Saturday, January 19, 2013

Riding in January

The first year I lived in Boulder, I thought I'd winterize my bike.     Oops, rookie mistake.

There is at LEAST one day, every single month of the year, which is perfect for riding.     Today, January 19th,  was just such a day and it started with a double dose of Dizzy's.    Oh, yes!

The roads we took are also a popular cycling route.    It was up 63rd and over to 75th to Hygiene.     Zig-zag north west to Carter Lake.    Continue north to Horsetooth Reservoir,  before dropping down into Ft. Collins.     Return some other creative way, or circle back.    

Nice rolling terrain with some curves, staying low to stay warm (60 degrees today!), and watching for sandy spots.     If you want to wipe the smile off my face, you're going to need a chisel.

Bike Update
As far the K went, it was smooth.   Before the ride, I popped the brake pads out, cleaned them, and applied some caliper lube on the back side of the pads.   I was getting a squeal from the pads and this seemed to do the trick.

The throttle is feeling a little sticky, so it's probably time to lube the linkage.    Since I bought the bike, the throttle has been stiff and doesn't return.    It's not an urgent issue, but it's something I will address soon.  

Otherwise, the bike performed fine.   The new rear shock continues to work perfectly.    

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

VW Westfalia Love

Meet Vincent.

Vincent is an early 80's Westfalia brought over from Germany.    He now sports a Subaru conversion, among a few other tricks.

He was dirty so I gave him a bath.

Note the concentration.  

Vincent was converted by a shop in Boulder called Wild Westy.   It's run by a guy named Lucas Hofgard.

This is what the shop looked like if you happen to randomly swing by in mid-January and start taking photos.   It's very cozy.     I wouldn't even call it a garage, it's a workshop and Lucas is a craftsman.  Yes,  I have a serious case of garage envy.

The Syncro in the shop is undergoing a Subaru conversion.   Let's take a closer look.    

Here's the old engine coming out.   It's a little worn out and consumes oil, a lot of oil.     Like a quart every hundred miles or something outrageous.   I think Lucas said that once upon a time, this motor was modified by Go Westy in California.  

Out with the old, in with the new.    This particular van is heading back to California and that required some special considerations for the new motor to be smog compliant.   More on that later.

Here's the shiny new, modified Subaru engine ready to go in.  

Tell us about the engine, Lucas.

Fair disclosure:   I've driven quite a few buses but I haven't driven any that had the pickup that Vincent has.   The  Subaru conversion is lovely, really.    Sign me up.

I should also note that I have not had work done by Wild Westy (yet).  On my short, more or less unannounced visit, I spent a bit of time with Lucas. I was impressed by the depth of his knowledge.  He also clearly cares about his work.  He's a craftsman and building his rep one van at a time.  

When I'm ready Lucas,  you're doing my Westy conversion.