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Old 12-05-2012, 10:27 PM   #26386
zouch
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greetings fellow nut jobs!

how long have i been an inmate before discovering this thread? i guess an intro is in order,...

hi; i'm zouch, and i have a bicycle problem.

can't say for certain when it started, but i can remember walking to grade school past a shop that had a Masi Gran Criterium hanging in the window long before i knew what it was, and knew i wanted one.
i might have been the only kid in my 'hood that had a 10 speed (with 10 speeds; really!) instead of a BMX-type bike. this was such a point of embarrassment for my buddies that they pooled together spare parts to build me a BMX bike. i still rode the 10-speed more until someone stole it off of my front porch while i was inside making a quick sandwich before fixing its flat tire,... and broken brake cable,... and broken shifter cable,... first lesson in bike thieves; 12:30 in the afternoon, and some dickwad would steal even *that* sub-$100 department store bike in the piss-poor condition it was in.

got distracted by many other things (mostly, pretty 2-legged things that smelled good ) before i rediscovered bicycles again when a friend of mine made me take his Nishiki International from him while he recovered from a knee injury. i'd been running cross-country after deciding water polo was unreasonably nasty, so was in fairly good shape; but the sudden ability to be able to cover 15-20 miles in an hour and take things with me as opposed to spending all week trying to run 16-22 miles was eye-opening; i was so hooked that by the time i had to give the Nishiki back, i'd had every available daylight hour blocked off on my calendar to ride, and was shopping for a touring bike of my own.

yes, a touring bike. i don't know if there's anything in bicycling less cool to cyclists than the touring bike, but i was hooked on the idea of crossing backpacking with long distance running with something on wheels; taking my camp gear and everything else i deemed worthy of carrying wherever i wanted to go under my own power, and being able to put my vehicle in a bus/train/airplane/in the back of a bass boat behind a pickup truck.
months of research and waiting and lay-away payments later and i had one of the best bikes of its kind at the time; a Trek 728.
[old fogey mode]
yes, some of you kiddies may not know, but back in the early days before they became something ugly, Trek actually hand-built bikes using low-temperature silver brazing and 531 tubes and other things that were worthy of drool of the day,...
[/old fogey mode]
(i'd actually failed to include tax when i calculated what i thought was my last payment on the bike and accessories and the gear to ride it the day i took the bus to go pick it up and ride it home. by that time the guys at the shop knew me well enough to send me home on it anyway with a promise to bring back the balance when i had it.)

i rode that bike all over the place, paved or unpaved didn't matter; that's what touring was about back in the day, so i guess i was doing the MTB/29'er thing before we knew what it was!

i ended up working at the shop i'd bought that bike from (2 Wheel Transit Authority in Huntington Beach), and took advantage of a sale bonus to buy another bike on manufacturers incentive while i was there. i had already been looking at buying a nice beach cruiser to have something else to ride when i didn't want to ride the Trek, and picked up a limited edition Stumpjumper SC although i thought Mountain Bikes were a fad that would pass rapidly. complete with mistakes of the day including wide rims with 1.5" Tri-Cross tires, solid axles ('cuz people who hadn't ridden miles of dirt roads with loaded panniers apparently didn't think hollow quick-release axles were strong enough), Biopace chainrings, Magura moto brake levers ('cuz there weren't any for MTBs yet), gears that weren't low enough and seatposts that weren't long enough, this was one of the first bikes to have black anodized bits on it, and that made the whole rest of the thing cool.
Suntour made all the bits all the hip kids wanted, like bear-trap pedals you could actually put toe-clips on (if you knew who to sleep with to get the unobtanium necessary reflector mounting brackets), and seatposts long enough for people that actually had legs... narrow rims and wider tires (Ritchey made the best tires at the time) usually came along right about the same time as the Phil Wood hubs and bottom brackets that us touring freaks wanted on everything, but the double-clamp 'slingshot' stem had to stay, no matter what. all this to look cool riding along the boardwalk,...
at one point i followed some co-worker friends out to meet up with some other friends who had ridden out to camp in the back-country that was the Irvine Ranch then, and it was about 10 minutes into the ride that i realized how wrong i'd been about MTBs; there was dirt stuck between my teeth from grinning so much! MTBs brought it all together; the joy of being your own power source as running Cross-Country, with all the cycling fun i'd had when we were jumping BMX bikes over trash cans off of sketchy home-made wooden ramps, moving over trail at speed like i did on my dirt bikes, but silently. i was completely hooked.

if you weren't riding MTBs back in the very early '80s, it's hard to imagine how different things were; if you spotted another bicyclist on the next peak, you'd ride towards each other just to see if you knew each other already, or to meet if you didn't. the ranch hands we'd meet out in the fields would first interrogate us to try to figure out where we'd parked our trucks because they didn't believe people could have ridden bicycles in to where we'd met them, and then after they came to believe we'd really gotten there under our own power, eventually wish us a good day and ask us to leave the gates the way we found them (open or closed).

some time around this i decided i needed a 'real bike'. nothing beat the Trek when you'd put a dozen or more pounds of gear into the Kirtland panniers on its Blackburn Low-Rider racks, but trying to do sporty rides on it with my buddies on their zippy bikes was like trying to autocross your dads Lincoln.
i don't remember how i fell into buying a used Pinarello frame/fork set, but that was all i could afford on the bike shop dorks budget. i collected all the necessary bits in a box one at a time while i had the frame refinished (another story in itself) and eventually wound up with a super-steed wearing an extremely smooth Joe Bell white-to-black fade and a full Campy Super Record gruppo. that bike performed proudly for decades afterward.

tastes evolved a bit over the years, and riding brought me to the SF Bay area; a ride on a friends room-mates Wicked Fat Chance showed me what MTBs were supposed to handle like, and a Klein Pinnacle relegated the trusty Stumpjumper back to Cruiser duty.

met a girl several times by chance who introduced me to Trials while riding the Klein (which has somehow survived to this day) and was eventually bright enough to realize that learning Trialsin' on the Klein was going to cost me in bike and body parts.
this led to my first Ibis; a Trials Comp that i tracked down by hounding everyone i could at the bike show in Long Beach.
i took that bike to all sorts of improbable places, learning how to ride on or over things i hadn't imagined possible until i had started to learn how to look at things differently. this was the only venue in which i actually competed; ironically one in which there is *no* timing involved,.. but the Trials scene was remarkably supportive of newcomers, and even in competitions people were teaching each other how to clean sections and sharing skills they'd learned. (just an example; a Klein-sponsored rider once loaned me his bike to try. every bit completely hand-built, this was one of only a few that were ever made, but that's just the sort of vibe that was going on around the Trials scene.)
i eventually managed to transfer all the skills i'd learned to the Klein and morphed it from featherweight into Trials mode; got tired of having to haul the ridiculously low-geared Trials Comp to places to play with it, and that Trials Comp became the only Ibis i ever sold.

not long before its 20th birthday, the Stumpy got stolen out of a laundry room that another dickwad kicked the door of in on the last day of school, and i picked a Kestrel CSX off of a friend when he got the idea that he had to have a Ti bike. (we had a connection with Kestrel back when they were here near the Bay Area, and i knew how this bike had been made.) the Klein took its place in cruiser status while i waited for it to fail, and the Kestrel took its place as the main trail tool. just like how everyone told me that the Klein would be few-season bike before it failed, the Kestrel was put into service the the expectation that a Carbon Fiber Monocoque frameset was to be short-lived. both bikes are still in full service and have performed admirably, in spite of the many scars they both wear. upside to the Klein; i had it built semi-custom and without paint, so it looks just as much like a trash can now as it did when it was new. (bike dorks would ask me why it didn't have paint on it; the looks on their faces was priceless when i'd tell them straight-faced "paint weighs". )

when the Pinarello finally got to where threads on the downtube shifters were so worn that they'd have to be replaced, i decided it had seen enough miles and traded it out for a Inconnu (locally-built custom by builder-of-trust Huey Knox). faultless though that bike was, somehow it just didn't turn me on. through the culmination of a combination of strange events, i had a frame built for me by a guy i'd met at his first show back in '89; John Slawta (Land Shark). that bike caught the eye of the owners of my favorite LBS while it was on display at the NAHBS, and being the local Land Shark dealers, they decided to offer me components at wholesale cost if i would build it up the way they thought it deserved to be built and let them babysit it while i was out of town,... so i once again have a Campy Record bike, decades after the first one.

convinced the wife i needed a cyclocross bike for an all-'round bike (everyone does, right?) and bought a nicely set-up Specialized CX. naturally, the bike of my dreams showed up (in my size!) for sale immediately afterward, so i sold the Special'ed to Ricardo (yes, *that* Ricardo), who did what he does; made it something else special. i now have one of the real steel Ibis Hakkalügis set up in Fire Road mode, decked out with all the boutique MTB parts of its time that are my idea of cool.

had the same problem when somewhere along the way i decided i wanted a fixed gear bike to tool around on; while an Ibis Scorcher wasn't exactly what i was looking for when i set out, when i ran across one of the couple dozen that was built in my size, i had to have it and managed to be the first guy in line to pick it up. naturally, all the components on it weren't good enough, so they eventually got upgraded to where i had to refinish the bike to bring it up to the level of the components. Scot Nicol (a.k.a. Chuck Ibis) supplied fresh stickers to Ed Litton for it, and while not original, it's more like what i think it always should have been; it's now entirely black, and (except for the Mavic Rims and Brooks B17) wears exclusively Phil Wood and Campy (mostly vintage Pista & Record).

keeping the Zouchlet happy is of paramount importance in order to maintain a fleet like this, so the best way to get her buy in is to infect her with the disease too, right? she now does stoker duty on our tandem (another Ibis; a Cousin It set up in drop-bar MTB mode), and actually thinks up reasons to go places on it. most of those reasons seem to involve food...

kinda' extreme, perhaps, but some peoples standards, but just my idea of fun. the only thing better would be if i had more time to ride them,...

happy trails!
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:42 AM   #26387
soewe812
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Are you on BROL?
Yup. Same callsign but mostly lurk so far.
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Old 12-06-2012, 02:43 AM   #26388
soewe812
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man, thats a huge big ring on that tandem.... is that to compensate for a small diameter drive wheel or something?
56 tooth. Trikes go like the wind down hill. Just a little something to help keep from spinning out.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:05 AM   #26389
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Welcome zouch. Very cool intro.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:37 AM   #26390
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greetings fellow nut jobs!

how long have i been an inmate before discovering this thread? i guess an intro is in order,...

hi; i'm zouch, and i have a bicycle problem.
Awesome write up!
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:41 AM   #26391
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Lose a few more lbs and stay below 205.
I suspect that's a universal goal for all of us "near 200-lb'ers".

Good luck to you my friend!
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:46 AM   #26392
Gummee!
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Originally Posted by soewe812 View Post
56 tooth. Trikes go like the wind down hill. Just a little something to help keep from spinning out.
Awww man! A trike? trike?! ...and here I was thinking you were kewl.





Me? I did not quite 2hrs last nite with some buddies from the Haymarket shop. What was billed as an easy ride turned out to be something other than easy for all of us but the resident Cat 1. First hour, my legs were SCREAMING at me. 90km on the cross bike the day before (on some of the same roads, just the other direction) meant very tired legs.

I did get complimented. I was talking about how tired my legs were: 'you hid it real well. You didn't explode on the hills like X does when he comes out.' As I was thinking 'if you only knew!' He was sayin that the last climb up Bull Run Mtn rd when X shows up, they couldn't even see his headlight!

I did start feeling better (but not good) after about the hour mark. Till then it was hang on like grim death to C's wheel 'or else.'

The trip down Busthead rd was 'interesting. Bout the steep pitch (coming up) there was a washboardy section. Hit that going pretty darn fast and the muscles in the back of my neck got hammered. I wasn't upright enough and so was unable to float myself over the bumps. Neck still hurts this AM. Gonna have to find the good line thru there.

Once we got to Thoroughfare rd and it leveled out, I felt better. Thank doG I didn't have to pull thru in the line or I'da asssploded again.

All the roads out there except Busthead have been freshly graveled. Made for some fun riding. Traction was iffy at best most of the time.

Today: resting
Tomorrow: 26ish miles on the mtn bike up Difficult Run with B. I've warned him I'm going slowly. Something tells me he's not listening.

M
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:57 AM   #26393
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Welcome Zouch. Some of your sonnet sounds somewhat familiar. When I got into cycling, banana-seat Schwinn Stingrays were all the rage but my parents were having none of that. Instead, I got a 10-speed called a "Londoneer" that was purchased from a department store in Birmingham.

They also demanded that we use the safety flags that was purchased with the bike. OK - that wasn't quite the cool image that I had in mind but...it'll do. It had to. From that point on, it wasn't unusual for someone to tell my father that I had been spotted a county away from ours. It was that damn little orange safety flag.

Many times, I'd con a friend or a cousin into going for a ride with me. We visited Gilbert SC and one cousin said that riding to their lake house over on Lake Murray would be "easy" for him. I beat him home by a full hour - another 15 minutes and my uncle was ready to look for him. Another guy decided to ride to Payne Lake with us - yeah, it was painful for him. Both of these guys talk about the rides to this day.

Touring bikes? Yep - Hill Country, Glacier to Yellowstone, north GA into the Smokies and back and a few weekenders in between. I posted some pictures of my favorite brand a page or two back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zouch
yes, a touring bike. i don't know if there's anything in bicycling less cool to cyclists than the touring bike
Except a recumbent. I guess my parents turned me into something of anti-anything-popular since now, I ride a recumbent. It's either their fault or give up cycling due to neck issues. Well, to hell with what people think. Our local club riders don't bother with the jokes anymore. I think I'm a pretty competent rider, fast on occasion and can even go pretty far by most standards. It's all good!
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:11 AM   #26394
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Nothing puts a stupid shit eatin' grin on your face like a recumbent trike. Coasting down the canyon almost 40 mph on studded tires included.
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Old 12-06-2012, 10:15 AM   #26395
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Humph

M
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:07 AM   #26396
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Nothing puts a stupid shit eatin' grin on your face like a recumbent trike. Coasting down the canyon almost 40 mph on studded tires included.
I'm secure enough in my cycling identity to admit that my inner Contraption Captain really wants a recumbent tadpole trike.
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Old 12-06-2012, 11:23 AM   #26397
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... i had one of the best bikes of its kind at the time; a Trek 728.
[old fogey mode]
yes, some of you kiddies may not know, but back in the early days before they became something ugly, Trek actually hand-built bikes using low-temperature silver brazing and 531 tubes and other things that were worthy of drool of the day...
[/old fogey mode]
hey, they made frames-only even b efore that. my 22 yr old son's bike, a Trek TX300 frame from 1977, hand brazed lugged frame made with Ishiwata tubing, that was populated with a mix of Shimano 600 and newer stuff. the paint isn't original, and the decal is wrong. I've since replaced the crankset with a 53:39 older Ultegra

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Old 12-06-2012, 11:29 AM   #26398
k7
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Nothing puts a stupid shit eatin' grin on your face like a recumbent trike. Coasting down the canyon almost 40 mph on studded tires included.
I hit 43 without really pushing it on a hill this past Saturday - it's all aero.

One cyclist, a friend, caught up with me at the regroup point and said I looked like a bobsled going down the hill. Next time, I think I'll whip out the GEICO pig ....."wwweeee wwwweee wwwweeeeeeeeeeeeee"

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Old 12-06-2012, 11:47 AM   #26399
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I hit 43 without really pushing it on a hill this past Saturday - it's all aero.

One cyclist, a friend, caught up with me at the regroup point and said I looked like a bobsled going down the hill. Next time, I think I'll whip out the GEICO pig ....."wwweeee wwwweee wwwweeeeeeeeeeeeee"


My max speed this year was 46.1 down this long hill on our Saturday route. You start feeling pretty vulnerable with no gear... I wonder how fast those recumbents can go...
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Old 12-06-2012, 12:36 PM   #26400
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My max speed this year was 46.1 down this long hill on our Saturday route. You start feeling pretty vulnerable with no gear... I wonder how fast those recumbents can go...
They HAUL downhill. I was following a car down a twisty bit a couple years ago during a large organized century. We were doing just under 35mph, which is where I spin out on a 50-11 gear. A greybeard on a 'bent passed us both over the double-yellow on the outside of a right-hand corner.

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