Thursday, July 31, 2008

Book keeping thunderstorms.

Brandon's working at the shop today, letting me get a bunch of random things done at home. Starting at 6:30, I met my dad for coffee at Goodbye Blue Monday. I have yet to find a better cup of coffee in the state, (though I'll be glad to try suggestions!) After a bit of banter with the local crew, we were off to work. I spent the next hour working on Meg's car with him. It was just a simple PCV valve and oil change. It was not a big deal, but it was good to get it done. It's fun to spend time with him working on cars. I used to work at his shop, and before that when it was my grandfather's. I like working on cars, but I'm glad that I work on bikes for a living. It's a blast to help him work on his classic cars, and I really enjoy the work a lot.

After that, it was off to the DMV. We are selling our Honda Odessey van, and the tabs were due. It would be a real pain if someone test driving it got pulled over for expired plates! I also transfered the title for Meg's new motorcycle. It is one more vehicle to take care of, but when that vehicle gets 90 mpg, it's a trade off I'm willing to make! This should take the place of my car for short trips that are not really bike able. If traffic on the back road decreases, it may also do double duty on the get to Faribault run. It's an old Honda 125, so it'll probably top out at about 50 mph, but that's not that bad for that efficiency.

I've been working on bookwork and marketing stuff the rest of the day with my mother in law Linne. It's been good so far, but it is hard to look at a computer screen while looking out of the window at a perfect day. At least at the shop I'm up and moving around doing things. It's reaffirming my belief that I would probably suck at a "normal" desk job!

Back to real work, thanks for playing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A hell of a weekend, and some encouraging thoughts

For the condolences I've received over the loss of the OS I thank you. I think it will be able to be sleeved and possibly saved, it's at Mike Pofahl's house now being inspected.

I am very sad to say, however, that the day did not get any better after work. I had just finished adding a Fat Front, (non offset Pug fork, Endomorph tire, and wheel,) to a 18" Karate Monkey of mine. I built it as a cheap, versatile, winter and polo bike. In short review, it was a destroyer of worlds. I like the fatty tire up front a lot, and the Kris Holm/Weirwolf set up in the back spun up much quicker than my Pugsley did. It was a pretty simple bike, even just a single v brake in the rear , and it was black. It was, in short, a bike after my own heart.

It was Brandon's father Pat's 50th birthday party Saturday night. There were plans for ingesting libations, so I rode the bike and parked it in the backyard. The party was great, stories were told, beer and whiskey were drunk, pictures were mulled over, and games were played. One of the games was bocce ball. For those not familiar with the game, it's essentially lawn bowling. For all intents and purposes, you throw a little white cue ball sized ball, and try and gt as close to it as possible with larger, heavier, softball sized balls. We played for a while, not really knowing the rules, just trying to get the closest ball to the mark. At the fateful moment, when it was Brandon's brother's turn, he slipped. We all watched with morbid intent as the ball arched though the air, well right of the cue, and landed straight on the TT of the monkey. It made a sickening thunk when it hit, almost collapsing the tube as it crashed down from what must have been 15' up.

So there it is, two frames wrecked in as many days. I'm not sure which Gods, Goddesses, or deities I pissed off, but someone is mad at me. Oh well, we'll see if Mike can fix them up. Either way, I have other bikes to ride. I'll have them fixed if possible over the winter, and we'll just go from there. If anyone has a use for a fat front set up in the meantime, I'd let it go for a reasonable price. It's going to be a while before I'll get to use it.

That's all for today. Go home tonight and hug your bikes. Cheers.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

July Thoughts

The month of July has flown by at an unbelievable rate. The bike race on the fourth consumed most of the first two weeks. After that, wedding plans, huge repair list at the shop, and riding for stress relief pretty much gets us to this point. Over all things have been going really well though. Here's the major highlights of the last few weeks.

The race:

The Crit went really well this year. We were really on top of a lot of the planning prior to the race, which made day of set up so much easier. We had the course closed and nearly ready to go at about 7 o'clock, almost 2 hours earlier than in years past. The race was a little lower attended than last year. For both spectators and participants, I think the long weekend and gas prices were factors. While we had fewer numbers of riders, most of these where in the more recreational classes. The larger races where the Cat 1,2s and the Womens open. We saw more people in these races than we ever have. There are talks going on with some large people in Northfield city politics and business. A lot of important have talked to me about how they can help make the race bigger and better, and how to promote Northfield as a cycling community and promote biking in general. This means big things. I hope to make next year, (consequently the 10th year,) the best it's ever been.

We've been doing quite a bit of riding lately, and I'm starting to finally feel like I'm in form. Hills are getting easier, and by eating fairly well and drinking less cervesa, I'm getting down to a reasonable weight. I've been riding SS MTB mostly, but have been doing some shorter road rides with my father. He's really started taking riding seriously, and it's been so much fun. It's truly a transformation to see my father, who's a professional mechanic by trade, in full spandex kicking ass on the road. I think he's finding that he's in better shape than he's given himself credit for, and he's been dishing out some pretty fast average speeds for me to contend with. It's been great to spend the time with him, and to share my love for riding.

Now for some bad news. I'd like you to take a minute to think of my beautiful Blackbuck. It's dead. The frame is toast. I don't even deserve it! I had it leaned up against the front display window, and a customer knocked it over. The bike fell, with the 36er SS on top of it, on a corner of a cinder block. The bike hit square on the center of the TT, landing a shot that left a 1/4" deep dent along the side of the TT. I'm sad. I've never broken a frame doing anything, riding of otherwise. Kind of feels like a kick to the head. I'll be getting another one of course, but it's a bite to have to buy a $500 frame for such a stupid reason. Oh well, it's only money right?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

It's been a busy few days leading up to the big race. We've gotten almost all of the bugs out of the set up as far as I can tell. There is a lot of work to be done in the next few nights as to getting everything laid out and ready, particularly in regard to food set up. The race itself is all ready, with barricades ordered, straw bales are ready to pick up, police are ready to close the streets, and registration is going well. It's really the calm before the storm, I just hope everything goes according to plan.

We decided last week to be closed for Saturday the 5th. With many people being out of town for the holiday, and with the entire staff working a 14+ hour day on Friday. I think that it's a much deserved day off.

Here's a shot of Marshall and his new racer. Marshall used to race on the BMX team that the shop sponsored. He's been ripping it up at the local races competing in the rec or citizen classes. Believe it or not he finishes pretty consistently mid-pack! Did I mention that he's 11?! After claiming several national BMX titles in his age groups, he may be on the way to a larger sponsored amateur team someday. For now, he'll just be rocking it around here on the smallest 15" GF rig that we've ever built!