Thursday, September 9, 2010

hurry up, it's time to catch up

I knew it had been a while since I last updated the ol' blogeroo, but it wasn't until the guys at the fire department offered their condolenses in the death of my computer guru that I realized just how long it had been.  Sorry folks, when things get crazy busy, the blog is the first to suffer.

Anyhoo, lots has transpired since we last sat down to chat.

My poor laptop suffered a McAfee security snafu that took a week to resolve, and the desktop server needed some attention to maintain my PCI compliance.  I'm amazed that devices that are suppose to make our lives easier can suck so much love out of life.  Thanks to Super James for the consult and house call to make everything cheery again.

zzzzaaap...the last seat stay is mitered...

I finished up Chad's Ti frame in fabrication and it is being annodized before heading back to me and into the paint booth.  If all works as planned, it will be a mix of polished Ti, anno'd Ti, and liquid paint to create a truly unique tribute to Chad's favorite Texas institute of education.

I prepped a set of Hot Rods for a little aqua fade paint to match Jared's frame and fork;  I'll be spraying it up next week with Don's Yo frame...
The shop construction is coming along...three tough days saw 30 ton of gravel shoveled and wheelbarrowed into the building and two days of pouring concrete.  The gravel left me feeling like an old, out of shape, broken man (ughh...wait a minute, I am) but thankfully, the concrete went really smooth.  The steel roofing is on, all the windows and man doors installed, and I'm gearing up to start the wiring while I wait for the concrete board siding to arrive.

Here is the early morning update pic of the shop...

and the view from the shop at sunset...

I can't wait to begin moving in around the November target date.  Working downtown all these years has begun to take it's toll; if one more homeless dude walks in the shop asking for a smoke I think I'll light them up with the oxy kit.  Seriously.

On the race promotion front, we had the biggest event of the summer last weekend; the Big Valley Race at Camp Manatoc in Peninsula.  The 331 crew really went above and beyond getting ready for this event; prepping trail we only get access to once a year, setting up for the Saturday festival with demos from Specialized, Jamis, and Mountain Road Cycles, working with Xterra and Lake Effect to put on a half marathon trail run and cross races, multiple kid's races, milk crate stacking competitions, and cross country races for over 200 participants from 5 states...whew!

I had the pleasure of manning the crate stacking for almost 6 hours on Saturday...here Kalten is demonstrating the process of stacking a crate, climbing up, teetering carefully, then repeating the process.  Yep, that's 16 crates he's rocking right now.

The Groovy guys did very well over the weekend, starting with Steve on Saturday.  Lining up for the pro/expert cross race on his Bigwheel 29er next to Jamis Pro Blake, who flew in to compete for the weekend, I worried that the hardcore crossers would eat up the course.  It was not to be, as Steve rode away from everyone with a smile and nary a whisp of pain on his face.  Erin and the kids had a front row seat in cheering on Dad and he was fueled by their enthusiasm, ending the day with a big "W".


Sunday morning Kalten, Jeff, Cary, and Steve rolled up to the start line for the cross country race.  The course is a killer...it is not very technical, but rolls smoothly and drives you to push at your upper limit.  With nearly 28 miles of racing, the course is merciless for those that start too hard.  Steve and Jeff pummeled each other at the front of the pro/expert under 35 field, with each suffering from cramps and tightness by the end of the second lap.  Ultimately, Jeff's fresh legs prevailed, with Steve taking second.  I'm proud of both of them; Jeff for finishing a race with all of his blood still in his body, and Steve for hunkering down and performing so well over two days of hard effort.  Cary, in the slightly older than 35 but still not in need of Depends category, engaged in a battle royal with John Lorson from Soupcan racing, with John taking him on the final climb to the finish.  Cary cruised through in style with a second for his effort, a marked improvement from his placing last year, witness to the work he's put in this year.

Race day morning...sunrise on the road to Manatoc
 Kalten had a bitter sweet day; forced to get up and travel to Manatoc at 0530 am with me, he was low on sleep, low on fuel (I forgot to bring him food as I was focused on what I needed to take for the race, oops) and had some issues with his chain on the trail.  Trying to make up time from the mechanical, he crashed hard on a downhill.  Fully frustrated, he figured the race was over for him.  When he rolled up on Julie Sroka, who was also having chain issues, he decided to stop and help out.  Riding out the rest of the course at a leisurely pace, he suddenly found himself passing one rider in his age group, then another..."crap, I'm still in this race!"  Picking the pace back up, he ended up crossing the line in 3rd.  Lesson learned...always keep racing, you never know what is happening in front of you.

Labor day, I took a day off from the Fire Department and the shop.  It wasn't all my idea...5 months have elasped since we moved into the new digs, and Christi is done waiting for me to build out the closets, hang towel bars, vanities, etc...  Honestly, I have not had much of a problem just working my way through the pile of clothes on the floor, but Christi desired something a bit more organized.  I could either give her a day to get this stuff done or I could choose to sleep in the shop for the rest of the year.  Hmmmm, gotta admit, my bed at home is a lot more comfortable.  So I took Monday and attended to half of the "honey do's"...

Christi's new closet I built up...
Finally, I ran over to Canton to attend a wedding for some close friends daughter who I first met on a ride when she was running around in diapers.  While in town, I snapped a pic of this awesome 1920's era piece of iron...
Anybody care to hazard a guess as to what it is used for?

Whew...that's enough for now.  Working with Tony on the final details for his 650b single speed build and for Sue's road bike.

cheers,

rody

6 comments:

Qajaq Man said...

It's definitely some type of product wrapping or bagging machine that's discharge chute empties into a box on a scale for counting said wrapped product. That's my guess. Do I win a cookie? =)

Garrett said...

Congrats to all the racers.
That looks like some kind of wrapping machine.

laffeaux said...

Hot Rod cranks! Does that mean that they're finally in production? Or are these an older set?

dRjON said...

are those new hot rods?

Rody said...

Eric and drjon,

After a few important design changes, all the cranks are finally done in production form. Spiders are out for anno and my customers will be getting these soon...HOORAY!

Scott said...

Price, specs, options, availability?