Monday, August 18, 2014

Cliff's cross bike...

This is Cliff's cross bike.  Usually, I get complete bikes built and shipped withing at least 2 weeks.  This one took a mite longer.  Between the time I announced the green frames last summer and the time they actually arrived, quite a few months passed.  Then Cliff did some traveling and we exchanged e-mails to get the specification of the bike dialed in.  A few changes, a lot of silver, and Cliff's sure to have fun with this ramblin' bike as he explores the back roads of Virginia on day rides with his fishing pole, note pad, and time to explore.

Wheels are Phil Wood Touring hubs, H Plus Son Archetype rims, Paul Components quick releases, and Bruce Gordon Rock 'n Road tires.

Had this LX all silver derailleur that fit the bill very nice on this build.

White Industries 42/28 VBC crankset with a Shimano CX70 derailleur.

Paul Components Minimoto brake in high-polish.

That says Black Mountain Cycles in Chinese.  Cliff spent some time in China this year.

(What's playing:  Aretha Franklin I Say A Little Prayer)

Friday, August 15, 2014


Every so often you see something on a ride and are lucky enough to capture it.  Each of these photos was taken out in the Point Reyes National Seashore a week or so apart.  The long buck is a White tailed deer with an impressive set of antlers.  I saw him silhouetted on the ridge out near the lighthouse at Point Reyes and got one shot off before my camera battery died.

The second shot is of a group of Tule elk crossing the road at Pierce Point on the northern end.  This small herd crossed the road in front of me in one direction and then turned heel and crossed it in the other direction.  Both times it was pretty neat as their hooves clattered across the road.

File this under things you see riding.

(What's playing:  Curtis Mayfield Superfly)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Still here...

Sometimes, most times, it's too easy to ignore the blog due to posting images on the shop Facebook page or on the What's In The Stand tumblr.  And then the next thing I know a month passes just like that.  So, I'll try to rectify that situation with more quick and simple posts.  Here's a start.  

In the category of what's in the stand, here's some work that has passed through the doors at Black Mountain Cycles.  

Saratoga Frameworks cross bike came for a tune up and new tires.  Found out that, somehow, the original builder (not me) had fit a 10 speed cassette to the 11 speed Ultegra built bike.  It worked.  Sort of.  Works better now.

This 59cm cross bike was built.  The owner secured the frame several months ago and we got to building it around existing wheels.  SRAM build with White Industries crankset.  I can attest to the fact this will be a fun Marin Headlands ripper for the owner. 

Rebuilt front wheel with new SP dynamo hub that will see duty on the Tour Divide solo ITT soon.  Proud to build this for Leo Pershall. 

The owner of this 87/88 Ibis Custom brought the frame and parts to me for a build up.  The stem and bottle cages were recently painted to match the blue in the frame.  Sweet classic mountain bike.

White Industries freewheel overhaul.  Flushed and regreased the bearing.  Cleaned and lubed the pawls.  Just like new.  White Industries makes great bike parts.

New wheels for this Soulcraft.  White Industries hubs (have I mentioned I love White Industries parts?) and Enve M60 rims.  

Potts mountain bike came in for new cables, chain, brake pads, and overhaul of the King rear hub while the owner was out riding his Potts cross bike in the area.

Dialed in this Potts road bike with new cables and bar tape.

And finally, this Shimano Ultegra 6603 triple shifter needed to be replaced because the spring at the lower right corner was broken and it would no longer hold the pawl that works with cable pull in place.  Even if that one spring was replaceable, it would have been nigh on impossible to replace it with the level of disassembly required to get to the spring. 

(What's playing:  Johnny Cash Folsom Prison Blues)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Why I ride...

I don't race, so I don't ride to train.  I don't participate in timed events, so I don't care about how fast I ride.  Well, maybe a little since I do have to be back in time to open the shop according to my posted hours.  I usually ride solo, so I'm not necessarily riding to compete against others in a group.  However, I do tend to turn it up a little if I see a rider up ahead.  

