Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Almost done

Date: Dec. 5
Total mileage: 23.0
December mileage: 55.0
Temperature upon departure: 36

I am ... or more accurately, Geoff is ... putting the finishing touches on “Juno’s one and only snaux bike” (Carlos’ words, not mine. I think the ‘snaux’ spelling of snow is a dig on the faux way it imitates better bikes such as the FatBike, and the term ‘one and only’ is a dig on the warm and rainy region of Alaska in which I live.) All it needs now is a headset, which is on its way from Singapore. It also has a few things I intend to replace: the fork, because it can’t support disc brakes as it is now (and V-brakes won’t clear the snowcat rims) and the tires, which are currently my 2.2” summer MTB tires, but which I intend to replace with 2.75” mega downhill tires. The new tires will barely (if at all) fit the frame - but if they do, they will be oh-so-floatatious.

I have not ridden the bike yet, but I feel very optimistic about its future. Geoff built it while I was in Utah. While I acknowledge that this only serves to further handicap my bike-repair disability, I do admit that I’m somewhat relieved to be riding something that doesn’t have the scars of my workmanship. We designed it to be an all-purpose bike. It will serve me well in the snow, but will also double as a good Juneau mud’n ride (especially with year-round studs, which grip like ice picks to wet roots and wooden planks). It also will be a great gravel-road and trail touring bike and a sturdy commuter, especially after I outfit it with a rear rack. This overweight snaux bike could very well put my Sugar out of business.

We had to zip-tie the cables to the frame in order to run full housing (full housing prevents cable failure due to ice buildup). The parts are mostly bargain basement mountain bike parts from eBay, flown in from around the country. The stem took an inexplicable side trip from Louisiana to Indonesia and just arrived (three weeks late) on Monday. Take that and the headset from Singapore, and my snow bike is better traveled than I am.

Speaking of traveling, I just learned about the Trans Iowa race. How perfect is that ... Iowa is one of the few states I have never been to (along with Florida, Hawaii, Michigan, Wisconsin, and probably a couple others.) I imagine all of the cool cats from the Lower 48 will be there, and I'd love to go. Another $700 race, maybe? That sure doesn't leave much left for the 24 Hours of Light. Good thing I didn't blow all of my rent money on bike parts (Thankyou, Shimano LX).

I can't wait to get out and ride my snow bike. It's 40 degrees out now, and .75" of rain fell today. Looks promising.