New York October NYC Meet-Up

Calzone

Gear Whore #1
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Someone pick a Sunday. Should be still warm enough to have the Meet-Up outside at the Astoria Beer Garden.

Also Snarky Joe mentioned possibly having the Meet-Up in one of the Rivertowns on the Metro North Route. Perhaps somewhere in between Peekskill and NYC.

What say you. If we do something at a Metro North station the bar would have to be a short walk away. Dobbs Ferry is about halfway and there is this bar restaurant called DoubleDays that I know. Pretty much “Maggie’s hometown area.

Cal
 
Do a search for Northern Lights Music, then click on Santa Cruz Guitars, then look on the second page top left hand corner for pictures and description of my new Santa Cruz Model “F.”

Cal
 
This morning I began field testing the Devil Christian Robot Take-Up Spool Upgrade Replacement that simplifies loading and could make an overlooked undervalued German camera that is mucho crazy in design and features, that is way over built, and is known as a “Clockwork-Camera” because of its design.

BTW this camera was also known to be utilized as a “Spy Camera” during the Cold War. How crazy is that?

At the September Meet-Up we kinda maded fun at all the crazy design features that are kinda insane.

My Robot “Royal 35” has a 50/2.0 Zeiss Sonnar lens, and someone said that the cost of the camera was such that it was worth buying the camera just for the glass. When you remove the lens you kinda know that it is a sold chunk of brass that is chrome plated. The lens is physically tiny for a F2.0 fifty, but it weighs a ton.

Snarky Joe suggested that the design seems to purposely leave as much heavy brass as possible so the camera could be as heavy as possible. Thing is that I don’t think Snarky Joe was making this up or exaggerating in a “Calzone-Manner.”

Then there are all these crazy and insane things about the camera. This camera weighs mucho. No lie that although it is the size of a Leica M3, that it weighs about the same as my Nikon F3P rigged with motor drive and batteries. In a street fight the Robot would win against a M3. This camera is a bruiser.

So why would anyone build a mucho heavy camera and have no strap lugs? Pretty insane. What were they thinking?

Anyways we laughed pretty hard. Then my Robot is a shelf queen that is pretty much like a new camera. I have the never-ready case, and the thin leather strap on the case is mucho thin. Pretty much not trustworthy to carry the burden of a heavy camera. Again, “What were they thinking?” Were the engineers on drugs?

I showed off the hidden knob for the ASA indicator that is hidden under the film rewind knob that telescopes, an other odd, strange and peculiar effects feature. The list goes on. Then we tried to figure out how the film rewind works… Some stuff suggests the engineers were definitely on drugs because there is no other explaination. Anyways this camera was very German in a kinda “Calzone” kinda way. Mucho crazy… Just think of a German camera on steroids that is way over the top in a Monty Python kinda way.

We kinda laughed a lot, and wondered why they made the camera so complicated. Seems like they always tried to be clever to do things in a complicated manner.

So back on topic… I inserted the Devil Christian Robot Take-Up Spool (D-C RTUS) and loaded my Robot Royal 36. The take-up spool knob if turned clockwise elevates a tab that captures the center of the D-C RTUS, a simple twist counter-clockwise and the spool locks into the camera. Installation is that simple.

A standard 135 cassette was used for my testing with a standard leader. I loaded two sprocket holes into the slot as directed by Devil Christian.

I could turn the take-up spool knob to lock in the film leader into the take-up spool. Pretty much I utilized the least amount of leader to engage the top and bottom sprocket gears on the film advance, but to maintain alignment of the holes in the leader with the film advance gears I had to take up the slack in the film cassette. No big deal because even with the most minimal amount of leader inserted the leader remained locked in place and was secured. This extra step I do on any camera when loading anyways…

So oddly the film rewind know on the Robot does not spin as an indicator and verifier of the film advancing, I had to open the back and expose the film to verify that everything worked as intended.

Everything seemed honky-dory until I tried to rewind. The film rewound smoothly until the very-very end, then it seemed jammed, but in fact the take-up spool kinda was locked like two dogs having sex. So instead of pouring a bucket of cold water, all I had to do is remove the standard film cassette to change the angle of attack for the leader to pop out.

So after a few confirmations I was satisfied that the C-C RTUS was an honest and reliable solution to the awkward loading that was the bane of Robot cameras that likely undermined them from being a dominant player in the 35 film market and do I dare say a major rival of Leica.

In history you should know that Robot was the first in exploiting 35mm film as a medium. People think that Leica started this, but in fact it was Robot. Pretty much Barnack loading was easier back in the day. The take up spool that is standard for my Robot Royal 36 is three pieces, and at the September Meet-Up I dropped the spool into the dirt by accident.

Chris made the point that the original design intended that extra take-up spools would be pre-loaded for fast reloading, but today extra take-up spools cost around $75.00 on EBAY. Not practical.

I do kinda see an advantage to not having the film totally rewind into the standard cassette, and having the leader hung up on the take-up spool is really just another quirk to a very odd and unusual camera that has mucho history.

