Cycle Cross Bike

Last night was Cycle Cross Night at our weekly Pub Pedal where you are to ride a bike meant for the opposite gender. This night was originally called Ladies Night and was started as an excuse for the guys to bring out the ladies bikes in their collections. The name was later changed to give the women an excuse to ride something different also and to include the option of cross dressing.

I built up this bike starting with the frame and rear wheel I got from the free pile at last weekend’s swap meet. Also from the swap were the handlebars, grips and stem which were given to me and the basket which I purchased. The rest of the parts I had. I attempted to paint the fenders and chainguard I had to match.

The girl’s bikes pictured below were ridden by men and the man’s bike was ridden by a woman who won the bike in a raffle at the swap meet last Sunday. Others participated but I didn’t get photos.

Swapmeet Weekend Recap

This past weekend was the annual Midwest Bicycle Swap. It was also really cold and ridiculously windy. The weekend’s events were supposed to kick off Saturday evening with the annual Pre Swap Ride. In the past we would a ride around town with stops at a few of our garages for food and beverages. This year was to be different though as our town was hosting a big spring party with food, beer, live music and other forms of entertainment throughout the day and in to the evening. Our plan was to ride around and end at this party.
Mid day we got word that due to the weather the party was pretty much a bust so prior to the ride we made a change of plans and would ride to our house and then to Tim’s who is the swaps organizer. Nova and I quickly ran to the store to get beverages and snacks for our expected guests. Nova opted not to do the pre swap ride. I rode to the starting point and met up with 4 others. After hem hawing around for a bit in the freezing cold it was decided we’d skip riding to our house and just go straight to Tim’s which was just 2 blocks away. I did ride back to our house to retrieve the beverages that we had just bought and with my bag full of local craft beers I rode over to Tim’s. Nova arrived by car shortly after I did. Many others also showed up by car.
We had a great time talking bikes with everyone. Nova left prior to me and then I rode one more time against the freezing wind back home.

Sunday was swap day. I wasn’t selling this year so that meant I didn’t need to be there early. I did have a few things for the “free pile” though. I loaded my bike with my parts donations and a thermos full of coffee and arrived at the swap around 9:00am.

It was another great swap despite being so cold, windy and cloudy. I’d meant to take photos but forgot until many vendors we’re gone and others were packing up. I only snapped a couple pics. This was also about the time the sun finally came out.

My swap finds included a girls frame, handlebars, Wald basket, a front and reear wheel, 20″ fork and a pair of grips. Most of this was given to me or from the free pile. The girls frame I took to build up for this Thursday’s Cycle-Cross ride.

Also got this very cool art piece painted by a friend.

Not wanting to haul this stuff home on the bike I called for Nova to come pick me up. Back home I switched to an old bike and then Nova and I rode back to the swap to participate in the old bikes ride

Our monthly old bikes ride took place following the swap but due to the weather and everyone busy with the swap, just 5 of us rode. From the swap location we rode to the local VFW where we were met by some fellow swappers that drove. After socializing for a while Nova and I rode home thus ending the weekends bike events.

Fork Mod

Pictured with thew stem I don’t like.

This Schwinn straight bar knock-off I bought a couple years ago takes a fork with a 1 1/8th inch steer tube. I didn’t have a fork that size and bought one used from my LBS. I did have one stem that would fit and have been using it but I don’t like it. Instead of buying a new stem I decided to see if I could adapt the fork to take a smaller sized stem which I have plenty to choose from.

There was too much of a difference between the diameters of the fork and any stems I had that a shim wouldn’t work so I decided to see if I had a piece of tubing with the correct outside and inside diameter I needed. To my surprise I did. Probably leftover from an old girls Schwinn 3 speed that I hacked up long ago. The tube was a snug fit in the fork and I drove it in with a small sledge hammer till it wouldn’t go any more.


Then using an angle grinder with a cut off wheel I cut off the excess flush with the top of the steer tube.


I doubt the tube I inserted would ever move but I went ahead and drilled some holes in the steer tube and welded it to the tube inside.


New stem, new handlebars and new brakes. I always had a hard time getting the brakes that I’d originally put on properly adjusted so a quick trip to the LBS and now I have new, better working brakes.

New Pedals

With all the other upgrades I’ve done to my old Specialized Crossroads hybrid I decided to get new pedals as well. Cheap, large platform pedals I got off the internet.

Errandonnee 2018

I didn’t finish this year’s 2018 Errandonnee challange. My excuse(s)… It was already 4 days in to the challenge before I realized it had started. I was able to go back and find photos from 2 errands I had ridden in that 4 days though. Also I feel I just didn’t have enough errands to run that I could fit it to the categories. Majority of my errands are to the store. Below are those I did accomplish.

Errand 1.

Before I disassembled and stashed this bike away, I wanted to get a photo of it so I rode till I found a suitable spot.

