Monday, January 28, 2008

Commuting by bicycle to Los Medanos College

I arrive at LMC just about dawn. We have a new solar collection system in the parking lot that looks like magic. All the different flavors of light combined with the rain create a very interesting effect.
That's me in my new rain jacket and geeky reflective helmet cover.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Kestrel RT700 hits the road

Tricia with Kestrel RT700
Originally uploaded by ccorlew
Here's Tricia with the new bike. Wow.
At last, the Kesrtel RT700 frame arrived and is built up. I took off the parts from by Motobecane Le Champion SL and moved them over. (except the front deraileur; had clamp-on, needed a braze-on)

Parts list:
  • Dura Ace Brakes
  • Ritchey WCS seatpost, stem and bars
  • Selle Italia SL-K saddle
  • Ultegra deraileurs and shifters
  • Ultegra compact crankset
  • Ultegra pedals
  • American Classic 420 wheels

I removed the AMERICAN CLASSIC stickers from the wheels, to good effect I think.

Now, we all know that when you wax your car and fill the tank it just runs better. So, it may be that I'm still on buyers high but: I sure like the ride. It's solid, tight, comfortable, and smooth. It seems to ride smoother than my aluminum bike. There are no rattles or pings. It seems to roll quietly. It seems like it doesn't transmit road vibration much.

It sounds different too. The American Classic wheels were like sounding boards before. The hummmmmmed. They do it more quietly now.

Because the bike is quieter, it seems to inspire confidence. There no hard vibration to make me feel like I'm going crazy fast when I descend. It just seems smooth. It's light enough,but so was my last bike. I'm sure it will climb well. I've only done short 1 mile climbs thus far.

This bike a jut a hair smaller than my last. It feels good now, but I'm going to move the seat back a tiny bit, then think about a longer stem.

Did I mention how cool it looks! Even better than the photos. Life is good, even if I have a cold.

Here's a four-photo Flickr slideshow of its first weekend out

Friday, January 11, 2008

New package!

Amazing. It's actually here. UPS wouldn't leave it at the door, even though I'd left a signed note. I had to drive into Concord to pick it up. The color is much nicer than any photos show. It's darker and more metallic. It's so light Tricia can balance it one one little finger and not spill a drop of wine.
I'll be moving all the parts over this week and I hope it will ready to ride on President's Day. While I wait it's on display in the living room. It looks pretty swell there.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Curtis Corlew 1987 Cannondale Black Lightning

I haven't always been the age I am now. Twenty years ago I was about 20 years younger. I'd just purchased my Cannondale Black Lightning and was a might concerned about the new technology... indexed shifting. But I was a modern guy, note the Cateye Solar computer on the bars. so I didn't set the downtude shifters to friction.
It's hard to remember how wild this bike looked at the time. It had fat aluminum tubes in the land of skinny steel tubes. It was a rocket from Mars, even if I was a slug from Walnut Creek.
But I looked pretty cool, huh?

Friday, January 04, 2008

The check's in the mail

I put money down on a Kestrel R700 frame and was told it would ship in February. But today I got email saying the frame was in! I paid and, as of today, I have a shipping number. I should have a new frame in not so long. And look at this thing. Is that one cool looking bike detail or what? By the way, that's copper, not orange. I don't want to even hear the word "orange." The term is "copper." Are we clear now?

BART vs Bikes

Bay Area Rapid Transit wants you to use it, and wants you to take your bike, but not when it would actually be helpful. Use this handy widget to find out the hours BART will screw you.