The weather is beautiful again, which has made shop days a difficult struggle between my desire to get work done and the urge to go riding. Early evenings have been the toughest: I have a half day of work done, the temperature is perfect, a little breeze kicks up, and the light starts to take on that platinum hue... This always seems like the perfect time to ride, but I find it extremely difficult to walk back into the shop after dark and pick up where I've left off. After a good ride 'til dusk, it just seems right to lay around, bask in the glow of a freshly worked body, sip a frosty one, and ponder how to be faster next time. The key for me seems to be to ride either at the beginning or end of my day. Both require that I get up earlier...
...soon to come.
On Sunday I rode with Team Beer and friends to celebrate the life of recently fallen teammate Steve Nelson. While I did not, by any means, know Steve the best, I remember him as a smiling face and company to clink glasses with from many a race. Oh, if these pints could talk... The ride was widely attended and was a nice opportunity to share the light of Steve's life and the company of others that he enjoyed. Steve, you will be sorely missed! But never forgotten.
Before the memorial ride, I started brazing my fork together. By 11:00 on Monday night I was done with the torch and started to polish the stainless crown. Tuesday was one long day of polishing. My fingertips are again stained black and my thumbs chafed to near blister. My crown? near mirror. I'm telling myself that there's no need to find an excuse to polish anything for a little while now. I don't need to. I won't. Ok.
I rode to work at the pub today without my bag on my back. It was a spur of the moment decision, but as I ran out the door -- edging on ten minutes late -- I decided to throw my bag on my new rack. Looping the shoulder strap around the handlebars and clipping the buckles for the flap around the rack frame, I gave my bag a good shake test just to make sure my laptop wouldn't launch to sure catastrophe. Secure. Go! I gotta say that the rack took a significant weight off my back, even if it made me a little late. 'Welcome to the dark side,' says Tad. We'll see.
I'll be buckling my own straps for the next nine days. On Friday, May 1st, I'm joining seventeen other bike builders in displaying our craft to attendees of the City Club's 'It's All About the Bike' forum. I am really hoping that all of August's parts will be ready for pickup on Saturday because I still need to build wheels, and the last I heard the paint shop was waiting on detailing for both the hubs and frame. Hmmm. This should be interesting.
I'll be taking my commuter frame to be repainted with my new fork.
I'm finally going to have a pretty, pretty, purple bicycle.