Sunday, March 29, 2009

back on the trike

I got Kyoto out of its winter hibernation this past Thursday.

On Wednesday there was still a bit of ice piled in front of the door to its trikeport, and once that was cleared I still could not get the door open! Prying the top edge back I could look inside and see ice on the gravel floor of the 'port, and the front wheel had ice up to the rim. Joy...

But on Thursday I was able to pry the door open a bit more and reach in and lift the front wheel out of the ice out easily enough, and it was no worse for wear. Then I eventually got the door free and the trike out (the rear wheels did not have ice around them). I adjusted the brakes and cleaned the chain and put the small battery in to check the lights and signals, and all was well.

Friday was a beautiful day and I put the battery pack for the electric assist in and went for about a 10km roundtrip doing errands. It was nice to be back on the beast (currently my only recumbent) and I'm looking forward to using it once again for moving gear after almost four months of using the winter bike and trailer(s).

The next day I had to do a shift at the re-Cycles shop from 1-5, then from there straight over to the NAC for a soundcheck and gig at the Fourth Stage. The trike makes this kind of thing easy to do.

And so begins Year Six of my cargo trike adventures. :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Jivewires gig tonight

A little late in posting this, but...

The Jivewires are playing at the Rainbow tonight. This is the make-up gig for the one canceled two months ago due to heat and water problems at the club. In the band tonight are Steve on vocals and trombone, Rick on trumpet, Zak on alto sax, Brian on tenor sax, Dr. Dave on guitar, Tom on upright bass, and me.

And check out our new website! The old one was OK, but not put together by us. I maintained it over the years, but Steve has now redone it and looks after the updating.

Friday, March 13, 2009

fun with power tools

Anyone visiting the re-Cycles shop will see two rooms; one being the front "sales" room, and the other the work room. Some folks might even get to see the basement, where the largest room holds all the donated bikes that have come in (which at this time of year have mostly been made ready for sale and are awaiting the Spring rush).

Then there's the smaller basement room, where we store scrap metal for eventual recycling, dead tires awaiting recycling, supplies, spare parts, etc. This room also contained appliances that had long been taken out of use but never removed, such as the building's furnace (each tenant now has their own furnace) and water storage tank (for the old hot water radiators). These things took up a lot of room that we really needed. So we got the landlord's permission to remove them and hired a contractor.

And Mr. Contractor actually showed up. Once. He had quoted two nights to shut off services and disconnect, and then cut things up enough for us to add to our metal scrap pile. Well, he got as far as shutting off power and gas and some of the water and left things to drain. Then he disappeared, as contractors so often do.

By the time the Christmas Holidays rolled around a month later we figured the guy was gone, and somebody had to finish the job. The shop had recently bought an angle grinder with a nice cutting disk, so I thought what the hell I'll see if I can do the job.

The furnace was pretty straightforward. A few pumps had to be disconnected, and I could tell they had been put on not long before the furnace had been decommisiond, as the bolts came undone easily (and the old dead pumps were lying nearby). The pumps were taken by HPVOoOer Mike Watson for a project, so nice to see them reused and not scrapped when they were perfectly good.

The big water tank was another thing. It had cut-off pipes sticking out of it so I presumed it to be drained and started cutting into the bottom pipe. And water starts spraying out! Just what I want when using power tools... (the tank had water, but obviously not enough to overflow the upturned open pipes.)

A quick clamping repair was made using a section of innertube and a hose clamp. The tank needed to be properly drained, and fortunately fellow HPVOoOer Charles was upstairs working on his winter bike. It was off-hours, but I was glad I'd let him use the shop while I was downstairs, because he was able to scoot the few blocks back to his place and get a garden hose. This was attached to the tank's drain plug and left overnight. (He also took the above photos of me.)

The next day the remaining pipes were cut and the tank was waddled out of the way. The furnace consisted of a sheet metal top resting on a core of metal and fire bricks. That core was extremely heavy, and I could only heave it aside by squatting and putting my shoulder to it.

The various cut pipes were sorted by metal type for our scrap removal guys (copper being the most valuable), and then all taps and fittings removed.

The grinder was a fabulous tool for this project. It certainly would not have been a fun task to do all the cutting using only the shop's hacksaw...

A little while later the scrap guys came and hauled most of it away, and it took three people to get the furnace core and big water tank up the stairs.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

TV show

So the TV segment wasn't too bad. I still talk a bit too quickly at times, trying to get out the things I wish to say. But overall I'm OK with how it went.

There doesn't seem to be an embedding feature on the CBC's website, so here's the direct link to the show. (My segment starts around 6:57).

If the link fails for some reason please go to the show's website and search for "Thursday March 5".

Monday, March 02, 2009

Me on TV

In January I was asked by CBC-TV to do a short feature on cycling and trailering my drums in the winter. Later that month on a nice crisp day I met up with reporter Amrita Singh and a cameraman at Bank and Sparks. The program will be aired this Thursday at 3pm, and available online afterwards.

Below are the details from the CBC:

Thank you for being part of Living in Ottawa. Your story "Drum Bike" will be aired on Thursday, March 5...

Living in Ottawa airs at 3 PM on CBC Television. See below for a list of CBC television channels in our area. After the initial airing the episode will be posted online and will be accessible to your family and friends to watch at Click on “search videos” and search by the airdate or segment title to find past episodes. Where to find Living in Ottawa on CBC Television: Channel 8 - Rogers Cable, Channel 208 - Bell ExpressVu, Channel 303 - Star Choice Channel, 4 - with antenna Channel 2, - Videotron Cable - Gatineau