Finally! I've been working and waiting for so long for my new, handbuilt bike to get finished that I had started to think of it as this distant, abstract concept that would never materialize into a rideable bicycle. The frame construction took a while, mostly because I was unable to put in very many full days of work on the bike and still have a job. I was tempted to build her up and ride her unpainted, but Ira encouraged me to relax, slow down and make it the bike I really want. Good advice, but dang does it take a long time to get a bike powdercoated! I've been a nervous wreck the last few days while I waited for the call that the bike was ready.
But at long last, it's done! Picked her (no name yet...) up from Class Act Paint and Powder on Wednesday morning, built 'er up that afternoon. Class Act did a beautiful job. The color is even better than I thought it would be. It's more of a pumpkin orange than I expected, but the wet paint on the carbon fork matches perfectly and it looks really good with a liberal spattering of Northwest mud! All the components bolted on just as smooth as you please, only had to file a little of the powdercoat off the dropouts to allow the rear wheel to slide in and out easily.
First ride was this morning with Matt and Ira out at Pier Park. We sucked chilly morning air into our tender lungs, threw down some hot laps in the dirt and gravel before the disc golfers started to claim their space. I held back a bit on the first lap; afraid of crashing or washing out and damaging my freshly-finished beauty. After a little while of following Matt and Ira's lines and letting the awesome tires do their thing I was railing corners as fast as I ever have. The bike fit like a glove, felt totally natural and did everything I asked it to do without question or hesitation. It was much quicker, nimbler and more precise than any other bike I've ridden. The third episode of the Cross Crusade takes place this weekend at the Sherwood Equestrian Center, and my new baby and I are ready to carve up the racecourse! Here are a couple of photos:More photos on Flickr.