Monday, July 6, 2009


It's been almost two months, but I have my Tarmac back. It's hanging, longingly naked, in the goat cave. Beckoning me. And I'm just about to head home to (hopefully--depending on what domestic duties await me when I get there) start the build.

At first blush, it appears the boys at rrvelo did a first-rate job patching up my baby after its mishap. However, I haven't ridden it yet, so we'll see. I regret a bit not forking over the extra $200 or so for the touch-up paint and new decals, but at the time I just couldn't bear it. The incident has been expensive enough already. I'll get pictures up soon, but the war wounds are more than obvious.


I just emptied a cache of pictures over the past month or so from my iPhone. The iPhone doesn't take great pictures (one of the few things it doesn't do well), but they're pictures all the same. Here's a few.

(Not sure why these are taken of the non-drive side, why there are bottles in the cages, and why the odd crank position. Typical goatish amateur absent-mindedness...)

What I've been riding for the past while. Frame/fork purchased on eBay for $150. It's alarmingly easy to find killer deals on frames via eBay, but the prices of used wheels and components are sometimes awfully close to discounted new.

Notice the wheels...
...which I mentioned are the first wheels I've built. This picture was taken right after Poolesville, so everything's covered in a thin veil of dust, but I dig the red anodized rims.

This frame has been ok. It's not the Tarmac, but compared to the Tricross at the Tuesday Nighters...well, there's not much compairson when you get out of the saddle and hammer. My Tricross is just too...spongy. Which is to say non-responsive. This Giant is a worthy second-string road racer.

Some of you will recognize it's strikingly similar appearance to my old Giant, and while I think the fork is exactly the same, the frame is actually quite different. For one, this one is a touch bigger, so it fits. But then there's the seat tube, for instance, which has a much cleaner design than the shim/collar design on the other one I was riding. I don't know the historical Giant catalogue well enough to put model names and years to the differences. What I do know is that the TCR, for the past several years, has been about as much bike for dollar spent as you can buy. And there are a lot of them out there, which makes getting a really good used bike for not much fairly easy.

A couple of bad shots in Horse Valley from Saturday's ride. Jon M. and I rode over Big Flat to pick up Big E, then east to the Arnettesville Fair Grounds to rendevous with Jim H. Together we rode back up over Big Flat and across the valley, over the Upper Strausburg climb, deposited Jim H. at his family Fourth-of-July-get-together, then back to Ship.

Jon M., Big E, and the Joel train at the little country store in Fannettsburg a few weeks ago. A refueling point for the return run over the Strausburg climbs from Cowan's Gap (or whatever the pass is called at the summit on US30 between Fort Louden and McConnellsburg). That was a nice ride. Six climbs of 8-10 percent grade at least a mile in length. Well, the climb out of Roxburg to Lower Horse Valley Road is a just under a mile, but I'm counting it anyway.

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