Sunday, February 3, 2008

Faith Rules!

Faith... a pregnant word with unlimited implications. But today at least the word had definition: Faith in the weather; that the gleam of light should hold long enough to fully awaken, prepare and consume breakfast, and roll the machines out into the environs without the fates forcing rain from the skies.

Indeed, faith held dear for these events and the events to follow. Today PhattKatt wandered nearly 10 miles into the City Proper via the various byways that lead there. First the batteries in the camera failed to work and the battery in the Adeo wasn't charged enough to even get going. So today would be all about enjoying the sights. And wonderful the play in the skies was. Menacing dark clouds were dancing with the fluffy light cloud while the Sun itself played peek-a-boo with the inhabitants below. Nothing much came of the clouds and little mind was given to the possibility of wet coming from them.

But before we left for today's trek, we did fit PhattKatt's paws with booties. Pretty simple mounting and squaring up but definitely a bit fragile in positioning. Nothing really holds the arm from twisting on top of the Cane Creek covers and over-tightening the bars didn't seem promising either. That's a lot of leverage for mounting on a domed surface. I left it as is for now but may just have to machine a few flat covers if the fenders stay. I did hear a few grumbles about not being able to back up by just pulling on the tires. But for now, it was worthwhile since we didn't knwo the conditions of the streets we would be exploring. I'm pretty sure putting the fenders on today was a good option. They sertainly come off easily enough it it is deemed "dry" on the next ride. Here's a shot of PhattKatt and her booties:

Several hours later, we made it back home. Bikes now clean, fresh and happily excersized. I wasn't quite happy with the Cateye OptiCube headlight. We don't ride in the dark, but the light only draws attention every so often and really wasn't doing what it was meant to do in daytime riding. I headed for the Performance Bicycle shop to get a floor pump. While there, I came across the ViewPoint Flare 5 on sale for just under $15-. The demo was nice and bright on its flash mode, much like my 5-LED Nashbar light on the "other" trike. Here a good look at it:

One thing I noted in the store is that the demo had a smaller bracket and a different button for the switch. I asked the sales-person what was up with that and they told me that the older one had problems with the switch. So be aware if you see one that doesn't quite match.

So now I know that PhattKatt will be noticed when she approaches intersection. Makes me a whole lot more comfortable. With the smaller lens, the light is also a little less vulnerable to foot strike.

I also noted that when assembling the fenders, I heard that annoying "snap" when tightening up the screws. Turns out I over-stressed the little plastic mount and cracked it. But this had its rewards as well: I learned that a) super glue doesn't work on these clamps... and b) Planet Bike has a WONDERFUL service where you can buy small parts for their products at their web site. Yes, I ordered spare clamps and ordered a few spare rods while I was at it all for $10-. And as if that wasn't enough, they will ship it FREE... YES, FREE! Have a look for yourself:
...and the part that failed:

I'm thinking that with a spare strut, I could secure the fender on the backside. With three mounting points, this should be a pretty secure mount.

[edit 2/6/08: The Planet Bike parts came in the mail today. Excellent service!]

On a side note: The Topeak bottle cage holder let loose today. Nothing broke, but when tightening the wedge that holds the angle, make sure it is well seated. If not, the whole kit-n-kaboodle will go crashing to the ground. Luckily the rider caught the water bottle and the other half of the clamp and wondered "what the heck!". Got the toolkit out and tightened it back in place and all was good.

Be safe!

No comments: