Wednesday, 23 September 2020

1999 GT ZR 3000 rebuild

There's not a lot of these around - 1999 GT ZR 3000 - team Lotto colours from 1999.  This is how they came to be a sponsor (mine is commercial, not a team castoff).

My first ever road bike, reborn.  Bow Cycle for the original purchase and the rebuild.

Essentially a 20 year refresh, lots of technologies that didn't exist then - Di2, internal routing, carbon tubeless clinchers, wider rims and tires, power meter, 11 speed. 

Rides wonderfully, and it's stiff!  Pure horizontal top tubes are rarer than they should be, it looks great and starts lots of conversations.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Help Find Otis

Cyclists: are you tired of Zwift yet this winter?  Are you looking to add meaning through a positive mission to your weekend?  You can move further and faster than walkers, and can go more places than cars.  You have a cell phone and a bike... thus you're qualified to join the swarm of eyes and ears that will be out on two wheels.

Please help find Otis.  Otis is a dog, aka man's best friend.  In this case, family's best friend.  Enough

Otis has been missing since Jan 26, with many details outlined in this article.

If you're willing to dedicate some of your weekend miles to the cause, please:

- keep your eyes open, and ride every road, back road, trail and forest you can
- Call Conrad Gould with any sightings.  Please don't harass him.  He has published his number all over Springbank on missing dog signs.  403-870-3889.
- get a picture if you can
- try to get an exact location and time either verbally or via the pin feature on your phone's mapping capabilities
- paste the link to your Strava ride to this google doc, such that hopefully with some more helping horsepower, a heatmap can be added on where people have searched.  In the meantime, you could just browse the rides and sightings map below to see where more coverage could be added.  The dream would be to have strava have a "club heatmap" feature, so we could all join a "find Otis" club temporarily, which doesn't exist.  If anyone has a good tech solution here please contact me.

Do not:
- trespass
- call out the dog's name, as he's likely in a panic/survival state at this point
- chase or try to apprehend

In addition to massive accruals of karma, undying devotion of canines across the planet, appreciation from a family, and that warm feeling that will well up inside you for redirecting just a few hours of your recreational hobby of riding bikes on the weekend to helping find Otis, I will brainstorm some incremental appropriate reward if he is found.  The owners appear to be suggesting similar.

Please see this map for lost and last seen points.  The truth at this point is its likely that Bow River to Elbow River, Highway 22 to Sarcee Trail are fair game, if not more.  There was one sighting in Wentworth.  As stated above, if people paste their rides (and any comments), it helps anyone who wishes to review rides target unswept areas.

Saturday, 26 October 2019

2013 Raleigh Hodala SSCX - carbon single speed cyclocross

With both 'cross season and winter on the horizon, the topic of drive train maintenance was percolating in my mind - or more accurately, reduction of drive train maintenance.  I went down this road once before with a relatively standard commuter bike, which was ok, but the weight got to me and it rode like a brick.  One thing led to another, and before I knew it a single speed 'cross frame hunt was underway - more inline with the feel of a pure race bike.

I came across the 2013, carbon limited edition Raleigh Hodala, which has quite a cult following, as a nice target frame. The specs and design impressed, as did the match to our club colors.  Amazingly enough, I found one in pristine condition in my size relatively promptly and spent a week or two contemplating the deal.

The Hodala (which apparently is "bottom's up" in Tiawanese - like when you're chugging beer), is belt drive compatible, and the seller was willing to include a few items to kick start the build: a belt, the front and rear cogs, cassette spacers, and a handful of other items I could either use or trade if the sizing didn't end up working.

Here are the specs for this frame:

Size 57cm MD/LG
Seat Tube Length 550mm
Standover Height  815mm
Top Tube Length 560mm
Head Tube Length 150mm
Head Angle  72
Seat Angle  73
Wheel Base  1020mm
Chain Stay Length  425mm
Fork Offset  45mm
BB Drop  55mm
BB Threaded
Rear wheel Spacing 130mm
Seatpost 31.6mm
Headset 1-1/8”

The build took a month of thinking and having pieces come together.  Custom highlights include:
- customized Origin8 tensioners, which are much lighter (both sides combined is a fraction) and more subtle than the popular Surly option.  After much contemplation, I simply modified them via hand file in my vise.
- After swapping out the headset bearing cap with the brake cable hanger for a standard one, the rear canti hanger needed to go as well for a consistent aesthetic.  This consisted of careful Dremmel work, a J-B Weld patch, then cosmetic cover up.

