Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Coffeeneuring - Ride 6 of 7

Today was my Coffee Shop Without Walls ride.  This was the sixth Coffeeneuring Challenge ride completed, only one more to go to complete the Challenge.  The ride was on the C&O canal tow path between Brunswick, MD and Point of Rocks.  I chose the 1972 Raleigh Sports "Gold Edition" for this outing, primarily for its rear rack which was needed to haul the equipment for a proper "brew-up".  The Carradice Barley bag was up to the task of carrying my French press, fresh ground coffee beans, and vintage Sierra Club cups.  I also carried fresh water since the water at the hiker/biker campground along the C&O are treated with iodine, not the taste I was looking for.  I strapped my vintage Svea 123 stove and Sigg-Tourist-Set to the rear rack and we were off.  My son Michael accompanied me on the ride with his Nishiki mountain bike, his job was to follow me and report any equipment falling off the bike.  Here we are at the start.

Barley bag, and vintage Sigg Tourist Set ready for another adventure. 

The tow path is beautiful in the Fall.

Old train tunnel.
Lock 28 house.
View from Bald Eagle Island hiker/biker campground.

Getting ready for the "brew-up", at the campground.

Vintage Svea 123 stove, and Sigg Tourist Set

Preparing the French press.

Heating the water.
The "press", with Michael's green tea in the foreground.
The "pour".
Hot beverages with iconic Cliff Bar "pastries".

A great day; ride 6 of 7 completed.  Looking forward to next week for the last ride of the Challenge.  Until then, Enjoy the Ride.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

DIY Bag Support for the Carradice Barley

During the refurbishment of the 1953 Raleigh Sports, I ordered a Carradice Barley saddle bag.  This is the first Carradice bag I've owned.  They have been made in England since 1930.  These bags have gained a very favorable reputation over the years. and are common equipment on many Classic Three Speeds.  Here is the bag mounted on the 1953 Sports.

It is intended to be mounted on the rear saddle loops, but you can see it touches the rear fender and rolls under the seat somewhat.  It is also difficult to fasten the rear straps and the contents of the bag will dump out if not careful.  There is a metal support available for this bag made by Bagman, but it is expensive and currently out of production.  Viewing pictures of the Bagman support on-line shows a rather simple device.

I decided to attempt and make my own to fit the Brooks B-66 saddle I have on this bike as well as several others.  I purchased some 3/16" steel rod from Home Depot.  These come in 3' lengths and can be had either unfinished (rusts easily), or with a zinc plated finish.  I got one of each for $2.77 and $2.93 respectively.  I took some measurements off the bag, bike, and saddle and started bending.  Since I anticipated some trail and error until I got the right fit, I used cheaper unfinished rod first as a prototype.

This is the prototype.  It rests on top of the B-66 rod that goes between the bottom of the springs, then hooks between the double rails.

This is the bag and support.  I used a Velcro strap to secure the bag to the seat post.  The strap goes through the leather attachment patch on the bag and around the support.

Bag is now supported off the fender, and the straps are more accessible.

This is bottom of bag showing Velcro seat post strap.

I want to make some minor adjustments to my measurements, then make another one, using the zinc plated rod. Total cost less than $3.00.

Please share your comments and experiences,


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Coffeeneuring - Ride 5 of 7

Completed ride 5 of the Coffeeneuring Challenge this morning.  I had all intentions of using the recently completed bike from the Scorcher Project, but...

Scorcher Project
because of the morning rain and wet pavement, I opted to use a bike with fenders.  I chose the 1953 Raleigh Sports Tourist, it has fenders and the added bonus of an enclosed chaincase.  This is the same bike I used for the first Challenge ride.  I chose the Vino 9 Market for today's ride.  Located on Route 9 about a 1/4 mile from the W&OD at Paeonian Springs, VA. it has been recently refurbished and now includes a nice patio, and speakeasy type bar (The Blind Pig) under the store.  On Saturday's they have entertainment on the stage in the patio.  The ride there was wet, cool and somber, I was looking forward to a hot cup of coffee on arrival.


