ocotillo holiday

Went out to San Diego and the California desert for the holidays.
Just getting around to posting an update.
I’ve already been back for a month!

First stop was during the rain in San Diego.  A great store called Velo Cult.  They had these great racks out front & tons of great gear and vintage frames just waiting to be built up!
velo cult san diego

Actually went out for a ride on Christmas morning.  Great views of the desert and 2 serious hills!
Desert riding

10% grade

Nice riding on the farmland roads in Borrego Springs.  Several of these fun statues along the way.
metal cowboy

Check my flickr gallery for more

Surly in Florida

I got a chance to go through more photos and I wanted to show off the slideshow.
Here’s a closeup of the whole bike packed in:
Click the image for the Flickr slideshow.


I’ve already booked another trip to San Diego for the holiday.

Can’t wait to go riding on the West Coast!

first flight !


suitcase bike


I got a chance to pack my Surly Traveler’s Check

and take it on a flight for an excellent Florida vacation!

As you can see, it is a very snug fit in the case!  It took me a while to pack it for the first time.

With it’s hard-sided wheeled case and the whole bike inside, it all weighed only 49 lbs. (22kg)
First bag is free on JetBlue, but it has to be under 50.
Good thing I stashed those wrenches in my other half’s duffle bag!

Flew into Tampa and stayed just over the Skyway Bridge from St. Petersburg in Manatee County.


skyway & the bay

One night I saw the Robinson nature preserve on the local cable access and the next day I was there biking in it!

valentine house

valentine house @ robinson preserve

The historic ‘Valentine House’ was barged in off an island and now rests at the head of the reserve path.

more pics to follow!

Bikes around D.C.

This post is long overdue. I just realized it’s been over a month since I got back another long weekend come and gone.
And so I dug this out of the ‘drafts’ folder.

I went to D.C. for a long weekend over MLK jr day.

Between the swirl-margaritas and hopping around the Metro with my sister visiting restaurants and museums my favorite thing to do in D.C. is just walk around and takes lots of pictures.  
Friday before the swirlies in Dupont Circle I got my chance to walk the whole day.  
I got off the Metro at China Town and made my way to the Capitol.  
Continuing walking the length of the great Mall, I met some cycling tourists.
Eventually making my way over to Arlington cemetery and Metro’d back to Dupont in time for happy hour.

Here’s some of the photos I took along the way.
potbelly cargo



I happened to walk by a couple of fully loaded touring cyclists that had biked down from Montreal:

fully loaded touring

I saw the sign on the back of their panniers “from Montreal” (in the middle of winter!) so I was very intrigued.
Check out Sam’s blog here:
Crazy Guy on a bike: 21 days in Snow Montreal to DC

winter tour us coast

travel substitution

Sometimes you just gotta live vicariously through travels & adventures of others.
Especially when it’s the end of the year and you’re all out of vacation days.

Today being the snow day that it was,
I dug around on the internets all day and found this gem.
Over in Nagoya Japan, there’s a pretty big cycling scene
with gangs of girls riding and dancing along to country music together.

I Found this video via Candy Cranks’ Rie

Next, I found my way to Rie’s flickr photostream.
Some fantastic photos from Halloween and the NUTS!FES party and ride set.
Then I notice this guy’s got a Traveler’s Check too:


from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/25716145@N03/4050512920/

He’s the proud owner of Japan’s only Surly BBQ bike !!  Awesome-sauce indeed.
Tony’s flickr set reveals pictures of him riding the same bike in France!

I wrote to Rie asking permission to post the photo and she wrote me back

and even linked me to her newly released  “Love Wheels” Nagoya girls 2010 calendar.
I couldn’t say it any better so I’ll just quote Rie:

‘ Please take a look if you are interested!! Theres lots of SURLY bikes that Nagoya girls ride!! ‘


You can’t even make up this stuff!
Now I’m thinking it’s time to make some travel plans for 2010.

It’s a bike!

New Bike Day has come!

Finally finished my Surly Traveler’s Check build tonight.


Thanks to Mr. Pugatch here for making sure I didn’t go astray during the process!
He’s gettin’ hitched this weekend and he started writing a novel so he’s been pretty busy!


I still have a few more details to sort out with the cable separators
and the luggage I’ll need for packing it up and traveling.

Assembly update

Finally, an update on how the building is coming along!

Saturday I went back into Broadway.
Jigged up my fork with the shop vise and cut it to a shorter length.


Then some anti-seize stuff goes on the bottom bracket(107mm) and thread that into the frame.
Following that I installed the (Sugino) crankset (where the pedals go)
Next we lined up the front derailleur and bolted it down.

Now Mr. Pugatch is helping me finish building it at his place.
He has a sweet bicycle stand
Also, another bike in his living room isn’t such a big deal:


Here you can see what started out with just a frame has now finally started to “look like a bike”


The reflective walls of the Schwalbe Marathon tires are what makes the wheels look so bright under the flash.
I had hand built wheels made by the shop. Mavic OpenPro rims laced up to Shimano 105 hubs. sweet!
Thomson Stem, road handlebars, Brooks Saddle on an Easton seat post.

So now I’m almost done and I just can’t wait to take it for a ride !

getting there & a class

I’ve been so busy as of late I haven’t updated nor gained any progress in my build. I did however accomplish another goal;
getting to California before 30.

That’s right. A while ago I had a discussion about some other young people
at the cusp of their twenties. I heard about a girl who traveled all the way to Nepal to try Everest.
She only made it to base camp before having to turn back.

I decided against such lofty intentions and thought to myself,
wait I’ve never even been to Cali!
Of course next time I get out there I am without question bringing my bike for a ride!

Especially with all the great Bicycle Boulevards and general cycling awareness and culture I noticed in the Bay Area. Roadies and Urbanites alike everyone seemed to have a bike.


Now that I’m back I went back to Broadway and started a wheel building class there. The first class consisted of us learning about different rims and hub styles so we can decide what to order for our riding needs.
Also, I may have drooled on my frame again.


Frame detail

Saturday morning I got up to work on the bike some more.
First we did a frame saver treatment to keep rust away,
then used special tools to put the headset pieces on.

Mr. Pugatch here helped me out as Broadway‘s Teaching Mechanic.

You get to work on your own bike and get instruction while you do it.
Once you know what you’re doing you can come and use the bike tools yourself.

This means a lot coming from a guy who hates doing laundry so much that
he pays for laundromat to do it.
Wash, dry, & fold almost a months worth for $25!  AND he delivers.
What can I say?
I’d rather be going for a ride with some dapper and merry folks
than sitting around at home
folding and ironing.

tweed ride

More important parts will be here…Next week….

Building at Broadway

Hey BostonBiker !

Entering the Boston-bloc blog with my first bike build project.

I’ve been taking classes at the Broadway Bicycle School this year
with the idea in mind that once I sold my car I would then build my own bike.

I’m now car-free and in the middle of building my Surly Traveler’s Check.

This frame has bicycle torque couplings that allow you to disassemble the bike
to pack in a suitcase!

Stay Tuned

Start with the frame