Monday, December 26, 2011

New toys. The Trek begins its leap to the modern era

For the longest time I have dismissed any thoughts of upgrading my 1985 Trek 760 to any sort of "modern" drive train. While I never could call myself a fan of using shifters on the downtube, I resigned myself to that being my reality for the foreseeable future. Until the day came around that I could afford to buy a new road bike I was stuck in the routine of putting off shifting my 12 speed transmission unless it was absolutely needed. I would need to change too many parts and alter the frame itself to bring the bike into the era of handlebar based index shifting.

Then, out of the blue, a co-worker offered to sell me pretty much everything I needed for a price I could not pass up-and it was almost all CAMPAGNOLO!!!!! I ended up getting a set of 10 speed Veloce Brake levers/shifters, a Veloce rear derailleur, a Campy Khamsin wheelset, a second cassette, a set of Mavic brakes, a set of tires and a few other nick-nacks for an unreal price. Since I already have a Campy Record 10 speed crank and front derailleur the front end of the drivetrain was already taken care of.

The only piece up in the air was the frame itself. Over the years industry standards have changed as technology moved along the path of inevitable advancement. When my bike was built the standard for spacing between the rear dropouts was 126mm. With the advent of 8, 9 and 10 speed drive trains that spacing was increased to 130mm to make more room for the additional gears. Four lousy millimeters.

After a little consultation with Mr. Google and the late great Sheldon Brown I learned that my frame could easily be "cold set" to the new spacing. This involves careful application of graduated force using tools to make sure everything stays lined up and parallel. In other words the frame is physically bent to accept the new spacing. It turns out that the Reynolds 531c tubing on my Trek frame is ideal for this type of manipulation (how's that for a tech term?). Even better was finding out that I could have it done for around twenty bucks!

Tonight I did some teardown and attached some of the new stuff. The frame bending will hopefully happen this week with final assembly in the near future.

Now of course I couldn't leave my Stumpjumper feeling neglected-Especially since Q has been upgrading the shit out of his Enduro. His bike is going to kick some serious ass when he is done-not that it didn't before.

I placed an order today for Specialized's version of the remotely adjustable seatpost. The ability to adjust seatpost height on the fly while trail riding has always struck me as a worthwhile "feature". This spring I will be able to finally give it a try.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Found these by reading this article.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Aquila Cyclocross 2011 edition

Was happy to see they are running races again at the local park. Quite a few crashes today due to the on and off drizzle making sure the grass stayed wet.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A nice evening

Old friends. Bikes. Videos. Beer. Large insects. What more could you ask for?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My ride today

I was unaware you could do this on

I am guessing you need to have Google Earth installed.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dumb Fun

I would have gladly given this a shot on Saturday.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Vacation Part One

I've been in Jackson Hole Wyoming since Sunday with what seems to be about 150 immediate and extended family members. Lots of hiking biking and amazing scenery.

We have all been feeling the effects of the 6000+ foot altitude. My first bike ride on what the locals call the "easy" trail nearly did me in. The trail even has the somewhat dismissive name of "Putt-Putt". It started with a climb and never let up. No chance to recover. Since then, we have been slowly biking a dirt road most of the way up, then biking DOWN the single track. Much more enjoyable that way.

Tomorrow we head to the Laramie area with a much smaller group of people. The cabins we will be staying in there are at 10,000 feet. That should make the lack of oxygen here look like child's play. Unfortunately the Minnesota budget crisis has torpedoed my Dad's plans to join us there. Another reason to despise the current crop of GOP nutjobs in the state legislature. Thanks assholes!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


The Tornado was May 22nd. These were taken today. Theodore Wirth Parkway and Glenwood is still trashed. I can only imagine what North Minneapolis looks like.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Return of Sharpie John

Today I came up with a brilliant, two part plan.

Part one-Throw the road bike on the bus in the morning and use it to ride home after work.

Part two-When I get home on the road bike, throw the mountain bike in the car and zip over to Theodore Wirth for a couple of laps on dirt.

There was one flaw in this plan, my bicycles' engine in not running very well-too much inactivity over winter. By about half way through the first lap at Wirth I was sucking wind and feeling a little "off". I just could not get in the groove and start flowing down the trail. At the end of the first lap I sat at the trail head trying to catch my breath and get my heart rate back down out of the stratosphere. While wiping sweat from my eyes I debated taking a second lap or heading back to the car. The car sounded pretty good.

Then the decision was made for me.

A guy rolled up to the trail head and I pulled one of those classic inner dialogs "Is that....? No. Wait. Shit, yes it is." Sure enough it was an old friend that I haven't seen in years. Lots of years. Turns out hes a bike nut, has been mountain biking for years and even works for Erik's Bikes. So we sat and caught up, talked bikes and picked up like it had only been a week since we had seen each other. Of course when he asked if I was going to do another lap there was no way I was going to say no.

He took off like someone who has been riding all winter. I knew the pace was going to be fast but I was determined not to get dropped.

Now here's the funny thing. Even though I was more fatigued than when I got there my previous unease on the bike was gone. I was hitting the right lines, staying off the brakes and having way more fun. It is remarkable how riding behind a faster rider can get you to push yourself a little harder. I managed to more or less keep up with him for the entire lap. What I thought was going to turn into a lame ride ended up being a lot of fun.

All fun aside, I was D-U-N done when I got back to the car-just spent. I got back to the house and was standing on my back steps when I realized I was trying to unlock my house with the key fob for my car. I laughed at myself and remembered the time I tried to unclip from my accelerator pedal in almost the same set of circumstances.

I made myself some dinner and cracked a beer. Turned into a pretty good evening.

I don't think I will have any trouble falling asleep.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ahhh Spring

Hail stone found next to my house tonight.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Getting back to the bike commute.

Ahh, good times. Ride home. Get unpleasant reminder of how lazy you have been all winter. Arrive home a sweaty mess with sore arms (???). Change into sweats and a t-shirt. Open a couple of windows in the house to let in some nice spring air. Eat some dinner. Fall asleep on couch then wake up an hour later FREEZING YOUR ASS OFF!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Waiting Room

I get a new prize for most uncreative post title ever.

This vid just seems to capture the "feel" of a great club gig.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Reord Store Day

Saturday. Hymie's. 38th and Lake. 11 AM to whenever. Bands, Food, Music. There is even stuff for kids.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Not surprising

So this band that has had some success over the years lists a really cool band amongst its big influences. For Record Store Day they even release a 7" with a cover of one of that old band's great songs with the original on the B side. One word-Cool.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


One of the many vids from the "test rides" at Cuyuna, the new IMBA trail hotspot in the Crosby/Ironton area. Just 15 miles from my cabin. I will be there numerous times this summer. The grand opening is the weekend of June 10th. All sorts of activities planned. Even Hans Rey is going to be there.

Looks awesome, don't you think?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Artcrank 11

Q and I got together and headed to NE Minneapolis to pay a visit to this year's Artcrank. A "bike culture" art show and, well, party. When we got there we encountered a large crowd of people way cooler than we are.

We also saw some guys wearing matching racing team jackets and leather pants. They had this odd TV evangelist hair thing going too.

Of course we bought some art. Why else would we be there? Besides the free beer and the free music and the crowd watching and the....wait, what was I talking about?

So here is what I got myself.

Q got this wonderful representation of denim

I picked this up for Just A Cool Cat

After finishing up at Artcrank (the beer ran out) we headed over to Grumpy's to finally see my old friend Shawn Walker's band-Gay Witch Abortion. It took all of twenty seconds into the first song for me to be reminded what an absolutely gifted drummer he is. GWA is a drum and guitar two piece that creates a massive wall of sound. I definitely will be seeing these guys again. They had them playing in this little hallway of a room, so it was impossible to get close for some good photos.

Of course not really having any lights on the band didn't help either

All in all a fun evening. Now I have to get over to Q's. I left my stuff there.