I ride because I like to push myself physically.  Same reason I also trail run.  There's nothing better than the feeling of turning the pedals over and hearing the tires sing on the road.  In West Marin, just about every ride has upwards of 1,000' of climbing for each 10 miles.  Every ride that I like doing.  I like climbing because I love descending. 

I love riding here because I can go for a 4 hour ride and come across only a handful of stop signs.  In fact, last week, I came across only 3 stop signs on a 60 mile ride I started from my house.  Stop lights?  Not here.  

I also ride because I get to see some amazing scenery.  Flora and fauna.  I bring a small Olympus camera in my jersey pocket on almost every ride.  Most of shots I take are on the bike while rolling.  There's always something unique that presents itself for a photo.  I took up photography in middle school where we had a darkroom.  I don't think I've ever not taken photos.  Not a lot, though.  Too many is noise.  Just enough to give me the sense of reliving the ride or capturing something unique.  Whether it's a cloud pattern, the lighting, the emptiness, some critter or varmint, that's a big reason why I ride - to see things.  Real things.

This is the top of Inverness Ridge.  To the right is the west and the fog that was coming up the ridge from the west.  To the left, it was clear and sunny down on Tomales Bay.  This spot where the fog rolls up and dissipates was amazing.

I saw this coyote on the trail.  I heard something off to my left and looked over at this coyote not more than 10' away from me.  We both stopped.  It was not interested in me, but was sniffing the air and looking past me.  Something was out there.  By the time I got my camera out and took this shot, it had gone up the hillside a bit.  It was a good looking coyote.

The view of Inverness Ridge from the top of the Marshall Wall.

Edge of the fog in Nicasio.

Lots of empty roads to myself in the mornings.

And one of Arch Rock - the result of a ride and a hike.

(What's playing:  Silver Dollar Jukebox on KWMR)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

New cross colors finalized...

One of the hardest things about bicycle design is not coming up with the design.  It's coming up with colors for the frames.  Once upon a time, I, along with co-workers, would have to come up with colors for about 75 different models with 2 or 3 different color options.  Not easy.  Working with a small group, it wasn't too difficult.  It can almost be more difficult trying to figure it all out solo.  

I generally don't want to design by committee because my frames are a reflection of me.  Same goes for color choices.  However, as the demand increases, it is important to gauge your customer's interest in your products and throwing out a few color choices is a great way to keep interested parties, well, interested.  

So, because of feedback and because these are also the two colors I was drawn to, the new colors for the cross frames coming from Taiwan this fall will be the Dazzling Blue (left) and Maroon (right).  

(What's playing:  R.E.M. What's The Frequency, Kenneth)

Monday, June 30, 2014

New and used for sale...

(Edit:  As of August 1, 2014, both the frame and complete bike have been sold and are no longer available.  Couple of happy folks out there!)

The current green cross frames have been very popular.  In fact, the 59cm green frames were sold out before they even arrived.  However, there is one available.  A customer bought one, however, a few months later, he decided that he already has too many bikes and his plans for using this green frame have changed so it is for sale.  If you are looking for a 59cm green cross frame, send me an e-mail and I'll put you in touch with the frame's owner so you can work out the details to get it under your butt and on the road (paved or dirt).  As a reminder, here is what the green looks like.  This is a recent 56cm build for Bill.  The frame for sale is still in its original carton with all the packing materials.

The second bike is a pre-owned local bike.  A root beer cross bike from the first run of frames.  The owner's knees ain't what they used to be and being a multi-bike owner, he's decided to offer this one for sale.  It's a 62cm frame built with SRAM bar end shifters and White Industries crank.  Here's a partial breakdown of parts:

White Ind VBC 46/30 crank 175mm paired to 11-36 cassette
Velocity A23 rims with Shimano 105 32h hubs
Salsa Cowbell 2 46cm bars
Cane Creek brake levers with Avid Shorty 6 canti brakes
WTB Rocket V Pro on a Ritchey Pro seat post
Tires are Vee Rubber V12 1.95, but a set of Conti Cyclocross 42 comes with the bike - both tires have a lot of miles left
Also included is a set of Planet Bike clip on fender/splash guards.

