Wednesday, November 30, 2011

As In the Tour De BBQ Days, I'm Doing a Quick Check in today.

I hope you have enjoyed the last two days of questionably good content in the blog, but I'm afraid that I have some bad news to report. I was injured in an epic bike battle over Thanksgiving weekend, and I hurt my wrist enough to prevent me from either riding or wrenching for a few more days. I had put some articles and reviews in the hopper, hoping to get ahead, but I ended up waiting for parts anyway, so I have come to a dead stop, bicycle wise.

I did sell my Suteki for my asking price (which was a bargain) to some happy cyclist that had just discovered "skinny tire vintage bikes", moved to Uptown, and decided that he needed one. He told me that no matter what he looked at, he kept coming back to this bike - even after going to a bicycle shop, it was mine that he wanted. He came over, raved, asked a ton of questions, goggled my collection, and drove away with his new bike folded into his Honda - a very happy Craigslist customer, ready to ride his bike.

I have received a bunch of stuff in the mail - the Monkeylectric light showed up, as did the BikeConsole and Bikecharge generator - and as soon as I am healed I will be installing everything on the Bloggipede.

The Bloggipede

This is just a sneak preview of the Bloggipede as it sits now - unfortunately the crankset that is on it has been ruined by pedal cross threading - once I removed the old crappy pedals that were on it, I could no longer thread a new set of pedals in. I did, however, fall in love with that style crankset and had a hell of a time finding one. I'm hoping to get it in the mail today and finish up the bike by Saturday- and then I'll have a ton of articles to put up.

I am also setting up some clothing reviews and should have a pretty good run of content before the year closes out. The rest of this week might be me phoning it in, but I will put up some good stuff (?) after that,  until Dec 15 - when all will go silent until after Christmas.

 FTW's fundraising auction that I wrote about here closed and raised $4200 for his friends, along with some other anonymous donations from non bidders - if that was you, that was mighty nice of you. If, by some chance, one of my readers won, then I'd love to check it out in person.

Finally, since I am getting a new bike mount for my iPhone, I thought I would ask you, gentle reader, to let me know if you have some program that you use on your cycle - I have used Runkeeper for a while, but I have also downloaded Bikebrain recently, and I will be doing some comparisons between apps as well - so if you have a different one that you use, please let me know and I'll add it to the list.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cold Setting A Bicycle Frame

Rob Sherlock from NuVinci dropped by the PC offices the other day to drop off a wheel (and some socks) for me to install on the Bloggipide. (Wheel for bicycle, socks for blogger.) On a side note, if my name was "Sherlock", I would totally go by the nickname "No Shit".

This blog doesn't bring you here to hear my opinions on nicknames, you come here to look for the glaring grammatical errors that surround my bike prose - and presumably you want to know something about bikes.

Today I'm going to explain how to spread dropouts on a steel frame. There is plenty of info out there that is written down, but not nearly as much with pictures, so hopefully what I do here will help someone else.

When I was doing my research on the NuVinci hub, I noticed that It was 135mm wide - and when I measured the frame I planned to install it in, the dropouts measured 130. I waited to get the hub before I made any changes to the frame, hoping that I could muscle the extra 2.5mm on each side.

That's a big hub right there - but not as big as the old version.

Since you are reading a post about cold setting a bicycle frame, I'm pretty sure you figured out that I am a noodle armed weakling and couldn't make it work. I needed to to widen the dropouts in order to install the wheel, and I decided to bring you along. Cold setting isn't particularly hard, you just have to be careful. This is the second time I've done it; the first time was to allow my Falcon to accept a modern Freehub rear wheel.

Before I go any further, I just want to say that if you follow these instructions, it is at your own risk. Do not try to set any frame other than steel, and to be honest, you probably shouldn't even do that based on my advice. If you choose to follow me it is at your own risk.

First, you will need a long piece of allthread. This is available at your local hardware store, along with the nuts and washers you will need. Buy four  nuts and 4 washers. I like to use 4 because I feel like it helps to distribute the force to the dropouts evenly. The other nuts are so you can keep track of your washers.
This homemade tool can also double as a headset press if you buy a long enough piece of allthread.
You will also need a digital caliper or some other measuring device.
This tool cost like $4.00

Put the nuts and washers onto the allthread. Nuts first, then washers.
(It's the opposite way to press in a headset.)


