Monday, January 24, 2011

Eastman Roadster

This is the box that the Eastman Roadster arrived in. It was repackaged at the bike shop in Madison, WI. Only one part was busting out of the side, so no complaints. I can imagine the original box from India being made of wood and stuffed with straw. The parts were wrapped in wax paper, plain brown paper , and/or plastic.

Here are the parts all laid out with a few extra to boot ( courtesy of the bike shop) due to the numerous scratches and dents. The factory in India has no climate control so the painted parts came complete with not only the noted S/D 's but rust and rust under the paint, top that!

The bike is taking shape but it is not easy to put together because it is the most crudely made product I have ever come across, but oh what Character! The nuts and bolts do fit one another but many of them confounded me as to what wrench would fit, standard or metric or Hindi, who knows? I felt lucky that the wheels were assembled and even the tires were mounted and inflated with air.

I suppose an attempt to modernize

the 1913 replica resulted in these great looking and colorful stickers which of course I heated with a hair dryer and pulled them off , wouldn't want to hide the genuine hand painted pin stripes and classic Victorian looks.

Please notice the Eastman name stamped into the chainring, that's classy! The project is almost complete and yes it took all these tools and then some.

Yes Sir, built to last ! Steel rims don't get bent up, metal rod brakes don't break cables and an enclosed chain keeps out the abusive grit. Notice the Woods/Dunlop tire valve, any kind of pump will work and maybe even huffing and puffing on a rubber hose. What, no gears! gears are for wimps, right?
What's up with the white paint? Why its British safety law at work, the paint must be 12 sq. inches and 18 inches above the tarmac. The 7 ! ply tires state " Inflate Hard".
Hope to see ya on the road while I'm rid'n the roadster, wait for me cause I movin' slow.

The First Birdeye Biker

This is Harmon (Jackie's dad) in front of his bike, notice Kara and Martin's house in the background.  The photo was taken in 1955 when he was 10.  Harmon also said he had a ton of wrecks around Birdeye as a kid on that bike.  I'll have to get Kyle to try and figure out if it's a Schwinn or what!
Monday, January 24, 2011

Carolyn Raffety, Harmon's sister, found this photo during a Christmas dig for photos and gave it to me.  I loved that it's got Martin's house in the background.  I'd say Harmon was the first Birdeye Biker, he's the oldest of all the cousins.   I'll have to get Jackie to make a comment on here about it.

See ya'll Saturday at 3 pm from Wynne, who's gonna host? (weather permitting of course)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vanndale Loop

The view from behind me...Cecilia and Kara and notice my safety flag...

A sweet basset hound momma came to talk to Kara at our Vanndale break
(she had puppies nearby and a lot of milk on board to feed them)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Martin and Kara were our gracious hosts for our weekend bike ride today.  It was 42 degrees at 3 pm when we pulled out of their driveway.  With our bike crew meteorologists Kyle and Martin, they agreed that the wind was out of the south so we should go to Vanndale first then come back on Hwy 1 to Birdeye.  That was a darn good choice that Jackie and I both agreed on.  The wind from Pleasant Hill to Vanndale was pretty tough.  We all fueled at Vanndale and regrouped and enjoyed the ride to Cherry Valley, we had a good tail wind on in.  I was excited to learn about Martin's Little Rock cyclist friends were planning a Juvenile Diabetes Fundraising bike ride in Death Valley.  Since I've been an insulin-dependant diabetic since 22 years old, I was excited about helping with the ride.  I think a $4000 sponsorship is required to ride and I believe it ends in Las Vegas.  I looked it up on the web and I copied details of the ride below:

2011 Cycle Death Valley

05/11/2011 - 12/11/2011
Departs: 5 - 12 November 2011
Experience stunning view of the canyons whilst cycling through desert and finish in style in Las Vegas!

