Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New Bicycle frame fixture

Well, time to build some thing cool that looks as good as it works, or well, I hope it works as well as it looks.

I decided to go with a free floating fixture for building frames because no frame I build is the same and an Anvil Welding fixture just limits you to a normal bicycle frame, and as we all know, it gets old after a while.

I don't do production runs but I wanted to build a frame table that was able to do production runs if need be, so making a fixture that doesn't need to be completely disassembled every time was key.

The fixture was all designed in Solidworks computer aid drawing program, as all my projects are drawn on Solidworks before they hit the workbench. This is a new idea to a lot of people, its crazy to draw something on the computer then build it, no guess work and fast build times!!

Here is a few pictures of the parts of the slide blocks for the bottom bracket, there is a titanium bottom bracket between the two cones. The fixture needs to seal as well to prevent gas loss, while the inside of the bike frame is filled with inert gas for welding.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Minneapolis Star Tribune Lifestyle section

Here is the life style section from the Minneapolis newpaper's lifestyle section. They put in at the end of the article about Brie and her racing.

Wind cooled the sweat on my face. Car lights blurred in my peripheral vision -- a stream of color coursing by. "Clear!" my race partner shouted, an intersection approaching, cars braking to our right.
It was 10 p.m., a Saturday in August, and I pedaled eastbound on Franklin Avenue in Minneapolis. My left hand gripped a map, our lone guide through the night.

It was the second hour of the All City Championship alley-cat race, an event that started behind a bike shop downtown. Alley-cat competitions, an obscure form of urban bike racing, demand athleticism along with street savvy and navigational skills.

"You've got to be fast, have a good head and know the city inside and out," said Jeff Frane, an organizer of the All City event.

A general theme in alley-cat races -- which are often low-key, underground events -- is to mimic the route a commercial bike messenger might take through the city over a single day. Competitors must find their way to a dozen or more addresses around an urban area.

In most races, competitors get a list of street addresses and landmarks. You create a route ad hoc and set off to ride to each point in any order, filling in clues and getting stamps at checkpoints before looping back to the finish.

A tough alley-cat can take hours to complete, with riders zooming through neighborhoods and industrial areas while reading a map. Bike in traffic. Look for clues.

Routes during the nighttime All City race, which has been held annually for four years, snaked more than 30 miles through Minneapolis and St. Paul.

"This race is designed to see who's the best in the city," Frane said.

Around the country, a few hundred alley-cat races are organized each year, according to Brad Quartuccio, editor of Urban Velo, a Pittsburgh-based magazine that covers city biking. He said alley-cat racing started as a "messenger-only thing," but now the number of messengers or couriers in each event is dwarfed by "commuters, bike nerds, racers, ex-couriers and people just looking for a good time."

Quartuccio added that Minneapolis is a national hot spot. The Stupor Bowl, a winter race in Minneapolis, attracts hundreds of riders and is in the running as the biggest alley-cat in the world.

At the All City race, there were about 150 competitors. Another Twin Cities event, Babes in Bikeland on Sept. 19, drew more than 160 entrants, making that women-only alley-cat the largest race of its type in the country, according to organizer Kayla Dotson.

I signed up for the All City not knowing what to expect. My bike, an urban-oriented ride with a fixed gear, fit in among the single-speed bikes stacked in the alley. We were behind One on One bike shop downtown.

Frane shouted, "Does everyone have a manifest?"

He was referring to the race clue sheet and guide, a printed page with almost 20 objectives for the race. Most were an address and a simple, fill-in-the-blank question. For example: "Linden Ave. Back of West 394 Sign. Year on back of sign?"

Racers could pick any route through the city to find the clues, making speed and strategy equally important to win.

Frane shouted "Go!" before my route was sketched on a page, but I jumped on my bike anyway. A mass of riders -- yelling, shoving, red safety lights blinking on their backs -- pushed out of the alley and into the streets.

On top of the manifest, race organizers printed, "I urge you to obey all traffic laws and ride responsibly. Your actions are your own." I thought of that cutting out into Washington Avenue, signaling a turn and tracking left.

