Monday, October 30, 2023

Coffeeneuring photos and Peugeot update

 Here are some photos from a few of my Coffeeneuring rides. 

While my Coffeeneuring rides have all been solo, I’ve still enjoyed them.

The time spent riding always reminds me what I love about riding, which is the movement involved, the scenery I get to take in, and the stops along the way during which I can sit and enjoy the view while taking my refreshment.

I have one official ride left to fulfill the required seven rides, but will probably take a few more if the weather permits, just for fun.

The weather has been lovely the last few days, cold mornings and highs in the 50s F, with blue skies and gentle breezes blowing leaves out of the trees. So when the clouds move in tonight and the rain comes on Wednesday, I won’t squawk.

This afternoon, I spent some time in the Brain Trust puttering on the Peugeot. I’m a slower mechanic these days than I was in my production mechanic years, but still got some things done. 

First, I had to trim the sides away from the front fender to allow it to fit into a rounded fork crown. 

I don’t have especially fancy cutting tools here, but I ado have a bench vise and a shop knife with a fresh blade. That allowed me to cut a rounded, though jagged, line on either side of the tab.  Then I took a piece of the leftover fender material and super-glued it underneath in the area where I a cut material away, to stabilize it a little more. I may add another length if I think I need to, but for now I’ll see how well it works.

I finished installing the cockpit, using the new handlebar and some lovely vintage levers and shifters.

I also decided to cut about 3/4” off each end to give myself a little more room when cornering.

I found a cool short rack that mounts onto the brake braze-ons and at the fork crown, which gives me several options for baskets or bags up front. I was glad to note that the rack clears the downward brake cable. I was disappointed to note that the stabilizing arm provided with the rack was so thick that it could not be bent or reshaped even in a bench vise (without risking breakage). So I swapped in a thinner one made from band steel, malleable enough for my needs but stable enough to last.

Overall I think this will be a lovely build when it’s done. Tomorrow I hope to get it all hooked up and take it on a test ride, and then do some final tweaking and fussing before adding a taillight, a saddlebag and some kind of compartment on the front rack.
It’s getting very close.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Proofhide works on Carradice leather bits too


The bag is dry, and I’ve applied some Brooks Proofhide to the leather trim and straps. I’ve wiped it out and I’m going to let it be, for the most part. I haven’t found my old Tim of cotton proofing wax so I’m going to hold off for now.

The wood rod that the attachment straps wrap around looks pretty old and may need replacing. I’ve got plenty of odd drum sticks for that. There is one noticeable hole on the stitch line under one of the buckles; I will probably just glue or sew it shut from the inside.

Patches? Well, sure, a few. I’m hoping to get the Peugeot built up and ride it on a Coffeeneuring ride, and then add a Coffeeneuring patch to the bag to make it official.

Assuming it’s not too cold tomorrow, I’ll try and get it put back together and rideable. It’s close! 

Saturday, October 21, 2023

Progress on the Peugeot and a new handlebar

Moving forward on upscaling the Peugeot, I obtained a couple of things this week.

First, I scored this old Carradice bag (looks to me like a Nelson Longflap) on eBay for a surprisingly cheap price, owing in large part to its age and wear. When it arrived, I hung it in a tree and hosed it down thoroughly inside and out, then move it to my closet hs line to catch the last rays of afternoon sun to dry. I brought in that night to let it dry further inside, and it should be dry enough by tomorrow for me to add a little Proofhide to all the leather pieces to make the leather a little nicer. If I can find what’s left of my can of canvas proofing wax I’ll heat it up and brush on a little bit to restore some water resistance.


I think that when everything’s done it will be a fine bag for the Peugeot.

I also bought a new handlebar for it, which arrived today: a Sunlite (J & B house brand) “Elson Touring” bar, which is similar to the older Nitto “North Road” bar on my Rivendell. Similar, but not identical.
The sides have about an inch more length, and are spread maybe another cm wider. But the overall shape is right and I think it will work well. 

I plan to spend the morning in the Brain Trust, furthering the Peugeot to rideability so I can take it on a Coffeeneuring ride. Basically what’s left is swapping in the repaired tire, installing the front fender and finishing up the new cockpit. I can add the extras (rack, bag, maybe a front basket but maybe not) next week.

Coffeeneuring: ride Four today was lovely. Cooler, as the last 70F days are definitely in the rear view mirror; pretty fall colors beginning to pop along tree-lined Ainsworth Street. Hot cider at Kiss Coffee was delicious and fueled the ride home.

Stay tuned for Peugeot progress, and happy riding.

Friday, October 13, 2023

Random bits evidence photos and a new product.

It’s so nice to feel welcomed back to the bike world by my readers and my local bike friends.

It’s good to be back, even slowly and for short distances.

