Mount Katahdin in Film

42820003

Chris and I found ourselves up in Moosehead Lake, Maine recently and could not pass up an opportunity to cross something off our bucket list: hike Mount Katahdin. Since new rolls of film were nowhere to be found up north, Meg was thoughtful enough to buy me a little Fujifilm disposable camera for the hike. It was a perfect companion and made for some enjoyable curation. 

Read more

Framebuilding: 3BMC Road

IMG_1812

After a long road to completion and an eagerly anticipated arrival, her she is: the  lightly ridden, heavily loved 3BMC Road. Handmade in Somerville, MA, by myself with the help of Paul Carson at Artisan’s Asylum, it is the culmination of six months of welding, mitering, filing, buying, selling, tinkering, troubleshooting, and lovingly gazing. I have put around 300 miles on it in the past few weeks and I have loved every second of it. The fit is perfect, the bike is responsive and snappy but still comfortable on the long road rides, and it is FAST. It was made as a road replacement for my Merckx but with this year’s D2R2 and some 33c Challenge Grifo’s in mind. All that is left now is to ride it as hard as I love it.

Read more

IRO Rob Roy

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“Rob Roy” was Tony Portera’s old ham radio handle and I have to say, it is an apt name. It is a tank compared to my aluminum beater and my Merckx, but its still a total blast to ride. I picked it up from Baumann last year and took quite a bit of time to collect the group. Its quick and sharp, but still feels strong enough to take on Boston’s potholes and traffic. I tried to balance out the all black frame and components with some flashes of silver and gumwalls, and topped it off with a little bit of PinP inspired pink in the Cadence bottles. I recently put on some fenders and some 28c road tires (Resist Nomads) to make it into a more realistic daily commuter.

The Rob Roy frame is a 58cm square steel single speed cross bike with a tall standover, cable routing on the top of the top tube, and track drops in the back. Its built with bombproof IRO HT tubing and has the iconic curved seatstays that identify its cachet to the initiated. Tony Portera called it his “bad-weather bike,” but after a few hundred miles, this is quickly turning into my “all-weather bike.”

Read more

Framebuilding

IMG_1199

There are three main phases in the bike building process.

To confuse things, I think I will begin with the middle phase. Anyone who has spent more than five minutes filing down fillet brazing knows the challenge of brazing a bike frame. Filing is painful, never-ending, and unglamorous work (much like the architecture profession at times). Your hands often come away from the shop black and blistered. It rarely looks quite the way you want to and the whole time you are thinking that you are just going to cover it up with paint anyways. It is quite laborious work. Secretly, I love it.

Thankfully, there is a first phase and a last phase.

Read more

3BMC Bottle Labels

IMG_1416

In May of 2012, Chris and I bottled around 150 bottles of wine. It may be a modest number for the established enologist, but it was quite the achievement for two budding amateurs like us. The process was competent at best and the results were just about drinkable. I like to think of it as a learning process and in the end I take comfort in the fact that we made a “respectable table wine.”

Read more

2012 Riding Mapped

120706_2012 Boston Bike Rides

This is my first year riding with Strava and I simply couldn’t bear to see all that good data go to waste. It gives you your speeds and communal ranking, but more importantly, it also records the map of each ride. Partway through the season, I realized that it would be great to see how much coverage of the Boston area I had ridden during the course of a year, so I mapped it as I went.

My total training miles for the year will probably end up around 620, and if you include my city riding and my daily commute, it should end up somewhere in the ball park of 3000.

Read more

Cold Weather Biking Gear

The List:

60°s    Sweatshirt, finger gloves
50°s    Light jacket, finger gloves
40°s    Softshell jacket, finger gloves, hat
30°s    Softshell jacket, mittens, hat, winter collar
20°s    Softshell jacket, mittens, merino hat, winter collar, long underwear bottoms
10°s    Softshell jacket, mittens, glove liners, merino hat, winter collar, long underwear top and bottoms
0°        Every piece of clothing you own.

Raleigh Technium

IMG_0315

I was recently telling a story about how my old Puch commuting bike had gotten so worn out that when crossing over the Mass Ave bridge every morning, the combined orchestra of clicks and clanks reached a crescendo that culminated into something resembling the drum beat to the Pirates of The Caribbean theme song. As cool as this was, it was the dying song of an old bike. It may sound calloused, but when a 60cm Raleigh Technium 480 popped up on Craigslist for $90, I took no time in snatching it up.

Rebuilding it was quick job and after a few weeks of collecting parts and a full day of building, she was out on the road. Even though I do miss the sweet songs of my old Puch, you can’t argue with modern brakes, a track crankset, and a Fyxation saddle, coupled with classic non-aero brake levers and some old school internal cable routing!

Read more

Merckx Caloi

IMG_0242

Last month I trekked over to Porter Square one evening to investigate a recent Craigslist ad describing a partially assembled 60cm “Caloi Merxck” [sic]. It was my size and if it was a real Merckx, I was certainly interested in at least going to check it out. I met the guy in his studio, which was deep in the bowels of an old converted mill building, and ended up chatting for a while with him and his girlfriend about all kinds of stuff before finally settling down to look at the bike. It was a Merckx, but not an official Caloi team frame as I thought it might be (it was missing the number hanger/decals found on those bikes). But it was in good condition, it came with a full Ultegra 6500 groupset, and the price was right. So I jumped.

Read more

Absinthe

IMG_9118

Absinthe is a spirit steeped in history. Writers, poets, philosophers, and bohemians have been inspired by its high potency and hallucinogenic tendencies for over 200 years. Known for its high proof and strong flavor, absinthe is made from a variety of bases with countless ingredients, but is always centered around the “holy trinity”: grand wormwood, green anise, and fennel. Five years ago, the US legalized the sale and consumption of absinthe and since then Three Blind Mice Craft Co has been itching to make a batch.

Production of quality absinthe hinges on two main things. First, you need a good reflux still (which we did not have) and second you need a few slightly obscure spices (which we had no idea where to get). But we were undeterred, and with our forefathers in mind, we persevered. Thankfully, acquiring spices is a bit simpler than it was one hundred years ago. The spices we needed in bulk (green anise and fennel) were bought at the market, and the rest I was lucky enough to find at Christina’s, my local spice shop in Boston. The reflux still was a whole other issue entirely, and resulted in us building a modular column attachment to one of our current pot stills.

Read more
© 2011 Rumblings.org