Operation Junkheap v. 0.1

I got a tiny bit more work done on the winter bike today.Operation Junkheap v0.1

I got the shifter pods installed on the handlebars. The only bar-end shifters the LBS has were Dura-Ace 9 speed (fancy pants) ones. More than I needed for this bike, (it’s only a 7-speed, and I want to use friction shifting) but it’ll do.

This bike has wierd cabling arrangements, so I need to go back for more deraileur cable housing. No matter, I’m still waiting for the brake levers, anyways.

I’m trying to justify the expense of those shifters in my head, so I’m thinking that come springtime, I’ll swap out the frame for a Karate Monkey. Then I’ll have a bad-ass mountain bike with Dura-Ace bar-ends. This plan also makes it easy to justify overspending on other parts, too :-)

Scopes Monkey II

Here we go again

I don’t really like to talk about political stuff on my blog, but this horseshit has landed in my backyard, and I can’t take it anymore.

The theory, as I understand it, is this:

“The universe is so complicated, that it must have been designed by an intelligent being.”

In order for this to be an assertion of science, I think we need some stuff:

  1. An objective way to measure the complexity of things
  2. X = “An objective measure of the complexity of the Universe “
  3. Y = “A measure of complexity such that things less complicated than Y can be accounted for by natural processes. “

If we had all those things, we could do an experiment. If X is greater than Y, the intelligent design theory is correct.

Otherwise, your theory is crap. Sit down, shut up, and leave the science to the scientists.

Cold Comfort for Change

I took my Diamondback winter bike out for a ride the other day. It sucked. The whole idea of an upright “comfort” bike isn’t all that comfortable anymore. It just feels clunky and slow.

It’s going to be winter soon, and this will be my bike, so I’d rather it didn’t suck.

After seeing Stacey’s latest
project, I decided to roadie-ize the old bike. I had a pair of drop-bars in the basement (the original ones that came with the Trek). I wasn’t sure about the funky stem that came with the DB. It’s a threaded steerer, but it has a cap on the end like a threadless one.

Diamondback Wildwood with Drop Bars

It looks like this will work, but now I need new brake levers and shifters. This bike has v-brakes, and I don’t think it’ll be possible to use regular cantilevers, so I ordered a pair of Dia-Compe 287v levers.

I still need some bar-end shifters and some cabling. I’ll probably go to the LBS for that stuff.

Goat Race Redux

I have returned from the 27th annual Falmouth Goat Races. Here are a few pictures.Alien Abduction Goat
This “alien abduction” themed goat won “best dressed” honors.

Goat-Drawn Chariot
I thought this goat-drawn chariot was pretty cool. Thor was smiling down on this girl and her goat.

A boy and his goat.
This little boy’s goat was not very interested in racing.

The Running of the Goats!
Here is the obligatory action shot of some actual racing.

Butterfly
A butterly thought my sister’s purse was good camouflage. If you look at the bigger version of this pic, the color match is more evident.

Some of the proceeds of today’s festivities went to help goat farmers in Louisianna. I thought that was pretty nice.

Groceries (Pimping for Presents)

I had just thrown a leg over the Trek for today’s afternoon commute, when my cell phone rang. Brandi wanted me to get a few things at the store. No problem. I had a pretty small load in the Camper today, anyhow, so I stopped off at the grocery store. I got a few wierd looks from the other shoppers, since I was walking around in my cleats and jersey.Anyhow, I got everything (about 20 pounds of stuff) crammed into the Camper and made my way home. The bike felt really wierd with that much weight up so high. Very topheavy. Since I got my rack, I think it’s time for some panniers.

Now, there’s only a little over a month until my birthday, so it would be imprudent to actually go and buy something right now. In case you need some gift ideas (in addition to the stuff on my Amazon List :-)), the Carradice Bike Bureau looks very snazzy. It would make a very nice way to get my laptop and cubical-drone regalia into the office.
Carradice Bike Bureau
Sadly, it looks like the place that needs the business the most (Wallingford) is in a bit of a jam, being located in New Orleans. Maybe Sheldon has one.

For grocery hauling duty, the Arkel Utility Basket looks like it would do the trick.
Arkel Utility Basket

Of the two, the Utility Basket is probably the more useful, and the cheaper.
Of course, it would be easier to balance on the bike if I had both 🙂

And then, there were Two

I got my shiny new rear rack mounted this weekend. Sorry, no pictures yet.

This morning’s ride in was very nice. At 6:00, it was still dark out, but the moon was bright enough that I barely needed my headlight.

Just when I was all zoning out, feeling all zen about my moonlight ride and my oneness with nature, the horrid stench of a freshly dead skunk bitchslapped me out of my trance. In a car, you are somewhat insulated from the foul odors of the road, and even those that aren’t completely filtered out are quickly far enough behind you that it’s no big deal.

Not so on the bike. The faster you try to pedal away, the harder you breathe, and the deeper you inhale in the stink. Ugh.

In happier news, I was not the only bicycle commuter in the locker room this morning. One of my coworkers has decided to start riding in, too. He lives 2.5 miles away.

So, out of my office of 500 people. 2 of us are bicycling.

It’s a start.

New Route Is Nice

I came home via my new and improved route today. It’s about a mile longer and has a few more hills than my regular route, but there was very little traffic, and the scenery was a bit better. I almost ran over a groundhog, and I had fun ringing my bell and watching the squirrels run around.

New Route Ideas

Since gas prices are getting more and more realistic, I am trying to be more regular in my bicycle commuting. I broke the piggy bank, and ordered a rear rack for the Trek, so I can carry all the crap I need to lug into the office (laptop, lunch, change of clothes, books, etc). I also want to find a more pleasant, less trafficed way to get home.

In the morning, my normal route works just fine, as most of the car people are still in bed at 6:00AM. When I leave the office at 4:00 however, Simpson St. gets pretty busy. I’d like to avoid it if I can. I can’t avoid it entirely, because my office is on Simpson St.

This is what I’ve been able to come up with. It’s kind of convoluted, and it’s a mile longer than usual, but I think I’ll give it a go tommorow afternoon.

A better way to get home

It keeps me off the collectors (in yellow) as much as possible, and it keeps me off Simpson Street for all but about 100 yards.

Bicycling: Macho and Patriotic

I was listening to the podcast of Majority Report today, and I came across this tidbit from Rachel Maddow:

We ought to be making riding a bicycle the most macho possible thing you can do right now. It’s the only thing that George Bush is doing right now that I actually support, is riding a bike. Because It’s the most patriotic thing you can do right now is to get our country out of Saudi Arabia’s pants so we can deal with something other than our energy crisis.

Today, I am macho, I am patriotic, and I am helping us to ride out of Saudi Arabia’s stinky britches!

Jihad!

If you want to hear it for yourself, you can download the mp3. Be aware, it’s about 26MB. The quoted part starts at 61:55 and ends at 62:12. Any errors in transcription are my fault.