Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sneak Peak

Here you go. Sanding tomorrow, staining through the weekend, Frostbike, then all back together Monday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm glad I drive a race car.

Alright, so the Civic hardly counts as a race car, but it does handle beautifully. This was tested to that max this morning when I had to maneuver rather quickly to miss two deer that ran out in front of me. Luckily I had a clear road in front of me and behind, so I had choices of where to go. I have to say, mountain biking has helped me develop techniques for cornering and braking that are completely applicable to driving. Be it on my motorcycle or in the car, the basics are the same. Tires like to do one thing at a time. Brake, then turn, and it makes a huge difference. I didn't hit the deer. I was able to brake to slow, then turn into the opposite lane to get between them. It was kind of fun! Don't get me wrong, I would have hated to hit them, but it was a rush. Like riding my motorcycle, my father stressed practicing hard stopping and avoidance turning when I was learning how to drive. It's something I like to practice, be it bike, motorcycle, or cars. That practice sure paid divdends this morning. Take care, and drive safe.

Monday, February 09, 2009


Well no running today. I've been up since the wee hours this morning with a killer headache and a bit of a fever. I'm currently on my third liter of jasmine tea from my Wurzburger hofbrau stein and I'm feeling much better. It's been one of those days though. I had hoped to get a good long, slow ride in today, but the weather was downright Denmark out, 38F and steady rain. Should make good for clearing the roads of sand and salt though. The sun did come out this afternoon for a while, which was really nice.

I don't feel bad enough to be bed bound, but doing much other than laundry and watching movies has not been in the cards. It's been a good mixed day of movie genres. I started the morning with the classic Clint film, "Hang 'em High," followed by an inspiring showing of "Klunkerz." Currently the "A New Hope" is rounding out the afternoon. Not a bad day, but I could think of a ton of other stuff I'd rather be doing.

All in all though it hasn't been a bad day. I've been catching up on laundry, I unclogged a drain, and cleaned the kitchen. It was my day off anyway, and with the weather I didn't miss much outside of the house, but chores would have been a bit more pleasant without my eyes wanting to come out of my head.

Oh well. A big day at the shop tomorrow, I need to start packing all the tools from the wall in preparation for sanding the floor this week. Prepping for the job has taken on a whole new level of work, as my three friends now are not going to be around to help. Two of them have taken jobs out of state and Brandon landed the big one. He is currently working at a paid internship for NASA at their Ames Research Center in CA. He's working under the scientist who is responsible for the worlds largest wind tunnel. I always thought he should end up at NASA. Looks like his hovercraft building ways have landed him in the right spot! Google Earth Ames Research Center, it's pretty damn cool! He called me the other day from the driving range the other day, reporting a calm 65 deg and sunny. Oh well, it's coming soon enough here.

All for now, have a good week all!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

40 deg!

It's a warm one here in Faribault. The high today is supposed to be in the lower 40's. This is the beginning of the end for winter in my mind. I know that March is MN's snowiest month, but this is the start. Even if we get another month of winter this batch of spring will be getting people thinking about summer at the very least. One of my favorite tells of spring is when the local bmx kids start showing up. The last few days have brought them out in force. It's great to see, and definately a boost to morale.

Yesterday brought a big vote of confidence to my workout routine as well. Thursday night Meg and I went out with some friends to take a salsa dancing class. The class went great, and was a lot of fun. This was followed up with a less than healthy night of indian food and after dinner libations. To make up for that, I figured I'd go for broke at the gym the next morning. I started out on the treadmill at a nice 10 minute mile pace. I figured I'd just run until it hurt. Previous to this I had been running about 3 miles without to much trouble. Well 3 miles came, then four, then five, and finally I stopped at 6! I was really happy with that. I hadn't even gotten so much as a sideache. I really like the routine I've been settling into, and I have so much more energy during the day afterwards. Especially with the warm weather and sun for encouragement, I'm feel well on my way to spring form.

There is some fun stuff coming into the shop for spring as well. The first set of three Industry Nine wheelsets have gotten here, with the rest to follow soon. I am also expecting my Industry Nine traditional rear hub to complete the wheelset for my all round bike soon. A order has been placed with our new custom Ti fabricator for what should be my all around dream bike. The bike will be a stunning example of classic mtb form, function, and class. No details now, but the builder is one of the best out there. I will say more about this in a detailed post later, but this should bring a whole element back back to the shop that has been missing for a long time. If anyone is interested in a custom Ti bike in the mean time, give me ring at the shop and we can discuss what we have going on.

I also head from my goodfriend Marty Larson of the Prairie Peddler yesterday. He's got some huge plans in the works that will really be special. Check out his blog religiously for the next few days for the official news!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Stepping up to the Supermoto!

I have been a fan of big brakes for ever. By this I mean that I like brakes that I can reasonably control with one finger. It's not that I'm a masher, I just like fine control. I've used Avid BB7's for almost exclusively since 2003. I love the simplicity, ease of adjustment, and power. The slightly heavier weight has never been an issue for me. The major thing I can complain about is the quality and design of the rotors. Since Avid switched to the Roundagon design I have never been happy with their performance. They squeal, they lack in power, and they just generally were a step in the wrong direction in terms of looks and performance in my opinion.

I have posted before about the new rotors JB Importers is carrying from a company called Ashima. The rotors are light, look great, and I've found them to be a serious upgrade over the standard Avids. Oh, and they cost about $16 MSRP. Yep, they pretty much rock. I've not been happy with the braking performance on my geared Rawland since I put it together. Even with aftermarket cables and housing, they were not working up to the standards I have gotten used too. After today, that shouldn't be an issue anymore.

I got in a set of Ashima rotors for it. I upped the disc size to a 180 mm in the front, and re did the cable to the rear. It is a socking difference, even without the rotors properly broken in. They should provide plenty of power for the offroading, light touring, after hours cruising and whatever gravel burning I could run into. Oh, and they look good, really good. This will be the set up for my new 2009 Rawland SS, which should be a knock out of a bike. No more hints at that though, it'll be here soon enough.

I've also had a heck of a time getting the XTR deraillieur set up properly on this bike. Whatever I did, it's just never been quite right. All of you that are mechanics know how annoying seemingly small things are. Brakes are my number one annoyance, followed quickly by shifting issues. Especially when I'm used to riding SS bikes 75% of the time, it's a big deal. I looked through the boneyard and came upstairs with a nice older Ultegra mid cage 9spd der. 5 min later, problems solved. It's all ready for the weekend. I'm thinking a nice hill ride out to Sogn Valley is in order, should be great with temps in the high 30's to low 40's!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Go Time

I've officially decided to consider my winter hibernation over. It's now time to work up to getting back down to fighting weight after taking a nice winter off drinking beer and sleeping in. I've never been able to bike comfortably in real winter weather, but change is coming. The weather is starting to turn, and I hope to be on the road this weekend. We're suppose to be seeing temps in the high 30's to early 40's. That may seem pretty damn chilly for those of you located in warmer climes, but it's positively balmy by MN standards.

Since it is still too cold out for comfortable longer rides, (I have asthma that pretty much sucks,) I've been spending some time on the treadmill at the gym. I have to say that running is a little easier than I thought it would be. I know that running on a treadmill is not really running, but it's a pretty effective way of getting a little leaner before spring. I'd also like to actually do some CX races this fall, so at least getting used to running is a good thing I think.

Other than that, not much is going on. There's a Jones H bar swap to finish up, a set of shifters to install, and All shop work has pretty much stopped, as we can't go any further without revamping the wood floor. That should start in the middle of this next week, then it's all go from there.