About Me

My photo
Back in my hometown of Jonesboro., Arkansas, United States
My name is Dimitri Harris and I have been building frames for over 9 years now. I learned the basics after spending two weeks with Koichi Yamaguchi. He is one of the most interesting people I have ever met and I am thankful to have worked with him. Since then I have just been building one frame after another and learning as much as possible along the way. I build steel fillet-brazed frames that go by the name of MEECH, which is an old nickname that I have had since I was a kid. I build mostly cyclocross frames because I love their versatility however I also do road,single-speed, and mountain bikes as well. Custom frames start around $1400. All the frames are handmade by me here in Jonesboro, Arkansas. I am insured and guarantee all of my work so if you are in the market for a custom steel frame I would be glad to build it for you. I am also building frames from carbon fiber so if you would like to ride a prototype frame give me a shout. Thanks for stopping by. You can email me at meech151@hotmail.com or call (870)897-6703 or visit www.meechcustombicycles.com Thanks.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to take a minute and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.  Fixing to head up to Nashville for a couple of days to visit my mom and sister and her family.  I haven't seen my mom sinced she moved from Jonesboro and I'm not sure when I've last seen my sister and her family but its due time so anyway when i get back I plan on starting some frame building.  I hope everyone out there has a good holiday and brings in the New Year with a bang.  Enjoy.  

Oh yeah, just wanted to say that I did get a slice of that cheesecake that I was chatting off about a couple of days ago, and yes it was good.  I still got it.  Just remember that the main ingredient in anything you make is a whole lotta love.

Get off Santa Claus!  Merry Christmas.

MEECH Custom Bicycles
handmade in
Mountain Home, Arkansas

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The End

I've been really excited here lately since the world is gonna end here in a bit. I've needed something to break up the monotony.  I also need some time off work to get some stuff done so this end of the world thing is working out for me. I thought I'd get in one more post just to say adios to everyone.  On second thought why would I do that, we'll all be going to the same place I imagine.  I hope its warm there, but not too warm if you know what I mean.  I prefer lower 90's all day long and 60's at night if anyone is asking. The weather here lately has been really nice in Arkansas for late December, mainly in the mid 60s during the day.  Great riding weather.  Last night a storm blew in and it got cold real quick and the wind has been ripping all day long gusting between 30-40 mph. Its only fitting that the wind is gonna blow really hard at the end of time.  Even though I had the afternoon off I didn't even attempt to ride.  There was a time I would've given it a dig but that time has passed now.  For some reason last night I stayed up and made a cheesecake for the people at work.  A bunch of people brought all sorts of candy and cookies and I ate most of of it by myself so I figured I would try and give back a little.  I used to make cheesecakes all the time when I worked at the Country Club, and then later I had a little bakery/chocolate shop called The Chocolate Bar for about a year.  I ended up renting it out and going back to school.  It was fun but I didn't want to do it for the rest of my life, besides I was eating all the profits. My two favorite desserts to make are cheesecake and baklava.  I thought about making a baklava but since its supposed to be the end of the world and all I decided I wanted to take a few extra calories with me.  I figured I might be traveling for a while.  This is an Almond Praline Cheesecake and I took it to work thinking that maybe they could cut it up and give a slice to everyone that worked there but the boss just took it and said, "Thanks" and then put it in the cooler.  I was a bit puzzled because not only did I want him to try it and tell me how it tasted I also wanted a piece for myself as I don't make them that often anymore and I haven't had any good cheesecake for a while now.  Oh well, I can make another for myself but I was mainly worried that all the other workers might think that I just made this for the boss to get on his good side.  I didn't do that at all, like I said before I wanted everyone to get a slice, myself included, especially myself.  Ahh, piss on it.  If its still there tomorrow I may steal it back and when he asked me what happened I'll just play dumb and point at the chunky guy.  I hope he doesn't read this blog, he might pulverize me tomorrow, the chunky guy that is.  I like him though, he's cool.  I'll make him a cheesecake to keep myself outta trouble.

My frame building has slowed a bit here lately as I've mentioned before but after I get the holidays behind me I got a new project to work on that I have already got a little start on.  Its a replica of the older Schwinn Sting BMXers.  Its gonna be pretty interesting and I've already had to make some changes to the old Bringheli.  BMX frames have a bottom bracket height instead of a bottom bracket drop so the bb center is roughly 2 inches higher than the axle center.  Not only that but the hub width on this frame is only 110 mm.  So I took everything over to my good friend Bob Davis and he made me the dummy axle as well as this little addition to my jig.  It turned out perfect and I couldn't be happier.  I don't know how many BMX frames I will build in the future but I'm set up now.  He does excellent work and is a very interesting person to talk to so I always like having to go over there.  I've talked about him several times and I've even posted some pics of his custom motorcycles.  Thanks Bob.

Here is the 'before' shot of the Bringheli.  You would think that you could just turn this piece upside down and you'd be set but it didn't work out that easy.  The dummy axle was too close to the main mounting piece and it wouldn't allow the dropouts to fit properly.  Its all water under the bridge now.  I should be getting a start on things right after Christmas, if we're still here on Earth.  Hah.  I'm only 45 years old right now but I can remember a handfull of times that the world was supposed to end and it didn't.  The first time I was just a kid in grade school and I remember that the planets were supposed to be aligning and the gravitational pull was supposed to pull the Earth apart or something.  I was scared but then I woke up and had a cup of coffee and life went on.  I started drinking coffee really young.  My dad taught me how to make his coffee when i was like 6 yrs. old so that he wouldn't have to.  I can remember having to jump up on the counter in order to get the coffee out of the cabinet.  He also taught me how to make oyster stew when i was probably only 8 or 9 yrs. old.  Same story, he figured that if he could teach me how to do the things that took up his time then he would still get what he wanted and have the time to relax.  I'm not complaining because it was all educational.  I spent most of my early years working for my father and I owe most everything I have to him and my mother, and, I still eat oyster stew quite a bit during the winter so it was worthwhile.  

