Monday, March 28, 2011

Hobbit progress and helmet merkins

I got a little further with the Hobbit this weekend. Hydro EBRs went on really easy. I need a spacer for the headset, but other than that they're ready. As hard a rubber compound as the Michelin Pilot Sporty tires are, they went on super easy. I thought it was going to be like wrestling with a Gazelle tire (or like wrestling with a live gazelle for that matter, although I think I could probably take one in a fight). Flat clubmans look good on the bike, but I still need to chop down the seat.

Front brakes are being a pain in the ass. I haven't worked with this style in years, and can't remember how to install them on the brake plate. If any of my gentle readers out there have fun suggestions, I'm all ears.

Everyone knows I love Treats, and that I never have a disparaging word toward them. But a blight hit their webstore this past week: the helmet hawk.

They sold out in a matter of days.

If you are reading this please, PLEASE, for the love of god, do not attach one of these to your helmet. This is the grommiest of grom things to do. YOU WILL BUM OUT ANYONE WHO RIDES BEHIND YOU AT A RALLY THIS SUMMER. This is worse that strawberry scented 2-stroke oil. This is the merkin of the two-wheel world. If you breakdown on a ride, and are wearing one of these, I will not stop for you. In fact I may kick you as I ride past, and I will most certainly laugh at you.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cuddle Puddle Birthday Ride

This past weekend was the 5th annual Puddle Cutter Anniversary Ride. I've been to four out of the five anniversary rides (including the first Puddle Cutter ride five years ago), and this one was fun as usual.

Since selling the bus, getting mopeds from one city to another has been problematic. It's good to find out that with some disassembly the Ciao fits neatly in the trunk of my car.

We arrived in Portland Saturday morning, and after putting a moped back together, and eating a giant burrito, we headed to Powell park for the meet up.

The ride went along the Clackamas river with lots of water and back roads. As many rides as I've done in, and around, PDX this one was completely new to me. I'm slightly jealous of Portland and how much backwoods-y riding they have that's still only a short jog from the city.

The weather held up for the most part as we dodged the rain storm that loomed over us most of the day and knocked out about 60 miles of riding.

The party later that night was nothing short of classic dumb Cutter fun. Including muddy moped dirt bike jumps in the backyard, and far too much booze. I'm amazed the cops never showed up.

A short trip, about 24 hours in Portland, but that's fine. Hopefully, I'll be back in a few months for a race or two.

Speaking of moped racing, this showed up on the general forum last week. It looks like a terrible game, but I'd still play it.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Procrastination and the importance of deadlines

By habit, I'm a procrastinator. In fact, the only reason that this blog gets updated on Monday mornings is because if I didn't give myself a deadline, it wouldn't get done.

I've been pretty lazy lately when it comes to working on the race bike. Weather has been cold, the garage is drafty, and I've been in cocoon mode for a few months. Spurred on by the arrival of my MLM ST Ripper pipe, early last week I gave myself a requirement; get in the garage on Saturday and work for a solid five hours to see what I can get done.

I skipped on a Fleet fix-it day (which I heard was awesome) to toil away, cleaning parts and figuring out how a Hobbit fits together. I didn't get as far as I wanted to, but now, at least I can see the bike taking shape, and that's always exciting.

I need to figure out when my next free weekend is and schedule myself a block of time to work on bikes because it felt super productive.

Monday, March 7, 2011


This weekend was the 9th Emerald City Comicon. This was the fourth one I've been to, and probably my favorite so far. It was expanded to three days this year, but I only made it to Friday and Saturday. Not much was scheduled for Sunday, and by Saturday afternoon I had spent all of my budgeted con money.

Friday, I got off work early and lined up for doors.

Once in, I made a bee-line to the media guest area to get in another line for Wil Wheaton. Lines at comicon and PAX last year were far too long to wait in to meet Wheaton, but this year getting there early paid off as I was fourth in line for Wil.

Dude was super friendly, and excited to be there. He took a couple of minutes to talk to me and we even got an unfortunately blurry picture together. He's a genuine guy, and as nerd-famous as he is, he's really just another fanboy like the rest of us.

His autograph is full of awesome, too.

The other person I really wanted to me was Scott Kurtz of webcomic PVP. He started the whole webcomic thing back in the late 90s and has the longest running webcomic around. Yet again, a really genuine and nice person. He even remembered my name at a panel the next day. I thought that was classy.

Saturday I got to shake hands with Jeff Lemire, the writer/artist on Sweet Tooth, which is probably my favorite comic out today. Its about a little boy with antlers living in a post-apoc America. Fantastic stuff. He offered to do a Sweet Tooth sketch for me which was really rad.

Panels were a mixed bag this year. My only complaint about ECCC is that it's a little light on panels compared to something like PAX. Wil Wheaton's Awesome Hour was entertaining as usual. He told some great stories and I filmed the strangely awkward Q&A portion of the show (which I'll post up once I figure out how to get a video off of my Ipod Touch).

I popped into the Boondock Saints panel for a couple of minutes, but it wasn't very interesting. I liked the first movie, but I'm not a big enough fan to sit through a whole panel.

The Vertigo Comics panel was pretty good, although they seemed to only cover the Vertigo titles that I don't read. Some interesting stuff on the way this year though.

The webcomics panel was one of my favorites. Scott Kurtz and crew sat up on stage in suits, drinking the whole time, and cracking jokes. Really funny stuff.

The William Shatner panel was the biggest draw for the weekend. The line to get in was moving quickly so I popped in for a minute, but the dude was just rambling on about Mr Tambourine Man and Ben Folds, and it really wasn't my cup of tea. The Marvel Comics panel after that wasn't much better.

Nerdprov later on that afternoon was pretty cool. Its exactly what it sounds like. I really don't need to describe it much beyond that. Pirates vs. ninjas, Inception in three minutes, and a bad first date as a D&D game.

Last hurrah for me was the Rainn Wilson panel. That was almost as packed as the Shatner thing. He was there promoting his new indie film, "Super" about a guy who decides to become a superhero after his girlfriend leaves him. In the middle of the panel, local costumed crime fighter Phoenix Jones shows up. Rainn was super excited as he had been trying to get in contact with Jones for a couple of days. Turns out its tough to get a hold of superheroes. Who would have thought?

A great time. Now I just have to wait another six months for PAX.