Front entrance, patio is in the back.
Patio entrance.

1953 Raleigh Sports, the fenders were a good choice today.  Drip coffee tasted extra good.

More patio
Entertainment stage.

Bottle cap table.

Today's ride was 4.4 miles.  On the way home I was thinking about the nice pot of Chipotle Chili I was going to make to brighten the day, but now as I'm writing this the Sun has come out.  Although; the simmering Chili does smell good.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Friday, October 18, 2013

Scorcher Project - The End is Near...

Scorcher - A fast, reckless cyclist who scares horses and old folks.  This term was current in the late 19th century.
---Sheldon Brown


The Scorcher Project for the most part is now completed.  I spent yesterday installing the chain, seat, shifter cable, handle bar grips, and headbadge  I took it for a quick shake-down ride to try the 5-speed hub, and top tube shifter.  It also gave me an opportunity to set the initial seat and handlebar height,  and just get a feel how it rides with the unusual handlebar setup.

I was impressed with how nice it shifted and the very useable gear range of the 5-speed hub.  The jury is still out on the handlebar.  I had trouble keeping the bar from rotating in the clamp.  I kept tightening up on the bolt but stopped for fear of stripping it.  I will need to shim it with something.  I've used aluminum duct tape before on another bike and it did the trick.  The overall riding position felt comfortable, but your hand position is lower then on a typical Sports, giving a more racy feel.  The coaster brake took some getting use to, I haven't had these on a bike since I was a kid; however, it did stop nicely.  I do like the bike's clean look without having all the brake hardware and cables attached.

These are the shifter parts that came with the hub.  The long thing in the middle is a fulcrum lever, with its plastic cover above.  The bottom part is a pulley that the toggle chain runs on.  I really didn't want to put these modern plastic parts on a Raleigh "All Steel" bike, so I used an old school axle nut with window instead.  Seems to be working OK.

That's better

One thing I noticed about using this hub on a 3-speed Sports frame was that the coaster brake lever did not align properly with the left chain stay.  When I installed the brake arm clamp on the chain stay it pulled the brake arm lever inward causing the hub to tighten up.  I used an old AW hub axle spacer and some washers to position the arm outward and this fixed the problem.  I need to make a proper sized spacer in the future.  
Brake arm and clamp.

Spacers to move arm outward.

I had removed the headbadge when the frame was powder coated.  I was able to source some #0, 1/8" drive screws to re-install the badge.  The headbadge shown is from the 1953 Sports, not the one I installed which is the original 1970 badge.

#0, 1/8" drive screws.

Original 1970 headbadge re-installed.

Brooks B-17

I had this two legged stand in the extra parts bin, so I installed it just to have a stand.  Not sure if it will stay, I do have the original, but its in sorry condition.

This is the "Scorcher" before going on its first shake down ride.

Please share your comments.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Coffeeneuring - Ride 4 of 7

Today was a cloudy muggy day, definitely not Fall like, but the Coffeeneuring Challenge must be obeyed.  Ride 4 took me to Black Dog Coffee, which is located in the It's Bazaar building in old town Purcellville.  For today's ride I chose my 1972 "Gold Edition" Raleigh Sports.  This bike was recently acquired, but has not been refurbished yet; however, it did see action in the DC Seersucker Social.

1972 Raleigh "Gold Edition" Sports

Today's meal, I also picked-up a bag of whole beans.
OK, ride 4 completed, total trip 3.8 miles.  That's it for this weeks Coffeeneuring rides, hopefully next Tues. and Wed. will be good weather for rides 5 and 6.  Until then enjoy the ride!

Coffeeneuring - Guest Post

As part of my participation in this years edition of the Coffeeneuring Challenge.  I'm responding a request to create a  Guest Post using 7 questions developed by the founder to the Challenge.  So here it goes:

(1.)  Where do you live? 

Currently living in Purcellville, VA., a resident for 33 years.  Born in DC, and have live in the Metro area ever since.

(2.)  How did you decide to coffeeneur?    