I think I drifted off the subject a bit.  I'm not even sure this post has a particular subject.  Oh yeah, the 'end of time' predicted by the Mayans.  I wouldn't worry too much about it.  The Mayans didn't even see the Spanish coming so I doubt they have the power to predict the end of the world.  There was only one smart Mayan amongst their civilization and that was the one that stopped making the calendar.  He probably figured out that he wasn't gonna live many more years and said, "Screw this bs, I'm outta here.  I'm going ridin." Either that or he got killed by the Conquistadors. History books will tell you that Christopher Columbus discovered America but if there are any indians left out there they will tell you that he destroyed America.  And there's one other pretty solid clue that the world is not gonna end tomorrow, its already tomorrow in Australia.  I heard that on World News Tonight a little while ago.  It would be funny if the world just went 'pooof' like some sort of old, stale firework except for the fact that I didn't get a piece of that damn cheesecake.  Unbelievable.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Yancey's Cross World's Backup

Here are a couple of pics of Larry's backup frame that I've had for way too long.  This is the frame he raced at the World Cross Championships last year and it wasn't even painted for that.  We just sprayed the name on it and clear-coated it.  It doesn't take very long to chip the clear and then its only about 24 hours before the surface rust starts to set in.  So anyway, I just completely stripped it and decided to give it a go myself the other day when it was warm enough out in the storage shed behind the house.  Everything went pretty smooth so I thought, then after shooting the clear and taking it out into the light I realized I had some yellow that wasn't completely covered. So I had to let everything cure for a couple of days and then go back and scuff all the clear and then I taped off all the logos as I didn't want to have to redo everything to reshoot the black and then of course clear it again.  No problem except that then the cold weather came back.  Luckily I found a guy in town who is gonna let me rent his paint booth out a couple of times a month in order to get some of my painting done.  I had a brand new spray gun that I bought on closeout last year and so I packed everything up and went over to his shop the other day and gave it a go.  Painting with an actual spray gun in a real booth is so much better than how I was doing it before.  The gun sprays so much smoother and is so much easier to control the flow.  You have to really screw up to get a run in the paint and clearing is much better also because the mist is finer, however there was one spot on the left chain stay that needed a little better coverage but it wasn't bad for the first attempt. It is a race bike and Larry would probably knock that much clear off of it in the first corner.  I wasn't 100% comfortable since it was my first time in this guys shop and there were a bunch of old-timers eating lunch and watching me through the window but it turned out ok.  I didn't strain the clear coat since I never had before and it had something in it  that I kinda had to buff out, but lesson learned and I'm ready for the next one.

The fork turned out pretty nice on the first attempt so I didn't have to reshoot that and that was nice. 

Its not hot-pink but its MOTO.

I like the contrast of the white headset against the black and yellow.  Here lately I've been into things that don't necessarily go together instead of just trying to make everything match.  Its kind of the same way when I'm dressing myself.  An old friend described me once as 'retro-give-a-f**k'.  Thats one description.

Since the other frame is yellow with black we decided to go with the opposite on this one.  Should make for a pretty nice contrast in the pits.

Finally dug up a good photo of Yancey at the Arkansas State Cross Championships.  This is a good photo however I prefer the photos where they are actually riding the bikes and not carrying them.  I understand cross racing but carrying a bicycle just doesn't seem right to me.  I'm glad yall are doing it and not me. I'll keep building them if you all will keep racing them.  Anyway, congrats on winning your race Larry and now you don't have to worry about having a backup at World's.  After finishing this frame up and also about to get started on Matt's Schwinn Sting replica I'm starting to feel like a frame builder again.  Man, there for a while I was wondering when I was gonna get it together.  Not sure I have everything dialed in quite like I want but I'm getting closer.  I think after I get the holidays behind me I should be able to get focused.  Maybe  I'll get the website updated a bit and kick things back into gear.    Now if only I could begin to feel like a cyclist again.  I'm gonna try to get a short ride in this afternoon.  Hope you all do as well.  Chao.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Just Another Day at the Cross Races

This is Jess Parker 'hanging ten' at one of the cross races this past weekend.  I'm guessing he was flying into this mudhole and he appears to be close to axle deep and this would in turn lead to these next two photos.

...wanting to save it, or if it was me it would be more like, not wanting to get dirty.

Happens to the best of us.  Thanks for the photos.  It looks like they were taken by Seth Likens Photography.  Be sure and check out his work.  I like to make sure people get the credit they deserve.  Until next weekend.  Chao.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Arkansas State Cyclocross Championships

The 2012 Arkansas State Cyclocross Championships went down yesterday in Little Rock out at Burns Park.  They had done a bunch of prep work on the track the day before only to have a big flash flood rain come in and submerge part of the course.  Did that scare anyone away?  Not these guys.  Little Rock was like a second home for me when I was racing and I know a bunch of these guys.  We have some great races and racers in Arkansas.  Just wanted to say that I stole most of these photos off of Arkansas Outsides facebook page or perhaps someone else's and I just wanted to say thanks for taking them.  Love those racing photos and I hope everyone gets their deserved credit for being there.

