Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dirt Version

Photo From Here
My idea of an ADV bike. Apparently, someone else's idea as well.

Photo From Here
#9? Must be Nixon.

Photo From Here
Always an option if we ever get back to the BSA.

The current issue of Motorcyclist has an article about riding the Idaho Backcountry Discovery Route. While I still don't see the attraction of those huge ADV bikes, I definitely felt the attraction of riding around the back roads of Idaho or one of the other similar trails. I've ridden a little bit of Idaho on my bicycle and I'd love to go back out there. The website has a link to put you in touch with a couple of outfits that rent bikes. A Kawasaki KLR 650 would be just the ticket for a week in rural Idaho or Colorado. Some hardbags would be nice but I could strap most everything on the back if I had to. Add a tank bag and I'd be set to go. I've learned how to pack light from the bicycle and hiking trips I've done over the years. If brother Johnny was still around, we'd do a trip together. We both rode motorcycles since we were kids but we never really rode together. Damn shame we missed that opportunity.

Last week of summer school, then a three week vacation.  Should be able to get some more forward progress made during that time on both bike projects and things around the shack. The wife is still suffering some blow-back from the chemo - not so much sick, just no giddy-up - so I'm still doing all the household chores around the shack. Hopefully that will start easing up and she can get up and around a bit more. She's going crazy laying around the house. It'd be nice if we could get away for a couple of days before the fall semester starts. Be even nicer when we can put this all behind us.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tail Lights & Twilight

Tail Light

Tail Light


When I ordered the tail light for the trailer, I ordered another one to put on my bicycle. The bracket was already there but I had managed to knock the light off some place along the line. All I had to do to put the new one on was unbolt the bracket, drill a hole and bolt everything back on. It's small, bright and out of the way. It should last for a while.

The middle photo is a tail light and license plate bracket for the black & orange Sprint. I already had the bracket but I scabbed the light off the Sprint and put it on the 900 when I was making the fender and ducktail for it. I ordered a couple of things for the Sportster so I threw in a light while I was at it. One step closer on that one.

Obviously the order of bike parts came in, so in addition to bolting up the tail light on the Sprint, I put the wire wrap on the Sportster oil pressure sending unit wire and the wire from the coil to the points. I ordered the parts from J&P but the wire wrap package was marked Kuryakan. It's a bit salty but it looks much nicer than the corrugated plastic stuff that looks like scaled down drain pipe. Three 16 gauge wires will fit nicely in the 1/4" size, by the way. I still need to work on the front brake but that's just about all that's left. 

I pulled a wheel off my old Plymouth hot rod project yesterday. It's been slowly sinking into the dirt, so I was going to air up the tires and move it out of the ruts. Worked OK on three out of four tires but on one of them the valve stem gave up the ghost. I'll take it to the tire shop and get that fixed. I don't plan on tackling that project any time soon but if I don't get it up in the air a bit the whole bottom is going to rust away. This is one I should just get all the parts bolted back on and then find it a new home. 

The last photo is just a shot of the sky the other evening. We've had some crazy weather this year. I mowed the front yard Saturday before it rained. No rain yesterday but it looked like it was fixin' to more than once. Looking at high 80's, low 90's for the upcoming week with some rain thrown in there mid-week. That's pretty much typical for this time of year, though. Probably will be just enough rain to keep the grass growing. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Bike Trailer

The little blinky light the Missus ordered for me came in yesterday. It's perfect for my application. Seems to be well made. Machined from aluminum, O-ring seal to keep the water out, continuous, fast or slow flashing modes. Only a couple of bucks, free shipping and it got here within a few days. Within minutes of opening up the package I was out in the shop finishing up the project - a little metal work on the fender, cut off a couple of screws, polished up the copper fender stays, painted the fender and a quick re-paint on the rest of the trailer. Looks good. Done deal! 

