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Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Final Post of 2011: To the Cabins, LHT Futzing, Rudge ruminating, and Art with a Capital "A".

Welcome readers to the last post of the last year before the end of the world (according to the Mayans.)

Just like last year, today (that would be Saturday, December 31st) finds myself and my sweetie April riding  22 miles (35 km) from Hillsboro, Oregon* to Stub Stewart State Park for the annual Cycle Wild New Year's Trip. We'll be camping with a group of approx. 20 people in Stubby's luxurious cabins for two nights. Should be a lot of fun, and we may even see a little snow up there! Don't think it will be the winter wonderland it was last year:

We'll be riding back to town Monday, January 2nd. Which also happens to be the NEXT TO THE LAST DAY OF MY BIG SALE! You fine folks have until 11:59 PM (Pacific Standard Time) on Tuesday January 3rd to take advantage of the savings. Check it out!


As I mentioned this week I obtained a "Nelson" Longflap from Todd B. and mounted it to my Long Haul Trucker. I say "Nelson" in air-quotes because it's an older bag that's similar in size to the newer Nelson on the Raleigh, but it's still a bit bigger (but no Camper size.) Last night in preparation for the Stub trip, I stuffed it with my down sleeping bag, bag liner, inflatable pillow, and a few other things. It stuffed the bag enough to need to use the longflap and it's resting on the fender. But it holds! I tested it around the block and it was fine, though there was a little leg rub. I'll see how I feel after riding tomorrow.

The Long Haul Trucker has three bottle cage braze on mounts: two on the down tube and one on the seat tube. The mount on the bottom of the down tube I've mounted my pump, but I decided to put another bottle cage there for now. The cages I've been using are the Klean Kanteen specific cages. While I wouldn't call them "handsome" (all the plastic would make purists cringe), they work remarkably well for what they do. Designed to hold the stainless steel Klean Kanteens snugly, there is no rattle due to the polyproplyne construction. When I got the first two cages before tour I worried that they would break due to the heavy use. Almost 5,000 miles later they are still intact!

Now for the most part I don't need three bottles on the bike. But the third cage will hold my stove fuel bottle for the cabin trip.

When I mounted a traditional bottle cage in this spot before, there would be conflict between water bottle and fender unless I used the absolute smallest Klean Kanteen with a flat top. But these Klean Kanteen cages allow the bottles to be lower than normal cages. So even with the fairly large fuel bottle in this position there is just enough clearance.

Just enough!

And I mounted the pump to the seat tube-for now.


In Rudge updates, Keith the Raving Bike Fiend and myself put the 1953 Rudge Sports into the stand on Friday to take a look. And the more we look, the better the prognosis gets. It doesn't seem like there will be that much to do to it to get it ridable.

The rear wheel spins when pedaled, and is remarkably straight for a wheel with a couple broken spokes and loose tension on other spokes. Chalk it up to steel rims, 40 spoke count, and British manufacturing! Hopefully the wheel is still repairable, because it would be a shame to have to replace it. (Even if I did, I would still consider rebuilding the wheel on the extant hub, as it's a 1953 Sturmey-Archer AW 3-speed with alloy shell.) Front wheel is toast, but thankfully I have a replacement.

It looks like what will be needed is realignment of cranks (which according to Keith could be the hardest part), possible bottom bracket overhaul, flipping of the bars. hammering out the dents on the fenders (initially I was going to replace them, but I'm keeping them as-is for now), replacement of needed cables, and lubing of anything that needs lube. I think the only things I'll need to purchase is a rear light (a Fenderbot) as the rear reflector is gone. We might even be able to salvage the chain!

So I'll have a vintage British three-speed that is mostly original. This won't be my daily rider as the Raleigh takes the role. But this will be the fun sunny-day ride. I'm excited!

And to close out this post, let's talk about art.

I've been doing art for awesome community bike shop North Portland Bikeworks for almost as long as they've been open, which is ten years. I just whipped up a new sticker for them:

And I'm currently working on a comic with Sarah Mirk! Sarah is a reporter for the Portland Mercury, an IPRC staffer, Carl's girlfriend, and the writer behind the Portland History Series comics. I've already been featured in one, the Dead Freeways comic, but this will be the first one I will illustrate. What's it about? Portland bicycle history, of course. So we've got Portland history, bicycles, and comics, three of my favorite things. If we managed to throw in coffee, beer, burritos, pizza, and 80's underground music from the Twin Cities, I'd be all set. The comic will be published in early March, I'll keep y'all posted with updates!

That's it for 2011! Hope you'll stick around for 2012 with the Urban Adventure League!

*We'll be taking the MAX (light rail) from downtown Portland to get to Hillsboro.


  1. Have an awesome and safe trip\New Years my friend! Looking forward to reading in '12-at least until the Zombie Apocalypse hits (then it's every biker for themselves,LOL! :p) :)


  2. I'm totally looking forward to seeing your art for the comic! Sarah's got a zippy script with vignettes both humorous and fascinating.

    Here's to the comic project and the new year!


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