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My Vintage Bicycles

John Liu
10 years ago

I mentioned over on Discussions that I've been into vintage bicycles lately. I thought I'd tell the story of one project that I've actually completed.

Here is my childhood bicycle, long-lost but never-forgotten, moldering quietly in my grandparents' basement, where she slept for nearly forty years.

{{gwi:1447438}}

I rode this when we lived in Vancouver, Canada, which would have been around 1970. The bike was likely bought in Canada, and may have been new, or maybe not, as we were pretty poor. Dad was a grad student on a post doc at the University. Mom was not in the picture. I was a 7 y/o boy, mostly a latchkey kid, entertaining myself with Star Trek re-runs, Legos, building plastic models, blowing those up in the vacant lot with my friends, and riding all over the city on my bike. I remember pedaling into downtown Vancouver to visit a shop that sold Hot Wheels. Perhaps on that trip, I also remember shoplifting a Hot Wheel, and then being so ashamed by my deed that I never stole anything ever again.

When we were kids, bikes were our magic carpets. How else could a little kid travel for miles, explore distant lands, experience speed, all far from his parent who in any case wasn't coming home until late that night? Of course, my friends' bikes were StingRays and they jumped and skidded them all over the dirt lots, while I watched glumly from my hopelessly uncool French ten-speed.

It didn't help that the bike was way too big for me. At first, I couldn't even stand over it, much less mount or dismount. I still remember how my dad taught me to ride. We went to the top of a hill in a local park. He placed me on the bike, gave me a push, and set me rolling down a winding asphalt path. My instructions were to coast down the path until it was about to end, then steer off onto the grass and JUMP OFF. Which I did, faithfully, bike and boy tumbling amidst a cloud of grass and dirt. Again and again.

How this taught me to ride, I have no idea, but somehow it did, and even though I still couldn't stand over my bike, I rode her everywhere for three years. Then we moved. The bike was shipped across the continent, and ended up in this basement, minus pedals and seat. Here she stayed, while a forest of old boxes, scrap wood, discarded pipe, and household junk grew up around it.

Forty years later, I pulled my old Peugeot into the light and wondered.

I wondered about shipping the bike home and restoring her for my son. But I had doubts. This bike wasn't a museum piece in NOS (new old stock) condition. I rode her hard and put her away wet.

Around that time, I also remember being in the habit of stuffing my G.I. Joe full of firecrackers and blowing his clothes off. He still guards our upstairs window, plastic rifle at the ready, but looks the worse for wear.

Heedless child, battered bike. The paint was badly chipped and flaked, leather seat missing, all the cables toasted. It was going to be a lot of work to restore to riding condition.

And what did the bike think about it? I couldn't tell. She was deeply asleep, wasn't speaking to me. Maybe she wanted to have another boy excitedly pumping her pedals and leaning through the rushing curves. Or maybe she was old and tired and just wanted to moulder away in her dark basement.

I packed the bike up and shipped it home, and have been working on it ever since.

My son and I just took a first ride through the neighborhood, around the park, and home. The bike worked perfectly. He figured out toe clips and bar end shifters right away. There was a tipover, with the inaugural mini-rash on the brake lever, but they were scratched up already and he was worried enough about "if he'd hurt his bike" that I'm thinking this little Peugeot's new rider will be a better caretaker than the last one was.

There was a moment. When my boy got up off the saddle, crouching in the drops, pumping the 50 tooth chainring and he and she were surging ahead. The bike woke, came alive, and was speaking again. Not to me. To my son. I was happy just to hear them.

In the park with a new bike!

{{gwi:1447439}}

Getting to know each other.

{{gwi:1447440}}

Just a little bling.

{{gwi:1447441}}

The levers are right, now we need bar tape.

He's asked for a blue and black "harlequin wrap".

{{gwi:1447442}}

I stripped the frame, had it cold-set to fit semi-modern spacing hubs, blasted and powder coated. Reproduction decals came from Australia. The original 1971 City of Vancouver registration sticker could not be saved, but I have photos to remember by.

I re-used the bottom bracket cups and bearings, the headset, and the skinny little seatpost. Nothing else was re-used. On closer inspection, the Simplex derailleurs were cracked beyond usability, the steel cottered crank was a boat anchor, and old steel rims make braking in the wet impossible. I sourced parts from the local bike co-op, eBay, my other bikes, and a friend gave me a perfect rear derailleur. I built the wheels, pieced together a drivetrain and gearing suited for his short legs and our local terrain, drilled and sanded incompatible components until they fit. Damn French and their idiosyncratic threading and diameters!


It was a fun project. I spent many hours in the garage, fitting and cleaning and assembling my old bike. She became prettier and more complete each week, but like Sleeping Beauty, ruby lips cold and still, she never woke, never spoke, until my boy was gripping her bars and racing her down the smooth gray asphalt, wind rushing and a child laughing.

Comments (72)

  • centralcacyclist
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Teresa: Ditto what John says. The bike store mechanics marvel at the height of my seat and they always want to lower it according to my diminutive height. I always raise it so that when I pedal my legs are almost fully extended on the downstroke. It is MUCH easier on my knees.

    Another thing to consider is your seat. I had one I liked a lot that was stolen. Post and all. It took me several tries to find a new seat I liked as well. The first seat I tried made my feet go numb in spite of its hefty price tag. The next one was better but after 6 months or more I found that it chafed. I don't use padded bicycle pants for my daily short errands of 8 miles RT or less. I like a balance of cushion and narrow width for my use. When I buy a road bike I will go through the process of seat selection again.

    I ride a comfort bike around town and use a seat post with suspension. Road bikes (where speed is the goal) do not use these. So you may want a suspension post.

    I was running errands last night and another person commented on my bike seat height. He wondered how I got on my bike. I lean it over and make the bike come to me. It might look odd but my knees thank me.

    Eileen

  • ann_t
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    John, All I can say is WOW!!! You did an amazing job restoring your bike.

    ~Ann

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  • teresa_nc7
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks for the encouragement and info everyone! It gives me hope!

    I'm doing well right now with a cortisone shot to my left knee - that's the really bad knee, right knee looks so much better. I can get another shot in 3 months if I need it. Not only is there no padding in the joints, but I have 4 bone spurs in that knee.

