Saturday, January 23, 2010

Household Carbon Calculator Posted

If you're interested in drilling down on which parts of your lifestyle are dependent on carbon emissions, then please check out the spreadsheet which Heather and I developed to audit our own consumption in 2008.

Feel free to send us more data for the table of emissions in various product categories. The tool could be a lot nicer, too, but after 18 months of futzing round with Google Spreadsheets, Zoho, and other random ideas, I've gone with a simple Excel spreadsheet. It does work in Open Office, too, so my conscience doesn't trouble me as much as it might.

We've also posted a few paragraphs on the intro page about why we support carbon pricing and why responsibility eventually rests with the consumer. I hope to develop a longer introduction to my thinking on carbon pricing for a friend and his kids, but a brief consultation with my blogging history indicates that you shouldn't hold your breath.

Helmet Hair

The warm weather and my recent haircut have combined to produce a new level of helmet hair, where the ventilation stripes remain clearly visible after I get off the bike. Heather has been most amused.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mundo Maintenance

AS my Yuba comes up to it's 2nd anniversary, I've needed to do a bit of maintenance. Unfortunately, the final element proved challenging due to being a non-standard part (or from a very different standard).
  1. Rear tyre
    I've had two rear tyres go bad on me recently, on different bikes. Not sure what I'm doing wrong, but possibly dragging the rear end around while the tyre has little pressure? Certainly I haul the tail of the Yuba around, as its turning circle can be a bit of a pain for parking. Either way, the rear tyre started to stretch alongside the bead on one side. This was new to me, so I was slow to realise that this was the cause of a wobble on every turn of the wheel.

  2. Brake pads are wearing out faster than I expected. Possibly I'm dragging the rear brake too much?

  3. Rear Hub
    This was the doozy. I tried to adjust the cones at one point to fix the wobble from the tyre, and stuffed it up. I had already broken two rear spokes, drive side, so had to remove the cluster to replace them. (No hurry, though. With 46 of 48 spokes, the wheel still ran sweetly.)
    The rear axle is a 14mm BMX axle (grumbling tech details here), and I didn't have proper cone spanners in 19mm. I managed to approximate one spanner, but couldn't get the freewheel cluster off since my removal tool (Park Tools FR-1) doesn't fit over the 14mm axle! I ended up pulling the axle right out, taking the cluster off, replacing the ball bearings (as I lost one carrying the wheel to my friend's to use his vice), then reinstalling. Naturally, I forgot something so had to repeat. I never did get the spoke guard back on.
So that was a pain, but it has been running nicely again now. Next time I'll probably drop it into the shop for the rear hub, but hopefully that won't be for ages.