23 February 2008

Ah, Colorado at Last!

My first week in CO concludes with a fabulous showshoe trip up near Rainbow Lake with snow falling everywhere and sunshine coming through the flakes. This is heaven!

5 days of XC skiing, telemarking and snowshoeing so far and another two months still to go. Life is good. I work at night everyday, but it's manageable so far and this is just the place I want to be. Teaching my daughter Peri to ski has been both a joy and a challenge, but she seems to be liking it more as she gains confidence and experience...and it's fun to just have a few weeks of Dad and pre-teen kid time.

Peri is a master sculpter of "cheese wax", the stuff that cheese is wrapped in...today she made a few characters for the table:

The "snow" is salt she poured on the table. Yep, two little skiers out on a run. Wednesday she was out on 190cm XC skis, so she's learning the old-fashioned way; on hand-me-down gear. More fun is in store for next week!

14 February 2008

Pereira 650b Hetre Randonneur arrives!

First meeting...I love it!

I've got my new bike! An exciting time at the Handmade Bicycle Show in Portland capped off by taking home my Pereira. It is truly a beautiful bike and everything I imagined when Tony and I started talking about it. He was very patient with our voluminous email correspondence.

It started in March 2006 the day after the show ended after having seen the randonneur bicycle he built for the show and won Best of Show with. I had already been working on modifying a canti-Romulus for the brevet season, but knew I wanted something much more substantial for some of the off-road touring I had in mind too. I also wanted to have 650b tires for something new and they seemed to be well worth building my idea around. Word was that there were going to be some new Gran Bois Hetre 650b x 42mm tires available and that's what I wanted Tony to design for. Problem was, they didn't even exist when we began and only came to the US in November!

It all came together and I wanted some specific elements in addition to the fat tires: stem with bell and removable faceplate, removable low-rider racks, minimal to zero TCO, low trail for better handling with a handlebar bag, triple water bottle mounts, light mounts front and rear and really perfect confident handling.

Test rides this week have proven that it does all I wished for and I can't wait to take it on further trips and rougher terrain. I'll be skiing for the next two months and then back riding in April!

Built with Columbus Life tubing with a custom double plate crown fork (60mm rake/40mm trail). Rides so well I may not need other bikes! More pictures here. The color is a green/grey with a sort of mossy brown logo and box lining - hard to photograph but really nice. The polished bronze brazed-on head badge looks awesome.