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…lots of little rust areas… January 1, 2008

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, build, Equipment, homebrew, maintenance.
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…remember what I said about the cables looking good? They do. It’s the housings that are horrible.

The shifter cables at the head tube.

The brake cables on the handlebar.

Inside the STI lever.

It’s easier to replace all the cables. Should be fun.

…brake tip… January 1, 2008

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, build, homebrew, maintenance.
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Here’s a tip for brake maintenance:

If you have side-pull or dual-pivot brakes, and you get a rough or audible release, check your tension spring.  There should be a little groove where the spring presses against the second arm. This spring will slide a little inside a little plastic tube. Your little plastic tube may have disintegrated, leaving a metal on metal rub that will feel rough and may be slightly audible.

This is what my little black plastic thing looked like. So, I had to replace it – but with what?

After poking around my garage for a bit and trying a few things, I tried an electrical connector. These are little red plastic tubes with a slight shoulder on each end, and a metal roll pin inside. Simply punch the roll pin out, dab a touch of grease inside the plastic tube, slide over the spring end, and pop back into the groove.

The top shoulder keeps the red tube from sliding off, and the tension spring slides noiseless and effortless inside the plastic tube.

…new post on my other blog… December 24, 2007

Posted by Chief in build, Cool Blogs/Sites, Culture, Equipment, HAM, Hawaii, homebrew, Information, Photos, Radio.
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If you are interested in Ham Radio, then check out my recent portable project:


…wheel bearing grease… December 15, 2007

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, build, Equipment, Hawaii, homebrew, Information, maintenance.
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…so, I have an update on my first experience with repacking my bicycle wheel bearings…

Since I didn’t have the correct grease, but wanted to get my bike back on the road, I messed around with mixing some stuff up that I had in the garage. What I found was that mixing the multi purpose red grease with some white lithium grease and some anti-seize lubricant resulted in a smoothly blended grease that was the same consistency and color as what was in the bike in the first place. So, I tried it out.

Several days later, my assessment is that the blend works just fine. The wheel rolls great. There are no apparent problems with the home-blended grease yet. Do I recommend doing it this way as a norm? No. Is it ok in a pinch? Probably.

Also, if you don’t have a really thin metric wrench to hold the cone nut while you tighten the locknut, you can grind the sides down on a 1/2″ open end wrench, and it should work just fine (mine did). I’m adding the ground down wrench to my slowly growing bag of bike tools, and I’m mixing up a small amount of the grease to have on hand, just in case.

Here’s how I mixed it:

Start with the multi-purpose red grease. Start mixing in white lithium grease a little at a time until you get a smooth consistency that is about a light rose or salmon color. The amounts are not exact, but you will use more red than white. Once you’ve got that mixture right where you want it, add a tiny bit of anti-seize. A little goes a long way when mixing this up, so start with a drop or two of anti-seize for a half cup of grease mixture. The anti-seize won’t blend as readily as the greases, but keep stirring. You should end up with a silvery-pinkish grease mixture. Try it out and let me know how it works for you.

Also, if you don’t have anti-seize, you can mix your own with some dry graphite or molybdenum and a little mineral oil. That’s it. Pretty easy…

…back on the bike… October 2, 2007

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, build, Culture, Equipment, Hawaii, homebrew, Information, Injury, Politics, Rides, Touring, Travel, Websites.
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…so I rode the bike home from work last Thursday (yes, it has been in my office for the last month), then let my knee rest over the weekend. Everything seemed to hold up great, so I’m back to riding the bike to/from work. Rode it to/from yesterday, and rode it in this morning. Feels great to ride again. Of course, I have to fight to lose the weight that I put on while resting my knee.

In other news, I recently ordered the Arkel Briefcase pannier. That should make for getting things around at work easier. I usually commute with a trunk bag on the back, and a pair of Arkel T28’s on the front. Normally I don’t need the T42’s. However, it would occasionally be helpful to have just a little more room, and the briefcase should fit the bill nicely. I’ll post a review in the next couple weeks.

