Tag Archives: bike building

Almost recovered from yesterday

I don’t know what I did yesterday but it was literally a pain. I used to get pains in my lower back way back when I first started walking after the wreck which is how we discovered the short leg issue. This pain is highly similar to that, but I can’t trace why it came back after so many years. I ditched the lifted shoe over a year ago because it had failed to alleviate the pain when I was walking barefoot part of the time, and part of the time walking with the lift. I think a big part of my problems is the amount of time I sit with my pelvis level and then walk with the tilt.

There wasn’t much heat to deal with as there was a heavy cloud cover and spotty showers all day long. I got more moisture from showers than I did sweat. And most of the places I went to had AC turned way too strong so whatever slightly over-warm I experienced was countered by cold AC shortly thereafter.

On the Lab Rat Keeper front I’m in a new study for 3 years. The most I can say under my NDA is they are working on a surgical cure for hypertension (high BP), and I will get an overnight hospital stay after the surgery. Then spend the next 3 years getting poked and prodded and periodically drained of blood. Right now I’m in the washout period where I get rid of all the medication reducing my BP. Then tests to “qualify” my blood pressure, then schedule the surgery, then the procedure, then 36 months of monitoring for effectiveness and side effects.

On other things tomorrow I get to pay my phone bill and buy the replacement stones for the hone, and get a little walking in. And maybe grab a burger from Whataburger. I can still handle a cheeseburger or a pizza without getting hit by a lactose gut bomb gas attack, so I’m going with my favorite Bacon Cheese Jalapeño Whataburger. And fries and a Coke Zero in the combo.

On the TGS2 I’m getting the replacement stones for the hone like I said in the previous paragraph, which means I can get the kingpins installed on the spindles and the spindles on the axle, and another thing off the list for building my car. Then I can get the exact measurement for the tie rod and get started on building it. I’m still deciding on steel tubing or carbon fiber, one is quick and cheap, the other is light and just as strong but expensive even if you build it yourself. Either way I will use the threaded weld bungs to provide an attachment point for the rod ends. With the carbon fiber I would use a EPS core and extend the carbon fiber over the bung right up to the threads. With the steel tube I would just weld it in and metal-finish the joint to make it look like a single hunk of metal that had been whittled to shape like I used to do building bikes. Then I used brass brazing rod as a filler and filed the brass down and painted over it. That’s how I won my class in the car show many years ago. The carbon fiber tie rod would get a UV absorbing clear coat while the steel one would get matt black epoxy or powdercoat.

And since I have stuff to do tomorrow I’m gonna put this one to bed.

Almost done with the extended stem on a Wreck-Free Sunday

I wore out three dremel cutting bits but I finally got the donor stem and the raw stock fitted together. Now I just have to find my brazing wire out somewhere in the garage (or run by the welding supply store to get some more) and apply some heat with the torch to get the metal parts joined together. Getting everything matched up was a long process, because this was a “sneak up on it” operation. I only had one donor stem and one chunk of raw stock to work with, so I had to not make the hole too big or ruin the donor stem trying to get it inside the raw stock. Plus there was the whole “pride in workmanship” thing. I wanted something that looked as good or better than the bike it was going on, so as to not distract from the beauty of the bike with an ugly stem extension.

Anyway, this was where we left off last time I had a chance to work on the extension.

And this is what I have now.

And this shows how the cap from the donor stem is flush to the top of the raw stock.

Now the plan is to heat the raw stock until braze fed in at the edge of the opening flows into the tiny space between the donor stem and the raw stock to make them a solid piece capable of withstanding ferocious forces, or at least that won’t fall apart when I ride exuberantly. Seriously this thing is fitted so tight that I doubt it will take more than a couple of grams of braze to completely fill the gaps. The rest will be used to make a smooth fillet between the raw stock and the donor stem, that will have to be filed smooth after it gets applied.

Something I have been thinking about is cutting a filler piece to cover the gap at the top of the donor stem, so the donor stem looks like it grew through the raw stock, or out of it. I also want to grind down the weld where the clamp joined the donor stem, because that MIG weld looks like a worm crawling around the clamp. You can see the weld (but not clearly) in the “before” picture at the top of the post. That’s the “pride in workmanship” thing again. If I’m going to put all this work into making it I will go ahead and do the little bit more work required to make it “not ugly”. I don’t see the point in just making something ugly.

