Litespeed M1 aka “road rage”

12 Oct

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I originally got this frame for a fixed / singlespeed project I had with custom laced Zipp 404 carbon tubular wheels. I then had a vision of a fast roadie with only 6 gears like a sports car and a paddle shifter to control.

I scored a set of wheels from Real Designs which is a partner with Litespeed (providing them with their carbon forks, wheels) and then went to work on a custom 6speed gear setup using a Shimano Dura Ace 9 speed cassette.  I used a SRAM Force rear derailleur which is designed for 10 speed but I modded using longer stop screws to work for 6 gears and not running the chain off the freewheel over shifting. Up front is a SRAM Force carbon crank with a single 48 tooth chainring, gearing is two gears for climbing, three for flat and one for downhill.

My next favorite part is the use of a SRAM time trial bar end shifter (shown on the end of the handlebars on the right sid) to control the shifting, acting like a paddle shifter on a sports car. The bike is built reliable with carbon clincher tires for easy changes and weights in at 16 pounds. It spins up quick and shifts on a dime.

Posted from Long Beach, California, United States.

The Salsa returns!!

12 Oct

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Ok so I know iv been slacking major on the blog, but here’s what’s been going on!

After the West Coast tour I took some down time and tore the Salsa down to the frame and sent it off to the powdercoater to have a new hammered bronze finish which will be a lot more tough for all other future riding, on and off road 😉

The color came out great and I built the bike back up again. This time I added a pair of Ritchey Speedmax Pro 700×40 tires to make this rig into a “monstercross” plenty capable of eating up mountain bike riding and even some small children…

My bro Ray was way awesome getting me a Crane Brass bell which is now my favorite feature on the bike ! ( besides the crappy moots ti parts, or classic xtr parts…)

Iv taken this bike off the beaten path and it is pretty much at home off road and I can’t wait to do some mountain touring in the future.  Salsa has it right with their slogan, Ride and Smile !

Posted from Long Beach, California, United States.

Gear Review: Panaracer Rivendell Ruffy Tuffy 700×28 tire

12 Oct

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These were the tires I used on my 2011 West Coast tour, a pair of Panaracer RuffyTuffy tires in a 700×28 size. These tires were designed by Rivendell Bicycle Works (known for their touring framesets) to be the toughest tire for touring and fast tandem use. They use a 2.5mm thick Kevlar belt for flat protection. These tires also feature a checkerboard tread for a fast rolling tire with traction when needed.

These tires have a PSI rating of 90 and I used them with a heavy bike load at 80-85 PSI, which seemed to be just right for me.  Along the tour we pretty much rode over everything, from smooth pavement, rough/potholes /road construction that would eat normal road tires up. These tires held up pretty awesome! We even had a few dirt road/trail sections which I made through great with out much traction loss or damage.

At about 1000 miles, I did get one flat in the rear tire from a larger piece of glass that punctured through the tire which we repaired with a tire patch on the inside (see pics)  Also about this mileage I was seeing wear in the rear tire (as expected) which wore the tread pattern flat in the center portion (see pics, tire on left was on the rear)

Overall these tires handled anything that was thrown my way, from road conditions including rain which I had no traction problems with. Also going fast downhill kept me planted in corners and never felt wobbly .  The only issue I found was wanting these tires in a bigger size!! I would recommend these tires for any touring or commuter looking for a solid tire.

Posted from Long Beach, California, United States.

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Day 26 – Castle Rock to Yelm

26 Aug

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67 miles

Getting closer to Seattle now… Another day of great views and fairly pleasant roadways to bike…

Today’s ride featured the very awesome Yelm-Tenino trail. I was stoked!

Once in our destination of Yelm, we got an awesome hotel room, had a mexican feast, and even caught a movie. Oh, vacation month, I love you!

Posted from .

Day 25 – Portland to Castle Rock

26 Aug

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After a sweet day off in Portland, we begrudgingly moved on northward, towards Seattle. We didn’t get rolling until after 1pm and it was a heatwave in PDX.

First was to cross the St. Johns Bridge on the way out of town. We also passed by the college, and kids were returning for classes.

Miles and miles later, crossing the Lewis and Clark bridge into Washington looked daunting, as it was the highest and longest bridge yet. …but there was construction slowing the speed, and made it possible to take pictures!

By the time we rolled into Castle Rock at about 6pm, it was still in the 90’s. Yikes.

Posted from Yelm, Washington, United States.

Day 23 & 24 – Portland

26 Aug

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Whooo hoooo! Portland and a day off!

Ok, this morning was the wettest yet. It rained all night, and the tent held up great in the wet weather. Even though we slept in a bit, we had to get outta camp and to Tillamook by noon… To catch the bus! Rolled out to fog and slowly drying weather.

We were to take the Tillamook Wave, which is their bus system, into Portland. This came highly reccomended by other bikers headed south via Portland, and were warned that the 2 bike racks on the front was first come, first serve. The 12:30 was also the last but outta town for the day.

We called ahead and made reservations, and even showed up an hour early. Apparently, it wasn’t the first stop, as the bus rolled up with 2 bikes on the racks… And the driver said there were 2 more inside, strapped to the wheelchair access area. We were bummed, but the driver kept hanging around. Finally, a guy popped out of the bus and made the driver let us on by saying that everyone on the bus was OK with 2 more bikes. He begrudgingly agreed and we sprinted our gear into the jam packed bus. Some people cheered, others leered as they were on their way to work, but Mikey and I were plain releaved. With 6 bikes and 20-something people, we were on our way to PDX!

