Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Irene Aftermath

It's been four days since I lost power on the eve of Irene's arrival. My sister lives in the next town. She was lucky and never lost power. Fortunately there have been places within driving or biking distance that have power, allowing people to get ice, water, food and COFFEE. I finally brought my laptop over to my sister's house so I could get online and post something to this blog.

The Pavilion at White Sands  Beach in Old Lyme

The Pavilion has a wooden deck and steps that have been completely covered by sand from the storm surge.

A massive log swept onto White Sands Beach
White Sands Beach entry way
The parking lot is paved under all that sand

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Recycled Bicycle Furniture

S-2 Chair:

Check out more of Andy Gregg's recycled bicycle furniture at

Bike Polo

Bike polo was invented in 1891 by Irishman Richard McCreedy a retired cyclist, who owned and edited the bike magazine called an "The Irish Cyclist"     
Richard McCreedy, Bike polo founder

  Traditional bike polo is played on grass, but in 1999/2000 Hardcourt bike polo was invented in Seattle. To learn more watch this video:     Bike Polo on Totally Wild TV show 

2010 North American Hardcourt Bike Polo Championships

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mobile Veterinary Service by Bike

Because I've been in the vet biz for some 20 odd years I found this to be particularly interesting. Talk about low overhead costs!

Brooks Couch

The break in period must be murder!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Peugeot Rebuild Part I

This past winter I obtained two early 70's Peugeot bicycles. A Mixtie UO18 and a UO8 both of which were entry level bikes produced during the 1970s bike boom. This was my first rebuild and the first time I'd ever dealt with french bicycles. French bikes that were manufactured in France have some unusual specs which you can read about on Sheldon Brown's French Bicycles page
Peugeot UO18 Mixtie

A poor image of the Peugeot UO8

The UO8 had  Stronglight cranks and 27" alloy wheels unlike the Mixtie's 27" steel wheels. Both the cranks and the wheels appear to have been changes that were made from its the original equipment. The steerer tube on the fork was bent.  I believe that the bike had been in some sort of an accident, so I decided to use some of the parts from the UO8 to rebuild the mixtie.

Note the bumpy steel wheels, tires with dry rot, and steel cottered cranks
Aside from the large scrapes on the fork the paint was in fairly good condition. As you can see the fork was chrome beneath the paint. I really disliked the color of the bike so I decided to have the frame powder coated, after all the bike wasn't particularly valuable. 

The plastic Mafac brake levers were discolored and the chrome on the handlebars was flaking in places
The shape of the handlebars was a bit to straight for my taste so do to the condition of the brake levers and the chrome they would all be replaced.

cracked cable housing

The cables and housing would have to be changed.

There were gobs of grease stuck in the springs of the vinyl seat. This would definitely have to be upgraded.

Original parts I Kept:
*Seat post
*Lyotard pedals
*Mafac brakes

Parts I used from the UO8:
*Sugino bottom bracket
*Stronglight crankset
*Mafac brake levers

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Bikes I Currently Ride

At the moment I ride 2 "road" bikes that are at opposite ends of the spectrum. 

This is my 2008 women's specific design Cannondale Synapse.  It is an all carbon frame with mostly Shimano Tiagra components. 

Stuff I've added/changed:

*Saddle, I don't even remember what the original saddle was but on the 4th attempt I settled on the Specialized Lydia.

*Stem, after trying to get a stem with the most upright angle possible and still finding it not high enough I had my LBS put a stem extension on. Its not the sleekest or most beautiful addition to my bike, but it does what I need it to do.

*Rack, after purchasing the bike I found that I needed a way to carry things.  The biggest problem I had was finding a rack that was compatible with the bike.  The bike was not designed to have a rack installed so there aren't any "braze ons" (attachment points) specifically placed on the frame to allow me to mount a rack.  Because of the aero carbon seat tube I can't use a rack that bolts onto the seat tube. After a lot of searching on the internet I finally found this rack made by Axiom which allows me to use the rear brake bolt and the quick release axle to mount the rack.

*Clip on aero bars by Profile Design. I chose these because the elbow pads would only be in the downward ride on position when actually in use. The rest of the time they are folded up like a butterfly's wings at rest, thus allowing me to place my hands on the handlebar closest to the stem. The second reason I decided to use these aero bars was the more relaxed upward position of the grips. Just like the stem the aero bars aren't particularly sleek looking but they are a more practical choice for a non-racer such as myself.

*Tires - I changed from the original Maxxis Fuse supposedly 23mm tires to Serfas Seca 23mm tires. This has been a recent change and the jury is still out.

Early 70's Peugeot Mixtie UO18

I bought this bike at a bike swap in Dudley Mass. this past winter. Of course it didn't quite look like this when I purchased it, but I'll post about that at a later date.  I currently use this bike as my jump on anytime bike no special clothes or shoes required. 
It is a steel lugged frame with indexed shifting, Mustache handle bars, 700 x 35mm Panaracer tires, Stronglight crankset, and a Velo Orange sprung saddle.  I have a blast riding this bike around in the evening with no particular destination just riding around like I did when I was a kid.