the bike we built from scratch

Actually, we built it from parts.

Using a frame from my boyfriend’s first seriously serious mountain bike – THE TRIPLE TRIANGLE! – we have spent the past few months piecing together a bike so that I can learn to ride mountain bike trails with him.

This way, we have something other than seriously serious hiking that we can do outdoors together.

Much Busch Classic, the drink of bumhugs everywhere, was consumed during the making of this bike.

I harbored dreams of creating a magnificent color-schemed bike, and thanks to the prowess of the internet, was able to let my dream set sail. With a yellow Retrospec seat, blue Retrospec handlebar grips and blue Panaracer Fire XC tires, I was destined for pleasant color greatness.

Some of the bike parts had killer names like “The Hammer,” which struck me as being pretty silly. Yeah, I ride on The Hammer. It’s no big deal, guys.

And now that the bike has been built, we can take it out on the trails and totally, like, shred. It’s totally gnarrrr.

There is an awesome network of trails nearby at the Nordic Heritage Center. Unfortunately, I haven’t come across any lefse sticks or krumkake yet, but I have hope. The trails are sort of confusing and not well-marked, so we’ve agreed that we’ll spend our summer learning what’s what out there.

And for now, I am learning to ride an incredibly light bike (shaving grams, bra!), trying not to fall over with every turn I take (shaving skin, bra!), and wondering how I can make the vast number of bruises on my right leg disappear before I have to look fancy pants nice on Friday.

Just remember: when biking, cats are optional.

Nordic Heritage Center

450 Fort Fairfield Rd
Presque Isle, ME 04769

With trails for biking, hiking, running, and in the winter, snowshoeing and skiing.


47 thoughts on “the bike we built from scratch

    1. Good point! I tried to come up with a clever pun involving Busch slogans and mountain biking. But instead: did you know that Busch started out in 1955 as Busch Bavarian? Oooh, ja!

  1. Good job. I think it’s fun working on projects with your boyfriend/partner. I realized in the past few months (while moving, building, painting, etc.) that my boyfriend and I make a pretty good team. (Thank gawd, because I kinda like him.)

    Good luck with biking. I can see you’re already getting the lingo way down. ;)

    1. Heehee, yes, that will be as lax as I ever get linguistically on this blog :)

      Having projects to work on is perhaps my favorite thing about life right now, since extended travel isn’t an option. We’ve created a steady stream of varied projects ever since we finished school, and it’s been terrific.

      Hooray for good teams and fella liking! ;)

    1. Definitely! I’ve been nonstop astonished at how much easier this lightweight bike is to navigate than my lovely, old &super-heavy road bike!

    1. I’m already having a great time! I feel rather bad saying that to you, knowing your current situation:( I hope you heal soon – meanwhile, I will have some fun for us both!

      1. Thank you! :) I’m sure my outtime is only temporary.. and I will be back to running and biking!

  2. How excitement! This sounds like a lot of fun. I unfortunately hardly have the coordination to ride a bike on sedate trails, let alone go mountain biking but I can see how it would be fun (even with all the scratches, bumps and bruises my man comes home with :) ).

    1. It is a lot of fun:) The first time we went, I didn’t enjoy myself much, and I got pretty beat up and bruised. The second time, I had fun, but I was still sticking pretty hard with my road bike style of riding. Today, I started feeling comfortable with my new stance, and with a bit of speed.

      Now to build up more endurance. You should give it a try anyway, it’s a terrific workout!

  3. Congrats, Emma and Eli! As always, you’re jumping into new activities with enthusiasm. While I’m sure there will be many more bruises and scratches to come so will many wonderful memories and scars alike (scars optional). Shred it up for me, bra!

    1. Thanks Martha! Enthusiasm abounds here:) There are, however, so many bruises that I kind of want to swallow a vat load of arnica in an attempt to heal them in under one month’s time.

      But there is also so much fun. I’ll kill it out there for ya next week ;)

  4. Aw squish!!! Psychic Cat and my favourite future Cribbage dueller, all in one bright and happy post!! I’m confused about one thing though. Where are the ribbons and streamers on your bike? And sequins?

        1. Aww, you guys were keeping yourselves occupied here while I was out of town:D Aww. Oh yes, I’ll shed-jule in a time to pro-sess my mind to pronounce it as aluminium!

          1. Good onya?

            …Does that work?

            By the way, after seeing you mention of Dance Academy before, I’ve just started watching it. I think I’ll be caught up with what I can watch here in the US within a few days:)

    1. I was glad to see that someone finally commented on Psychic Cat. And I was glad that it was you who brought it up:) Yes, favorite future cribbage dueler here… just know that my secret weapon is that I always dress in bike clothing. It was merely a coincidence that this post was about biking.

      I love the way you think. I’ll have to work sequins and streamers into the wardrobe!

      1. See, my secret weapon is that halfway through a game, I’ll suddenly shriek “BAMBOOZLE!” and throw glitter all over the board.

        My grandparents hate it when I do that.

  5. Emma, My boy Otis has been talking about building his own bike, and here you are! Every day Otis tells me about some new part that he covets. Sadly, I am kinda lame on the bike front and am no help at all. I’m gonna show him your post for inspiration – though I think I may not encourage the beer ( he is only 11;)!
    I hope you are out riding today!

    1. I loved reading your comment, Erin:) I was out riding yesterday, but it was actually in a bus (and then a car) for hours and hours!

      My boyfriend would have only been a year or two older than Otis is now when he got the bike frame that I am now riding on. Pretty crazy to think about it that way:) I’m sure you live in the perfect place for terrific biking. And how cool that your son is so enthused to build his own bike. It was actually incredibly easy – especially since we built it to be a single speed – could be a great family project for you guys? ;)

      Definitely don’t encourage the Busch :D

  6. Cuuuute photo, both you and the cat! Who can rock biking gear? Not many, that’s who, but you and the cat both look very at home. Congrats on building your bike, you’re making me want to bypass ‘gnarly’ which I haven’t said in forever anyway and say ‘gnarrrr’ all the time instead.

    1. I bet my cat could rock biking gear, if we had some for her in the right size. Awww! I enjoy saying gnarkill a bit too much, so I understand the desire :)

    1. Yes, definitely! And yeah, the bike’s a champ. I never knew I’d fall in love with blue tires – now I’m seeing them everywhere!

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