I watched the Sprint Cup race from Richmond last night, at least the parts I could stay awake for. Yes, I fell asleep (several times) watching that race, it was that exciting. I’m glad Matt Kenseth had such a good race, but dang, what has happened to short track racing in the Sprint Cup? Now we go to the first race on the Chase for the Cup in Chicago.

Now I have to get ready for evening service at church, so I’ll see y’all tomorrow.

PSA, Opus the Poet

My Warlock has been revived and other crucial news on a Wreck-Free Sunday

Getting to the good news from the Kinky D&D game, my Warlock8 has been revived and his head put on the right way so he can again aid the party in fighting the whatevers we have to fight now. I think we have about 3 overlapping quests we are stuck with counting the one we have to fulfill to “pay” for reviving the dead party members. We now have to rescue a effrit princess from a half-fiend, half green dragon, the very same dragon we were supposed to “take care of” to get rid of the monsters that had been harassing the trade routes in and out of the city we had been based in before this round of adventures started. So we have come full circle…

In other news I think I may have found a massage provider I can afford, $25 for a 50 minute massage. The bad part is these are student intern massages so I won’t have any way of selecting a therapist I know works well with my injuries. But if I come every week, I can get the people assigning students to let me work with students specializing in treating people like me. So eventually it will work out and I’ll be able to get what I need at least some of the time.

Continuing the health news, you may remember that I ran my second toe on my right foot over with the dolly while moving furniture Friday night. No broken bones, but the toe has been sore and swollen and has taken a lot of abuse because it sticks out further than the big toe. The same toe on the left foot is also swollen because it got jammed against the inside of my shoe as you can see in this picture.

You can also see the bruised nailbeds from delaying the trip to the nail spa until I injured my toes on the inside of my shoes. I know, I defer maintenance until things get too bad to do otherwise, it is a failing of mine.

On other things I really need and want to finish building the extended stem for Francis/es, but I have worn out all my cutting tools on the CroMo steel I purchased for the task. Well technically I still have a fresh sidemill cutting tool, but as I don’t have the kind of PPE I need to use it given the kind of shavings it throws off, I’m gonna put that one on the back shelf for now. I really don’t want to spend another couple of days using forceps to grab and pull tiny needles out of my skin when they work their way to where I can grab them. The process is as irritating as the little slivers of metal in my skin. The deal now is I need to make the top (outside) edge of the cutout about 3mm deeper in the raw stock, and I need to relieve a lot of material from inside the raw stock so the donor stem fits flush with the edge of the cutout and the top of the donor stem fits flush with the top of the raw stock of the extension.

That’s the hole.

And that’s the Hole Problem. You can see where the top of the donor stem extends past the raw stock of the extension by more than a bit, meaning the hole has to be made larger/longer. You may have also noticed that I went through the side of the donor stem trying to make it fit inside the raw stock. That can be filled or covered when I braze the donor stem into the extension and then filed or ground smooth for painting. NBD. The combination of welded donor stem brazed into the raw stock will be more than strong enough for the forces applied even when standing on the pedals even with the gaps in the donor stem. The donor stem survived the wreck that killed me, it should survive a few trips to the grocery store in its new form. The bottom of the extension fits flush against the top of Francis/es’ steer tube so when the binder bolt is tightened up there is very little stress applied to the bottom of the extension. I’m still looking for the one odd part I need to complete the binder bolt, the “coupling nut” that connects the bolt that fits the top of the donor stem to the hunk of allthread that spans the added space in the extension.

It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to work in darkness inside the extension and hold the two threaded pieces together.

So when I go deposit the check to pay for the massages, since I budgeted $60/week and I only need to pay $25, I have a little bit of money to pay for things like coupling nuts and abrasive tools for the Dremel. And I get to do that and the Huge Blog Post all in the same day. 😛

It’s time to go to evening services, and I think I have blathered on enough for one day.

