Bicycle Patches On Messenger Bag

Over time I’ve aquired a few bicycle related patches. For years I’ve proudly displayed them inside this tin.

After my recent purchase of messenger bags I decided to place some of the patches on the one made from a recycled U.S. postal bag. After some quick Googling I decided to use E6000 to adhere the patches to the bag. Note: the Errandonnee patch is from one of the previous years that I did complete the challenge.

After applying glue to the patches and placing them on the bag I applied weight while the glue cured.

I’ve only carried the bad a couple of times now but so far so good. I didn’t apply patches to the right third of the bag to leave “Domestic” visible. I’m undecided whether to cover up the Timbuk2 logo.

Speaking of bags… while I recently had all of our duct tape out to make myself a new wallet I beefed up a ziplock bag that I use to hold various things that I carry in my messenger bag. Even though the bags I wear have many pockets for these various things, keeping them in the ziplock bag makes it easy for me to switch between the different bags. Some of the various things in the ziplock bag are napkins. hand wipes, aspirin, contact lenses, knife, lighter, velcro straps, innertube rubber bands and a pen.

Here’s a shot of my old wallet of 6+ years and the new one.

Making An Alcohol Stove

How I make the alcohol stove that I take on my rides for coffee outside. To make your own stove I suggest searching Youtube. Many great tutorials there.

DIY Bendix Automatic Adjusting Cone Lock Nut Tool

In order to disassemble and reassemble a Bendix Automatic 2 speed “kickback) hub you need a special tool. I made this crude one from a socket a few years ago.

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The tool goes in to the 2 slots on the adjusting cone lock nut.
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Since I didn’t use a deep socket to make the tool I have to hold it with vice-grips. Use an adjustable wrench to hold the adjusting cone while you remove the lock nut.
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DIY Headset Bearing Cup Remover

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A foot long piece of 3/4 inch conduit with slits cut in to it and then fanned out.

Got the idea from RJ The Bike Guy.

A Beginner’s Guide To Bicycle Geocouching

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What is Bicycle Geocouching?
“Finding a dumped, upholstered, couch, loveseat or chair while on a bike ride & photograph yourself sitting on the furniture with your bike also in the photo.”
All of my Geocouching finds can be viewed here.

Follow the simple steps below to make your first Bicycle Geocouch score…



Spot a dumped couch while on a bicycle ride.
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Lean bicycle against couch.
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Set self-timer on phone or camera. Lean phone/camera against an object like your water bottle or a found object. Push the shutter button on phone/camera.
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Seat yourself on the couch and strike a pose.
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That’s It!

Practice these simple steps in your living room so you’ll be well prepared while in the field.
With a lot of hard work and a little luck you too can become an awesome Bicycle Geocoucher.

As with any extreme sport, Bicycle Geocouching has it’s risks. Please be careful and enjoy.

Like the Bicycle Geocouching Facebook page where you can share your Geocouching finds.
Also check out the Bicycle Geocouching map with scores from all over the world. E-mail us or contact us through the FB page to have your find added to the map.

DIY Handlebar Grip End Caps From Bottle Caps

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After removing the plastic seal from inside the bottle cap I use a 2 part epoxy to glue in the bolt. The proper size socket with a long extension can be used to attach the but to the bolt inside the grip.

How To Photograph A Bike

Here I used a small chunk of concrete I found to place under the kickstand to position the bike more upright.

Here I used a small chunk of concrete I found to place under the kickstand to position the bike more upright.

I thought I’d share some of my photography tips that I believe make for better bike photos. The title should really read ‘How I Photograph A Bike” as I am not an expert on photography nor bikes. These tips are for photos that aim to show off the bike only, not the bike and it’s location and/or rider.

Drive side out!
Probably the most important thing in photographing a bike and the mistake most often made. Bikes look awkward from the non-drive side. Show off that sprocket and/or chainguard.

Background.
Check your background. Non cluttered backgrounds will allow you to make out the details of the bike better. Building walls are a favorite background of mine. If the building is brick or has horizontal and/or vertical lines, you will want to make sure your camera is really straight both horizontally and vertically. If you have no choice other than a cluttered background, distance the bike from the background if possible to help get bokeh (background blur).

Set up straight. No leaning.
I like to keep the bike as upright and straight as possible. I will generally prop a bike up against a wall using the (left) end of the handlebar. I believe it makes for a better photo when the bike is not leaning.

If you must lean.
Kickstands are great when parking your bike but don’t make for the most flattering angle of the bike for photographing. If I do use the kickstand I generally place something under the kickstand so the bike isn’t leaning as much. A rock, stick or even my wallet (which I’ve went off and left so I don’t recommend that) will help in putting the bike in a more vertical position. This also aids in keeping the kickstand from sinking if you are on soft ground. If the bike still has more lean than I think looks good, I find that shooting the bike from a slight angle and turning the front wheel slightly toward the camera looks better.

Crank position.
Position the crank so the arms aren’t intersecting with the tubes of the bike. I generally place the crank arms around the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock position if no chainguard (the right crank at 3 o’clock) and at 4 & 10 if the right crank arm and pedal interfere with the chainguard. You may want to position the pedals so they are level horizontally.

Tires.
If your tires have lettering spin the wheels around where the writing is legible and not obstructed by the frame/fork or grass. Place the valve stems at the same position (i.e. bottom) on each wheel.

Other things to watch for.
Pay attention to where shadows fall. If the bike is against a wall and the sun is low and behind you casting shadows on the wall behind the bike. It can be hard to differentiate what is actual bike and what is shadow.
Handlebars intersecting with seat or top tube when shooting from front or rear. Adjust your position up or down.

More is better.
This is the digital age. You’re probably not paying to have film developed. Take many photos. It betters your odds of getting a good one. For every one photo I keep there are probably 10 or more that get deleted.

Gear.
Don’t blame poor photos on the camera. Even smart phones have excellent cameras now. Most all my photos are taken with a Panasonic point and shoot camera or my Iphone. More important than what you shoot with is taking an extra moment to think about and compose your photo.

Photo examples…

Here is a not so good photo.

Non-drive side, leaning, poor crank placement and cluttered background.

Non-drive side, leaning, poor crank placement and that old Ford truck is cool but it doesn’t make for a good background.

I generally take 3 full bike photos and maybe some detail shots. For the 3 full photos I take one from the (drive) side trying to keep as straight both vertically and horizontally as I can, then photos from the front and rear each at a slight angle not straight on.

From the side straight on.

From the side straight on.

Towards the front at angle and from the rear at angle.

Towards the front at angle and from the rear at angle.

Be careful though when trying to position your bike in it’s most upright position.

Be careful when trying to position your bike in it’s most upright position as it can easily fall.

Shooting from a slight angle with the front wheel turned towards the camera.

Leaning on kickstand. Shooting from a slight angle with the front wheel turned towards the camera.

no kickstand? how about a stickstand.

No kickstand? how about a stickstand.

As a last resort you can photograph the bike on the ground. Try to make sure the front fork/wheel is straight which may require placing something under the wheel to prop it up.

As a last resort you can photograph the bike on the ground. Try to make sure the front fork/wheel is straight which may require placing something under the wheel to prop it up.

Do you have any tips or tricks for photographing bikes? Leave a comment below.

About That Green Bike

Seems like anytime I post a photo to social media of a bike I’m working on that was taken in the garage, I’ll get this question… “What’s that green bike in the background?”. I put together a quick video to explain it.

DIY Bearing Cup Press

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A threaded rod with washers and nuts works as a bearing cup press.

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It can also be used to narrow or widen the rear triangle of the bike.

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