Reflection, Reparation, Repentation, Rejuvination, and Recreation

Reflection, Reparation, Repentation, Rejuvination, and Recreation
My 2013 Transition TransAm 29

Friday, May 26, 2017

Road signals

"Point in the direction you want to go" , that's always been my method. The old horse and buggy signals don't work anymore.
FIRST, I stick my arm out and wave it up and down, to make sure the drivers see me.
Then I POINT, with my pointy finger, first with my arm fully extended, then flexing my elbow with my finger still pointing that direction, several times or until I need to grab the bars again. 
Even with that, I don't ride on roads much anymore. Trees and rocks won't usually run me over. Here's someone who agrees with me.

It is what it is

Wayne spent two nights at the hospital, under observation and waiting for a CAT scan and two MRI. 

They found broken L2 and strained neck ligaments front and rear, and possible compression damage in his cervical discs. Now he is home, waiting and healing, with the neck brace on for one month. No work, no driving. Then he sees a surgeon to evaluate his neck. He's upbeat about all this, and still maintains "it is what it is" ....


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Man Down!

So this morning was like so many others, a 'perfect day for a ride'. That's how it started. At Cutler Park. So it was aptly renamed the 'Cutler Chuckler' by some of the partly reunited 'Team Chuck', 3 of whom were in attendance today, Upchuck, TacoChuck, and FlatChuck ( As of Snowpachuck I have been honorarily inducted as ChiliChuck, but that's a different story for a different day....). We also had Ralph the lawyer, Michael Hurley the Chicken Farmer, John'Reff', and Wompatuck Wayne. We also started with a few young-uns from the Natick Landrys' store, but they opted to do their own shorter ride so they wouldn't be late for work at the shop on a busy Sunday. So we started with eight of us 50-something knuckleheads, rolling the fun single track ditches and berms on that fine sunny day. Something wasn't right about the next drainage ditch 'jump'/roller, followed by a quick steep up. We saw it from below, but all agreed to give it a roll. Most of us opted to hug the ground but that was difficult, by design. The cry of 'MAN DOWN!' is never good. Wayne had cartwheeled off his bike onto his head, cracked his helmet in two places, and was obviously hurt. He was conscious, asking about his bike and his little green alien, but we were very concerned about the mid-back pain he related to us. We were very close to the parking lot and he wanted to get up and ride back, so we got him to his truck, and Upchuck got him to South Shore Urgent Care in Weymouth. They transferred him to South Shore Hospital for observation, Catscan and MRI. He's still there awaiting results. I visited him at about 6pm, and they finally gave the hungry man a sandwich!. He's in a lot of pain, still has all his faculties but he's suffering. Stay tuned for updates on his condition.( as of 11:30, still awaiting results) Keep Wayne in your thoughts, and ride safe.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


So I got out on a 'recovery ride', the day after Mother's Day. Those of you who know, know that Mother's Day is the biggest Day of the year in the restaurant business. The week leading up to it was hell, trying to make sure we had enough prep done ....then the weekend itself adding up to 42 hours just Friday Saturday and Sunday... add to that the running lack of help in the kitchen ....So by Monday I was burnt toast. I couldn't think about riding in the morning. I had yet to finish my chapter update, which kept me inside on the computer until noon. I lay about half the afternoon. Finally I dragged myself and my bike to BlueHills and started feeling better. "Didn't break any speed limits", as I reported in Strava, got 12 miles in and was glad I got out! 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

So I needed new rear brakes. I looked into internet prices, with shipping , w/o shipping...
I found that most hydraulic disc brakes are pre-bled. Meaning that any monkey like myself can install them in a few minutes. Then I measured the hoses on my bike. They're like 200mm shorter than the hoses provided with a new kit. That means that the slack of the new hoses either will be flopping around in front of me or they'll need to be cut down to the correct size. Which means, the pre-bled kit hose need to be re-bled after cutting the hose, which I don't know much about.
Enter the LBS. Seems that just a couple of years ago there were only a couple of shops around that employed a mechanic who knew anything about brake bleeding --now they're all smartenin up....not many riders have the patience, and/or time to learn this relatively simple process. Some specialized tools are needed also( a bleed kit ) I've bled my Avid Elixir 3's a number of times, with my smart, good  friend Wayne's help. He had a bleed kit.
To shorten the saga abit, every time I wanted to change the brake pads, I had to bleed the system. And still the brakes kinda sucked. Not much modulation and too much lever pull just to make them work, I was getting tired of it. This past June, up at NEMBAFEST, one of our local shops, Landry's, was setup in the expo, offering free bike maintenance. I took them up on the offer, told Jared and Brandon my sob story that I just told you. They bled everything and the brakes were cherry for a few weeks. Then back to the way they were. So, when I finally said "enough!", I looked them up again, back at their Braintree store. As I mentioned, I did some internet research, decided on Shimano, and sure, I could buy the pre-bled rear kit for almost 20 dollars less, but there was that issue of the hose needing cut .....
Now onto my real problem with brakes. They don't make me faster, they only slow me down!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

On the road again

Out on the road bike for the first time in abouta year....
My @1993 Specialized Epic Carbon. Yep, that name that has since been re-branded as their popular high-end FSR rig, was originally a carbon and aluminum road bike. Carbon fiber tubing glued into aluminum lugs.
I bought it at Belmont Wheelworks in 1994. Not sure if it's a '94, or if it was NOS from a previous year , but I got it for a sweet 700 clams. At any rate, the salesman told me that in previous versions of the frame , the interface(glue) of the tubes and lugs was prone to react with the materials, breaking down and causing them to separate....but this particular model year they had painted the surfaces first so this chemical reaction would not happen. I believed him, and couldn't pas up on this fully-105- equipped, light weight machine. I test rode it and loved it. And to this day, ( knock on carbon fiber) , no sign of anything separating....
I once or twice tried to sell this beast back in the day of internet bb's, then decided  I wanted to keep it, and for years after kept getting emails about the original posting. One guy insisted on giving me exactly what I paid for it but at that point I had realized how much I loved the ride and that carbon fiber bikes were getting really expensive....
I've really never ridden another road bike ( except for the Reynolds steel bianchi-styled St Etienne with Campy-copy components that I bought in 1975) , so I don't have much point of reference, but the Epic rode like a dream. And still does.
On a warming pre-spring day when the trails were still soaked from 36 hours of rain,  a rare ride on the road was Epic.