Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Fixed Gear Experiment: Back of the Pack Style

What the.....? Yeah, the fixed gear experiment - Back of the Pack style. What does that mean? 

Back of the Pack Style means: a) The Judd comes up with a psychotic idea, b) The Judd follows through at an insane pace - the pursuit of the idea is the challenge, c) The Judd makes 1000 mistakes pursuing the idea, d) The Judd finally figures it out at an extreme CO$T, that's CO$$$$$T.

So, the goal was to build a commuter bike to ride into work. I live in Sandia Park, I work on the SE side of Albuquerque - Kirtland Air Force Base. The commute is 22 miles, one way. The drive takes about 30 minutes each way, unless there are traffic issue. The idea was to build a commuter, a bike to 'experience the experience'. Well, I found a descent Surly Steamroller frame. No much $s. BUT, in standard Judd nature, I bought the best of the best to go on the Surly. Well, that's the way I roll. If I can commit to the bike commute then I will drop the $$$$ on a Black Sheep commuter - A Black Sheep design just for The Judd. So we will see.

The BPR fan may ask... "Why this Goal?" It's easy dude! I'm a 24 Hour solo bike racing freak. I'm not fast - but I love the challenge. AND I need another challenge. In 2011 or 2012 I want to compete in the Colorado Trail Race. I need to put in some series miles, day after day, to compete in such a race. PLUS I need to figure out that whole bike packing thing. So, I have a lot of work ahead of me. Putting in ~ 45 miles a day seems like a good idea. It will be a very bad idea if it pulls me off of the Black Sheep SS mtn bike - so I am realistic and I won't let the asphalt suck me away from the dirt. I promise.

This is where you, the Back of the Pack fan, begins to laugh. Just don't laugh in my face. All it takes is one dude / dudette to throw down the challenge - then I off 'to the races' and won't stop until I complete that challenge. So...tell me I can't do it. That's all I need to hear, dude!

Well, there is only one problem with this goal, this idea, this theory, this dream of racing in the Colorado Trail Race. What's the problem? The problem....I'm afraid of the dark. AND it gets dark in the middle of nowhere, it's DARK in the mountains of Colorado. So, I have some personal issues to work through. Can you imagine all the creatures stalking The Judd on the Colorado Trail? Unreal. Creatures are scary. The known, the documented, the freaky creatures are... scary - like bears, wolves, mountain lions! The undocumented creatures are scarier. (Is that a word - scarier?) Skin Walkers, Vampires, Werewolves, ALIENS! Yikes!

Anyway, so I ordered all the parts with the goal of building the bike - all by myself. 

Most of the parts arrived - I purchased the parts from Universal Cycles, Jenson USA, BikeBling and Phil Wood. Just a few problems - like a damaged rear wheel. It also turned out that I missed a few important tools. So.... I sent the rear wheel back to Universal Cycles and cruised down to the Bike Coop. I've been in the Bike Coop a number of times; I've always left the Bike Coop feeling good about the world. So, two trips to the Bike Coop, a new rear rim, new handlebars, brake lever, tubes, tires, tools and.... the bike came together.

Then the maiden voyage(s) at Paa-ko. Go all the way to the end of the post for a maiden voyage review.

Check out the photos below, dude / dudette.

The Parts - The Parts in Cheetos Dust - Says The Lt Col


The finished bike - Fixed Gear - for now


Judd doing what Judd does best on a Friday night - NOTHING!


Commuter bikes are like house pets. The bikes stay inside. Right?
Oh yeah, and I live in a loft - in a warehouse - in the mountains - of course.

The Paa-ko Experience - 23.41 miles & 1801 ft of vertical


Another view. See, I don't live in Albuquerque. I live in ISOLATION! 
Yeah Right! That's why my neighbors are always pissed at me....
Because I DON'T live in ISOLATION


The Data of the Paa-ko Experience.


So, the plan is coming together.


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