Put into dropouts and snug the nuts against the washers. Finger tight only.

Make a mark on the thread and the nut so you know how many rotations you have made

Use two crescent wrenches to make sure you are making the turns equal.

Next step, turn. Make sure you turn each nut equally. Turn right side, then turn left. Repeat.

After about 5 equal turns on each side, I measure again. It often takes fewer turns that you think, so check often. For me, 2.5mm on each side took approximately 25 turns.

And that is really all it takes to cold set a steel bicycle frame. Careful measurement is important, because you don't want to go over the size you need and then go back - that is unnesscesary stress on the rear stays.
Like a glove

I don't think that cold setting a frame is a bad modification to make to an older bike. I feel like it's an easily reversible change, and generally we are only talking a few millimeters of change. There are many really nice older steel frames out there, and cold setting gives you the option to build the bike with a modern drivetrain.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Using the Uberhood Bicycle Umbrella in the Rain - A Review

Like some sort of dust bowl farmer (or any Texan in 2011) I have been praying for the clouds to open up for some time now. Unlike them, I wanted it to rain just so I could do some product testing on the Uberhood bicycle umbrella. We actually had some rain the other evening, so I put on a sweatshirt to fight the chill, handed the phone to my wife/photographer (just like Graham Hancock!) and took my 'hood for a wet spin.

In the driveway leading to my estate

This is obviously not the first time I have ridden in the rain, but it is the first time I have ridden in the rain and kept my face dry. In that respect, the Uberhood does a great job.

Unfortunately it protects much less of the rest of the body from the rain than most of the other methods I have tried on the bicycle. I currently use and carry a bicycle rain cape from Campmor, and it works very well, covering my hands and keeping the rain off of my torso. Just like the Uberhood, the rain cape affords little protection for my legs and feet, so I will eliminate that comparison of the two.

Coverage wise, the cape is obviously better, but comfort wise, the Uberhood certainly wins out when compared to a rain cape. When using the cape, you have to periodically dump the water that accumulates between your arms, or make a conscious attempt to keep the cape taught enough to prevent accumulation. With the 'hood, there is no puddle to worry about. However, the 'hood does allow much more rain to hit your upper body and hands, especially at speed.

Pictured: Speed. 

Certainly, however, the best part of the Uberhood is the coverage it affords your face. My head was dry the entire ride, and didn't get a drop of rain on my glasses, which was really great. when wearing a rain cape, your face is in the wind and rain, which is very tiring.

Dry face, long beard. 

I would expect to use the Uberhood by itself in a light sprinkle, or for a short trip to the store - but if I was riding a longer distance in the rain, I would add a rain cape to the mix, and arrive with a dry face AND upper body. Add some gaiters and rain shoes in and I think you could expect to arrive fairly dry and comfortable, no matter what the weather.

In Action - or Inaction? 

The only problem with that plan is the size of the 'hood when folded. It wouldn't be a problem if the day started with rain, but on a day when there was sudden rain on your ride home, the odds of having the Uberhood on your bike already are pretty slim; a rain cape will slip in a bag easily, but even folded the 'hood is 23" long - and something that size creates a stowage problem on a bicycle. Yes, it has a bracket on the handlebar, but I can imagine that very few people feel particularly comfortable with a metal pole bolted to their handlebars right at their eye level. I like the Uberhood, and it will certainly eliminate excuses on rain days. I hate wet face more than anything, and it is no longer a problem, thanks to the Uberhood!

The Uberhood is available here for $79.99.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just When I Thought I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In

I know I said I wouldn't be posting this week, but there is a very special mountain bike being auctioned for charity this week. Read more about it here.

Super Rare Yeti Ultimate

Now this is it. I will see you all next Monday.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Linkdump and Grab Bag of Thoughts.