This is Anthony Moats of Russelville leading the pack here and he doesn't appear to be afraid of water.  This was a small river crossing here that the promoters threw in the course so that the riders could wash the mud off their shoes every lap. Thats one of the earlier MEECH cross frames that Anthony is carrying across the river.  He must not of wanted to get it dirty.  Haha, we know better than that.  I'm not gonna lie, I never really enjoyed conditions like this when I was racing.  I always preferred the dry hardpack stuff so I really envy all these guys who get out and lay it down out there.  Don't get me wrong though, when I went to a race I raced in whatever Mother Nature had in store for the day.  I'm not a puss, I just don't like things that slow me down.  I don't like having to clean my bike either.  Hey, just being honest with you guys.  

I'm not exactly sure who this is but I believe its a racer by the name of Keegan Knapp.  If I got that wrong I'm sorry.  Regardless, this is definitely a cross racer who appears to have been enjoying these conditions and my hat is off to him and the others.  Hope you had a good race brother.

Just Do It!  These are the guys who need to replace Lance in the Nike commercials.  Good job guys!

Anthony has been recovering from a pretty severe leg injury and I'm not sure the doctor would've approved of this extracurricular activity however I don't think anything can stop Anthony from doing what he wants to and he doesn't look to bad here,  I just wish he knew that mud is not gonna hurt that MEECH one bit.  I know its light and all but ride that thing dude! This is a cool photo.  Check out how the bike is perfectly parallel to the ground.  Do you know what that means?  I don't but I was just curious if anyone else did.  Anyway, ever onward as I always say.

This is Mike Suminski, one of my riding buddies from Jonesboro.  He's been getting into cross here the last couple of years and he doesn't appear to mind the conditions one bit.  Something appears to have his attention up ahead.  How does he stay so clean?

He looks to be pretty focused here and he's still clean.  Only problem with this photo is Mike is riding a Specialized bike while wearing a Cannondale jersey.  He could avoid all these contractual problems if he would just get on a MEECH.  One of these days I'm gonna get him on some good steel.  Its the real deal Jill.  Who is Jill?  Have no idea, I guess its Jack's girl.  Mike and Yancey train alot together in Jonesboro and are on the same team during the road season.  I sifted through about 500 photos this morning and couldn't find one of Yancey. I heard at one point he was completely underwater and was breathing through the vent holes that I put in the frame,  so I know he was there and somehow managed to get a first place in the Cat 2 race.  Lets see Rambo do that.  Thats what I like to hear.  Good job Larry, way to ride.  That will earn him a bonus with all the boys back at the factory.  We're gonna give him a free pass to the Dallas Karting Complex.  I bet you a Coke he has a big smile on his face right now.

Speaking of smiles, what is this?  This is 3-fanged Dizzy. The other day I looked in Dizzy's mouth and realized he had an extra fang.  Not sure if this is baby teeth or if God blessed Dizzy with an extra fang. Regardless, he can knock out corn-on-the-cob like a beaver going through pine.  He doesn't like to anyone to touch his head either, so fair warning.

Here he is hanging out with his little-big brother Pinky.  This is a rare moment as they don't normally sit this close together.  Pinky likes his space and Dizzy also seems to like Pinky's space.  These dogs are like night and day but deep down they love each other even though  Pinky won't ever admit it.  Dizzy is always nipping him on the butt with that extra fang.

Here I am wrestling with Dizzy trying to tire him out a bit so he will go to sleep.  This dog has more energy than I've ever seen.  If I could only figure out how to get him on a bike.  His favorite games are Ruffhousing (get it?) and Glove.  What the heck is Glove you ask?  Its where I put on a big welders glove to protect my hand and I let Dizzy attack me.  He loves it and never seems to get enough of The Glove!  Thanks for checking things out and once again thanks to whoever took all these photos.  Love ya.  Peace.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Highway Salute

The other day I got flipped off while riding.  It had no real impact on me as I had done nothing wrong and it was just some random redneck passing me in his truck and he felt the need to give me the bird.  I just gave a big laugh in his face as it just bounced right off of me. I've found that to be a better retaliation than to shoot it back at them. I'm getting older and in my quest to be a bit better of a human being (I'm not that good but just trying to do a little better) I've pretty much quit popping the bird to people. I really don't think giving the finger is that big of a deal however there are some people who do so I refrain.  There was a day, not too long ago, when I would 'fly the arrow' quicker than Josey Wales could pull his pistols. When someone drives by at 60 mph yelling something at you or possibly throwing something at you the bird seems to be your only available response in such short notice.  Chances are they aren't gonna hear anything you say, unless they're going real slow, and the bird is something that after they go by and are looking in their rearview mirror, they can see and you know you got a word in or perhaps landed a blow back.  Most of the people that know me can't even imagine that I actually have a temper but its there.  I guess everybody has one. Over the years I've managed to bury it a little deeper and I try to keep it tucked away as best I can. I know its still there though,  waiting for that special moment to come to life.  I can't even remember the last time I got really pissed off.  Its extremely hard to piss me off, especially  when I'm around people because I always try my best to stay calm and keep things under control.  Being in control really is the most efficient way to live however its easier said than done.  Emotions can get people into big messes really quick. You can flip me the bird, cuss me, threaten me, I've even been pushed and shoved and I didn't  get that worked up.  I'll probably just serve them some smartass retort similar to what they've served me.  Try to feed me crap I'll just feed it right back to you.  You could probably even say something about my mother and it wouldn't make me mad, because I know that it probably isn't even close to true.  My mom is a sweetheart country girl who has spent most of her life in church.  She never drinks alcohol, never smokes, and I've only heard her cuss a couple of times, and that was at me.  Trust me, I deserved it. Even then all she said was "damn" or "dammit", not even a bad word by my standards.  A couple of things that will get a rise out of me though is if I see someone mistreating an animal. The blood starts to heat a bit and I'll probably say something even though I know it's best to keep my mouth shut. Avoiding the situation hurts me more than saying something.  If someone messes with my family or my friends I tend to get a little anxious as well. This never really happens but if it did I would get off my rocker.  But then there is one thing that really gets my attention quicker than anything else and it's something that I have no idea why it bothers me so much  and thats when someone drives by me and yells, "Get outta the road!"  At that moment I'm all in.  The first thought that comes to my mind is, "Let me see you make me!"  I want them to stop the car and let me take off my shoes and I want to make them eat carbon fiber soles until they've had their fill and need a new set of teeth.  Theres the temper. They're gonna have their work cut out for 'em to keep me out of the road. The more someone tries to keep me out of the road the more I'm gonna dance in the road.  That reminds me of one Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner with my family a while back when someone asked me, "Don't you worry about getting hit by a car?" My mother replied, "Are you kidding me?  Dimitri plays in traffic."  I didn't say anything but I felt good inside, like I still had it.  So anyway, enough about me, lets get back to this middle-finger thing.

