Eugene McGee – Killer

There once was a prick called Eugene,

Who drove a bike-crushing machine,

They let him off lighter

For killing a rider

Despite that he fled from the scene.

– TB

There once was a lawyer named McGee

Who thought he could kill and then flee

They let him off light

Someone should set that right

Where’s the justice in this country?

– not TB

Eugene McGee

GT SS "EuroTourer" Rebuild Part 2

Carried on with the build today and fitted SPD/Flat pedals, LX shifters, LX cassette, LX brake levers, new cheapass front wheel (Joytech hub & Zac 19 rim), new(ish) Vredestein “StreetRazor” slicks, new Ritchey WCS grips, my existing Axiom pannier rack.

The trickiest part of the build today was running the cables and tuning the gears. I don’t do either of these tasks much so it took a while. I also seem to have a tendency to run the cables the wrong way around so derailers don’t sit properly, or leave grommets out so I have to remove and reinstall a cable four times before I get it right.. another plus for singlespeeds.. shuddup! 😉

Once all the gears were on and tuned and the brakes worked, I swapped the old front wheel for the new one and swapped the reflective Vredestein tyres off my Avanti for the original (worn) slicks. Took the bike for a spin.. COOL!! This thing rides super nimble and the gears and brakes are SMOOOOOOOOOTH! What a beast – GT had this (cheap, remember?) frame dialled to my spec’s or something when they built it.. it’s frickin’ AWESOME!

Back inside, I spaced out the brakes and shifters properly (decided to stay with the 670mm riser bar rather than go for skinnier flat bars) and fitted the Ritchey WCS foam grips. Well, actually Quentin fitted the grips – and suffered great pain doing so! The grips were sprayed with metho to help them slip on, and slip on they did, squashing poor Q’s finger under the shift lever. Oops! Thanks for drawing blood for my bike man!

To spoil the bike’s subtle grey on grey looks.. I fit the Axiom rack. I hate racks! But, I’m not carrying everything around Europe in a backpack so a rack is necessary. Used some longer brackets than the ones I had (black too) so the rack could be pushed back further. Another test ride.. schweet! This thing rawks! I like this more than the Avanti I think.. maybe I should take the Avanti and leave this one behind safely locked up? 😛

Have some SKS guards here that look like they might fit, so she’ll look even more daggy soon.. 🙂

Check the current state (GT – Groovy Tourer?):

GT Talera

GT SS "EuroTourer" Rebuild

Work on the GT “eurotourer” commenced today. The SS driveline was stripped, bars, stem, headset and fork removed, brakes removed, cranks and bb removed. Actually it was pretty much stripped down to the frame.

Nick had already fitted the new Deore LX vee calipers and rear derailer when I arrived.

The factory headset was trashed so Mick scrounged and found a nice, new, XT one. Fitted that and refitted the forks. Mmm XT..

The new Shimano Hollowtech II bottom bracket/crankset arrangement was interesting (read: I stuffed it up coz I didn’t read the instructions!).

It consists of two sealed bearing thingies that screw onto each side of the bottom bracket shell. This is what I stuffed up. Depending on the width of your BB shell, you might need spacers. Mine was 68mm wide so it needed two spacers on the right and one on the left.. or vice versa? 😛

Once the two outboard bearing units are tightened (with proper splined wrench) the right-hand crank is fitted. As well as the crank arm this piece includes the chainrings and a large, hollow BB axle. The whole thing is pushed through the BB bearings (the axle bit that is, not the crank arm!!).

Once pushed all the way through, the left hand crank is pushed onto the axle splines and a little plastic locknut thing is done up with a little plastic locknut doer uperer thing (stop me if I get too technical). Two opposing allen nuts are then tightened, clamping the left-hand crank onto the splined axle. Don’t forget to grease and don’t forget the spacer rings!

Went home to get some flat bars (wink wink nudge nudge). Returned and fitted the front der. (spending 15mins trying to fit the stupid one-size-fits-all shims!). Fitted the original stem and bars, at least until I get a Quill->Aheadset adapter that will allow me to fit a new style stem.

Temp mounted new LX shifters (I’m running separate shifters and brake levers for servicability).

Pulled the chain over small-small rings and lined the jockey wheels up vertically to get the chain length, cut chain and pinned it back together (hopefully threaded through the derailer properly! :))

It looks good. The latest LX gear is a real grey colour, not that strange blue, like the older version cranks I have on the Avanti, so it looks good on the grey GT frame. The outboard BB bearings make the BB area look solid and tough.

Lets see what carnage I can unleash tomorrow..

Macpac for Miche

Three cheers for the flyingdutch man!

He’s shown me the light.. I can see now that there IS an advantage to marriage and even benefits associated with having children..

