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Monday, July 20, 2009

Tahoma Cruiser Rally

"You'll know when you're there" Shana tells me on the phone as I'm asking directions while on my way towards Tahoma. As I head out towards the lake with my Dad and Girlfriend, folks are out in their boats, family's are riding in masses down the bike path and there's the seemingly endless string of rafts heading down the Truckee River.... a typical day in Tahoe.

We ride through Tahoma and head for 6th street where I was told the action was. As we round a corner, I see at least 100 people, just as many bikes and lots of kids and dogs just up the street. Yes indeed, we've arrived. As I park my bike, I'm told I'm "on course". A quick survey of the street reveals chalk lines, a few cones and a make-shift ramp set up in front of someones driveway. I'm pointed towards a fully stocked cooler in the garage as crackled voice comes from a bull horn advising to "clear the course people!!" and continues on with the names of the next rider/passenger in the parent/child obstacle course. This 40ish second course starts riders in a driveway, navigates a slalom of cones, goes through a looped driveway, out onto the street, over the jump, through another looped driveway culminating in a sprint to the finish line... all while pulling your (or at least someones) kid in a trailer. Good times! Now, anyone that's been to Tahoe knows that the people that live here are typically athletic, competitive and not afraid to "push it" a little bit. This would be evident in "heat two" as a trailer with not one, but two passengers highsides in the right hand sweeper coming out of the first driveway. Good thing for helmets.
After the obstacle course, the crackled voice from the bull horn instructs people to head down the street a few blocks to the next set of events. Here, there's a kids event navigating some of the street and a dirt course that goes through a set of lawn sprinklers. For the "big kids" there's a circle outlined with chalk where two riders enter simultaneously. There are two rules to this event. You need to stay within the circle and you can't put a foot down. The last rider still on his bike within the circle stays in the circle and the next rider comes out to try and "de-throne" the previous victor. Needless to say, anything goes as riders use everything from grabbing the other rider to aggressive full on ramming speed tactics.
A little later, we move on again. This time to the relay race, slow race (where the author was quite successful) and skidding contest. Again the crackled voice from the bull horn "The band comes on at 6:00 and the DJ at 8:30.... pace yourselves people!!" I think about this as I've already had more than a couple of "cocktails" and choose the cooler that was labeled "for kids" as apposed the the one that said "NOT for kids" by the dispenser button.
This would go on throughout the day and be quite the good time. With the Tour De Fat not coming to Tahoe this year, we definately have some other options... some might say even better. Check out some pics from the days events here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

the van.... again

Well, it's back to more fun with van conversions. It starts with an idea. You move some stuff out of the way and begin the process of throwing in some miscellaneous tools, doing some measurements and thinking about how you want/need things to work.
This time she's gettin' a wall with access door between the cargo area and drivers compartment. To start, we'll build a framed wall out of punched angle steel right behind the seats. The wall is similar to something you probably have in your house complete w/ a bottom plate, studs and top plate.... kinda.


Layout marks for anchoring the bottom plate.

My dad takes over in an attempt at, what I started to call, "the bastard screw". No, my dad's not wearing a headband. That's a headlight. You really want to have a headlight when your doing van conversions at night. After anchoring the top and bottom plates we frame in the door and call it quits for the day/night.



The next day, my help heads to the coast as I soldier on. I really believe in positive thinking but as much as I tried, when I opened the doors in the morning the wall didn't automatically build itself overnight. Moving on, it's a new day. I'm well hydrated with coffee, well rested and best of all.... I have daylight!


After getting all the studs in the wall, I built another shelving unit, re-routed the compressor line and anchored an existing set of shelves in place where the compressor previously lived.
I'll give it a "test drive" for a few days before we commit to sheeting the wall with peg board and installing a door. The framework is all bolted together making it easy to tweak things slightly if need be.




Monday, July 6, 2009

good stuff

so, i get an email w/ "bike shop" as the title from my old pal "big air" w/ a link to craigslist.
http://www.craigslist.org/about/best/sea/1192150038.html
no wonder my customers think i'm so nice.

funny shit e-rock. mad props.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

OUR RIDE

When you make plans for a road trip with anyone more than yourself, there's always the question of "who's car will we take?" I'm never afraid to take my truck... although most other people are. When we travel beyond the distance of being able to get a bike out and simply ride back home if there's a breakdown, most of my friends start to question the ability of my 15 year old Nissan with its clapped out, under powered 4 cylinder engine. I've got faith, but as we're crawling up and over Donner Summit in 3rd gear in the truck lane generally being in the way, folks start to question my trucks' ability to handle the task at hand. I'll admit, heading across Hwy 50 through Nevada and Utah as we make our way to Durango Co with literally no towns or services for huge stretches of the trip does make me think a little bit about reaching our destination at least somewhat on time.



Enter the Toyota Warrior. I don't know what year this thing is, but it's ours for the trip out to Durango for Single Speed Worlds in Sept. Although it's probably slower than my truck, it sure will be more comfortable once we arrive at our destination. It's got all the amenities a bike racer needs. A place to sleep, shower, cook food... what else could you ask for! Daron borrowed it for the 4th of July weekend to "feel things out". So far so good. He brought it over so I could check it out and it's rad, really rad. Nice, but not too nice. Just what we need for 10 days of road trppin'. It's a comforting feeling knowing that if we get lost or need guidance, we've got Homer Simpson in his tighty whities on the antenna ready to steer us in the right direction. I can't friggin' wait. See you in Durango.