Monday, April 2, 2018

Monday Headlines for April 2, 2018

I'm Writing a Bicycle Blog Now

The past handful of bicycle related posts are the beginning of a new trend. I am in the process of moving to - I've owned the domain for a couple years. I'm still sorting out what that will look like, but more blogging will continue there. I might continue the 721pm blog sporadically, but let's face it, I haven't been able to remain consistent here for years. I want to write, and sharing my passion for bicycles seems like an obvious place to begin.

Three Speed Tour 2018: May 12 - 13th

I am a registered participant in the 2018 edition of the Lake Pepin 3 Speed Tour. If you haven't heard of this, more information is at The gist is that people gather in Minnesota to ride old English 3 speeds around a lake, and brew tea, and eat pastries. (There seems to be an emphasis on pastries, and that puts me at ease.)

I've already paid the $65 registration fee, so now I am compelled to finally overhaul my 1940's Rudge Sports. My best 3 speed bicycle is still in "barn find" mode, exactly how I purchased it several years ago at a swap meet. It will clean up beautifully, and I have exactly the right tools and experience to do it, so That Will Happen Soon!

The event is May 12-13th. I am driving Hotel Sienna out there to save on lodging, and maximize every aspect of personal comfort. Consider joining me! If you have an old 3 speed, and you can get to Minnesota, then you should strongly consider meeting me out there.

Great Allegheny Passage / C&O Canal Mini-Tour 2018: May 28th - June 3rd

I am assembling a group for a week-long passage of the GAP/C&O trail from May 28 - June 3. We will ride from Pittsburgh to Washington D.C. Everybody is welcome to join. A group of probably 5-10 people will be traveling by rented or borrowed vehicle from Philadelphia, to the start in Pittsburgh where the three rivers converge downtown. Each day will cover roughly 50 miles, with the first and last days being shorter. From D.C. there will be transportation back to Philly.

There will not be any support for the ride, other than transportation to starting point, and back to Philadelphia from D.C. Each rider will need a bicycle that can carry camping gear, and there will be no formal meal planning. There are plenty of food options along the trail. The pace will be up to the individual, and we will meet at a defined location at the end of each day to cook and camp and hang out. There are no cars the entire way, and the route is predominantly flat. This is bicycle touring heaven.

UPCOMING: Jamis Coda Sport Review:

I've always been a fan of simple bicycles which are capable of far more than conventional wisdom would seem to suggest. The Jamis Coda is a steel hybrid bicycle that was introduced in 1991, and is still available as a steel hybrid bicycle being produced today. I will be road testing the 2017 Coda Sport in an effort to prove my thesis that a steel hybrid bicycle is a good choice for riding on roads, and is equally capable on a multi-day tour. So yes, there would seem to be a tendency toward confirmation bias in this test. I'll be reviewing a bicycle that I very much want to like.

The utility and comfort of a chromoly steel hybrid bicycle is something that would seem to hardly need proving. Yet, in a landscape where the marginal gains of ever-lighter, more complicated, and expensive tech is pushed by the industry every single year, there might be value in reassessing the basic fundamentals that make a bicycle fun to ride. I am not setting out to make a case against road bicycles or modern mountain bicycles. (I think they are also cool.) My aim is to review a product that appears to have everything most people could want in a well-loved long-lasting bicycle, while more expensive and complicated options might offer less satisfaction along with increased cost.

I will try to make a fair assessment, but realistically this might devolve into prematurely swapping out parts, becoming distracted, and continuing to ride my Hoopty as always. I can't wait to find out!


pasadenaray1 said...

3 speed bicycle blog, I will definitely be following along !!!
be sure to post picts of your Rudge too. I know you're doing all the mechanical on it ,but are you gonna make it shinny and pretty too ? I prefer the old dinged and scratched look myself matched up with solid working parts.
C O canal, I will be riding it at some point this year, if I happen to be out there the same time as your planned trip I'll drop a note.
A big thumbs-up to the steely hybrids of the world. cant go wrong with the BASICS.

Pixy Stoneskipper said...

Hey Ray -
The Rudge will be pretty, but it won't look new. I've heard that a soak in heavyweight gear oil will make old black 3 speed frames look a lot better - freshen up the paint and whatnot. I might try that. 3 Speeds are getting harder to find year by year, so I'm not as keen to make non-stock changes like I used to. The Rudge is 100% stock, and staying that way. I'll be disassembling the BB and headset, and reinstalling the cranks with new cotter pins. I'll take the hub apart for a cleaning and light oil, and repack the front hub with fresh grease. So all the bearing systems will get cleaned and greased, and the frame might be a little prettier when I'm done. It'll be a good standard overhaul without going apeshit. It won't look new, but I definitely aim to make it ride like it is.

It's a pretty in-depth project. Hopefully I'll remember to take some pictures of the process. Wish me luck and success. I'm excited to the the outcome.