an(e)vil

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Existentialism-- Just a bloody good excuse to go riding...

Sunday, August 28, 2016

If bikes can talk (profanities included)

Rode with my little 0.12 ton friend for a final tune up on the EG yesterday before packing things in the bike box-- and the Spank pedals gave the ghosts.

So back on the stand it is on this hazy Sunday afternoon. As usual of me... changing one thing soon became an exercise of refreshing the entire bike for no reasons other than out of habit.

An Onza Ibex 2.4 for the rear... a round of chain cleaning and while at it I look at the seriously gunked up but perfectly working bottom bracket..Stock Shimano outboard running on steel  balls.  Ah.. my long term test to spite the weenie snob ceramic bearing supporters...  7 years and all it took was proper maintenance and knowing the differences between what's a good grease.

Oh yes, finally changed up to the ceramic bearings gotten years ago... simply to match the color of the bike . I still don't give two fruity toots about ceramics in terms of performance for mountain bikes :)

Then out came another piece of component bought eons ago but stayed unused... A top chain guide.
An absolute POS and a waste of what?? I think it's  40 bucks or so. Too many moving parts based around cheesy plastic pieces... Positive design failure and reliance on cheap molded parts probably from some 4th world country with no QC whatsoever.

Too late the front shifter and deraileur was already removed.

Thinking aloud... " So I really have to put the damn front dee back on to keep the chain in place huh"

"Was there any reasons to remove it..." came an an odd but vaguely familiar  voice. I swear I have heard it before while riding but just could not pin down where...

Looked around, the Missus was plugged in with ear bud watching Korean drama on her tablet.

The dog?

obviously he ain't giving a shit...it's afternoon nap time.


"It's me... your bike that's talking.. remember those times on the trail "Don't brake Don't Brake Speed is YOur Friend.. pedal the bike will deliver"... yea me, me me.. your bike"

I turn back and stared. Nothing, nada, zilch. The bike was still on the stand. Even if the wind is blowing, it isn't gonna move this overbuilt piece of 2 wheeling grumpy definition of a bike...

... and  I said in my head..."But why?"

"Practically everything has been changed and swapped and you are ok... Even your little EG brother is running on 1 ring with no front dee and shifters..."

For those that isn't aware-- this EG being the best damn frame I ever had.. got me to built a second lighter one...

In a flash of sanity, I thought if I should break out the torque wrench and check for loose screws in my head....

"I don't care, that ain't me" came that same hoarse metallic voice.

Screw me the bike is definitely talking now...

And I continued... "But you're ok with the rest of the part changes. front went from the lowest 100mm setting on the TALAS back at the start in 2009 and now a dual crown 200mm... 6, 7 shocks to date  Come on, no one uses a front dee anymore".. I was half justifying the trend these days as much as I don't want to believe the bike really is talking.

"Fuck the 10, 11 and wadever speed   man..."You do the math..go back to your gear inch ratio calc.. the numbers on those pussy gearing makes sense?"

Truth is -- they don't and I just recheck it last week on a 2x9 11-34 cassette vs a 1 x 11  11-40 cassette.. If you really need a granny.. 2 x 9 is still king of the (wide) range.

"Ok what about the countless handlebars, stem and seats... and are you also protesting with the latest Fizik Tundra I put on you last Friday nite?"


Metallic Voice : "Hey I don't give a shit about those... Every time u add 1 cm of bar length or raise 2 mm of bar rise you think you can ride better and you write tomes on this blog about all your bike set up theories....Me? Seriously I can't be bothered man.. stupid human bah."

"Oh this seat now with a red stripe to match the rest-- ya think again.. it's your ass complaining, dude.. NOT me" and I definitely can hear that jeering undertone.

"Feeling pissed? Go ahead be my guest. Kick the fuckin' wheels and tires.. Again I don't care -- I'm just the frame"

Talking bike or not I was getting a little mad now "Damn you... I'm gonna let out all the air from the suspension and take out the coil"

"Be my guest boy.. let's see how you gonna ride" came the retort.

Definitely wasn't winning this argument... Time to change tac...

"Alright alright... let's talk some sense..." I said.

"Sense? What sense? I'm a bike frame" and I was cut right off before finishing by the now grouchy voice.

 "Look the rear dee was changed as well and the DCL (Dual Control Levers) are history too, even your front shifter has been swapped when prices dropped on these xtr babies as 9s was getting obsolete.. I put the best shit on you man... and no complaints all these while..." I continued.


"What did you expect? I'll shift myself  on the cassette on that ridden to death XT rear dee huh? Or that SLX you didn't install properly and broke the cage?  Oh DCL! Come on dude.. that was your frigging great idea to be different from the rest of the crowd, don't rope me in eh. I don't care so long as 1 click = 1 shift..." But since this XTR front dee was swapped over from the Motolite days -- When? when has it ever been taken off... from that first dorkier than thou setup in 2009 and throughout all the oversea trips-- it never left the seattube..." came an outburst from El Grouchy and a tsunami of memories I had riding this bike came flooding back...

True.. it always has a front dee. The bloody bike was right.

