Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Time Someone Wanted To Race My Cross Frame On The Tour Divide

I've been pretty fortunate working in the bike industry.  Met a lot of great folks on both sides sides of the counter and from every continuously inhabited continent.  I've also gotten to work on a lot of great bikes.  In some ways, that's where the joy of working at a work stand with tools at the ready is for me.  What constitutes a great bike?  Some might say a frame from Richard Sachs or Dario Pegoretti is a great bike.  They wouldn't be wrong.  They are great bikes and I've considered it an honor to work on and build frames from both into bikes.  

Another great bike to work on is the 18 year old Jamis hybrid that a local brought in.  It had been neglected for years when someone gave it to him.  It didn't work.  Chain was rusted.  Tires were disintegrating.  Cables were frozen in the housing.  And I had a $100 budget to work with.  After my ride a few days ago, I stopped in the Inverness Park Market for a breakfast sandwich.  The owner of the bike and his wife work there (and they work other jobs in the area to make ends meet for them and their three kids).  Both he and his wife were super happy about the bike.  They're both spinning around on it as well as their kids.  It's a great bike.

Other bikes that are great to work on are ones that get used above and beyond what normal folks dream of subjecting their bikes.  I'm talking the Tour Divide.  Three years ago, I did some work (wheel building, if I recall) for an area guy who was going to tackle the race in the grand depart.  He finished in 7th place.  About the same time, I sold a cross bike to a Bay Area resident, Arthur, who a few months later said he wanted to race the Tour Divide on the cross bike I just built for him.  I told him "No, you don't want to do that.  You want full sized 29" wheels and maybe a suspension fork.  You don't want to do that on a cross bike."  The bug bit him hard and for the past several years, he's been steadily preparing for the Tour Divide 2016 which departed Banff, Canada five days ago.  

Several weeks ago, Arthur brought his bike in to have the front wheel rebuilt with a new dynamo hub, new bottom bracket, cables - basically, it was time to get the bike race ready.  Preparations done.  Bike ready.  Go!  It's now 5 days later and Arthur is out there making very good headway.  As I wrote this, he's at mile 645, a bit past though Helena, MT on his way to Antelope Wells, NM - 2,768.4 miles from the start.  

That was a great bike to work on too.  Arthur's Tour Tracker GPS locator information is at this link.  Like I said, fortunate.

What's in the stand:  Arthur's Tour Divide bike.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Kit Order Window Is Open

Since I'm running out of jerseys in the shop, I opened a new order window at Voler.  Both the orange with black horizontal stripe and the black with the orange/blue vertical stripe kits are available.  It's possible to mix/match, but in order to do so you'd need to enter two orders on the Voler order page.  You can order at the links below until July 10 at about midnight with expected ship date of August 12.  The sizing info on Voler's site is very helpful.  If you find you straddle a size, my recommendation is to size down.  It's stretchy cycling gear and you want it to fit on the snug side.

BMC Molteni Tribute Kit
The Orange/Horizontal Kit

bmc jersey
The Black/Vertical Stripe Kit

Welcome to the Voler Online Ordering System
Your team has decided to use the Voler Custom Online Order System for collecting and processing your cycling apparel order. Please follow the steps below to place your individual order for inclusion in the overall team order.
1. Click on this link to access your team order site: Black Mountain Cycles - Orange Horizontal Kit

1. Click on this link to access your team order site: Black Mountain Cycles - Black Vertical Kit

2. Click on “LOGIN” to enter your Login/Billing Info. Click on “Create Account” to save the information and to create your new User ID and Password. You will automatically be directed to the home page for your team order. If you are a returning customer, please use your original Login and Password.
3. Click on “Begin Shopping" to gain access to the orderable products page. To place items in your shopping cart, click on the item you want to order, then the options you want to select, then the “Add to cart” button. You can choose to “View Your Bag” or “Continue Shopping” after adding each item. Repeat these steps for each item you want to order.
4. After placing the last item you want to order in your shopping cart, click on “View Your Bag” to display the items. Carefully review the items and make any necessary modifications or deletions. Because each item is custom built, refunds and exchanges will not be accepted. After you have confirmed your order is correct, click on “Proceed to Checkout” to complete the secure checkout process by entering your credit card payment information.
5. After you have completed the secure checkout process, an Order Confirmation will automatically be displayed and e-mailed to you for your records.
6. After the order deadline date has passed, you will no longer be able to access the order site. If you have not completed the checkout process for your order by this date, any items in your cart will be removed. The Order Deadline and the Order Ship Date are displayed on the order homepage. The Ship Date is the date that your order will be shipped from Voler.
Thank you for your order. If you have any questions, please call 800-488-6537 and ask for assistance from a Voler Customer Service Representative, or send us an email at

I'll also be ordering for the shop, but will only be ordering the basics - jerseys, shorts, vest.  This is your chance to order anything from the Voler shop.  Now go crazy!

(What's playing:  Rodriguez Inner City Blues)