I made an appointment for 9a on Friday, but got held up in the morning rush on the 101 in Scottsdale. That freeway blows, I don't know how people deal with that garbage on a daily basis. Anyway, I arrived around 9:30 and Kaolin was already giving his first fit of the day.
I had mentioned in an email that my seatpost was stuck for perhaps the past 2 years!! I know, I know, there's a simple bike maintenance lesson in there somewhere. I had kinda forgotten about it as my bike really doesn't bother me...most of the time. It's the long 8+ hour rides where some discomfort sneaks in. Hence the need for a fit. I knew my setup was close, but I couldn't seem to pinpoint exactly what was off.
|Solid bike shop, complete with restaurant and jeweler under one roof.|
Next we tried a blunt force option, by striking the top of the seat with a large rubber mallet, Nothing.
The jeweler, Scott, was kind enough to let us come over to his shop and try an acetylene torch to heat up the steel. We were going to use a CO2 cartridge to quickly cool down the post, but then opted to use the walk-in freezer at Local Johnny's restaurant for 30 minutes or so. Yep, the Voodoo went into a freezer. Before Kaolin could tell the owner we 'borrowed' the freezer, he came over and quizzically asked 'Why is there a bike in the walk-in?' Uh, oops. He was cool with it. (See what I did there?)
The bike was frigid when we wheeled it back over to the jewelers shop, hit it with the torch and applied some torque. Nothing. We whacked it with the mallet again, nothing. Hmmm.
This thing was really jammed up. Meanwhile, more customers were coming in for bike fits, including one of my buddies, Richard. I don't see him too often since he lives on the west side, so it was good to chat for a bit.
So far nothing was working. It was time to go 'all-in'. The hacksaw came out and the post cut down.
|Either the post comes out, or I retire the Voodoo.|
There was some talk about finding a large drill bit to tap out the post, but I wasn't too confident in that approach. There's not a lot of margin for error. Instead, I took the bike down the street to a local metal worker, Jay, at Cave Creek Welding.
|They saved the day!|
The first thing he tried was a huge pipe wrench. All that did was mangle what was left of the post. Then he asked me if I cared about the paint on the bike? I said 'Does it look like I care about the paint?' He proceeded to get the torch going. A quick blast of heat popped off my AZT color badge and disintegrated the green instantaneously. Another crack at it with the pipe wrench yielded no results. Thankfully, Jay had one more trick up his sleeve: Sawzall. He prepped the tool and went to work. He carefully checked the depth of cut and about 10 minutes later punched through the wall of the post. Another round of pipe wrench torquing and the post moved!! A few back and forth turns and it was free, essentially unscrewing itself from the frame. The Voodoo LIVES!!
|Yet another character layer to the Voodoo.|
Kaolin locked the Voodoo onto the trainer and I hopped on. He took note, made some measurements, dropped a plumb-line, made some adjustments to the seat (back a bit & raised the post about a cm). He also rocked my handlebars forward just a tad as well. These were all seemingly minor changes, but I could instantly tell the difference out in the parking lot. Damn.
|Pile of metal shavings from sawing through the seatpost!|
|Still plenty of snow on Four Peaks.|
|New dirt coming out of Soapberry Wash.|
What I didn't like were the excessive amounts of fresh hoof prints all over both of the new trails. Signs are posted all over to remind trail users to stay off the trails during wet times. I guess they also need to remind people that new dirt = soft dirt. While you may want to enjoy a new trail on that four legged steed, perhaps you should wait a couple months until the tread firms up and can handle the weight. By no means did it ruin or spoil my ride, but c'mon people use some common sense. It's not like there aren't 100 adjacent trail miles to enjoy. /rant.
|This WAS an entrance to another new trail that was under construction back in Dec. I guess the don't want anyone on it until is's completed OR they are tying it into the existing trails elsewhere.|
|I walked up the hill to see the new trail with the old Pima/Dynamite signage still erected. This was the old junction of trails 22 & 5.|
|Up on the ridgeline.|
|Shiny new seatpost & torch'd frame, but at first feel it rode great.|
|Fatman's Pass. I barely made it through, scuffing my shoulders.|
|Go through Fatman's Pass or go around.|
I'm anxious to give the Voodoo a long test to see how the fit feels after 8+ hours of riding. This was a good warmup spin in spite of the near fiasco earlier. The Voodoo rides on...for now.
|Alpinglow enveloping the Four Peaks.|
|Rippin' fast on Granite Mtn. trail.|