Beginning stages of a road frame for Rich up in New York. Starting out with the usual water-tight miters. You can see all the scuff marks around the edges of the miters, this gives the brass some sweet hand-holds for never letting go. Reminds me, the other day our cat Louie was in a bit of a predicament. He was walking on a skinny branch up in a tree and he slipped. So he's just hanging on with his front feet wrapped around the branch and his hind legs are trying to find some solid ground, he looked like he was 4 feet tall. Since he was only about 6 feet off the ground I just let him figure it out for himself. The branch was bouncing up and down and ol' Lou was looking more like a monkey than a cat, he just wouldn't let go. Anne and I were on the front porch drinking coffee, mine was coming out of my nose. After hanging there until he couldn't take the burn anymore he just pulled himself up on the branch and then shimmied down the tree like it was all part of a plan. I don't give Louie enough credit because he's the baby of the family but for the most part he has his act together. He's an athlete and a hunter and gets mostly C+'s on his report card, but he doesn't care about his grades, he's just living for the moment. I didn't get the seat stays done but they're next in line. I'm using one of my favorite down tubes on this frame, the Pear to Penta from Nova Cycles. Its more or less an 8/5/8 bi-oval design with a little added flare, its super-stout and looks fast too. My grandmother keeps one by the front door in case a burglar breaks in. Her's is tri-oval now but there's one less crackhead in the neighborhood. Let 'em have it Granny.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Here is a photo from the Pro Tour Challenge thats going on in Colorado this week. If I'm not mistaken this is the dirt climb that leads up to the Cottonwood Pass. I did this climb a couple of years ago when I did the BTC with a buddy and this is a great climb. As you can see the road is super-smooth and even though you are climbing it feels like its begging you to go faster so you can get to the end but then the end never seems to come, then comes the eye-watering descent and your just hanging on. I have only done a handful of passes but this is my second most memorable behind Pico de Veleta. I have a few miles on that one. I think this is the stage that Big George won. Go Hincapie. Oh yeah, I took this photo from the Velonews website, as well as many others over the course of time, so I should say thanks to them, hopefully they don't mind. How could a racer live without Velonews? Its actually part of my breakfast every morning.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I waited and waited, finally I got a vacuum pump. The Ritchie Engineering Yellow Jacket SuperEvac. Its a 1/2 hp 4 cfm 'genuwine awthenic' sucking machine. I was playing around with it today doing some practice joints on pvc pipe cause I'm not quite ready to make an assault on the bike frame yet. I want it to look as good as possible, after all I'm gonna be riding this thing around with my name on it. Howard Stern's mother wrote his name on his underwear when he went away to college. Where did that come from? His book. Just a little trivia for you. Today I learned that playing around with carbon fiber and epoxy resin on 95 degree days when the humidity is about 99% isn't the best conditions. Anyway, its cleaned up until the next attempt and I'm sure they'll be plenty more messes in the future. The good news is that the SuperEvac pulled about 28 hg on my first vacuum bagging attempt. Thats vacuum pump lingo. A perfect vacuum is 30 hg however 29 is about the max that you could hope for so it has more than enough sucking power. The first part that I made actually came out looking much better than I expected when I put it in. The compression kinda evened things out, but I still need to figure out an actual plan for laying the carbon patches down so its not just a big, uneven mess. Practice makes perfect. I think Houdini said that? I also have to figure out how to get more pot life out of my resin, or wait for cooler weather. If you've followed my first carbon build you know it will probably be the latter. The first one is the hardest, hopefully.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Today my favorite race, la Vuelta a Espana, starts. I spent around 7 months in Granada, Spain a few years back. Learning some of the culture and the language was a great experience, and oh yeah, living 20 minutes from the base of Pico de Veleta made for plenty of interesting riding, or suffering was more like it. If you left from the center of town you could ride uphill for more than 2 hrs., and that was if you were really fast. Anyway, when you finally did get up to the top it was a great view and then you got to descend for about a half an hour passing as many cars as you could. This is the Moviestar team for this year's addition of la Vuelta. That naked, hairy guy was a last second replacement for an injured rider. Turns out he is their GC man, so be looking for him attacking out of the peloton on some of the harder climbs. He doesn't appear to be much of a time trialist. Adios amigos.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
