Franklin, Part 3

Sent this email today:

Mr Turnbull:

I live in Seattle and I recently bought a used Franklin Frame.  I’ve built it up (with a Rholoff hub) and next week I’m off to ride it from Golmud in China to Lhasa in Tibet.  I know that I’m going to get questions about the bike and I wonder if you could help me with a couple of things:
1) the serial number is hard to make out under the paint, but it appears to be either 072 or 012 on the top line and 08 underneath.  Does that give you enough so that you can you tell me how old of a frame I’ve got?
2) the frame came with S&S couplers, an eccentric bottom bracket, and instead of cable stops it had a cable guide running out the right chainstay to a derailleur hanger.  Can you give me an idea what that design was intended to accommodate?  In particular, why the eccentric if the set-up anticipated a derailleur?
Thanks so much.
Jerry Scott


We’ll see.

Franklin, Part 2

Went in for a consultation before the 4th of July.  Committed to Rholoff immediately after the 4th.  Talked to Mike once or twice a week and ticked off decisions about shifters, hub specs, cogs, etc.  We clearly established August 8 as a hard deadline.  Then yesterday, the 24th, I get a call saying that their supplier can’t promise to get them a hub in time for build-up by the 8th.

I ended up agreeing to go with a 32-hole hub (instead of 36) which is probably just fine but not what I wanted.  I also agreed to stick with the 36 hole generator hub in the front since they had already gotten that in and started building the wheel.  No one will know by looking at the bike but it will bug me forever.


Otherwise things are coming along – I bought front racks in a couple of different configurations and ended up with one per bike.  The one for the Franklin came from Compass – it’s made by Nitto and has an elegant curved headlight attachment.  The one I put on my bike is from Vello Orange and has an integrated decaleur.  I got it because they were out of stock on the decaleur kits that slide over the steerer tube.  Later I was able to get a couple of those kits so we can run three randonneur bags if we want.  I mounted the Nitto low-rider ( “hub-area” according to Rivendale ) racks and the bracket for a hoop lines up with the braze-on on my rack so I just need a rack bolt and I’ll have an extra strut.  (I’m planning on traveling with two small panniers in front together with a medium-sized randonneur bag.)  Will is likely not going to want a front bag so the rack on his bike is gratuitous, but it’s also from Compass, made by Nitto, and mounts to the fork braze-ons instead of the canti pivots.

Speaking of canti pivots – the double-ended canti bolts from Vello Orange are not designed for the thickness of the Rodriguez tension adjusters.  When I replaced the stock bolts with double-ended ones to mount the rack on my bike I was barely able to get the bolt to catch – maybe two threads.  In addition, the “head” in between the two threaded ends is really skinny and you need a cone wrench to hold onto it.  (You need a 16mm wrench for the adjuster.   Pretty much the only thing I worry about needing to adjust on the road are those brakes so I’m looking at carrying a 13mm cone wrench and a crescent wrench that opens big enough to fit the adjusters – as well as the two very small allen keys that are needed to adjust the straddle cables.  Maybe the double-ended bolts from Nitto are just a little longer.  Or maybe I’ll ditch the idea of double-ended bolts and just go with a regular M6 that’s long enough to hold everything.

Compass Crank Failure

As we were starting up the hill on Market in Kirkland I went to shift down into granny and thought that the chain had broken.  Instead it was the crank!

On this same bike (the Ibis tandem) I had a chain ring bend a little when I wedged the chain between two rings, and on another bike (the Fuji Touring) I torqued the spider so that the rings wouldn’t lay flat.  I think that I’m done with Rene Herse cranks, at least on tandems.  I really like how they look but I’ve never had cranks that broke on me.

Bonding for the Eastside HOT lane corridor

There has been a flurry of news about combining 405 and 167 into a single corridor so that the State DOT could issue debt backed by future tolls and accelerate the improvements they’d like to make on those two roads.  The same logic would apply to the bike infrastructure.  Why doesn’t their plan include accelerated improvements to the bike trails in that corridor?  Here’s what’s needed:

