How to Get Fat this Spring

Until the early 1980’s, road bikes were made to ride on roads.  Not perfectly groomed asphalt, with no cracks, broken pavement, or glass.  Real roads, asphalt and chip seal to cobbles to dirt to gravel.  And they were designed to be ridden in all seasons, not just dry summer days.  Road bikes, even pro level road bikes, bikes that Eddy Merckx would win tours with, bikes the Jaques Anquetil would dominate time trails on, had the ability to be used for all sorts of roads, in all sorts of weather. These weren’t touring bikes, or cross bikes, but died in the the wool road racing bikes, with the highest end Campagnolo Record bits, and drilled out chainrings, and super light modified saddles. They were able to achieve this amazing versatility because of one thing: tire clearance.

PX-10 _ Weinmann rear brake

A 1970s race bike with clearance for fat tires and a fender. Note the centerpull brakes, which were long derided as paupers brakes, are coming back into vogue on the highest end time trial bikes.

If you have clearance for big tires, your bike suddenly goes from being a one trick pony, to a versatile, year round machine built for exploring the world we live in.  Some of the very best roads in our area are not smooth or groomed tarmac but chopped up pavement or just straight dirt and gravel.

The concept of riding a normal road bike on dirt is basically a non starter for most road cyclists.  They have tiny tires pumped to over 100 psi.  The thinking is; tiny tires have no grip on that terrain, and the ride quality will be atrocious.  The prevailing philosophy of tire size is that narrower is faster.  Narrower tires have to be faster, because they have less of a foot print.  A smaller contact patch means lower rolling resistance, right?  Wrong.  The size of a contact patch at a given pressure does not change depending on the tire size.  If you have a 100 pound weight on a 23mm wide tire at 100 psi, there will be a 1 square inch contact patch.  If you have a 100 pound weight on a 32 mm wide tire, at 100 psi, there will be a…. wait for it….. 1 square inch contact patch.

Image stolen from Velonews

Here’s the kicker though: narrower tires have longer contact patches than wide tires, which means that even though the contact with the ground remains the same size, the shape changes.  The shorter, wider contact patch of the wider tire means that when you are pedaling there is less sidewall of the tire flexing.  Sidewall flex is caused by friction, and friction is bad.  If you doubt that sidewall flex is a major cause of friction, touch the side of your car tire after a road trip.  It’s hot, from the flexy friction action.  All lost energy.  So not only does a wider tire have the same contact with the ground, but it also rolls more efficiently.  The added size adds safety: resistance to pinch flats, protection of the valuable wheelset.  The larger air volume allows you to drop pressure on crappy road surfaces or when its raining or snowing out.  Major classics races are raced on fat tires at pressures that would make the average american road rider flinch.   80 psi, 60 psi…  Way lower than the 120 psi that many people ride.  And these are the fastest riders in the world, riding over real roads of varying surface quality.  Tom Boonen won Paris Roubaix on 29mm wide tires at 60 psi.

Boonen went chubby this spring and won.

Is there a limit to how fat you can go before it starts to negatively affect the speed at which you can ride?  Yes, but no.  Yes, if you are riding at the highest level of the field and maintain an average speed in excess of 20 mph on your rides.  You’d probably want to top out at a 25mm tire if that is the case.  The slight added weight will be out weighed by the contact patch shape change.  Any bigger, and the tire starts to have aerodynamic consequences.  BUT: only if you ride really fast, everywhere.  If you are a typical enthusiast rider, your average speed is under 20, and in that speed range, aerodynamics are basically worthless.  You could ride a 28mm tire, and the only thing holding you back would be your psychological resistance to such a fat tire.  The slight added weight gain can easily be offset by a lighter rim strip and or lighter tubes, if you care about such things.

Personally, the smallest tire I ride on the road is a 28mm tire.  I like to be able to go out and ride whatever I come across, be it a grassy path into the woods or a big hill like Coxey Brown road.  I’d run bigger, but my frame won’t allow it. 28’s reach their limits in really really rough terrain, like a newly graded gravel road, but otherwise can take anything Washington, Frederick or Carroll counties can throw at them.

