Vegemite Street Fix.. problems..

I decided to take the wheels off my “NotAGibson” track bike and fit them to Vegemite, hoping to ride it today. Nuh uh!

The front wheel was too tight in the forks so I filed down the dropouts a little and in it slipped.

The back wheel was a little trickier, having never actually removed a track rear wheel before.

– Loosen wheel nuts to give some chain slack

– Drop chain off sprockets

– Remove wheel from bike

– Panic because I have no tool to fit the lockring groove

– Find the lockring is ‘actually’ finger tight and remove it by hand (reverse thread spins opposite to normal)

– Use chainwhip to remove cog

I thought the Miche groupset included a lockring. It turned out to be a splined mounting ring for easy cog removal.

Before realising this, I panic, looking at a cog with no thread that would surely not fit onto the threaded hub. Then I found this site: Jeff Noakes “Potentially Useful Cycling Information” which explained that, what I thought was a lockring, actually goes onto the hub first and the splined cog sits on top of that. It was lucky that this setup didn’t need a chain whip because it didn’t fit the fatter Miche teeth anyway!

The whole lot is then held on with the normal lockring (note: removing skin from fingers is not actually necessary at this stage).

Now the real problem becomes apparent:

Being a road frame, with longer chainstays, the track chain included isn't long enough!

Being a road frame, with longer chainstays, the track chain included isn’t long enough!

The chances of finding a suitable chain right now are slim, but I’ll head to the shop and see what happens..

Vegan… What's all this then?

Don’t ask me why – there’s no good reason. For me, attempting to move to a Vegan diet is silly. It’s silly because I don’t have the knowledge, time nor patience to stick with it and correctly execute it.

The best reasons I can come up with for even trying it are:

– boredom

– wanting to challege my own ‘will power’

– watching “Super Size Me”

– reading “Endless Summer”, Sean Grady’s vegan-fueled singlespeed tour across the United States

So it’s been a week now and I feel… weak 😛

But I haven’t given up like I thought I would. I can’t believe I haven’t eaten chocolate in a week!! Previously that would have been unheard of for me.

I think I will try and stick with it for a while longer and do my best to improve my diet while I’m at it.

This little experiment may not last but hopefully I’ll come out of it with a better understanding of my own nutrient requirements (and hopefully not an excessive lack of iron!).

Without all the sugars and meats I ate previously my riding feels slower. It’s taken the edge off a little bit and I run out of steam quicker but I can still fend off a few roadies whilst out on the singlespeed! 😉

The hot water unit was making a violent…

hissing noise, as it spewed water all over my backyard.

I already suspected the unit was dodgy about a week ago and had a plumber check it out. Of course, when Andrew looked at it, there was nothing wrong and it worked fine for another week. That was until last night some time, while I was downing Redbacks at Kendrick’s 26th birthday cake+beer party.

So, no showers at home for me until Friday night, all things going to plan with the $950 replacment unit.

This might be a good excuse to not ride home and finish reading “The Immortal Class” on the train instead. 🙂

Chivalrous or Suckered?

Last night, peak hour, Burke Rd north-bound.

I ride up behind a woman riding with no lights and no helmet! At first I pass, thinking to myself “If you’re that stupid, to hell with ya!”.

Stopped at an intersection I told her she needed lights on her bike. She explained that they were stolen today along with her helmet. She said she was stopping at Whitehorse Rd. and catching a tram home.

I said I would ride behind her because I didn’t want to see a her killed!

No doubt she thought I was a psycho (hey, most people do 😉 ), but I figure it’s better than leaving her to get squished.

I leave her on the footpath to lock her bike and catch the tram as I turn towards home, thinking to myself “my good deed for the day, done”.

Problem was I couldn’t help but think she might have been fibbing to me simply because she was busted without proper gear.

There didn’t appear to be anywhere for a rear light as her seatpost was all the way down. I think I’ve been in the city too long – my faith in humans has been depleted I guess. 😛

Anyway, I hope she made it home safely, however she traveled and I hope she scores some new lights soon!