Understand that perhaps Robot cameras are likely the highest quality camera that is seriously undervalued. Pretty much German vintage glass for no money. These cameras are just so overbuilt and durable. My camera needs service because it was a shelf queen. It is an early Royal 36 that lacks the machine gun mode of sequential exposures.

If I wind the spring up totally, I get 12-13 exposures without rewinding. If I had machine gun mode I would have pretty much continuous mode which would be like a fully automatic gun.

Know that this camera has a rotary shutter of a Cine camera, and the max shutter speed is 1/500 of a second like a large format camera lens. Most of the lenses are either Schneider or Zeiss.

BTW Devil Christian’s Robot has the big spring. With a full wind he can shoot 50 24x24 frames without rewinding. Oddly it has this gigantic knob on the top of the camera that is so weird and odd, but cool at the same time. Pretty much this camera has much “You-Suck” factor because it makes you want to have one, especially since he got it for tiny-money. The camera is good-to go.

So Devil Christian is going to do further improvement to his design. I say that this prototype is fully functional. I feel honored that I am a “Beta Tester.” I’m not so sure I dislike the leader that gets exposed when loading remaining captivated in the take-up spool is a bad thing, in fact I think it could be a desirable feature.

I would suggest that the lower part of the spool have an enlarged concentric pin to remove some play so the take-up spool rocks less, and perhaps even increasing the lower part of the spool diameter to also totally eliminate any play in the slot that captivates the bottom in. This is a German camera… so follow the craziness.

Pretty much these changes are no more than improving tolerances and small improvements of a working functional prototype.

So I am unbelievably happy. “Don’t tel anyone that Robot cameras are the most undervalued high quality cameras on the planet.” Devil Christian has come up with a mucho clever solution that modernizes the wonky loading that is the bane of Robot cameras. In effect the loading is very much like loading a modern film SLR. EZ-PZ.

So the idea here and why I have a Robot fetish is that this camera is a fast shooter. It is also small so it can be more discrete than say my Nikon F3P with full blown motor drive, or one of my Leica’s with TA Rapidwinder and TA Rapidgrip that is rigged to be like a F3P with motor drive.

I pretty much want a 24x24 Robot that has the 50 exposure spring and loud/huge knob.

Cal
 
Post Script:

I also did some further experimenting. Although I did not tear the sprocket holes on the leader, I did introduce some wear, and as an experiment, and because I’m a lazy-slacker I wanted to know if the shape of the leader mattered, so I did/performed an experiment to see really how clever and smart Devil Christian is.

In a lazy slacker manner (my branding of sorts) I simply took a pair of scissors and cut off the film cassette leader on an angle where the top was just three sprocket holes shorter than the bottom. EZ-PZ…

So not only did the the film without leader lock, IMHO it locked as well as with the standard film cassette leader. It even remained locked as well on the rewind and the results were the same.

I needed to know because I think for 135 I will kinda standardize to Kodak 5222. This film works for me, does well in my Slacker’s Brew (Diafine), and pretty much takes another big step that goes with shooting a still camera with a CINE shutter.

So no problems shooting mucho film and bulk loading…

How cool is that?

Cal

Double Post Script:

BTW I forgot to show off a major odd feature on my Robot Royal 35 at the September Meet-Up. On the bottom of the camera is the 1/4-20 tripod socket. The tripod socked is bolstered up with a round plate because the base plate needs to be reinforced. Remember that this is a very heavy camera.

But the unusual feature incorporated into the tripod mounting socket is this pull out lever to prevent the camera from tipping. Remember these cameras seem to be purposely made with extra heavy lenses.

My 50/2.0 Zeiss Sonnar is a very small 50. It is almost a Barnack size and does not have a long snout, but pretty much the anti tip lever is kinda required to prevent the camera from tipping say when placed on a flat table or shelf. The slightest movement and the camera will tip.

Also the lens mount is a screw bayonet that actually threads the lens to the camera. There is a rather huge lever that actually is the lens release. In a panic I caught Christian activating the lever thinking it was a focus tab before the lens could be crashed. Oddly there is no interlock or safety.

Cal
 
Killed Knotweed today on the slope part of the back-backyard. Pretty much stoop work manually pulling out the weeds. I gave extra care to try and get the roots along with the stalks.

I feel like I’m still recovering from Covid. A slight cough persists, and I tire easily. They say it can take about a month to fully recover.

Still resting and sleeping a lot. I would not say life is boring, but it is more like peaceful in a great way. Nothing eventful, just another day.

Snarky Joe lived up to his namesake and recommended a 46/26 set of chainrings for use with my 11-34T cassette. Pretty much ideal gearing and all I need. I’ll just use my cheap tubulars as throwaways. Not a big deal to mount a tire if the tire is stretched on a rim for a few days. EZ-PZ.

Generally I never get flats, but pretty recently somehow on the trail in Blue Mountain Preserve I found a roofing nail in my rear tire. I walked the bike home. My cheap tubulars are not so lightly built, and adding a sealant is like insurance.