Friday arrives and finds me with much work on my desk at my regular job - and a new blog post going up on that site, if you are inclined to read it. Also, today finds me meeting with someone with an awesome name (Rob Sherlock) to pick up the NuVinci hubbed wheel. As such I haven't had time to come up with a really adequate post today. Some might argue that I have never come up with an adequate post, but that is a different discussion.

I am working on putting together a "shoetout" for the blog here, and have gotten a good response from Chrome so far, and am in talks with Keen and DZR to try to get a few different models into the PC offices to check out and show you all. I'll report back to you as soon as I get all of the details hammered out.

I should be getting my Monkeylight and my Urban 180 in soon, as well as my TiGRA generator light, so I am guessing that the last week of November/first week of December will be a rich one in terms of content. As long as we are discussing November, I will mention that I am taking the week of Lincoln's holiday off from blogging. I may post some small stuff if the mood strikes me, but I will primarily stay away from the Blogger dashboard all next week, returning with a fresh post on the 28th of November. I plan to build the Bloggipide up with the NuVinci during the time I am not posting here.

For today I'm going to do a link dump again; these are websites that I read, but don't check regularly.

Mama Bicycle is a blog from Japan about family bicycling. The Mama bicycle is the ultimate child hauler, and I wish they were available in the US. I used to live in Japan and this blog takes me back when I look at the photos. Well worth a peek.

Querencia Bike Shop. I know that I said Rob Sherlock has a great name, but the guy that started the Querencia collective in Denton actually has the greatest name ever; Remington Pohlmeyer. I sold Remington a bike trailer (and donated a bunch of parts to the cause) when he was starting out a few years ago. I have followed Querencia's progress from afar, and am pleased that they have their own building and are an important part of the bike community in Denton. Of course, my trailer was the key to it all.

Remington Pohlmeyer - epic name, epic beard. 

Pedestrian - Two Points!  This is another local (Dallas) blogger
who does lots of urban riding/writing. I enjoy her posts and encourage you to follow her blog. I've been meaning to add it to my blog roll on the right there, but haven't until this post. If you look over, she is there now.

Suburban Assault.  I love the name of this blog, and I check it every Wednesday for bike photos.

3rensho is a blog full of ridiculously beautiful bikes. Very inspirational.

That's it for today, have a great a great Thanksgiving, and I look forward to obsessively checking my stats again on Monday the 28th

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Bike of The Future, Today

I was watching this video the other day, and it seems so crazy to me that this was just 1992, and things have changed so much in 20 years. I graduated high school in 1992, and cell phones were just happening. This video looks like it is from a different world; cars from the seventies are still on the road, there are no cell phones, no bike helmets, and I bet that Dogpaw buys his weed by the "lid".

I looked around for video of Dallas in 1992, but couldn't find any. If you can find me a nice time capsule video like this one, I'll edit the post and put it up here. The video of Dallas certainly doesn't need a star like "Dogpaw" - I'll just take driving through Dallas on a Monday afternoon. 

Why the trip down memory lane? Because even though I am nostalgic for "Dogpaw days" (what a great festival!) I live in the future. When it comes to bicycles, I am all about technology and change, and one of the most exciting recent changes is in bicycle gearing - or lack thereof.

"what is he talking about - is he crazy?", you ask yourself . Well, let me first say that I'm not the one talking to myself. I'm talking about the CVT NuVinci hub by Fallbrook Technologies. I was contacted by one of Fallbrook's "people" today, and on Friday I will be picking up a 26" wheel to use in my Ross MTB build. I'm going to do some real life testing and really get to know one of these crazy ball bearing hubs. That is a test I'm looking forward to a great deal, because you will get to see how it really is to install, how it works, etc, etc. This should be fun. 

It's all ball bearings nowadays, son. 
I should be getting some of my other review stuff in soon, so I will have a little more to put up here. I'm hoping to get everything in soon enough to do a "Things to shop for" list before the holidays. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Another Pending Product Review

I'm still waiting on my other review items, but I still have an announcement; I will be reviewing a product that is not yet available to the general public.

Wacky Wheels! That's right, I will be the first to review these craaaaazy wheels for fun and exercise!

Just kidding. Instead, I am looking forward to receiving one of these.

