Issue #5 is finally done. Thanks for your patience and thanks for caring enough to ask where it's been.
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Spin the Record //
Thursday - February 5, 2004
It's pretty hard to argue with the rock and roll of the Rolling Stones, at least in the early days. Bluesy, gritty and full of swagger, they oozed attitude and lived the lifestyle, putting out music that has stood the test of decades. That alone is enough to give them props, but take a look at the cover of the 1969 classic "Let It Bleed" and you'll see a bike wheel stacked among the other cylinders. Only a tire is visible on the cover, but inside (or on the back, depending) you'll get a peek at the rim and spokes. If that's not enough to seal the deal, I don't know what is. Of course, songs like "Monkey Man", "Midnight Rambler", and "Gimmie Shelter" are the real meat, but a cyclist picks up the little details too.
Two Circles Gone //
Wednesday - February 4, 2004
Two Circles, builders of light weight aluminum single speed frames, is no more. A recent posting on MTBR.com by co-owner Tim Jones indicated a few issues that led them to closing shop. Besides the Two Circles venture, both owners were holding down fulltime jobs while trying to maintain the rest of their lives and do the frame building gig. A lot of balls to juggle for sure.
With the facilities they were building frames in shutting down and a lack of time to dedicate to the business, they decided to call it quits. A shame, since aluminum single speed frame builders are a small lot as it is. I'm a steel man myself, but not everyone feels that way and choices are good. At least the boys should have more time to spend in the saddle, which is not a bad thing.
Mojo Rising //
Tuesday - February 3, 2004
Sunday's bike swap didn't yield much for me. Despite having a list of goods I was searching for the only thing I grabbed was a new Selle Italia Flite saddle. That's OK, more money stayed in my pocket.
However, the White Industries ENO eccentric hub arrived on Friday. This will allow the Ibis Mojo to rise from the ashes. It's been sitting unused and now partially disassembled for close to two years, the last time I rode a bike with multiple gears. Even before then, her geared status had let her fall out of favor and she rarely saw dirt. I've felt guilty at times; this beautiful, sweet riding frame sitting unused. It's not like I haven't tried to turn her single, but a suitable gear combo can't be run without a tensioner, something I had ridden in my first days of single speeding but left behind in favor of smooth, direct engagement. Even a half-link wouldn't work. I contemplated getting an EBB installed or horizontal dropouts fitted, but really wanted to leave the frame in it's original state considering the cost, paint and the fact that Ibis is no longer in business.
So, a wheel build we be happening shortly and the Ibis will sport a rigid fork for the first time in it's life. Pix will follow when the project is done.
Death March //
Monday - February 2, 2004
While most people I talk to lately are complaining about the cold weather and snow we have right now and lamenting the lack of warm weather, I'm enjoying winter. I love the snow. I love riding in the snow. Problem lately is, there's less riding than hiking on the trails. Sunday proved no different.
Every year following the bike swap, we do a ride at Hashawa Park in Carroll County. Many years there is snow on the ground, but this year was the worst. Just as the recent trail rides, the ground is buried. Downhills are the only time you get to pedal. The "ride" started off like a death march as we rolled off the asphalt and blasted in the snow to get some momentum. In short order we were stopped and began our hike on the flat trail. Gradually our route pointed up and we headed for the top of a nearby hill, trudging through the deep snow with bikes shouldered. When you finally got to go down and actually pedal, the ride was a brutal workout as you plowed through deep snow, fighting to move forward and fighting to stay upright. Any loss of momentum was fatal to your progress.
Eight of us played this game for a few miles before we returned to the asphault and logged some miles on a combination of pavement and frozen gravel roads. The studded tires got some good testing on the iced over unpaved roads and performed well. Zero problems or complaints, but on the tarmac they are noisy and slow. What do you expect though?