SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


Taking the Weekend Off...

After riding my Bontrager last weekend, with its ass-hatchet of a seat, I now feel like the monkey in the photo above. Obviously, I'm not riding this weekend. The soonest they'd let me see my doc is next Wednesday. What fun!!! I just hope things are back to normal by next weekend for the SFR Point Reyes Lighthouse 200k!


Railroad Grade Mixter Loop

First Ride
Originally uploaded by jimgskoop
Met up with Carlos, Greg, Robbins, and Keith to ride up Railroad Grade to West Point Inn, drop down to Pantoll, descend on Coastal View to Hwy 1, then ride out via Panoramic Hwy to Mill Valley and on towards home. 9am to 2:30pm, approx 50 miles. First ride on the Bonty Race Lite, bike worked great overall but the rear shifting is still a bit touchy. Derailleur hanger is aligned fairly well (I just bought the tool), and the cable are in good shape. Derailleur, cassette, chain, and shifter were used on the previous Race build and always worked great, so why they're not playing nice now is a bit of a mystery!


Rack Deck Perimeter Formula

Originally uploaded by Duncan Cycles
I just derived this formula to calculate the total length of tubing needed for the perimeter of a rack deck...tell me if I'm right!

L = 2W + 2D - 8R + 2(pi)R


L = total length of tubing needed (single piece)
W = width of rack deck
D = depth of rack deck
R = radius of your tube bender
pi = ancient greek pie, 3.14...

or, simplified even further

L = 2W + 2D - 1.72R

If I'm right, this means that, starting with a 48-inch length of tubing and a bender with a 15/16-inch radius, the max depth you can bend a single piece of tubing into the perimeter of a 14-inch wide rack deck is about 10.8 inches (measured along the tubing's centerline).


48 inches (aka 4 feet) is the magic number for tubing; I've been told that pieces longer than this trigger increased shipping charges.

UPDATE: There's more info on this in the comment thread at Alistair's photo.


Gino's NorCal Riv Ride

Rowdy Biker Gang
Originally uploaded by jimgskoop
Gino posted to the RBW List "Hey let's go ride" so I hopped on my RB-1 and joined in the fun. Had just shy of a dozen riders set forth for Bovine Bakery. A couple of flats were had, a chain got jammed, but it was all in the name of good fun and I returned home with about 85 miles on the clock, tired and hungry. First ride on my 650B-ified RB-1 in over a year (since building up the Kogswell, in fact), and while I still think it's too small for me, it just FLEW over the dirt section in SP Taylor Park. And, call it planing or perhaps it's just the lack of low gears, something about that bike just encourages me to ride hard.

Sunday's ride was quite good. About 7 riders rolled out from the Bridge just after 9am, and we picked up two more in the Conzelman parking lot. We picked up another pair at the parking lot next to Mike's Bikes along the path. Getting to Fairfax was fairly uneventful, except for the Larkspur police who seemed to be lying in wait, as we've seen before. No one got pulled over, though. The group decided to stop for coffee in Fairfax before hitting White's Hill, and instead of Java Hut (which I'd recommended) we stopped at the Roastery. I didn't get coffee because I knew Bovine Bakery wasn't too far away, but I did get a nice-looking muffin to tide me over. We got a bit split up going over White's Hill and cruising through the valley towards SP Taylor park. We waited for a bit at Inkwells for everyone to regroup, and then hit the dirt path through the park. Most of the group hadn't been through the park before, and seemed to enjoy it quite a bit. After the climb over Bolinas Ridge and the drop to Olema, we regrouped again, and then rode Bear Valley Road into Point Reyes Station for the "official" refueling point at Bovine, which was quite busy. Trying something new, I got a savory tomato-olive-cheese scone thing and some coffee. Unfortunately, I can't recommend that flavor of scone -- I'm going to stick with the tried-n-true from now on.

After a quick restroom stop at the playground, we crawled back on the road, looping out over Platform Bridge Road to get back to SP Taylor Park. I was riding my RB-1, and the plump 650B tires allowed a quick pace as I led the group back over the dirt section to once again cross Inkwell's Bridge. I dropped back a bit once we hit the pavement again, and near the back of the group when I flatted just before the White's Hill climb -- I'd picked up a staple in my rear tire. I was grateful that it happened there instead of on the fast descent down the other side -- as we were climbing over White's Hill earlier that day, a fast-moving cyclist narrowly escaped injury when he sped down past us with a hissing sound coming from his deflating front tire! I had a bit of trouble repairing my flat -- my spare tube was a 26x1.5-inch MTB tube that was a tight fit into my 650B wheel -- so when I finally caught back up to the group, they were already enjoying beers and French fries at the Iron Springs Brewery across from the Java Hut! We languished there for a while longer before completing our journey back to the city. Another rider jammed his chain at the bottom of the Camino Alto climb, and I waited with him while he repaired his bike. Unfortunately, he then flatted upon reaching the bottom of Camino Alto, so I waited there with him while he fixed his rear tire. We got split up from the rest of the group at that point -- I made my way back across the bridge and on home, returning around dusk.


Vintage Suspension Fork Parts!

Got an old Manitou 3 fork with dead elastomers, or an old Rock Shox Judy in need of some love? Don't make a lamp out of it -- These guys might be able to help!



SFR Winters 200k Brevet

Rode the San Francisco Randonneurs Winters 200k with Gabe. Covered about 125 miles in around 9.5 hours. Great day of riding!

This was the first ride on the Kogswell with the newly-added DT shifters...kinda love/hate 'em -- we'll see how it goes. I like the clean lines of the bike without all the extra cable housing barcons require, the fact that there's no more shifter cable/front rack+bag interference, and enjoy the somewhat-romantic classic/retro appeal. But I haven't used them in close to ten years (and back then it was shifting a simpler 2x6 drivetrain), so there's zero muscle memory for shifting from the down tube. After 8 or 9 hours in the saddle, I started automatically reaching towards the right spot about half the time, which made the other half -- when I'd grasp for something at the handlebar end which wasn't there -- all the more frustrating. Plus, I couldn't remember which way to push the damn levers to switch to the gear I needed: forward or back? It was a humbling experience, like learning to tie your shoes all over again. And DT shifting overall takes more time, more thought, and more effort, since you need to move your hand off of the handlebars. An additional thing I really disliked is that, since these things are shifting a 3x9 drivetrain, the levers themselves must physically rotate nearly 145 degrees from lowest to highest gear. Moving them that far just felt odd, as if the cable was slipping or a derailleur's limit screw was very maladjusted. I wish the barrels on these levers had a larger diameter so they'd need to wrap less cable and only need to rotate through a smaller arc. I suppose that the next randonneuring bicycle I build up, I'll use barcon shifters with their cables routed fully under the handlebar tape, exiting near the stem.

Full set of photos here.


Congrats to Tony Pereira!

With his amazing hand-built bike, Tony got top honors at the Oregon Manifest Constructeurs' Design Challenge.

This may just be the best biking photo, ever...

(photo from Oregon Live)


Sky Yeager on Oregon Manifest

This is quite refreshing...

I like to see solutions to problems that I’ve never seen before. A fresh way of thinking about hauling things and integrating different technical challenges. I want to be surprised. I don’t care if they are steel or not. I don’t give a rat’s ass if they have a Brooks saddle. I’d like them not to be precious objects.


I think we now have enough novel ways to open up beer bottles, so I won’t be awarding any points for that.

Read more of Sky Yeager's thoughts on Oregon Manifest and the Constructeurs' Design Challenge at BikePortland.org

See more Oregon Manifest Constructors' Design Challenge bikes in my Flickr gallery.