I'm not a good blogger. Especially in the winter, which seems counterintuitive. Unless moderate S.A.D. makes one not want to blog. Not a lot of "epic" rides to go on about in the winter either. Anyway...
I finished the Paramount rebuild some time ago. It turned out really, really nice. Took it down to Austin and got some good riding in a couple of weeks ago. Here's a pic in all it's new-ish glory:
I had a whole big ordeal with the wheels. Bought some wheels from a guy on eBay who turned out to be a royal chiseler and sold me some wheels that, upon arrival, turned out to be fairly damaged in ways that all his super detailed pictures just happened not to picture! Quelle surprise! The rear axle was bent. Someone who had no idea how to use a tire lever (Rule 1: Don't use a steel one with alloy rims!) had mangled parts of the front rim and someone without the proper spoke tool had made a big mess of a few of the spoke nipples, and these were some exotic Shimanos with the nipples on the hub and whatnot. I had to have several pointless emails with the guy to find out that he had no interest whatsoever in taking responsibility for this (though he never disputed any of the conditions I described) saying "you can't expect them to be perfect, they are used wheels" and other such pablum. I don't expect perfect, just AS DESCRIBED YOU ASS! Anyway, I had to do a full-court eBay dispute on this guy. Lengthy explanation, photos, even a video on youtube
showing the messed up rotation of the bent axle.
In the end I, of course, prevailed (actually, I was pretty surprised I prevailed, but boy did it feel good! What a schmuck!). I got my money back and just in the nick of time found a terrific set of 09 Mavic Aksiums for sale on CL. Nice local guy from the Spidermonkey racing team selling them for $150, in perfect condition, nice normal spokes/nipples, easy to maintain, very attractive, etc. Things seem to work out most of the time. I got them the afternoon before departure, went home and built the bike until about 10 at night, finished, took it apart and put it in a box. It went down on the flight with me uneventfully.
Didn't get to ride the first full day as it was raining like the flood for the entire day. Halfway through Saturday morning though, it cleared up and I took off. Some weird noises eventually led me to discover that I was light a shim for the rear cassette, it was jangling around. Fortunately it was rideable and I rode downtown to Mellow Johnny's where a nice fellow fixed me right up for $7 while I had a coffee. After that, fuggedabahdit! I was tearing up the place. I missed this bike!!! Ended up riding around with the missus and mi hermano for another 17 or so miles that day. S on her newly reminted Trek 500.
Looking good, right?! Ready for some hilly city riding with that triple on the front.
Went out with my pal Jason and some of his buddies for an east of Austin trek into the sticks. We headed out from south Austin and went out through Buda and Webberville and such. Ended up doing 42 miles as our navigator broke a spoke on his posh Ksyrium SL wheels. Made me glad to have normal old 32 spoke 3-cross wheels. That thing went all crazy when one spoke broke, rear braking was out of the question. Fun ride and great company anyway. We were buzzed by a humorless mob of Cat 1 and 2 cyclists at one point maybe 50 deep. As long as you guys aren't having any fun out there! I'm watching you! Otherwise, just very occasional cars and a couple of dogs having a go at us. Good times, fantastic weather (a little chilly actually, but I'm definitely not complaining!).
Since my return, I have completed the morphing of the Surly Pacer into someone else's future bike. Going through the process of estrangement with my once trusty steed. Shorn of it's preferred grupo, it's sort of alien and offputting through no fault of it's own. We had many good miles together, but it's time to move on. Still my daily ride for maybe another week though. Still pretty ripping too. I must have hit 24 mph on the way home up Kedzie this eve.
My new Long Haul Trucker frame is coming into my hands tomorrow. The nice folks over at Smart Bike Parts are even giving it a free frame saver treatment for me. Thanks guys! I think it will take me about a week to get this built up. Will be posting!