In other other news, I’ve upgraded to bibs. Yep, first it was spandex shorts, and now bibs. I must say that they are worth the extra money over the padded shorts I was wearing. So far, the only issue I have is when I had to take an emergency #2 bathroom break. I had to take my shirt off to drop the bibs! They are still worth the hassle. Oh, and I feel faster 🙂

In other other other news… I am thinking about planning my trip to Maui. One teensy problem… the state of Hawaii is totally dicking around with the new inter-island ferry. The protesting is malicious. They could have protested anytime the last five or more years while the company went through all the hassle of getting approval to conduct business in Hawaii, and getting all the environmental surveys done, and developing a plan to conduct business with minimum impact on the environment. Instead, they apparently waited until the Super Ferry started running, and protested by blocking the path and getting a judge to suspend operations, resulting in people leaving their vehicles on other islands.

There is more information on the www.superferry.com site, and in this article written by Senator Sam Slom. I’d write more, but I just get pissed off. The inter-island ferry is just what the islands need, and they are crapping on their opportunity.

Also keeping me from seriously considering a bike ride on Maui is the cost of using the Super Ferry. Here is the booking broken down:

Maui Booking

Can you believe the prices!?!? I have to pay $30 for a fuel surcharge for me and my bike to walk onto the ferry and ride it to Maui and back. $30 just for fuel! What is the fare paying for? Why so much money? Are they not interested in being competitive with the airlines? The cost is ridiculous. If the protesters get the Super Ferry to shut down, then the taxpayers are on the hook for $40 million in bonds. Doesn’t this mean that the Super Ferry has $40 million guaranteed over some period of time? Then why do they need to charge so much? Ahhhh…

Anyway, I’m happy to be back on the bike, still looking at building a Surly Long Haul Trucker, haven’t got around to building the perfect bike light yet, and have too many projects going on…

…but I’m riding…

…not riding again… September 3, 2007

Posted by Chief in Bicycle, Biking, build, Culture, Hawaii, homebrew, Injury, Travel.

Well… what a bummer. I was on a trail hike a few days ago, and slipped.

[Warning: the event was not as dramatic as it is about to sound]

So, I was hiking along the Aiea Heights loop trail, planted my right foot on the mountain side of the trail and my left foot on the edge side of the trail berm. I was straddling a puddle. Of course it was extremely muddy and slick, and my left foot gave way. So, I toppled over the edge of the trail. Luckily, I grabbed a big enough branch or root, or whatever it was, on my right side to stop myself about 5-6 feet down the cliff. I’m just glad it was on my right side, because I was holding my water bottle in my left hand and never let go of it…

Anyway, when I was toppling over, I failed to swing my right leg off the trail in time, and my right knee bent inward. There was a crunch-like feeling, but no pain. So, I scrambled (and was pulled) back up to the trail, dusted off, and continued on the hike.

I was walking ok, though noticed some soreness starting in my right knee. Once we were done, I sat down for a bit, then tried to stand… that was when it stiffened up and the pain set in. Holy Crap. Any time there was any kind of pressure on my knee that moved it inward, I wanted to cry like a little girl.

We had a Corpsman there with us, so I had him look at it. There wasn’t (and still isn’t) any discoloration, bruising, or swelling. Absolutely none. It just hurts. I’ve wrapped it and iced it for the last couple days, mostly staying off of it, and it feels better each day. So, It’s likely just a sprain. But I’m going in tomorrow to see if I can get an MRI scheduled, just in case.

Either way, I’m off the bike again for at least another 2-4 weeks. So much for the Honolulu Century Ride. That sucks. What also sucks is that my biking is my “lose weight so I can stay in the Navy” exercise. I gained 14 pounds when I was off the bike for 3 1/2 weeks with shingles. I’ll have to be more careful with this one.

So, that’s my update. Looks like I’ll be spending a little more time around the house working on my projects. Speaking of which, have you seen the prices of 500GB hard drives?! $110! Has anyone else here ever turned an old computer into a DVR? Can you imagine how many TV shows and movies a 500GB drive can hold? My cable provided DVR holds 30 hours of programs, and its likely about a 40GB drive. Using that estimate, a 500GB drive should hold roughly 375 hours of programs! Hmmm… well, I’m off to the garage…