So I made my own engineering themed crossword. Enjoy. I'll post the answers later this week.
1 Dear ______ or Sir
6 Passport and License
9 Richard of Pretty Woman
13 Like former Black Sabbath front man Ronnie?
14 A vote against
15 Jai ____
16 Engineering Class with Van der Waals
19 School address ending
20 Obnoxious persons
27 Elevated or standing
28 Like some gases
29 Scottish cap
31 Chevy van
32 Alda or Greenspan
33 Revise before submitting for review
35 What you want to up in World of Warcraft (abbr)
36 Grand Canyon tribe
37 Business address ending
41 High order angels
43 Aerosmith song Love ___ Elevator
47 Mauna ___
48 Type of Reggae music
49 Bees’ defenses
51 Area under the curve
53 Two things to wear to an interview
55 User: Add___
56 Engineering Class with Bernoulli
62 Winglike part
63 Italian MotoGP great
64 Morays e.g.
1 With 40-down, what an engineer uses to evaluate substances
2 Fire leftover
3 34th Pres.
5 Force times distance from an axis
6 Type of engineer
7 7th of a week
8 Update your iPod
9 Self-improvement area for HALO?
10 Pompous one
11 Prejudiced one
12 Former Disney VIP
17 Lyric Poem
18 Heavenly Altar
21 Cold treat: ___ - cone
23 Nevada school
24 Hand out cards
25 Sea eagle
26 Tech. org. for car enthusiasts
30 Type of engineer
33 Expected score
36 Pittsburgh pro team
38 Who will solve this puzzle? (abbr.)
39 Type of Indian music
40 See 1-down
42 Luau treat
43 Niagra airport code
44 Ship’s cargo: Ball___
46 Make haste to shelter?
48 Slow down
50 Sex Pistol’s Vicious
52 Scra___ an I___
54 Czech town
57 One Manning brother
58 Neither this ___ that
59 Suffix with real or prom
60 HTML formatting language
It seems that these days, without fail, the skies conspire against the casual cyclist like a middle school bully slamming another student against a locker and throwing their homework in the trash (this may or may not have happenned to me) just when they thought it was safe to roam the halls.
In this same spirit, the summer thunder showers happen to break the skies open just the instant that we Lycra-clad warriors leave our day jobs to do our own homework on the bike. Just as soon as we hastily clock out so we can make the most of these long summer days, we see on our windows a sudden splash. We hear the unmistakable rythm of rain starting to fall, lulling us into complacency. And surrounded by the promise of a beautiful tomorrow, at least a beautiful 10 am to 6 pm tomorrow, our motivation drops ever so slightly. And with each subsequent rain drop it falls even more until before we realize it we are laying down on the couch with a beer thinking, "this isn't so bad."
Well brothers and sisters, the next time you hear yourself thinking those words, think not of the chance to ride again tomorrow. Think not of the empty promises we make to ourselves day in and day out.
Think instead of the days in February and March when you would love to be riding in the warm rain. Think of the days when you will get off work and the sun will have long since set. Think of the beautiful days when your off the bike responsibilities keep you from the open road. These days are limited, and we are not at the mercy of the weather, but of our own resolve.
Where we ride, we constantly test ourselves against the elements, against the road conditions, unclimbable hills and dangerous descents. We ride in extreme temperatures and humidity so high we might as well be riding in the rain.
So go ahead and ride in the rain. Take your blinky and arm warmers if you are afraid of the unknown, but go there boldly regardless of fear. Our days are numbered and each day we waste is a regret we will carry on our shoulders forever.
I have nearly 100 Tshirts here with well over half from bicycle related activities. And that's not counting the ones that went straight to the rag pile, which is where about a third of these are going.
Thank you, race promoters, for your unwaveringly ugly shirts, your inability to pass up "exciting" colors, and your confidence in your nephew's Tshirt design talent. You have kept me stylish and given me a rag to clean my chain all at once.