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James

Shop rides:
Sunday evenings, at 5.30, meet at the shop for a group road ride.  We’ll head out and explore some less traveled roads in the Frederick area.  You’ll need: a spare tube and something to pump it with, a tail light and possibly a headlight, and a road bike you aren’t afraid to get dirty on.  Almost all of these rides have at least one dirt road on them.  It goes till around dark, sometimes a little after… Casual pace but hard roads…

Tuesday mornings: Meet at the 7th street Starbucks at 8am for a mixed surface road ride.  We’ll go from between 40 and 70 miles, depending on various variables.  Not a fast ride, a chugging ride.  Climbing, dirt, some place to eat something, even if it’s a gas station…

Wednesday evening shop ride with Brian.  This is THE CLIMBING RIDE, pretty quick pace.  The route is up Hamburg road, a real corker of a climb, and then decisions are made from the top of the climb as to the route. Back to the shop at dusk.  A tail light isn’t a bad idea.

Thursday evening mountain ride at the Frederick Watershed with Brian and Team Flying Dog.  Meet at the maintenance shed at the foot of mountain dale road, right where it goes from paved to gravel.  Call at the shop if its been raining: we don’t like to ride on wet trails because it leads to damage.  5.30pm.   Lots of climbing and tech rock sections.  Experienced mountain riders…

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Do we stock fat tires? Yes.

Thanks for reading this week,

-The Bike Doctor Crew of Sublime Subliminal Subterranean Sorcery

Peri’s Scope

Isaac Newton wondering where he left his Fixie last night.

Learning the basics is never fun.  Isaac Newton wrote to Robert Hooke: “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” This concept is often applied sporadically, without understanding how you even climb on the giant in the first place.  Frank Stella, a mid-century conceptual painter, often repeated this sentiment.  He skipped learning how to apply paint, and went straight to the conceptual basis of painting.  In doing so he never learned what makes painting function in an engaging way, and to this day he bores the heck out of me.  Apologies if you are a Stella fan.  Stella never learned the basics, and as such, could never have fun with his work, so it always suffered from trying too hard.

Frank, wondering where he put his sense of humor.

We think: get a great, contemporary bike with the best bits 2012 has to offer.  There, we can ride anything now.  My form will be better.  My climbing will find divine rhythm.  My back will stop hurting when I lay into a long pull at the front of a pace line.  I’ll clear that rock garden with two extra inches of travel.  Gadgets are good, so we think: I’ll get a pile of gadgets that monitor our heart and speed and cadence and pace and the mean, median and mode of our time on the bike.  That will maximize my experience.  Mediation and self-improvement through technology.  An age-old concept.

I’m stuck sitting here, pretty late at night, listening to Bill Evan’s a Portrait in Jazz.  It’s a great album, and subtly different from most piano jazz, in that it’s good, but laid back, restrained, and full of a deep technical mastery.  Bill Evans had a crappy dentist, but knew some important stuff.  In this You Tube Video, he talks about what makes a good jazz pianist.

Coincidentally, it’s also what makes a good cyclist.  Learn the basics.  Learn how to ride with minimal impact on your body, how to climb and not look like you are about to fall over and lay gasping in the median, how to descend a dirt road without worrying, how to walk into a coffee shop and deal with the stares without caring.  Learn how to shift and brake properly, how to hold your elbows, and where to look on the trail.

Figure this stuff out.  You don’t need anything but a bike.  Then get the doo dads.  Add stuff after you figure out the basics.  When you have nothing left to learn, and all that is holding you back is your bike, upgrade.  Eddy Mercyx said: Don’t buy upgrades.  Ride up grades. 

