Monday, 22 October 2012

The Engraving Drama and Copperbike Diversionary Tactics

A shameful amount of time has passed since my last update, and to be honest this because I have had nothing like enough time to get anything significant done in the last few weeks. Work and family affairs have been taking over my garage time and literally taking over my garage space, enough that reaching my workbench was like solving a particularly tricky maze. When you finally manage to attain the center of the maze (with bruised shins and probably permanent damage to your unmentionables), you realise that there is no longer enough space available to do anything useful. A few minutes rest, you sigh and make your way out again...

I did manage a few wee things though, mainly drilling the main brazing vent holes in the tubes, and getting the headtube engraved with the logo*.

Getting the logo engraved turned into a completely farcical exercise that went something like this;

Go to the engravers, spend 20 mins discussing the details, and mention more than three times that the metal is chromoly and is very hard, and it would probably be best to take it slow and easy.

Get a phone call 20 mins later saying that he had decided to do it immediately (ironically while the instructions were fresh in his head), but that it had not gone that well as he had manually pushed down on the engraving head to speed things up, and surprisingly (!) the engraving tool had slipped on the tube and had ghosted the engraving off to one side, could I come and look? Go to the engravers, inspect the tube, agree that it isn't very deep yet so polishing it out and trying again will be ok.

Get a phone call 20 mins later saying that it is nearly there, can I come and look. Go to the engravers, agree that it looks ok but a little bit more depth would be beneficial. Watch as he presses his hand on the engraving head to speed things up. Watch as the tool slips and starts ghosting the image. My man slaps the stop button, we check it out and fortunately there are no serious ill effects. My man checks to see if it is ok to proceed by slowly lowering the engraving head to the tube, but unfortunately he hits the wrong button and and I watch with a hysterical sort of calm as the engraving head smashes into the tube at full speed.

By this stage I am planning another ordering session with Ceeway and considering some psychiatry sessions to deal with my internalised rage, so I tell him that what we have will be just fine thanks, pay him $40, and go back to work with a raggedy looking head tube.

Fortunately, by the time I cleaned it up it didn't look nearly as bad, plus the extra feature caused by the smashing engraving head into tube bit of the process sort of appears to be part of the graphic anyway. Ah well.

Anyway, to distract you from the fact that I have done nothing in more than a month I thought I would show off another of my bikes. I dusted this off and did my first proper summer weekend ride out to Mcleans Island on Saturday. This is a 42km loop from my house, and I intend to be smashing out 100km runs every weekend by the time the new year starts, but it was a pleasant and easy enough start to the season.

Copperbike started as a pretty original but tired 1982 Raleigh Rapide 12;

I bought this intending to quickly sort out and to use as a road bike for the weekends, rather than using the commuter. However the paint turned out to be in really rather poor condition, so to pretty it up and satisfy my fetish for interesting platings I decided to get the whole thing copper coated;

She is a genuine pleasure to ride and attracts many admiring looks... I have obviously added the copper Brooks, but I also replaced the 170mm SR cranks with slightly sexier polished 175mm ones. I also got new pedals, clips and straps from Velo Ideale, a new chain and better condition cassette, and a shorter stem to help my back out. All I need now is a sexier water bottle.

Did I mention that I love this bike?

* Just in case you are wondering, the graphic is an old English capital P, for Pogward. The other choice was Leroy, as this is my actual middle name (blame my hippie parents), but the simplicity of the P won out when discussed with my minions.

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