gettin back on the horse.

i am at the point where i hate writing about not writing on this blog.

as the trees turn orange to red to bare in the gusty fall wind, i am spending more time in front of the work bench. fall sets in and with it cold commutes and shorter morning rides. i haven’t ridden since tuesday morning with molly and matt for about 3 hours but it feels a lot longer. soon i will find a good rhythm of riding, working, drinking a little red wine on the porch and cooking comfortable food. soon it will be raining and the idea of spending all day in the cool confines of my basement workshop will seem like a better option than being out in the elements on the saddle.

cross is in full swing and i am headed out to astoria for two days of cross action. i did have a loose rule for traveling to cross races but it is out the window for this weekend. if your travel time in a car exceeds the time you race for, it is a dumb race. i miss the days of cross being close in to portland. being able to ride to all of your races is a great and wonderful thing in my opinion. my good friend g. steve pickle came up with this great notion a long time ago and it has proved to be a way to make bike racing about the bike and not about driving a car to the race. for the record, tony and i will be carpooling out to the race together to save some gas.

this week has been a good one in the shop. i am still waiting for some lights and bars for elliott’s portuer bike but i did finish the rack top. birch platform with stainless steel rail to keep his bag in place. the whole platform detaches with the railing to be able to carry various things on it without interfering with the rails. pretty slick. it took a lot of time but should hold up well. dan’s cross bike is still at paint but should be done this next thursday and ready to ship off to nashville. picked up darrell’s city/touring bike a couple days ago but haven’t had a chance to take any pictures of it yet. gloss black with copper accents. looking forward to seeing it built up with chris king hubs, bottom bracket and headset. i also finished and sent off to paint cody’s fork and rack to be sent to iowa city when it’s all done in a week or so.

the big addition to the shop has been getting my anvil tube mitering fixture up and running. i had to have a plate of aluminum made to set the fixture in the right place on my mill. i think i added 110 ponds of metal to my mill with the plate, the rotary table and the anvil jig. i used it to cut the tubes for e. strong’s bike today and it was a very fast. i feel a little more professional with this set up. investing in tools gives my brand more credibility and it makes me feel stronger about making better bikes every day. i remember reading somewhere that nagasawa once said his goal was to make a bicycle frame 10 percent better every time. tools and equipment take you a ways towards that goal but in the end i think experience, both in the shop and in the saddle, makes a better bike.


2 Responses to “gettin back on the horse.”

  1. Jay Parkhill Says:

    I have the same rule about travel/race time, though I blow it badly just about every time. I think my average is around 2x drive time / race time. When I race on the track a lot it gets much worse, though, since the track is an hour away and the races are short.

    It’s a good thought, though, and I definitely try to mitigate by carpooling s much as possible.

  2. Ari Says:

    Best bike shops and best builders are the people that ride and understand the dynamics of the bicycle. I can feel that when I log 100 miles on one of your bikes and just walk away.

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