Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Lately I've Been Thinking 'Bout Just Hittin' the Road

I get those lyrics in my head all the time. It is from a song called "Last Night/Tomorrow" by Urge Overkill. I wish they would've only put out Tomorrow. Anyways...

We had a fantastic Sunday Morning ride this week. Let me tell you why:
1. A bunch of great people showed up
2. We went to a fantastic restaurant (Gaia Bistro 1551 S. Pearl St.) where the coffee is "epic" and the food is outstanding
3. All of us were interviewed by a young woman from the newspaper, The Metropolitan. And we might just have changed her mind about owning a car (or atleast how she will use it) The article comes out this week, so who knows
4. Myra came along in her Giant Pea Pod, barking the ENTIRE time. She also jumped out when her carabiner bent and broke

If you didn't join us, you should this week. Again, we go slow, so don't count this as exercise. And you can wear lycra, but you may be the only one. We'll still love you though. Only wonderful people have shown up thus far, and that is something we plan on continuing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Myra's first ride along

Our newest mechanic and I (Scott) went on an actual real mountain bike ride yesterday. We took our bikes up to Green Mountain for a quick and dirty loop. Our lungs were relieved to be out of the brown cloud, but quickly found the burn as we started up the winding forever climb. I always forget how long that climb is because I keep thinking it has about 6 turns before you get to the "top". No no... it has more like 14. We took Myra the shop dog on this ride, thinking she would appreciate a good long jog. We made it up to the top and began our fun descent. It seemed like Myra could keep going forever. Being that she is just a puppy, she started to get pretty pooped about 65% of the way through the ride. I let Brian take off like a bat out of hell and stayed back with Myra. She trooped it all the way back to the car without so much as a whimper. She did have to stop to play with a border collie, but otherwise she was focused. I thought bringing a dog on bike trips would be a lot more work, but she was purely pleasure for us. Once she gets older, I'm certain she will be leading the way instead of following behind. I look forward to more people joining us on our morning rides in the mountains. It is way more fun to ride in bigger groups.

Brian: GF Full Suspension
Scott: Giant Trance
Myra: 4 Paws

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Greasy Seatposts and Stuck Seatposts

We spent several hours over the course of several days on a young woman's aluminum seatpost that was chemically bonded to her steel frame because of a lack of lubricant between the two.

We first used the torque of our palms to get the post to spin. Because it was a cheap seatpost that was two pieces of aluminum temperature bonded, it broke off at the top. We then gave it a healthy dose of helper fluid to break the bond. The fact is that the bond was from the bottom of the post to the top. After about a 24 hour soak, we went back at it. This time we drilled a nice clean hole in the post in order to insert a piece of tooling steel in there to get some nice torque. 2 of us with cheater bars provided in the neighborhood of 800 lb/feet of torque (I'm guessing here) and the post literally shattered. Our next idea was to open up a channel to get the fluid further into the frame by using a saw blade to slide a channel into the post. After about 45 minutes of this tedious procession, we had made a small slit part of the way down. The post still did not budge. We let it rest for a while with loads of caustic fluid hopefully finding its way to the chemical bonds. Our next idea was to put a quill stem inside the post, tighten it down and hammer it out. We quite literally broke the stem in half attempting to hammer out the post. (Some laughter may be necessary here) Finally, we decided to try reaming out the post from the inside out. We were going to attempt to shave the post to nothing. After a few hours of removing small amounts of post we made a call to our custom frame builder, James from Blacksheep. He explained that we would be doing this for many many hours and it may not work quite as easily as we were imagining. We decided to let the customer decide whether she could afford our labor or if we needed to call the project done.

I have to say that the young woman was both sad and understanding. She immediately saw the bright side of the situation, that being that her next bike will be fully adjustable and will have a nice slippery seatpost.

By the way, she bought this bike at VeloSwap. Yet another word of warning about buying from an unknown source. Check to make sure the seatpost was greased.