Monday, September 7, 2009



When you ride a lot over an extended period of time, you begin to have unreasonable expectation of pain. Meaning, ehen I go out on a long, hard ride I expect (and look forward to) the pain that follows.

This can become a problem when you embrace the pain to the point of not listening to it. Pain means that your muscles are a) tired, b) recovering, and c) getting stronger. Too much pain means more a and less b and c. I think I have finally pushed into this area.

Which is not good considering that on Sunday Jared and I will be racing in the Black Bear Rampage, a 44 mile mountain bike race. So, for the rest of the week I need to focus on letting my legs recover. Which needless to say I suck at and won't enjoy. Because who wants to ride slow? Reall?

Onto other things...

I am sorry that I haven't posted lately. Since the accident I really haven't been in the mood to post. Mainly I h ave been in the mood to work, ride, eat, and sleep. Which is good for my cycling shap, but sucks for everything else. I am going to try and spice things up a bit after the Rampage. Anyone with ideas should let them be heard.

Roadie Steve (aka Stumpie)

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Fouth of July Weekend

Fourth of July weekend is a vacation for most people, but for those of us who eat thanks to the tourism industry, it's a pretty crazy weekend. Despite some rather hectic, crazy, and upsetting moments over the course of the weekend there were fireworks, and I did have my camera.

Sunday, June 28, 2009



I've now ridden the SL2 for about 200 miles and now I feel that I can give an honest review on the bike. I'm going to have to break it down into sections (like the top gear fiesta review) in order to cover all the parts of this amazing machine.

How does it feel?
It feels amazing.

How does it accelerate?
Like a bullet.

How does it handle?
Better than anything I've ever ridden. I took it down US 58 without touching the brakes... and never got to the performance limit. I'm actually worried about how fast you need to turn this thing to have to fight to hold the line, because I wasn't even close coming down the mountain.

How does it climb?
Well, it climbs so well that it makes me a better climber. This bike got me to the top of the climb only a second behind Greg... Greg raced pro for 10 years. This bike is great.

Is it pretty?

How are the wheels?
They make the bike better. They're not featherweights, but they're stiff, fast, and have ceramic bearings and carbon parts to make them look really pretty.

How do you like Red?
I'm sold. It's lighter than anything on the market, shifts with sniper-like precision, and feels great at the same time. Pulling the lever back into sprint mode gives you the ability to shift by simply tensing your hand. It would be hard for me to imagine a better set up than Red for me. The brakes stop really quickly, the cranks are stiff, and even shifting up front is quick and responsive.

What if the Royal Marines ask you to take part in a beach assault?
I'm not getting salt water on this bike.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009



I have a new bike.
This bike is too pretty for words, so I'm just going to put up some pictures... maybe in a couple of days I'll write a real review of it, trust me, it's going to be really good.

Friday, June 19, 2009


The only thing worse than getting my finger cut off...

The only thing worse than getting my finger cut off was having stitches removed. That is what the PA and the nurse (great women with a lot of patience) from 10 am until 1 pm today. It hurt like $#&* and kept on coming. And guess what? 4 stitches refused to pull out after being snipped. Just great! Hopefully these will work out on their own during one of my hand soaks.

Anyways... Chipotle once again served its purpose as a post-trauma comfort food/distraction. And tomorrow I get to start therapy. And stop at a cool bike shop on the way home.

On Monday I will start the conversation as to what to do about my bike situation.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009


"Do you mind if I'm sarcastic?"

Wow, I really thought that someone else would have finished up this story by now, but since nobody else is going to do it I guess it's up to me to conclude Steve's story.

When we got to the ER for the first time since the accident I headed in a different direction than the injured party. I had to wait in the waiting room while they got Steve admitted, but a nurse assured me that she would come and get me as soon as he was all checked in.
While I was standing there in the middle of the room the Trials Dude and my dad walked in, looking very concerned and all business. It was at this point that I was asked how I was doing and lied.

Since I don't know what Roadie Steve was up to during this time I'm going to take you on a scary journey through my head during the next few hours of excitement.