Here is a great link to more or less a full Bill Evans album, for free, online.  It’s streaming. Listen to whilst making dinner, or the next time it rains.  It’s a good listen, I promise.

http://grooveshark.com/#!/album/Portrait+In+Jazz/1437921

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We’ll have a whole series of clinics this spring season.  We like to do them, and some times people even show up, and when they do, that’s great and fun, and everyone learns something useful.  They’ll be every Wednesday at 6.  Figure an hour or maybe a little more for each class.  All free.  Here is the schedule, which is pretty self-explanatory, I reckon:

2/29:  LIMITED CLASS SIZE  FULL FULL SORRY…. email us at bikedrfrederick (at) gmail (d0t) com to get in on the action:  James (that’s me!) will teach you how to lace a wheel (you pick, front or rear) and tension it so it won’t explode on you, or crumble like Michelle Bachmann’s presidential chances.  You’ll be buying some basic spokes (or really nice ones, whatever you want) a cheap rim, and a cheap hub to learn this skill.  Get something you can put on your commuter, so it doesn’t go to waste.  If you want to take this class, ya gotta buy the stuff from us, but we’ll point out OK cheap stuff.  Figure this class will go to about 9pm.  We need to hash out what you need soonishly, so let us know, with a quickness.

3/7:  First Wednesday, so it’s a fix a flat clinic.  Comprehensive, to say the least.

3/14:  How to overhaul and adjust a headset, assuming it can be overhauled and adjusted.  What’s a headset?  That thing that lets your turn the handlebars and therefore the front wheel, as well.  Sometimes these get coated in sweat and grossness and need a good wash and regrease.  If you generate lots of forehead sweat, or ride the trainer a lot, this is a great clinic for you.

3/21:  NO CLINICS.  Tent sale will be that weekend (thursday-sunday) and we will be busy and nervous.  Drop off comfort food and beer for bonus points.

No shop rides this week, we’re busy busy getting ready for our expansion.
Thanks for reading.  If you used to be our friend on facebook, and don’t know what happened, here is what happened: we went to a business account as opposed to a personal account.  We’re still there, just wiggled around.  Click on that facebook thing next to this post to follow that.

Thanks again!

-The Bike Doctor Crew of Modal Madness

It’s OK To Slow Down

Picking nettles

Picking Nettles for dinner on a bike tour in York, PA

NEWS FLASH, Before the actual blog post starts.  If you are a cyclist in Frederick, and want to have a Pump Track built in the city, come join the Frederick Bicycle Coalition at the Taley Rec Center tomorrow (Tuesday) at 7pm for a Parks and Rec meeting.  We’ll be advocating (and the more the merrier, so they know it’s something that will have community support) for an East Street Park pump track, like the one down in Germantown.  Pictures of that one, here. The FBC has a grant in place to make this thing happen, so basically all we need is the blessing of the Parks and Rec guys, which we hope to get, tomorrow evening.   Just by showing up you’ll be helping.  Ya don’t even have to speak!  

What is a pump track? A pump track is a dirt play ground for bicycles, providing a continuous loop with banked turns and rolling mounds of dirt. This allows riders to travel without pedaling by utilizing momentum to keep moving. Pump tracks are used by bicycle riders of all ages to develop essential skills in a low risk environment while also developing fitness. Pump tracks are inexpensive to build, take up a small footprint in the park and require very little maintenance making them ideal for city parks.  

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We live frantic lives, surrounded by social media, endless mp3 collections, four acre grocery stores, cars with more horsepower than we can ever use, magazines that tout the unattainable, and a media structure that focuses on tomorrow and today, but never the past.   The future, here, now, but faster.  For less money, if possible.

I often find myself in the position of selling road bikes to people who want to go race.  It’s their first road bike, and they want to go out and train and be fast and competitive and to get fit while doing it.

sometimes it's ok to leave the heart rate monitor at home

Goals are good, even if they arn’t always practical.  Reaching for something beyond possiblity is how we stretch and grow as people.  If it’s easy, you arn’t growing  as person/athelete/cyclist.  That’s the idea, and it’s a fine idea, but it shouldn’t be the only idea.

