In Depth Post #7: Planning my learning center

DSC_0275It’s only a matter of weeks until the in-depth presentations night, so I’m going to start planning and building my learning center. Lucky for me, this won’t require a whole lot of work. In fact, I actually planned out the whole thing while eating dinner in around five minutes.

My general plan is to branch out from the standard poster board and paper idea, instead turning to a display that isn’t fully self-explanatory, and instead will prompt people to ask questions. This will involve a mostly visually based presentation. The pieces that I will be needing are my downhill bike, as well as a (possibly) dirt jumper style bike which I also built over the course of the project. I will also have a laced but not trued wheel in a stand that will have a small amount of text displayed on it, making it more interesting than the standard display board. I will also have a selection of standard tools, as well as some more specific ones I got from Dave, displayed on a table. Finally, I will have a laptop playing a stop motion video of the entire bike build.

The stop motion video encases the entire project, showing the entire bike being built from the ground up. It took me six days to film, and another day to edit. The entire filming process consists of nearly two thousand pictures which are strung together to create the illusion of motion. The pictures were all taken by hand, and required over ten hours of work.

On the first day of filming, I was building the wheel. I took a picture for every spoke placed in the wheel, so the entire wheel building process took an hour longer than usual. Next I took apart the front brake, and filmed it having parts replaced and rebuilt. I needed to rebuild the brake anyways, so the stop motion was just convenient to do at the time. The next day of filming was to show the fork being repaired. The fork I used was not the Boxxer shown in the final product, it was instead the Totem that I had been using before. After repairing the original fork, I moved on to filming the new fork being repaired. This consisted of a very short clip, in which I am spray painting the worn out lowers.

After all these parts were filmed, I finally found time to film the entire bike being put together into the final product. This process is often called an overhaul, where the entire bike is stripped, fixed, and put back together. In my case though, nothing was being repaired, it was just being rebuilt. As I set up the camera and such, my dad began to take apart some of the larger parts. I took off the wheels and drivetrain, and we were ready to begin filming. For this sequence, I had a more complex setup to ensure the final video looked as good as I could make it. For lighting, we had a fluorescent light, a halogen light, and a very powerful shop light. The shop light is two movable spotlights on a stand that would be commonly used to light up workshops when there is no external lighting. Because I knew the filming process would take a long time, I could not use light from outside, as it would change over the course of the day. Once the lighting was setup, I adjusted the camera to fit with the lighting conditions. A camera usually needs to be operated at a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second to compensate for your hands shaking, but since I had it on a tripod, I was able to use an exposure of 1.5 seconds, much longer than anyone would normally use. I also had the camera hooked up to my laptop, which was running a program to operate the camera. This helped with two things:

  1. there was no shaking from me pressing the button on the camera
  2. the pictures downloaded to my laptop as I took them

The filming ended up taking over six hours, with a break only to have dinner. Conclusion, stop motion looks cool but sucks to make.

Details about setup:

  • I may have sound for the video, but it is not necessary
  • I will need a large space to accommodate everything, it will need to hold at least 1 folding table and accommodate two large bikes WITH ROOM TO SPARE (I don’t want anything bumping into the bikes, they total a cost of $4000 so I don’t want them getting damaged) The concrete area outside the MPR would work, if not a large space indoors would be just as good as long as I have space
  • Equipment (I will need):
  1. Folding table
  2. Electrical outlet

Equipment (I am bringing)

  1. Extension cord
  2. Laptop
  3. Bike stand
  4. One, maybe two bikes
  5. Tools
  6. Wheel in a stand

All photos

As a prize for reading to the end, here’s some cats


My final words, French Revolution, Marquis du Condorcet

I write this in great haste, for I fear my time shall come at any moment. Already, those with a sense of mind are being captured, and possibly sentenced to death. Marat, one of the last sensible people, has already been assassinated, even after he hid for so long from authorities, so long he claimed “all this hiding from the authorities will not prove good for my health.” I myself am on the run, hiding out for a total of five months now, and authorities will likely catch me soon. Should I fall to their hands, they will surely execute me. The Montagnards misrepresented my ideas, and upon criticizing them for not allowing me to throw out my own voice, they decided that I was no longer worthy to live freely anymore. That was five months ago, and now I hide in fear that they will arrest me. In my time here, I have been able to write another book, giving the people my final words before I perish. This shall surely be the end for me, leaving the Revolution as a now bitter memory. It was such a good cause, but it was poisoned by the most influential people.

