Friday, November 25, 2011

Painting the Maiden Ship Pt. 6 - the Maiden Voyage gets its first ride!

The Maiden Voyage has departed on its first ride...

"Like butter melting on a warm piece of toast, I set about the first ride on my first hand built frame. Finally, I thought, a frame that actually fits me."

I was nervous as I kicked up my leg and mounted the seat for the first time. All of the necessities were there. Wheels, drive train, steering, brake, seat. All the components tightened down, but creaking like they do when not yet fully adjusted. 
   The first few rotations of the pedals made me feel more confident, and I checked my position from the bars to seat, seat to pedals. I let my mind fully take in the experience. Then, I felt it. Like butter melting on a warm piece of toast, I set about the first ride on my first hand built frame. Finally, I thought, this is it. I'm riding a frame that actually fits me.

 the lesson:
Months of hard work, money, time, and skill can pay off.

  Here's a quick timeline 
August - Built Frame at UBI, September - medical leave,  
October - Painted and Decal'd the Maiden Voyage,  
November - Pieced together steering, brakes, and drive train.

As you can see, it is currently set up as a Single Speed Track-Style bike for fast city riding. Its fast. A versatile frame, if you will.

   I decided to slowly piece it together, partially from laying low and recovering from surgery, which also meant no work, no income. Chris from UBI hooked me up with a sweet Campy seat post, and I bought an adjustable stem at UBI for touring. The wheels I found in an alley near the Seward Co-op. The fork, headset, and front brake were bought used from the Hub Bike Co-op. The handlebars and brake lever were from Alex's old bike. The Seat, Crank, BB, Pedals, Chain, Seat, Rear brakes all came from an old parts bin that Beard at the Hub had put together for donating. Mad thanks to Beard & the HUB!

When I get back to the collective bike shop at the farm in Florida, hopefully by early December, I'll have more tools, parts, and time to gear up. yay!

AND; As I deck the Maiden Voyage out with sweet touring gear, I'll be sure to post updates!!
Thanks for following! Oh, and I think I'll be welding my own front rack so be sure to check back...

Parts list: Splined BB, Generic Cranks, Z Chain, Generic J Brakes, Aluminum Handlebars, Campagnolo Seat Post, Cane Creek Headset; Adjustable Stem, basically it's all pretty generic for now.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Painting the Maiden Ship Pt. 5 - Finished It!

The MAIDEN VOYAGE is ready!

   Well, for now that is.

   I'm not super-stoked on the paint job, and not sure of how long it will hold up, but, I'll find out, and keep posting. I'm sure once I have more experience, I'll go back and repaint it better. But for now, It's perfect.

   I took it into the Creative Ironworks metal shop in SE Minneapolis, a big shop that is facilitated by Chris Dunn. It is a huge well ventilated room with paint hooks hanging from the rafters.

   First, I set out my my test tube, lightly buffed half of it, and applied the final coat of paint to see how it would set. It set perfectly, smooth and glossy. So,time to move on...

   After lightly buffing most of the bike with a fine sandpaper, the final coat was reapplied. Most of it came out okay, but there were still some spots that still looked like reptile skin. I buffed them a little more after they dried a little and repplied, but it didn't change the fact that it just orange peeled again as soon as I reapplied the paint.

   I really have no idea why it kept doing shrinking, but I pushed through it anyways.

   At some point I decided that it was more important to finish the paint job, perfect or not, so I could assemble and ride it as soon as possible . I mean, I made it, I should be riding it, right? So here it is, ready to assemble, then, RIDE!