Back from Hiatus?

I’ve neglected the blog for a long time but I’ve had a couple interesting projects start and finish. I have a mid-80s Trek 400 for sale, I purchased the Pedro’s Master Tool Kit 3.0 (I got an incredible deal on eBay) and also purchased a Park PRS-15 workstand (again, a great eBay deal). Yesterday, I got a Specialized Allez frame and plan to build it up with 105 components.

Also, thinking about moving this blog to Blogspot, just for ease of use.

So, lots going on and it should be blogged.


Blogging on hold, bike fixing is not

My home computer has gone from being just old and slow to now being not working and pretty much dead. Until I can find a new laptop, the blogging will be slow but the bike fixing is still moving along.

I’ve been acquiring some good parts and frames from Craigslist and I also have a review of my Park PRS-21 work stand in the works.

I hope to be back in the swing by early next week. Until then…

New Project? Schwinn Traveler

Asking around on Craigslist has yielded a 58cm 1989 Schwinn Traveler.

Quite the blanket on my couch, eh?

It’s steel, lugged, has downtube shifter posts and the frame is in pretty good condition – no bends or dings in the steel but scratches and scrapes on the paint.

This frame is bare so a lot of parts are needed – headset, bottom bracket, pretty much everything.  I might just keep it on hand until I can build up more parts.  It will make the perfect cheap knock around bike but I’m not going to put new parts into it.

The search for parts continues.  As least it’s not as bad as The Path of Death!



eBay Find! My old Rock Lobster bike…

I used to own this bike!

Here is what it looked like when I owned it..

This is a steel lugged Rock Lobster from Paul Sadoff, made in approximately 1998 and custom built for another rider.  Paul is a extremely respected builder in Santa Cruz, CA that has been making frames for over 30 years.  He also sponsors a cyclocross team and their blog is pretty interesting.  Have a look…

I purchased this complete bike on eBay in 2008 and rode it for a few seasons around Duluth.  I decided it was just a hair too big for me so I stripped it and sold the frame on eBay in July of 2010.  Considering what I paid and what I sold it for and what parts I kept, I paid about $50 to ride a great and prestigieous custom made bike! That’s the beauty of being used.

I hope the current auction goes well and that the new owner will be satisfied.

UCI Downhill World Champion Danny Hart


Congratulations Danny on earning your rainbow stripes!

One a related note, everyone’s favorite Park mechanic, Calvin Jones, kept a great journal during his time at Word’s in Chambery Switzerland.  Check it out!

When you wrote the book, you can wear socks and sandals.

Bianchi Brava has sold!

The Bianchi Brava has been sold to a friend who was looking for a long distance road bike.  It fit her perfectly and she just loves the bike. I feel very glad to help her out and look forward to seeing it come back for tune-ups and adjustments.

This is my first bike sold and it’s great to know that I can do this so that it’s feasible that I can turn this into a profitable hobby.

Now, this leaves me with a problem of having money but with no project that I can complete.  It’s a good problem to have.  My strategy now is to ask on Craigslist for people looking to get rid of their old 10 speeds so I can build up a good supply of parts and hope to finish off the Lotus before too long.

Book Review / A Significant Other

When I bought A Significant Other by Matt Rendell at the great local bookstore The Amazing Alonzo, I thought it was going to be a blow by blow account of daily life in the 2003 Tour de France from the point of view of a domestique (hence the title).  I was only about 1/3 correct because this book not only covers some of the more tense and triumphant moments of the 2003 Tour but also delves into the history of the Tour in great detail and explains the role of the domestique or servant throughout that history.

A Significant Other

Lance Armstrong won the 2003 Tour but it takes a team to win.  The Tour portion of the book is from the perspective of teammate Victor Hugo Pena, a domestique for the team leader.  It’s inspiring and heartbreaking to read about Pena who was a big name in his native Columbia but in the world class arena of the Tour, he is just a servant.  However, he was able to gain the leader’s yellow jersey for three days because of his great prologue effort and his team’s impressive team time trial performance that finally catapulted him into the maillot jaune.  So his tour started with a rush of being the leader, being the first Colombian to wear the leader’s yellow jersey but ended with helping Lance win.  Quite the string of accomplishments but it must be hard knowing that you will NEVER win the Tour.  Even though Pena was instrumental with Lance achieving greatness, Pena will never be remembered as one of the greats.

Victor Hugo Pena - Credit to BBC

Rendell also explains the history of the Tour de France from its inception as a means to sell more newspapers but ended up as a uniting force for France and then a catalyst for uniting many nation into the sport of cycling.  Extremely interesting details and for me, this really served as a primer for any further Tour research that I might do.

Finally and almost breathtakingly, Rendell greatly expands on the Tour as a catalyst for uniting nations and uses it as an opportunity to talk about how the core exploits the periphery relating to world-systems theory.  Much like a developed nation exploits the cheap labor or resources of a developing nation a leader of a cycling team exploits the efforts of the domestiques.  Consider the amount of effort to ride first in a pack, it’s a lot.  Consider the amount of effort to ride or draft behind someone, it’s far less.  The domestique will let the leader draft until the domestique physically can’t lead anymore.  The domestique will will place the leader in a position to win.  Rendell compares it to a master Renaissance artist who has a legion of apprentices.  The apprentices paint the outlines, the background, the cartoons of the characters so that the artist can finish the detail with his genius.  Finally, Rendell uses Pena as an example of how the cycling world draws talent from new to cycling countries for the benefit of established cycling countries.  Truly amazing to use cycling as a foil to consider capitalism, nation development and international relations.

This book is truly great sports writing on a few different levels and I highly recommend it.