Thursday, August 23, 2007

Math Test Tomorrow

Yes, as you might have guessed from the post title I have a math test tomorrow. For this reason I will be keeping this post short. I may have found a guy who might be able to fix the Peugeot. He is going to try to pull out the fused part of the bottom bracket. If he does I will have to see how much it will be to get a new bottom bracket and cranks put in. There is some hope for the Peugeot yet, but there is still a cloud of doom floating over the frame. It may yet still be an art project.
I bought a rode bike the other day. I found a trek I liked at FreeWheeler Bicycle Shop at the corner of 2nd and F street. I also bought a New York Fahgettaboudit five foot lock and hardened chain as well. I don't want anyone to barrow this bike and with this lock I don't think they will. I have not abandon riding fixed gears, I am still going to ride my fixed gear as a daily driver. I just need to get it fixed, so for a while I will be riding around town on a bike with gears, but only until I get my fixed gear running, then it is back on the Peugeot, or so I hope. Currently I am in the process of joining the cycling club on campus, this is where I will be riding the road bike. I am waiting for them to get back to me with more information.
I have a few of pictures, the first is of a fixed gear parked downtown. I think it was parked at the conner of 2nd and D street, I might be wrong on that. The next couple of pictures are of a car that was parked in front of my apartment which happened to have German tags on it. Really strange, as I have never seen a registered European car in the states before.
I am currently drinking a Butte Creek Organic IPA. This beer is very pleasant and very strong. My description is a little vague but I don't really feel like try to describe in depth the mouth feel of the beer and such, maybe another time. Thats all for now...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Saying Goodby

This will be a short post as I am pressed for time. I will give you an update on my Peugeot. Basically as a bike frame it's finished. I couldn't just replace the crank because the point where the new crank attaches to the bottom bracket didn't match up. The bottom bracket was to big, I am sure I am using bike terminology incorrectly. I then tried to have the bike shop replace the bottom bracket and cranks with an identical 40 tooth crank. Unfortunately the right side of the bottom bracket was fused to the frame and could not be removed. This is the end of my Peugeot, it was a great frame and I really enjoyed riding it around Chico and Davis. I will be donating the frame minus the handle bars to the Davis Bike Church where hopefully someone can make use of the fork and seat post. Maybe someone will use the rest of the frame for an art project. One can only hope. I have a Schwinn frame at my home in Chico and I will head up there to fetch it this weekend and then switch all the components from my Peugeot over to the Schwinn Frame. I am going to put new handlebars on the Schwinn frame because the current bars are cut off drop offs and I don't like them. I'll probably use the old handle bars off the Peugeot if they fit. Well thats all for now... Oh ya I am currently enjoying a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, always a tasty choice...

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Crank No More

Bad news for my bike, I broke the crank. I mean really broke the crank, take a look at the pictures below. I was waiting at a stoplight about a half a mile from my appartment. The light turned green and the car in front of me started to go, I pushed down on the peddle and the peddle gave way but it felt very odd, as though it suddenly became easier to peddle. There were popping sounds fallowed by a cracking sound. My bike came to a stop and I looked down to find my outside crack completely bent out of shape and my inside crank broke into three pieces. All but two or three of the bolts holding the inside crank to the outside crank had sheared off and the crank was broke into as I said three pieces. My bike was clearly not ridable, so I pushed it back to my appartment. Where I further inspected the damage and took these pictures. B&L Bike Shop here in Davis is fortunately open until eight pm. After loading my busted up fixed gear into my car I drove to the bike shop. Needless to say the people at the shop where impressed with the damage this was probably not a good sign. The shop quoted me eighty bucks to fix my bike. I can't fix it myself because I don't have the tools. They are putting on a whole new crank and peddle arm. The old crank I was ridding was a forty tooth, the new one is going to be a forty six tooth. This forced me to have my back cog changed out. There was a fifteen tooth cog on the back tire now I am moving to a seventeen tooth cog. The new cog is a better brand so I can't complain. Apparently the work on my bike might be done by Friday, but most likely will be completed on Monday. While I am without my bike I have been fortunate enough to have the roommate of a dear friend loan me their bike. I couldn't been more delighted with this, and I throughly appreciate their generosity in loaning me their bike. So for the next few days I won't be ridding fixed, I am going to be on a mountain bike. Who really cares so long as I have a bike to ride!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Clicking Crank