  1.  Complete the Interurban to Puyallup from its current end in Algona-Pacific.  There are segments in Edgewater and Fife that just need to be connected.  With a little extra money SDOT could also provide a connection to the Foothills Trail.
  2. Connect the Interurban in Tukwila with the Eastside Rail Corridor in Renton.  Probably the best route would be through the Boeing parking lot at Tukwila Station and across on 7th to Burnett, but there might be a grade-separated route along 405 and Houser.
  3. Complete the ERC – SDOT is already on the hook for a crossing of 405 where the Wilburton Tunnel used to be.  Otherwise most of the expense is just paving and resurfacing bridges and trestles.  (They’re going to need a bridge or underpass at NE 8th.)  At the north end the ERC will need to be tied into the Sammamish River trail and that could be done on either side of the river.
  4. Improve the North Creek Trail (like fix the gap where it crosses 405 at  Beardsley and pave it through the business park.)  Extend the North Creek trail along Filbert (or even better, a grade-separated route along 405)
  5. Tie into the Interurban at Swamp Creek either using the existing bridge at 196th or up Butternut and connect at Maple Street.  With a little extra money SDOT could provide a bike bridge/underpass route from Beach Street to the east side of I-5.


The total cost of this stuff would be minor in the context of the freeway expansion they’re proposing.  If they don’t build it into the bond project it won’t get done in my lifetime.  What’s it take?


Franklin, Part 1

So I got an email from Will saying that He and Chris had realized that Mika’s bike was too small for Chris and that there was a coupled frame for sale on the Seattle Craigslist.  I looked at the listing and it seemed legit – I agreed that I’d build it out in time for our trip.  Will hesitated but then bought it and the guy delivered to our house.  He was a decent guy who was cleaning out his basement.  He knew the guys at R&E and we talked about some his project bikes.

The frame was interesting.  It was made by Franklin – a custom frame builder in southeast Ohio whose website doesn’t have an address (but the on-line forums put him in Newark, OH.)  It had S&S couplers, nice welds, a nice paint job and an eccentric bottom bracket shell.  It had a derailleur hanger and lots of clearance for wide tires – but no holes for caliper brakes.  There were no stops for shifter cables, instead there was a cable guide running down the right side of the downtube and out the right chain stay.

I spent some time inventorying my parts bin, realizing that I could come up with old shifters and derailleurs and handlebars and brakes and I did have the wheel set off the litespeed with the ultegera hubs – meaning that for the cost of some clamp-on cable stops and bar tape I could have a rideable bike.  The more I thought about that, though, the less happy I was with it.  I emailed Will asking what the goal was – least cost or high-end riding experience.  He got back to me saying that he thought he’d keep the bike after the trip as his commuter in the Bay Area so he wanted something that was solid and, where possible, which looked good.

That pretty much settled it for me and I started researching Rholoff hubs, assuming that the lack of cable stops meant an internally geared set-up.  (I quickly figured out that the  Rholoff requires two control cables so the single-cable guide on the Franklin was a clue that it wasn’t designed for that brand.)    I got off into the weeds about gear range and sprocket sizes and shifter options.  I took my Rodriguez in for servicing at R&E and asked about lead time on the Rholoff conversion – they said it would take a couple weeks and that mid-August was pretty doable.

I emailed Will saying that I really felt that to do it right we ought to go with the Rholoff, even though it would cost a thousand dollars more than setting up a conventionally geared bike with new components (and a couple thousand more than setting it up from my parts bin.)  He said to go for it.

I strapped the frame to my back this afternoon and rode my Litespeed over to R&E.  They pointed out that the cable guide was on the wrong side for an internally geared hub and they couldn’t explain why it was configured the way it was.  I went ahead and ordered a wheel built on a Rholoff hub and a front wheel built on a SON28 generator hub.  I told them that I’d supply the crankset and bottom bracket when I picked up the bike they were servicing.  My plan is to use the Campagnolo Record BB and cranks I took off of the Tuscany – meaning I’ll have to have R&E use a 17T sprocket on the hub and source a 40T chainring with a 135 BCD (they exist but it’s not as easy as ordering from QBP.)   I told them that since I was going to have to have an external mech box anyway I wanted to go with the Rhobox and brifters.  Unless there is some issue I’ll use the Tiagra brifters I took off of my Fuji.  I’ve got a seat post that fits, and a decent saddle.  I’ve got a stem and spacers.  I’ll need handlebars (thinking carbon, either FSA or Easton) and brakes (planning to go with Rodriguez cantilevers.)

When I got home I kicked myself for not taking some more photos and for not getting a copy the Craigslist posting.   I’m excited about this project, it’s going to result in a super touring bike.  The crucial decision was the one to go with Rholoff, but there will be implementation details that will take some thought and I’m still puzzling about headlights and racks.  Good times!

Seattle Public Utilities is happy to have a law that only they can make exceptions to:

Mr. Scott:

Thank you for your comments on the draft 2019 Water System Plan.  Below are responses to your questions and comments.

