Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Indoor Training ... Assbike Style

It was ass cold, but the Underground Garage in the CNE was open ... and it was a toasty 20 degrees inside:

See the Movie (7.1 MB Quicktime).

Monday, February 27, 2006

Physical Fatness and Feist

Holy crap, I've totally sat on my ass this whole month and came way short on my inital milage goals. I've done maybe 33 hrs, when I was hoping for 80-100. Fucking up the fixie and the hella cold outside didn't help. Instead I'm packin' on the pounds like a retired nose tackle.

One thing I've noticed about being a fattie is that a feel full easier. I eat a little bit and feel stuffed. I think the "ring of fat" theory is right -- being a fattie makes you feel full easier; which is probably why all the best Gurgitators like Kobayashi and Sonya Thomas (aka the Black Widow, pictured right) are dang skinny.

Also, I know I've been slacking on Assbike songs for the last while. This is partly because I haven't warmed up to the (waay too whiney) Best Music of 2005, but I do like this tune from Feist Inside and Out, which sounds like it is from 1982. So check it out.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Ass Bike Crime

BOGOTA, Colombia, Feb 24 - A Colombian man has been sentenced to four years' house arrest for slapping a woman's bottom as he rode by her on his bicycle, sparking debate on whether the punishment fit the crime.

full article here

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Shout Oots to MEC and Excess All Areas

A few days ago I had an ass episode where the key broke off in my U-lock. Everyone knows you can (supposedly) booyah the barrel locks on the old styie U-locks, but with the flat key, if the lock is sticky or jamming when it's cold you can shear the key off in the lock.

I took the remains of the lock back to Mtn Co-op. Even though the store has a slightly icky hippiness, they're actually pretty good with everyting they do. The dude gave me a credit to use as I choose. I ended up chosing the same lock because I didna see a better option, but I'll try to be nicer to this one.

I found this via WFMU's great Blog.

Excess All Areas. It's a BBC site intended to edumify kids about club drugs.

You control a dopey Brit club kid and you can get him all dosed up and watch as he gets sweatier and his dancing gets progressively druggier. I especially like how the neon-looking drug signs flicker on when you choose a drug. Jeah! The music is pretty good too.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Hibernatin' and Groovin' 80s Bike

If I can get through a day without leaving my place it's a success ... so in that this Sunday was a total success. I watched appoximately 10,000 episodes of Pingu. Oh that wacky bird! When their lips move and their big playdoh feet slap on the ground when they walk around -- kills me everytime.

I did get the Rare Groove Bike finished. Here's a quick walk through of the build:

The first step was to get the freewheel removed (I had to pay a shop for this since I don't have the tool) and install the cog.

I'm no perfectionist, but it's important to know where to put your attention and when you can play fast and loose -- and perfection is critical when it comes to chainline on a fixed gear bike. The chain has to run absolutely straight from the chainrings at the front to the cog on the rear. The chain is both your gas and your brake, so if the chain derails because it's not straight you could find yourself fucked.

Also a straight chain is smoove and quiet -- which is a big part of the beauty of a fixie.

This is the view from the back of the bike.

Ideally for a single gear setup the chain sits 42mm from the center of the bike give or take 3 mm.

A simple way to determine the chainline is to measure:
A: from the "far" side of the seattube to the chainring
B: from the "near" side of the seattube to the chainring

The width of the tube is A-B=C and the distance the chain sits from the center of the bike is D=B+C/2. This number should be 40-45mm. Less is better as long as the chainring clears the frame. The outer limit is constrained by how far out the cog can sit within the rear dropouts, which is about 60mm.

On a modern road bike the inner ring is 41mm from the center of the bike and the outer is at 46mm (the space between them is 5mm). So if you have anything resembling a standard double crank and BB axle the inner position will be the suitable one. If you want to use the outer positon (it does look better) optimally you will need a BB axle that is about 5mm shorter.

On this particular bike the inner ring sits at 40mm and the outer ring sits at 48mm, and I use the inner position.

