10/06/2009

Oregon Manifest & The Donna

Last weekend we traveled to Portland, OR for the Oregon Manifest Constructor's Design Challenge. This event involved designing, building and racing a commuter bike in and around Portland. My friend Donna raced her bike, aptly named The Donna, nearly 77 miles over varied terrain including road, gravel and dirt. Below is a picture from the start....Donna was one of only two women racing. I am very proud of her for tackling this event only one week after her wedding! Big props to newlyweds Donna and Lee from Ahrens Bicycles! The second woman to race was Natalie from Sweet Pea Bicycles racing on a custom Ahearne commuter bike.

The first starting group was Donna, Natalie and a guy racing on the nearly 60-lb Metrofiets cargo bike. After about 25 miles, the real hard part began with a challenging gravel fire road climb that was relentless. Not too many photos are available because during Donna's climb, Steve Rex, another racer/frame builder was injured with a broken collar bone and I took him to the hospital! Luckily Steve is OK and recovering back home in Sactown.

Here is a video of the gravel climb before the beer stop.

video

The Rapha beer stop was at mile 38. Donna's husband Lee and I enjoyed a couple of beers at this check point...this is where I found out Steve Rex had injured his collar bone. Curtis Ingliss from Retrotec called the Rapha race coordinator from a farm and relayed the message.


Here's our crew at the finish including college friends Chris and Henry and of course Donna and myself. Not sure where Lee is hiding...probably scoring us some more beer.

There were many aspects of turning The Donna into a true commuter bike from its origin as a single speed . I prototyped a rear rack with some cardboard and a fabric bag from Andronico's market. This exercise helped me determine the rack proportions before actual fabrication began.

Four solid aluminum struts support the rear rack and these are hard-mounted to the frame. Adjustable eyelets were sourced from Bontrager to allow height adjustment and final leveling of the rack. One special feature of this bike is the integrated lock. A custom seat clamp was developed to include a Thule lock core and a coil lock. Turn the key and the lock releases the cable which can then be used to lock the bike. I'm really proud of this feature because it's truly unique and someone even asked me "where did you buy that lock?" at the event.

The front rack is cantilever-mounted to the head tube using WiseCracker extruded aluminum mounts. The upper mount is a tall headset spacer and the lower mount cups the fork crown and is installed with a star nut on the underside. Wooden slats were stained black and mounted to both racks to achieve a classic look.

Special thanks to Princeton Tec for supplying the lighting solutions for this project. Light and bright, these babies are sick.

All these extra features added some weight to the overall bike but it was still manageable to ride. Special thanks to everyone that made this bike and event possible...there are way too many to list here.