Ride to eat or eat to ride?
Shameless Self Promotion – That’s today’s post. Some might remember once I posted about some words I got from Chase Jarvis. One of his old posts read, “Do what you love. Pimp your work.” Today, I get to share my love of mixing bikes and photography and at the same time pimp some of my work. Yesterday Salsa Cycles, my place of employment, updated their website and they chose some of my images for their page headers for their new bikes. Check them out and make sure you click the link above to check out Salsa Cycles updated website.
Crazy to think these trips and images are all in a 12 month span. Yep, it’s been quite a year and I’m thankful that I get to do what I do.
Check out SalsaCycles.com.
Seems that lately I have finally had the time to think. I won’t say rest, but I will say think. I’ve been riding my bike too. In fact, I’m feeling pretty good. For me, time in the saddle is the best time to think. This time I’ve had both on the bike and off the bike to think has been good for me. I am setting some goals. Personal goals. Challenging goals. Things that I both need and want to do.
Right now I need to declare some of my goals. This isn’t all of them and I have personal goals for me and who I want to be for my family but I don’t feel I need to share everything here. The goals I’m sharing here are because I need to say them out loud so that I have some accountability.
- 200 lbs – I need to get below that threshold again. It won’t be easy with how much I love food. Frankly, I’ve let myself slip badly with my eating habits. However, I have hope and the occasional feeling good on my bike right now is feeding that.
- 200 miles – Again, riding related, but I need to break that barrier for a single day. This could mean that I am headed back to Kansas for the DK or it could mean that I plan something else entirely. We’ll see. Right now I am just saying it out loud. This may be my new Salsa Warbird speaking.
- Travel – Quality, not quantity. Overall, I plan to cut back next year but make my trips more meaningful. September will be my last board meeting for Adventure Cycling Association so that will mark the start of traveling less. More on that at another time, but if you look at my last 12 months of travel, it’s been both exciting, exhausting and challenging.
When I look back to a few years ago, I did these things and my life was full and rich and I was healthy. That is my goal. I am not dwelling on the past. Nope. I am just looking back to find my way forward.
Before I get started here, you need to know that I work for Salsa Cycles. This frameset is a prototype frameset that was brought in for development purposes. I did not pay for this frameset and one day I will return it to Salsa Cycles. It is very close to final build specifications, but I’m sure someone with keen eyes will find something that is different than what was put up on the Salsa Cycles website. For one, I will call out the decals on this bike. My bike has a peach colored “Salsa” logo and “Warbird” logo. Those are now white for production. Again, I’m sure will find others stuff if you look close enough. So…Consider yourself informed.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of tinkering and shuffling in the workshop. Several old bikes and prototypes are gone to make room for a couple of new bikes. Bikes in progress include a Mukluk for the coming winter season as well as my new Salsa Warbird. I took some time to figure out the specific place and need for this bike in my bike line up. My goal is to prepare a combination of bikes that that can tackle any terrain or experience. I have my uber capable Salsa Fargo Ti that can do just about anything. I am working on my Mukluk Lefty that I can use as a 29er or fatbike, both winter (without Lefty) or summer. I really wanted a performance bike that was lighter and faster than my other two bikes. Not that I do that type of riding all that much, but it sure is nice to have a light performance focused machine when you do. I originally was going to build a new Salsa Colossal road bike but in the end, I fell back to what I love, gravel. The Warbird is perfect for me and optimized for gravel, but with the right tires and wheels, it can be a very capable road bike as well. For me personally, it just fit me and who I am better than the Colossal.
This Warbird build and spec may seem a bit unconventional to some as I built this bike with almost entirely old and time tested components. Some of you who know me well may clearly understand my spec. This bike is a culmination of a lifetime of mistakes and not so great experiences where components fail. My philosophy with this build is to make it work for a long time all the time. The spec below is near final. I’ll call out some specific reasoning as well as parts that may go as I find different parts.
Frame: Salsa Warbird – Size 56
Fork: Enve CX Disc
Headset: Cane Creek 40
Rear Derailleur – Shimano 105 9spd – Black – I chose this because it is durable and has a good old fashioned barrel adjuster threaded into it’s body
Front Derailleur : Shimano CX top pull
Crankset: FSA Gossamer Cross – 172.5mm – These may go back to 175. Gonna give 172.5 a try to see if I can learn to spin a bit more and not just mash everything
Bottom Bracket: FSA
Cassette: Shimano 6600 9spd 12-17
Chain: Shimano 6600 Ultegra
Brakes: Avid BB7 Mtn w/160mm rotors – I will be putting new rotors on with a 160mm front and 140mm rear. I just didn’t have them ready when I built them
Brake Levers: Tektro – Don’t know model, but they are wider and flat on top. I like the surface area and the comfort they provide
Shifters: Shimano 9spd Bar Con – Ultimate bombproof shift levers. No little parts to fall off and hit the ground after a season of muddy, wet and dusty gravel
Handlebar: Salsa Cowbell 3 – 46
Stem: Prototype Salsa ProMoto Ti – 110mm
Tape: Salsa Gel Cork
Saddle: Fizik Aliante Gama XM
Seatpost: Eriksen titanium 27.2mm
Seatclamp: Salsa Lip Lock 32.0mm
Rims: Edge (now Enve) Composits XC carbon rims
Hubs: DT-Swiss 240 hubs
Spokes: DT Swiss Competition
Skewers: New Salsa Flip Offs
Tires: Conti SpeedCross 700×42 – These will change to something Clement when they wear out.
