Friday, February 26, 2010

Bicyclists have to deal with difficult situations sometimes. I was pondering about some of the recent developments in Chipseal's case and I could not help wonder how the Gandhi would have reacted. So, I decided to look for some of his famous quotes. Here are some that I could find:

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who was born on October 2, 1869, died as the Mahatma on January 30, 1948. The man who came to be regarded as the symbol of independent India was greatly revered by his own countrymen. Indians came to call him Mahatma or "the Great Soul." A large number of famous Gandhi quotes contain so much wisdom that they have gained immortality. These famous Gandhi quotes reveal the wisdom of this great man.
  • Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
  • Whenever you are confronted with an opponent, conquer him with love.

  • A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble.

  • A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.

  • A religion that takes no account of practical affairs and does not help to solve them is no religion.

  • Adaptability is not imitation. It means power of resistance and assimilation.
  • Anger and intolerance are the twin enemies of correct understanding.

  • You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.

  • Culture of the mind must be subservient to the heart.
  • It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.
  • Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

  • The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

  • An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

  • Hate the sin, love the sinner.

  • I want freedom for the full expression of my personality.

  • Victory attained by violence is tantamount to a defeat, for it is momentary.

  • Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.

  • Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.

  • Permanent good can never be the outcome of untruth and violence.
 May we all find something that's worth keeping from Gandhi's life!

Peace :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Ride To Athens!

My friend Shoaib and I rode 60 (59.6 to be precise) miles today. We rode country roads from Canton to Athens, TX. We had to take several Farm-To-Market (FM) roads in that part of the world and some of them were similar to the ones in the Ramble.

The original plan was to ride from Canton to Palestine and back, if all went well.

We were not sure of the weather and how bad riding back in the dark on those FM roads will be in the dark. Plus, we got lost a few times and lost some valuable time.

So, we cut the trip in half, but we did have a blast.

During today's ride, I found many cool things to photograph.

First one that caught my eye was this immense Live Oak tree.
Worth every pixel was this way-too-cool Mailbox! Whadya think?
At the Martin Mills General Store, we found this very unique Love Seat!
There there was the antique tractor of which Shoaib took a picture. I will post it soon as he sends me a copy.

Lessons learned during today's ride:
  1. Road bikes have a purpose. They are not at all suitable for randonneuering on country roads where one might encounter lots of gravel.
  2. Hunting dogs like American Bloodhound can run very fast, faster than a panicked bicyclist can.
  3. Having a GPS can be a blessing in the country!
  4. Not all FM roads have are marked with signs.
  5. Dogs do listen when you yell STOP!

Question for my readers:
How do you deal with chasing dogs in the country? Thanks in advance!

Peace :)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cool, I stop with KoolStop!

I posted about using KoolStop brake pads on Meera last Friday. I did install them and they work much better than the old brake shoes that came with the Raleigh Twenty.

I recommend these pads for the Twenty, wholeheartedly!

Peace :)

Friday, February 19, 2010

The snow is gone but...

I rode about 42 miles last Saturday. I took one picture that I really wanted to post, but I had no time to post. Here it is!
I have seen several snowmen in Canada and St. Louis, but none quite like this one.

What's with the rods stuck right through the poor guy? That's cold.

Somehow, these rods, stuck right through the Snowman, matched my emotions on how  I felt about the judgement against Chip :(

Peace :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Another cycle to be broken: Obesity!

If time permits, please watch this video and spread the good message!

Thank you for watching! Let's please teach children to ride a bike and also to cook!

Peace :)

A different kinda cycle: One that needs to be broken!

If time permits, please watch this video.

I am not so sure this problem is only prevalent in India. But, apparently it is prevalent in India. No one should have to put up with this!

My heart goes out to the victims. If there is anything you can do to break this vicious cycle, I beg you to do so.

Thank you.

Peace :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cause It's KoolStop, crazy KoolStop...and it works great they say :)

Based on the advise of some folks from CycleBabble, I installed a pair of KoolStop brake pads on Meera tonight. They seem grippy!
These pads are called the Continental pads. Tomorrow, we put these puppies to test, in really nasty weather (nasty for DFW). I will write about the results of my experimentation. Hopefully, it will all go well!

Special thanks to Aaron, Myles and Steve for suggesting the KoolStop pads!

