Sunday, May 30, 2010

Vintage Mountain Bike Bonanza!

Sweet Pea and I did a little yard "sailing" yesterday before heading over to Silverdale to partake in the annual Memorial Day Weekend of consumerism and great sales...........

One of the first yard sales of the morning turned up a real treasure. A high end, very early mountain bike! And the price........... $10.00 !!!!!!!! As we drove up, I spotted the bike leaning against the garage and recognized it as an early Stump Jumper or Ritchey style immediately. As Sweet Pea headed into the sale to check for other treasures and to pay for the bike, I rolled it out to the Jeep to load it up. As we hauled it off, I felt like Alibaba making his escape with a load of gold!

I'm not certain what the make is, but I can say it is nearly identical in geometry and style to the original Specialized Stump Jumpers and the original Ritchey's from the early 1980's. It has all of the classic, high-end parts of the era like Deers Head Shimano rear deraileur, Suntour Power Thumb Shifters, moosehead bars, bear trap pedals, etc. The paint job is original with no decals or marking but it does have two small rivet holes on the front of the head tube where it once had a head badge that is now long gone. The fork crown and bottom bracket shell are both investment cast and the bike is definitely hand built. There is an odd "M" or "W" marking cast into the bottom of the bottom bracket by the s/n. I found a date stamp on the front hub of 7-83, so the bike is most likely a 1983 0r 1984! As I get the chance to start doing research on the bike, I'm sure I'll have more details to share.......... stay tuned!

We decided to cruise through Port Ludlow on the way to Silverdale and as we cruised down the road we spotted a yard sale with two more mountain bike in the mix. We walked away from that one with a mid-1980's Specialized Rock Hopper. This bike is going to be revamped and set up for Nadia. The bike has a Shimano Bio-Pace crank set on it........... oval shaped chain rings that were supposed to optimize your pedaling power. The best thing is that the frame is a small adult size which is quite tough to find in a good quality mountain bike like this, and it is exactly what we needed for Nadia.

Here are some pre-restoration pictures of the bikes:

"The Early Mountain Bike"

"The Specialized Rock Hopper"

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Brooks Seat Cover & Mud Fender

Last week I stopped by PT Cyclery in Port Townsend to check out a sidewalk sale that they had advertised. I picked up a package of Fiz'ik micro-fiber bar tape in white for the LOOK bike and a Brooks Saddle seat cover (The tape was 1/2 price and they threw in the seat cover!). I'll use the cover for whatever bike I'm riding out in the weather...... for now that means the Giant Trance.

We've been getting days of Spring rains so I broke down and made a mud fender for the rear triangle on the Trance. I cut down and heat molded a rear Zefal fender and zip tied it in place. This should keep the crud and mud out of the rear suspension, pivots and drive train. I set a fender like this up on the GT and it has worked wonderfully.

Here are the new additions:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Big Bronze Day

Saturday was the big day.............. the bronze pour at the Lateral Line Foundry in Chimacum. Sweet Pea's bell casting was a "disaster" the first time around. This was round two. To cut to the chase, the pour was a SUCCESS! The bell turned out wonderfully this time. It was a full day at the foundry with two separate pours. Sweet Pea's was in the second one. We all had fun, had some good food, and enjoyed the drama and excitement of the event.

Here are a few pictures from the day. The guy in the
silver fire suit is me! I was the "fourth hand" and helped to steady the crucible as it was transferred from the fire to the pour cradle and then back afterward. You cans see Sweet Pea helping with setting the molds in the sand pit and then chipping the bell out of the plaster investment..........

With no further delay, and for your enjoyment, here are the pictures:

It's a bell!........... Well almost, now comes hours and hours and hours of cutting, filing, finishing, and detail work. Even with the sprues and vents still attached, it has a great ring!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Prototype Mess Kit Carry Strap

Last night I put together a prototype leather carry strap for the German mess kit I'll be carrying on the Bundesgrenzschutz bike. The leather is the right style, but a bit too narrow and the buckle is close, but not quite right either. When I find the right buckle, I'll remake the carry strap with the only design correction being the location of the snap tab on the attachment loop. I'll move it down further to make a larger loop when it's snapped closed. Right now it's a bit tight to wear on a belt, but just fine to attach to the rear bike rack or through a D-ring equipment loop.

As usual, I even stamped the leather with a "replica" makers mark and date....... in this case "SWS" for "Sharky's Work Shop" and the year of "1944". This mimics the original style of leather stampings used by Germany on the WW2 period leather gear.

Here are a few other shots.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Burning Man Tags

I had a great idea for Burning Man "gifts" this afternoon at work, and I had a few moments at the end of the day so I acted on it............
We send quite a bit of stainless steel strapping bands to the scrap heap each week and I figured that they would make perfect little "tags" that could be strung on a cord or used for zipper pulls, etc.

I made up a small pile of "blanks" and hauled 'em home to the workshop. After a little filing, drilling and stamping, the were turned into a set of pretty nifty "Just Say YES!" tags. The rest of the tags may end up with different stampings...............