This thing looks AWESOME!
The Tigra is a wheel mounted generator/light combo. I have long wanted to give a dynohub a try, but it involves wheelbuilding, and being committed to only having the ability to generate power on only one bike. The Tigra can be moved from bike to bike, and in addition to being a generator light, it is a USB charge. The good folks at Bike Console have also offered to send me a handlebar mount for my iPhone 4S (yes, I'm an early adopter guy), so very soon I will be pedaling along watching YouTube and not giving a damn about power usage. I don't have a headrest to put screens in, but I cannot ride without my videos. 

They see me rollin', they be hatin'. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Didn't Make the Tweed Ride on Sunday

I wanted to go to the Tweed ride on Sunday, but family matters prevented it. Instead, I played with my Uberhood and rode around the neighborhood, which I greatly prefer to anything other than the commute. Commuting - wise, my commute has gone back to mixed now that night creeps upon her catlike feet earlier and earlier. I drop into the path from my office, ride to the train station, and then hop the train for the core of my commute. I generally get off at Galatyn Park or George Bush station and ride the rest of the way home from there. It's not the full 14 or so miles, but I get a solid 7 or so in with this version of the commute.

I've been riding the rebuilt Suteki lately while I wait for someone to buy it. I have mounted fenders and a rack on it for utility, and I like this bike a lot. I find myself thinking that if I powder coat the frame and put on a chainguard, it would look pretty good...

Maybe a brighter red...
Anyway, all of this leads up to why I go to such effort to get in to work. And it is effort, aside from the actual pedaling  part. I have to make sure I have the supplies I need in case of a flat, make sure I have my ticket money, haul the bike in and out of the train on stops, and so on. Though I make bicycle commuting look as graceful as an Olympic icedancing competition, it is an effort, for sure.

However, the alternative is this.
Trapped like lemming in shiny metal boxes. 
Surrounded by steel, waiting until you get to move a few feet, letting that guy in, trying to fight your way to the other lane because no one will let you in, brakes pumping, measuring progress by inches.

This was my view at 5:45 yesterday.
This is the only way to go. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Uberhood First Impressions and Initial Review

Most of you have probably heard about the Uberhood from Bikesnob NYC, who made pretty nasty comments about the 'hood, and by extension it's users. Here in Plano we are a more more friendly and accommodating to folks, and we give them a chance before we make broad negative assumptions about a group of people.

I was very excited when I received my 'hood in the mail, because it is the first of several products I'll be giving the old PC gorilla test to over the next couple of months.

We had a little fun in the office when it arrived
I couldn't wait to get home and mount it on a bicycle and really give it a try. Despite some city slicker's railing on it, I think that a bicycle umbrella is a good idea - maybe not for rain, but I'm thinking it might keep the 110 degree sun off of my back in the summertime.

I have been in communication with Sandy, the wife of the man behind (or underneath) the Uberhood, and she explained that while her husband was on a business trip to China, he saw many bicycles with umbrellas, and thought that the Uberhood is an "elegant solution" to both sun and rain. The umbrella itself is built in China, but the folding mechanism is manufactured here in the USA, and is patent pending. The company has burst onto the interwebosphere with this product, and they are merely a few weeks old. This is good old American ingenuity stolen from Chinese peasants, and I really want the Luettgens to succeed in their venture. 

Sunday was a nice breezy, sunny day and I wasn't able to go to the Tweed Ride, sadly, but I still wanted to ride around. Needing some supplies for other non bike related projects, I loaded up my daughter in the trailer, mounted the Uberhood on my bike, and took off for glory. 

Uberhood mounted to my 1974  Suburban. 
My first critique of the 'hood is the mounting system. It is a simple system, with two pieces of metal held to the bars by the pressure of bolts, and the umbrella bracket sandwiched inside. All that was supplied was the metal, and even though my Schwinn is old, I had no desire to mar the bars by bolting raw metal around them. Luckily my garage is full of old rim strips, so I grabbed one and cut a liner for the clamp. 