I got a bit of Covid, a mild case, just as Hamas decided to attack Israel and hold its Palestinian population hostage, which meant a week of isolation and probably a bit too much doom-scrolling for my mental health. Thankfully, today was the end of isolation so I took a short Coffeeneuring ride around the neighborhood. The weather was mild but showing signs of change; by the time I got home it had just begun to rain. I’m glad I got in a ride before Shabbat.

Along the way I enjoyed fall breezes from the east, beautiful changing leaves and even a little road find.

The singlespeed was a fine choice for today. Simple, fuss-free and fun. I keep pondering looking for a bigger freewheel, then I ride it and think it’s fine as it is. But I may look for nicer tires over the winter.

It’s a quick, fun ride and can carry just enough.
I did upgrade the PDW Takeout basket to the PDW Bodega basket, which is awkward because the attachment hardware for the latter doesn’t line up with my bars well, and the old basket hardware works better but is still not perfect. I did a few wraps on the bar to give some grip and used the Takeout hardware.

I still have the Takeout basket if someone wants it cheap. PM me.
And I road-scored the cutest little 10mm combo wrench.

The close end looks cheesy, but the open end looks perfectly useful. A nice addition to the toolkit for the Peugeot, now being upgraded in the stand.

I also have just started using some new-for-me cycling gloves. 

For the last seven or eight years, as the Crohn’s arthritis began troubling my hardworking hands, I noticed that my go-to padded gloves were becoming uncomfortable to ride in, and I wasn’t sure why. After talking to friends I decided to cough up the bucks on a pair of GOAT gloves from Rivendell. Using their interesting suggestions for sizing, I measured my hand and chose Small. They arrived last week and I started using them just before I got Covid. Today, I wore them again, and they are the most comfortable pair of cycling gloves I’ve used in quite awhile. Soft and supple, and the absence of padding combined with my thinly-padded grips seems to be just right. They’re not cheap at $27 a pair, but if padded gloves aren’t working for you these may be the way to go.

Next week, I’ll show a few progress photos of the Peugeot. 

Since scoring the bike, I’ve managed to find: 

Brooks B-17, $60 EUC

Planet Bike Cascadia fenders, $5 used

Carradice used saddlebag, I think a LongLow or Nelson LF, $60 used. Might need a bit of stitching but I can handle that.

I have a set of old Continental T & C tires that I’m thinking of swapping in, but I’m also considering other options. The tan sidewalls on these old Contis seem okay, but I’d really prefer black sidewalls for durability reasons. Need to be 26 x 1.75 to work with the fenders.

I may also install a rear-mount kickstand if I can find one in the pile.

Still looking for a North Road style handlebar that won’t cost me a hundred bucks. (Sigh)

All in all, I am hopeful that I’ll be able to enjoy some lovely fall rides in my area.

Hope you can, too. Happy riding!

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Man plans and God laughs.

So here I am, happy to feel well enough to take part in the Coffeeneuring Challenge this year.

I do one ride. Feels amazing.

The next day I feel a bit spent, so I decide I'll go Monday and still get in two rides on the weekend.

And then Monday comes and I feel tired and sniffly. No ride.

It gets worse throughout the day and by bedtime I am mildly feverish.

Just for kicks and grins, I take a home Covid test.


Along with this, I notice a couple of symptoms that I had during Long Covid have returned.
I've called the doctor and will also call the Long Covid clinic, and hopefully I'll get past this and be able to ride again.

But for now, I'm sipping hot tea, eating chicken soup and waiting to get past the worst of the crud.


Monday, October 9, 2023

The Peugeot. Again.

Twenty years ago, I owned a Peugeot Orient Express from the mid-1980s.

It was too big for me, but I loved riding it. Its relaxed geometry allowed me to ride while sipping coffee, and its gentle turns made for a plush ride. 

I sold it when I realized that it was too big, and vowed I’d try to find another closer to my size one day.


Last week, I scored this 1988 model for a really good price. It needs street tires, fenders and different handlebar and stem, and a basket or rack. A Brooks saddle is en route. And since it was recently overhauled by the seller, all I should need is to make a few adjustments and then I can ride it.

Compare the geometry between the old OE (1986) and the new one (1988). There are some differences — the chain stays are shorter and the head tube might not exactly as slack — but I test rode it and believe it will be close enough to make me happy.

I’m really looking forward to revisioning the new Peugeot so I can ride it during the Coffeeneuring Challenge.

Happy riding.

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Hello again.

I am back, at least a little bit.

After the lockdown, after two years of living with Long Covid and then getting mostly past it, I am planning to ride my bike again on a more regular basis.

I figured I’d restart by joining the 13th annual Coffeeneuring Challenge, hoping that shorter rides to get coffee might be the nicest way back into it for me.

Stay tuned. 

First Coffeeneuring Challenge ride is next weekend. If you want to join, click on the hyperlink above and check it out.

Happy riding.