An experiment

I’ve made some fit changes to the Merckx, looking to improve my position on the bike and to be more comfortable on long rides.  It seemed that I was consciously shifting back to get to the proper position on the saddle, so I moved the saddle forward about 10mm.  That did help, but after a couple of rides I decided to swap out the stem for a shorter one.  Another improvement.  One of the guys on the Wednesday night shop ride suggested I might want to lower my saddle a bit, so I lowered it about 5mm.  This seemed to be better still, so I’m going to leave it as is for now.  After a few more rides, I may tweak here and there, but I want to get some miles in before making any more changes.

I’m also considering trying a new crankset on the Merckx.  The main change is to try 160mm crankarms, 10mm shorter than the 170mm Campagnolo crankset that is on the bike now.  The chainrings are the same tooth count, so the chain will work, and the front derailleur should only need a tweak or two.

Curious to see how the shorter crankarms may work for me.  I have enough info from previous rides to try and make an objective assessment, but the seat of the pants may be telling as well.

The new cranks use a square taper BB, so it’s not a direct swap.  Still, not too difficult to do – I’m thinking an hour or less should be enough to swap them around.  I’ll need to raise the saddle 10mm or so and probably forward just a bit from the present position.  Since the weather is improving too, good opportunity to get some road miles in and see how they feel.

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, ericmaster_brokers@hotmail.com, 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 ericmaster_brokers@hotmail.com and tell him hello. I think they should be able to sell him male enhancement products – he clearly needs them.

Nice try, jerkweed.