Thursday, May 24, 2007


Here it is almost the end of the week and I still haven't written the Cable Classic recap.

4 Kenwoodies head north to the "Love Shack" Friday afternoon. Despite stopping in Cumberland for watered down red food coloring spilled on overcooked spaghetti noodles, we get to the cabin pretty early. Normally we cook up at the cabin that night, but since we had our fill of starch already we didn't really know what to do with the evening. So when Deanwood asked if anyone wanted to take a tour of the lake via boat, we were all in.

It was a pretty typical Deanwood outing. Nearly clocks me in the head trying to start the motor, and he ended up knee deep in lakewater while standing in the boat before the night was done.

The next morning we rolled out of bed at the crisp hour of 6:30am, for an 8am departure. Again, with only 4 of us at the cabin, things went far too smoothly, and we actually left on time. TSP has teh foresight to make his own coffee at the cabin, so we didn't need to make the usual coffee stop in Stone Lake on the way to the race. Good thing since we left so early we actually rolled through Stone Lake before the coffee shop even opened.

We made it to the Lakewoods (start point) at like 8:30 or something. A new world record. I don't think a Kenwoodie has made it to the Lakewoods before 9:45 before (race starts at 10). We all register, roll around a little and try to figure out what you do with yourself when you arrive an hour early to the race!

Continuing the anomalies, the weather was oddly decent at the start. I've been doing the Cable Calssic for years now and I honestly can't remember it ever not being 40 and rainy at the start. It did rain for about 3 minutes an hour before the start, but quickly cleared up and was about 60 degrees. Again, I didn't really know how to cope with that, I had plenty of wool, but not much warm weather stuff. Oh well.

I lined up pretty far up in the main start area, hell bent on trying to spin the 34:17 gear fast and get in front of people before the singletrack. I didn't need a repeat of last year.
Start rolls out and I spun my butt off, but it wasn't enough. I slip into the singletrack about mid-pack and promptly stop. Literally, unclip and stand there waiting for the line of people to ride the first singletrack climb. And repeat it on the second and third climb. Frustrating to say the least.
Even despite the waiting, the rest of the early singletrack is horrible when stuck mid pack. People are moving waaaaay too slow for my gear and I'm rapidly blowing up trying to turn it over at about 40 rpm. Finally after about 12 miles things loosen up to the point where I can ride at a comfy pace. I start passing people like nuts in the woods, but as soon as we hit any of the fire road sections they put it in the big ring and drop me. Head into the next singletrack, repeat.

That's pretty much how it worked the whole race. I popped pretty hard about mile 18, but pulled 'er through to finsh pretty much right in mid pack. Right about where I went into the first singletrack. sigh. I'm starting to think Cable isn't as singlespeed friendly as I keep telling myself. Maybe back on the tandem next year.

Additionally this weekend, both my cars broke. Yup, I spent most of last week riding my bike everywhere and I think my vehicles got jealous. The clutch release cylinder went out on the Miata (meaning you can't DISENGAGE the clutch!). The Jetta had a more interesting failure. I was pulling it in the garage and went to raise the windows. The passenger side window stopped about 3/4 of the way up and then went back down. I raised it again and it responded by going about half way up, then suddenly dropping freely down into the door! I didn't have time to look, so I pulled it in the garage and left it.

Sunday I rebuilt the release cylinder on the Miata. Fortunately (probably unfortunately) the exact same thing had happened on the Jetta last year, so I knew how to attack it. $7 in parts and 2 hours of labor later it was back in action.

Took the door apart on the Jetta to find the window regulator in pieces. Pretty much unsalvageable, so I went and ordered a new regulator. Picked up the new regulator last night, went to install it and it didn't fit. Went back, had them actually order the right regulator. Hopefully I'll get it in this weekend if it shows up before then.

In other news, I'm being inundated with requests and orders for 953 frames. I can only come to one logical conclusion about that, my prices are too low, so they're going up (God bless Capitalist Free Market Forces). A base 953 frame is going to be $2500. I'm really not just gouging people here. I simply can't keep up with huge demand, so I'm hoping this will help keep my lead time less than 2 years and to be completely honest, my time is becoming increasingly valuable to me. I feel that if I'm going to spend it building bikes it needs to be more worth my while.



Bill Connell said...

For the Jetta, you might check with a VW dealer. I have a 2000 Golf, and when my passenger-side window did the same thing, they replaced it under an extended warranty deal. The parts were plastic, and just didn't last. I think the new version is metal again.

Baba said...

What he said. I think it is under warranty BBBB.

Baba said...

This may be a double blog.
What he said. I think there is an extended warranty, BBBB.

Bob said...

I'll check into it, but I kind of doubt it since the warranty's been done for over a year and even when it was under warranty, getting them to cover stuff wasn't exactly easy.

There's a recall repair I need to bring it in for, so I'll ask then.


Gordy said...

It ain't a warranty item if the thing fails due to bad design or lousy construction. Normal use may-be, but you're a bright engineer, I'll bet you can put up a good argument. Heck just look at what I got gNashbar to d... Oh forget it...

Gordy said...

Price increases?
Of course. Those that desire a frame from you probably have checked around. If a frame builder is decent, they have a backlog and their prices are also commiserate. You do get what you pay for. You are worth the premium my friend.