SF Cyclotouring

Ride reports and other ramblings from a San Francisco cyclist.


2009 Wrap Up

In 2009, I rode about 3213 miles. That's less than I was hoping for, and also a bit less than I rode in 2008. However, I did participate in six brevets, which is nice, although I didn't feel up to attempting a 400k this year. Maybe this coming year...we'll see, although various vacations and the related travel plans are already stacking up against that. I completed 5 unofficial centuries, plus 8 other rides of at least 80 miles. I also attempted the mixed-terrain epic LRLR this past year, and while I didn't complete it, I did ride 100+ miles of the route, and now know what I'm up against -- I'll use that to prepare better for next year's version.

Tried-and-liked this year includes:

* Zugster Front Rando Bag + self-made decaleur
* Panaracer Pasela 700x32mm tires
* Tektro CR-720 cantilever brakes
* Dynamo hub, BB-generator + self-made LED lighting
* Volunteering at SFR controls
* Night brevets/riding at night (though on riding all night, the jury's still out)
* Charting new mixed-terrain trails/routes
* Showers Pass Double Century jacket (works great as a shell, haven't used it in rain yet)

Finally I had the pleasure of making some new friends from KOG/iBOB/Flickr and helping to infect them with the rando bug, much as had been done to/for me in 2006. Even though I don't feel especially experienced as a randonneur, it's great to be able to help others get curious and excited about the sport!

At any rate, here's the miles-per-bike breakdown, something I just started calculating, which has proved insightful:

* Kogswell: 2053 miles (ridden 22 times for 63.9% of yearly distance)
* Fuji: 796 miles (ridden 14 times for 24.8% of yearly distance)
* Bonty: 50 miles (ridden 1 times for 1.6% of yearly distance)
* ADVN: 25 miles (ridden 1 times for 0.8% of yearly distance)
* Nsport: 128 miles (ridden 8 times for 4% of yearly distance)
* RB-1: 85 miles (ridden 1 times for 2.6% of yearly distance)
* BontyRL: 50 miles (ridden 1 times for 1.6% of yearly distance)
* Trek400: 26 miles (ridden 1 times for 0.8% of yearly distance)

Which do you think is my favorite bike? ;)

Here's a recap of my thoughts at the close of 2008. Here are some fails from 2009:

* Still didn't go bike camping again
* Still love low-trail handling and hate bike shimmy, though I've come to terms with it somewhat
* Still haven't installed that low-trail conversion fork, though I am in the process of painting it and have all the needed parts
* Still haven't brazed a rack

And some successes:
* Built up the Bontrager Race Lite and sold off the Race frame
* Rode a good amount of mixed-terrain riding (including some new trails and LRLR)
* Sold off some bike parts (still need to sell more stuff, though)


A Tale of Two Stems

Comparing Stems
Originally uploaded by jimgskoop
I've been contemplating a shorter stem on my Kogswell P/R for quite some time. I've been loathe to muck around with the bike, since it's generally been working well with a stable configuration -- but tonight I finally decided to just try it. I used this Stem Comparison Tool to determine that I could replace the previous 120mm, 5-degree stem on my Kogswell with a 100mm, 10-degree stem I had in my parts bin to effectively shorten the reach by about 20mm, and maintain the same handlebar height. I used the iHandy Level app on my iPhone to determine the angles. Cool!

Shorter Stem


1949 Francis Pelessier

1949 Francis Pelessier
Originally uploaded by collectvelo
SO HOT!!!!


Velo Orange Polyvalent

Velo Orange 001
Originally uploaded by hbuckles
Velo-Orange Polyvalent framesets are out and reaching dealers and customers. The V-O blog mentions that a bike shop in Vermont has one built up -- interestingly this bike (pictured) was assembled with drop bars -- the other builds of this frame I've seen have all used upright bars.

This is interesting/noteworthy because the Polyvalent was designed with an over-long top tube to facilitate proper rider posture with upright handlebars. Running drops on this frame will probably require a shorter-than-normal stem extension. However, the stem on the pictured bike doesn't look especially short -- but it does appear that the frame might have been sized down a bit, since there's a decent amount of seatpost showing, which would shorten the top tube back to a normal length.

It does result in a useful and good-looking bike. And $400 for that frameset is a really good deal! It'll be interesting to read some long-term impressions of this frameset once folks get some miles on them. (Will it plane? Will it shimmy?) And perhaps I can keep my fingers crossed for a BQ review? Nah, that'll probably never happen. ;)

Check out their full set of photos on the Flickr...



I rode a bike today! I rode to the UPS to pick up a package, and then returned home with a largish box on my front rack. Next I rode to the ATM to deposit some checks -- one an xmas gift, the other a paycheck for some contracting work (more on that later). Finally I rode to the grocery store to pick up soup ingredients and fancy cheese for a party. And then I rode back home with the groceries on my rack.

Today was a good day.


Hello Trek!

Hello Trek!
Originally uploaded by jimgskoop
Finally got the Trek 400 built up. I left the frame pretty rough, only sanding/spraying the worst of the rusty spots, and I didn't even Framesaver it, since this will be a rolling experiment for a while. I used all the parts that were on my Austro Daimler Vent Noir. I finally have a bike that doesn't look too small for me, and this one certainly feels big. I already know that I need a shorter stem.


My Wife, the Video Star!

In which my wife Dawn pimps the virtues of the Dahon Mu Uno folding bicycle. You can get one now with free shipping via Public Bikes/Studio Forbes (Dawn's employer).


Ooh, that's nice!

I just found the above 650B-converted Trek 400 on Velospace...as you may recall, I picked up a 1992 Trek 400 frame to build up as a budget low-trail (using Kogswell conversion fork), 650B-shod randonneuse, and I've been wondering if/how Col de la Vie tires would fit in the rear. This photo shows that they can work!


FS: Delta Botticelli 4-Bike Storage Rack - $50

I'm selling a Delta Botticelli 4-bike storage rack.  Only $50, over
half off MSRP!
See my Craigslist ad for full details.