Thursday, January 31, 2013

Does This Ring A Bell?

This is an FDR-era (probably) Underwood typewriter that belonged to my grandfather who died in 1989. Some time later, this typewriter, which had probably been unused for decades, migrated from his attic to my attic - where it probably would have been unused for decades more if I didn't accidentally come across the box it was in.    

Now I like thinking about my grandfather but this has no sentimental value to me because, well, I have no memory at all of ever seeing him using it. It also has no real monetary value either: if it was in excellent condition - which it isn't - it would probably fetch about $50 on eBay.  It also has no decorative value since my wife has a smaller and more attractive old typewriter (which also performed a generational attic migration) that is fulfilling that purpose in our tastefully decorated guest bedroom. 

By the way, I know this is a biking blog but there is a connection coming. Stay with me.

This Underwood, with no real value, was simply in my attic instead of his because it didn't have anywhere else to go. I decided that I would be able to honor my grandfather's memory by taking the typewriter apart. He liked working with his hands and did a fair amount of MacGyvering - though he probably didn't call it that - so I thought he would have appreciated the exercise.

I have to tell you: if you ever have the chance you should take an old typewriter apart. It is Nerd-tastic. Geekalicious. Or some made-up word a character from The Big Bang Theory might use. 

I think about the writing people do now, only after searching for Wi-Fi and a power outlet and waiting for their machine to 'boot up.' To boot this up, you'd put one single piece of paper in it, make sure it was straight, and feed it through by turning a small knob. The tentative taps I make now on my MacBook Pro - I still feel like I may break the thing - would never have been good enough on the Underwood, with every word powered by the passion of the writer. 

To send Tweets back then, one would write on a slip of paper and throw it out the window. But you couldn't type a Tweet or anything else too fast, otherwise the keys would jam together. A fun bit of trivia here: the reason we have that ridiculous keyboard on our computers with the alphabet all jumbled up in the 'QWERTY' fashion? It was to separate commonly used letters; thus making it harder for the keys to jam together. That isn't a problem anymore but we still have QWERTY today. Tradition, I guess. 

I know this is a biking blog: stay with me. 

The carriage on the typewriter (which would move the paper from right to left) didn't advance properly when I hit the mostly sticky keys. But eventually I found a key that worked enough for the carriage to move…and when it reached the end I heard a 'ding' which would serve as a warning to the writer that they had reached the end of the page and would have to push the carriage back to the right and start on the next line. 

Back then writing was much noisier than it is now. But then again, one would never see a pop-up ad or an irritating, quasi-helpful paper clip appear, so there's that.

I dug deep inside the typewriter and found the small brass bell bolted to the left side and a tiny hammer that would hit it and provide that 'ding.' Here I am holding the bell so you can actually see it.

That 'ding' sound, which few people remember or will ever know, was a satisfying sound. So much so, that I decided that the bell needed to ding again. 

So one morning, while sipping coffee from my Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op mug, I looked in the 304 and pulled out my bells & whistles drawer. Yes, I really have one. 

One of the bells in there was broken but it was in there anyway: it had broken off of the A-bike (which is still recovering from the flat tire it obtained during Folding Bike Week 2011) and wasn't compatible with any other bike. I broke it again so I was left with a plastic base that had the little spring-loaded hammer on it.

I then dug around another drawer that had bits from reflectors in it and found a piece that gave me what I needed.

Then it was a matter of spending about $0.74 at the Rowayton hardware store on a brass bolt and a few nuts - a much better value than the dollar I spent earlier on the reusable Starbucks cup - and in moments I had this.

This…is what I call a bike bell. I know I have a few of them in the bells & whistles drawer, but I had yet to put one on the new single speed, and since that bike was put together with stuff that was mostly lying around the shop, it seemed only fitting that it carry a bell that has an origin story. And because it is a bell that traveled more than sixty years in my grandfather's old typewriter before showing up on my handlebars, it is the coolest bell ever. And when some car dares to cross the margins/the white stripes on the side of the road or I need to make my presence known, I will make the bell go 'ding' and I will think of my grandfather. 

As this was very easy to make, I highly recommend that any cyclist who has access to an old typewriter make one on your own. A better fate than rotting in an attic.

