Bear with me, this will be a long and hopefully cool post. No recipe today, though. I'll do another one next week, I promise.
First off, I'm waiting to get Fuentes' Actiontec 29er back from the powdercoat, but I figured I'd post some pictures of it when it was in "product testing" mode and we weren't sure about the fork yet. It passed with flying colors (super light, super stiff, travel feels plusher than the 60mm would lead you to believe) and Fuentes will be on it at Nova, I think.
Here's a picture - as built (with XTR, Juicy Ultimates, EC90 post, etc, etc) it weighs 22 pounds even - and that's for a bike with a 25" toptube and 21" seat tube. It'll probably be even lighter once we throw some Stan's goop in the tires and take the tubes out, too. And no, he's not planning to use that horrible front tire - we put that wheel on to take the picture because we'd just gotten done building it up at the time and Fuentes forgot his front wheel. I'm thinking of doing an Actiontec setup for myself - I really think it's the way to go with the 29" wheel. Nice and stiff, light, and just enough travel (combined with the big wheel) for all-around XC riding. Plus I love simplicity - no lockouts or weird air cartidges to blow out or stop working. Sweet. My only complaint so far is that I can't use my trusty Hopey steering damper with it.
Second neat frame/fork picture is of Rachael's rigid 29er. Sometimes everything comes together just right, and this was one of those time - Rachael wanted something light, non suspension corrected, with 29" wheels. The relatively small size of the frame (and rider) lent itself to using some nice smaller diameter/thinner wall tubes that normally won't work on a 29er, and the frame, including Paragon sliders and hardware, weighs an astounding (to me, anyway) 1620 grams, or about 3.6 pounds. Given that the sliders add a third of a pound, that's the lightest 29er frame I've ever done, I think. Pretty cool! The fork isn't porky either, at about 800 grams.
I spent most of today hanging out at the CU 2007 Bike Bash - there was free food, a trials demo, some nutty guy with a Penny Farthing, and some sweet unicycle riding (I rode my friend Jim's 29" muni and loved it - gotta build myself a new unicycle soon...) In any case, here's a picture of Sarah and I at my "booth" with Steve's frame and some sweet Axley sunglasses (they're sponsoring the team this year).
Finally, for no reason at all, here's a picture of Snickers. He's just about as dumb and happy as he looks. Too bad I'm single, he's a total chick magnet. Well, ok, more like an everyone magnet. Last week he got bored and walked away from a toddler who was petting him - and the kid started crying! I had to apologize to the little guys parents for not being able to stick around with my dog indefinitely!
Last thing, I swear: Sarah and I will be in San Diego on holiday from the 22nd to the 28th of March. Spring break! I won't be doing any phone answering type stuff, though I will probably check email every day. So count on not bothering me while I rest and relax, eh? My old pal Steve has promised to point us in the direction of all the best trails and microbrews, so I anticipate that it'll be muy divertido.