With these ill-willed people at the head of France, the outcomes will surely not be any good. Although the outcomes would show people the possibilities of revolution, the implications that they put on France will be nothing but bad. They said they were fighting to get rid of a tyrannical monarch, but they are becoming just as much of a tyrant as he was. If King Louis could speak from the dead, perhaps even his opinion would be better than theirs. Maybe we should have stuck with him, not bothering to kill him but rather just force him to change his views.

Although I will likely be remembered as a traitor and scum, I wish for my words to be read, so that people may remember me as a voice for rationalism. I spoke for the people, no matter how discriminated they were. I supported the women and blacks, and wanted to give the slaves freedom! Yet with the actions of our new “leaders”, I will not be remembered for any of this.

So I write to you, in vain hopes that somebody will pass on my words and influence.


In Depth Post #6: Even more stuff happens

DSC_0261Once again I’m going to be making a massive text dump where I do over all the things I haven’t had time to mention. This post won’t go into a lot of detail since it’s an extra, it’s more just to show what’s been happening.

When I left off I was in Kelowna, where the water taste weird and as I found out the bikes are just as expensive as anywhere else. Now I’m back at home, and my first order of business is to collect even more parts. This time, I’ll be ordering them through my (old) mentor at his shop. This includes a chain, cassette, brake line, and a chainring. Here’s a breakdown of what these parts are:

Chain: pretty basic, interlocking pieces of metal the have slots which fit into gears, not like an anchor chain, it’s like a skinny motorbike chain.

Cassette: gears lined up beside each other, smallest on the outside and biggest on the inside, placed on the hub of the back wheel. The smaller the gear, the harder it is to pedal, but the higher speeds you can achieve. The cassette that I’m getting is a VERY high quality one, meaning it costs more but it will last longer and feel better.

Chainring: The chainring is the gear on the front end of the chain, attached to the cranks. The smaller this gear is, the easier it is to pedal. This is the opposite of the cassette. The chain ring I’m getting is a new style called a narrow wide. On the chain, each slot for the gear’s teeth are not the same size. They alternate small and large. Because of this, the chainring needs to be shaped to fit into the small slots, and the large slots end up falling off some time because there’s too much space. This means you usually need a chain guide to hold the chain in place, however this causes drag and makes the chain much less smooth. The narrow wide chainring fixes this by having a narrow slot followed by a wide slot, which helps hold the chain in place, reducing the need for a chain guide.

Around this time, I began building my first wheel (remember, this is before my new mentor). The wheel I started on was an old rim we had sitting around, with some equally old spokes. Following a guide I found online, I failed miserably a few times. After lacing it incorrectly, I eventually got it as round as I could. This is when I found out the rim was cracked, and it would have been impossible to finish building it anyways. Good enough for the first try I guess…

After building the rim, I moved on to repainting my fork. I started out by taking the lowers off the stanchions, since paint on the stanchions could do sever damage. Once the lowers were off, I pulled off the nasty old decals and cleaned off all the caked on dirt. Once the lowers were thoroughly cleaned with rubbing alcohol, I sanded down all the major scratches too make sure everything was smooth. After this, I filled the scratches and gouges with an sort of liquid metal, an epoxy that hardens upon application. I then sanded the entire fork with a small grain piece of sand paper, which make the fork a little bit rough so that the paint would stick. I then got out the spray paint, and put on about six coats. A few days later, I found it still needed more paint, and some pars were uneven. I sanded down some of the paint, and made another attempt. I did this three times before getting it finished.


After painting it and letting it dry, I applied the new decals. This was an absolute pain to put on straight with no air bubbles. i found that the trick was to lay down just the corner, the get a piece of firm rubber like a spatula to press it down to get rid of air bubbles. Once the decals were on I got a large sheet of 3M car paint protector,  a thin. clear plastic wrap designed to protect the paint of cars in curved ares. This was an ideal material for me, since it was designed to go around bends. However, it was even harder to apply than the decals, and I found that although it worked fine along large bends, it couldn’t wrap around smaller bends very well. Eventually I got the forks covered in a bit of an awkward fashion by using small strips instead of big pieces, which means it doesn’t look as good but is protected better.


