Monday, February 24, 2014

Sunday Rolling

Every bit of warm weather is precious these days... I'm glad to look back at Sunday and know I made the most of it!  I met up with my friend Erl on the Georgetown waterfront and we had a great ride up the C&O/CCT to downtown Bethesda. I introduced him to the culinary treat of Taylors Gourmet Deli and reserved a half a sandwich for the ride back.  Great ride all around, at over 30 miles it is by far my longest single speed expedition to date and I even threw in some steady if not super-steep elevation this time.

The XO-3 continues to impress, the Brooks B67 is a suprisingly good match with the moustache bars and I was very comfortable with the couple hours in the saddle.  My gearing right now is running 45x19 which ends up being pretty darn close in gear inches to the 40x17 I was running before.  I'm pretty ok with this ~ 61 gear inches but I'm trying to decide how best to utilize my 17x19 White Industries Dos Eno freewheel... I'd like to go with two chain rings that are a matching 2T apart to give me a hi and lo option.  Right now i'm leaning towards 42/44...

Oh, and I rode the last mile or so of the canal on the towpath, the 2" Big Apples laugh in the general direction of that muddy mess. Honestly can we not clean up the surface for the final lap of the trail!  

I can't wait for more weather like this!

Good spot for a snack and taking in the day.

Sackville out for a snack off the bike overlooking the Key Bridge and Rossyln

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sunrise Coffee Club - MV Trail Style!

LBJ Memorial Grove offers a great view across the Potomac to the DC Monuments, at this time of year though the sunrise is actually well south of the general view (right of frame) so I'll pick a different spot for the next sunrise!

Inspired by many of the postings about Sunrise Coffee on the RBW list, and also by Ocean Air Cycle's early morning adventures I finally pulled the trigger this morning on a sunrise cup-a-joe.  

Location - LBJ Memorial Grove (off the Mount Vernon Trail in Arlington)
Bike - Bridgestone XO-3, singlespeed
Coffee - Ethiopia Amaro Gayo, Roasted at Swings in Del Ray
Brew Method - Pour over

I'm hoping to establish a semi-regular sunrise coffee club, I'll be posting about my rides over at the Bike Arlington Forum but I'm not sure it'll always be the same day, and the location will definitely rotate.  Stay tuned.
The XO-3 is sporting fore and aft storage for the occasion, the rear trunk bag was for the coffee gear.

Not just coffee, not just brewed on the spot, but pour over, single origin, hand ground coffee! :)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Waterford Precision Cycles - A visit

Not alot of riding to speak of lately and there is a significant re-shuffling in the works on my daily rider front but more on that later.  I'm actually home relatively briefly between trips and had to get up some shots of a very brief visit to the friendly and amazing Waterford Precision Cycles in (where else) Waterford, WI.

Waterford is 8,000 sq ft of American manufacturing, and it might be the highest volume MUSA steel bike shop in the country. (anyone have an idea of who might be larger?)  Not only are they bigger than the average custom bike shop but they put out some extremely high quality frames for some very hi profile customers... Rivendell (Atlantis, Hunqapillar, A Homer Hilson to name a few), Boulder All-Road's, Gunnar (house brand), small batch Schwinn Paramount Anniversary editions, and of course the Waterford branded custom bikes.  Quite an impressive brag sheet in my mind

I checked in via phone and email ahead of time and let the good folks at Waterford know that I'd love to stop in and see the place as I'm a current Rivendell rider and they very kindly obliged. I got a spectacular walk-around with Richard who really knew his way around the shop.  Given that I didn't and haven't ridden an actual Waterford product (my Atlantis is a Toyo built frame) I can't give any feedback from a rider perspective.. so the pictures and captions really just give you my wide-eyed, curious view of a really cool bike shop.

Thanks very much to Richard for showing me around and Johanna for taking my calls.  This is a cool shop with good people and gorgeous bikes coming off the line!  Enjoy the pictures.

TIG welding at a very hi level.

A pair of seat stays being miter-cut for the frame in the next image down

As each frame moves through the work floor it is paced by its spec sheet that gives the geometry, materials, customer and other information.  Every frame, even the 'stock' Gunnar's go through as a single item built up from scratch.

Brazing station

A future Waterford in paint

If I remember correctly these are all Gunnar's but I'm not sure...

Here's what I was hoping to see!  post-paint Riv's and Waterford's all lined up and ready for final touches!

Here's what I was hoping to see!  post-paint Riv's and Waterford's all lined up and ready for final touches!

The chrome frame is one of 25 Schwinn Paramount Anniversary editions... a very rare bike at the very start of its lifetime!

Hunqa - hunqa - hunqa

I wonder who's lovely orange Homer this is!

And a gorgeous blue Homer getting worked on