Racing is a great social activity, and some people need to have racing as a goal to get out and ride.  I’ve had tons of fun at 13 hour and 24 hour races, met great people, pushed myself to foolish lengths, and generally abused my body in the process.  Racing a rigid singlespeed on a rocky 24 hour race course in driving rain and mist is the very definition of nuts.  But I worry.  I worry about these people, maybe you are one of them, that focus just on racing.  I worry that they will forget the other side of cycling.  The part where you aren’t prepping for some big race, or to beat a personal best.

jay's basket, after a trip to the record exchange, in downtown Frederick

Cycling can be hard, masocistic, dangerous and expensive, but the flip side is just as compelling.   Ride a bike with normal shoes on, in a pair of jeans.  Go to a restaurant on your bike, where I promise you will get the best parking, head to the park with some sandwiches, or shoot down to the library to snag some weekend reading.  Ride a bike that’s comfortable, that you can take in the sights with.  Sometimes its good to take these bikes out for ‘real’ road rides.  Your singlespeed townie isn’t gunna make it up the hill, so you have to walk.  All the things you miss when you are suffering up a hill become bonus ride features; birds, flowers, tiny trickles of water, moss on rocks, novelty mailboxes, free fresh fruit at the end of a driveway.  If you have normal shoes on, you can go check out a rock formation and not slip and fall, or wander into a store and buy something, which you can then put it that awesome basket.  We need balance in our lives, a time and place to switch from fast forward to slow motion.  I’ve seen plenty of folks get burned out on bikes because of racing.  Our friend Jeff Schalk was a Trek pro mountain biker.  He trained his face off, and only now, after a half a year of retirement, does he want to get back on his mountain bike.  He recovered and switched gears by just riding a borrowed, simple bike when he wanted to, on short trips.

There is something hugely liberating and deeply satisfying about slowing down and stripping away goals, data and dress codes.  Our lives are already spent wearing uniforms, monitoring data streams, and reaching work or spiritual goals.  Our hobby and passion can occasionally be free and relaxing.  Try it out!

Here’s some of our townie bikes:

mel's commuter

James's old Schwinn townie. Dig the copper basket!

emily's mb-4

Emily's Bridgestone Townie.

xo-1 front basket

Bread in a basket on my XO-1 whatevering bike

____________________________________________________________________________________________

First the clinics.  We’ll have a whole series of clinics this winter season.  We like to do them, and some times people even show up, and when they do, that’s great and fun, and everyone learns something useful.  They’ll be every Wednesday at 6.  Figure an hour or maybe a little more for each class.  All free.  Here is the schedule, which is pretty self-explanatory, I reckon:

2/8:  Clean your Drivetrain at home with not much time and very little money Clinic.  Self explanatory, that.

2/15:  Tuning your mountain bike for your riding style and location Clinic.  Adjust the suspension, tire pressure, gearing, bars, tire choice, etc etc, for where ever you are riding.  Jason will teach this, and it will be good.

2/22: Rebuild a rebuildable normal Shimano style hub clinic:  Shimano style hubs should be rebuilt occasionally, to keep the boogie man at bay.  We’ll show you how to perform this yearly ritual.  If you want to do it at home, you’ll need a few tools we can point out and source for you, including the elusive and under used axle clamp.

2/29:  LIMITED CLASS SIZE…. max five, TWO positions filled already, email us at bikedrfrederick (at) gmail (d0t) com to get in on the action:  James (that’s me!) will teach you how to lace a wheel (you pick, front or rear) and tension it so it won’t explode on you, or crumble like Michelle Bachmann’s presidential chances.  You’ll be buying some basic spokes (or really nice ones, whatever you want) a cheap rim, and a cheap hub to learn this skill.  Get something you can put on your commuter, so it doesn’t go to waste.  If you want to take this class, ya gotta buy the stuff from us, but we’ll point out OK cheap stuff.  Figure this class will go to about 9pm.  We need to hash out what you need soonishly, so let us know, with a quickness.

3/7:  First Wednesday, so it’s a fix a flat clinic.  Comprehensive, to say the least.

