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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Plans unrealized, Bikes optimized

If one of you (you meaning my loyal 12 1/2 readers) checked into my blog last week, you might remember me talking about getting ready to ride Oregon Randonneurs' 100km Populaire ride last Saturday. Well, that didn't happen. Well, the ride itself happened, but not my participation. One reason was I wasn't sure about riding that long at a sustained pace without figuring out what a good handlebar height/position would be. The other thing was I realized that even with the headset replacement operation, my trusty Surly Long Haul Trucker still needs a little more TLC. I figured this out on Friday afternoon when I realized that the front brake pads were, to put it mildly, shot. Thankfully Ed came to the rescue and we replaced brake pads that night so theoretically the bike is a go.

This means two weekends in a row my grand bicycle riding plans have been foiled. I'm a bit bummed by this, and I realize I need to go on a pretty good bike ride soon, for sanity's sake at least.


I did manage to do some stuff with bikes over the weekend. Besides brakes on the LHT, I finally got a new tire for ye old Raleigh Wayfarer. The old rear tire was getting a little long in the tooth even before the wheel rebuild, so I ordered another creme-colored Schwalbe Delta Cruiser in the 650A (26" x 1 3/8") size. I had hoped it would come in before the wheel build but no such luck. And only a few days after the wheel build I got a flat. Being a thrifty and clever Yankee* (and also a bit lazy) I felt there was no reason to fix the flat until I got a new tire (so long as I had another bike to use) since that would mean taking off/remounting a tire and wheel not once but twice.

Finally the tire came in on Friday, so Saturday I mounted it. Yes, that old tire was beat. Not only were there a number of gashes in the tread, but the wire bead was breaking:

And for the fun part with any old British three speed: remounting the rear wheel. Since it's a bolt-on wheel, they tend to have a lot of washers, spacers, and the like. I tried as best as I could to remember the sequence of how they went on and where, but it was still a pain in the ass to get it all in right. But after a lot of cursing and futzing, I got it all lined up right. Now hopefully I won't have to take this wheel off again any time soon!

Oh, I also got a new accessory: a bicycle computer!

I know, I know. According to a certain mindset, one shouldn't have things on a bike that tell you how fast you're going and how far you've gone. And I resisted the urge to install one for a good year, until I found a decent one for cheap: A Planet Bike Protege 8.0 for only $15. It does all the things a basic cycle computer should: speed, distance, rate, time. Nuthin' fancy. And not that obtrusive, either.

I'm not one of those anal riders who meticulously log in every mile they ever ride and worry about things like "cadence", but it is nice to see how far I've gone in a day. The only time I log miles is on tours. And ever since last month's inaugural Three Speed Tour to Battle Ground Lake, I've gotten the urge to do more tours with this bike. And if I'm going to do some touring, I want a cycle computer.

*To my non-American readers: Yes, I know to you generically any American is a Yankee. But here it usually means a Northerner usually from the Northeastern U.S. Specifically, Yankees are from New England, which my home state of Connecticut is part of. In fact, Connecticut is "The Yankee State."


  1. I must confess...once I added that first computer years ago,I keep a journal with the ride's stats,every ride,every mile,LOL!

    Hey,where can one order those tires,I have a few old Schwinns....

    1. Unfortunately, these tires (tyres?) won't work for Schwinn. While Schwinn indeed had a 26" x 1 3/8" tire size, it was for a 597 mm rim. Every other brand of bike (esp. British bikes) used a 26" x 1 3/8" tire that fit on a 590 mm rim. And since the 597mm size is even more rare than the 590mm size, the selection of tires is frankly, limited and sucky. Sorry.

      More here:

    2. This is probably your only option for Schwinn 26" x 1 3/8"/597mm/S-6 tires:


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