Saturday, September 26, 2009

Norco Monterey SL

My wife hosted a charity garage sale at our house last weekend. That sounds innocent enough, but I discovered that hosting a garage sale means that everybody and their uncle comes by your house with crap they no longer want and you end up with your backyard and garage full of knickknacks and trinkets to try and assign prices to.

The good news is that three bikes were donated, and at the end of the day - for $20.00 - one remained with me. I now own a Norco Monterey SL. I can't really find a date for it, but it seems like it was probably made in the 1980s. If anyone can give a good date estimate for this bike, I'd be curious to hear it.

When I first spotted the bike in our garage, my first thought was "should be a singlespeed". Now that I own it and have ridden it to work twice, I've realized that the gears actually work perfectly, so I think I'll leave them alone. The wheels are also pretty good, and the bottom bracket seems pretty smooth, so all in all it is a pretty solid bike. I am going to make a few changes though.

I've ordered a new seat for the bike, and I'm going to put on some knobby cross tires. I'm going to cut and flip the handlebars as well, creating that bullhorn look. I've also ordered two new sets of pedals, and after swapping some pedals around on different bikes in the household, this Norco will eventually have the basic pedals from my Kona Dew Deluxe.

The pedals that came on this Norco were Japanese made KKT Pro Vic II. This is the second time I've had a pair of these pedals in my life - the first time when they came on an old Fleetwing bike that a Toronto cyclist named Geoffrey gave to me.

Who the hell designed these pedals? And why did companies like Norco think it was a good idea to equip their bikes with them? Wow do they ever suck. On neither side do you get a flat surface under your foot. They bulge in the middle on one side, so the ball of your foot feels like it is kind of balancing on an egg shaped marble, and on the other the edges are higher than the middle so your foot makes contact on the edges but no contact in the middle.

Anyway - I'm mostly going to leave this bike alone, but some other guys have done really cool things with Norco Montereys that they've picked up.

At some point in the future maybe I'll do something like this, or this.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Looping around Tudhope Park

It starts snowing in Orillia in early November. Heavy wet snow that is designed to break your back when you are shovelling every single morning.

I'll probably look back on this ride pretty fondly in a few months.

P.S. - the cuss word near the end wasn't uttered by me - it was the annoyed cyclist coming towards me.