keskiviikko 28. marraskuuta 2018

How to fly with a bike

I prefer to ride my own bike also when travelling. I just packed the apple of my eye, Bianchi Oltre XR2 for the flight. Here's my two cents on flying with a bicycle and how to pack it.

Up to last year I travelled with cardboard boxes. You can get one for free from the nearest bike shop, and it may suffice for an odd trip. It is not as sturdy and not as easy to handle as the real bike travelling bags.

Some airports have it rough when dealing with luggages. I've had some issues with cardboard boxes, so got myself an EVOC Bike Travel Bag.

This trip will be my third with the EVOC. Nowadays it's hard to find that older model as the shops have the newer Bike Travel Bag Pro which is 6 cm longer and suits 29ers better. I prefer the shorter.

Whatever your box or bag, you have to turn handlebar, remove pedals, unfasten the saddle, and detach wheels. Most airlines also require you to lower tyre pressure. The most fragile part is the derailleur hanger, which might get bent. Best to unfasten the derailleur.

One handy source to compare different kinds of bike boxes is this article on Cycling Weekly.

There is plenty of space in the bag for all the cycling gear you need to take along: helmet, pump, spare tyres, clothing, shoes, bottles... everything goes in the same bag. At least with a road bike, it stays easily within the weight limits. Remember the tools, especially those that you need to reassemble your bike.

Putting all cycling gear to the bike bag means that it is the only item I have to drag at the airport: a shoulder bag for some off-bike stuff and a backpack for camera gear.

Attach a name tag and enjoy your (mine 🚴😀 ) trip. Happy riding!


sunnuntai 25. marraskuuta 2018

Of mountains and dots on the sky

The majestic mountains glimpsed from the road up to the small villages elevate the vista above the merely picturesque. White houses and narrow lanes, all well-preserved and full of flowers, along with the surrounding valleys, pine forests and palm groves, mean that this is one of the island’s benighted spots.

This is a paraphrase describing the Fataga Valley on the Gran Canaria island. I'm flying there with my bike on Friday.

The Strava Weekly Effort graph looks like a mountaneous horizon. Above is my artistic interpretation and below an actual screen shot.

I kept the intensity high until the end of September. The "valley" in October was a result of an exceptionally low training month. A week-long work trip, a flu after that, another week-long work trip and a stomach bug issue kept me mostly at bay.

The Weekly Effort graph available on Strava mobile app (for paid accounts) is based on the cumulative training stress.

The idea is to stay mostly on the "mountains". To have a recovery week, stay below. A hard week gets a dot on the sky. I guess my week #49 will see a dot at the zenith.

sunnuntai 11. marraskuuta 2018

Your Cycologist from #HEL - tee (se itse) paita

Not only hot but free! There are makerspaces in Finnish public libraries where you can do tech-related stuff on your own or assisted - for free. Like this tee shirt print.

Sattuneesta syystä olen viime viikkoina ottanut selvää mikä on makerspace ja käynyt kokeilemassa teknologia-värkkäystä. Pitää nimittäin suunnitella Espoon Otaniemeen alkuvuonna valmistuva makerspace ja sen toiminta.

Julkisissa kirjastoissa näitä on paljonkin, Espoossa viisi. Kävin pariin otteeseen Tapiolan kirjastossa. Ensin haastattelemassa ja sitten kokeilemassa vinyylitulostusta ja kuumaprässiä.

Tein Photoshopissa mieleiseni paitaprintit, koska kotikoneellani ei ole Illustratoria. Kirjastossa konvertoin pikseligrafiikan vektoreiksi ja tulostin vinyylille.

Vinyylistä pitää poimia pois kaikki se, jota ei halua paitaan. Kirjainten osalta siinä on jonkin verran työlästä pinsettihommaa.

Lopuksi kuumaprässillä kiinnitys kankaaseen. Minun mielestäni lopputulos on tietystikin tosi magee – olenhan sen itse suunnitellut.

Ohuesta tekstistä on jo nyt T-kirjain tipahtanut. Ei siis kannata suunnitella mitään hiuksenohuita yksityiskohtia.

tiistai 6. marraskuuta 2018

DIY: Bike racks on a garage wall

There was an accident in the garage. As a consequence of a chemical leak all stuff there had to be thrown away and the interiors rebuilt.

A lot of empty, clean space now. Finally some of my bikes that accommodate the cramped paincave can find new quarters.

Wall shelves are practical and they also serve as showroom racks. They are cheap and easy to install, too. Two angle irons, and one shelf (cut into two 30x30 cm squares) from the hardware store. Couldn't be easier!

The outcome was "OK-ish" but it was still lacking the icing on the cake. I bought some cover strip and made separate art frames. Just four pieces glued together. As their opening is the width of the shelf, they can be inserted as separate pieces from the shelf structure. Small nails in the upper corners keep them in their place.

Then, I selected two photos that bring back memories from Taiwan and Magdeburg. Now the project started to be a bit more expensive, as I had to invest in a wide format printer to do the job (HP Officejet 7110, 110€).

Now it looks great! If you are to do a similar job, design it better than I did. The bikes weigh considerably and tilt my shelves down. In the long run this may be an issue.

The angle iron has to be sturdy and preferably as long as the shelf. Depending on your wall structure, it's even better to have two irons per shelf.