    We have at least 2 bike shops here so I might start doing some research.

    Teresa

  • annie1992
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Teresa, just a word on the knee. I was having cortisone shots to get me through Ashley's wedding last year, surgery right after the wedding. I had a torn miniscus, "some arthritis" and bone spurs and some kind of kneecap alignment problems from a fall up the stairs. Yeah, go figure, only I fall UP the stairs. The doc did a bang up job, shaving the miniscus and also did something called a "lateral release" to assist with some kneecap alighment issues.

    Surgery was on Monday afternoon, 4 pm. By 10 pm I was in Elery's recliner with ice on my knee. Tuesday morning at 8 am I was playing fetch in the backyard with Cooper. Wednesday we started to Ohio, came home Friday because Ashley was having an emergency appendectomy. I threw the crutches in the backseat but never used them and never went to physical therapy. I walked a lot and the doc said that was the best thing I could do. It was never really paintful, although I did take 4 of the Tylenol 3 the doc gave me (out of 50, sheesh, he must not have been that confident of his work!). Before I was having a lot of trouble, so much that I was going up stairs one at a time, right foot first, dragging the left foot up after, then repeat.

    Now I'm back to taking steps two at a time and Robin and I walked miles in Chicago. No knee pain, just blisters on my feet.

    If your ortho guy says he can fix it, let him. If I have any trouble with the other one, I'll do it in an instant. Be sure to keep ice on the knee for the swelling, though, that's important and helps a lot.

    Annie

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Does it make any sense?

    If you keep track of the time, the labor you put into restoring a bicycle will earn you no more than $0.25 an hour.

    The lightest bicycle ($50,000?) is about 6 lbs. Why spend $10,000 to reduce a few oz of weight off the bicycle when the lunch you just ate weighs 2 lbs? and it's much cheaper for you to go to the gym and loss 20 lbs?

    According to the law of physics, it take no energy to move an object perpendicular to gravitational force once the object is moving, regardless of the weight of the object.

    Why do it?

    The same reason as climbing Mount Everest; because it can be done and because it is there. It is all about romance, memories, passion, ------------------- it is spiritual.

    A super moving story, john, chronicling an incredible journey of your personal endeavor. Very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

    I am planning to build an electric bike. Hopefully carbon nanotube fiber technology will be practical soon. I hope to have an electric bike that is super light, and can do max 50 mph speed and 50 miles range for each full charge.

    dcarch

  • lpinkmountain
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks for sharing your story John! You, Eileen and one of my former students are all living the biker's life! It is great! I used to use my bike for running errands around the neighborhood, but it got stolen out of my garage. I was moving, had my big Pacifica parked in front of the garage door, went inside to rest for a couple of hours before I finished packin the car, and then when I went to load my bike, the last thing, I realized someone had somehow managed to maneuver in and out of my garage with it during the 2 hours I was in the house! I haven't had the money to get a new one, but my aunt gave me her old one. It's rickety, so I don't use it much. It is only a 5 speed! I too used to ride all the time, I marvel at what I consiered no big deal as far as a ride distance! Giving up the bike life, like not swimming in Lake Michigan, is a sure sign I'm getting old! Luckily I am back working in field biology this summer, so maybe there is some hope! Unfortunately it is an hour commute away--by car! But there are awesome bike trails there!

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Just a little update. I finally wrapped the handlebars of my son's bike. This is called a "Harlequin" or "diamond" wrap. You use two colors of cotton tape and weave them as you wrap.

    {{gwi:1447448}}

    I also mentioned the '80's Peugeot carbon fiber frame I was getting, the PY10FC. It finally came, and I took the box into the back yard where she and I could be alone. Alone, for the striptease. First the tape was slit, then the cardboard opened, the plastic wrap unpeeled, and the foam tubes slipped, one by one, ever so slowly, from the lean limbs of my new velo frame. Suddenly SWMBO emerged from the house, caught us in flagrante delicto, me and my new carbon mistress.

    "What's that? What are you going to do with that?"

    "Um, I don't know, maybe hang it up, err."

    "No way! You have to build that into a bike! It is sooo beautiful!"

    I always knew I married well.

    {{gwi:1447450}}

    Actually this frame is going to be wall art for a while. I'm looking for a large, ornate, wood painting frame that I'll paint shiny gold. I'll hang the painting frame from the ceiling with clear monofilament fishing line, floating in air. The bicycle frame will hang inside the painting frame, suspended with monofilament, ethereal and weightless. It's not that far off, only 3 pounds of aluminium and carbon fiber and French pride.

  • centralcacyclist
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    John, you are blessed, indeed.

    Laurie, I am sure I was older than you are now when I gave up driving and started riding my bike. My town is not large and just about anywhere I need to go is less than a 10 mile round trip from home. It's flat as can be here and the weather is almost always mild so it's perfect for biking. Unfortunately, it's not a bike friendly culture. There are few painted bike lanes and those disappear and reappear on busy roads which is unnerving. The other day a big truck threatened to run me down in the cross walk while he was making a left hand turn. I gave him some mild grief through his open window. He apologized so maybe the culture is evolving.

    In the meantime, the link below is my anthem.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Warning, salty language.

  • dedtired
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    John, your son is a cutie on the verge of being a very handsome young man! Nice that you two can spend time bonding over bicycles. I wish my neighborhood were better fro biking. It's a steep hill either way from my house. Also, I am lazy.

  • jsutt
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi John ... I'm new to the forum, but I'm into vintage bikes as well. I have two early 70s Pugs as projects-in-waiting and am in awe of what you did with your beauty. I do have a question about your crank replacement.... since these early Pugs have the cottered crank and dreaded French threading, how did you get a lighter, more modern crank to work with your bottom bracket? Did you find an adapter to allow for English threading or did you break the bank and find an NOS French crank? Re: your new frame: My gosh what a beauty! I'm very much a retrogrouch and prefer lugged steel frames, but that frame is so spectacularly svelte I could change my mind!

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    There is a bike shop in town with boxes of old parts. One box had bottom bracket spindles (axles). I took the old cottered spindle, found a square taper spindle that otherwise matched it in the location of the bearing races, length, etc. Just eyeballed it. It happened to be marked Peugeot, but I think these spindles were somewhat standardized in dimension. So it fit right in. Cost $5-10, I forget.

