07 January 2017

PDX Klunker - Electra Rocket - ii

Anyone whose heard of the Portland area,
has got to associate it with the bike life.
After living here for a while,
that doesn't mean only granolas or hipsters,
there's just a lot of people who ride bikes.
Compared to San Diego,
it doesn't seem like the bike Mecca,
however SD riders don't ride in the rain,
unless they're from Portland.
During the packing frenzy,
I obviously was going to bring a bike,
but which one?
Without having a home base,
it would be risky to bring a collector bike,
unless money was needed for a fire sale.
I chose the hot rodded-dented frame Rauler,
the perfect mishmash of campy, suntour and beater parts.
This is actually a great riding 70's Italian bike,
that I'd be sad to lose equally as the others.
The van filled up quickly,
but there was still space left on the trailer.
As a last minute thought,
I tied up a newly acquired klunker project next to chief.
(If you look closely you'll see the wheels.)
It looked precarious enough 
that people wouldn't drive too close.
This was one of my summer swap meet scores,
an $80 Electra Rocket from the late 90's.
A cool aluminium cantilever frame,
with similar angles of a typical hardtail mountain bike,
so it rides more sporty then a raked cruiser.
The best part is the Nexus 7-speed hub.
I've always wanted to put one on a prewar frame,
but they're hard to find for cheap.
I cleared out my thin mtb stash,
adding the fatter tires, S-works crank and pedals,
also drilling holes in the brake levers.
Drillium always a priority,
running out of time for the Judy shock.
After a few short PDX rides,
(can ya see the bike in the back?)
the front suspension would be worth the effort.
I didn't trust the 20 year old aluminum fork,
I've smashed my face from a broken fork,
while also clearing junk out of the van. 
One cold night was spent swapping shocks/forks.
The headset was the bigger 1-1/8",
allowing a newer functional fork.
It's tough to find a working shock
for a 1" headset on a true vintage frame.

I also tried to rebuild the sticky Nexus hub,
the internal changing system 
would skip the middle gears.
Way more work for one evening,
I ended up just dribbling oil into the dry hub.
It actually worked much better!
Maybe adding a zirk fitting would help...
The next evening I was ready to ride,
even in the almost freezing 34 degree chill.
The first 3-4 miles were so smooth,
a great way to learn the neighborhood,
until the dreaded back tire pop.
Holey chit.
Typically I'd ride-flat to get back quick,
but the 2.30 Michelin tire wasn't cheap.
It was a brisk walk.
Fixing a Shimano Nexus flat sucks.
There's no quick change for lazy speed freaks,
and there's two cables - brake and shifter.
15mm and 10mm wrenches are needed,
as well as a pump and a rag,
throw in a half hour for adjusting chit.
Not something fun to do on the roadside let alone inside.
The Nexus was showing its flaws,
weight and maintenance.
It took a couple days to rally the flat fix.
In the meantime 
I found a cool clip-on fender by PDW,
designed in Portland... built in China.
The seller got it as a work gift.
Thanks Tonya!!
A little blingy but matches the bare aluminum.
A windy saturday finally got the bike fixed,
ready for a perfect evening ride.
I figured I'd jaunt over to the bike shop
and get some overpriced bike lights.
The kinda heavy klunker 
loved the couple inches of crunchy snow.
I wore so many layers I was sweating.
Next time I'll bring clear safety glasses,
the snowflakes actually hit my eyeballs.
Portland is gun shy with the ice conditions,
as a result the bike shop closed early.
Buncha babies.
Now I'd have to ride back with no lights.
I've ridden hundreds of night miles lightless,
in my old age and fatherhood it seems riskier now,
just cause there's more drivers that suck.
I'll prolly end up going cheap and taping flashlights.
On the San Diego Christmas blast home,
Jake, his friend Jon and I took a bike ride to the Point.
He's been getting into riding as you can see,
but wearing the Xmas present helmet
was just not pimp.
We're riding and everything is cool,
other than me wheezing behind these two punks.
Close to the lighthouse entrance,
cars were backed up a quarter mile.
I lead the way slowly,
then some jerkwad in a black shiny truck
chooses to pull into the last cemetery entrance.
The kids thought I did a swell job avoiding catastrophe,
although I smacked his fender pretty good,
and was on the ground in a split second.
It had been a long time since I've had bike road rash!
The best part was the kids won't question wearing helmets...
Ok where were we... the LBS was closed,
I took way too many bike pics,
Oh yea.
So during the snow ride I found this phone.
Back at the house all of a sudden it rang,
and I ended up riding back out to meet them,
which was cool cause riding in the snow is great.
Madeline had lost it while riding her moped.
They were super nice,
and drunk kinda.
Thanks for the beer money M!
Could I write anymore about this?
Don't mind the mess on the table,
check out the new bike project.
A 1978 Mercian Vincitore. 
So effin cool those lugs are bitchin.
I'll probably flip some of the speaker hoard 
to be able to fund the parts...
More later!

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