Category Archives: Daily Feed

Good news and bad news

Let’s take care of the good news first. Yesterday Plano Cycle gave me a practically new RANS Zenetik Tour bike with 3 X 9 SRAM drivetrain and Shimano 105 dual pivot brakes and 700c-28 wheels/tires. It rolls like a dream.

Now the bad news. The first time I tried to ride it I got my right foot tangled in the frame trying to get off and fell heavily on my left shoulder hard enough to dislocate my clavicle. It popped back in as soon as I rolled off my side and on my back, but I can only raise my left arm as high as the keyboard on my laptop now. It has been so long since I have had a bike that I can ride that my hips have gotten too tight to swing my leg over the seat when I get off the bike and my right foot got tangled in the top tube as I was trying to put it back down for another swing over the seat, and I went down, hard.

Back to the good news, I rode 0.4 miles from the bus stop to Casa de El Poeta without a problem holding my head up to see where I was riding. The seat needs to be lowered a skoshi bit because I was using my toes too much to pedal, but everything else seems to be good. The brakes are phenomenal, I didn’t need to shift on the level street between the bus stop and my house, and the bike just barely fits the bike racks on the front of DART buses, but it does fit.

The reason Plano Cycle said they gave me the bike is it was a trade-in that they had sold originally and then couldn’t sell for anything like what it was worth. So rather than take a loss on it they wrote the whole value off as a “charitable donation” and gave it to their favorite poverty-stricken cyclist, me. I don’t like being a “charity case”, but I will accept it, since the alternative is not riding a bike.

PSA, Opus

I live, I die, I LIVE AGAIN!

OK if that sounds familiar it’s a quote from Mad Max Fury Road. And it’s perfect for the day I started composing this post, because 15 years ago I died. Not that I try to keep that a secret. But yeah, one more year and I can drive again.

Now, I promised that my next post would have pictures of the new wheels and rear axle for the Mini Sprint-T.

First up, what fell out of the bag after I broke the seal.

Wheels and hubs and the brake rotors in a small plastic bag.


The rear axles, center sections and axle tubes. The 1/1 scale center sections are stout but light.

The brake rotor on the hubs as delivered does not leave room for a caliper.
If you look carefully you can see the hub resting against the rotor. Not good.

Wheel outer half, hub, and rotor sitting separately.

The hub in the wheel.

The axle tube will become the standoff for the rotor so there is room for a brake caliper between the hub and the rotor.

The hub on the tube with the rotor.

Now you can see how the standoff is supposed to work.

And you can see the problem with the wheels and tires as a team.

You can see how far the whole wheel sticks out past the tire.

As you can see I have a bit of work to do to make these fit the models, all the hubs need to be fitted with the standoffs and the axle tubes trimmed to the right width for the car, the standoffs need to be slightly sculpted to match the 1/1 hubs so I will be buying some Sculpy to bridge the gap between the hub and rotor. But this car build is moving along.

The next issue to take care of is the differences between Henry’s Tin and Speedway’s Fiberglass. As I was laying out the frame I noticed the body wasn’t lining up properly, so I did a bit of measuring on the model body and the Speedway body and a bit of research on the Internet I found out that the kit body was pretty close to the 1925 car it was modeled on, and the Speedway body had been “stretched” a bit to fit “late model” humans in width. With the cowl problems I already noticed that means I need to do a lot to make the kit body fit my frame. So what I decided to do is a 3 step process to go from the AMT kit body to the Mini Sprint-T body.

Step one is filling all the holes in the AMT body with plastic Goop-ed in place and pulling a mold off that. Then I can remove the fill pieces and use the kit body as intended for the kit. Using this mold I cast a hard resin plug to use for stage one of the body mods, work the plug over to correct the contours of the cowl and back but don’t widen it yet.

