Monday, April 30, 2012

a post in which i convey a message from one friend to another

step 1:  play video.  insert your name instead of rudy.

step 2:  look at this face

step3: receive message:  This is JustDave saying hi to YOU!

dear cyclists, cops are not your friends

i've heard it before, but the bias toward cars on the part of SFPD that I experienced today was shocking and frustrating nonetheless. 

image found on fb, if you know who deserves credit, speaks up.

 after being passed by an suv on fillmore this afternoon, I took the lane in front of said vehicle at the next stop light, to be safe from him trying to pass me again on the next block, post st, where I would turn left.    after taking the lane and signaling left, the car passed me on the right and stopped next to me at the red.  A motorcycle cop that was behind the suv (i thought the car driver would behave with a cop behind him!) then pulled up on my left at the light, and told me that I had to stay to the right of the lane.  I disagreed and he threatened me by asking if I wanted him to give me "a ticket so I could go to court and find out" if I was right about cyclists having full use of the lane.  of course I responded no, even though I knew I was right.   The cop also told me some other bull shit and expressed that because I took the lane, the car "had to pass me on the right",  which is illegal of course. Not to mention that he was "passing" me to stop at a red light right in fucking front of him.   Rather than engage with such an ignorant and biased man with a badge and a gun, I pulled over and proceeded in another direction while mouthing at him, "fucking pig", which he is among other expletives.    don't be fooled dear cyclists, sfpd are NOT your friends, indeed the truth is quite the contrary.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

building the mercian: wheels part I

i think an essential skill in bike mechanics is building wheels so I decided its time for me to learn. frankly, I am intimidated. while simple, its complicated, and after all, there are mechanics that are known for the integrity of their wheel builds.  Who am I?  I am a first timer, and just want to build some decent wheels and be dependent on no one.  I watched this video series and decided I could build a wheel.

To get started, I went down to Box Dog Bikes, the shop closest to my house, to pick up some parts. I had a set of record hubs, so I just needed rims and spokes. While I bought a set of rannondeur rims from BDB, I decided to not get spokes from them.  Besides the fact that Dan, who helped me, seemed completely unimpressed and unengaged when I talked to him about the wheel build, he quoted me $140 for spokes, uninstalled.  They cut their spokes to size, which means I would have had to wait a day to get the spokes, and the price was ridiculous.   I decided to find a shop where I could walk out with spokes, and hopefully where the person seemed half interested in my project.   Thanks for the nice rims, BDB.

gee wheels I called Pedal Revolution, they also cut spokes to size and their machine was broken.  No dice.

I called Valencia Cyclery and they carry different sized spokes and will measure the length for you if you bring in your rims and hubs, so I dropped in.  Michael helped me and was all I could ask for in a bike shop mechanic.  He was full of questions, to make sure I was legit; tips to make sure I was successful; and warnings to make sure I was realistic.   I was pretty scared after talking to him about taking on the project, but he sensed this and offered up encouragement. He calculated the spoke lengths for me, got me the right sizes, gave me some build tips and I was out the door for $65 with my  bike coalition discount.

Michael from Valencia Cyclery was awesome and interested, and even went to the retail shop next door to get me a spoke wrench, which I purchased along with the spokes and nipples.  You can't fake customer service and michael is the real deal.  Thank you! 

With spokes rims and hubs in hand, I laced up the wheels according to the video Part 2. Of note the video does not mention that you need three different lengths of spokes: 1 for front wheel, 2 for drive side of rear wheel, 3 rear wheel non-drive.  Michael told me at the shop.  I watched a few other videos and asked some questions of friends to assist in correct implementation.

I'll spare the boring details, but each wheel was laced two times, each for a different reason.  Lacing was easy and gratifying in an ocd kind of way.

lacing the wheel
The wheels are laced, tightened up, ready to be trued.  Truing is the hard part.  Coming soon.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

how to get to the top of potrero hill without climbing much

special thanks to dave who made this map for me a few years back and taught me the secret of crossing over the 18th St.  ped/bike bridge and wiggling up potrero hill, for a chill ride to the top. community garden information included. click the image to view LARGE.

Feria de las Pulgas Ciclísticas

Segunda Feria de las Pulgas Ciclísticas  bike swap meet in santiago chile.  anda.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

this is san francisco: the outside lands

golden gate park is in fact a gateway to the pacific ocean running west through san francisco. the 3 mile park was planted with hundreds of thousands of trees to create a root structure that would stabilize the natural sand dune topography of the area, once known as the outside lands. Now this route is all park and then ocean.
  green means go
bicycle and pedestrian signal at panhandle and masonic. watch out for cars running their red arrow when you have the green.
as you cruise the panhandle bike path be aware of hippies, dogs, and other road users. P1050341
westward toward the ocean
on sundays without cars
tall boy
All the way to the mighty pacific
where the great highway should be the boardwalk.
san francisco love.

This post is a collablogorative effort to showcase San Francisco neighborhoods. Sister posts can be found at Velo Vogue and Change Your Life Ride a Bike.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

building the mercian: bottom bracket and cranks

back in november 2010, i bought a mercian frame and fork set at the bike expo and offered that I would blog about the project here. For those of you that have been waiting 1.5 years for me to start this project, I apologize. for those of you psyched to join the adventure of building a bike, i welcome you. This will be a chronicle in mechanics, tools, parts, and challenges and stereotypes specific to women cyclists.

Let me state for the record that I AM the family mechanic, and can do most bike repairs myself. I have a stand and tools and a well researched base of knowledge. I have street credibility from "building" snoball, although all I really did with her was pick every part and have a shop put it together for me. this time I want to employ my skills, learn, and advance to the next level in cyclist clout. I will do as much of the work myself as is reasonable. I plan to assemble, adjust, and then have an expert fine tune.


For those of you faint of heart, please be aware that I fully expect that this project will not be easy and out the gate it already is not, but challenges are for overcoming! the headset was already in place when I bought the bike and so here begins the rest of the process:

Step 1- bottom bracket. my son greg gave me a campagnolo bottom bracket to use for the mercian. I wanted him to give it to me and to lend me the tool, but he told me it would be risky for me to self install. so I let him do it, but was a little frustrated because many times in my life men have actually taken the tools from my hands when I am doing repairs in their valiant efforts to do what is stereotypically a man's work. phhh. I let him do it anyway because I really didn't want to fuck up my new frame and figured I could concede when it makes sense.

Step 2- crank. I had a set of campy cranks and this time the tool i needed was an allen wrench. easy! turns out the size was uncommon so i had to borrow the allen key to install the cranks. that was a cinch.

Stay tuned for the next step, building the wheels!