Wednesday, May 25, 2011



It's been over a month since my last post, and in what you would think is the prime season for cycling!  There have been many changes recently that have kept me from the keyboard. In addition, the weather here is Seattle has been downright crummy for biking.  Cold and wet.  One of the coldest and wettest springs I've ever experienced here.

The biggest change... I'm now officially retired.  The change in employment status was my doing... for "family reasons."  It has been a tougher transition than I thought it would be.  I thought having some extra time would mean more cycling.  It has actually been the opposite.  Much of my riding was commute-related and now that I don't commute, getting out for a solo ride seems like an indulgence. As I get more used to it, I think I will be getting out more, but the transition has been challenging.

That said, I have been doing some bicycle related activities.  Here are a bunch of pics to bring you all up to speed on the last month or so...

I finished up the Ladies Tourist.  Not a very good picture up there, but you get the idea.  New wheels, tires, brake blocks and saddle brought her all back to life.  And best of all... the wife seems to really like riding her!

Here is a picture of the fair maiden with her Ladies Tourist, now mounted with a shellacked wicker basket, surveying the view from a high point on the island we live on...

We all took a spring break vacation to Carmel CA.  Look at the restaurant we came across!  I really wish we had brought the folders with us on this trip... East-West in Carmel is serious hills, but North-South, you can go miles along open roads skirting the Pacific Ocean...

On my last day at work, I rode home on my trusty Surly Cross Check.  Amazingly, the sun came out and I got to enjoy a rare few minutes 'laxing on a park bench in our little town.  A contemplative moment...

My wife has made it known that she'd like to be able to park the car in the garage... but "the herd" is getting in the way!  Here is a picture of her desired Mini Cooper (the ULTRA mini version) and clearly there is PLENTY of room for a few bikes AND her car!!  :-)

I've wanted to find a working, vintage lighting system for the Gent's Tourist.  Just my luck, I came across a very beat up 1953 Raleigh Sports, Ladies for $60.  It had a working lighting system AND a non-working (but visually acceptable) air pump.  I cleaned up the pump and put it on the Ladies Tourist, stripped off the lighting system and mounted it on the mens.  The rest went to the Thrift Store...  It works great! And from what I've seen on eBay, the lighting system AND pump was a deal...

It hasn't been completely miserable here... We have gotten out on a few rides.  The top picture is the Gent's Tourist and my bride's Nishiki Mixte at the north end of Mercer Island, near Luther Burbank Park on a rare sunny day.

The lower image is of my Faggin road bike, now with a Brooks Team Professional saddle on it.  I was on my first solo ride since retiring and stopped at the farthest south you can ride on the island, where East Mercer Way and West Mercer Way intersect.  I usually ride past this point thinking.. "I should stop and get a picture of this for the blog."  Now that I have some time on my hands... I did.

Well, that kind of catches us up.  Sorry for the long post and I'm hoping now to get back in the groove of posting more frequently.



  1. Congrats on the retirement...I guess.

    Parking in the garage is overrated. Maybe you just need a bigger outbuilding?


  2. Glad to see you posting again. The loop frame is gorgeous. I'm inspired to finally get mine together!

  3. Aaron, agreed on the over-ratedness of cars in the garage. If only I had the space outside to put up a dedicated shop... Land is pretty dear around here.

    "retirement" is a relative thing... All good from my end. I needed a break from my pressure cooking job. Already new things brewing.

    Kira, the loop frame was the most fun I've had in a while working on a bike. It's been a long project obtaining parts etc... But it teaches patience. I'd love to see photos of yours in progress. *hint hint*. ;-)

  4. Hmm, I tried to post before, but it may not have taken. I'm 95% finished with my husband's birthday DL-1. I'm still waiting for the salmon Kool Stop brake inserts (so exciting!), and I'm daring to touch up the paint. When that's done I'll get to work on my loop frames. I'm even trying a rust removal method involving soaking the rusty bits in diluted molasses. We'll see how that goes. Photos when I can- promise!

  5. Hi Kira- hehe.. funny, you and I are a lot alike. I build up bikes for my wife and you for your husband. You were nicer to do his first. I did MINE first!

    Do you have a blog that you post up to? I'm not sure there is any way to post images in forum comments areas. Or maybe flikr or something like that?


  6. Here it is! Please excuse the ill-fitting rack. It came on the bike. I have ordered my DH a custom one for Father's Day, but I don't want to tip him off by removing the old one. : ) I wish I had taken some before shots. It was a grimy, scratched-up, duct tape-wrapped mess.


  7. Kira- WOW..., no, I mean WOW!! What an awesome job you did on the paint restoration of the gent's DL-1. I can't wait to see the pictures of the ladies DL-1 you are working on.

    Do you and your hubby go on rides together on these bikes yet? What does he think of all your effort?

    By the way, my wife likes your garden! ;-) What part of the country do you guys live? Our plants are really behind due to a colder than expected spring here in the Pacific Northwest.

    Keep me posted on progress with the ladies DL-1


  8. Thank the Mrs for me! I do love gardening, but this year I'm afraid I'm allowing the maintenance to get a bit, romantic, shall we say? Not nearly as pruned as I'd like it.

    And thanks for the compliments on the paint. My husband does seem to enjoy the bike. He has gone on several rides with the kids, which I have only enjoyed watching from the porch at this point (I'm due to have #5 in a few weeks and I'm prone to early labor, so I have to "take it easy," which is for the birds IMO). I'll jump in there soon enough!

    Oh- we're in Ohio, and we, too, had an endless winter. All my peony varieties were two weeks late.

    Love the shellacked basket. Do I see that you switched out the grips, or is that an illusion in the last photo of the loop frame?



Let me know what you think!