Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Slight Return

This is more of a collection of things I want to remember than anything of much interest to anyone (except me)... but that really describes a lot of my blog. Is it wrong to write a blog for yourself? Probably.

We just came back from a couple of days south of the border where we (in this order) did a very short ski tour, ate in a pub, slept in the Elephant, skied some nice deep snow with the assistance of chair-lifts, picked up some internet shopping, and bought some new work clothes. A full range of excitement there.

Blue Elephant wearing a clever disguise
A notable achievement was camping out in the Elephant again, this time with the added bonuses of having left one rear seat at home and my string-based release system so we can open the tailgate from the inside. The good news is the Elephant is proving very comfortable for hanging out inside during poor weather and sleeping inside. One internet purchase which I've now added is LED interior light bulbs, so we can use them without killing the battery. Technology is great.

I also have been able to make a few fine adjustments to the Orange Bike (I just noticed I seem to name everything with colours). I discovered that using a SRAM 11 tooth sprocket on the Shimano cassette left things spaced slightly wrong due to SRAM putting a little recess in the second sprocket on their cassettes. It worked fine, but you may as well do things right, right? So I found a Shimano 11 tooth and swapped that. During this process I found that Shimano lockrings are different diameters for 11 tooth vs 12 tooth and the 12-tooth-sized one interferes with the chain if you use it with an 11 tooth sprocket. Fascinating stuff which I hope to remember  next time I'm playing with mutant cassettes.

A fine spread of teeth 
I've also added a nice un-ramped stainless steel chainring which I hope will last a long time, not drop the chain, and be resistant to banging on things. We'll see how that goes. The MRP 1X guide I'm using seems to work fine, though it is a little flimsy feeling. We'll see how that goes too.

Shiny thing
We picked up some bargain priced Velocity rims that I found on the internet. Lina's road bike has nasty amounts of wear from its life as a commuter and I had a set of rather nice spokes that needed a purpose. Yes, I can see beauty in some pieces of bent wire. The conclusion of all this is that I'm going to build a classic Andrew pair of wheels with alarming purple rims, an unfashionable high number (32) fancy Swiss spokes, some old Shimano hubs, and linseed oil. I'm excited.

Popsicle purple?
...and finally. We stopped on the way home at bargain-hunter's paradise Winners (that's like the North American version of TK Maxx for any UK readers). I really don't like clothes shopping, but I'm off to be oriented in my new job next week (eek) and showing up looking like I stole my outfit from the laundry room of a retirement home didn't seem like the best idea. Fortunately I struck a seam of bargains and my compiled office clothes now total a pair of shoes, three shirts, two pairs of trousers, and four (yes, count 'em) ties. Imagine the extravagance.

As the specter of employment moves ever closer, I'm off to ride my bike... then build some purple wheels. Happy days.