Monday, May 31, 2010

redemption via russell

after a decent start to her college career at ND, the girl has been undergoing a fall from grace. first, they kept her over after class for some reason - to the tune of over a month and a half !! dunno how she got that far behind on her classwork, but there it is. then, while out running the mean streets of south bend all nite long like she routinely does, she ran into a bad crowd - and ended up street racing for pinks with them - in the process losing her road bike on a bad bet. as she wallowed in the shame of losing a pink-slip bike race to somebody from freaking INDIANA, russell swept in like the veritible Angel of Wheeled Redemption that he is - with this:

yeah, we had to update a couple things. the wayward kid could not get on with the righteous crit-bend ultra-narrow bar, nor the 36 hole front wheel. i give her a pass on needing the bar-con rear shifter, tho - like russell, bar-cons are always in Style. she is back at school finishing up her detention till the end of june, but had better not lose anymore street races !! that bike has some nice stuff on it - if she loses this stuff we will move while she is away, and not leave a forwarding address:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

just beacuse . . . .

frank zappa once sang:

"Just because the sun
Want a place in the sky
No reason to assume
I wouldn't give her a try"

with that kinda spirit in mind, we decided recently to go with the rage and jam a 29er wheel into the fork on gretchen's 26er on-one . . . . . just because.

well, not exactly. i originally designed my strong as a 69er, but that was on purpose. i need to know - what does doing it ghetto-style like pictured here, and how you see guys doing today actually do ??

for a given fork offset, and/or a given fork what it does is this: adds around 8.1 mm to the trail figure of the bike's front end. this is not a small change. it is about the difference in trail between a standard road bike and a touring bike ( 1.5 degrees of head angle, say, if you were to leave everything else the same ). speaking of which, it also relaxes the bike's head angle by a half degree actual. it does a few other things as well, regarding bb height, position, and weight distribution but those are minor or easily correctable to insignificant for a dirt-going bike, i think. some of them might even be improvements, depending on yer preferences. we need to correct the position from the photo, and get the rider contact points back where they belong. . . . bars back down, saddle back where it needs to be, etc.

anywayz - two ways of looking at the numbers game with regard to bike as converted - 1. a more stable platform on which to hammer and rail . . . or 2. a formerly nimble bike now handling like a dog.

personanly, i believe stability is VASTLY underrated. a stable bike is a fast bike. all bikes handle quick, or quick enuf - how can they not?? they weigh 20 pounds and are only a few feet long. just as with sporting motorcycles, very few people can actually use all the parking lot quickness in handling that most modern bikes possess. i've had that converstion with many a veteran builder. they Know, but usually build what the market tells people they want, instead.

so - i think we'll keep it like this. it rails.

Friday, May 21, 2010

redemption on the wheel(s) within a wheel

seeking wheeled redemtion requires certain obligations. one of those obligations is this:

"" when skateable full-pipes are in town, drop what you are doing and go skate 'em !! "

i am fortunate to have a kid who is hip to this. not only that, but he knows what size full pipe is skateable, and what is not. in this modern world you gotta be sure to teach kids the right stuff, ya know (in case yer wondering - it is 8 ft diameter) ?? and so, when nicky spiied these with his keen eye and called to say some steel 8 foot full-pipes were in town, we grabbed the board and headed over to assess. never know what yer gonna find - maybe the pipes are full of concrete, maybe they have stuff welded in 'em, or maybe the construction guys on the job-site are gonna be jerks, or whathaveyou.

a number of years back, a barge full of beautiful 18 foot pipes docked in town. my buddy could not make the scene, so i hit them up myself, was chased away by the po-po and a hyperventilating tugboat captain muttering something about wrecking his million dollar cargo ( a skinny bald goof on a 34 inch piece of 8 ply maple and urethane is gonna hurt 1" thick steel ?? ) - and before my buddy could make it up they actually fired the tugboat back up and towed them across the bay and docked them behind a fence next to a navy minesweeper with its security detail. my man was still gonna try to session them . . . . but i noted that the navy guys carry 45 cal sidearms, and we had to sadly watch them sail away the next AM instead. i hope somebody else sessioned 'em at their next port-o-call . . . .

anyway, here we see nicky - a new-skool skater - throwing down hard over-vert in a vicious old-skool fashion. that is my boy !! over-vert realities with no flat-bottom - very very nice. lightning fast transition management/direction changes, and razor's-edge precision are called for in quarters that tite - and woefully few new-skoolers are up to the task.he's a punk, as russell or my man rick W will tell you anytime - but he does have his moments.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

as the wise russel would say . . . .

. . . it was a good day:

this as nice a urban in-town trail system as i have ever seen, rum village in south bend IN. very sweet banked over&under section pictured here -

2. chillin in as nice a place as can be -

3. new steel confers with old steel. both agree, steel is where it is at -

Saturday, May 15, 2010

the perfect metaphor is sometimes hard to find . . .

. . if you are not bob dylan. the picture above comes quite close to describing my current cycling form, tho. and this classic lyric from the great ray davies hits my recent state of mind ( not literally, but figuratively ):

Cheap is small and not too steep
But best of all cheap is cheap
Circumstance has forced my hand
To be a cut price person in a low budget land
Times are hard but we'll all survive
I just got to learn to economize

I'm on a low budget
I'm on a low budget
I'm not cheap, you understand
I'm just a cut price person in a low budget land

as ray notes, circumstance can force a fellow's hand sometimes. in my case it has not been $$, but rather time, energy, resources/energy. they forced that hand into doing something and becoming something i have not been for many a year . . . . . . . . a guy-who-used-to-ride-bikes.

being a guy-who-used-to-ride-bikes is a suck-ass thing to be. something i never wish to be again. after umpteen years of riding and ( mostly badly ) racing bikes, i have known and do know plenty of this breed. i never wanted to count myself in their number, but it is easier than i thought to do so. the worst part of being a guy-who-used-to-ride-bikes is that you are no longer kin with the coolest people around anyplace - that being guys-who-do-ride-fooking-bikes. fortunately, in my case it was a planned short-term kinda thing, and it's over now !!

so, redemption on the wheel is reborn. it is sorely needed, too - the redemption part. my bikes never looked so good - every one of things reflects me in some way, and i cannot wait to rediscover them.