Tuesday, March 29, 2016

My theory of water bottles

It's time for Katie to think about where she is going to put her water bottles on her new bike.

Water bottles are traditionally carried on the frame. One on the seat tube and one on the down tube. This works fine if you are bent over and can reach them. If you are riding upright and don't bend over like you used to then mounting the bottles on the handle bar can be a good solution. This may not work for all handlebars but the handlebar on Katie's bike is the same as on my Schwinn.

One thing to consider is that not all water bottles carry water. I have water in one and an electrolyte solution in the other. I use Skratch Labs Exercise Hydration Mix. This becomes very important as the weather heats up and the sweat increases. Absolutely needed. Having the water bottles within easy reach is so civilized.

Some like to use camelbacks which are back packs that carry water with a tube to drink the water. Carrying weight on my back during hot weather is the last thing I want to do. During the 1988 Ride Around Mount Ranier in One Day I was carrying a day pack for food and clothes. It was hot and the pack didn't allow the sweat on my back to evaporate and cool me. Let the bike carry the water.

The water bottles are from Klean Kanteen. Plastic bottles are fine but these are stainless steel, wash easily, are easy to drink from, and last forever. And ever.

These water bottle cages are from Velo-Orange. Effective and they look nice. I put some gaffers tape on them to add a little friction so the bottles don't pop out on a bump. They mount on either side of the handlebar bag mounts. The black thing on the stem is to hold my Garmin Edge 500 GPS bike computer/

The handlebar bag is a Lone Peak Mt. Baldy Handlebar Pack. It's not too wide so that it gets in the way of my hands when I'm riding on the taped part of the handlebar. It's big enough for food and tools. I usually carry my tools in a seat mounted bag. It hinges on the front side for easy access while riding.

It also has a great quick disconnect feature so you can take it with you when you  are off the bike. This type of connector is common to a number of bags.

Requiem for a bicycle

From parts to parts.

I commuted on this bike, a Trek 1200, from the early 1990s to 1998 when I started working at home. I stopped riding it in 2004. When I rode it it had drop bars. This is how it looked when Bill, my son-in-law, rode it last year in the 2015 Seattle to Portland Bike Ride.

After all that commuting in the rain it was in need of a lot of re-lubing and clean-up which I started about 6 years ago and then stopped. When I found out Bill needed a ride for the STP I gathered the parts and built it up for him with the plan being that I would ride it again after the STP as my mult-geared bike.

These pictures were taken just after the STP. Bill his taller than I am so I lowered the seat and bars and started riding it. It did not work out. It has racing geometry and was just too uncomfortable. Lots of toe overlap and it just didn't feel as solid as my Schwinn Typhoon Mark II. 25mm tires were the largest that would fit on this bike and I am now a fan of 50mm + tires. I finally gave up on it and went back to the Schwinn Typhoon Mark II and upgraded it to the Schwinn Typhoon Mark III. While I am retiring the bike the parts will live on. Some are already on my Schwinn Typhoon Mark III and the rear hub, brake levers, thumb shifters, bottom bracket, crank, and front derailleur will go on my soon to be Schwinn Typhoon Mark IV frame for my multi-speed bike.

While the Trek didn't work out a number if things on it did. The tall stem is on now my Schwinn Typhoon Mark III with a flat bar with some forward curve before it angles back. I really like this type of bar since it gives a nice upright position and a leaned forward position for the hills. More hand positions and more power leaned forward. The grips, mirror, bell, and water bottle holders are now on my Schwinn Typhoon Mark III.

This was also my first try at using cotton bar tape with shellac. A great success. the end wraps are the same waxed polyester cord we use on our camera straps.

A bike like this is worth less than the value of the parts I can use on my Schwinns so it's back to being disassembled. It was a good bike at the time but I've changed.

From parts to parts.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Katie's bike is almost a bike

The brake cables are on and adjusted. Next the chain and derailleur cables. Then all that will be left is the kickstand and wrapping and the handlebar.

Friday, March 25, 2016

426 miles

Today was my first ride over 40 miles. 43 miles and twilight was approaching so I put on the headlight. 426 miles for the year. Now the miles start to accumulate. My training schedule has 100 miles for the week. Another 8 laps around the lake Sunday and I will be over that. Next week the schedule goes up to two 50 mile rides and 120 miles for the week. The schedule stays around 120 miles per week for the next month and then starts to increase again to 60 mile rides. The goal is to get 2,400 miles in before the Seattle to Portland. I'm at 17% of that goal and am on track.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Schwinn Typhoon Mark III a multipurpose bike

My Schwinn has gone through some changes since last year's Seattle to Portland ride. Here is a post of it in last year's configuration. Here are pictures of it now. Adding the new bars gives me more riding positions and the porteur rack let's me carry all sorts of stuff. Here it is being loaded with a box of bubble packs to drop off at the shop.

On a training ride for this year's Seattle to Portland I have the handlebar bag for snacks.

The addition of a porteur bag on the rack lets me carry up to 30 pounds of groceries.

I put on the fork with the cantilever brakes which work very well. It's been a wet winter and the fenders are a must. I changed the drive train. The idler pulley just wasn't working to I removed that. While my flat gear is still fixed I changed my hill climbing gear to a single speed freewheel. That makes going downhill easier. The bike is much more usable. The last thing I need to do is add a rear brake. It will be a little tricky since the bike was never meant to have a rear caliper brake but I think I have the parts to make it work.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mount Rainier interlude on the way to buy cat food.

It's been tough getting miles on this winter. There has been more rain and a lot more wind than there was last winter. Riding in 20 mph plus winds means short rides. It's brutal. So I'm a little behind on mileage getting ready for the Seattle to Portland ride. But maybe Spring is near! The last couple of days has been beautiful with only a 10 mph breeze. I had to pick up some cat food in Bayview today so I did a little side trip to Double Bluff to get extra miles and a view. You can see Mount Ranier on the horizon. 20 hilly miles brings my year total to 330 miles. I did 31 miles around Crockett Lake yesterday and I will get another 31 this weekend. Zoe and I might do a tandem excursion tomorrow.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Katie's bike is coming together

Katie's bike is finally coming together. All the major components are installed. Now to install the chain and brake and derailleur cables. Still waiting for some cable guides and clamps. A couple of earlier posts on this build: Katie's bike -- part 2 and Katie's bike.

These are some of the new generation of light weight, high air volume, and supple side wall tires. Fast riding and comfortable. Compass is in Seattle and the owner, Jan Heine, names his tires after gravel road passes in the Cascades. Here is his blog and Compass Bicycles.

The rear derailleur is on and ready for the chain and cable.

Front brake. 

Rear brake.

The handle bar will be wrapped with bar tape. That will be the last thing to do.

Brake lever and thumb shifter.