Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Stable

Recently on the family blog I did a series of posts about my kids. I thought it only fitting that I do something similar with my stable of bikes. So, this is the first installment of my bike collection. My end game is to drag this out until I pick up my bike from Jon. I'm going to start from the oldest and make my way to the newest. The bike I've owned the longest is my Serotta road bike - a Legend Ti. I call her Samantha. I picked up Samantha when road bikes came standard with 1" threaded steerers. She originally came with a finish that was half painted in midnight blue and half polished. I picked up a Shimano 9 speed Dura Ace group with 39/53 and 12/25 setup. The fork is an old Serotta F1 with a steel steerer tube, carbon blades, and titanium dropouts. I picked up one of Chris King's first road spaced hubs. Almost on a dare with Jared Hill I picked up a threadless headset and 1" Serotta titanium stem. The bike remained with this setup until I finished school. My new found weight made climbing a real challenge with even a 39/27 gear, so I put a compact double on. I resisted ten speed for years until every new bike started coming with 10. I then put Force on it. I'm not the biggest fan of the Force, but it is what it is. The Force and the compact double haven't changed the way the bike handles. It still handles like it's locked on rails and is the standard by which I measure every road bike. My favorite ride on that bike is the Alpine Loop. I really like the descent from the Pine Hollow over look down and live for the stretch from the turn off to Tibble Fork to the mouth of the Canyon. Whenever I think about flowing down that road, with trees and the stream, it brings a smile to my face. Many of you will know which part I'm talking about and will have carved that same stretch of road with me. I can't wait for spring.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Building Wheels is Like Riding a Bike

This post is another nod to Greg Reiche as well as a nod to JJ. It's these two, and JJ in particular, that taught me how to build wheels. Greg is a purist and taught me several little things that I hold onto. These little details include lacing the wheel so that the sticker is read from the drive side, positioning the hub such that looking through the hole you can read the writing on the hub (if any), and that the stickers on the hub can be read from the behind. Little things, sure, but they've stuck with me. JJ taught me how a well built wheel should feel. The beauty of inside pulling spokes. How to seat the spokes. Drop, lace, and tension. That's all there is to it, right? But there's something fulfilling about taking a pile of spokes, an empty hoop, and a hub and building a (hopefully) strong wheel. I don't build wheels that often these days, but I can still knock one out in about an hour. Last night I laced up my new King SS Hubs - mmmm, shiny - to some Bontrager Mustang 29er rims. 32H, 3X, inside pulling. They're sure going to look good on that Sabrosa. After all, a hand-built bike deserves nothing less than hand-built wheels.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

What I Have Resolved to Do

So here is a semi-public list of what I hope to accomplish this year. I've omitted specifics of parenting and spousery (is that a word) because those are things I try to work on constantly and can't really check off until I check out. So, here they are in no particular order. 1. Get ahead and stay ahead on hours at work. I hope to take the week between Christmas and New Years off next year. This will also make the next resolution easier. 2. Finish Ironman Arizona. This is a big one. The racing schedule is secondary to IMAZ, and includes AF Icebreaker, Lehi Legacy Tri, Ironman 70.3 Honu, Provo Tri, perhaps Battle at Midway, definitely the Spudman, the Provo Half, and then IMAZ in November. 3. In addition to 1) above, in order to do this I'm going to need to lose a significant amount of weight. Get to a truly reasonable and healthy weight. I need to lose about 30 pounds to be on the top end of healthy and need to lose something like 40 pounds to put me in the middle of the fit range. 4. Read, understand, and put into practice the major techniques found in "The New Joy of Cooking." This is my attempt at a self-taught cooking course. This book has a lot of classic recipes and techniques. 5. Spend as many weekends as possible this summer camping with my kids in the mountains. Tent camping, dutch oven cooking, and hiking are what we're looking for. Lilia is starting to take an interest in electronic entertainment and I'd like to balance that out. 6. Ride with Jon in St. George. 7. Catch at least one ocean going salmonid - be it a steelhead or a salmon.