Thursday, April 30, 2009

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

my bike, Odetta the P14

As always click on the pictures and the get wider.
Odetta is a lovely lady, my nice weather girlfriend. She is a factory team bike that was raced down at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome. Some time around 1980 he daddy brought her up to Cambridge as he was going to grad school at Ha'vhaad. My friend Robert (Row-Bear) the horrible old French man traded some road bike to the owner as there is/was no track in area. Robert tore the bike down and rebuilt her with a campy 1 inch pitch drive-train and wooden rims(!) as his winter commuter/roller-racer. Robert rode it in this configuration until the mid 90's, when it was hung out to dry in his basement in favor of a Moulton. Last fall I inherited the bike from Robert (along with 80 or so pipes) and stripped her down and rebuilt her with some modern components.
I've gotten some flak for rebuilding it, these are my 3 reasons:
1. The bike was built up in an anachronistic fashion anyways, the only thing original was the seatpost and stem
2. The drive train was screwed, the drive side pedal was helio-coiled in place
3. It's my bike, and if swapping out parts is what's going to make it ride-able, at least i'm riding it.
The bike is now built up with a set of 36 hole Phil Wood hubs laced 3x to Mavic Reflex tubulars fixed/fixed with a 18 & 22 tooth phil cog, the cranks are Sugino 75's with a 48 tooth ring mated to a Phil Wood bottom bracket, it has a Nitto Dynamic seatpost topped with a white San Marco rolls saddle, the stem is also a Nitto Dynamic with a NOS set of Cinelli 64's with Dia-comp brake levers (the right side is a dummy lever), the breaking is handled by a Campa Victory front brake, and my water bottle cage is vintage 60's T.A.
I'll be upgrading/swapping out my saddle soon for San Marco Regal in brown suede and I'll be replacing my 18 tooth cog with a 15 and my Sugino ring with a 3RRR "Mighty Pimp" in 46. I also have some Conti Sprinter/Gatorskin Tub's on the way in 22c to replace my crappy Celemente* that are on there now.
*I had a pair of Conti Competition's on there, but I've finally put enough holes in the rear that no matter how much tuffo sealent I put in it had to be replaced. I used my first spare (a used Vittoria Competion) for about a week before I ran over a huge fricking screw, so I switched it out with my other spare and 2 days later I put a huge hole in my sidewall. I'm ridding on some supper crappy Clemente now.

wanted: rucksack

I love my Arcteryx Bora 50, but it's a little to technical for my Woolrich/Filson/army surplus look. It's also a bit much for an day hike. I have a 1950's musette bag I use for short afternoon hikes. I need (ok perhaps not need, deeply want) something sized between the two. I've been thinking about getting a rucksack, the two I've been eyeing are the smaller Swiss surplus rucksack or the Wander from Duluth. The Swiss sack would be cheaper and has real leather straps and a leather covered bottom, but it's almost impossible to find in the smaller size. The medium and large size both have an internal frame and hip belt, a bit much for what I'm looking for. The Duluth pack is available in a range of colours (I'm partial to navy, something different from my usual tan or olive drab) is made in the US and has a very long respected history. But then again look at the price, $165 bucks is a bit much when there are so many surplus packs to be had for 1/3rd the price, also a bit iffy on the leather patch with the moose on it (I'm a bit of a no logo kinda guy). Sigh... anyone else have any options?

Swiss Rucksack

Duluth Wanderer

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And when it gets a bit warmer

Click on the picture for a full image, the blogging software cuts the picture in half.  Not sure if I'd ever go hiking in a bow tie.  A bit twee I know,  but without the bow-tie the outfit is a bit Gerbirgsjager.  Perhaps the suspenders and bow tie are over kill, dunno yet how I feel.

The shirt is a 1960's Canadian tropical wool army shirt, the braces, belt and shorts are all Filson, Beau-Ties supplied the bow tie.  The Puukko and belt pouch are both vintage e-bay finds.

It's still chilly in the White Mountains

Per a couple of e-mailed requests (just post comments people!)  some info on the above outfit. The shirt is a vintage Woolrich chamois cloth, Shorts are Filson double tin, socks are some old kilt hose (I wear Smartwool liner socks under them), tie is a Unas find, the belt pouch is a vintage 1920's geologist pouch (filled with a notebook, mechanical pencil and some maps).  The sweater a Barbour storm half-zip.  It's a pretty niffty water-proof/wind-proof deal that saw a lot of use this past winter. I first thought that the elbow and shoulder patches were suede but they are something called Alcantara.  I've own 2 other Barbour sweaters and this is the only one thats quality has not disappointed me.

Monday, April 20, 2009


I'm not sure which blog I stole this picture from, it had popped up on quite a few.  It's from the Fall 2009 collection for J. Crew.  I love the shawl collar and pockets.  It's hard to see where the cardigan falls on the hips, but I'm hoping it's short hip length.  I feel weird about wanting a J. Crew sweater, but here's the deal it's made by Inverallan in Scotland.  If you look at the Inverallan website you can pick out any style, knit pattern and colour you want for a custom jobber.  So I'd want the same cut as the J. Crew cardigan in natural off-white.

Thrown together with soon to be mine Limmer mid-weights I think I have the beginnings of a Fall outfit to hang out in my barn and smoke my pipe.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Wheels of Paris Roubaix

I was talking to my friend Rob about building up a new set of wheels. He's looking for something sturdy and well thought out. I recommended 28-32 White Industries laced up to Mavic Open-Pro's 3 cross with a radial non-drive rear wheel. I'm a big fan of hand built wheels. Running 36 hole Phil Wood hubs laced 3x to Open Pros on my Paramount and White Industries laced to Velocity Aeroheads on my Hot Tubes. The Hot Tubes are 20 hole radial on the front and 28 hole 3x drive & radial non-drive. The 20 hole was a bit of a mistake, I ment to order a 24 hole. I was a bit skeptical of running a 20 hole front, but it survived last year on the Cervelo and has migrated this year over to the Hot Tubes.

I googled some wheels from Paris Roubaix, thinking that the pro's might be running a similar wheel build. It looks like the are mostly running 32 3x front and rear. Not even running light weight hubs (DT*, White or Tune).
What does you all think about handbuilt wheels and spoke patterns?

Stuart O'Grady, 2007

Alessandro Ballan, 2008

Emilien Berges, 2008

*Ok I lied Emilien Berges is running a DT hub, and it's freaking tied and soldered!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hey y'all OPEN in now open. The Grand Opening is this April 11th, 7pm. I will not be attending, but make sure to swing by and give some love to the boys.

Une Saison en Enfer

To many this sunday is Easter to me it's the Queen of the Classics, the Hell of the North, the most brutal of all pro races Paris-Roubaix . This is the race that the pro's love to hate*, and I just plain love.
The P.R. bike is a little different form the bikes used durring the rest of the road season: traditional hand built wheels, wider tyres and longer wheelbases are the norm. Some have tried cantis, cylocross style top leavers, higher handlebars or even placing elastomers in their frames. In the 90's Lemond tried out front suspension, and in 1994 Bianchi with John Museeuw even tried out a full suspension road bike (28 lbs!). The bike was a one off, and Museeuw ended up finnishing 14th due to a blown tyre. According to Robert MacNeil ( "The bike was only raced once because the bike cost way too much, if I remember it cost a tad over $ 20,000 to produce. Sadly, it was never raced again because GB MG disbanded and Bianchi was no longer sponsoring the team."

Anyone have any thoughts on what new features we might see this year?

*"Paris-Roubaix is bullshit" -Hinault