Sunday, October 19, 2014

Another Globe in the mix!

There's this constant quest for "the" bike, the perfect bike for all applications that more than likely doesn't exist. The more probable solution is accepting the limits of our machines and becoming better riders. Working as a bike messenger in San Francisco provides an opportunity to test bikes and riders on some of the most challenging terrain in the world.

Even on our "insane" hills my Globe Roll 1 has been a favorite. I don't ride it fixed and I do have brakes but even geared high in track bike range, once I got used to it, riding single speed is efficient and fast. Granted, I had a lot more adapting to do than the bike did and on my tired days I grab one of my geared bikes but I've even been able to manage a couple of 100 mile trips with my one lonely gear.

I was predictably excited recently when I added an early model Globe Daily 1 to the mix. Visually different from the Globe Roll series it offers similar ride quality and geometry in a full fender dressed up package complete with front rack, mustache style bars and stem mounted bell. So far it has tackled courier shifts and the back roads of Santa Cruz county earning the moniker "Daily" as it has become a true workhorse and go to utility bike pedaling to and from school, on weekend trips and hops across the Golden Gate for Coast Guard duty. With ample eyelets and lugs on it's sturdy aluminum frame, the Daily stands ready for all manor of racks and accessories begging the question, how feasible is touring on a single speed bike? While 100 mile days would be a chore, the daily would certainly go anywhere a vintage three speed could go. Back in the "good ol days" that was just about everywhere.

There are a handful of things needing upgrading. The brakes work but aren't stellar, the pedals look OK but leave a lot of room for improvement and the rear fender needs regular attention to keep it from rattling loose but those things stack up as minor in the big picture. Overall it's a damn classy bike and like it's Roll counterparts, outperforms nearly every other bike I've encountered in it's style and price range.

Update: About a week and 100 miles after writing this one of the pedals came apart. I replaced the stock pedals with a set of Specialized platform pedals with power straps. They work well but don't quite look right and will be getting another upgrade soon. I have a set of All-City pedals that would look a lot better and maintain the Daily as the one bike in my stable with non-SPDs

Friday, October 17, 2014

Martial skills for EMS

Tonight as I sit here admittedly whining about the vaccinations I got today making my arms ache, I'm contemplating gentle submission techniques to present to EMT students tomorrow. Our lead instructor has police and SWAT experience with a lot of very "real world" stress testing. That noted, I'm coming up with a small number of value added items to augment the standards. I'll be digging deep on this one to come up with things both simple and effective that are less likely to cause harm.

It's been a while since I gave my Oni Kai Aikido blog any attention but this may provide material and an interesting direction for a few posts. While I maintain that Aikido is about the longest path to field applicable combat skills a person could choose, it is effective none the less. 

I miss my days of nearly living in dojos and being immersed in this stuff. Maybe a new evolution for Oni Kai is in order. I can certainly think of less noble applications for martial systems. 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ross road bike project

Here's a (terrible) photo of the next build. It's a mid 70's lugged steel Ross road bike. It has nice looking geometry and just enough patina to lend it some character without being overly beat up. There are a couple things that will need to be straightened out but I'm looking forward to another everyday rider. I'll be kitting it out with a much more recent road bike as the donor for most of the missing parts. Very little will be new but it should be a fun bike. Otherwise known as functional and won't make me cry if some thug makes off with it. Though, I am increasingly careful of using multiple locks and near paranoia regarding neighborhoods where I lock up my bikes even for "a minute". 

I'm unexpectedly excited about this one. Must be some random nostalgic memory getting dredged up. Consider this my "before" photo and wish me luck piecing it together!