CX Frame Build, Part 1

Posts in this series
  1. CX Frame Build, Part 1

While I have formally shut down Pallas Athena, I’m not getting out of framebuilding, as I’ve mentioned before. The next few years, while the kids are small, I am going to spend my time honing my craft and getting treated for my ADD so that I can take a legitimate shot at doing the framebuilding biz the right way. I’ve determined that every year I am going to build some practice frames and kit them out with the slew of parts I have in the garage.

It is time to build my first skill-honing frame. Tomorrow, I am placing an order for the materials to build my CX/gravel crusher. Why that particular frame style? Well, I’ve got a few gravel events I’d like to tackle this year, along with a chunk of the CX season, and a few years ago, I sold off my Las Cruces frame/fork while Eddy was in the NICU. Thus: new CX frame.

The Dirt (Pun Intended)

Full steel frameset, made from a mix of Columbus Zona (main tubes, seatstays), Columbus Life (chainstays), and Nova Chromoly (head tube, fork blades). Fancy-shmancy s-bend stays, straight-blade unicrown fork, Paragon dropouts rear, Llewellyn dropouts on the fork. Planning on using my existing canti brakes, but I’m also going to build it out with the cable guides and tabs to handle disc brakes, should I ever feel the need to change.

CX Frame Geometry and Blueprint

As for geometry, I’m basically making a copy of my old Salsa Las Cruces CX frame, which served me quite well. I decided to drop the BB a little bit (5mm) to improve stability for the purposes of gravel crusher races, and the C-to-C on the seat tube is a little shorter, which will provide a (small) incremental increase in stiffness. (Click either image to embiggen.)

cx frame geometry table

Here’s the BikeCAD work:

cx frame gravel grinder blueprint

Next Up

Prep work. I’ve got to haul ass on this — I need the frame and fork powdercoated and ready to ride by the Almanzo 100. Holy shit.

5 Bits of Media That Changed My Life

1. Calvin & Hobbes
Embrace your own weirdness and passions.
2. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around, you could miss it.” That denouement by the eponymous character made me take stock of my life. I think I became much less high-strung after watching this. I think I was in the 8th grade.
3. M*A*S*H
I learned that humor is a great way of dealing with shitty situations. (Though Hawkeye’s nervous breakdown might indicate otherwise.)
4. Snow Crash
This book is why I changed majors to Creative Writing — just from the style alone. To quote myself, “Holy shit! You can write like this and get published?” It completely blew my hair back.
5. The 1984 Summer Olympic Coverage
Where I really discovered cycling as something other than a way to get my my friends’ houses. Watching Alexi Grewal overtake Steve Bauer for the gold medal in the Men’s Road Race pretty much cemented it for me.

A Mish-Mash of Things

So there’s all sorts of manner of things I haven’t really talked about on here that I need to cover. Each one of these could be a really long blog post in itself, but that might be a bit…excessive. So here’s what’s happening in as short a post as possible.

This kid is growing up far too fast.  Stop growing, Eddy!Eddy

Eddy is your typical three-year old. Testing boundaries, pushing back, and generally being three. On the other hand, he’s also still super-charming, adorable, and integrating into the world more and more. He’s in pre-pre-school now (“a taste of preschool”), and loves it. He turns into a sobbing mess when he has to leave. Favorite movie: Big Hero 6.


A few months ago he had a four work vocabulary (baby, Eddy, mama, dada) — now he just screeches like a mynah bird when he wants something. We’re working on sleep training and it can go either way. Monday night, he slept through the night from 7pm to 5am. I was pretty excited. Tuesday night we did not manage to repeat. Based on my friend Amelia’s advice, we snagged Pantley’s The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers, and I’ve been digging into it. For our sanity it’s pretty important that the little guy sleep through the night. Favorite movie: whatever Eddy is watching.


Can I just say how much I love my wife? Lately, it feels like we’re a lot more connected, and it’s great. There’s more laughter, intimacy, and good conversation than there’s been in months, and I’m so much happier for it. Can’t even look at her these days without wanting to sweep her off her feet all over again.


Training is going well, as I mentioned on Tuesday. I’ve also scraped together alllllmost enough cash to order all the parts for a new CX/gravel crusher frame. I’m very excited. I was originally going to go with some basic Nova CrMo tubes to save money, but opted for Columbus Zona instead. A little more pricey, but whatevs.


Going pretty well right now. We had a re-org and I’m in a new group at work — still have the same desk, responsibilities, and job title, so not much has changed there. But I’m also very excited about my new boss(es), the direction we’re going, and the plan to get there. The Big Ass project went live at the end of January and is in mop-up status, fixing the non-critical bugs and adding some functionality, and I’m inheriting new stuff, too. So I’m pretty much psyched.

