Rambling Jack's Laboratory
A McKinleyville-based repository for ruminations and assorted rubbish.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I just need to clean out a house and garage, and put the property on the market. Then I can resume blogging. Meanwhile, check this out:
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
My charade is over
Thanks to an anonymous commenter in the previous posting. my little charade is over. I am not Jack, Jack Durham or Rambling Jack.
My true identity is "Mr. Carson."
It was only a matter of time before the truth was revealed.
I just hope nobody finds out about my freelance job working as an exotic dancer.
Monday, June 08, 2009
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Introducing the Kona Dew
Last Tuesday afternoon my cell phone rang. Thinking it was a call from The Goddess, I immediately picked it up and said “Hey good looking!”
Then I heard a stranger’s voice. She said she was from the North Coast Co-op and started asking me questions to make sure she had the right number.
The momentary awkwardness quickly faded when it became clear she was informing me that I had won something in a free drawing I entered many weeks ago.
My prize is a spanking-new Kona Dew commuter bike, pictured here at an undisclosed location. The bicycle came complete with fenders, a rack and a bicycle bell. Pretty sweet!
The free drawing was part of Bicycle Month in May.
I’ll put it to good use and log many miles on the Dew. Thank you, North Coast Co-op.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
I'm a fixed gear veteran, now that I think about it
As I was pedaling down the road on my second fixed-gear ride of the day, it dawned on me that I have experienced several fixed-gear cycles over my lifetime.
In a comment on my last posting, the Redheaded Beach Dawdler reminded me of the experience of riding trikes, which have a fixed "gear," assuming a one-to-one ratio counts as a gear.
As long as the wheel turns on a trike, the pedals turn. You can go backwards or forwards. Or, after you gain momentum, you can resist the rotation of the pedals and TRY to slow the trike down or stop it.
Your success depends on your speed and your strength. As the Dawdler pointed out, if you can't control the trike you can always lift up your legs and let the crank spin. But be careful! It hurts like hell when those pedals hit your shins.
When I was a child, I also explored my little world on a plastic Big Wheel, which is basically a trike and therefore a fixed-gear cycle.
At some point around kindergarten, I graduated to a real bike – a single-speed bike with a kick-brake.
Like nearly every other bike on the road, it was NOT a fixed gear. It was a single speed with a freewheel. I could coast. Eventually I graduated to a three-speed, then a 10-speed and a 15-speed.
But along the way, I acquired another fixed gear cycle which I still own today – a unicycle.
So I'm a fixed gear veteran, and you may be too even though you don't know it.
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
The Fixed Gear Experience
I’ve always thought that fixed gear bicycles are absurd and ridiculous. Why would people voluntarily limit themselves to a single gear and then compound the difficulties by eliminating the freewheel?
Doing so doesn’t make sense. It’s counter-intuitive.
But for some reason, I wanted one, so I started shopping for something cheap.
This is my “new” funky fixed gear conversion. The frame appears to be from a clunky, old Schwinn. It's kind of sexy, don't you think?
As you can see, it only has one gear. The right side has no freewheel, so you have to keep pedalling. There’s no coasting, even when going down hill. It has what’s called a flip-flop hub, which means you can take the wheel off, flip it around and connect the chain to the freewheel if you so desire.
The biggest “hills” I’ve climbed so far are the Samoa Bridges. They weren't too bad and while climbing I kept the cussing to a minimum.
There’s something addictive about the fixed gear experience that I can’t put my finger on. This will require further meditation before I can explain why someone would want to ride such a bike.