Step two is taking the cleaned up plug and pulling another mold from it, then pulling a vacuformed body from that mold. The vacuformed body is then corrected for the width issue, filled with resin and cleaned up to make another plug for another mold that I can use to vacuform the final body. If I like the way the final body turns out I might do a run of bodies until that final mold wears out. If there is enough interest I can then use the final plug to make another mold and the process continues until I get tired of it or people get tired of buying the body. Step 3: Profit!😀

And a little late posting, but here we are.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet

The parts came in today!

The hubs, wheels, brake rotors, and rear axles for the Mini Sprint-T came in the mail today! Yay!

Everything is going to require some kind of modification from the delivered state except the brake rotors for the front wheels, they are within a couple thousandths of an inch of being the right size and only the rears will require any change in diameter since they are about a half-inch smaller in 1/1 scale and that would be noticeable in 1/25 scale.

The wheels measured out as 10″ wide bead-to-bead in scale, with the street tire wheel needing to be 8″ and the race tire wheel needing to be 14″, some work needs to be done on all of them. The back half of the wheel measures out about 2″ too wide for the street version, so narrowing that to the right width will get most of the adjustment for the street tire. The back half measured too narrow for the race wheel by a couple hundredths of an inch and the front half was over 0.1″ too narrow for the race tires. Both of those will require some finicky work to get the right width.

One thing that will require work is getting the rotors the right distance away from the back side of the hubs. As delivered the rotors mount to the rear face of the hub with no clearance, but 1/1 the rotors are spaced away from the hubs in different widths depending on the brake calipers being used. The solution for that is very easy. The rear axle tube is just the right size material for this and the tube will have to be trimmed a large amount to get the width right in the back. So the hubs and rotors will be glued to the rear axle after trimming for the right width and brake rotor offset, then the leftover bits of the rear axle tube will be used to build the front spindles to the right size and brake rotor offset. The tires won’t roll, but that is a small price to pay to get the offset right. That does leave me with two metal axles that run inside the rear axle for the tires to roll that are redundant. The front wheels won’t turn left and right either as my tools won’t let me work that small.

Naturally all of these modifications will work much easier with a lathe for making square cuts in round parts. Hint, hint.

I’ll have pictures ready for tomorrow’s post, I promise.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

More on not being depressed, this might get a little repetitive

So far this week I have gone to the Lab Rat Keeper, and bought a stamp and mailed a letter at the post office in one day, taken a 2 mile walk to buy cat food, fixed dinner (beans, rice, and vegetables) and had a conversation with Mrs. the Poet on another day, took another two mile walk and had another long conversation with the Mrs. on another day, had a shorter conversation with Mrs. the Poet, went grocery shopping, had another two mile walk and stopped to correct a $0.40 mistake on the grocery bill yesterday, and so far today I had a conversation with Mrs. the Poet plus all the regular maintaining life functions stuff and the day’s barely half over. The conversations are what has Mrs. the Poet excited the most. Seriously this is like meeting an all new person for her as I was already depressed (but didn’t know it) when we first met.

The letter was an order to Ron Coon Resins in NE for 8 Wide 5 hubs, 8 disk brake rotors, 8 wheels, and 2 quick change rear ends. I’m at the point I can’t do the front axles without the actual hubs I’m going to use, so this will let me move on with the build(s). Yes that was a plural on the build, I’m making the “ultimate” build with the LS7 engine at the same time as the “most probable” build with the Small Block Chevy, so I have a 3D blueprint for making either one of them. I’m still trying to find brake calipers for the rear brakes, I found some good ones for the fronts but GM Metric calipers are very hard to find in 1/25 scale. In contrast 1/25 or 1/24 scale 4 piston calipers are common. Most are not cheap (except the Model Car Garage die-casts at $5 a set of 4) but they are available.