I lied, Trials Dude asked me how I was doing and I said I was fine, physically this was true, I couldn't have told you about any of my injuries at this point other than my scraped knee, so I didn't really think that I was lying. Emotionally at this point though I was a complete wreck. I couldn't get over the fact that Steve had gotten a disfiguring injury doing something that we do almost every day. Trials dude went to make a phone call and my dad asked me how I was doing.
I came within an inch of loosing it. My friend had just cut his finger off, lost his best bike, I didn't know how mine was, one of my favorite parts of our rides had just become more dangerous than all that crazy descending I do... I wanted to cry. For the first time since junior high I wanted to break down into tears and have somebody tell me that everything would be OK.

Lucky for me before I lost face (I guess I should have admitted my weakness here) the nurse came in to say that one of us could go back. Since I had been next to him when it happened, I got to go be with him while the Dr. tried to figure out how to fix it.

I got back to Roadie Steve right before they injected the stub. I guess I always knew that Steve was afraid of needles, but this was insane, they don't really hurt Steve.

Apparently whatever they were injecting was pretty painful though, because he squeezed the heck out of my hand as they did it, then he apologized for putting me through that.

I had to try not to laugh. I'm sure that Steve will read this as some point so let me say now what I wanted to then, but was interruped by a nurses arrival, and you asking if she minded you being sarcastic.

Idiot, you showed me how dangerous my favorite activity is. You made me crash my favorite (at the time) bike. You cost me a rotor and my favorite gloves. You showed me how dangerous my favorite activity is. You broke a bike so pretty that even with a big C on it I still though it was amazing. You CUT OFF YOUR FINGER, and you're apologizing for leaning on me for a little support in the ER. You need to seriously evaluate what you need to appologise for, cause it's certainly not that.

Anyway, we were in the ER for a long time after that. Lots of phone calls were made, none of them went particularly well. Nurses switched out, docs switched out, the orthopod made an apperarance and announced that he would have to finish the amputation to make it clean. It was all a bit of a blur. All I really rember clearly was every time someone new would introduce themselves to Steve he asked very politely, "do you mind if I'm sarcastic." None of them did.

I have to thank some people for making my most traumatic vacation every more berable.
Johney and Kendra for not believing us when we said we didn't need anything.
Trials Dude for telling me to stop being an asshole when I said I was find, I was physically.
Anastasia for driving 3 hours just to sit on the couch for a while and talk, I promis that next time you're in town we will make it to Shadowbox
The staff at McCulla-Hyde hospital
My mom for trying to make us all comfortable in the after effects
My dad for once again coming to the hospital with a friend of mine after a biking accident and thinking more clearly than any of us were through this, making the call to Steve's parents, and generally being amazing- I'm not sure we would have made it through without you.

PS... I joust bought a new bike, details when it arrives.

Monday, June 15, 2009


And then he picked up my finger

So I'm going to start this post part way through last Saturday's crash.

As soon as I was launched forwards off my bike I had three distinct thoughts.

1. This is gonna hurt.

2. I've had this coming a long time.

3. Oh, shit, I just took the Breaker out.

Pretty soon all three of these had come true.

I tumbled a bit along the pavement and came to rest in the middle of the road. I than had one of the most brilliant ideas of my life: I should get out of the road because there was a car behind us. As soon as I got off the road I checked my helmet (this is apparent by the blood spot on my white helmet). Feeling that my hand didn't completely touch my helmet I looked at my hand. This leaves us where the Breaker wrote last post, "I think I lost my finger." It was at this point when the motorcyclist who had kindly moved the Breaker and mine's bikes off the road, stopped a car to pick my finger out from in front of its tire. That's right, I got to watch the guy pick up my finger.

Shortly after finding my way to the grass, some people had me role onto my back. Two passing women tied a tourniquet around the stump of my right ring-finger. The kept my hand on ice and elevated and orchestrated the use of the Trials Dude as shade for my head. About 30 minutes later the ambulance arrived. Two awesome paramedics got me into the ambulance and answered my annoying questions ( Is there AC in this thing?... Nope.)

Now I will jump to where Jared left us off, at the hospital.