Here I am again back in chem lecture and it is about to start. I am happy to report I didn't have any water/flat related problems on the way to math this morning. Although one of the bolts connecting my crank to the bottom bracket broke off. It didn't fall out, it literally broke off. Half the bolt is still screwed into my crank, but the part of the bolt connecting it to the bottom bracket is gone. I noticed this the other day. I am not sure how I am going to get that broken bolt out without damaging the threads. The reason I mention this is that my crank is clicking every time I complete one rotation of the crank. One can feel the click in the peddle and I am not sure what this means. Considering there is a metal on metal grinding sound coming from crank/bottom bracket, this cant be a good sign. It would probably be best to find a new bolt for the crank. A visit to the bike shop is in order. I'll have them take a look at crank. Maybe I will have them put in a new bottom bracket and a new crank. New parts are always exciting. Any ideas on what I should do?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Puddle In My Bag

So my water bottle broke open in my bag on the way to math this morning, or rather the cap came loose and half the bottle spilled out. Now there is a puddle in the bottom of my bag. The good news is I had my notebooks in the laptop pocket so they did not get wet. This was fortunate as those notebooks contain all my notes and I would have been lost without them.
Sadly though the water seeped out of my France bag and now my butt is wet, a bit of a pain in the ass. I think most of the water was soaked up by my bag of bike parts I carry in my France bag. As I am writing this blog as I sit in organic chem lecture I would like to purpose a prost, "to blogging while in lecture!"
The photo include with this post is of my France bag, the picture was taken earlier this year, but this is the bag that is quite wet right now.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Paying the Bill

For the last the last two days I have been without internet at home. Yes it has been a long two days, yesterday was just a bit of a pain in the ass. On my way back home from school (after writing my last blog entry) my back tire went flat. I chose to push my bike the last half mile rather then fix the flat on the side of the road. A good choice considering at home I can fix the flat while sitting in the shade drinking a beer.
Today I had math and chem lectures. Let me tell you the chem lecture was just dreadful. I will go in to more depth on my growing distaste of my chem professor in future posts.
The fun began after class when I headed to the bike shop, which is always great because there are so many tempting items. Lately I have been going to B&L Bike Shop at 610 3rd Street. I have found the staff to be knowledgeable and very nice. Not rude and uninterested to the needs of the customer as was the case at the Davis Wheel Works just down the street from B&L. Maybe the case was simple the guys at Davis Wheel Works didn't care about me because I only went there for a couple of tubes and some valve stem adapters. Either way they should still treat you politely.
After visiting the bike shop I ran over to Ace Hardware to buy some drain clog remover. The drain in my shower has been clogged up for the last week or so, it is very bothersome.
I made it home to began my next quest: fixing the DSL. Fortunately the lady who use to live at my appartment before I moved in called me back and provided all of the AT&T account information for the appartment. I got on the phone with AT&T and we all know how that goes. Fortunately I didn't have to wait in the queue to talk to a living breathing person. After speaking to a few people I found out that my hunch was correct about the DSL. No one had paid the bill, so I paid it. Now I just have to get my roommates to pay me back, which I am sure they will they are all good people. Now the DSL is back on, which is good, as it is nice to have DSL. AT&T said it was going to take four hours for the DSL to come back on and it only took about a half hour. I was most pleased.
Sadly I have math homework to do tonight. There is a quiz tomorrow morning which should be just delightful. Needless to say I am not looking forward to it.
When I arrived at Hunt Hall for chem lecture, I parked my bike right across from another fixed gear. I had photographed this one before parked outside the memorial union. It made its first appearance on the blog post "No Internet Today." I took a higher resolution photograph of it today, and I have posted it here, enjoy.

Fixed gear parked in front of Hunt Hall my bike is visible in the photo also

While writing this post I was enjoying a bottle of Butte Creek Organic IPA brewed in Chico, CA. Always a strong and refreshing beer with a ABV of 7.1%
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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Another Flat

