Tuesday, July 31, 2007

five quick pics.

just a quick post of some happenings here in garro land. first, a pic of denis r.'s bike out of the jig during an alignment check. just a good old 26" wheel mountain bike going down to tempe. lookin' good! and, here's a funny one! while juan was here today working on his bike one of the original inhabitants of mountain dell, an old basque guy, came over looking for his sheep, which were eating the grass in our yard. he asked in spanish if he could herd them into the shop {!!!} to catch them, and i told him in spanish that the back yard would be easier. well, right away he drafts juan into helping him catch his sheep and has him lead the boss sheep back to his house all the way across the dell, much against the sheep's wishes. i think juan learned more about herding sheep this morning the in the whole rest of his life! funny stuff! and, a few shots boating with denise and the dogs out at ashurst lake, some beautiful clouds over mormon mountain, but sadly, only one trout. and, a pic of one of our flower gardens, with the daily rains they have sure been happy. here's some black-eyed-susans, wild geraniums and lilies. awesome. later ya'll, steve.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

jeff t.'s bike ready for paint

here's some cool shots of jeff's bike all ready to go to paint and get a couple coats of battleship grey. should look tough! the seatstays sure came out pretty, the s-bends just worked out perfect on this one with the big, flat dropouts, web brace and the 2-piece seatstays. and, a closing shot of some coconino cycles after-hours festivities. next: denis r.'s bike starts tomorrow, steve.

Friday, July 27, 2007

had a stellar ride yesterday!

yesterday the rain actually held off on the peaks long enough to actually get in a really great ride! me, denise and the dogs took off from sunset trailhead about 9am and started heading up climb 3. we saw the new lightning caused fire the crossed climb 3, and checked out the fire line - great new trail section! check it out! "trail 3." there. i called it. trail conditions were about as good as it gets. super wet and tacky, with great ferns. alot of the old flowers have faded into seed pods, but new ones are taking their place; the yellow cut leaf cone flowers are really kickin' it in the drainages! also white richardson's geraniums, tiny yellow potetilla hippiana, yarrow and 4 o'clocks. gotta get some pics of our yard, it is going off. anyway: from the top of climb 3 we headed down sunset to upper brookbank, where we saw the only other person of the day, a cat on one of those $500.00 redline monocogs {i wish they had those when i started mountain biking, what a concept! a cheap bike that actually works!} we saw as many snakes and deer as we saw humans: one each. sooo....i actually totally cleaned upper brookbank for the first time, totally rolled it. it was sweet. here's a great view of mt. aggasiz from the trail. it's the second highest peak in arizona at 12,356 feet. in this view it obscures the highest peak in arizona, mt. humphreys which clocks in at 12,633 feet. we connected over to lower weinie walk, just flying, buffed and packed turns mixed with smokin' straight-a-ways. at the bottom of little gnarly we went left to schultz creek so the dogs could wallow in the water from all the recent rains. they love getting wet and smelling all the critters that come down to drink. then we just circled around back to the parking lot to finish the ride just as the first thunder boomers were sounding off over the san francisco peaks. would have ridden a little longer, but i had to get home to meet jim stein of j.a. stein tool company. he makes some of the most intuitive, handy, durable bike tools out there, and i did a small stint working for him in the mid 90's and have known him since my late teens. i bought his home-made frame jig from him that he built in the 70's and built my first 30 frames on it. i still have it! anyway, he's thinking about getting back into building some more bikes, and wanted to see my setup. that would be pretty cool! thanks for reading! it inspires me to get out and do more to think that you all actually find my life interesting! later for now, gonna go out and finish jeff's bike today, i'll post pics when she's all polished up, steve.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

biking off!

jeff t.'s bike is all brazed up, and lookin' nice! the s-bend stays REALLY came out nice! also, here is a before-and-after shot of the seatube junction, polishing is by far the most time consuming of my job titles. sure looks cool when it's done! and, a shot of one worked over coconino. it's back for a new paint job, and i think i'll throw a chainstay brace on it and fix the chainsuck damage. it was one of the first 10 frames i built, i think. and, only got in a short ride before the rain the other day, up dogfood and down schultz. barely beat the rain, it's been raining every day to some extent, some days a little, some days ALOT. monsoons is definately a beautiful season in northern arizona. later, steve.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

a quick blog/coffee break

just taking a break from building jeff t.'s frame while i re-coffee up. coffee at 2:30 in july? yep, when it's 64* out and raining! quite a beautiful monsoon season were having, with rain almost every day. went for a great armbike ride yesterday, riding up schultz creek trail and up the old pipe trail, turning left on fs road 6273 and down upper and lower hotshot and down dogfood to the car {if you are not from flagstaff, i doubt if any of that made any sense.} a pretty long ride! the flowers were GOING OFF, but sadly, we forgot to re-charge our camera, and missed out on some great flower pics.....monarda/wild oregano, cutleaf cone flower, richardson's geranium, paintbrush, sunflowers, deers' ears, lupine, penstemmon barbatus, ipomopsis, bracken.....musta had fun, the bike has a front flat this morning! so, today's pics: first, jen's coupler bike. this picture just does not do the paint justice! "root beer" with gold nugget topcoat. super sparkly with specs of red, gold and green. PRETTY. next, jeff's bike, an agressively sloping toptube mtb built around a 120mm travel fork, hence the small size. also, jeff has short legs + long torso & arms. if you built bikes 40,000 years ago for guys, the might have all looked like this! it should be one fun ride, and he already has the color picked...guacaloco! also, the run of frame building blocks has finally shown up, they hold thin tubes firmly without denting them so builders can have their way with them, i think all 40 sets are pretty much spoken for. here's local shredder/highschool student kai helping box them up for shipping. next, gus the cat curled up in his own private filthbox. gus loooves his filthbox.....and, sally and cody hiding from the lightning in the shop. they hate it, as do i. i'm especially wary of lightning now, as i am full of metal and walk with metal sticks. i would probally get hit and barely live to endure another lengthy recovery, while everyone around me would be fine. thanks for reading! until later, steve,