Clamping Mechanism. 
Once had mounted the system to the bike, the next step was to tighten the bolts in order to sandwich the umbrella bracket between the two pieces of metal. I thought I had it tightened well enough, but "well enough" is no match for a North Texas breeze; as we got underway, a strong gust caught the umbrella and made the mount pivot over to the right. I reached out to catch the umbrella and the mast bent where I grabbed it. I rebent the tube, got out a pair of ratchets, re-tightened the clamp, and got back underway.

You can see the bend in the tube here. 
Pictured above the bent mast is the clever mechanism to reinforce the umbrella when it is up, and more importantly allows it to fold down when not in use. 

The hinging/reinforcing  mechanism closed. 
We rode the two miles to Home Depot without much more incident - though the clamp did have a tendency to rotate forward when the breeze caught the umbrella from behind, pushing it forward into my line of vision. This wouldn't be as big a deal if the front two panels were clear plastic, but they are not, and it was a little exciting shooting down the hill towards Home Depot ducking under the umbrella so I could see the what was coming. And that brings us to the other problem with the Uberhood

Uberhood in its dormant state. 
The Uberhood is very low for anything other than casual riding. I couldn't stand up to pedal, and I found myself crouched over most of the ride; despite the tall look of 'hood mounted on my bike, my head hits just where it starts to slope back. When you add in the tendency of the umbrella to rotate forward, it made the ride a little frustrating - and no amount of bolt tightening made it as solid as I wanted it to be. 

Hood from the front. 
After I bought my supplies, I tightened the mounting bolts even more and went ahead and rode over to the park from Home Depot. I do have to say that the Uberhood is excellent for increasing visibility in traffic; I didn't see one person drive past me without swiveling their head to look at my 'hood. For that reason alone, I am a little disappointed in the "lowness" of the hood. I like to be seen when I'm commuting, and I am sure that the Uberhood increases that possibility a thousandfold. However, being unable to stand and pedal would make it very hard for me to ride the entire commute under my 'hood. Or through the hood.

Overall, I like the idea of the Uberhood, and want it to work for me, but I'm afraid that it's not going to be much of an option when I commute - and that's pretty much the only time I'll be riding in the rain. I obviously haven't had a chance to test the 'hood in the rain yet, or the hot summer sun, but my first impression is that this is really best for casual path riding for short folks - and I'm not a giant at 6' tall. 
We are expecting rain this week, so I will be riding in it for sure so that I can give you a report on the viability of the Uberhood in the weather it was designed to work in. Once again, I like the idea of the Uberhood, but the reality is that umbrellas are inherently unstable, and bolting one to a bicycle subjects it to a lot more wind than a regular umbrella. The handlebar clamp, in my opinion, is not up to handling those stresses, and give the whole setup a rather flimsy feeling. The company should certainly include some sort of rubber lining for the clamp, but should really consider putting together a more robust system that clamps to the handlebars much more firmly. The umbrella itself seems fairly solid, and despite being caught in the wind a few times did not turn inside out. Do you need an Uberhood? Don't ask me, I don't know your circumstances. Jeez.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Schwinn Twinn Project Beginnings.

A few years ago, I was riding my bike with my daughter in her trailer, and I saw a dad and his daughter riding a tandem together. Shortly after I saw an ad for a Schwinn Twinn on Craigslist, so I rushed to North Dallas to pick it up, with visions of taking Anna to school on our tandem when she gets a little older. Once I brought it home I left it on my back driveway for a long time - it had already spent the past decade outside, and I didn't figure it would hurt having it outside at my place for a little while. I had every intention of rebuilding it, but that was when Reed started having health problems, and it kind of got pushed to the back of my project list. He and I had joked about riding it together since I got it, and a few months after he died I decided that I needed to actually do something with the bike, rather than letting it rot away in my driveway. My neighbor, Drue, knows the folks over at Xtreme Powdercoating and he offered to take it over there for a coat. This was in August of last year, and once I got the frame back I realized that the frame looked too nice to put the original rusty parts back on.  Feeling guiltier than ever, I put the bike back in the closet and "forgot" about it until now. I'm at a between point in all of my other projects, so I think it's time to finish what I started. When Xtreme Powdercoating did the refinish for me, they were kind enough to take pictures of the process, so I'm going to go ahead and share those with you. I have already started cleaning up the rusty chrome and it is coming along very well; Schwinn chrome is very easy to rehabilitate, and the bike should look pretty fantastic when I'm done.

