Friday, August 12, 2011

Ironwoman? Triathalon Build for Mey Tseng

Vic’s Classic Bikes is proud to announce that we are building a triathlon bicycle for Mey Tseng, who is competing in the Louisville Ironman competition.

In a couple weeks, on August 28th at 7:00am, athletes from around the world will gather in Louisville to begin the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and 26.2-mile run that is the Ironman!

Mey is coming from Hawaii, the birthplace of the Ironman competition. If she can finish the three part competition in 17 hours, she will earn the title “Ironman,” which would be a highlight of any athlete’s career.

Crawling for fourth at the Hawaii Ironman, 1997.

Mey has been a commuter biker on and off since 1998. She has also competed in the 2009 and 2010 Honolulu Tinman competitions, and participated in the 2008 and 2009 Great Aloha Runs, the 2010 Honolulu Marathon, and the 2010 Northshore Swim Challenge as training for the Ironman. While getting her masters in Taiwan in 2000 and 2001, Mey won the two National Chung Cheng University 10 kilometer races.

She first started dreaming of completing an Ironman when she participated in her first Aloha Run for charity and signed up for information from a local triathlon and marathon training group. She went to their info session and decided that she wanted to do a triathlon, but wasn't ready to commit to the paid training.

Mey has been riding a Raleigh 500 bike she bought off Craigslist from a local triathlete in June before her first triathlon at the end of July 2009. The Kentucky Ironman will be her first Ironman. She used to be on her high school swim team, so swimming is the easier part of the race for her.

Look for a post in a couple days with details about the bicycle we are building for Mey Tseng, Ironwoman!

by John Wade

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Bentley, Shop Dog

A little over a month ago Bentley became a member of the Miller household. With Laura off for the summer she has taken care of him through the day. But with the aproach of a new school year Mrs. Miller is back in the classroom getting ready for this years students. Well it just would not do for Bentley to spend all day at home alone. So off we go to Feeders Supply. Bead, collar, leash, Nylabone; from the basement a rug and a couple bowles for food & water. Then off to the shop.

Clear out a spot under the work bench and Bentley has made himself at home. Stop by and allow him to introduce himself.

Long Distance on a Surly

My Surly Long Haul Trucker, with knee-high rubber boots and stand-up bicycle pump strapped to the back. 200 pounds all together.

The thumbs-up is really popular in Colombia. I think they are on to something.

Since I discovered road bicycling after high school, I have always ridden steel racing bicycles from the 80s (during high school I rode mountain bikes around, slowly). High in quality and low on price, chromoly cycles are made to last.

Unfortunately, many consumers today purchasing new low to medium-end aluminum bicycles might find themselves paying more than twice what I would spend on a bike that will only last a few years. Trek, Raleigh, Schwinn…these are companies that people associate with quality because at one time they made a popular quality product, but most popular brands today make the bulk of their money selling low-end, overpriced, poorly manufactured (that is, Chinese) bikes.

For instance, Schwinn is now owned by a Canadian company charmingly called Dorel Industries. They got it a few years ago from a company called Pacific Cycle, Inc. who had acquired it during bankruptcy proceedings a few years before. Pacific Cycle, Inc. also owns Mongoose, Roadmaster, InSTEP, Pacific Outdoors, and Powerlite (story). These are NOT bicycle enthusiasts.

Surly is a company of a different breed (whose bikes are at least made in Taiwan). A solid bike with great, practical components. I bought my Surly Long Haul Trucker new in September 2010, and have since ridden it from Amsterdam to Turkey, all over Colombia in South America, and then from Miami here to Louisville.

View Larger Map

Through the sometimes terrible roads of Hungary, Macedonia, and Turkey, the landslides and flooding in Colombia (that even four-wheel vehicles could not get through), and carrying the extra weight that comes from touring with one’s girlfriend (yes girls, it is worth it to travel with you, but you do tend to pack more but carry less), I have had no problems with the bike at all.

Tourers aren't the only ones who rave about Surly; heavy people love them too because they can handle weight. I am not heavy, but I am tall at 6'2" and I like a big frame. Extra long and made from 4130 chromoly steel, the Surly Long Haul Trucker can take whatever you throw at it.
(Scroll all the way down for more pictures from the road)

When I finally made it to Louisville and walked into Vic’s Classic Bikes, I couldn’t believe my eyes when there were my favorites old and new: rows of quality used lugged steel racing bikes and also new Surly bikes. Heaven does exist…


Carrying two people, milk, and food. Way to make it work in Colombia.

Lived here, in Manizales, Colombia for about two months.

From inside Manizales--the white peak you can see in the middle of the picture is a volcano that erupted in 1985 and over 23,000 people were killed, making it the fourth deadliest eruption in history.

Mom and daughter out and about in the Netherlands.

Kids all bicycle to school, and no one wears a helmet, ever.

Awww. Bike together, stay together.

by John Wade

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Bridgestone XO-2

When the XO-2 arrived at the shop it created quite a stir. Many of us around the shop are devotees of Grant Peterson of Rivendell Bicycle Works. The XO series was GP's legacy at Bridgestone Bicycles before he left to found RBW.

This 48cm, pristine example showed up on the Louisville CL site with an incorrect price. Seller was deludged with replys and pulled the add. I was able to contact seller, make a fair offer, and bring this bike into our collection. This bicycle originally came with the controversial "moustache" handlebars, as you can see here,

How it looks now, with bar-end shifters,

As soon as it arrived at the shop everyone seemed to want to work on it. Perry inflated the tires and did a quick tune up. It is in Beth's size so she took it out for its maiden ride. All went well but on its second outing it blew a tire. Back into the shop where it sat for a day or two before Justin and Beth started dismantling it.

A thorough inspection revealed a bike that had seen little use. All bearings in like new condition. Wheels trued up nicely. There was some evidence of some rough shifting with a few broken teeth on the chain rings. A complete set of Salsa rings was ordered as well as a set of stainless steel Giles Bertoud fenders. Panaracer Pasella TG tires were installed.

Bike is back together, next we will install the fenders and a vintage Jim Blackburn rear rack to increase the usefulness of the bike.

It is my personal desire for Beth to take a shine to this bike and make it her commuter. That way it will be a part of the shop into the future.

If Beth doesn't lay claim to this Bicycle it will be available for purchase for $1000.00.

More pictures to come with fenders & rack...