At this point I am about as sarcastic as I have ever been. Evidently two very attractive nurses gave me shots in the hand for the pain and an IV drip of morphine. I don't remember either of them much to the Breaker, the Trials Dude, and the Breaker's Jared's dad's amusement. After a trip to X-ray, the doctor decided that it would be best if we left my right ring-finger off from just below my second knuckle. I said ok, it will make me lighter. As we all know some people pay thousands of dollars to lose the few grams that I lost in a simple accident. (Note to self, it is far cheaper and a lot less painful to loose that weight off the bike.) Shortly I was off to anesthesiology where the doctor had me preform my first left-handed signature. What a hoo... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

The next thing I remember is waking up in recovery and being carted off to my room, where everyone was waiting. I don't remember much from here on out, so I will leave it to everyone's vast imaginations as to what took place.

Now for some owed thank yous...

To the two women who attended to my hand: thank you for doing what no one else wanted to do.
To the motorcyclist: thank you for cleaning up after me... I'll pass it on.
To the EMTs: thanks fore the ride and entertainment.
To the nurses and doctors at the hospital: thanks for understanding my sarcasm and patching me back together again.
To Paul: thanks for being the coolest boss ever.
To Rex: thanks for helping me type this post.
To the Trials Dude: thank you for the late night pep talk.
To the Breaker's family: thank you putting up with my antics, tending to my flesh wounds, putting my hair up, keeping my glass full, driving me everywhere, letting me crash on you couch, and for being great friends.
To the Breaker: thank you for everything and sorry for ruining a beautiful bike and one of you favorite activities.

Let's sprint.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


"Jared, I think I lost my finger."

Team Pink was riding together for the first time in a long time this weekend. We came up to Cincinnati to take part in a great comunity service. A group from Ethicon Endo Surgery was taking a bunch of inner city kids out of the city to go mountain biking... naturally we couldn't resist the opportunity to help out and guide on a trail system that none of us knew at all.

We had a great time with the kids. Went on two great rides, riding sweep, leading the charge into the unknown... all kinds of fun. It was so much fun to watch the sheer joy on the faces of these kids as they experienced the thrill of the descent, the joy of clearing a log, the challenge of clawing up the climbs. We went riding, we ate, we went riding some more... then Roadie Steve and Part Breaker went up the road to get cell service in order to place reservations to Shadowbox Cabaret for that night.

Being bikers, of course we were racing on the way back... we were moving along at a goodly clip when we turned the corner and saw the area where everyone was set up. Steve shifted up and as best as we can figure his front tire picked that exact moment to blow out on him. His body (and bike) started flying forward and to the right... into my line of travel. I jerked the bars to the right, trying to avoid running over Steve's head and was soon flying off the road myself.

While I did manage to miss most of the flying rag doll that was Roadie Steve... apparently his finger was caught in the front rotor. As I came to a stop on my back next to the road I sat up to see Steve crawling off the road clutching his hand to his chest. My immediate reaction was that he broke his collar bone and I stood up and began heading towards him asking if he was alright.

I don't think I'll ever get his response out of my head, "Jared, I think I lost my finger."

I pulled out the walkie that I had from leading one of the rides and called for my dad to bring the car. By the time I got to him (by running to the camp) people had stopped and gotten his hand elevated, iced, and had stopped the bleeding. I stood by almost in shock as we waited for the ambulance to arrive, then got in the front and we headed off the the hospital with The Trials Dude and my dad in tow.

As we pulled into the emergency receving area Steve relayed a message through one of the paramedics to me.

"It's only a flesh wound."

There's more to the story of course, but I am getting exhausted just thinking about yesterday... one of us will finish this story in the next day or two.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Race Report

