Its been a little over a month now since I finished my first carbon frame and while I haven't been wearing out the roads here lately I have been getting out 3-4 times a week for an hour or so and I've probably put 400-500 miles on it without any issues. The frame rides extremely comfortable, perhaps a little too comfortable as I mentioned it had a little flex to it, but I've gotten used to it and its not bad. I wish that I had my S3 steel frame built up so that I could compare them at the same time. You would think a frame builder would have plenty of bikes laying around however I've only one and you're looking at it. These days all my money goes into frame building supplies instead of bike components. There was a day when I had five frames laying around, three of them were built up, there were a dozen wheels laying around, and I was riding 3-4 hrs a day regardless of the weather. Times have changed a bit but its all educational. I believe thats a Pixies song isn't it. I will build the next one with some larger diameter tubes and maybe a couple more layers of laminate around the bottom bracket area but other than that and maybe tightening up the main triangle a bit I will just be focusing on a cleaner finish and learning more about the vacuum bagging process. Even though I haven't put many miles on it I have ridden as hard as I've ridden any other bike. Stomping a big gear uphill, descending around 50 mph, even riding off a few curbs and its soaked everything up with no problems and so my confidence in building carbon frames has grown. I'm itching bad to start my second one but I have a couple of steel frames to finish up first. I'm going to pick one frame up from paint today so hopefully I'll have some pictures later today and with any luck I'll have another back next week. We'll see.
This is a photo of the late Harvey Pekar, a famous comic from the 70's and I just finished watching a documentary about him this morning. Why might I be putting a photo of him here on a frame building blog? Funny you asked. I'm trying a little experiment that I saw in the documentary. For the past 6-7 months I have had a little fight going on with epididymitis. If you don't know what that is you probably haven't had it and thats a good thing. Its basically swelling an inflammation of the epididymis which is located down there.....well, lets just say in a man's groin area. There are varying degrees of it and I'm fortunate that mine is not too extreme because I know some guys go through hell, major swelling and pain that keeps you on the couch. My particular case just feels kinda like the after-effects of being kicked in the jewels. Thats not unbearable once or twice but when you wake up every morning and deal with it all day long it can really wear you down. This is actually the second time I have had it. The first episode was back when I was racing, roughly 14 or so years ago, and that also lasted for 6 months. If your a cyclist its a real pain in the ... well you know. Oddly enough, when I get on my bike the pain usually goes away for the hour or two that I ride but then after I get off the bike and the blood starts to flow again down there it starts hurting. Theres not much you can do other than take antibiotics and anti-inflammatories to keep it at bay and just hope it passes. I've read a couple of cases of guys who have lived with it for over a couple of years and all I can say for that is that it must be a nightmare. "So why are you telling us, and whats this experiment you were talking about?" Well, in the documentary about the life of Harvey Pekar he developes testicular cancer and his wife suggests writing everything he goes through in a comic book. She tells him that by bringing it out into the open and facing it head-on this will keep his mind off of it and the cancer will eventually just go away, and apparently it did. Not sure if it came back later and killed him, I didn't see the end because I went outside to get some firewood, its like 15 degrees here. Anyway this is probably really stupid but I'm really wanting this epididymis thing to go away and so I'm sharing it with the world, just hoping. It would be really nice to feel enthusiastic again about getting on a bicycle and being able to ride without taking a handful of ibuprofen to get through it. Does this mean that I'm gonna be talking about this everyday and posting photos? Nope, I wouldn't do that to you. Now if I knew it would go away I would be writing and posting photos all day long. The doctor said I need to get one of those saddles with the cutout in the center. I tried one of those when they first came out and I wasn't that fond of it. It wreaked havoc on my hemorrhoid. Thats another story that nobody cares about. All I'm gonna say about that is that I was 24 years old and it was very, very hard pulling down your pants and bending over a table to let someone look up your bum. At that moment I didn't think life could get any worse, and then I realized, I could be the doctor. ;)