Progress on the VW & Mercedes Benz mash up last week. Josh Sorenson of ‘Sorenson Auto Body’ wrapped up the seat rail bracket fabrication on Tuesday, having it painted and bolted in Wednesday gave me the chance to debut the van to family and guests on Thanksgiving day. Tradition dictates that we load up family and friends for a trip into the Stillwater National Forest to harvest a Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. The 4×4 mobil base camp is taking shape.
Next steps involve adjusting the rials forward in the van, adding a stand alone diesel heater, ski storage boxes in the back, bike mounts, re-install the vinyl floor and insulation, sleeping solution for two people, custom lower wall panels to accommodate the needs of the back seat passengers, LED lighting, USB plugs, sub woofer etc…
Getting prepped on this side of the Atlantic for the auto chop shop Polish seat mafia Mercedes Benz + VW mashup make over… secured a heated enclosed machine shop stall in a local warehouse for next month. It’s all coming together, UPS left a giant roll of automotive Thinsulate on my porch last night, while everything is torn apart for the seat swap, i’ll add the Thinsulate in the walls and ceiling for sound and temperature upgrade.
Picked up the new van on Thursday, hooked it to the trailer on Saturday for a maiden voyage to Glacier National Park.
Took the brand new van to Glacier National Park for a late fall camping trip, stayed at Apgar Campground with three other families
More fun than barrel of monkeys
Graphic / Poster design
The bike rode great, tires were good, course was frozen rock solid with ruts throughout. Hit the deck on some ice so fast I was still holding bars and grabbing for brakes as I was sliding into the course tap on my left side, that was an eye opener. In general the race was a character building exercise. Translated, I took a bit of a beating. Starting from the back row in a field of 110 or so people, I finished 53… Looks ok on paper but I think a top 20 or top 15 placing was possible. Still fun, looking forward to the party tonight at rocky mounts and the big boy race on Sunday.
Racing went great today textbook cross conditions, 8″ of snow on the course, sun started melting to creat the propper soup. Bike handling skills were at a premium.
Big event like this, everything is done by the letter of the law, I was officially called up 110th in a field of 114, but the course handled the volume pretty well and found some room to race after the first lap silliness was done. Worked through the field to finish 17th. Happy with how the training worked out
The warm temps tomorrow will mix with the snow for textbook cross weather.
Shake down race at 12:30 tomorrow, age groupers, 45 to 99…. 114 of them lining up.
Friday is the masters 45 to 49 title race, I’ll be shocked if anyone can give Don Myrah a run for his money. The former Olympian and freshly minted Masters World Champion on top of his game.
Sunday January 12th will be the most fun, getting line up with the best guys in Country.
The privilege to “borrow” a new mountain bike each summer for the last six years has been bittersweet. It’s time to turn over the best bike I have ridden in memory, to a new home.
Each bike has informed my opinion and appreciation of the others. The most recent summer fling with a 2013 Specialized Epic Expert Carbon 29 was best measured by the behavior of its predecessors. The suspension, brakes, and aftermarket carbon wheels combined to make it my favorite bike to date. This includes the early 90’s Ibis Mojo team bikes that have the benefit of a nostalgic perspective of younger days.
The 2013 Epic is a culmination of ten plus years of focused refinement. The well thought out, well tested frame is paired this year with the best group choices Specialized has made in the last four years. Shifting, braking and ‘Brain’ shock refinements made this my favorite bicycle ever, we were fast friends last fall after only a few miles of local single track.
I look forward to the 2014 Epic frame makeover, Specialized is taking some risks with changing a proven winner, risk is good. The rewards for their continued pursuit of increase performance benefit us all.
I applaud the engineers and accountants at Specialized for embracing the risk of change and look forward to making friends with a 2014 Epic, no matter how brief the ride.