Monday, January 30, 2012

a brick

Last Thursday I turned 21. I don't have any pictures from the weekend, but I do have this brick:

On Friday I went out a couple places with my friends Pain Train Zane and Brian. When we got back into town, I yelled and knocked on my friend Big Trav's door. He had some weird Lord of the Rings music cranked way up, so I couldn't hear his reply. I put my shoulder to the door and bumped it open.

Big Trav was completely naked, Big Trav's girlfriend was completely naked, and Zane's dog was completely naked. The dog jumped up and sprinted out of the room. I don't know why that animal was in there, and I don't think I ever want to. Big Trav sauntered to the bathroom, totally at ease while we stood there in shock.

Then I played the one cord that I can play on the harmonica and we sang.

The next afternoon, I headed to Don Power's house so we could meet Gnarmire and Joejoejoe Malone at North Park. We had agreed to meet at 1:00.

I got to Don's house at 2:30. So I was a couple minutes late. Everybody yelled at me.

We rode in the park for over two hours. The trails were muddy in spots, but for the end of January, I'm not complaining.

After the ride, we headed into the city and got some big slabs of ground beef.

Then the tour de bars n'at began. We met some more friends at the Brillobox, then rode a shopping cart to Kelly's.

I found a brick. I decided to keep the brick.

We went to the Shadow Lounge, where bras and deodorant are apparently prohibited. There was some dancing on a stage.

The next morning, we woke up and rode again, a little slower than the day before. There were it few times where it looked like Gnarmire wasn't going to make it. But he did, and we pedaled back to the parking lot, where I retrieved my brick from Don Power's car.

It was solid weekend. I'm glad I have so many elderly friends.

But I'm not glad that I saw Big Trav naked.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pulp Traction

Last Friday I was hanging out with my friend's German Shepard (trying to keep her from eating my face), and scanning the rows of old video tapes. Easy Rider, Die Hard 1 through 8, Captain Ron. Then, on the top row, I spotted a Specialized logo.

I jumped out of the cracked vinyl office chair and ran to pick up the box:

Pulp Traction. From 1994. (*not my thumb)

Featuring sexy gripshifting, shameless wide-ons and "boss sounds" by Seal. I started giggling with excitement. I popped the tape in the VCR, propped the little flap open with a q-tip and rewound the tape.

Then the movie began. With a public service announcement, and a man shitting rocks.

The public service message ended and Courtney Love started singing some boss sounds. Guys with mullets, fanny packs, and white t-shirts started crashing:

And crashing:

Then this chubby guy appeared. He claimed to be riding around the world from Austrailia. He had just ridden down from "Canadoo," and already pedaled 200,000 miles.

Then an F-16 pilot with a hairy stomach threw a Shark Cruiser:

And a woman with an un-hairy stomach made love to a Shark Cruiser:

After that, the Alien Sprocket Sniffers rode down some bumpy hills:

Canti brakes squealed, back tires were locked, and ruts were carved into the dust.

Then some panties flew:

And a baby was born:

The movie suddenly ended with a phone number. I'm really temped to call it:

It was over too soon. So I watched it two more times. And it was just as awesome the third time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

repairing continues

Awesome day in Ohiopyle yesterday. I rode for almost two hours, on dry trails, in shorts. I never thought I'd be doing that at the end of January.

With the assistance of the viking cat, I made some more progress on the Cabrio this morning:

I have all the crushed parts torn off, so now I'm just waiting to hear back from a couple junk yards to see if they have what I need. Before I started doing this I didn't realize that there was a nation online junk yard inventory, but it sure is convenient.

I think the fender is going to be the only thing I'll have trouble finding. As the guy at one of the yards just told me in an email.

"Passenger side fender ------- NOTHING ON THAT ONE." Car guys manage to sound gruff even in writing.

Since it'll be hard to match the original paint, I'm probably going to redo the whole car. I'm leaning towards Hot Rod Flatz paint because it ends in a z, and I love words that end in z.