As for the rest of the typewriter, I took two keys that I carefully bent and a random piece of steel from within and made a business card holder. In my defense I did not use the keys that would have made my initials because I didn't know what I was making until I was done making it. 

I took the rest of the Underwood into the welding room and after cleaning the dust off the parts and firing up my Lincoln Electric MIG welder, I made this, which serves no practical purpose whatsoever.  I decided to name it 'No Words' which is much better than the original name I had for it: 'Transformers 4: Revenge of Michael Bay's Conscience.'

Now I know this has also has nothing whatsoever to do with biking, but there's a connection coming: I entered 'No Words' into the Rowayton Art Center's juried exhibition, 'Expressions' on Monday. Yesterday I learned it was accepted in the show which has its opening reception this Sunday from 4:00 to 6:00pm. It also won 1st place in the sculpture category. 

So if you are free and can ride to Rowayton this Sunday afternoon - either from home or the Rowayton railway station - please do as I'd love to meet you and give a DIYBIKING.COM business card. There's your connection to biking. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding. 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stop - And Drink the Coffee

So when I was using the single speed I just built on its maiden voyage in the Springdale section of Stamford, the chain fell off. When I stopped to put the chain back on, I looked over to my right and noticed a filthy $1 bill lying on the street.

I wish that happened every time the chain fell off that day: I'd have had another $13 (I since replaced the irksome chain with a better one).

Picking up that dollar reminded me of the big story a few weeks back: Starbucks had a new cup. A white one. Plastic. Reusable. And it cost one dollar. 

Unless I am stocking up on hurricane supplies, I tend not to go to Starbucks for any reason, much less to drink coffee. I prefer to grind my beans at home and fling four dollars out the kitchen window. 

But now, I had a reason to return: friends of DIYBIKING.COM will recall Bike to Work Week 2011 when I tested a number of coffee cup lids, including one from Starbucks. Now Starbucks has its new reusable cup, and from what I saw on the news (yes, this was covered 'on the news') the lid looked different from that of the one I had tested. 

Even though I don't drink Starbucks, I know some of you do, so to my most loyal readers who may be wondering if it is worth spending $1 on a reusable cup, I offer this.

It is what it looks like: as you can see I have the coffee cup holder on the handlebars of the DiamondSchwinn/hurricane aftermath bike, which is to this blog what Buster is to the Mythbusters. Once again, I have a foam board collar and some white sheets of paper so I could evaluate how the cup would perform in a real-life setting: namely, biking to work or to a friend's house. 

And believe me: lids matter. Take a look at the picture below and see the difference among three to-go cups:

From right to left: You've got your common Solo Traveler lid. Easy to sip but the uncovered opening allows coffee to spurt skywards when hitting a bump in pavement, but there's a tiny little hole in the crescent so any coffee spilled onto the lid drips back into the cup.

The middle cup is the Solo Traveler Plus - the Rolls Royce of disposable coffee cup lids. I desperately want retailers and coffee shops to switch to this one: it has a tiny lever that allows you to open and close the opening at will, which makes for a very clean commute.

The cup on the far left is the reusable Starbucks cup. Unlike the other two, it is reusable but the lid has no moving parts, so I was immediately wary of the opening. Additionally, it didn't even have the onboard drain hole of the Solo Traveler, so I was pretty sure this wasn't going to be a spotless coffee run. 

Now after the messy and scalding fiasco with the last Starbucks test, I decided not to actually use Starbucks coffee. Don't go all did-Beyonce-lip-sync-the-national-anthem? on me: the test is all about the cup, which I already had, and in my home there is usually a coffee pot with anywhere from zero to six cups of dark nectar inside. The afternoon of the test,  there was almost two cup's worth of cold coffee in there, and I thought it would be a good stand-in for Starbucks.

Another difference this time was the climate:  Bike to Work Week takes place in May, which is a month created for cycling outdoors. This is January - and when the temperature is in the teens or below, you want to put something on your face that isn't sunscreen.

Since normal bike glasses fog up when wearing the neoprene face mask, I use Lindsay Vonn-inspired ski googles. I admit it does look rather peculiar (I noticed a pedestrian at the corner of Broad and Bedford taking a picture of me) but the mask is so comfortable I often forget I'm wearing it. However, if you ever dress like this and have to run an errand at the bank, make sure you take it off before you go inside.