When you go to the bike shop in July, please don't greet your friendly neighborhood mechanic with, "did you see Contador drop Cloden?" or,"Andy Schlecks just couldn't drop the yellow jersey."
We have to work during the day. We don't have live updates on our phones. We aren't reading about it online. We certainly don't have versus on at the shop.
But we are huge fans of the sport that we love and though we don't have versus at home (we can't afford such luxuries), we do have friends with cable at whose houses we will watch the day's stage after the after work ride.
So come in. Talk about your ride. Talk about yesterday's stage. But please don't tell me about what happened today in the tour.
Big Blog Update
So I haven’t posted here in a while. It’s time for a big fat update! So what’ve I been up to in the Last Six Months (LSM)? Lots of exciting things.
For example I grew a stylish beard.
Then I cut it off and won $10,000 to start my business—SpokeArt. What??
Check it out at www.SpokeArt.com. There’s a lot o work left to do on the site, but check back often as we’ll be updating regularly.
So how did I win $10,000? Well, it was more than shaving off my beard, that’s for sure. Each year the WVU Entrepreneurship center (which I can now spell) holds a state-wide collegiate business plan competition. It starts in the fall semester. Any full time college student in the state of WV can enter a business idea in the form of a 3-5 page business summary. This past year, over 90 entries. A panel of judges composed of entrepreneurs, bankers, lawyers, businesspersons, etc reads the plans and score them.
The top 20 entries move on to round two, which is a two minute “elevator pitch” in front of the attendees of the West Virginia Entrepreneurship Initiative Conference, who double as judges for this day. The pitch is followed by a series of interviews with judges (again, all sorts of business persons) in a speed-dating sort of format. Eight minutes with each judge.
Here I should point out that entrants are teams of one to four students. Most entries are for new business ideas, but one can also enter an idea that is an expansion of an existing business into a significantly different direction. There are two different categories: Lifestyle (product/service oriented) and Innovation (technology oriented). I was the only person on my team. About a day after it was too late to add team members I realized that I probably should have tried to find someone to help me with the financial end of things. I did eventually, but I’ll get to that.
So the scores from round one and round two were combined and the top 5 in each category progress to round three. In the lifestyle category, SpokeArt moved on along with a business planning on marketing used books to prisoners, a calorie tracking Iphone app, a waterpark/lasertag/arcade indoor amusement center, and a comparison shopping website aimed at the growing e-commerce markets in Blugaria. Innovation finalists included two teams working on hybrid upgrades for cars, a waterproof remote for wake-boarders, a foundation stabilization specialty company (walmarts everywhere are sinking), and a company focusing on brining sustainable green practices to Marshall University and surrounding areas.
Round three is a doozy. It takes the entire spring semester. There is a weekend retreat filled with speakers and meetings with business coaches, lawyers, etc, a series of online classes on everything from getting a business license to market research to proper accounting processes.
This is all to help entrants create a full business plan. It is a 30-40 page document (not including any appendixes) that covers everything about the business from ownership structure, start up costs, management structure, sales projections over several years, marketing and advertising plans, and a bunch of financial analysis. Sounds like fun, no?
Before we got to any of that though, we had to complete a feasibility study, which is a bunch of research to see if your idea is as good as you think it is. This is where most business ideas stop. It’s an annoyingly long step that is apparently critical to business success. Mine showed that SpokeArt has a chance to succeed. Which is good, yeah? Another team found out that their idea was not anywhere near commercially viable. I’m not sure if they just sort of coasted in from there or if they tried to find a different product. They were in the other category and writing a business plan while working and schooling and training *cough cough*.
