Friday, January 28, 2011

Crankset Revisited or This Could Get Expensive!

Armed with reader tips, last night the Planner Guy, turned Bike Shop Guy, took the wrench to the crankset of my Eco 3 one more time.  Had we indeed put the right pedal on the left crank shaft??  The left on the right?? 

And the answer is . . . . nope.  (Heavy sigh!)  The pedals were on the correct crank shafts.  The left unscrewed off the crank shaft easily, and Bob reattached it with no trouble.  Not so much with the right pedal, however.  And yes, Bob did work the wrench but I DID steady the bike!

The threads on the right pedal appeared to be in good condition but the ones in the right crank shaft appear were torn.  Bob passed me the remnant of one, pictured below.  After struggling to reattach it (screwing it back on from left to right . . . . ), his efforts proved fruitless.  "I think you need to take this to the bike shop on Saturday," he sighed.

And so it goes.  I'm taking the floppy, little dog to the groomer tomorrow morning for a long needed haircut so I'll stop by Single Track afterward and see what they have to say.  I hope for a solution that does not involve waiting for weeks for replacement components or a bill over $100.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quel dommage! A Minor Bike Annoyance

With the streets mostly free of ice I've been back to pedaling to work and had looked forward to a trip downtown tomorrow afternoon on my Dahon Eco 3 for an appointment with my doctor.  Unfortunately, on my way into work I noticed that my foot was not sitting on my right pedal in a stable fashion.  Upon closer inspection at my office, I found that the Suntour pedal was halfway unscrewed from the crank.  Hmmm, nonetheless bolt felt quite tight and unmovable. 

I asked Bob to take a look at the crank when he got home.  He was unable to unlock the bolt with a wrench and said that the threads in the crank looked torn.  Drats!  Does this mean a new crankset?  Do I replace it with the original crankset from the entry level Eco 3 or go for an upgrade?  Does this mean I'll also have to replace the Suntour pedals??  I rather like the way they feel?  I'm not opposed to upgrading components but really would prefer not to do so at this very moment. 

On the other hand, I want to take the Eco 3 with me for transport on our upcoming trip to San Francisco.  I guess I'll be carting the Dahon off to the bike shop with weekend for some expert assistance.  While I'm there I'll pick up a red light to install on my ArcLite rack and see if I can get a replacement bolt for the one that popped out of the side mirror I installed on the handlebar.  At least the Eco 3 repair bill and accessories won't look anything close to a bill from the Honda dealership.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Angie Rides a Townie

The newest stylish cyclist in the family!

As Angie's older cousin, I believe it's important to constantly strive to have a positive influence over her.  Of course, she is now 30, married, and a mom so my influence is actually pretty irrelevant but I'd still like to think that I had something to do with her decision to work bicycling into her transportation options.  And naturally, without sacrificing style.

Pedaling into the sunset.
Angie found this Electra Townie on Craig's list a few months ago for a really good price and snapped it up.  Since then, she picked up a wire bike basket and some panniers, and has been riding her bike to the market, doctor appointments, bike dates with her husband Doug, and a recent meeting for work.  Since she and her husband live in not-so-very bike friendly Phoenix, Arizona she purchased a cute Nutcase helmet for brain protection.  

The ultimate in bike parking at home!  The bike garage!
And it might seem a little extreme to some but I don't see how anyone can argue with the logic of building a bike garage on the side of your house as part of one's exterior home renovation.  Angie is pictured here standing in the framed-out garage, which will be fully enclosed when completed, with a front entry and a brick  path leading to the front porch.  Smashing!  I never would have dreamed she'd take it this far.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Tweed Ride Style on a Cold Flagstaff Night

I can't resist a Tweed Ride, even if it's only 11 degrees, the streets are still riddled with ice, and my headlight burned out on me.  If I have a chance to wear my vintage fur jacket, I'll take it and boy, am I glad I did.  Warm and toasty!  And I had a cute hat atop my head, a cloche, I believe is the style.

It was a small group that braved the cold but all wear nattily dressed and I was proud to be seen with these smart looking gentlemen.

Our Winter Tweed organizer and runway model sensation, Ray and his handsome bike!

Father, husband, perennial Tweed clan bicyclist, proud owner of a corduroy man-purse, and New Belgium lover, Will!