Peace :)


That's right! It snowed pretty much all day, on and off. There was accumulation, 9.4 inches, in all. Apparently, this is new record for NTX.
My truck is my witness that it snowed a bunch! All week, except today, I rode Meera to work. Today, I took Gikma, as I wasn't sure of Meera's touchy brakes. I don't work at a drive-thru :)
The traffic had died down as I headed into work.
Some people didn't make it to work today, because of the snow. We were advised to leave at 15:00 hours. How'bout that? One thing to note is that my work doesn't get done even if I leave early. I just get to do it from home before the next day :) View from our 2nd floor garage where I park my bike!
On the way back, I took a slight detour and decided to check out the Campion Trail. It was fun to ride through the trail as much of it had been plowed. The bridges had some accumulated snow on them and I did slip twice. I didn't fall off the bike, luckily! See Rantwick, I haven't lost my training from Ontario yet :)
Campion Trail in all its wintry glory!
With all the snow, this part of the Campion Trail almost like Tower Grove park in St. Louis!
The parking lot at Campion Trail had a few cars parked. I saw one jogger and a bunch of human footsteps. I felt I wasn't alone :)
Yours truly!
I am looking forward to riding again tomorrow. Hopefully, all the snow and slush won't freeze! We shall see!

Peace :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Meera takes a trip!

I took Meera out today. We rode to REI Dallas and back. I wanted a professional bicycle mechanic's opinion of the "road worthiness" of the bike. I went to see my friend Jerry @ REI Dallas for the same. Jerry has been a constant source of help with bicycles. Meera and I took a surprise gift along to Jerry.
What can I say, she was loaded!
I took some of the accessories from my Cannondale T-800 and added them to Meera. I plan to use Meera as a commuter.
Having not really prepped the bike for a 20 odd mile ride, I had to stop often to make sure all the parts were still on the bike. My biggest fear was that I would crash, not having good braking power. I made it to REI without any incidents.
I have to admit that I am still getting used to the idea of seeing green in January/February.
I wasn't sure what these flowers were but them sure was pretty. I decided to stop and smell these "roses".
Meera posting prettily in front of the flower bed.
Another photo op and I didn't want to miss it :)
A nice Nutcase! I have never seen a Nutcase Urban Caution in person before. I couldn't try this particular helmet on. It was a Little Nutty, a kid's helmet.
At REI, I saw some new folders. I couldn't help taking photos of this rather nice looking folder by Novaro. I read somewhere that Dahon makes the folders for REI. The Novara FlyBy pictured below uses a 7-speed Shimano Nexus hub.
The only other folder that I saw in the store, at REI, was a Dahon Eco. It is a relatively inexpensive bike. I didn't pay particular attention to the parts. I think I have seen the Dahon Mu Uno at REI Dallas.
While I was at REI, my friend Jerry made sure that Meera was road worthy. He showed me how to lube the SA 3-speed IGH using Phil's Tenacious Oil. We also lubed all the cables, greased the seat post, steering tube, etc.

After lubing all the parts, especially the brake cables, braking seems to have improved. It may be necessary to get the SA 3-speed IGH serviced.

But then, there is a time and place for everything. Know what I mean?

Peace :)

References for Raleigh Twenty

Myles was kind enough to share these really cool links for the Raleigh Twenty with me. Thanks, Myles.

Tires and other accessories:

Peace :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Useful little addition to keychain!

I was at Sears last weekend, rummaging through the Clearance section. That's where I found this little screwdriver, for $0.99, which can be attached to your keyring. I used it last night on taking some enhancements off Meera.
And, yes, it is Made in U.S.A. :)
While we are on the topic of Clearance items, don't forget to check out Mr. Richard's post on a similar topic.

Peace :)

Meet Meera- my Raleigh Twenty!

So, there she is, Meera, my Raleigh Twenty! I picked her up from Denton, Texas, last night. The great folks at CycleBabble {that includes some of you, my dear readers :) } pointed out this bike, which was on sale on Craigslist. At first, I was not going to even think of buying it, but I decided I will take a look at it, when my friend Shaoib mentioned interest in a folder yesterday. I showed him pictures of this bike. I knew I was going to buy it even if he wasn't gonna. So, we took a ride to Denton last evening. I test drove her, fell in love right away and the rest of the story is history :)

Tada - Here is Meera, The Raleigh Twenty!

Meera was dusty from having not been ridden in what appears to be a long time. I tried to clean her up, gently, last night. I think the original paint job is still quite good. There is some rusting inside the seat tube. I wonder if I can't clean it up.

There were a three enhancements to the bike that were not stock. Quite frankly, I have no clue what they were for. The person who installed these enhancements was careful enough to protect the frame with some electrical tape before attaching the enhancements using hose-clamps. Pictured below is one of the enhancements (E1). May be a U-Lock holder?
Pictured below is enhancement # 2. (E2). I have no clue what this one was for either. Did I tell you, I find it easier to write your own code instead of debugging code that someone else wrote? :) I removed both E1 and E2. Both E1 and E2 have parts with marked (made in U.S.A). I don't think they came with the bike :)
Came with the stock Brooks saddle! I am not quite sure which model it is. It is kinda Vinyl looking.
Pictured above is also another enhancement (E3). I think I am going to leave this one alone for now. It might work as a saddle bag.