After this guy flipped me off the other day I spent the majority of that ride (only about an hour) wondering how the whole middle finger jesture came about.  Why do people get so upset when someone sticks up their middle finger?  Its harmless. You can't really feel it. It doesn't hurt.  I can remember one time, many years ago, when I was just a kid, that me and my family were down in Florida on vacation. Me and my sister and mom and dad were eating at Kentuckey Fried Chicken kinda late one night.  So in walks this drunken man and he goes up to the counter and he starts bouncing change off the counter demanding some chicken.  Well it obviously wasn't enough change because they didn't give him any chicken and told him to leave. He started yelling and cussing at everyone as he walked out of the store and then once outside he walked right up to the big window right in front of our table and gave everyone the bird.  A big, angry, pissed off bird. He was mad. Go figure, he couldn't get any 'dirty bird' so he gives everybody the 'dirty bird'.  My dad just kinda looked at him and then kept eating his chicken, but I remember my mother turning her head away and putting her hand up as if to block Satan from entering the KFC. Like I said, she grew up in the country with probably only a couple hundred people around and I'm guessing the bird wasn't something that got passed around alot. Myself, I just remember being scared at the fact that a grown man looked willing to fight the manager of the Kentuckey Fried Chicken.  Who would stand a chance to beat up a man wearing a red and white striped shirt and a bow tie with a name tag that said, "Manager"?  My dad wasn't worried a bit.  He probably wanted something to happen in order to curb the boredom. He was a Golden Glove champ in North Memphis in his younger days and went on to train fighters in the service as well as other areas of boxing.  He would've dropped that drunk with a quick shot and then probably bought him a 'snak-pak' and set it on his chest so that when he came to he would have something to eat and it would all just seem like a bad dream.

Giving someone the finger, popping the bird, the finger wave,  the highway salute, a New York hello, where did this idea come from?  And then, low and behold,  just a couple of days ago my wife comes home and tells me that one of the doctors at the hospital came into the pharmacy and by some odd chance they were talking about whatever and the doctor asked her and the others if they knew how the idea of the middle finger originated, and then proceeded to tell them.  She comes home and mentions it to me and now I'm all ears. What timing.  "Lay that story on me!", I says to her.  And here is what the doctor told them, maybe you've heard it before.

Apparently, way back in some century hundreds of years ago, at a time when the bow and arrow was the predominant weapon, this middle finger thing got started.  I'm not an archer but supposedly you need your index finger and your middle finger to shoot a bow and arrow.  When two armies would fight one another and one army would capture one of the other army's archers they would cut off their middle finger so that they could no longer shoot a bow and arrow and therefore never be a danger to them down the road.  Then we come forward a bit to the point where one army has won the battle and in order to shove a little extra salt into the wounds of the losers, the victors would all hold up their middle fingers as if to say, "Screw you, we still have our middle fingers."  I thought that was a pretty cool story and that it made perfect sense. However, after doing a little research apparently the whole middle finger thing dates back much further than that, back to the ancient Greek and Roman days where apparently it had some sort of insulting phallic connotation, which is kinda along the lines of what I was thinking while I was pondering this whole thing on my ride that day. I don't feel obligated to go into any details about this as I will just let you all think about this amongst yourselves. Anyway, that doesn't seem quite as cool as the whole bow and arrow story but I did find it amazing that popping the bird goes so far back and still has such a strong presence today.  For me, these days it just seems too easy to just pop the bird.  I mean, everybody does it and it's not creative in the least, but for some reason I still get a laugh out of watching other people flip the bird at one another.  I really enjoy it when I'm riding with a group and someone else in the peloton flips the bird because chances are I am thinking the same exact thing only they're the ones doing it and I envy them a bit.  Maybe it reminds me of my younger days. I'll be laughing inside knowing that I have their back should that driver stop.  Keep in mind that this type of thing seldom happens to me anymore, and as I sit here talking about it I actually kinda miss it. I like the potential for some sort of crazy action to break up the monotony.  Who knows, as little as I've been riding these days I may be on the road to some bird watching, if only it was that middle finger 'bird'.  Have a nice day.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Jess Parker in Action

Quick shot of Jess Parker putting an early MEECH to good use.  I love seeing them being raced hard.  Thanks Jess.
Jess is another MEECH rider who seems to never get enough racing in.  If I could buy a 
"big-rig" and put Branton, Jess, and Larry in it and just send them around the states coast to coast I'd do it.  I'd put a full kitchen in the back of it that way I could do all the driving and the meal preparation.  We'd probably have a pool table and a air-hockey table in there along with a big-screen so that we could race cars, motorcycles, and whatever else we could find.  Do they have a cyclocross video game yet?  They need one.  Oh yeah, we'd also have about 4 shifter karts to play around in in between races.  We'll just call them pit-bikes, how's that?