  1. How does SPU rationalize restricting access by the public (with manageable physical and sanitary security risks) while permitting hunting access for selected community groups (with arguably greater physical and sanitary risk)?

The Cedar River Watershed in accordance with the provisions of WAC 246-290, is designated as a Limited Alternative to Filtration Source and regulated by Washington Department of Health.  This designation mandates complete closure to the watershed lands to demonstrate control and protection for any activities that may impact water quality.  On a limited, controlled and supervised basis, based upon the 2006 Settlement Agreement with the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, tribal members are allowed to hunt and gather while complying with our Water Quality and Protection Regulations, but no public or community hunts are allowed.

  1. How does SPU justify granting on-going, unsupervised trail access to the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance if similar access on designated trails cannot be afforded to the greater bicycle community?

The EMBA through agreement, which expired in 2017 and included WA State Parks, was granted limited construction access permits into the Cedar River Watershed to construct the North Ridge Ollalie Trail on the northern boundary outside the hydrographic boundary.  EMBA, along with all of the contractors and consultants conducting approved work within the closed boundaries, were vetted and permitted for the scope of work as contracted.  No recreational use or otherwise unauthorized personnel were allowed under these access permits.  The construction has been completed, and there is no on-going access.

  1. How did SPU arrive at the conclusion that land acquisition in the Kerriston Road enclave is an appropriate capital expenditure as opposed to pavement and fencing to manage limited access?

Seattle Public Utilities has proven for many years that complete ownership of the land and the ability to control access to that land is the overall best long-term strategy to manage a closed watershed boundary.  With Kerriston however, significant private, county, and state property still exists within that community, so working toward this will require a long-term approach that proactively monitors these access points.  We are currently analyzing additional temporary options to control access on this public right-of-way.

  1. What is the process SPU would use to develop management plans to address limited access to this segment of the trail?

As mentioned above, maintaining a closed watershed and controlling all access is the only way to maintain our compliance with the Limited Alternative to Filtration rule regulated by Washington Department of Health.

Although no changes have been made to the text of the plan, I hope that the above information provides you with a better explanation of SPU’s policies and practices regarding watershed access.  Should you have additional questions, feel free to contact me at this email address.

Joan M. Kersnar, P.E.

Drinking Water Planning Manager

City of Seattle, Seattle Public Utilities

O: 206-684-0839 |

Montlake Bridge to 520 trail …

Bikes are supposed to detour to the west side of Montlake, cross 520, cross back across Montlake, and cross back across 520 again – for three weeks.


Sidewalk repair and detour along Montlake Blvd E begin as soon as Monday, June 18

Montlake Boulevard map. The part between East Shelby and Hamlin Streets is labeled sidewalk closed. There’s a detour route to the left of the road

The Seattle Department of Transportation is moving forward with another local project as part of the SR 520 Montlake Phase Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan (pdf). As early as Monday, June 18, SDOT will begin to repair and widen the sidewalk along Montlake Boulevard East between East Hamlin and East Shelby streets (see project limits on the map).

An improved sidewalk makes it easier to walk and bike, and supports a connection to the new SR 520 Trail. The city project is in addition to traffic-calming projects SDOT is conducting as part of the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan.

What to expect during construction

  • Typical construction work hours: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.Monday through Friday, for up to 3 weeks.

  • Temporary sidewalk restrictions, with a biking and walking detour around the east side of Montlake Boulevard East between East Shelby and East Hamlin streets.

  • Those walking or biking north from Lake Washington Boulevard East will need to move to the west side of Montlake Boulevard between Lake Washington Boulevard East and East Shelby Street. Please follow all posted signs.

  • Short-term bus-lane restrictions outside of peak periods, generally 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.Mondaythrough Friday. This provides crews sufficient space to work safely.

  • Temporary bus-stop closure at the southeast corner of Montlake Boulevard East and East Shelby Street. The bus stop on the east side of Montlake Boulevard at SR 520 will remain open during this work. However, those using this bus stop will need to cross to the west side of Montlake Boulevard to proceed north (see map). Please visit King County Metro’s website for details and updates.

  • Typical construction-related noise, dust, and odors during construction work hours.

Questions about the project? Contact Golnaz Camarda at 206-684-3136 or

Expedia closes Elliot Bay Trail

Another one:


“The section of the trail surrounding the new headquarters campus on the Elliott Bay waterfront will close July 18, detouring pedestrians over the West Galer Street flyover and along Elliott Avenue, and sending cyclists along Alaskan Way.”