Friday, October 31, 2008

Twenty4 Twenty5 Forest

First day moving in. You can only fit so much in a MINI, but at least it's quick for repeat trips.
Abby and her mom on the back patio for a nice summer evening.
Some sort of amazing flowering plant in the front yard. Was in full bloom when we moved in.
My favorite spot. The sun room. Decorating fun.
Fall evening and lots of fallen leaves.

Bikes Belong Photo Shoot

This week Avery and I have been hard at work capturing some bicycling images for Bikes Belong. We've been enlisting a variety of friends as models and taking advantage of the last days of Boulder foliage. Here are some of my favorites.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Don't forget to vote!

We're almost there, and the Obama campaign has been showing their sense of humor encouraging people to vote. Here's my favorite.

School of Cross

Last night I headed out with Mike and Kate for a little pre-Boulder Cup cross skills clinic. Being that Mike and I represent some serious talent potential in the cross world we couldn't have accomplished this in the regularly scheduled practice sessions as our cover would have been totally blown. So it was just me, Mike and our Jedi master coach Kate. And our intrepid cameraman Alex to document it all. Here's some material.

And here's a little vid of me getting seriously stylie through the barriers.

A Day Turned Around

After this morning's wheel destroying shenanigans things could only get better. Ubikes on Pearl Street was having a mellow day so I got their undivided attention figuring out a solution for the mangled wheel. Six hours later I was at Elk's club laying down laps with Kate and Mike in preparation for this weekends races. The XLite front wheel had been saved. A couple hours of riding and a few coin style Margs later, a day which started out crap ended up great. Did I mention it was 80 and sunny and it's October 29?!

Bigfoot Strikes Again

Its been a bad week for the bike fleet at 2425 Forest. Mechanical mayhem seems to strike in waves (especially when you're pushing 220) and I'm dreading what could come next. To start things off I was practicing my Graham O'bree superman slickrock ascending technique in Bartlett Wash last week when the SRAM X9 rear derailleur on my Nomad succumbed to the torque at play and committed suicide by twisting into the expensive aluminum spokes of my Crossmax XL. It ended up wrenched sideways and pointing straight up, taking with it the lives of three spokes. We bent it into shape to ride home and I hiked the rest of the weekend.

Today on the way to work I was all jazzed up to be riding my shiny white cross bike with Mike Dahl later. As I sprinted out of the saddle up the 13th street hill my left foot came unclipped from the spd and roundhouse kicked into the spinning front wheel. Being that its a lightweight Bontragor Race X Lite with like 16 spokes or something silly like that, the bike was instantly rendered useless. Cue walking the second half of my commute in riding shoes.

My bike part shopping list is looking intimidating...

The latest in a long line of awesomeness: Nissan's 370Z

I've had a soft spot for the Nissan Z ever since I began learning to drive a stick in a orange 240Z. My dad also had a 300Z that he tricked out over time, and that I got to drive from Grenoble, France to Monaco for the F1 race and back. Needless to say it was amazing and a driving experience which has yet to be rivaled. Here's a shot of it basking in the Monagasque harbour.

The current 350Z was a fitting comeback to a storied line of cars and remains a class leader late into its model life. Nissan has been in the news a lot recently with their launch of the GTR supercar and it looks like they'll remain there with a car that is a lot more relevant to all of us, the 370Z. I've seen a few spy shots here and there, but today Autoblog published three official shots of what the car will really look like. I think you'll agree that they've got a winner on their hands. Far more of a classic beautiful sports car look than its big brother GTR which looks a bit like a stealth fighter transformer.

Diverse conditions on I-70

Last week we headed out to Moab and the drive there was a lesson in drastically changing weather conditions

Heading up Eisenhower, near Idaho Springs. The the snow worsened in Summit country showing that the plows were truly still on their summer vacation. By Grand Junction things were better and we didn't see another cloud for days.

I bought a Gary Fisher Rig from my friends a University Bicycles a while back on a whim. I'd wanted to get a hardtail for a while, was intrigued by the singlespeed formula, and knew i wanted 29 inch wheels. The bike was too a good a deal for me to resist, and since I usually have to wrangle through lots of deal-snagging when I get a new bike, the prospect of an instant gratification, buy it off the showroom floor deal was even better.
I knew that if I liked the bike I'd probably replace the from with something a bit more bespoke at some point down the line. It turns out I loved the bike, the simplicity of it, the efficiency of motion from a hard tail, the incredible sense of accomplishment that comes from conquering a hill with only one gear, it was awesome. So this past spring I finally pulled the trigger and ordered up a Spot hardtail complete with custom paint from Spectrum powder coating. The plan was also to go belt drive when they became available. I used classic Ferrari F1 cars as my inspiration for the bike and three or so months later when the frame was delivered to my office I was ecstatic.
I wasted no time in swapping all my parts off the Gary Fisher and building up the ss hardtail of my dreams. Only problem was the handling. The suppleness of a handmade steel frame blew me away compared to the aluminum I was used to; it felt like an extra inch of suspension had suddenly been added.
Unfortunately the front end was all at sea. As my friend Josh Ray would suggest, I was perched for disaster and unsure what to do. Later this summer I added the belt drive to the equation, and, while undoubtedly cool and functional, it also proved to be a challenge to get all my old parts to work.
Solutions were of course to be found in new parts. Spot graciously gave me a screaming deal on a Manitou Minute 29er with 100mm of travel and a larger offset than the Rock Shox Reba I had and this totally and completely fixed the handling. Meanwhile they also loaned me a new back wheel complete with Chris King hub held together with 'funbolts.' The bikes is now officially bad ass.
If your in the market for a hot rod hardtail, road or cross bike, give Spot a call and be sure to spend the extra cash to get the paintjob of your dreams. You'll thank me every time you walk into the garage and it yells out at you for a ride.
Next up for me on this project is a new wheelset so I can return the borrowed rear to Spot. I've got a pair of Chris King hubs coming in their delicious new brown anodized color that I'm lacing up to Velocity Blunt rims. Should be bling. I'll post pictures when they arrive.

A first post

I've finally signed up for a blog of my own to complement my contributions to Suitcase of Courage and with more regularly updated content about my adventures through the world. Here are some pics from the past week spending time at home in Moab.