Posted on April 22nd, 2009 No comments
A couple of years ago, Sarah and I bought a tandem. We thought it would be great for riding together – and in many ways, it was. We did have a lot of fun on our big – salmon – tandem. We linked it together with a trail-a-bike and even a trailer too. Let me tell you, that’s a BEAST to drive.
The key thing is that the tandem is actually a bit small for both Sarah and me. We are cramped. Sarah has started riding her single bike more and actually enjoys that more. I still tow Derek and Max in the trail-a-bike/trailer configuration – which is fun, but Derek is getting bigger and the trail-a-bike isn’t the best option any more. If we could just stop them from growing…. With Sarah on her single, that frees up a seat on the tandem. The problem is, Derek is actually a bit SMALL for the back of the tandem…. sigh. The tandem is what is called a “Softride Tandem” which means it as a HUGE carbon fiber beam that absorbs shock and makes the back seat more comfy. The problem is it is very unconventional and the seat only goes so low. Being a problem solver, I came up with several scenarios that involved complicated stuff like my friends fashioning complex new beams, welding additional tubes onto the tandem, modifying the cranks to make them shorter – let me tell you, I had thought through this all and SOLVED my problem. Well, sort of.
The thing I didn’t think of is that many other people have solved this problem in the past. There is a “kit” called a Child Stoker Kit that adds another crankset to the bike. If you look at the picture on the left, you will see how it all sorts out. This effectively moved the stoker (person in back) cranks a bunch closer and makes it so they can reach!
Now – this kit sells for $350 – which is quite reasonable – but I am known for pulling random things out of nowhere and getting some good deals. Off I go on m quest for at least “bro-deal”. I call in a couple favors, search ebay and actually find the part I need. I am pretty suprised – the guy wants $70 for it … I email him and say “Would you consider a buy it now? I don’t get an immediate reply. I continue the quest.
Late last night, I am online, minding my own business and I start chatting with my buddy Nathan. I am telling him my Tandem story – laughing at myself for “over-solving” my problem. About 1/2 way through the story he says – “You know, I have a child stoker kit out in my garage, you want it?” I reply (literally) “no sh*t?”. Turns out when he bought his tandem, it had the kit on it, he doesn’t need it. He’s cutting the price in half – down to $30 for exactly what I need!
We do have a couple minor issues to overcome – like his tandem is aluminum and has a 31.8 mm tube, mine is steel and has a 28.6 tube. Yeah, Nate’s got a bigger tube… pardon me – I digress. This can likely be worked out with a semi-common shim available from most any bike shop. I will have to investigate that a bit. I plan on phoning a tandem shop today – I believe they sell the part for about $10.
I started the week with a $225 quote to fashion new parts on the frame. By mid-week I’m at $40ish and everything will look good! The long story made short – we should be shortening up our bus really soon. It should make my life a LOT easier and make riding a lot more pleasant for the male popultion of the Georgia Pattons. Heck – it will shorten the bus by at least 8′. That will make us a cornering MACHINE
Posted on May 27th, 2008 No comments
Much like many other days, I headed out on my bike at lunch. It was warmer than I expected, but I do work in “Hotlanta” just a few short feet from the Perimeter (what people in the ATL call a beltway). I headed down to Columns drive to stretch out the legs and burn off some of my memorial weight gain. While I was there I had a GREAT RIDE! I mean this was the triple X throw down of intervals I have wanted/needed. I really put myself in the hole an fought out like a badger to get out. I was racing OFM (Old Fat Me, sort of…). I was setting up intervals and racing my computer. I beat it once, the second time it beat my by 52 feet. The third, 2 feet… it got me by 2 feet, though I did make it harder and had to make a U turn that cost me a 68 foot lead. GRRR!! Anyway, 25 miles at lunch is like the good number.
On the way back through the park, on the gravel path, just spinning my legs out, I had what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity (well, not really, but that’s one of my favorite lines from Pulp Fiction and when I am in a good mood, I like to think of that). ANYWAY… the shade, the quiet, the honeysuckle smell, the whole thing was just perfect. It really made me one with my environment, my machine and myself… I guess reality had to come back sooner or later.
About 5 minutes later, I am sitting at an intersection, legally waiting for a green light when a siren goes off. It sounds like it’s in my helmet, I figure out quickly it’s in front of me turning left…. then another siren! WOWZA… that got my heart rate up! (I should look at my file to see if there was a jump. There was almost a problem in my bike shorts… that wouldn’t be good! I get a green light, roll away… things look fine, I clear the hill and realize the perimeter is all backed up…. no wait, its stopped! Then I can here the sirens again, they are coming back on me! Wow… there is the crash! Being the geek that I am looking for that ever popular candid shot that will propel me into fame and fortune I grabbed my trusty camera phone and like every facebook/myspace addict took photos! My phone crashed and rebooted 2 times, so I had to settle for this less than ideal set of photos, but the accident was right there. I was glad I was “a road away” and safe, and not caught in the soon to be lengthy traffic jam. I did dispatch my trusty co-worker to monitor the accident from the top floor of our building… he was on it.
Crazy … from peace and serenity to mayhem and chaos in a matter of minutes!
Posted on December 3rd, 2007 No comments
Basically, since the day I met Sarah, she has been fascinated, frustrated, intrigued and annoyed by my use of the word nubbin. I can see that, since the true definition of nubbin is a moving target. In this post I hope to all at once define the word and still keep the definition a mystery,if you will!
nubbin (plural nubbins)
- A stub, especially a stub of undeveloped corn or fruit.
- (informal) A small protuberance, bud, bump, knob, or the like.
I’d like to also add that anything, small… cute… or otherwise un-described can be considered a nubbin as long as the Nubbinator. wow… I just pulled nubinator out for the first time! I like it endorses the use of the word. I’d also like to point out that not only did I pull out Nubinator, I crowned myself the Supreme Nubinator!.
So there you have it… You know what a nubbin is, isn’t and how it can vary depending on any number of factors.