Thursday, February 7, 2008

First Impressions: Uninformative Bliss

So as I finished up wrapping the handlebars on the new steed, I noticed the snow drizzle had stopped. Things were shaping up to work out just fine for a first ride to test out the geared road bike. But by the time I had the saddle adjusted, riding clothes on, and bottles filled, the drizzle had returned in the form of tiny pellet snow. It didn't matter, I was going for a test ride. After throwing on my fenders, I took off. The first few miles was pretty dry as all the precipitation was in those tiny face blasting pellets. Then it looked like it might even stop, only to return as a cold wet drizzle. Then small flakes took their place, only to warm and melt again. Sometimes it was hard to tell if the stuff was frozen or not, as it melted as soon as it touched anything solid. But it didn't matter, I was riding my bike: the frame I hand built, on wheels I hand built, assembled and tuned by hand... aside from drawing the tubes or machining the shifters, I can say this is about as satisfying and 'custom' of a bicycle that I can ride. This was going to be my first good hard test of the geometry, steering, handling, etc. Of course between the slick road to keep me from railing any turns, and the random direction gusts in the wind to keep me constantly fighting to hold a strait line, I ended up home with not much more of an idea about this bike than when I left. But I did have one hell of a smile on my face.

After a hot shower, I did get a little work done on Marc's frame before I started bonking. Both chainstays are slotted, shaped, and ready to weld on the dropouts. I do have to come up with a way to hold everything together at the right angle. I can't use the BB shell and frame jig like I did on my lugged frame, as there is nowhere for the chainstays to fit into. I will probably use the frame jig, and rig up something to hold the stays at the right angle and distance. I was hoping to get that step done yesterday, but by the time I had the slots done, I was shutting down. I don't know if the cold ride or the season in general is catching up with me, but I didn't even feel up to riding in today. So I'll take it easy, and hopefully nip it before I actually get sick.

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