this just in...

well not really, it was in earlier this week, but it is now in this province. the hard thing is, i have not actually seen it in the flesh so to speak. the frame was sent directly to winkler. cousin john picked it up for me and dropped it off at powder coat shop on friday. he was nice enough to send me the following pictures of the raw frame. the colour of the frame is going to be RAL 9001 (an off-white)

with any luck i will be driving to winkler next weekend to pick up the frame (and with more luck, to put the bike together so i can do a loop of the lake trail).


mncx2007, and don't believe your own press

so state's has come and gone for another year, and if you have never gone you should really go (i am looking at all fgbc members - think of it, $35 gets you into the best cross party in town, even better than cross 'tona).

cam, ian and i left early friday and got to minneapolis in time to stop at both one on one and hurl's c-r-c coffee bar. saturday started off with the stop at the sunny side up for breakfast. having learned from last year's fiasco of ordering huevos rancheros for breakfast (and also witnessing what biscuits, gravy and italian sausage did to the good dr.), i ordered the oatmeal with raisins and brown sugar. this proved to be a much more reasonable breakfast, with none of the after effects of 'oh crap, i think i am going to see my breakfast again' after 2 laps of the race. after breakfast we arrived at the course and quickly registered. cam and ian had the option of the 35 minute singlespeed category, or the 60 minute (cat 1&2)/35+ category, while i had the options of the singlespeed or the 45 minute 45+ category. cam and ian chose the singlespeed and i chose the 45+ which meant that we would go off at different times (cam and ian were in the first "b" wave, and i was in the second). b1 was huge, starting 92 riders, while there were only 60 riders in my wave. if there is one thing you should experience in your biking life, it is the feeling of starting a race with 60-90 racers surrounding you as you leave the line - cool. cam and ian started a little back in the pack but managed to make their way through the ranks to finish 4th and 10th in the singlespeed category, an excellent result. having had enough of cam kicking my ass this season it was nice not having to race him in my category, of course i now had a mess of cat 3 and other 45+ guys to deal with that were going to kick my butt all over the place. the start of the race was good, but i found myself in the middle of the road which was not a good a place to be because of the crazy washboard that made up that part of the road. after negotiating the start i quickly settled into my race. i received some good advice from ian and cam and avoided some of the pitfalls they experienced with the start of their race (cam found himself squeezed into the snow fence, and on top of the fence at one point when too many riders bottlenecked into one of the first corners). highlights of the race included cheers of "go winnipeg" by the kenwood boys, passing a cat 3 guy on the inside corner going into the corners while on the uphill climb, and taking a whiskey hand-up at the double barrier. it was a good race, where i did not get lapped by the leaders (a goal this year - which i met in most of my races). checking the results after the race it initially looked like i finished in 2nd place for the 45+ category which was very surprising - but this was latter dispelled when i checked the official results today; 11th in the 45+ which was not bad (not too confident about this as they had ian listed as sam hall, they missed jesse lalonde in the "a" category, and cam and ian thought that i was higher than this based on the guys that came in ahead of me - but official is official).

the "a" was complete nutty with more whiskey hand-ups, dollar primes on the ground and barriers, insane bunny-hopping of the double barriers, firecrackers thrown at the feet of the leader, great tunes all over the course, and a guy dressed up as death stalking all the riders. this and the 24 hours of nine mile really need to make it on to the calendar of future fgbc events, right up there with the annual spring ride.

more alberto photo's here.


getting closer

this in today from mr. truelove...

Hi Hal,
the frame is pretty much done.
I would like to stamp a serial #, usually 6 or 7 numbers or letters of your choice.
The balance owing: the DT was less $, but the dropouts were more $, and more work. So it kind of balances out. I'd like to keep the price at $900
$900 + $54gst = $954
subtract $450 deposit

balance owing $504.00

the frame is being shipped to winkler and powder coated by enviro-tech

hope to have it in a couple of weeks. here are the two pictures that came with today's highly anticipated email:

(i really like them paul drop outs)


okay, now i am excited

here we go, this was in my inbox - i am going to be checking my email way too often over the next few days

the down tube is in and the top tube, head tube, and down tube are attached


cx provincials

as always, a blast. in fact the whole cross season has been a blast to this point - well, the civic park course was more than painful, but still fun in a sick sort of way. mud, pea gravel, turns, climbs, the course had it all. a few quick observations:
  • singlespeeders rocked, taking 7 out of the top 10 spots in the senior event
  • the mud bog was more than a challenge, running it was better than riding in terms of racing because your bike stayed clean and if you were not riding a mountain bike, it was more often miss than hit
  • 39X17 was good, but i think 39X18 would have been better - scott m. and i discussed the merits and difficulties of singlespeed cross and it is the acceleration out of the corners where we can, if pushing too big a gear, lose a lot of ground to the gear-heads. of course having said that, long straights also prove challenging - it seems like we're damned if we do, damned if we don't. definite benefit is not having a derailleur spin into your spokes in the mud (sorry allan).
  • belgian beer is wonderful, especially when accompanied with fries and mayo
  • there might be no better club house than the belgian club (waiting for the flames on this one)
  • pea gravel sucks - took me 200 -300 meters to get clipped in after every run through the stuff.
  • there are no better pictures than cross pictures (kevin, dave b, aiden's (with some help from me))
  • the fans at provincials (and all cross races) make racing even more fun
  • thanks to ian, tom, olympia, and everyone that helped put on a great event.


apparently i am too tall...

so, on friday i had this email in my mailbox

Hi Hal,
I ran into a snag on your bike. The down tube I have here is not long enough. A 29er has a lower BB 'drop' and your top tube (25") is pretty long. Those factors combine to create a long distance between the BB and head tube. The reynolds 853 tube I ordered is pretty standard (680 mm) Your bike needs a DT about 710 mm long I checked the specs from reynolds and they DO offer a DT that is 730mm, however I can only get what the distributor in California stocks. I will find out tomorrow. I also have access to True Temper tubes. They have an 'OX platinum' series at the top of the line, it IS long enough ( 740mm) to work. I also moved the jig around a bit to find out what I could build with this tube. The closest to your geometry I could get was a 24.75" TT (not 25) and a 71.5 deg ST (not 73) I know this kind of sucks, I've made lots of 29er frames, but none this big. Unless the longer reynolds tube is available (this is unlikely) I guess its a choice between the true temper or modifying the geometry. thanks mt

so, it looks like i won't be having 853 on the down tube. the geometry is more important than the material, and besides going to the OX platinum is more of a lateral move than a vertical one. i asked MT his opinion and he likes both, saying that i would not notice the difference in ride characteristics between the two.

looks like the shipping date will be sometime during the week of nov. 12-16. i am going to have it shipped directly to enviro-tech in winkler who is doing the powder coating and clear coat ($125).