Talk...

Right about now, Lance Armstrong might need a pep talk after all that is going on (or now not going on) between him and the USADA. I imagine it would look a little like this...

Lance Armstrong: Peter La Fleur!

Peter La Fleur: Yeah, that's me. But I'm a big fan of yours.

Lance Armstrong: Really?

Peter La Fleur: Yeah, I've been watching all the news on ESPN. I just can't get enough of it. But, good luck in the trials. I'm really pulling for you against those jerks from the USADA.

Lance Armstrong: Uh, actually I decided to quit... Peter.

Peter La Fleur: Quit? You know, once I was thinking about quitting when a CEO of a company tried to push me out of a heated competition. But with a perfectly timed encounter as I fled, I showed back up, won a dodgeball tournament and took over his company. But I'm sure you have a good reason to quit. So what are you running from?

Lance Armstrong: Right now it feels a little bit like... shame.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Riding Around Lake Michigan

Currently, I'm half way through leading a touring trip around Lake Michigan with an amazing company called Michigan Coast Riders.  Some rethinking as begun with No Drive and look for that begin to show itself as the summer unfolds. For now, you can follow the trip I'm helping lead over on the MCR blog, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (michigancoastriders).

Hey MPLS: Look out!

STOLEN. Yes, the bike above and his wife's bike were stolen this past weekend from the NE side of Minneapolis, while NDJR contributor and friend, Alxndr Jones was out of town. Back in April, I visited the Jones and we rebuilt his bike.

Below is a breakdown of the bike.

Frame: SE Draft
Grips: Dimension Cork
Stem: Thomson Elite
Headset: Orgin 8 1 1/8" Silver
Brake lever: Avid Speed Dial 7
Brake: Stock from SE Draft
Crankset: Sugino Single Speed 175mm 48t
Track Cog: Surly 18t Track
Lock Ring: Surly
Chain: ACS Crossfire 3/32"
Pedals: MKS Touring Lite 9/16"
Saddle: Brooks B17 - Honey Brown
Seatpost:Thomson Elite
Wheels: Velocity Deep V Track - Woodgrain
Tires: Stock from SE

If you see the bike around please contact Alxndr so the appropriate steps can be taken in getting it back.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fixie kids take note...

Fixie kids take note...

You sound a lot like this when you try to explain the reason you ride fixed.

[and yes, I know this because I have caught myself explaining it that way too... we're all guilty]

Friday, February 3, 2012

Thursday, February 2, 2012

yeah. he does that too.

Alxndr not only is a rider... but he's an illustrator. Check out his site and have him design your next logo, promotional material or next whatever.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I said I love you...

Got a new t-shirt in the mail today... as we all know, this is the love language of the cyclist - or maybe that's just me...