Friday, February 29, 2008


Texting driver jailed for 4 years...

Are vikings tough?

So here we are on the 29th of february. We are still hammering away at house stuff. bedroom 1, 2 the hall and the spare room are done. Bathroom needs a coat of paint and some shelves. More Ikea flat pack to build and then we have to start moving everything back from where its been stowed to its new sure it'll be fine.
I'd also like to mention a possible risk for future deco-fiends. Watch out if you agree with your partners desire to paint a wall pink. Actually i'll rephrase that....P I N K. I kind of like it, but i may need G30 lenses for my oakleys once we start using the room....

Tomorrow sees the start of 30 from 30. Weather warnings abound and as such it is likely we won't be able to notch as many outside days as our american counterparts, buuuuut we'll see. In like a lion out like a lamb.

Whats the purpose of all this? Is it so we get tough and can race harder? a personal challenge? a battle against ennui? who knows....but determination is high for this hardy band of would be warriors. Reports will be here and i am hoping to collate others thoughts after..

Eye opening.

Perhaps one of the most impressive feats in modern expedition.


Monday, February 25, 2008


Iditasport has started. Long a voyeuristic pleasure of mine, it looks like not only is Brit carl Hutchings in second (at this early stage) but that the conditions are very quick. Not only that, but mike curiak is attempting the north route, unsupported.

Its all go..

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Eat meat eat meat eat meat...

So, build up is done except for new wheel build, and a chain. Rear rack once the rear wheel is built (wont fit over a thru axle). A bit of fettling for the front rack as i didnt use the stock mounting system, so need some spacers and i used better quality/not round headed bolts. A very solid rack...i reckon i could carry my bride home with it...

The brakes went together in the end. I needed to rebend the rear steel conduit to get a smoother line, all good now. Torque wrench was applied for stem bolts, crank pretension and headset. Helicopter tape on, bolts all greased and snugged, and bam! we have an expedition bike. Off for a quick ride to check out the geometry and handling. Quite excited about this bike. Has a really purposeful feel to it...enjoyed the build, and the usual IF attention to detail and finishing. Thanks Tim...

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Nearly there... a little fafing with the brakes still to do, there is some drag in the rear brake line somewhere...and then fit some helicopter tape and snug all the bolts up. A chain (ultegra) and disc rotors and its off to stoorey brae testing grounds...

B boys in da house.

Are you rock steady?

Thursday, February 21, 2008


xtr modification done.

It took a wee while and a fair bit of effort. Hack saw the tabs, coarse file, finer, finest. Then tidying up and use of a round file to take away any edges. Decided raw is the way : hey! they are ready and willing...

Fitted a black spire mono veloce and slotted em onto the pink beast of burden. Its coming together...the zoncolan arrived and the rims and front hub are on order. Once they are in i'll build the wheels, and slot on the racks...

1 to go

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


First, a story of redemption? - from bike portland.

Then there is the ongoing 'how i plan to swap bike stuff around epic'. The Nzumbi currently is a 'bastard' set up. It has a pauls neo retro on the front, on a kelly 29er/440mm fork. The rear is a paul moto bmx with the 700c wheel in the frame. Transmission is an acs rear and a 105 triple on the front. to achieve any sort of useful spacing (why *are* shimano road cranks spaced over to the drive side?), i use a spare 2.5mm spacer on the non drive side bb. But this leads to creaking as the thread of the bb cup isnt far enough 'in' the frame. Not perfect. I want to swap all this stuff back onto the kelly roshambo, and in so doing sort the bb area. I found this on PVD wiki (a good site in general for technical info) but am unclear how i can use it....anyone any thoughts? would an mtb cup have more thread? i thought the ultegra and xt were the same with a different plastic sleeve?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stage 2

Getting there...a bit more rough file work, and then we are close to finishing. Paint it? leave it raw?

Going to put a mono veloce Blackspire on there, so the contrast may be odd...we'll see..

Monday, February 18, 2008

Lets go to work.

Finally started to mod the cranks for the new bike...hack saw, file and elbow grease....reckon its going to take 7 days + to get em done...this is day 1.


Had some visitng time today....

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Pink to make the boys wink.

Just returned from Chipps birthday bash in Hebden Bridge. A top time had....fine folk, beer and chat.

Also picked up the pink frame from Tim at Sideways. It's as lovely as i'd hoped and i've done a wee bit of pressing, cutting, loctiting and tweaking already. Rims will be bonty duster on DT 240, the old man mountain racks are ready, there is a new saddle coming, a SSM zoncolan and the cranks will either be a modded M960 xtr, or something else....the gear will range depending on load, and there is a frame bag if needed. Brakes are bb7 with beloved paul levers and i'll likely bend up some steel conduit for rush to build it...i think you can see from the pic the kicked out fork and relaxed angles. I'm very much looking forward to testing it out.

