Progress and a first on the bike restore

Well, the restoration of the 1980′s Ross bike is coming along. I’ve been doing a little bit at a time, mostly as parts come in.

Ordering parts for a bike this old online is sometimes a crapshoot. What you can find online is almost universally poor in the descriptions. Dimensions, if given, sometimes lie. I sit in front of the computer with an old part, measure it with calipers, and make my best guess which part to buy.

wrong partMy first mistake was a new quill stem – the piece that holds your handlebars and goes down into the fork. I wanted to change it because the old one was never long enough for me. It was both too short and too low. I wanted to bring the handlebars further out in front of me as well as raise them up. I thought I found the part and ordered it. It came in and was beautiful, an adjustable angle and longer than the old one. But it didn’t fit. It was 1 mm too thick to go into the fork tube.

Over the years, tubing on bikes has gotten bigger and bigger. The bikes from the 70′s and 80′s often had a inside diameter steerer tube of 21.1 mm. It was common with Schwinn, Ross and some other brands. The piece I got was 22.2 mm. Close, but not going to work. Continue Reading…

An epic ride

I went for a bike ride this Wednesday that was a bit more than I had bargained for. Not more than I could handle, but more than I had planned. By “bike” of course, I mean on my recumbent trike.

A long time friend, who I met originally riding with a local bike club, passed away in Florida recently. Her husband and family held a memorial picnic for her friends here in Mayor’s Park in North Tonawanda. Gloria and her husband, Chuck, had met through the ski club I also belonged to, and we had been on several ski trips together. They were good people and good friends and I wanted to attend.

I decided that, since we had met through cycling originally, I would ride to the event. The distance was doable and it was along a route I had ridden many times. The only questionable aspect was the time, it started at 5pm and lasted until 8pm. If I didn’t stay too late, I could ride home most of the way before dark.

The day, however, turned out to be cool and overcast. The rain stayed well south of Buffalo, but the clouds cut at least a half-hour of daylight out. I talked to my son, who had plans to meet some friends in N. Tonawanda that evening and I asked him to drive my truck, so that if it rained, I could meet up with him.
Map of route
Continue Reading…

Situation Wanted

This post was written in 2012, but I never published it. I don’t know why. It’s just as true today.

I’ve decided after several years of retirement that I need to get a job.

I’m not sure what kind of a job I need or want.

Let’s put it this way, I don’t want a career. Nor am I looking for anything too challenging. Actually, collecting carts at a supermarket seems nice, if it pays enough to make it worth getting out of bed for.

That’s the rub. Continue Reading…

Last Fall – Albany to St. Johnsburg & back

On the eve, well week before the 2014 GAP trip, bikepacking.us posted this video from last fall’s trip. Watch closely and you’ll see a bit of me in it.

I’ve cancelled out on the spring GAP trip due to a dire lack of preparation. I’ve ridden a total of 10 miles this season and am really unprepared for this trip. I’m playing it safe and not risking hurting myself far from home by overdoing it on the trail.

So, I’ll just have to enjoy this video and plan on the next one, maybe later this summer.