Thursday, April 30, 2009

Holy Shit! #$##$%%%%#&&Y&

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One Legged Messenger

Monday, April 27, 2009

Coconut Grove Bike Day

George Espina the head guy at Sparton Bicycles was in town. He and I go way back when we were starting out as mechanics. We used to have a steady weekend ride, but George moved up to South Carolina, so we haven't ridden together in a couple years. Since I have plenty of bikes I loaned him the yellow KHS Flite and I took the Skull Express. We took off from Coral Gables and rode into Coconut Grove to see the Bike Day promotion. It was nice riders from all levels riding on the streets. The Police had the streets blocked off to normal traffic. There were some display tables and stuff going on in the park there, but we didn't stop. We continued on and went up brickell to Downtown and continued up to Miami Beach. Beautiful day, nice and cool. The wind was killer, but I'll take the wind over a hot humid day anytime! We went up Lincoln Road and then down along Collins to the beach. Then turned around and went back. Early morning Sunday is definitely the best time to ride in Miami. Traffic is light and motorist definitely seemed to be more chilled. All in all it was probably my best ride in a long time. We did about 30 miles which is a nice distance on the fixed gears. I saw a lot more fixed gears on the road then I'd seen in the past which is good. Used to be maybe 5 of us riding track bikes six years ago now there's hundreds!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sprint League

I was thinking how cool would it be to set up a sprint league. Just like the local soccer leagues. 5 or 6 man teams representing a certain area. Each team has it's own jersey. You draw from a hat who you're going to race. The team with the best results wins. You could have 10 to 20 teams around town racing then after a certain time period the two best would face off for the championship. It be pretty easy to do. Set some ground rules 1) length of track 2) fixed gear only 3) how to set up the draw 4) how to start...I'd say from a track stand to make it more interesting and up the skill level.
Get some guys to be accepted officials to oversee it. Pick some accepted strips for tracks and you're there! Anyone interested in setting something up like this in Miami let me know.

Powder Coating

Hey if you got an old frame and you want to get it looking good just powder coat it. You'll have a frame that looks brand new! Frame and fork will run you around $120. My black bike the Skull Express was a mess when I got it. It was brush painted white with traces of previous paint jobs. You can see from the pictures that the frame looks really sharp now. If you live in Miami or Orlando I know powder coaters in both cities, just shoot me an email if you need the info.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Friday Sprints

Unfortunately I wasn't able to go do to a prior engagement I couldn't get out of. From what some of the people told me it was kinda disorganized. First the information on where it was, was wrong. It was 112 st not 104 st. There was no beer or music! The sprints were sporadic and unorganized. 15 minute lag time between sprints, but then again this ain't no sanctioned race.
The busway definitely works, no traffic, few busses and lit streets. Everybody got to hang out which was good. Hopefully we can make it a regular thing.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Miami Sprints

Tonight's the night! Street sprints! Now's the time for all you guys who couldn't make it to the beach the sprint. The sprints are coming South. Tonight at 9:00 pm on the bus path and SW 104 Street. This is right at US1 where the Kmart is and the old Fuddruckers. The bus path is well lit with no traffic minus an occassional bus. This is going to be big! Word is riders from the North are coming to show their Southern neighbors how it's done. There should be plenty of bikes and fixie chicks to check out so come watch the action!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Well I'm back to my old routine commuting to work again. I took a few days off after the kidney stone debaucle and I needed the car for a few errands. Anyway I'm back. The ride in this morning couldn't have been better! Nice and cool no humidity. Traffic was light and I did a nice long track stand at a red light. I also got a new pair of shoes that make a big difference as well. The old ones had split across the bottom making it hard to get in and out of the toe clips....a dangerous situation. I'd been riding like that for months not to smart, so I broke down and bought some shoes. I have some old classic leather Vittoria track shoes that I'll use on weekend rides, but I don't like them for work cause you can't really walk in them very well. I usually try to find some thin trainer type sneakers like Pumas. Payless had some that fit the bill for $14 perfect! Now if I can find my other toe clip bolts I may ride the Sparton into work tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Kidney Stones

Sorry I've been slack on the writing. I got hit with a bout of kidney stones that landed me in the ER. Believe me not something you want to experience! The Doctor told me it's the closest thing a male will experience to child birth. Nice words of encouragement. Anyway I spit that baby out Saturday and was back riding Sunday! Nice to be back in the saddle again! (Aerosmith 1975)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sparton brake installation

I found a brake that would work with the Sparton so I went ahead and installed it. You can see the close clearance in the picture. I've never ridden this set up with the lever on the top so I figured I'd try it.


This was my first fixed gear. I set it up for a long distance commuter for now. I'm going to try the power grip toe straps so I will let you know how I like them. Since I'm a sales rep in the industry I have access to all kinds of stuff, so you never know what you'll find on one of my bikes.

Skull Express photos

Here's the Skull Express. This is my daily transportation for commuting thus the lights and rear view. If you look real careful on the lower frame you'll see the fiber flare light I had written about in an earlier post. These are now available

Friday, April 3, 2009

Close Calls

I was trying to load pictures of my bikes from the previous article, but due to camera problems I will have to delay that much anticipated supplement. So here's my most recent 2 cents worth.
If you're going to ride the streets you need to bring your awareness level up to 110%. You need to pay attention like your the lead man on a search and destroy mission in the jungles of Vietnam. If you can maintain this awareness and keep from doing any stupid things your survival chances will be very good!
Today I almost got hit twice, but since I'm always looking for it I was able to avoid both. The first was a lady backing out of a driveway. I was on the sidewalk. Whenever I'm on a sidewalk my main concern is someone backing out of their driveway. I never ride fast on the sidewalks and I always keep my eyes peeled to the driveways as I approach them. Here I listen for the sound of an engine and look for smoke coming out of a tail pipe. I spotted this lady just as she started to pull out and stopped within a foot of her door.
Second encounter is another common hazard. Crossing an intersection cars on the opposite side with the same green light waiting to turn left. I always try to get to the front of the line at a light so everyone will see me, but I don't always make it. Today was one of those days. The last place you want to be is last, because you're scrambling to make the light and the opposite traffic wants to make their turn before the light changes. If I'm last I try to stay on the rear bumper on the left where the turning car will hopefully see me or I stay on the last cars right side using this car as a blocker for any turning traffic. Today I was on the right side of a car crossing he sped up unexpectedly leaving me exposed. The turning car didn't see me and made his turn. I was still close enough to the first car and going fast enough to avoid the hit. I was also aware of the turning car at all times so I was prepared to avoid him.
Be aware of your surroundings look at each car and think what would he need to do to hit me and keep this in mind. Always think ahead to which route is best and how to avoid the tight traffic. I have spots at intersections that are bad that I just hop the sidewalk to get past them then drop back on the street, but even sidewalks aren't safe. I had a lady go up onto the sidewalk in front of me apparently she went to reach for a dropped cell phone or something and lost it.
So heads up and be careful out there.