Thursday, April 29, 2010

Introducing the 1965 Aladdin canned ham


It's 15 feet long.


It's 45 years old.


It has a little ice box, a sink with a hand pump, and a couch that folds down into a comfy bed.


Here's the kitchen.


There's a three-burner stove with the world's smallest oven, suitable for cooking Cornish game hens, assuming you don't stuff them too much.


The Goddess stitches pillows to match the curtains.


There's an old "clock" on the wall.


And this came with it.


Why is this photo here? So you can get a better feel for the trailer. Have a look around. Make yourself at home.


Here's the other side.


Now we can go camping all year long.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Re-Introducing the Mighty Panasonic

In 1990 or 1991, I picked up a Panasonic 15-speed touring bike at a garage sale in Arcata for $15. Manufactured in the late 1970s or early 1980s, the bike had a flat tire and the paint was scratched up, which is probably why it was so inexpensive. I brought it to my parents' house in San Mateo and my dad fixed it up. Years later, it was sitting in my garage gathering dust. I had almost forgotten about it.

One day in 2006 I pulled it out of the garage, pumped up the tires and starting riding.

I was out of shape. I pedaled to the edge of town and back, then came home and fell over. It seemed so far. Then I pedaled to Moonstone Beach and back. That felt like a marathon. Then I made it to Trinidad and back. By December 2006, I made a New Year's resolution that I would complete the 100-mile Tour of the Unknown Coast.


In preparation, I pedaled the Panasonic all over Humboldt County in all sorts of weather. Above is a photo of a chilly winter ride I took to the top of Berry Summit. I was so pleased with the bike's performance that I started calling it the Mighty Panasonic.

After completing the Tour of the Unknown Coast after 11 hours in May 2007, I decided to upgrade.


A got this Cannondale frame free off of craigslist and the Mighty Panasonic was stripped for parts to create a new bike. Eventually, the naked frame was stored in the sand under our house in Manila.


I became interested in riding fixed gear bicycles, and bought this conversion last year. It was fun to ride, but it had a heavy Schwinn frame and sometimes it felt, well, kind of weird. It's hard to explain, but sometimes I felt like the frame was flexing in strange ways. Or maybe the front chain ring and the rear cog weren't properly aligned. Earlier this year I decided to put these wheels on the old Mighty Panasonic. Last week, Kim said that for my birthday she would buy whatever parts I needed to complete the conversion – some bolts for the chain ring, a new bottom bracket, a chain, toeclip straps and some handlebar tape.


By Wednesday evening, the project was done. Still in my work clothes, I jumped on the bike and tested it on our gravel/sand driveway while Kim took photos.


I hit some deep sand and went down! The toe clips did a nice job keeping me from saving myself as I went sideways. After that, I was done for the day.


This morning, I toured the Arcata Bottom on the Mighty Panasonic. It's a beautiful bike. I think the frame is a work of art.


What we have here is a vintage bicycle frame with a vintage crank. I purchased the classic Jim Blackburn bottle cage in 1983, which is perfect for this bike. The plastic toeclips were also purchased in the mid-1980s.


Check out the leather handlebar bag! Kim gave it to me for Christmas. Sweet.


The key to converting a bike to a fixed gear is making sure that the rear cog and the front chain ring are perfectly aligned.

On flat ground, this bike is a rocket.

Welcome back, Mighty Panasonic!

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