    Do you have a bike coop like that near you? If not, I can see what my local shop has in the box now. Contact me via the forum if you want to try that; you'll need to measure your spindle dimensions.

    Alternatively Velo Orange sells a French thread square taper bottom bracket, about $60. They have an online store.

    In a perfect world the spindle I got would have been a touch narrower (shorter). The VO part is available in various widths.

    Sheldon Brown's (google it) website is pretty much the Bible for working on old bikes.

    Post pics of your bikes, I'm interested!

  • jsutt
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Believe or not, in the whole Dallas area there is not a single bike coop. Every once in a while someone will try to start one, but it has never caught on. Bike culture is in its infancy here in the land of the SUVs and F150s. Sorry to have taken so long to get back to you, but we've been computer free the past few days while working on our farm house. When I can find the time to respond appropriately, I will. Later. J

  • jsutt
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago


    I don't know if this will work, but here are three bikes from the stable (from rear to front). A 1984(?) Lawee design Univega Gran Sprint, a 1971 Schwinn Super Sport and a 1989 Waterford Schwinn Paramount. I was demonstrating the range of sizes I ride. I seem to be comfortable from 52 to 58 as long as I can get the leg extension right. I do have There are a couple more regular riders and a shed full of projects. Sally has been very patient. The Super Sport has been significantly modified, replacing the one piece Ashtabula crank with a 3 piece Suntour, derailleurs are Suntour Vr. Saddle is Ideale. I've now got it rigged with panniers for my commuter.

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Nice illustration. Cool fork on the Paramount, not so easy to find those,

    I, too, can ride from 52 cm to 58 cm, but below 56 cm the top tube gets too short to be ideal. I'm starting to think about finding a frame with a longer top tube - the pre-Trek LeMond bikes come to mind.

    Someday I'd like to take the UBI frame building class and make a custom frame.

    The other day I was talking to the bike shop guys about that ambition. They asked 'what sort of frame would you make?' I was stumped, having always assumed I'd want a Speed Racer sort of frame. 'Why not a randonneur?' Err, why a rando? They explained to me that a lot has been learned about bicycles since the 1970s and 1980s. In the last few decades, wind tunnels, rolling roads, and other testing has shown that:
    - Wide, low pressure tires have no more rolling resistance than narrow, high-pressure tires.
    - Full fenders actually reduce wind resistance.
    - Frames with a certain amount of flex frames are more efficient than very stiff frames.

    I believe these discoveries have been popularized by the likes of Jan Henie and Bicycle Quarterly, which is where I will be starting my reading.

    A combination of these new tenets and the retro-vintage movement has created the trend to randonneur bicycles, which is perhaps more correctly described as the return to randonneur bicycles, since many of the elements of 'A Good Randonneur Bike' (see link) were present in the classic French constructeur and randonneur bicycles of the 1950s and earlier.

    {{gwi:1447454}}

    I learned this stuff later. On that day, the bike shop guys pointed me to several of the rando bikes in the shop and suggested I take a ride. It was raining and 6 AM, but why not. Well, it was something of a revelation. The streets in that area are just average. Normally there is a constant vibration up into my hands, I'm always standing up at pavement ripples, and inattention is rewarded with a slam as my Peugeot's narrow tires crunch into a pothole. The rando bikes seemed to float over ripples and potholes, glide over buzzy pavement, and roll forever. One of them felt like if it had power steering, which was explained to me as the combination of race geometry and the load of a front rack. They all felt like bikes you could ride for a hundred miles without pain or strain.

    Wow. I'm not all sold yet, but investigating these wide-tired throwbacks is moving up there on my priority list.

    This topic came to mind because your Schwinn looks a little like this randonneuring concept. Can you fit wider tires on it?

    Here is a link that might be useful: Rando Bike

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hey, someone just pointed me to this relatively inexpensive solution to oddball bottom brackets (French, Swiss).

    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=48421

    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=48420

    This is a threadless cartridge square taper bottom bracket, retained by cups that come in every possible threading. Total cost $43. This place, Universal Cycle, is on my commute ride home, but is also a big online bike vendor.

  • jsutt
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Do you know if the threadless cartridge is designed to be adapted for English threading? Or is it a solution for replacing a trashed original BB to be used with French threading? Intriguing. I am hoping to find an affordable solution to get a lighter weight crank on the better of the two Peugots. I don't know if I'll have the spindle pulled before we head to Portland, but I'm betting it's the same size as your bike. Also, good call on the Schwinn being a potential Rando bike. It is from '71 when "touring" was pretty popular. It is heavier steel, but sturdy and the ride is smoooth compared to a twitchy light weight road bike. It does take a larger tire, but not so large you think you're on a cruiser. And the handle bars are most definitely Randonneur design as the catalog describes. Downside is there is only one hole by the dropouts for either fenders or a rack. I can't fit both. I now have it kitted out with panniers and use it as my commuter. The pic is of my oldest bike, a '68 Raleigh Gran Prix. It came with the plastic Simplex DRs, cottered steel crank and steel wheels. Since this picture was taken, I have replaced the DRs with Campy Nuevo Record, a more modern Campy crank and relaced the hubs to modern alloy rims. Both are fun rides.

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I may have mentioned that I'm doing to Seattle-To-Portland ride for the first time this year. That's why I've been riding to the exclusion of any other exercise, lately.

    The trip started today, Friday the 13th. A bit alarming. After four hours on a bus, I got to Seattle. The lady seated next to me was going on her 14th Seattle-To-Portland ride. She was an example of how some tattoos don't age well. I'm sure the coiled snake in barbed wire on her calf was smokin' when she was a hot blonde and twenty, but at fifty it looked like something to biopsy.

    In fact, most everyone I saw on the buses and later at the University of Washington dormitory - convenient Friday night lodging - was on the older side. I'd say the 40s to 60s y/o contingent outnumbered the 20s and 30s group by 8 to 1. For young singles looking to meet and mate, road cycling looks like a loser activity.

