Monday, August 31, 2009

One heckuva week...

Let me tell y'all bout it.

I started off Monday full of optimism for a productive, busy week. I have three LD's left to complete and then I'm free of those for a loooong time. I knew from the desired dimensions that they would be tough to bend the required tubing and hit the radius I needed...guess that's why I left them to last.

The LD, as originally designed, was utilized to get the drop bar UP and into position on the traditional low axle to crown sized frames.

Today, many folks are looking to retro fit classic frames or to use the style to get to a more comfortable position, unfortunately, the dimensions they are looking for are beyond the original design that was more of a goose neck, high and slightly desireing more short and tight bend radius.

That being the case, there are a few tricks you can try to coax the tubing into stretching without collapsing; packed sand in the welded shut tube, cerro-bend (a low melting point alloy), ice, etc...

After 10 hours of effort, this was the result Monday...

Yep, lots of ruined tubing. Figure I went through at least 16 feet of moly trying different methods. I didn't even try the Ti that I had waiting for me. So, I'll be contacting a few folks to see if they are willing to ante up for some CNC mandrel bending work.

Tuesday, I wiped off a few extra pieces from the "special" needs list...a one piece stem/bar combo, a custom sweep Luv, and a traditional shape LD. All ready for powder...yeah!
Thursday I began tackling two more resto projects...both Yo's that need work and new colors. This was a Yo that Roy had sent me that had a large solid rod frozen into the seat tube. It's been soaking with penetrating oil for about 6 months. Even with a large 4' breaker bar and vice the dog gone thing would not budge. Hated to do it, but 2 minutes with the torch and it came right out. Sometimes ya just gotta go with your gut and light that thing up ;)

(for those with queasy stomachs, it's just the paint that charred, she'll be pretty again soon)

Thursday I painted up some more forks...another Aqua Fade, three more silver metallics, and prepped a custom stem and fork for some grello powder...
Friday began our three day work-a-palooza...the Big Valley Race and expo at Camp Manatoc in the Cuyahoga National Valley. This event, promoted by 331 productions (who also run the Groovy/Knob series), have the honor of running the only legal mountain bike riding and race allowed in the park. This once a year honor is cherished by the regional cycling community and I was honored to be asked to be part of it.
Friday was set up day...we set up the course, start/finish area, kids races, expo area, and all the signage and banners. Highlight of the day was moving a large ICE one had a truck so on top of the Volvo it went for it's trip up the field to the race headquarters pavilion. Is there anything a Volvo CAN'T do? I didn't think so :)

The freezer was a great coup, as we used it to chill some of the 50 cases of Monster energy drink we had for the race...
I ran back to Woo, worked a 12 hour night shift at the fire department, then left again at 0700 for the expo day... We set up the Groovy booth with lots of cool stuff, demos for folks to ride, and enjoyed chatting with folks next to the funky toons of DJ Madnote next door. We had over 1000 folks at the expo and 500 registered riders who took advantage of this once a year opportunity. The kids, both big and small, had a blast with a bike limbo contest, bunny hop contest, a no-foot down ride, and finally a Huffy toss. With only 2 hours sleep in almost 40 hours, I was totally baked by the end of the night.
Sunday we started off early again before the sun rose to prepare for the race.
203 riders came out and battled it out in the morning mist to a ripping course and gracious volunteer crew.
Kalten took 1st place in the under 18 novice group in his third ever race with a lap time of 50 minutes and finished 4th overall, he didn't shut up the rest of the day he was so jazzed. Not too shabby for running a single speed on a very fast course. I told him that next year, he'll have to sack up and ride Sport class as it will be his second season racing ;)
Jeff had a great race as well, taking 3rd in the Expert class on his 29er single speed. Despite his incredible climbing, Dave and Steve took about a minute a lap out of him on the fast rolling/flat sections where a single speed just spins out. Jeff is hankering for some gears next year so he can keep those two in sight, or better yet, out of sight behind him. Go Jeff!

Catching up on communications today...hope to hear from y'all soon.


rmb said...

Yikes, with all that going on and I'm bugging you on the phone. Get some sleep, I feel run down just reading about your schedule.

DougM said...

I think I have said it before, but I have no idea how you do it. Your commitment to cycling is outstanding.

Steve Twining said...

I have no doubt that Jeff is coming. I have a blast racing him. He provides an intimdating stature to see chasing you. I don't get how a boy that big, goes up hills like that!! I have been on him to get a cross bike for the upcoming season. An engine like that will lay waste to the cross scene!