Saturday, January 23, 2010

Snowed In

Snow.  Oh Yeah.  We got some of that.  So much that our ski hill hasn't even opened in the last three days.  What kind of place closes the ski hill when there's so much snow?  Arizona.  That kind.  This is the shady side of our house that gets piled up when Dan plows with his tractor, but in open spaces with no tree cover like the neighbor's horse corral there is five feet standing on the ground.  Holy Crap.  And that's after the week of snow was interrupted with rain Thursday night to make some slush snowcone mess.  

Of course all of town being in a state of emergency and me living out here in the sticks, there has been some quality shop time.  The truss fork is coming along but in the thought time that interrupts the builds I got started (and finished) on the fork for Jessica's triathlon touring bike.  I'll get more into the details of this one when I start the frame...maybe next week, but since she's out of the country for the next month, I might use this time to build myself a new commuter since I haven't built anything for me on the jig yet.  

...and the random artistic photo from the shop today....created by the ol' Park CRC-1...

Hopefully the mountain will be open tomorrow and I can get some board time in and town as well for that matter cause I'm out of kerosene and no kerosene means no heat.  Adios.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Truss Fork Part !

I've been thinking about the truss forks out there for a while now and have always thought they looked like a frame to about the sturdiest front rack around, but haven't really seen it executed.  I'd been wanting to build one for the Forest Cruiser for a while now but hadn't worked out a clamp mechanism for  a removable steerer.  I decided that it was time to just build the damn thing and work out the details in front of me.  Getting into this project so far has proven to be just that...working out the details as they're thrown at you.  An exercise in sleeving and straight guage and using what's around the shop.  Good ninja training.   I bent the blades on a curve I grooved out of a piece of laminated pine construction beam at about the radius of a 29" wheel.  The crown race assembly was the trickiest part of course, it uses no prefabbed parts apart from the binder bolts.    The stays combined both my bending forces and utilized the block and the conduit bender.  They're not the swoopiest things, but hey they match.  All said it is a functional item right now, but I'm not done, and as such, this is only part ! of the series.  Hasta Luego

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Goings ON

I got out for my first Sedona ride of the year today.  Gotta love Sedona season.  Its sorta this line you have to draw between filling the fix to ride, and oooh the riding there is sooo good, and self deprivation because it involves driving an hour and a half to escape our sort of winter here in F-town.  I know for some of you this is a standard occurrence anytime you ride, but here we are used to pedaling the trails from the driveway and so the commute is cause for guilt in the winter....besides there are other things to do.   Cole and Scott the Hobot and myself made the drive down this day and hit the trails starting with a new little secret.  We ran into some guys building some improvements and rather than be rude and riding through, we waited for them to finish and chatted them up a bit.  It was sort of weird,  them being the ones responsible for this fine, but secret creation, and us being its uninvited users.  There is sort of a weird possessiveness that comes with this territory on USFS land...or at least so here where mountain biking is so big and social.  We felt like trespassers and yielded right of way to the elders blazing this path.  All for the better though.  In our wait some friends from our parts came along and we wound up with a group of eight for the duration.  We decided to that our first little jaunt wasn't enough and headed over for one of my favorites, a technical bench cut with lines so tight they make J-Lo's ass look like jello.  There is nothing fast about this trail but it has some pretty big moves.  The kind that make your heart sink into your stomach and force adrenaline to take over every time without fail.  And there are always consequences.  I was riding Karen's bike today.  Moustache #7.  The GT looking one with the 5 inch fork.  I stole it from her while she is out of town.  Building bikes for people your size definitely has its advantages.  This bike rips.  The Rootbeer Float the kids were calling it.  It seems so perfectly balanced and that big fork just begs to be pushed through the tougher, bigger, rockier, straighter lines.  It begs to go down and fast and to hit all the drops along the way.  But it doesn't stop there.  Its a respectable climber too.  I cleared more than I would have expected on such a bike, including the tight uphill switchbacks.  Damn.  I may not give this one back.  Karen rode the General Lee for the better part of the year last year so I may just do the same with the Rootbeer Float.  

I made it into the shop a little bit this week despite getting sick.  The first two days were cleaning up from the December bike building present making madness.   Some new organization is in order.  Then onto the exciting stuff.  Forks.  One for Bobby "the Volcano's" Breezer Lightning that I traded him and one for Jessica's touring triathlon bike to come soon.   Bobby is getting his fork dirty, so I hope your files are ready to go.  Sculpt this baby up. Well that said here's some pics. 

Here's a tool most bike shops don't have, a crown race cutter.  This evil girl turns the O.D. of the fork crown race seat to exactly one tenth of a millimeter larger than the I.D. of the headset's crown race.  For 1 1/8" steerers this is 30.1mm.  For one inch there are two sizes (JIS and Campy) and of course I had to figure one out which is which the hard way and that said...most bike shops don't have this tool.  Cheers.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Happy New Year

Greetings and welcome. Since a number of you have been asking for it, here is my attempt at technology. I hope you don't expect much. I'd rather put my efforts into the work and life I'll attempt to document for you interested souls. But that said, here we are. Now where to begin? I just got back from and extended trip to the homeland. A trip there is always good for a lot of things: catching up with folks, bike rides with guys like this,
running water, reminiscing, good beer, and on and on, but any great length of time spent there always leaves me with one overlying thought....Birth Control. This is something I'm a big fan of. There is no faster way to giving up everything I know and love at this point than knocking someone up. Inevitably I will back come around to the idea that I want a little tribute to myself and (insert current fancy here) running amok and causing havoc in my live, but a lengthy trip to the land of the babies always shoves that aside for another year. Don't get me wrong here, props to all you fathers and mothers out there, but none for me thanks. Not now. Luckily one of the few other refugees to the west was set to remind me of my affinity for birth control this year and brought me an awesome Christmas present...or maybe it is more of a Solstice present in the Pagan sense of the world.
Fast forward to New Years. I love New Years. It comes with this refreshing sense that you can reinvent yourself however you so choose, or not, and for no real reason at all. The reality of this hit me on the plane ride back home to Arizona, but I'm not exactly sure why or how. I guess I was thinking about the things I would keep the same and the things I would reinvent, expecting everything else to remain the same. After twelve hours of running around airports and sitting on cramped airplanes and lost luggage, I finally got here. Cole picked me up that night and brought me back to a world unexpectedly full of surprises. She presents me with a fine cactus from her friend in the desert and then brings me into her studio to show off her current work. Amazing.

I love this life and am looking forward to getting out to the shop for a fresh start in the new year. Who knows what surprises it will bring. Enjoy.