Friday, December 30, 2011

The Past, The Future... The End of it ALL

I'm not exactly thrilled about documenting the highlights of 2011. So I won't. The B.P.R Fan Club (my parents and nieces and harem of foxy mamas) understands the B.P.R. history of 2011. And I'm sure now one else cares.

BUT... 2012 is a unique year. As it is the last year that we have on this planet called Earth. You think I'm crazy? Do some research.

Well, Prob-eee and I are planning a serious party, the party to end all parties, for the week around Dec 21, 2012. That's right. We plan to camp out at Chaco Canyon during the final week of our existence. Or should I say YOUR EXISTENCE. I'm fairly certain that I'm one of the 'chosen ones' and will be 'saved' be the aliens during their invasion. Yeah. 'Saved' could also mean 'Abducted'. But what's the difference?

If you're still with me - check out the info below. If not - come and hang with us, at the back of the pack, and contribute to the ludacracy of 2012.

The 2011 B.P.R. Championship:

The data speaks. The results are in. The 2011 B.P.R. Championship goes to.....The Judd. Obviously. It wasn't even close. Review the point total. Cry if you wish. But that is the way it is. There may be a few mistakes - as Rhino earned more than 100 pts for bike packing - but it won't change the standings. And one can debate the points awarded for bike packing - The Lt Col and The Morale Chairman can fight it out for 2nd place. But the championship is set in concrete - seriously, I'm The Hustorian, I write The History. Therefore I own the B.P.R. Championship Series. Get it?

New Year's Resolutions, as if it matters:
Most of this ain't important. But 2012 will be a pivotal year for Back of the Pack Racing. And the movement, the atmosphere, the ludacracy is always a function of Judd's psychosis. Therefore, the resolutions are a brief look into the future.
  • In 2012 I will try NOT to take pictures of The Lt Col sleeping at 24 hour races. Not that I have anything against The Lt Col sleeping at races - but his oldest son just can't understand why a dude would sleep at a 24 hour race. (And I can't figure it out either.)
    • Therefore, to help the Lt Col's home life, I won't take the pictures of The Lt Col sleeping in 2012. I think.
  • In 2012 I'll print out the B.P.R. Operating Instructions ONCE and hold a short course for Prob-eee. Only one short course. 
    • If Prob-eee can't grasp the rules, live the lifestyle then.... then I'll quite promoting Prob-eee as B.P.R.'s Naked Yoga Loving Hippie. 
    • 'PROMOTING' - that's what I call it.
  • In 2012 I'll give the Vegetarian lifestyle a shot. Not because I'm against slaughter houses (I'm not), not because I'm against heart disease (I could care less), not because a leafy diet will improve my 'glow'. But because breakfast burritos, roast beef sandwiches and steak 7 nights a week become VERY EXPENSIVE. And I wan't to live on a fixed budget in 2012. 
    • No joke, jokester. Compare the prices of spinach and steak.
  • In 2012 I plan to ride 9000 miles. Seriously. In 2011 I rode 4451 miles and 414,500 feet of vertical. Yeah, that's not much. 
  • I will not do anything stupid - like the Double Centurion Criterium Delirium
The Future, at least 11 months of 21 days of 2012:

Snowbiking, snowbikepacking, snowbike walking, fatbiking, fatbike walking, fatbikepacking AND hike-a-biking....  in all forms.

That covers it! Doesn't it? Oh yeah, throw in a few 12 hour & 24 hour races.

The 12 (or 13 or 14) best pics of 2011, just because:

the romance
yeah, so romantic at the back of the pack

let the fun begin... 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo

just out on a ride
and Prob-eee's taking a leak

Mad Rhino, TeddNeck and The Judd... bikepacking in AZ

12 Hours in the Wild West
The Judd: 2nd Place, solo single speed
The TeddNec: 4th Place, solo single speed

24 Hrs in the Canyon
The Judd laughing, The Lt Col sleeping

24 Hrs in the Enchanted Forest
The Ultimate Race - The Ultimate Beer

The Colorado Trail
The TeddNeck hanging with The Judd @ 13,000 ft - seriously

More of The Colorado Trail
The Judd and The TeddNeck

The Colorado Trail - Again

24 Hrs of Colorado Springs
The Judd laughing, The Lt Col sleeping, again

The Judd: The Bottom of the World
The South Pole... Back of the Pack Style

The Black Sheep Snow Roller
snowbikepacking: dude, dudette

B.P.R.'s favorite music of 2011:

Just watch the videos - if you are bored. If not, screw it. But us dudes, the dudes at the Back of the Pack, have very diverse musical interests. Ok. We don't. But still... it's just music.

The Black Owls. I know the lead signer - Dave - he's a cool single speed dude.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Black Sheep Snow Roller - The Bike, The Process

A snow bike for snowbikepacking. That's the goal. 

Lucky for me I have three really cool friends that run the show at Black Sheep Bikes. James - the man that started it all - invited me up for the Black Sheep Snow Roller build. So I hung out with James & Todd & Paul and watched them do their thing - Black Sheep Style. 