Self-Improvement and Therapy

These are going well. There’s more EMDR therapy in my future, which I’m cool with. It’s pretty exhausting stuff, but the shit works. We’ve been focusing on the more traumatic aspects of childhood lately, and man. I’m completely wiped out by the end of it, but since my last session I feel less angry/rageful than usual. Even my snark is more gentle. What the hell is happening to me? Oh. Right. Self-improvement.


I’m keeping them mostly in-check. Trying to wrap up my email marketing book that I’ve been writing, and hope to have it finished some time in April.

Money Makeover: February 2015

We’re still behind the original curve and will likely remain that way. We’ve incurred new monthly costs, both medical and educational. (Eddy has started pre-school.) Kate’s going to be starting work again in March at the swim school, to bring in some extra cash, and I’m thinking of trying to line up some freelance in order to bring in some more cash, too.

Starting in the hole: $74,000. (Includes the fancy new minivan.)

Step 2: Debt Snowball

  • Amazon — done, August 2014
  • Macy’s — done, August 2014
  • Chase — done, August 2014
  • Citi — done, January 2015
  • our USAA card — next goal, end date TBD
  • my student loans
  • the minivan loan

Emotional State

4/10. The slowdown is kinda busting my balls. I understand why it’s happening, but it’s still frustrating.

Training Update

Things are going pretty well. Sunday marked the start of my last week of AA weights, which I’m grateful for. It’s getting a little stale. All things considered, however, I’m very pleased with my progress to-date. I can’t remember the last time that my legs were this defined this early in the year. I’m two weeks away from Build 1, which is the four-week span in which the really heavy weights and strength gains happen.

3 sets, 30 reps. 14-inch box step-ups. Body weight + 50 lbs.
3 sets, 30 reps. 14-inch box step-ups. Body weight + 50 lbs.

My overnight resting heart rate is in the high 50’s, meaning I’m not in great shape yet, but I expect that to be in the 40’s by mid-season, easy. (Thanks, FitBit, for making this easier for me to deal with.)

Thus far, I also remain injury-free which is a great thing. I did feel a little twinge in my right knee during some step-ups on Sunday, but I suspect that was largely because I was off-balance and the knee moved in a way that it shouldn’t have. The pain didn’t recur, so I’m not overly concerned right now.

Not sure when I’ll be on the bike outdoors. It’s been a pretty sweet winter so far where snowfall is concerned, and it’s been a bit warmer than last year — the usual days-upon-days of shitty low temps and tons of snow hasn’t really materialized. I’m hoping to actually be able to get out and tackle 30 Days of Biking in April, but we’ll see. It depends on a lot of factors.

Unrelated to Training But Still Bike Stuff

I’ve got the money scraped together for my CX tubeset. Largely Columbus Zona. S-bend stays, straight-blade unicrown steel fork, set up for cantis and discs.

What’re You Up To?

How’s your off-season training going, Minnesota? Non-Minnesotans, feel free to taunt us in the comments with descriptions of your warm weather and open roads.

Posting Prompt: Ritual Behaviors

Recently, on Twitter, I asked my followers to provide me with some ideas to blog about. This was the first response, and I was pretty stoked by the idea. (Got other things I should write about? Comment in this post.)

Continue reading Posting Prompt: Ritual Behaviors

Hacking Up the Site

I haven’t been committing a whole lot of time to the edits of this site lately — I’ve switched to the Twenty Fifteen theme, which I like a great deal, and will stick with for the foreseeable future. However, I am going to spin off a child theme, as there’s some shit I want to tackle.

  1. Custom CSS tweaks.
    This has already happened and is ongoing. The plugin I use for Instagram comes out unformatted — you may have noticed earlier in the week that it looked like shit and took up a large portion of the sidebar. That has been resolved. There’s a few other things I need to address, some of which will be tied to the next one.
  2. Shortcodes.
    I need to generate a bunch of these, including some to make up for previous usage of shortcodes in various themes and with various plugins. Must remember that this is a flat design, too, otherwise I’m liable to make a real discordant mess of things.
  3. Typography.
    I like the fonts as they are, but I think I want to experiment with a couple of Google Webfonts.
  4. Changing the styling of post types.
    Not real happy with how things like the Photo, Quote, and Link types are currently handled.

This is probably going to be one of those gradual things that happens over time rather than all at once. So I apologize if you show up and the place is a mess.