Saturday night I got into bed so exhausted that my fingers were tingling. Every muscle was tired... that good tired that you only get after spending a hard say in the saddle. Saturday was 100 Miles of Nowhere.
It's really hard to write a race report when the entire 100 miles took place in one spot. My legs went 100 miles, my cranks went 100 miles, the wheels went 100 miles, the frame didn't move an inch. Trials Dude and I got started round about 11:00, put in the first Indiana Jones movie and started riding. We knew this would be boring, we knew it would take a long time, and we knew that the only way that it was hapening was if we had something to focus on. Every two miles I took a drink, every 10 I got up off the bike for a bite of food, and every 30 I took a bathroom break.
The plan was to rely on consistency, sticking to the plan gave me a target that was never far away to keep the mental fatigue from creeping in. Even with that plan though it was tough. At about 50 miles The Trials Dude's phone broke... it had been in his jersey pocket and it was now soaking wet. Since we are leaving Tuesday to play at ITG he had to run to get his phone fixed... leaving me alone to finish.
As hard as this was with two people, it was much worse alone. Movies get old after an entire day of watching them. With my breaks getting longer and longer through the day I watched all three Indiana Jones movies, Iron Man, and Boodock Saints. It was only a 6:04 day in the saddle and i covered 100.1 miles. All in all I was hapy to do it, but I don't really ever want to do it again. I've done centuries out on the road and I felt much better on the bike the next day than I did Sunday... we'll see how today goes.
Pictures will be put of later.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I hate cable and the internet

So I get a day off from everything. No work. No class (as the breaker pointed out in the last post). Nothing to do at all. I woke up at an reasonable hour, ate breakfast, got online to see what the day had in store, and set a time to ride of 2 to 5 pm, when the weather would be the best.

It is now 8:16 and my butt is still closely acquainted with the vinyl cushion on my couch. And while the sun never really came out, it was certainly a nice enough day to ride. Yet I will be riding on my trainer tonight.

Like I said, I hate cable and internet.


End of an era

This weekend was a big event for Team Pink. We didn't go racing, we didn't go for a monster training ride, we didn't even spend the weekend camping on a mountain. All three of us are now college graduates. Gone are the excuses about class, homework, and studying getting in the way of training, and in come new ones faster than Leipheimer in a TT.
With the crazyness of people coming into town, job applications going out, and the worst weather we've had in quite some time,* I haven't gotten in nearly the training that I should have recently, and there by don't have any good biking stories to tell, after all it's hard to generate biking material off a bike, but I will say this.
I woke up this morning feeling lost because I only have three bikes in my garage. It's raining outside, and my cross bike is three hundred miles away. It's really unfair, I put more time, energy, and money into my fleet than is smart or reasonable and now I don't have access to them because my car wouldn't be able to take them all out of here when our lease is up in a month. I don't know how normal people live without a small armada of bikes, I like the fact that I have a bike that's perfect for just about every situation... or I would, if they were here with me.

*We had graduation indoors for the first time in 6 years, and to make it worse, it wasn't even on our campus. Who's brilliant idea was that.

Monday, May 4, 2009


100 Miles

So I know that it's been mentioned that this summer's stupid event is going to go toward helping a good cause at the Livestrong Challenge.

Coming up much sooner than that, however, is another way to raise money for the Lance Armstrong Foundation that is probably going to hurt a lot more.

The Trials Dude, Roadie Steve, and I are all going to be riding in Fat Cyclist's 2nd Anual 100 Miles of Nowhere. The only race that just for registering for guarantees you a win in your age/category/location. For 100 miles we will be sitting on trainers or rollers, wondering why on earth we felt the need to do this. I'm sure I have mentioned how boring I find riding without moving, and here we are agreeing to do 100 miles of it, in fact we are paying for it.

Of course we're doing it because the annoyance of riding those rollers is a small price to pay to help raise money for a great organization, so how about this... I'll ride for 100 miles and you the readers sponsor my efforts... like an old school walk-a-thon only much more borring.

I'll have people take pictures of my suffering to post to this blog too, so you'll know that you're getting your money's worth. Just pledge a few cents a mile and watch it add up, or go ahead and make a donation to my livestrong page... every little bit helps.

Thursday, April 23, 2009



Things have been crazy here recently, what with the end of the semester coming up and all that. With everything going on we didn't even get a chance to post about the first race of the season, the 6 Hour Grind on the Greenway. I'm going to assume that eventually Roadie Steve will mention it since he had a better race than I did. What I learned at the race is that I'm not in shape yet, I'm over weight by about 15 lbs and my legs gave out after only about three hours.

In response to this and the fact that my schedule is really crazy right now trying to finish up the school thing, apply for jobs, and somehow improve me fitness at the same time, I have been forced to do something that I have never been able to do before. I actually spent some time on a trainer.

