Thursday, June 29, 2017

Get the lead in

A little lead solder and a bit of luck saved me five hundred bucks. About three weeks ago my 2011 vintage Power Tap hub started to freak out following a routine battery change. After fiddling​ around with everything I could think of, I was ready to purchase a new one, but decided to give it one extra new set of batteries to check. As I did, I noticed that there was a small wire that had come loose from the battery unit.

Thanks to my sister, I had a handy soldering iron and some electrical wire and made the repair this evening. The hub even works like it should now.

While I admit that there is often something obnoxious about my insistence on making things my own way, it is really satisfying to use what I've fixed or made in my own.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Snack vortex

I picked off a whole nest of tent caterpillar babies with the idea of giving the fish an all-natural snack.  As it turns out, guppy mouths are even smaller than baby tent caterpillars, so the remaining hundred or so got to hang out for a couple of days.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

One reason to ride in the evening

In some ways, I really don't like weekends​. I spend so much time during the working week thinking about what I will do with my free time, that when I finally have a whole two days to myself, I kind of freak out. I can't decide which of the million awesome things I will do next and it is painful to sort through. Mostly I just flit between several options unsuccessfully, and then kick myself for indecision and incomplete projects all Sunday night.

Today was just such a day. I had in my head that I was going to do a bike race, but then realized that I had spent all Saturday cleaning out the basement, and had not spent any time with Jennifer. I chose the latter, but was so annoyed that I couldn't do both, that I in turn annoyed the shit out of Jennifer.  Neither of us enjoyed the day.


I finally dragged myself down to the Navy Yard for a bike workout, and was ultimately rewarded with this sunset. A nice way to remind myself that every day comes to a close, and every morning is a new chance to start it over.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017


Steve Tilford, the first real, honest to god, bike racer dude I ever met, died last night in a car crash in Colorado. I remember seeing him hanging out on the couches in the back of Michael's Cyclery, holding court about some bike race deed or other with the guys. He raced for a number of years for Michael in the 80s, and knew my dad well from the scene at the shop. There was always a sort of manic energy about him, like sitting still was a waste of his time. He was a compelling character in the way that many such driven people are, like a little crackle of electricity arcing through the room as he ambled in. There was a newspaper article in the back break area of the shop with a picture of Steve, arm in a sling spinning along on his rollers. The headline said, "Steve Tilford Wants to Race His Bike Badly." Underneath, someone had written And He Does in neat block print.

The last time I saw Steve, he was fuming after some jerk kid from United Health Care chopped his line in a corner of the nighttime crit in the Sands Casino Hotel parking lot at Interbike in 2009. He was talking with my dad, and was obviously still coming down off of an adrenaline rush from what would have been his thousandth crash in a race. My dad always insisted that Steve was likely immortal, because scar tissue doesn't die.

Even if you've never heard of the guy, I'd recommend reading this blog post, which paints a compelling picture of a fairly crazy dude. I'm sure you've seen shades of this guy in the people we know around Philly or in your scene, whatever it is.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Thank God the montage is over

While there is still a little extra bump on my collarbone, things look a lot better than this now. I can even sort of do pushups.