Thursday, December 31, 2009

Full Circle

First, there was some planning...

More Planning

Then there was waiting...


Next came the sewing...well, this one shows my mom fixing a tire rub hole on a 'hand me down' Epic Designs seatbag for my brother, but she sewed my partial frame bag as well.


and now I'm back to planning...


Mom and I made a deal, I'd build her coat rack if she would sew me a frame bag for TransIowa. I've been scheming about this bag for some time and I'll be asking Eric at Epic Designs to make me a bikepacking version once I've tested my kit and figured a couple of things out and he's gotten through the Winter Packing workload. Ultimately, I'd like this partial bag to be compatible with a handful of bikes in my collection. This one is designed specifically for the TransIowa experience. Allowing me to carry all the water and kit to get me through the ride with minimal stops while keeping the weight off my back.

The construction of this bag is lighter duty, yet plenty wear resistant. I just wouldn't want to be pushing it through some bushwack and slide it down a short rock face, like conditions encountered on Richmond Peak during this past summer's Divide. The material is a 2.2oz. Ripstop Nylon ordered from Quest Outdoor Fabrics, sewn double wall for load carrying capacity. Mom finished it with a 'French Seam', which ends up with a double stitch and a nicely finished seam inside and out. The straps, velcro and nylon cams, were sewn into the seam and reinforced. They are configured to allow use of my Epic Designs Gas Tank. The front of the bag holds my 3L water bladder, while the back 4", seperated by a thin wall, holds tubes, pump, tools, patch kit, chamois cream, etc...

As could be expected Mom, and I, learned a great deal sewing this first bag. She is already putting this knowledge to use on a second version for Mike and his touring 'habit'. Look out for photos of his finished bag soon.

Next will be ample testing, some refinement, and ultimately...a bit of touring this spring, summer, and fall.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tour Divide: The Full Take

I finally found a way to compress the full length slide/video show that I put together this past July to share with family and friends!

This is the same show that I shared on an incredible night in the backyard.

Photo Courtesy of GNAT

Sit back, make some popcorn and a smoothie...Enjoy!

Tour Divide 2009 from jmeiser on Vimeo.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Tour Divide Take 4

The final countdown...

Tour Divide Take 4 from jmeiser on Vimeo.

Tour Divide was definitely the highlight of 2009 for me. Although, getting there has created some incredible memories and launched my interests in a direction that I hope to pursue more in 2010. Look for a highlights of 2009 coming soon... Oh, and I'll get to all those Q's left unanswered from the Midwest Expo.

Hope you've enjoyed these series. I've enjoyed sharing them.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

TIV5...The Secret Weapon

The cat is out of the to speak. Salsa Cycles and Guitar Ted dropped the word. Whew, glad the veil of secrecy has been lifted!

I showed up to Williamsburg, riding with Charles Parsons, shotgun in the 'winningest passenger seat in TI history'. You see, when the Gorilla, TIV4 winner, had moved to central Ohio he bestowed upon me the privelage and responsibility of riding with Charles to the start of TIV5.

While unloading my bike the Lincolnites poured out of one very large Suburban. Riders began pecking around the lot, it looked like a chicken coop with way too many roosters. Matt Gersib wandered over having heard of a secret weapon that I might be on. He ogled and reassured me that this would be our little secret. I kept my head down, one of few times that I'm in full on race prep mode.

Saturday, 2:30 AM. The alarm goes off. Mike, my bigger, older, wiser brother and I awake from our slumber. I start the coffee and break out my stash of rocket fuel to down some pre-race calories. Fed, caffeinated, and prepped we roll to the start line with a large posse.

The start line is dark. We all take our places, Guitar Ted and David Pals hop in the 'blue box'. Had I known it would be for the last time, we might have burned an effigy. We're off, finding our legs, saying hello's, and making introductions. My favorite line in the pre-dawn light comes from Dave Pramann; "Are those carbon wheels?" he says. "Why yes they are!" I reply.

Winning bike

Iowa Rocks! and Mud...

Post race, I didn't even bother to clean the bike, the mud will fall off when it wants to. My time was traded between the Ti crosser' and my Fargo while I trained for Tour Divide. Post divide it became my go to for, well, everything while my Fargo was resurrected and my body recovered.

So how does it ride? Would you believe me? Isn't my opinion a bit biased? After close to 4000 miles on it, I'll say incredible! It's nimble, stiff, and forgiving. I was surprised at how quickly I recovered from TIV5. I attribute this to the ride of the bike. I can't wait to get my grubby paws on the Ti El Mariachi! Perhaps it'll be the bike that accompanies me on a couple of bikepacking trips this summer.

We'll see...

Monday, December 7, 2009

For Sale

I've got a few things for sale over on my Flickr page. Go here for information:

This will be updated with more in the near future. Leave a comment, or send a message if you are interested in any of it.