Monday, December 3, 2012

Yancey on the Move

Here is a shot of Yancey at a cross race this past weekend in Fayetteville.  He and his teammates from BMC had their annual training camp ride on Saturday and then with a cross race happening on Sunday there was no way LY was gonna pass that up.  Larry would rather take a beating than miss a race.  Anyway, the promoter managed to work the BMX course into the cross course and so I'm sure it made for an interesting ride.  I believe Yancey finished a solid fourth overall.  Branton Moore was also racing his MEECH right alongside of Yancey.  It was his first ride back on the MEECH since we fixed his seat post and he said everything felt solid.  I'm lucky to have such cool guys out there racing on my bikes.  If I ever when the lottery I will pay you guys a couple hundred thousand a year just to race my bike.  Its a huge thrill for me to see you guys out there sporting the MEECH logo.  Thanks for the hard efforts.

Also, I'm not sure who gets credit for this photo.  I stole it off the Arkansas Outside's FB page.  So anyway, to whomever this photo belongs I thank you for taking it and I give the full credit to you.  Nice shot man!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Schwinn Sting Project

I've got an interesting build to start here in the coming days for Matt who has been a BMXer all his life.  I can't give you all the details because its a secret.  Actually I don't have all the details, just some vague numbers and a handful of BMX parts but numbers and parts are what dreams are made of, or something like that. I have so many things that need to be taken care of both bicycle related and not and I always feel like nothing is getting accomplished.  I have one frame in the paint booth getting a little touch-up work that has been the number one priority, I have Yancey's back-up frame half painted that I need to get finished, and about 2 others that I need to get painted as well.  I wanted to get all this paint work done before starting on any more frames or taking any more orders and my plan was to get it all done between now and the New Year and then start with a clean slate.  Thats still the plan, we'll see how it goes.  Paul has been busy building his house and has had limited time to spend painting and I can't paint in the winter because I don't have any climate control in the shed out back.  People tell me to just throw a heater in there but its not quite that simple.  You have to have some fresh air coming in from somewhere and that fresh air this time of year is cold.  "Well D, why don't you just get you a good respirator and suck it up for a while in there?"  No thanks!  I don't think thats a good idea for a much desired long life-span, nor is boxing yourself up in some 10' x 10' shed, filling it up with explosive fumes, and running a heater.  I would like to get these frames painted but I'm not gonna put my eye brows on the line, sorry Virginia.  Actually I'm willing to put my life on the line for frame building but I'm not interested in going out in some stupid fashion like blowing myself up. 

 "How did he die?"
"He locked himself in a storage shed with a little heater and started spraying flammables everywhere and KABOOM."   

Anyway, no worries mate.   I just spoke with a guy who builds hot rods here in town and he has a full shop with a paint booth as well and he agreed to let me rent booth time from him on occasion which is an ideal scenario for me.  I can get some real painting experience in a professional environment and hopefully start to paint all my frames, or at least a lot of them. So while progress here has been a little slow lately my original plan is gradually coming together.  My job at the bistro has been a blessing in some ways and a beating in others.  Its allowing me a little more financial freedom but at the same time taking me away from frame building.  Don't worry, I'm itching to build frames more than ever but this is the holiday season and  so I'm just gonna focus on getting these handful of things done between now and the end of the year and put a fresh-laid plan to work in 2013.

This build here is gonna be a slow build as I'm new to the whole BMX thing but I'm all sure Matt is gonna bring me up to speed pretty quick and once we have all the small details out on an open table it will be some interesting fun.  I love the whole BMX thing and I've always wanted to get the MEECH name out there on a track somewhereand this is my opportunity.  I'm sure I'll have some more to add to this shortly but I need to go run Dizzy dog this morning and let him spread the love if you know what I mean.  I've been a little sick these last couple of days but I think I'm on the downhill now.  

Wonder what video game that is? This looks like a fun room to be hanging around in huh? So anyway, back to this BMX thing.  I never was a BMX racer in my time as there wasn't an abundance of BMX racing in my area, or any that I knew of.  Motocross was always my dream but I never got to race on a motocross bike until I was like 20 yrs. old.  My parents weren't big on the whole motorcycle thing so I had to wait until I got old enough to go at it on my own.  I had a couple of motorcycles when I was young but never did any racing only jumping and popping wheelies around the neighborhood.  When I was in the 11th grade I actually talked my mom into co-signing on a loan so that I could purchase a CR125.  A couple of years later I finally got to take it to my first race.  Man did I suck.  In the first moto I got stuck in the gate so everyone was long gone by the time I actually got going, except for this one guy who was picking up his bike from a first turn crash.  So there is the entire first turn with one rider picking up his bike and me coming down the straight at 50 mph like I'm gonna catch up.  About the time the stray rider gets on his bike I come sliding into the first corner and take him out again.  Man was he pissed.  I had 15 feet on either side of him to go around and I slammed straight into him.  Who knows what happened in the 2nd moto?  All I know is that my dream to ride faster and jump farther than everyone else at the track was shattered.  No factories were gonna call and sign me up and give me free bikes like I had planned.  Pure devastation embodied me but life went on and I eventually won some races in the years to come.  Dirt tracks with jumps and whoops is right up my sleeve so to get my name out there on the fast track is something really appealing to me.  I like seeing people go fast and high and if they are on one of my bikes its just that much better so I'm really stoked with this build.

