Wednesday, September 26, 2012

IF Deluxe Redux - Yo Eddy Reborn?

While cruising the Independent Fabrications blog a few weeks back - yeah, my blogging action in slow motion lately (sorta like how I race) - came across a cool post that mentioned Chris Chance being spotted at the last NAHBS.  Considering Mr. Chance seemed to drop off the face of the bicycling planet after Fat City Cycles closed its hallowed doors, pretty cool to read he was spotted at a bike show.

Even cooler - after a Chris Chance conversation - IF decided to put out a bike celebrating a bit of yesteryear, combined with new school.  Steel hardtail and fork, 29er wheels and disk brakes.  To me, it says modern Yo Eddy, complete with vivid old school paint colors.  Very cool bike, as depicted by the photo I borrowed from the IF site.

If you know the Fat City story, also a bit of coming around full circle.  Independent Fabrications was started by Fat City Cycle employees during the closing era of Fat City.  Old history for crusty old mountain bikers and Fat fans, like me.  Another time and another era.

In any case, if you have a spare $6000 burning a hole in your pocket, one of these could be yours with a nice build kit.  That's currently way out of my bike budget, for now and probably forever, so I'll just enjoy from a safe distance and be glad it even exists.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cyclocross Season Begins - 2012 Style

Cyclocross season in the Seattle area has officially kicked off, despite my late blogging action.  Racer Boy Ian, with less then usual riding this summer, gives it a go.  Me, bike geek dad, coming off one of the lamest riding summers in years, provides support and can't even comprehend entering a 'cross race at the moment.

Lucky for me, taking pics at races has proven more fun then actually suffering through one, though entering a 'cross race or two still on my agenda, even if that doesn't occur 'til next season.

Two races under Ian's belt so far.  First one the sarcastically titled Labor Day Cyclocross Championship, the season kick off event for the area. This edition held on some sort of military property near Tacoma, Washington...

Teammate Lars blurs the course tape.

In the heat of battle.

Race your shadow.

Lars frozen mid remount.

JL Velo juniors hanging out at the team tent.

Ian (on right) warms up with teammates.

Ella warms up, representing one of the few junior girls racing 'cross.

Start line smiles, Ian (sans shades) looks on.

Go Ian go !!

Ian sprints for the line, despite his 8th place out of 8 (in the 13 - 16 year old class) for the day.  Racing against older kids who are coming off a summer of racing road and track ain't easy.  Ian never gives up however, his face as proof.  Ironically, he won this event last year.

High school age teammate Anders day in the sun.  Nice kid and son of Lars, also on the team.

Racing hurts in many different ways.  An early lesson.

Post race Ian looking a little tired.  Warm and dusty conditions for the day.

A few blur shots for the album.

In the shadow of Mount Rainier.

Second race of the season, the following weekend, the first race of the MFG series was next on the list.  This being Ian's third MFG 'cross series since starting racing a few years ago.  I dig the MFG series and the folks running the show.  A very cool scene and something we look forward to.  As per last year, MFG # 1 held at Big Finn Hill Park in Kirkland, almost in our backyard.  Don't get to ride from your driveway to a race very often...

Junior teammate Evan in action.

Teammate Lars warmin' up.

Singlespeed action.

Hanging out.

This woman at every 'cross race styling on the yellow IF and always smiling.

Diggin' in.

Various shots from the several zillion I clicked through the day.

Junior teammate Jarrett on the go.  Some of the kids on the team, Jarrett included, race CAT4 men and their respective junior class during each event.

Go Ian go.  Did much better this race, around 12th place out of 24 juniors in his class.  Not bad considering he was in the ER three days earlier with a suspected broken elbow, courtesy from falling out of a tree.  The life of a 13 year old.  This season, the MFG folks split the juniors up by school grade, a cool idea and less confusing then "racing age".  Ian will compete in the 6 - 7 grade class for the series.  We dig it.

Junior teammate George exits the barriers.  George didn't even know what a cyclocross bike was until last year.  One of his school teachers mentioned it, his family checked out a race and here he is - now in his second season of 'cross.  Awesome.

Teammate Luke about to sample a little soil.

Start line laundry pile.

More examples of my patented blur shot.  Call now, operators are standing by.

Daytona 500 banked turn action, Zac Daab leading the charge.  Zac owns Cascade Bicycle Studio and is the driving force behind the MFG 'cross series.  Thanks to Zac and crew for providing a great series for the Seattle area.

No crankset?  No problem...

Pics-O-Plenty for the day.  It's late and I've turned off the caption machine.  Feel free to make up your own.

Two races down in the books.  Ian gave it his best and enjoyed both events, and that's what it's all about.  Plenty more races in the near future, with rambling Words 'N' Pics provided at no cost to you, the home viewer.  And with that, I sign off...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Race Inc - Old School BMX

The other day, I arrived home from work to find Ian and his pals playing basketball in the driveway.  I said hello to the boys and surveyed the bikes laying on lawn, this old school BMX bike catching my eye in a second - mixed in among the modern, lower end Giant and Trek mountain bikes.

Of course I geeked out and grabbed the camera, even though it was almost dark...

Old school BMX stance, complete with laid back seatpost.  Appears to be '80s vintage.

Cool, eh?

Z-Rim made from nylon and unbendable.  GT fork, from back in the day when GT was high end.

Race Inc. frame I'm not familiar with - many smaller high end BMX companies from that era.  I am familiar with the build kit, since my bike shop days were in the early to mid '80s.  Shop I worked at carried Mongoose and at that time, Mongoose was a high end brand - not the department store level crap found under most Mongoose stickers today.

I assembled many BMX bikes during my bike shop days, but never owned anything like this. My BMX era, being a few years earlier, revolved around converted Sting Rays and cheaper copies of such.  I never actually raced BMX, but spent plenty of time pretending to around the neighborhood.  A friend of mine was actually a BMX pro, back in the '80s, riding for Team Thruster.

Pretty nice, even with the twisted saddle.

Sugino Maxy Cross crankset.

Old school Dia-comp brake lever and GT 'bars.

Tuf-Neck stem.  I installed plenty of these back in the day.

After snapping the pics, kid mentioned the bike belonged to his dad and he gets to borrow it.  Very cool "hand me down" if you can call it that.  I reminded the kid what trick bike this was and now a vintage BMX collectable.  Don't get it stolen!

Fun and unexpected time travel visit, that happened to land right in my yard.  Thanks for the memories...