This morning I got up early and did the Spinervals time saver workout... the one rated at 9.9. Wow was that a wake up call. It's only a 30 minute workout and I was dying. After a quick break though, my legs felt amazing on the ride to school. I'm thinking that I might be able to speed up my training schedule by pusing it with the 9.9 workout 3 days a week and probably do the 7.0 one the other 4 days, it should help me out significantly.

Tomorrow's looking like a Hyters Gap day.... it's going to be fun.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Drool Factor Tuesday

I thought some of you might want to see this. Picked it up off of Urban Velo website. Beautiful bike with a lot of potential. Makes me want to build something crazy.
So here is the Supermotard by Amaro.

Sunday, April 5, 2009



Missing bike to report:

Stephen Rainey's Raleigh single speed went missing over the weekend.
Keep your eyes open for it and snatch it back if you see it where it shouldn't be.

Roadie Steve


An ode to weather and commitments

It was in the high 60s yesterday. Low 70s today. What did I do with both of these beautiful days? I gave my life over to the choirs at Emory and Sinking Springs and the art department. Yes, I spent the entirety of the weekend inside either singing, being talked to about singing, unwrapping photos, or dining with the visiting artist.

Weather forecast for the next three days...

Monday: 49 with rain

Tuesday: 32 with snow

Wednesday: 47 with rain

My schedule clears up significantly for these next few "wonderful" days. Just great. All of this with a 6 hour looming in front of me on Saturday. Just great.

Saturday, March 28, 2009



I know that normally I have a post up on Monday mornings, but my weekend was taken up by some other writing.

My independent study paper is due on Friday. This means that I am spending way more time thinking about mountain bike trails for the next couple of days than any normal person would. Honestly I am thinking more about trails and trail design than I do when I'm on a bike.

OK, I'll be more honest, I only picked this topic for my paper because I can go on training rides and then call it work. The problem with this method of "research" is that I have been spending a lot of time riding, lots of time on the trails, and haven't really made a lot of observations not related to the rather poor state of my fitness. I would really love to hand a paper in to Dr. Davis that simply said, "I'm out of shape and wish I were riding more." That would not get up to my 12 page requirement though, so I have to get a little more work done on my observations.

I have three solid pages of writing done after spending some time writing this weekend, although to be honest I was more concerned with having a good time, as I am on most weekends, than I was with having any real work to show for it. I now have four days to churn out nine more pages of work, so if I can do three pages a day I'll be done early.

My training schedule for the week is probably going to be abused, but once this paper is done I'm going to start training for Wintergreen. I've already switched from chocolate and candy to celery for my snacking so hopefully I'll see some improvement on the scale even without putting the time in on the bike that I need to.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Dash for Class

What do you do with two and a half hours between work and class? I can tell you what I do. I ride. A normal person in my situation would pick a ride that usually takes and hour so that they would have plenty of time to make it to class in time.

I didn't make the smart decision. I went with the fun one. The two hour one to be exact. And let me tell you... it was a blast. In the summer the ride only takes about and hour and fifteen minutes. But my winter shape is still apparent.

I made the ride in an hour and a half. I felt it on the climbs, but burned it out on the descents and rollers: probably one of my best rides this year. Not bad considering. Plenty of time to eat a Poptart, towel off, work on a bike for the shop, and head to class. And I was only late because of the car doing 40 mph in a 55 that everyone normally runs at 65. Bugger.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Good things come

I think I may have a problem. I bought another bike recently. I'm beginning to think that perhaps after another two or three bikes I should stop purchasing new ones without giving up an old one so that I don't run out of space.

If I'm going to have all of these bikes though I'm going to be a good citizen of the community and inform the rest of you how they ride so that you won't waste your money on a bike that's wrong for you.

Today I'm reviewing the Raleigh Rush Hour. It's a steal framed urban bike with track geometry. It comes with breaks, but the rear break cable run comes off completely to leave the bike with some beautiful clean lines.
I've made some minor changes to make it fit my riding style, there are no reflectors, the rear break is gone, the front break lever has been moved to the drop, and there's a mount for a tail light. None of these really make any changes to the way she rides though.

I'm going to be honest here, I've only ever ridden one other fixie and it was the Giant Bowery which is a nice bike, but it has road bike goemetry.

The first thing I noticed riding the Rush Hour was how twitchy it is. With the track geometry the gravel on our driveway almost caused my untimely death. Once on pavement I was quite happy with the way the bike rides. Climbing is not the most enjoyable thing ever, as the only way to stand is to keep your hands in the drops and the twitchy steering really comes out when you stand, but if I wanted to climb I would have bought a road bike.

Over all it's stiff, fast, and handles faster than most people would find comfortable. If your looking for a track bike to ride on the road I would recomend it. If you're looking for a real track bike I would have no idea why you were talking to me. If you're looking for a regular single speed for every day use and you don't have a lot of experience with a bike under you I would recomend something a bit more forgiving, like a unicycle.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


New Logo

I forgot to post this with my previous entry. I have had this on file for a couple months and never got around to posting it. So here it finally: the Pink Racing logo. Might get tweaked a little, but the basics are there.


Hitting the Road Again

Monday started out cool and damp. Not a bad day for a bike ride, but not a great day either. So I hit the road to school on the C'dale. No big deal.

Then I got out of class in the afternoon planning a longer ride. That is when I noticed something. That fine mist that had made the morning commute interesting had turned into a nice drizzle. And before I knew it my I was soaked through. But I kept on riding heading out along the North Holston and doubling back towards Haytor's Gap. Finally I reached the turn off for Rich Valley Rd, which takes me to Abingdon.

This where it hit me that I was a) cold and b) hungry. Evidently having only Lornaduns for lunch and Poptarts for breakfast can be detrimental to cycling perfrmance. Which is kinda funny, because I just realized that is what I have had today and am planning another fun ride (more on that later).

Needless to say I suffered it out and didn't call Caitlyn or Andrea. But I did eat two pieces of cake, a large amount of mac and cheese, and a heaping portion of barbeque. All of which I can add to the marks agains me reaching my racing weight.

Monday, March 16, 2009


The Bad Kind of Pain

I have been on the road in DC for the last couple of days with the Emory and Henry Trumpet Ensemble playing at the National Trumpet Competition. It was a great trip, and we had a lot of fun, but the problem with being on the road is that it's hard to get any training in. We were holding up at the Marriott at night so I was able to get some time in on the trainer down at the fitness center.

The random hill climb program on the bike was amazing. I got up early every morning and would set the timer for half and hour and then try to work my way through the random hill climb program. It did a great job simulating a real ride with some great climbs and then spinning for a short time and then hard climbing and then spinning. I was averaging over 150 watts over the entire 30 minute workout.

Everything would have been perfect, but the bike had one small, well not so small problem.

The saddle on this thing was about as large as what you would expect from a beach cruiser. Trying to spend 30 minutes hammering away on this thing was somewhere between uncomfortable and painful.

I found myself standing up every 5 minutes just to try to get the pressure off my rear. I was ready to give up after 15 or 20 minutes every day even though my legs still had some juice left in them. Only my quest to complete the workout kept me going.

Why don't serious trainers have serious saddles on them... then I would have been able to get in some real training.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Damn you Twin Six!

So I log into my email tonight and find this...

in my email from Twin Six.

Yeah, Twin Six and Fat Cyclist has teamed up again to make an amazing jersey that fits perfectly into my race wardrobe. But I know it is not to be. And alas I will have to go to bed on March 17th sad at not having ordered one.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Breaking the Habit

This is the last of my attempts at photo blogging. Today will be the most artistic shots that I took over the course of the show.

And finally my pride and joy.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Rag Doll

Today is going to start off with one of my personal favorites from the show. This bike's theme was music. There were notes, guitars, and even a treble clef on the bike to give it a definate one of a kind look. As if all of that weren't enough the lug work was also really well done.
This is a perfectly restored 1951 Cinelli. This bike was one of the coolest things I saw at the show, although it did make me seriously debate (and I still am) shelling out the cash to repaint the Peugeot.
Here's where things get a little different. This bike was made in Ghana as nothing more than a transportation device. All of the components cost $150 and the frame is real bamboo. It's strong, light, and cheep. I think it's a great project to bring transportation to under developed countries.

