Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Just chiming in

Pictured below is the oldest wind-chime in our own home. It plays some music, but not as much as the other ones in our garden, which have more degrees of freedom to move, when the wind blows. I love wind-chimes.

Nature brings me so much joy!

I will leave you with a couple of lines from one of my favorite poems by Wordsworth.

And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And Dances with the daffodils"

Yes, it does!

Peace :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Brahma gets new chain and cogs

I bought Brahma roughly 1.5 years ago. And, I have put 1500-odd miles on it. I recently noticed that changing gears using the derailleur was getting to be a bit problematic. I adjusted the derailleur as best as I could, but it still would act weird.

So, I put the El Chain Stretch-O-Meter on it and found that it was 80+ in a few links and 100 in a few. So, I said I would get the chain replaced.

Having never replaced a chain on the Brompton before, I decided I would go to the LBS; went to REI and had Jerry take a look at it.

Jerry and I agreed that it was time to replace the chain. So, we replaced the chain with a 3/32" SRAM PC 1071 chain.
So, the chain is replaced. All is well, right? Not really!

I read on the Brompton Forum on Facebook that I should also replace the cogs and the chainring at the same time, when I replace the chain. So, I ordered 2 sets of cogs and a spare chain from Foldabikes. I ordered the 2nd chain, as a back-up. The chain at REI wasn't cheap. I don't complain about REI, because of their exceptional service, but the chain was a bit pricy - $53. So, in a few days, the cogs and the spare chain arrive. Foldabikes has a SRAM chain that will work for this purpose, a 3/32" chain, for about $20. The saving grace is that REI does not charge a lot for the installation. Plus, I like the techs at REI. Now, if I only had a car mechanic that I can trust...:)

Luckily not enough wear in the chain ring to warrant replacement.

Off to REI again. Only this time, it is to get two things taken care of: 1) install the new cogs and 2) take some links off the new chain, so that there is less slack.

Jerry and I measured the rear cogs, the old ones, using another widget for indication of wear; they were worn. So, we replaced the rear cogs, with the new ones from Foldabikes.

Jerry took 4 more links off the chain. Now, I think I have about 98 links. Now, there is very little slack when I fold Brahma.
You would think I would be done, right? Well, all is well, for the most part. There are two other things that I noticed that I am investigating:

  1. When in the lowest gear, I was told that the chain tensioner should be at about a 20-degree angle from the chain stay.
  2. There is a slight kink in the SA indicator chain. I think this is making chaining to the highest gear a bit difficult. I have to push harder than usual.
I am not certain if #1 above is a must. If you know, please leave me a comment.

I plan to get a couple of spare indicator chains ordered and replace the one that's bent and keep one as a spare.

I have to wonder if the quality of SA has gone to the dogs. I have a 30+ year old bike, the Raleigh Twenty, which also has a 3-speed SA hub, with the same kinda indicator chain. That old indicator chain is rock solid.

Finally, some arithmetic to keep my mind sharp :)
Have a Great Week!

Peace :)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Scenes from Tower Grove Park # 2: Oh deer!

The deer pictured here is the original deer that adorned one of the columns at the intersection of Tower Grove and Magnolia Avenues; Tower Grove avenue runs through Tower Grove Park in St. Louis, Missouri.

I believe it was a late Fall day, when I took this photograph. I had walked by this deer so many times before, but it never occurred to me that I should stop and take a close look at the majesty of the statue. But, for some reason, I did on this day.

Whoda thunked? There was a violent storm that evening and the deer fell off the column and broke. It was subsequently replaced by a new statue. I never thought it was quite the same as the original one.

When I was in High School, we read quite a few great pieces of English literature. I don't think of them all the time. But after writing this post, for some reason, I am reminded of G. K. Chesterton's The Advantages of Having One Leg.

Perhaps, it is about becoming solitary!

Peace :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Scenes from Tower Grove Park # 1

One of the best spots in Tower Grove Park, in St. Louis, Missouri.
I have seen many a wedding take place right at this spot. Since the park was less than 5 minutes by foot from our (former) home, it was a place we went to relax. There are always a bunch of ducks in the pond, who are eager to interact with you for any food you might provide them.

Such a lovely place!

Peace :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Now, where did I put that thing?

Back in 2006, when I bought my first Brooks saddle ever, I bought an accessory for the saddle. No, it wasn't the Proofide; but, it was a Brooks Rain Cover for the saddle. I used it a few times when I was in St. Louis, during snowy and rainy days.

