Monday, September 27, 2010

Bent, broken, and screwed back together

So, what have you been doing for the past five weeks? Me? Not a thing, just sitting, sitting sitting. You see, I was smacked by an SUV last month and besides crunching my Tour Divide bike, I ended up with a broken tibia and surgery to get my first titanium upgrade!
I guess these repairs are pretty fragile at first because the doc says no weight on that leg for 6-8 weeks. We're coming up on week 6 now...fingers crossed that I finally get to walk again.
Some pics for ya- the first one is after getting stiches in my knee on the day of the accident, maybe a little swollen? I had to wait a week before surgery because it was so puffed up. Second pic shows the screws. For what these cost you'd think he could've installed these a little straighter.
I guess surgeons aren't used to working to the tight tolerances we framebuilders are!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


A few pics of my take on a classic rando bike ie, a touring-type of bike built with speed and agility in mind. In other words, a bike that handles/feels like a racer that can also carry a load, fit fenders, AND go anywhere tires (45c's in this case). It's the only kind of road bike that makes my opinion.
Classic lines, lugs, and lightwieght oversize True Temper OXPLAT tubes used on this one. There's a whole lot of little things going on with this frame that really added to the fabrication time, but I'm really happy with the result.
Custom front rack with a high rake/low trail fork to keep the handling snappy when loaded. Pacenti crown and Paragon brake studs.
Note the integrated fender support and light mount.
Painted in "Park Tool" blue and cream.

Modified Paragon dropouts. A blurry pic, but I included it because I like the lines so much.

You need a cable hanger, so I made one in the classic rando style...just because.

It got away from me before I could get pics with the decals and custom rear rack. Hopefully I'll get some pics of it built up soon.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

TD Pics

I had ben wishing I'd taken more pics in Canada, but lately I've been coming across a bunch that were taken by other folks. These are from Kent Peterson's (Mountain Turtle) Picasweb album.

Here's a good shot of my bike in race mode minus water felt as light as it looks, by far the best mtb I've ever ridden (how's that for egotistical)! I've had a lot of emails about my setup, so here ya go:

Here we are minutes before the start. It looks like Kent caught me staring dramatically into the distance while Jeff cries (you can tell because his mascera is running) at the thought of having to leave the Banff YWCA.

Jeff's custom Matthews TD racer ready to rock!

Current build pics soon- I promise!

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Tour Divide (sigh) DNF

Well, I'm back, actually I've been back for five days limping round the house. My race ended way too soon!

Only 3 days and went something like this:

For some reason, I felt crappy the first day and fell short of my mileage goal with only 110. Holed up with three other racers in the Elkford Hotel and listened to the house band in the bar until the wee hours of the morning. No, I wasn't in the bar, you could hear the band throughout the entire building!

Day 2 was better, spent the entire time with wet feet from the many river crossings, but the riding went fine until I was at the bottom of Cabin Pass ready to camp and I looked down to see my GPS SPOT tracker was gone. CRAP! I had to turn around, ride back up the pass hoping I would find it and ended up camping on the side of the road when it was too dark to go on.

Day3 woke up covered in frost and got going early to find the tracker. Found it after another 3-4 miles, flew down the pass and spent the next 20 miles looking for the right turn to get back into the race. The cue sheets we had did a very poor job of describing the turn and coupled with the fact that my mileage was off from the extra searching meant I did almost 50 miles of extra riding....oh well. Finally back on track around noon and feeling my legs were really starting to come around when I felt/heard my ankle pop as I twisted it trying to hike a wall of mud and tree roots while dragging along the bike. It hurt quite a bit when I was able to start riding again, but I think I did the real damage on the next pass where we had to do two miles of on/off postholing through snow. I one-legged it across the border and into Eureka, MT.

Day 4- I couldn't put any real pressure on the pedals with my left foot.....race over. Luckily, my riding partner Jeff Kerby had had enough of divide racing (he's done a total of 31 days) and along with Jim from Phoenix, we were able to put together a good exit strategy and we were all in AZ by that night. Jeff and I spent the night in the PHX airport and got back to Albuquerque the next day.

X rays confirmed nothing was broken, Doc said it's just a good sprain of the deltoid ligament, so it's just resting/recovering for me for awhile.

Trip Highlights:

-Meeting all the cool racers.

-Finding out Canadians really do say "eh" all the time.

-Rooming with Jeff Boatman of Carousel Design Works I made racks for my bike, but his bags are the better way to go for sure.

-Racing a moose for 100 yards down the back of Cabin pass.

-Sleeping at the top of said pass with just a bag, tarp, and an inquisitive squirrel.

-Scaring the scat out of a grizzly with my howling, snow covered brakes.

-Trying to figure out how to ship out the bike and running into fellow framebuilder Chris Boedecker of Bodie Cycles thanks for the help Chris!

-The bike working perfectly along with all the endurance tweaks I made to the design meant my hands, feet, knees, and butt felt great the whole time.


-The injury, of course.

