Archive for October, 2009

Another reason to commute by bike

I hadn’t thought of this one before, but my wonderful partner in crime y.t. pointed out another reason businesses should encourage bicycle commuting. One of the main reasons illnesses spread more quickly in the winter is that we spend time indoors in close proximity to other sick people. Assuming your place of work has a reasonably well followed policy of not allowing sick employees to come in, public transportation is another major environment for disease transmission. However, bicycle commuters don’t spend time on buses or on the subway, sharing an atmosphere with other commuters. So, if you’re commuting by bicycle, you’ve removed a disease vector — and are reducing the cost of sick employees to your business.

Nice place to pull over, dillhole.
Nice place to pull over, dillhole.

New ship is really taking shape now…

The three speed hub and wheel that I found on Amazon for next-to-nothing arrived a few days ago, and I’ve installed it. I was looking forward to building a wheel, but it would have cost more to build the wheel than to have it built for me — what a deal! There were a few issues with the drop-out spacing, but nothing that a properly sized nut couldn’t fix:

primary thruster

Threw the chain on, too. It’s too short, so I’ve ordered a second chain to add the missing links. I still need to replace the rear cog with a larger one. The color was the only design decision here — if this chain isn’t spaceworthy, it’ll be replaced:


I also finally installed the headset parts and fork, now that I’ve found the right components in the starship scrapyard:


And all of the springer parts fit together, no problems, the first time! Thanks McMaster-Carr, and Skunk for welding the U-bolt in place, and Threespeed for the tips on the drill press. I had to drill out the 5/16″ notches in the sway bars to accomodate a 3/8″ axle. The beehive springer retainer still needs to be clamped in place in this photo:

navi thruster

That’s about all I can do for now; still need a bolt to secure the stem. While I wait for that order to come in, I’m going to clean up this swing bike in time for Halloween:


Booyah, seat’s on

machined seat post

Yay machinist dude who made this nifty adapter. It converts a pre-war seat tube to a 7/8″ seatpost.

seat post in position

Plonk, dropped right into the seat tube on the first try.

seat post installed

…and the seat mounted perfectly on top. It’s still adjustable (although I won’t need it raised); I just need to pick up a carriage bolt and the seat is done!

* * *

I had the pleasant experience of cycling out to West Newton this morning on route 16, through Watertown, to pick up a part from Harris Cyclery. Generally speaking, the roads are wide enough to comfortably accomodate both cars and cyclists, although there were few marked bicycle lanes. Cars were able to pass easily; one car beeped and the driver and passenger waved happily to me (wai cool). I saw a recumbant, and a few other cyclists, and it felt good to stretch my legs and be outside.

However, there was an interesting merge from Watertown St. onto Washington Street — a long-cycle red light with a ‘no turn on red’ sign. I stopped and waited for the light, as did the car to my left. We patiently waited for the light to change, but the other cars in line started honking. I heard one driver yelling something about ‘right on red’. It’s too bad that one driver trying to do the right thing is so maligned.


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