Death Valley National Park is located in the Southern California Desert and in the state of Nevada. This 3.4 million acre part is not only the largest in the USA but arguably one of the most striking specimens of Mother Earth. This bike ride covers over 250 miles through canyons, creeks, valleys and over some steep climbs to finish in style in Las Vegas.
Why not register now?

To register simply download the registration information or contact Olivia Haddrick on or call 020 7841 3657

Join the JDRF Team and help us find the cure!

Registration fee: £250 Minimum sponsorship: £2,700

We'll see if he does make the ride, how fun would that be?  Today's ride was a ton of fun, 19.4 miles in 2 hours.  We took a lot of breaks this ride, it usually takes about 1-1/2 hours.  I high tailed it to Earle right after the ride to take Chloe's BFF Bailey Bigger back to meet her mom.  We are looking forward to the next ride, hopefully this Saturday at 3 pm from Wynne.  Jeanie took a group photo with my camera on video mode and I can't figure out how to get it to publish dang it!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Raleigh DL 1

Hi, I'm Kyle "Luddite" Killough and my new bike is not actually a vintage 1913 Raleigh DL 1 but an exact replica made in Ludhiana, India in the northern most part of the old British Empire. Production of these bikes moved from England to India in the early 1980's and another copy is made in Beijing, China called the "Flying Pigeon". DL 1 means "Deluxe Model One" and it is definitely one smooth ride but its original purpose was for the British Army and then it became basic transportation for the average Brit and for the last 50 years it has served the underdeveloped parts of the world. With such a role to fill this bike is built to be very rugged, last forever and never win a bike race! I submit that with all due respect to Gary Fisher that the DL 1 is the worlds first mountain bike not his modified 1930's Schwinns. I rode the bike for the first time with the bbc last Saturday and I got a genuine workout, to the point that something has to change or this thing will be nothing more than garage wall art. I have talked to the bike shop where I bought it ( Yellow Jersey, Madison,WI ) and I am sending the rear sprocket in for exchange on a larger one to gear the bike down making it easier to pedal. Why it is geared so high I can't imagine unless back in the day the Puritanical thought prevailed that pedaling was supposed to be painful ! I'll show some views of the assembly ordeal and point out some the finer points of old world bike technology in my next post.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Second Ride of 2011

Kyle's new vintage bike that he said took a long time to put together

Kyle taking the new bike on a test run
(Cecilia said it's his 8th bike!)

Mary & Bill Warren, Jackie, Kyle, Lisa and Cecilia
(Chuck just pulled in and was hurrying to get ready!)

I took this on the bike of Chuck, I like the bright jacket!

Kyle said he dug out this canteen to go with his vintage bike!

Kyle's seat he's so proud of

Notice the big springs on that thing!  Kyle said it's the most comfortable seat ever!

Our Pinot and Cab cycling bottles
Saturday, January 15, 2011

Chuck and Lisa Blanton were our hosts for our second group ride.  We were all thrilled that Bill and Mary Warren joined us and we expected Reece Smith and Julie Boone but they were no shows.   So the 8 of us waited for a few until Chuck got back from a State Presbytery meeting in Conway, which gave Kyle time to ride around on his new bike.  I know I won't name his bike right, so Kyle, you'll have to get on here on do it justice.  It's a vintage bike made overseas exactly like a 1920's British Army bike with a seat that Kyle says is the  It has springs on both the front and back and he literally bounced up and down. I tried to video it on the way back but my battery didn't have enough space and it timed out just as he was doing a demo, 4 seconds is all I got.  Our ride was 1:05 and 14 miles long with a good 10 mph head wind on the way.  The temperature went down on the way back, the sun hid and we were cold!   The Warren's had an event in Jonesboro so they rode home, it was so nice to have them!

