Saturday, December 11, 2010

BigBikeBarn Update

After having the barn built I had to set in to the task of arranging it how I wanted to outfit it. The basic arrangement of organization is separated into three parts, tools, parts, and supplies.

Right now I have parking for four bikes hanging from the roof.

 In the loft there is storage for three frames, which will be expanded to five when I get the chance.

  I have a beer fridge now and a new roll around toolbox. This helps with the organization of all the tools.

All the parts bins and boxes are in two places: small parts are in the parts bins above the workbench, and large ones are in the loft. after doing a few bike repairs this setup works nicely.
I have even found that being able to sit down when truing a wheel helps to speed things up a bit so one of my work benches has been shortened down to sit down height.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Where I have been and what I've been doing: BigBikeBarn!

After years of working on bikes, in the living room area of my house, my wife has gotten fed up with bicycles being randomly placed in various placees around the living area of our home. So the BigBikeBarn has finally been built. I doubt this will completely cure the odd bicycle taking over her living space but hopefully it will reduce the number of incursions of maintenance sessions into the daily operations of our home.

This Barn has been needed for a really long time and has been a kind of dream of mine to have a "man cave"  to call my own. It is a 12x16 Tuff Shed that was built on site. I think it will be big enough for me to work on bikes but not so big as to allow me to collect more stuff than I can work on at any given time. The easy part was getting rid of all the stuff that clogged up my little metal shed and cleaning up the build site. I now have the long and arduous task of outfiting the Barn with all the things needed to organize all my tools, parts and workspaces in the way needed to make it into a working BigBikeBarn.

I have installed laminate flooring and a proper metal door. I need to install the wiring then insulate it and sheetrock or paneling. It must have an air conditioner and heater. I have got my work cut out for me, but that is what winter is for isn't it.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Anyone Up For A Hill-Climb?

 This Weekend we will be heading out to the ,west Texas, Davis Mountains to ride in the Cyclefest Tour and Hill-climb. We will be leaving on Thursday  to "acclimate" ourselves to the elevation (Fort Davis, Texas Elevation — 4,892 ft).  The tour on Saturday will be 75 miles long and there will be three good climbs. The max elevation on the tour is about 6300 ft. While not Colorado it is still a great ride to help your training.  I have done this tour twice but this will be only my second year riding the hillclimb on Sunday. We will be staying at the Davis Mountains State Park . We will be camping out and enjoying the wonderfully mild weather. This ride is perhaps the most beautiful and challenging in all of  Texas.

A Nice Slow Ride To The Coffeehouse.

We had a nice ride to Keller tonight. We rode to Starbucks and had some coffee and cake. My bride was the "Bella Bambina" leading the ride there and she kept a good pace. The temperature tonight was a balmy 85 degrees. The light riding this week is in preparation for The Fort Davis Cyclefest that we are traveling to this weekend. Wish Us Luck!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Riding to Dallas and Back!

 My legs were feeling heavy after Hotter'n Hell this past weekend, so I needed a long slow ride. Carola needed a new bike light and REI had the one she wanted on crazy sale. I called around FTW to see if anyone could beat the price and no one could match it, so off  I went on an adventure. I have never ridden on this route further east than Grapevine so I was a little apprehensive about riding over in the big D. I thought, this will be an adventure if anything, and I loaded up Carola's new bike with all the needed food safety gear and set off.

I made it to the north end of DFW airport when I got a flat. The Continental Country Ride tires have great flat protection but when an inch long finishing nail punctures the sidewall there isn't much you can do.

 I made it to REI and shopped for a little while but I knew that I would be getting home late if I stayed much longer. It was already dark when I started home. I love riding in the city at night. I had a blast. The rest of the trip was an enjoyable ride and I think I will take my bride with me next time.
The haul was good and the fuel was even better!

Lets Ride and Make The World Happier!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hotter N' Hell Hundred!