    Our bikes followed on a truck. There were six or seven buses and a like number of trucks. Most of the bikes were new aero monocoque carbon fiber machines. Cervelo, Felt, Trek, Specialized. There was one other vintage Peugeot on "my" truck. A 1980 PXN, which was a very high end model back in the day. The owner and I stood around and geeked out for awhile. There were also two very fast looking Bachetta carbon fiber recumbents. The rider of one was the owner of Coventry Cycle Works, the recumbent and trike specialist in town. She told me that coast-down tests show these bikes with their lay-down riding position are so aerodynamic that a fairing provides almost no benefit. I guess I won't see those bikes once the ride goes.

    The buses dropped us at the University of Washington campus, from where the ride leaves tomorrow morning. I'd forgotten what a beautiful campus this is. Kind of like Cal Berkeley with ferns and rainforest. I found my dorm room to be pretty cute. Two beds, two desks, two closets, a view of the football stadium. The rooms are in clusters of five, each cluster having its own bathroom, lounge and balcony. In the hall there are tiny, closet-like rooms marked "typing" and "study". Pool tables, convenience store, big patio with seating and lounging. It looks like kind of a fun place to spend a year or two. I think I'll bring dear daughter up here for a college tour.

    Tonight I get to eat dorm food! My room came with board, apparently. I'm sort of looking forward to it. I only brought one book, "The History Of Early Rome", a small paperback crammed with dense, dull print, guaranteed to provide reading material for a lifetime. Some all-you-can-eat D hall food will be a nice break from life on the Tiber.

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    With time to kill, I went wandering. The UW campus is even bigger and prettier than Cal. [Insert picture of bucolic university quad lined with stately temples of learning.]

    A useful way to sight-see is to go looking for something in particular. I remember I spent a week in Madrid visiting every slot car track and slot car store in the city. This took me to lots of out-of-the-way places that weren't the Prado. Nowadays I go looking for a bike shop. Pull out the iPhone. "Siri, where is the nearest bike shop?" I wish Apple would let you change the name of their automated assistant. I'd call her Hal 9000.

    Down by the marina, there is Recycled Cycles, which should be a Seattle institution if it isn't already one. At least a hundred used bicycles, including plenty of interesting vintage rides. An Eddy Mercxx, a genuine Raleigh Team Professional track racer (in the course of my search for one of these, I've learned to identify the fakes), a Schwinn Paramount, Colnagos (plural), a sweet Gitane, and more.

    The bins of used parts were productive, yielding some brake parts I need. Someday, I'll take the train up here, arrive bike-less, and plan on buying a vintage bike to ride the STP on the following day. That would be a trip with just the right amount of randomness. A nice rainstorm would be cool too.

    There were a lot of tempting ethnic food places in the U District. Korean, pho, sushi, gyros, ramen. By evening I was hungry! Hadn't eaten since breakfast. But I was saving myself for dorm food, and trotted back to the campus where I learned that dormitory dining halls are a lot nicer than when I went to school. This D Hall looks like an Olive Garden or similar. The food was pretty decent. Big salad bar, six different entrees, build your own pasta bar, pizza.

    Back in the room, reading my book. "Traditionally Rome was founded in 753 BC but even in antiquity there had been many variant dates proposed, ranging from 814 to 729 BC, before Atticus and Varro established a conventional chronology." Oof. I can't believe this is the only book I brought.

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The threadless BB is an insert, it fits between cups threaded into the frame, cups can be had for English, French, Italian, or Swiss thread. BB $23, cups $17/pr. I've not used this, just found out about it, but looks perfect for updating an old frame. Another alternative is the threadless BB that is secured by cups which screw onto the BB body and squeeze the frame's bottom bracket shell. These work even if the frame's threads have been damaged. Velo Orange makes one, $66. Or an older Mavic one, $40-70 on eBay.

    Cool Raleigh! My first adult-sized road bike in 1976 was a '76 Raleigh Gran Sport. Here's my dad and I, 36 years ago, on the beach in Los Angeles, with my new lagoon-and-white Gran Sport. I'd been living in New Jersey with my grandparents, where it was cold and slush gray, and I was the outcast new kid in a kind of tough Joisey high school. Suddenly I was in sunny Southern California, with my dad again, shiny new bike and palm trees. I never lived back East after that.

    One of my grail bikes is a Raleigh Team Professional. I've been looking, but these bikes are faked a lot. The best of the genuine ones - SB serial number, 753 tubing, Campagnolo SR - go for $2000+. Not really in the budget.

  • lindac
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    You might still have time to get in on RAGBRAI....

    Here is a link that might be useful: Ragbrai 2012

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    After a 4:30 am alarm and NO COFFEE, I left the departure line at 5:30 am. I ran an iPhone app called Cyclemeter. Arrived at the mid-point in Centralia a little before noon. According to Cyclemeter, it was 5h:48m ride time. 98.9 miles by GPS. Avg spd 17.0 mph. I don't know if that includes pushing the bike around rest stops? Not sure how the app's "stop detection" works.

    I got in with some one-day groups (i.e. people who were doing the full 205 miles in one day) for the first 50 miles, and made good time. Riding in a tight group is far easier than breaking the wind alone. Around midway, the one-day trains were gone, so the next 25 miles was solo and feeling good, still holding 19 mph. Last 25 miles was solo and getting tired, plus some headwind, plugging along at just 15-16 mph.

    Self at mile 75

    Trusty steed at mile 100

    About the riding, I have only a couple of observations.
    - Riding a long distance in semi-rural Washington state is pretty boring. If this were a solo ride, I'd have fallen asleep.
    - The main distraction is the scenery. There isn't too much, but what there is, is pleasant. I mean, take healthy fit, ahem, people; dress them in tight shorts; put their behinds in the air; and have them pedal. It's a recipe for success.
    - I would give my Taiwanese copy of a Brooks saddle a "B". On the positive side, I never needed the Chamois Butt'r (weird stuff cyclists smear on their bottoms). On the negative side, after mile 75 I was standing up to coast, for fear of becoming permanently numb. I don't think this damn thing is going to "break in" any more. I've been riding it every day for at least six months. I'm going to try fiddling with the angle and, failing that, will be in the market for a new saddle.
    - There is one "big hill". It is only moderately hard, and just one mile long. The first-timers talked about it so much on the ride - are we there yet? How long is it? I hope I don't have to walk it! - it was like waiting for Jaws. Then he turns out to be fish and chips.

    Okay, I specifically stopped at the 100 mile point in Centralia, against the advice of every STP veteran I talked to, because I didn't want to miss the beer garden and bottomless spaghetti feed. But I also was told to eat eat eat at every free food stop. But to not stop for more than 5 minutes, "or your legs will cramp up". So I stopped every 25 miles, gulped down as many bananas, Cliff bars, bagels, turkey wraps, and grapes as I could cram down my throat in 3 minutes, refilled my water bottle, and got back on the bike. I'd packed a beef sub sandwich and ate that while riding. I had a plastic cup of trail mix in my jersey pocket and ate half of it - while pelting wheel suckers with the other half.

    Result: I'm finished the ride stuffed. Actually bloated. After burning 5400 calories, I was totally not hungry. 5 hours after arriving here, I was finally able to eat a baked potato and choke down a beer. My eating strategies need work.

    Since this is the CF and food safety is always of interest, here is my dilemma. Before I left Portland, I made three beef sub sandwiches. Cooked and chopped beef, cheese, mayo, mustard, French bread. I had one on Friday. One during the ride today. I wonder if I dare have the third tomorrow. It's been unrefrigerated, in my backpack, in a hot truck and laying in the parking lot and then in my tent. Hmmm.

  • centralcacyclist
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Fabulous read! Please throw away the sandwich.

    E

  • jsutt
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Don't eat the sandwich! The mayo will get you! (Been there, done that. Not pretty.)

  • jsutt
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    P.s. about the saddle ... for me, the angle looks a tiny bit high in the front, but the angle is so personal it's hard to gauge until you actually give it the road test. Have you tried Proofide to help with the breakin, or just ride, ride, ride? However, it looks great. I thought it was a Brooks Swallow from looking at the pictures. Very sleek. Is it a Gyes? I've been tempted to check them out.

  • sally2_gw
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I don't know, John, I kinda think breaking wind is something best done alone!

    You should try riding around in North Texas. Then the ride through Washington might not seem so boring.

    I'm enjoying your reports about the ride.

    Sally

  • dedtired
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I've really enjoyed reading this. I agree. Toss the sandwich.

    You look a lot like your Dad.

    My neighbor buys, restores and sells old bikes as a hobby. He doesn't like me because I asked their dog walker to please not let their dog poop on my lawn. She does pick up but it invariably leaves a spot.

    Anyway, enjoy the rest of your ride and keep us posted.

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The grassy campus of Centralia College turned into a city of tents and stacked bicycles.

    I am still using my old backpacking tent from college. Over 30 years is a long time for a tent, and this one is on its last legs. Ripped netting, a torn rain fly, split poles. I am impractical enough that I am considering having it repaired. The sensible thing would be to buy a new one, but wouldn't it be neat to say that I only ever bought one backpacking tent in my whole life?

    Rickety tent aside, the overnight accomodations were excellent. Lots of food, a beer garden, free showers, free Internet, and breakfast the next morning at 4 AM.

    Still, I didn't sleep more than a couple of hours. I didn't get any more sleep the prior night. It may have been excitement, or maybe I'm no longer used to sleeping on the ground. So the second hundred miles, like the first hundred, was done on three hours' sleep.

    Day two was harder. There were no more fast freight trains of one-day riders to catch, a headwind blew all day, it rained for an hour, and, well, it was the second day. I rode 1 mph slower than the previous day, but worked more to do it.

    At 60 miles, something in the back of my knees started to act up. I use clipless pedals and pull on every stroke, but in ordinary life your legs only really get used in extension (standing up, walking, climbing stairs), so perhaps the flexion muscles on the backside of my legs still aren't up to snuff. I had to switch around between gears, cadences, and pushing vs pulling, to keep whatever it was from getting worse. The dratted seat was doing its Novocaine thing again. I had to do some adjustment of the derailleurs to get back the big chainring and the smallest sprocket. But all in all, the ride went smoothly.

    104.7 miles at 15.99 mph avg speed, and 5730 calories later I got to the finish line, in a park about 2 miles from my house. It was a big scene - live band, beer garden (of course), vendors, food, luggage being dropped off, families welcoming riders, and groups of riders drinking and recounting the weekend's exploits. Oddly, I felt like an outsider. SWMBO and family are out of town again (medical issue with her mother), I'd ridden alone, and I didn't run into anyone who I'd briefly paced or been pulled by, not that I would have recognized them in an upright bipedal stance anyway. I bought a quart of water, put on my backpack and rode home, then showered and rode to the bike shop to watch stage 13 (?) of the Tour.

    Which was a really exciting, if discombobulated, affair. Peter Sagan, the Slovakian sprinter vunderkind, led a breakaway in an Alpine stage with two category 1 climbs. Something no one expects a sprinter to do. He not only hung with the climbers who joined his break, but on the final, incredibly steep climb - called the Wall, 18% grade - he left all but one of the climbers behind. But the veteran Spanish rider, Luis Leon Sanchez, timed a break with 12 kilometers to go and time trailed away from Sagan, who couldnt organize the other three to chase as quickly as he needed to. It was experience out-thinking youthful strength, and a great thing to see.

    Meanwhile, in the main pack where the race leader, Bradley Wiggins, and the top contenders were, there was chaos. Suddenly riders right and left were getting flat tires, team cars were rushing up with new wheels and spare bikes, the race was being turned upside down. Cadel Evans, the defending champion, had a rear flat, waited a minute for his teammate to arrive and give over his wheel, that wheel went flat, and finally his front tire went flat. He lost three minutes, easily fatal to his hopes of defending his title.

    Here something quite unique to road cycling happened. The custom is that if the leader or top contender has a mechanical or crowd-caused delay, the peloton waits for him to catch up. Wiggins persuaded the other riders to slow down and wait for Evans. A young French rider, who apparently didn't know what had happened, sped ahead. The Wiggins group resumed racing, chased him down, told him what was going on, and then they waited for Evans. They all crossed the finish as one pack, which means they all got the same time. In cycling lingo, Wiggins "neutralized" the stage.
    It's a quaint and laudable aspect of cycling. Good show for Wiggins, and good luck for Evans.

    The French authorities reported that someone threw tacks on the road. I expect the gendarmes are trying mightily to lay their hands on le responsable.

    By the way, as of my arrival home, I was down 6 lbs from when I started the "Bachelor diet" thing three or for weeks ago. Of course I was dehydrated too. You'd think that after burning nearly 12,000 calories in two days, and not actually eating much more than normal, I'd have lost more. Aggravating!

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It is a VO-branded Gyes, picked it up for $50 at the bike coop. If I try a different saddle, it'll be a Selle Italia Flite (my longtime favorite), a "V saddle" of some sort, or I'll spurge on a Ti Berthoud.

  • jsutt
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    This has been a very enjoyable ride report. Thanks for letting us (me) join you vicariously. Most of my bikes sport either a Brooks or a Belt (Japanese) tho I have one Ideale, all purchased used from eBay. Since I ride old steel I'm not much of a weight weenie and have gravitated to classic leather. I do have a Flite on my Paramount and, yes, it is comfortable to the point I rarely notice it. I'm so out of the loop, I didn't even know Berthoud made saddles tho I was aware of their bags. The right saddle is beyond price. I can't imagine doing back to back centuries on an uncomfortable seat!

  • sally2_gw
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thanks for the ride blog. It was interesting.

    That incident with the tacks made the local news here, of all places. What a mean spirited thing to do, They said one of the riders suffered a broken collar bone due to a fall caused by the flat he got.

    Sally

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Very interesting post, thanks John.

    I am fascinated by bicycles. It is poetry in pure physics.

    The laws of motion, gravity, mechanical advantage --------all so elegantly expressed in simple geometry, which the human body and machine becomes one entity.

    I have machined a few parts with French threads for friends' bicycles.

    dcarch

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Just tossing in random bits of bicycle chatter.

    In Tahoe this week. A friend and I rode our bikes around the lake. 74 miles, mostly rollers with two climbs.

    His mountain bike had knobby tires, my mountain bike had road tires. We confirmed that the road tires give 2-3 mph faster cruise on pavement, than the knobbies, at the same effort level. By the way, a road bike gives another few mph faster cruise over a mountain bike with road tires.

    Also proved, to me anyway, the value of riding with a rearview mirror. After the second climb, there is a long fast descent on Highway 50. This is a four lane highway, with no shoulder, just a couple feet of indifferent pavement to the right of the painted line, broken by drain grates, cluttered with debris, and after that the guardrails and drop off. My buddy, with no mirror, had to hug the edge the whole way, which is stressful at 40 mph. With a mirror, I knew when there was no traffic behind, and simply rode in the middle of the lane; then when I saw a semi coming up behind, I went over to the edge just long enough for him to pass.

    Finally, I learned that I need to practice more on long grinding climbs. This one was 7 or so miles, not a big grade but just demoralizingly endless. I do better on short steep climbs. The long ones psych me out.

    Vintage bicycle content . . . Well, my bike is a 1992 Bridgestone MTB. Kind of vintage, as mountain bikes go.

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dear daughter's old Peugeot, recently tarted up, still a work in progress.

    {{gwi:1447460}}

    {{gwi:1447462}}

    Because this is a gas pipe (low end) bike hung with steel cranks and lots of stuff, it weighs a ton (over 30 lb). But, being young, she can still get up hills pretty well.

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I wasn't planning on another bike but I saw this on Craigslist last night at 10 pm, posted just 4 hours previous, and I was the first response. The seller made the deal by email, took down the ad, and met me with the bike this afternoon. I forked over $175 and rode home on one Peugeot while holding the other's handlebar - kind of scary.

    {{gwi:1447464}}

    This is, I think, a 1970-1973 (date uncertain so far, needs further research, but pre-1974 anyway) Peugeot PX-10 which was their top of the line production race bike of the time. It will need some elbow grease to be all fit again, but is complete, straight, and largely un-scarred by its' 40 years.

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ugh, Photobucket has done and broke all those image links. Well, here is the PX10 again.

    And here is an interesting bike. I know it looks tatty, but don't judge a book by its cover. This bike is older than me.

    This is a 1961 or 1962 Bianchi Specialissima, which was Bianchi's top level race bike of the era, well maybe second to the Team bikes. I don't know exactly what "Specialissima" means - "special", I'd guess. These bikes were entirely chromed, painted with the chrome lugs exposed, fitted with all of Campagnolo's best kit, and not at all common in the US.

    I bought this bike from a vineyard manager in central Oregon. Drove two hours in the rain to find his farm. He told me he'd bought it from a bike trader in Eugene, took $50 off the price when I pointed out a slight bulge in the downtube, and gave me a bottle of wine. Under the frame pump, I found a strip of Dymo label tape (remember that stuff?). It had a name and an address.

    The address was in the Berkeley Hills, a couple of blocks from where I used to live. I became curious about the original owner. This is an old school race bike, made when men were men and legs were stout. The small chainring is 46 teeth, the largest cog is 24 teeth, that makes a "low gear" that most of us would only ride on flat ground. Yet fifty years ago, a man rode this bike in the steep hills of Berkeley, hills that I used to get winded just walking up.

    I looked up the address in a reverse directory. No one of that name lives there now. But someone of that name lives not too far away from that address. I looked them up, a simple Google search. They are just barely old enough to have owned a fifty year old bicycle and at one point, lived in Oregon.

    Hmm. Maybe I will be able to satisfy my curiosity about the history of this bicycle and the bionic legs that once rode it. I took out a sheet of paper and a fountain pen - when I have something important to write, I use my fountain pen - and wrote them a letter. Hopefully, not a creepy stalker sort of letter. Perhaps an addled dotty sort of letter. You know, they probably won't respond. But it was worth a try.

    There can be a lot of history in an old bicycle. This one will be a significant project to restore, if I do it right. Early Specialissimas sell for $1500 to $2000, but I won't sell it, so there will be no monetary return on the $1000 and msny hours a restoration will consume. I won't do it unless I fall in love with this old Specialissima, with its ride and with its story. So I'm trying to learn that story.

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Interesting read as always.

    Send me the information and see if I can find out more.

    I have a set of very old (first ?) complete telephone/address directory of White Pages and Yellow Pages of the whole USA on CDs.

    dcarch

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I sent you an email via the forum. Thanks.

