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My next crazy project
Last Post 09/25/2017 06:08 PM by 79 pmooney. 61 Replies.
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79pmooney

Posts:1759

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08/14/2017 01:15 AM
The crazy project went for a dry run today (except it turned into a wet run - first rain in 2 months). Took it out with the gravel gearing and the 35c Paselas. So, the gearing was 44-42-38 by 14 and 17-21 (flip-flop fix-fix hub with a "dingle" on one side) plus I carried a 24 and the cog wrench from Jessica J.

Rode up the Portland west hills on the 36-21 and down into NW Portland on the 44-14, then up Leif Ericson trail, the firm, well maintained gravel road into the Portland's Forest Park on the 42-17 for about 7 miles to its junction with considerably steeper Saltzman Road, also dirt. At the junction, I unscrewed the dingle and put on the 24. Climbing on the 36 x 24 fixed is a blast! Never rode fixed in a gear so low! When I hit Skyline, I went to the 44-14, lugged it a couple of miles then rolled down to then down Germantown Road, lugged it up to and over the St John's Bridge and down into St Johns to go to the Oregon Handbuilt Bicycle exhibition.

The show was fun. New location and small turnout but I think it will grow. TiCycles and Ren Cycles had the biggest presence there. I didn't see everybody. Andy Newman with his Strawberry bikes and tooling was there. I always love seeing his bikes. Mentioned that to Dave Levy, TiCycles, builder of my bikes, stems, seatposts and now several other repairs, modifications and projects. Dave said "Go look at Jeffrey Bock's bikes". (Jeffrey came out to the show from Iowa where he has been building bikes since the '70s.) Wow! Lugs thinned to almost invisible. Workmanship up there with anybody. Won the Oregon Handbuilt award for best of show. And of course, my Mooney got its share of attention.

Left the show, rode back over the bridge to Germantown and back tracked my route to Skyline, climbing on the dingle low then descending into a town west of Portland to meet friends in the big gear. Home 5 miles on the 42-17. Everything worked. Everything felt right. Yeah! Setting up the chain slack is harder than on Jessica J (road Sugino GT crankset and $30 chainrings isn't the presision of the Sugino 75 with Sugino or Campy track rings and I have to always check slack, then spin the crank to see if now too tight or too loose. Also with the fat tire, I have far less room to "walk" the hub forward or back. But my skills are coming up and the routine is getting pretty fast.

And, as I have said before, what a sweet ride! I knew I would never part with the Mooney because we have been through so much together and I owed so much to that bike (like my sanity and maybe my life - no exaggeration there) but now the Mooney stays simply because it's a keeper. WIth the fix gear, the drive train I love so much, it is completely "right". Fun that it is so right off the pavement.

Now, the next test comes Saturday. A bunch of the Bike Forum C&V guys are meeting to ride the Trask trail over the coast range to Tillamook. I've said I would join them on this bike. Still don't know if I have the guts so I am leaving it as a "game day" decision, but after today, I think I am going. I'll keep you posted.

Ben
Nick A

Posts:525

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08/16/2017 02:40 PM
Sounds really cool. I had a mountain bike in the early '90's, and having come from the road, I never felt comfortable on it. A gravel bike may be in my future. Distant future. Money, ya know. Sounds like some nice terrain.

N
longslowdistance

Posts:1500

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08/16/2017 06:40 PM
Love my gravel bike. Can be done cheap, if you don't mind riding a pig. Sturdy heavy steel frames are floating around. Rummage around your and your friends' parts bins.

Back to the OP, "My next crazy project": Fascinating interview with Floyd Landis on cyclingnews.com. Wow he is full of rage and resentment. He's selling weed now in CO (his crazy project). He might become his own best customer.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2187

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08/17/2017 08:28 AM
Couple of riding buddies just got bacl form Leadville 100...said Flandis was one fat and bitter man.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Nick A

Posts:525

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08/17/2017 01:43 PM
What a shame about Floyd. Enjoy these long posts. Now granted, sometimes I have to wait to have to time to actually read them...LOL.

Nick
79pmooney

Posts:1759

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08/17/2017 06:50 PM
I"m scared about what I am getting into Saturday but also getting psyched. Went for a real easy ride at noon, maybe 30 miles on the good bike with all its gears. (This is where I love triples. I went up a bunch of hills in neighborhoods I have been riding around but never through for the past 20 years. Steep! But easy on a 28-23.)

The really cool think is I am just about 2 pounds over my old racing weight. Took no real effort. The medication I've been taking since late May to cleanse my liver of the toxins I absorbed building boats in the early '80s did reduce my appetite (basically a mild chemo regime - July was not fun). I still have a week to go, but I now feel fine. I wonder/hope that the low days were my body seeing the toxins in its system that had been in my liver. Already I have noticed some changes back to how I used to feel in the '70a that I thought I wlould never see again. (Need to try on my old wool clother - one of the casullties.)

