Where does the past come from?

I dig up a memory from its resting place deep in my cortex and futility attempt to buff it back to the original luster.  Much like an archeologist, I analyze and reanimate under the careful eye of my present self.  Disappointed, I realize that memory belongs where it was – resting in my mind.  My true experience is the present, untouchable.

Nevertheless, it does bring a bit of frisson to list the confluence of certain memories over the past four years:

  • I am the healthiest I have ever been by any metric
  • I am the most knowledgeable I have ever been by any metric
  • SpaceX is an accretor of driven, intense, and intelligent people. Surrounding yourself with good people allows you to grow with them.  I am greateful to have worked in one of the world’s best Engineering teams.
  • I have influenced and been influenced by everyone who I have interacted with

Eye on the Rack

More surgery

I can see!  I had LASIK eye correction last Friday and it’s been great.  No complications so far and my vision is as good as with contacts (better than 20/20).  I got the surgery now primary so I don’t have to worry about contact solution on the trip, plus I’ll have much less chance of an eye infection if I’m not touching them with dirty biker hands.

Tania’s new drivetrain

Tania got new drivetrain components (Deore) on her bike and we took it out on a test run Sunday morning.  It’s super smooth and well geared for touring.   The three chainrings and the nine speed cassette may have identical gearing to my Surly but I haven’t explicitly checked.  Another bonus is the front derailleur attachment clamp is a smaller diameter than previous, increasing tire clearance.  The front derailleur attachment was the limiter on tire height previously!


I spent the better part of four hours on Sunday fitting front and rear racks on Tania’s bike.  The rear rack is an Axiom Journey (same as mine) and attached without incident. Pretty solid design.

The front rack(s) are Axiom Lowriders and feel like a poor design. The front racks aren’t connected with a sway-bar (I think that’s what it’s called), so there is very little torsional stability in the bike yaw-axis.  This flaw is compounded by Tania’s racing-style bike which doesn’t have braze-ons or eyelets on the front fork for the bottom attachment point.  The top attachment to the fork is pretty good, a big U clamp and backplate which sandwiches the fork; I had to get creative with the bottom attachment point and found an insulated steel P-clamp is a reasonable solution.

The P-clamp still isn’t a great solution.  It’s difficult to remove and doesn’t apply pressure equally around the circumference of the fork.  Additionally, there’s no room for adjustment but luckily the racks are reasonably flat.  I’m considering moving to a hose-clamp solution with a flange that would allow a more solid rear attachment point and more adjustment room.  The racks would still suffer from the lack of yaw stiffness, and frequent tightening will be required as the fork tapers.  Not considering a skewer attachment as the consequences of breaking the quick release mechanism are higher than having to carry Tania’s front panniers.

I may have a change of heart and just get a totally different front rack and fix the yaw flexibility problem.  Although the attachment isn’t great, I feel like it’s strong enough that isn’t going to be the weight-limiter on the front rack.  For now, we’ll just have to put low weight items in her front panniers.

Degreaser works everywhere

Degreaser works everywhere