So I get mountain gearing, but basically its still a road bike. There is a limitation on how wide a tire I can go, and that limit is 27mm-28mm which is not really that wide. My el Cheapo tubulars are already 24mm wide and wider than the 21mm wide tires from back in the day.

Oh-well.

The Newsboy and Ti IBIS make better “All-Road” bikes, which is a term I guess for a bike designed or set up for on-road and/or off-road. Not so sure how different that is from a gravel bike. Seems like gravel bikes use a 700C (28 inches), and All-Road includes 650B wheel size (27 1/2 inches) and even mountian bike sized wheels (26 inch).

All this remains at least for me as blurry.

I call myself a skinny bitch, but “Maggie” thinks I’m too skinny. I think I am where I want to be.

Officially I retired near the end of December last year, but basically I used saved vacation to pretty much make my last day of work the day before Thanksgiving. Oddly I had to go in on my final and last day of work as a matter of policy. That was odd, basically go to work just to say goodbye.

In October I will have to apply for my pension from the hospital, it takes three months to process.

Because I’m no longer employed there I’m forced to have to take my pension benefit at age 65, and that be in January. I also have to sign up for Medicare.

I guess pretty much I was not really retired, and it was as if I just took a leave of absence or a sabbatical of sorts, or maybe just a prolonged vacation.

So in January I guess I’ll be really retired. This past year kinda was like a phase in or a pre-retirement. How crazy is that? Anyways I’m enjoying my non stop vacation.

Cal
 
Cal,
I printed a version of the spool for myself to test. I made some tweaks first, like increasing the dimensions so it fits more sightly in the camera with less wobble. Of course I overdid it so I had to file it down to make it fit. The idea is that the leader will release when you rewind the film. I'll see how it works on mine, and adjust the design if I need to. I came up with a couple of other features, like a cut out in the drum which is needed for the printing process. It will also help you align the spool with the flat pin at the top and see in to make sure it slots in correctly. A cut out at the tongue helps you see how deep you have pushed the leader in.
I uploaded a version to shapeways, and it does not meet their volume minimum for that plastic, which means it is priced at a flat base fee. I could add a second spare one in for little extra. The other option is to design a knob to use for winding film back into a standard cassette, which will sell together. The idea is that if you have one of the non-rewinding Robots (which are cheaper) you can still use it with a standard cassette and my NR-Kassette. You could load it normally but would have to unload with a changing bag. While doing that you could use the knob to rewind the film conveniently with the back open in the bag. A small hassle for casual shooting.

I solved the mystery of the rewind mode. The red dot is just a shutter lock, while the R position is a shutter lock and also lifts a small steel guide next to the sprocket wheel which lifts the film over the teeth of the sprocket while you are rewinding. Very simple.
 
Devil Christian,

On my Robot Royal 36 there is no such steel guide that you mention.

In “R” mode (rewind) the sprocket wheels actually disengages. I am shocked, because this is so modern and different than other Robot cameras, and I was not expecting this. Pretty unusual for Robot to be somewhat conventional. So strange for a Robot design.

BTW I still have GAS for a Robot that shoots the square, perhaps a Royal 24. As we learned the lens mounts are different on our cameras, between a Royal 24 and Royal 36 the lens mounts are the same, but lenses that fit the Royal 36 require the two cutout slots instead of the single cutout slot on dedicated Royal 24 cameras.

So here is yet another mystery: why the difference in lenses. Know that lenses with two cutouts for a Royal 36 will work on a Royal 24, but not the other way around.

Why, why and why? This camera engages with my OCD tendencies, and pretty much I can enter another universe or alternative reality. LOL.

Also know that my SL2 has a square shooting mode that crops the sensor. Shooting the square leaves me 31.87 MP for image quality out of the 48.7 MP full frame for more than enough IQ to still print big/huge. The thing that is so great is that I still have all the data of the full frame, and if I shoot vertically, which I tend to do for more perceived reach, it is easy to reframe the square in Lightroom and effectively have perspective control in the “Rise.”

In the VF’er on the SL2 the square is all you see, but all the full frame is recorded.

You can see where there is crossover here. Between the square and 24x36.

My Covid cough is acting up today. I had it a little at the Meet-Up. Seems line Covid still lingers and all I can do is take it easy and let things play out. I think that the suggestion that it takes about a month to recover in my case is valid. Yesterday I broke a sweat when working, but by no means did I work hard like I normally do. The lesson here is to relax more and do less.

On the Snarky Joe front the 46/26 chain ring setup I need is easy and not so easy. I have a Middleburn Spyder and the chainrings in the sizes I require, but securing Middleburn cranks is the bottleneck. Middleburn is in the U.K. And shipping is mucho costly. So do I have to wait till I have a trip to England? Anyways with Modeling this is plausible, and a trip already is in the planning…

But the longer term solution would be to buy a set of White Industries VBC (Variable Bolt Center) cranks that offer the widest selection and flexibility. Also know that these cranks are designed to work best with Shimano drivetrains 9-11 speed. Pretty much this future proofs me: I currently have 9-speed XTR, and then I have 11-speed XTR available as an upgrade.

