Friday, August 26, 2011


I don't climb up here often but I'm feeling sassy. The Department of Wildlife recently tracked and put down a bear over near Aspen. This bear had bitten 2 people on 2 separate occasions (a Friday and then a Saturday). They found him at 0700 Sunday morning and killed him. The camper from Saturday's incident did admit that they had food in the tent. And now a bear has been destroyed. Very little makes me more upset than hearing about things like this. A bear that learned a behavior because of irresponsible people is now dead.

This has inspired me to look into something.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

All done

I picked these up yesterday morning. I love them. Most of the minor scratches that were bothering me are all but gone. Rob charged me a whopping 10 dollars to polish them up. If you have anything that needs polishing...go see him at Front Range Polishing. I poked around quite a bit to see some of the stuff he was working on. There was no shortage of skulls that were to be used for choppers or shift knobs but I was more impressed by the trim off an older Chevy pickup, parts and pieces off a pot belly stove and, of course, two sets of Ford flatheads.

Friday, August 19, 2011


If you know me you know that I'm not really a people person. Sometimes I think people are the worst. I am not the type of person that engages in conversation with strangers all that often. The other day I'm in a waiting room avoiding eye contact with others and acting extremely interested in an article in Time magazine. Really I was just looking at pictures. There's a guy who's wearing a beret. There's nothing wrong with that...I'm just trying to set the scene for you visual folks. He's talking with a few other guys about whatever. All of a sudden he asks if they wanna hear a story. They say yes. Who's gonna say no in that position? He scoots over closer to them and starts in about his father. Then I overhear that his father is no longer with us. Then I feel bad because that's unfortunate for anyone. He goes on (in a bit of a whisper) about how his father lost an eye. I forget how but that's so not important. Well this guy talks about how after his father passed on he wanted to do something special. Next thing I know this guy pulls out a necklace and the guessed it. It's his father's fake eye. Then he says that his father is always keeping an eye on him.

Recently when my father in-law passed on, Heather and I were going through his belongings. It felt very inappropriate at first for me and I left the room and went to watch t.v. and thought about it. The next morning after talking with my friend Adam, I realized that if he were still living, he would want to show me all of the really neat stuff he had accumulated through the years. As we looked through his jewelry, I found a Saint Christopher necklace and pendant that he wore a lot. Before I drove back to Colorado I asked Heather if I could have it and she said yes. I was baptized Catholic but I've been at odds with God for years. I hope it's not disrespectful to wear it. It's not a fake eye but who am I to judge how other's remember loved ones?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I have been struggling with Heather's Jeep for about 6 months now. About a month ago I was done with the thing. I actually talked to her about burning it or crashing it while flying back from PA last week. In the past 2 months it's gotten new tires, 2 tire balances, 3 alignments, new tracbar, new draglink and all tierods, new steering stabilizer, new AC compressor. After all this, it had some weird shimmy at 49-51mph. Normally this is indicative of a tire balance issue but I had it done twice in 2 weeks with no change. I also swapped a set of tires from a known good vehicle onto it and there was no change. I had a buddy that built me a custom steering setup for it look at it and he couldn't find anything other than a slightly loose tracbar bolt. Then I dropped it off with another buddy while we were in PA and let him deal with it. He also found a few issues but couldn't solve the shimmy problem. I had no clue what else to do with it. I found a Dana 30 axle in Denver that I was considering installing (but dreading) just to see if that would work. Before I did that, I decided to get it aligned once more with a different guy that had a laser rack. I took it to him today and walked up the street to get the worst sandwich I've ever had and a beer. After I got back Clark said the alignment was a tad off and...the front tires were about 1/4 ounce off. That's significant. He threw me the keys and said he didn't feel the shimmy any more. Yeah right. I took it out and was stunned. We have spent about 2 grand on that thing in the last 2 months and the issue was the result of lazy mechanics. We're thrilled to not have to drive it off a cliff. If you're local and in need of a good/trustworthy mechanic...let me know and I'll get you in touch with Clark.
Here they are:

There are still some very fine scratches in them. It's hard for me to tell if they're going to be noticeable when they're on the bike and not in isolation. The new bike will be more colorful than my Orbea so that will help.

I'm not sure I can get much better just working with my hands. I think what I'm going to do is find a metal or hot rod shop down in Colorado Springs and take them in and ask if they think they can do better.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Just for grins I decided to hit this arm with some polishing compound before stopping for the day. Real happy with this. Now I'll start in on the other one.

More crank work

It's no surprise that when I went back down to the garage today, I wasn't happy with the work that I had done yesterday. I noticed a few spots that needed more sanding with 150 grit. So yesterday's efforts were in vane as I roughed things up again. Here's after I was really done with the 150.

This is after 220 and some 400 wet sanding. At this point I had one arm in a bench vise and noticed 2 nice gouges in it after repositioning it. Back to 150 again and no more vice.