Frame: Raleigh Hodala large + Enve cyclocross fork
Cockpit: Extralite stem, FSA headset, Thomson 'cross carbon bar, SRAM Red, gutted levers + TRP mini-V 8.4 brakes
Syntace P6 Hiflex post + Tune Komm Vor plus saddle

Drive train: Ultegra 6601 crank (with 130 bcd 5 bolt pattern), Stages Dura ace non drive side, Dura ace BB, Crank Brothers Eggbeater 11 pedals, 50x22 Gates belt drive, Origin8 tensioners (customized).  I had a Paul and a Surly tensioner, and they're lovely - the Surly even opens beers.  But as nitpick as it sounds, you can feel their weight back there.  They're each about 75g, for 150g in total if you tension both sides - which I'd recommend for aggressive riding.  The Origin8's total 18g for the pair, meaning the Origin8's save 1/3 of a pound back there, plus they have a much more minimalist aesthetic.

Wheels: Fairwheel bikes made FSE EVO carbon tubeless road 25mm, Carbon-Ti X-hubs 24 rear, 20 front, Sapim CX ray spokes with Schwalbe X-One, X-One Bite tires.

Fancy bits of a well contemplated build: KCNC bottle cage bolts and skewers, Arundel cage, carbon seat post clamp, Far and Near garmin mount, delrin headset spacers, Yokozuna Reaction compressionless brake cables (lovely).

The end result is quite svelte for a functional machine, and this even includes the bell!

I've been riding 50 - 22 gearing, which I've been happy with.  100rpm is about 32km/h, 

Saturday, 30 April 2016


OK, so we're no comparison for Kelley Haggith Nutbrown and Jonathan Nutbrown's wetlands, but I was excited to see a moose in our yard this morning!!! Of course armed only with only an iPhone and needing to get my slippers, it was outside the fence by the time I got a picture, so it's no National Geographic quality photo. We've seen coyotes, a big porcupine, lots of deer and this. We hear the area has big cats but haven't yet spotted one ourselves. Small cats and a medium size dog are easily spotted ; ) 

Saturday, 16 April 2016


I’m not much for religion, but I wouldn’t say I lack spirituality. I just don’t blast it outward much. Religious or not, Angels still exist. I just think they’re often misrepresented. The Angels I know don’t have wings and curls and white gowns. They’re ordinary people, or furry ; )
Our growing family has pets with hearts. They really don’t do anything else besides love, and chase hair elastics.
Until now: My browsing of online personal ads, err, furry personals, revealed Aspen. I was at work, and instantly just knew. From click to thinking about what to write in the adoption form was no more than 5 minutes. That’s not rash, we’ve been looking and discussing for a while. But when things are right and just meant to be, you know.
Aspen is all heart (in fact, she’s all recovered and has a fixed heart). She loves baby Brit, and likewise Brit is enthralled with her. We love her. She’s as cool as a cucumber. Just the short time she’s been in our house, we joked already that “Aspen, calm down” is a phrase we’ll never, ever have to say. 
The other furballs have never shown such an easy welcome to another animal. They send out Milo first for recon. 
Kelly Cerato you are an Angel to these animals and giving them the opportunity for new and improved lives. Friends - please review if you’re looking at avenues to adopt animals. If you want a short story of good and evil in the world please read here:

Saturday, 6 February 2016


Yesterday I went to the pet store to stock up on food as Marvin and Maggie were out.  

I made small talk with the girl working there regarding the big blue parrot which seems eerily intelligent and has very long lifespan, then secondly the dogs and cats.   

The dogs and cats are sourced from rescue shelters these days.  I asked how long they stay before getting adopted - the answer was most are very fast.  Except that little cat has been there for like 5 months and we don't understand because he's all heart and just loves everyone who plays with him but nobody takes him home. 

I played with him a bit, little guy from Red Deer.  His hip has fur regrowing as he was bit and stitched up when found, probably a dog attack.  

So we went back today and adopted him. He is all heart. First thing he did in the play area was sit down on Brit in her chair. We moved him back then he just went and snuggled her again.  

Family is now bigger with Milo.  He purrs like a tractor and wants to cuddle.  This cartoon tells it all.  After 5 hours at home he's exuberant with love. They know when their lives have taken a turn. 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Grands Montets, Geneva

I woke up to rain and despite wanting to have another day at Les Contamines that I like the feel of, I was advised to head higher for snow vs rain.  At least our race timing worked out perfectly.  

Grand Montets is up the valley from Chamonix.  It was snowing even on the road and parking lot, which was promising.  

I purchased only a 4h ticket as the lady said only the telepherique lognan and two lifts, marmotons and tabe were open.  I did one run off each. 

Here's the view from boarding the cable car. 

Here's the view from the top of marmotons.  I think that's a good run behind me. 

This is the top of marmotons.  

I wasn't going to improve my skiing today nor see a view.  All I could do was stay between blue sticks and do the same leg motion and hope that made it through the snow ok. The snow felt nice, but where it clumped and grabbed your skis it was pretty dangerous as you didn't see anything. Basically it was skiing on hope. 

The internet tells me this is what it looks like on a clear day. 

I drove to Geneva, then checked out those who have a good life on the lake. 

I visited this but got there at close. Napoleons brother owned it at one point, now it's a Swiss museum.