Know that I have 11-speed XTR stockpiled, and the intent is already to build out three out of he four bikes using 1x11 or 2x11 XTR. In the future adding in the road bike should mean that all my bikes would use 11-speed XTR.

So why stay stuck with 9-speed is a good question for non bike nerds? The reason why 9-speed is of value is that it is the last upgrade in gearing where the compatibility between road and mountain groups crosses over. Pretty much I can mix and match and do crazy things that make Snarky Joe and Christian laugh hard because no one kinda does what I do.

My road bike has a full blown mountain bike cockpit that is all retro that includes a Ti stem and Ti handlebars. Kinda normal for me, but perhaps unusual for many…

Oddly my old Graftons and the Suntour XC Pro cranks have a slightly different bolt center that make them no longer suitable, so my choice is go obscure into Middleburn cranks so I can use much of what I already have, or kinda go crazy and upgrade to the more flexible and future proofed and easier to obtain White Industries VBC Crank system.

So things are pointing towards going crazy, because that is my style. Snarky Joe and Christian will laugh, but I’ll be happy-happy. Perhaps the only thing that hurts is that the W.I. VBC cranks are costly. Oh-well, “One and Done,” I say.

The VBC chainrings are unlike the ENO chainrings in that they are only available in “Evil” black. Know that I can use VBC on the ENO crankset to upgrade the “Newsboy” to a 2x11 with more gears and gearing. So in a ways building out and buying in over the very long term in my mind kinda pays off. The bonus is that my Middleburn stockpile gets maintained and saved towards the two IBIS’s.

Not an investment, but then again…

Cal
 
So I hope readers figured out that that “Calzone” is a persona, a character, and pretty much is a work and outcome of creative non fiction (I have a MFA in Creative Non Fiction) that utilizes mucho exaggeration.

In real life I am kinda remote, and I try to keep to myself, and in real life perhaps I’m not so loud, obnoxious or annoying.

So the thought comes to mind that somehow I have projected this same mechanism to include other players like Devil Christian, and Snarky Joe who I hope still are my friends. Also this includes Devil Dan.

So with retirement I wonder how crazy or the potential for crazy retirement can be for Snarky Joe and Devil Christian. I already know that Devil Dan is mucho insane. LOL. Perhaps that is the reason why we are good friends, we have an understanding and say, “Crazy is good.” LOL.

At the Meet-Up Chris brought up in conversation how someone he knew kinda turned into a German vicariously because they had a very long career working at Grumman. I worked at Grumman for over 17 years, and somehow the same is true for me. You have to know I have a very confused identity, and although I am Asian (Cantonese, Southern Chinese) that in many ways I am just a white boy trapped in an Asian body.

In fact “Maggie” says that being with me is more like being married to a German. No lie.

Another thought came to mind: am I OCD; or have OCD tendencies; or am I just plain stubborn; or worse both?

So I acknowledge that Snarky Joe’s advice is good and pretty straight forward. He is true to his namesake. LOL.

Then I wonder if “Robot-Disease” has set in and I am truly insane. I dig in and begin to pretty much over do and over think everything, but then again I emulate the influence of Devil Christian who always is supercharged with ideas.

So today I came up with the idea of still trying to use the old retro Grafton cranks to save money. This is a display of being stubborn, but also is OCD tendencies. The idea is to “Jump-The-Shark” and fast forward to XTR 11-speed and do a 2x11 XTR using a 11-40T or 11-42T cassette.

So what I loose flat lander gearing, I guess.

Using a 42/32 is using the cranks and chainrings I have on-hand, and I have 11-speed XTR stockpiled.

The 9-speed XTR and 9-speed Dura-Ace is worth just holding onto. This stuff is rare, obsolete, and pretty much is appreciating, so in fact I am speculating and also thinking this is worth saving as an investment. It is novel because it is the last gearing advance for Shimano that both the road and mountain groups are interchangeable and compatible, that is the fact, and this is why it will have its following.

Another possibility is that I could buy a Wolf Tooth 38 tooth chainring and go 1x11 and use a 11-45T cassette and have a 23.64 gear inch bailout gear.

So I returned to my basement to enter my bike shop to try the 11-speed XTR cassette on the overbuilt straight gauge, brass nippled clincher training wheels to see if that cassette will snug up, and in fact it did. Kinda crazy that the 9-speed did not (tried it twice because I’m stubborn).

This kinda works out because I have some 27mm-28mm clinchers incoming from Rene Herse that will max out the tire width, but then I have el Cheapo 24mm wide lighter tires on the light weight racing tubular rims. So heavier tires on heavier rims, and lighter tires on light rims. Even Phil would say this is not crazy.

So lots of obsessive thinking went on that I bored you with, made you crazy, or annoyed you with. So what happens when Snarky Joe retires, or Devil Christian? Will these behaviors come out?

Anyways life is really not so boring. The point I guess I’m trying to make and stress is that things are very different when you have time to think or think things through. I see great potential and I hope this potential is never wasted. Anyways to me this is really living.

I think our friend Devil Dan is pretty much in this ideal space. Happy-happy.

