Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ti 29er

Woohoo, its finally here. My new frame arrived today and it turned out awesome. I had Scott Quiring build me a custom titanium 29er hardtail. Here it is.

I'm still waiting on a few components before I can finish it so it will be a couple weeks before I can ride it. Here's what I have planned for it.
-White Brothers Magic 29 fork
-Industry Nine wheels laced to Stans Arch rims
-Thomson seatpost and stem
-Race Face Deus riser bar
-Truvativ Noir crankset
-SRAM X9 shifters and derailuers
-Avid BB7 disc brakes
-Maxxis Ignitor tires
I am really happy with the finish on it. Instead of paint he left it raw Ti and bead blasted the logo and flame etchings into it. It looks really cool and will be really durable as well. Now I would really like to take it up to BFB, borrow a workstand and start building it. Unfortunately duty calls though. I am off to Amsterdam Thursday for a couple days, followed by a couple days in Edinburgh, then a stop in London. It will be a busy trip, but should be fun. Plus I get to see my cousins Dave and Allison, who live in England. And as a bonus my other cousins Steve, Maria and their two boys Danielle and Matthew will be there as well.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Visiting the Sunshine State

It's been a while since I posted anything here. This is a really busy time of the year for me. In the past month I have been to Baltimore, Long Beach and San Francisco for work, plus I am heading for Europe in just a few days.

Jackie and I did get to enjoy some time away that wasn't work related for me though. The end of February we flew down to Florida to visit my parents, who are down there for a month. Normally they only go for a couple weeks, but my dad has officially retired so they can stay as long as they like. Congratulations Dad!
We flew down to Tampa on a Wednesday evening and my parents picked us up and drove us over to Anna Maria Island, where they are staying. It is an intercoastal island just south of Tampa. We had just over three days there to relax and enjoy the great weather.
The first day it was a bit cool, high 50's, but just coming from Michigan it still felt great. We visited one of my dad's favorite place, Myakka State Park, which is inland a ways form Sarasota. Its a beautiful area with lots of tropical forests and a large lake. We were able to take a boat ride on the lake a see around a dozen large alligators sunning themselves. Then we went for a short hike back into the woods to a canopy walk where you can actually climb onto a swinging bridge around the tree tops and onto a platform well above the tree tops.
The second day Dad and I found a bike shop so I could rent a bike. I was able to get a really nice Specialized Allez for a day and a half. After this long cold winter it felt great to get out and ride in shorts and short sleeves. After my ride we went to the Desoto National Monument, which turned out to be fairly interesting. It was where the Spanish explorer supposedly landed in the 1500's to explore the new world. They had a demonstration of weapons and armor from the time period and I was able to try on some chain mail. I can't imagine doing much of anything in that, expecially fighting.
The next morning I got an early start and rode the length of Anna Maria Island, Long Boat Key and Lido Key, which are all connected with short bridges. All together it got in about 40 miles. What beautiful riding, with the gulf on my side and cool ocean breezes. After that we had a pretty relaxing day, visiting an art show in town and spending some time on the beach. I did brave the ocean, but only up to my waist. It needed to be about 5 degrees warmer. It was still nice though.
That evening we were all treated to one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. Check out the pictures in this album link, though they don't do it justice. Sunday morning we got up early so my parents could drive us back to the airport. Back to Michigan for more snow and cold. At least it was in the 40's when we got home. A lot better than some of the other weather lately.
Thanks Mom and Dad for having us down. We had a great time and it was a really nice, relaxing break.