Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Tour II, Final Pre-trip Preparations

Daisy, America's Favorite Cross Country Dog!
This post has little to do with Daisy, but a post with out the dog just isn't a post, so here she is in Kinston, Alabama!

We will be leaving Kinston Alabama for St. Simons Island Georgia this coming Friday, April 7th, 2017!!  We should arrive sometime around noon.  Wooo hooo!   This is where the next tour, "Tour De PACLANTIC" will start.  Daisy and I are looking forward to meeting with ALL who show up on Saturday April 8th, 2017.

Harold, IDC, Intelligent Design Cycles, "Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"
Salvaging a used Cross29 rim.

 A little time has passed since my last post and quite a bit has happened in that time.  I volunteered as a farm hand, assembled a front wheel, ordered parts online, helped design business cards and banner, reached out to the good folks at Northtowne Cycling & Fitness of Cedar Rapids Iowa and Monkeywrench Bicycles of St. Simons Island Georgia, and touched-up and painted my bike trailer and Daisy's dog crate.  As I write this, I am reminded just how many folks have been involved, voluntarily or otherwise, in the preparations of Tour De PACLANTIC, in one form or another, without which I could not have not accomplished alone.  To these folks mentioned here and those that are not, I am very grateful.

Speaking of grateful, I would also like to give thanks to the following folks and companies for their assistance in sponsoring our ride;  Intelligent Design Cycles, SR Suntour, and SunUp Eco.  Links to the products that will make this journey along with Daisy and I are as follows.

IDC Stout rear wheel by Intelligent Design Cycles
SP PD-8x Dynamo Hub from Intelligent Design Cycles
H-Track lighting from Intelligent Design Cycles
MaxiDyn rear Spoke-Dynamo (6V12W with USB out) from the folks at SunUp Eco (and carried/distributed/sold by Intelligent Design Cycles)
NCX-E Front suspension "trekking" fork from the folks at SR Suntour

Also, as I write this post, I am waiting on the spokes that are needed for the correct and final assembly of the wheel I am building as pictured above.  (You will notice that in my right hand, I am holding the front hub with spokes dangling from the used Mongoose Deception that I purchased while in Carroll Iowa.  (This is the link to that purchase))  The spokes I ordered from Ebay, with the assistance of the folks at Veterans and Their Pets(SM) for I have no credit card for online purchases, were projected by USPS to arrive on Monday April 3rd, 2017, and as of this point in my writing, they have yet to arrive.  On, Tuesday April 4th, 2017, I placed a call to USPS to find out the status on these parts and was given a claim number .  This morning, Wednesday April 5th, I received a tracking text that my goodies are on the way, to be delivered to me during weather that is the cause of many broadcasted tornado and severe weather alerts here in Kinston Alabama.

For those of you following my posts and are serious bicycle aficionados, you might wonder why I have used these spokes, spokes that were used to assemble a different wheel altogether, along with the accompanying rim, with my new SP PD-8 Dynamo Hub.  I'll tell ya'.  Budget, practice, necessity, and sheer boredom (lets call it curiosity).

Practice in wheel building, and spokes that were close enough to do so, was the main reason for this initial wheel build.   I removed the spokes from the used rim and hub, and replaced it with my PD-8 Dynamo Hub from Intelligent Design Cycles.  Because of the NCX-E front "trekking" suspension fork I received from SR Suntour (designed for Disc Brakes) I was faced with further modifications to a bike that was ready to go prior to these parts additions.  With the encouragement of Charles Tsai (President of Intelligent Design Cycles) in not using his Stout Dynamo Hub wheel set (as was initially planned) and instead using their PD-8 Hub which is constructed specifically for Disc brakes, I found myself facing a new project.  Finding a way to incorporate all of these sponsored products with a rapidly dwindling budget in time for a rapidly approaching start date.  I remind you all that I am a homeless veteran.  That's homeless, not helpless folks.  ;-)

In order to determine the correct spoke length needed for a particular wheel build, there are a number of dimensions that must first be obtained.  While faced with the limited tools and measuring devices at my disposal, I was able to confirm my Effective Rim Diameter (ERD) three separate times, all of which were no more that 2 millimeters off the average.  Two diameter measurements and a circumference calculation helped me arrive at two figures, 283mm and 285mm spoke lengths needed for my final assembly.   Here are some of the calculations involved with determining spoke length for any given hub and rim and their corresponding dimensions.

