Monday, March 6, 2017

Tour II, The bike, 2004 Specialized Crossroads Sport...

SRSUNTOUR, NCX-E, Tour De PACLANTIC, Tour II, Veterans and Their Pets, Harold and Daisy
2004 Specialized Crossroads Sport, March 3, 2017

This post picks up where the previous post, 1989 Schwinn 564 Aluminum; the bike that made the first trip leaves off.

At the completion of the first Tour De PACLANTIC, the coast to coast journey by Harold and Daisy Palmquist to raise funding and awareness for "Veterans and Their Pets(SM)", I met a fellow, David Brantley, just one of many who took part in welcoming Daisy and I to the Island of St. Simons.  This is the story of the bike, how it came into my possession, and the preparation and thought process involved in making it ready for the next coast to coast tour.

2004 Specialized Crossroads Sport, Tour De PACLANTIC, Harold and Daisy, Veterans and Their Pets, Tour II
2004 Specialized Crossroads Sport, April 18, 2016

Veterans and Their Pets, Tour De PACLANTIC, Tour 1, Jekyll Island Georgia
David Brantley April 11, 2016, Jekyll Island, Georgia
2004 Specialized and tech-jersey by Kennedy Outfitters

David Brantley showed me this little hide out (see photo above) on Jekyll Island, Georgia April 11, 2016, and when he arrived again on April 18, 2016, he pulled this bike out of the back seat of his vehicle.  At the time, it was my understanding, or so I remember, that this bike, a 2004 Specialized Crossroads Sport was a gift from David.    On March 3, 2017, while attempting to finish this post, I became aware that it had been the result of a group effort, of which Chris Beaufait of Monkey Wrench Bicycles (a Trek bicycle dealer) of St. Simons Island, took part in.  After speaking to Chris on March 4, 2017, he said David was the main instigator.  Regardless of the guilty party, I am very grateful for this thoughtful gift, the result of a community effort.

In an attempt to explain the previous confusion on my part, I deviate for a moment.  From the post, April 2016 arrival St. Simons Island, I begin to describe just the first part of our arrival, an event for me that only after reflection, I would later refer to as an emotional roller-coaster.  Up until now, I have only mentioned the "highs" of my journey but there was also a very deep "low".  The day that I arrived at Massengale Park, was the first day where I had no mission...and no drive.  Depression.  The tour was easy.  Wake up and ride (or recuperate/recover), it was never a conscious thought, for I had made a commitment.  After St. Simons Island, not only was I homeless, I was now without a mission.  David had sent me an email with Chris's phone number while I was still on Jekyll Island, and for some reason I had it in my head that Chris was a friend of David's and curious about biking cross country, nothing more.   I do recall calling Chris.  I do not recall much of the conversation other than discussing his desire to ride cross country.

Schwinn with OEM drop-down bars
Specialized with hybrid OEM bars

Some of my concerns about the Specialized bike and its current configuration was how the front bag would sit, how cluttered the cables were in front of the bike where the bag would be placed, and the shape of the front handle bars.  With my extremely limited budget, switching to drop down handle bars, to the kind pictured on the 1989 Schwinn above, would present a costly undertaking, and I still would not be guaranteed a proper front bag fit because of the neck/stem's shape and angle.  Notice how tilted the bag rides in the photo on the right above.  The bag and the bracket were made for drop down bars and a thin stem that has a small degree of down angle.  The photo on the left shows the bag properly mounted.

The brake levers of the Specialized bike are motorcycle style pull levers and designed to be placed forward of the bars for the fingers to grip.  You will notice that I have them rotated behind and under the bars so that the cables will not interfere with the bag.  They are placed in such a position, as pictured above, to accommodate the bag, and that make it difficult to pull with either fingers or thumb.

For many, the simple answer might be, "Ditch the front bag and be done with it."  Well, I have grown quite attached to the bag, and it serves a unique purpose, one for which it was intended.  It's most useful purposes were it's portability and it's zippered map top with a clear plastic lid for displaying and securing my current road map.  I refer to the front bag as my purse, for in it was a little bit of everything.  Maps, compass, phone, chargers, USB cables, backup batteries, flashlights, a book, Band-Aides, riding lamps, ID, etc.  The bag is a keeper, I just have to find a way to mount it.

