Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The New Ride

As I mentioned in my last blog, my new frame is built up and on the road.
The titanium frame is built by Independent Fabrication. The main tubes are painted while the seatstays and the chainstays are left as raw titanium. The color is "Vanilla Shake."

Click on the pic to enlarge!

The workmanship is amazing.I purchase a few new pieces for the new bike including Deda aluminum seatpost, stem, and handlebar. The "Dark Metal Polish" compliments the titanium pretty well.Also scooped up a nice Campy Record carbon compact crankset. It matched nicely with my old Campy Record bits.
The ride is wonderful. I definitely feel more in touch with the road than I did on my old Giant (aluminum maintubes and carbon stays). Rough roads feel a bit rougher although not harsh, and smooth roads feel smoother - sounds goofy, but there is just more "feel" overall.

More suprisingly the frame feels like it responds better while out of the saddle and riding hard. I don't know if I'd say it's stiffer, but it feels faster!

Naturally the custom fit feels great. This frame was built for me and rides like it. I had the front end built a little higher on account of my shoulder problems. My shoulder has felt great on it and my back stays loose and fresh on it too. I've really appreciated it on longer climbs.

To sum it all up I am HAPPY!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Old Sherwin Grade

Last Sunday Mary and I joined the Nelson family for a ride up Old Sherwin Grade to Tom's Place where we had breakfast.

We met at Millpond and rolled through Round Valley which was lush and pleasant - as usual.
Old Sherwin climbs about 3,500' and has a few somewhat steep sections (up to 10%). It winds pleasantly through volcanic tuff up from the desert of Paradise to the Pinions of Swall Meadows and finally to the beautiful Lower Rock Creek Gorge.

Mary had never done this climb before, but she went into it with a good attitude and strong legs.
Here she is topping out on the steepest section just before heading down the short descent to Rock Creek. Suffering and smiling!
Brian gets over the crux too with Mount Tom behind him.
Here I am with my new bike (more pics on my next blog).
All smiles at the end of the ride.
A special thanks to the Nelsons for inviting us along on their family outing.
Good fun for sure.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

More Last Week, Campin' in the Alabama Hills

Spent last week camped in the Alabama Hills. There were a lot of campers so I had to find a new spot. This one tucked away in the rocks suited me nicely.
See if you can find my shadow and the Scamp in this one (click to enlarge).
Went for several mountain bike rides. The high, wispy clouds made for some nice soft morning light. This is Mount Williamson.
Good old Lone Pine Peak.
Revisited an old mine.

The grammar was lousy, but I got the message and stayed out of the tunnel.
Another fine week down south!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Last Week

Mary, Porter, and I visited Reed's camp in the Pinions near Owens River Gorge.
White Mountain was quite white from the recent storms.
Mary took all the pics. She got a little nutty with this one!
The sky was great.
Mr. Reed was in good form. We brought a little dinner up for him and shared a sip or two of nice red wine.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mud Flats of Lone Pine

This week I spent a couple of nights on the mud flats east of Lone Pine.

I think the flats are formed when flash floods come out of the canyons of the Inyo Mountains. The large boulders and rocks drop out quickly as the flow slows down. Then the gravels and coarse sands settle out and finally the silt laden water flows out into the valley forming shallow ponds. When the ponds dry the mud flats remain.

The flats are smooth and so firm you can drive (and Scamp) on them.
This boulder fell from the nearby slope onto this small flat.
This is a great spot for the cyclocross bike as you can simply cruise around wherever you like.
The recent rains have been kind to the Desert Plume.
There are many "islands" of vegetation on the flats.

With the morning clouds we've had some fine sunrises.
Riding west on the Dolomite Road.
And Now For Something Completely Different

Sadly, people have dumped all sorts of trash and junk at the mudflats, but as nature reclaims the debris it becomes, well, "interesting" and maybe even, beautiful. Click on pic to enlarge.

Even the cattle got in on the action!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

McGee Creek Amble

Mary and I had a "husband & wife" day Sunday. We started out with a nice ride in Round Valley, napped in the early afternoon, then we took a short, easy hike at McGee Creek.

As spring progresses the wildflower bloom moves higher in elevation. I had heard the flowers were nice up in McGee Canyon, so we took a look (Thanks Brian C.).

The weather was cool, but not cold with intermittent clouds and sun.
Clik on pic to enlarge!
The mountains and the flowers were simply spectacular.

Porter loved it and so did we!
To cap the day off we headed to Convict Lake Resort for some decadent dining.

Thanks for a great day Mary.