And so it begins. The Tour of Sufferlandria.
First up will be Igniter and The Long Scream:
At four out of five volcanoes, Stage 1 is the amuse bouche, a palate cleanser for what will be the most brutal nine course banquet of Suffering in cycling history. Igniter seems tame enough by itself, but it only sets the stage for what’s to come. They say in Sufferlandria, no one can hear you Long Scream, and scream you will: 30+ minutes of non-stop, stem-chewing threshold effort. Brace yourselves. It’s going to do a long nine days.
I will be doing this stage first thing tomorrow morning. I’ll get through it although 30 minutes of riding above threshold is not going to be fun. Especially when the smart trainer’s resistance is being controlled by the Minions remotely.
Caught this video of a cliffhanger Cat 3 race from Canadian Cycling. Dramatic footage. That one cyclist was very fortunate.
Also of note was the speed, wattage and heart rate of the cyclist with the camera that captured the footage. They were really moving during that part of the race. He hit a top speed of almost 60 kph, produced over 700 watts of power and his heart rate was over 200 bpm.
Caught this video in my YouTube feed. A person walked into a Guitar Center on January 18th in Fort Worth, Texas and lifted a Fender by sliding the guitar, neck first, down his pants.
I hope they catch this shoplifter.
She is home. And she is now a bike. I had picked up the Colnago Master X 30th Anniversary frameset a few years back. The frameset was built in 2013.
I had wanted to build the bike out before my 60th birthday. I’m not sure why. Perhaps as some sort of trip back in time when I first started riding steel bikes. How long ago? 46 years.
I have very fond memories of riding steel bikes. Back in the 1970s, steel was all I knew in a frameset. The Colnago Master X represented one of the best designs in a steel frameset. The 30th Anniversary edition features a unique paint scheme, the Art Decor.
I have the bike in the front hallway. I will wait until the roads are clean which means sometime in March or April before I get to ride the bike. And that’s okay. I waited this long for the bike to get built. Another few months won’t matter.
I really love all of the details in the frameset. For example, the chrome lugs that connect the tubes.
I decided on Campagnolo Chorus for the groupset. Chorus provides most of the performance of the Super Record groupset — I ride that groupset on my Colnago EPQ — although it weighs a bit more. The hoods are a bit different from older models but still represent the most comfortable hoods I’ve ever experienced in a groupset and I have ridden all of the top groupsets from Shimano and SRAM.
The front forks are straight. A bit aggressive perhaps.
The front and rear hubs are Campagnolo Record. They should last a long, long time.
The wheels were custom built using Ambrosio Excellence rims and DT Swiss spokes. I am running Continental GP4000s tires. 25mm. First time running 25mm tires on a wheel. Should be interesting to see if I can tell a difference from the 23mm tires I normally use.
The 30th Anniversary seal.
The Chorus rear derailleur should provide confident gear changes.
The rear chainstay.
The Colnago symbol just below the saddle. I am running the same SMP Dynamic saddle as I have on my other Colnago. At my age, a bit of comfort is important especially on those longer rides.
Deda Zero 100 for the bar, stem and seat post. Speedplay zero pedals — I use those on my Colnago EPQ as well. A couple of water bottle cages although I only have one on the bike right now. I’ll add a Wahoo speed and cadence sensor and a platform for my Garmin Edge 800. I’ll just have to remember to select the right bike on the bike computer before a ride.
My bike mechanic built this Colnago for me. He had also built the Colnago EPQ. He did a terrific job. When he sent me his note with a couple of photos, he was concerned that the photos did not do justice to the bike. I took this set of photos to highlight some of the features of this beautiful machine. It was a frameset that had to be built. I am glad I was able to get it done in time for my 60th birthday.
Ride often. Ride safe.
My bike builder sent me a note:
Here she is I hope you like it. My pictures do not do it justice. 😉
She is now back home as a finished bike. I haven’t had a chance to shoot some pictures of her yet but I will do so over the weekend.
The frameset is a 2013 Colnago Master X-Light 30th Anniversary. The wheels are custom built Ambrosio Excellence with Campagnolo hubs. Groupset is Campagnolo Chorus.
The Colnago Master X-Light was first offered thirty years ago. The Master X was probably the best road racing frame at that time. The tubing in the 30th Anniversary model, DT15V steel, is identical to the tubing that was used in the original. The original frameset was built as a joint effort between Colnago and Columbus. Columbus doesn’t make the tubes anymore. Colnago found the person who originally drew the tubes, brought him the dies, and he produced them for Colnago. The 30th Anniversary frameset is built with the same mix of star-shaped and round tubes and joined by the same lugs. It features the straight-blade Precisa fork. The paint is incredible on this bike. And, of course it is fully steel. A bit on the heavier side, the frameset weighs in at 1400g.
The ride is said to be fast, stable, and comfortable. An exceptional platform for the purest that can appreciate the characteristics of what a steel frame can provide. I’ll find out soon enough once March comes along.
This is one of Zach Lefebvre’s guitars, the Tree of Life. A stunning instrument.
I’ve decided that I need to learn a bit more about Canadian luthiers. And TreeHouse Guitars is certainly one to consider if you are looking for something that is truly Canadian and truly unique.
Zach is delivering only a few custom orders each year so the waiting list could be long, possibly two or three years. He does have a couple of guitars available on his website.
The artistic elements he puts into his guitars is extraordinary. The Cooper Dust guitar, which is currently available, has delightful touches like this maple leaf inset into the headstock.
From his website:
TreeHouse guitars have an ever-growing reputation as instruments with wonderful tone and masterly construction. Every guitar is built with meticulous attention to detail and a focus on craftsmanship and superior sound. TreeHouse Guitars are designed to respond to the needs and the goals of the player. Further making each instrument truly unique and outstanding, Treehouse guitars are embellished with astonishing custom pyrographic wood burnings whose artistry and design add a rich and distinctive element. The resulting guitars are exceptional, singular instruments fulfilling to both the ear and eye — a pleasure to play, to hear, and to see.
Check out his guitar gallery here.
Pete Thorn is one of my guitar heroes. I started following him on his YouTube Channel primarily because of his pedal demos. Pete is an awesome player and he can make pretty much anything sound great through his fingers.
I’ve been following NAMM 2017 from a distance. Lots of interesting announcements for guitarists this year. Pete was there and he posted a video on his experience at the show. A way of seeing NAMM 2017 without actually being there to see NAMM 2017. If you see what I mean.
Lots of announcements coming from NAMM 2017.
I had posted about my renewed interest in looking at pedalboard modellers like the recently announced Headrush as well as existing modellers like the Line 6 Helix.
Helix Native is a software plugin that is powered by Line 6’s HX modelling engine which means that the patches you create in the studio can go directly to the physical Helix pedalboard and back again.
Helix Native will be released in the spring for around $400 USD.
Studio to stage presets would open up some interesting workflows for a guitarist.