Fendering The Crossroads

I’ve been needing a bike with fenders forever. In the past I might build up a temporary bike with fenders for wet days but I wanted to have a permanent fendered bike. I figured the Specialized Crossroads would be the best choice as it’s a good all around, practical bike and is able to carry things.

So I recently purchased these yellow, plastic Planet Bike fenders for it. I didn’t buy them specifically for the color but instead because the yellow was cheaper. I figured I could always paint them if I didn’t like the look. I’d rather have gotten a nicer metal fender like something from Velo Orange but didn’t want to spend that much money especially when fitting fenders is so iffy.

The Panaracer Gravelking tires on the bike measure out to 41mm and the fenders are 45mm. As was expected I had to do some tweaking to get the fenders to fit. This included some grinding on the rear rack bracket and elongating a hole on the fender bracket to get the fender closer to the seat stay bridge. Also some fine tuning of the adjustable braces.

I got them installed with no room to spare in some places. I imagine I will always be tweaking them to keep them from rubbing.

As for the color… I think I’ll just leave them as is. The wild color combo is growing on me and the brightness of the yellow surely helps when it comes to being seen.

Basket Case

First let’s start off on a good note. Nova’s doing fine. Me on the other hand… Where to begin? I guess is a little history. I’ve had a lower back problem for quite some time. I blame it on my career as a phone man. It’s a mild enough problem that I tolerate it and haven’t put much effort into resolving it. If I’m in any one position for too long though it becomes a bigger problem. I have to take frequent breaks when riding to avoid that. That’s fine as I’m generally never in a hurry to get anywhere. There was that one time years ago in Missouri on a 70 mile ride where we rode most of it non-stop trying to beat the sunset. I couldn’t make it the last few miles due to my back. Nova finished the ride on her own and came back to pick me up in the truck.

Missouri 2007. Stopping to try and relieve back pain.

So anyway back to more recent times. About a month ago I was riding my newly built drop bar klunker as seen below.

I didn’t ride it all that far, maybe a dozen miles, but the reach on the bike is too long for me. My back didn’t like that. So for a couple of days I hobbled around and needed help getting off the couch etc… and no riding.

Shortly after that I had an eye issue and I ended up having retinal surgery. I didn’t ride for a couple of days during that ordeal. The eye I had surgery on is the same eye that has Adie’s Eye which I’ve had for years but I think the 2 are unrelated.

Then the snow came.

The last time I rode was a short ride to the post office.

I started shoveling the drive. I know from experience that snow shoveling for me is a big gamble with my back and this time I lost. So I’m back to hobbling around and no riding. I have gotten out a couple times in the car just to be outside and the heated seat on high feels good on my back.

Having a pity party from the comfort of the heated seat of the car.

Some time off the bike is probably what I needed anyway as I’ve recently been dealing with saddle sores. Only one time before have I ever had saddle sores and that was from spending a day in the rain on a wet Brooks saddle. Not sure what brought it on this time but probably just a combination of the saddle, my attire and sweat.

So yeah at this moment in time I’m just one big basket case.

It’s been 4 days since I last rode. That may be a record for me at least over the past few years. I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike again soon.

My Winter Ride Clothing

An impromptu video showing what I wear on winter rides when it’s below freezing.

A few more details….
The shirts are Travex flannel by Eddie Bauer. I’ve always gotten these on sale at the EB outlet store or used through Poshmark.
The jeans are Levi S67 sold at Walmart.
I alternate between 2 different pairs of boots. One pair is Ugg and the other Timberland. Both are leather and have flat soles. Most people I think associate Uggs with being fur lined but these are not.
The wool socks I purchased on Amazon (link).

About This Bike – Schwinn Drop Bar Cantilever Klunker

In this episode of ATB I cover my recently built Schwinn Cantilever Drop Bar Klunker for lack of a better name.
This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while and finally followed through. I don’t see many of these old cruiser bikes converted to drop bars. It’s really a fun bike to ride. The reach is a little long for me and I will probably try to address that later with a shorter stem.
Please enjoy the video and thanks for watching.

Slush Biking For Coffee

I recently built up the Heavy Duti with studded tires that were gifted to me by a friend. On a morning where we got a little bit of snow I took the bike out for coffee. The snow was melting nearly as fast as I was riding it though.

Side note: The existing tire tracks are mine. I had wanted to show myself making the first tracks in the freshly fallen snow but my Gopro kept freezing up and I had to shoot several segments multiple times.

Roadside Finds And Repurposing – Fireball Bottles

Earlier this year while out riding for some unknown reason I started to take notice of the crazy amount of empty Fireball liquor bottles that were tossed on and alongside the road. There are other brands of liquor bottles as well but Fireball seems to be the most popular. I assume these are being tossed out car windows and that’s a scary thought to think as we’re riding down the same roads. That’s not what not what this post is about though.

At some point I started snatching up some of the bottles that were in good condition with lids.

I bring them home, clean them and have found a variety of uses for them, many of them bike related…

Storing fuel for my alcohol stove for when we ride for coffee outside.

Storing small bike parts like cable and cable housing ends.

Carrying my homemade hand sanitizer.

Speaking of which I just made this clip on carrier for it out of an old inner tube and a carabiner.

A few other uses are carrying oat milk and agave nectar for our coffee outside rides and soy sauce when bike camping.

In the beginning I was stopping to pick all the good ones up but quickly realized there are so many I would never make it to my destination if I kept it up. I’m a lot more discriminating now.

Edit: To show how the bottle jacket was made. This is the smallest of the bottle sizes.
I cut a cross section of a really fat inner tube the width of the bottle and then cut a hole in it for the neck of the bottle. I then cut another sliver of cross section of the tube to make a rubber band to hold the carabiner on.

Miles Ridden VS Miles Driven

I’ve never kept track of mileage on the bike. I don’t have an odometer and I don’t think my phone would stay charged long enough to do so. When riding away from home we might track miles on Nova’s cyclocomputer to know our location on a route but the amount of miles we ride really isn’t important to me. I did get to thinking though, I wonder if I rode more miles than we drove this year? I did some very rough estimating and figuring of both the mileage on our bikes and in the car.

There were a couple of months this year Nova did track our riding miles on her most ridden bike and if I recall it averaged out to a little over 100 miles a week so I’ll go with 100. That’s 5,200 miles for the year. That would be the high end. I also know that a minimum ride for me is about 10 miles and I ride probably 6 days a week which is 3,120 miles. That’s the low end. So I’m going in the middle of these 2 estimates with 4000 miles of riding for the year.

I don’t know the exact mileage for the car for the year. I do know we left San Diego to head home on the 1st of January. When we arrived home the car was in need of an oil change having 10,000 miles on it. The car now has 13,700. If I add an approximated 1,500 miles for the drive home from CA to the 3,700 that’s 5,200 for the year. So it’s highly unlikely that I will have ridden more miles than we drove for the year. Some of the other miles on the car were shorter trips, the Nebraska border and northwest Kansas are first to come to mind. If I exclude just the drive home from CA then I’m positive I rode more miles than we drove.

Our rides are for errands and entertainment and many of them are miles that would have been driven if not ridden. Even knowing that I rode more than we drove locally makes me happy.