Also know that some of my playfulness has returned because of grand children. Even though I make fun of being a bit OCD, my grand daughter has some of these traits. I try to put a positive spin on all this because learning disabilities and behaviors can be either a curse or a blessing. You should know that I have an odd form of dyslexia where I have troubles with serial processing to the point that things get jumbled all the time.

Note that I have slurred hearing to the point that I live in a Jazz world. A mixed blessing, but also know that learning disabilities and certain behaviors are also associated with high intelligence…

Cal
 
Not that I broke the Internet, but this site is acting wonky.

I just posted and the site is saying the last time I posted was two days ago.

I guess I post so frequently I broke the counter. LOL.

This kinda reminds me of when I shot my Leica Wetzlar M6 for over a year with a broken frame counter. Otherwise the camera was fully operational, then the rangefinder went wonky.

Did you know that the M6 had a plastic spring for the frame counter. Sherry replaced it with a metal spring. Also other modifications were made.

Cal
 
Yesterday afternoon, I stopped by a local junk store on my way back from picking up some cat food and found a Kodak Stereo Realist for a couple bucks.
No, I'm not going to be taking stereo photos. I'm going to hack this apart and make a second attempt at a 24x102mm super panorama. (My first attempt got lost during one of my many moves during the last 10 years.) With a film gate that wide, I don't think I can use any large format lens wider than a 65mm. Considering that I'm still reasonably poor and wanting to use what I have, I may go for a longer focal length, like 90mm or even one of the 135mm lenses I have. I'll have to find a shutter unless I rob the Copal 0 from my broken Mamiya Press lens. We'll see. So many projects.

Last night I just got a Tubus cargo rack fitted up to the back of the Univega and spent about two hours re-engineering the taillight wiring, which has to start at the front of the bike, as it is controlled by the switch in the headlight. This is just about the end-all-beat-all rack for heavy duty touring, so I'm not really expecting to be doing any more to the Univega itself besides little cockpit adjustments like possible bar swaps and maybe a seatpost swap. I think I'm going to swap in a slightly stiffer elastomer in my suspension stem because my weight presents a preload and then after a bump is taken up, I "top out" the stem against its limit. I could get used to it or possibly modify the top-side of the suspension with a couple pieces of auto vacuum hose just as a simple cushion.
Before the cross-continent ride, I'll be building up a new rear wheel which I am planning on giving me some flip-flop redundancy, either with a single-speed freewheel (preferred) or a fixed cog (much easier to implement.) I'm not heading west yet though and probably not for another 18 months. Until then, the Univega will be a commuting, and regional touring bike. I have a trailer which I need to extend rear dropouts on so I can replace the stock 16" wheel with a 20" wheel from a Brompton which has a Shimano dynohub. This way I can tour with a generator hub that would charge a powerbank while riding, which could even allow me to work remotely from the road, if I keep my current contractor position. So many projects...

Phil Forrest
 
FYI, Robot didn't start making cameras until Leica was about seven years into the game, and Contax four years in, so I wouldn't say they were the first to exploit 35mm film. Argus started producing 35mm cameras the same year as Robot and had more Model A cameras sold in the US than Robot had produced altogether in that first year. By the time Robot started the Contax II was out the same year, and the Leica III was out by then.

Your Suntour XC Pro cranks are 110/74mm BCD and finding 5-bolt chainrings these days is getting more and more difficult. I have a hand-machined singlespeed (no shifting ramps) 110 BCD ring made by frame builder John Waite for his personal 1x8 CX bike, which I eventually came to own for a few years, then sold after I couldn't get back to racing. Considering the shrink in the "vintage" component market (110/74 is pre-compact drive and is considered the first MTB BCD standard) and all the manufacturers moving to 4-bolt cranks, along with the global supply issues, you could be looking at finding sheets of 7000 series aluminum and having a machinist cut you one. I'm not above cutting my own chainring, if it keeps me riding.

Phil Forrest
 
FYI, Robot didn't start making cameras until Leica was about seven years into the game, and Contax four years in, so I wouldn't say they were the first to exploit 35mm film. Argus started producing 35mm cameras the same year as Robot and had more Model A cameras sold in the US than Robot had produced altogether in that first year. By the time Robot started the Contax II was out the same year, and the Leica III was out by then.

Your Suntour XC Pro cranks are 110/74mm BCD and finding 5-bolt chainrings these days is getting more and more difficult. I have a hand-machined singlespeed (no shifting ramps) 110 BCD ring made by frame builder John Waite for his personal 1x8 CX bike, which I eventually came to own for a few years, then sold after I couldn't get back to racing. Considering the shrink in the "vintage" component market (110/74 is pre-compact drive and is considered the first MTB BCD standard) and all the manufacturers moving to 4-bolt cranks, along with the global supply issues, you could be looking at finding sheets of 7000 series aluminum and having a machinist cut you one. I'm not above cutting my own chainring, if it keeps me riding.

Phil Forrest

Phil,

I have some more work for you.

