town&countrybiker


Changing a Raleigh Sports Tyre
November 26, 2009, 7:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

When I went to the garage to get a tool, I noticed that the front tyre of the Root Beer Bike was totally flat. The bike’s weak point is its’ no name tires and tubes. When money s more available, I plan to upgrade to some of those creme colored Schwalbes.

That said, I grabbed the box wrench from my mobile tool kit and pulled the wheel and brought into my workshop.

After I pulled the tyre off, I noticed that there was no rim tape. (I must have changed this tyre when I first got the Sports 6 years ago. I have added rim tape to all my bikes as the tubes have failed.)

adding velox rim tape

So after pulling the tyre, checking for road debris inside and outside the tyre, I found a new roll of Velox rim tape in the parts bin and installed as in the above pic. I have used Velox old school cotton tape exclusively, and after installation, I have had zero issues with spoke nipple punctures.

getting new tube into tyre

Next, I pumped the new tube so that is was roughly round and I stuck it into the tyre.

setting tyre bead into rim

After that, I put the schrader valve through the hole in the rim and the hole in the rim tape. Then working away from the valve, I set the tyre bead into the rim.

kool stop tyre bead lever

For the last bit, I used my Kool Stop tool that I got 5 years ago. It makes it easier to get the final couple of inches of bead into the rim. It acts like a lever by having one side of the tool on the rim and the lever side of the tool grabs the unset tyre bead. The tool works like a champ and is always in my tool kit.

crank bros. mini pump inflating tube

Then I inflated the tyre maybe half way to fully set the bead and to ensure that all was seated correctly. I cheat a bit as well, if the tyre is not totally inflated, I can install the wheel without messing with the brake assembly.

floor pump to complete inflation

Here is the partially inflated tyre in the forks getting pumped to 70PSI.

box spanner (wrench) to tighten hub nuts

Finally some quick wrenching to torque down the hub bolts. I took the Root Beer Bike up the street and nothing fell off, so the project is complete.



So, The Sun Came Out Today
November 20, 2009, 6:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

root beer bike POV

After 4 days of unending gloom, the sun started to break through the blinds around 7 Am today. It improved my mood.

I decided to get the Root Beer Bike out to run a few errands, including a library run as well as a quick haircut @ Lou’s.

On the way, I saw a garage sale on Illinois, so I stopped and while the lady said she had some records, they were in CA. She did say that she ordered the weather, though. I thanked her, of course. It must be about 50 with a light wind.

The North Face Apex jacket that I got last year, kept me perfectly warm. The way that it is tailored a bit longer in the back, really helps to keep the PBS (plumber’s butt syndrome) at bay.



Guido Fawkes Tweed Ride 7 November 2009
November 8, 2009, 2:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Yesterday, I set about to meet up with the Tweed Ride in Commemoration of Mr. Fawkes attempt at blowing up Parliament.

I contemplated using the R20, but at the last minute, knew that I would more further appreciate a nice fall ride on a full size bike. Since I planned to use Metra commuter rail, I opted to use the Root Beer Bike as opposed to The Green Machine. Typically, your bike will become part of a scrum of bikes on a nice day such as Saturday.

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root beer bike upon metra

I got to the Ravenswood station right on time and then headed east on the bike (unfriendly) lane on Lawrence. In about 2 minutes I arrived at the Chicago Ale House. I parked right next to a Pedersen. Completely and totally unique looking (and operating I’m sure) bicycle. I went inside and tried my first Lagunitas Pilsner.

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tweed riders in front of chicago ale house

Upon leaving the Ale House we headed on a nice route to Duke of Perth. I was treated to some classic tunes by Stiff Little Fingers and The Damned (“New Rose”.) To paraphrase a comment, “Why did they go goth?”

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tweed ride heading north

On the way to DoP, we stopped in Andersonville for some Puppet Bikery. Notice aforementioned Pedersen on left.

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tweed riders enjoy puppet bike

After the DoP, we headed to Weeds. I called an audible and headed home for a wonderful late dinner with family and friends. I am sure that the bonfire was a blast!

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blurry tweed bikes @ weeds'



Great Fall Day
November 8, 2009, 2:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It is glorious today.

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elm tree sans leaves, perfect fall day

I have to take a ride to the Doctor in a bit, so I plan to take the Root Beer Bike on 8 mile journey, and enjoy the sun and warm November temperatures.

The leaves have fallen and the past three days have had me spending breaks in my days raking up the leaves from the large elm and the two maple trees in my yard. the piles of leaves were enormous.

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root beer bike upon bridge in fall sun



October Critical Mass in San Francisco from Recent SF Trip
November 5, 2009, 8:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I took a trip for my honeymoon to San Francisco last week. I was not able to ride in Critical Mass, but we did have the pleasure of seeing the Mass clog traffic on Kearny where it hits Columbus in North Beach.

We had just finished an excellent Italian dinner outside, and started the walk to Union Square when we came across the Mass. Below is a picture when the corking started.

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corking in North Beach

Here are some Massers flying by the cork. I was amazed at how unmassed the ride was compared to here in Chicago.

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Eventually, more folks stopped as the drivers were starting to get out of their cars. What was really entertaining was the guy with the large red parasol that you can see in the pic. As he was corking, he undid the parasol and stood there while motorists honked and yelled.

Extra corking

Here is a view south on Kearny. Notice Francis Ford Coppola’s Zoetrope on the left in the flatiron style building.

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jammed up traffic

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the traffic might have been backed up for a mile...

All in all, a nice extra after a great meal in SF!