Friday, August 7, 2009

Gotta hang up the rando wheel for a little bit

My life is very busy these days. Boxer Bicycles and my day job keep my mind and hands occupied with things bicycle-related. My fiancee and I are in the last stretch of preparing for our wedding later this month. The weather has conspired to make it unpleasant to go on extended and spirited bike rides, though it appears that our heat wave is breaking right... now.

It has been an amazing summer in Seattle. We have broken records for high temperatures, highest low temperatures, longest stretch of no rain (I think). The city is parched and needs a healthy dose of liquid sunshine. The forecasters are calling for a change over the next couple days. I'm actually happy to need a warm sweater or jersey on my commute rides along Lake Washington. The tomatoes in the garden are completely going off!

Boxer Bicycles is registered for the Oregon Manifest Design/Build Challenge on October 2nd and 3rd. It's an event to encourage handbuilt bicycle builders to come up with creative and innovative solutions for transportation bicycles. The bikes will be judged according to how they meet the requirements of the contest. The event also includes a 77 mile race over varied terrain, including fire roads, broken pavement, a traverse over a small boulder field, as well as a requirement to stop at a convenience store to pick up a 6 pack of bottled beverages and some snacks for the finish line party, at which the racer must arrive in proper party attire. The organizers will provide a changing tent near the finish where riders can change in to the clothes, carried on the bike throughout the race.

It sounds like a lot of fun in a totally Portland kind of way. I'm excited to give this race a wack, as well as have some folks see my handy-work in person. It will be great to also visit with other builders and peruse their designs. I'm looking forward to getting out of town for a little bit and what better place to have a break than Portland.

This project is keeping me busy. Busy, like I don't have time to do much other than go to my day job, work on the bike in the shop at night and on weekends, and have a weekly date break with Katie. All this is to say that I haven't been on a brevet with SIR for a while now. I miss it and wish I could get out there a little more, but I'll just have to suck it up and do my best to take a little time to ride the Windy Ridge 600k brevet in mid-September. I hope to have this project ready to ride on this brevet.

On the side, I'm trying to sell a couple vintage bikes to fund some new projects and clear out the storage space a bit. I'll be posting photos of them on my flickr site here.

The first is a beautiful mid-60's Bianchi Specialissima (probably '64?) in the rare celeste paint, which is now SOLD. I love the color of this bike, and I don't usually care for "celeste" colored bikes. This one is very classy and understated and really matches well the ice cream shake blender passed down from my recently deceased Grandmother. Celeste and chrome is a classic look.

This bike is heavily "patina-ed" meaning it is in rideable condition, but could use some loving care to the finish, probably a light cleaning and waxing to prevent any surface corrosion. It might also be a good candidate for a restoration/refurbishment. I kind of like it the way it is, but that's just my lazy side speaking.

It's not completely original, but much of it appears to be period correct if not actually original.
I rode this bike less than 100 miles since I got it early last year. The rain free summer has allowed me to ride it a few times to the day job (20 mile round trip). Fun, fun, fun. Comfortable, exciting, fast and great on the short sections of mixed surface trails in the area. It would be such a great bike for the L'Eroica ride through Tuscany, with the fat 32mm avocet tires on it now.

No matter how it is ridden, it is sure to create a few smiling faces.

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