Notice my GoPro HD Hero 2 camera mounted to record the action. I know, I know: the web is full of Red Bull-guzzling guys who are taping themselves base jumping, sky diving and going down dangerous rapids. I, on the other hand, cover spilling coffee.

So I set off, went one mile, and had predictable results.

It didn't go well. If you are unlucky enough to have one of these Starbucks travel cups, try not to travel anywhere with them. And if you do, take a cordless drill and add a tiny hole to the center of the lid so the spilled coffee can drain back into the cup as oppose to creating an on-board Petri dish like you can see in the photo.

Later, I opened the GoPro video. Some coffee landed on the lens 3/4 through the journey, but other than that it came out beautifully. Unfortunately, neither YouTube nor Blogger can stand to be around it, so you'll have to take my word for it until I sort out what went wrong and can post it here. 

It was an unsuccessful multimedia presentation, so later I took the recumbent to Lorca, a new coffee shop on Bedford Street in Stamford.

I ordered a coffee and Churros; a delicious treat that is probably in the donut family. And I stayed in Lorca to enjoy it.

I sipped the coffee and thought a while. I also ate the churros and thought some more. I then realized something, and you can read this next paragraph with Willie Robertson intonation as he concludes an episode of 'Duck Dynasty.':

"You know, a lot of times people are in a big rush, and often they feel like they need coffee in order to get where they are going even faster. But there's more important things than taking your favorite drink when you're on the go or capturing the experience in high definition. Sitting still with friends and family, savoring ever sip of your time with them, and really enjoying being where you are matter a whole lot more. And the best reusable cup is a ceramic mug from your local coffee shop."

Now read this next line with my intonation: Thanks for reading and thanks for riding.

Sunday, January 20, 2013


I space apart my trips to the dump just so I can peek into the Metal Only Bin more frequently. One day I came home with something even though it looked partially digested.

Most of the time I don't see the reasoning why some bikes are thrown away. Most.

I have no idea what happened to this, but I hope nobody was sitting on it when it occurred. My best guess was somebody was backing out of their driveway sending a Tweet about backing out of their driveway when…CRUNNNNNNNNNCCCCCCH!

I'm not sure what the driver Tweeted next. But I can guess. 

Now I know I had no possible way of nursing this back to any sort of health: I was just beginning to get desperate in my quest for steel frames. You remember that thing I made that took five bike frames? Well, it took months to find that many frames but only a day to put it together. I have a true supply problem in my shop so if you are in possession of an old adult bike you want to get rid of and see featured on this blog - the older and dustier the better - please send me a note at connecticutmike (at) 

I'm smart enough - just enough - to understand that not everyone sees old bikes the way that I do. But seriously, am I the only one who sees the not just the steel, but the other bits on this bike that are still salvageable? For instance, the pedals - but not the cranks - could be saved.

Also, the kickstand did work, but it the only reason it worked was that it had been snapped in half. Couldn't save it, unfortunately. But the bottle cage and wheel reflectors? Keepsies. 

Something else that's pretty great about this bike? The rear Serfas Blinky still worked. I kid you not. This bike isn't going anywhere, but I'd feel safer sitting on it at night than most of the bikes I see tooling around Stamford after dark. 

Once I wrestled the front wheel off the rest of the...pile...I noticed to my dismay it was still filled with air to the point of bursting. Given the shape of the tire, I carefully let all of the air out as I didn't want another pre-dawn explosion shattering the silence once again.

I used my standard bike tools to remove parts from the frame - and broke out the non-standard tools relatively quickly. A hacksaw blade - stupidly painted yellow - shed flecks of sunshine everywhere.

I ended up cutting the bike so frequently to get the steel I wanted (the entire rear triangle was so warped it had to be thrown out) I made an unbelievable mess of the shop floor. Not trusting that the Roomba would survive - or even begin to pick up - all the metal filings, I took an earth magnet and a thin piece of plastic and slid it over several feet of the shop. Afterwards, I learned my camera takes close ups fairly well.  

Finally finished, I ended up with a fork, a top tube, seat tube and down tube. Plus all the stuff pictured below. It was worth the messy floor.  I still need more to weld with, so do let me know if you come across a bike you don't want that you think I do. Also: make sure you look where you are going before backing up your car (or driving it forward, for that matter). Thanks for reading and thanks for riding.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Unleash the Hipster Within: Build a Singlespeed

This is a Pierce Arrow bicycle from 1897. These pictures were taken at Franklin Pierce University at its 50th anniversary celebration this past fall. 
The bicycle is so significant the university (which was a 'college' for many years) named its school newspaper after it. Or something.

