Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cycling Update

Spring finally showed up here in Ohio this past weekend.  To say that I was ready to get on my bike and ride would be the understatement of the year.  I've been busy with my home renovation projects and that has not left much time for riding.  Fortunately until now the weather has been cold, windy and rainy so it's been easy to work indoors and I have gotten a lot done.  

On Saturday the skies were sunny and the temperature climbed into the 60's.  My friend the Road Queen and I enjoyed the afternoon on our bikes and traveled from Lexington to Butler, Ohio and back along the B & O Trail in Richland County for a total of just over 23 miles.  After many weeks of upright riding on my commuter bike it was grand to get out and stretch my legs aboard the recumbent.  The Road Queen even even took a try at piloting the HP Velotechnik and after a few miss-starts she was flowing somewhat smoothly in a straight line. 


Another thing the warm temperatures and sunshine of spring bring out besides flowers are classic cars. I'm not a car guy but I am a craftsman and I love tinkering with tools and machines so I can certainly appreciate a good street rod.  On an urban bike cruise around town on Sunday morning we spotted this  old International and I couldn't resist a closer look.  

I could use that to haul some mulch for the flowerbed. 

After lunch we spent the afternoon relaxing on the patio.  I like to kick back with a little bicycle maintenance; Very much so when I can do it under a warm sun in the backyard.  I've had a set of brake and shifter cables to replace the control lines on my Ti General Purpose bike laying around for nearly a month but have been too busy to get to the job.  The outer jackets on the old cables were literally disintegrating after six years or more they had been in service.

As a long time bike rider and home bicycle mechanic I actually enjoy doing my own work.  After replacing cables on existing bikes or installing them on new ones over the years repetition has allowed me to become quite comfortable with the task.  In this case a re-cable job is particularly easy because the old jackets could be used as a sort of template to cut the new outer jackets to the perfect size.  I'm a bit OCD so I like my cable lengths and routing just right and any amount of time and effort is worth it to dial in perfection.

I don't own the Park Tool cable cutter and I probably never will.  I prefer my Dremel tool and a cutoff wheel to cleanly sever my cables and jackets.  The rotary cutting action makes a perfect slice without a single strand of the cable lifting out of place.

Of course the Park bicycle stand I use and love is considered an essential tool for my activities.  Getting the work up to eye and hand level really enhances the ease and enjoyment of bicycle maintenance. 

While I've not been getting in many fun rides I have been putting in a few miles commuting.  Last week I logged 4 out of five days on two wheels leaving the four wheeler at home in the drive.  On my way to work on Monday I admired my new black cabling.  They coordinate nicely with the fenders and other darkened components of the Ti GP bike if I do say so myself.


  1. Er... that's CDO. Alphabetical... as it should be.

  2. I need to get fenders for my bike. I'm thinking pink...

  3. I do own the Park cable cutter and have had generally good results, but not every single time... you have to be spot on with your "angle of attack" (perfect right angle) and be quick with the cut. I like the idea of a rotary tool instead; wish I had one (sniff).

  4. Thanks Babs, the devils in the details isn't it.

    Queen: Not surprised :)

    Don't cry RANTWICK. It's almost garage sale time so keep your one eye peeled. I picked up my last Dremel for $10 US with all the accessories. It was the deluxe set that had extra cutters and burrs and stuff. It had barely been used.

  5. I also like those old classic cars; from a mechanical viewpoint. Those were the good old days when gasoline was 36 cents per gallon.

    The two fours and the blower would get about 6 miles to the gallon. Hihi

  6. Hi John, Good eyes You're not the first to notice that dual quad setup in my picture. My question is I wonder if he's got enough rubber on the back for all that torque?