I also decided that, while I was re-doing things with 150, that I'd go back and touch up some gouges that I had lazily left on the back of the crank arms and then I decided to take off the factory stamping as well.

This is how I just left this arm. This is after a ton of 600 wet sanding, and then I jumped straight to 1500 wet. Then I used a buffer that I mounted in the vice and used rubbing compound. This is pretty good but not at all what I was hoping for. I still have a long way to go but they're gonna look good.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


These XTR 960 cranks arrived today. These were purchased for a bike build that I've had dancing around my head for several months now. I bought them strictly to run singlespeed. The previous owner had done a decent job of polishing them but then I got hold of a hacksaw.

I lopped off what I didn't want.

Then I spent the rest of the day with a file and sandpaper. There were a few deeper gouges that I wanted to get rid of. Because of their location, these were quite tricky.

I was pretty happy with the top 2 arms here. The lowers were a real good time (especially the inside where they meet up with the crank arm). I spent a good hour with some 150 grit sandpaper getting out all of the deeper imperfections and I'm almost there now but decided to take a break. I've always thought these were the sharpest set of cranks. Ever. They will look stunning with a Blackspire ring. I'm hoping I can unload my Cannondale road bike and come up with the frame/fork that I want to run but we'll see if it's meant to be. I'll post more pics of the cranks as I work.

We just got back from my friend Leo's wedding up in Erie, Pennsylvania. I had never been up that way and it was gorgeous. Very green. I was in the wedding party so that's the reason for the tuxedo. If I was not going to live in the mountains, I would absolutely have to be by water and the Great Lakes are like being on the ocean. The weather was fantastic until after the wedding was over and then there was all day thunderstorms. It's been years since I've woken up to rain and thunder and seen nothing but gray skies all day long.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

So long

My friend Tim might have someone interested in buying my road bike so it's heading that direction. I hardly used it at all this year and it deserves to be ridden. For some reason, I am unable to do longer than a 2 hour ride on it without having a horrible pain in my upper left arm. This thinning of the herd will allow me to build up another bike. I have something in mind but I'm not letting the cat out of the bag just yet.

I have something on the way from ebay. The transaction didn't go very smoothly so I'm hoping I didn't just toss 100 out the window but we'll see.

The highlight of the day was seeing the cub cruise through the front lawn. My neighbor yelled at some people walking and the race was on as he booked it across the creek in front of the house and then through the field. Him and mom have been hanging out over here for about a month now but I had yet to see either of them. Never gets old.

Update of sorts

So I had to take Bodhi in to the vet for his annual shots. While I was there I thought I'd check in on Hooter the Long Eared Owl. Turns out that the surgery to his left wing didn't fix it because the joint was broken. This meant that they were going to put him down but, at the Golden Hour, they found an educational agency that would take his sassy ass. So he's going to a local woman that does educational presentations in the area here (at Mueller State Park, the Wolf Sanctuary, etc.). So I'll get to see him again once I find out when he'll be making appearances.

I also got a call from my fabulous doctor yesterday. This is odd. When does your doctor ever call you out of the blue? This is the same doctor that did not want me to be on a CPAP machine even after the test results showed huge improvements in my oxygen intake and sleep patterns when on it. Instead, she wanted me to take drugs that would make me wired all day and, hopefully, sleep better at night but never get to the actual root of the problem. This is also the same doctor that wanted me to get a saddle sore cut out. Anyways...I visited her a bit over a week before this year's CTR with a sore throat. They said that since I was already on 1 antibiotic for the saddle sore (Cephalexin) that there wasn't any reason to do another for the throat. They also said the results were negative for Strep. So yesterday she asks if I'm still feeling bad and does my throat still hurt. Well.....yes. It does actually. That's because the results (the real ones I guess) really indicated that I did (do) have Strep. So now I'm on Amoxicillin which is probably what I should have been on the first place. I am now looking for a new doctor.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

More cool bikes

I stole this picture of Eric's bike from his blog. It takes a lot for me to get a little jealous of someone else's ride. I love what he's done here. The Wolfhound is not a bike that I've ever liked. I'm just not all that into crazy bends in tubes (unless it's more traditional like a McClung, Pereira, or Retrotec kinda thing). I do find fillet brazed bikes to be really attractive though. The rest of the build is an Eriksen post, Blacksheep fork and mustache bars, and Industry Nine wheels. I will admit that, for a few seconds, I did consider tripping him at the start of the CTR, spraying Tri-Flow in his eyes and then punking him for his wheels but I kept it classy. It's probably a good thing I didn't do it too because I recently found out that he has a clinic over in Pbville that practices Traditional Chinese Medecine and I'm going to see if he can help me out with my neck.

Absolutely lovely build Eric. It's inspired me and, although I love my Orbea and they will have to pry it from my cold, dead hands, I am considering building up something over the winter. Details forthcoming.