I'll be back on the Sportster now and the black and orange Sprint as my in between project. Neither one of those need much to finish up. I did order a couple more things for the Sportster. They should be in either today or Monday. 

Have a good weekend.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Mower Manure

As fast as the grass has been growing I thought I'd put on the set of newly sharpened spare blades and clean the underside of the deck. As you can see from the photo, probably a good thing I did. The middle of the pile is about 8" high - about 4 scoop shovel fulls. Smelled like a cow barn. Some sweet like silage and some not so sweet. Mowing has become the top priority around here. I can't fall behind or I'll be in big trouble. There's no way I'm going to rake everything I have to mow, so if it's not raining, you can pretty much figure I'm mowing. And swatting mosquitoes. The hot weather must have hatched out another batch. Definitely don't want to be outside in the gloaming.

The bicycle trailer is just about finished. I made the brackets and got those drilled, tapped and welded on to the trailer frame. The brace in the back is made from copper tubing. There's a bracket sticking up off the top of the fender that was used as a mounting tab when it was on the bicycle. I've got a light coming that should bolt right on there. I might have to make a couple of little sheet metal gussets to strengthen it a bit - cross that bridge when the light shows up. I also put a little up sweep on the trailing edge of the fender. A little hot rod touch. It still needs just a bit more metal work but I'll take care of that prior to paint.

They called me in to work an extra day in the lab this week to help assemble some tables. Only worked about an hour and then the next day when I went in on my regular schedule there wasn't anything to do. Didn't make much sense but I know better than to question what goes on in schools anymore. While I was up that way I ran some errands and hit the Mazda dealer to check out a Miata. The salesman said they'll be getting a 2016 in the 2nd or 3rd week of August. I made my last health insurance premium this week, so maybe I'll buy me that sports car after all. I also had to take the Missus to the doctor one day and had to pay the pre-buy on the winter's propane supply. So first we headed 25 miles north of home and then we headed south 50 miles and then back north 25 miles to get back where we started from. It's no wonder I haven't been getting anything done. That's OK, though. Better days are coming.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mr. Dean

50 years later and I've still got the jacket.

Mr. Leon Dean, one of the teachers I had in high school passed away the other day at the ripe old age of 91. I had him for three years of Ag class even though I didn't really see myself going into farming. I liked the mechanical end of farming but like a lot of guys in high school, much of what I signed up for was only because I didn't like my other options, that and the fact my mother was bound and determined to see that I went to college which further limited my options.

Not only did Mr. Dean teach the different Ag classes but he was also the advisor/sponsor for FFA. At that time FFA actually stood for Future Farmers of America. (Now it's just three initials but that's a story for another day.) I held a couple offices in the organization and participated in several of the various contests. At one time I was the number one poultry judge in the whole county, I'll have you know! We took field trips out to farms, went to a farm progress show, sponsored an annual turkey shoot, participated in contests he coached and none of us hooligans really appreciated, or even knew, all he did for us. I know he was very proud of my older brother and all of his accomplishments in the ag field. I think he had me rightly pegged as a guy who wasn't living up to his potential when I was in high school. All I really wanted from high school was to get out. In my defense, I think the fact that I was a slug in high school helped make me a better shop teacher later on, however.

Reading the obituary it was no surprise to see all that he had done after he left the local high school and moved to a career center a few counties east, as well as what he was involved in after his retirement. He was a good man who helped a lot of young men and women get started along their life paths. There's a lot more to education than just learning a subject. RIP Mr. Dean.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"Nothing Could Be Finer"

When my buddy came down this past weekend I offered him an adult beverage - don't think I've ever known him to turn one down in the last thirty years or so - and when he saw that it was a Shiner Bock he mentioned that he had seen a couple riding around on a pair of Shiner Bock bicycles. That piqued my curiosity so I did an internet search and the above photo came up from an Ebay auction. Price is reasonable, if I was in the market for another bike which I'm definitely not, and it's within driving distance to haul it home. However, nothing else with wheels comes in unless something else goes out. Be better if two things went out in fact. 

