Custom bikes are really cool. They get a cultlike following. I tried to order a Badger a few years back, but luckily never got a hold of anyone and they were out of business a few weeks later. Soulcraft has a video out that is pretty neat. They are made in Petaluma, CA where I lived for a summer awhile back. Its a pretty small town with some really great riding all around but I didnt know about Soulcraft at the time. You can ride to Mt. Tam and the ocean from Petaluma on quiet back roads. If it werent for racing, I would definitely want to ride custom bikes but small builders cant compete with the technology that brands like Trek have. My fully suspended Top Fuel probably weighs less than a Soulcraft hardtail and custom geometry cant fix that.
Other than that...Ive been sick for the past few weeks. You would think I would have learned my lesson last year, but i repeated it again this year. Get sick...get a little better...go for long ride in freezing temps...get sick again...repeat. So now ive ridden inside for 5 straight days and im half afraid to go outside tomorrow. The crazy guys in Nebraska go for ridiculously long rides every weekend on gravel. Its colder up there than it is here, so they must be pretty tough, or crazy. I read somewhere that Wolfram Kurschat from Topeak/Ergon does all his training on a trainer, all year long so he can perfectly control the workouts. That probably explains why he gets passed on every downhill.
A box of tires arrived today from Maxxis. Mostly full of Aspens, but a few Ikons in there as well. I just wanted to give them a try but I can already tell that Ill be sticking to the Aspens as the Ikons have to big of knobs for my liking.