Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tis the season to be waxing . . .

Faa alaaa laaa, laaa, laaa, laaa, laaa, laaa, laa.
(sung to the tune 'Tis the Season to be Jolly')

Lenny putting on some binder wax.

The Mule and the Vegan Vagabond came over this afternoon to get a little clinic on waxing skis. This will be my fourth season waxing my own skis. I'm no pro, but I'm no pro skier either - so I don't get into the detailed waxing that one can do.

Waxing your own skis saves you a tonne of money. I'd also rather buy the supplies and do it myself than have someone do it for me. There is a science and/or art to waxing skis for different conditions: new snow, old snow, snow temperature, snow humidity, freshly groomed, not so freshly groomed, etc. I try and keep it simple and stick to the basics.

Vegan Vagabond holding about four seasons worth of kick wax (that's from just one ski!).

check out the concentration!

just in case you couldn't see how concentrated she is . . . .

shiny waxed skis ready to go

Monday, November 24, 2008

Big Ring Weekend in Pictures

Saturday - Photo shoot!

Look Golong-Hardman, I'm Tinkerbell!

out-take #1: Not sure where Coco's hand is, Golong-hardman seems to know...

Out-take #2- Dude, some laxative may help...

Final take: Zamboni, Coco, Go long-hardman, Phat Tonly, "Lenny", Dr. Peter, Vegan Vagabond, Papa -G
missing: Original Big Ring, Curvy bum, King, kari)

"Enough about Tinkerbell before I smack you Zamboni!"

Sunday - Cool Gats Ride

Got our arms twisted to go out for a ride on Sunday. While it was sunny, it wasn't exactly balmy out in the Gats. I believe the temperature was -9 celcius.

There is snow up in the Gats, it took about 30 mins for my hands to thaw. However, once I warmed up. It was great.

Yes, that is ice - a stream that has frozen over

We ran into Carolyn who was out trail running - she's a great rider too

It was a great ride despite the cold. Glad the Vagabond got us out.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Winter Beast

They say that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Well, back in the summer time when I was putting out my garbage, I noticed that my neighbour was throwing out an old bike. Upon closer examination, it turned out to be a steel Raleigh, a Grand Prix model to be exact! The frame was in decent shape, no bends, dents, just worn out paint and stains. The rest of the parts were junk. I grabbed the bike and tossed in the garage thinking it would make a great project for a winter bike.

Cool old-school head badge!

I stripped the frame right away and planned to put together over the fall. However, as these things always go, October rolled in and "The Beast" was still just a frame. I needed to get working on it before the snow hits. However, the one issue on the frame I was not comfortable dealing with was the bottom bracket. It was in pretty bad shape, it hardly turned and was very “crunchy”. Therefore, I took the frame to the good folk at Phat Moose.

This Beast is a single-speed, of course. So, I took the opportunity to have the boys at Phat Moose ensure that my chained line was properly aligned. Once I got the frame back, I spent a couple afternoons visiting the Bike Dump and Re-Cycles for various parts. Finally, the time came to put it all together. Things went pretty smoothly for the most part. But the one hiccup was the brakes. The frame is meant for 27” wheels but I retrofitted 700c wheels; so, the reach of the brakes pads was a bit of a stretch and on top of that, I planned on running only front brakes (I don’t use back brakes anyway!). I “Magivered” the calipers using a dremmel and did some more filing by hand. This gave me a bit more reach which helped my braking a bit. However, the braking is not ideal. The solution is to swap the fork for a 700c, which means another trip to Bike Dump or Recycles.

Just front brakes - pads are lowered to their limit

For the rear wheel, I used a kit the I got from Performance Bike.

Nice and clean! The pedals are from MEC and cost $8! I wear Sorels inthe winter, no need for clipless pedals. The gear ratio is 42 - 18

Beauty! Check out those sexy fenders!!

If you’ve read any of my posts, you know that

I love Kenda Small Blocks 8 ! So, they were

also my tire of choice for thebeast. I am sure

these 700x32 will make great winter tires.

My SS stable - Cannondale F900, Norco VFR4 and the Beast

This is my third single-speed I put together. Now I only need one bike to complete my collection - a single-speed 29er, one like this one would be just perfect!

I have been riding the Beast for a couple of weeks now. The fatter tires and steel frame do a good jop absorbing road vibrations. The ride is a lot less harsh than my aluminum Norco. I am looking forward to riding it in the snow.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Gatineau Loop for the Soul

I had one of those weeks where nothing went right. You know what I'm talking about, you've all had them, where you lock your keys in the car, spill your soy milk and you let one in on the short side...well, that was my week and more. But not to worry friends, its nothing a Gat Loop can't cure. Who needs chicken soup when you can get your therapy on two wheels?

Today was 12C and kinda sunny so I skipped that whole work thing, I'll do that tomorrow when its raining, and headed to the hills. Had one of the best rides of the fall and it was all by myself. Well, not all by myself...I had my new partner in crime, Blue, with me.

Who's Blue you ask? Nope, not my mood. My new-to-me Blue RC4 full carbon race machine. Yeah, yeah I know what you're thinking. Vagabond, what do you need with a road bike that swishy? Good question. Maybe I'll grow into it. Maybe I'll even do the Mock and real Grand Prix next year. Its a lot of bike for a non-road racer like me but its comfy, light and responsive and I'll bet it climbs up the hills really fast for um, riders who climb up the hills really fast...

Anyway did I mention its dead sexy? Its almost as pretty as BR's Desalvo or Gilles' Mamasita.

You want the deets? Okay, its full carbon with syrium wheels, scram force 2008, ultegra cranks and a thompson seatpost and stem coming in at a whopping 17lbs. It even came with a carbon bottle cage which I thought was a nice touch.

Too bad I'm only going to get to ride it a few times before the snow it spring yet??

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Race Kits?

Possible new race kits for next year? The sponsors should be all over it!
More ideas here.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Sad Day

The time has finally come, I'm parting ways with a bike I have loved and abused since 2004. This bike has seen some retarded (at least by my standards) lines and has never flinched in fear.

I've wrecked this rig on 18 inch drops and 12 foot by 10 foot gaps. That was always the riders fault.

I've also sent some 15 foot gaps and 10 foot drops in fine style on this rig. Those moments were all the bikes good graces.

Little gap in Whistler...

Beauty drop in Whistler...

A slightly tricky rock face, look at that technique,
shoulders and head pointed where I want to go.....

North Shore


Life circumstances have removed this style of riding from my current opportunities, maybe some time in the future I can have back at it again. The bike has a new owner and I think he will treat it well, I know it will treat him well.

I will miss this bike, I hope it misses me too.