“What are the benefits?” you ask. Well, FD wouldn’t have a 1-man tent to part with if he was single hahaha! 😛

My home, when not hostelling in Europe, will be this 1.8kg Macpac Microlight tent. In return FD gets my Miche track crankset which ‘was’ going into storage.

Macpac Microlight Tent

Also, thanks FD for the loan of the three-bike tow-ball carrier so I can cart even more junk home in one trip! 😀

RR: BR44b – The Half Pint

BR44b – The Half Pint

Perpetrators: DaveB, GPLama, hippy

Woke up after a crappy “on/off” sleep (waaay to gee’d up from Sunday..)

2pc Vegemite toast for brekkie.

Greased my nipples.. hey, this jersey chaffs!! 😛

Rolled out and started HRM.

Look down two minutes later to find HRM showing all 8’s.. WTF?

Press Start again.. HRM totally resets! ARRR!! CRAP! There goes yesterday’s race data!! WTF?!

Determined not to let it get to me I ride on, now with only a rough idea of the time since the clock reset to 10am. I reset my wheel circumference so I’d at least have accurate distance and speed measurements.

Ride past the clocktower in Ringwood and feel guilty about not participating in some kind of ANZAC service. Roll another 20m and, as if by magic, the guilt disappears 🙂 (I am a bad person..)

Arrived at Doncaster shopping centre with, I guess, 15min to spare. Rolled around not sure of exactly where the start point was, as I’d previously joined the bunch around Blackburn Rd.

Rolled over to 7-11 and took advantage of the 2-for-$4.50 offer on Powerade bottles. Tasted the Powerade. Regretted being such a tightarse. Bleh! Oh well.. I only wanted the salts not the flavour.

Rolling back towards Donkeyaster Mopping Polenta I spot a bike. It’s GPLama. Hiding in the bushes nearby was DaveB. Wait. Chat. Roll out when no one else arrives.

88.7kph down the fast hill, without trying as Dave said something about a sharp dropoff and road works cutting something.. I dunno.. wind noise! 😛

After the big climb (timed apparently, from, the Bus Stop – “The Rock”) we turned left instead of right at the round-a-bout. Lots of mostly downhill followed which was good for me – my legs still ‘tender’ from yesterday’s race.

107.9 down Foote St. (BULLCRAP!! Must be sensor glitch.. I did ‘see’ 88kph though)

Through lots of suburbs I’ll never remember and eventually deposited back around Doncaster, where we split.

On the way home, I decide to take it easy so ride no hands for a while.. At a set of lights (perhaps Blackburn Rd?) my front tyre suddenly goes squishy! WTF?! Puncture? Arrr!!

I check the tyre and see no evidence of a puncture so I pump it up and ride away – seems fine? Next set of lights.. stop.. flat front tyre!!! WTF?! It’s like the valve is operating on centrifugal(?) forces and opening every time I slow down.. kinda like Speed the movie just without a bomb! This is the weirdest ‘flat’ I’ve ever had!

I pump the tyre up a second time and this time I hammer. Any time I come to a set of lights I find another way around that doesn’t involve stopping or I time my arrival so I get a green light.. crazyness!! I make it the rest of the way home without having to inflate the tyre – it _must’ve_ been a valve issue! :S

Eat some Vegemite toast, drink some Ice Break IC, type this while thinking about the Snickers in the cupboard and a shower.. mmm.. shower.. what a top idea!

I think I recovered most of the Polar data from the “glitch” and now present the stats:

Distance: ~71.2k

Time: 2h:53m

Glenvale Crit: 24-April-05

Almost the perfect race! Fast, No B-graders, perfect leadout for a bunch sprint. If only I wasn’t slower than those four guys in front of me! 🙂

I’d been beating myself up about this race all week, worried that B-graders would sneak down a grade and steal another potential result. That didn’t happen. The last race was just what a C grade race should be – standard ~40kph pace, a few break attempts that get chased down almost before they begin, some pedal clashes on corners, a crash and me not quite getting in the money 🙂

Race morning: Listened to some Megadeth, Sepultura and some Stamba electro mixes (strange combo I know!) to fire me up. Leave a bit later than usual so I’m not riding for an hour to get there and THEN doing another hour of “warm up”!

At Glenvale Crescent the “BR” cheer squad, flyingdutch and Gags are quickly spotted.Lindsay and Jazmo appear on the line. Louise is being a wuss bag and riding D-grade 😛 The other two Bourke’s, Brian and Sean are racing C. DaveB is racing in his first crit and has also entered D grade.

On the way to the race I’d decided that I was NOT going to chase a damn thing. If someone wanted to win in a breakaway, so be it. So, for the majority of the race I sheltered in the bunch, reacting to the surges and keeping an eye on anyone who looked threatening. The pace seemed consistent all through the race. It was obvious there were no B-grade time trialists in the field this week!!