Even though the bike is 115 years old, it is quite striking that a particular piece of technology has stuck with bikes to the present day with stubborn-stain-on-clothing tenacity: the single speed. Common with small children's bikes that have pictures of superheroes on them and some folding bikes (like South Norwalk), the 8-track player of the adult bike world has somehow moved into the 21st century with a big following. As someone who visits Brooklyn from time to time and has biked in both Portlands, I see that the single speed bicycle is often used by hipsters - which I define as people who put way too much effort to look like they put no effort at all into how they dress. 

I never understood hipsters, nor have I understood why they seem to favor single speed bikes. We moved beyond the single speed as a people. Speeds are good. Speeds are right. Speeds work. Why deny ourselves the ability to go faster on the straights or climb hills without hearing dead relatives beckon?

I'll tell you why: they're pretty easy to make…if you know what you are doing. 

Yesterday, I had a day off from the Day Job and a gloriously extended period of time in the workshop. I needed to tune up my homemade mountain bike for an upcoming trip but this week I received an e-mail from Danny's Cycles indicating a tuning sale. I normally do that myself (starting with the recumbent as a way to avoid the inevitable laughter from bike shop mechanics when I'd bring it in) but with time in the workshop at a premium, I thought it was well worth spending $40 to drop off the bike in capable hands so I could do something more…interesting.

I decided to build a bike in one day. I don't recommend this. Building a bike is fun and one - particularly a novice like myself - should take as much time as possible to savor the experience and make sure you don't forget to install anything. 

I actually had made the decision to build a bike yesterday all week long as I slowly found myself gathering several bits from around the shop to make it happen: the bottom bracket came from the Bike Friday when I put on the new chainrings and, more importantly, met Stacey. The frame was from the first mountain bike I made that had been hanging - completely stripped - on the wall of the man-cave portion of the shop for nearly a year. The wheels were the road tires I used on the mountain bike when I went to Manhattan to test out the new Metro North bike racks. The front fork was from the scrapped bike I picked up at Smart Cycles in Norwalk when I was putting more gears on the recumbent. The disc brakes were from the original mountain bike as well: even though they performed quite badly during my fantastic trip to Vermont's Kingdom Trails, I reasoned that on a single speed bike that would be almost completely used on the flat roads in Stamford's South End, they'd be alright. Everything else I needed was scattered around the shop - save for this.

This is from Nashbar; a single speed conversion kit. It comes with whatever spacers you need to replace your cassette with one cog. It also came with a 'tension adjuster' which looked suspiciously like a derailleur. I didn't trust it - and later I realized my mistrust was valid - and that there is a class of bicycle products I wouldn't endorse at gunpoint. 

I set to work with the stuff I knew how to do: I pounded in a headset with a rubber mallet (I know, I know…) and installed the fork. This noisy work I had to do in a 12-minute window of time as my wife was upstairs in her home office on a brief break between conference calls. Aside from the frequent dropping of tools - and later, bits of chain - that was the loudest it ever got in the shop that day. 

A short stem (which gives most bikes really twitchy handling) was put in too but I might change it later. This was followed by an old carbon fiber Specialized handlebar I got from the Mountain Bike Jedi Master. Grips and brake levers I had in plastic tubs labeled as such, and the former slid on easily thanks to a little hand sanitizer used as lube on the bars (I probably should Google 'the effect of alcohol on the strength of carbon fiber' when I get a chance).

Then it was time to install brakes. It came a lot easier this time. There were still just as many tedious adjustments to make to ensure the discs didn't rub on the pads, but that was one area I was not going to rush: Don't listen to Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character from Quicksilver II (or whatever that movie is called): brakes are important and bikes need to stop the moment you want them to. 

Wait; that's a picture of the peanut butter jelly waffle sandwich I made before I installed the brakes. I guess I don't have a picture of the brakes. Well, you know what those look like anyway so I'll just move on. 

