SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.



Maybe I need one of these...


New Bike Storage -- Updated and Improved

Originally uploaded by jimgskoop
There were a few things about the Rubbermaid FastTrack bike storage system that were bugging me: namely the way the hooks were pressing into the drywall and leaving a mark, plus the way the bike's tire was deforming around the bottom rail of the bike hook. Today I spent some time to fix both of those issues, by adding a cork pad behind each bike hook, and by fabricating a short wheel tray to cradle the tire so it doesn't deform. See more details on the modifications on my Flickr stream....

New Bike Storage

Approx 150 lbs.
Originally uploaded by jimgskoop
Updated the indoor bike storage situation using a Rubbermaid FastTrak storage system. Normally intended for garage use, I've mounted the main rail to the wall in a spare room in our condo to get the bikes up off the floor.

The bike hooks snap onto the rail, so adjusting/reconfiguring things as needed is easy! I can now vacuum under the fleet. Nice!

These hooks can also be mounted directly to a wall via screws through the two holes in each. Based on that, I've used 10 screws to fasten the rail to five studs in the wall, each pair of screws approximately under each bike hook. The FastTrak instructions also tell you to drive an additional screw through a hole in the rail in-between each pair of studs, but I didn't do that since it uses a fairly large drywall anchor, requiring a 3/8-inch hole drilled in the wall. That'll be a lot of nasty patching if/when I decide to remove this thing! Plus, the rail system is supposedly rated for 2000lbs, and since I only need to support under 200lbs, I figure that less screws are probably OK.

The hooks don't firmly snap onto the rail -- it's pretty easy to bump them out of position as you're hooking/unhooking a bike.

Also the bottom edge of each hook's backing plate seems to be digging into the wall, leaving a nice mark. I need to cut a pad of cardboard or thin plywood to ease the pressure on the drywall -- although the damage might already be done.

I'm also not crazy about the way each hook digs into the tire. Note that the tire on this bike is fully inflated to normal riding pressure, yet the tire deforms this much on the hook. I'm wondering whether this might permanently warp the tire -- especially on bikes that I don't ride often?


Alistair enjoys his new bike

Originally uploaded by Duncan Cycles
This is all sorts of awesome!


Rack Dreams

Last night, I went to bed thinking of porteur racks. Regular readers here might've noticed that I've been quite obsessed with racks and rackufacture of late. I've been bugging Alex and Alistair with too many questions, and I've been on the cusp of ordering brass rod and flux from Henry James, tubing from Aircraft Spruce, and a tubing bender from Toolup for about two weeks. Every time I start to create an order, my rational self takes a breath and remembers that I've got other projects in the queue that really need to get finished first, lest I start a second mess on top of the existing one.

At any rate, what's really set me off lately is I actually, kinda/sorta, found a local source for steel tubing. I recently discovered a small metals selection within the hardware store near my house, and they have 0.5 x 0.35-inch steel tubing at about $10.50 per 4 feet. Not ideal for rack-making, but perhaps worthwhile for experimenting. They also sell MAPP gas, thick brazing rod, powdered flux, and other implements of destruction. Again, none of it ideal, but maybe enough to cut your teeth with.

Biggest problem is, I don't have any way to bend half-inch tubing, not even as a hack. So last night, I drifted off to sleep thinking that I could practice building a rack deck with this stuff, using all straight-cut pieces brazed together, with no bends. Wouldn't look as nice and would be heavier than needed, but probably would function okay.

That thought led to more thoughts about jigging and fixturing, since I'd end up
with several pieces that'd need to be oriented correctly during brazing. Alex
and Alistair have come up with a nifty rack-deck jig built from 80-20, and I've been thinking of something similar, but lower-budget. Last night, I had a dream in which all the pieces clicked together, and I now know now I'm gonna build this thing. I woke up at 6am, and laid in bed for an hour thinking more about it.

I then also decided that I might as well just step up and get the proper chromoly tubing and bender. If I'm gonna burn hours building anything, it might as well be the best I can make it, and the cost differential is, in reality, not that huge.

It must've been that cup of coffee I had last night...

Dreams on Wheels

Dreams on Wheels
Originally uploaded by jimgskoop
Spotted this while riding MUNI last night. Apparently there's some urban/sustainable/BLATHER Danish-bike-culture exhibit opening soon somewhere in downtown SF. I wanna say "city hall" but that just doesn't sound right. Of course my photo of the poster is too blurry to read, and their website doesn't have the SF info published yet, even though it's just 2 weeks away. Looks potentially interesting. Anybody know more?

Of course, it's already happened in Portland...



All's I'm gonna say is, this not-riding nonsense SUCKS.


For Sale: 1994 Bontrager Race Frame

I'm selling my 1994 Bontrager Race frame. Original paint and decals, very good condition! $200. Full details on my Craigslist ad.


Japanese Mini Cargo Bikes?!?!

Via the Box Dog Bikes Blog...

There's a new film by Brian Vernor called "The Cyclocross Meeting". Go to BDB Blog above to see trailer. Check out the mini-cargo-bike goodness within!!!

Worst Fears Confirmed

Visited the doc yesterday, he confirmed what I already knew/feared: RHOIDS! Even though I had surgery five years ago to rid myself of these beasties, in the memorable words of Carol Anne: "They're Ba-ack!"

Among other things, I've now got a packet of butt-bullets and am enjoying some R&R. Good thing I bailed on the brevet this weekend (though I will be volunteering at the finish control)!

Looks like it'll be another weekend off the bike. Though I did ride to/from the doc appointment, and it wasn't as horrible as I'd imagined, so there is hope.

And oh yeah, the Bonty Race Lite got a new seat. Someday I'll see if it makes any difference...



(tip o' the hat to Salim for the pointer)