Monday, June 30, 2014

Readying the Pink Elephant for summer

About a month ago, I bent the crap out one of my front racks. Dig it:

See how the rack is really a lot out alignment with the front tire... all of those lines should be parallel. I run things pretty willy-nilly by most bike nerd standards -- or really, any standards, but this kind of wonkery is even too much for me. The amount this thing bent was way out of proportion for the little wreck that caused the bending...a brief explanation of how I did this is here. But in technical terms: there was a lever involved to make the bending really pop.

Anyway -- the Pink Elephant is moving into summer mode, albeit a bit behind schedule. One part of this transition --  an important part -- is to get this rack back on it.

So I asked Glen if he had a bit of time to day to unwind this rack. He did. So I went down there and the rack fix turned into kind of a mini overhaul.

To wit:

- Glen straightened out the rack and welded a broken seam back together
- He realigned the rear triangle, caused by an event where I may or may not have gotten in some kind of minor wreck.
- He fixed the shifting in the rear by replacing some housing and lubing stuff -- whoa! what a difference!
- He inspected and repacked my rear hub, which is rather notchy. He spun the rear wheel and told me to hold the pedal as the wheel spun. "Feel that?" he asked. There was a solid, notchy vibration coming through the hub, into the frame, into the cranks and into the pedal. "Maybe?" I answered.

Turns out the rear cone on the non-drive side of the hub was well-pitted. Looking at the tiny, irregular little pitted spots on the cone, it didn't seem so bad to me, but Glen assured me that it was as bad as he's seen. This wheel has been around. I bought it new -- the whole wheel -- from Rivendell over 7 years ago. It first lived on the Hairy Garyized Trek 520. I think it went on Liza's RB-1 conversion after that. Then my orange Elephant. Now this one.  It's seen a lot of hard miles. I've probably repacked it once during that time... during my "it's important to maintain your hub phase" of aught nine.  Glen didn't have a proper replacement cone, so I'll get one and put it in there.

And while he had the bottom bracket removed, he drilled a drain hole.

Earlier last week, I removed the fenders and swapped out the slicks with knobbies.

Word. The Pink Elephant is ready for summer riding and exploring.

In other news -- look at this kid climb this hill:

It's hard to capture the steepness of a hill in a photo, but this is a good little grade that goes for about 1/4 of a mile. Apparently, walking is not an option.  

 This is my old campus bike -- Maddie has commandeered it. It's your basic cruiser gearing, which is fairly large and in-charge if you're evaluating it in the context of hills.

Monday, June 23, 2014


I'm reworking the Pink Elephant for summer touring. More on this later.

Maddie just keeps growing fast. We did a one-night overnighter this year. We plan on doing at least a two-nighter this summer. Maybe a couple two-nighters if we can figure out a good route. Then next summer I think we'll be ready for a week tour -- perhaps we'll go up Whidbey, then Orcas or Lopez. In any case, I see a LHT in Maddie's future.

Maddie and I just got back from a week of tooling around the OR and WA coast and hanging with family in Seattle. More here on that. The beaches make me ponder a fat bike adventure. A guy could go for miles on these beaches during mid-low tide.

From L-R, that's Maddie, my sister Betsy, and her kid, Livvy.  Riding around Seattle is pretty righteous. Even with the kids.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Riding with Liza

This time of year one of my favorite things to do is to ride downtown with Liza, have a date/hang, and ride home.

Last night was a perfect ride night for such a ride: warm and clear. My phone pics are blurry and lame, but to me, they sort of capture the magic.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bikes and stuff!


Maddie prefers the old campus bike.
I'm going to put obnoxiously big knobbie tires on that bike next year.

'Tis the season for magical, early morning rides on the HD trails. So good.

Someone is knocking in a new trail -- it cuts the side of a hill to make bottom to middle a more gradual climb. This is right under the new switch backs they built last year.

The latest round of Bluff clean up day disappeared the hood launch at the top trail. Bummer.
Saw that one coming. 

Mr. Pedal, meet Mr. Rock.
Mr. Rock moves for no man. 

New bike is great. I'm experimenting with a new turning/carving technique that will make me radder.
I had a pedal strike event at this spot last week. Much sand was lodged into my teeth and gums.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Have a pint for P2P

Click for big!

This will happen a week from today. Take a ride and land at River City Brewery always -- but especially next Monday night. The new patio will be open. There's rootbeer for the kids. There's excellent helmet-cam video of mountain bike descents down Mt Spokane on the TV inside.

Gage (owner, cyclist, all-around good egg) is giving $2 of every beer sold that night to P2P. Each pint is only $3!