Raleigh Sprite Frame & Fenders

Raleigh Sprite Sandblasted Fenders

A couple of days ago, I got the 1974 Raleigh Sprite’s frame and fenders back from the powder coat shop.  Also took the seatpost and stem, as well as the oddly small handlebars in for sandblasting and finish coating – not chrome, though, I hate the maintenance chrome requires.  I’ll post a picture of those items when I get them back.

The gray I chose is a lot lighter than it looked on the color card and has a bluish cast to it.  Yesterday, at lunch, I took the frame and fenders to the body shop around the corner, as it were, from the office to select a color for the fenders by holding color cards against the frame in sunlight and with a small lamp that approximates sunlight.  Chose a yellow that’s close to a British racing yellow but is a GM stock color used on semi-articulated tractor rigs.  The paint will be a little cheaper than a custom color.  Hopefully, the color scheme will work alright.  At least those fenders will be visible a long way off.

The fellow who originally sandblasted the frame and fenders ran the rear fender through the box with the reflector in place.  After working on its removal at the body shop, I can see why he left it alone.  The body shop guys were able to get it removed, but it was more difficult than expected.

Here’re a couple of pictures:

Raleigh Sprite Rear Fender

Powdercoated Raleigh Sprite Frame

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1974 Raleigh Sprite

My father-in-law bought this 10 speed bicycle when stationed in Honolulu and occasionally deployed on an aircraft carrier.  He said for a while he rode the bike from the family home to the clinic where he served as a dental surgeon.  When I got the bike, it’d been stored in one of the small barns at the family farm for about 25 years, the fork and handlebars had been turned and stuck sideways to the frame, the tires dry-rotted and the rear fender dented with the reflector’s plastic broken out.

About three or four years ago, I dsassembled the bike and boxed up its sorry component group – Huret and Sturmy-Archer.  There’s a long story about how I farmed out getting the frame, fork, and fenders sandblasted for $25, then could not find the sandblaster, then figured it out and retrieved the parts sans paint but with the headbadge also sandblasted.

Last week, I took frame and fork to a powder-coat shop in the county where I work at lunchtime and picked a slightly darker, battle-ship gray color.  Yesterday, I took the fenders to body-shop close to my office and talked about getting them worked on and painted a sort of British Racing Yellow.  The bodyshop guy is a midieval history buff, so talking history was a bonus.  Today, I plan to pick up the frame and fork to finalize fender color at the bodyshop.  Will take and post a couple of pictures.

Here’s a link to someone else’s Raleigh Sprite: https://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1974-raleigh-sprite-bicycle-bike-135554524

McCain is America’s Petain

So, for a long time I’ve thought of establishment hack Senator John McCain of Arizona as a sort of American Marshal Petain. The difference, of course, is that Petain, before becoming a collaborator with German forces after the French surrender during WWII, had actually been a hero of the First World War and had real accomplishments to his credit.

McCain, as we all know, survived a horrific North Vietnamese captivity and had previously flown missions as an American military officer – okay, truthfully, those are two real accomplishments.  Beyond them, though, not much of real value, and those two real accomplishments do not necessarily make the guy a hero.  McCain, as we also all know, functioned during the treasonous administration of Barak Hussein Obama, as a collaborator with that racist and islamist regime.  He continues to toe the line of anti-American, globalist, and neo-conservative establishment appeasement of the Left, needless foreign military intervention, and opposition to meaningful constitutional government.

We know Petain collaborated in selling out French Jews to the insane Nazi anti-semetic death cult.  Dunno whether McCain’s done anything that overtly identifiable as evil.  But here’s an article that manages to sum up John McCain’s post-Viet Nam War political career:  https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/please-just-fucking-die-already-acb3a879656e

Update 7/21/17: Sorry to hear the guy’s got brain cancer, wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but that doesn’t remove John McCain from the A-hat column and elevate him to untouchable sacred cow status, either.  McCain’s a rotten guy who’s got brain cancer.

Crazy Warren County Moth-Thing

Crazy Orange Moth Thing

Yesterday afternoon, I stepped outside the office to make a phone call and saw this crazy moth-thing clinging to a cinder-block wall.  My cellphone photograph fails completely to capture the creature’s strikingly vivid orange colorations and its size.  The moth’s about 2 – 3 inches in length, overall.  Big and strange-looking.

Edit: It is a Regal Moth – http://www.insectidentification.org/insect-description.asp?identification=Regal-Moth. Some of the areas that look yellow in the picture above were a sort of light olive-green.

Aleut on the Elk River

Did I mention the Folbot Aleut is slow compared to the kayaks I’ve been used to?  It is.  Back when I was paddling every available free day I had, was used to traveling fast and a lot farther.  This weekend, I’d planned to paddle the river that runs alongside McMinnville, Tennessee, putting in at Smooth Rapids and having them shuttle me back from the VFW lodge – only about 8 miles and maybe four hours, but downstream so the Aleut’s speed limitations wouldn’t bug me as much.

NOAA indicated only 30% of thunderstorms which meant, to me, 70% chance of no thunderstorms.  Weather radar imagery was clear.  I attached the Folbot to my car’s top, put my overpreparedness gear in a large bag and that bag in the car and set out.  You’ll notice what I’d failed to do before driving 30-odd miles – didn’t call the outfitter to make sure they were operating.

The fellow running the place asked, “Are you sure?”

“Why would I need to be sure about this?”

“The river’s at flood stage – we’ve had storms all week.”

“Yeah, the weather has been crap.”

“Whenever we have storms here, we get trees falling across the river.”  He went on to mention that two or three people had died during the past couple of months in the area – a kayaker on that stretch of river a couple of weeks ago when his boat capsized caught in a strainer and he panicked, and two swimmers drowned at Rock Island.  He said he had no way to tell whether the water was passable.  Said the water was about three feet above normal level.