"And when has it failed... or even given a hard time to tune..." it continued.

Again I have to say that is the truth... Front deraileurs can be a bitch to get right and one of the chief reason played out by bike marketing to the demise of this component. Tuning them is a bit of science and black art mixed in on many bikes but the EG combo with the XTR has never been an issue...

"You can change anything but you don't touch the front dee, understand. For all the duty I pull and all the heavy shit you put on me plus the geometry changes made to the head angle and all... stop being an ass and try to make me a 1 x Wadever-- it just doesn't bloody work!"

"2 Nine-- I climb everything from that 45 degree last up in Putra to all the friding needed to get to trail heads in some Chiang Mai trails... with a little of your reach triangel theory... Yea Big Fat Small Tall, 100 or 200mm ME climbs Them All... WITH a front dee"

Yup.. the frame is right once again...

My final shot at a retort : "But it's seriously dorky... even after next month's trip and I put the single crown Vengeance back on, bikes today just don't run front dees..."

"Hahaha so says the one riding a dorky looking bike.. it's you not me. OWNED!"

"Fuck you..."

"Yea fuck you too-- just put the damn front dee back on after you have washed it clean"...

and................ just before dinner time

Frame 1   Rider 0












Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"eddy" bead by Copperhead

...1972 Mexico City. The Hour Record

Why, it's another kickass piece from my favorite bead guy, of course.

Pretty special one too..this was cast in honor of the cycling great, Eddy Merckx, aka "The Cannibal" What can be better! A cycling nut bead maker and an appreciating cycling nut customer..

The love of things metal started with bikes, which expanded to knives from an early age and of late a growing fascination for beads. A bike theme bead that's gonna be hanging off one of my favorite blade. Full circle!

"But.. what about skulls ?"

Ah yes-- another of my fascination. .. The young idealistic Forensic Anthropology student researching and writing his thesis on trepanation that consumed the entire summer of 95'

Trepanation or trephination: The art and cultures of surviving the drilling of holes in the cranium.

Yes, as always I'm lurking among things macabre and morbid :)


Ok time for me to shut up.. ... let the pictures do the talking. Enjoy.

"Eddy" on the Cambrium



Podium!

As cyclists what we hope to see of course is the gracious sharing of roads and for all to be safe.
It ain't a one sided thing.. motorize or pedal powered we just need to do our part to keep everyone safe and get home for dinner with loved ones.  Ride Hard Ride Safe.
Imagine :- by John Lennon
"Imagine all the people...Sharing all the world.....oooh"

Check out cuprimzink on Instagram

Friday, June 5, 2015

E.flection


Every writing is a reflection but since almost everything is done on the puter and online these days.. guess I'll just call today's writeup e.flection.

Contrary to my lack of writing on bike stuff in the last few months, I have actually been doing more riding. At the end of the day, like the internal jokes amongst my usual suspects, we may just be striving to not to be that 20-cents rider with a ten thousand dollar bike even though most of us are far from that category despite mediocre skills. At least the bike ain't worth that much ;) But that might also have subconsciously put me off a lot of the reviewing done in the past on this blog with new bike toys and components.

So I've gone back to more riding and revisiting some biking related bucket-list items and one of them is learning the one trick everyone would love to pull off.

Yes, even if you are a roadie-- Admit it, secretly somewhere inside you want to be like that kid on a bmx riding round and round on one wheel.

The Wheelie.

Ok I'm slow... it's about  Day 7 Lesson, "The Float Zone" that sparked off this article.. but in real time this is already Day 12 or 13 for me.

For the technically savvy impatient ones.. I dedicated my post practice scribblings as one of the tab  pages to remind myself as I go on...
Click the  "Float.Zone" tab above or click here for mobile users...

Dreamy readers who are acquainted with my long soliloquy please read on

But first here is the link to this whole wheelie challenge I am going on and on below...
Hop over to http://www.ryanleech.com/wheelies/


The wheelie for me is bordering on an obsession by now.. It's a thing I "try" every now and then but never able to pull off. I take consolation in able to knock a 2 foot high bunny hop from flat even on long travel bikes but somehow that nagging feeling of being unable to pop a one wheeler for a respectable distance just irks me to no end.

Trying for 30 years with no success.. I was truly skeptical at first about how a wheelie can be learned in 30 days delivered in bite size bits.. While far from getting it all down at this point I'm truly beginning to harbor positive thoughts that it's actually doable.

It's hard to describe.. but let's say now someone put down $10K in front of me or tell me I can do a 10Km wheelie--I'll choose the latter even if I'm only on a 20-cents bike. Hence any positive feeling that it can be learned for good certainly is exciting to my present state of mind.

Though its a comprehensive tutorial for the wheelie, yet I can see and combine with other riding knowledge in my repertoire, to apply many of the little steps in here on other tricks and riding situations. It's really more than just about one move as learning the bits and pieces in each lesson progresses.

The most crucial part of the whole process is maybe what I have been encountering up till now...