Pictured below is the original pedal and you can see part of the original kick-stand as well. No trouble with the pedal. Whirls around nicely, so far :)
The original tire! Has still some tread on it but the sidewall shows some cracks. (see next two pictures) This is one thing that I will definitely be replacing. Based on my limited research, apparently the stock wheel is a 401, which can fit a Schwalbe Marathon tire. Looking forward to it!
 Original Tire with Raleigh markings on it! Notice the cracks in the tire.

Vinylon may be a the model of the tire, I suppose. Again, you can see the cracks in the rubber. I haven't quite figured out the age of this bike yet. I suppose it could be a 1974 or so (entirely based on my pea-sized brain's guesstimates).
Original Sturmey Archer shifter. Works like a charm (in terms of what it is supposed to do).
Original Sturmey Archer 3-speed rear hub! I think this might need some cleaning. While it works, it does not really work as well as I would have expected it to. Well, now that's being greedy. For Pete's sake, that thing is 30+ years old :) I wonder if it can be minimally serviced. I would eventually like to change it to a more modern IGH, may be a Sturmey Archer or a SRAM or a Shimano Alfine or a Rohloff. Not sure which one will work with the Raleigh Twenty, yet!
The thing that shifts the IGH :)
What a Brilliant idea! :)
Original decal!
Original decal, Made in England!
Original markings on the rear fender!
Pletscher rear rack! This rack is in great condition. Definitely adds flair to the bike and a keeper :) I have Pletscher kickstands on my Cannondale T800 and Gikma!
Original handlebar grip!
 One of these was cracked (pictured below).
I tried fixing it with some glue. Let's see if it works :)
Another original marking! May be one can figure out the model year of the bike using this one. The sponge thing is the remnant from E2.
So, whatdya think?
I am very new to the Raleigh Twenty. I have lots to learn about this bike. So, please don't be surprised if I ask you some.

There are tons of references to the Raleigh Twenty on the internet. I found the ones below most useful, so far.
  1. Sheldon Brown's Raleigh Twenty Page
  2. John S. Allen's Twenty Five Years on a Twenty

Friday, February 5, 2010

It's a Raleigh Twenty!

Bought a Raleigh Twenty off Craigslist tonight!

This bike was allegedly owned by an elderly gent who passed recently. First impressions tell me this bike was very well taken care of by its original owner. It has sat in the basement / garage for a long time, so there is a lot of dust on the bike. The tires hold air (at least for now), the brakes kinda work and the gearing works almost flawlessly.

I am cleaning the bike tonight. I will post some pics soon.

Peace :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010


This post is NOT bicycling related.

Our beloved Gerbil, Meera, passed today. We are terribly saddened by this tragic incident. I didn't know about this until after I came back home around 12 AM tonight.

When I was a little boy, I had a kitty cat. A nomadic tribesman killed it for the fur and possibly for the meat. My mother who witnessed the horrific incident told me about it.

While I never witnessed the horrific incident, I swore I will never have a pet, ever again, as the pain of my pet's passing was not something I handled well. Well, here I am today, living with 2 dogs and 3 cats; minus one Gerbil as of today.

I am saddened and humbled, once again!

Goodbye Meera! We will miss you!

Needless to say, life is short, my friends! Relish it to the fullest!!

Peace :)

PS. "Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again."
Og Mandino

Ask Dr. Wally

I simply couldn't resist posting this from CycleDog. Check it out!

Dear Dr. Wally

My auto mechanic filled my tires with 100% nitrogen, claiming that the tires lose pressure more slowly and that gives better mileage. Should I do the same with my bicycle tires?

Curious in Coweta

Dear Curious

Do not fill your tires with nitrogen! Straight, 100% nitrogen is a poison! Instead, go to your local bike shop and ask for imported air. The hipsters are using Fiji air, but that's merely a fad. Better products are available from France and Italy, where fresh air is collected from some of the famous mountain stages in the Tour de France and the Giro. This makes your bike more than 10% faster, so bike shops employees often want to keep it for their own use. Go to your local shop and insist on imported air.

Don't let them bait-and-switch you into accepting any of those cheap CO2 cartridges, either. They're full of stale CO2 from New Jersey and they often infect your tires with Vittoria beetles.

Dr. Wally

Monday, February 1, 2010


Tomorrow, for the first time ever, I will be in a Yoga class. I have done yoga before although it was all self-taught. Hopefully, this will be an ongoing thing and it will give me strengthen me to be better at cycling as well.

Oh, by the way, here is some blurb about a great yogi.

Peace :)