I did see where a small town south of me is having a bike ride in September. There are various length rides from 5 to 100 miles. I'm thinking the 31 mile route would be about right. I haven't ridden much this summer but with a couple of months to train I should be able to get the old legs shaped up enough to complete the ride with a minimum of pain and strain. Even if it continues to rain like it has been or stays with temps in the 90's, I can always use my trainer down the basement until I can get out on the road in earnest. I haven't been keeping any regular workout schedule since my wife got sick but I need to get back in the saddle, literally, for both my mental and physical health. 

Calling for a beautiful day today. Think I'll go for a ride.

Monday, July 20, 2015

More Fender

I'm still trying my darnedest to get some things finished and the shop cleaned up. Since I had the fender for the bike trailer and I was able to shape it to the right radius (almost), I figured I might as well bead blast it before I move the blast cabinet out. And since it's blasted, I might as well make the mounting brackets. I got started on that when a buddy of mine showed up with a couple of welding jobs for me to do. I hadn't seen the dude in quite some time, so by the time we got done jaw boning and he took off that was it for the day, so no brackets yet. I found a little tail light on E-Bay that looks like a good fit for the project. The "buy it now" price is dirt cheap, so I'll have my CFO take care of that for me.

This is the start on the brake pedal for the orange & black Sprint I posted about the end of June. Actually, I made the pieces quite awhile ago but going back to the 15 projects with wheels and having only 15 years to complete them in, it won't take much to finish this bike, so I decided let's get it in the rotation and do just that. I did get the threaded insert installed on the Sportster shifter lever before I tacked the pieces together for the Sprint brake lever. Didn't get a chance to work on the front brake. However, I did get some more stuff moved out of the back of the shop and did a bit of general organizing.

So in addition to my own projects, I've got a couple more to work on for my buddy. One is a pretty straight forward TIG welding job, the other is going to be a bit trickier. I have to replace a piece on the rear fender on his Triumph TR3. I fixed the lower edge of one of the doors about a year and a half ago. Type in TR3 in the search box and it'll come up. I'll post some before and after photos with the fender as the job progresses.

Have a good week. I'll keep pluggin' away.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Honey, I Shrunk the Fender

As I mentioned a couple of posts back, I want to put a fender on my bicycle trailer. Just so happens I had an old fender laying around from the donor bike I chopped up to make the recumbent, the only problem being the radius was larger than that needed for the small wheel on the trailer. I shrunk the sides a bit and it walked right in to the proper radius. I need to make up some brackets to fasten it to the trailer but that shouldn't be much of a chore. I'll see about getting a light for it as well now that I'm putting on a fender.

I had to take this cabinet down to put up the shelving unit for the bike parts in the shop. It contained my assortment of nails and "Pop" Rivets so I moved it and the nails out to the new barn with the woodworking stuff. The rivets will remain in the shop with metal working stuff. Slowly getting things moved out and cleaned up in the back of the shop so I can get a floor in there. Of course now it's in the 90's with humidity to match. That makes it tough on an old guy. Actually, the real problem is that it hasn't been hot. It usually takes me a week or two to get acclimated to the heat and then I'm good. Tom Skilling on WGN the other day said the heat and humidity combination is about like what you'd encounter in the Brazilian rain forest. I didn't really need to hear that. They're calling for a heat index of 105 today.

The wife finished up her last chemo treatment this past week, which means I've got a couple of days yet before she starts suffering too seriously from the side effects, that is if past performance is any measure of what the future will bring. She's scheduled for a PET scan on my birthday, so you know when I blow out the candles what I'll be wishing for this year.

I'm going to try and get the front brake taken care of on the Sportster in the next few days but that will be determined by the wife's health and the weather. Every nice day is spent mowing and trying to keep the weeds in check. I need to figure out what I'm going to make for my "veranda" off the south end of the new barn. I want to get some concrete piers poured when I do the shop floor. It won't take much to build the veranda/porch. It's only going to be 4' x 8' or something close to that. Maybe 5' x 10'. That's what I need to determine then I can locate the spots and dig the holes for the Sonotubes. I really need to get the concrete done this year.

Enjoy the weekend regardless of what the weather brings.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Carnival Ride

I did some running around the other day and had a chance to stop by my buddy's house with the Camaro. This is the same guy who had the '50 Plymouth in the last post, by the way. He's got the car all dialed in now so he took me for a little ride. Just can't beat the torque from a big block Chevy being fed through a Muncie 4 speed! The car's got a mean rumble at idle and starts to smooth out at about 2400rpm. He says the cross ram starts working properly about 2600. Even though we headed out to the "country", there was still a lot of traffic so he couldn't open it up much, but even short shifting it, it would pin you back in the seat. The rear tires are rather tall so he's going to drop the gearing from a 3.73 to a 3.90. Not much difference but it'll give him a few more rpm's to keep the motor "on the pipe" without having it spinning too fast at highway speeds.

This is one sweet Camaro. Everything about the car is first rate. Big time fun.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Let There Be Light

The Sportster has lights - and they all work! Headlight, taillight, brake light, high beam indicator, generator & oil pressure.

The horn button wasn't the best however. The dealer had one at the rather princely sum of $15.00 with tax but it was in stock, I didn't have to order it in or pay shipping. Done deal. 

The bike has spark, the point gap is set and the timing should be close enough to get it running. I need to check if I have or pick up some of the corrugated plastic tubing with the split seam to finalize the wiring and then I should be able to bolt on the tank and seat. I should probably wait before installing the tank to make sure I don't get brake fluid on it when getting the front brake dialed in. 

I started moving things out of the back of the shop so I can get my concrete poured. Like the projects, I'll try to get a little something done every day. I'm going to be needing some muscle for some of the heavy lifting but I'll get what I can. It shouldn't take too long to get the rest of it moved once I line up some help.

Saw this '50 Plymouth Special Deluxe at the tractor show Sunday. My brother from a different mother had a '50 so I sent him an e-mail with the pic.

He sent me back this one. His "1950 GTX." The photo was taken in '75 shortly after I painted it for him in his one car garage. Just had a little box fan in the back window and the big door opened up about six inches. I was wearing a good respirator but I wouldn't do that again. The acrylic enamel paint held up well. I put a good coat of primer/sealer on over his body work. He drove the hell out of that thing. He used to carry an extra 12V battery with him in the winter time. Never failed to start. I converted my old '50 Chevy pickup to 12 volts. With 12 volts running through the 6 volt starter and a hand choke, it was the same way. Never failed to start. I always carried a can of ether around just in case, though. Good times.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Cuzzin Ricky and I went to a farm/equipment show yesterday featuring old timie stuff.

My older brother started farming when he was in high school, gradually buying up equipment and expanding his operation. He had one of each of these: Allis WD45 Diesel and a C model. I got to run both of them and did some cultivating. As you can probably guess from the posts I've put up over the years, I'm a big fan of all things mechanical and old tractors are right there in the sweet spot. 

Don't recall ever seeing a black Farmall before. Definitely have never seen a pink one.

And if you've got old tractors, old trucks are always somewhere close by. This Brockway is a real jewel. This is the kind of rig I need around here for the one time a year I need to haul something around - make a good parade rig to haul the grandson'e around in.

A small crawler tractor would actually be somewhat useful around here. With a blade on the front I could maintain the lane and push snow in the winter. I've sworn to myself I won't bring anything else home with wheels underneath it but there might be a loophole for something with crawler tracks.

This is something I definitely don't need. These pickers are the ones that used to take the farmer's arms off at about the elbow. If I was going to try and subsist on my meager acreage, I'd be better off just picking the ear corn by hand, storing it in a crib and then getting a sheller and a grain mill. Surprisingly enough, two people can pick a lot of corn in one day. 

