Monday, April 26, 2010

mission creep

Sunday was a busy day.  First I made belgian waffles and read the paper while the Scientist watched Liege Bastogne Liege over the internet.  Then I sealed the bottoms of all the fence posts that are going into our new wood front fence (replacing the chainlink).  Then I started cutting down the scraggly yew bushes and taking limbs off the 20' juniper that we want to replace with a dogwood.  The Scientist emerged to put all the debris into lawn waste bags, and dig out the yew stumps, while I primed the fence posts.

I broke out the chainsaw and cut down the now limb-less juniper,  and then we both spent an hour digging out the stump.
After all that and another coat of primer on the fence posts, I started to work on bikes while the Scientist half watched basketball, half read scientific papers.   Since I've been rebuilding bikes, our basement TV room looked like a bike shop exploded down there.  I like to work on the bike with a movie running in the background (I've been on a "Tudors" kick recently).  After a bit of messing with Gilbert (put the chain on,  hooked up the roller brake) I reached a stopping point which requires a new shifter cable housing and a shorter fender nut.

So I put Minerva up on the rack.
At the meeting of the Boston Retro Wheelmen on Saturday, Somervillian and I figured out a way to mount the rack I found for Minerva.  Minerva has two rear attachment points- the rear axle and where the seatstay attaches to a special threading on the dropout.  The rack fits perfectly on the seatstay attachment point- but the bolts for that were just a tiny bit too short, and they're the dreaded Whitworth threading- bane of all Raleigh enthusiasts- a weird dead end in the evolution of modern threading.  It's not metric,  it's not "English"  but a bit in between.  While it's possible to order Whitworth threaded bolts (they're also used on classic British sportscars) a lot of people just tap the holes to a more common threading.
In this case, we figured out that we could move the fender stays to the axle, which gave us just enough clearance to put the rack on the seat stay attachment!  So that was one of my major issues with Minerva solved.  The other was the braking.  I got some tips from Somervillian (including that I'd re-assembled the brake shoes backwards- oops).  So after all the yardwork on Sunday, I decided to fix the brakes- after my scare last week, I wanted all the braking I could get.
So to get the brakes properly adjusted I had to take off the front wheel,  and while I was waiting for the Scientist to help me get it back on, I decided, hey, might as well clean and re-pack the front axle bearing!
Got all that back together and the front wheel on, then moved to the back.  Somehow I decided it was time to thoroughly clean and wax the chain.  And while I had that off, maybe I should put the chain guard on.  And once I had the crank off to replace the chain guard,  maybe I should clean and re-pack  the bottom bracket.
Next think I know, it's midnight, and I'm riding around and around the block trying to adjust the brakes and the shifting.    It's all more or less together,  although the chain case has some serious adjustment necessary to get it quieter,  and I had to stop at least twice on my ride in/ back to adjust the brakes a bit,  I feel like the braking has improved 100%,  and I can carry stuff!
Forgive the lousy pictures- Didn't head home until dusk- will try to get some glamour shots on a sunny day. Note the giant "fast rider" panniers I bought second hand.  I don't know that they're the right thing for everyday, but they're capacious (held a load of groceries, a new rear rack for Gilbert,  a lock, rain gear, lunch, and a bunch of tools) and well balanced.


  1. Glad the chaincase doesn't hide the heron's on the chainring. I know you said the chainring wasn't too special - but i still think its pretty cool.

  2. it's beginning to look like a bike shop down there in the TV room :-).

  3. I think the official name is "shipwright's disease."

  4. Busy girl. Very impressive.
    Our whole garage usually looks like a bike repair shop. When it doesn't look like a carpentry shop that is. Ah well, it keeps us out of trouble and off the streets.

  5. Please post some detailed pictures of your rack set up. I am contemplating adding one to my DL-1, and want to know what I am up against.

    I, too, love that you can see the herons beneath your chainguard. Did you cut it out?

  6. Amanda,
    Better pictures of the rack stage of the install can be seen at the Boston retro wheelmen blog.

    The hard part may be finding a suitable rack. I got mine from the Seattle Dutch Bike company, but it was the last one they had. I'd call them and see if they can put in an order for one next time they get an order in..

  7. Cycler,

    Thanks for the photos and information. Funny that you found your rack in Seattle, as that is where I am. I think I have found a rack source in Portland (old flying pigeon stock). In any case, I have checked out the situation on my seat stays and axles, and my fender stays are already on the axles, but there is frightfully little room on the screws holding together the seat stay to the frame near the axle. I may give it a try to put the rack there, but I may need longer bolts, which as you point out, are hard to find.

  8. Sounds like a near perfect day - yard work and bike work!

  9. Cycler,

    Was there a name for the rear rack? I'm frantically looking for one suitable for my DL-1