My biggest concern regarding this bikes configuration, as it was when I received it, was long term comfort (specifically the handle bars), especially when riding up hill.  In the previous bike post, 1989 Schwinn Aluminum 564, I did not mention one of the important lessons that I learned during my cross country journey.  Quite simply put, there is more than one way to ride a bike.  When you are on a bike as much as I have been, there's oodles of time to think about such things.  Big-time oodles. Riding in the saddle. Riding out of the saddle.  Hopping on the pedals on the down stroke, and the one that I am most concerned with, perching on the handle bars, stiff armed, while pulling and pushing on the cranks.  (For the readers that are not familiar with locking pedals and cleated shoes, these are two items that allow a rider to lock their shoes to the pedals.  Extraordinary thrust can be generated when one is able to pedal, not only on the down stroke, but the up stroke as well.)   With the drop down bars, I was able to hold them in such a manner that I can only describe as though I was gripping a "walker" or parallel bars used in gymnastics .  I think I may have found a solution without having to change my shifters, cables, and brake levers.

While I was in Carroll, Iowa at New Hope Bargain Shoppe, I purchased a used bike, a Mongoose Deception, from which to salvage parts.  The bike had several parts that I was interested in, and a price I thought reasonable.  Pictured below, is the Mongoose Deception's front disc, brake caliper, stem, and bar assembly, all of which will used on my bike.   I briefly considered making the trip with this entire bike and quickly thought better of it.  In October of 2016, I paid nearly $200 to tune up the drive train on my Specialized, including a new chain, bottom bracket, rear cassette, and adjustment, as well as inner tubes for my 700x38 tires.  I'm not real excited about riding with these 38's, but that is what I have, and I'll have to make do with them.  A man can get a good cardio workout pumping these tires up to their rated pressure of 110psi.  Again I digress, but this thought goes towards the reasoning of making the trip with my Specialized.

After salvaging the needed parts as shown above, I found that the lower head set bearings and races were shot in my bike.  One of the bearings, in the caged bearing assembly, had completely disintegrated, and the lower race was pitted badly as pictured below.  From the Mongoose, I removed both top and bottom head tube races, and caged bearings to use on my Specialized bike.
Lower "pitted" race from Specialized bike

Keeping the race and caged bearings from Mongoose bike
Caged bearings, Top - Specialized, Bottom - Mongoose

12/14/2016 Head tube

For the biking and bicycle enthusiasts that tune into to my blog, I am positive you have noticed one part in particular that I have not yet addressed, as well as the appearance of a front disc and caliper in salvaged parts I intend to use.  My intention was to show some progress on my ride (bicycle) with out getting into the "new" or recent toys, and saving those for another "bike" post.  The problem with that is, I left both, the OEM Specialized and the Mongoose Deception fork back in Iowa, which means I can't build back for a photo of the progress that I have described prior to this paragraph.  Having said that, I wish to introduce the people (the company) behind the "product" pictured both at the head of this post and below (see Paragraph beginning with:  "On January 19th.."..below)

((For those readers who have missed the first tour, please know that the entire effort, Tour De PACLANTIC, was made of individual contributions, none of which is more significant than the other.  In the retelling of the past and mixing with the now, it may seem that I'm assigning rank in significance.  If you must judge, consider it an error in my ability to write and accurately convey my feelings.))

On January4, 2017, I received word, directly from the President himself, Charles Tsai at Intelligent Design Cycles (IDC), that they would help us with various solutions for our cross country fund raiser for "Veterans and Their Pets(SM)".  This is a "first" for me, and for that reason, I did do a few leaps-of-joy and wooo-hooos while in Iowa.  This assistance is significant as well, for we will have greater electrical independence on this journey.  Presently, the SP PD-8 dynamo-hub (this link includes specification sheet) is either in Iowa where it was shipped to, or on its way to me here in Kinston, Alabama.  I'm looking forward to its arrival, and sharing with you all its features and photos, as well as my first attempt at lacing and building it to a rim!

 The rear rim that we will be touring on, thanks to the folks at Intelligent Design Cycles, is from their Stout line of wheel "solutions".  The rim is a dual wall rim and and is built to rigid and exacting specifications.  I hope that my readers will click through, by way of the link provided, and find what caught my eye with this product.  Had I the money, the Stout wheel set would have been my first and only choice.