Tubes: Long stem 700×32-38
Rimtape: Rox Ultralight
Revelate Designs Tangle Bag – I may try to move away from this to make the bike feel lighter. I think I can get by with my gas tank bag, Arkel seatbag and my jersey pockets.
All in all I love this build and although admittedly biased, I think it is a fine fine machine. Here are a few more pics.
And here are few from my first ride in the country. I missed the rain on Saturday and got a good 3 hours in this bike. I sort wanted to post some really dirty pics and that is what I had planned for. However, it all worked out and the rain held off until later in the afternoon. Oh well, you’ll see dirty pictures here another time.
Given I work for Salsa, I won’t comment and do any type of ride review. I can just say that it works and fits perfectly into my stable of bikes. It is just what I was seeking and I can see many, many miles of fast gravel aboard this rig in my future.
That is all. Have a great weekend!
Earlier in the week I had the rare opportunity to ride with my both of my friends Ben Witt and Guitar Ted at the same time. Being I was out of town on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I was really pleased to be out and about with my friends, but I had a certain anxiety about getting into work. Our ride and my day did not turn out as planned. In the end, I did not actually make it into the office. I took a half day of vacation, did some work in the coffee shop, and then sat in my basement at home on a conference call for 2+ hours. But you know what, it worked out the way it was supposed to work out.
Guitar Ted wrote yesterday about the ending of our little jaunt in the country. In short, a stick attacked the rear end of Ben Witt’s bike. It snapped the carbon Sram derailleur cage in half as well as tearing the replaceable hanger off the bike. I had one of those in my on bike emergency kit, but there was no way to repair the derailleur. It also damaged the chain and our effort to SS out the bike to get home did not work. In the end, Ben ran the up hills and GT and I pushed him on the rest. Again, you make do with what you’ve got. In this case, we had 3 good friends riding bikes together and solving problems together. In the end, I think we were all laughing about it. It made us all stronger and I think, it made us closer as friends. Funny how unplanned accidents and the right attitude can turn into something great.
So…That’s all I’ve got to say about that. How about some pictures?
For me, this just added another chapter to my morning rides with Ben. I also got to ride and spend time with my good friend Mark. Bikes bring people together, strengthen memories and teach you life lessons.
Last weekend I was down in Dekalb, Illinois on behalf of Salsa Cycles to support North Central Cyclery . That sounds a lot like work and technically it was. However, I try to find time to ride whenever I go on work trips. Makes work not seem as much like work. This past weekend was no exception as I got two good rides in over 3 days. Not bad.
Saturday morning started out cool and early. Our group consisted of 20+ folks and then splintered into a few different groups. I had a blast. Rode pretty hard. It felt good. I am pretty sure I was the only guy on the ride carrying both a digital and film camera. No sympathy though as the tough guy award goes to Andy who rode his single speed Mukluk Ti 38 miles to the event, followed by the gravel ride, and then rode home! Regardless, I think carrying both cameras was worth it though as I got some good shots, at least I think I did.
A few folks that were on the ride expressed an interest in purchasing some prints. Let me just say that Tobie and I working on something pretty cool and you will see some stuff soon in both color and black & white that I will print here in my home and ship off too Dekalb for pick up. Just stay tuned. Both NCC and I will announce how to order prints when it is all ready.
Until then, here are a few pics from the ride.
Yeah, it was really that good. I know I posted a quick pic Monday and said Thank you boys. But I’m going to say it again. Thank you boys for the great morning.
So…About a year ago I was in Alaska on a fatbike beach tour as part of Reveal the Path bicycle film. This past week down in Dekalb, IL I saw the movie again. The Alaska segment of the film made me smile and really got me thinking and remembering my time up in Alaska. Someone asked me after the film what my favorite part of it Alaska was? I said “All of it!” There was not one single part that wasn’t truly incredible.
Last night I looked back over my images and was simply blown away by the beauty and vastness of Alaska. I grabbed just a few pics to share with you. These were all taken at either sunrise or sunset.
These images really make me want to go back to Alaska. I feel like the time there was well spent, but it was too scheduled. I’d like to take a bit more time to really continue on and explore. It has me thinking and dreaming for the future. I doubt I’ll be back for a few years, but I can dream. Alaska. Dream big.
I had a whirlwind weekend that involved driving, riding with Fatbike.com, more driving, riding with North Central Cyclery, a demo day, a Reveal the Path screening, and a long drive home. It was great though. Had a blast thanks to the great people all along the way. Would do it again I a heartbeat.
I still haven’t solved my hard drive being full so my images are still on the camera cards. I pulled just a few from the cards to my iPad. Here’s one of them. Thank you boys.