Arriving at spoke angle...C =SqRoot of: A2 + B2 - 2AB cos θ
Arriving at spoke length...L =SqRoot of:  C2 + w2 - d/2

If you wish to learn what I have experienced in building this wheel, please visit this wonderful resource provided by the amazing Sheldon Brown where you may find the continuing contributions of others at: .  In years past, Sheldon Brown's website has been a valuable resource in helping to guide a DIY biker to arriving at educated purchases.  Thank you Sheldon Brown.

My first build resulted in several errors, and probably would go unnoticed by a novice.  I have posted some photos of just a few of these errors.  I would like to give thanks to Chris Beaufait of Monkeywrench Bicycles for his guidance specific to wheel building:  "Clear your days schedule, and pull up a lawn chair for a long day of tedious and time consuming work."  I might expand on this, just a little, by saying, "Pray for patience!"

"Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"  
First build
Above is my first attempt at wheel building.  In all, there will be three attempts, unless of course something comes up that escapes my notice in the third build.

Tour De PAClANTIC, Harold & Daisy, Veterans and Their Pets, "Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"
First build with IDC PD-8
Intelligent Design Cycles, Stout Rim Set.  IDC, Veterans and Their Pets, Tour De PACLANTIC, Harold & Daisy, "Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"
IDC "Stout" Wheel

Pictured above (from left to right) is my incorrect build next to a correct build respectively.  Note the valve stem on the right and how it is not boxed in, allowing the rider unobstructed access for pumping up a flat.  The one on the left is obstructed by a crossing spoke.

Intelligent Design Cycles, PD-8 36 hole Dynamo Hub, IDC, "Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"
Incorrect spoke cross
Intelligent Design Cycles, PD-8 36 hole Dynamo Hub, IDC, Stout Wheel set, "Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"
Correct spoke cross
Pictured above (from left to right) is my incorrect build next to a correctly built wheel (Stout Wheel by intelligent Design Cycles) respectively.  Notice that the one on the left (a 3-spoke cross pattern) crosses at each of my three finger pads...over, over, over (WRONG).  The photo on the right shows a correct 3-cross pattern, of under, under, over.  Alternatively, a cross pattern of over, over, under is also correct.

I might add, in my defense, that my first wheel build was by eyeball only.  I was quite proud of myself.  Now for the real work, I pulled up Sheldon Brown, a lawn chair, and then prayed for patience.  Not for the faint of heart, I spent the equivalent of two days doing these two builds.

"Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"
Traditional Threaded Freewheel

One of the projects that I failed to mention in my opening statement, was the fact that with the Stout rear wheel by Intelligent Design Cycles I would need a sprocket cassette.  I had assumed, incorrectly I might add, that I had one.  The story goes, and with no preparation or research, I removed the threaded ring that holds the threaded freewheel to the rest of the assembly whereby all of the many bearings spilled to the shop floor that is made of loosely laid planks of lumber.  Nice!  What I had thought was a cassette, turned out to be a part that would not be compatible with my new "Stout" wheel by Intelligent Design Cycles.

Up until just a few days ago, I now had NO rear wheel that would get me started on my trip, for photo ops or otherwise.  I have since picked up all the bearings with a magnet (all that I found anyways) and reassembled the threaded freewheel assembly using bearing grease to hold the bearings to the race as I reassembled the threaded freewheel to the wheel.   Whew!

"Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"
Salvaging front Disc
"Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"
Broke Snap-On tool
"Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"
My buddy's impact driver

The above photos are from one project; an attempt at salvaging a disc for use with my new NCX-E front suspension fork by SR Suntour and PD-8 Dynamo hub from Intelligent Design Cycles, both of which are to be used with a Disc Brake system.

"Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"
Cashier donation request
"Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"
New Banner
"Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"
New Cards
Pictured above are some the items I helped design along with "Veterans and Their Pets"(SM).  From left to right is a flyer for participating businesses for collecting tips, our new trailer banner, and donation receipt cards for "Veterans and Their Pets"(SM).  While I am briefly discussing these items here, I would like to send out thanks to Maddox Grocery for being the first, of hopefully many businesses that have agreed to set out a collection jar next to their cash register to collect donations.  If you wish to participate and help us raise money for "Veterans and Their Pets", please contact either myself or "Veterans and Their Pets"(SM), and let us know.  We would be happy to have you on board with our mission, and recognize your efforts on a page here on this blog and on Facebook!

"Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"
New born calf and momma...
"Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"
A little work on the farm hurt no-one

Pictured above are some sights found around a particular family farm while helping the family down here in Alabama!  Thank y'all, I enjoyed the experience!  Y'all know who you are!  ;-)

As stated in my opening, following the "Daisy" plug, I made contact with Northtowne Cycling & Fitness (Facebook link) of Cedar Rapids Iowa.  I initially met these folks along my last tour (Tour De PACLANTIC), and had a very pleasant experience with an extremely knowledgeable staff.  This led to my contacting them for assistance in getting some last minute items researched and ordered while I was preoccupied out on the farm (I would find myself too exhausted to function afterwards).  I am sure they are tired of hearing from me already, but I wish to convey my gratitude for their help.  Thank you all at Northtowne Cycling and Fitness of Cedar Rapids Iowa!  Ride on!

More thanks are in order for a person I have yet to meet, but you may have heard about already in a previous post (Here is the link to that post.).  I want to thank Chris Beaufait of Monkeywrench Bicycles in St. Simons Island Georgia for allowing me, and others, to send my parts directly to them for assembly.  I will have the final truing and torquing of my wheel done at Monkeywrench Bicycles, as well as a final tuneup prior to my ride out of St. Simons Island Georgia.

"Veterans and Their Pets", "Tour De PACLANTIC", "Harold & Daisy"
36-spoke purchased on Ebay
 Around noon today, my Ebay spoke purchase has finally arrived.  I will measure them prior to installing them to verify that they are indeed the 285mm spokes that I ordered.  On 18 of the spokes, the short ones for the larger hub flange, the 285 will work in place of the 283mm recommended spoke size as per the spoke calculator I used.  The extra two millimeters hopefully won't be an issue for it is a double wall rim, and therefore should not pose a threat to poking a hole in the back side of the inner tube.  I have my work cut out for me this evening!

Today, off and on while writing this, I was faced with backing up frequently as the internet connection came and went with the passing storms.  Today was filled with more severe weather alerts.  I have much to do yet in preparation, including cleaning and returning my room to the way it was when I had arrived here in Kinston Alabama.  I want to thank both Wayne and Bonnie Gray (and family) of Kinston Alabama for having me over for the brief visit.  I could not have accomplished preparations for my next tour without y'all! Thank you all for your kindness and hospitality!

Latest information regarding our arrival:  St. Simons Island, Georgia

(((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. The weather has been crazy and unpredictable down your way hoping skies clear up as Saturday approaches. Take care my friend, give Miss Daisy an extra hug or two from me. Safe Travels.

    1. Indeed Erin. We have had two days, out of the last three, with local tornado watches and other severe weather alerts. Beautiful and crazy at the same time. We miss you Erin, and thanks for the well wishes, Ride on!
      Harold & Daisy