Actually, you’re not a bike expert

This post is about something few people hear but many need to. You are not an expert on bikes. You aren’t. No matter what you’ve convinced yourself of, you’re not. You make YouTube videos, you comment in forums, you go on lots of rides. Still, you really don’t know a lot about bikes. Everyone in … Read more

Enerpac for less

Everyone would love to own a full set of Enerpac hydraulic tools. For any mortal, that’s not going to happen. I’m lucky. I have an Enerpac A258 bech press, RC1010 cyclinder, and P392 2-speed hand pump. I’ve wanted to build on this for years but didn’t need or want expensive parts for cheap tasks. Everyone … Read more

The McNamara Fallacy and bikes

Making the rounds this last week was a photo of a 4.5kg “mountain bicycle”. It can’t possibly function, but I’m sure few realize that. Last week someone I know was bragging to me about how amazingly light their bike was (although, they get a pass, being pro AF). I’ve been planning to get around to … Read more

I am a critic

I am a critic. The clip below is from the Screen Junkies Honest Trailers and it got me thinking this afternoon. After a savage “Everything Wrong With:” from CinemaSins, and back and forth discussions with critics at ComicCon; Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts joined the fun with the Screen Junkies crew to help make this critique of his … Read more

Astro on Eclipse Day

I finally mounted the new Meade LX600 telescope to the newly fabricated pedestal in our observatory at work. This, just as the semester is starting and on the day of a major eclipse in North America. It looks so nice. It’s another great upgrade for the observatory. I now have just one last scope to isolate. … Read more

$vanlife

I’m really excited about this. So is Windy. I’ve been lamenting not having a van for a while. When I was younger, I had a Chevy G20 van (1989?). It’s what I moved away from the Boston Area in. Eventually landing in the bay area after a year in Colorado. It was awesome. After a … Read more

Plastic

I love metal. It’s solid, it can be cut precisely, it can be welded together. Different metals are good at different things. Building steel bikes is especially nice. You can take a bike right from the welding table, toss some wheels on it and go. Like they say, “Steel is real….easy” If we are going … Read more

Why we don’t draw on paper

Today, we don’t design on paper…  I was recently reminded of this topic by a message board thread. A kid wanted advice advice on drawing a frame. Countless people chimed in giving horrible advice. I often find that the less someone knows the more they will pass off their opinion as truth, while lacking any … Read more

Why wait?

Waiting around for wireless data to get to my computer is frustrating. We’re all impatient. We want all the data, now! These days we consume data at rates unimaginable just a few years ago. Video downloads, video uploads, gigabyte data hosts, it’s a massive load. It’s one thing if you are using technology properly and … Read more

Fancy Footwork

Last winter, I bought some modern snowboard gear. New board, bindings, and boots. My old stuff was bordering on antique, 1997 era stuff. Ronen (my friend) wanted to help me enter the modern era and I took him up on that. We got some nice prices on some stuff that was good enough and I was … Read more

The National Air and Space Museum

In August this year, I was lucky enough to take a break from work and meet up with my father (he came up from Florida) for a week in Washington, DC. I chose that spot as it was nice to not go to Southern Florida again to spend time with my dad but also to spend … Read more

Monsta!

I like to play rough with my bikes. That’s what I have them for. I want to smash around and have a good time. Whatever it takes got get my thrill. That’s my #1 priority on the bike. I also like to take care of my bikes and have them set up well. This often … Read more

TJ’s Library

A couple of weeks back I went on a trip to Washington, DC. I took a ton of photos. I’ll make an attempt to put some up in the next few posts. This post is about the library. Thomas Jefferson’s library and what became the Library of Congress. This place is totally insane. From Gutenberg … Read more

Blind Drivers and the Spike

I recently came across an interesting situation with pedals and I figured that this would be a good opportunity to look into some fun topics: blind bearing extraction, slide hammers, and strange bearing sizes. I have a set of Spank Spike pedals. I don’t use them regularly but will on flow trail or jump park days. They are … Read more

Hammer Time!