Practicing the Float Zone has enabled me to combine with what comes before it to make a smooth transition and I coin it the "All-In-One Second" zone... and then on to the "Float". A smooth balanced lift-off that quickly transition into the float zone... Experience so far tells me it all has to happen within the first second. Sounds simple eh! Trust me I can write a tome just on this one second... Coordination is literally from head to toe and every extremity in between.. My mind is on overdrive right now as I am still reflecting on all the possible combos of things happening right and wrong in that crucial one second...

But done right...

...it's something that's probably not noticed by a casual observer looking on as you pop the front .Yet, as the one is in the seat esecuting.. that feeling integrating all of this, be it even just 2 or 3 pedal strokes, you either get it or you don't.. If you do you will know what others mean when the say "that wheelie bliss".


A number of things are not "orthordox". That is, things I came up with by adjusting or modifying on what's in those tutorials. I believe this is a part of the learning curve. To discover. To adapt. To make it one's own. The bike is a machine, we are not. Everyone of us is a little different so we probably will have to go about in our own little eccentric ways so long as the end results are achieved. In a way this is similar to how I build up my bikes and dial them to my liking.. what works for me may not work for  someone else but drilling in fundamentals till they become second nature and modify along to optimize to oneself is the key so far for me.

Sounds fun? To be honest.. the night before last.. things actually got so frustrating.. I just raise the seatpost and did a ful power road ride on my trail bike... just to burn away at the frustrations. Making it a point to write everything down to help remember wasn't that bad.. At least this part I kinda enjoy it...


Just sharing some of my own notes on that page and by being public it helps in my case to put down

Fear: Fear of people looking on (laughing?) and in general non spefici unfounded fears.. Humans are weird creatures I reckon.. sometimes we heap upon ourselves unnecessary thoughts that burden our life for no good reasons..

Commitment: "Die Die Must succeed" or that's how my local lingo here would put it.. and post up a "graduation" video later on, now that I have written heaps of myself trying to do this. Couldn't back out now can I?

Reminder: Even if I miss, lag or generally feel down about this whole learning at any point.. each time my blog opens up-- it is here to remind myself..


Everyone needs a tag and one of my most liked motivation poster has this pair of hands cupping a sapling with some soil...it reads:
 ATTITUDE
 "The World May End tomorrow but I'm Still Gonna Plant My little Apple Tree"

I don't exactly have a mental picture... but my line will probably be
"The World May End Tomorrow but I'm Still Gonna Pop my 10KM Wheelie"


I'm back... and will be back for more.. Stay Tuned

nil volentibus arduum


Monday, April 20, 2015

Meat Ride


Lest it be said there really isn't much of a ride these days but a blog that only shows knives and food... :)

Salmo-Bacon Wrap. Courtesy of Mr 0.1 ton
and I told the vendor... "1kg roast pork... Don't cut. Whole piece"....







Hmm.. ok, think I got the S90v to a pretty keen edge...


Drippy Bacon and Crispy Roast Pork...there are all kinds of reasons why people ride


Monday, March 16, 2015

One last ride at BF.... 14/3/2015



Like any usual ride here... but today there was an overwhelming number of cars parked on the road beside the trail-head...  I guess no words are needed.

Whenever I see any of these corrugated metal barricades... there's always a foreboding feeling....

Or so they say... but

Thursday, February 19, 2015

CNY 2015 - Ride of the Pineapple Tarts Digestion


1st day of the Year of the Goat

Old folks always tell the young... "Don't throw anything out on the first day, don't sweep the floor and don't bring out any sharp things...Knives and scissors must be kept in the drawers."

Oh well... the oldest folk in the house now is me :) Nothing better than combining interests in my opinion. Knives, bikes, photography and being outdoor...


Nice quick spin with the usual suspects minus one.


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Back in the elements

 Yes the biking part in me is still well and alive...

Thursday, January 1, 2015

1-1-2015

Nothing special.. start of the year with the usual. Ride. Catching up with friends I have missed riding with for awhile.


End up with some damn good coconut.... The woody-sweet kind.




Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ride & Raw

Maybe things are just winding down or I have come to a new appreciation of things in life. Bikes and writings about bikes.. just aren't so much on about how epic things have recently been or what new super duper toys I-have-you-don't-have-that-money-can't-buy (but yea, having said, one is coming up as soon as I can get off my tardy bottom and talk tech again).

Weekend double rides had been a constant for a few weeks now. Zero point One Ton (Z.POT) has made tons of improvement on the trail.. bit by bit the adjustments are all getting there to optimize his ride and climbs.

Since we were grocery shopping before the ride, might as well throw in an extra 500gm of sake (salmon). Courtesy of Mr Z.POT
After today,  we might just start planning for a full course esp when Accident Prone Man, Nick is around for another ride...


Stupid me... whip out the spanking new Trangia impulse buybut the Wiseman in my head quickly reminded me... "He who packs a stove...must bring fuel". Guess it's Sashimi no sencha today!

Have enough pics of my bike taken... but here's how a 26" front looks on a hardtail. I'm sure thoughts are going on in someone's mind "Nah that rear has gotta go... maybe a new frame is needed. Oh wait the Piglet fits!"



"ITADAKIMASU"

and since this was a theme ride of sort...highlight of the day. LIMPEH!