Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Why Is This So Amusing, To Me?

Go here.

You're welcome.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bikes, Bikes, Bikes!

Today, I decided to get some bike projects done. I started the day with 7 unfinished projects, and ended with five. I would have liked to get another one, or two, done. But, two is better than none, I suppose.

 First, I built up my 1985 Schwinn Sierra as a townie/commuter bike for a gal who works at CDOT.

 I had built this as a 650b conversion fixed-gear, but I wasn't riding it. So, when Nicole asked about building up a bike for getting around town, I suggested the Sierra. She liked the look of it, and gave me a list of features that she was looking for, including fat, semi-slick tires. (I might have influenced that choice of rubber, a little bit.)

 One of the things she didn't necessarily want was a triple crank, so I installed a 38/50 crankset. Oddly enough, the Sierra was originally spec'd with a double (the High Sierra had a triple crank), and was sold as a city bike. Circle of life...

I'll take it to work with me, tomorrow, and make sure it suits.

 Once the Sierra was complete, I moved on to this little number. This is a late-80s Specialized RockHopper that I had converted to 700c, a few years ago. It ended up donating its parts to another build, and languished on the back porch for quite a while.

I decided to build it up as a 26" wheel, fixed-gear mountain bike. Some of the parts are left over from the RockCombo, the frameset of which I sold, last year. Some were just sitting around the shop, looking to be used.

The rear wheel is set up as a flip/flop, so that I can freewheel, if need be. I have another set of wheels, in the shop, shod with studded tires. Icy days should be no problem, this winter...

 This On-One Mungo handlebar has been in the quiver for quite a while. I think this might be the 5th or 6th bike I've had it on. I just got those red pedals from the Returns/Clearance table down at Performance, yesterday.

Nothing looks quite as purposeful as a single-speed bike; Especially one with 2.2-inch tires!


The Whole Shebang

Here's the entire show, from July 19th, at Herman's Hideaway (one song at a time),


Friday, July 18, 2014

Odd Friday

 The Scrambler in its native environment...

I sat at the coffee shop for quite a while, today. The temperature, outside, was really pleasant as i sat there and drank my two large coffees. I spent some time texting folks to remind them of our show, tomorrow night (Skull Full Of Blues at Herman's Hideaway, 6:30-7:30).

Brad and Noella showed up, and I went inside to sit with them, for a spell. Eventually, we all went back to my house (Brad and Noella were on Brad's scooter, with the sidecar), so that Brad could check out a bicycle and some wheels he may need.

I was wearing my thrift store leather jacket. I just got it back from an airbrush artist, who painted the design I had decided on, earlier in the summer. I think it looks pretty good. Investment, so far, $55.00.
I need to put snaps, or zippers, on the cuffs. Then, I think, it will be done.

Later, I went out to run some errands, and check out a Cinelli frame that Brent had, and ended up standing around in the alley behind Brent's house, shooting the bull for about 3 hours. No errands got run.

I came home and did a little practicing for tomorrow's show, and restrung the Gibson BFG. I never did any of the bicycle building I meant to do, or anything.

Just realized that kayak is a palindrome.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Miyata 310 Yardsale Find

I got a text from Brad, to the effect of, "Do you need a 22" Miyata 110, with Shimano Arabesque, for anyone? The handlebars are bent, but it's in good shape, otherwise."

He was at a yard sale, near his house. I told him to hang tight, and I would come get it. The price was good, and I have been looking for some old Japanese road bikes, for people, lately. So, I figured I'd take a chance on it.

When I got there, it turned out to be a Miyata 310. It looked to be in pretty good shape, for the most part. The freewheel was frozen, but the wheels looked to be in good shape.

The handlebars were, indeed, quite bent, as was the stem. Not a big deal, since the frame and fork were unaffected.

I took the bike home, and dripped some lube into the freewheel. It loosened right up, and was soon working like new. After a bit of a sweaty struggle, I managed to get the seat post out, and cleaned the inside of the seat tube, before lubing the post and reinserting it. I aired the tires up, and adjusted the brakes, then test rode it. Everything worked fine (other than the weird feeling of steering with those messed up bars, that is.)

I had an old Superbe stem, and an SR handlebar in the shop building. So, I swapped the bar and stem, and wrapped the bar with some old, used, tape I had in the parts bin. It's not the best wrap job I have ever done, as you can see the bar on the inside of the handlebar curve, at the brake lever. The Shimano gum hoods are pretty crispy, and I couldn't roll them back, in order to get a perfect wrap.

The bike steers a lot better, now. And, it looks quite a bit better, too, in my opinion.

I have some virtually new Bontrager 27" tires, which I may put on the Miyata. New brake pads will be a good addition, as well. Then ... well, I'm not sure.

The frame is a 56cm, with a 56 top tube, which is precisely my size. I should just put it on craigslist and flip it, or find someone I know who is looking for this size.  But I don't even own a road bike, right now, and this is a sweet frame. I have some 700c wheels, and a modern drivetrain that I could hang on it, if i wanted to keep it.

The problem is, I would probably never ride it. I just like these old frames, and I'd like to have one. That might well be the root of any financial problems that I have.

It would make a sweet fixed gear, too...

Yes, I have a problem.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Even Better

You may have seen my previous post, where I discussed electrifying my little Truetone/Kay. I really like it, and I plan on playing it at Herman's Hideaway, on the the 19th of this month.  But, I didn't think that the pickup I put in it really fit the vintage vibe:

So, I pulled a vintage (1960s) DeArmond out of the parts stash, this afternoon, and replaced the Strat-style pickup.

It not only looks better, but it sounds awesome, as well.

I don't much care for the strings, though. I am going to restring it with my normal gauges and go from there. Other than that, the guitar is just about perfect!


Tuesday, July 08, 2014

One Less Car

{I know that the title is grammatically incorrect, by the way.)

I bought this little GL, the hatchback version of the Brat, a year ago. I had plans to fix it up a bit, in a rally-style way, and use it to haul the mountain bike around.

I used it a bit, and actually hauled the WalGoose fatbike on it, a couple of times.

 The bike looks bigger than the car!

A year after buying the car, though, I had made very little progress on fixing up the car.It's amazing how much less spare time I have for this kind of project than what I thought I had.

 So, after hemming and hawing for a couple of months, I posted it for sale on craigslist at 1:00 on Sunday. At 5:30, this evening, the car was sold.

I happened to post it on the very weekend that a gal moved to Denver, and started looking for an old Subaru like the one her dad drove for years. She came by, drove it, looked it over, and bought it.

I hope that it serves her well.