A few days after finishing painting the fork, I got a call from Maple Ridge Cycle saying they got all my parts in. When I came in though, I found that the chain ring was on back-order so I couldn’t get it, and they had accidentally sold my chain, meaning the only parts I could get was the cassette and the brake line. However, I will be able to get the other parts within a week.

Next I built my second wheel, this one would be put onto the bike so I had to do it right (back wheel). When i was lacing the spokes, I made a stop motion animation for the presentation at the in depth night. This made the process more drawn out, but I still ended up finishing it within the day. One issue I faced though is that the spokes are slightly too long, but the rim is double walled, meaning I had extra room so the spokes didn’t poke all the way through. The front wheel doesn’t need to be rebuilt yet, since it already has a good hub in it.

Next up I was able to put on my cassette, bars, headset, grips, cranks and chain ring. The bolts that came with the cranks are slightly too long for the chain ring, but they should work so I put them on anyways. I also got a set of pedals from Overtime Sports on a massive discount, from the regular $85 to $50. I tried putting the brakes on, but it turns out the adapter for the front bike is oddly sized, meaning it doesn’t fit properly. It still works enough to test the bike, but I need to change it at some point. The bike has no chain yet, so I can’t really ride it.

Moving on to mentoring, I had my last session with Dave. This time, we would be re-cutting the bottom bracket. This isn’t a necessary procedure, but it’s still good to have it done. I would have never been able to do it at home, since the tool cost over a thousand dollars, and without Dave I would have had no clue how to do it. The tool is simple enough, it’s two handles on either end of a bar with cutting pieces on them. The reason it’s so expensive is because of how precise it needs to be. The idea behind it is that is cuts new threads into the frame, so that the bottom bracket fits in perfectly straight. Factory made frames aren’t always precise, so doing this is always a good idea. The tool is very finicky, and if you put it in the wrong side, it will ruin your frame. First you chase the threads, meaning you put the tool in and cut new threads, making it much more aligned with the frame. Next you face it, meaning you cut the lips of the frame so that they are flat, meaning the bottom bracket will not be able to go in crooked. After finishing, I had to make sure that all the pieces got cleaned out properly, since the little shards of metal left from cutting could damage the bike. This concluded my (so far) final day of being mentored by Dave.

1791, the Beginnings of a new France, Marquis du Condorcet

My efforts have paid off, and after throwing my voice out to the people they have turned their minds in the right direction, thus electing me as a representative in the Assemble. Soon enough, I will have them promote me, hopefully to at least a secretary, so that I may have more control over what France shall turn into. I fear that without a logical mind at the head of France, the kings ways may well return. Already, Louis is showing his worst sides, further turning the people of France against him. Just a short while back, the scoundrel attempted to escape his house arrest dressed up as a servant! although people should be equal, a royal should never stoop so low as to pretend to be a peasant. What’s worse, he attempted to return, saying he only went over to prove to the Austrians that he too could be a brave and powerful king. However, how brave are you really when you sneak out in the night dressed as a servant? I can be certain now that a life in prison is still to good for the king, execution shall be his fate. What else can we do with a man that wants to continually suppress the women of France? Should I come to power, the women shall receive the right to vote and have every much of a place in society as our men.  But alas, the king is not the biggest of the problems, it is now the queen.

The queen is quite opposed to the constitution, making it increasingly difficult for us to put it into play. Although her popularity has declined greatly since the peak of her rule, she still has some influence over the king as a constitutional monarch. She does not want the constitution to work for the revolution, and she can influence the king to either not accept it, or to accept it but make yet another attempt at deceiving us. Not only is she attempt to stop the constitution, she is also trying to contact her brother, the Holy Roman Emperor, to come over and crush the revolutionaries. Although France was once a military superpower, the revolution has made us vulnerable, and having the Romans come would mean certain defeat for us. Luckily, the revolutionaries are beginning to see the queens’ flaws, and I believe that at the next chance they get, they will attempt to subdue her. Whether that is by arrest or death does not matter, she simply must go.