Now properly fueled, I had an easy time making the brake cables the right length with some shears from Park Tool. Here's another unpaid endorsement: they really work, and if you like your cables to flow easily in the housing, use them: The cable housing on the left was cut with the Leading Detergent and the cable housing on the right was cut with…well, you understand what I'm talking about. 

Now I had to remove the cassette and install the single gear. Even though I could feel trendy vintage clothing and fashionable sunglasses creeping up to me as I was doing so, this is a lot easier to do than you think: You need a special nut to unscrew the metal ring that holds the cassette in place (more on that in another post) and use your other hand to hold the Chain Whip tool- which is used to keep the cassette in place. It's a fairly simple thing: mine has a long blue handle and a little piece of chain used to hold the cog. Be careful how you store that tool, by the way: you don't want an innocent female friend to be in your shop one day and look at you suspiciously when seeing a drawer with 'chain whip' written on the outside. She might think you are into things you aren't really into. Like building a single speed bike.

After putting the crankset in place (at 44 teeth it is a bit big for a single speed, but I thought it would work okay) I worked on installing the chain. I don't know if the hipster within was resisting the build or not, but this took a ridiculous amount of time for several reasons. One of those reasons was entirely my fault: Even though I was committed to using what was lying around the shop, I was using the wrong kind of frame to build a single speed: The dropout on the left is what most modern bikes come with: the wheel goes in one specific spot and a derailleur hanger goes underneath. Older bikes have dropouts that allow you to move the wheel slightly to adjust the chain tension. Take a guess which dropout my frame has?

I decided I'd probably have to use the tension adjuster that came with the kit I bought from Nashbar, but the results were a disaster. No matter how I adjusted the thing, the chain sounded unbelievably, nauseatingly loud as it clattered through. I gave it my best McKayla Maroney-inspired smirk: If part of the reasoning for wanting a single speed had to do with reduced noise, that clearly wasn't happening with this. 

To make matters worse, the single speed chain in my possession came with a link that wouldn't even fit through the tiny opening near the idler gear.

I ended up finding another chain, and I spent a better part of the afternoon trying different sized cogs to see if I could get the chain to connect with just enough tension so I wouldn't need the silly tension adjuster. Every time I tried it, I'd get a look on my face like Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future when he tried to plug the clock tower cable in and found it was just short of connecting. 

I ended up solving the problem by changing the length of the chain: I used a cog with just a few more teeth in it (which may mitigate the problem of the big chainring by making the bike a bit easier to pedal) that wasn't even in the Nashbar single speed kit. So this is just one of the reasons I keep such things.

Finally, after approximately 31,000 attempts, I got the chain to join. While the bike was still on the stand, I pedaled it. It obviously wasn't a hill climbing gear, but it did move fairly easily. 

Sadly, by this time, the rain we were promised yesterday began falling, so I was unable to take it outside. However, I borrowed the seat and the seat post from the Dahon Matrix and gave it a ride from the water heater to the clothes dryer and back again. It doesn't start rapidly, but it did move easily, roll silently, and stop quickly. Not only that, but with all of the extra gears, cables and other bits, the bike looks - and this next word is the sum total of the advanced English classes I had in high school: nice.

So, there you have it. I am stopping short of saying the hipsters are on to something with their obsession with single speed bikes, but if you live on level ground, have the proper kind of frame and the proper frame of mind, you too can build a single speed bike - for no other reason but to enjoy a day in your shop. Also, I suppose if you live in a walk-up and have to carry a bike upstairs frequently, the weight loss is probably helpful.  I'll see how this bike performs in the real world another day, but for now thanks for reading and thanks for riding.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Annapolis: There's More To It Than This

A two-week delay between posts only means one thing: Christmas vacation and New Years. Lots of time with family and then a two-day trip to Washington, D.C. to try to put a Folding Bike User's Bill of RIghts into the then-pending fiscal cliff package.

Or, perhaps, I went to D.C. to steer clear of Capitol Hill silliness and visit bike shops. The outstanding Bicycle Space happened to be open and was having a sale, so I left the shop with a lighter wallet and a heavy bag.

That bag weighed nothing compared to the massive canvas one that my Dahon was packed in. Even though my wife and I had very little time in D.C. I like bringing a bike with me even when I'm not sure when I'd use it. Sadly, the bike stayed hidden in its bag at our room in the Dupont Circle Hotel the whole time we were there (when checking in, the staff must have thought we were staying a month).  

