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timv's blog

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Inline Skate Speed Boot Heat-Molding Results

After much research and comtemplation on the subject, I heat-molded my Hyper boots Tuesday night. It was my first heat-molding experience, and I rejected Hyper's suggested method of using a kitchen oven at 200°F. I didn't like the idea of softening all the carbon in the boot when I only wanted to reshape the heel cup area. And I also didn't like the idea that the whole boot could collapse in a molten heap if left in the oven too long at that temperature, which seemed to be a risk of that method.

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Tour de France live map tracking, and some photos

Coupla fun TdF links...

These folks have combined Google Maps with GPS and heart rate data to create a live Tour de France tracker. It'll be interesting to see how it works while the race is on.

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Fix Your Bike, Even If It Ain't Broke

Not a bad article in this past weekend's Washington Post about converting a road bike to fixed gearing. If you've never tried it, riding a bike that doesn't coast and that only has one gear is more fun than you might guess.

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Ditty-Bopping Across the Country

A vocal duo called the Ditty Bops are currenly on a cross-country summer tour, and they're doing the tour on their bikes. Great idea!

Reading closely, they're accompanied by a Dodge Sprinter van to carry gear and to accomodate mechanical problems, poop-outs, feeling-bad days, and the like. I can understand that, given the cost of a missed show. But give them a gold star for making the effort. (No word on whether the Sprinter is burning biodiesel. I'd feel a lot better if it was.)

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Keepers of the Flame

Besides celebrating old bikes, this weekend's Cirque du Cyclisme is also a celebration of those individuals and small businesses who continue to build bikes inspired by the classic style--typically made by hand out of steel tubing, and usually brazed (joined by melted brass or silver alloy rather than by welding, a higher temperature process that actually melts the steel) with "lugs" at each of the frame's joints. Dale Brown has dubbed this class of builder "Keepers of the Flame," a pun on the flame of the torch that's used to create the brazed joints.

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Old Bikes

I didn't set out to become a vintage bicycle enthusiast. I don't have any youthful cycling glories to recapture, and I'm not looking to collect multi-thousand-dollar Cinellis and Masis from the 60s and 70s. Nothing against that, I just don't have the money or the passion for it. I like old bikes more generically, for being an essential source of modern technology--the Wright brothers were bike mechanics after all--for what they represent as aesthetic objects, and for being an important agent of social change when they first appeared. I kept riding the bikes I had and they got old, and now it turns out that they're classics. (Undistinguished classics, but still...)

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For Us Old Codgers: Effects of Exercise on Joint Pain

I just saw this column in a old print copy of Runner's World as I was catching up on some of my reading backlog. It addresses a topic that I'd wondered about and had my own preconceptions on.

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