Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Garmisch By Bike.

Friend and fellow Kenda family racer Tom Wehe grew up near Garmisch, Germany. While he is way too old now to ride this stuff (he was actually around to help build the Temple Of Athena at Delphi), in his advanced age of racing Vet Masters/Pro he still vaguely recollects having the kind of fear-management skills it takes to navigate such difficult slabs of rock. He sent me this link of riding in Garmisch from his home in Durango....reminds me a TON of the riding in and around Nevada City....good times....

A Steep Trail with KaptnFR from Big Col on Vimeo.

Sean C.'s PA Race Update.

Hey Chris, getting back home from a long weekend from PA, I managed to place in the top 10. That's awesome for not being used to the "mountains" out there. I still hate all the rock gardens out there, but the Carbide managed to sail through them. Well I'm done for the season, hopefully I'll get to do a lot more races next year. Glad to hear Tookie's ass end is all back together again, somehow I knew you would be behind him getting it all tight and lubed up for him.

See ya!

' Luchy

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tookie's New Ass End.

* "I don't think my rear derailleur is shifting right." Gee..ya' think?

The phone rang that evening with a noted sense of urgency. Ever get those calls? Something about the way it rings is different..you know it's some s**t about to go down. On the other end is a noticeably urgent Tookie. "Dude, I was out on a training ride tonight, and I think the rear derailleur is fucked up. I'll be up next week, can we get it fixed?"

Of course.

Then it rings again.

"Dude. The Carbide blew an ass. Colossal frame failure on the swingarm. What do I do?"

* The Tomac Carbide, sans-ass.

A quick phone call and follow-up e-mail to Tomac's Joel Smith, and within three days a brand new and massively updated/upgraded Carbide swingarm arrives. That was fast. With Jeff being solidly inside the top 3 in the OMBC mountain bike series here in Ohio, he's in dire need. The bike has been raced non-stop since that day in Sycamore Canyon four years ago, when the frame arrived for the team Camp-N-Ride in Los Angeles, destined to be Vegas Bob's race-bitch for the next three years. It has spent the past season here in the East/Midwest having the shit kicked out of it by big Jeff Williams...a dude who's legs are the size of giant redwood trees. It's amazing to everyone involved that it lasted this long.

* The Tomac Carbide with a BRAND NEW ASS!

The new ass-end that arrived was markedly different from the old one. Beefier, cleaner looking, and with gussets, she was ready to rock. Jeff and family arrived late Friday night from their new home in Kentucky to hang out and help me empty my six pack of Sierra Nevada. The next morning, however, was to be busy. We had to wake early and race to the shop to pull apart everything...all in enough time to get Jeff to the horse show, then out to set up camp for today's race. The pace was frantic Saturday morning, but in just an hour, we had replaced the swingarm, cables, bearings, cranks, housing...everything...for Sunday's final series showdown.

* Tookie slides in a new derailleur cable to match the new swingarm.

After a few quick and final torque-spec-checks, we set the sag on the rear end and rolled her outside..new ass-end shining like a freshly minted quarter. Behind the store we have a plot of jagged, nasty, unevenly spaced baby-head rocks to showcase what suspension can really do for the unwashed masses. GREAT place to test the Carbide for play. As expected, the bike's new rear end was tighter than a preacher's pants at a choir boy convention. Jeff packed it up, ran back to grab the family, and they headed off for the rest of their very busy day. Surgical strike. Awesome.

* It's all good. She's ready for the front wheel and a test ride.

It's always great to see Jeff and the family. NOT so great sharing my Sierra Nevada (kidding). Best of luck to Tookie, and I hope to hear from at any moment as to how all that last minute work held up!

* What better way to test the new rear end install? The rock-garden test facility behind roll: is great for checking lateral play.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Return Of (614) Magazine!

My phone rang a couple of weeks ago, and on the other end of the line (if there is a "line" anymore, with cel phones?) was (614) Magazine's Travis Hoewischer. He was working on a HUGE story for the now-out magazine that was to bring to the forefront all things cycling here in Columbus. After a lengthy discussion about the rules, rites, politics and people that dictate the two-wheeled culture here, I was very happy to be one of the people who had been asked to contribute. The article was enormous, and THANKFULLY very well put together. It had to be difficult meeting the deadline for this piece, since every person interviewed had revealed a hundred other layers of virtual onion to add to the already bursting story line. You can read the article in whole by visiting their website, at


Thanks to Travis and (614) Magazine for asking me to be a part of another great story in their media pages!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Something I Need To Do.

**My grandfather posing for a shot somewhere in the Pacific with his flight crew, in front of their very decorated B-17E, "Tugboat Annie," tail number 41-2599. He is the guy in the middle, back row.

This is entirely unrelated to cycling, but it is something I have been working on for decades. I have finally found out what happened to an aircraft (one of three) my grandfather was assigned to during World War 2. Part of a Texas-based bomber school, John H. "Swede" Lindgren was destined for the Pacific Theatre of operation. From what I can gather he was not assigned originally to the B-17E, serial number 41-2599. Knowing that his various crews had been shot down three times, and he was one of only two men to survive from his original crew, it's not unusual to see a man get moved from one plane to the next. Of the three original photos I have of his aircraft, this is the only one with a traceable tail number. '

Some info on this bomber;
It was originally assigned to the 19th Bomber Group, and eventually would also participate in campaigns with the USAAF, 5thAF, 43rdBG, and 65thBS. Nicknamed "Tugboat Annie," she apparently had met with a great deal of luck to have lasted so long.

Built by Boeing, she was flown overseas via Fiji in June 1942 to Australia by 1st Lt Bruce A. Gibson. Assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group. Later, she was transferred to 43rd Bombardment Group.

On September 11, (weird, right?) 1942, this B-17 was flown by pilot Jack Thompson with co-pilot Crawford on a bombing mission against two destroyers 20 miles east of Normandy Island. A B-17 scores a direct hit on the stern of the destroyer Yayoi, which sank later.

**Destroyer "Yayoi" at anchor in Japan, February of 1923.
Yayoi had a very decorated history, fighting every conflict from Kwajalein, Wake Island, Rabaul, Gasmata, Kieta, and The Coral Sea battle. Later, as the Allies would begin to see victory, the ship was destined as a troop transport for evacuations. She was hit by the "Tugboat Annie" while on an evacuation mission in September of 1942 on Goodenough Island. She would sink eight miles northwest of Vakuta Island.

**The "Yayoi" under attack from B-17's.

She was "winged" during a second bombing run attempt due to faulty bomb bay doors, and ditched close to shore between Lae and Buna with all hands surviving on January 16th, 1943.

**Aerial view of the airfield on Lae Island, 1943.

Her original crew manifest consisted of these men;

Pilot 2nd Lt Harris N Lean, O-726270
Co-Pilot 2nd It Albert L Fair, O-661822
Navigator 2nd Lt Ruby E Johnston, O-790247
Bombardier 2nd Lt Alfred Retzhy, O-728513
Engineer Pvt Louis A Wells, 19004774
Radio Pvt Minor C Smith, 6960170
Gunner S/Sgt Russel E Owens, 36199496
Assist Engineer Pvt Wendell D Revers, 36336232
Assist Radio Claude W Robinson, 35376879

Sorry to bore you all with this, it's nothing more than some personal closure on info I have been searching for since I was about 16. Thanks to Justin Taylan at Pacificwrecks.org for all the help.