New this bike is $2400.  It can be yours for $1600 + shipping (if required).  There are a few scuffs on the paint, but nothing that goes through the paint.

(What's playing:  KWMR Release Me)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Closed Friday, June 20...

I played golf a lot in my younger days.  These days, I play once a year in the annual KWMR golf tournament.  And that is happening tomorrow so I will be closed all day.  Back in the shop on Saturday at 10:00 a.m.  

(What's playing:  Tom Waits Dirt In The Ground)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Ride with Bruce Gordon...

I'm totally off the back posting the goodness that is a casual ride with Bruce Gordon.  It happens tomorrow (sorry for the short notice) and starts/ends at Bruce's shop in Petaluma.  It should be a fun ride and the weather is supposed to be great.  If you haven't seen Bruce's new retail shop and museum that contains all the bikes he's built for himself, you need to set your alarm and get to Bruce's tomorrow for a 9:00 a.m. ride.  Details are here:  Bruce Gordon Cycles Casual Ride!

(Photo by Michael B. Woolsey)

(What's playing:  KWMR)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Closed and colors...

Black Mountain Cycles will be closed Tuesday June 10 thru Thursday June 12.  I'll be back in the shop on Friday.  In the mean time, here are a three new colors that I'm considering for the next run of cross frames scheduled to arrive some time in the Fall.  The maroon has a bit of metallic flake in it.  The blue is a Pantone® Dazzling Blue 18-3949.  The red...I don't recall what caused the request of the red color tube, but it's a nice deep red. 

(What's playing:  Absolutely quiet at 4:20 in the morning)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Four more hours...

If Sunday's 4 hour point/point/point ride wasn't enough, I got out the next day for 4 1/2 hours on a modified out and back ride.  The previous day was on the road bike.  This day was on the cross bike.  Got to mix it up, you know.  As with the point/point/point ride, this day's ride was also one I hadn't been on.  I'd always seen that the Estero Trail was legal for bikes (rare in this local National Park that is designated wilderness), but knowing that much of the trail is on open cattle range, knew the trail was likely pock marked from cow hooves.  There's nothing quite like riding on a hard packed trail that's marked with thousands of hoof print craters on a cross bike.  But, I did it and I'll probably do it again because there's some super fun parts of the ride.

The route I took out of Point Reyes Station took me up the dirt climb out of Inverness at the end of Perth Way.  From there I headed down the paved Mt. Vision Rd. and out Sir Francis Drake to the Estero Trailhead.  Wanting to get to both Sunset Beach and Drake's Head, I did the two as out and backs.  The first mile or so of the Estero Trail is fantastic.  It's a super fun single-track that winds through a small grove of trees and ends up out at the head of Home Bay.  From there, you're pretty much out in the open and not to disappoint, the wind blew.  

After completing the two out and backs, I thought "Inverness Ridge Trail."  I mean, why not.  It's just a climb back up Mt. Vision Rd. to get to it.  My plan was to end up at Perry's Deli for lunch so if I was going to have the sandwich I was planning, the extra climb would make lunch that much more deserved.  Total mileage and climbing - about 35 miles with 4,500' of climbing.  Pretty great stuff.

Foggy at the top of the first climb

Estero Trail.  The smooth part.

Home Bay

Low tide patterns on Home Bay

Looking down on the bridge where where my bike was perched in the photo two above.

Lots of wild flowers and open spaces

Where am I?

Limantour Spit from the top of Drake's Head

Another from the top of Drake's Head

It's so windy out here, the trees need to grow their own kickstands.

Still a bit overcast on the second trip over Mt. Vision

And saw a bobcat who stayed just off the trail checking things out

And this was for lunch.  

And this explains why it was foggy and windy all morning.

(What's playing:  Elvis Costello No Hiding Place)