Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Making the World a Better Place . . . One Bike at a Time

My dad splits time between Tucson and Incline Village, taking advantage of the mild winters in Arizona and fantastic summers in Tahoe.  He has a couple bikes in Tucson, but did not have one in Tahoe, which simply had to be rectified.  I mean, it's Tahoe.

I had almost everything I needed in The Archives except a frame.  I watched Craigslist for a while until I found something I liked in the right size.  The guy had a set price, but the bottom of his ad said, "Will consider trades for road bike parts, especially tires."

I dug five 700x23 tires out of a box, a tire size I will never use again, and sent the guy a picture.  He was game, and the trade was made the next day.  I scored a nice 7000-series Raleigh frame for essentially nothing.  I love the barter system.

Here is the result:

I was able to use a lot of older 8-speed XTR parts:

V-brakes that are still smooth as silk:

Hubs that spin forever:

And the best shifters Shimano ever made (before adding the damn 9th speed):

The bike turned out really well, and I had a blast riding around the yard with it.  It had been a long time since I rode a 26-inch-wheeled bike, and I have to say, it felt "right."  Maybe the 29er Kool-Aid is wearing off.

Anyway, I took the bike up to Tahoe on Father's Day and surprised my dad with it:

We went on a short shakedown ride around Incline to get the seat height dialed in, then went out for a nice dinner at a neighboring restaurant that had Lagunitas IPA on tap.  It was a good day.


Wednesday, June 09, 2010


I made it out for a nice little ride today, hitting some of the dirt trails farther from home as I slowly stretch out my ride mileage.  I have been trying to pace myself as I continue to recover from the bout with pneumonia.  A number of people, including my doctor, warned me about it coming back—something I obviously want to avoid.  Careful as I have been, today's ride was the longest since being sick, and right now my lungs are feeling a little tight and congested.

The Fargo has evolved a bit since I first built it as I try to figure out where it fits in my stable.  The original intent was to bolt on a bunch of racks and haul stuff—commuting, camping, grocery runs, pulling my son on the trail-a-bike.  I purposely used a straight post and short stem for a more upright position.  It didn't take long, though, before the racer in me felt that I could get more power with a setback seatpost.  A narrower, racier saddle soon followed.  Then a longer stem to stretch me out.  Before I knew it the bike became my main ride, and . . . now I don't know that I want racks on it.  It's just too fun to blast around on; it's like a cyclocross bike on steroids.

Here's how the bike is currently set up:

On this stretch of gravel road, I had a nice tailwind.  I pounded along at 24-28 miles per hour.  It's so cool to be in the drops on the dirt going that fast.  I ALWAYS have thoughts of Paris-Roubaix on this section.

I came upon this poor acorn woodpecker on a dirt road.  He flew up as I approached, but could only fly in tight circles before crashing back to earth.  When I was close enough, I could see that his neck was messed up.  I couldn't really do anything for him.  What he needed was a good chiropractor.  I briefly thought about putting him out of his misery, but I don't have the stomach for that.  Hopefully he got the kinks worked out and is destroying someone's oak tree tomorrow.

The last dirt section was the New York Creek trail, which is always fun:

I was out for almost two hours. I'll know tomorrow when I wake up if I overdid it today. Hopefully I won't need my lungs pumped.


Sunday, June 06, 2010

Picture Dump

I haven't been very good at posting over the last couple months. Ever since getting sick, the motivation just isn't there. So here are a few pictures taken over the past few weeks that sum up what I have been doing.

I saw this emu out on a ride:

This low hanging storm cell came over my house.  I thought it looked cool:

County Fair:

Hillbilly car racing:

River Cats:

More River Cats:

Fargo Ride: