Tuesday, November 23, 2010

There is something wrong with this picture

This one's for you Richard. Alaska warmer than Oregon. It simply ain't right!
And it's supposed to get even colder.

Troubadour posted a perfect rant for the week, which inspired me to post some pics from this morning.
Big Sigh...
...I'll take the car...

Dang it, I don't have to scrape windows on the Ninja...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tires and Stuff

A couple weeks ago Ron picked up a nail in his tire. Why does this always happen with a new tire? My tires are at the end of they're useful life. Will I get a flat? Of course not. We'll come back to my tires in a moment. Ron pondered and puzzled whether there was a way to salvage the tire, but after EVERYONE told him it wasn't a good idea, he bit the bullet and bought a new one. With a uselsss tire available, we took the opportunity to learn a new skill.

Cyclists (the non-motorized kind) carry tools and tubes and an assortment of stuff for basic repairs on the road. Then we look down our snotty, elitist noses at any cyclist who doesn't come properly prepared to fix their own flat or do minor repairs.
No spare tube?

Didn't bring your chain tool?

Sucks to be you! 

It's time for Ron and I to learn how to fix a flat on the big bikes. It's really not hard, and I suspect a tire plug kit/air should be a part of every riders kit. We're halfway there. We purchased a plug kit. Nothing special, just something we found in Walmart.
Yank out the offending nail
Ron pulled out the nail from the tire.

Such a tiny hole...


This can't be fixed??

He used one tool to make a bigger hole, no going back now. He then threaded some sticky black stringy stuff into another tool, and shoved it into the hole. (Did we just violate that tire?) He gave it a quick hard tug to remove the tool leaving a big black blob.

Really, that's it?

That's gonna stay? 

You're sure??

Punch a bigger hole.

Sticky black stringy stuff 

My turn. We needed another flat. Out came the drill, and a "puncture" was made. My first attempt didn't get the plug in, but we got it on the next try. The next day when we replaced the tire I had a chance to see the inside of the plug. I'm a visual learner, so I appreciated seeing a fat wad of sticky rubber on the inside of the tire. (Having said that, did I take a pic for the blog? Of course not!)

Back to my tires. My tires are nearing 10,000 miles and are looking a little worse for wear. I have no complaints about the stock tires, but I'm curious what other riders like, and what they look for in a set of tires. I'm making some assumptions here. I assume a grippy tire that sticks to the road is a softer tire that will not last as many miles. And I assume different tires give different feed back from the road.

Since confidence isn't one of my strong suits, and I have a strong distrust of tires sticking to the road, I think having tires that would inspire confidence and have good grip to the road would be a better choice for me. Can a tire inspire confidence? Strange question really. Okay, enough rambling, bottom line: What tire's do y'all like?

Damn...new chicken strips...how am I gonna get rid of them this time...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Can it still be called a farkle if it's fugly?

Santa FedEx has paid a visit. Every farkle for Sam paves the way for another farkle to fix the problems aquired with the last farkle. This farkle is to fix the view back, a way to see over the wind deflectors and around the trunk box. I looked at different mirrors. I considered bar end mirrors. In the end extending the mirrors seem the best solution.

This is the best kind of modding. Father/Daughter bonding time, and I don't have to do a thing!  They work on getting the stock mirrors off of Sam. After some fussing and fidgeting with the extensions and assorted parts it becomes clear that the fit isn't perfect. The provided washers are too thin. Bummer, Mr. Machinist will just have to dig out the lathe and make thicker ones. Just what he hates...playing with, er running the lathe.

Measure twice, cut once...Ron gives pointers to Rachel who takes her first try at running a lathe. The first washer is tried for size, but it's too big. Measure and cut again, and the next one is just right. 

My own personal custom washer. How special is that!!

The windscreen comes off to get the second extension on, and when it's all said and done...
Can it still be called a farkle if it's fugly?

I dunno, it calls to mind an image...

not altogether flattering....

It's probably good that I don't split lanes...

 Well, maybe they don't stick out that bad...
Yes, yes they do

Have to wait for the next ride to see if the view back is improved.

One final image for tonight. The view from the commute home this evening. This makes up for the rain and fog this morning. Safe rides out there to all!