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    10 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Just to close the circle on the story of this old Bianchi. The wife replied to my letter, in an email.

    She told me her husband bought the bike in the 1950s for some money and an old car. Her memory is probably faulty there, as I believe this is a 1961-1963 bicycle: it has Universal Mod. 61 brakes which were introduced in 1961.

    According to her, he loved the bike and rode it up and down the Berkeley hills during a distinguished academic career. Three years ago, at age 79, he sustained a "traumatic brain injury" that left him unable to ride. She gave the bike to a thrift shop in Oregon, where they have a second home, to prevent him from trying to ride it again. He was very angry that she had taken away his beloved bicycle, and is reportedly delighted to have word of it again.

    The husband, who must be 82 y/o now, wrote me a letter as well. It is garbled due, says the wife, to the cognitive damage from his brain injury. He told me that he bought the bicycle, that it was or had been - the time sequence is not clear, I can't tell if this happened before or after he bought it - ridden too fast down a hill and crashed into a utility pole. The accident damaged the bike and injured the rider. The bike shop told him the bike needed parts from Italy. The bike didn't work right on downhills after that.

    The bike shows signs of repaired collision damage (slight bulge under downtube, paint removed from that area). I cannot tell when the repair was done. I wonder if the accident he is telling me about might have actually happened to him, and if it might be how he was injured? I thought about writing back to the wife and asking her, but I decided that would be too personal to ask. Instead, I promised to send a photo of the bike when I have it cleaned up.

    I hope I'm still riding too fast down hills when I'm 79.

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My son has the misfortune of having a father who likes vintage bikes. So he has to ride 30 year old machines, while all the other kids have . . . well, actually, there are a lot of crappy "bike shaped objects" (BSOs) and plenty of kids today don't even have a BSO. In this era where the rite-of-passage "first-big-kids-bike" has been replaced by the "first-XBox" or "first-iPhone", I'm seeing many kids go from the little-kids-starter-bike to mommy-as-chauffeur, no ten-speed involved thank you. And we wonder wherefrom childhood obesity.

    So maybe the boy isn't so unfortunate after all. A decades-old vintage ten-speed is better than a Walmart vintage 2010, I'd say. He doesn't even have to ride them as-is, fresh from the time warp. We modernize them a little :-)

    His current steed is still the 1971 Peugeot G50 mentioned earlier in this thread. He loves "Leo", so-named for the lion badge, and rides it quite a bit on dry weekends. But he's getting too big for Leo, so it is time for a new bike.

    Enter the Gran Sport. But first, a story.

    It was late 1973 or maybe early 1974. I was living with my grandparents in New Jersey while my dad was in Southern California working at his new job. It was a pretty unhappy time for me. My grandparents were great, but even then they were old, and not so fun for a young boy to live with. The high school sucked, that was back in the day when H.S. was unpleasant and dangerous, kids beat each other up and stole money, there were hallways you couldn't go down and ways home you didn't walk. It was gray and cold and I walked in the freezing slush without any friends and missing my dad.

    Then I moved to Los Angeles to live with my dad again. The summer of '74 on the Pacific Coast was warm and sunny, and so bright. My dad bought me the Gran Sport, and we rode on the beach bike path, from Redondo to Santa Monica, past the girls in bikinis, the musclemen in Venice, all the crazy colorful SoCal scene. We ate fresh crabs on the beach and in the fall I went to a new school with cheerful kids who became my friends. It was as if I'd died and gone to heaven.

    I rode the Gran Sport through high school and into my first year of college at UCLA. Then, in '77 I think, I was tearing down a steep hill, probably doing >35 mph, when I hit a huge pavement heave and lost control, diving into the curb and then tumbling down the sidewalk. Because I was young, I just bounced, rolled and got up, bloody but otherwise unhurt. My Gran Sport was destroyed.

    I carried its frame and parts with me for years, but I didn't know how to repair that level of damage (fork smashed, downtube bent). Eventually I carried just the Brooks saddle. About ten years later, that disappeared too.

    Another Gran Sport has been on my bicycle target acquisition list for some time. They show up often enough, but often rather beat or too expensive, and anyway thr garage is getting kind of full, so I hadn't been hunting for a while. A few weeks ago, I started looking for a Gran Sport again, but this time in my son's size. Two popped up, a lagoon-and-white in Seattle and a white-and-lagoon in L.A. And here is the latter bike.

    It will be fun to build this up. I am not sure if he needs it for this summer, or if he can ride Leo for one more year.

  • triciae
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    John, your son and daughter are very lucky kids to have you as their Dad. :)

    /tricia

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Well, boys grow fast, and my son is going through a spurt. We were on a 50 mile ride last weekend, and it was clear that he is outgrowing everything. His bike shoes were hurting his toes and his beloved Peugeot "Leo" is definitely too small.

    If you know bike fit, you'll see the signs of too-small-a-bike. His heel is lower than the ball of his feet, and his head is well forward of the bars.

    Bigger bike shoes, that is easy enough, and done. But bigger bike - that takes more work. I built the wheels last Sunday. Started assembling the bike Monday night. Several trips to the bike shop later, we are almost done. His new bike is ridable - I've ridden it to the bike bar tonight, as a matter of fact - and we only have the bar tape and brake hoods to do.

    The frame is a 1974 Raleigh Gran Sport, which was Raleigh's upper-mid-range sport touring bike of the day. The International was the top-end sport tourer, the Competition was the equivalent race bike. The Gran Sport was made from Reynolds 531 double butted tubing, the best there was, at the Carlton works, where Raleigh's best models were built, save only the very tippy-top Team Professional and the Raleigh race team's Team Pros. So the frame is very nice. But the components were just adequate, even back then. Raleigh, like Peugeot, tended to save money on the boltable bits as they spec'd bikes to meet price points. The mid-1970s were an era of rampant global inflation and deep industrial turmoil in England, and Raleigh was struggling to stay afloat. So we weren't going to keep all the original components. But what just had to stay, lest we lose what makes a Gran Sport a Gran Sport, and what had to go, to make this a magic carpet ride?

    Gran Sport bikes, which were sometimes also called "Grand Sports", came with the distinctive GB randonneur handlebar, which is upswept on the tops and flared on the hooks. The randonneur bar is practically the signature look for the model, so it had to stay.