Date: March 21st.
Category: Wildcard – to take a photo.
Miles: 6.
Observation: As much as I want to like this bike, I don’t.
Bike Ridden: Elgin.


Errand 2.

To Walmart and the thrift store for shopping. Bought bungee cords and socks at Walmart and a couple shirts a the thrift store. I immediately put one of the new cords to use.

Date: March 22nd.
Category: Store – shopping.
Miles: 16.
Observation: Today was nearly a perfect day to ride. Low wind and mild temperature.
Bike Ridden: Specialized hybrid.


Errand 3.

I put a new saddle on this bike and went for a ride to adjust it.

Date: March 23rd.
Category: Non Store errand.
Miles: 5.
Observation: How much easier this bike was to ride in today’s horrific wind than any of my others would be.
Bike Ridden: Diamondback.


Errand 4.

Rode to my parents to pick up these caps my Mother embroidered for me.

Date: March 26th.
Category: Non Store errand – to my parents.
Miles: 4.
Observation: My parents always show interest in whatever bike I show up at their doorstep on.
Bike Ridden: Monarch ratrod.


Errand 5.

Rode to the store to get pretzels to go with my chickpea salad sandwich I’m having for lunch. Took the long way home.

Date: March 27th.
Category: Store – shopping.
Miles: 3.
Observation: The nearby convenience store was recently bought out by another company. Looks like changes are being made. I hope they don’t eliminate the produce.
Bike Ridden: John Deere Schwinn.

New Saddle Day

On the first ride of my new Diamondback late last year I knew I wasn’t going to like the stock saddle so I did a saddle swap between it and my old hybrid which had a brown Brooks B17. I liked the Brooks on the new bike but missed it on the old one. Earlier this week I purchased a new black B17 for the Diamondback and it arrived today. Now to get it adjusted and broken in. I really like the Brooks saddles. I think this makes 9 of them between the 2 of us.

A couple side notes: The under saddle bag pictured above was originally a bright blue and I spray painted it black which worked out fine. In the background of the photo below you see the old airway beacon arrow.

The brown B17 back on the old hybrid.

Weekend Recap

Usually on ST Patrick’s Day (or the Saturday before) I’d ride with our club in the parade and then we’d both ride around participating in all the festivities following, but this year we didn’t make it. We did go for an afternoon ride to the casino for a beverage.

While there we rubbed elbows with who we believe to be members of the band Collective Soul who were playing there that evening.

On the way home I tried to chase down a few hot air balloons that were landing nearby.

Sunday we were the hosts for the monthly old bikes ride. Being the host just meant that we would pick the starting time, starting location and route. Sounds simple enough but it’s something I stressed over. My goal was to get participants to ride in a part of town that most probably hadn’t ridden in before and I wanted it to be a loop ride. Determining the length of the ride was the biggest dilemma. I know some people in our bike group who might show up don’t do a lot of riding and are in it more for the enjoyment of collecting and tinkering with the old bikes and others are in it just for the social aspect. On top of that some of these heavy old single speed bikes can be difficult to ride. Especially those that are left as original as possible with no modifications to make them easier and more comfortable to ride. I didn’t want it to be too far that someone might struggle, get discouraged and not participate again yet it needed to be long enough to make it worth our while.

I come up with a route that I thought matched all the criteria I was looking for and the ride went down with only a few mishaps, one of them mine.

At the ride start.

We made a stop to play around on the old soap box derby hill. It’s a pretty steep hill so everyone ended up pushing their bikes to the top and coasted down.

Coasting down the old soap box derby hill.

Me, being a show off, raced my bike all the way to the top. When the ride resumed after, my bike kept throwing the chain and it eventually got bound up in the rear cog. I guess the stress of going up the hill was too much for the 90 year old skip tooth chain. A plate on one of the links had broke. Nova, being the awesome person she is, volunteered to lend me her bike so I could continue with the group while she walked mine until I come back to get her in the truck. I guess at some point she got it to ride again briefly before the chain broke in two. She figured she could at least coast down the hills and did but then was reminded there wasn’t any way to stop since it’s a coaster brake. She had to Flinstone it lol.

Nova’s photo. My bike.

Near the end of the ride and I see smiles and laughing.

Prior to the ride I never mentioned how far we’d be riding. After the ride someone asked if I knew how far we’d rode. I told them 10 miles and there were cheers and high fives all around. This was the farthest some had ever ridden. That made me really happy. I didn’t stick around though as I had to go find Nova which I did. She said she enjoyed her few miles of hike a bike and coasting so all ended well.

Basket Night

This past Thursday was Basket Night at the weekly pub pedal. This theme night was somewhat timed to coincide with the NCAA playoff games happening here.

My ride for the evening…

Just a few of the many other basket bikes…

The original basketball goal.

Riding To March Madness

March Madness games being held in the big city. Rode up there yesterday which was practice day to take a look.