If we are able to purge the queen, we may be able to finish the revolution. With the royal family gone, I can only predict that the revolution will be a success, and should my plan work out, I shall be able to make France a rationalist country, pioneers in the rights of everyone, and progressing in technology and science faster than any other place in the world. But I must not get ahead of myself, the revolution is still in it’s progressing stages, so I must keep my focus on the present.


In depth post #5: A lot of stuff happens

As the title says, a lot of stuff happens in this post, so I can not go into much detail for each part of the update.

To start, after ordering a box of parts off chain reaction, they finally came in! This is the most excited I’ve ever been for a parcel, since the mail at my house is usually advertisements. Within the depths of a bubble wrap filled box, lay my zee shifter and derailleur, my answer protaper bars, and a crown race. I’ve already covered the bars and derailleur in previous posts, so I’ll just cover the crown race. A crown race looks simple enough, it’s just a metal disc. However, it is crucial to building the bike. I crown race is put onto the fork where it slides into the frame, and the lips around the middle slot into the head tube of the frame. The head tube on the driver 8, with a chris-king headset, is tapered at the bottom, so the crown race fills the gap where it is tapered so that it is a smooth tube for the fork to slide into. I’ve been able to put on all the parts, so my bike now has a nearly complete front end, as well as shifting capabilities (but no chain).

Next up is the stem, the piece on the front of the bike that holds the bars to the fork. This piece, although small, can have a drastic effect on the bike. Because it has the bars attached to it, the shape of the stem can change where the bars are, causing the rider to be leaned further forward or further back. The stem that I had chosen was a Raceface Atlas. This stem is quite nice looking, however many people are not big fans of it because of it’s geometry, which is odd compared to other stems. This means that if you are used to another style of stem, and you switch to this one, the bike will feel foreign to you when you ride it. However, I’m not used to any particular stem, so switching to it should be easy enough for me. I ended up finding one on pinkbike for $50, marked down from the usual $95 U.S. The stem had been up for sale for quite some time, and I thought that the person had just forgotten to take it down. Luckily, that was not the case, and it was just that nobody else wanted to buy it.

And last, I found a Driver 8 for sale at a bike shop in Kelowna. This is actually a quite rare occurance, since the Diver 8 is a discontinued frame, and has been for a few years now. This is the first Driver 8 that I’ve seen for sale, so I decided to check the price tag. This Driver 8 was a 2012 model, whereas mine is a 2011. However, the price was at $3800. On sale. The regular price was $5000, I’m guessing they marked it down since it’s outdated. The components that were on the frame were not the exact same as mine, however in terms of performance they were nearly identical. Essentially, I’m going to be making the same quality and style of bike, and I’m estimating that it will cost around $2000 dollars. This means that by building the bike myself, I could be saving a whopping $3000. That’s more money than I even have total, make it the full $5000 and I definitely wouldn’t be able to afford to get a bike like that. In short, learning how to do things yourself is the way to go.

Moving on to mentoring, I had another session with Dave in his shop. This time around, it started off with trueing the wheels of a few customers just as a check to make sure that I had the technique solidified. After, I helped Dave clean up a customers’ bike before moving on to my own bike. For this session with Dave, I would be bleeding my brakes. Hydruaulic brakes like the ones I have, which are common on most mountain bikes, are a bit more complex than the standard V brakes. A V brake is a very elementary systems, involving a wire attached to a lever, that when pulled, pulls in two pads towards the rim of the wheel. When the pads make contact, the create friction and slow the bike. Although practical, these brakes do not offer a lot of stopping power, and once the rim gets wet they can no longer create friction, rendering them nearly useless. On any bike that needs stopping power, you will commonly see disc brakes. A disc brake uses hydraulic fluid, which gets compressed by the brake lever. This compression forces the fluid to the other end of the brake line, which is attached to a series of pistons attached to pads. The fluid forces the pistons to move upwards, which creates contact between the pads and a disc that is attached to the hub of the wheel. Because the disc is designed for stopping a bike, unlike the rim, these pads can be created to be much more abrasive, and This makes the brakes much more effective.

