Fixie Conversion; Kevin’s Plans; 雪だるま

I managed to build my second bicycle wheel in about half the time as the first. It was built with a plain cross-3 pattern, which made it a little easier to lace, but basically I just knew more about what to do.

And then in the course of about an hour, I bought enough parts to transform my carbon fiber Giant bicycle into a Fixie or single speed bicycle. I could always use this wheelset on my main road bicycle, if I wanted to do a conversion of it, for some reason.

I had the bike finished on Tuesday since Kevin was over on Wednesday. I got him a spot for the ride to Vancouver event and I wanted a partner for once. And since Kevin's bicycle is an inefficient mountain bike, unsuitable for long distance riding, I felt he needed a road bicycle. So there I was setting it up on the trainer when he rang the doorbell.

One problem with the ENO hub is that the rear brakes don't really reach with the wheel rotated down, and when rotated up the 25mm tire hits the seat stays. So, I'll either need to get new brakes, change the gear ratio, add a half-link or remove a link and add a half-link. Still, with a bit of vigorous filing I got the pads to mostly reach the rim, but they still brush the tire.

Kevin came by to discuss potential trips this summer. And I got to share my photos of Vietnam and Taiwan.

Kevin sounded inspired about someday building a cabin up in the Bella Coola valley and someone involving the community with outdoor activity and trail building. He wants to have a grass-roots organization based in the area, as well, that got people interested in hiking the area they live in. Also, the local economy, he feels, could benefit from a little eco-tourism and attention from the outside world. Through Google Earth, Kevin showed me the mountain ranges he wants to be by, and going west, he showed me potential kayaking routes. There's hot springs and lots of mountains to look at, but honestly the kayaking would probably not be that interesting from a technical point of view.

Where Kevin and I disagree is this: Kayaking (or cycling, or whatever) is just transportation and not a terribly interesting activity by itself. Really, the only interest he has in kayaking or bicycling are places he can go with them. And so a road bicycle might seem pointless, when a car can be used with less effort instead for travel.

My theory explains how Kevin disregards the often unpleasant mode of journey itself when focused on the destination, or whatever interesting might be seen along the way. Off-trail bush-wacking is his reputation, though luckily he has enough sense to not drag his friends through difficult routes.

Recently about 15 feet of new snow fell in the passes and I-90 was closed because of avalanches over the highway and other snow-clearing. So, after the snow cleared on Saturday, it seemed like a fine opportunity to enjoy some high quality powder. Kevin offered to pick Hitomi and I up. Waking up Hitomi at 7AM was impossible and we negotiated a later departure until 10AM.

I used Kevin's Alpine Touring skis. The boots fit me well. It was about two years since I last skied, but I balanced and climbed uphill just fine. However, downhill was difficult to control. With Hitomi and Stacy on snowshoes, and Kevin on Telemarks, we headed into the old growth forest. Trees everywhere meant not a lot of maneuvering room for a beginner. It was fairly steep and the powder was very deep, which also meant it was difficult to plant my skis. So I ended up in the powder in various twisted positions. Still, I got a couple of turns in there.

Hitomi grew up in "snow country" and has an easy time in snow and enjoys teasing me about my lack of skill. I was a yuki-daruma, or snowman, she said.

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About eliasross

Blogging before the word "blog" was invented.
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One Response to Fixie Conversion; Kevin’s Plans; 雪だるま

  1. buzban says:

    Let's see a picture of that finished wheel! 😉 One day I'm going to get into wheelbuilding… it looks really interesting.

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