A lot of the older Schwinn's were fillet-brazed so how much better can it get for me.  This frame here was fillet-brazed and then chromed.  You don't see much chroming these days, not sure why.  Maybe its the cost involved, maybe its the EPA, I have no idea.  Anyway, the finish on this frame I'm starting is the least of my concerns right now, I'm just ready to get this party started. Stay tuned.  Venga.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

Alright, just wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  I had no pictures of my own to share at the moment but I didn't want to just write Happy Thanksgiving cause that would be lame.  So what did I do?  I googled "turkey bicycle" to see what would come up and this is what I got, along with a bunch of photos of people riding bicycles in Turkey.  So up above is the first photo.  Not bad.  We have a good looking turkey(is that what they call a Tom turkey?), he's pretty well buffed, standing along side of a nice looking steel bicycle, that if you put a racing saddle on and raised it a bit, threw some drop bars on it, and added some of your favorite pedals, you might make it through a cross race or two.  Its possible, you don't know, you might.  I also can't help but to get a little turned on just by looking at that prime terrain.  Kind of a loamy hardpack if there ever was such a thing.  Thats MX lingo. Looks a little like what I used to race on in the Georgia Dome. I never saw any turkeys hangin out around the Georgia Dome though. Saw a lot of bums and bag ladies that said they could do lots of talented things for a dollar.  "You'll do what 'toothless bag-lady wearing five sweaters and three toboggans'?  Is that why you cut the fingers out of your gloves?"  After reading this you are all gonna be thankful for something, I guarantee it, even if you only have one tooth.  So anyway,  what do you think happens in this turkey-bicycle picture here?  
Does the buffed turkey grab the bike and put his turkey legs to good use and make a smooth get away before the ax gets him, or...

...did he ever even learn to ride a bicycle in the first place when he was just a young gobbler?  Apparently this turkey here never learned to ride a bike and ended up like this.  I think this is more of a pig than a turkey.  I don't know but I bet it sure taste good.  I'm getting hungry now.  Nice job of weaving the bacon. Thats kind of a 3k Bacon weave on that frame. The hidden skills of some people never ceases to amaze huh?  Now just coat it with some high-end epoxy and you'll have one of the stiffest riding birds in the peloton.   Why did the thought of racing ostriches just come to my mind?  I prefer cantilever brakes on my cross bike but I think if I raced ostriches I would probably go with disc brakes on both of his ankles.  Talk about face-planting. In one of my older post, probably like 3 years ago, I was talking about MEECHcross racing, and I believe I said that I would start the race out by shooting a flaming turkey out of a giant slingshot.  Where do I come up with these ideas?  Don't worry, the turkey would not be alive and on fire, at least not for long anyway.  Although, to be more of a  humanitarian I could just launch a live turkey out of the giant slingshot and then he could just proceed to fly on and everyone could applaud the free-stylin pardoned turkey, without the fire of course. I wonder why chickens never get pardoned?  I mean chickens get eaten everyday whereas the turkey only has to escape the holiday a couple of times a year.  Imagine how a chicken would feel if he got bought for a Thanksgiving dinner.  He'd be like, "WTF MAN, I GET ONE STINKIN DAY OUTTA THE YEAR THAT I DON'T HAVE TO COVER MY ARSE TO KEEP SOME CLOWN FROM CHOPPING OFF MY HEAD AND YOU UP AND DECIDE THAT YOU DON'T LIKE TURKEY, WELL HOW BOUT YOU LEARN TO LIKE IT JACKASS!  FOR PETE"S SAKE MAN!  WHAT ABOUT HAM or STEAK, or EAT SOME DAMN FISH FOR CRYIN OUT LOUD!  CAN'T I JUST REST FOR ONE FREAKIN DAY AND TRY TO ENJOY WATCHING SOME FOOTBALL WITHOUT SOME CORN NUT  TRYING TO KILL ME?" 

 Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Hope you get the opportunity to get in some miles on the bike, and that you can ride faster than this turkey did. That may be a chicken under all that bacon, who knows?  Rock 'n' Roll.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Anne's 5K

Anne did the White River 5k run for charity on Saturday morning.  They actually had a full marathon and a half marathon as well to benefit a charity for the people of Kenya.  The marathon was a qualifier for the Boston Marathon and they had a pretty good turnout.  It was pretty cold (felt real cold to me, low 30's at start time) and foggy but it didn't phase her and she went out there and knocked it out.  She was just about talked into doing the half marathon a couple of weeks earlier but after realizing that trying to run 13 miles with only a few days training is not a good idea she opted for the 5K.  Anne and I aren't runners, me especially, but she went out on a couple of 8-10 mile runs on a moments notice to try and get ready and then when she found out there was a 5k as well she decided to play it smart.  So we woke up early got her to the start line and after 30 minutes we were back in the car ready to get back in a warm bed.  Runners are crazy people.  Right before the start I had a little deja vu when Anne said to me, "Why am I doing this?"  And I reminded her it was for charity and she said. "Alright."  It reminded me of myself back when I was racing bicycles.  I always hated early starts and lots of times I would say to myself, "What am I doing here?"  I guess its for the love of racing, or charity.  One of the sponsors for this event was Christ Community Church which just finished being built inside the mall next to the bistro where i work.  I kinda got to know the minister there, Brother David, as he comes in to eat pretty regularly.  Anyway, he and some of his colleagues go to Kenya about once a year in order to help out in certain areas where the people are less fortunate.  The organization is World Vision and they are stationed all over the world trying to help out impoverished nations.  Anne and I may never go to Africa as missionaries but we are gonna sponsor one of the kids over there.  I was always a bit skeptical about sending money to these organizations as I always thought that the money would end up in the wrong hands, however after checking World Vision out I felt confident enough to give it a shot for a year and see how it goes.  There are plenty of people and animals that need a little help right here locally but I guess theres nothing wrong with trying to reach out a little and make a difference.  Hopefully it helps someone out that is in need.  I'm going into it with a positive attitude.  Maybe one day I'll get a MEECH frame on the African continent.  Ever watch the Tour of Africa on TV?  Its a trip.  Not exactly the Tour de France.  Those guys are racing on whatever they can find.  I saw one guys crank just fall completely off.  There was no team car or anything to help.  He had to fix his own bike to finish the race.  And then another guy was off the front solo when a tiger just ambushed him and dragged him off his bike and into the bush.  Ok, I'm pulling your leg a little now but it is Africa.  

