Saturday, May 29, 2010


If you are one of the very small number that actually looks at that little MyCyclingLog widget I have over on the right column of my blog you probably noticed I went for a bike ride today. Yep! All 17 miles of the pavement from my house over to the Nashville Bicycle Lounge and back, and it was awesome. First ride after our little one was born. Surprisingly my legs knew what to do when clipped in, even while wearing my new snazzy shoes. The Lounge was awesome as usual and was a good hang with Dan, Fred & Rick in attendance. I even got rained on a little on the way home, but only while trudging up the last hill.

It was nice....

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cleaning House

It's been a long few weeks. But we should be out of the "3 weeks of hell" portion and moving forward to a more civilized lifestyle. Those who know what I'm talking about, know what I'm talking about.

I've been fortunate that things I've tried to sell in the past finally sold this week and things I decided to sell this week sold this week. It's been a good "clean house" for me in bike part form. I sold my old bass guitar cabinet to a good friend on NMB. I decided that my wheelset from my old Ventana was too nice for a polo bike and put them up for sale and sold to another person on NMB. I am still in my search for the perfect new cycling shoe so I had to sell off a recent pair that were just a little too big. I had to resort to Ebay for that sale but the guy who bought them seems extra excited. Odd part of the whole thing is when my parents were just here my Mom gave with an envelope full of cash for me. A present? Kind of, yet it in the end if was my money, just money that's been sitting in two different banks for over a decade untouched. What's someone to do with an influx of expected money added to some reclaimed bike part money? Buy more bike parts I say!

I've got a big purchase on the brain and hopefully in the works. When I ordered my Quiring singlespeed I had plans of mating it with the then-brand-new 2009 Rock Shox Reba fork. I even used it's fork offset and sag axle-to-crown measurements in the design of my bike. I did not have enough money at the time to get the new bike and new fork so I ordered the bike with a rigid fork. Riding fully rigid was something I wanted to try again anyhow so that's what I've been doing for the past year and a half. I will say that I have enjoyed it much more than I anticipated. Though the thought of finally getting the elusive Reba I've had my eye on for so long is tantalizing.

Sure I could of settled and used a different, less expensive fork in the meantime but that would not work. The Reba now has the option of using a 20mm thru axle to stiffin up the front wheel. I wanted to try this and still do. So I have Fred over at Harpeth Bikes on the search for the fork I want with all the bells and whistles.... namely: 29er, 80mm, Reba, remote lock-out, 20mm Maxle lite. This fork doesn't exist in the online retail world. I know because I've looked everywhere in the past couple weeks. All those options are available but apparently no one wants them in one fork but me. I hope Fred can find me a hook up, and it's relatively affordable for a someone in my shoes. I've only found it the way I want on Ebay and the auctions were already over. I'll tantalize you with what the fork could look like. :)

In the meantime I've made a list of all the new parts I'll need with this new fork:
• Reba fork (duh)
• post mount 185mm Avid brake adapter
• Hope 20mm end caps for my front hub

This weekend was also the REI anniversary sale. I've been on the search for what to use for my "man diaper bag" and got the great idea to use a messenger bag from Chris H., fellow cyclist Dad. I thought, what a great excuse to get a cool new messenger bag! My current Chrome bag wouldn't work well with its upper-back-hugging-design so I was thinking Timbuk2. I figured I didn't want to spend good money and end up with another medium size messenger bag similar to my Chrome bag. Then after my "man diaper bag" use was over, I'd have to very similar bags. My first thought was to get a size large bag so I headed down to REI last week to check the bags out in person. The medium is quite roomy. They didn't have a large but after wearing the medium, the large would be huge and totally overkill but the intended use. Then I spotted this new bag called the Bullitt. It's a pannier with a shoulder strap like a messenger bag, or it's a messenger bag with hooks on the back to attach it to a rack like a pannier bag. I think it can be a really cool new addition to my commuting arsenal. With Father's Day coming up Beth wanted to get me this and the next day I got the flier for the anniversary sale! Clearly it was karma. I headed down early Friday morning when REI opened to make sure no one snaked the only 2 bags they had before me.

All Timuk2 bags and accessories were on sale so I picked up a great shoulder strap pad too. I had a 20% off coupon for any regular priced item so I also picked up a small head mounted light; something I've had my eye on for years. I figured it will be very helpful to zip tie to my helmet for urban rides (in flash mode) or map reading for rides like Kanza, should I do something like that again.

So sorry about the lack of posts lately and then the random posts but for a blog mainly about cycling, I haven't been doing much of that recently. Hopefully I'll be able to get more riding in my schedule soon.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ebay Reserve Price Fees

I just finished chatting with an Ebay Representative about their Reserve Price Fee structure and I thought I'd share the conversation here. I found while putting up an auction for some bike shoes that I appeared to be paying 2 fees for choosing to have a reserve price but it was not clear through their fee structure.

Their fees page states if you don't use a reserve price the insertion fee is free up to a .99 cent starting price. So I set my start price to .99. When I chose a reserve price I reviewed the reserve price fee chart and it states I will incur a $2 fee. OK, I'm cool with that. When I finish my listing it states my insertion fee is $1 and I am paying a $2 fee for my reserve price. This seems odd so I go and review the insertion fees chart again. Now I notice that the insertion fee goes up as my reserve price goes up. This isn't immediately clear to me but after reading it again, and again, I see the title of the left column. See image below:

So I then think, it seems I'm actually paying a double fee for a reserve price and it's not clear until you really dig. You pay a $2 flat fee plus a sliding scale fee based on starting price but none of this is listed in the information about how much their Reserve Price Fee is. This seems odd, I should tell Ebay I think this is odd. So I navigate through about 5-6 pages of FAQ questions before Ebay will offer me the "Chat with us" link to talk with a rep. I start my chat session with a nice lady named Cara C.

I have including my entire chat transcription below. I have to say it was odd. In the end they said they would credit me the insertion fee. I reminded her I hadn't incurred the fee yet since I hadn't made my auction live. She stated she would credit it after I made my auction live. I then asked if she was waiting for me to submit. She apologized to me for my troubles and said if it happens again to contact them immediately. Well, I don't think it was a fluke, it's the way the system is setup so I told her I thought it would happen everytime I list a similar auction. She then responded that Ebay is currently working to fix the issue. Good news but are they really going to change their fee structure or how they disclose their fees? Time will tell.

I applaud Ebay for trying to "make it right" in my case. They did do what they could in the short term to try to make me happy. I think they could put some effort into a more transparent fee chart, mainly in the information specific to Reserve Prices. Not everyone is going to take the time to dig. It also can't be helping their reputation for being "Feebay".

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