Send me your snail-mail address. I know you have been moving around lately…

I have some stuff to send you. Some of it I think you will use, some of it you could even sell to help make your dreams come true.

It may take a while for me to sort things out, but I have good elastomers from a Rock Shox Judy that might be of use to you. For some reason they did not deteriorate like the soft ones I used in the shock since I’m a light weight.

Seems like the overall idea here is to eventually have four bikes that I love all equally and will use equally. How crazy is that?

The sense of purpose is not to go fast, but to ride a lot.

Cal
 
I just finished a 21 mile round trip to my new workplace over on the edge of Germantown. Most of the ride was good with a decent amount of space for me to confidently ride the bike in. All of the streets (except one) I rode on either had designated bike lanes, or were wide with the cyclist right-of-way arrow, kind of share-the-road things painted on them. There is a 1/3 mile stretch of Wissahickon Avenue which is a mild uphill for a few hundred feet in that area that doesn't have any cycling right-of-way or bike land but it is also between stoplights in a residential area, so I'm hoping it shouldn't be too bad. Most of the ride to work will be uphill, and there is a long slog of essentially two miles of hill without a break. After Wissahickon, it turns a bit sketchy, so I hope that doesn't have any effect on my ride to and from work either. My commute there would be in the dark as fall twilight hours grow longer, but my ride home should always be in decent light as I'll be getting off work at 4:30. It took me 57 minutes to get there on a hot day and what I consider out of shape. If I were riding my Miyata, I'm willing to bet I would have been about 10 minutes faster, but I didn't know the route until today, so I needed to take a touring bike with some really durable tires, just because of unknown road conditions and the potential for punctures.
I had my lights on the whole time and it gave me a bit more confidence that I'd be better seen because of them. Not having to worry about batteries is a nice thing. I didn't notice any drag whatsoever from the SP dynohub, nor will I considering the weight of my bike and my front wheel.
I hadn't hit my anerobic threshold in a long time but about 45 minutes in, going up a hill, it hit me and now the post-ride burn feels great.

Phil Forrest
 
I just finished a 21 mile round trip to my new workplace over on the edge of Germantown. Most of the ride was good with a decent amount of space for me to confidently ride the bike in. All of the streets (except one) I rode on either had designated bike lanes, or were wide with the cyclist right-of-way arrow, kind of share-the-road things painted on them. There is a 1/3 mile stretch of Wissahickon Avenue which is a mild uphill for a few hundred feet in that area that doesn't have any cycling right-of-way or bike land but it is also between stoplights in a residential area, so I'm hoping it shouldn't be too bad. Most of the ride to work will be uphill, and there is a long slog of essentially two miles of hill without a break. After Wissahickon, it turns a bit sketchy, so I hope that doesn't have any effect on my ride to and from work either. My commute there would be in the dark as fall twilight hours grow longer, but my ride home should always be in decent light as I'll be getting off work at 4:30. It took me 57 minutes to get there on a hot day and what I consider out of shape. If I were riding my Miyata, I'm willing to bet I would have been about 10 minutes faster, but I didn't know the route until today, so I needed to take a touring bike with some really durable tires, just because of unknown road conditions and the potential for punctures.
I had my lights on the whole time and it gave me a bit more confidence that I'd be better seen because of them. Not having to worry about batteries is a nice thing. I didn't notice any drag whatsoever from the SP dynohub, nor will I considering the weight of my bike and my front wheel.
I hadn't hit my anerobic threshold in a long time but about 45 minutes in, going up a hill, it hit me and now the post-ride burn feels great.

Phil Forrest

Phil,

The rust in the beginning soon gets shedded, especially with doing it at least 5 days a week. So easy to get rusty though…

I bet the long hill gets brutal. LOL. That will toughen you up pretty fast. No mercy.

I still have traces of Covid. The cough returned, and yesterday the fatigue put me to bed early. My throat was still scratchy this morning.

I’m liking that I have two wheel sets: one heavy duty clincher that I will run 27mm-28mm tires; and a light wheel set with cheap tubulars.

Anyways because I’m stubborn I figured out the best way to proceed. 42/32T with 11-42T cassette for 2x11 gives me plenty of gears as well as gearing.

I mounted the XTR derailleurs along with the mountain bike Grafton cranks and the bike looks evil, especially because it has a mountain bike cockpit. The front derailleur fits under the road front derailleur hangar tucked right in. Now I see that the 9-speed would not have worked. Oh-well now we are moving forward.

Cal
 
Got to play in the new Santa Cruz Model “F” that was built to 1934 spec. The guitar has opened up quite a bit, but still is very tight. The thing with this guitar is that it responds and gets mucho loud even with a light touch. Kinda crazy.

My Hog (Mahogany Model “F” that even has a mahogany top) is built to 1929 specs and still is a keeper. The Hog is mucho warm, has a sense of intimacy like a small guitar, but it does not cut and project like the 1934 “F.”

The 1934 has a drier very crisp sound, the bass thus far is not as boomy or bloom the way the Hog does. The Hog also has a warm midrange voice that is heavy in fundamental in a way that makes for really good note separation.