An aside—why did I sign up for this in the first place? Well, it wasn’t because I was convinced that bending spokes into pleasing shapes was going to make me rich. Not near it. It was because I realized that even though I’ve been around business people of sorts my whole life (my father, for instance has owned his own construction business for quite some time, and I’ve been working at a relatively successful bicycle/outdoors store for the last 6 years), that I had no real idea how business works. Sure, you buy things, sell them for more, and sell services, but there has to be more than that, right? So I figured the best way to find out more would be to toss myself into the deep end. So the night before the deadline, I typed up 3 pages of SpokeArt goodness, and submitted it. I hoped to make round two to learn more. I never really thought that I’d win 10 Gs.
The first go point was the weekend getaway, held in Morgantown in February. We had a variety of speakers and we met our business coaches (yep, each team got a business leader of their very own to help them with all this stuff. And there is a lot of stuff). My coach was a fantastic woman named Kim, who works for the Small Business Administration. She gave me the best help anyone could have. I said, “I’m worried about figuring out how to define my market, how to project sales, how to define my customer, how to figure out fixed costs. . .” etc etc etc. She just looked at me and said, “Oh, that’s easy!” It’s easy? Seriously? Sweet!
I left the weekend super-motivated to get to work. The $1000 stipend that each finalist gets to cover expenses such as business cards, business licensing, and business plan printing didn’t hurt. Plus, it is our money to do with what we please. Apparently a couple years ago a member of a finalist team took half the money and used it to take a ski trip to Colorado. He did it without telling anyone he was leaving or taking the money either. Another reason to pick your team wisely. That’s one reason I only picked me. I’m smart, I’m motivated, and I can deal with myself if I mess up.
I then proceeded to do nothing but occasionally brainstorming for the next two months. Did I mention that I’m a founding member of the National Association of Procrastinators Pursuing Extensions and Reprieves from Studies (NAPPERS)? Well, I am. Luckily, in addition to Kim, I found some more help. First, I hired my long time friend Mike to do research for me. That was a big time saver. Second, inspired by the contest I had signed up for a business minor and had enrolled in an introductory accounting course. My professor, a fantastic woman by the name Nancy Lynch, had at the beginning of the semester agreed to be a faculty advisor to me in the competition and I’d had maybe one meeting with her to ask her a few questions before the last three weeks before the business plan was due.
The real weight of what I had left to do settled in with about three weeks to go. I talked to a few other teams and found out that I wasn’t that far ahead or behind anyone else. So we’re all procrastinators! Surprise surprise. So I got down to work and started typing. Started compiling my research. Started working hard on my sales projections, working with a bunch of gigantic excel spreadsheets. I asked my accounting professor to help me go over the whole pro-forma (start up costs, sales projections, costs projections, projected balance sheets, income statements, etc etc). Turns out that Nancy, oops, Professor Lynch is just one of those fantastic amazing people you sometimes meet. She spent hours and hours helping me with each item, making sure it all worked together, making sure my balance sheets balanced, making sure my sales looked good. We worked daily for two weeks strait to make sure that my financials were in order. In the mean time, I got to writing and sent rough drafts out to several people including my friend Jeff, the journalist, my wonderful girlfriend Laura, my sister, Professor Lynch, and my business coach, Kim. Each sent back different and useful feedback.
The persons who run the competition, Mindy Walls and Kelley Kerns, strongly encourage contestants to go find help. It is part of the learning process and it is part of learning to be an entrepreneur. There are all kinds of assistance available to persons starting a business in WV, and if you are ever starting a business, you too should look for help wherever you can. It was just required that we wrote the business plan.
There was one other source of information that really helped me shape my plan. Dragon’s Den. It is a show on BBC where entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of self-made millionaires (the Dragons) in an attempt to gain funding for their business ideas. The Dragons are very sharp and don’t hold back with questions and criticism. Just watching a few episodes showed me what information one has to have before they launch a business, and they have to have it down.
1) Cost of production. How much does it cost to make? How is it going to be made?
2) Target market. Who is going to buy this and how many of them are there?
3) Marketing Plan. How are you going to bring this to market?
If you can’t answer all three questions, you don’t stand a chance against the dragons. Plus, your answers have to be good.
