Thursday, October 28, 2010

Recumbant Trike?

Yep, spent about 4 hours putting one of these together today for an old riding buddy from the Stark County Bicycle Club...

Darn things are like a Chinese puzzle at times :)

3x9 with a SRAM 3 speed internal rear hub, Magura disc brakes, 5 couplers, and miles of chain.  Had to roll it out the overhead door once assembled as it was too wide/long to manipulate out the shop door.  You can get rolling pretty quick, but don't plan on doing many quick U turns ;)

Worst part was the fairing...ughh, lots of little pieces to adjust with little anticipated effect.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Meet Larry...

Vicious Larry...26x3.8 of Fatty love. 

Next to a 29er Maxis Igniter for comparison.

A build headed for Nahbs 2011, more details later ;)

Yippee, I'm excited.


Fall wrap up...trailer party!

I'm in between a run of days at the fire department, but the 331 crew and I had time to tidy up the race trailer for the start of next season.

After the last Groovy/Neo race final, clean up extended into the wee hours of the morning and the trailer became more of a dump area than an organized race machine.  Grabbing what may be the last of the good weather Sunday afternoon, we set to task on tackling this mess...
EZ ups, banners, poles, tools, cases of Monster, and box after box of registration and computer equipment littered the space...all in need of a good tidy.

Four hours later, we had built some new storage, added racks, and sifted through 3 years worth of junk we've been hauling around from venue to venue.  Perhaps the crux of the night was winding up over 2000' of flagging that just got stuffed away after the Manatoc cross race.  The dogs didn't help, wrapping themselves up in it while playing...

Finally done...
We did take a quick break to entertain the kids; here's Big L on the street luge scooter.  Think he's having fun?  :)
Wrapping up the night with a bonfire and a few smores, yum...
One more day to go in the FD and then I'm back in the shop(s)...sending out bars/forks tomorrow, gearing up for Martin's bike toward the end of the week.



Friday, October 22, 2010


Well, I screwed up.  Working after dark on the new shop, I was moving the last of the 200+ pound rocks for the retaining wall I'm building.  In an effort to carry the large stone and place it in the wall, I misjudged the clearance I had to the rock next to it when I dropped it in place...

The end of my finger squished like a zit, with blood and tissue pushing out the end, the nail split in half vertically.  Can't tell if the bone is broken due to the swelling, we'll see.  Regardless, this morning with it wrapped like a mummy, I was able to weld up a few bars and shoot the final clear on Mikes fork.  I lost a bit of dexterity and ended up with a tiny run under the tear drop stress tab, but I think I can blend it out sufficiently before shipping.

I'll keep the after hours work to lighted areas from hence forth :)



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rasta Yo fork, take deux

Okie dokie, part two of the Rasta Yo fork.

Last time we tuned in, we had a disastrous chemical reaction with the mask adhesive etching into the first layer of clear.  A laborous strip and it was on to attempt number two.

This time the paint went on super nice, the rasta fades layed down pretty, and the first layer of clear with a dash of prismatic (basically, a crushed glass), so that she sparkles in the sun, is on.

Much better this time :)
a close up of the little guy, aint he a cutie?
I'll need to lay down two more coats of clear to smooth over the mask lines and the prismatic, then she'll be off to Mike Q for his vintage build.



Shop progress...

I took yesterday out of the frame shop to work on moving the new shop a bit more forward.

Since the last time we checked in, the plumbing is run, walls and ceilings insulated, and duct work for the ceilings in place. 

The ptex plumbing is so nice to run, no soldering, leaks, and easy to manipulate.  This wall contains the feeds for the utility sink, office bathroom, and the hot water heater...
Yesterday, we tackled hanging 12' sheets of drywall on the 14' high ceilings.  Got the ceilings hung and boy am I sore today...
In the shop today to finish up a few small projects.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Roy's Ti unicrown the scales!

I'm not a weight weenie, don't usually even care what the final weight of a bike or component turns out to be as long as it hits my performance parameters.  I did however, give in to pressure and buy a cheap Park scale to appease a few of my more critical customer's desires for final weights.