3/14:  How to overhaul and adjust a headset, assuming it can be overhauled and adjusted.  What’s a headset?  That thing that lets your turn the handlebars and therefore the front wheel, as well.  Sometimes these get coated in sweat and grossness and need a good wash and regrease.  If you generate lots of forehead sweat, or ride the trainer a lot, this is a great clinic for you.

3/21:  NO CLINICS.  Tent sale will be that weekend (thursday-sunday) and we will be busy and nervous.  Drop off comfort food and beer for bonus points.

_____________________________________________________________________

Shop Rides:

Monday evening Flying Dog rides from Greenbrier.  These are mountain bike rides, so you need a good bike and a good light and a good back up light.  Lead by Herb and Jay, both affable and good guys, and friends of the shop.  This is sanctioned by the park, so you won’t get arrested, because it’s legal.  More info here, as well as how to sign up for those.

Tuesdays Brandon and John are getting some big miles in.  Join them for a longish, semi fast ride of around 80 miles.  8 am at the 7th street Starbucks.  Email us to see if this is happening.  Depends on weather.

call ahead to see if we are doing a Thursday ride.  We might, we might not.  If we do, shortish, slowish, 7 am, from the 7th street ‘Bucks.

April 4th, which is a ways off, Brian will be starting his Wednesday evening climbing rides again.  So stay posted on that.

Follow us on Facebook.  Or like us, or whatever you do with that thing.

Read more on bikedoctorfrederick.wordpress.com

Email us with complaints about how pointless our stories are.  Bikedrshoprides (at) gmail (dot) com

Thanks for reading,

The Bike Doctor Crew of Tactical Tackiness

A Tale of Two One Point Fives

For New Readers: If you don’t want to read all of this (even though you might be entertained or even learn something) just skip down till you see a page break.  That’s where the news and events live. 

Mel pushes out of a valley. Photo from Jay's Flickr Stream.

My cue sheet couldn’t help me anymore.  I was looking for a section of trail called “The Wall”.  Talking to riders in town, I learned you knew you were at “The Wall” when the trail pointed toward the sky and a wooden sign said “The Wall”.  I only had a vague idea of how to get there.  One of those “it’s halfway between the first and second pond, near a clearing, with some big rocks” things.  I dig directions like that.   It means at least three wrong turns.  I heart a good wrong turn.  After wandering down a few dubious paths off the gravel road, I stumbled on a  field of yellow wildflowers, preternaturally still in the early afternoon sun.  As I made my way between two likely looking boulders, the sound drained from the air.  Birds evaporated.  Leaves ceased motion.

James threads the needle on some singletrack and a roadish bike. Jay's photostream, again.

The woods took on a stillness reserved for off-color jokes at church suppers.  My quietly clicking freewheel and the soft crunch of my tires on the grassy path were the only sounds.  Even those minute sounds were far away.  Sounds of another time and place.  The woods often does this to me.  Hugs me with roaring oceanic silence.  I’m not sure how I feel about it.

The path wound down into a valley, surrounded by rough gray rocks tossed by an angry prehistoric giant, trees stunted and twisted as if vicious winds and vile cold were normal operating conditions.  I wondered when the Gnomes would make their appearance.  A mile of riding brought me to the foot of the climb.  It ascended into the weald, a series of mild steps, gradually gaining altitude, with plenty of places to catch my wind and prepare for the next incline.  Then “The Wall” came.  No warning, a sharp blind turn and it pointed up, rocky, loose, steep, with no time to even downshift.  I slammed my gearing down, gnashed my teeth, and still only made it a hundred yards before the assault failed.

Smooshed

I took to my feet, trudging up the mountain, rocks poking my feet.  I had never climbed anything this steep before, and I have climbed 27 percent grades.  The sign for “The Wall”, hand burnt and defiant, passed me on the right.  I had brought a camera, but was too tired to even snap a picture.  It seemed like the air was getting thinner.  The silence gripped me and took me bad places.  All I heard was the blood in my ears and my incomplete thoughts of general foreboding firing away like tiny bombs in my head.

