Tuesday, September 13, 2011

In with the new, out with the old

Lots of changes here at the House of Zen. While work is preventing me from getting in a lot of long rides this year, it hasn't prevented me from riding, or making some changes to the stable. My beloved 1990 Paramount has been sold to a local rider who fits the bike much better than I did. A bittersweet goodbye, but when a bike isn't right for you, you don't ride it, and all bikes deserve to be ridden rather than sit hanging unused in a garage.

New to the fleet is a 2011 Surly Big Dummy. I've been intrigued by the BD since it first came out a few years ago with it's sexy curved top tube. The new incarnation loses the fancy top tube, but is still a cool bike. I picked this up from a local rider as a frame/fork/vrack/freeloaders package. As is normal, what was planned to be a cheap quick build turned into something a little fancier as I got into the project.

Ready to Roll

The final build list:
  • Shimano XT Hubs laced to Mavic XM321 rims. Shod with 2.5" Maxxis Hookworm tires
  • Race Face triple crankset mated to a Shimano 122mm square taper BB
  • Shimano Deore front and rear derailleurs
  • SRAM attack shifters
  • Jeff Jones Aluminum loop bars
  • Salsa 110mm stem
  • Chris King headset
  • Salsa Promoto 2 seatpost with Brooks B17 on top
  • Salsa seat collar
  • Ping bell
  • Origin 8 platform pedals
  • Avid speed dial levers running BB7 brakes
  • Avid 203mm rotors (F & R)
  • Planet Bike Cascadia 29er fenders
  • Pump
  • Bell
  • kickstand
  • Some inner tubes and electrical tape to keep the paint wear to a minimum

I painted the V racks black to match the frame. I also ordered in a set of wide loaders and painted them black too, as well as adding some well placed innertube to potential wear/bump spots. The bike is sporting a black Flightdesk as well.

Initial ride impressions after a couple hundred miles with and without cargo are positive. A bit of work uphill, but it cruises at 15-18 on flats just fine. Handling is great, and the bike is well balanced, both loaded and unloaded. Loads so far include 70 lbs of groceries, empty and full LP tanks, a case of beer in two Rubbermaid coolers, and my lovely wife. I'm looking forward to many miles on this bike over the coming months. It will be interesting to see how well it handles once the weather starts getting colder and snowier.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Department of Recumbecny Department

When I was at Connecticut Yankee Pedaler, I took out a Catrike Mushashi on a test ride while my wife was testing Catrikes. One ride made me remember why I liked riding around on my recumbents so much. I had toyed with the idea of bringing home one of the Mushashis that CYP had in stock, but we decided that one new bike purchase was enough for the day. So, a few weeks later, an opportunity presented itself (IE my spouse had a weak moment) and I got the OK to purchase another bike. I scoured a few boards, missed out on one due to forgetting to return a call, and then put out a few more feelers. The end game is that in a few days I should be in possession of a very lightly used 2009 Bacchetta Corsa high racer. I've had one of these in the past, and it's just a fun fast bike, and a really good bang for the buck either new or used.

I've already gotten a bunch of grief from some of my other riding friends about this. It doesn't really matter too much. I like it, it's fast, and it's comfortable. I'm anxious for it to get here and start riding around on it. It will also put some plans into place for next year or possibly the year after.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

TIV7 Photograph Usage

I have received emails regarding the photographs that were taken during TIV7. I wanted to answer those questions here.

If you took part in this year's race, you are welcome to any photos that I have taken of you. The ones posted to my TIV7 set on Flickr have been resized so they uploaded quickly. I have higher res versions that you are welcome to use for personal purposes.

All I ask in return is that:
  1. All usage must be non-commercial in nature. Posting to a personal or club web site is OK. Please include a link back to here somewhere in your article.
  2. Please leave my copyright tag in place.
  3. Please be patient with me getting those images pulled and sent to you.
A number of people have asked about purchasing certain images. In the spirit of "free" grass roots events such as TransIowa, The Almanzo 100, and PCL Gravel Worlds, I am not going to charge for any of the photos. If you wish, you can make a Tribute Gift, in the name of TransIowa, to the American Red Cross for any amount you are comfortable with.

For commerical use of any images, please contact me at "stevefuller at gmail dot com"