PSA, Opus the Unkillable Badass Poet

Well this is disappointing, and the Feed

All my life I have wanted to go to Indianapolis to see the 500, until yesterday. Neither will I ever go to watch the Brickyard 400 even if I get to go for free, all expenses paid. Why the sudden change in desired objectives? Indiana passed a law allowing discrimination for religious reasons. The reason this law was passed is to “protect” people from having to serve gay people getting married, but the stoopid sheeple writing the law couldn’t make it that narrow without danger of getting it immediately shut down. This widens the scope of the law so that anyone can discriminate against anyone for any reason even including things like race, gender, long hair on men and short hair on women, or riding a bicycle instead of driving a car. And it would allow Sharia law for Muslims because that is a deeply-held religious belief. So, until this law is repealed or overturned, Indiana is a no-go for me. I might watch the races on TV still, maybe.

And just for the record, this witch is a straight ally, not LGBTQA or any of the other initials in any of the acronyms used. I’m a dues-paying member of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC, the guys with the equal sign as their symbol) and you can go into the list if pages in the header to find a link to The Gay Marriage Challenge, where I invite people to make a logical case against same-sex marriage as damaging somehow to straight heterosexual marriage. So far the only serious attempt managed to shoot his case in the foot twice.

Up first today is Our Daily Ted. Weekend Links: Bicyclist voices heard in Griffith Park flap, but not in San Diego; Seattle driver doesn’t give a f*** The thing I liked about the Seattle bike lane video is the driver didn’t just move over to the parking lane right next to the bike lane she was parked in, she flat-out left completely.

Still in CA SFPD blames a dead cyclist for running a red light when there was a witness statement made to both them and the news media that the weapon vehicle ran a red light. SFPD investigation into bicyclist death called into question This just a couple of years after blaming cyclist Amelie Le Moullac killed in a right hook wreck without looking for the video that showed the truck driver at fault, which was found by a local bicycle advocacy group just hours before it would have been erased. Yeah SFPD, nobody is going to believe you when you make statements that contradict witnesses after that previous SNAFU.

Another link to the possible judicial collusion averted in CA. Attorney who had pled in death of cyclist withdraws his plea This situation just screams “We got caught” setting up some kind of sweet deal for the perp, something like time served, probation, or [$DEITY] forbid, deferred adjudication.

Do you have a hard time getting your brake levers where you can reach them? Lever Position Don’t forget to bring your yard or meter stick to the party.

Assault with a deadly weapon is perfectly fine when the weapon is a motor vehicle. Driver Who Rammed Minneapolis Protestors Charged With Traffic Offenses Someone in the street protesting something that you don’t like? Just drive right over them. No problem aside from a few tickets. The driver rammed through the demonstration at speed injuring several of the protesters.

Prosecutors in Oz go all out in punishing a drunk driver that killed a cyclist. Drunk driver Joseph Haenga sentenced to five years for causing death of champion cyclist Brynt McSwain Five years for killing a human being… TANJ.

We will never manage to pay off building suburbs with tax revenue from building suburbs. Study: Annual Cost of Sprawl in America Adds Up to $4,500 Per Person

Since they aren’t allowed to follow the Dutch blueprints for the wheel, Portland traffic engineers have to do some trial and error to reinvent it. City removes portion of N Rosa Parks bike lane to allow right turns> Actually what they are doing is trying to prevent right hooks. That’s something the Dutch have very nearly eliminated without resorting to mixing zones.

In other infrastructure news (from WI, where Scott Walker has just deleted the bike infrastructure budget)… Second Fatal Crash On Sheboygan Highway The report is not that there was a crash, or even that there were two crashes, what is interesting (for a traffic engineer) is the two fatal wrecks happened within a few feet of each other, meaning this may be infrastructure related.

Another link to the lawsuit filed in the death of a Vancouver West Canuckistan cyclist possibly pushed off a MUP by a pedestrian to be killed by a bus. Antonina Skoczylas, cyclist killed on Stanley Park Causeway, lawsuit launched I said at the time those sidewalks did not look wide enough to use as MUP coming off the bridge, and there is ample room for a bike lane there.

On the one hand he’s a pompous windbag with zero regards for the safety of cyclists even when he is one, on the other hand he’s a funny guy on the telly. Jeremy Clarkson on his bike in every sense – but who should replace him?

And very seldom is the victim of a bike wreck an awful person, unfortunately. Tributes paid to Michael Beard killed in Lincoln cycle crash

An e-assist bike can make your Silver Years more Golden. Electric bikes make inroads in the U.S. The ones I experimented with were set up to keep my average speed as constant as possible so I could route plan based on my cruise speed without assist on flat roads with no winds.