It would seem to me that breaking bottles on the street must be good fun to someone with no consideration of others. I know a guy who use to break bottles on the street all the time, he was a bit bitter, I like to think he had some consideration of others. So far as I know he doesn't break bottles on the street anymore, so I guess it was a phase. How ever you spin it breaking glass on the street is irresponsible, dangerous (to the person breaking the glass and to others) and destructive (to more then just to the bottle.)
Where am I going with this, I think you can tell from the post title. I got another flat today, from running over glass. I didn't see the the glass coming and straight up ran over both big and small pieces. The sound of crunching glass was clearly audible over the sound of the guy mowing the grass next to the road. I was pretty sure right then that I would get a flat. I could only hope that I would make it to school and the flat would be on my front tire. I really dislike tensioning my chain, which is involved in fixing a flat on the back tire. Not that I am bad at it, I just can think of other things I would rather do, like calculus homework. I was most surprised to find both tires still containing air when I came out of calculus an hour later. The front tire was a little low, but still full enough to ride on it. My organic chem lecture is about 600m away from the math lecture. When I came out of chem lecture 100 minutes later, yes it is a long boring lecture. I found the front tire to be completely flat.
I found a bench in a shady spot and started to fix the flat only to find that not only had the tire been punctured by the glass that was on the street, the rubber had also separated from where the valve stem attaches to the tube. The hole this caused was about 3 to 4mm across, in a place where you can clearly not patch a tube. Making this the final blow for this tube, I had patched it twice before, but it didn't make it this time. I am not sure what to do with this tube now, but I think I will hang on to it. Maybe I will find a use for it in the future. Fortunately the boy scouts instilled more then just homophobia in me. They also taught me to be prepared. I pulled out a replacement tube I always carry around in my messenger bag with me. The valve stem is much longer on this tube then on the tube I have in my back tire. Making my bike a little mismatched, it does not bug me to much. If I was anymore obsessive compulsive, I would have to change the back tube so that the valve stems on both wheels would be the same length.
Sadly I am in the library on campus as my internet at home is still down. Here on campus there is no beer allowed. Meaning this blog post was brought to you by nothing more then water and a little advil.
Why the advil? Well I have modern medicine to thank for this one. A few years ago I had my tonsils removed after they became badly infected, real nasty shit. Thing is the Doc who did the tonsil removing cutting type operation failed to remove my entire left tonsil. Meaning that two to three times a year that small remaining bit of tonsil gets infected and swells up to the size two to three gumdrops and hurts. It feels like a very localized case of strep throat, being that only one small portion of your throat actually hurts. Meaning that yes this is in fact much better then getting strep throat, but at the same time it is still a pain in the ass.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

No Internet Today

My internet has been down all day. I think at&t may have turned it off as we may have not paid the bill in a few months. This has left be digitally stranded, now some might say why don't you take your laptop to school. This is a very good point, which I seemed to have missed. In bike news I have two stories, well make that three. firstly there is a guy in my chem lab who rides fixed. Always good to have another rider around. Next I found a Kryptonite cable at the UCD bookstore which I bought to secure my back wheel when I am at home, so it does not walk off at night. Thirdly I found a Kryptonite New York Fahgettaboudit lock and three foot hardened chain at the bookstore for sixty dollars. not a bad price, to bad I am looking for the five foot chain version.

Five Foot New York Fahgettaboudit Chain and Lock

Monday, August 6, 2007

A New Chain

Today was the first day of summer session two at UCD. I am taking two classes this session. The second part of the 8a organic chemistry series and the last part of the calculus series. Both of these classes are dumbed down so I would really call them calc and o-chem for idiots. Yet after my first calculus lecture this morning I headed straight over the tutoring center to sign up for tutoring. I need all the help I can get. After that I spent about a hour ridding around campus looking for fixed gears again. I found one new fixed gear and two fixed gears I have already photographed before. Thing is this time I brought out my good camera so the quality of the photos is substantially better then the photos taken with my camera phone. So I reposted some pictures of the same bikes I photographed before. The new fixed gear I found today is the first picture in this set. This fixed gear has the exact same wheels as me, good choice! Note that there pedals do not include clip in or stirrups.
Today was a big day for my bike. After tensioning the chain in front of the chem building on campus. It is always a nice touch when you work on your bike on campus. The chain had gotten really loose so I had to tighten it. After tightening my chain was making a horrible metal on metal grinding sound. Kind of like fingernails on a chalk board, it was that bad. I know now that I had over tightened the the chain and that is why is was making that sound. The sound prompted me to go by a bike shop and see if they had a new chain. Keep in mind the chain that was on my bike was off of an old univega. I decided it was it was time for a new chain, as I was worried I was going to break the old chain and end up stuck somewhere with a dead bike. The first bike store I went to was out of chains, but the next shop had a chain. They told me it would take and hour to put on, so I decided instead to buy a chain tool and put the chain on myself.
I arrived home and flipped my bike over, pulled off the back wheel and used the tool to remove the old chain. I then corrected the new chain so it matched the length of the old chain and put it on the bike. It was a bit difficult getting the new chain back together, but at last i figured it out. After spend some time tensioning the chain I found the perfect point where it was tight but not so tight that it made weird sounds when I spun the pedals. I am very happy with the new chain and I am certain it is going to work very well. I have about a six inch piece of new chain left over. I am going to carry it with me so if I break my chain I can fix it on the road.
Here is the new fixed gear I found today, it was parked behind Kemper hall I think... I am not entirely sure where it was parked at as I don't know the campus all that well.
This pink bike was parked int he same place as it was before, maybe it had moved maybe it had not. Hard to say... It was parked on the south side of Hutchison hall.
Note the pink chain as mentioned before in a prior blog post, but in the prior picture you couldn't really see the chain. In this photo it is very clear. You can also see the lock ring on the back cog.

