Sunday, June 21, 2015
Couple of pics from Lance Wilson's ride through the desert at the recent Beaver Dam Gravel Grinder. It was 45 miles through desert sand with 4000+ feet of climbing, not to mention 100+ degree temperatures. He was the only one riding a cross bike but cruised through it all. Congrats Lance on the accomplishment. I love seeing MEECHs being ridden and raced in the toughest conditions.
This looks a bit desolate.
Thanks for riding a MEECH and feel free to send as many photos as you like from any adventure that you may embark on.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Scoot dropped off his old MEECH when he picked up his new one the other day for a couple of quick changes to the setup and some fresh paint. This is the before photo of how it looked from day one however when he handed it off to me it didn't look quite this good. It kinda looked like he had ridden it to Hell and back a few times and people had thrown stones at him along the way. I asked him about it and he told me that it hadn't been to Hell, only 5 consecutive Bicycle Tours of Colorado. I did one of those with Scoot about 6 years ago and got enough climbing in one week to last a lifetime. The thirty minute descents are nice though. Anyway, he definitely road the molasses out of this frame and it needed some new paint badly.
And this is it. I've been extremely busy here lately and so I didn't have time to get crazy with it like I wanted to but I like the way the colors work. I got some more ideas after painting this one but who knows when you'll see them. A storm was blowing in as I was trying to take pictures so the lighting isn't the best but you can get a good idea of the colors here. When the sun hits this turquoise it gives it a bit of a darker, deeper, tint.
I took it for a little test ride after the storm passed just to see how it felt. It seemed to climb nicely however the downhill was a bit sketchy since Scoot only left me about 30 psi in the front tire. Front end washed out in a sharp corner and I scratched the new paint and tore up all the bar tape on the left hand side. I turned the bike this way so he couldn't see it.
Just kidding Scoot. I didn't crash your ride. But I did accidently scratch it while throwing the parts on it. Scoot and I go way back so I'm guessing he'll let a little scratch slide on by. I'm hoping he will anyway. About 25 years ago I saw Scott almost pile-drive his roommate in a wrestling match. It's a good thing that Scoot's knee blew out or that guy would be looking like Stephen Hawking about right now. I think someone may have spiked the Red Bull that night. Ah, those old college days.
Like I mentioned in the past post about Scoot, he's a blast to put in the miles with. We've had a handful of memorable bike trips together. Bicycle Tour of Colorado and Taos, New Mexico, not to mention all the short trips out to Craighead Forrest back in the college days. He's a pleasure to work with.
This is the last frame you'll see for a while as I may be a little absent from blogging in the next few days to come. Anne got a new job in our hometown of Jonesboro and we're packing stuff up for the move as we speak. Mountain Home has been a great place to reside for the past 6 years but we've been hoping that we could get back to our little house for quite a while and it's finally gonna happen. I'm gonna have my original shop back so I'm pretty excited about that. It's where the first 5 or 6 MEECHs were built. Also I'll get back to those old roads that I know so well and hopefully get some good riding in with old friends.
I don't want to spoil my secret plan but I'm so excited that I can't keep from telling someone. Our plan is to live in our little old house (which is falling apart since nobody has been living in it) until we sell this house, and then hopefully we can build a new one.
"That's not much of a secret plan D."
I know, but try and follow me here. If and when we get a new house, that will leave the little old house vacant. You with me now. New MEECH headquarters. One end of the house is gonna be the machine shop/brazing room part of the workshop while the bedroom on the other end is gonna be a climate-controlled painting booth. Gonna have a kitchen to cook all the grilled-cheeze sandwiches you can eat and a cappuccino machine for the morning ride buzz. There might even be enough space for a carbon frame building room. No more sleeping in the dog house for this cat, I'm just gonna go sleep in the fillet-brazing room, carbon fiber room, or the paint-spraying room. By next year's Tour I'm hoping to be living off of beef jerky, chocolate milk, and fumes. That's the dream and I've got my fingers crossed it goes accordingly. So anyway, I'll try not to be a stranger to my own blog but it's gonna take me a while to get all set up. I've got all my orders filled except one and I'll be posting some pictures of it and the new shop as soon as I get everything up and running again.
Tour is less than 3 weeks away. July 4th is the day. It looks like it's shaping up to be a good one.
Thanks for stopping by.
Sunday, June 7, 2015
Hopefully you're not stuck inside today like I am but if you are here is a link to Brad Wiggin's Hour attempt. Even Wiggins said that this could be boring to watch but the last 10 minutes will be exciting. Hopefully this link will work. There are also a couple of others so I'll see if I can get some options.
Friday, June 5, 2015
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Alberto Contador secured the overall victory in the Giro d' Italia yesterday in Stage 20 after getting dropped with roughly 2oK to go. He had a rough day but in the end was strong enough to keep two minutes between himself and runner-up Fabio Aru, who won stages 19 and 20.
I have no idea where Contador's team was during most of this Giro but he was alone for most of the key moments of the last half of the entire race, like this dirt-road climb in Stage 20.
My favorite quote from this year's Giro was by Contador after he survived Stage 20 and basically had won the Maglia Rosa, he said,
"We'll eat good tonight, however, I will need to watch my weight for the upcoming Tour."
You'd think that a guy, who probably only weighs a buck twenty five, and had ridden 2000+ miles over the course of 3 weeks, wouldn't be too worried about eating a little bit before a race that's over a month away. I guess that's why he is a grand tour champion many times over.
Astana was clearly the most stacked team in this year's race and Little Al is gonna have a hard time winning the Tour if he finds himself in the same situation come July. However, I could never bring myself to bet against him after watching him win this one. He suffered crashes, mechanicals, a dislocated shoulder, multiple attacks from Astana, and he still managed to come out on top. He wants the Giro-Tour double bad.
Yesterday Fabio Aru eventually caught and dropped Ryder Hesjedal and Rigoberto Uran to win Stage 20. Apparently Fabio Aru had a big passion for motocross early on however his parents didn't like him racing motorcycles and so he ended up on a bicycle. I know the feeling. I knew I liked him for some reason. He also attacks really hard. When he goes, he holds it on for so long that it looks like he would blow himself up.
Overall this was an excellent grand tour and one of the better ones that I remember. I enjoyed watching it on http://www.steephill.tv/ where all these photos were taken from. They've got some of the best race coverage around. Check'em out.
Thanks for stopping by!
Friday, May 29, 2015
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Finally! At long last I finally got Nate's frameset finished up. I was beginning to wonder when I would actually finish this frame. I was only feeling the pressure that I put on myself, but trust me, that's more than enough. This was such a straightforward build that I never imagined it would take me so long. In the end, it was nothing more than getting the time away from everything else in order to focus on building a good (I think great) frameset. These last few weeks my head has been really cloudy.
"Was it your allergies D?"
No. They really haven't been that bad.
"Was it because your eyes seem to be getting bad and you can't see very good?"
I don't believe that it was, however, these past few months I can tell my eyes are not quite as good as they have been and glasses are in the near future.
"Was it the fact that your mother-in-law was visiting for 3 weeks?"
No. I enjoy having Sally come visit us. She makes a lot of baked goods and also has this killer recipe for some type of baked shrimp scampi casserole that Red Lobster needs to get a hold of.
"Was it the fact that your wife wanted to go on vacation?"
Nope. We still haven't been on vacation. We haven't had a real vacation in probably 3 years, but we're taking Jack, Dizzy, and Pinky on a little beach trip here in about a week. Can't wait.
"Was it because you think you may be moving back to Jonesboro and you're gonna have to haul a house full of junk back there?"
It is a possibility.
"Was it because you've been putting in 300 mile weeks for the last month?"
Haha. I haven't put in 300 miles in the last month.
"Was it because Louis Maxximus "Soul Katt" Jackson has been MIA for the last 3 weeks?"
That certainly hasn't helped matters. I haven't completely healed from "Pump It" Danny dying.
"Then what was it D?"
Honestly, I think it was nothing more than having too many things to do in the time that I have to get it all done. Luckily for me, my customers have patience. And I do appreciate you all asking. Sometimes you just gotta air it out in order to move forward. Now let's go check out this frame because it's shipping manana.
That's supposed to be pronounced "man-yana" but I don't remember how to put the little accent symbol over the "n".
"Shut up Dimitri and let's go look at Nate's frame."
Ok. Vamos. This is a special frame to me and I'll tell yall why a bit later.
This frame is painted black, white, and egg-shell blue for those who may be color blind.
Enve carbon pointing you where you want to go.
Love these little brass cable tension adjusters.
This is the first time in quite a while that I didn't paint the seat lug a different color, but given the color scheme of this frame I think that black looks appropriate.
I always put a picture of the rear end because everyone loves a nice hiney. Also, you might be really fast and not ever get to see the rear end of another bicycle. As for myself, arses are all I see anymore, millions and millions of arses. Nothing but arses. Arses, arses, and more arses. Arses.
Love these little brass cable tension adjusters.
"You already said that!"
I know, I know. I'm just messing with you. I'm getting old. I have been telling the same stories over and over to people who've already heard them all. Worse part is, I know I've told them and I continue to tell it. The other day I'm almost certain that I had the same exact conversation with the guy at the paint store that we had two months ago. While we were talking I was looking at his eyes thinking, "Does he remember having this same conversation two months ago?" And his eyes were telling me, "Dude, you told me this same story two months ago." I went ahead and finished the story for the second time because you can't just stop right in the middle.
In case you didn't know, these frames are handmade by MEECH in Mountain Home, Arkansas.
MEECH Custom Bicycles
Mountain Home, Arkansas
Louis Maxximus has been missing for over 3 weeks now and I hate to say it but I think he's on higher ground now. We've lost both of our cats in the last 6 months. We're not sure what happened but we fear that he may have run into a bigger animal. Louis wasn't a big cat but he had a big heart. Over the course of roughly 7-8 years, I saw Louis come home several times knowing he had been on the rougher side of a skirmish. Louis was a lover, not a fighter. After a rough night out, he'd always eat a little food, lick his wounds, take a nap, and then the next morning he'd be right back at it. He never made any excuses, he just gave everything he had on every given day. If a cat has 9 lives then Louis Maxximus used 'em all, and then some. Hell, I've seen him use a couple in one day. Louis has been an employee here at MEECH since the very beginning. Every frame that I've built Louis has been in the shop with me at one time or another and he gave each frame his blessing. I'm gonna miss him stopping by during the afternoon to visit and see how the frames are coming. Louis was like a ghost. You could never find him when you wanted to and then as soon as you'd give up looking he'd just appear out of nowhere. Nate's frame is the last frame that Louis participated in building, but his heart and soul will continue to go into every frame that leaves the shop. That's the reason MEECH frames climb so well. I've seen Louis run 30 feet straight up the side of a tree before he ever stopped to look around. So the next time that you're riding your MEECH and you see a steep hill in front you, have no fear, because Louis Maxximus "Soul Katt" Jackson is here. Love ya Lou!