So Saturday is gong to be a big day of riding like I haven't done i s a while. Up at an un-Godly hour, pancake breakfast, on the road at 5:30. More food and caffiene at a coffee plus outfit 25 miles from home and pushing off with the guys (and a couple of gals) at 8. 60 miles, two very real hills, descending all we climb and a bunch of other stuff later we pull into the coastal town of Tillamook. Grades hit 12% going up, 14% going down.

I just got and mounted a folding 38c Pasela in front. (The 35 is as big as I can go in back and I better not damage that wheel!) Pretty sure the guys I am riding with have consideralby more off pavement experience than I have. Pretty certain I am a notch better climber. Hope I have what I'll need to pull this off.

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1759

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08/20/2017 02:33 AM
Well, the bike passed its first test nicely. The concept works. The 38/35s were a blast! The big fix gear downhill is really a blast! But the ride today was hard. There were stretches so steep with loose "gravel" that it took everything I had to get to then next slightly more level stretch. Then I hit one I couldn't do, came to a stop and fell over (from the crown do both ways were the down side). I knew as soon as I hit that I will be feeling this tomorrow. Also that stopping and assessing damage was asking for more pain.

So, if a stone on the road is 1 1/2" long, does having enough of its buddies around make it gravel?

The bike has never seen road conditions remotely as tough as today. A GPS reported we did 6500' of climbing, ending lower than we started. The warmup was close to 600' and the big one twice that. 58 miles, about half paved. Lots of smaller paved hills but all the big stuff was gravel, both up and down. Lots of washboard and gravel filled potholes. I'm dreading cleaning the bike and seeing what happened to the paint. The Paselas seem to be fine, but if there is internal damage, all I can say "not surprised". I did some rude things to them.

I'll have to give the bike a full check up. If it passes, it is cleared to go to Cycle Oregon and its gravel. I can't imagine the using roads this bad or courses and hill this tough.

The part that had me scared was downhill control. Could I get my weight far enough back and have control? Yes! Its not a mountain bike by a long shot but in the drops, arms straight and pushed back, staying light on the saddle, what I can ride over and the control I have is impressive. Now the first descent had a very sharp hairpin right after a very steep washboard. I barely made the turn, but I knew the whole time if I had to ride off into the bushes, I would be doing it with complete control!

What a day. Time to go to bed.

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1759

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08/27/2017 07:40 PM
Last Thursday was a day of very mixed emotions. Went for my Bald Peak ride; my now traditional once per week ride fixed up to the summit of Bald Peak (1600', a little over 20 miles from home). Felt really good, both climbing and into the wind after.

Got home, then that evening opened Volume III of this year's Cycle Oregon handout. They canceled the gravel options! Said the roads had deteriorated too much. So all this work and ~$1000 is for naught. (Well not really. The Mooney has upped its place in the hierarchy big time.)

And this after having the bike completely shine in its dry run.

I took the 44-42-35 chainrings off last night and put the road 46-44-38 back on. Rod today. Gears felt big and I was feeling small injuries and tears. Oh yeah, 7 straight days and 245 miles of riding, some uphill speed work and no longer young. August is to be a 900 mile month. I am right on track. I plan to ride the next week, then loaf the last week before the ride starts. So I am right where I should be.

Ben
79pmooney

Posts:1759

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08/31/2017 09:48 PM
Did my last long ride, an 80 miler. Came home to an E-mail from Cycle Oregon. Ride canceled. Wild fires. There are fires along the alternate routes now. As of today, only 2 of the 7 days are along routes without heavy to hazardous smoke. With in all likelihood, a week to two more of no rain, the situation will be worse when we arrive.

A huge let down.

Ben
Orange Crush

Posts:2017

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08/31/2017 10:17 PM
Sorry to hear that Ben. That is a major bummer.

Hellracer ride skirted a wildfire area first major one of season and we had trouble breathing. Many more huge fires have ravaged BC since and are still going on. Y'all were the recipients of our smoke for a while. This week's been the other way around and Vancouver got Oregon smoke. Couple of my friends will be cycling down your coast shortly. They're in WA now and will go all the way to san Diego.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2187

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09/01/2017 08:02 AM
That sucks, Ben....really sorry to hear that.

A few years ago, they cancelled Ironman Lake Tahoe literally minutes before the race was supposed to start....athletes were in the water, ready to go. But, similar to your situation, there were wildfires in the area and they couldn't risk it. I guess you at least had some heads up....not that it is much consolation.

I can't imagine the disappoinment of putting in that much training and not getting to do an event.....especially if it was an Ironman and I was in the water, ready to go.

I guess on the bright side you got to test out some new bike options that maybe you wouldn't have....again, not much consolation.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Habanero

Posts:125

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09/01/2017 01:51 PM
UGH!!! So sorry to hear of your let down. No fun.
longslowdistance

Posts:1500

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09/01/2017 06:52 PM
Weather is just crazy this year. So relieved to learn from Pres. T that global warming is a hoax. That's one less thing to worry about.
Orange Crush

Posts:2017

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09/01/2017 07:57 PM
T is deranged. Then I saw McCain op-ed in WP today. He's delusional. Pick yer poison LOL .
Nick A

Posts:525

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09/02/2017 08:50 PM
That sucks. Sorry to hear...
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