Saturday, March 15, 2008

Fait Accompli

Ain't the Internet amazing? Before I got home with my new bike, my good friend Bill Bryant had already seen pictures of it posted by Chuck Lathe on a flicker site. Very cool! That's travel at the speed of light.

Yes, the new bike is finished, and it's a black beauty. I showed up at Chuck's place this morning with a bag of parts and some bar tape, and we did the trim work.

Chuck did most of the heavy lifting today. I managed to derail our forward progress for about half an hour. We were assisted by three of the neighbor's dogs, and Chuck's lovely wife served up some potent caffeine.

We finished up around 1 p.m. and did a 20 mile test ride on Chuck's post office loop. The launch was perfect. It rained about 30 minutes before we got rolling, so I christened my new craft on wet roads. A good start for any randonneur bike.

A few details: check the frame pump location. Beautiful Berthoud fenders. The decaleur is off the bike but it comes with a brass bell. The cable stops on the top tube don't show, but they're one of my favorite details -- a throwback to my old Raleigh Internationals. The lug work looks very tidy all around. My favorite is the one at the seat post. There's a cool braze-on loop to route cables up the right fork blade. That was a touch I hadn't seen before. It was a pleasant surprise. The E6 light is tucked out of the way on the front rack. Good, that's always a pain to mount. Check out the braze-ons for those rear lights.

As for the ride? I'll get a better sense next weekend on our 225-mile fleche. I'm going for 40 miles tomorrow with Joe & Wes.

More later. In the meantime, here's a photo or 2 of the final build today at Chuck's house. But be sure to check out Chuck's shots. They're better bike photos.

BTW: that bag was a loaner for the photos.

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