Luckily, Chuck and Lisa had snacks for us and we hung around for quite a while talking about all kinds of subjects and had lots of laughs.  I brought a bottle of Kara and I's favorite cab, a "cycling-style" bottle Cycles Gladiator from California.  Chuck broke out his favorite Pinot which also had a cycle on its label.  You gotta love it!  I love Gladiator Cabernet and loved Chuck's Pinot too.  Chuck also brought out his Irish Whiskey for us all to try.  Cecilia, Lisa and I all shared a sip of the whiskeys.  We judged them all and I so wish Martin and Kara were there to join us, they would have loved it!!!  Fun times with our fellow Presbyterians!  I expect Chuck, Kyle and all of you to post on here soon and I'm working on a calendar.

Right now, I'm hoping for a 3 pm ride this Saturday, January 22, 2011 from Birdeye (weather permitting).  Details soon!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

How it all got started...

This is from April of 2010, pictured are Beth and Stan Bradshaw,
Chuck and Lisa Blanton, Jackie and I and Martin. 
I'm not sure where Kara is (she just had August in March)
and the Killough's were outta town.
Saturday, January 8, 2010

Our biking group started in 2008 when I bummed a bike from a fellow runner in Wynne, David Reagler.  David started our local marathon 12 years ago and is a big time runner.  I believe he's done and completed the Arkansas Traveler which is a foot race that goes on for 24 straight hours running 100 miles.  That's nuts!  We all miss the Reagler's since they moved to Hot Springs in 2007. Our cycling started from Birdeye on David's mountain bike and Kara with her Bianchi road bike. I hadn't been on a bike since my teens and obviously Kara had by all the equipment she had on...clip in shoes for one. I was totally wondering why in the world would anyone wear a shoe that keeps your foot stuck on the pedal? Then she had on tight shorts with a big pad underneath...what is that for?  Next were some fingerless gloves with a pad in it...then two drink bottles, a sweat band, sunglasses and snacks...OK..what was I in for? Why would anyone need so much equipment for a conversational bike ride? I had nothing, not a drink bottle, not even my glucometer. I sure should have had a snack packed but I thought it was just a little bike run. Well I huffed and puffed while she just talked about her day, her fabulous kids and job. I figured out after our first ride that those padded shorts are a must...there is a bone under there that gets sore after a few miles on a bike.  There really is...

One of Kara and I's legendary rides was from Birdeye to Village Creek State Park on her birthday on September 20, 2008.  We love going on bike rides, it's a time of talk about family, work, friends, church and our legendary "vault" talk.   I don't think we stopped until we got to the golf course at Village Creek.  The mileage round trip is 45 miles.  When we got to Levesque on the way back, we were both spent.  We had snacks on our bikes and made it through but it was rough!  After that ride, Kara talked me into getting a bike.  Jackie bought a Specialized Dolce bike for my birthday in 2009.  A month later, I made him get one for his birthday and the four of us started out biking with Chuck and Lisa Blanton, Beth and Stan Bradshaw and Kyle Killough from church.  Kyle made Cecilia a bike and she's been riding with us for all of 2010.   When I say "made" her a bike, that's exactly what he did.  That totally amazes me!  I have zero talent in building anything except in the food department.   And BTW, I do have clip in shoes and I think they are a must even if I clump in them from time to time.  There's nothing more comical that one of us falling over on our bike because we're clipped in.  We've all done it and it's hilarious.  That reminds me of the mountain bike ride at Village Creek a few months ago when Martin (on his Specialized bike with clip in shoes) tried to jump a tree and totally crashed, probably broke some ribs, he said later.  On that ride, Kara and I counted like seven crashes by him giving us a ton of laughter. 

There are so many funny stories on our bikes!  We'll have to get everyone to share them.  Someone's always late for a ride, gets a flat, doesn't pack enough Gatorade or snacks but stories and laughter always come with the bike adventures.  I'm planning on posting a calendar on this site so everyone can check when a ride is scheduled.  We also host after ride snacks and drinks alternating between houses.   I hope this year is another safe year for everyone!  Calendar to come soon!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year!

Kara's Bianchi Bike...notice her new shoe covers that zip up

My flag that I constantly get made fun of for...