On another note I have been thinking of how I could get some pedal time in while I’m on the computer, but I’m at a technical impasse. Anyone know how to make a Chromebook shut down gracefully when the voltage is taken away from the charge port? I think this would be a software thing. I’m trying to get my computer to run on a pedal-powered battery charger and use the battery to keep everything going in sleep mode when I quit turning the pedals. I’m thinking connecting the pedals to a car alternator to make dirty 12VDC then filtering that to the clean 9VDC the computer needs with lots of caps and “stuff” to make an LC filter and a linear regulator for the final output with another filter cap across that output to make it absolutely ripple-free, and then plug that into my computer.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

One week until my Death Day celebration

That’s right, next week will be 15 years since I died. I’m trying to decide how to celebrate it, I’m thinking another zombie theme party complete with Jello “brains”. But I am open to suggestions. This is a celebration that while I died, I didn’t “stay dead”. I think the same thing that enabled me to fight through 40 years of depression without giving up completely also wouldn’t let me stay dead in the street after I got hit.

This year I would like gift cards to Starbucks or Amazon, or a small lathe if anyone has one they want to get rid of. I could do so much with something that would let me turn stuff up to 2″ diameter and down under 1/16“. I could make my own tires as a fer’instance. I could make my own rims from aluminum barstock, or widen and narrow kit wheels to fit other tires. There would be a lot that I could do with a small lathe, things that I could monetize. Building a model race car and need some oddball size race slicks? Easy peasy. Making road tires would require turning the tire to size and somehow carving the correct tread pattern into the blank, I’m not sure I could do that as I’m not a sculptor. Thinking about it I can follow a pattern that I could print off and transfer to the blank, by making the pattern from a picture of the tire in question. That would be time-consuming but doable. And then cast a rubber tire from a mold made from the blank. Thinking about it some more I could also make tires that don’t exist but could, like a 26X16.50R-15 Hoosier Pro Street. Currently the shortest 14″ wide tread Pro Street is 29” tall, that nobody makes a scale replica of anyway.

But enough of lathes and what I could do with one. What kind of party do you suggest?

PSA, Opus

We’re 10-ish

Sometime this month back in 2006 I started this blog on another blog provider who has gone out of business. This year I stopped the daily updates and the bike wrecks, which after a while to decompress has done wonders for my mental health.

So, I have been doing this for a decade now and barely managed to hang on to a few shreds of sanity. I don’t even read bike wreck stories any more except by accident when I’m looking for infrastructure stories for personal reading. I have even stopped reading certain web sites known to have extensive coverage of bike wrecks. But I still enjoy writing blog posts without bike wrecks, I just wish I had more to write about.

I have been planning the Mini Sprint-T construction for a while now. I have raw stock that I can use to build the front axle up to a point, but not completely. I need the hubs, and rod ends for the tie rod and control links to mount the axle to the frame. When I build the axle, and the rest of the car, I will document it here in this blog with lots of pictures. Because that will give me something interesting (to me and I hope to you) to write about.

And because I have written all that I have to say for today, this post is ended.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

About that K’zoo wreck

The wreck in Kalamazoo has been dominating my social media, so I will make a comment on it myself.

It sucks.

But wait there’s more. The driver should be tried on 5 counts of murder, and 5 more counts of attempted murder for the 4 surviving cyclists and the pedestrian who was grazed just before the cyclists were hit. I’m serious about this. This was just as much a mass murder as the Santa Barbara shooter last year, with the added caveat the “shooter” in this case was only stopped by the failure of his weapon, which he then abandoned in an attempt to escape.

Seriously, this asshole needs to be looking at multiple consecutive life sentences without parole, along with seizure of assets to pay back victims’ medical bills and confiscation of any proceeds he gets from prison industries beyond one bar of soap a month and a new toothbrush every Christmas. I’m serious on this one, the survivors (aside from the one pedestrian who was only grazed) are looking at medical bills that will run into the millions of dollars between them. I speak from experience on this one. My bills from 15 years ago were $250K for the initial stay, with another $45K to $50K for each of the subsequent operations required to fix the things that were either missed in the initial carnage or had to wait for some healing to take place before they could be done, like removing my hardware after it was no longer needed to hold my leg together. Add 15 years of medical inflation on to that…

Billed @€0.02, Opus