The downside to these brakes is that the hydraulic fluid needs to be replaced after riding with it, since air leaks will sometimes get into the fluid, causing the brakes to create less pressure. TO fix this, the brakes need to be bled. Bleeding requires different tools for different brands of brakes. My brakes are Avids, which are generally considered harder to bleed, however Dave has more experience with Avids than any other brake type. Dave bled the back brake first for a demonstration, then I bled the front brake. Bleeding Avid brakes requires two syringes with different quantities of hydraulic fluid in them. The syringes are attached to either end of the brake line, and are screwed in to prevent leaking. The syringes are then used to push the fluid back and forth, which helps release any air bubbles into the syringes. Once the bubbles are gone, the fluid is forced into the brake line, before the holes for the syringes are resealed to prevent any further leaking. Although this process may seem relatively simple on paper, actually doing it is much more difficult since the fluid is highly corrosive, and must be handled very carefully. After cleaning up the bike, I concluded my day with Dave and left the bike in his storage room to be worked on another day.

The Idea of Progress, Marquis du Condorcet

At last, the revolution has taken it’s first steps towards crushing the tyranny that has ruled over France for far to long. The monarchs that rule over us have been in such a high and mighty position that they seem to forget how to properly rule over a country, and are instead blinded by wealth and fortune. For a true France to emerge, we must abolish slavery,  and enfranchise the women. I have cultivated the Idea of Progress in my mind for years now, and I will finally have it put into place once the tyrants are overthrown. In my vision, the new France should be a rationalist society, where decisions are made based off fact and logic, not by personal opinions or messages from God. For a true France to emerge, we must turn to the most accurate forms of knowledge.

The kings rule has been that of a tyranny, and it must come to a stop. In my personal experience, my opinions have been covered up, and I have only been able to put my ideas forth in books, but not able to put them into place in our crumbling society. Should the revolution be a success, which I hope dearly it will be, I will make sure the people of France have an opportunity to see how a society should truly live.

Progress is what has kept man ahead of other races since our creation, and that is why we must keep cultivating progress instead of being kept in such an age, where we are ruled by the rich and stupid, while the smart and keen minded are left to be buried. To progress as a society, we must abolish slavery, free the women, establish provincial assemblies, and implement a universal public education. If we were to follow these guidelines, our entire country would be educated and have a free voice, meaning we would not have a small percentage of people capable of making decisions, but rather we would have thousands of intelligent minds. “I hope to see the bringing together of the best educated people of the earth into a Congress of Science.” (Citation no.3)  This is how we can make progress, and this is how we can turn France into a country of true and just power.


Condorcet, Marie Jean Antoine Nicholas Caritat, Marquis de, Sandra Hinchman, Enlightenment Revolution

Condorvet Marie Jean Antoine Nicholas Caritat Marquis, Maurice Lageux, Encyclopedia Agora, 2012




Mentorship question, In-depth week 12

1/2/3. Currently, my mentor Dave has been able to provide me with multiple learning opportunities inside the shop. This includes being able to see interactions with customers, how the pricing is worked out, and more importantly what a customer is expecting. He’s explained that many customers don’t quite understand that paying a higher amount for better service once is much better than paying a bit each time, but coming back for service over and over again. He’s also shown me how to properly present someone’s bike when they come to pick it up, including having it properly cleaned as a bonus. To accelerating and reinforce new learning, there are quite a few opportunities in Dave’s shop. Most of these revolve around the bikes that his customers bring in. As bikes are brought in, Dave is able to show me what to do on various components on the bike, and for smaller issues I am able to learn how to fix it myself, and get hands-on experience working with a large assortment of bikes.

4. When Dave and I get together for our mentoring sessions, we mostly talk about life in the world of biking, and he is quite interested in the in-depth project. We are also currently discussing ways that I can give back to him, including having my dad and I help Dave create a new website to improve on his existing one.

5. Currently, what is going particularly well with Dave in our mentoring sessions is the ability to communicate properly. He is able to see when I am struggling, and knows when to offer help and when to hold back so I can figure it out on my own.

6. From Dave, I am most prominently learning how to just be a guy that everyone seems to like. I have yet to meet someone who does not like him, and through observation I have noted some key elements as to how he interacts with customers and partners that really cements strong relationships with them.