Friday, October 28, 2011

Crotchet and leather goodness...

Been a while since I wrote a "Things I Like" post. It's not because there haven't been things I like that I've wanted to write about. Early on when I started this blog, I started writing about "Things I Lke," "Things I Want To Like," and "Things I Dislike." Then, in the mean time, this thing called Facebook showed up. You might have heard about it. On Facebook, you can "Like" all kinds of things. Some things you may "Like" but don't actually have a connection to it. Some things you may "Like" because it's the fashion of the day. I like to "Like" things I have a personal connection to and therefore, there's not many things I "Like." Black Mountain Cycles does have a Facebook page and I think it's cool that folks "Like" it and it's cool if folks don't "Like" it. Just because you don't "Like" it doesn't mean you don't like it.

Now how in the hell did I get from "crotchet and leather" to going on about "Likes" on Facebook? Oh yeah, I like classic crotchet and leather gloves. And specifically, I really like the Euro-Asia Imports classic version with tan leather and a natural crotchet back. Besides the gloves, I also like Euro-Asia. They've been a bike parts distributor for as long as I can remember. And for as long as I can remember, every invoice is hand written. For clarification, "as long as I can remember" goes back to 1988.

These classic gloves are so anti-new technology that they suit me just fine. I've got a pair of high-end, name brand (okay, Pearl Izumi), gel filled gloves that I wanted to like, but the location of the gel pads is not right. The gaps in the gel are right where I hold onto the corner of the bar. And the gel globules really give me a disassociative connection to the bar and hence the bike. But not these leather and knit gloves, oh no. There is minimal padding and I can feel the bar and that gives me a proper feeling of what's going on with the bike. Someone commented that there is no baby soft snot spot on the glove for nose wiping. To this, I simply referred them to Rule 5.

So there you have it. I've got these gloves in stock in sizes Medium, Large, and Extra-Large. They aren't cheap, but they aren't Rapha expensive. You get your own set for $39.95 (plus applicable tax and shipping if you aren't physically shopping in the store.

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(What's playing: The Stanley Brothers The White Dove)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Titanium Thursday Pt. 4...

Okay, final installment of Titanium Thursday (one time Thursday event). This one's a sweet little Willits titanium road bike that had its Ultegra triple components replaced with a mix of 7800 and 7900 Dura Ace.

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(What's playing: Social Distortion Ring of Fire)

Titanium Thursday Pt. 3...

Quick one here with a titanium group hug.

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A shot of the first and most recent frame Steve has made with S&S couplers.

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Okay, so there's an aluminum and carbon frame in the photo.

(What's playing: Neil Diamond Solitary Man)

Titanium Thursday Pt. 2...

In the second edition, we have a new Steve Potts build. A really sweet 700c, disc brake cross bike. This is really a go fast dirt road, paved road rocket. Built with a SRAM parts group, White Industries hubs with HED Belgium rims, Thomson seat post, Ritchey bar and stem, and Avid BB7 brakes. The blue outline in the decal is a really nice match to the blue painted fork. It's just a good feeling bike. Dialed and rarin' ta go with the S&S couplers.

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(What's playing: Waylon Jennings The Wurlitzer Prize)

Titanium Thursday Pt. 1...

It's been pretty intense recently. Lots of builds. Lots of repairs. Lots of titanium. I'll parse out the sweet ti goodness in doses. The first dose is a nice little Steve Potts number that was in to get the fork repainted, new Moots stem and seat post, and new Potts ti bars.

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Rick at D&D Paint suggested the exact color for the lower half of the Type II fork and really nailed exactly what the owner was looking for.

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The brake pad with the rusted nut was replaced

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(What's playing: Tom Waits Heigh Ho)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How many times...

How many times have you ridden past something and taken it for granted? Ridden past something and thought "I should stop sometime and check that out?" Anyone who has ridden past the town center of Inverness on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. has seen the old boat that's been stranded high and dry on the beach behind the Inverness Store. I've always thought I should stop and check it out a little closer sometime.

Well, that sometime happened about a week ago as I was riding through Inverness to get to the dirt road climb up to the Inverness Ridge. The sun had just risen and the light was almost perfect. As I came into Inverness, I glanced over, saw the boat bathed in the first light and knew today was the day to check it out. And as chance would have it, I had my trusty little camera in my pocket.

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The sun rises right over Black Mountain

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Fishing boat on Tomales Bay

Then it was time to get back on the bike and start climbing up to the ridge.

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Excellent trail conditions

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Looking across to the bay through the trees

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Sometimes, you have to look up

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The trail up top

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Looking down to Drake's Bay from the ridge

(What's playing: KWMR Coast Highway Blues. If you like the blues, you should check this show out on every Wednesday 8:30 - 10:30)

Cavalcade of blog posts...

Been busy. Too busy, seemingly, to post anything here. Takes time to upload photos, think up something to write, and do all that and take care of all the bikes that are coming in. This post will be a "what's in the stand" post on a recent cross bike I built.

This cross bike represents something very close to what I was thinking of building for myself. I've been thinking I really should be on something newer than 1995 8-speed parts. After all, it's really my responsibility to know exactly how all this new 10-speed stuff works.

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62cm 'cross frame

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Really like the shape/feel of the new Salsa Cowbell 2 handlebar

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Just a bit proud of how the head tube decal turned out

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Avid Shorty 6 cantis with Conti Cyclocross Race 42 tires

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SRAM bar end shifters move the X.9 derailleur along an 11-32 cassette

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White Industries VBC crank handles the major transmission duty

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(What's playing: KWMR Hump Day)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More dirt road rides...

Following Cam's advice on this post, I saddled up last Sunday and rode south on Highway 1 and found Coast View Trail several miles south of Stinson Beach and just south of Slide Ranch. It was definitely more technical than Stagecoach Fire Road. More technical since it was a single-track climb for a bit over 3 miles. Totally doable on a road bike with 28c tires, though. Really nice morning too.

Riding south on Highway 1, there was considerable fog leaving Pt. Reyes Station which gave way to sun, which gave in to fog down towards Bolinas. The sun broke out again south of Stinson and just near the Coast View Trail, fog took over again and clung to the slopes until I got up near the Pantoll ranger station. Then it was sun all the way to the top of Tam.

I'd forgotten it was a holiday weekend. Lots of folks on foot hiking between Pantoll and the West Point Inn where it was packed for a pancake breakfast. Intent on climbing, I gave up pancakes for Clif Bloks to help me up the dirt.

Pretty dang fun ride with a virtually all dirt climb from Highway 1 up to Mt. Tam's east peak. I figured I'd been out for quite a while (no watch and no cycle computer so no way to know what time it was), so I scooted back down Ridgecrest to Bo-Fax and back up Highway 1 arriving back at the shop at 5 minutes before I was supposed to open at noon. Good fun ride.

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Bolinas Lagoon

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Just south of Stinson Beach

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Looking down on Highway 1 from Coast View Trail

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Start of Coast View Trail - soon to give way to single-track

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Coast View Trail

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Coast View Trail

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One burned, charred log.

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Trail ducked into the trees and became more challenging with some wet, slippery rocks.

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Breaking out of the fog, the view to Mt. Tam was gorgeous.

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See, gorgeous...

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A little video on Coast View Trail

(What's playing: KWMR Faultline Radio)