Fork and chainguard primered
Sandblasted frame
Silver Undercoat

Applying Translucent Blue
Final Coat

More Blue

Final Product, After Curing

If you have a bike that you want to finish, you should consider powdercoating very seriously. A bicycle paint job be three to four times the cost of a powder job, and will be a bit less durable. Powdercoat is actually a baked on finish, and is very durable and very attractive. You would be surprised how many finish options are available, so if you are considering a refurb job, go talk to the guys at Xtreme and see what kind of options they have available to you.

I'm going to take the bike to the shop this weekend to get the headset cups and bottom bracket cups reinstalled, and then I'm going to scrub scrub scrub. I've already started the wheels and they are coming along nicely. I'm also going to try to figure out how to freshen up the two tone Schwinn seats that go on the bike - this isn't going to be a restoration, as I won't be putting new stickers on or anything, but I am going to do my best to make the whole thing look sharp. Thanks again to Drue for brokering the deal, and thanks to Xtreme Powdercoating for doing such a tremendous job.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lighting Up My Life

I have not received my Uberhood or my wheel lights yet, but I have been contacted by Light & Motion, and they are sending me one of their Urban 180 lights to review. As soon as some of these things start showing up in my mailbox, I'll start putting up reviews. I've been contacted by a few bag manufacturers as well (including one that is making a saddlebag with a holster) and I will be reviewing those products as I receive them.

Urban 180 by Light & Motion
Once again, if you are interested in having me do a review of your cycle centric product or business, please feel free to drop me a line. If you are local, I'm even more interested, because I'm sure my loyal readers would like to know what products are available right here in their own backyards.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday is the Middle of the Week.

The 2011 Dallas Tweed Ride is this Sunday, and I am working a job fair today (I need to hire some staff for The Plano Cyclist) so I am just going to post some video of last year's ride and call it content. 

I will be happy to meet and greet with fans before the ride, but I will ONLY be signing jodhpurs at this event. Please respect my wishes, and do not ask me to sign knickers - I won't do it. Unless they are knickers by the English definition of the word, in which case I will make an exception.

Tweed Ride Poster

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Building a City Bike

I told you before I was building my old Suteki up to sell; I have a frame with a good bottom bracket, a set of wheels, and a lot of parts, so I decided to make a city six speed.

Here are some photos of the completed bike. It does have new cables and housing all the way around, but otherwise it is all stuff sourced from my parts box. I plan to put a rear rack on it as well, but didn't have any clamps small enough in stock, so I'll pick some up today. I am trying to decide wether to put fenders on it, but I may leave that up to the new owner - I've got some nice SKS fenders that were on this bike before, but I think I want to keep them for my GT commuter.

The Suteki is now running a Shimano Exage rear derailleur, a Shimano 105 crankset, Specialized hubs laced to Matrix rims, a Shimano thumbshifter (originally a rear shifter) and Dia Compe SLX levers. The brakes are Shimano Tourney centerpulls, and the seatpost is an SR Laprade. Obviously, even though this bike is a Frankenbike, it is built of pretty nice stuff. This Suteki was my only roadbike for a long time, and it has been everything from a drop bar road bike, to a moustache barred fop machine, to a fixed gear, and now a 6 speed city bike. I bought this one for $100 3 years ago, and got plenty of use out of it, but it has been sitting in my attic for a while so it's time for it to find some new adventures with a new owner.

Suteki 6 speed

Drivetrain Closeup 

Rear Brake and nice quick release. 

My bikes now are all much nicer than this one, but when I finished building it and took it for a spin around the block, I found myself trying to justify ways to keep it. I talked myself out of it because I certainly don't need another bike, and the funds it raises will are going to fund my Ross Mt. Whitney rebuild. Even though I do have some great memories with this bike, I'll be happy to free up some space. I want to build the Mt. Whitney next, but will probably end up waiting on it a a while as I hunt down the parts I want for it. I have been considering putting my Schwinn Twinn tandem together for a while, and I may take the time to do that while I'm between projects. I had the frame powdercoated a few years ago, but it's been sitting in a closet ever since, waiting for me to clean the rust off of the parts. I guess I need to get a big ol' tub of elbow grease out and get on it.

