I haven't had much time to write here this week, so I'll condense things down.
Last weekend was the state cx race, it was fantastic as usual. Lots of volunteer here, and tons of work put in by the Vitch. Thanks Vitch!
I headed out Friday afternoon to help put poles in the ground for all the snow fencing we were going to install on the course. I had no idea what we were in for. The "stakes" were steel sign posts (like the stuff that holds up stop-signs) and the city gave us one slide hammer to install them with. It was a pile of work, well mostly for the Vitch and Ezra as Ez kept telling me not to do the pounding because he thought my shoulder was still too injured. But eventually as they got tired, I took over and put my share into the ground. We got it all up before dark and it looked great. I had to high-tail it back to St. Paul though as I had a show to get ready for.
Packed up all my drums and other gear in the car, loaded up the other guys cars, and we headed out to the Guthrie. We got there a little early, so we parked out by the loading dock and waited. Didn't take more than 2 minutes and a security guard was out there to ask what we were doing. We explained and he let us go, but told us to be sure to move our cars as soon as we were unloaded. They're on top of things at the Guthrie, especially on opening night of a play.
We got unloaded and moved all our gear up to the Bar. It sure looked like a lot of stuff in a tiny space sitting in the bar, but once it was unpacked and set-up we seemed to fit in the space quite well.
We started playing early because it turned out the new show was shorter than expected and they wanted us playing when the show let out. So about 9:30 we started off gently. We kept the sound a bit low for the first hour as we didn't know how things would sound in the long, narrow space we were playing in. But as things went on, we got louder and more into our usual deal, and the people were still diggin' it. We ended up playing for almost 2 1/2 hours (with one good break) which is a hugely long time for us. All seemed to go great though, people thought the sound was good and we certainly had a blast. The bar did a good business, so everyone was happy. In the end, the Guthrie folks seemed thrilled by our turnout and performance and said they'd like to have us back again. We can't wait.
So after packing up all our stuff and getting home, I managed to get to bed about 2am. Slept till about 8:30 and that was all I had in me. I'm just not very good at sleeping in, I don't like trying to sleep when there's daylight. So I got up, feeling mighty tired, had my morning bowl of Lucky-Charms and figured I better head over to the 'cross race to help out. I got my stuff all set, headed out to the garage and promptly remembered I had a car full of drums out there that I had to empty before I could leave. Sigh.
Unloaded that, loaded up a bike and a bunch of warm clothes and headed out. Things were pretty under control at the race, so I helped out with a little last minute course marking and watched the C race start. I had made up my mind before I left that I wasn't going to race on account of how tired I felt. But that was before the Kenyan showed up. He shows up at the race and promptly spends the next half hour talking me into racing, so I go register and change my clothes just in time to get to the start line.
I figured I'd just hang out in back, ride the race, finish and feel like I accomplished something. That was my plan anyways, but I'm not very good at sticking to a plan like that. The gun went off (metaphorically speaking) and I was near the back, riding down the first straightaway. Already I was frustrated with people and feeling the need to move up, so I did. I started passing people, mostly on the runs, and I just never seemed to stop. By the third lap I actually felt pretty good, but the whole time I had the thought in the back of my head that all I had eaten all day was a bowl of lucky charms, and that wouldn't sustain much.
Side note: I had blown up the bearings in my usual Cane Creek CX rear wheel, so I needed a replacement singlespeed wheel and had brought my Stan's wheels with, complete with the Crow's mounted. I had been thinking I wanted to see how they worked for CX, and here was my chance! Believe it or not, that wheelset with those fat tires weighs virtually the same as my racing CX wheels with 27c tires.
Those tires turned out to be just the ticket for ths course. There were plenty of bumpy grass sections and washboard dirt roads, and these things just flew. This was the first cx race I had ever done on a singlespeed where I passed people on the gravel road section on every lap. It all just worked and I just kept hitting it with everything I had left.
I started really feeling the effects of my complete lack of preparations with 1.5 laps to go. The legs started feeling rubbery, but I figured this was the end of the season, so why not just push through it. The barriers and runup actually kept feeling better and better for me throughout the race, it was the flat grassy sections with the headwind that really took it out of me.
In the end I finished, 18th. Yup, that guy listed as #186 in the results is me, guess Billy didn't feel like putting in my name! I was in the back 20 or so people, so that means I passed about 40 something people in the race, no wonder I never felt like I was riding alone.
It was really good for a race I wasn't going to do.
This week I've been stocking up on shop-time. I'm working on several frames right now, and nearly have the first prototype 29'er frame done! That one has gone really quite well, despite a few set-backs. I wanted to see what glitches I might run into that will slow me down building these, and after this first one I think I'd identified most of them and I'm well on my way to having them solved. More details on that later.
I got my first sample of the new fork-crown. Came in Wednesday. It looks really cool and the fit and finish seem good, but there were 2 areas that were off substantially in dimension. There hole for the steerer tube was .015" undersize in one axis and one of the cross sections was too thin. Despite that, the look is good, and it definitely looks viable, I just need to get these Q/C issues resolved. I also have another possibility of getting them made locally, which would be awesome.
I've had a few folks bugging me to post some pictures of the completed 953 frame and I will. I've been waiting for my new headbadges to come in before I took final pictures of it, but I'll try to get some of the whole frame so you can see what it looks like complete.
That's about all for now.