Tuesday, October 16, 2007

5 daze

seems like more time has passed since that last post, but lots has transpired. chronology here.
Thursday night, greatDerailleur show at the 400 bar. We played the middle spot between two other bands, two bands that should thank their lucky stars we were there otherwise they woulda been playing to an empty room. First band literally played most of their set to the 5 of us and a couple of our friends that showed up early. Last band (speaker speaker) was from Seattle and consisted of a couple of just out of college age guys clearly just trying to make it across the US getting shows anywhere they can. No local fans since they weren't local, and loud as hell. I think they were good musicians, but the sound dude had them way too loud for the few people that were left in the room. Drove me to leave 3 songs into their set. Thanks to all the fans who came out for our show, we had a great time. Thought our set went really well.
Friday: head to the Vitch's for his final, clear-out-all-the-Kenwood-cyclery-crap-from-my-basement garage sale. I wanted to get in a ride so I decide to ride my bike over to chez-vitch in south Mpls. I had a couple alterior motives as well. I was going to meet TSP and Tomac in Longfellow and ride in with them, so I hauled the two suspension forks I had for them over in the b.o.b. trailer. The Vitch still had my S&S 29'er from his trip to singlespeed worlds in Scotland, so I planned on picking that up and hauling it home in the trailer as well.

Got to the sale to find a few other kenwoodies there picking through the goods. Most of the stuff I recognised from the shop as stuff I had passed on then, but I did pick up a few goodies. Most notable in my book: the Waterford sign from the shop (will look great in my soon-to-be renovated shop), a full Modolo speedy brake kit, with lots o' small parts for brakes (I can't imagine anyone else at the same could have used that one) and a super-cool aluminum chainguard that will inevitably end up getting polished out and fancied up for a BBC someday.

Add in a pair of shoes for a customer of mine, a few other odds and ends, all the extra clothing I brought and I had a really full trailer and messenger bag.

Loaded everything up into the b.o.b. with a bunch of bungee's and duct tape and set off on my way about 10pm, the temp had dropped to the point I could see my breath now. Ordinarily it's about a 50 minute ride home from the Vitch's, but that trailer kept feelin' heavier and heavier the closer I got to downtown St. Paul (probably had something to do with knowing I had 2 big hills to hit before I got home). I stopped for a short rest near downtown. I had the foresight to know I'd be doggin' it near the end, so I brought some food which I promptly scarfed down. Got back on the rig, checked the clock. It was 11pm.

Finally rolled into my driveway about 11:15. Felt good to get inside and warm up. The Xl bailey bag on my back kept that part of me warm, but my feet were getting a bit frosty.

Sat, put the finishing touches on two 953 'cross frames and got one of them ready to ship out to Oregon. This one is double oversize tubing with a neat seatlug that I'm really digging. I like the clean look of the seatstay sockets in the lug, my only grip is the lug is a looser fit on the top-tube, hence there's more silver visible between the lug and tube and it's harder to make that look clean. This one has indented 953 chainstays which I was able to manipulate to get 50mm of tire clearance between them! This one is a disc only frame, no canti mounts, and just hose guides brazed on the frame.

Pardon the bad picture placement formatting, blogger sucks for placing pictures.

The other one is heading to Marko Lalonde for the rest of his 'cross season. He's been ripping it up out there this year too, including finishing 11th and 14th this weekend at the UCI double header in Cincinnati (nice work darkness)! I'm really excited to have him and Jesse racing for me this year. And for the record, brother Jesse won the Badger 'cross in Madison this weekend

I wanted the logos to pop out a little more on this frame, so I painted in some panels instead of my usual etching on the stainless. I like the look.

This one had a whole lotta custom stuff. I had to make the track dropouts from scratch, this was the first side-tack seatstay I'd done on a 953 frame. I was worried about how much silver would show around the stays, but now that I see it done, I love the look. It shows off the inverted tube brazed in to make the scallops (no investment cast plugs here, those are for the lazy). The chainstays are the first 953 bent chainstays (anywhere as far as I know) and when combined with the indentations give clearance for 2.2" 29'er tires. It's a cross bike by design, but it's got clearance for full 29'er tires and is actually just about the same geometry as my personal 29'er. I really love these 'cross/29'er rigid frames, they're about as versatile as a bike gets, and they handle both applications extremely well.

Sunday I raced. What a day for cross, raining and about 45 degrees all morning, got the course all wet and slick in time for the start. I stuck in the B race and I think my total lack of training will keep me there this season. Started mid-pack right behind Freeride and rode most of the first two laps just a person or two behind him. There was a huge pile up right at the start and we both managed to get around it. About lap three I was feeling good so I ramped it up and passed freeride and a few others. I kept it going till the last lap, and once again I hit the wall on the last lap. I didn't lose a lot of ground, but I could tell my last lap was considerably slower than the rest. That was confirmed by the Cutshall superfans who were gracious enough to give me hand-ups during the race and unbeknownst to me were timing my laps. Thanks Team Ultra!
Good day of racing, however I will whine about the stupid course. The Ridley folks (formerly Alan folks, *wise-ass Alan comment deleted*) put on this one and they usually do a great job, but this year taking out two full sets of barriers only to replace them with a series of 12 180 degree turns (think of a riding your bike through the line que at a Disneyland ride) was 100% lame. It did nothing for the race and kept the people with any kind of real 'cross skilz from using them. Oh well, other than that it was a great race.
Alright, I'm outta time, so write at you later.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Derailleur tonight

Don't have a lot of time to write today, but thought I'd post that my band (derailleur) is playing the 400 Bar tonight in Mpls at 9pm. There's a cover, but not much, swing by and check us out.

