Yesterday a handmade oneofakind Pierced Hearts Tattoo coozie from those guys down at DANK bags arrived among some other treasures in a very well packed package all the way from Rip City. The tall can coozie contained a tall can in tact in fact full of Rainier and I drank it.
I’m confident this is the only Pierced Hearts Tattoo tall can coozie on planet earth. Seen here next to some Pierced Hearts Tattoos by Joe Who.
Too little mechanical advantage leads to low braking force. The feel on the lever will be firm, but this feeling is misleading. When trying to brake hard with such brakes, the force applied to the brakes will be relatively small, inadequate for effective stopping.
Too much mechanical advantage leads to a mushy, spongy feeling at the lever, since great force squishes both pads and cable housing. Braking force would have been great if the pads would touch and rub the rim/brake disc rotor all the time. Since pads are always at least 1 mm away from the braking surface, too much mechanical advantage results in lever being pulled all the way to the bars and brake pads just reaching the rim, not applying any force, or not even reaching the rim.
This is why mechanical advantage needs to be balanced. The amount of cable pulled by the lever needs to match the movement of brake pads. If the brake lever pulls 10 mm of cable, the brake pads should move about 5 mm, which makes for about 2:1 mechanical advantage.
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I just cut & pasted all that jibber jabber because yesterday I swapped out the handlebar, brake levers, cables and housing on a rain bike and took it for a ride. Testing the brakes and in the back of my mind I could hear Steve Maluk scolding me for halfassing a bike build by using V-brake levers on canti brakes because they were there, because I was lazy, because I didn't want to dig deeper in the parts bins for the proper levers.
But here & now all I have to do is switch the cute little doohickey in the levers from V to canti, for the proper feel and function. Cheers to you Steve. Cheers to good old rim brakes and XT levers that go both ways.
It was a dark and stormy night morphing into a dark and rainy morning rolling down the hill to the train when I hit something, knowing right away it wasn’t good. But the first stage is denial: fine, it’s fine, everything is fine, no big deal, it’s cool as I kept rolling to the click-click-click-click-click of that something lodged in my rear tire hitting the ground with each revolution of the wheel. A block or two later the air pressure was completely gone and I walked the rest of the way to the train platform where from my tire I pulled a self tapping sheet metal screw.
Talking to myself on my morning commutes I often ask unanswerable questions, like how many variables need to fall into place for events to occur 5 days per week at almost exactly the same time. Same hose clamped milk crate douche bag, same sidewalk, same street, same time every fucking day. How many variables had to line up for my rear tire to hit that sheet metal screw just right.
Several hours later at the mothership I said nothing aloud about my various variable theories while I replaced my inner tube. Alistair watching me fix-a-flat, expressed his belief that every 25-30 times you ride over a screw, nail, tack your front wheel will flip it just right, setting it up for your back tire to suck it up. It’s an interesting theory but I believe the numbers are actually a little higher or lower or it's a push. Toss in some front flats too. This is a theory I’m not really interested in proving or disproving with more research on Renton Avenue South.
Operating under the assumption that the editors at the Seattle Times have a choice, and that they choose to gravitate toward the dogshit whiners whining about dogshit. They do not publish every single rant or rave submitted. They carefully curate the collection and it always seems to remind me that Seattle is still a podunk western town with a podunk newspaper founded in 1891.
But that poor old codger is still flustered by the crazy bicyclist bicycling in the bike lane, waking up at night reliving the whole scene again and again. For a split second I wondered was that me? Not the codger, the cyclist. But I went down the list: I don’t raise a fist and I don’t yell. I do often offer up unintelligible hand signs and mumble things like “seek and you will find” I don’t ride fast. However when traffic is stacked-up backed-up bumper-to-bumper, the bike lane looks to be hauling ass. I’m not out on my bike to teach anyone a lesson but sometimes I like to remind drivers that the bike lane exists for bikes. It’s not just painted on to collect broken glass and act as an ad hoc right turn lane when traffic backs up. Maybe it was me.
If I was editing a bike messenger zine this shit would be cut and pasted in there somewhere in the next issue. Not the dog shit, the bike shit, literally cut out with scissors and pasted with glue.
Working at the mothership I’ve seen a few retirement parties. Some of them were pretty cool. Some were piss-poor pandemic “parties”. One was a lukewarm Domino's pizza, paper plates and a 2-liter bottle of generic orange soda on a folding table affair. Are you fucking kidding me? 30+ years gets you that? The guest of honor intentionally left before the pizza showed up.
That little government worker ditty above is circa 2007, when my perspective on government workers was based on interactions with court clerks: municipal, county and federal. When I showed it to a UW employee I knew back then, he got a bit peeved, taking pride in his state employee status.
10 years later I became a government worker. The ditty is holding up well, I wouldn’t change a thing. But now that I’m talking shit from the inside out, toggling between essential and nonessential status, depending on the weather or the passing pandemic, I might add a few lines, and then add a few more.
Have you ever seen an Eggleston photo displayed above a Rock Racing bro? How about an autographed Steven Hauschka near an autographed Seth Holton above a Nana Thebus next to a James Burns photo? Brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things. But I’m rather proud of the thrift-store-score frame housing Shaggy’s skid shot.