Monday, April 21, 2008

Chasing A Passion

I can’t tell how excited I was when Art came home from his friend’s house with an old bike frame in hand. Apparently, his friend was relocating and had a recycled old frame, that would not be able to make the move, and the old frame was once again doomed for the dumpster. Art being the thrifty person he is took it. It was a yellow aluminum Gary Fisher Kaitai … my size.

Finally I had an old frame that I could build up to pull the bob trailer to trail maintenance. Immediately, we started to check the recycled parts drawer, and found 90% of what would be needed. I always feel good about putting my old bike parts back into action. Seeing the parts I raced on years ago brought back many fond memories including racing at 1998 Worlds at Mt. St. Anne.

I've always had the passion to paint a bike and fork, and things were looking like this would be an ideal learning experience for my first bike-painting project. Most bike companies will void any warranty if paint is applied, so doing this on a new bike is not recommended. Multiple visions of colors started spinning in my head. I love light blue, but pink camo sounded like an ideal trail maintenance color scheme. I posted a poll on the local forum, mtbnj, and was overwhelmed with the amount of pink camo enthusiasts there were. I decided to go with a natural occurring camouflage as found in an animal, the cheetah. I had a real cool umbrella that had a cheetah type print on it, and that would be my pattern. The colors would be of the magnolia tree blooming now.

First step was to sand the frame’s topcoat with 120 sand paper to smooth out most the scrapes and dings. Then I sanded the texture out with 220, and a good wipe down with thinner to remove grease and fingerprints. All paints were purchased at an automotive store as per their advice. Art being a woodworker had a spray booth, spray gun and some experience that would make this project a lot easier for me to tackle.

Second step was to spray a primer coat on from a spray can. Then a base color sprayed on with Art’s spray gun. Art applied the dark pink fade, as I did not have the feel of the throw of the gun lever. From there, I hand painted the dots, a job that took more than four hours. Finally I sprayed two coats of automotive clear-coat on top. The head badge was a hammered down earring.

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So far this project has been one the most rewarding projects I have tackled in quite some time. I truly love to ride my bike, and everything I do with my bikes, is so rewarding. Ride on in peace Cheetah!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I am excited to bring you an un-official race report from the first unofficial “Cheese County World Championships” (CCWC). This weekend was so low profile that alias names were used to unofficially register. This unofficial report from Tire Whorerat …..

Somewhere in a far away county, 28 mountain bikers unofficially gathered, filled with cheesy cheer, ready to ride hard and suffer together. Things were looking dismal on Friday morning. Rain showers scattered cheese county and weather predictions were for rain all weekend. By afternoon the rain had stopped and a few patches of blue sky were a welcome site to the cheese county enthusiasts.

Although the short mountain bike Time Trial course would be a little slippery, things were looking better than expected. I lucked out with getting the last spot in the starting order. I am not very good at TT, so having the whole class in front of me like a carrot on a stick was a huge help. By the top of the first steep up, I spotted L Boog ahead, and by the time I reached the gravel climb, I had the entire class right in front of me. By the top Colonel Corn, L Boog and I were 1,2,3. Boog and I stopped once when we lost the trail, only lost a few seconds, but lost sight of Corn. Then Boog slipped on a root and threw her chain. I almost missed the last turn and skid to make it. L Boog must have had her head down and missed the turn completely. What a site to be flying into the finish line and see L Boog coming the other way. Luckily the un-officials were ok with the mishap and scored us both. Colonel Corn and Goat took the stages for the day. Got home late, started laundry, washed bikes, showered, changed laundry, and went to bed.

Saturday we all switched to skinny tires and rode on some of the most beautiful roads in cheese county. There were a few cheesy sprint points along the way, but I was spit off the back so fast, I had no idea what went on up there for those. There were also two timed hill sections, "Cheese Mountain" and "Cheesepack Inn to the top of Old Cheese Rd". Old Cheese Rd was a killer. I knew the climb so I had an advantage over the few that did not, but that did not make it hurt any less. A big thumbs up to Beer Boobs and Freaky D for toughing it out. Some believe that this was the climb that made Bluex Wrathgore crumble. A big thanks to Mayor Mac Cheese for those long pulls. In the GC after Saturday: Colonel Corn and Goat only by a margin over out of towner Aronasausus Rex from Massocheesitz. Got home late, started laundry, showered, changed laundry, and went to bed. zzzzzzzz

Now that our legs felt like cheese, Sunday we got back on our mountain bikes, and rode more hills and some rail beds to get to the trails. Although it got a bit tedious, it worked out well to loosen the legs up. We had two timed sections mostly uphill. Riding in the woods at Allacheesy was cheese heaven. I wish we spent the whole day there to ride. I’ll cast my cheesy vote for that next year. L Boog climbed her heart out and won the stage for the women. L Boog was my angel all weekend, pulling me out of laziness.

After 3 days, 122 miles, 12,000 ft of vertical, long rides, steeper than 13% climbs, suffering, the feeling of accomplishment, great camaraderie and a lot of laundry, Colonel Corn and Aronasurus Rex were the GC winners of the 1st annual CCWC. Professor Provolone and Briana LaFevre tied for the sprinters jersey, and Blockhead Squarewheels took the best young rider.

Special Note: After results were posted, the UCI (Union Cheese-makers International) leaked incriminating information to the Cheese County Press about Professor Provolone cheating. After a thorough investigation, it was found that the UCI accused Professor Provolone of using the provolone name without proper aging of his cheese. After going to arbitration, the UCI eventually dropped charges, after taking one whiff of his sweaty sprinters jersey.