Pic's very soon of the two 953 frames I'm finishing up this week. It's been crazy, but I've managed to get three frames cranked out in the past 4 weeks!

Lake Rebecca CX mini recap: Hot, too hot for cx. Felt like I rode well for not really training much, finished mid pack at 27th. I was in the top 20 most of the race till I hit about 40 minutes, then I popped. bad. Cramped both legs, struggled to make it up the final run, but I'm sure got stronger in the process. Hopefully I'll last through the last lap next weekend.

Thanks to sideburns for all the great pics on skinnyski.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

catch up

I've had so many things I wanted to write about lately, but never had the time...

Friday: JL and friend KT make the pilgrimage up to St. Paul to get JL's new frame. I meet them at the shop about 11 and they get into building it up. JL simply brought up a big crate o parts, added in with a new frame and fork and we ended up with a bike.
Pretty great build if you ask me, 29'er wheels with crows on 'em, drop bars, Sram brake levers with pink hoods (where does he get this stuff?) White ind. eno crank, pauls brakes. Swank.

Afterwards I had the pleasure of sneaking in a nice ride at wirth with these guys. Thankfully JL and KT took it easy on me and it was a really fun ride. I hadn't been to wirth in a while and man were there trees down everywhere. Still, it was good to get out on my 'cross bike and ride with these guys.

JL was rockin the 'crows on his bike and seemed to really be flowing well at wirth, but honestly I think he could have been riding on rims and looked smooth. KT was on the soulcraft cx bike rockin' it out and making it look too easy. I was psyched to try out the Stan's/panaracer tubeless set up would work on the hardpack at wirth. Happy to say it was good, I ran 'em low around 28psi and while I did hear the rims hit a few roots, they stayed true and held air perfectly the whole time.

After that, I headed back home to pack up some stuff and head north to my folks cabin to help them out over the weekend.

Sat: Got slots done up north, we pulled up all the boards off the deck in order to refinish them and correct some design flaws the previous owners installed. Then cut up a big oak that had fallen the previous week.
Sun: finished up my trip north helping my dad set up a big shelving unit in the new garage they're building. Quite a lot of change up there, can't wait to spend some time up there next summer.

Side note: driving up and back I got to try out my new stereo in the jetta. In short it was awesome. The ipod integration is so seamless, I can now see why their next model up is an ipod only receiver, no cd player. It sounds at least 95% as good as playing an actual CD, which is a night and day improvement over every other ipod playing scheme I've tried in there before. Just set it on shuffle and you've got an instant roadtrip soundtrack.

Mon: usual day at work, but Beth and I decided to celebrate our anniversary a day early with a nice dinner. We headed to a new place in Minneapolis (although they're in plenty of other cities), Fogo de Chao. For those that haven't heard of it, they bill themselves as a Brazilian Steakhouse. The set-up is a bit unusual, but really pretty sweet. There's not really any menu, everyone gets the same treatment. There's an incredible salad bar to start off with, fresh everything, cheeses, salads, veggies. All top notch fresh.
Once you get through with that, you're given what looks like a coaster, but it's red on one side and green on the other. Set it out green side up and they start bringing around the meat. They've got about 10 different meats, mostly beef, all exceptional. They literally walk around to your table with a spit of meat and carve whatever you want off right at your table. I truly don't know how to describe how good all of it was, I can't even pick out a fav. We just ate, ate and ate some more. They'll bring as much as you want.
The only thing that was better than the food was the service. Truly the best service I've had a restaurant. Period. I think I've got a new favorite restaurant.
Price was even quite reasonable for the quality of food and service you're getting. Dinner is $42 per person, or they have a lunch for $24. Definitely not applebees pricing, but trust me, this place is a great value.

alright, I better stop writing about this, I'm getting hungry. who's up for lunch tomorrow?

Finally today: spent some time giving some 953 chainstays the magic hands treatment. I needed some extra tire clearance for one of the 953 'cross frames I'm building. Reynolds has had a lot of difficulty forming these stays and I think I've worked out a method for reshaping and ovalizing them. Wish I could tell you, but for now, gotta keep that under wraps. I'll be pushing this one step further this weekend working on the worlds first 953 bent chainstay frame. This stuff isn't easy, but the more I work with it, the more I learn. Gotta love learnin'.

Reynolds will be happy to see what happens this weekend too, they've been great to work with on this project supplying me with raw materials for testing out a few methods. I think they're as eager to find a way to provide a bend 953 stay as I am to have one. coming soon (hopefully): 953 29'ers!

That's all I have time for now, gotta go find me a steak.