Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Surly's new Mr Whirly cranks came in for the new 29er yesterday. Along with a 30t Surly ring, chain ring guard from Spot, and a White trials freewheel, it should make for a smooth running, bullet proof drive train.

We got a few inches of snow last night that is already almost gone. With temps suppose to be in the low 40's through the week, spring is on the way. Not much else going on today, time to get back to it. Cheers.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Contrasting Ideals.

I had a bit of time before work this morning and got a short ride in before the clouds rolled in. Nothing too epic, just about 15 miles, but it was good to be moving. The wind was from the west, bringing with it a large cloud bank. This made for a gorgeous backdrop for the bright sunlight from the east. Everything looks better in light like this, it was truly a beautiful morning.

The loop I rode is a pretty simple one, just an out and back square with some nicely spaced hills. Given my lack of conditioning, it was enough to get the heart rate up just in time to cool down with a good cup of coffee. One of Northfield's two windmills is out on this road. It is probably one of the most beautiful industrial machines I've ever seen. It's long, graceful white arms were silhouetted perfectly against the dark blue-gray of the clouds behind it. Definitely something good and calming to think about, as you can see it all along the route. As I said, Northfield is home to two of these. Carlton College owns this one, and St Olaf College owns the other. Both of these supply almost all of the power necessary for the entire colleges, and are a testament to what can be done looking toward a sustainable future.

As my ride come to an end at the edge of town, I passed this. It marked the sharp contrast that I see in American culture right now. This is about half a mile down the road from the windmill. Look at the house compared to the full size van in front of it, and yes, that is a full 4 plus stall garage! It was like a mental slap in the face to the good, happy thoughts I was having about the current state of things. It served as a reminder that while popular opinion is changing slowly, it still has a long way to go.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but damn, think about it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

50 again?

The weather is being unseasonably warm in Faribault again. The temps may not get as warm as they did on Monday, but it feels like it could. The snow and ice are melting quite nicely, making me really glad for the fenders I recently put on the town bike. I hope to take a little break at lunch and get a quick spin down to the Straight River for a bit of a picnic lunch.

Meg and I are off to Moline this weekend for her aunt's wedding. No bikes unfortunately, but it should be a good trip none the less. We are driving down with her father, and it promises to be a nice relaxing trip. I have yet to meet most of the people that we'll see, and I am really looking forward to it.

Couplers came from S and S today, and Mike is ready to start on the frame. It's pretty simple, and I hope to have it up and done in 3 weeks or so. That should put it in the time when the trails around here will be ready to ride. I am waiting on the fork for the bike as well, but that may take quite a bit longer. I will sub a Reba in in the mean time.

Last night was another great night of poker with the guys. We play in a friend's building in downtown Northfield, which has a great view of the town square and the river dam. No too much luck last night as far as winning, but a good time none the less.

Projects up for today, are a few tune ups, boxing and shipping two bikes and some parts, and getting a good mid afternoon lunch. Cheers.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

On your mark...

It's been another busy week. The spring tune up rush is upon us. It's 35 deg out and sunny, with tomorrow suppose to be in the 40's! Along with the high temps early this week, we are suppose to be getting a bit of rain on Wednesday. Hopefully this will help to clear some of the salt off the roads. They have been pretty good and clear lately, with only small spots of ice left. the fenders are hardly necessary on the Monkey anymore, though once the melt starts to happen in earnest I'm sure they'll be paying dividends. The trails around here are starting to get to that unridable point of sloppy mud and glare ice. It'll have to be road and townie rides for a while now.

Work continues to progress on this year's spring projects. The 36er is at Pofahl's. Mike and I are fine tuning the designs for the updated truss fork and the yet unnamed other change. Mike is also working on a simple, classy travel bike for me, (hint, S and S.) It should be a good one. It's going to have more than one thing rather special about it, but I can't go into detail on that yet. The goal is to have a great riding bike without spending loads of money, combining that with an air understated elegance. It should be a good one.

We're also getting things in line for our July 4th Crit this year. The paperwork is filled out and in. I have to talk to the City of Northfield this week about closing the streets ad such. They know about the race and have signed off, of course, but there is a construction project planned that I need to follow up on. It will involve tearing up one major intersection of the course. I had talked to the city about that in January, and it was suppose to be put into the contract that that be finished before the 4th. I just want to be sure. A similar thing happened with the course last year where an intersection was paved just the day before the race! We had no clear route to change the course around it, and needless to say it caused us some stressful nights. All went well last year though, and we had more participants then every! We're all looking forward to a great race this year again.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

First Saturday of Spring

Well it's March 1st today and looks like it should be. It's a balmy 33 degrees and sunny today. Last night brought a lot of icy roads and bad conditions, but today is a different story. The shop's been really busy today, with many customers coming in out hibernation. Some came in to drop their bikes off for work, and some just to stop in and share in the celebration of the first signs of spring. Days like this really emphasize the communal feel that a bike shop can have, and it's awesome. It was great to see people moving and thinking about bikes again. Here's a pic from the Porkies last year, and here's to spring!