Monday, January 12, 2009

MTB Build and Gardening

I am not a very good mechanic and I usually pay someone to build bikes for me when the time comes. But I can do a few things myself. I have gotten better at gluing tubulars, setting up tubless tires, and the little things. I cannot do head sets or bottom brackets, and I don't have a torque wrench although the new Park wrench is tempting me.

I have been trying to expidite the rebuilding of my 1990 Klein Pinnacle back to a geared bike. It is a 7 speed so I thought finding parts would be very challenging. I am surprised to find more out there than I thought although choice is pretty limited. I have the original crankset/bottom bracket but with new bearings. The 1" Rockshox Judy XC is pretty old but still works great. Some of the new stuff includes a Thompson stem, Easton carbon riser bar, Thompson seatpost, WTB saddle, Suguino chainrings, new SRAM X-7 rear derallieur, a SRAM 7-speed cassette with spacer, new Bontranger Mustang tubless wheel set that I found for a very low price, SRAM 8 speed chain, and some cool original Shimano rapid fire 7 speed shifters. I already had the Shimano XT brakes with Swisstop pads. The front derallieur is a Shimano LX pulled off my wife's bike.

It will be fun to ride a geared bike again but I still prefer the single-speed. I like the geared bike for the N Georgia terrain and the SS for most of the races.

I also really like gardening. I am not very good but my family was pretty good at it when I was growing up. Of course in Western Pennsylvania you could grow almost anything in that soil. Farmer G has provided a lot of good insight and I have a few books on raised bed urban gardening that I used (Cubed Foot Gardener and Square Foot Gardener) but the best source is Walter Reeves's website.

This year I am growing Bluberries, Garlic (Farmer G's varieties), tomatoes (roma and cherry), bell peppers, carrots,cucumbers, squash, herbs, onions, and lettuce in the spring. I am using my grow lights to start them indoors and then transplant them later. I have a nice 6x8 foot raised bed that is about 12" deep and I'll have various large pots to grow things like some of the herbs, tomatoes, and sweet potatoes.

Last year was my first year and I started really late so this year should be better and it is a good way to get my daughter involved like my family got me involved.

Farmer G has so much he has to give it away, I am hoping to only use stuff from the garden as I need it and avoid the store. Should be fun!

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