Dahon on the Train
October 27, 2009, 4:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

PIC-0157Yesterday, I needed to meet my wife in Northbrook for dinner. This was the perfect situation for my Dahon Speed 8.

The weather was not that nice on the ride to the train. It started to mist/light rain on my ride. I installed some SKS fenders on the bike after I got it, but I also put some Schwalbe Stelvios as well. They are 120 psi slcks, so navigating through the wet leaves and dampness was a bit a of a challenge– go slow.

I bought this a few years back at Rapid Transit in Wicker Park. I mainly use it for multi modal transport as the local commuter train line allows folding bikes in bags at all times without blackout periods.


dahon folded in bolsa bag

Above is a phone cam shot of the bike fully folded. It makes it easy to carry on the train and stow in between the seats.

Once on the train, it was a painless event.


Another Day of Rain…
October 26, 2009, 4:30 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
root beer bike in misty rain

root beer bike in misty rain

Yesterday was perfect– sunny in the 60s with plenty of leaf filled color.

Today is a different story. It is lightly raining and in the 50s.

In order to get ready for our trip later this week, I needed to hit both the bank and the library. So it was another day for the Root Beer bike. Out of all of my bikes, its’ old fenders seem to give the best protection from all of the standing water that I encounter on the journey uptown.

I had my trusty Patagonia shell, my winter gloves (most waterproof pair that I have), a Patagonia fleece hat that fits under my helmet and my well worn Goretex shoes. I stayed pretty dry, but the coffee at the bank tasted better than usual!

Bike-related Grafitti Signs noted on chainlink
October 24, 2009, 12:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I saw this sign on the chainlink and had to post. This one is by the railroad bridge on Damen and 14th Street. Apparently, these are going up all over the city.

Very cool, will keep my eyes open.

Here is the original link:

More Fall Shots- @ The Secret Beach
October 20, 2009, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I decided to take my mid afternoon tea break at the Secret Beach today.The leaves are at their most vibrant. The below shot captures the scenery as I am approaching the access point to The Secret Beach. My wee cam phone does not do this justice.

PIC-0146Here is a view of the path down into the ravine to get to the beach.

PIC-0147Due to the recent heavy rains,there has been a lot of erosion. A huge tree went down in the mudslide that ensued. It was a big challenge trying to get over and around this one! It mus have been 50 feet tall and the trunk was at least 8 feet around to give some perspective.

major tree blocking the path

major tree blocking the path

Once down at the Secret Beach proper, a fog started to roll in.

fog rolls into secret beach 10.20.09

fog rolls into secret beach 10.20.09

Why I Love Fall in Chicago
October 20, 2009, 1:18 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I decided to take a bike trip to see a friend that recently moved into a beach side coach house. Below are some shots from my adventure. The fall temps 65, sun, breeze and the leaves in full force make it a perfect time for an extended bike adventure on a Monday night.

Here is a pic shot while I was heading south on the North Shore Path towards Highland Park. I had to go through Highwood, Downtown HP and then I headed east on Roger Williams when I got to Ravinia.

South on path 10.19.09

South on path 10.19.09

Here is Eric’s place, those vines on the right hide the woodpeckers’ hideout. Apparently they have moved in as well.


The surprise- Eric has access to a private beach that I will refer to as Haunted Beach. My phone cam does not work in the dark but suffice to say, going down these “stairs” to the beach had a definite Blair Witch quality as the sun set over the ravine.

path to haunted beach

path to haunted beach

A bit further down the path there was even a bridge. Returning at 9 PM without a flashlight required some memory as to the bridge location. You would not want to fall into this chasm.

haunted beach bridge

haunted beach bridge

And once we had a quick sandwich and some chips, we built a fire in the convenient fireplace. This fireplace was maybe 20 feet from the Lake Michigan shore. Hearing the water hit the sand, while the fire crackled was awesome. It was one of those nights where you think life is good.


The return bike ride roughly 8 miles was fun too. Not too many nights left where we will be able to do this!

Raleigh 20 Kickstand Removal
October 18, 2009, 12:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

As I mentioned earlier, my kickstand on my Raleigh 20 has a mind of its’ own. It will not stay up after it has been folded, and seems pretty wobbly when it is extended as well. The thing is that the stand is mounted to a built in mount unlke my other Raleigh kickstands.PIC-0135Here is the pin at the right sie of the tube that holds the kick stand. It is a bit different than some of the kickstand setups that I have seen on the nets. I think that since the Raleigh 20 is pretty small, that explains some of the differences. I am betting that I can pull that pin and the entire assembly can be pushed out easily.PIC-0136Here I am using some pliers to pull the pin as the kickstand is between the fully extended and the fully folded position. this position allows me the greatest access to the pin.


With a bit of elbow grease, I was able to remove the pin with the pliers. Notice the hole is now pin free.


Success! Here is the kickstand, with the spring and the retaining pin replaced after removal. I bet that I removed 2 pounds by taking off the kickstand.

This was pretty easy, it just took a bit of focr to remove the 37 year old pin.

VO Internal 3 Speed Wheel
October 15, 2009, 3:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I think that this may be an option to continue on my Grand Prix bike that I started in early 2008 and has been shelved for 2009.

The weakest part of my conversion was the old Simplex derailleur and related gear. I thought about making it a single speed. Getting a new wheel set might be the ticket.

This new wheel would require moving from 27″ to 700c, but I think that my fenders and brakes would work. So I think that I would need a new chain, some new brake pads, new tires and tubes.

Might be a way cool bike for Spring 2010.