Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Hanover not Hillview & Jeff Kistler to Rescue (3-24-09)

Before I talk about the events of today, I need to correct the name of a road I have been making  such a big deal about. The ascent that makes me so proud of the Eagle and its ability to get me up a pretty challenging climb is not called Hillview after all. While there is one small hill on that road, the road that **used** to scare me is actually called **HANOVER**. 

Nor did I ride up it today. I came up its less steep back side because I chose to ride the Baron Park bike path to the back of Gunn HS and Charleston where I got on Foothill Expwy. Before any of that happened however, I had to make sure that a small two inch piece of metal was properly seated. Because if it was not, besides my crank arm skipping, I would have run  the risk of doing damage to the wheel's axle. And they way this bike was built in 1891, if your axle went bad you couldn't just slip a new one in its place, a whole new hub had to be laced into the wheel.

So Jeff and I discussed all the different approaches we could take to solving the problem and it all came back to fix I had tried yesterday. Only this time, after Jeff cut another strip of shim stock so that it was more square instead of pointed, we ended up piggybacking the two strips together for a winning result!

The delay put me into a 3PM ride start. On my way to Gunn, as I talked about above, I rode for a short ways with a guy who jokingly said I overinflated my tires. He got a good laugh out of me as riding HiWheels for eight years now, I have heard a lot of jokes none as original as his. 

I rode Foothill all the way to Homestead pretty close to where Foothill  ends and took a short break with some snack food at the Trader Joes that was there.  As I rode back, feeling stronger and a lot less bothered in my genitalia because of this new seat, I began to think about the newspaper interview I have tomorrow. On Wednesday, the Palo Alto Weekly  is doing a feature about international bike celebrity, Ines Brunn, who is coming to Palo Alto on April 4th to do the show you see HERE!

I plan to tell the reporter that while there are reports of a successful coast to coast crossing by a backwards HiWheel in the 19th Century, whoever that rider was had to have walked as much as he rode. This is so because roads west of the Mississippi did not exist until well after Carl Fisher drove a car, with much peril, from Indianapolis to San Francisco in 1912. In doing, he was laying out the route for the Lincoln Hwy, America's first coast to coast "highway", HERE is the  story of the Lincoln Hwy  from my book “How America can Bike and Grow Rich, 
The National Bicycle Greenway Manifesto”. It  is also a well known fact that when Thomas Stvens biked across the US in 1884, he walked well over a third of the route because of the absence of roads. 

It is for this reason that I all the more salute Jimmy Spillane for having enough confidence in his engineering abilities to know that the reproduction he has created is up to the task. His work is so exact that any part on the 100 year anniversary edition I am riding can be swapped with that which can be found on an 1891 Original. And this includes one item we now know to build differently. The spoke nipples. They did not accept a standard spoke wrench in 1891 and they don't accept one on the replica I am riding. They can only be tightened or loosened from the tire side of the rim with a 5/16 thin walled socket wrench.........

What Jimmy and his now retired dad created is a machine that is probably the most photographed bicycle in the world and a machine that creates an almost non stop wall of happiness and  smiles!! WoW!!

Note: This ride is not about me but it is a celebration of all the people who have helped me get back to wholeness physically, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. This as I stand on the shoulders of giants to enjoy the privilege of riding this bike, the only Eagle (backwards HiWheel) in active use in all the world...

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