One of the most important tool in a mechanics toolbox is the hammer. Yes, the hammer. Such disrespect it’s seen in its time that it rarely get’s mentioned. Today, I am sharing three important hammers in my arsenal that make a real difference to me. Two of them have been on my bench almost every … Read more

Hide-a-key

It had happened again. I had locked myself out of my car again at the start of a ride. This time over at China Camp. It happens to all folks. It sucks. What made this day special was that I had everything I needed to ride but my CamelBack and helmet were both locked inside the car. Since … Read more

Hole punch

Hole punches need to be in your tool box. So often problems with number plates and a host of other race day issues can be elegantly solved with even a cheap hole punch. I can’t count how many times I’ve wished to have one in my hand at just the right moment. A cheap punch … Read more

JIS Cross Head Screws and Drivers

JIS – Japanese Industrial Standard I work on a lot of Japanese machines. Motorcycles, bicycle parts, cars, and electronics. A lot of people do the same. Here in the United States, many mechanics and technicians use the incorrect tools and cause issue to the fasteners of these machines. It’s a shame. Japanese produced goods use … Read more

Devil dog down!

Poor Maggie. She’s been through a war. Last night the dogs and I were out for a walk. Maggie tends to bring up the rear because she is so slow and old. She’s often about a third of a block behind Annie and I. At around 7:30, she got stuck under the wheel of a … Read more

Bad engineering

Years ago, at an early Maker Faire in San Mateo, I was lucky enough to see and touch an early test mule and prototype for what is now the Lit Motors C1 vehicle. It was so cool. It had gyros and batteries and computers and sensors. It balanced on it’s own and corrected itself when … Read more

Video killed the radio star

“Pictures came and broke your heart.” “Pictures came and broke your heart.” Isn’t that nice…and true. Looking at photos and video of ourselves riding can break our heart. The “sick whip” turns out to be a lame wiggle. The huge booter jump more of a hop. This combined with the difficulty of capturing just how … Read more

Zippers

I have two Camelbak Maximum Gear H.A.W.G. (1100/100 cu in, older version) bags. One of them is the bag that I use bike commuting and otherwise taking to work and back. The hydration bladder is removed and that pocket is used for magazines, netbooks, or paperwork. The other is my large mountain bike bag for … Read more

Remanufacturing

I’m a fan of the WTB line of saddles. The company is local to me and they’ve been in the game since 1982. Legit. My current favorite is the Silverado. The long nose and thin line give me what I need on the trail. I can sit in comfort, hold fast, and slide forward on … Read more

Light bright

I just got a Nightrider Lumina Micro 250. It’s an amazing little light. The purpose of this little lamp is to use it head mounted for night riding. I have a Nightrider Pro 1800 Race for my handlebars. I just need a crawler and a scouter. The crawler is a very low powered light that … Read more

Herb Neumann

On Sunday, November 9th 2014, Herb Neumann died. It was cancer that took him down. He was one of the toughest guys there was but just one thing was tougher. I never met Herb in person. Over the years I learned a lot about him. He was a legend in the New Jersey/NYC area. He … Read more

Astro boy

My day job puts me in the Physics & Astronomy Department at San Francisco State University. I’m primarily the department machinist and engineer. I teach a class sometimes which is nice, too. Pretty much, I help make sure our instruction and research folk are happy and have great tools. It’s a great gig. I have a machine … Read more

Limelight

On my way to work this morning I passed a television or movie film crew on 18th Street near Valencia Street in the Mission District of San Francisco. They were busy setting up so I didn’t get a chance to talk to anyone about what they were specifically filming. Of course, I had to get … Read more

Reverse engineering curves – The Sagitta

Here’s something fun and useful. I love when I get to get all math-y… A long time ago (2006), I put a blurb up on my wiki. It was a re-post from long ago that I had posted onto a skateboarding message board, probably back in 1998 or so. My web site, wiki, and now … Read more

Hipster pants…or something like them.

I’ve got a real problem with hipsters. They completely lack authenticity but they are also compelled to blaze this into everyone’s faces and with such arrogance hidden beneath faux irony. Everything they do seems to be for show and they suck the life out of anything that was once cool. Then, when the corpse of the … Read more