On the horizon is a Fort William to Glasgow 'time trial' off road which will be the first big ride of the year for me i think....

Thursday, February 14, 2008

thoydy thoyd and thoyd

Looks like the 36"er thing is (ahem) on a roll. A chap called Bryan Keener has made his own, utilising chopped and sleeved hubs to give a dual 185mm front, double disc, and therefore 26" wheel spoke angled wheel. It is currently set up with the colker tyre and unicycle rim, but there is soon to be availability of a 2 ply tyre, and a lighter/better quality rim.

Following on from Ben at milltown cycles pofahl made frames, this may be an alternative that will become hard to ignore...

pics are Keener's and are lifted from mtbr...

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I think i am approaching 10,000 photos on flickr, cycling news and velonews of the NAHBS. Good that i am on holiday and have plenty of time in the morning over coffee, eh?

Typically, the work is amazing. The town bike seems to be the thing, with robust but beautiful racks to hold the essential.

It got me thinking: i am lucky enough to have shaken hands with several of the displaying builders. I would love to own a bike made by each of them....hmmmmmm....

photo credit: logan wetzell who has some good shots.

Also a for sale sort of thing.
1) Original wtb dirt drops for sale....make me an offer. 25.4 clamp, used for 2 rides...i dont get on with drops.
2) Dia compe 287 brake levers to go with them if wanted, they work with v's. £10.
3) Nitto moustache bars. The 25.4 clamp ones again.£15.
4) voodoo 17" dambala. used for several months. no damage, some light scratches on top tube from brake cable. gold king headset installed, which can be removed, and a niner rigid fork (frame is 100mm suspension corrected). Top tube is 22.5, head angle 72 degrees, seat tube is 14.5" c-c. it rides nicely with this set up as the forks are 490mm c-c, i wouldnt go shorter. i would like to get £250 for it.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Random stuff.

Definitely chilled now. 14 hours sleep yesterday. It seems about right too, not too much. Whomever said you can over sleep was wrong.

Nahbs stuff this year has upped the ante yet again. The Naked townie/track, the Potts, the Vanilla's (as ever...) the Black Sheep stuff...all amazing. A good long flickr search is recommended as is the coverage on Cycling News and Rouleur, and Urban Velo.

Marty Savalas joins the blogging fray, or is that flay, with Hell on Wheels. Check it.

Got some maps for some mtb'ing in the region but i may stick to urban riding, as the river is a great spring board for checking out the architecture, mixed as it is between the Moorish influence and the old style Spanish.

So, batteries recharging. SM100 entered. A more Settled plan on the camp bike build...all good.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Disused rooftop.


Today we cycled to the area known as Triana. Really nice Barrio, lots of cool little shops, including a knife shop where i satisfied an urge i have had for many years, and purchased a small Opinel knife. A number 6 for those that care. I damned near bought an Opinel Folding hand saw too, as some of the trails i ride have had some trees come down and it would be useful to be able to carry a saw in my pack but i'll wait til i get home. No cheese or ham is safe now...

Trina snapped some pics of some of the world class graffiti today, and we will wait til we can upload to flickr properly as the detail is amazing. A (french?) guy called Poch seems to be my favourite, but there's still a lot to see.

Most of you/us already know that Sheldon Brown has died. A real blow. Irreverent and endlessly informative, his willingness to share wisdom will be forever remembered. I wish i had met him. Through his websites i hope many others continue to benefit from his great knowledge and humour.

Ride on.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The rain isn't in Spain.

Its beautiful here. Sunny and warm during the day, cool and balmy during the evening and night. Trina and me did a bit of a food shop today, as the oily tapa has been taking a toll. Still, we have eaten an enormous range of fish, pork cuts and peppers...all washed down with the local vino tinto and cerveza.

The apartment is great, a good location and quiet and comfortable, even when we had trina's bro and beau here for a few days. I built the bikes today and spent an hour or so pedalling along the river, and fettling. The graffiti along the river is outstanding. I'll get herself to snap some shots ...there is one piece in particular i want a shot'll see why.

Sherry so far has been ok-ish i s'pose. We arsed up a little and bought a cream sherry, then found out that cream sherry is sweetened olorosso....not bad, but much to learn.

We visited a carnival in Cadiz, Jerez, and are planning a trip to a wildlife sanctuary, but mostly chilling, missing the cat and getting excited about building the camp bike.

Ok for now....

Friday, February 01, 2008