Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Blast from the past

I was rereading a post from '08. Back then I really really didn't like hoppy beers, and for the most part I suppose I am prett low key when incomes to hoppy beers. But I'd say, that in the intervening years I have developed a palate for even the more hop forward bes like dogfish head or steel toe.

Sweet child of vine is damn fine too.

Also, tonight I was clocked by a speed limit sign at 13.
 I was pretty excited:

 Four years ago I got a road bike up to 19 mph for a couple moments and averaged 8 riding home. Tonight I averaged 13 on a single speed pug.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Crazy talk part 2

I was swayed by another blogger to try a bizarre setup with the bar ends not on the ends. Time will tell if it is inspired or crazy.

I have the power!

Speaking of crazy.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

How to lock your bike

I no longer own cable locks. We were at the Fringe Festival a few years ago, and locked our bikes up on the corner of Cedar and Riverside in Minneapolis (look it up if you don't know the corner). While we were enjoying the local theater scene in the Mixed Blood Theater our locks were tampered with.

The tumblers would not turn, I suspect glue, so we took bolt cutters and liberated our own bikes.

The cheap toolshop bolt cutters we used went through 14mm braided steel like it wasnt there. False hope is all that comes from cable locks I say. Now I carry a Ulock or a Forgetaboutit chain (or both).

Everything not bolted on I take with. Everything bolted on that I am leaving is locked down. two locks are better than one. I figure more than two locks attracts unwanted attention.


I just glossed over some things.

Back in 09 I was riding the Miyata that I bought off Craigslist. But I was unhappy with the performance of the brakes. So I pulled together my spare change and bought from a friend a used 1x1 frame. I had taken a wheel building class and with the newfound confidence built a set of three leading three trailing wheels. It looks as good as you'd expect. geared 1:2.15 with 170mm cranks I am pretty happy with the set up. I have battered rack bolted on and collapsable wire basket zip tied to it on the non drive side. Mostly, the bike was built from parts from the SBR or bought/bartered from other's reserves. The bike has mismatched 160mm  disc brakes.

We bought my wife a Long Haul Trucker and promptly changed the handle bars over and again till we found the set up she liked. Midline levers were as important as anything in making the noodle bars comfortable. It started off life with us with the MKS battle ax pedals and we switched them out for mks tourers. And we took the v brakes off the Instigator and got rid of the crap oryx that the bike came with.

The Instigator has an enabler fork on it and I have sewn a frame bag. I don't have a rack on this bike anymore, it never was made to have one and was battle against its nature. The enabler fork improved the handling I think, and I usually ride it as a 69er. I upgraded from the v-brakes to bb7s. I keep turning to this bike for riding single track. I tear through the woods, crashing on occasion, without worry--this bike is nearly bombproof.

Last summer I borrowed a friend's Pugsley and fell in love with the platform. I learned a few things along the way. Hydraulic brakes for example are great when they work, but if the line pops--then you are screwed. Late in July I was looking on craigslist and found one for a song. I've been commuting on this primarily since, and every ride is giggles. The bike came to me single speed, 36x18 with a second cog for 36x20. The bike looks like an 09 model? When I bought it the handlebars were at a bizarre angle that seemed completely unnatural. I left them in case the guy I bought it from was on to something. Seems he was. I have adjusted my other flat bars to match now. Climbing is more comfortable with smiling bars. Today I gave it fangs.

Handlebars for bicycles

Everyone seems to have an opinion about handlebars. Flat, riser, noodle, attack, mustache, and what have you.

I've been using flat bars for the last three years.

The Miyata I bought came with a flat bar, and I still use that bar on the 1x1 I built. The Instigator came with an old Azonic world force riser bar. the Long Haul Trucker we have has had mustache bars, bull horn bars, riser bars and now has nitto noodle bars. My Pugsley came with a Salsa Mo'to flat bar. Angled up slightly it might be the most comfortable bar I've used.

A while back I'd seen a thing about bar end grips being put in the middle of a flat bar, and have mulled this idea over since. I imagined this for riding through the suburbs,--a mockery of the pathletes on their skinny tires in lycra sausage casings.

This afternoon I finally put them on.


pictures to follow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

a quick trip to the east! part one of ?

Last week we jumped into a plane and went out to Providence, RI to see my cousin open for Dark Dark Dark.

While we were out there we went out to eat. A LOT. And the food was excellent. One place we went to was the Duck and Bunny, where they will put ice cream in a Guinness, like a dream out of Steinbeck. 

Also they pull a great shot of espresso. look at that froth. Perfect.

My cousin in Sugar Honey Iced Tea! They played a great set, and thats not just because I'm biased. 

Emily Wells played the second act, what she lacks in numbers she makes up for in energy.

And of course Dark Dark Dark. the band has seen some changes since I saw them perform with Spirits of the Red City. No cello, no playing with the opening acts, only one accordion. They played some new and some older songs, I really do love this band. I wouldn't have made the trip if my cousin hadn't been playing the same show (really, flying across the country for 36 hours would be a bit fanboy) but I am so glad we did.

Here's another picture from the Duck and Bunny.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

I will do science to it

Some coffee doesn't need more cowbell, but I think this elaborate method of brewing makes the best cup.

credit due to Dresden Codak for the title.

edit: For those wondering: this is a yama japanese siphon pot. The system regulates the temperature and agitation of the grounds naturally. I use an ounce of medium grind (approximately 3-4mm grounds). Lately I've been enjoying malabar coffee because of the slightly peppery flavor, but I usually go for a coffee with subtle nutty notes. Floral coffee grates on my palate, which is odd because hoppy beers don't as much as they used to.

and greetings to the folks from Can You Stay for Dinner

making coffee

 The other day we picked up some coffee at The Angry Catfish, where they sell Intelligentsia coffee beans. Since I had just dismantled our coffee grinder I thought I would go crazy and test out the finest grind again. The beans were Lima Union and roasted four days before I made this coffee.
The coffee came out smoother than any turkish coffee I've ever made (not that I am all that great, but I can be happy with results can't I). The coffee did  not have the right mouth feel, but I think that was me not adding enough coffee to water. 

Further experiments will be needed. I made it with two teaspoons of coffee to about 6 ounces of water.