I actually had managed to complete my business plan with a whole couple days to spare. I spent the last two days working with Laura to make sure there were no typos, and to make sure that my layout and formatting and charts all looked good. Really good. I figured out a long time ago that most of the time, if you sweat the details, you’ll be way ahead of the curve. Turns out I haven’t gotten far enough in life that sweating the details is just par for the course.
So, here we go. Got the thing printed on recycled paper, bound with a professional clear plastic binder, and turned it in with 10 minutes left to spare before the noon deadline on April 8th. All done, right?
Well, no, you see that was only half of it. The second half of the final round is a twenty minute presentation followed by another twenty minutes of Q&A from the judges. Sounds like fun!
So the next two weeks was spent creating a 20 minute powerpoint presentation. 10 slides. As few words as possible. Cover the Bases. Anticipate questions and answer them in the presentation. Reference the Plan. Be charming. Speak clearly. Speak Loudly. Keep the pace slow. Cut the Chaff. Practice pra….
I only really got to run through it twice start to finish. And those were both drafts. The final speech had a different intro and had a few slides rearranged. This is where all my dorky high school extracurriculars paid off. I participated in plays and competitive speech competitions through-out high school. Even went to nationals my senior year. This public speaking experience (as well as story telling experience) is something that has consistently set me apart from yeah my peers. Get your kids into the arts. I did sports too and I can tell you that my experience in music and theatre classes did more to provide me with skills to be successful in life than any sports program.
Anyway, the presentation went well. Really well. Afterwards the judges had more comments than questions and they were all very positive. The other contestants weren’t quite so lucky as they mostly had hard questions or harsh comments. Woohoo!
After that I had a bit of free time to hang with the ‘rents before heading over to the awards luncheon where I was presented with a gigantic novelty check. And who doesn’t love giant novelty checks?
So now I’m in business. I’ve got a cube and a workshop and I’m going at this for real. SpokeArt is currently available at the Pathfinder, Tamarack, and Marathon Cycles in Fayetteville. It is on its way to numerous other bike shops, outdoors stores, art houses, and online.
Take a look at the website. Tell me what you think. Let me know if you know of anywhere that would like to sell something like this! And thanks again to all the people that helped me get here. Couldn't have done it without each and every one of you.
Read all instructions twice before mounting tires. I've been riding, gluing, and repairing tubulars off and on for the last 10 years. This is my method for gluing.
Robbie's Tubular Gluing Guide:
Things you need:
2 tubular tires with any valve extenders or sealant installed.
2 tubes glue. One is usually not quite enough, so it's nice to have an extra tube just in case. Note that at maximum you will need 1.5 tubes of glue, so 3 tubes should do two wheelsets.
Toothbrush for easy glue application. Don't use your good one as this will be it's last brushing.
Rubber/latex/nitrile gloves to keep your hands clean.
Acetone for safe rim prep and cleanup.
A week before you plan on using them.
Step 1: Stretching
Mount your tire onto your rim and inflate to 125 psi. Leave it there for at least a day, preferably a week. This stretches the tire out and makes mounting it with glue way way way easier. Note to see if there are any lumps or bulges in the tire. You may have to slightly widen the valve hole (not recommended for carbon) to get the valve to sit properly. Make sure to carefully inspect the tire because the warranty period ends when the tire is glued.
Step 2: Rim prep
This is an optional but highly recommended step. Dab a bit of acetone on a clean rag and clean the gluing surface of the rim. This assures a clean surface for proper adhesion. If you're extra paranoid about using glued on tires, you can rough the surface with emery paper (1000+ grit sand paper) and then clean with acetone.
