Full disclosure: I have posted this pic in other media, so if you are seeing this again, I do apologize.

This past week was the final week of the full complement of mechanic’s courses at the Bike School.  It consisted of two days of wheel building, then three days of suspension.

I had no experience with either, other than the fact that I use the wheels and shocks on my mountain bike, a bike that rarely sees dirt, much less a mountain.

On Tuesday, after a day of very focused training on bicycle wheels (you’d be amazed at the forces that those skinny wheels have to deal with), we had our certification test.  There were a few options, but I chose to build a set of wheels for my own bicycle.

Because there’s nothing like putting your trust in what you’ve built with your own hands.


Build:  DT Swiss 240S hubs, DT Swiss RR465 rims, DT Swiss Butted Spokes (2.0mm/1.8mm).

The bluing on the rims is a reflection of the morning sky behind me.

Strobist info:  morning sun providing the back light (hence the shadows on the deck); Canon 580 EXII’s right and left, fired by PocketWizards.

While I am waiting for the results of my certification test (points were deducted as soon as any one of three axes were off by more than 0.1mm), I put them on my trusty bike and gave them a spin today.


Any ride on a well-tuned bicycle, leaving no sound but the whisper of the tires on the road, is a wonderful experience.

But to have that same ride on a pair of wheels that I handmade for myself? Sublime.


Those who know me well know that some of my greatest joy, complete separate from my Goddess, is derived from my commutes to and from work.

Especially if the weather is horrible.

Give me pissing down rain and 35ºF (+01ºC) or dumping snow and 27ºF (-03ºC) and a good, hard push on the bike and I’m grinning from ear to ear.

Hell, give me +10ºF (-12ºC) on a clear day and I’ll still grin ear to ear.

It’s all about wearing the right kit.

But regardless of the time of year, every day is still a great day to ride the bike to and from work.

Especially when you’re going faster than those that do nothing more than twist their right wrist or press down their right toe.

Place du Théâtre, Dijon, France.

Rule 9.

Immediately followed by Rule 5.

Oh, and Rule 58.