But our schedule didn't allow for a ride. After a walking tour of D.C. and visiting Bicycle Space and other open shops (that my wife likes), we went dancing at Glen Echo Park that evening. By morning, even though the first day of 2013 began with fairly mild temperatures and deserted, if not post-zombie apocalypse roads, there was not to be any biking in D.C.

But on the way back to Stamford, my wife thought it would be nice to stop at Annapolis, Maryland. This was great in that it meant the Dahon would see the outside of its bag for the first time since I packed it in, but I wasn't able to learn anything about the city before a brief, <1 hour ride there.

So if there are parents out there who have helped his or her child with a science fair project the morning it is due or bluffed their way through a book report in grade school, you'll have some idea of what kind of post this is. Okay, so, uh…the first thing someone from the Northeast has to do upon arriving in Annapolis is perform a Crab Chip recon mission. You see, Old Bay seasoned potato chips - particularly the excellent "The Crab Chip" bags from Utz - are almost impossible to find in New England. Because a shocking number of shops in downtown Annapolis were open on New Year's Day (thank you, small business owners) I was able to engage in one of my most successful Potato Chip Gathering missions yet.

There's also good coffee to be had at the nearby City Dock Coffee. I bought a pound of beans to take home.

With the six-month supply of salty snacks and a 10-day supply of coffee packed away, I pedaled about, starting at the docks…which are very well known for being near the water. 

A short distance away, on what was probably one of the outside walls of the famous Naval Academy on the corner of King George Street, I saw a beautifully painted mural - and I did not lean the bike against it when I took this photo.

While pedaling towards the U.S. Naval Academy Bridge, I passed a group of cyclists heading in the opposite direction. That was a good sign, I thought. Upon arriving at the  bridge, I noticed a wide bike lane…which was another good sign. 

It was a steep climb to the top but a fun ride down the bottom and a nice view in between.

The terrain ahead looked like rolling hills but I again saw more cyclists. There was also a great deal of signage reminding people that bikes were around, and even one that shows that it is either okay for cyclists to run down pedestrians or that people on foot sometimes drag cyclists across roads by their front wheels.

I looped under the bridge to see Jonas Green Park - which offers a fishing pier that no one was using that morning and a kayak launch a paddle boarder was using - before heading up to the World War II memorial, which offered another view of the river and of Annapolis. Now closing in on lunchtime - and the moment I was supposed to meet my wife - I sped down the hill and climbed the bridge once again. 

About halfway up, I found a small Christmas wreath on the side of the road - one that had apparently fallen from the radiator of a car at some point. Reasoning that it was both litter and that it would look good on the handlebars of the Matrix, I picked it up and was in the process of attaching it when a guy on a road bike - with a jersey that read 'Bike Doctor' -  asked if I needed help. I thanked him and said I was fine, and he promptly resumed climbing the hill. Who was this mysterious and helpful person? Was he with the group I had seen earlier? Both were good questions this trip wouldn't answer. 

Pedaling back into town, I ended up near an entry point of the Poplar Trail…a trail that is…friendly to cyclists and pedestrians. From what I learned on the state's web site, it is a short trail (about 2,400 feet long) but serves an important function as it provides access to two elementary schools. A safe way for kids to ride to school and hopefully dodge the child obesity epidemic. Are you listening, America?

Finally, it was time to end the ride. At eight miles, it was barely a warm up, but at least I got to start 2013 with a fun ride in an interesting place.

While eating lunch at Buddy's Crabs & Ribs, I was again reminded that there was a lot more to Annapolis than I had seen, and I'm not just talking about the good food. I looked outside the window where we were dining and saw another big group of cyclists go by. 

When I went on a 20-mile ride on New Year's Day in Fairfield County a year ago, I saw no one on a bike. Annapolis, even though I was unable to find a bike shop and didn't have the time to look up local cycling clubs, seemed to have it together. But that wasn't all: shortly before the check, another cyclist went by who was not part of the earlier group. He was by himself, and I had to scramble to get my camera out to take his picture. It was then I was completely convinced that there is a lot more to Annapolis and the cycling culture there than I knew, and that I needed to return one day soon for a more thorough post. In the meantime, if you go, try to ride more than eight miles, stay more than a couple of hours, and figure out how this thing was made. Thanks for reading and thanks for riding.