Meanwhile the 1934 is very percussive, almost like the guitar is part drum and the upper sheen is very rich and complex. In comparison the Hog has the richness centered in the minds and lows.

So my worries that the Hog would get displaced are not founded. Pretty much it is like having two girlfriends that know each other that are different.

These two guitars both have bracing that supports and encourages an even response, but my Santa Cruz OM made with old growth Brazilian and Red Spruce top like a 1930’s Martin has scalloped bracing that creates enhanced bass and treble, but with a scooped midrange. A totally different animal. The OM is a smaller guitar than the two “F’s” but the bass is bigger.

So for Jazz the “F’s” are better balance, but for blues and rock the OM is likely best suited. The Hog has this sense of intimacy when played, but the 1934 projects to fill the space because it is so bright and articulate. Since the Model “F’s” are larger than the OM they tend to have a pretty big bass without being boomy, but the OM definitely booms like a really big guitar due to bracing.

So the moral of the story is one Santa Cruz is not enough. Pretty much like 4 bikes each one has its own appeal and it never gets boring.

I’m in guitar heaven, and I am getting better.

Cal
 
The S&P breached 4K and now the DOW is close to breaching 30K.

I said it before, “Look out below.”

One headline says, “It takes about a decade for the FED to bring inflation to 2%.” Kinda believable if you understand regression-to-the-mean.

Think of all the stimulus created back with George W. Bush, tax breaks when we did not need them, then the costs of two wars, the housing crisis, reinflating the housing bubble, then Covid stimulus, and then Biden extra stimulus. Pretty much two decades of pumping up the economy with cash.

If only a decade to rein in inflation then a pretty big correction in less time. Simple math of the average.

Cal
 
Cal,
One thing I loved about working in a shop way back when, was that I had access to the exact spec parts I wanted. When I was racing, I had 5 serious bicycles, 2 of them were road bikes, the other 3 were cyclocross. The road bikes were: a Titan Epsilon SL (re-badged DeRosa) decked out with full Campy Record (Chorus crankset,) and a Vitus 979 with a Campy mix of Nuovo Record and Triomphe (Triomphe was the lightest full range gruppo that Campagnolo made and why my bike weighed less than 17lbs.)
The Cyclocross bikes were the John Waite 1x8 (handmade steel,) a Haro CX (rebadged KHS) with full Dura Ace, and a Felt Breed singlespeed. I used the Titan and the Haro for racing, everything else was for training and fun. The great thing about all these bikes is that since they were all 700c, I could (and did) build all my wheels to perfectly interchange with each other so I didn't have to adjust the brakes if I needed either a spare or just wanted to change tires by changing wheels. This was extremely convenient and it was as if I was my own support van. The last CX race I went to I showed up with 2 extra wheelsets in case I needed them or wanted a change of tires, or in case one of my teammates needed a wheel. It was my planning and access (as well as experience working with each of the rims) that enabled me to create a whole modular stable of 5 bikes that could interchange any of the wheels I had, with the exception of my Suntour track wheels. I'd say, even beyond gearing, having exactly matching brake profiles for all my wheels was one of the best long-term racing plans I made. I was planning on taking the Haro and the Felt singlespeed to the 2010 CX nationals out in Bend, Oregon until that car door dislocated my left shoulder on November 29, 2009. After that I was medically ordered to stay off the bike for a while (and physically unable to ride too.) I lost my job at the shop because they wouldn't put me up front in the retail/customer service part and I couldn't lift a bike into a stand and lock it in to be a mechanic. I was recently talking with Bethanne how that otherwise minor bike wreck changed my life and it's had a lot of downhill ever since. Only since 2017 when the VA helped me back into grad school, has it really begun to look up.
Anyway, if you can have all your wheels interchange with as many bikes as possible it is a game changer. I know you have 24", 26", and 700c wheels, so you can't easily interchange them all, of course.

Phil Forrest
 
Cal,
One thing I loved about working in a shop way back when, was that I had access to the exact spec parts I wanted. When I was racing, I had 5 serious bicycles, 2 of them were road bikes, the other 3 were cyclocross. The road bikes were: a Titan Epsilon SL (re-badged DeRosa) decked out with full Campy Record (Chorus crankset,) and a Vitus 979 with a Campy mix of Nuovo Record and Triomphe (Triomphe was the lightest full range gruppo that Campagnolo made and why my bike weighed less than 17lbs.)
The Cyclocross bikes were the John Waite 1x8 (handmade steel,) a Haro CX (rebadged KHS) with full Dura Ace, and a Felt Breed singlespeed. I used the Titan and the Haro for racing, everything else was for training and fun. The great thing about all these bikes is that since they were all 700c, I could (and did) build all my wheels to perfectly interchange with each other so I didn't have to adjust the brakes if I needed either a spare or just wanted to change tires by changing wheels. This was extremely convenient and it was as if I was my own support van. The last CX race I went to I showed up with 2 extra wheelsets in case I needed them or wanted a change of tires, or in case one of my teammates needed a wheel. It was my planning and access (as well as experience working with each of the rims) that enabled me to create a whole modular stable of 5 bikes that could interchange any of the wheels I had, with the exception of my Suntour track wheels. I'd say, even beyond gearing, having exactly matching brake profiles for all my wheels was one of the best long-term racing plans I made. I was planning on taking the Haro and the Felt singlespeed to the 2010 CX nationals out in Bend, Oregon until that car door dislocated my left shoulder on November 29, 2009. After that I was medically ordered to stay off the bike for a while (and physically unable to ride too.) I lost my job at the shop because they wouldn't put me up front in the retail/customer service part and I couldn't lift a bike into a stand and lock it in to be a mechanic. I was recently talking with Bethanne how that otherwise minor bike wreck changed my life and it's had a lot of downhill ever since. Only since 2017 when the VA helped me back into grad school, has it really begun to look up.
Anyway, if you can have all your wheels interchange with as many bikes as possible it is a game changer. I know you have 24", 26", and 700c wheels, so you can't easily interchange them all, of course.

