Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cycling study

Just read this very interesting study of bicycling by my alma mater. So happy that they are keeping a light on the cycling front.

For those in the US, happy thanksgiving to you. Here is a picture of a special bike for the upcoming show.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

the 650b movement

Last weekend, Leigh and I joined a group of cyclists to a casual ride in Boulder. This group, being organized by Mike of Rene Herse, was mostly aficionados of vintage steel bicycles and randonneur types. We rode our 650b rando / light touring bikes and received quite a few questions about this wheel size and the way my bike is equipped.

Not that they have not heard of 650b, or not know of its benefits; rather most were still skeptical or held back by their existing 700c collection.

I find this quite interesting because if you ask most of them, they appreciate the benefit of this wheel size, namely, being able to use wider tire but not be stuck with too big a wheel diameter (benefiical if you are under 6'). This wheel size is also particularly meaningful if you plan to not just use wider tires, but also put on fenders. With 700c, you would have to have a longer toptube if you were to avoid toe overlap.

Some criticize that 650b wheels with bigger tires are slower. And I agree from my own experience that climbing with a 42mm tire will definitely be slower than ones with a 28mm tire. However, when you are descending and cornering, there is so much more confidence with the wider tire in lower pressure that the overall more enjoyable experience is well worth slowing down a bit. This critique of speed is especially interesting, because a lot of the people who use this reason says they are not really concerned about speed. They say 28mm tires are comfortable enough and they do not want to hold back their riding mates.

Another question that I was asked a few times was if I am happy with disc brake on my bike. Again, most understand the benefit, but did not have their own bikes using disc brakes.

These observations make me wonder, what does it take for these enthusiasts to change their existing stable of bikes? Be it adding a new bike that runs the equipment they claim to like, or be it adapting an existing bike, it seems they are stuck in tradition and status quo.

Enough of my rambling, I will continue to promote 650b wheeled bikes (maybe with disc brakes too) to the right candidate, yes, it is not for everyone but for those who would benefit from it, I hate to see them lessen their enjoyment because it is easier to get tires at their LBS.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Late Fall riding

We had such a nice ride yesterday, I just have to let you all know.

The weather was very nice, coolish to start but it warmed up very nicely, could not have asked for more.

About 35% of the ride was on dirt roads west of Wellington, CO. These are considered nice dirt roads, relatively smooth, super low traffic, not dusty even in our dry climate.

Here is the route and check the side bar for pictures.

If the pictures did not load, please visit my flickr here.

Hope you are all catching this nice weather and enjoying whatever you are doing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Visitors and more

With my recent mention of visitors, my friend, who now lives in Shanghai, had replied to me and mentioned somethin
g I find very interesting. Here is what she said:

We have many visitors this year for the
SH EXPO. I have already been there 4 times. The most I have seen are people -- really people mountainpeople sea! I don't have the patience nor can I justify myself to line up for 2 hours (I heard 5 hours!) or more to see anything. My patience for lining up for anything had long been exhausted during my childhood years. At those years, it was for a good cause - line up for food -- a piece of meat notjust fat, a dead fish which could attract neighborhood cats up to a few blocks away. If I was lucky, I could have even bought a pig knuckle for a half of the provision quota. Can you imagine that? Only four knuckles in a pig. It had to be so lucky to get that. I was so driven to get up in the middle of the night,say 3 am in the morning to line up for that! I was only 9 to 11 years old then. I can still taste the one pig knuckle in two styles now -- first boiled it in a big pot of water, with some MSG and imagination it would turn into soup. Then I fished the knuckle out to add soy sauce to make "hongshao", yum! The best partwas not the actual taste. It was the hours, days and even months of delicious anticipation and preoccupation of the taste of meat! Marked on the history book, everyone was entitled to 250gm of meat a month. There were 5 of us then. We had1.25kg of meat for one month! Obesity was unheard ofthen. So it was not all bad :)

This brought me to think how different it is to grow up in HK as compare to the US or elsewhere, the culture, the
available resources and of course the things we take for granted. My friend grew up in mainland China and so I cannot even truly understand or appreciate
what it is like to have to line up for grocery with a quota. It also brought me the feeling of the luck I have, doing what I do now and living so easily and without worry
(although I tend to be worrisome).

But it is also interesting, with abundance supply of food, we seem to not know how to handle it and only
abuse this availability, which causes all sorts of health issue and the now frequently touted statistics of childhood obesity. My wife had just started her own blog
recently and she wrote something about our diet in the past year, give it a read if you would like to eat healthy.

Here's a bike that is recently delivered and I am quite happy how it all came together.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Does my shop need a makeover?

This past summer, I was lucky to have a few cycling visitors who stopped by to chat and check out my shop, it was really nice to be visited at my cave.

You know, I spend most of my time in my shop, which is home based, and do not get to talk with others at length very often. So, the opportunity is great. Some bike talk, some life talk and whatever that happens to come across our mind.

However, I start to worry if my shop is too bland. There is nothing interesting to see. I use mostly hand tools, hacksaw, files, vise, and some drill bits with a hand held power drill. There is really nothing impressive. No lathe, mill or special device for a special process. The only somewhat interesting device is the jig, but it is a static device, no belts or sprockets or any moving mechanism.

Plus all the domestic distractions that is sharing the other half of my shop (garage) is just not helping.

I need to think of something to dress up the shop and maybe do an open house one day. Any suggestions?

Here is a picture of a bilam mtb in progress. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

wonderful visitors

e just had a day with our wonderful visitors from Canada. We met Eleonore and Franz during NAHBS Richmond and it was nice to be able to spend some time with them away from a convention hall and to show them our usual riding routes around Fort Collins. We took the chance to enjoy another day outside with the perfect weather. Cheers,

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall riding

wow, been awhile since my last update.

It has been a busy summer, which is a good thing, I did not get to ride much but managed to take most of last week off for a 3 day mini tour around our local area. It was a door to door loop and we stayed in motels and eat out most of the time, and really enjoyed the time away from work and home.

September is really the best time to ride here along the front range.

Here is flickr link of some cell phone pics:

And here is a link to the first day of riding, don't laugh at our pace please, and pictures are on the side panel too:
Here is a bike finished shortly before our trip, I really quite like it.

Hope you all are out there riding.