Because of my recent relocation, I'm embarrassed to say that I have no photos for y'all of any of the items to show you.  The SP PD-8 dynamo-hub was shipping to Iowa when I negotiated and accepted a ride to Kinston, Alabama.  The good news is, I am as good as on time for my appointed start date and time.

 Please visit Intelligent Design Cycles on Facebook and help us thank them with a "Like" and a "Share".

On January 19th, 2017, I received word from the folks at SR Suntour that they are able to help our mission with a "trekking" fork (pictured below), the NCX-E SR Suntour "Trekking" Fork by SR SUNTOUR.  I am honored that they chose to help us and look forward to having SR Suntour along for the journey.  I have included a link to the NCX-E fork on our Pinterest Page.

If you are on Facebook, please help me thank these guys by going to their SR SUNTOUR Facebook page and giving them a "Like".  I will, in future posts, go into greater detail describing the features included with this particular fork.

Thank you very much, Chuck, Dan and all of the folks at SR Suntour!  Only after receiving this fork did I realize that my old fork was shot.  Woooo-hooooo!
On March 3, 2017, Mr. Tsai of Intelligent Design Cycles, introduced me to Jean Yang of  SunUp Eco.  As we speak, a spoke dynamo is on its way, and just as soon as it arrives, I'll start putting together some info and photos for you all.  I am excited, thrilled by this news, for this too will allow us to remain more electrically independent and allow us to keep connected longer and power our lighting.  IDC speaks highly of this product and its mil-spec classification on his web site, where you will find the Sunup Eco EcoDyn 6V3W Bicycle Spoke Dynamo available.  Please help us thank SunUp Eco on Facebook by showing your support by giving them a "Like" and a "Share" or by considering a purchase for your lighting needs.

Thank you Jean Yang and SunUp Eco for helping us on our mission for "Veterans and Their Pets(SM)"!!  Woooo-Hooo!  :-)


I thank you all for reading and following my blog.  Please don't forget my mission for "Veterans and Their Pets(SM)"  I would not be doing this today were it not for them,  and for that I am most grateful!!  Thank you Veterans and Their Pets on Facebook.  Please make all donations online at FundRazr for "Veterans and Their Pets(SM) .

I hope that you all find something of interest here and remain patient as I gain experience in my writing.  I want you to know that this post consumed an embarrassing number of hours as I struggle to organized my thoughts into something meaningful and entertaining, while keeping on the subject.  All errors and omissions are mine alone.

UPDATE:  Latest information re our arrival:  St. Simons Island, Georgia

(((March 3, 2017 Edit:  Daisy and I will be at Massengale Park (click on this link for a Google Map) in St. Simons Island, Georgia on Saturday, April 8th, 2017, no later than 11:00 AM .    There, we will meet with folks, share our story, answer questions, participate in photos, and to raise awareness and funding for "Veterans and Their Pets(SM)" .  (Please take a moment and visit their web site at the following link:  Veterans and Their Pets(SM))

Important:  In the event of inclement weather, I am presently asking around for an alternate location for a meet and greet and will endeavor to notify all, here on this blog, and on all social media.  However, rain or shine, Daisy and I will get our feet wet in the Atlantic ocean at the stated time and location.

Important:  Please, for the safety of Daisy and myself, do NOT donate cash on this date.  It would not be wise for me to be walking around with donations and I will have no means to transfer those funds to "Veterans and Their Pets(SM).  If you wish to donate, please click on the following link at the FundRazr account for "Veterans and Their Pets(SM)", a 501(c)(3) non-profit (EIN 26-0896950).

Important:  I am trying to conceive of all the variables associated with such a public meeting.  It is not my intention to come across as ungrateful, expecting, or to portray a sense of entitlement.  In fact, I don't know what to expect.  I will start this trip with a full load of dry beans, rice, dog food, and a pound of each:  tire patches, glue, and spokes.  A full load.  If all you bring is hugs, handshakes, curiosity, and well-wishes, these things alone, matched with ours in return, will make for a remarkable, joyful, and most memorable occasion!)))


  1. Hope to see you & Daisy.

    1. Thank you Sandra. Will you be coming to visit us on St. Simons Island?

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