Skull Kingdom in all her glory. She is my Oly+ bike. New this year: SRM, Hed Jet 90's.
My trusty Bitch. She's 14 years old and has done 15 Ironmans. She is now my sprint bike. New this year: she inherited the Zipp 404's from Skull Kingdom (including Power Tap) plus brand new wheel stickers, she inherited the crankset from Skull Kingdom, and went to black bar tape.
Well bikes are never completely done, but they are for now. Except that I will be switching out the bar tape on Skull Kingdom for hot pink in the spring. The above modifications have been in progress for almost 3 months. It started with finding a really good deal on an SRM. I had an SRM from 2004-2007, then I switched to Ergomo, those died and I got a Powertap when I had Skull Kingdom built in 2010. I've never really liked the Powertap--its readings are jumpy, and I didn't want to get that big Joule head unit. So when I saw I could get a new SRM (and I'll be able to switch out the PC7 for the PC8 in another month or so) for a great price, I acted quickly.
Then I thought, well, if I'm putting an SRM on Skull Kingdom, I can move the Zipp wheels over to Bitch. But then I'd want new wheels for Skull Kingdom. So I decided on the Hed Jet 90's, since I wanted deeper rims.
But then I'd been meaning to get rid of the Elite stickers on the Zipps and get some custom ones made. So I removed the Elite stickers and found a guy on Slowtwitch who makes custom stickers (not just for wheels--he can do helmets, too). Then I figured that as long as I was going to doctor the Zipps that I may as well get custom ones for the Heds.
So when I ordered the wheels from Hed (over the phone--they are awesome people!), I asked if they could leave off the decals, and they said sure!
Let me backtrack a bit. This all began with me making appointments to get Bitch and Skull Kingdom tuned up, since it had been awhile. That started in October, which is when all this other stuff began falling in line!
So I found myself needing to design wheel stickers while waiting for my Heds to be built. I don't remember when it came to me to just get Crackhead on the Zipps, but it was brilliant! The guy who made the stickers asked me why I wanted that, in the Coke font. His guess was that I just really like Coke! But I explained that Crackhead is my nickname and I gave him a link to this blog. It made sense! When he delivered me the first mockup (he uses CAD), he showed me the wheels with 3 and 4 Crackheads per side, but he said we could go as high as 6. Well...6 it is! More Crackhead for me! After the guy at my bike shop put them on, he commented on how precise the curvature matched the rims. Well, yeah, that's required for this sort of thing!
Then I had to think about what I wanted on the Heds. I had known for some time that I wanted skulls and flames, to coordinate with the frame. And then I decided I'd like a touch of pink, as pink coordinates well with red, and then I can wear pink kits, too! It's not a requirement that my clothes match the bike at all times, but sometimes it's just better!
The initial mockup from Nick (sticker guy who just does this on the side) was pretty cool, but the skull's teeth were too pointy for my liking. So we fixed that, Nick did round 2, and voila! These stickers would have been ready sooner, but the place where he orders the vinyl sent the wrong pink. But it was OK because my Heds weren't done.
Hed came through on schedule (4 weeks). I figured the wheels were done when I saw the charge pop up on my credit card, but they didn't send me a shipping tracking number. So I called, and they arrived the next day. I was so excited when I took them out of the box! But they were missing the Ti skewers, rim tape and valve extenders. I called right away and emailed to let them know those items weren't in the box, and they shipped them right out and I had them 2 days later.
All the timing of these things was working out well. I kept telling everyone that I was not having a wheel emergency at any point in this process, so minor glitches that came up were no big deal. But I was trying to keep my trips to the bike shop to a minimum. The day I picked up Bitch, I dropped off the Heds for stickering, then last week I took Skull Kingdom with me (and my old Cane Creek wheels which I'm selling), picked up the Heds, and before I left the shop, I had a discussion about tubes, valves and valve extenders. I need to decide how I'm going to manage spares for both bikes so I'm prepared while training and racing. I'll get all that finalized over the next month or so. Right now, I have motley tubes/extenders, and since I'm a little OCD, I won't be able to live with that for very long.
Oh and La Gazza Ladra (LGL) was also tuned in the process and she got recabled. She's still such a beauty:
La Gazza Ladra, aka LGL. She's my go to for easy rides and super long hilly rides, so she'll get plenty of use during Ultraman training!I needed to have the red Nokon cables removed at the recommendation of my LBSG, as they were adversely impacting the shifting. So now she has pretty silver cables! I still love her so much and will ride her in the spring from April through May and when I have easy rides scheduled.
All this was part of my master plan for attacking Ultraman Hawaii in 2016. For that race, I will ride Skull Kingdom with the Hed on the rear and Zipp on the front due to the Hawaiian winds. Won't that look bitchin'?
I can't believe I just wrote an entire post about my bikes. But, as you know, I FUCKING LOVE RIDING MY BIKES!!!