This bike was parked in the same place as before but note that now it has a cover on the seat where it didn't in the picture posted earlier on the blog.
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This blog was brought to you by Red Stripe Jamaican Lager, Hooray Beer!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

No Bike Today

So today was the first day sense coming to Davis (no including days i went back to Chico) that I was in town and did not ride my bike. I woke up late and fiddled around on the internet for an hour or so and then took a nap for three hours at this point my Dad came into to town to visit me and we went around Davis, stopping at the Sudwerks for dinner and then we went to see The Simpsons Movie. Which was good, not a real deep or throughly dramatic movie but funny, it was everything you would expect from The Simpsons.

Today I also bought a 750ml bottle of 12 year blended Jameson Irish Whiskey, I had a taste of it and it is very smooth, I am most delighted with it. I expect it to last for some time as I have just a plain bottle of Jameson for making Irish car bombs and Johnny Jump Ups. I also have a bottle of Crown Royal and Kirkland Signature Vodka (distilled in France) which I plan to use for cooking and in the case of the vodka drinking too. Tonights beers include Widmer Hefeweizen and Red Stripe Jamaican Lager.

Tonights Beers

Friday, August 3, 2007

The Bottle Cap From My Bottle of Widmer

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My fixed gear

My fixed gear, parked outside my apartment

Thursday, August 2, 2007

My First Post

Hello there, this is my first post to my new blog called "Fixed Gears and Beer." I am a Undergraduate majoring in Food Science and minoring in Art History at the University of California at Davis or UCD for short. I came up with the idea for this blog while ridding to school on my early 70's red Peugeot fixed gear. A friend of mine bought this bike at a yard sale for $30 a few months ago it was in bad shape the rubber on the wheels was coming apart it was rusting up. My friend and I tore off all the components on the bike and pulled off the wheels. We replaced the wheels with a wheel set I bought from Pullin's Cyclery in Chico, CA. I spent about 280 on the wheel set. I'll look at what the brand is and post the make of the wheels on a future blog. We cleaned off the rust and put the new wheel set on and the bike has been great . I love riding my bike, it is really smooth and fast. Currently my good digital camera is dead, I couldn't find the charger till today so the first few pictures on the blog were taken with my camera phone.
Tonight's beers include Widmer Hefewiezen, Red Hook long hammer IPA, Pyramid Hefeweizen and not pictured but throughly enjoyed was a bottle of Guinness. Really tonight I was supposed to be studying for a math final tomorrow, but I blew it off, I was totally burned out today by the O-Chem Final I took. I can't say that it want well, but I am certain I passed.
The pictures of fixed gears featured in this blog post were all taken with my camera phone on the UCD campus over the last two weeks. Today after my O-Chem final I rode around for a hour looking for fixed gears and I found a few. I took a few pictures, the pink fixed gear at the bottom of this post was one of the bikes I photographed today. I was also treated to the fine sight of a attractive girl ridding a fixed gear. As she rode by I asked her if she was riding fixed and she responded in the affirmative. Maybe I will see her again, one can only hope...
The Beers of the night, Widmer Hefeweizen, Pryramid Hefeweizen, Red Hook Long Hammer IPA and a Guinness (not pictured)I have seen this fixed gear several places around campus, I am yet to meet its owner. Note that this fixed gear is brakeless.

This is a picture of a hardened chain and look I found on a bike. I had to take a picture of it as it is the most secure and hardcore lock I have seen sense I came to Davis.
PINK! Maybe a girls bike, but the frame was big and the seat was raised really high so it is hard to say. Note the pink chain.