May 18, 2008:
Today was widely thought to be closing day for Alpental for the 2008 season (unless they have a change of heart after counting the profits for the weekend and open next week). A low-key but not huge crowd was on hand to enjoy the sunny day, and I was among them.
Skiing turned out to be great. I was expecting the mostly unconsolidated snowpack to turn to watery mush in the 70 degree heat, but surprisingly two days of hot weather had shrunk the snow without the huge climax slides many had predicted, and the near-corn was for the most part smooth and reasonably fast. Big rolling bumps on International were fun, as was shaded terrain like Breakover Trees. We started working the near BC, with Kevin and I skiing Trashcan for the first time this year, and finding it well filled-in and suited to smooth GS turns. What a treat! We finished off the day by hooking up with Matt Karaus and Crystal-regular Joe Schaff and his friend Barry, who I hadn't skied with all year, and skied most of the rest of the terrain we could access without hiking, and it was all excellent. Tailgating was in full swing in lot 4 as I pulled out around 3:15, a fitting end to great season at Alpy.
May 16, 2008:
I've been accused of having a one track mind.
When I tell people about skiing through the summer months, some of them think the scope of my interests is somewhat one-dimensional. Skiing. Skiing. Skiing.
That's not altogether true. There's also cycling.
Good friend Mike O'Brien, my longtime personal framebuilder, recently saw fit to hook me up with a new commuter frameset. The bike combines the best of old-school brazed steel esthetics and modern efficient geometry. He built the frame to my specs, with a slightly smaller 52 centimeter seat tube and my standard 53.5 centimeter top tube. It has a slightly negative slope to the top tube, about 1 degree, which is barely noticeable to the eye. I went with a steel fork with a 4.75 centimeter rake, and both fork and rear dropouts have braze-on fittings for full-time fenders.
The bike is fully lugged, and low-temperature silver soldered, but the tubes are larger diameter than you would expect as well as lighter. Done in a beautiful metallic silver that matches my SKS fenders and Specialized grilamid bottle cage, and equipped with a new FSA compact Energy crankset and other black or carbon bits, this bike comes close to being my ideal commuter rig. Add a set of Chris King Classic wheels with Mavic Open Pro Ceramics and Continental GP4000's, and take it to work. Check out the pics:
Previous Incoming Pages:
"Incoming" covers developments that have personal interest to me (ie. gear I might consider acquiring, or events I feel may impact the sport of skiing) - it is by no means meant to be a comprehensive enumeration of gear or events in the ski world at large. Feel free to contact me via the randosaigai.com link below with news or images that may be of interest . . .
© 2008 Gregory C. Louie