It definitely was an awesome weekend watching the bike start from a design and some titanium tubes. Yep, it's good to have friends in high places.

Here are the pics that tell the story of the Black Sheep build process. Pretty cool!
The Black Sheep Snow Roller at The Judd's Palatial Palace
Impressions of the custom Black Sheep design and build process:
The process, the attention to detail is amazing. I never imagined how meticulous it all is. Sure there are equations and tools and jigs and all that stuff. But the tube bending and fitting take extreme precision, man-in-the-loop precision. Each cut, each bend, each weld must be perfect - and there ain't no machine or computer that'll do it. It truly is a hand built bike, a process that requires insane concentration, skill and dedication. 
And it's obvious why dudes like me don't build bikes - lack of patience. As a kid that could build a 500 piece airplane model (B-52, B-29, B-17, etc) and paint it in 3 hrs, I never had the patience to do something at a measured pace. It's always a 'if you think it'll take 3 days, I'll do it in 3 hrs, and I don't care if I get glue on the carpet, paint on the dog or rip a sticker.
But as a proud addict of Black Sheep Bikes I'm sure glad that there are dudes out there that take time, pay attention to EVERY detail. AND are cool enough to walk me through the entire process and answer EVERY stupid question that I had. (And I had 739 stupid questions!)
Anyway, after experiencing 4 days of the custom build process all I know is - time to start saving for the next one.
Below is a major set of pics. Then the boring 'Ludacris' comments - Back of the Pack style. 
The Beginning
Highlight #1 - Perfect Geometry
The Snow Bike - The Plan
Where it all STARTS - Titanium
you call it 'a lathe'
the head tube
the bottom bracket
titanium and a lathe
take a break and think about this
gotta make it fit
The Frame
bending the down tube
the down tube, the bend

the jig
the top tube, the down tube
the tubes, top / down / seat
the 'triangle' or whatever
the head tube
the intersection
the seat stays
the chain stays

the chain stays / HACS
the HACS
the intersection of many tubes
just a view
fatty for fatty
ready for welding
a rear view
James doing his thing
frame is done, like dinner
The Clark Bars
James' Clark Bars - the template
another view
welding the Clark Bars
finished product
Clark Bars and seat post
The Faith Fork
it all starts here
the Faith Fork jig
some titanium tubes - bent
another view
the fork, the jig
a late night break - as required by Judd
the fork, the fit... prior to welding
James hard at work
still hard at work
the faith fork - finished
The Racks

the rear rack, the beginning
the rear rack
the front rack, the beginning
Todd hard at work
Todd still hard at work
James working on the rear rack
another view
the finished rear rack
cool, huh
definitely cool
all assembled
The Finish

Paul's tape job
the sheep
Black Sheep reigns
motorcycle boy reigns
the head tube badge
Paul hard at work
#1 and #4
James working on...something
Todd working on... something
the dudes working on grip tape

Fatty for Fatty - The Serial 'Number'

Black Sheep

The Black Sheep Snow Roller

a view
a view in 'the office'
a view in the snow
the Clark Bar
the rear
the rear rack
the front rack
the Snow Roller
the graphics

the snow, the bike, the Black Sheep Snow Roller
A few final thoughts - Back of the Pack Style:
Someone said a picture is worth a thousand words - so since I attached 100 pics I guess you could say that I've gone overboard on this posting.

I'll wrap it up with the usual.

Why sheep #4:
  1. Can't have sheep #5 until you have sheep #4
  2. Can't go snowbikepacking unless you have a snow bike
  3. Investing in titanium is a smart retirement strategy
  4. Why the hell not?
How can The Judd afford so many sheep:
  1. No wife(s), no kids, no pets, no problems
  2. Why save for retirement. A 401k and pension should be enough. Enron was just a one time thing
  3. If you have a secret trustfund, a trustfund the parents don't even know about, why not spend it on a sheep. 
  4. When you have 5 sugar mamas you can get creative with the 'allowance'
  5. The end of the world is 1 year away, start charging those credit cards. Because it just won't matter after Dec 21, 2112
Quote of the trip:
"you can't rush art"
2nd Quote of the trip:
“who’s Art” 
Lessons learned:
  1. If you want a sheep, better get in line. And the line ain't gettin' any shorter.
  2. 29ers are cool, fat bikes / snow bikes are cool, but 36ers are the answer. I just don't know what the question is.  
  3. Don't forget your spot beacon - if your traveling the I-25 route between Denver and Albuquerque in the winter months. Because The Family wants to know where The Judd is, and Texting & Driving is DANGEROUS in winter weather. (Not so dangerous in the nice Colorado summers. Yeah right.)
  4. If the snow is melting & the roads are clear, I-25 may still be closed.
  5. During the commute to / from Black Sheep World Headquarters I can listen to Nine Inch Nails / The Four of us are Dying 131 times. No Joke.