A short ride will do just fine sometimes

NOTE: I wrote this a few weeks ago, but forgot to publish it. Such is life when you’re busy prepping for a show…
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Many of my friends just completed the first Brevet of the season, the SIR 200k. Meanwhile, I’m busy wrapping up projects and getting ready to show in Detroit in a couple weeks, so I’ve only had time and energy for shorter rides.
I awoke yesterday at 06.30 and got into the shop by 07.30 to do the rest of some finish work on some frames that I dropped off to Class Act to get powder-coated. Afterwards I went home and generally goofed around, stressing about where to ride, how long I wanted to go, etc… I finally decided to just get out and explore a few areas I’ve been meaning to for a while. Donning my lightweight jersey, shorts and arm warmers, I quickly found that I was too warm. In March. Awesome! I climbed up an unpaved path to the top of Powell Butte and was awarded some killer views on this mostly clear day.
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Bombing down the path and heading towards my next bump in the landscape: Gresham Butte. A helluva climb up a paved road averaging 11% over the .8 miles, I was happy to find the top. I quick hop over the rocks that barricade the path and I’m boogying down the Gresham Walking trail. Starting off paved, It quickly turns to loose gravel and I stop at the bottom to let out some air. 40 PSI felt ok on the pavement, but turns out that 35 PSI works just as well, but was still a little too much on the looser parts of the gravel path. The next climb averages about 7% and a bit over a mile to the top. It’s here that I decide to start navigating back. A lovely descent down Butler rd, the meandering through some neighborhoods and then a bomber descent down 190th and I’m back at the Springwater trail. After a few minutes, I decide to ride through neighboring streets instead of dodging the joggers and horseback riders and other cyclists on the trail. I meandered home, taking interesting looking alleyways and side streets until I arrived home. 25 miles, about 1600′ of climbing, packed into the middle 10 miles. An unshabby time and super fun to find some new routes that are definitely worth revisiting and exploring some more.

Porteur Project

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I’m gauging interest to see if folks might be down for a little Porteur Project? A badass rig for city riding either set up as a single speed or a geared bike. I’m thinking $2600 for frame, fork, front rack and headset… Drop a note or leave a comment if it’s something you may find keen.

Website Maladies

I tried installing a new theme this week, to give the website a new, more polished look. But it broke the site a bit. I couldn’t easily access the blog and the design layout is anything but intuitive. I’m working on it, but it’ll be a little bit before it’s nearly where I want it. In the meantime, is there any content missing that you’d like to see on the site?
Thanks
-Joshua

FaTRoB and the Velodirt Dalles Mtn 60

fatrob at dalles mtn 60

Wow. Such a great day on the bike with what is really a fantastic route. 60 miles of mixed terrain riding and packing in a bit over 4000′ of climbing in 2 climbs.

I drove out with my good buddy Jack and we parked the car about 5 minutes before 10, got our stuff together, grabbed some coffee and a restroom break and headed out. I didn’t print a route sheet, nor did I worry about starting about 30-45 minutes after most folks. That part was actually kinda cool. I usually start with everyone and find myself into one of the faster groups off of the front missing most of the field. Starting late, I got to catch up with a lot of folks on that first climb, seeing many familiar faces.

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The climb up Dalles Mtn rd was wonderful. Nicely maintained gravel, wide open views of the Columbia River Gorge and near zero auto traffic made the climbing go quickly enough. Chatting with a few riders on the way up and generally taking it kinda easy made for a truly pleasant warmup.

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We finally crested and I was beginning to get a feel for how FaTRoB was handling the turns and the Vee Rubber Speedster tires were handling the somewhat loose gravel. The first few corners were taken rather cautiously, but after getting used to the handling I was able to open ‘er up and let ‘er rip. I quickly found myself off the front and at that point and the terrain leveled and then picked up on some rollers so I put down the hammer a bit and caught back up to Jack, who was getting a bit sideways in the corners and getting way too rad for me. Prior to today, I had only ridden the bike about 2 blocks after assembly the night before.

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We meandered along the plateau above the Columbia River until we found our descent. We took the Merryhill loops rd down to the Stonehenge memorial and grabbed a sandwich from our jersey pockets.  A quick reprieve and some sustenance and we were back on the bikes and headed back into Oregon and towards our final climb.  Moody rd was one of those that has you wishing for one more gear, I’m sure, no matter what you have.  But the climb is over soon enough and we are on a bank of the range overlooking the Gorge again and feeling almost like we’re on the edge of the world.  This meanders for a few miles before a ripping descent takes us down to 15 Mile rd and our final turns into The Dalles.  At this point, FaTRoB was like an old friend, reliable and something to be comfy around, though I did find myself occasionally looking for the down tube shifters.  Jack and I used the final miles to trade stories and tell crappy jokes and goof off, making those final miles pass with ease.  This is exactly the type of riding I had in mind when designing FaTRoB.  Climbing, gravel and paved roads, fun and fast descents and a bit of distance.  I’ll have more about the specifics of the FaTRoB build in a future post.

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More 650b excite!

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Soma just announced a promising new 650x42b tire. The Grand Randonneurs are claimed to be the lightest true 42 width available. The tread design is interesting too. Smooth center section and fine file tread on the “corners”…It’s as though they had access to BQ’s recent article about tire design.
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Another cool thing is they offer a slightly beefier version. It’s unclear wether or not this version has the same casing or if its using a different one, but the sidewalls are coated and the tread is a little thicker for more protection in gnarly sections of “road” riding.
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I’m hoping to get some in the shop soon for testing.

ps, all photos shamelessly lifted from the SOMA blog.

For Sale

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I have an abandoned project that needs an owner. It’s a 650b randonneur that measures 59×58.5 on center. Custom front rack with low-riders, Honjo fenders, Miche needle bearing headset, powder coated in a black cherry finish that looks Oh-So-Sweet. Due to the lightweight Kaisei tubing used, there is a recommended rider weight of 175lbs. Asking $1800 OBO. I’d rather not deal with ebay on this one, so snag it up here.

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