Inevitably the pace hotted up towards the business end of the race and at one stage I managed to lighten my pedals a smidge with a nice “corner grind”. Gets people off your wheel quick!! haha! 😛

3-to-go was called early at 47min. There was brief uncertainty about this but the pace soon increased to reflect the impending chaos.. It didn’t matter (this time!) as I was up near the front. Saw a clear bit of road and moved up around the outside of some more riders.

With 2-laps-to-go I heard a nasty crash behind me on turn 3. Cringe, thank Lord Shimano it wasn’t me and race on.. I later found out it was Dutchy! Poor bastard! Good into to C-grade. :S

Bell Lap: Gags and Jazmo had also come to the sharp end and saw that I was trying to move further up. Gags motioned me to sit on his wheel, which I did. He then powered up the field. We passed a few riders and on the back-straight it was Jaz, Gags, 2 guys and me as I’d lost Gags’s wheel at some point. It didn’t matter, because Jaz and Gags did an awesome job to deposit me in the optimum position of 3rd place, ready for the final corner and sprint.

There wasn’t the usual ‘last corner bunch storming’ so it was still Rider 1, Rider 2 and yours truly after the last corner.

2nd wheel made a move around the guy in front and I accelerated to go around him too.

We stayed like this almost to the line – I just wasn’t able to get past these riders! Then, perhaps I slowed or whatever, but two guys just STORMED in from behind me! Arrgh! Bastards!! That was MY place!! Oh well.. race was run and I didn’t have a place to show for it. It went almost perfectly and I was, surprisingly, very happy about the whole thing! Yay for not being a bitter loser this week! 🙂

I feel bad for Jaz and Gags, not taking a place higher than 5th, after their self-sacrifice to get me in the perfect spot. If we race together again I’ll be more than willing to punch a hole through the wind for both of them!

After the race I caught up with a bunch of racer buddies while A & B grades circulated. Eventually, everyone had talked enough crap, prize money was collected and off a bunch of us rolled.

I heard a “Seeya Stuey!” as everyone except me turned left near The Glen, and that was that. Possibly the last time I’ll see any of these guys and my last race.. .. for now..

No race stats because my Polar went nutso before I retrieved the data from it :S (I heard the average speed was 39.x)

Photos of the C and D grade races here:

Thanks to a.b rider “essendon93” for taking these!

I managed to restore the Polar data, so race stats are:

Distance: 34.5k

Avg. Speed: 39.9kph (actually a bit faster, stop delay)

Avg. HR: 172bpm (snore.. piece of piss!)

Max. HR: 202bpm (see.. I WAS trying in the sprint! :P)

Temp: 23degC

Love Doctor – Tip 1 – Offer Hot Salami before SPDs

For those attempting to woo a potential partner, I have a single, but vitally important tip for you. Pens and paper at the ready? Good.

Don’t offer them your SPD pedals straight away! You will scare them off with your unmatched generosity!

You stand a much better chance of success if you first offer hot salami.

It must be ‘hot’ salami though, none of this ‘toned down for yuppie consumption’ salami. Hot. Got it? Cool!

HOT Salami

Think Sprint

Heart rate high, sweat pouring out

Final corner, here’s where it counts

Watching like a hawk, who’ll move first?

Anything left, one last burst. Win?

IDP – International Driving Permit

I had one of these in Japan, but had dismissed it for this trip because I was taking my bike.

aus.bicycle’s SteveA suggested it to me again and I thought about it – it’s only $27AUD and it means I can drive around if I need to.

If I hire a car or if I need some other form of ID, it could come in handy. So I went down to RACV with a (VERY DODGY LOOKING!) passport-sized photo and got myself an IDP.

Sleep weary traveller, rest your head..

I ended up going to Mountain Designs in Hawthorn with Carlos and picked up the following:

Mountain Designs Travelite 350 (down bag, 350g fill, 1160g total) RRP: $280?

Thermarest Prolite 3 S (51x119cm, 370g, the f’n small one!) RRP: $160

Thermarest Stuff Sack 3 S RRP: $17.95

Thermarest Repair Kit RRP: $13.95

Got the lot for $392..

or about the cost of the sleeping bag alone from Kathmandu 🙂

Now I’m just worried about my cheap panniers and their ability to keep out the water which I will inevitably have to ride through.. Down bags taking forever to dry once wet, I’m told. I’m going to check out some plastic liners or water-proof stuff sacks from Canoe stores.. probably take some garbage bags and smaller zip-lock bags too, just for backups.

flyingdutch is keen to swap his Macpac 1-man tent for my track crankset so it looks like the tent vs. bivvy bag question has been answered.

Thanks for your help Carl!! Plug, plug, plug: