Sunday, September 14, 2014

Ohio Interscholastic High School League 2014

  1. Ohio Interscholastic Racing League, Races 1/2

    This past weekend marked the beginning of the second season of High SchoolRacing in Ohio, with the opening race at Camp Manatoc in Peninsula Ohio.

    28 student athletes participated in both Varsity and JV Men's and Women's categories, riding the 4.4 mile technical single track loop for multiple laps based on category.


    Everyone had a fantastic time and we look forward to the remaining 4 races in the series.

    If you are a high school athlete in Ohio and wish to participate, please check out the info at Ohio Interscholastic Racing League : 331 Racing

    Ohio Interscholastic Racing League-oirl-group.jpgOhio Interscholastic Racing League-emmanatoc2014.jpgOhio Interscholastic Racing League-oirl-mantoc-varsity.jpgOhio Interscholastic Racing League-oirl-medals.jpg

    Race #2 of the OIRL series took place in wet conditions at Reagan Park in Medina Ohio, a tight twisty course built for challenging advanced riders at speed or beginner/intermediates to become immersed in the sport.

  2. The weather saw a few crashes that resulted in mechanical issues but all the kids finished riding or running across the finish line 

    Fantastic support from the local cycling community allowed us to insure the trail was safe and had abundant personnel on course to bolster the kids confidence.

    Ohio Interscholastic Racing League-reagan1.jpgOhio Interscholastic Racing League-reagan3.jpgOhio Interscholastic Racing League-reagan2.jpgOhio Interscholastic Racing League-regan4.jpg

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The END is in sight...

After almost two weeks straight of making bars, I'm down to just the final few...

I've been pushing hard to finish the balance of the bar orders for the year so I can focus solely on full builds and have finally reached the eventual burn out.

My compressor blowing it's thermal fuses was the stimulus I needed to take two partial days off and focus on something totally not bike related.

My grandfather had always painted, mostly farm/western scenes on slate that he had hand hewed for each piece.  I have always felt that I pulled some of my artistic talent from him, so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.

This is my first attempt at brush and canvas,  inspired by art on a pinball machine that tells the tale of a werewolf that threatens a small town: Silver Bullet.

Groovy Cycleworks-scarletsmall.jpg

I really learned a LOT working through the process.  There are many things I would do differently the next time to improve the quality, but it was enjoyable to casually work away at it to take my mind off of life.

Now, with the compressor rigged to work for now, back to more of this...


cheers,

rody

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Caught a little local press...

Thanks to Thomas for the local press...


FIGHTING FIRES TO CRAFTING BIKES: WOOSTER FIRE DEPARTMENT CAPT. RODY WALKER HAS ANOTHER LIFE AS OWNER OF GROOVY CYCLEWORKS

By THOMAS DOOHAN Staff Writer Published: July 7, 2014 4:00AM

WOOSTER -- When Wooster Fire Department Capt. Rody Walter is not fighting fires or providing emergency medical services, he is cutting metal, welding and painting.

Walter spends his free time fabricating custom bike frames as the owner of Wooster-based Groovy Cycleworks, which he started in 1994. He said he has long been fascinated by cycling and began racing in local, regional and national races during the late 1980s.

"I really enjoyed the freedom it allowed," Walter said, explaining how cycling allowed him to experience the world in a different way. "So often in a car ... it's about getting from Point A to Point B."

In 1991, he moved to Wooster and started his career with the fire department, all the while riding his bike.

Married and settled, Walter said he and his wife, Christi, decided to start a family and wanted to find a way to increase their income so one of them could stay home with the children. With this, Walter said, the seed of Groovy Cycleworks was planted.

"We were pretty disappointed with the tandem we were riding," Walter said, explaining how it was not strong enough to take the beating of the surfaces they were riding. Itching to ride something beefier, he described how he and his wife developed a design for a tougher tandem and had Pennsylvania custom bike builder Bill Groves put it together.

"I became enamored by the whole process," Walter said.

Eventually convincing Groves to mentor him, he developed his fabrication skills and Groovy Cycleworks started rolling. Over the years, he has honed his skills and grown quite the following in the national and international cycling community. While Walter estimates only five of six of his bikes are in Ohio, his custom bicycles can be found in 28 countries.

Walter said his time is been split between the fire department, Groovy Cycleworks and his family, which eventually grew to include son Kalten and daughter Emily.

Despite how busy the bike-smith, firefighter and family man may be, Wooster Fire Chief Roger Brenneman said Walter does not show it at work.

"He is very good about keeping his two lives separate," he said.

As the department's EMS captain, Brenneman said Walter works at making sure everyone is property trained and prepared to jump into action.SFlb"He is very dedicated ... anybody will tell you that," Brenneman said. "He is meticulous about doing things correctly. That's why people like his bikes so much."

Cary Wenger of Wooster said he likes his Groovy Cycleworks bicycle he won in a raffle after a local mountain bike race. He said his mountain bike, painted with military grade ceramic paint, is "just right for me."

One time, he said he got on the bike after taking a season off and likened the experience to coming home to a home-cooked meal.

"It felt like a warm bowl of macaroni and cheese," Wenger said. The attention to details like fit and handling, he said, is what makes his bicycle special.

With bicycles ranging in prices and even going up to $12,000, Walter said paying attention to detail is important.

Wenger said riders who purchase a bicycle from Walter usually are experienced cyclists and know exactly what they want. Walter said he does not mind putting the long hours into making the bicycles perfect.

"There is no room for error," Walter said.

He said he has not been alone in his pursuit of crafting the perfect custom bike as each family member contributes to the cause.

"It's an interesting dynamic," Walter said.

He said it has allowed them to work together, spend time together and always have a parent around. While his kids are involved in the production of the bikes, he said for a long time they did not realize how far his bicycles have reached.

"It never really hits home to my kids until I go to a show like the North American Hand Built Bike Show."



QUESTIONS...

Hobby: Cycling has shared time with rock/ice climbing and whitewater kayaking, but as I get older, all have slowly taken a back seat to a hobby that brings me back to carefree childhood days of simply enjoying action and imagination; playing pinball.

Favorite food: Though not born here, Wooster has served as my home longer than any other place. It would not be "home" without Coccia House pizza and Hartzler's Chocolate milk.

Favorite place to visit: Whether on the rock or in the water, no place allows me to feel as serene and one with the world as the New River Gorge in West Virginia.

My pet peeve is: Mediocrity

Who's tunes are playing: In the CD carousel right now is Morphine, The Crystal Method, Southern Culture on the Skids, DJ Format, Henry Rollins, and Cake.

The talent or Superpower I wish I had: The ability to turn back time and work less, spending more time with my kids as they grew.

Least favorite chore: Working on old, rusty vehicles...but with two 1992 Volvos on the road, this chore never seems to end.

First Job: I began working as a custodian/janitor for a day care at the age of 12, three evenings a week. That job ingrained a doctrine of responsibility and the need to be accountable to not only my employer, but to my own expectations of success. Can't say I cared much for cleaning toilets used by pre-schoolers all day long, that was a bit messy.

Nobody knows I: often struggle with feelings of failure, as I continually battle with finding time for everything I've committed to.

Who, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with: My grandfather passed away while I was still very young, but left behind a legacy of self expression though his hand crafted work; paintings, handmade furniture, and self designed and fabricated tooling. Although I have glimpses of who he was through these objects, I would like to opportunity to get to know him as an individual, as I feel much of who I am has been derived from the person I believe him to be.

Reporter Thomas Doohan can be reached at 330-287-1635 or tdoohan@the-daily-record.com.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Dented B-side...

Michael sent a frantic email...

Rody,

I hate to ask because I know how busy you are and I know you aren't taking repairs in anymore, but can you maybe take a quick look at Karen's B-side... I knocked over an unused lally column I had in the basement and it dinged the drive side chainstay. No cracks as far as I can tell, but kind of a deep dent. It's certainly not a high end frame, but Karen is kind of attached to it (she named it).

He's right, I am busy and don't do repairs for folks anymore, but since he was in a bad way after crunching his wife's bike and is local, I made an exception.  Gave up riding with my daughter tonight, but got it done.

Before:

After:

Paint was removed three inches to either side of the dent so I would not have to breath that stuff when the stay heated up.  I had to drill the crease out at both ends using a center drill, then methodically fill the gaping dent using the tig torch and two sticks of stainless filler (used because it flow/feathers out).  The area was then filed smooth and a bit of 45% silver was flowed into the uneven areas and sanded.

The paint edges were then sanded for a seamless transition and then primer, color, and clear feathered on to match the existing paint.

Total time - 3 hours.

Hope Karen is happy with her frame and Michael is out of the dog house :)

rody

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Vulture's Knob Trail Day 2014

At 0800 it was already inching toward 80 degrees and high humidity; I knew it was going to be an epic day.


We had an ambitious plan for the only trail day we've been able to muster up for the Knob this year, to replace the suspension bridge, Rhino three sections of rutted trail, and clear the briar and poison ivy infested section of trail leading to the furnace.


The day started early with Dusty, Kevin and I picking up a butt load of treated lumber from Lowes, the closest supplier to our local...


As we got the tool laden Volvo unloaded and workstations set up, folks started to stream in, enthusiastic to help out.  In all, we had about thirty fine folks give up their Saturday to lend a hand, so very appreciated.

Aaron  and Chris, our engineers on location, took on the task of directing the pre-fabbed bridge sections, Dusty led a hard core group out into the woods to shape trail, Lorena and Emily grabbed the clippers/machete and bug spray to take on the trimming, Christi was painting, and lots of other folks were giving sweat equity to see the Knob rise to it's promise of greatness.  I'll let the pics tell the story...


Aaron screwing in the last of the deck boards...

Frankie checking out the completed suspension bridge...

Reclaimed wood from years of building less than sustainable projects, gonna make a heckuva bonfire for the final race in October...

Christi painting up the vultures on the cabin so they welcome our guests with vibrant colors...



A big thank you to all who attended.  These are the folks that are doing the work so you can enjoy your trail time. 
Kevin Daum
Dusty Clouse
Lorena Brown
Chris Huck
Ryan Falk
Jeff Johnson
Mark Jones
Keith Feeman
Wes Jones
Nick Barnes
Greg and Jacob Kaczmarek
John Perchinske
Todd McMillen
Johnathan and Chayton Shell
Tyler Bevington
Mike Canterbury
Aaron Holmes
Tim Long
Spencer and Dad
Christi and Emily Walter

These are only the folks who signed in...if you attended but are not listed, please let me know so we can thank you in person next time we meet.

Hope y'all will join us next time.

cheers,

rody

Monday, June 23, 2014

Velocity Dually...Tubeless

Although the Dually rim is touted as tubeless ready, it does need a bit of sweet tape lovin' to get it nice and tight.  Especially if you choose to run the Knard in the lower tpi count, which is NOT considered tubeless ready.

The biggest issue I've found with this rim is that it uses a bead "shelf" rather than a bead seat.  The shelf does not grip and hold the bead of the tire, encouraging it to seat into the sidewall and protecting it from lateral loads during riding.

To deal with these issues, here is a strategy that seems to work very efficiently.

First, apply some Stan's yellow tape to the center of the rim, effectively sealing off the spoke holes per standard protocol.

Next up, we are going to create a slight raised section on both sides of the rim to encourage the tire bead to stay in place.  I grabbed some Gorilla Duct Tape, a nice heavy and easily applied product, and cut two strips about 4mm wide, placing them around the rim about 4mm from the sidewall.  Just enough room for the bead to have a little wiggle room while seating the tire but not so much that a strong lateral force will force the tire off of the bead shelf.

Then cut some tape to the width of the rim, running from sidewall to sidewall with no material moving up the vertical surface.  Two strong wraps around is all you need.

Use an Exacto knife to clean out the valve stem hole and insert your tubeless valve stem and tighten down.  I was able to easily air these up with a compressor, had to work just a little bit more with a floor pump.  I seated them with air only, then added fluid through the valve stem.

Super easy and ready for nasty trail.

cheers,

rody