Since the rear of the bike is 126mm wide, ie. it extends 63mm left and right, so for the cog to sit 40mm for the center of the bike it has to sit 23 mm inside the frame (63-40=23!)

With the cog simply threaded and no other changes, it sits waaay too far in:

Spacers from the right side have to be moved to the left side to bring the cog over to the outside while preserving the 126mm overall width. Notice too that the cog as a shoulder so that I can move it laterally a few mm simply by flipping it around, but I chose to place the shoulder on the inside to reduce the amount of spacers I have to move to the other side.

This is the tedious part. Though the measurements get me in the ballpark, no matter how well you measure, things move around when you tighten it all up, so there is a trial and error component and the final stages are all done by eye, until you get it nailed.

One consequnce of this shifting around is that the wheel will no longer be centered within the frame, but will be offset to the right by the same amount I move the cog over by.

To recenter the wheel I can tighten some left side spokes and loosen some right side spokes. If the spoke lenghts can't accomodate this, it is a crisis -- the wheel will have to be rebuilt with properly sized spokes. Luckily it all works out. Since I will not be using the big ring I remove it.

One important feature, which makes frames from this era particulary suitable for single spped converions are long horizontal dropouts which allow plenty room for chain tension adjustment.

An oddball feature was the weirdo crank bolts. On the left you see the weirdo crank bolts and on the right you see a std. Campy crank bolt. These bolts were simply carriage bolts with an 8mm unthreaded section and a nut with a short matching collar. I've never seen bolts like this before on a crank -- so losing these would be a major hose.

A regular crank bolt has a 10mm collar the bolt threads into. One can replace a std. crank bolt with a shorter version if you only plan to run a single ring, but this isn't an option so I bought some 1mm think washers at Home Hardware to take up some of the space creaded by removing the big ring. Also I'm excited that my coffee table looks like wenge in those pics, even tho it's not.

I used a BMX chain to finish off the drivetrain. his is how it looks all put together :

I use a (close to) period-correct Selle Italia Turbo and silver drop bar and forged stem to finish it off.

Since I plan to sell the bike I opted not to install the brake levers or tape the bars so it stays lookin' pristine. The final owner may decide on a different brake lever arrangement or may only want to tape a part of the bars or have no tape at all.

Here's the final tally:

Purchase price $50
Dura Ace Cog $25
Brake levers $20
Chain + Labour $10
Handlebar $10
Bar Tape $2

From the Stash:
Stem (est $30)
Turbo Saddle (est $30)

Total investment was about $180 and I have already listed it for $350 and have already had some enquiries. I would like to ride it for a few weeks before I part with it, but only if the roads are dry. This bike is no beater or commuter. I am treating it as a piece of art in my place and it would actually make a nice display piece in a business or for an aficionado who wants special Lazy Sunday coffee shop bike that gets ridden occasionally and looks good the rest of the time.


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Assbike Stranded

Oh yeah, this is the sign for a place on Bloor:

And it was appropriate for today. I rode my fixie to Value Village and when I tired to unlock the bike the key just twisted and broke! I think the lock was jamming with all the coldness.

So I had to get a dude to come over from Cyclepath to grind the lock off, not to mention the hassle I had to go through to be able to run an extension cord out the store to where my bike was locked. $30 for the pleasure.

Goddamn! Cutting the lock itself took about 30 seconds, but the whole ordeal killed a good 2 hrs; and the kicker was there wasn't anything worthwhile at the store. I did however get a classic handlebar at Cyclepath for $10 and some equally classic blue cotton bar tape for the Rare Groove Ride. They also threw in a used saddle fer FREE. So now that ride is pretty much complete and up for sale.

And for some news of the BIZZARRE (from cyclingnews.com)

Simoni's voice wakens coma girl

Italian sports paper La Gazzetta dello Sport reported that the voice of Gilberto Simoni made a young girl come out of a coma in which she had been for four months after an accident. The 'miracle' dates back to 2003 but the story only found its way to the press this week. The girl, Chiara, was hit by a car while she was out cycling with her brother. The boy died and Chiara did not regain consciousness until her parents decided to play an interview with Gilberto Simoni which they had taped after his Giro d'Italia victory in 2003. Reportedly, "Bebo" was the first word the girl spoke - the nickname that she gave her great idol.