The return of Grumbler Green:

Sunday, January 22, 2012

getting it home

After a month of ignoring it, I finally got the deer damaged tiny gay convertible home:

 The plan was to rent a U-Haul car dolly and tow the Cabrio back with my little truck. When I called U-Haul, they told that the computer wouldn't let them rent the dolly because my truck was too small to tow the tiny car. Which I think is shit. But I know better than to try to argue with a computer system.

I should have told them I was towing a Miatta:

So I had to rent an F-150. I wasn't a fan. The thing felt like it was taking up two lanes. I could never deal with a man-sized truck as my daily driver.

Anyway, I enlisted Justin to help me, and we headed to the body shop. When we got there, the tiny convertible wouldn't start. I tried to back the trailer up through the gates, and I discovered that I'm terrible at backing a trailer up. So I parked the truck, and we got out to push the Cabrio.

With the little dollies, you're supposed to just drive the car up the ramps and strap it down. But without the engine running, we had to push it up. We tried a few times, and every time it fell back down. Then we tried choking up the back wheels and backing the trailer into it. That also failed.

Finally we pushed the car back about thirty feet and sprinted at the trailer. It was rolling fast, hit the ramps, and thunked into place. Success.

After we got back into Greensburg, we had to figure out how to get the car into my garage, which is on a busy street in the middle of a steep hill. I tried backing it in, but apparently a car dolly can't turn with a car on it. I held up some increasingly angry traffic for about 10 minutes before I decided to drive around the block and pull it in straight.

We chocked the back wheels, and Justin got in the car. I pulled the truck forward, and the Cabrio slid off the ramps. He stepped on the brakes to keep it from rolling out into traffic. Then we pushed the car up the hill into the garage. Which sucked. But we got it.

I took the U-Haul back, and started tearing apart the car. Everything came apart easily. No rusty bolts, and everything was either a 10 or 12mm. So pleasant.

Now I just need to bend this fender support thingy back and locate some parts:

I should have this little machine back together in plenty of time for some top-down cruising this summer. I can't wait.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My friend Jim is getting rid of this Niner EMD to pay some medical bills:

image 0

That's a bummer, but somebody is going to end up with a deal on a super nice Niner. He only wants $1390. Here's the ad.

In other news, when I ran up stairs to make the second pot of coffee this morning, I found that I made a small mistake when I shuffled out of the kitchen the first time:

Convenient? Yes. Refrigerated? No.

But I like the one door one bowl concept. Maybe I'll start refrigerating my cereal.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

the singlespeed RIP9 is faster than Don Powers

After I posted the link to the singlespeed RIP9 on facespace yesterday (where people seem more willing to discuss), some friends were skeptical. 

More specifically, Don Powers was skeptical: "I can't wait to beat you while you're on that bike," he said

Don Powers never beats me. I do everything I can to crush him, because if I don't he'll shout his tale of conquest in a loop for a three-hour car ride, then post about it on the internet until the next race he loses. 

"I'm Dahn Pahrs and Dahn Pahrs does what Dahn Pahrs does to win becasue Dahn Pahrs is the best. I'm old. Dahn Pahrs!" 

Imagine listening to that for hours and hours. It's awful. Fortunately, I don't have to hear it very often, because like I said, I don't lose to Don Powers. I told him he would not be beating me.

Which made him bring up my last two races, where I lost to Don Powers. Both times. 

"Fact 1 - That tensioner will fail within 5 races. Fact 2 - I'm on a two race win streak against you," he said.

Feeling backed into a corner, I turned to the debating skills that I've picked up from watching Fox News. If you can't challenge their ideas or prove their facts inaccurate, derail the conversation by calling them a name.

"Fact 3 - You're a Neanderthal," I said.

But he turned my tactic against me by calling me a name, then adding another fact. "Fact 4 - You're a hobbit who is upset about facts 1 and 2," he said.

Shit. He had me. I had to end the conversation quickly and get out of there. "Fact 5 - I shaved my toes last week," I said.

No response to that. I guess that means I win.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Singlespeed RIP9

Despite feeling terrible from the resilient 19th-century respiratory illness that I contracted in Hell last month, yesterday Ole Cinder Bloch Lochner and I went riding at Roaring Run in Apollo. It was a beautiful day, and I needed to test the new race machine. I've had it put together for a few days, but I didn't want to say anything on here until I was sure it wasn't going to fall apart.