I had just finished the refurbishment of a 1953 Raleigh Sports Tourist, when I saw the announcement of the 3rd Annual Challenge.  This seemed like a perfect fit with my fondness for old 3-speed bikes, good coffee, and beautiful Fall mornings.  It would be the good way to get the '53 Sports sorted out, and provide an opportunity to exercise other 3-speeds I own.

(3.)  What bike are you using as your Coffeeneuring bike?  What makes it a good Coffeeneuring bike?

I'll be riding a 1949 Comrade Roadster Model, 1953 Raleigh Sports Tourist, and a 1972 "Gold Edition" Raleigh Sports.  These are all British 3-speeds, they are comfortable with upright riding position, are unpretentious, and just enough gears to deal with most terrain.  A perfect bike for casual jaunts to the local coffee shops.

(4.)  Where did you choose to coffeeneur for this trip?

I'm intending to ride in Purcellville for as many of the 7 trips as I can, but I don't believe there are that many coffee shops available.  I'm trying to avoid using the big chain shops/stores, I plan on using only Mom & Pop shops.  I do want to plan at least one "Coffee Shop Without Walls" trip.  I will be packing my vintage Svea 123 stove and Sigg Tourist set; some fresh ground beans; French press; and ride somewhere to have a "Brew-Up".  Probably on the C&O canal at one of the hiker/biker campsites.  Is the canal even open because of the Government shutdown?

(5.)  Is the coffee shop beautiful and the coffee delicious?  Tell us a little about your Coffeeneuring locale.

 All of the shops have been excellent thus far.  Purcellville for a small town has a good selection of coffee shops; however, there has really been an increase in local vineyards, craft breweries, and now a distillery, Catoctin Creek.  Is there Beerneuring, Wineneuring , or Whiskyneuring in the future? 

(6.)  What other types of riding do you do besides Coffeeneuring?

I used to ride a lot on my 1970's era Reynolds 531 framed custom 10-speed with the Potomac Peddlers.  I still enjoy riding the 10 speed, but I now prefer more casual, comfortable rides on a 3-speed.  I last big ride I did was the Seagull Century (metric) on the Eastern shore, this event gets a huge turnout.  I also enjoy the organized rides in DC sponsored by the Bicycle Space, and the Seersucker Social and Tweed Ride put on by Dandies & Quaintrelles.

(7.)  What else did I forget to ask you that you want to share?

Nothing is particular, just wanted to Thank You for your efforts in putting on the Challenge, I'm having a good time with it thus far.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Coffeeneuring - Ride 3 of 7

Beautiful day for a ride, especially after all the rain last week.  I started the ride in Paeonian Springs on the W&OD trail, and rode to Around the Block Books for my third ride of the Coffeeneuring Challenge.  This was my first visit since they relocated to the second floor above Trails Ends Cycling at the Western terminus of the W&OD trail.  They sell used books and have great coffee and sweets.  There are two sections to the store "Chapter 1", which contains the coffee and sweets, and 2008 and later books; and on the second floor is "Chapter 2", with a very cozy reading/sitting area and more books.  There motto is "We Encourage Loitering".   I normally do not use the word delightful; however, this is a perfect word to describe this place. I enjoyed my coffee and muffin while having interesting conversation with the owners.  It was like having morning coffee at a friends house.  In the course of the conversation my fondness for old bikes came up, and with that I was quickly presented with 1973 edition of "Glenn's Complete Bicycle Manual", which is now mine.

Today I used my 1949 Comrade Roadster Model for the trip, built by the Comrade Cycle Co. of Darlaston England.  This is a classic 3-speed with rod brakes and quadrant shifter.  The total ride length was 11.6 miles, at one point on the ride I hit 19.77 MPH, not bad for a 48 lb., 64 year old three speed.

The Comrade and main entrance to "Chapter 1", and coffee and sweets. 

Entrance to stairway for "Chapter 2"

My idea of health food.

More health food.

Don't forget the coffee.

All mine!

Mom and Daughter owners, Alice and Laura.

Upstairs at "Chapter 2"
On the way back, end of Coffeeneuring Challenge Ride 3.