Just for fun, I installed the Chris King race and starnut on a Ti fork I recently completed for Roy's X frame build (a collaborative effort between Bill and I) and threw it on the scale for kicks.  This is a 100mm suspension corrected piece with hooded dropouts, disc brake, and my own spec'd Ti tubing from Titanium Joe.

The fork...
The weight... 820 grams or about 1.8 pounds for you Imperial folks
This is the last of what I would consider the "prototype" forks...I believe they are now dialed in and I am very happy with the performance.  Pretty darn light, just supple enough, and should last for miles of singletrack.

I also pushed through a project that's been lingering on the shelf for a looong time... Vernon owns the powder coating shop I do most of my powder work in.  He has 6 kids, can't afford a new bike for each of them, and wanted me to just go over this one for when his youngest son is old enough to fit on it.  Well, he's old enough now, but I just could not send back the beat, rattle canned bike that has been through five brothers and sisters already.

I had Kalten strip the bike, blast it, and spray and sand the layers of primer as an intro to resprays.  I then layed down a quick couple of coats of PPG Concept 2 Kawasaki green and some vinyl decals.  This'll be like a new bike for little Timmy.  Hopefully he'll feel like he's getting something spanky fresh instead of another hand me down :)

For what it's worth, I did not put this on the scale, as I could barely lift it up!  No wonder it's lasted this long ;)

See y'all tomorrow,


Funky flower Luv paint

Pic sequence for your amusement...


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Groovy/Neo Series Finale...

Wow, what an awesome event.

Saturday marked the final Groovy Series/NEO Power Series Event for 2010 and then end to an exciting, exhausting season. 

The weekend started for me on Friday morning at 0500 when I got into the shop and began making prizes for the series awards table; custom painted bars, bottle openers, etc...then it was off to Vulture's knob in the waning hours of the evening, to attend to the final maintenance items on the course punch list.  The trail is in the best shape ever, with over 6000.00 dollars and numerous hours of volunteer labor put back into the course this year, it is a shining example of how a privately owned property can be utilized for the benefit of the public.  After too few hours of sleep, I was back in the shop at 0430 for final clear coats and to get the items into the bake box so they would be ready for the race at 1500.

When the sun finally broke through the windows of the shop, the warm rays of light highlighted the fact that it was to be a special day.  Clear skies and temps in the 60's was more than we all could have hoped for for the day...we were truly blessed with both excellent weather and a supportive community, as participants began to arrive in droves.

The first event was the kid's races, offering free racing for children on a monitored course for ages 2 to 13.  Fifteen children came out and put their best effort on display, warming the hearts of the spectators and, of course, their parents. 

As a extra bonus, many of the kids wore costumes to celebrate the upcoming Halloween, here Boden the pumpkin rolls away from the start...
Flash Sommers heading toward the finish line...
Tate Amstutz showing Dad how to catch some air on the final run into the finish...
Excitement on the face of Tiera when she learns she won her class...
and the reason we have the kids races; the joy of participating in a sport that reaffirms that every racer is a winner...
Medals, goody bags, and cookies in hand, the kids left the podium area to settle in for the adult races, where mom and dad had an opportunity to play like a 10 year old for a couple of hours :)

A sea of color, 121 racers rolled to the start line for todays event...
The under 35 expert class took off like a shot, a dead heat of the eventual top five racing away from the line as one trail eating machine, leaving the rest of the expert field to vie for the leftovers...
Thirty seconds later, it was the 36 and up expert field.  One of the fun rules for this race; if you wore a costume, you received preferred start line status, moving ten feet ahead of the rest of the field.  Here, Carey came dressed with bandages, blood and scars, doing his best rendition of Jeff Pendelberry after a race ;) ... of course he was in the lead at the sound of the whistle.
It was a super fast course, evident by the average speed of the top experts; over 13 miles per hour for what could be considered by many the most technically demanding race course in Ohio.  In the end, Steve rose to the top of the podium just mere seconds ahead of Jeff.  Rounding out the top spots with stellar performances were Tim Carson, Ross Clark, and Kyle Spisak.

Our other Groovy riders did well, with Carey laying down the law just like an Amish Steven Segal and taking home the win on his favorite course.  Love the denim jacket dude...hope you made it yourself, I can't imagine paying for that  :)
Kalten did very well with a second place on his single speed (note: no podium picture of Kalten as he was treasonous and wore a Specialized shirt...BAD BOY!)