If it's done in the developing world for cost effective travel, you'd better believe that we can do it here for pure speed. This is a bamboo track bike. It's entirely, well except for a few moving parts, made of bamboo. Even the wheels are old school wooden hoops. I have to say that as far as innovation goes, this bike probably takes the cake. Even with all those body components it's light, thanks to all those cross members it's really strong, and it will certainly turn some heads.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Ball and Chain

Even when you're at a handmade bike show sometimes there are parts that have to come from a factory. Let's be honest here, many components on a bike are precision manufactured and the engineering behind them is a work of art in and of itself. Today I'm going to run through some of the cooler parts that I got the privilege of drooling over in between the bikes.
We'll start off with the original Brooks leather toe straps. Still going strong after all these years. I will one day have a fixie with brooks straps and saddle, it's just a question of funding.
Have you ever wondered where all those amazing Thompson components come from. On the left is the starting billet for a Thompson stem, next to it is the intermediate and finished product. The tube on the right is a seat post blank. Every post is machined down from that... as is my cool new key chain.
If that doesn't get you excited than why are you reading this bolg... that's a lot of Chris King components right there and in lots of pretty colors too.

I don't want to appear biased, so here's a shot of the insides of Cane Creak's 110. They are convinced that it's the best headset on the market and it has a 110 year warranty to back it up. Anyone out there actually spent the money for one that can tell me if it's really better than a King?
Ever wondered where cassettes come from. Here's the before during and after shots of Sram's Rival cassette. I was honestly disappointed that they didn't have the same for red, but lots of cyclocross bikes I saw were runing Rival casettes so these things must do something right.

We'll end today with a view of the future. I wasn't sold on this setup before, but I've seen it in action now and talked to one of the lead engineers on the project. All I can say is wow, it shifts fast and clean and he said that he hasn't gotten a battery to last less than 1500 miles on a single charge. Even though it is butt ugly (especially next to Red) and not the lightest component out there I would buy it in a heartbeat... you know if I had the money.


The other half of NAHBS

There is one thing about NAHBS that the Breaker has not mentioned in his posts thus far... there was tons of great schwag. What, some of you seem to be asking, is schwag? Schwag is free stuff... cool, free stuff. You expect the usual: business cards, fliers, catalogs, stickers, etc. What we got was tons better. First off well designed business cards where the thing this year with some great designs. (I will do a post of all of the 2D schwag when I have more time). Next up where some great new magazines like COG (for those art driven people out there, check this one out) and Bicycle Times (published by the guys at Dirt Rag). Then came stickers, a lot of which rocked. Dirt Rag had their usual stash of cool ones. But as Jared and I approached their booth to snag a few, the guy asked us if we wanted some X rated ones. At which point he brought out stickers that said "Get on a _____ bike". Half of the room flocked in to grab those. Another popular freebie was the Brooks Saddles nice, eco-friendly, cloth bag (which I used to carry their catalog and COG). But the top of the list in terms of cool goes to Thomson who not only brought their stickers, but also key chains. And not just little plastic ones that say Thomson, but cross sections of the blanks they use to make their world famous seat posts. Awesome! Well, that is all I have for now. I am sure the Breaker will have something good for you all tomorrow. I'll explore the realm of softgoods on Thursday.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Every Little Thing

One of the best parts about bikes is that they are functional art. Some of the metal work at the NAHBS was pretty darn amazing and today I've got a few shots of it.

Yes, that's a raw unfinished Vanilla you see there along with some gorgeous lug work and an interesting sleeve design by Hunter.

Monday, March 2, 2009


Maybe I’m Amazed

The North American Handmade Bike Show was amazing. Roadie Steve and I have decided that we need to get back there next year.

Today's photos are designed to make you wish you were there with us, showing some cool stuff and a bit of the more unique things we saw.

First we see a completely non biking related picture (the last one for the week I promise you) showing the rubble of one of my favorite stadiums ever with the really really big, but equally ugly, replacement for it rising in the background.