They had a nice selection of old cars at the show as well. The top photo is a hot rodded up Blue Flame six from a '47 Chevy. I had a '48 once upon a time. Same motor. In fact, they made the same motor until '62. The bottom is the engine compartment of a '64 Corvair Spyder. 150 horsepower with the turbo. We had a couple of these in the family. The Missus also had one when we were dating. I managed to wreck my older brother's Monza. Got into a corner too hot and the rear wheel tucked under and pogo sticked me into a ditch and fence. Came home with a little souvenir barb wire hanging from the bumper.  Tom McCahill did the same thing during a road test. Put me in good company but didn't make my brother any less mad. "Unsafe at any speed." Maybe. 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

"Turn the Wrenches & Man the Torch"

Found this at RB Racing:
John Stein, the author of these two motorcycle books, stopped by RB Racing to talk about racing, mutual acquaintances and to sell books. Now John could have written a romance novel, a book about adolescent wizards or even a nouvelle cuisine tome and made more money. Unfortunately for him and, fortunately for all of us, John took the time and effort to document a past that is slipping away all too fast by interviewing those left alive from the 1950's, 60's and till present to get the rare photos and background color before, as they say...the dust turns to dust. Mindless shopping malls have chewed up the dragstrips and these days people Twitter and Facebook away instead of getting drunk, raising hell, turning wrenches and manning welding torches. Instead of making things, people just buy things...that's the downfall of everything.

I don't know if I would, or should, recommend getting drunk and raising hell, but I certainly agree with the sentiment. Me, however, I avoid the mall like the plague choosing instead to turn wrenches and man the welding torch, making things rather than buying them.

This would be Exhibit A:

I decided to just make up a quickie plate to mount the generator and oil pressure lights. It's just 16 gauge aluminum with an identical piece behind it to hold the lights in place. The lights are wired up and ready to go. I'd prefer some nice looking jeweled lenses but these will do until the real thing comes along. I got the tach and speedo lights rewired but I have to remove the handlebars in order to mount them up. Once I get them mounted I should be able to call the wiring done.

I haven't put any acid in the battery yet. After I mount the gauges I'll hook up a power source and trouble shoot all the electricals. If everything checks out, move on to the front brake and a few remaining piddly things. I'll check and double check everything, charge the battery, polarize the generator and then see about lighting her off.

I've had the bike a little over a year. I would have had it done much sooner if it hadn't have been for my wife's illness. I'm not belly aching about that, just ruminating on the fact that I'm turning 65 soon. I've got 13 motorcycles and two car projects. If I live to be eighty, that's one per year. I slowed way down after the heart attack but after the wife gets better, I think I might be better off from a health stand point spending more time in the shop. Working on the projects is much more relaxing to me than sitting around "taking it easy". I did come in about 7:30 last evening, though. In the old days the tach and speedo would have been on before I came in. Need to turn up the wick a bit on the projects but not stray too far from the middle path. Not easy to do. Especially with this one. I'm real close to having it running.

PS: I added the 520 Chain Cafe to the blog roll - fellow Indiana biker whose got a couple of interesting projects going along with other bike stuff.

Friday, July 10, 2015

One Step Closer

This went by the shack the other day. Nice to see something other than a coal drag going to the power plant.

I finished the bicycle trailer. It could use a fresh coat of paint and either a reflector or a taillight  - a fender too for that matter. Maybe scrounge around in the junk pile and see what I've got or  maybe just hang it back up in the barn and call it done. Everything is either stainless or Inconel so it won't rust. Not like I'm going to be using it much.