    40 years ago, manufacturers didn't restyle their products every year at the whim of color consultants and focus groups. A successful model stayed the same for years, long enough to become a classic. So with the Gran Sport. The classic Gran Sport of the 1970s came with white handlebar tape, white brake hoods embossed "Carlton", and a black leather Brooks saddle. That is how my Gran Sport was, and how my son's will be.

    {{gwi:1447474}}

    Today, white tape might look precious, even girly. Back in the day, white handlebar tape said "racer". The top racers rode gleaming white bar tape, which their mechanics replaced with fresh wrap every day. This was before everything turned menacing, thoughtless, paramilitary black.

    My Gran Sport had the standard Brooks sporty bike saddle, the black B17. My friend gave me a much cooler saddle, a Brooks Professional with copper rivets, the racer's saddle of yesteryear. It looks the same to most people, but to bicycle cognescenti, the copper rivets speak volumes.

    So the top of the bike - saddle, bars - will stay true to the traditional 1970s Gran Sport look. All the moving bits below, though, will be of a different era.

    For bike people, Campagnolo is magic. The company may be a fraction the size of the industry gorilla, Japan's Shimano. It may be conservative and slow to innovate. Its components may work no better than the equivalent Shimano group, and be barely lighter. And the "Campagnolo tax" may have you paying two or three times more, for the privilege of having Tullio Campagnolo's signature and "Made In Italy" on your bike components. But you want it anyway. You know you do.

    I never had a Campy-equipped bike as a kid. Hardly any kids do, unless their dads are made of money, which I'm not. But if you have patience, know your away around eBay and used bike parts, and can do your own work, you can ride Campagnolo without breaking the bank.

    This bike has a near-complete group - drivetrain, brakes, integrated brake lever-shifters, hubs - of late 1990s Campagnolo Veloce. Veloce is a midrange Campagnolo group, distinguished from the higher-end groups by a slightly less polished finish, slightly thicker forgings with fewer lightening holes, and no titanium bits. It looks great.

    So here are a few pictures of the bike in progress.

    The GB stem and bars.

    The front brakes, including my homemade drop bracket, necessary to adapt short-reach late 1990s racing sidepull brakes to a 1970s frame meant for long-reach touring centerpull brakes and larger diameter rims.

    Here we are, test fitting the integrated levers on the bars.

    I'll get the last things done tonight, and tomorrow I'll show the boy himself with his new bike, "Rollie".

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Very interesting read. Thanks for posting.

    I am considering converting my mountain bike to electric. For the fun of it.

    dcarch

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am considering a home brew project too, which is a DIY electronic shifting conversion.

    The concept is:
    - remove spring from derailleur
    - find a way to route and anchor a second cable to derailleur, to pull derailleur in the direction that the spring normally pulls; leave the original cable attached as well
    - mount stepper motors under bottom bracket, a pretty hidden location
    - connect original and second cable to stepper motor.
    - when stepper rotates one way, original cable is pulled and derailleur up shifts; when stepper rotates the other way, second cable is pulled and derailleur downshifts
    - when no voltage is applied, stepper holds position, so derailleur stays in last selected gear
    - use microcontroller board to rotate stepper correct amount to perform each shift
    - program MCU to select best combination of front chainrings and rear sprocket for each gear ratio, so rider doesn't manipulate each derailleur separately, but simply clicks commands upshift or downshift
    - install cadence sensor, program MCU for optional automatic mode, which shifts as needed to keep rider at selected pedaling cadence

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Very interesting concept.

    What you are thinking of is like Fly-by-wire concept. Yours would be Ride ��"by-wire. Actually you may like to consider ride-by-wireless. Remote control (RC) servo system is very common and not that expensive. With the remote control on the handle bar, no cable connections needed to the gears.

    You can find bi-directional stepper motors everywhere. There is one in every hard drive, you can salvage the motor from a discarded printer, etc. There are many stepper motor controllers on eBay.

    You can find all kinds of automatic variable transmissions for bicycles on YouTube. Very interesting stuff.

    dcarch

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    For max battery life, and easier controlling, stepper (permanent magnet type) seems superior to servo. Holds position w/o voltage, moves determinate angle w/ each voltage pulse.

    Similarly, wired should have longer battery life than wireless. Be nice to use a battery small enough to be concealed in frame tube or seat post.

    Using cables could be said to defeat purpose of electric shifting, since still subject to cable stretch. Modern electric shifting systems have the motors mounted directly to the derailleurs. But I want to conceal the motors, for aesthetic reasons.

  • dcarch7 d c f l a s h 7 @ y a h o o . c o m
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    The Tesla electric car uses 7000 18650 Li-ion batteries, which are the same size cells as in laptop batteries.

    However, if you get 26650 Li-ion batteries, which has much higher ampage, they will fit very nicely inside the bicycle's frame tubes.

    I think you can get 26650 batteries in LiFePO4 technology, which is even better power.

    Concealing the motor is also possible with new brushless electric motors. They are very powerful and small.

    Check out this video, and note how small the motors and the battery packs are also very small, to fly an electric helicopter.

    dcarch

    Here is a link that might be useful: Da Vinci's fantasy

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Last weekend I did the Seattle to Portland ride again. On Saturday, I rode with my son, who completed his first century ride (100 miles) just a couple days after his 14th birthday.

    It wasn't easy, as he devolved from this chipper boy

    to this tired boy

    to this exhausted boy

    But he was happy to complete the ride.

    He then went home as he had to start summer camp, and on Sunday I rode the next 104 miles.with some friends.

    Here we are at the St. John's bridge, 94 miles done and 8 to go.

  • triciae
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Did you pack an extra tuna sandwich for your son? lol

    Congratulations to both of you. I just want to tell you that I think it's fantastic that you are building this bond with your son. He will never forget these moments and will, maybe, someday pass it on to his boy. Good stuff. :)

    /tricia

  • John Liu
    Original Author
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    His feet cramped repeatedly and his toes were numb. At one stop, as he massaged out his toes, he said "dad, I think you have ruined my pointe". I said dancers should have tougher feet than that. That was as close as he got to complaining, he was pretty stoic.

  • bikeonway
    9 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

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