The rest of the ride involved me busting a lung chasing a workmate in his car and an guy on a older racer. Ah, fun! 🙂

Looney Tunes cartoonists couldn't have…

created a better timed comedy moment!

With the coverage of the Track Worlds starting at 7pm I really had to drop the hammer to get home. I don’t usually carry a hammer on my commute, but lucky enough, I found one in the office and made sure I dropped it on the way 🙂

Up until this point the only things on my mind were ‘get home quick’ and ‘wow, this new mudguard is really working!’

Then came the comic incident I noted, involving car and bike, timed perfectly with the location of a large volume of water. It couldn’t have been scripted better!

We hit the deep puddle at the same time and speed, and the water hit my face with such force all I could do was squeak, gurgle and then burst out laughing!

In two seconds I was as soggy as if I had been riding for an hour in the rain. For some reason, the mudguard didn’t seem to work to well dealing with an “UP”pour!

I spent the rest of the commute emptying water out of my ears, rubbing the grit out of my eyes, wincing at the stinging rain or ginning my silly backside off! 😀

Note: Buy expensive bags AFTER winter.. my costly Crumpler has been hit with rain 3 times in as many weeks!

23-May-2004

Wow I’m sore all over now. Yesterday I was just sore in a few places but today.. wow.. all over!

This is what happens when I ride the singlespeed GT 100k’s on Saturday and then again on Sunday.

With 25k’s left today my body suggested politely that it didn’t want to continue. I told it to “stop ya whinging!” and we eventually made it home for a nice dual metric century weekend.

Why? Well I’ve always wanted to ride from Melbourne to Mildura or vice-versa and a mate is going to be in a stage production around August. I know!

I’ll ride to it!

20-May-2004

Rode the Avanti Montari HT in to work today (was planning on doing one of the dirt crits at Westgate Park?) and it felt like a flippin’ downhill bike!

I understand it’s not a super light racing machine, but compared to the singlespeed GT, it was rolling terribly slow and felt very “mushy”.

(Yes, it has Bombers on the front versus rigid, but!)

I hope it was just the high rolling resistance of knobbies running low air, versus 50psi semi-slicks on the GT, that made it feel that way, otherwise, my legs are in need of a serious tuneup!

I noticed the position is quite different too. I’m over the back of the seat and it feels like I’m pushing the pedals forward rather than down. I have a sore lower back now, I’m guessing from leaning further forward from the Montari’s slack seattube angle? (Could there be a ‘disadvantage’ to owning multiple bikes?!?!)

The bike handles really sketchy too. Sharp turns really upset what I hope is the low-air tyres…

Also, what are possible causes for speed wobbles?

None of my other bikes have the front wheel shake when I ride no handed, but this one was VERY shaky.

I checked the headset and it seems to spin fine.

A paranoid hippy might check the frame for cracks.

Strange..

Time: 1:10 (slower than the SS)

17 May 2004

I feel so “messenger” today. After about 20 years of using a normal backpack (about 10 riding with one) I finally tried something different – a messenger bag.

A Crumpler “Fux Deluxe” to be precise. $170aud from the store in Lt. Burke street, Melbourne.

It’s a funky black/orange/blue – I bought an old model which has horizontal AND vertical reflective strips compared to the new model’s single horizontal one.

The guy in the shop said that striping was the most expensive thing on the bag. La dee daa 😉

It feels different. That’s all I can say about it for now.

Of course I rode the GT SS in and popped nice little track stands at all the lights to complete the messenger stylin’ package. All I need now is a radio and some tatts!

Cadence Wars.. After some discussion on a.b, I thought I’d see how fast I could spin. Going down a hill on Whitehorse Rd. towards Box Hill on the GT I counted my right leg pushing 32 times in about 10 seconds, for a cadence of 192bpm. I say ‘about 10 secs’ because I was looking at my watch for the timing. I’d get a bit faster with a more accurate method of cadence measurement!

Time: 1:06 (about what I was doing before the Europe trip)