The "Just Say YES!" stamping is from my life altering encounter with ABO out on the Playa in 2007. As you may recall, it is a change in how one filters the world. Most people say an internal "NO!" whenever any opportunity or chance comes along and then think about all the reasons they shouldn't do it to decide if it is something they are going to act on. In the "Just Say YES!" method, one shouts a resounding, internal "YES!" and then looks at it to decide if there is any good reason to not do it....... basically you live in the open mode instead of the closed mode. Try it, it actually IS life altering!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Vintage Bicycle Tools

On Saturday, Sweet Pea, the pugs, and I were out on a morning yard sale expedition in Port Townsend. We hit the best sale up in Uptown. I picked up a set of vintage bicycle tools for a buck! The fellow I bought them from said that they belonged to his grandfather and didn't know anything more about them.

The two combo-tools are forged from very heavy steel and are in like-new condition. They don't have any makers marks. There was also an open end box wrench with them forged from the same heavy steel as the combo-tools. This one is a 13/16 and 3/4 inch combo. The make is P&C Tools Milwaukie Oregon.

The P&C Tool Company operated out of Milwaukie, Oregon from the eraly 1920's and through the 1930's before being swallowed up by a bigger company. A Google search will give you a good history of the company if you're interested.

This afternoon I was doing an eBay search for Brooks Saddles and typed "Brooks Leather" into the search bar........ up popped a vintage Brooks Saddle bike tool kit with tools. The combo tool is exactly the same! Here's a picture from the listing:

Vintage Dienstfahrrad Info

Here are a couple of great shots that show a typical German Dienstfahrrad tool kit set up and a good diagram of the German terms for all of the parts of a Dienstfahrrad (service bike).

Presented here for your historical cycling enjoyment:

"Freak of Nature" or #%$@ Bike!?

While hanging out with Sweet Pea at her vendor's booth at the Rhody Festival Art Show last weekend, I couldn't help but notice a very "unique" bicycle go by.......... it was pushed by an older couple all decked out in matching riding kits. For those of you not-in-the-know, this bike is a Soft Ride (no longer made and for very good reason!). You can see the "spring board" set up for the rear riders position in the picture below. To make things even more of an oddity, the bike is a tandem. I will not pass any judgements or offer any opinions here other than to say that there is a reason you don't see these bikes cruising in any kind of numbers!

BIKE Magazine got a hold of a Soft Ride mountain bike over a year ago and dubbed it the "Shit Bike" and then circulated it around the pro-riders to ride and evaluate, and hopefully destroy...... Well, it held up to its title of "Shit Bike" and was unanimously agreed that it sucked and was unsafe! The staff of BIKE even lit it on fire and attempted to have it hurled through the air by trebuchet to destroy it and even that didn't work, so I guess it could be said that they are at least tough!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

DIY Carbon Fiber Fender-Rock Guard

Every week at work, we toss out a couple of carbon fiber "doctor blades" at the mill that have been pulled off of the #1 paper machine. They are essentially an 18 foot wide, carbon fiber scraper that cleans the "stickies" off of the big paper machine press roll............... They are carbon fiber, did I mention that?
When they wear out, (as in dull a little bit), they are replaced and the old ones are snapped into 3-4 foot pieces and tossed out. Well, I've been collecting them for some time because, well, they're carbon fiber and free! I haven't really found a good use for them until today............ I fabricated a great rain fender - rock guard for the lower end of the down tube on my Giant Trance. It looks EXPENSIVE (did I say it's made of carbon fiber?) and should do a great job of keeping the train mud out of the front shock and pivots and should give some good bash guard protection from rocks as well.
And it looks cool and matches the carbon fiber brake levers and seat as well!

Anything is cool if it's made from carbon fiber :)

Here are a couple of shots of the new fender:

And here are a couple of gratuitous shots of my Trance:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shots from the "Birthday Cruise Crew"

Here are a few more shots that were taken by the "crew" on the Birthday Cruise this last Saturday...............Enjoy :)

The Birthday Girl is in the middle :)

Here are a few shots of the waterfront ..........

Looking back towards the Olympic Mountains from downtown.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

First Boat Cruise Of The Year

Well boating season must be here! I had the Bernadine out for an afternoon cruise to Port Townsend to fulfill a friend's birthday wish of a cruise along the waterfront. The weather was beautiful, clear and calm with temperatures hitting 60! An early summer!

Sweet Pea is selling her jewelry at the Rohdy Festival Art Show in Port Townsend all weekend, so I was the sole boat "crewman". I left Mystery Bay at 10 am enroute PT, and made it across the bay to pick up passengers at the marina at 11 am. We took an hour long cruise along the Water Street waterfront and then dropped everyone off and headed back across the bay. It was a great cruise home with the exception of looking down and seeing the fuel gauge on "E"!!!! It seems that my fuel guage is dead and that I actually didn't drain all the fuel from the tank :)

The wind came up and it took me a half dozen approaches to pick up the mooring buoy by myself (run the boat, drop into neutral,
dash through the foc'sle, up on the fore-deck, grab a boat hook and pennant line as we blew down and away from the buoy!). I finally managed to get things hooked up and then I put the Bernadine to bed and headed to the Art show.......

Here are a few "underway" pictures from the trip:

Approaching USN Indian Island ammunition depot

Looking across at the mill.

The Port Townsend waterfront

Back in Kilisuit Harbor

Looking aft