We were even more releaved to have taken the bus as the ride east showed over 1500 ft in elevation, and fast dangerous traffic for over 80 miles. Whew! Maybe if our legs were fresh, but not after 1300 miles in 22 days…

We had a nice chat with and bought a beer for the fellow who helped us on the bus. Thanks again Mathias, you rule!

Now in Portland, an ol Flagstaff friend, Dana was our host for the next day. She showed us a completely awesome time. Wings, fried Nutter Butters, Voodoo doughnuts, beer, King Burritos, and all sorts of other stuff was enjoyed!

Did I mention biking in Portland rules? They have a bunch of crazy awesome variations of the “sharrow” which is a biking road sign on the road. Normally it only features a bike with 2 chevrons indicating the direction of bike traffic. Flagstaff has some, but Portland goes above and beyond with theirs. There is also a group making scarves with the Portland bike routes printed on it.

Even though it was our day off, we somehow managed to put in around 40 miles biking around Portland. In the infamous words of Chad Winger, NO BIG DEAL.

Posted from Yelm, Washington, United States.

Day 22 – Beverly Beach to Cape Lookout

23 Aug

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This day started & ended soggy, but had an amazing, adventure filled middle!

We woke to damp everything, which is why we were stoked to have pitched the tent under heavy tree cover. Regardless, we got a bit wet on our first 7 files or so going over Cape Foulweather. I thought the entire day would end up like this, so we opted for ‘Second Breakfast’ at the Sea Hag in Depoe Bay. That hit the spot and we were able to wait out some wetness and fog… As we were preparing for… Dun dun dunnnnnnnn… ~Lincon City~

A number of people headed south had horror stories of being harassed or just messed with in this town. It was a 5 mile stretch that had tons of traffic, no bike lane, or shoulder on the majority of it’s 4 lane roadway. About halfway through we noticed a tailwind and we were booking it through the mostly downhill grade. Awesome!
On our way out we crossed the 45th parallell, got outta there lickety spli,t & didn’t bother to look back.

As we rolled int Tillamook County, the scenery got even more epic. Even the two mega hills we climbed were drowned out by the fact that we had interesting views of rolling fields, forests, leaves falling from treed canopies overhead, and scenic roadways in general.

Finally, rolling towards camp was even better with the view from the overlook… Which I might add is where we hit 1300 miles for this trip! As this was the last day on the coast, Mikey & I celebrated with some beers & baby clams in a can!

Tomorrow we look forward to a chill ride into the city of Tillamook & catching a ride to Portland on the ‘Wave’.

Posted from Tillamook, Oregon, United States.

Day 21 – Honeyman to Beverly Beach

23 Aug

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More great mellow hills were had on this day.

Newport was the highlight as it had the coolest bridge, incredible food, & Mikey even got to check out a kickass historic Coady Guard boat!

We were bummed that the shop supportive of touring cyclists was closed though!

Posted from Tillamook, Oregon, United States.

Day 20 – Sunset Bay to Jessie M Honeyman

23 Aug

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This day was pretty chill. It is also the day I realize that I’m taking more pictures of food than scenery! Ack!

First we hit up Pancake Mill in North Bend before crossing the bridge everone warned us about. The food was killer, the bridge wasn’t bad at all!

Later that day we stopped by the Umpqua Lighthouse, and while neat looking, they didn’t give us a tour on demand, even though Mikey was a coastie.

The scenery changed a lot in these parts, with rolling dunes and super green fields that went on for miles. There were plenty of lakes in this area too, and lots of partiers with their dune buggies.

I met some crazy dude calling himself Jim Flinstone or something. He said he’d fix the economy by getting rid of money, and he’d do it in 30 years. Awesome. Also met another dude named Ray who was headed south on the Oregon Coast Trail. He was a bit older and it was his first time out doing something that adventureous. A super nice guy, but with undertones of a bittersweet life.

Posted from Tillamook, Oregon, United States.

Day 19 – Humbug Mtn to Sunset Bay

20 Aug

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Total: 64mi

Today we woke up early to “beat the wind.” Apparently, so did the wind. Good thing they had this awesome biker lane in the one lane construction zone!

Second Breakfast was a Must for Mikey, so we hit up the ol’ Greasy Spoon before Bandon. There were four grandmothers in there, two cooking and two shootin’ the shit about local gossip. Awesome. Food was awesome! Plus we found out that TGIF also stands for This Grandmother Is Fabulous!

By the time we hit Bandon, the wind picked up even more and kicked us in the collective nuts. We checked out Cathedral rock, but it was windy as hell so we didn’t get any really good pictures. Instead, we stopped and ate fresh crab. Yum. Mikey even noticed a coast guard thing…

Then it got warmer.

The warm day then turned to hella windy and ice cold about 10-15mi out of camp as we rolled through some high densely treed hunting area. The clouds set in and are making it way chilly. So much for seeing a sunset at Sunset Bay… But we did take some neat pictures.

Posted from North Bend, Oregon, United States.