Monday, August 6, 2012

Intro + Love Sucks + Raging on the Kona Raijin!

This is the official first post of Beats, Bikes and Life. This blog will be a combination of the things that happen in my life and the things I love in life. (music + bikes)

It will also be an attempt to keep an accurate record of how I'm feeling, what I'm riding and what I'm listening to. I'll try to upload a monthly compilation of .mp3's (it's not a mixtape!) for your listening pleasure.

Up to Now

I recently graduated form the MBA program at the University of Kansas. I moved to Lexington, Kentucky to pursue a relationship with a woman I met in Myrtle Beach, SC while working on a parasail boat about six years prior. I had the hardest time finding a decent job in Kentucky, but I did fall in love. Sometimes I guess love isn't enough. About a week ago she dropped the bomb on me and told me that she didn't think I was "the one" and she broke it off. She said she "needed some time to figure herself out", which I thought made sense. Maybe I'd get another chance at love and we could right some of our wrongs, work some of the kinks out, grow stronger together and persevere? Well, silly me, not understanding girl talk. Apparently, "I need some time to figure myself out" means that she wants to date the dude who came into her office every two weeks and hit on her repeatedly while I was at work trying to save up for a wedding ring. Awesome. Big shout out to her co-worker Jennifer for encouraging that, because I know she did. *Exhale*

Needless to say, I have some spare time on my hands so I've been riding my bikes more (and feeling sorry for myself) and also figuring out which possessions in my life are necessary. I'm planning a move somewhere, though I haven't decided where, and need to lighten my load. In the mean time, I'm gonna ride the shit out of my Kona and explore the local trail systems.

The current cycling quiver includes a "Handsome Cycles "Handsome Devil" in a size 59cm.

Salsa La Cruz Ti in a size 59.5.

and a Kona Raijin Ti in a size 20". (see below)

Thinning the Herd

I've decided that one bike has to go and after much debate, the Handsome is on the chopping block. I'm breaking it down and either going to build it up and sell it complete or part it out. I've been using the devil as a commuter bike, and just my general, jump on the bike and roll around town ride...but I put too nice of parts on it for me to leave locked up outside for too long without worrying-which sort of defeats the purpose. It's a great bike, classy looking, fits a 29x2 in the rear (and the front with the Salsa fork) but I've got big plans for the La Cruz. So the Devil has got to go!


The Kona Raijin is essentially a titanium version of the Kona Unit. It has slightly different geometry, short stays, slacker head angle and other minor differences. I've ridden Kona mountain bikes for the past two years and have determined that the 20" model with a 24.5" top tube fits me like a glove. With proper seatpost extension I'm just about over the rear wheel and have enough of the titanium seat post exposed to mellow out the trail a bit. Most excellent.

My first ride on the Raijin was true love. The Raijin is light, flickable, rails downhills and goes uphill just fine. I have it setup with a Chris King headset, King singlespeed wheels laced to Stan's Flows, XT disc brakes, Thomson stem, Moots post,  Maxxis Ardent 2.4 up front, Ikon 2.2 in the rear. I also installed a Praxxis PF30 conversion bottom bracket because PF30 is stupid. It's basically, the best of the best, which is a result of years of bicycle part hustling and working shitty jobs. Anyway, I'm stoked on this bike and can't wait to put more miles on it. Holler at your boy!

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