Elizabeth’s Furnace has beaten me.

The ride ended last Saturday, but last night, The Furnace struck it’s final blow and claimed victory over my soul.

With a sinking feeling in my stomach as I tore apart the workshop last night – I came to the horrible realization: It has my multi-tool.

Somewhere on that ride (I’m thinking when I went over the bars of course) I lost my multi-tool. To you non-bike folk, this is a little compact ‘swiss army knife’ of specialized bike tools to take with you for emergencies. I always take it on rides and it has saved me numerous times. I had developed quite a fondness for it. We were friends. It also happens that, for financial reasons, I also used it as my main maintenance tool in the shop at home. It’s not the preferred tool for maintenance – being small and all – it’s mostly designed for portability and weight – but it was all the (bike-specific) tools I had. It is now on the mountain somwheres.

Last night I pulled a long night revving up the ride for this coming Saturday’s jaunt. It was a challenge as I cobbled tools togehter from what I had. I’ve discovered that pliers will do a great many things.

Finally – here it is, a photo of the team buKit steed. We had refrained from posting it previously for fear of teams trying to subvert our technology, but team engineers have now assured me we are in the clear. Behold it in all it’s splendor. For the benefit of you bike geeks, I will run down some of it’s outstanding features. Non-bike geeks can skip to the next paragraph if you want.

FRAME: 2000 Gary Fisher HooKoo E Koo, Aluminum – I inherited it from my Uncle-in-law when he passed away. His name was Ubald, so I’ve dubbed it the ‘Ubaldmobile’ – the idea is you say it fast and it sounds sorta like the ‘Batmobile’. Whatever. This was a demo bike at a shop and apparently he got a deal on it – The parts have been mostly swapped out from OEM spec and are a hodgepodge of stuff.
FORK: Surly 1×1, rigid – The bike came with a Judy Hydrocoil XC on it, however the first thing I did to make it commuter/road friendly was throw the Surly on there.
HEADSET: Aheadset
WHEELSET: Bontrager Superstock rims laced to Bontrager hubs with black spokes. The interesting thing is that the rear rim is so bashed it is no longer round and is impossible to true. It makes rear brake adjustement an exercise in futility.
TIRES: Michelin Trans Word City’s 26×1.6. I’d like some smaller tires, but haven’t really found any yet – these also have the nifty reflective sidewalls (see photo) so that boneheaded motorists can see me. When I got the bike it had WTB Racing Raptors on the front and rear – which coincidentally, I have on another bike and really dig.
DERAILLEURS: Front is a Deore LX with a ‘hand bent’ cage (it’s way out of whack) in an effort to try and eliminate noise. The rear is a Deore LX, specially equipped with one pulley that has almost no teeth left – only ‘nubs’ really – it’s almost completely round. Entire drivetrain is 9 spd, although I currently can’t really get into the granny – I don’t really use it on the road anyway.
SHIFTERS: Deore LX 9 spd. Standard stuff. They work – except when it’s freezing cold.
CHAIN: SRAM p69 – 3rd chain I’ve put on it.
CASSETTE: It’s an LX I think, the interesting thing is that there’s 3-4 cogs that actually have teeth that are BENT OVER some. Exciting.
CRANKSET: Trek Icon. Ugh. But it works. The good thing is that I think the rings are all steel and therefore in decent shape.
BOTTOM BRACKET: I don’t know what it is, but it’s noisy as hell.
PEDALS: Ascent Clipless MTB. Cheap. Work ok. When I got it there were some funky Specialized platforms on it.
BRAKESET: No name V-brakes. Work lousy. For some reason the front squeals even though I’ve swapped out pads, cleaned the rims – everything. It’s a mystery.
HANDLEBAR: Titec flat bar. When I got it there was a Bontrager Crow-Bar on it. Put the flat bar on with some Cane Creek Ergo Control bar ends to try and get as roadie a feel as possible.
STEM: When it came to me it had a generic adjustable ‘comfort bike’ stem. Yikes. I’ve got a Titec on it now.
GRIPS: Ritchey
SEATPOST: Yes. Metal. Black.
SADDLE: Originally arrived with a huge gel seat on – remember this was an old man who was a priest riding the thing. I put on an SDG Bel-Air I had, then I promptly broke one of the rails. It’s still on there, but I had to slide it forward some, so the break is inside the clamp. Unfortunately makes for a tighter cockpit.
WEIGHT: I’ve never weighed it, but I’m thinking it’s in the 32-33 pound range.

I’m thinking of reinforcing the whole mess with some duct tape and bailing wire.

So preparations continue as the day approaches. Stay tuned.