Monday, September 22, 2014

Flashback: Summer Vacation 2014

In the chaos that is maximal fun interspersed with maximal work, I find myself looking through pictures taken not all that long ago and remembering what it was like not to be in a period of maximal work.  It was awesome I tell you.  I managed three or so weeks of a summer vacation this summer between odd jobs and various never ending bike projects, shop upgrades, machine acquisitions and general busyness.  In my three weeks off from the busy life I do believe I logged 6300 driving miles on the old space cruiser.  Tired she is, though far from actually being what she looks like: space junk.

The trip was first destined for the northernmost point in Michigan that isn't an island to do some riding.  Yeah, it was a work trip.  Our chosen route found us with the difficult decisions of where to stop along the way for team training with my fellow Flagstaff Goats.  Colorado was the obvious choice, but leaves for so many choices.  We departed with a loose plan that time and daylight would ultimately decide and being unable to turn up any last minute riding buddies in Durango, we opted for Phil's World outside of Cortez.  Maximal fun!

The sun set.  The night brought furious milage.  We stopped and slept.  I forgot a sleeping bag. 9000 feet.  The tarp will have to do.  In the morning we found ourselves at the top or Monarch Pass and headed east.  "Now THIS is Colorado!"  became the saying of the day after reading it on a road sign.  Where and how the emphasis is placed no one may ever really know.  Now the Monarch Crest is a shuttler's ride and forget ye not this fact.  There are also motorcycles, and hikers aggravated by your presence and everybody else's.  Now this IS Colorado!  Beyond this are the pictures that follow, an amazing ride, creeks to put your head in, rock screes to float over at speed, meadows, mountains, marmots.....maximalism, with beer and pizza at the end of the road.  NOW this is Colorado!


The plains of West Kansas, and Nebraska past in the dark hours until a camp was found by careful choice from the map.  The sleep was minimal and well earned.  The morning drear of the plains cast its shadow upon us with a check engine light before coffee.  This is not an option.  The modern world of those with smart phones left us able to interpret diagnose the code, and it passed as insignificant.  Roll on.  The evening found us in the company of one weary traveler's family, wealthy with accommodations, and joined now by those Shindaggers.  That's right, Flagstaff brought the band.  We would travel the rest of the way to Michigan as a space posse, complete with radio comm links.....

To be continued....

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Receiving Department

I get to wear many hats and do many jobs in this venture.  Aside from being the fabricator, one of my favorite jobs around here is the receiving department.  I'm always stoked to get a package of stuff on the doorstep.  Here's a few of late:

Paragon Machine Works:  Nuff said.

L.H. Thomson:  a full stock of stem and seatpost offerings from my favorite aerospace rednecks.  I've been running the 27.2 dropper post for the past month with good result so far.  It is the only dropper post to live up the the testing standards of a bicycles seatpost.  Though having that nifty little switch to lock S-foils in attack position did distract me enough to crash out hard.  User error. 

And my latest:  A full stock of "unfinished custom golf shafts" stated on the packing slip.

The "Golf Shafts" are actually polished out custom drawn 7/8" True Temper straight gauge chromoly.  They really do put the "chrome" (chromium) in chromoly.  I expect this tubing to be a fair bit harder than what is available at retail from the aircraft suppliers.  This order comprised of two different gauges of 7/8" tubing totaling over 400'....its pretty much a minimum order.  Should be about enough for 60 bikes worth of both handlebars and chainstays.  Now onto re-tooling the forms....