For those interested, click here to learn more about Suteki bicycles than you ever needed to know. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Something Plano-Centric? You bet.

Since I changed my name legally to "The Plano Cyclist", I have been looking for a way to make this blog more about Plano. Unfortunately, Plano doesn't give me free stuff, so I'm not as interested in that as I pretend to be.
Ha! Just kidding. Maybe.

I live in downtown Plano, just a few blocks off of the square; I live and play downtown, and enjoy all of the different restaurants down there. Jorg'sThe FillmoreUrban Crust, and Vickery Park are all already open and doing good business, and there is another place, the Posh Nosh currently being built out in the former home of the Queen of Hearts emporium. Doentown Plano is a fun place in the evenings, and that's great, but I have always thought that there was a need for a breakfast cafe. People seem inclined to stand around an old town area and wait FOREVER for  a cafe breakfast on Sunday; it happens all over, but there hasn't been a place like that in downtown until now. I have been noticing the signage going up for for Daisy's Barn And Grill over the past few weeks, and the one that made me really take notice was "Breakfast Served All Day". That I like to see.

Plus they are hiring. I do a service in this town. 

I'll make no secret that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and specifically a breakfast sandwich. One of the reasons I have wanted a breakfast place in downtown is because I want to eat a hot egg sandwich while I wait for the train (I am a simple man with simple pleasures). I was running late today anyway and planned to take the train, so I pulled over and got to know the new breakfast joint.

Inside Daisy's
I walked in an was greeted by two smiling ladies. As I waited for my sandwich, I had a little coffee and chatted. Apparently, Daisy's was up by Kelly's, a little north of the square, and have been building the new location out for nearly six months. As such, they have a regular clientele, and are moving to make room for more regulars. The counter to the right isn't just a breakfast counter, apparently in about two weeks it will be a full bar. What's great is that they will also serve the full menu as long as the bar is open, and in fact will stay open until 3 am, serving food for an hour after they stop serving liquor. I also heard something about chicken fried steak being added to the menu, and I am all about that. 

Glorious Pie Case
The restaurant soft opened on Friday, and they are serving a limited menu for now, but expect to be up and running completely over the next few weeks. Their limited menu is very nice, and very heavy on the breakfast foods. They also have some burgers, sandwiches and chili, along with what look to be a metric ton of fresh baked pies and pastries. They were in the case and spread all over the counter, and were I not trying to get unsoft around the middle, this might have been a longer review.

Cookies, pies and muffins, oh my. 

I drank my tasty coffee and waited for my sandwich, looked out at the square, and was nigh pleased with what I surveyed. I like that the downtown area is becoming a much more vibrant place than it has been for a long time,and I think that the addition of a breakfast place will be a step in the right direction.

Looking out the front windows. 
I can easily see myself being one of the old men sitting in the Daisy Cafe's front window thirty years from now. Even though it is a new space, it already feels right, like they have been there for years. I completely expect to start seeing people waiting on the benches outside for a table at Daisy's on Sunday morning very soon, and for this place to be the breakfast institution around here. 

There it is! 

The sandwich was excellent, fluffy eggs with chopped up sausage link bound to the eggs by creamy melted cheese. I was right, and there is little better on a breezy morning than a hot breakfast sandwich while waiting for the train. Welcome to Downtown Plano, Daisy's, and I will see you again very soon. 

It feels good to be outside. 

I didn't ride today just to review Daisy's Cafe - I'm actually hoping (?) for rain. I have a bicycle rain cape that I'll be reviewing here soon in order to contrast it with the Uberhood that I should be receiving in the mail. I'm working to round up a few more items to review, but it's a slow process. If you are a manufacturer that would like me to spend a little time with your product, please contact me - I'd be happy to do it if it's bicycle centric.