Awesome Little Commute Things

Torch lilies are blooming, which adds a nice pop of color to my commute and makes the landscape look like something out of the Jurassic period.

Some of them do look like a torch, fading from yellow to red, while others are solid yellow, red or orange.  Though they've been on display for a while now, most of the stalks had opened up by this past week and I had to stop for photos.  

I'm not the only one enjoying the day - check out the hummingbird right over my saddle!

The lilies stretch alongside a part of the bay trail that runs through Redwood City, with a few scattered further north.  They're such a treat to see this time of year that I go a bit slower on this part of the trail in order to enjoy them more.

These ones were tall!
I often hear the stereotype that California has no seasons, but any bike commuter (native or otherwise) will tell you that we do have seasons, and the best way to see them changing is by riding a bike.  I'd miss little things like this if I were in a car every day, but riding lets me see every little nuance and watch the world change.  

Bright days and blue shadows - I love spring in the bay!
Aside from my usually awesome commute, it's also been pretty great to finally have a workshop to go to.  After work I've been heading over there to make a little progress, and tomorrow I'll be spending the whole day there for the first time since I moved with hopes of finishing the main triangle of the current frame I'm working on.  Also it's nice to finally not have my jig taking up most of my kitchen.

This weekend I'll also try out my new rollers, so we'll see how badly that ends.


The Humble Beginnings of Petrichor Frames

It's been a long time coming, but today I've officially moved to a workshop.  

My own little corner of the world.
I packed, loaded, shifted stuff, drove a Uhaul, had a jig fall on top of me (not recommended) and unloaded everything into this amazing little space that I was lucky enough to find.

And I backed this thing into a driveway.  Twice!
Things are still very much in a state of disorganized, and now that I have space I realize that I need about three more workbenches, but it's mine!

Unloaded and getting everything placed.  
Mostly I'm glad that I'll have everything in one place and won't be having to worry about the weather in order to build.  And not having to wheel my jig in and out of my apartment will be nice...also not having to haul out the alignment table, the drawing equipment, measurement tools, tubes...

My little bench finally in a good spot!  
 Some pegboards and file organizers are on the list for workshop needs, and it'll slowly turn into a more functioning space as I figure out what works for me over time.  

The cell phone quality photos and bad angles don't really do the place justice.  It's much bigger than it looks!
The entire space is actually a warehouse broken up and shared with other businesses and people making things, so there's lots going all the time and there are really cool people around.  There's another framebuilder in the East Bay location, but I'm the only one here!

Workshop, sweet workshop.
I'll be spending lots of time in here practicing and bettering my skills.  Despite the fact that I'll be sacrificing some of my riding time in order to build, I'm so excited to dedicate more time to this amazing craft and hope to someday be as skilled as the builders I admire.

So, here's to the humble beginnings of my little endeavor, Petrichor Frames!


Hints of Spring

It's spring, and it's awesome outside.

Over the past few days it's been going back and fourth between pouring rain and warm sunshine, which has caused everything to bloom and made my little rides such a treat.

Does the garden match the bike...or does the bike match the garden?
Because I've been busy lately (more on that later) I've been mostly doing errand running and short trips on the bike as opposed to long rides.  It's been about two weeks since my last "real" ride, but I like the different feel of short trips and getting to see more of my neighborhood when I jaunt all over the place.

After I got home and snagged some photos of my garden with my bike, I was greeted by goodies from Anvil

The Phrunt Shui on a seasonally appropriate throw. 
This is the Phrunt Shui, which will be used for brazing disc brake tabs to forks.  My next two frames are being built with disc brakes, so this little guy will help me quite a bit.  My current rear dropouts have the tab built in, but eventually I will invest in the Feng Shui too.

And you'll probably think I'm nuts for being inside on a day like this, but I was doing some work while enjoying this lovely view...

Don't Walk - Ride!
I've been trying to better myself as a cyclist by stepping outside of my comfort zone and doing more workouts than can benefit me, so I took a sports conditioning class that nearly killed me.  That's why I was doing wrenching on this particular day instead of riding, as I couldn't make it up the stairs to get to my bike clothes anyway.  

All of the boring stuff that I've been dealing with is finally coming together.  After running around dealing with laws, licenses, phone calls, and lots of keeping my fingers crossed, there's really only one last thing to do - which is happening tomorrow.  

Not an April Fool's joke, I promise.  


Bringing Up The Rear

With the front following soon!

Not quite NOS, but close.
Another gorgeous part and a step closer to getting the Takhion fully built up.  I've been trying to search for components that are either NOS or in really good shape which is one of the reasons it's taken me so long to gather everything.  While not NOS, this particular derailleur has been thoroughly cleaned and polished, and is in great working condition.  

Recently I've been reading up on the recent NAHBS coverage and seeing all of the lovely frames that were featured at the show.  One of these years I'll get to go, but until then Prolly's coverage is probably some of the best out there.  


A Healthy Dose of Inspiration

Lately I've been consuming quite a bit of framebuilding related content.  I've been reading, watching, taking notes, and absorbing absolutely everything that I can, and what I've learned is that there are some killer builders out there who are awesome enough to share their work.  While there are many more that I've yet to discover, here are a couple of people that are pretty dang inspiring:

In the cycling world, Icarus has become synonymous with lovely, unique frames and beautifully crafted bikes, and I still maintain the bike below is one of the most stunning ever made.  On his Flickr, Ian shows off beautiful brazing and some of the coolest designs I've ever seen. 

Bishop has been crafting classic frames with a modern flair for quite some time now, and does a wonderful job of documenting most of the process.  I love the usage of vintage tubing and parts mixed in among the modern, such as a DI2 compatible fillet brazed stem.  The frame below is crafted with Columbus MS tubing...check out those chainstays!  

Though only recently introduced to me, I really dig the designs of A-Train Cycles.  Doing everything from road to fat bikes, A-Train photographs everything from the beginning to shots of bikes in the wild.  Beautiful frames with attention to detail, and every headbadge is carved by hand!

Continuing to be an inspiration to every aspiring framebuilder (and also an all around nice guy), Stanridge Speed consistently puts out drool worthy frames.  Amazing fillets and miters about as tight as you can get them are just some components of these frames - they also always come with a pretty great paint job.

These builders all worked hard to get to where they are, and it takes much, much more than just oogling over photos and reading The Paterek Manual to make someone a builder.  But I am glad that these builders chose to share their work an continue to inspire cyclists and other builders alike.  I've got a long way to go, but I'll get there!


Slowly But Surely

Pint sized oxy setup!
It's taking me longer than I'd like, because I have things like a day job and "responsibilities," but I've almost got everything mitered for the main triangle!

Just as I was taught, all miters are being done by hand, and everything is checked, re-checked, and checked again before any tacking is done.  Every time I file a tube even in the slightest, it goes back on the jig to ensure all measurements are correct.  You can even see my templates still attached to the top tube in these photos.  

Top tube to the seat tube.  Everything is still in progress, but it's getting there! 
I'm using a whole slew of measurement tools to ensure that all of the angles are correct, and that my slightly angled top tube (by design) maintains its angle throughout.  Neither the top tube or the down tube will get brazed until everything is cleaned and fits together nicely.  

Still working on this one.  I originally drew the template line way too far down before I realized it would probably be easier to cut the tube instead of filing down everything.  
With the days getting a bit longer I'm hoping to have more time after work for building, so maybe I'll actually get this frame finished in a reasonable amount of time!  


One More From The Road

My friend shot this while on the previously mentioned ride, and it was too good not to share.  That's me in the foreground!

Rocking the orange jersey.
I in no way have the dexterity to remove my cell phone from my back pocket, unlock the screen, and take a photo while riding, so I'm glad that someone else does.  I usually grab photos using my shoulder attached camera on my Chrome bag, but I didn't have it that day.

Really can't get over how amazing this ride was.