More crankiness…

So the crank arrived and looked great. That left the problem of installing it, but at least I had a new crank set. Naturally enough I decided to install it as soon as I had a little time. Of course I messed it up. Well, only for a few minutes, but messed up all the same.

I should note that I have a crank pulling tool,  a couple of them in fact as there was a time I couldn’t find the one I had and…well you know the rest.

The first problem, and this wasn’t my mess, was that the crank were on tight enough that I couldn’t get enough leverage to pull the cranks off the bottom bracket. The second problem, not the mess either, was that I didn’t have a vise to hold the broken crank leg so that I could get the pedal attached to it off.


Well it was a weekend, this was a bit over a week ago, so I took it to my LBS and they had the bits off in no time, and I might add, didn’t bother charging me. Thank you!

I then took the bike off to the nearest park and get to work putting things on.

This is were I made my mistake. Can you guess what could go wrong when putting on cranks?

Yep, I wasn’t paying attention and instead of putting the crank arms 180 degrees from each other I put them on, ahem, the same way. I had two pedals pointed in exactly the same direction. Looks interesting but, um, you simply can’t pedal that way.


Well I was too embarrassed to go back to the shop so I walked the bike home, pulled one side off and reattached it. I know everyone was staring at me as I walked home. Cars slowed down and stared at my pedals. People gawked.

Okay, probably no one noticed. Besides me that is.

I then went for a ride and discovered, quite pleasurably, that the new cranks worked great and the extra two teeth were not a problem either for the length of my chain or the strength of my legs.

It’s been a bit over a week and I’ve ridden the QB daily including to 30+ mile rides. Lovely. I’m quite pleased with the purchase and my LBS. I’m not quite so pleased with my own mechanical skills, though really it was my lack of attention more than my actual wrenching that caused the problem.

All in all things are great with the bike and even my stupidity didn’t even last an hour.

Here’s a pic of the results after fixing my, um, attention deficit…

New Cranks


Having recently busted the crank on my Quickbeam I’ve been sort of stymied on what to do about it. Unfortunately Rivendell Bicycle Works is out of the replacement part and, while I probably could order the set elsewhere they have great price and I like doing business with them.

But still…I hate having that bike down.

Today I was reading the RBW mailing list and lo and behold there’s a slightly different model set offered at a great price. Admittedly it’s lightly used, no problem, and doesn’t have quite the chain ring tooth count, but its’ close and fits on the bottom bracket I already have.

This image was taken by the seller and is up on Flickr.

Now I just have to wait for it to arrive!


R not ARRR…

That’s correct, I’m learning R and not learning to talk like a pirate, matey. For fun I’ve been studying a series of lessons on being a data scientist (which, while it may be beneficial at work is mostly for fun) through Coursera. It’s a sequence of courses on Data Science from John Hopkins. Wow.

I’m really only in the second portion of the class which is on learning the R Language. The first part of the class was really just an introduction to a number of tools including R, Git, and a number of other topics.

So far so good. I’ve gotten one certificate of completion (free btw). I could pay for this if I really want to get involved, but I’m trying it for free first. Maybe I can persuade my job to pay for this stuff. Probably not.

In any case, here’s my first certificate for the first course on the track…

Download (PDF, 69KB)

With “distinction” no less. Pretty nifty, eh?

Okay, I admit it’s mostly a small ego boost, but I did have fun taking that section and am enjoying the R programming section I’m doing now. If you want to learn something, go check out Coursera.

If you just want to play with R, try this:

If you really just want to speak like a pirate (so that this coming September on Talk Like a Pirate Day you’ll be understood), go here, The Original Talk Like a Pirate Day site.




No, I’m not doing crank. Indeed even my crank isn’t doing crank at the moment (or ever again).

First let me say…no injuries, no accident, didn’t even fall over. Having said that, it was a bit unexpected and I’m terribly grateful it didn’t happen this weekend when I rode the 2015 JBK Haleiwa Metric Century on my Quickbeam (and had a great time as documented in another here).

Anyway, I left work yesterday, hopped on my bike to run a few errands and maybe put in an extra mile or two (and I do mean just a mile or two – but still fun, eh?)
I was at a light and when I stood and pushed off with the green light my foot sort of kept going to the ground. Luckily I didn’t fall and stopped, though it probably looked clumsy. I couldn’t figure out how I’d missed the pedal.
I hadn’t. My Sugino XD2-QB double 40/32 175mm and come undone.
Broken Crank #1 Broken Crank #2 Broken Crank #3 Broken Crank #4
I didn’t take an image in place. I got the hell off the road. :-)
I bought the bike in December 2009 and have ridden the heck out of it. I’ve also mostly been a lot heavier than I am today (also documented in other emails around here). I’ve gone from 275 to 197, mostly since November 2014. If you do the math, the crank mostly got me at my heaviest.
If you look at the break it seems pretty clear it’d been a while coming. There are definite differences from one side of the break to the other. As I said, I’m really just grateful that it didn’t happen on the century this weekend, or in heaving traffic (could have too). It was pretty much a non-event.
For those who wonder, I have a Hunq that’ll be ridden a bit more now. If I’m annoyed with anything it’s that I just, and I mean just, ordered some new cork grips from Riv and now will have to order a new crank – twice the shipping charge. If I’d have waited a day or two on the cork grips it could all be one box. Sigh. Luxury problem.
Anyway I ride the bike almost exclusively in 40×16 mode and figure I’ll get new chainrings and a new single speed cassette – all contingent on taking the chain off and actually seeing what things look like – I might be okay.
As for the Hunq I just had a new dynohub wheel made for it and when I got home instead of playing around the with disassembly the QB I put on the new Eyc light, Top Line rear light, and wired it all up. Tomorrow I have a late ride ‘date’ and until now only the QB had that much light going for it. :-)

2015 JBK Ride Report…

My JBK Haleiwa Metric Century started, as most of things do, a couple of days before the ride. It was Friday night and I’d attended the UH Rainbow baseball game against the UCSB Gauchos. They are a really good team with a stunning pitcher, Dillon Tate. That, of course, is a digression.