They experimented with co-ed team pursuit on a velodrome with four randomly selected teams. Mixed men and women track event tested at UCI World Cycling Centre The experiment seems to have gone well.

Another wounded veteran ride. Local veterans injured in combat participate in The Warrior Ride Cycling seems to be very therapeutic for combat injured vets.

And I’m all out of links again, finally.

Billed @€0.02, Opus

Not many links today, and the Feed

I got done pre-filtering the Feed early today because there were so few links to stories that were not about bike wrecks, and I even included a few of those where infrastructure was mentioned. It’s looking like Mrs. the Poet and I are going to be spending NYE at home with the cat rather than going out to party. The nice T-gurl that rents a room from us is going to a party, but I’m not sure what the crazy lady directly across the hall is doing, so we may end up having to stay up with her as well… The cat prefers to sleep in a lap on NYE and he’s not particularly picky about whose lap he sleeps on so long as the lap doesn’t move.

On the Good News Everybody front there have been several new Yehuda Moon cartoons published. The storyline that was being followed when the comic was last posted has been abandoned long ago, and the new ones are stand-alone jokes rather than fleshing out a story, but any Yehuda is better than no Yehuda.

The headline explains this one adequately. The best bicycle infrastructure cartoon I’ve ever seen

More infrastructure news from America’s Amsterdam. PBOT’s whimsical bike lane characters make a comeback I like the superhero <Edna Mode>”no capes”</Edna Mode>

And ANT is shutting down as the man who did most of the bike-building decides to take a better-paying job working for someone else. About I seriously worry when a bike builder closes shop but continues to work in the business. That represents another voice silenced from the choir.

Our Daily Ted, pt. 1. 36-year old bike rider killed in Fountain Valley collision; third Southern California bike fatality in three days

Our Daily Ted, pt. 2. The holiday bloodbath continues — teenage bike rider killed in Rialto OK I really feel bad for Ted right now as these were all mostly local to him.

And more good news on the carnage wrought by motor vehicles. Roadway Fatalities Down in 2013, But Bicycle Deaths Rise As I keep saying about UK drivers, the roads and cars are getting better along with the medical care after a wreck, but drivers seem to be getting worse and worse. Having said that I see this as just “noise” in the data that gets amplified because there are so few cyclists getting killed in relation to drivers and passengers getting killed. And by “noise” I mean that there were only 11 more people killed riding bicycles in 2013 than in 2012, which is bad, but not as bad as it seems. Seriously that’s less than one person more a month.

And those are all the links I could find today.

Billed @€0.02, Opus the Poet

“Enjoying” the company of my in-laws on a Wreck-Free Sunday

I’m typing this as I watch the rain delay at the postponed Firecracker 400 (I refuse to refer to races by sponsor names, for the most part the races existed long before the sponsor even thought about “sports marketing”). So, watching nothing going on and listening to screaming children running around.

Going back to the race, the expected wrecks have led to unexpected drivers being in contention for the win today. The current leader during the rain delay is Aric Almirola in the Richard Petty Motorsports 43, the King’s number. And NASCAR just declared the race official making the 43 the winner. Yay King!

So I switched to the IndyCar race where they are dicing back and forth around the Tricky Triangle at Pocono. While there is dicing going on up front there is strategy taking place at the back with drivers running the full lean fuel map with as little throttle opening as possible to maintain position on the lead lap so that they will be in front when the leaders have to stop for more E-85. And it didn’t work, as the fuel warning light came on with 4 laps to go, putting Juan Pablo Montoya in the lead and winning the race in his first season back in IndyCar. The race was done way early because they only had a single caution period for what appears to be an engine failure for Graham Rahal. He was moving right along and then all of a sudden there was no engine noise and the car was going backwards with the back tires not turning. So with only the one caution they ran a record speed for a 500 mile IndyCar series race of just over 202 MPH. They have an extra hour of TV time to kill before the next show, so I get to see the Indy Lights race from Pocono several hours early. After this the rebroadcast of the British Grand Prix will be shown.

And I read in the paper that Mark Cavendish was involved in the pack wreck on the first stage of the Tour de France, separating his shoulder and probably ending his Tour. I haven’t seen any news from this morning’s stage yet because honestly, I’m just not interested enough in the Tour this year to turn the TV on that early. I probably won’t turn it on this evening either.