It didn't fall apart.

120mm of travel front and back, one gear. Rad.

I wasn't riding well yesterday but I was still cruising away from Ole Cinder Bloch, who was on a rigid SIR9. The bike makes everything so easy. I can stuff it into jagged rocks, and it goes forward. Into big logs, and it goes forward. Over the end of a very low park bench, and it goes forward (with it's dizzy and disoriented rider only half attached.)

I'm used to bouncing around on a hardtail, and compared to that the Rip is totally undramatic. It just smooths everything out and goes. Since the loop at Apollo is so twisty, I was expecting the bike to be a little to big for the trail. But I was wrong. It feels quick and handles tight stuff as well as my One9 did with a 120mm fork.

It's geared at 36x19, and I had no problem standing and mashing up the steep hills. Even in such a big gear, the suspension didn't squish too much.

I finished the loop feeling as fresh as when I started it (which wasn't actually very fresh. But I did finish the loop with consumption, cholera or diphtheria. That has to say something.) My back didn't hurt and my hands weren't sore. This bike is going to make a huge difference in the last 20 miles of a 100 miler, when every bump on the trail feels like falling ass first onto a giant hedgehog.

I'm excited about the Rip. It's fast, it's fun, and it runs real good.

I'm using a Paul Melvin to tension the chain, which is basically a short cage derailleur with an extra strong spring. It's quiet, and there's very little chainslap:

I couldn't get an 8 or 9 speed chain to work without skipping (I think my cog was too worn), so I ended up with a KMC single speed chain:

Some mud, no skipping. Bueno.

The I9 guys rebuilt my wheels again, this time with Stan's Flows. So I'm running a full Enduro wheelset. I still have an Ultralite back wheel that I'll throw on for some races.

I can't wait to race this thing. It's gonna be fast.

Here's the full build list:

Frame: Niner RIP9
Wheels: Industry 9 Enduro 29er
Grips: Ergon GX2 Carbon
Fork: Rockshox Reba RLT Ti with 20mm thru axle
Brakes: Formula RX
Rotors: Forumla R1
Crank: Raceface Turbine
Bars: Raceface Atlas
Stem: Thomson 50mm
Seatpost: The one that was on closeout

A hearty thanks to me Mam.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


This morning I had a couple free hours. So I drank a lot of coffee, listened to a lot of Tom Waits (the man's good for cold, horrible weather), and started messing with a sharpie I accidentally stole from work.

I started with a hamster impaling itself on a shrub:

(In my mind, all hamsters look like jelly beans)

Which took a couple minutes to get where I wanted it:

After that, I was feeling sharp.

I whipped out a loose hamster:

And a carniverous unicorn:

Then I did a nice self portrait, which I plan to give to my girlfriend so that she can remember me while she's in the land of the hobbits.

The rest of the parts for the new sickle should be in tomorrow, so I'm hoping to have that build up by next week.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Winter in the shop

We're finally getting our first significant snow here in Ohiopyle:

Town is pretty deserted this time of year, and the snow definently ads to the isolated feeling. But that's not a bad thing. Now I have time to do all the things I could only dream of over the summer. Like organizing all our hangers by size, material, and usage:

And making sure the shoes are staggered correctly:

Then finishing the staggering process, and realizing my coffee mug is gone. And searching all the usual spots (on top of the t-shirt shelf, under the sunglasses, and next to the open sign)  for almost an hour, then finding mug displayed next to Venice H2s. Right where it belongs:

We don't have enough snow to make the trails un-ridable yet, so last night I went out for a quick night ride on a trail that definitely wasn't in the State Park (because the park is closed at night time.)

The trail that shall-not-be-named was in pretty nice shape. I might have to head out for some more snowy miles today at lunch. I don't mind a little bit of winter riding, but I wouldn't want to be this guy:

He's on his way to New York City from Cleveland. Brave soul.

According to Google maps, that's 666 miles. He bought lots of Clif Bars.