The point is, when I came out of the game I discovered that my rear tire had flatted. I didn’t feel like dealing with it so I tried pumping it back up. It seemed to hold so off I went. About halfway home I had to stop and pump it up again. This wouldn’t do.
At home I checked and discovered that I only had one new inner tube left and as I didn’t want to trust a patched tube on an hundred kilometer ride I used it. I also decided that as I had a new tire available, I’d use that too. The tire I was using wasn’t completely worn out but I’d had a couple of flats in the last month or so. Good enough I thought.
On Saturday, while running my usual errands and visiting some friends at a picnic at Kaimana Beach I picked up some new tubes. Then I got thinking. Never a good thing, and bought a new 8-speed chain as well…just in case.
Before I headed out to another bas weball game, which we actually won – Go Bows! – I made some hard boiled eggs and counted my string cheese. All good.
Then it was off to the game where i mistakenly had a cup of coffee. The game was great, fun to win, and this time, even better, my bike didn’t have a flat. The new tire was working well. At home I tried to sleep.
It was the coffee. I don’t get all that nervous before a ride, though I’ll admit to some worries about making it time to get on the return bus. Let me explain. Two years ago I did this ride, some 75 pounds heavier. I had no trouble with the ride, nor did I have time worries. I was going with a friend and we took his pickup truck. We got back before the event was over, but not by much.
This year I was going alone, which as it turns out was a great move, and taking the transport bus provided by a local tour company. Actually the provided several buses.

I arrived at the bus at around 4:45 AM. I had to get up at 3:30 AM which only made having the coffee worse. I should know better, but hey, that’s the way I roll.
The bus ride was uneventful. We packed the bikes badly and in an emergency there’d have been some real problems. We solved the problem on the way back just so you know.
When I got off the bus with my bike, an exercise in applied geometry I can tell you, I needed to use the restroom…soon too. The view was one I was all too familiar with from RAGBRAI…

Soon I was finding my place in the crowd of cyclists raring to go for a ride. What else is there to do on a nice Sunday morning after all.

You meet the nicest bike while waiting too. Here’s a Bike Friday Haul-a-Day. It’s their new model of folding long tail. Really…

I would see that bike on the road several times.
And then, after a few obligatory words about being nice to each other, the folks living in the neighborhood and some thoughts on rules of the road, we were off.

That’s a time lapse of the first half of the ride. I use an ‘Re’ camera set to make an image every five minutes. I was surprised it all worked as I had to connect it to a battery. It seems it hadn’t charged overnight and had no juice. Luckily I had one of those batteries you can charge your phone from and yep, it worked.
The ride itself was fine. I was experimenting a bit with food for the road. Having just lost 75ish pounds by cutting carbs I couldn’t very well start eating donuts. In fact, I ate nothing before the ride. I had a two cups of coffee, one blended with a pat of butter and a tablespoon of coconut oil, and one regular, but nothing else. I had packed my eggs and string cheese, but thought I’d see how I did.
Darn it all, I was fast. Fast for me that is. I rode the first half ot the ride in 01:52:00 or so. Basically I was over 15 mph the whole way.
Wow. I’ve never ridden so fast for so long and I did it without a break on no breakfast. In fact I wasn’t even really hungry when I arrived at Swanzy Beach Park, the turnaround point.

I’d been worried about making the round trip in time to get on the bus at 1:30 PM, a six hour ride, or just right at 10 MPH which is a pretty normal time for me (that would have included a couple of breaks and a photo or two along the way – something I do enjoy). Well now I wasn’t too worried. It wasn’t even 9 AM and I was already half finished. I could take it easy on the way home.
Even though I wasn’t too hungry, I ate a couple of hard boiled eggs, had a couple of pieces of string cheese, and drank a lot of water, something I knew I needed.
Then I headed back. This time it was into the wind for the first half of the return, it had picked up a bit and was definitely slowing me down. Indeed on the return I averaged 1.9 MPH slower, though on a few legs, when I was out of the wind or it had calmed, I was almost as fast as on the first half.

Now that I look at the time delays I realize I really need to do something about the mount and my brake cables. Or maybe not…at least you can tell I was on a bike.
I did make a stop on the return. About halfway back it became evident that I had, in fact, been drinking enough water. Whew…I worry about dehydration, it can happen pretty easily out here, especially on days when there’s a cloud cover, it’s kind of cool, and you don’t think about how much is going out and how little coming in. No worries today though.
And then I was approaching Haleiwa. It was almost noon and I really, really wanted to make it in by noon. It was quarter to twelve and I didn’t think I’d make it. Then it was ten to twelve and I thought I might if traffic, which can be bad in Haleiwa cooperated; there was none. Then it was seven minutes till twelve and the road from town to Kaiaka Park was longer than I remember.
I made it. Yes indeed, with a couple of minutes to spare in fact.
Now I figured, I’d pay the price for getting back early, a 90 minute wait for the bus. I had a couple of cold drinks, ate another egg, and…well there’s a bit more to the story.
I met some great folks, had a great bus ride home, went out for coffee with a new friend, rode home and slept great. Yeah, it was a great day!