Made some good progress on the Sportster the last few days. I found a bulb for my tester, so I got to work on chasing wires down. I need to pick up some wire so I can have everything the proper color as shown in the wiring diagram. There aren't any indicator lights for the generator or oil pressure but I've got a couple left over from the 900 project when it was up and running with the sidecar. I'm going to make a little plate to drop in the headlight cover and then put the ones in the photo in. I'm contemplating an engine turned plate to match the one I made for  the ignition switch. Probably more trouble than it's worth but that never held me back before. 

I'm going to be busy for a week or so coming up, so Sporster time is going to be at a premium. The Missus has a doctor visit, lab tests, chemo treatments, and I've got a few things of my own going on. At least there's not much left on the bike until it's all assembled. Need to start hoppin' up and down with my right leg so I'll be able to start the beast.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Little Something

I got a good start on the wiring for the Sportster. I had ordered in a new terminal block previously so I swapped out the wires from the old block to the new one. However, as you can see in the photo, there are still some wires hanging loose, some with terminal connections, some that have just been hacked off. I drug out my old continuity tester thinking that all I would have to do would be install a couple of fresh batteries and I'd be off and running. No such luck. Not only does it need batteries but it also needs a bulb. Basically it's one step short of me just chucking it and buying a new one unless I can locate a light bulb easily enough. I have a VOM I could use but the little tester is a whole lot more convenient.

From the "even though I don't need it now but it would be easy enough to finish" department, I decided to swap out the wheel on my bicycle trailer. The new wheel is about 1/2" wider than the old so I made up a couple of spacers, welded those to new slotted plates and next up I'll weld those to the old axle plates after I cut off the part with the slots.

You can see the new axle plates in the foreground. I still need to trim the old plates and then I can weld on the new plates and call it good. I don't have any 308 TIG filler rod at the house. I just melted the spacer to the new slotted plate but I'll need some filler to finish the job - won't take much. Probably some short pieces laying around the shop at the college. I need to add that to my list of needed welding supplies and make a trip to the distributor one of these days.

Even though I'm probably through taking any more long distance cycling trips, the new trailer wheel is much nicer than the one it's replacing. The old one was off a cheap department store kiddie bike. This one has a Shimano hub and a good aluminum rim as well as more spokes. I do take the bike to the store or the gas station to get gas for the mower, etc. Be nice to have one more project finished and I can toss out the old wheel. One less thing laying around.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Purple Cucumber

Surly and the grandsons came down yesterday for both a visit and to borrow my pick-up. The older of the two boys decided he wanted to try out the recumbent bicycle so we gave it a quick rinse, aired up the tires and off he went riding circles around the new barn. The bike is purple and the recumbent name quickly became cucumber, hence the title of the post.

I put some time in with the Mini-Dragon weed slayer both Saturday and Sunday. It uses 1lb propane cans to burn up the weeds. That was the first time I gave it a good workout, so I'll have to wait a few days to see how the weeds react to getting scorched. I hate using all those chemicals around the house with our water table being as high as it is and the fact that we have a well. It's bad enough with all the farm chemicals in use around me. No sense in adding more carcinogens to the water table. The propane cans seem to last quite a while. They were on sale at Menards last week 2 for $5.00. Cheap enough I suppose to keep the weeds under control. 

I read in the paper yesterday it was the wettest June on record here in Indiana. The average rainfall for the whole state was a little over nine inches. However, the next town south of me reported over eighteen inches for the month. The normal average is about four. It's no wonder we've got weeds and mosquitoes. 

In addition to cutting grass, killing weeds and visiting with the boys, I did manage to get a little something done on the Sportster. I buttoned up the countershaft sprocket, cover, kickstarter lever and spring, and tightened up the exhaust pipes. Not much but my goal now is a little something every day.

Just a shot to show off the new plug wires and to highlight the mess of wires above the battery box. That's going to be the next step. Wiring's not exactly my most favorite thing but it's already the second week of July. This baby needs to get finished. 

