Bicycle Maintenance

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27mm, f/16, 2 sec, ISO1600
“Mechanical Stuff” Cedar Park, 2021

I did a little tidying up on Sophie’s chain and derailleur today. I’m amazed at the design of derailleur mechanism. Sophie is almost 50 years old, but most of today’s bicycles still use the same system. Tried and true!

It also looks very cool, IMHO. 😀

Switching up the Handlebars

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 35mm, f/2, 1/105 sec, ISO1600
“Rossa” Cedar Park, 2021

I decided to switch up the bicycle handlebar situation a bit by putting the Upanbike swept riser bars that were on Mango onto Rossa, then putting the butterfly bars, which were sitting in the garage, back on Mango. Once I replaced Rossa’s flat bars with the riser bars, the riding experience is so much more comfortable!

Rossa is an old mountain bike, and bikes of that era had the handlebars way out front over the front wheel. Modern mountain bikes position the bars farther back (as well as different overall geometry) so the risk of going over the bars is lessened. I don’t take Rossa on any downhills, so for me I just wanted the more comfortable upright position, and the Upanbike handlebars certainly help. It’s so much more fun for me now! As an added bonus, I think they look really sharp. 😁

If you have time, come with me as I take the Rossa’s “new” handlebars for a spin around the neighborhood:

Grill Mount for Hands-Free GoPro Footage

“Rossa” Cedar Park, 2021

This afternoon Rossa and I went out for a ride and I used the Pro Standard Grill Mount 2.0 which is something that a couple YouTubers I follow use. It’s basically a mount that you bite down on and the GoPro is situated in front of your chin. This allows you to control the viewing angle similar to a helmet mount – the frame of view matches the direction your face is pointing. The advantage over the helmet mount is that with the Grill Mount, you can quickly remove the mount and hand-hold the GoPro (the mount also acts as a nice handle). No need to unscrew the camera off of a standard mount, which can be a pain.

Of course there are a couple of cons. Firstly, since the camera is right next to your mouth, the GoPro’s built in microphone will pick up sounds of hard breathing. Secondly, I think it looks really strange. This is something I think I can just get used to, especially since on a bicycle, if someone does notice the GoPro, it’s only for a few seconds. No need for awkward eye-contact or conversation.

Do I think the Grill Mount is the ultimate solution? No, not for the videos I am making. But it’s definitely a nice addition to add some variety to the standard chest-mount view. And it’s already giving me more ideas and options to branch out on how I shoot my videos.

Please give today’s ride a watch below if you have a few minutes. Thanks!

Bicycle Ride to the Library

“Evening Ride” Cedar Park, 2021

I got the notification from the library that a book that I had on hold was ready for pickup! Since Koa takes my car to school and Mariko was out, I decided to ride my Peugeot bicycle to the library.

There were a couple differences from my typical rides around the neighborhood, though. First, I needed a way to carry the hardcover book, which probably wouldn’t fit in Sophie’s frame bag. And secondly, I needed to lock my bike outside the library. So, I grabbed my new REI Trail 40 backpack, put my bike lock in it and headed out the door.

I don’t like to wear a backpack when I ride but it was a necessary evil today. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that bad! The Trail 40 has a proper hip belt and sternum strap to keep the backpack secure, as well as a nice airflow channel so my back didn’t get sweaty. I almost forgot that I was wearing a backpack!

Anyways, it was a fun and productive ride. I love Sophie because she’s so much faster than my mountain bikes. The acceleration difference is definitely noticeable.

Please join us by watching the video if you have a few moments:

I hope you had a great day! またね~

Morning Ride at Lake Somerville State Park

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/5, 1/250 sec, ISO640
“Mango at the Lake” Lake Somerville, 2021

We woke up early to catch the sunrise, but heavy cloud-cover prevented us from seeing it rise above Lake Somerville. However, when it finally appeared a bit higher in the sky, it was beautiful!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/7.1, 1/250 sec, ISO200
“Sun Rays” Lake Somerville, 2021

My friend Také and I went for a short bike ride around the camp area on the hike and bike trails and saw a bunch of deer, rode through numerous spiderwebs, and worked up a good appetite for breakfast later on. I let him ride Mango, which is has front suspension, trigger-shifters, and a more upright riding position, while I rode Rossa which has no suspension, has a more aggressive position, and friction shifters.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 20.5mm, f/9, 1/125 sec, ISO320
“Rossa and Mango” Lake Somerville, 2021

It was so much fun, but I blew it and forgot to bring the GoPro for the ride! 😒 Man, I suck! Also, Rossa had a flat front tire when we got back to camp. Double-bummer.

But the ride was awesome so it’s all good!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/9, 1/140 sec, ISO200
“View from the Overlook” Lake Somerville, 2021