For some reason, this accessory stayed in my Arkel under-the-seat bag**, which was on my T-800*, which I seldom use anymore. Saturday before the last one, I went out to grocery shop and to pick-up some stuff at a CVS near my home. But, it poured all day and I felt guilty exposing the nice black Brooks B-17 on my Nomad to all that rain. Sometimes, I use a grocery sack on the saddle if it rains and I have to leave my bike out in the rain. Since getting my Brompton, I seldom leave it out anywhere and so rain wasn't that big an issue; from the point of view of getting the Brooks saddle(s) wet.
So, on this particular Saturday, I racked my brain and tried to remember where I had put this saddle cover. I tried so hard and eventually quit.

May be there is a lesson to be learned here. It is time to donate more stuff that I don't need. Do another CRM? May be not sweat the small stuff??

Something tells me this ain't the last thing I would be looking for something, after misplacing it. I am having quite a few of these approaching-senior moments :)

Hope all is well in your world.

Peace :)

* The T-800 is long gone. I sold the T-800 two years ago.
** I still have the Arkle under-the-seat bag.

PS. I found the Arkel bag and the Brooks Rain Cover.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mystery, Helmet-Cam Head and non-sensical road rules!

Yes, I know the title is rather long. The original title was: Mystery, Helmet-Cam Head and annoying bicycle races where commuters are pushed off the road! I shortened it subsequently. I have, of late, been remembering many of the stories I read to my daughter; and, that has influenced the titles of my posts, shall we say? :)

I think it was two weeks or so ago, that I went to REI. I took the Campion Trail from my home to get the Valley View Road. Just before I got to Valley View, I saw a bunch of Police Officers on the trail. Needless to say, I was curious. I asked one of the officers if everything was okay. His response was rather terse. "Did you see anything?", asks the officer. I said I saw absolutely nothing, which I did not. I did not see anything suspicious or out of the ordinary. In fact, I rode the trail with my buddy Ron, earlier that morning and all was well. It later occurred to me that the Policeman could have wondered if I had recorded any footage of anything suspicious using my helmet camera. Rats!

Next, I saw a few Police vehicles and a Fire Engine parked on Valley View and I saw a TV Camera Crew on the trail. I immediately knew something was up. However, I pushed on to go to REI, on Valley View. I had a wheel to get trued! BTW, if you look closely, you can see a police boat on the trailer in the picture below.
As though the first part wasn't exciting enough, the second part of my journey had its own surprises in store for me. Valley View is a divided thoroughfare. On this particular day, however, the east side was closed off.
Apparently, there was some "important" bicycle race, or an organized ride. The Police told me not to ride there, even though there were 3 lanes wide open there. There weren't any other bicyclists riding there. In fact, during the 30 minutes or so that I rode on Valley View, I think I saw a total of 3 bicyclists riding on the east side. 3 cyclists, for Pete's sake and they tell a commuting cyclist not to ride there. I felt  it was highly uncalled for! Even if there was a race, the riders would not have been handicapped by one lone commuting cyclist on the road. Grrrrrrr!

I wasn't gonna let this balderdash get me down. So, after I got my wheel fixed at REI, I got myself a nice little treat, to cool off.
When I returned home, I got on the internet and searched for incidents around the Campion Trail. Lo and behold, there was an incident. Rather a sad one. A teenage girl's body was found in the Trinity River :(

I thought I was living in a rather safe place. Am I? Really??

Peace :)

Spicy Quinoa, steamed veggies and a simple salad

Sometimes, simple does it: Quinoa, veggies and a simple salad with homemade dressing.

I hope to post more on my new regimen soon.

What is new in your world?

Peace :)

Long time, no post!

Dear readers:
My apologies. I haven't been posted on this blog in a long time.
I am embarking on a new regimen very soon; namely, that of Dr. Fuhrman.

So, most of the meals prepared would be what's recommended by Dr. Fuhrman.

I will not be starting the new regimen, until I come back from my trip to Missouri.

So, in about 2 weeks, I will be writing about the great food I get to enjoy.
I may still post photos, but I will simply refer my dear readers to the original source.

Hope all is well with y'all!

Peace :)

Harvest Moon - Part II

The moon was so beautiful, big and warm last night. I braved the fear of getting bitten and infected by the notorious West Nile Mosquitoes and took this shot, right from my patio.

Peace :)