Halloween costume

My daughters want to dress up as Rey from Star Wars for this year Halloween so I’ve been tasked with creating two staffs.

A quick search on Etsy turned up a number of 3D printing models for the staff. A few minutes and dollars later, I was in possession of the 3D models. (The one I purchased is sadly no longer available but there are other similar ones on the site)

Printing

I divided the parts into two groups: a) simple cylindrical parts (mostly the handles, etc.), b) complex parts which may require printing supports.

I started with the complex parts first and whilst some of the supports failed to stick or print correctly, the rest of the parts printed fine.

Continue reading “Halloween costume”

One small step…

For those who follow my Instagram account, you may have seen the progress of my latest craft project.

50 years ago today, July 16th 1969, three earthlings lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida to begin their journey to the Moon. 4 days later, Neil Armstrong took the first step onto the lunar surface.

To celebrate and commemorate this event, I’ve spent the month of June and July recreating one of the artifacts from the Lunar landing.

The Beginning

Back in 2015(!) the Smithsonian created the Kickstart project, Reboot the Suit, to raise fund to “conserve, digitize, and display Neil Armstrong’s and Alan Shepard’s spacesuits.”

Continue reading “One small step…”

Cycling in 2014

My goal for the year was to cycle around 1400 miles and I managed to ride 1236 miles, climbed 21 thousands feet, in 86.5 hours, which is pretty good even if I say so myself. I also targeted to complete two cycling events which I managed as well.

NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour

After 2+ months of preparation, I finished the NYC 5 Boro Bike Tour in May.

The Start
The Start
Continue reading “Cycling in 2014”

Training for this season

This year I’m planning to ride in at least two cycling events: TD Five Boro Bike Tour in May, and Bike MS in September. I’m on the look out for another event around July which will make it nice and even 2 months between events.

Five Boro Bike Tour

This tour is approximately 40 miles long and since the furthest I’ve ridden in a single day was 23 miles last September, I have some work to do! What I have figured out is that I need to train my body to be able to ride the months, meaning:

  • January = 15+ miles
  • February = ~25 miles
  • March = 30-35 miles
  • April = 40 miles

Cycleops Indoor Trainer
Cycleops Indoor Trainer

My training regime so far consists of two indoor trainer ride in Tuesday and Thursday evenings using videos from The Sufferfest, and a weekend ride on the road. As the weather improve in February and March (fingers cross!), I should be able to ride outdoor on Tuesday and Thursday too. When that happens, I’ll need to choose my route carefully so that I get the necessary interval training, not just endurance/distance. I’ll also be joining the local cycling groups on meetup.com and Princeton Freewheelers for long ride during the weekends.

I’m pretty sure I will be able to tackle the full distance since the route is pretty flat, except very short climbs up the bridges.

Bike MS

There are a number of Bike MS events in NJ in September with various route length. I don’t think I will be able to tackle the century route (100 miles or 100 km) this year yet so I’ll look out for 40 miles or 50 miles event.

These routes, compare to the Five Boro Bike Tour, have long hills to climbs (1000+ feet elevation with 5-7% gradient). I’ll have to adjust my training regime accordingly to improve my climbing ability. There are a few short but steep climbs around my area but nothing that is long and less steep. For that I probably need to drive to Sourland Mountain where Sourland Spectacular was held.

In 2013, I rode

  • 374.8 miles
  • spent 25 hrs 2 min on the saddle
  • climbed 7159 ft

See it on my Strava profile.

Not bad considering that I only bought my bike on July 29th and started slowly.

Winter time

My cycling has now moved indoor and night time. CycleOps Fluid 2 indoor trainer (sourced from Craigslist), and Sufferfest video equals cardio and strength training for next spring.

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Why Don’t Americans Have Bike Barriers?

The Dish

Dunsmuir Separated Bike Lane

They’ve been proven to save lives in countries such as the Netherlands and Canada, so why their absence in the US? Architectural historian Steven Fleming argues that macho bike culture deserves some of the blame:

A sad irony in the history of bicycle transport is that keen cyclists aided and abetted motoring lobbyists, who wanted the whole road for cars.

Bike store owner John Forester was a keen “vehicular cyclist.” He could keep pace with cars, assert his right to a lane, and gracefully somersault onto the grass if ever a driver looked but didn’t see him. He published these tips in his 1976 book Effective Cycling, with some good intentions, but also a hint of male pride. By the way he opposed the Dutch-modeled cycle tracks he feared would spread to the US, you could be forgiven for thinking his secret fear was being made to ride beside women and…

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Firsts

A few first today:

  • 23 miles ride. First time I rode over 20 miles. Not as exhausting as I anticipated but my legs were pretty shot for the last 6 miles. Still managed to maintain an average of 16 mph though.
  • New road tires (Continental Grand Prix 4000S) are a success! Less rolling resistance but almost as compliant as the stock cycle-cross tires. Though I can no longer ride through loose gravels with impunity like before.
  • New base layer from Under Armour I wore under my short sleeves jersey. It kept me warm at the beginning of the ride in morning but didn’t make me overheat at the end when the temperature rose to low 20s with bright sun. This should keep me warm for my morning rides until a proper jacket is needed.

Making it my own

One of the great thing about owning a piece of sport equipment is customization, to make it uniquely mine. A bike offers many ways of customization and here are mine. Some of them are more customizing my riding experience vs. customizing the bike itself. (I haven’t included pictures of the mundane stuff like foot pump, spare tube, CO2 canister, tire repair kit, and saddle bag)

Currently I’m waiting for two more items to arrive; Camelbak Podium Big Chill Bottle and Serfas Fissure Jersey.

Things that are on my shopping list in the future; road tires, better saddle, and winter clothing.

Name sticker with country flag
Name sticker with country flag

Bontrager water bottle cage
Bontrager water bottle cage

Topeak iPhone mount on stem
Topeak iPhone mount on stem

Topeak Ride Case II iPhone 5 mount
Topeak Ride Case II iPhone 5 mount

Pearl iZUMi Men's X-Alp Seek IV Cycling Shoe
Pearl iZUMi Men’s X-Alp Seek IV Cycling Shoe

Shimano PD-M520L pedals
Shimano PD-M520L pedals

Heart Rate Monitor
Heart Rate Monitor

Wahoo Speed & Cadence sensor
Wahoo Speed & Cadence sensor

Blackburn front and back lights
Blackburn front and back lights

Giro gloves
Giro gloves

Bell XLV helmet
Bell XLV helmet

Oakley M-Frame with red iridium and black iridium lenses
Oakley M-Frame with red iridium and black iridium lenses

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