Thursday, August 9, 2012

Last Aerotrack of the Day

The time has come for my 1997 KHS Aerotrack to move along. I bought it about 8 years ago at Citybikes, and it has served me well. It has several layers of spray paint and a few dings here and there, but it is still aligned. Frame, fork, Campagnolo headset, and 28.6 seatpost for $250.

I have had some amazing times on this bike. It has gotten me into and out of more danger than I care to remember. The handling is unforgiving, but so quick and precise that it doesn't matter. I've ridden over 100 miles in one day on it, but I would not call it comfortable. I've commuted on it year-round, in Portland and in Seattle, bombing hills with ridiculously low 48 x 19 gearing. I've done alleycats on it, most memorably West Side Invite VII. I've Zoobombed it with and without a front brake. At the Dead Baby Downhill I ended up on the freeway going over a steel grate bridge churning my 48 x 15 track gearing. And it has been around Alpenrose and Marymoor Velodromes a few times as well.

I have a new track frame waiting in the wings. It's pretty special, but I will save its story for a future post.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Indian Larry Post

I met Indian Larry while in NYC in about 1996. I was walking out of 6th Street Specials with the back wheel for my Triumph chopper project and he was walking in to pick up some Harley piston rings. He told me he was a bike mechanic at Hamel's in San Diego years ago.

It really was a defining moment for me, after that I knew that the only way I would ever be happy is building custom stuff for a living. We talked for a good 20 minutes. This was before he was famous, and he was very surprised that I even knew who he was, never mind admired his work. Indian Larry was everything that people said he was, he never lost this lack of judgment with strangers and never acted like he was more important than anyone else. That is what made him truly great.

I am lucky to have met him.

A few years later, after he passed I decided to get a tattoo in his memory. I decided to use some art that Paul Cox drew. As a courtesy to him I decided to ask permission to use his artwork to make the stencil for the tattoo. He agreed and appreciated me asking and  my condolences. I sent him this picture too.

The tattoo was done by Dan Gilsdorf at Atlas Tattoo, here in Portland. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Aerotrack of the Day

With the helmet I was wearing when I crashed. Spoke cards because it's been a  while. I promise I will do a real blog post soon. At the log with no name.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Riding Dirty

At Fat Tire Farm after bombing Forest Park. Loving the new Sturmey Archer drum brake.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fixed Gear of the Day

Love my fixed/free hub. I can punch and coast to the trailhead and then ride off road fixed. I rode to Tualatin Hills Nature Park in the sun, hid under trees while it hailed, rode around a little more and then rode home in the sun.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Winter Bike

It's a 1971 Schwinn Racer. Originally it had 26 x 1 3/8 wheels, so I got some Sun 700c rims and laced a Bendix Red Band in the back. The front hub is Quando. I had some mustache style bars but they did not agree with my back so I cut down some risers off a department store MTB. 28c Continental ultras just barely fit under the original heavy steel fenders. Add the solid steel fork, front rack, and kickstand and this bike is heavy as fuck. I did save a little weight with the aluminum Schwinn stem that probably came from a Continental.

The bars are level with the seat, and it has a comfortable upright riding position. I like to refer to this as a "Sensible Bike" with its rack, fenders, chain guard, front brake, and skinny but not too skinny tires.

I added a Mafac Racer brake because I carry heavy stuff, and because it says "RACER" on it. It has Kool Stop brake pads. Lately I have become a big fan of being able to stop easily.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Thee Monark

I know this bike looks huge, but it is a 24" cruiser designed to fit a 12 year old. In order for my 5' 9" body to fold up onto it I had to add a banana seat. I scored a vintage Troxel from Community Cycling Center and spent a little time scrubbing the yellow and rust stains off, but for now I will live with the black spray paint overspray dots. The bike is so tiny that I had to keep the layback seatpost I made to get the sissy bar to sit vertical. Next is lacing a Bendix Red Band into that rear wheel, as the Perry coasterbrake doesn't work for shit and I've already had it apart. I just hope it still coasts downhill just as fast.