Thursday, April 21, 2016

More Spring Rides

My area is currently enjoying some decent weather. This week has been relatively nice, with temperatures in the 70s each day. It will be rainy over the next day or so, but hopefully will improve again after that.

I have been riding the 1946-47 Hercules Royal Model C mostly, though I did take a 1940 Westfield for a ride this past weekend, when it was particularly warm.

It's nice having a little more daylight each evening. It gives me a chance to ride right before dinner.

I did make a small change to the bicycle: I put a lower profile kickstand on the bike, to prevent the cranks from rubbing on the kickstand arm. I put a Raleigh-type English kickstand with a low profile leg onto the bike, and that added a little clearance between the kickstand and the crank arm.

If you're wondering what that extra clamp is on the non-drive side chain stay, it is a "strike plate" to prevent the previous kickstand leg from banging and chattering against the frame. I am not sure if the strike plate will stay. I may not need it with the Raleigh-type stand (the leg seems to be under much less spring tension).

Saturday, April 16, 2016

1940 Westfield Sports Roadster Returns to the Road

Now that the weather is warming up in full, I can bring out some of the oldest bikes I have. The 1940 Westfield is a fairly primitive roadster: single speed coaster brake, bell, and Philco handbrake unit on the front. The Philco is actually an upgrade the original owner made back in the day.

The Philco unit is interesting because it lets you add a front hand brake to almost any bike. It is something of a hybrid between a center pull caliper and cantilever brakes. It actually functions smoother and better  than it looks.

However, it is quite heavy and has peculiar means of adjusting pad spacing and angle. I did put fresh pads in: modified Kool Stop pads. I used a Dremel to get the correct dovetail for the pad holders. It's an interesting part from the days when you could just add a handbrake to a bike that otherwise might not be able to take one because of a lack of brake bolt hole in the fork.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter

Spring is getting going in earnest now, and Easter weekend 2016 was not bad for riding at all. Saturday was the better day, with warmer weather and a little more sun. I took out the 1958 Raleigh for that. Easter Sunday was cooler and overcast, but the rain held off until just about dark.

I had to repair a rear flat on the 1946-47 Hercules, but once that was sorted, the ride was not bad at all. The roads this afternoon were particularly quiet.

The flowers are really starting to come out here in Virginia.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Evening Rides: 1958 Raleigh

The extra light in the evening allows me to ride after work again. This is always a good sign, because it means I can ride during the week. It helps having a good light, and this particular headlight I made by putting the guts of a 1,200 lumen LED bicycle light into a vintage, Miller shell.

It offers 3 beam levels, plus a hazard flasher mode. The battery recharges, and the battery holder straps right onto the Raleigh's lamp bracket. I'm glad I added it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Some of the Best Conditions to Ride

 Here we are in mid-March, and the spring has arrived in Virginia. Today we have sun and clouds, with temperatures around 75; perfect weather to ride.  Caesar may have had trouble on the ides of March (March 15 that is), but no trouble today.

1947 Hercules Royal Model C