Phil Forrest

Phil,

You are correct in that I use many wheel sizes, but it seems at least the drivetrains will be modular. Only the two IBIS’s are the same.

I think you are right that having a handful of bikes is plenty, but also a luxury.

I am very fortunate to have no injuries except broken collar bones, scabs and scars.

When I raced I got spanked badly. LOL. I rode with younger riders…

Cal
 
In today’s episode of “Cal’s Bike Shop” he got a rather large shipment of tires and started reconfiguring bikes.

The “Newsboy” had the Billy Bonkers removed. Pretty much over tire at a 2.1 width. In their place went a pair of Rene Herse`Natches Pass “all road” tires which is another way of say gravel tire that they say is a 1.8 width, but Cal measures it as a 1.5. These tires are mighty light at 300 grams a tire, where the Billy Bonkers were 490.

Cal also discovered that the trick Mavic Cross Max wheels are lighter than the old school narrow wheels from back in the day, and that pretty much surprised him.

The Newsboy use to weigh 20 1/2 pounds, but now with a wheel and tire change it is only 19 1/4 pounds. Pretty much 1 1/4 pound of rotating mass, so the Newsboy accelerates faster, then add on top of that there seems to be less rolling resistance. The Newsboy all of the sudden got mucho faster.

The tan sidewalls are retro and like skin wall tires of yesteryear. In fact they look mucho evil and coordinate well with the tan leather saddle. The gearing provided by a 1x11 is 26” to 99 gear inches not that wide a spread, but wide enough.

A blackwall version of the Natches Pass 1.8 that measures only 1.5 in the width replaced a 1.35 wide 26 inch Kojak, and matches the width of the rear 24 inch Kojak that is a 24x1.5. This bike also lost some weight and is 16 3/4 pounds as a single speed that accelerates like a mo-fo.

Cal needs more tubes to mount 1.25 wide skinny tires on retro mountain bike rims as a spare wheel set. He also needs to order some latex tubes so he can mount up some 28mm wide clinchers on his training wheels.

One setback is the 9-speed front derailleur won’t work, and on the 11-speed the retro Grafton crank does not splay outward enough to clear the front derailleur. Oh-well looks like another set of White Industries cranks. This set will have the spyderless VBC chain rings as a very trick setup.

Cal has to place a couple of orders.

The Newsboy need a “Funky Monkey” from Paul’s Components. This is a hanger for the front brake cable that is currently going through a high rise stem, but the mount is not so smooth in operation. After that the Newsboy kinda is a done bike, unless it gets a 2x11 upgrade.

The steel IBIS just needs a new wheel built and pretty much it will be a done bike.

The Ti Basso Road is moving along…

The Ti IBIS is the last to be developed, but right now it is a mucho crazy single speed that is mucho hyper and fun to ride. Eventually it will become a 2x11.

Cal
 
The S&P breached 4K and now the DOW is close to breaching 30K.

I said it before, “Look out below.”

One headline says, “It takes about a decade for the FED to bring inflation to 2%.” Kinda believable if you understand regression-to-the-mean.

Think of all the stimulus created back with George W. Bush, tax breaks when we did not need them, then the costs of two wars, the housing crisis, reinflating the housing bubble, then Covid stimulus, and then Biden extra stimulus. Pretty much two decades of pumping up the economy with cash.

If only a decade to rein in inflation then a pretty big correction in less time. Simple math of the average.

Cal

Having grown up under the shadow of 2008 but with dad pointing at how unsustainable the rush of the 2000s were, it gets interesting!
Being one who pointed at the Stock market et al prices in that way, being bearish, now it is exciting times.
Took a 3 week vacation that ends this weekend, but it's also rather exciting coming back to another lay off round at work supposedly spared from it again.
Next week is gonna be exciting!

Bike wise I only did 3 outings with dad here in Spain, fall came in today but the weather in the high 80s with humidity just had me relaxing and floating on the nearby beach.

I should and wish I took some time to fly away, like a week in NYC timing the meet. Covid had me lazy and now I just shuttle between Sweden and Spain (home).
 
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