This is a rare picture of Isabel. She is very shy and melancholy, if you try to catch her she will disappear in a puff of black smoke:

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Assbike: Olympic Edition

Canada just won a gold medal on the first day, the medals look like donuts ... coincidence ??

Apparently Winter Olympic sports have to involve sliding, so these are sometings you won't be seeing at the Olympics, so we feature them here:

... snowshoeing ...

... ice-fishing ...

... snowball fighting.

Rare Groove Ride

I am weak. I bought another Assbike project on Craigslist even though I have about three other Assbike projects on the go. $50, I said to myself I'd easily recover the cost if I resold it -- but that might never happen. This is what it looked like when I picked it up.

It's an Atala, the frame sticker indicates it is made in Padova by the company founded by Cesare Rizzato. The "Campione del Mondo '84" sticker reveals it's a mid/late-80s model. One downside is that is equipped with NISI tubular rims.

I totally dig the Alfa Romeo style logo, there's even one stuck on the back of the seat tube.

I can tell from the details it is an entry-level racer; but it has some kinda tangible 80s Euro-mod vibe. Groovy yet budget concious.

It's basically the bike equivalent of this:

It has a sweet flat crown fork (mucho-retro), and much like a FIAT, workmanship is mediocre plus it has a funcky crank the likes of which I've never seen:

This bike calls for a definite theme, so these are the objects for inspiration :


and with a touch of:

Also, I got "tagged" for this "Fear of Fours" things. I avoid divulging the music and shit I'm into, because a lot of it falls into the "guilty pleasure" category, but here's a chance to pimp some of that stuff:

Four Jobs You Have Had in Your Life:
1. Lifeguard
2. Teaching Assistant
3. Grapple Grommet Tester
4. Car Rental Dude

Four Movies You Could Watch Over and Over:
1. Life Aquatic
2. The Apostle
3. Dogtown and Z-Boys
4. When We Were Kings

Four TV Shows You Love to Watch
1. Veronica Mars
2. Curb Your Enthusiasm
3. Real Time w. Bill Maher
4. Arrested Development

Four Albums You Can't Hear Too Often:
1. Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Orange
2. Jesus and Mary Chain - Automatic
3. R.L. Burnside - Asspocket of Whiskey
4. Supersuckers - La Mano Cornuda

Four Places You Have Lived
1. North of Bloor
2. South of Bloor
3. On Bloor
4. In tha 'ga

Four Places You Have Been on Vacation
1. New Orleans
2. Edmonton
3. Calcutta
4. Los Angeles

Four Websites You Visit Daily
1. cyclingnews
2. Salon
3. Daily Dose of Imagery
4. Boing Boing

Four of Your Favourite Foods
1. Ice Cream
2. Caprese Salad
3. Raisin bread
4. The humble potato

For your daily dose of bling ... check it out ... Golden Boy Tom Boonen IS the David Beckham of cycling, here's his helmet, embedded with one 1.18 carat diamond.

Finally here's an Assbike Song for Saturday: Shake 'Em On Down (Live) by R.L.Burnside.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Ho Hum

I spent the weekend at the track in London, taking an official's course and watching some racing. I didn't get to take any pics even though I lugged down a digital video cam. But here's a pic from one of the racing nights:

The track is in an old hockey arena, and with the seats, music and announcers the atmosphere is like being at a hockey event. This shit has potential.

Pro races at this time of year means exotic pre-season locales like Malaysia, Qatar and Australia. This is a Graham Watson pic from Qatar. 62 kph, flat out burn through the desert :

Since I was out of town I missed assbike song, but maybe this will make up for it: Lately I've been checking out the WFMU's live broadcast (find it on the sidebar from that link). It's supposedly a Freeform radio station, and listening to it at night reminds me of high school and early undergrad days of studying at night listening to U of T Radio.

I do have a coupla projects in the works and I'll have some pics soon.

....and Oh Yeh, yearly bikin' total 28 hrs.