-Losing the flippin tracker!

-And....nothing else- it's the greatest race there is!

Will I do it again? I think everyone that gets forced out of the race from an injury wants to finish the thing. I do too, but I think I might have to put that idea on hold for awhile. Doing the race is a monumental thing, but it also requires you to be monmentally selfish about your time bacause of all the effort you have to devote to the Tour Divide. This was really driven home to me by my 7 year old son who asked "Why can't you wait until I'm big enough to go with you?" If you're a dad, you know how much hearing something like that hurts. It stayed with me the whole time I was out there and I promised myself I wouldn't take time aways from my boys like that again.

Finally, I would like to think my wonderful wife Kaua and our friends/family for all their great support. Sorry I didn't put up a better result, but it was amazing while it lasted!

Lets get back to building bikes....

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Time to Race

The race bike and a few last second pics before it goes into the box to make the trip to Banff.

Wow, the Tour Divide is finally here. All the research, the equipment prep, all the 3am training of it comes together this Friday at 9am in Banff, Canada. I'm leaving today, so there won't be any more posts until I (hopefully) get back. Assuming I don't get eaten by a bear, I'll have lots to share then. Follow the carnage at

Friday, June 4, 2010

One more week till the "Grand Departe"

Yup, one more week until the Tour Divide starts. I've been insanely busy trying to get everything built before I'm gone for a month's worth of racing. I've built five bikes in the last month and I'll try to get them all posted before I go.
Let's start with these two, the "Wonder Twins". They are for a cool local shop- Fixed and Free( and are a unique offering for the fixed gear world. Basically, they are designed to ride like a quality road bike, handle like a fixie should, AND still be able to do those crazy tricks (like barspins) the kids like to do these days. And oh yeah, they have to look cool too! They will be displyed unpainted giving the rider the final choices for braze-ons, brake configuration, and color.
I liked these two so much it's a good thing they are both 54's and are way too small for me! Smooth bottom bracket fillets-

Fastback seat cluster with a glimpse of the shop logo.

More fillets-

Still more fillets!

Dropouts that perform all the essential functions.

Next up- the Tour Divide race bike.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Miles: 316 Ride Time: 23hrs 16min

Just back in from TX with the big ride report. Verdict? Overall, I ran better than I hoped and I'm feeling that my race training is on the right track.
Sorry, no pictures to show as my camera is too bulky and I didn't want any extra weight to carry. But the ride went something like this:

Day 1- Belen to Ft Sumner 164 miles in 12 hrs (including the stops)
This part of the route is rolling the entire way, very few flat roads. Slow start due to 30 degree weather and some extended climbimg, but one I was free of Mountainair (first town at 42 miles) and all the recent snowfall, things warmed up nicely. Picked up a bit of a tailwind for the last 50 miles which was nice as there were big rollers the entire way. Didn't get my tarp tent in time so I stayed at a motel. Slept like a rock!

Day 2- Ft Sumner to Levelland, TX 152miles 11hrs 16min
Getting going again in the morning was probably to best Tour Divide prep I've had so far as it was very, VERY HARD to drag myself out of bed to face another 150+ miles. Despite the aches and pains though, once I got on the bike, all was great. The day started with a steady 2 mile climb out of Ft Sumner and, to my suprise, I rode it like I was going downhill! A steady cruise for 40 miles to Melrose NM, and breakfast and I locked into a nice rythm for the rest of the trip. Most of the going was pretty is West TX afterall. The only downside was that I had a headwind most of the day and that slowed me down a bit.
Still, I finished strong with the highlight of the trip coming at about 3 miles to go- all my nieces and nephews were standing by the road to cheer me to the finish! Very cool.

That many miles in that short of a time has given me a few things to work on for the race. While the legs were fine, my hands and feet were really feeling it by the end. Fixes for the race will include gloves with padding, higher bars with more hand positions, and new shoes.
Going to try try to get 100 in tomorrow with the early am/late pm rides.....and oh yeah, maybe some real framebuilding!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Let's do the time warp again...

....and get back to January! I can't believe how fast the time goes when you're spread between kids, the day job, coaching, training for the biggest race ever, and-of course- building bikes. The blog definitely suffers this time of year. But still, 3 months have gone by with no update...sorry about that , Chief.
A few builds have gone out the door and one cool Rando bike is in progress- pics to come soon.

So, what's "the biggest race ever?, the Tour Divide, baby! 2700 miles of mountainbike racing from Canada to Mexico. This has been one of those things I've always wanted to do and I figured the sooner the better. I'm really looking forward to this, but damn, it's a lot of prep! I'll have to average at least 125 miles a day to get a decent finish of 22 days, and there is a lot that has to go right for me to even be in a position to make it happen. Towards that end, I'll be leaving on a training ride tomorrow morning- from here to Levelland TX, about 315 miles. This will be a good gear shakedown and test of the body. The goal is to finish in two days, weather and hobo encounters permitting.
I'll let you know how it goes.