The Criterium Races
This past weekend was the Hottern' Hell Hundred in Wichita Falls Texas. My friend, wife, mother-in law and I went up early on Friday and set up camp. We went to the exhibition and watched the criterium races.
    I had the goal to ride a sub five hour century and I ended up with a time of 4:50:38. I am pleased to say that I hung with the lead group (in front of the "Official Pace Group") for 60 miles. I ran out of water and had to stop off at the Burkburnett rest stop to refuel/ tighten my handlebar stem bolts. At that time my average speed was 27mph. I was able to catch on with the second chase group and hang with them for about 20 or so miles. I started feeling some light cramping in my left calf muscle so I peeled off at the next rest stop. After a whole bottle of Pickle Juice and a refill of my bottles I was off but not in a group. I rode solo for about seven or eight miles when I was over taken by and latched on with the "Official Pace Group". It was an interesting experience riding in a group with "full race support" watching them slow for a "feed zone". The race leaders would ferry bottles from the team  motorcycles to the riders that needed refilling/refueling. They used radios to control the pace of the group, keeping everyone in a tight pack. It was neat seeing the organization of all this happening while still moving along between twenty and twenty-five miles per hour.
The Finish
    I had some discomfort on my inner right thigh and reached down to investigate only to find that my seat bag strap had rubbed a hole in my shorts and was now rubbing a hole through my skin. I reluctantly had to leave the pace group at the next aid station to get my leg seen to and to refill/refuel for the final push into the finish. The doctor at the station understood my hurry being pressed on time at 4:37 since the start and only at mile 92. With 23 minutes to go, 8 miles and get my leg dressed, time was very close. I needed to average 20 mph but I was tired and there wasn't a paceline in sight. I was desperate. The head winds were killing my speed, the best I was able to make was 19.5; not quite good enough. Then suddenly from behind a small group of ten or twelve riders started to come around me on my left. "I'M SAVED!" I thought and latched on to the first wheel I could muster and held it until the last turn. I was in a total zone of aggressive male, almost growling as I planned my sprint into the finish. Judging my strength after 100 miles and the length that I can sprint. 100meters after the USCF finish I started my sprint into the finish. I was off like a rocket propelling myself past the finish in a burst of anger and elation. My heart was pounding like a drum even after I stopped. I unclipped and walked my bike towards the finish line village. I picked up my finishers pin and went straight to the fire hose to cool my body down. The water was refreshing but I needed to sit down. I found a shady place and sat on a chair, drinking water till I felt like I would be able to walk back to the campsite and get a shower.
A Finisher!

    My ride, while a major accomplishment for me, doesn't compare to my mother-in-law's ride. This was her first century and she is not quite as youth-full as I am. I am really impressed with her endurance. She looked very strong crossing the finish line. I am proud of her.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Why I like Sonic as a bike destination!

Sonic is a very good place to ride a bicycle. They have picnic tables, slushies and they are pretty much everywhere that I ride. Yum a cherry lime-aid!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

ArtistCarola has a Showing!

My favorite artist (my wife Carola) is having an art showing at a local coffee roaster/shop in the north Fort Worth area. She and I will be there displaying some of her paintings, drinking coffee and listening to the music of Ebenezer.
   Dunn Bros is a small coffee shop with a relaxed atmosphere and good coffee. They roast their coffee on site, so the coffee is always fresh.

5040 North Tarrant Parkway

View Larger Map
See you all there!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My Wife is an "Aero-geek"

My wife does triathlons. I've done a few, but she is more into it than me. It was time to equippe her road bike wit all the "Aero-geek" accouterments. Bernie at Trinity Bicycles hooked her up with a Syntace base bar, some cane aero levers, Syntace aero-bars and Dura-Ace ten speed shifters. She says that the setup is very comfortable and I think she feels faster. I haven't gone on a ride with her to see if she is indeed faster but the bike does look like it is.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Riding in the rain is fun!

It is always a delight to get to commute in the rain. It somehow makes me feel more connected to nature.

Rain   by Shel Silverstein 

I opened my eyes

And looked up at the rain,

And it dripped in my head

And flowed into my brain,

And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.

I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can't do a handstand--
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said--
I'm just not the same since there's rain in my head. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

What do you do when your pump will not fit?

The bicycling family, that we are, needed to go to "Stuff-Mart" to get some "Stuff". On our way home my son punctured his rear tire on some glass (broken beer bottles are a direct result of the open container law) that was on the edge of the road. We didn't have a tube for his bicycle (700x23C) so I thought i would just patch it. But when I got out the pump out to inflate the tube I realized that the cheap pump that I had would not attach to a presta valve. BUMMER! This means I need to get creative.

