Wednesday, September 27, 2006


DoomSled Update

Hope you liked the pics. Here’s a summary about the bike so far.

First, I love the bike. For three years I've worked and sweated and cried and bled to get this bike running. Now I have my own recumbent bicycle for 1/3 the cost of a new Volae or Bacchetta. The bike is just as fun now as it was during those first roll tests.

But I have found areas which need improvement. For a while I road without adequate cushioning. That caused a lot of tail bone pain. But a 2 inch thick open cell foam pad solved that problem.

The center of gravity was too far forward. Thus making the bike very sensitive at high speeds. So I moved the seat back, and bought handlebars to allow for better arm positioning. Now my knees come behind the handlebars. This takes pressure off my tail bone, makes my arms much more comfortable, and is much more stable at high speeds. In fact, you could ride the bike with one hand now.

The Cinelli cork tape makes for a good grip. Before my hands would ache because the bare handlebars were too small to grip over a long period of time.

The Schwalbe Marathons are great. These are the first real "touring" tires I've ever bought. I like how they stick to the road, especially through turns at speed. They're a much smoother ride than my old Specialized Crossroads.

The Cateye handlebar mirror rocks. My Third Eye helmet mirrors have lost their "grip." It's like the bushing have gone bad or something. So I don't use them anymore. The handlebar mirror is bigger and their is no learning curve. Helmet mirrors, they're like an optical illusion in your field of vision all the time. Your eyes don't know what to focus on. You get used to it, but I'd rather have a handlebar mounted mirror.

Next? Smaller cranks and chainrings. Then panniers. Then paint. Then touring.


More Pics

Rear view mirror by Cateye. Posted by Picasa

Finaly, I got some pics. Today was my day off. Hope you enjoy these.

The Volae handlebars are awesome. I like the open ends. Notice the shifters on the bottom and the mirror on the top end.

lol, Volae handlebars and Bacchetta Stem and riser. For those that don't know Volae and Bacchetta are competitors. Kind of like Auburn vs Alabama, Miami vs Florida State, or Notre Dame against everyone else! Posted by Picasa

Cockpit view. Posted by Picasa

The Cinelli cork tape looks like the hilt on a lightsaber.

Front view. Posted by Picasa

Here's the latest photo. Check out the Cinelli Cork Tape. Great feel. Reminds me of my saxophone days with cork built up keys. Posted by Picasa

Just installed the Volae handlebars. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Dude, I Sliced My Hand Open

At work last Saturday I cut my hand. I was dumping the trash and someone had left a tin can lid in the trash bag. I picked up the bag, slung it in the dumpster, and felt something slice through my left hand. Just imagine, you get to work and five minute later you hand is sliced open. You look down and a mixture of blood and cheese cover the space between your middle and index fingers.

Luckily both managers we're there. And one of the employees was in nursing school; she gave me first aid.

Off to the emergency room. On the way I wondered, should I put on the emergency blinkers and drive 90 mph to get there faster? Well, it was a football weekend for my almer mater, and the cops were out in droves. I kept "close" to the speed limit.

After 20 minutes of driving, I get to the hospital. Frell, the parking lot was like a freaking lab rat maze. I parked in the parking deck and wondered through the hospital trying to find my way to the emergency room.

I got there. They checked me in. Then came the questions. Two stuck out, "can we help you with any spiritual needs?"

"No, I'm okay." I didn’t really care I just wanted my hand patched up.

"What is your religious preference?"

"!@#$%^%^&*()," I thought, in the confusion I muttered, "Christian."

"Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Protestant, Episcopal, yadda yadda yadda."

"Uhh, Protestant." Again I didn't care. I wanted my hand patched up. Although I didn't want any Satan worshipers patching me up, but I didn't think about that 'til later.

After that, I waited in the lobby for 30 minutes or so. Surprise. The nurse was an old classmate. She was a music therapy major. I guess she went on to become an LPN. We chatted a bit, then she left to do her other duties.

About 3 hours later, the doctor came in. She was pissed. Someone had misplaced my file. Scary.

She took a look. "Stitches." Crap! More pain. She walked out, chewed out someone for misplacing the file, and ordered the stuff to patch me up. After a while, she came back with a tray of needles and liquids and towels and thread.

"Is this gonna hurt?"

"Hmm, it'll burn a little, but not too bad."

I thought, "Yeah, right." I laid down, and she spread hospital green towel separating my left arm and my body.

"Do what you gotta do, doc." I braced myself for the pain.

"Okay, stick." It stuck. I waited for the pain. Dude, she was right. It burned a little, but it wasn't too bad. I felt fluid ooze throughout the wound.

"Stick." More ooze. It left good.

A few seconds later, "You ready?"

"Okay, go!" She inserted the needle and started sewing me up. It was strange to feel the thread going through my skin. It felt the way a kite pulls against the string. I needed two stitches.

Talk about an adventure. Anyway, the stitches get taken out in 8 more days. So I won’t be able to ride until then. And I just installed some new Volae handlebars.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Finaly, A Bike Route Through the Deep South

The Adventure Cycling Association has completed sections #1 and #2 of thier new Underground Railroad Bicycle Route. This is exiting news. I could start from my front door and do the southern section. W00t! This would eliminate the cost of transporting the bike; just hop on and go.

Since it's a new map it should be accurate. In fact, there are no addemdums.

Dude, I'm so exicted. By next spring or summer I could do the southern porion of this route. That would give me all winter to make and test new gear.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Fall is coming

You can always tell when fall is coming in the southeast: nights get cooler. Instead of 90 degree nights it drops into the 80s. That's great for touring. Not too cold or hot at night. Great for hammock camping.

Also, fall is my favorite time of year for biking. I went out for a ride yesterday, in fact. Guess what: flat tire, lol. Then today I went out for another ride. Guess what: another flat!

Weird. Two flat tires in two days. These are the first flats I've had in 3 years. Turns out is was the front wheel. The valve whole had cut a slit in the inner tube’s valve, causing a leak. Going downhill at 45 mph while the tire is going flat ain't no fun.

It's time to get a wheel built for me. Power on Cycling and Gaerlan Custom Cycles build bike wheels. I figure a Sun Rynolite rims with 36 spokes and Shimano LX hubs would do it for now.

I also ordered some Schwalbe Marathons. They should be in by week's end. These old Specialized Crossroads needed replacing anyway. Hopefully by Saturday I'll be backup and running.

btw, I've decided on a paint scheme: blood red. Crimson as most people call it. DoomSled in blood red. It’s the color of my alma mater and it reminds me of the blood of Christ.

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