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Sprint Report - 4

OK, this is the last of them. This one was buried in the back of the shop in the "elephant graveyard" of forgotten motorcycle projects. '68 250 SS model that was being worked on at about the same time I was racing. I pulled the head and barrel off it and got the valves ground. It's running a higher compression piston but don't really know about anything else - never got that far. I did paint the tank and fenders when I was painting my 350.

Surly came down with a belated Father's Day gift a few days ago and helped organize and clean up some things. I had to go to work so we didn't get a chance to chat much but we did discuss the Sprint situation a bit. No real conclusions drawn but something is always better than nothing. Especially with a couple of mopes with ADD - you make plans but move on to something else as soon as you leave the room. However, he got quite a bit accomplished and now we can see what we've got and I don't have to be around for him to find things. Thanks. I appreciate you giving up a vacation day.

The "invisible" barn cat. The Missus got us a couple of cats a year or so ago. I kept them in the new barn for a couple of weeks and then I opened up the big door so they could go outside if they wanted to. The thinking was they would stay around because that's where the food and water were. The one walked outside and looked around a bit and then bolted like it was a jail break. I saw him around the neighborhood a few times but he never came back home. The other one decided this place is the greatest thing going, especially since I've got it all to myself now. I never saw the cat but the food was getting eaten, the litter box was being used and no sign of mice. OK, I can live with that. When I drug the 350 out the other day to get a couple of photos of it I saw the cat for the first time since its arrival. It managed to get up on the top shelf and I was able to get the photo. Now at least I've got a photo to show the grand kids what the cat looks like.

With the crazy weather we're having, somethings are going great guns and others are suffering from too much water and the cooler temperatures. The lilies are doing well, as you can see. The animal population seems to be booming. There are rabbits all over my property, I've seen a lot of deer around and on the way home from work last week I saw what looked like 5 coyote pups run across the road in front of me. I picked goose berries yesterday and the red raspberries are coming in. The weeds, of course, are booming as well.

Other than mowing grass and some other yard work, I don't have much of anything else planned for the next couple of days so I should be able to get something done on the Sportster. We've got another week before the last chemo treatment. Typically, the week before treatment she isn't bothered much by the side effects, so I hope to get a few of my own things done. I was going to do a 5K this morning but I did one a week ago and since the weather's nice I think I'll just try and get out on my bike a little bit sometime.

Enjoy the holiday. Be safe. Don't burn the hot dogs.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Sportster Rear Wheel

Doesn't look too much different than the last photo I posted of the Sportster but now there's a chain and a couple more shiny bits of hardware. I need to tighten up the countershaft sprocket and then I can button up that cover and the kick starter. I put the rear brake lever on with a new bolt and chrome nut. I still need to fix the threads on the shift lever, tighten down the exhaust pipes, align the rear wheel, tackle the wiring and the front brake. A little bit here, little bit there - I'll have it one of these days.

Looks like the weather is going to be decent for the next few days. In fact, the weather for the 4th looks to be ideal, at least around here. It'll be good to see some sunshine. Be safe and enjoy the holiday.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Photo From Here

You don't see too many rail bike photos on the photo blogs but I ran across this one and then, coincidentally, decided to check for comments on my previous posts. Glad I checked because there was one from a former student that I hadn't heard from in a while. 

This is a picture of his Fairmont Speeder that he brought over to the high school to work on about five years ago. He mentioned in his comment that he has it running but not completely done yet. In spite of the fact that he has since finished college, gotten married, bought a house and all that, I'm kind of surprised it's not done - the boy's a human dynamo. He's also got an old car he's working on and he bought an old South Bend lathe he's refurbished. He works for a short line railroad so he'll be able to run his speeder on the tracks and since he owes me a ride, when he gets it done I'll throw my rail bike in the back of the truck and we can go railroading one of these days. That'll give me some incentive to put the finishing touches on the rail bike. Maybe just leave it with him. That'll be one less thing to trip over. Would be cool to load up the camping gear and go for a little adventure like the top photo, however.