I am ever in the pursuit of radness. A tragic hero. A fallen scientist. A failed academic. A devoted friend. A moderately successful bicycle racer, lover of cats, cupcakes, and nutella.
An all around swell guy
in search of a point
in a meaningless universe.
Last week I tackled the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo. Not having had a mountain bike for the past 4 months, I was a bit worried. My only experience on trails had been ripping fire roads on my cross bike for quite a while. Thankfully, the GeekHouse fit methodology put me in the right place on the bike and as always, picking up the bike by hand showed a kind of perfect fore and aft balance that no off the shelf frame has ever held.
I was literally able to, never having even sat on the bike before, rip off lap after lap consistantly without any wrecks. The bike communicated the traction limit audibly and was easy to ride right on the ragged edge without any evidence of some of the snap oversteer or tendency to highside that a long legged guy like me tends to experience on traditional 29er frames (and I’ve ridden just about everything from the big names).
One thing I was told about the custom frame was that they are remarkably unremarkable. If done right, they do what you ask without complaint. Marty’s work is absolutely no exception to this, and his unique sense of style in his builds creates an attractive package.
I stumbled upon this website surfing a local for sale post, and saw what looked like a kit after my own heart: absolute silliness fully embraced. I’m not sure what exactly Super Relax is, but I like it. What looks like a Japanese site, but isn’t. A sort of meta-mockery of competitive cycling encouraging users to relax and “be cute.”
In a cycling culture that encourages over-attention to intervals, watts, and supplement-taking “broscience” it’s nice to see someone telling people to chill out and take a ride.
This ride redefines what is humanly possible. The Tour de France has less climbing, less miles, and these racers are finishing it faster by riding literally all day. This may actually be the most difficult race in the world. Road bikes are not rugged enough to handle this terrain. You can see the equipment choices are mostly hardtail MTB. The hardtail is efficient simplicity rugged, strong, and reliable enough to traverse the length of the entire country.
When you are a road racer, you warm up, eat, and sleep all the deliver a peak performance over 100 miles. In this, it is all done alone.
There are no EPO scandals, no blood samples being discovered in a vault, there are only real men, and one woman, proving their worth and strength both mentally and physically.
and memorium to Dave Blumenthal, a brave individual who passed away while doing what he loved. I’ve always said if I go I want it to be my heart exploding as I make one last final attempt at a sprint to claim victory in an XC race. Rest in peace Dave, you are an inspiration even after your passing. http://tourdivide.org/blog2010/memory_dave_blumenthal
My Tarmac and I have been through some good times. In lieu of bikesnobnyc’s book chapter about how your bike doesn’t have a soul, I have decided not to be too sad about it. In fact, I am rather happy at the chance of getting a new frame put together and having some great times on it.
I bid farewall to my old friend. We shared a lot of miles together. I’d say we shared nearly 10,000 miles of riding on these terrible chipseal roads.
Now, looking to what’s next: Specialized crash replacement? If it wasn’t already apparent, I have weird proportions (that bike was actually fit to me by a pro) and a custom frame might actually work out nicely for me. I also happen to think that a nice durable steel or titanium frame would be a lifelong companion and a blast to ride around on.
Oh the possibilities.
(Also, you guys get to check out a sweet build thread: stay tuned)