I reached the summit.  The path, radiant yellow grass and terra-cotta stone, stretched flat and straight across the moraine.  I rode quickly, legs warm and ready.  The silence chased me like a mute Doberman.  The ground was rocky, loose stones and dirt.  My road tires sank and swam alternatively, skittering and sliding under my hands.  I was always told to hold my handlebars loosely, like they were 1.5 times bigger than they actually are. This way, the bike and rider could react to bumps, and small directional changes, and still sort of auto–pilot its way through stuff.

Jay's photostream, again. Brian keeps it loose on his Waterford and some rough terrain

In other words, a loose grip actually meant more control, less wasted energy, and a more ‘ready for anything’ stance. I took this bit of wisdom and applied it. I loosened up and found more control, less fatigue and more power for my legs, that otherwise would have gone to my hands and forearms. I rode a rigid road bike and wasn’t beat up. I rode skinny tires over undulations fit for fatter rubber. I descend really nasty rocky scree with crappy brakes and was OK.

Instead of increasing diameters on road bikes why don’t we re-teach this old chunk of wisdom. Let’s trade 1.5 inch headsets for theoretical 1.5x larger diameter handlebars. We could start by getting rid of all that gel tape, and foam pads and get people riding normal cork tape,  or (gasp) cloth.

This would expose undersized bikes, and poor riding positions. Lots of gel and saddle cut-outs do wonders for hiding bad bike fit. It’s a win win situation. Really.  People like to treat colds by addressing the symptoms of the cold.  Stuffy, runny nose, headaches… You have seen or heard approximately 26,894 cold symptom drug ads by the time you are 23 years old, and will have spent $1,872.21 on the drugs advertised.  I just made that up.   But the fact remains, Americans love this stuff.  Ignore whatever caused the issue, treat the stuff that feels bad.  Head hurts because you stare a computer screen all day?  Take a pill.  Acid Reflux because you ate at that cheese steak place again?  Swig some pink juice.  It’s easier to roll this way, which of course is why people do it.  No lifestyle changes necessary.  I’m guilty, so is almost everyone I know.  I only say almost to be nice.  Maybe there is an outlier out there.

I see this same symptom treatment going on with bikes.  We get lots of folks in here that have band aids on their bikes to address various issues.  Now, before I go any further: some people NEED, without a question, certain modifications to their bikes just so they can ride it.   Prostate issues, acute carpel tunnel, fused necks, etc.  There are real issues that sometimes need seemingly odd or unconventional solutions.  So no offense to those folks.  I get it, I promise.

Basically, my point is, good form and good bike fit are the keys to riding comfortably.  Fixing bad form shouldn’t be solved with technology.  It should be solved by fixing your riding form.  A sketchy front end is going to be sketchy if you death grip the bars and ride you brakes like Rick Allen rides a hi hat (does he even use a high hat?).  Fatter tubes, bigger bars and stiff brakes won’t help you.  Numb hands are numb because your bars are too low, not because your handlebar tape needs padding.  Painful pressure points in saddles are usually also because your bars are too low.

I kept a loose grip bouncing down the trail, floating with the bars, keeping my weight balanced between saddle and pedal.  The sound came back to the world, like a blanket being lifted.  The stillness dissipated, the world spun once more.  The trail turned down and I saw a pond through the leaves, hovering like a fallen slice of sky in the deep woods.  The pitch became violent.  I was being hurdled down the slope at a pace reserved for mountain bikers with suspension.  I kept it relaxed, forcing my face to move from grimace to slack jaw’d yokel. Let the front end do what it needed to, steer with the hips (this is huge) and slight finger tip touches.  I pumped the brakes, avoiding over-heating the rims, blowing the tubes up from the resulting heat, and being stuck miles from home.   Been there.  Gotta let that heat dissipate.

The bottom of the trail emerged onto a quiet dirt road.  I had just come down a rough, rocky trail with outmoded brakes, 60-year-old drop bars, and a steel road frame and fork, with skinny, bald tires.  My handlebar tape was cloth, basically a grippy surface for the bars.  But I made it.  My bike fits, my bars are in the right spot, and I kept it loose.  Ingredients in place, Omelet made.

