Karen's Mixte project and big plans!

Hello again internet, i have been pretty busy out here in the real world. In the workshop, i have continued to work at Karen's mixte project. As of this afternoon, the fork is complete, the head tube/diagastrut lug is prepped and ready for brazing, the downtube is mitered, the head tube is trimmed, the chain stays are mitered and cut, and the bottom bracket shell is brazed to the seat tube, which is cut to length. The next step is to figure out bending the diagastruts- i am trying to shape them into a continuous arc, so that they sweep smoothly from the head tube past the seat tube to join the seat stays. the line of the diagastruts will be continued in the rear rack struts. but bending a single large radius like that is pretty tricky without some pretty fancy bending gear, so i have some feelers out to other people's shops to see if i can either borrow or use their benders. while i wait on those possibilities, i got the fork all done! it came out very well, it was pleasant to braze some lugs after all the time i have spent doing fillets of late. 

disc brake with wiring guides for the dynamo headlight.

There is still something magical about brazing a lug. You heat the lug and the tension grows and grows in my mind- is it ready? is it ready? why isn't it ready? OH SHIT IT'S READY. then you feed in the brass rod, and it just sucks right into the impossibly small seam between the lug and the tube. You play the flame over the lug and then, all of a sudden, as you flick the torch over a bit of the seam a quarter inch down from where you started, the brass pops out along the seam! it worked! the brass got so runny that it sucked all along the inside of the lug, and then it followed the heat from the flame. You know that is what supposed to happen, but there is still an indescribable satisfaction when you see it actually happen. Pretty fun. 

As the title to this post promises, I have big news. I will be riding the Baja Divide and then some this winter! I have been daydreaming about doing the Baja Divide ride basically as soon as i saw the blog that Nicholas Carman and Lael Wilcox started about it earlier this summer. As i kept dreaming, i thought to myself, fuck it! why not actually do it? i can get the time off from the shop for sure, and when else could i have such an adventure? Akratic is not yet running under its own steam/consuming my entire being, and it has been a long while since i had a real adventure. Then, I brought it up to my wonderful partner Emmeline. I did so with some trepidation: i anticipated worry and fear over such a long trip. But no! She was excited and wanted in. So we are going down to do the Cape Loop of the route with just the two of us from December 15 through January 4. Lots of riding interspersed with camping on beaches and surfing and eating fish tacos. Once Emmeline flies back to NYC for her spring semester on January 4, I will take a bus up to the top of the peninsula and join up with the group ride doing the route down the peninsula. I couldn't be more excited! Before then, I have to build a sweet bike packing hardtail for Emmeline. I already have sketches worked up and am working on putting the build kit together. The next two months will be busy for sure!