We met up at Revolution Bicycles to begin our First Friday Art Walk tour of Downtown Flagstaff, where we viewed statuary . . .

And sampled home brew from the Brewtender himself.  Most refreshing, even on a very cold evening.

I must say again, the fur coat kept me amazingly warm.  I'm sympathetic to the strong anti-fur sentiments of many of my friends, but 25 years ago my mother saw this "mouton" jacket from the 1950's at a vintage clothing store in Athens, Georgia.  She saw me eyeing it and, lamenting my art school clothing preferences, wanted me to have it.  It was my first grown up piece of clothing and I love it as much now as I did then. On a frigidly cold night on a bike, I can definitely understand why mountain men wrapped themselves in fur.  You just don't feel the cold.  Smartwool socks and a cup of hot cider help, too.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Biking in the Snow: Quick Lesson Learned

Please plow me.
Today I discovered that a Dahon Eco 3 is too light to reasonably travel of 2 inches of  well-packed sticky snow.  The tires just don't have the tread and get stuck, causing the bike to wobble in their own tracks.  Tomorrow, I'll try taking the Specialized Expedition with its knobbier tires and heavier weight.  Definitely wish I could afford a couple of studded tires through.  The streets are fairly clear but I suspect that most of the residential streets and many of the urban trails are still pretty covered with the same type of snow.  Unfortunately, Bob and I had to go out and purchase a new gas range when the heating element on ours died over on Christmas Day midway through cooking the turkey. 

I hope this person has a good ice scraper.
Bob made a brief observation Christmas week that I've been meaning to share, by the way.  Have you ever noticed on those very, frigid mornings on the way to work the number of cars driving around with windows covered in frost except for a few patches scraped off presumably to give the driver a view of the road.  Well, Bob noticed that while the drivers might be able have a partial view of the road, they don't seem to have much ability to see other traffic, which probably includes bicyclists.  Do drivers have any kind of legal obligation to completely clear all of the window?  Is it a moving violation to do otherwise?  You never know about Arizona, especially if the current state legislature has anything to say about it. . . . but I do know that I can't see through frosted over car windows. 

My favorite new hat is a bit of a departure for me.
More snow possibly returning this weekend.  I welcome it despite the fact that it cuts into my bike riding time but like last year I've returned to hitching rides with my husband in to work, skis or snowshoes in tow.  Yesterday, I skied home and made a detour into the into the forest to practice alternating the pizza wedge and the french fry moves.  I insist that my p.m. commute home be fun.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Flagstaff Winter Tweed Ride: Bicycles, Style and Keeping Warm This Friday Night!

The Flagstaff Winter Tweed Ride! 

 Flagstaff's first Tweed Ride of 2011 is set for this Friday, January 7 at 5:30.  The Winter Tweed Ride is going to be a cold one but I plan to carry a thermos of very hot coffee.  I plan to keep warm and toasty in my never-fails-me mouton coat coat, lovingly purchased for me oh-so-long ago by Mamma Voyer at a vintage clothing store in Athen's, Georgia.  I can never find enough excuses to wear it. 

When I say it will be cold Friday night, I could not be more serious.  I am expecting the temperature to drop below 10 degrees once it gets dark.  I pedal in the winter when roads are mostly clear of snow and ice (I've yet to purchase studded tires as a result of an unexpected need to buy a near gas range right after Christmas) but rarely after dark.  A Winter Tweed Ride is just the challenge to test my metal.  I have the coat.  I have the Smartwool socks for under my boots.  I can even double them up.  I have the Chili's long leggings for under my pants.  I have a stylish black felt hat that covers my ears.  I can do this!  My only concern is that apparently I have Raynodes Syndrome, which manifests itself in poor circulation in my fingers.  It is very common in women and even more so at high elevations, like Flagstaff.  My fingers are very sensitive to cold, quickly losing color and becoming painful when they come into contact with cold surfaces or have long exposure to cold temperatures.  I'll have to clutch hot drinks all night and stick a warming packet inside my fur lined mittens. 

Anyway, bicyclists should plan to meet at 5:30 p.m. this Friday at Revolution Bicycles located at 3 South Mike's Pike on Downtown Flagstaff's southside.  The plan is to take in the take in the Friday Night Art Walk and stop for occasional libations (and perhaps a warming bowl of chili).  For more information about this and previous Flagstaff Tweed Rides head over to the Flagstaff Tweed!