The LeMond’s first real ride

Today is the day.  I’m meeting a friend, Mike, at this house at 5:30pm for a ride into town, a quick bite for dinner, and back.  From my house to his is 11 miles, and town is another 5 miles from his house.  I decided to take the LeMond.  I received the headset spacers a couple of days ago and those were the last parts I needed.  The LeMond is completely finished.

The ride to Mike’s was great.  The bike is steady hands-off, pedaling or coasting.  No issues that  I could notice.  The Reynolds 853 steel frame is nice, less jarring than the CAAD8 that I usually ride.  Braking action is good, no real difference between this bike and the CAAD8.  Both sets of rims have machined sidewalls. and both brakes are dual-pivot so the differences should be minimal.  Shifting is crisper on the LeMond, probably because I should lube (or replace) the chainstay to rear derailleur housing on the CAAD8.  It’s now got about 2500 miles on the current cables/housings with no adjustments needed in that period of time.

There are some rolling hills on the route, but nothing really noteworthy.  I was really happy with the wheels.  If you’ve not read about them, these are the first set of wheels I built – laced, trued, tensioned.  3-cross on the front wheel, 3-cross NDS / 2-cross DS on the rear wheel.  The wheels are still true!  The sunlight reflecting off the polished silver rims and glinting off the stainless spokes reminds me of an old Huffy 10-speed and bicycle adventures too many years ago to count.

There is a certain amount of pride when you’re riding a bike that you built, and this ride was definitely a special one.  32 miles isn’t a terribly long ride, but it was definitely long enough for problems to surface – and there were none.

I haven’t worked out all of the details of the next project, but look for an 5-speed IGH and drum brakes.  Hint, hint.


Two wheels without IC…

That’s right, no internal-combustion engine.  Those of you that know me are familiar with my enjoyment of internal-combustion power for two-wheeled vehicles.  Well, I’ve resurrected a very enjoyable hobby from my past, riding bicycles.  I rode a LOT as a teenager living in upstate New York, but no so much lately.  It turns out that my bride enjoys riding and we can do that together which makes it even better.  The exercise is beneficial, of course, but that’s not the only benefit.  We get to use some nice bicycle trails in the area and we can spend some quiet time together away from the computer, television, and telephone.

Unplugging is becoming more attractive as time goes on.  Stay tuned as we visit bicycle shops looking for bikes – the ones we’re using now are almost 20 years old (in my case) and the other isn’t even hers (it’s her daughter’s bike).

It’s time to fix that.

Camera repair needed

I love to take pictures, and because of that enjoyment I bought a really nice 35mm camera a few years ago.   It is a grey market Canon EOS 5 slr – grey market because of the +/- f-stop dial in the viewfinder.   The camera focuses where you look, by bouncing a tiny led beam off your eye and focusing where you are looking.   It works better if you don’t wear glasses, but it still works pretty well for me anyway.   For a long time, I just used the USM 28-105 lens that I bought with the camera body, but recently I added a USM 75-300 lens as well.   On to the repair story…

I was taking pictures inside an auditorium, using ISO-800 film (not really my favorite) and the control dial stopped working.   This is a known problem on this type of Canon 35mm SLRs; the control dial internals will come loose and prevent the dial from turning.   Sometimes the dial turns but has no detent stops to hold it in the chosen position – this is what happened to my camera.   Damn.   I had read about this before, but I had apparently been lucky up to this point.   The camera has never been dropped or even handled roughly – there is not a single scratch on the camera body.   Despite that careful use, the camera still failed and a repair was needed.

With a lot of googling and reading forum posts from other folks unlucky enough to share my dilemma, I found a place that would make the repair.   Several posters pointed to Steve at Camera Clinic.   The repair price was very reasonable, he gives a guarantee with the work, and he turned the repair around in a couple of days.   Very responsive via email and the telephone, I recommend that you contact him for camera repairs.   It’s great to recommend someone without having to add all kinds of disclaimers and conditions, isn’t it?

What an ass

You know, in spite of a lot of evidence to the contrary, I still expect that people will live up to their word. When they don’t it’s a disappointment and sadly, all too common.

I had advertised a bike of mine for sale, and someone claiming to be from Canada, Eric Walter,, tried to run the old “cashier’s check” scam on me. I said that my bank required a 11-business-day hold on cashier’s checks from out-of-the-country banks and suggested that he wire the funds to my bank. Now my bank is a small town bank, and they take very good care of their customers. The lady that I spoke with said the best method was to have the funds transferred to the bank’s account at the Fed and they would then transfer the funds to my account. I was not giving my account number to this guy under any circumstances.

So, no cashier’s check scam, no way to get my account numbers means no scam run on me.

Hopefully all of the spammers on the planet will find Eric Walter’s email address and tell him hello. I think they should be able to sell him male enhancement products – he clearly needs them.

Nice try, jerkweed.