At 1400 NE. Quincy St., the first stop on my route, I scribbled the clue answer. It was getting dark. I clipped in and pedaled north.

The 331 Club, a bar in Northeast, was stop No. 2. A race volunteer stamped my manifest and asked if I wanted a partner to race with: "She's from California, and she's lost."

The next three hours were a whirlwind race with Briana Forbes, 21, an ex-courier and strong urban cyclist from Los Angeles. We went from downtown to Northeast, to the Bryn Mawr neighborhood. Then south to Kenwood. Across town on Franklin Avenue. To St. Paul. To the University of Minnesota. To Bryant-Lake Bowl. To the Hexagon Bar at 2600 27th Av. S.

"Stamp here," a volunteer yelled.

Forbes wheezed while cranking up a hill. I strained to read a map in dim light. Cars roared past. Our legs spun, bodies moving ahead on the road, in a race, deeper into the night.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Red Bull Soap box racer

So the job for the day, last week Thursday was to build Roland a Soap Box racer for the Red bull Soap box race. Watch the video, Rodney and I built the chassis and Roland and Donny tuned the body. Thanks to Easton for throwing down some crazy wheels for the project.

If anyone saw the race, trust me....... you know there is going to be a lot of BS talking at the shop. Lets just say the steering rods broke when the car caught the front wheel on the berm. More videos to come trust me and a lot more $#IT talking..........

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Busy for Interbike 2009

It is often assumed that if your blog is not up to date that you are just lazy........ Well I hope no one can say that about me. Between my phone ringing off the hook about bicycle projects and the chain gang work I do during the day at RSD, I have been far from lazy. I am going to do a few post on whats new including projects at work and projects at home.

First off - The last week I owe it to Dan Berlant for throwing it down and helping me dial everything in. Couldn't have done it with out you.

The Penny Farthing Bicycle made it was to Interbike Las Vegas Bicycle Show ( the world's largest bicycle dealer expo ) with a fresh paint job from Matt over at Colorzone in Huntington Beach. The pin striping turned out great, and the finish looks amazing. Thanks to everyone else that helped get the machine to the way it looks today. Sram, Velocity, Cane Creek, and so on......

Check out the photos from Interbike - Gary Fisher even dropped by for a quick chat about the penny.

Round Two - Bicycle stands ....... I don't really want to talk about them much other then being a pain in the ass...... They look cool and were all brazed together. A great little piece for the bikes at the Torelli Bicycle booth. Check'em on the back wheel of the bikes in both pictures -

Working on the Frame Table, Red Bull projects and Traveling are the rest but thats another post.....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Running Behind

Wow, sorry

Its been a few days since I last updated! I am coming from a remote location in San Diego today, for security reasons we will call it a HOTEL which stands for Hostile Observing Telecommunication Environmental Landing. Lets just call it BASE.
I am in San Diego as the ASR fashion show working for RSD and maybe doing some help at the Coker unicycle booth, who knows.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Garage Sale, Heat, Coker Unicycle and frustration

Well, with all the fires and the hurricane's weird weather patterns the shop has been 100+ degrees, the shop is in an old brick warehouse which almost always keeps cool but these last few days have been been by far the worst for the heat. I wish I had AC !! On top of the heat, the tubing roller decided to break during the last part needed for the Unicycle frame, to just add to the frustration. Here is a picture of Dan Berlant and I, before the roller gave up.Deciding to leave the shop to beat the heat, Dan and I received a phone call from a friend that knew of a garage sale with a lot of old metal working tools. We rushed down there to find welding torches, welding tables, hammers, files, anvils, lights, wrenches, tons of steel tubing and so on. With 68 bucks in had, we walked or should be say drove away with so much stuff.... It was rad.
Check out the welding table, its going to be my new bicycle frame welding table as you can see my parts are already getting ready to be mounted.

Tubes to become the new Coker Concept Unicycle
The Penny is done being painted and most of the parts are ready for the Unicycle to be welded, so get ready...... Plus I have a personal project coming up with some crazy Mavic wheels, it will be a real head turner!!