The Aether Demon

After a number of years of good service from a trio of PDW Radbot¬†taillights, we’ve made the jump into the 21st century (namely, USB charging) with a new pair of PDW Aether Demons. The Radbots will be assigned to backup duty, and used as loaners.

As usual, I mount them by drilling out the clip part of the mount to accept a bolt (instead of the little screw that they use) set it up with a couple of washers and a spacer on whatever braze-on is most convenient–usually one of the eyelets at the rear dropout (to keep the light low and out of the way of my baggage).

Another Winter Project: Troll

A few years ago, I bought a second, new Pugsley frame; it was bright yellow. After not getting around to building it up for a year or so, I was taken with the idea that I only really needed one fat-bike (silly me).

A couple of years ago, when Earl from Revolution was looking for a second Pugsley (mustard to complement the ketchup) and offered to trade for another Surly frameset, I took him up on it and went for a new, black Surly Troll. I had Revolution install a green Chris King headset and brought it home.

And then it hung in the shop for at least another full year, while I tried to figure out what to do with it. At one point, I removed all of the decals, leaving only the head badge. Later, I even considered selling the frame, fork, seat collar, and headset and posted it on CL. No interest though, so it went back on the hook for a while.

Clearly, I now have no choice but to build this frame up and use it for something. As often happens in situations like this, I get it into my head that I should do something interesting. After having heard that it was possible to build a 26″ Surly Long Haul Trucker with 650b wheels while still using rim brakes, I figured I could do the same with the Troll.

I bought a second set of Velo Orange 650b wheels (in addition to the ones on the Polyvalent), found some nice wide tires, and set to work digging the rest of the parts–some new, some used–from the bins. It’s now partially built–needing only that I decide which cockpit setup, gearing, and racks I’ll use for what will become a both an everyday utility bike and something for rough roads and bikepacking.

Another winter project, another bike that will be ready for riding come spring.

A Winter Project: JYD

Shortly after they were announced, I ordered an All-City JYD and took delivery (after the LBS had installed the headset) just in time for the city to start salting the roads.

So instead of building it up immediately–I’d had all of the parts waiting since late summer–it became yet another winter project (along with the Troll and a few other small things).


Photo courtesy of (i.e., lifted from) the AC website.

I’ve made a little progress (keeping the winter bikes running and relatively clean seems to take up the bulk of my bike fiddling time these days), but I’ve finally gotten around to making a specification for it.

It will–without a doubt–be done and ready to ride as soon as the salt is gone from the roads in the spring. I promise.

The Right Idea

These guys have the right idea.

And given that I’m faced with the possibility (though still a mere possibility) of owning a car after being car-free for about eight years, I started wondering whether there was anything comparable around here.

It would appear not quite: lists nothing in Madison (and both the PrairieFire and Great Lakes BioFuels websites seem to be dead).


Surprise Snow

I’m not sure whether the weather forecast got it wrong, or I just didn’t notice when it got it right, but we awoke (thanks to the snow plow hitting the speed hump in front of our house) this morning to fresh snow.

Rode the Devil, stopped on a bridge.

It’s not a lot, but at least everything is white now, instead of a melange of brown, gray, and dirty. And the studded tires are quiet.