Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday, June 14, 2009

World Naked Bike Ride - Portland

The world naked bike ride, what can I say but, wow! I was not a hundred percent certain I would attend, but at 9:30 last night I wheeled out the door and headed to the industrial area north of downtown Portland. It was a bit chilly and windy out, but I met up with some other riders headed the same direction along the way. We could hear the music from about a quarter mile out and there was no turning back.

On arrival I was struck by the sheer volume of bikes locked up outside. There were people from every walk of life wandering around outside. Some were in costume, some were partially clothed, some were neither. Once inside, the scene was unbelievable. Great beer, live music, and a thousand sweaty dancing bodies to boot. About a half hour before the ride kickoff, the Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers marched through the warehouse and definitely kicked things up another notch (if that were at all possible). That led to the mass exodus to the bikes.

Once I had my bike and "prepped" for the ride, I headed out to the street where I was simply awe struck by the number of people. The cue went on as far as I could see. It was truly inspiring. The ride took off and headed through NW Portland and then down Burnside. The further we went the more the crowds of spectators grew. There were cheers and high fives all around along with the occasional bit of ass slapping. The sound of bicycle bells ringing constantly. We cleared the Burnside bridge out to Sandy and down to the Hawthorn bridge. --Just a thought here, riding a bicycle naked over a steel grated bridge creates a very interesting sensation--. We turned and headed back up toward Old Town where the ride ground down to the naked bike walk (--note: I heard that the rear portion of the pack was cut off from the bridge loop and forced in with the rest which caused the jam up). Once through the jam it was a smooth roll back to the party.

The people were amazing, and not just the cyclists. Props to all the bystanders that decided to make a show of solidarity by losing there clothes while standing on the side of the road cheering. It should also be noted that there was a HUGE amount of appreciation for Portland's finest for blocking traffic at the major intersections. All in all it was an amazing experience which I will definitely repeat.

There is a great write up at Bike Portland (probably NSFW due to the pics).

See you there next year!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Monday, March 16, 2009

Lotus 3000R Update

I made a couple changes to the Lotus over the past week or so. The big one is that I swapped out the handlebars for the drops that were originally on my Salsa. The 'Short and Shallow' bar is wider and more comfortable than the drop bar from the Lotus. What can I say... I have a wide stance. The width caused an unexpected issue with the brake cable length, so those got swapped out too.

So far: tires, tubes, cables, seat (re-use), handlebars (re-use), clipless pedals, and a seatpost bag for spare and tools. (Not too bad overall)

If I could change one thing that I did on it so far, I would have put tires with reflective sidewalls on it.

I think I am done working on this one for a while. It has been a pretty fun bike puttering around the neighborhood, but now I need to take it out on a longer ride.

Back to the other bikes...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pi(e) Ride! 3/14

Today was quite possibly the best themed ride ever. I ventured out for my first ride picked off the Shift calendar. The Pi(e) Ride in celebration of 3.14 was led by John and attended by Severt, Evan, Jenny, Dave, Angie, Sarah, and myself. It was a bit cold and rainy but warm coffee and good eats more than made up for it.

We started out at the Bipartisan Cafe where the first order of business was a damn fine slice of cherry pie and cup of coffee. Once the group had gathered, we rolled up to Random Order for the next slice, peach berry amaretto with some of the best crust ever.

The next stop was quite a pleasant surprise. County Cork for shepherds pie and a pint of Murphy's Irish Stout. Not the first thing I would have thought of but, hearty, warm, and savory was definitely a plus considering the weather.

The last stop forced me to throw away everything I thought I knew about Key lime pie. I have never been a fan of Key lime, but Half and Half changed that forever. This was not your typical day-glow green gelatin. It was simply amazing.

All in all it was a great ride. I think the crummy weather made the pie taste even better. Thanks John for leading! If you wanted to run a Pi(e)x2 ride on 9/28 to hit some fall flavors (pecan & pumpkin) I would definitely be there!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Rehabing the Xtracycle donor (Lotus 3000M)

I decided a while ago that I wanted to build an Xtracycle. My plan is to use an old mountain bike that was collecting dust. Having stripped it down to the frame and collected some necessary parts, I just got started on the rebuild. Due to cash flow, the build will be slow, but I will post as I make progress.

One of the issues with the donor bike was the bearings. Both the headset and the bottom bracket had major issues. Trying to be frugal, I opted to keep the threaded fork and just replace the headset. I picked up a Shimano 105 headset from an online seller. Then I learned a bit about headsets. There are two different sizes of bottom race on a 1" fork, 26.4 and 27mm. As it turns out, the one I bought was smaller than my fork. Sooooo, I had the fork turned down to fit the race. Welllll, as it turns out, the the stack height difference between a large sealed bearing and a smaller loose bearing assembly makes a difference as well. Thankfully I live in a town rich with bike shop goodness. Kevin at River City finally set me straight. I have a new Tange headset that spins like a charm and I got to keep the fork (damn that fork).

If I had opted to update to a threadless fork, headset, and stem, I would have only been out a few more bucks and had a much nicer setup. Lesson learned.

That solved, I put it in the stand and filled 'er up with frame saver. (Hindsight: Using frame saver in my basement next to a gas water heater water heater was probably not the best idea...) Let it be known that frame saver is nasty. End of story.

Up next! Bottom bracket problems!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thoughts from the week

Trying to replace a 1" threaded headset is bothersome. Should have just gotten a threadless fork, headset, and stem.

Returning merchandise over the internets is also bothersome. If there is any question about compatibility, get it at LBS.

Frame saver is messy.

On the up side, bike projects are moving forward. Pics to follow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Worst day of the year ride!

Last Sunday was the 8th annual Worst Day of the Year Ride in Portland. Other than commuting I haven't done much riding over the last couple months so I needed something to get me going. There could not have been a more perfect venue. I opted for the 18 mile urban loop. Start and finish were at the Lucky Lab brewery (a purveyor of most excellent suds).

The route was diverse, though all through familiar territory. The pace was easy, with three manned stops. As to the weather, it was raining when I left the house, grey at the start, clear at the finish, and warm on the ride home.

With 3000 riders, there was an attempt to prevent large bottlenecks by staggering starting groups every few minutes. That turned out to be all in vain when the drawbridge went up at the first bridge crossing. Epic bicycle traffic jam, Portland style.

Traffic jam

The trophy

Oh yeah, cash poor at the post ride festivities, I asked one of the girls manning the kegs where I could locate an ATM. She thought about it for a second and said, "I remember seeing one at the strip club on the next block".

I love Portland.

Full gallery.