Do you like music?

I do. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. In fact, while we may disagree about what particular type of music we like, I would find someone who doesn’t like any music weird.

Zen V PlusI sometimes listen to music when I can’t get to sleep. I have a small MP3 player that I plug some tiny earbuds into and relax while listening. I put it on shuffle and lie there amazed by the random mix I get. It’s seldom produces any jarring transitions and sometimes plays songs that go together better than I could arrange them if I tried myself. Of course, the first part of the formula is that the only songs on the player are songs I like, otherwise I wouldn’t have put them there.

This is the second Zen V Plus I’ve owned. I left one in a hotel room once and was kicking myself so bad, that I went online and searched another one out. Even back then, it was an obsolete model and I had to go through third party sellers to get one. But I like the small size. It’s like a fat book of matches. And it’s pretty easy to put music on it. I don’t use special software anymore. It shows up in Winamp (another lost cause) and is easily loaded from there. Continue Reading…

End of an experiment

Street Machine GT

Imagine riding a regular bike with your feet crossed over the handlebars and your fingers entwined behind your head. That’s what riding this is like.

Goodbye Streetmachine. I really wanted to love you. I pictured myself gliding along on you like a bird in the wind. I could hear the comments as I passed people: “Wow, what a cool bike!” “What is that?” I imagined effortlessly keeping up with the other two-wheel riders on their diamond frames.

But it wasn’t meant to be, I guess. Continue Reading…

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…