Sunday, July 15, 2007

first ride in a while, nice to be in the woods!

had a great ride in the forest yesterday, it had been two weeks since i had been out in the woods and i was jonesing for a ride, and, my body really hurts if i don't go riding. as soon as we hit dirt, it looked like everybody in the southwestern u.s. had decided that drylake hills was THE place to be that day! so be it, at least they are out there hopefully enjoying our beautiful scenery, staying healthy, improving their attitudes and not burning the forest down {BIG hopefully on the last two for sure....} there were folks biking, running, walking, gawking, everything. good for them. enjoy flagstaff, support local buisnessess, visit a bike shop, eat good food, have a beer, tip well. anyway, we went up weatherford trail, only seeing two riders the whole way who stopped to chat. from there i got my first shot at lookout this year, cleaning several obstacles for the first time on the armbike - i even made "the slot", pictured here. didn't see anyone on this trail. the ferns are having a good year with the rain from the last three days helping to green them up alot. i love the smell of ferns! at the bottom we cut down the old pipe connector trail to schultz so the dogs could wallow in the pools at the top of the "creek", circling around the south of schultz tank back to the car. we must have seen twenty mountainbikers on this short section, who were all really fired up to see me out. rock on, ya'll, see you out there, steve.

Friday, July 13, 2007

a quick post about making things shiny.....

just wanted to throw some detail shots up of jeni's bike i'm working on......the first couple are before-and-after shots of the headtube area. not a bad raw fillet, just brazed together and de-fluxed. i'd give my self about an a- on it as far as smoothness, totally structurally perfect, but still in need of some polishin'. 2nd pic, the same brazes but with a generous amount of elbow grease applied - nice! and a closeup of the seattube area showing both the brass fillets and the silver lugging used for the couplers and the seattube sleeve. pretty happy with how that looks! it pretty much just needs brazeons and she's done, steve.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

excellent water - based vacation!

back in the shop today after a week on the mississippi with denise's entire side of the family in trempeleau, wisconsin. thanks for coming out, everyone! a great time was had by all! although there was much water skiing, tubing and such, i spent the entire time either fishing with as many of the family as i could of paddling our kayak with denise. the kayak traveled flawlessly, being checked in for free on both ends of the trip with no problems at all! what a sweet deal! try that with two people's bikes and see what it costs......the mighty mississippi was fun to paddle, but the much tinier and shady trempeleau river was really cool too. we saw hawks, owls, eagles, ospreys, turtles and deer on our floats, and paddled through a school of big garr at one point. totally beautiful and peaceful. fishing was bountiful, catching many panfish during the day and big channel cats in the evening. i caught this 10" bluegill, the biggest the family has seen in tremps in some 30-odd years of fishing! that's good fun, there! also spent a morning with brother-in-law joe baitin' hooks and netting bluegils for two of the 7-year old nieces, what a hoot! now, back to the grind, quite literally, i have jeni c.'s bike to polish up, add brazeons and send to paint. should be done in a couple of days! later, steve.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

goings on/build que/doing well!

been finally coming back around! did mormon mtn trail yesterday, nothing like a beatdown singletrack ride in 90+* heat to boil the toxins outta you - i feel much better! been trying to ride the lesser known/ridden trails lately, it's really dusty on the often ridden trails. take a look at the dirt on your legs after a ride - that's my head level. so, the trails south of town are still really nice, and i went up to 10,500 ft. in the inner basin with denise and yod while the branch family were in town, a few days before i got poisoned. it was really nice - probally upper 60's with GREAT flowers just going off: perry's primrose, columbines, 3 kinds of penstemmons: flagstaff, whipple's, and barbatus, deer's ears, sneeze weed, strawberries, blackberries, mtn. ash, paintbrush, potentillas, lupines and others. quite a really cool microcosm left over from the last ice age. getting the bike rhythm going again, finish one, start another, one comes back from paint. but, going to wisconsin to see denise's side of the family for 10 days, so the rhythm will get interrupted for a while. i'm pretty hesitant to even give delivery dates on bikes now, they get done when they get done, they have tons of time-consuming features and personality, and i'm still one of the cheaper full-time custom builders, especially as far as the fillet-brazing subclass {current price $1300+, it will go up $100 in august} filletbrazing is so much work, few builders really stick with it long enough to master it, but i have really come to enjoy it, it looks so cool, and it's very strong. soooo......any way, i have finally compiled my build que as to when i actually recived deposits, the most democratic way. there are 20 bikes on the list: denis r., jeff t., dave mc k., simon z., chris d., jim r., lee t., annie b., jim w., john w., keri p., absolute bikes salida, cameron c., matt s., mark mc d., cosmic ray, paul v/b., ben p., allan y., joe sorren {yes, THE joe sorren! i'm trading for a painting.....i'm so stoked!} if i missed you, let me know....but i'm sure that's it. stay tuned, thanks for your patience, i'm building as fast as i can, you will be really stoked when you get it, enjoy the pics, think of all the good things you have in your life, and stay away from bees! steve.