__________________________________________________________________

There’s some stuff going on here at the shop.  As I noted last week, we’re expanding.  If you come in, it might be noisy, dusty, and generally ugly. We’ll try to make it go as fast as possible, but right now we’re a bit disheveled, so apologies for that.  We’ve lost 50% of our wall space, and all the things that used to live on the wall are scattered around.  We still have it all, it just might take a minute to find it.  We hope to have it all sorted in about a month and a half.

In the mean time, we are still doing rides and clinics.  We sponsor a mountain bike team, Team Flying Dog, and those guys do a night ride out at Greenbrier State Park, so I’ll give you details on that, below.

___________________________________________________________________

First the clinics.  We’ll have a whole series of clinics this winter season.  We like to do them, and some times people even show up, and when they do, that’s great and fun, and everyone learns something useful.  They’ll be every Wednesday at 6.  Figure an hour or maybe a little more for each class.  All free.  Here is the schedule, which is pretty self-explanatory, I reckon:

2/8:  Clean your Drivetrain at home with not much time and very little money Clinic.  Self explanatory, that.

2/15:  Tuning your mountain bike for your riding style and location Clinic.  Adjust the suspension, tire pressure, gearing, bars, tire choice, etc etc, for where ever you are riding.  Jason will teach this, and it will be good.

2/22: Rebuild a rebuildable normal Shimano style hub clinic:  Shimano style hubs should be rebuilt occasionally, to keep the boogie man at bay.  We’ll show you how to perform this yearly ritual.  If you want to do it at home, you’ll need a few tools we can point out and source for you, including the elusive and under used axle clamp.

2/29:  LIMITED CLASS SIZE…. max five, TWO positions filled already, email us at bikedrfrederick (at) gmail (d0t) com to get in on the action:  James (that’s me!) will teach you how to lace a wheel (you pick, front or rear) and tension it so it won’t explode on you, or crumble like Michelle Bachmann’s presidential chances.  You’ll be buying some basic spokes (or really nice ones, whatever you want) a cheap rim, and a cheap hub to learn this skill.  Get something you can put on your commuter, so it doesn’t go to waste.  If you want to take this class, ya gotta buy the stuff from us, but we’ll point out OK cheap stuff.  Figure this class will go to about 9pm.  We need to hash out what you need soonishly, so let us know, with a quickness.

3/7:  First Wednesday, so it’s a fix a flat clinic.  Comprehensive, to say the least.

3/14:  How to overhaul and adjust a headset, assuming it can be overhauled and adjusted.  What’s a headset?  That thing that lets your turn the handlebars and therefore the front wheel, as well.  Sometimes these get coated in sweat and grossness and need a good wash and regrease.  If you generate lots of forehead sweat, or ride the trainer a lot, this is a great clinic for you.

3/21:  NO CLINICS.  Tent sale will be that weekend (thursday-sunday) and we will be busy and nervous.  Drop off comfort food and beer for bonus points.

_____________________________________________________________________

Shop Rides:

Monday evening Flying Dog rides from Greenbrier.  These are mountain bike rides, so you need a good bike and a good light and a good back up light.  Lead by Herb and Jay, both affable and good guys, and friends of the shop.  This is sanctioned by the park, so you won’t get arrested, because it’s legal.  More info here, as well as how to sign up for those.

Tuesdays Brandon and John are getting some big miles in.  Join them for a longish, semi fast ride of around 80 miles.  8 am at the 7th street Starbucks.

call ahead to see if we are doing a Thursday ride.  We might, we might not.  If we do, shortish, slowish, 7 am, from the 7th street ‘Bucks.

April 4th, which is a ways off, Brian will be starting his Wednesday evening climbing rides again.  So stay posted on that.

Follow us on Facebook.  Or like us, or whatever you do with that thing.

Read more on bikedoctorfrederick.wordpress.com

Email us with complaints about how pointless our stories are.  Bikedrshoprides (at) gmail (dot) com

Thanks for reading,

The Bike Doctor Crew of Bearded Bodaciousness