Monday, July 21, 2008


Buck hill got me last week. got me good. Last lap, last half mile or so. Rocked it through a fast, rough downhil singletrack, but just before clearing the last corner my front tire just stopped. Not totally sure why, but it sure happened. I remember flying through the air and the only thought in my head was "don't put your arms out, you'll break them again". So I didn't, I tucked and tried to roll, but landed on my head instead, fortunately in a pile of sand.

I got up pretty quick and noticed I was about 12' away from my bike and on the opposite side of the trail. Brushed the sand off me and was surprized how good I felt. No sharp pains, no broken anything, so I got back on and rolled it out to the end of the race.
After the race I was still feeling ok, face felt a little swollen and I figured I'd be sore the next day. Got some pretty mild road rash on my face, and the bridge of my glasses smashed my nose pretty good. All in all I felt like I got off easy, until the next morning....

Woke up at 4am the next day with the second worst headache of my life. Took some Advil, started to feel better, but that only lasted about an hour. Vision was a little blurry in one eye, so I decided it was time to call the doc. My usual doc sent me to the ER. Sat there for 2 hours only to find out what I pretty much knew, I had a concussion. Not much you can do. Slept a while Friday, but headaches kept me up most of the weekend. On the plus side the worst seems to be past and the vision is totally cleared up.

I finally got the paint done on Billy's bike. Took just short of forever, but I think it came out good. Billy's been the most patient man around and I appreciate it. Hope he likes the bike. Now if Spot would just get the damn belt drive cogs in stock I could finish it up.

I've been on a comutting bike kick lately and spent a couple of hours getting a few old bikes put together in new ways. For todays post I'll show one of them, what I like to call the Browntrager.

I was insprired by Marko and dusted off my old Bontrager Race. I've got a pretty prime off-road commuting route to 3M so I've been jones for a bike suited to this purpose. I wanted a singlespeed but I've got some big dirt climbs and some fast pavement on the commute, so a couple of gears seemed appealing.

I stripped off the stock Bontrager-crowned Judy fork and whipped up a rigid BBC fork more prudent for a 29'er front wheel. Then built up a new rear wheel around a Sram three speed hub. Why not. Sure it's heavy, but it seems pretty robust so far and it's still lighter than a hub, cassette and deraileur. Not to mention I really only needed 2 gears, the third is just a bonus.

The gear ratios on this hub are surprizingly far apart, so my pavement gear is nice and tall compared to my off-road gear. The third gear is almost silly low, but I'm sure I'll find a use for it sometime.

Threw in some snazzy control tech brakes, sugino cranks and the original bontrager stem and post. All in all, a pretty neat bike. Fun to ride too. Not too bad for a bike built from nearly all parts-bin findings.



jim g said...

I abso-freakin-lutely love that Bontrager hack. NICE! When I need a rigid fork for my Race, I now know where to turn...

Anonymous said...

Was this blog entry from 1954?