Bike The Drive 2013 – High-speed

Bike The Drive is an annual Chicago event taking place on Memorial Day weekend.  Fifteen miles of a major thoroughfare (Lake Shore Drive) is taken over by 20,000 bicyclists for the morning who can enjoy a 30 mile loop along the shore of Lake Michigan.

This video is sped up x16 for you speed junkies.  Also good if you want to get an idea of the course layout or want to watch the Chicago skyline go by.

Cammie decided not to wake up early with me (the lazy slug!) so there’s no video of my trip in from St. Charles.  I was hoping for an updated version without dive-bombing birds!  Oh well, maybe next time.  Hope you enjoy!

Here’s a map of the course…

I liked the music from the dive-bombing episode so much that I used it again…

Where Is Everybody by the Blisscats

http://audiofarm.org/audiofiles/21059‎

And also…

She Wears My Shadow by SackJo22
http://ccmixter.org/files/SackJo22/42401

Bike The Drive 2013

Why would anyone want to get together with 20,000 of their fellow bicyclists in downtown Chicago?  Bike The Drive baby, yeah!  It’s the one day of the year that Lake Shore Drive is taken over by bicycles for a few short hours.   Kathy and I went for the first time this year and had a blast riding along between the sky scrapers and beautiful Lake Michigan.  We met so many terrific people that we can’t wait to go next year.  I’ve got a lot of video from the ride but here’s a little preview…

I’ll get back with a longer version later.

A Trip To Chicago

I took a ride into the city in preparation for a cycling event coming up next weekend.  It’s a long urban ride and I needed to ensure that my intended route would be OK.  Everything went fine but there was one event which cast a pall over the ride.

Thanks again to audiofarm and the great artists for the music…

Where Is Everyone by the Blisscats – http://audiofarm.org/audiofiles/21059‎

Scimitar by Mike Andrews – http://audiofarm.org/audiofiles/21213

Sound effects by freeSFX.co.uk

Squeak Squeak

So I was driving down the road the other day and noticed that a mouse had hitched a ride in my velomobile.  There was a tiny squeak at first but as the day went on it became louder and more insistent. I don’t mind hitch-hikers but I do wish they wouldn’t complain so much.

My mouse was in the steering tiller and complained every time I twisted it.  The squeak was now accompanied by a resistance to turn which reduced my silky smooth driving style to a series of pathetic stutters from one over-correction to the next.  Now, I’ve always been an exceptionally lazy patient man, but something had to be done.

Serial NumberAs soon as I got home, I put a generous amount of oil on the steering joint inside the Strada, gave the tiller an authoritative twist to help the oil penetrate, and let it sink in overnight.

The next ride started out fairly quiet but slowly the mouse revealed its continued presence.  What’s worse – the steering stutter was back and becoming much more pronounced.  It was starting to get downright dangerous at high speeds!

Back at the garage, I squirted more oil and gave more twists but it didn’t seem to help a bit.

Suspension StrutsThen, with a flash of utter genius it hit me – “I’ll bet the steering joint is connected to something else, and maybe it’s that ‘something else’ that’s squeaking!”  I know, I even astound myself sometimes.  So I took the front wheel cover off and looked into the hole where the steering rod comes out.

This is what it looks like in there…

Stearing Lever and Strut

I know, just the kind of place you’d expect to find a mouse

That big metal thingy on the left is the bottom of the steering mechanism.  Get a long nozzle for your lubricant and give it a good soak.  And don’t forget the metal thingy on the right where the steering rod attaches – that’s minnie mouse.  That solved the problem but I gave all of the little ball joints on the outside of the body a squirt for good measure.

Ah, back to the zen-like state of blissful silence and silky steering.  I was so impressed by the results that I even tried the same treatment on Cammie.  It didn’t work.