Keirin grips

February 21, 2008

The most challenging task that students at the Japanese Keirin School face is putting Keirin grips on drop bars with only their hands, a bowl, and a small pot filled with water. Once they complete this task they are enlightened to the much guarded NJS approved secret technique discovered by the monks of the Nihon Jitensha Shinkokai that allows them to aclompish this task with ease.

I decided that this traditional rite of passage would enhance my connection to my bike, and grant me powers of cadence that can not be gained in any other way.

I boiled my grips for about seven minutes, and retrieved them from the water (those smarter then me will not reach into the boiling water) . The left grip slid on with only some slight shoving and twisting. The right grip slid about half way on, then stopped faster then a day-glow commuter at a red light. I pushed with all the strength in my upper body, but didn’t gain a millimeter. I put the end of the rubber back in the hot water for a few more minutes, but no advantage was gained.

I enlisted the help of a friend at this point, and with a lot of pulling and pushing, we got the grip back off. Toss it back in the water and try again, this time with my friend holding the bars, braced against the steps with me pushing down and twisting, finally the grip slides on.

At the end of all this my grips look like they have finished a season at a Tokyo velodrome, and my hands look like this:

blisterphoto-3.jpg

Now I will share with you the NJS approved blister free way of installing Keirin gips:

Turn the grips inside out, leaving about 1cm the right side out, then coat the outside (now inside) with lighter fluid. Now roll the grips onto the the bars while turning turning them back right side out. This worked even with my blistered hands (five blisters total)

Internet = Lawsuit?

February 14, 2008

In my short time as a member of Londonfgss.com there have been two lawsuits threatened against the site or its members. The first came from Tony Malone, the man who may be responsible for the downfall of Whitcomb (who are still building quality bikes but should stop listening to useless designers), he is also responsible for the Old Kent Road Cycle Co., and the copyright infringing Morpheus Cycle Co. He wanted to sue us for failing to recognize him as the god of all things design and fixed gear, and we made the outlandish claim that his 30 quid lectures on the bicycle and fashion where a tinny bit over priced.

The Second is much more important as it was aimed at me. A fashionable young man asked members of the Londonfgss.com forum for our advice on a bike he was considering purchasing, some of the forum members and my self advised him against the purchase. A few days later I found an interesting email referring to that advice here is the email, I have not edited or abridged it in any way

Ian dropped the lawsuit, and seems like a nice guy.  the whole thing is just peoples first reactions being a bit to much.

Stolen Bike London

February 7, 2008

London is a unique city for riding, it has a great messenger scene (read its messenger zine moving target), the mayoral candidates campaign around cycling, there are posters in buss stops and on the underground encouraging people to comute by bike, and the evening papers are filled with columns on how dangerous cycling is.

London also has a huge problem with thieves, one the police ignore in favor of doing what ever it is that they do. Some london cyclests, encluding me (in exile) have decided to do something about this, we are hosting a website with a list of stolen bikes in London. We will also be posting photos and details of thieves or sellers of stolen bikes, and going to where stolen bikes are sold in an attempt to recover them. check out the project Stolen Bike London

How To Skid

February 4, 2008

You just finished building your first fixed gear, you take it for a ride, get going fast, and then the car in front of you slams on the breaks, you think stop, then you think how do I stop? Grab your iPhone, and CrashBlog is about to save your life.

1. Find a long empty flat space free of debris, cars, and large pot holes or cracks.
2. get on your bike, feet in the cages/ clipped in, and get going kind of quick. Skidding is a little easier at higher speeds, but it hurts more if you mess up.
3. Deiced what leg you want to have forward, this should be your strongest leg probably your right. If its your left just change left and right in the rest of the instructions.
4. As your left leg passes the bottom of your stroke start to resist the motion of your pedals (push against the forward momentum). This should push you up out of your seat.
5. Lean forward and put your primary sex organ on your stem, your shoulders should not be too far forward of your bars.
6. As your right leg reaches about the 2 o’clock position kick back with your left and pull up with your right leg.
7. Lock your legs. You should now be skidding. If your not don’t worry, just try again and push a little harder.

Practice this a lot before you rely on it to stop you in traffic at full speed. After you get pretty good with your strong foot forward learn to do it with your other foot, this will double the life of your tires. Also practice stopping in different distances, the more weight you put further the longer your skid.

Once you get all that practice skidding and pushing your rear wheel to the left or the right. If your really into practice skidding around corners.

Note: this is just want works for me, it might not work for you I’m not any kind of expert, I just like riding bikes. Be safe ride with a brake unless you are an experienced rider.