20131031

Excitement Building

Further progress on the Takhion...

Fully primed...
And now painted!
To keep things a little surprising...I'm going to try to not post any photos until the frame is fully done.  Though you can follow the artist yourself if you'd like.

All photos are credited to Ube Urban

And Happy Halloween!  

Image via Reddit.  Anyone have any more photos or info on this?

20131030

Well, this is awkward

There seem to be some technical difficulties with the previous post.  I'll fix it soon, but in the meantime, enjoy this classy ride.

Heel tail light. Teehee.

Mobile Advertising

Clever idea to use a bike as advertising that I spotted in downtown Burlingame:


Conveniently a rather noticeable bike (and color!)
The Bay Area has a huge bike culture, and it's not uncommon to see people stop and admire other bikes.  I ended up stopping because I love old ten speeds, but then noticed the sign.  

It's location changes frequently (but always points to the store) and it doesn't just sit locked up when not in use...someone is riding this bike! 

20131027

Autumn

For anyone that doesn't think we get seasons out here in California...

The best time of year.
What was supposed to be a quick ride to get away from being slammed the past few days turned into a two hour adventure in the mountains.  Totally worth it.  

The weather was perfect, too.
Sure, it's nothing compared to New England, but it's still pretty breathtaking.  And you get to ride over crunchy leaves!

Taken on a quick jaunt through the Tom Sawyer Trail today.  If you live in the Bay Area and haven't been up there lately (or ever), it's stunningly beautiful right now - keep in mind it is a MUP, so be nice about sharing it with everyone else.

20131025

Takhion Restoration Progress

A few progress photos of this restoration went up today...

Concept sketch, using inspiration from a few of the photos I provided of Bicicrono's road TT Takhion - photos that were also used for color matching.  I really love the red accents on his road TT, and I think I might follow suit and add a few red touches of my own, such as this saddle in red and the matching bar tape.  And since Takhions originally came with Selle San Marco Concor Profil SLs, I wouldn't be deviating too far from historically accurate!

The paint was removed and there was some rust treatment done as well.  Here's a close up of the fork crown.
I love seeing the underlaying brazing!
I can't wait to see this frame in its next stages of getting painted!  Now it's time to hunker down and start a part search for the building process.

All credit for these photos and progress so far goes to Ube Urban.

20131024

Womens' Cycling in Saudi Arabia

Yesterday I came across an article that really resonated with me.

"Saudi Arabian women are readying themselves for a national day of protest on October 26 against laws that prohibit them from riding bikes."

I can't possibly imagine what it must be like being denied something as simple as riding a bicycle.  I suppose in the grand scheme of things and all of the oppression that women suffer in Saudi Arabia that it's a small thing, but to not be ever to experience that joy...that's just sad.  And then the trailer posted for a related film made me even sadder.


Wadjda Official Trailer from Razor Film on Vimeo.

Seeing that little girl just wanting to ride with her friend really hit me hard, and though women are legally allowed to ride bicycles, the restrictions are utterly ridiculous.  Also, that law was only passed quite recently - I imagine that during filming (this is the first film filmed in Saudi Arabia, by the way) that the law was not yet in effect.   

Many women have already started to try to change things by protesting - such as driving, at the risk of being arrested.  My hope is that the protests on Saturday will be peaceful and result in change rather than arrests, but it remains to be seen.  And, to clarify - this isn't just a protest for riding bicycles, but also for the right to drive and generally transport oneself.  

Good luck to all of the women in Saudi Arabia on October 26th and in all future endeavors - ride on, ladies!  

20131016

Now In Progress!

I'm quite happy to say that this frame has officially gone in for restoration!

Stripped of all its shiny parts.
And I'm even happier to say that it went to a very talented local painter who I discovered entirely by accident. And after seeing some examples of a few of his other restorations, I'm confident that this Takhion will get the treatment it deserves.  

Looks like there's a Facebook album started here of the progress.

20131012

The Importance of Fit

"You walk toe heel."

Truth be told, it wasn't the first time I'd walked across the floor of a bike shop in just my socks, but it was the only time that it was actually for my benefit.  And I was also impressed at just how quickly Mark, the professional fitter of Velotech, noticed something that many people tend to overlook.  Then again, that's the reason I was there.

A few weeks back I got new shoes.  They are wonderful and I love them, but after the initial glee of riding with shiny new Sidis wore off, I noticed a bit of pain in my feet.  The honeymoon was over.

After trying a few suggestions that I found online for foot pain while riding and having zero luck, I realized I'd be much better off going back to Velotech and having the experts fix me up.  Velotech was the shop that fit me to my dream bike and I'm still shocked at just how amazing that bike feels.  After plumb lines, pedal stroke analyzing, checking the bends in my joints, and using the eye of a trained professional, that bike fit me like I had been born with it.  My mind was blown.


Also they have some pretty bikes.
Now that I was back at Velotech, I was put on the trainer with my bike so that Mark could look at my pedal stroke and see what's going on.  Cleat placement itself on new shoes can make a huge difference (especially on someone like me where one foot skews outward naturally) but there are also other things that can cause or solve problems.  As it turned out, not only were my cleats themselves on a bit wonky, but the tiny change in the size of the sole required that my saddle height be readjusted.  Mark made some small changes, carefully analyzing my pedal stroke and checking my measurements after each change, and then sent me on my way to make sure all was good.  

So I rode around a bit.  And a few days back when I was out enjoying a fall ride I noticed something - nothing.  My feet were fantastic.  My everything was fantastic.  I was purely enjoying the ride and not thinking about anything else - it's perfect.  


It was a really nice ride.
I'm no fitter.  I can do a basic set up and some troubleshooting to get things to work right, mostly using the power of the internet to help me.  But there really is nothing like going to a professional and getting everything fine tuned.  Really, I can't stress enough how much of a difference even the smallest things can make.  A few millimeters can ruin your day or make you feel so much better, and pain while riding is not something you want to ignore.  If you've never had a fitting, I really can't recommend it enough!

As for the toe heel thing?  I wish I could tell you if that made a difference in my cleat positions, but I'll leave that to the professionals.  

[On a side note - if you're in the bay area and need a fitting, I really cannot recommend these guys enough.]

20131009

Blogger is Being Challenging

So here's a quick picture of an octopus sewn to a tree that I found on an urban exploration ride before the site deletes my post again.

There's even a koi fish in the left corner.
'sup?
How does one even do this?  It's amazing.

20131005

Recent Pursuit Bar Find

They're not Takhion bars, but they might be Textima.  Or maybe Rossin.  Rossin bars were only made by 3TTT, and don't match this design - looks like they are Textima.  Thanks Bicicrono!



There's a bit of surface rust and some gunk from the previous bar wrap, but they seem pretty solid.  There are no identifying marks or labels.



They're quite wide, coming in at 48cm.  They're also quite small in diameter - the clamp size on these bars comes in at approximately 22mm.  



Anyone have any clues on this one?  Anyone have a bike to match these :]?

20131002

Coming Along Nicely

A little while ago there was a Kvant frame that popped up on eBay that looked like it needed some love.


"Someone adopt me!"
Fortunately that frame ended up going to a great home, and today I received this photo of the restoration process.


Well done.
The person behind the restoration wanted to do something a bit different to this bike, so they decided to take a completely unique approach with paint and decals.  Personally, I think it looks stunning, and I can't wait to see it built up.  Plus, they also have an amazing collection and take great care of their bikes.  I'm really glad to see this old frame getting some love and a killer make over!