I have a new CAD program for this laptop that I’m trying to figure out so that I can make a drawing of the 20/20 crank forward bike with full suspension that will upload to the media center for this blog. I really want you guys to be able to see what I see in my mind’s eye when I write about things I want to build. To that I managed to grab a working USB 3 button mouse from a yard sale “take this free” box, which will prevent the spurious clicks I get with the touch pad on my laptop from causing false data points in the drawings. The touch pad is not that big of a problem when web browsing and blogging, or using the dice app playing RPG sessions, but it was a major pain in the butt trying to draw using the CAD app. The CAD app is based on AutoCAD, so after I learn the commands and shortcuts for the app I’ll have a leg up on installing the Linux version on my desktop computer. Now to show what the Sprint-T looks like in my mind’s eye I will need to figure out how to transfer the pictures I have of the Speedway T Bucket body to the program.

Most of my immediate family came up to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 80th natal anniversary, including the elder daughter all the way over from Scotland. We last saw her back when my Dad died back in 2012 when she came to share Thanksgiving and ended up going to a funeral. I’m very glad to have her with us.

And the hardest thing we have had to do this weekend is find vegan dishes that Elder Daughter can eat. This part of NY is not rife with vegan options, there are some sure, but not a lot. She’s rather militant about her diet, for good reasons. Her diet is about the only way she can fight global climate change and factory farming, so breaking it has political overtones that are not good in her eyes.

And I think it’s time to put this post to bed and get on with my vacation (and life). Y’all have fun tonight.

PSA, Opus

Planning vacation for the summer on a Wreck-Free Sunday

Today is one of the days when I really feel my brain damage. Mrs. the Poet and I were working the itinerary for the trip to NY and TN to visit with friends and family, and deciding which order will cost us the least money (I may have gotten paid last week but that doesn’t mean we have unlimited funds for the trip). I had no problem planning the trip for least travel time and lowest cost, what I was having the problem with was explaining the schedule and cost differences to Mrs. the Poet. The idiot box was going and the distraction was playing Hell with my ability to form sentences and relay information to Mrs. the Poet, to the point that I had to stop and scream in frustration. Part of the problem was even when I managed to get the information out correctly the previous errors in transmission had Mrs. the Poet so confuzzled she didn’t know what I was trying to say. Eventually (after the scream) I was able to get the information across to her about the benefits and deficits of the various schedules with benefits being mostly confined to less time en route and preferred seating.

Yesterday I went to A-Kon for the first time in years, and I have to say I don’t think I’ll be going back again. It wasn’t an A-Kon problem it was an Opus problem. I can’t stay on my feet that long without things getting really painful, and there was a dearth of places to sit down in the really interesting parts of the layout. Add to that the distances between things (it was a very large venue) and I needed a place to sit down and rest after walking to the places that had no place to sit which compounded my distress. I really need either smaller cons or cons with more seating in the dealers’ room. The problem is none of the cons here in DFW can be considered “small”…

The spring NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Pocono just finished with everyone in Jr. Nation is happy, Brad Keselowski fans less so as Bad Brad mis-timed a move to get some trash off his grill and lost the lead to Dale Jr. and ended up finishing second (with the trash still on his grill). The thing that got me late in the race was the number of cars on the lead lap with less than 50 miles to go. When I was a lad watching the first races held over at Pocono, they had less than 30 cars finish the 400 miles of the race, today with less than 50 miles to go they had 30 cars on the lead lap. That’s orders of magnitude improvement in reliability in the 40 years since I was a kid, or PROGRESS! in the engineering of the cars. About 20 or so years ago NASCAR decided to drop building the cars with parts from production cars and allowed more and more parts that were pure race that had never seen a production car or a street. Now there is nothing on a “stock” car that is anything resembling stock. It makes for a better show, that’s for sure. One thing it doesn’t make for is better street cars.