I decided that Serotta was a good place to start in terms of gorgeous bikes, so here's a couple of there offerings at the show. Their booth was right inside the door, and it worked for them in drawing the eye in.

Now here's a sampling of some of the cool innovativee touches that you really only find when the bikes are made by hand.

Thursday, February 26, 2009



There is an inherent problem with having a blog. Even on a blog such as this one what with the three writers, topical material, and no crowds to please there is a real shortage of interesting things to write about.

It was more than 60 degrees out today, but I'm not really thinking that you want to read about the weather.

I've put more than 100 miles on my legs this week (and it's not quite over yet) for the fist time since... well probably October, but November at the latest. Do you really want to read about every training mile though.

See, I've tried to blog before and I just don't have all that interesting a life, nor do I have the will power to sit down and think of a funny story every day. This upcoming weekend though Roadie Steve and I are going to solve our material shortage problem... probably for a while.

Saturday we will be at the North American Hand Made Bike Show. There will be lots of desire to spend money which we will try to avoid doing, mostly because there's not really any to spend right now, and lots of pictures to take and stuff to see.

Next week I will be posting every day, pictures of my favorite bikes and components, and I'm pretty sure that Steve will be willing to do the same thing. I'm getting excited for this trip now, got my camera battery charging right now as a matter of fact, so you guys enjoy your weekend and I'll see you all next week.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


A departure from the norm...

So what do college students do when the night is clear and the moon is gone? We look up. And then plot. And then drive to the mountain to look at the stars. And I suggest the same for over the next couple of days while the moon is new. If it is clear, bundle up, go outside, and look up. You don't have to spend a ton of time out there just enough to realize that you are really small.

Monday, February 16, 2009



At some point in my time as a cyclist I realized that the only way that I was going to be able to afford to keep riding was to be able to keep the bike running myself. Paying other people to put parts on, keep parts adjusted, and repair broken frames (OK, I still can't do that myself, but I've never paid for it either) just gets way to expensive. The investment in good quality tools more than pays for itself in saved labor costs at the shop.
The only problem with doing your own maintenance is that now you are relying on your abilities every time you try to shift, turn, pedal, and (most frightenly of all) break. To be honest since I work at a bike shop there are lots of people out there who have pulled a break lever and been relying on my handiwork to stop then, but most of them will never be testing out my skills coming down a mountain at 45mph.... I do.
Along with testing your mechanical skills, your ability to get things done in a timely fashion is tested. It is this skill that I constantly fail at. As the weather warmed up and I decided that I wanted to get out my fleet and have some fun I discovered the following problems after a winter of neglect:
1. No front derailleur on the Enduro (it's on the Stumpy)
2. No chain or front derailleur on the HT
3. Missing almost every up-shift on the Tarmac
4. Single speed still has a cracked rear axle
5. Flat tire on the HT
6. 2" of mud covering every surface, including the ones that are supposed to be moving, on the Stumpy (this wasn't really a winter neglect problem as much as a pushing the limits of when winter is over)
After some time to get all of these problems fixed I have solved only one of them. I can now shift my Tarmac, but every other problem still sits mockingly in my garage every morning. It is limiting the amount of fun that I can have on two wheels by depriving me of several different riding styles as well. Tomorrow during winter forum I think I'm going to get that HT in riding condition and start working on some trials stuff in the back yard by evening time, at least I'll tell myself that now.

Saturday, February 14, 2009


The Amazingness that is Twin Six

I have a problem. And I know what you all are going to say... "Yes, Steve. We know you have problems." Well, I admit that I have multiple problems. But I have one that is particularly troubling. It's called Twin Six. They make some pretty amazing stuff. T-shirts, jerseys, socks, drinking glasses, hats, water bottles, etc.

Now here is the heart of the problem... I have some of the stuff they make, but I want most of the stuff they make. And a larger problem is that I would love to work for them or a company like them. Which has lead to the creation of a hypothetical company which I am currently designing logos and business documents for. But these guys are the originals... cool, clean, functional designs. And their t-shirts are the most comfortable fashion statement I have ever owned. Now if only I could score a longsleeve wool jersey like... *cough***cough*... then my cycling wardrobe would be complete. And yeah, I rock the brand name jersey with the Performance shorts.