Here she is trying to stay warm before the start.  You can tell she is just so excited about getting to run at 7 o'clock in the morning in 30 degree foggy weather.  Its always cold and damp down by the White River even on hot summer mornings so I was glad I wasn't doing it.  Good job baby, when is the next one? I'll drive you there.  Check out the sweet cap she's wearing.  Whats that say?

We took Dizzy with us.  I'm pretty sure that Dizzy would've had a good finish and probably qualified for the Boston Marathon.  He was dying to run, I had to hold him back.  He was like, "26 miles, pfff, no problem, be back in a minute."  Dizzy backs the racing scene 100%, he loves it and was made for it.  He's a good dog and we love him even though he makes us all dizzy.  Thanks for checking things out.  I'm working on some things and hopefully will get some posts up before long.  Things just seem to be moving in slow motion.  Hang in there with me.  Love ya!  chao.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cross Racing is Tough on Your Stuff

I had to do a little repair work on Branton's cross frame when I got back from the Texas.  I posted a few days ago that in one of his races in Little Rock he took a pretty hard hit.  He didn't actually crash I don't think but whatever happened slammed all of his body weight down onto the saddle, breaking a carbon wheel and bending the extended seat tube right above the seat tube cluster.  I just assumed that it happened right where the butting starts to get small even though I didn't think I would have left that door open.  After cutting if off I found that the bend was still in the fat part of the tube, a tube butted 8/5/8, so it was a pretty solid hit.  It made his 73 degree seat tube angle about a 69.5 degree angle.  I didn't take a photo before I cut it off but I still have the piece out in the shop, I'll try to get a photo of it.  At first I wasn't sure how I was gonna fix it.  There was no room left to braze on a seat lug and how in the world do you replace a seat tube in a fillet-brazed frame.  I mean I know how to do it but I could build another frame in the amount of time it would take to cut all that out and file all the brazing down, to perfection mind you in order to get a new seat tube in there.  Then I thought that I would braze a sleeve inside the seat tube and then braze another seat tube mast onto the sleeve.  That would've worked but right before the machinist started cutting the sleeve I stopped him and thought, "Wait, we can just use one of my seatpost, turn it down to the correct height, and just epoxy it in."  Oh yeah,"... and hope it holds up."  The idea was not just for getting it fixed as easy as possible but to get Branton back on his bike for some cross racing asap.  I mean this happened in the first couple weeks of the cross season.  Can you imagine waiting all year long for cross season to get here and then a couple of races in your bike is in the shop.  That would suck.  If any brazing would have taken place in this scenario then that means some repainting would have to take place and that might have added two or so more weeks that Branton was missing races.  Branton is very fond of cyclocross racing and seems to be fond of his MEECH as well so I wanted to try and get this resolved as quickly as possible.  The last little issue with Branton's frame was that when we built it he wanted the rear brake housing to be internally routed and out the back of the seat post and straight down to the brake boss and that why this little hole is cut into the post.  It also needed to be cut at a little bit of an angle because the holes, the seat tube vent hole and the hole in the back of the seat tube didn't completly line up making for a difficult feeding of the housing all the way through.  Anyway its done and back in Branton's hands.  Now all we have to do is wait and see how strong JB Weld really is.  Branton is gonna put it to the test real soon.  Cross your fingers.

This just shows how the cable comes out the back of the seat cluster.  Oh yeah, and make sure the saddle is perfectly in line before JB does his thing or its all for naught.  The saddle is tilted up a bit in this photo but that doesn't matter because that part is adjustable however after seeing this photo it reminded me that this is how I used to run my saddle years ago before my brain was fully developed.  What was I thinking?  Don't know Virginia but I don't do it anymore.  "Is your brain fully developed now?"  Apparently not Virginia or I wouldn't be sitting here talking to you now would I?"  Gonna go look for some older photos of Branton's frame.  Be back in a second.
There that didn't take long.  This was fresh out of the paint booth roughly a year ago I think.

...and this was the original setup with the Ritchey seat cap.  I believe the integrated seat post above is much cleaner and solid.

...and this is, well do I really need to say?  Anyway, we saved a frames life and it didn't even lose any blood, uhh, I mean paint.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Good Article on Discs vs. Cantilever on Cross Bikes


If I raced enough cross races(or any races) to have an opinion about this I would give you mine however I don't.  When Yancey and I talk about this we always end up saying that its not slowing down that we have trouble with, its going faster.  One thing I would like to say is that I hope an industry standard doesn't decide this for us.  I think it will be really neat if the industry continues to offer us both options, and continues to innovate both options, so that the individual can choose to their own liking.  I'm all sure that there are plenty of situations that could favor either type of brake but it would be real interesting to watch pro caliber racers (and amateurs) have a continual battle of the brakes.  Not only that, but they may sell more bikes if they play their cards right.  Some racers like to have one of everything for any situation that may arise.