Kara's homemade Kyle-like sock cover

January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! I'm thrilled to create and publish our first post for this bicycling blog. We live in Eastern Arkansas and are road and mountain bikers as well as swimmers, runners and p90x-rs. The founders of the club are me, self appointed president, and Kara, my fabulous sister-in-law (most of you will know her from my culinary blog) is vice-president. I've been dying to get the road bike back out so Kara and I hired a babysitter and went on a quick 20 mile, brisk bike ride this first morning of the new year. I was thrilled a few days ago when the weather forecast was for clear skies and 48 degrees. Well, on the ride, the dang wind came up and made me re-examine my body wear. Yes, a road biker for nearly 2 years, I have never worn socks ever in my clip in shoes. Well, I sure wasn't worried about the 49 degree projected high even though it was still cloudy. When we finally go the show on the road at 10:20 (our babysitter on the clock) and were heading up one of two of the steepest hills in all of Cross County, I am not kidding, it was probably only 30 degrees. I was wearing NO SOCKS, yes, as Jackie proclaims me to be a dumb-duck which really means....fill in the blank!  I told Kara as we topped the final hill into Cherry Valley that I was warm except for my toes she said, maybe the Dollar General has some socks, it was New Year's Day after all and I was hoping they would be open. Luckily they were. And I had cash on me because you never know when you might need cash. We've been on a number of bike rides and needed money for a snack or drink if some in our group didn't fuel or pack right.

I found a pair of socks for $1 and saw those purple ones ( picture #3) and Kara suggested to wear those over my shoe to help with the wind. Picture #1 is Kara, whose mother got her those zip over shoe covers for Christmas. Kara's always had cold feet on the bike and she loved her new covers. So in the lobby of the Dollar General Kara performed a Kyle Killough act and cut the bottoms out of the purple socks so I could wear them over the shoe. It was PERFECT! We were sad Kyle wasn't there to witness Kara's idea go down but we know he'll be proud of Kara when we tell him.

When we were fitting those socks, my camera was missing from my pack on my first I was thinking why didn't "they" take my phone and just the camera? Martin said he'd lost a ton of stuff over railroad tracks in the past, so he and Jackie backtracked and said it looked like a train wreck. I lost my one of my water bottles and my camera. Luckily the camera was right in the middle of the tracks so traffic didn't hit it, thankfully!

A few months ago coming home from working a Saturday morning, I came up on two older men biking down Hwy 193. I was rounding a curve and was literally on top of them before I knew it. It totally scared me and hence, my flag (picture #2). I went to my favorite bike shop in all the land, Gearhead in Jonesboro (see my blog October 5 post and Ted hooked me up with a flag. Unfortunately, they didn't have the piece to attach it to my bike. Of course, when anyone has a bike question or needs something fixed, Kyle Killough is our man. Kyle's an avid bike rider, way more than most of us with the exception of Martin and Chuck. Kyle did the St. Jude 100 mile bike ride the same day we did the Big Dam Bridge 50 in Little Rock back in September. He also had his wife Cecilia, one of our newer riders, drove him and his bike to Little Rock recently so he and a few others could ride from Little Rock to Wynne! WOW! He and Martin camped out over the summer and averaged about 60 miles a day.  You'll hear more of Kyle soon I just know it!

I love the flag, it provides an extra challenge on windy days. And I love Kara's, new Kyle-inspired, wind socks for my feet. We made the 20 mile distance with a good 15 mph head wind to Cherry Valley and Vanndale in 1-1/2 hours. I'll post details soon of our next scheduled group bike ride, more history on us and Kara and I's group of riders as grown! Happy New Year!

Monday, January 3, 2011

The First Ride of 2011

I am pleased to say that we took a below freezing ride on 1/1/2011. It was so stinking cold that we had to stop at the Dollar General to get Keeli 2 pairs of socks. She will follow with pictures. Thank you to Keeli for getting this blog going. And to all my fellow biking friends, let's get a ride going soon.