So I:
  • attached his front wheel, to the rear, on the non-drive side of his bike, outside the frame,
  • towed his bike with the Ute, 
  • hung his rear wheel hanging from his handlebar,
  • had my daughter ride the back of the Ute,


  • had my son ride my daughters bike.
We were back moving and back home in no time at all.
Adapt, Overcome, and Execute!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Bicycle is Getting More Mainstream!

This illustrates the fact that riding a bike is cool, and it is a step in the right direction for the bicycle to be accepted by the "macho" young crowd as a fun thing. But what does it do to get them away from there love of the car? It is still cool though!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Ute Becomes A Tow Bike!

Have any of you ever towed a car with another car? Most people have done that! Then has anyone towed a Bike with another bike?...
The "Tow Bike"
      Today I had to go to run the simulator at work, so that meant six hours of video railroading, and time spent indoors. Well job is not usually predictable at all, but today was a rare occasion that I knew where I was to be at a given time. A colleague of of mine had mentioned to me that he had a bicycle that needed a good home ( read: one with a bicycle mechanic). So the Ute and I volunteered to take in the poor rejected little hybrid. Because of the predictability of todays "schedule" ( I don't get to use that word much) he was able to meet  me and deliver the bicycle.
    The Ute worked as a "Tow bike" very well; except for the wobble and jiggle from the load constantly shifting and feeling like I was dragging a boat anchor behind me. I  made it home though! It was fun!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Today Called for some Coffee

We needed to go shopping at the Boy Scout Store today to get my son ready for summer camp so as always we rode our bicycles. Today my little daughter rode her bicycle too. The Boy Scout store was near to Roots, a great coffee shop in North Richland Hills, so we had to stop for coffee. The kids had frappes and the wife and I each had a press of coffee. (in real mugs) This was a really enjoyable day.

A Wonderful time Riding

The past couple of days has seen my family riding all around Tarrant county. Yesterday my wife, two boys and I (my daughter was riding on the Ute with me) rode down from our home in the north Haltom City / Watauga area to downtown Fort Worth .
View Ride downtown in a larger map

It was about a ten mile ride to get downtown but our little peleton handled it great. We stopped at The Corner Bakery downtown picked up cinnamon rolls and bagels then went to Trinity Bicycles to see how Bernie and Bryan were doing. Also my wife wanted to rent a Kona Dr. Lisa to test ride so she would have a better idea of it would fit and handle. Then we went for over to 7th street to do some shopping at Backwoods and Target. We rode down to Panera Bread on University drive to get some lunch before heading over to the Kimbell Arts Museum to view their permanent collection. By the time we were through at the museum it was getting pretty late and the sky was threatening rain, so we headed back over to Trinity Bicycles to return the Dr. Lisa. We decided that we needed to take the TRE/short ride home due to the weather. We headed over to the Inter-modal Transportation Center and caught the next train to Richland Hills station.We rode from there to home beating the rain by about twenty minutes.
View TRE Richland Hills To Home in a larger map

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Camping was a Blast!

The Trinity Bicycles cycle-touring introduction trip was a total blast! Initially it was hot heading out to the lake, but as the day wore on some rain came in and cooled all of us down. We were wet but happy campers none-the-less. My wife and I were very excited about the trip, we took all of the kiddos, and my bride's mother even came. With such a big family peleton of our own there were some logistics involved and even a bit of group riding instruction was necessary to help the children maintain their position in the line. Most of the route was off street trails, park roads and city neighborhood streets, so it was pretty low-stress.
   After a slow three hours of riding we had arrived. We set up camp and went swimming. For dinner my bride ( who is definitely a gourmet camp cook) prepared shepherds pie for the family. The night was pleasant and good times were had by everyone. I enjoyed hanging out with fellow bike nerds talking shop about the wonders of two wheel happiness.
    If you have never been camping on your bicycle I would recommend it highly. There is something liberating about getting there under your own power and carrying all that you need. It can make you feel like you can conquer the world without the aid of all the many trappings that surround us.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Goin bike camping

Trinity bicycles is hosting a cyclotouring campout tonight at benbrook lake! We all rode out from the shop at three. We will see when we get there...going is easy and slow with the whole family.

On my way to Church.

The beauty of the morning and the peace God gives plays a duet with a bicycle.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Time For the Yearly Pilgrimage

Every year we make a big list of stuff to get  from Ikea and make the drive over to Frisco to load up our truck with stuff.
   Today is that pilgrimage.....Wish us luck!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What does a Full Buggy of Groceries look like on a Bicycle!

 In preparation for the consolidated guy birthday party (Me and both my sons birthdays are within ten days of one another) my wife went to our local "stuff-mart" store and loaded up the Ute with a full buggy of stuff. When she was there, she called me and said that she may have bought too much "stuff" and may need me to rescue her with the cargo trailer. She, however, found my bungee cords and lassoed things down on to the top. I believe she could have carried more using the old "shopping bags on the handlebars trick" but I don't know if she knows that one. As you can see from the pictures the Ute bags are pretty full. The bike has room for more stuff if I got a front rack and a big folding crate for the deck. But that might be a little too much weight!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

4 Bikes, 5 Burgers ?

Somebody is getting a free ride!

Hauling Granite with a Bicycle.

We needed to go to home depot to get some decomposed granite for our garden pathways!

I built the "little trailer" out of our old kid carrying trailer by stripping it down and building a deck out of strips of plywood.

This was 200lbs on the "little trailer". It handled it great. The garden turned out very pretty!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Doing a triathlon this morning

I will be (shudder, shudder) driving over this morning to participate in the Classic Rock Rotary Sprint this morning in Rockwall, TX. I hope I do well due to the fact that I was up pretty late last night at the Arts Goggle. Wish Me Luck!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Looks like the Ute found a Girlfriend!

Me and my wife are pedaling around the near southside today and stopped by Jennings Street Yarns to pick up some yarn for socks! I hope she knits me some for winter!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Arts Goggle May 15, 2010

It’s all about Arts Goggle this Saturday from 4PM – 10PM. Stroll through the Near Southside and its shops and restaurants for art, music, and food – best of all it’s free. Make plans to check it out.
All the details can be found on the Fort Worth South website where you can download the flyer and schedule. 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

National Bike Month Is Upon Us!

If you haven’t heard, we’re in the middle of National Bike Month.
Bike to Work Week is May 17-21, and Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 21st.
The T will be holding a bus, train, and bike-rack presentation on Friday May 21st at the Intermodal Transportation Center, from 7-9 am.

A strange thing seen while riding!

Here is proof the cellphone is taking over.... also I will post where i have been the last few days soon.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Trinity Bicycles Hosting New Art!

I went downtown with my favorite artist (my bride) and helped her hang some of her artworks in Trinity Bicycles  in preparation for the Near Southside Arts Goggle. My wife who has painted for most of her days on this Earth has only recently decided to try to make a profession of her talents. I am all for the idea in that it fits in perfectly with one of my own "rules for a fulfilling life" (rule:12 Always work toward bettering yourself by: developing and discovering your talents.) The old sawyer grocery store building in which Trinity bicycles has opened lends itself very well to the presentation of art work. During the day there is plenty of natural light and the high ceilings lend a true gallery feel.

To view her website click here.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Brain Wanders While My Legs Spin

The ride this evening to the farmers market was pleasant, allowing me time to reflect on the sounds of my American suburbia.
Have you ever noticed how the internal combustion engine sounds angry? The agressive throaty growl of a sports car or the steady rumble of a semi truck, they still sound angry. I wonder if all these sounds effect our attitudes. I hope i wont let it effect mine. END ROAD RAGE!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Light for the UTE! Yessss!

Dual Cross Pro
My old trusty Cygolight Rover though a pretty bright light, it was very heavy system. Also after several years of use the NMIH battery isn't what it used to be. It doesn't hold the charge quite as long or burn quite as bright as it used to. It still works but it is getting toward the end of its lifespan. So enter the new light  the Cygolight Dual Cross Pro Led Li-on this light is a huge step up from my old light. not only is the light smaller , the battery is much smaller and lighter too. Where this light excels is in the amount of brightness they get from L.E.D's. It seems unreal how a light so small can put out so much light. I think I made a good buy...especially when it was on sale!