With 'cross season inching closer I have been looking at some past builds. This one was the first time I experimented with any carbon and this frame turned out very nice. Brad said it rolled very smooth, solid and compliant. I plan on building an all carbon cross frame just as soon as I finish this carbon road frame. I know, I know, I've been talking about it for ever. I just ordered all the vacuum bagging supplies that I will need and I should have a vacuum pump shortly. Steel frames are what pays the bills right now, so that is what I spend the majority of my time on but I really enjoyed building this frame and would be happy to do more. Looks like a race machine. The 29er should be painted today or tomorrow and I'll be posting some pics asap but in the meantime I had to put up some "blast from the past" stuff just because I was tired of looking at Clinger's face. We'll probably see less and less of it. Good luck to him.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Apparently David Clinger got busted again for doping violations which garnered him a lifetime ban from competition. Why would I comment on this? I'm really not sure. I don't know him, never met him, he's probably an alright guy. The tattoo on the face is a little weird but it is nicely layed out, I like it. You know if you are out training with this cat that nobody is ever gonna harass you. He's got a really nice nose, the tat compliments it and I even like the cobra on the neck. The ones that give me the creeps are when people, especially women, get a black widow tattooed on their neck. It would just be hard for me to fall asleep with someone like that laying next to you. Sorry honey, my parents aren't ready for you yet. If Clinger would just shave his neck he could probably get a job as a front man of some hardcore band. He looks a little like Scott Weiland of the Stone Temple Pilots/Velvet Revolver. I think he makes the perfect posterboy for cycling dopers. Imagine if on your second doping offense you could either be banned for life, or, you could get your face tattooed and start racing the next weekend, but you only had 24 hrs. to make the decision. What would the peloton look like then? Probably similar to the Jim Rose Circus. Ever see that? Circus is the only word capable of describing it. Lets try to think of some names for Clinger's band. Too bad Circle Jerks is already taken. Shave your neck man.
Video: Mayor drives over Merc in tank to clear bike lanes - Europe, World News - Independent.ie Don't trespass the bike lanes in Lithuania. I've been saying cyclists are going to rule the world before long. Now we have tanks. That tank is actually being propelled by about 8 cyclist inside.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Couple of cross bikes from the recent past. These are both beautiful bikes and are some of the most custom work I have done. They both contain S3 tubing on the main triangle and they both have custom handmade seat stays. The paint work that Paul and Wayne from Ace's Wild did was excellent. I think I want an orange bike. Orange and Purple, oooohh yeah, with some red racing stripes. Consider it done.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Check this guy out dancing all over his bike. Paul from Ace's Wild stumbled onto this and forwarded it to me. He's definitely got his own thing going on and when you add the music I think this guy is destined to be famous. It would be cool to get this guy over here for some sort of X-Games demo. He'd probably go home with a pocket full of loot, maybe a Red Bull sponsorship. Shake your money maker! I'd love to have this guy dancing all over a MEECH.
Monday, August 8, 2011
Here are a couple of pics of a cross frame build I am working on right now. Actually the frame is already finished, I just forgot to post pics of the build like I had planned. I had this frame cut, fit, and tacked before I remembered to shoot photos, oh well. Anyway, like all my frames I always start out with some super-tight miters on the foundation and continue this process all the way around the frame. As a frame builder, once you make your first water-tight miter you can't bring yourself to tack anything less together, your conscious won't permit it. After close to 4 years of building frames I actually work slower now than I did in the first year however I am much more efficient in the process. Being a "one-man show" here at MEECH, I shoot to build roughly 25-30 frames a year and if more get done then so be it but I don't rush any of them. I'm not trying to break any records I just want each frame that I build to be the best that it can be and so far everything has worked out. However, being a solo builder doesn't mean I don't get help from others, I owe a lot thanks to everyone that makes it possible. Family, friends, riders/racers, machinists, painters, suppliers all make it come together, so thanks. Fly with MEECH!