This Blog Has Moved Again…

I’m posting back at again. I like Blogger’s drop down menu interface to search through all of the past post’s titles. Right now it feels more comfortable posting over there. While I’ve enjoyed my time using WordPress, I feel that this change is going to be permanent.

If you like this blog at all, please consider updating your reader or links. It’s much the same at the new (old) location. If you haven’t seen the other blog yet, you can go there and look at what I was doing at 7:21pm for a couple years before starting my frequent posts here.

I’m hoping that the posts get more interesting on my upcoming bicycle tour, but I will still be attempting daily posts before, during, and after the trip. Like life itself, the blog will inevitably go through ups, downs, and lulls.

Thanks to the nice people who have offered support when I’ve needed it. Anyone can still comment any time to agree with me, make fun of me, or share a story.


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Three Speed Horseabout ’11.

The temperature climbed into the 50’s today. I knew it was going to, so I planned a 3 speed ride. I left the Phillips in stock condition, and didn’t even add a rack. My plan was to ride to Kennett if all went well. Not everything went well, but after-the-fact I’m looking back on it as a good ride. “At least I went outside.”

If you’re going further than 10 miles, riding with a backpack kinda sucks. Your back and armpits get sweaty and your shoulders get tired.

I put my gps unit on my handlebars and set out just after 11am. I packed a couple sandwiches and had water bottles tucked into mesh pockets on the side of my backpack. Not an ideal setup, but it’s under 45 miles, so in theory “no biggie.”

I used my Garmin gps to make a “track” to follow. I plotted a route through the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge which runs along I-95. I worked my way out of the city and into the Refuge. The going was slow and difficult. It might have been warm today, but the winds were strong and steady in the wrong direction. The path through the refuge isn’t paved. It was covered in weeks-old snow for most of the way, and the rest was mud or water. I walked for a little more than an hour and stopped to eat a sandwich.

The JHNWR is a nice place. When the weather is warmer and drier, I’d like to go back. I wouldn’t exactly call the nature in this refuge “unadulterated.” What’s the opposite? Molested. It’s fairly well molested through there. There was an oil spill in 2000, and there’s a sign to let you know that the most effected section has been re-planted with native plants by Sunoco. It reminded me of someone kicking a puppy and then running over to pet it – and somehow we’re supposed to be impressed with the show of affection. There were some gross aspects back there in the quasi-woods.

The going was tough enough to make me cuss. Fuck fuck fuck. It’s not hard to do.

I got out of that area, and popped out right near the airport. Hours had passed, and the headwind was blowing with a ferocity. I decided to eat at Denny’s and go home.

I had three cups of coffee with my bacon eggs and pancakes. Sometimes I think that I don’t really like bicycle rides. I just like stopping at diners while I’m in the middle of them. I romanticize the rides, but I’m really in it for the coffee stops and contemplation.

I asked my gps what the best way to get home by bicycle was, and I followed it. A mere 15 miles by road this time.

I need to do something about what’s left of the 40-year-old grease in my bottom bracket. The closer I got to home, the louder it squealed. It sounded just like a little wooden bird call that I had when I was a little kid. I need to put some fresh grease in there and maybe change the bearings while I’m at it.

I’m looking forward to attempt number two at this little adventure. Here’s what I would change:

1) “tracks” are not as good as “routes” for on-road gps navigation. A “route” has more information and gives street names and arrows.

2) Fuck riding with a backpack on. I already knew that, though.

3) Warmer day; less headwind. That would be nice.

4) Lower gearing if using a three speed. Put a bigger cog on the back. (3 minute job).

5) Don’t attempt impassible territory on a bicycle. If it’s February, best to stick to the pavement.

6) Be less of an irate wuss.

Mr. Phillips cousin, a 1961 Humber Sports. Seen on 33rd Street in West Philly.


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Early Valentine’s Day

Went to Hibachi to get shrimp tossed at our mouths.

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Black Swan

I went out to see Black Swan at the Ritz East with Tara and Dave. This reminds me that I need to see more movies. Sitting in nicely temperature controlled movie theaters is one of the better things.

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Parts arrive for Phillips 3spd.

We got the QBP order with all my cool 3 speed bits. New rims, new spokes to build old hubs into new rims, cork grips, and best of all World Tour tires. With all that plus the tires, I’m absolutely sure to not be limiting myself.

The Phillips 3 speed is going to take a lot of work to get it where I want it to be.

1) Overhaul hubs
2) Overhaul bottom bracket
3) Overhaul headset
4) Build old hubs into new wheels
5) Replace brake calipers and levers
6) Install cool old front rack
7) Install cork grips / shellac them
8) New pedals, probably

Doesn’t sound like much, but it should take several hours.

In the meantime I’m up to jack, so what’s it matter?

My plan is to install all of this new stuff, then leave on the world tour that the tires told me to take.


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Watching TV

I’m sitting on the couch with Tara watching many episodes of Modern Family.

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Talking to Taiwan. Life goes in circles.

Once again, I am emailing details and specs back and forth to a person in Taiwan. At 7:21pm I’m hashing out final details of frame geometry so a drawing can be made. The end game in this is a finalized frame drawing and a prototype. (I made it clear that a full-size order would not be made for some time).

This isn’t the first time that I’ve done the same exact thing. It’s not hard to send emails back and forth with a representative from a framebuilding company. Once you finalize the details, it’s easy to get a prototype sent to your exact dimensions and specifications. The price is astonishingly reasonable. All this through email. These are interesting times we live in. I give full credit to the internet.

I still have the prototype frame that resulted from my last communications with Taiwan years ago. What’s different this time? Not much. I am actually plowing ahead with a nearly identical design to the one I abandoned before. I’m not in debt this time, which is great. I’m not so much on the cusp of considerable alcoholism either, which is a plus. (I think I might have been sober the last time I started concocting grand frame plans too).

We’ll see how this all pans out. For the price, I think I can swing a prototype frame and still stay within my savings budget.

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