Its TEAM CANTILEVER vs. TEAM DISC all across the world. Its a whole other reason to start watching more cross racing.  Maybe people would just start jumping into the cross scene just because they want to ride for one team or the other.  Each side would become an army, growing in numbers, recruiting new members, salaries would skyrocket out of control. It would turn into the battle of the century and the presidential race would just be some event that nobody cared about, unless, the candidates were racing cyclocross.  Ooooohhh!  Now we're racing.  Then we could say things like, "That pussy can't run a country much less ride a cross bike."  Then the future presidential candidates would become younger and tougher, more macho, cause it takes a badass to race cross.  Instead of seeing these news clips of people like Bill Clinton stopping by Mickey D's during his morning jog we would be seeing images of a president bunny-hopping barriers and crashing, we would get to see what kind of man they really were.  Nothing against ole Bill, he's a man who knew how to get things taken care of if you know what I mean. 

  I have one story about myself and Bill Clinton. 
 I was in the 5th grade and and our class went on a field trip to the state capitol when ol' Bill was the governor of Arkansas.  He was a young buck back then, about 32 years old with thick, brown, shaggy 70's hair, he looked like a swinger to me with all those swanky clothes that everyone was wearing back then. So after the grand tour of all the Arkansas history we all went in a big room and Gov. Clinton came in and started greeting us all, shaking our hands and high-fiving us.  Don't ask me how but somehow I managed to get out of the house that morning with my Linda Carter "Wonderwoman" t-shirt on without my mom catching it. I must've had a jacket over it or something cause she never would let me wear that thing to school much less to the state capitol to meet the governor, por Dios.  That shirt was reserved for weekends only.  My t-shirt was from that 70's era of Farrah Fawcett and Charlie's Angels, remember that?  It had a sexy Linda Carter wearing her skimpy little Wonder Woman outfit showing a little leg and cheek with that magic gold rope hanging on her side. My whole bedroom back then was decorated in posters of nothing but dirt bikes and Farrah Fawcett riding a skateboard in a bikini. So anyway, when it came my turn to shake ol' Bill's hand he took my hand and looked at me with that big ole Bill Clinton grin and said, "I sure do  like your t-shirt young man." And the rest is history.

Another president story that I always thought was funny was the one about George W. taking the Tour de France bike that Lance Armstrong gifted him and instead of hanging it on the wall or putting it in some kind of safe haven for showing off, Georgie decided to take it on Air Force One and stick it on his trainer so he could get in a few miles while flying around the world.  Now thats a hardcore cycling enthusiast, flying and riding at the same time.  I bet he was probably wearing one of Lance's signed yellow jerseys and drinking from the same water bottle too.  You think old "W" may have tried some EPO?  Who knows, I mean he was hitting the trails with Armstrong there for a while.  This calls for another billion dollar investigation.  Go check it out boyz, lets get to the bottom of this. Bill Clinton in the White House eating a Big Mac while swanking out with a young intern, George W. on Air Force One pretending he's winning the Tour on Lance Armstrong's bike, and President Obama, who looks to be pretty fit and would probably make a pretty solid cyclist, would rather just have a cigarette and make some homemade brew.  I can't help but to like all of them.  All you can really say is, God Bless America.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

DD2 Rotax - Dallas Karting Complex

Here is a video that gives you a good idea of what it felt like at the Dallas Karting Complex.  This kart here is a little more souped-up than ours and seems to hold the speed a little better out of the corners.  This is brutal fun! Normally after an experience like this the old Dimitri would have dropped everything he was doing and sold everything he had and tried to become a professional shifter kart racer.  I'm not sure what to make of myself now.  I'm reassessing the situation as we speak. One thing for certain, this is a drug.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Texas Custom Bicycle Show

A great group of frame building guys and gals.  Its a pleasure to know you all.

Just got back from the Texas Custom Bicycle Show and it went great.  I met a bunch of good bike riding folks as well as got to see the builders that I so wish I lived closer to.  They all build some really sweet stuff and I would love to be able to hang out with them on a more regular basis.  You're gonna kill me when I tell you that I didn't take any pictures.  I took a camera and had planned on having photos of everything that was going on but it was pretty non-stop once it got started.  You bust your hump to set everything up and about the time you finish the people start rolling in and it turns into what seems like a timeless event.  All I did while I was there was talk and try to remember to drink water.  I normally don't talk alot so to talk to people all day long had me a bit out of my element but I loved every minute of it.  As soon as we cleaned everything up and had it packed in the car me and my sidekick Larry Yancey were rolling east to find the Dallas Kart Complex.  Oh man, if only I had taken some photos and videos of that experience.  We were racing shifter karts until the place closed down.  My body was all beat up cause my lanky arse didn't quite fit in those little race cars but I squeezed in there and stood on the gas for as many laps as I could.  Unbelievable fun.  We were planning to go hit the cross race down the street from the show on Sunday but after waking up slow and thinking about the long drive home we bailed on the race, and I'm not sure but I think Yancey was wanting to stop at the go-kart track on the way home, ok, we both wanted to, unfortunately it was closed when we got there.  I don't take many road trips these days so I try to get in as much as possible in a few short days as I can and that means that I don't get to hang out with everyone as long as I would like to and that hurts a little because they're are so many cool folks out there.  Next year after the show we are all gonna load up and go to the go-kart track and yes there will be some photos and videos from that, maybe some blood as well.  Thanks to Glenn and all the guys/gals that worked to make the show happen and thanks to everyone who stopped by the MEECH booth.  I love you all.  Chao amigos.