“Would you do it?”

“No,” he said, “and I’ve (paddled those eight miles) a hundred times.”

So, I left and went in search of some other water to paddle.  On the way back to I-24, I looked for an access point to Womack Lake, but finding none, I decided to put in at Prairie Plains Road Bridge, on the Elk River in maybe Coffee County, and drove out there.

This time, I’d remembered to take my Magellan Cyclo 505 to measure progress in addition to what my wife considers my usual over-prparedness.  It might have been about 11:00 a.m. when I arrived at the put-in.  No one else was there, and during my entire paddle upstream and most of my paddle downstream past where I’d launched, I saw no one else on the water.

Magellan Sat Route Photo

The furthest point on this image shows where I found a place to eat lunch. The 505 unit shared a PFD pocket with my camera and it’s touchscreen apparently got bumped and it shut itself off.  I didn’t get much past this point after eating.  A ways into my paddle back downstream I again looked at the unit and recorded part of the downstream paddle.

I did see about 30 turtles sunning themselves on logs, one large snake, also sunning on a log, and three otters swimming fast downstream while I ate my lunch.  A few great blue herons, numerous other birds I couldn’t identify, and a flock of swallows swarming around the bridge as I came back downstream.

A few pictures with brief descriptions from start to finish:

Elk R 7-8-17

Not far upstream from Prairie Plains Road Bridge.  It turned out not to be as jammed up with broken trees as it looks here.

Elk River Snake

So, as I was paddling by I saw what looked like an iguana sunning itself on a log.  When I got closer, I saw it was instead a snake curled up, sunning itself on a log.  I snapped the picture when I got a little further away using zoom.  During the rest of my time on and around the water I remained mindful of the possibility of snakes on over-hanging tree limbs and nearby logs.

Winged Visitor

This creature landed where you see it and rode with me for about a mile upstream.

Elk R Local Color

My photographic skills and camera failed to capture the bright beauty of these occasional pink flowers I saw from time to time on either bank of the Elk.

Campsis Radicans

Campsis radicans growing on a tree overhead.  Also the name of my old Pouch E68 kayak.

Some Water...

The camera got wet; I guess I paddled more vigorously than usual, yesterday.

Lunch Stop

Here’s where I backed in and ate my lunch – peanut butter and jelly sandwich and one of those wafer-cookie bicyclist snacks – before paddling out and turning left. I made maybe two-tenths of a mile more upstream before I turned back.  I’d wasted half the day driving to McMinnville and then trying to find access to that small lake.  And the current was stronger the farther upstream I paddled.

Flooded Creek

On the way back downstream, on my right, I explored a flooded creek that’s normally impassible. I got this far and photographed the flooded vista beyond.

Flooded Creek Water Plants

Here’re some of the plants growing under the water on that flooded creek.

The Way Out

And here’s the way back out to the Elk.

Floating Downstream

As someone has noted on a FoldingKayaks.org forum thread, the Folbot Aleut is stable enough you can sit back put your legs up outside the cockpit. Floating back downstream was lot less trouble than paddling upstream.  I ate another pbj sandwich and relaxed a bit.

Prairie Plains Rd. Bridge

There’s the bridge beyond which is the dirt ramp where I launched a couple of hours previously.  I paddled down farther, toward some of the islands at the top of Woods Reservoir, got repeatedly buzzed by a wasp, whack the snot out of the insect with my paddle, turned around and headed back to the car.

Red Car Blue Boat

And there’s the car with the kayak on top.

Folbot Aleut First Report

Aleut View Forward

Today, I paddled my new 2003 Anniversary Edition Folbot Aleut for the first time.  Most of you know this already, but the Aleut is Folbot’s 12′ single kayak.  Here’s a link to information on the Folbot line-up of folding kayaks that I think was current when the company went out of business last year (2016).  Weighing about 40#, it’s easy to put on the car’s roof racks.  I used a couple of cheap foam blocks to protect the hull.  The boat’s aluminum frame, probably aluminum in general, ‘feels’ more fragile to me than my previous folders’ wooden frames.  The Aleut’s gothic arch cockpit is huge – it seems even bigger from the inside.  I used a bungie cord to keep the seatback in place.  I remember reading on the old Folbot Forum that the style seat my kayak’s got consistently annoyed users by falling forward when they entered the cockpit.

Aleut Lakeside

The Aleut has zero rocker, is beamy, has a lot of primary stability but I was unsure of its secondary stability so I edged to turn with caution.  It was a little breezy today and I found the kayak didn’t turn into the wind much; no rudder today nor was one needed.  The kayak seems sturdy, stable, not bothered by boat-wake or small wind-waves.

Compared to Campsis Radicans, my old Pouch E68, the Folbot Aleut is pretty slow.  Surely no more than six miles did I paddle this afternoon, but I had no real plan except to put the boat in the water and paddle it around a bit.  It took me a mile or two to remember how and begin to paddle efficiently.   The kayak’s D-rings for perimeter line are placed where I carelessly and repeatedly whacked them with the paddle.  Altering habitual form to avoid that will take at least conscious effort and another excursion to effect.  My form today was sufficiently poor that one of my elbows hurts.

Aleut Beached

As you can see from the pictures, I overprepared – spare paddle, a couple of dry-bags with stuff I might need, a second lunch in case I got hungry, a bilge pump, a bilge sponge, about a gallon of drinking water in a Viet-Nam era military collapsible canteen.

I rode my ’07 Jamis Supernova this morning and again this evening after supper.  Being active outside feels good.

Aleut & Supernova