I’m still frustrated in locating raw stock for my “other” bike. The seat tube is a standard size, but the metals dealers that sell lot sizes I can afford are not carrying the size, and the ones that are carrying the size require a half-ton lot size per size of tubing. I need 1.25″ 0.120″ wall square tubing which is strong enough that I can work with mild steel without worrying about bending or breaking on impacts. I redesigned the swing arm to get a better leverage arm and to move the pickup point for the coilover to a structurally better location on the frame. What I have done on the new swing arm was to extend it so that the pickup point for the pivot is roughly above the bottom bracket at the point where the chainwheel picks up the chain so the pogo is reduced. This was easier to do because of the 1X9 drivetrain I have chosen for this bike. I can get within a mm of the point where the chainwheel picks up that chain, and the stresses from the spring/shock unit are placed close to the seat instead of feeding from the seat to the pickup point through a lot of structure. This resulted in less structure and a lighter frame. Now if someone would just sell me some raw stock for that dadgum seat tube I would be set.

I’m still contemplating building a car, too. There is a Toyota Camry wagon for sale on the way to the bus stop that with only a little bit of work will make a perfect long-distance touring car for 2 people. Switch the stock gas tank for something like a 22 or 32 gallon safety fuel cell and we are talking some serious range between fillups. I mean the stock tank on this model is something like 16 gallons, putting in that 32 gallon tank will double the range. Now to put the big tank in there something has to give and that “something” in this case is the spare tire, and the back seat. Since the design passenger load is just me and Mrs. the Poet the back seat is not a big loss and a little more work where the floor pan and the bottom support structure of the seat went the spare tire will have a new home leaving a flat load floor from the rear hatch to the backs of the front seats for lots of luggage. Since the floor is getting worked on anyway, why not smooth out the structure for better underbody aero? So reduced drag and a touch better gas mileage extends the cruise range even more. This is the mission profile that Mrs. the Poet has emphasized over the one I prefer of handling and speed for short races around traffic cones (SCCA Solo racing). Both are totally valid mission profiles (mine’s better) but Mrs. the Poet’s profile has the slight advantage of being useful for getting around on our vacation (mine’s better).

And now I need to help in the kitchen with Sunday Dinner, making sure the roasted vegetables don’t stick to the pan and burn, so I’m cutting this off now.

PSA, Opus

I’m ALIVE! and Wreck-Free Sunday

The headline refers to the difficulty I had in learning to pilot the new bike. The bed does not have a lot of clearance so lean angles for cornering are not high and the steering does not have a lot of travel, especially to the left so catching the bike with steering is not easy. Then there was the whole “bending too far over to stay on the seat” business that had to be adjusted out. That required reversing the stem to reduce the reach in the horizontal plane, then raising it to the minimum insertion point to get the handlebars up where my knees didn’t hit them. Then I could ride the bike a little, but still not very well. The combination made for evil low-speed handling until I could get ahead of the curve, literally. The builders and I are working to get rid of the steering lock issue and to retrofit it to the other Clydes already on the road (both of them). It appears that the other Clyde on the road is not having these issues because it has a fairly powerful throttle-demand front hub motor assist to go with the pedal power applied to the rear wheel. This gets it out of the low-speed regime in a big hurry, maybe fast enough that the owner never noticed how bad the low-speed handling really was.

One reason the new bike is important is transitioning the campgrounds at the Council of Magickal Arts from golf carts to cargo bikes as the golf carts age out. They were used and not a lot of life left in them when the campgrounds were first built back around the turn of the century but we are coming up on the middle of the second decade of the century and those used carts are spending as much time getting repaired as they are running people and cargo around the festival site. Also the carts are not as aligned with the core values of the organization Council of Magickal Arts as using bicycles to move things around. Eventually they plan on moving to something else for moving stuff and the infirm around, my vision is cargo bikes and pedicabs with a large number of people using powering the units as their community service to help keep the festivals running smoothly.

But moving on from the new bike, today is the opening race of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. As I type this the Daytona 500 is under a rain delay (again), so they are showing last year’s race on the station that is supposed to be carrying today’s race. The racing was good until the rains came, but now they are under a tornado warning and everybody is under the stands where it is somewhat safe until the weather blows over. And now they are saying there is about 10 minutes until coverage resumes. And it resumed watching the track driers out drying the track for about 20 minutes then went back to last year’s race replay. It looks like another 90 minutes until they get the track dry.

So, while I wait for the track to dry I’m going to muse about the modified BMX bike I’m working on for someone to ride during the festival this Spring. The idea is a crank forward bike that the rider can reach the ground to dab when things get yucky (technical term) while still having the crank far enough away from the seat that the rider gets full leg extension. I have a batch of square tubing to use to make the seat tube, and I’m going back to the metal supplier to get the right size to make the seat post. I’m even going to give my “secret” jig settings for building this bike from the modified BMX frame. The wheelbase is 42″, the bottom bracket is 19″ from the front axle and 3″ (center, 1 15/16” edge) above the axle, and a 45° seat tube angle. I’m preserving the head tube angle of the donor BMX bike to match the fork on the hardtail version, but the full suspension version will have a slack 70° headtube to go with the suspension fork I have. The real work will be the swingarm mounting points and shock mount points. Then I have to work the seat tube around those mounting points. For that bike about the only parts that will survive from the donor bike will be the down tube and the head tube.

OK they are saying that it will still be at least 60 minutes before the race resumes, so I’m going to stop trying to live blog the race and post the blog.

PSA, Opus

Yesterday was very long but made for a good story to write for Wreck-Free Sunday

As I intimated on Friday we had another RPG session starting early on Saturday morning. This was the beginning of a very long day for me.

As the game session began our heroes were still assessing and repairing the damages from the battle and looting the goblin campsite for better shelter, which included stuffing a Hobgoblin Yurt into Sparrow’s bag of holding so that we would have decent shelter whenever we set up camp. As soon as we could we set out after the 3 goblins that ran away from the battle when they saw hobgoblins split like kindling by our Adamantine Warforged and horizontally bisected by the Swordmage. We tracked them to the ford where scattered boulders were lapped by rushing floodwaters just as one of the goblins that ran away came back and spotted the party and wailed that we were not a figment of his imagination and we were in fact chasing him to kill him and ran back into the mob of goblinoids that were following him back to the foraging camp.

Our groups were separated by the rushing floodwaters as our party took cover from ranged weapons except for the more heavily armored of the group that stood on the bank taunting the goblins, hobgoblins and worfs (sp?) on the opposite bank trying to get them to expend their ammunition on long shots with little chance of causing damage. Sparrow set up behind a tree and took potshots with Eldritch Spear as the goblins tried to cross the boulders, making them fall into the river where we didn’t have to contend with them any more. Our Mage contributed to this by casting Grease on the middle boulder so that it couldn’t be seen before trying to cross but also could not be avoided. This also contributed to several goblins and hobgoblins trying to swim wearing various types of armor, with mixed but highly predictable results. Sparrow “assisted” with their swimming attempts with Eldritch Blast or Spear depending on range.

Eventually one or two of the stronger goblins and hobgoblins made it across the flood to engage in battle with our melee fighters as the magic users fell back away from danger, except Sparrow who continued to trade potshots with the hobgoblins on the far bank while the melee fighters kept the battle away from where he had taken cover. The real battle began when the worfs managed to get across the flood by swimming across upstream of the boulders using them as cover from Sparrow and our archer. They were strong fighters inflicting much damage and nearly breaking through our skirmish line, so our Beguiler set Blinding Fog and an illusion of the party reforming behind cover and the party retreated dragging our dead with us. We had lost Kujo, the wolf companion to our druid, but his spirit will be with us always, or until the druid can summon another wolf.

At this point we had all leveled up so the narrative took a break as we camped out sharing the Yurt, as it was made to hold 4 hobgoblins or humans and our party was somewhat larger than 4 people. Some of the party did not need shelter like the Warforged, others could spend some time in sleeping bags outside the shelter while the wounded were kept inside all night. Sparrow got a few more hit points and added Sickening Blast to his invocations, meaning he could make people sick up to 250 feet away making him a very dangerous person to get into a long-range battle with. Arrows and crossbow bolts against explosive rays bypassing armor protection that also make you sick as a dog ain’t a fair fight, but survivors seldom fight fair.

This was where I had to leave the game session to catch the train to the other party in Oak Cliff where they are making my bicycle as documented here.

frame in jig

another view of the frame on the jig

Do you see the problem? This is not the stepthrough frame I ordered, but fortunately the frame is still in the tack-weld stage of construction and can be modified with little expense of time or materials. I really like their frame jig though. Much better than mine I made from 2 by 4 lumber and drywall screws holding all-thread dummy axles. The difference is I have to make a new jig for every new style of bike I make and the jig at Oak Cliff Cargo Bicycles can be switched around to build many different kinds of bikes.

And now it’s time to eat and get ready to go to evening services so I shall have to end this post here.

PSA, Opus