Step 3: Gluing
Put your gloves on and get your toothbrush ready. You'll be applying a total of 5 coats of glue. Coats of glue need to be very thin. You don't want the glue on the rim any thicker than .5 millimeter. Glue needs time to set up between coats. I recommend a minimum of 8 hours between coats of glue, and prefer to let them sit for 24 between
Tire: 2 coats. Deflate the tire and roll inside out and hang on the back of a chair or similar. Be sure to protect whatever is around you because the tubular glue is tough to clean off fabrics (and, well, just about anything else too). Use your toothbrush to apply a thin coat covering the entire base tape. Let tire dry in a safe clean place, being careful not to contaminate the glue. After glue has dried, apply second coat in the same manner and let dry.
Wheels: 3 coats. Mount the wheel in a truing stand or on your upside down bicycle. Use your toothbrush to apply a thin coat of glue to the rim all the way around, being careful not to get any glue on the sidewall. Wipe off any glue on the sidewall with a clean rag with a dab of acetone on it. After the first coat dries, apply a second coat in the same manner and let dry.
Step 4: Mounting. This is the hard part.
Apply the third coat of glue to the rim and let sit for 15-30 minutes to let the glue get good and tacky before mounting the tire.
Wet your hands with water. This will keep the glue from sticking to your hands while you mount the tire.
Start at the valve. Install the valve and vigorously stretch the tire onto the rim, slowly working your way around the wheel evenly. When you get to the last few inches of the tire, you'll suddenly appreciate your patience in letting the tire stretch for as long as you did. Use your thumbs to lift the last bit of tire onto the rim. If you didn't stretch the tire vigorously enough when you started mounting, this will be impossible, or nearly so. You may have to start over a few times before you get the tire all the way onto the rim. Clean any glue off the braking surface with acetone.
Step 5: Centering
Once you have the tire on the rim, inflate the tire with just enough air for it to hold its shape. Use your truing stand or your brakes to center the tire on the rim. You need to make sure that the tire is centered and not twisted. You can use the base tape as a reference point, but don't rely on it as it may not be strait. Also make sure that the tire doesn't have any lumps or bulges and sits in the tire track all the way around.
Step 6: Waiting
Inflate the tire to 125 psi. Let sit for at least 48 hours before riding. This is to allow the glue to fully bond. The pros let glue
sit for a week usually. Skipping or skimping on any of these steps can result in a weak tire/rim bond and when a tire rolls off a rim, it isn't pretty. Just youtube Joseba Beloki's crash on stage 9 of the 2003 Tour de France.
Notes on tubular tires:
Just 'cause the max psi is really high doesn't mean you should run the max pressure. On anything. Ever.
The extra supple casing on the tubulars will allow you to ride slightly higher pressure than you might with a clincher, but I would recommend only going up maybe 10 or so psi. You want your tires to roll over little tiny obstacles, not bounce over them. 125 psi should be the max pressure for a big guy riding tubulars. I'm a small guy and I usually run 100 psi. It's more comfortable and there is a lot of evidence that it has lower rolling resistance than higher pressure.
The glue melts at high temperature. Don't leave your fancy carbon wheels in the back of a car on a hot day without cover. Don't do this for your fancy frame either actually. Also, your fancy carbon wheels don't dissipate heat like the old alu ones, which means you'll have to get better at descending. Dragging your breaks all the way down a long descent can result in glue softening and bond failure. You don't want that.
I don't have personal experience with the tubular tire tape, which is a dual sided tape made specivically for tubular tire installation made by Tufo. It saves you the trouble and mess of gluing your tires. It also elimintates the wait; they say you actually need to ride them directly after installation (which is quick and easy) to let the glue to bond properly. The advantages are that it is very quick and easy and seems to work just fine. The disadvantages are that it is difficult to replace a tire out on the road (as to say, change a flat tire. You have to carry the spare tire around with you), and is difficult to replace a tire in the shop without completely cleaning up the rim and tire and starting fresh. Doesn't sound too bad for most of you who will only ever race on tubulars and wouldn't repair your old tires anyway, which may someday be the topic of another post.
If anyone has any questions or comments, feel free to respond to this post.