Another program that is a direct result of the generosity of our local mountain biking community is the "Bikes for Kids" program.  Larry Clouse heads up this charitable operation that provides mountain bikes, helmets, and locks for underprivileged children who would otherwise not have an opportunity to experience this sport.  Each race we are able to provide a bike, with over 12 bikes given away this season alone.  Private donations as well as a portion of each race entry feeds the program.  Thank you to all our racers for helping us provide for those less fortunate.

Larry and Matt from Jamis, getting ready to announce this race's recipient...

The lucky owner, hope to see her on the trails soon...

After giving away one bike, why not another.  That's right, it is time to choose the 2010 Groovy Cycles frame/fork/bar give away.  Each time a participant came out and raced, their name was entered into the drawing.  Additionally, those who helped at the three trail days received another entry for each day volunteered.  Grabbing an angelic "Vanna White" from the audience, she drew this years winner.

Doing our best Carnac the magnificent...who could it be?
Keith Feeman!  To look at his face, do you think he was surprised?

Keith will receive his frame kit the first race of the 2011 when all the Groovy awards will be presented.

On to the NEO Power series awards, the highlight of the night was the tie for first place.  Both Steve and Jeff ended up with 180 points, leaving us in a bit of a to resolve who gets the series championship.  There was only one solution, to arm wrestle for it Sylvester Stallone style.

Perched on the podium, hands locked in battle upon the first place stance, the two gave it all they had...
In the end, youth prevailed, with Jeff slowly crushing the last remnants of energy out of Steve.  Both were great sports.

As the evening wound down, we got silly and gave away loads of booty from our sponsors: Season and one day passes from Ray's indoor mountain bike park, race passes for 2011 from 331, cases of Monster, Kona bikes, marathon bars from Snickers, Edge outdoor gift certificates, Pizzas for a year from Pizza Pan, Chipotle burrito packs, Hammer product packs, shirts, bottles and SO MUCH MORE.  It was probably one of the largest prize tables I've seen, a testament to the growth of the sport.

Another lucky winner, Peter takes home a pack of 5 Ray's passes...oh yeah!
What a day!  Eighteen hours after my day started, we were done cleaning up and
ready to call it an end to the season.

Thanks so much to the guys at 331 (Kevin, Jay, Mike, Dusty) and their selfless families, all 408 individual racers who played with us this season, and to Christi for seeing me less than most inmates on a work release program.

A special thank you to the Groovy race team, Carey, Steve, Jeff and Kalten for a fantastic racing season..  I've been blessed to have a team I'd consider not only friends, but family.   

Can't get enough?  Want to see every detail of who won what?  Check out the picture albums at 331 Racing's facebook page, courtesey of Connie...!/photos.php?id=24889227892



Thursday, October 14, 2010

A quick hello...

Okay folks, jamming on, so just a quick how do ya do...

Christi is on vacation this week, so I've been single parenting and running both kids, working in the shop, getting ready for the final race Saturday, and trying to keep moving on the new shop as well. I've had to take some time saving steps, like mixing the "bleach whites" in with the "normal whites" in the laundry, so if you see a pic where my socks are not as brilliant as they could be, so be it...sacrifices must be made :)

I finished up two Ho forks, here's Todd's in the fixture for a final check before tacking...

I broke out a new hole saw, trued and turned it on the lathe.  The result of the prep work is super tight fittment...
They are all welded up and ready for paint, probably this afternoon along with about 28 bars I pushed out the last two days.  Mikey, Tim, and I snuck in a quick lap at the Knob to check out the final trail conditions and punch list before the race, coming home to the last rays of light...

Once back, it was off to school games, a quick supper, back to the shop for a hour while the kid's worked on homework, then home again.  The days have been tough on the kids...leaving the house at 0545 and not coming home again until after 2130 each night are taking their toll.  Twill be good to have Christi home again for everyone's sake.

I was able to do some work in the new shop in the late hours; getting some framing and wiring up for the paint booth/prep area and an early moring concrete pour with Gary and the guys...

The end of the daylight is creeping ever so earlier...winter is soon on it's way.