Jerseys, dirt, belt drive!
Last month was exciting. We raffled the Encino frame on the 10th (it also ended with my Paypal account being closed due to gambling issues, hah!), the Idea Cafe grant money finally came in giving me about 4 weeks to order parts for and build the two bikes I planned for the Rough Riders Rally July 23rd-25th, so I ignored a lot of things that weren’t too pressing and got the frames built with hardly any time to put parts on them. One actually made it to the Rally, and completely unintentionally, it was my own bike. It’s the bike I’m pictured with after a lot of saddle time for a seemingly ’short’ ride. The second bike I built to use a belt drive system, but didn’t know just how far the belt drive ‘chainring’ sits in compared to a normal chainring. We had also planned to use a 39t front ring, but due to the restrictions of belt lengths had to go with a 46t. It would have cleared a 39t just fine, but for a new project and parts I’ve never worked with I was probably lucky that was my biggest issue. I didn’t have the spare parts, or time to replace the chainstays before we had to leave, so we had to make Matt’s cross bike functional for the ride. We didn’t even have time to send out to paint/powder since that requires an extra couple weeks most times.
The ride itself made the weeks of working 14 hr days totally worth it. We arrived after the kick-off Friday morning ride just in time for pizza and hanging out with the events participants. I was quickly introduced to Jacquie Phelan who proceeded to write my name in sharpie on my neck so she could remember it. There were some people I knew already from previous Adventure Corps events, and a lot of folks I didn’t know and Jacquie was just one of many mountain biking legends in attendance that weekend. The rides all left from Tam Bikes in Mill Valley. A really cute shop in what appears to be the main drag of cool, small businesses. We stayed in San Francisco with friends because we’re too cheap to pay for hotels more often than at 508. The choice to stay 20 miles away was a bit of a problem the next morning when we turned up late to the pre-ride coffee and bagels portion of the day. We ended up not being the only ones to have issues getting moving quickly, and eventually set off with Adventure Corps regulars Mike and Donna and our personal Marin County resident tour guide, Jacquie Phelan. We thought we’d catch up to the riders, and we probably would have if we hadn’t taken a fairly long break to enjoy the West Point Inn on Mt Tam. Jacquie is a member, so we got a full tour. We decided we should probably ride up there and stay overnight sometime to fully enjoy the view.
The entire route on Saturday was an epic 36 miles that somehow took us 6 hours. It may have been the 6000ft of climbing. Or the overall group tendency to stop and take pictures. Maybe we rode slower than we thought we did? I’m leaning toward blaming the climbing though. There were some definite sections where my 8spd Internally Geared hub just wasn’t geared low enough and I ran faster up the hills. I crashed myself once just going too fast downhill through a turn. It was a great first ride for a brand new bike. The top tube was later branded by Jacquie and her Sharpie. Super funny, and I kinda don’t want to paint over it.
We had dinner, and some awesome guest speakers after Saturday’s ride. There was also a ‘Best Bike’ award from the ride. Not surprisingly, Sean Rawland’s bike took top honors with my own coming in second. I couldn’t really complain seeing as it was unfinished and kind of a weird bike. I made the internally geared hub’s cables run inside the whole frame, so it’s been mistaken as a single speed many times.
Next time, I’d probably opt for staying in Mill Valley. Driving and riding back and forth to the city proved to be time consuming and meant we missed out on some of the fun. I’d also hope to start the bikes sooner, but some things are out of my control in that department.
Now for picture time!
Jerseys (okay, skinsuit, but it makes it easier to show all of it):
The jerseys arrived just after we returned from Rough Riders. I have been super happy with the quality and the turnout for them. Distribution has been totally exciting and totally worth it. I’m looking forward to doing a second order now that everyone realizes they totally missed out the first time. email me if you don’t want to be left out this time! firstname.lastname@example.org
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