An 11 x 26 with Force

As if the promise of SRAM’s new Force group wasn’t enough, they’re shipping it with an 11 x 26! Like Matt Pacocha says in his review of the new group for Velonews, I never understood why gruppo manufactures didn’t ship a gear bigger than a 23 with a 11. SRAM is offering a group that works “as well as anything else out there,” is lighter, less expensive, and has an 11 x 26 for us older riders.

I predict Force is going to be hit and in the peloton there’s already buzz about it being a good working group for crit racing season.

RAGBRAI rolling across Iowa

Possibly the world’s biggest rolling party is underway in Iowa, as the 34th annual edition of the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa traveled from Sergeant Bluff to Ida Grove on Sunday, the ride’s toughest day.

Ridership is limited to 8,500 full-week riders and 1,500 daily riders. This year’s ride has gotten some extra attention because some guy who used to race bikes will be riding along on Thursday.

Like the Tour de France, “teams” play an important role in RAGBRAI, providing team buses or trucks to carry bikes for injured, hungover, or exhausted riders; teammates to ride along with on the road, and an infrastructure for the acquisition and transportation of large quantities of beer.

On the Des Moines Register’s weblogs, Erin Crawford relays the first legend of RAGBRAI XXXIV (they’re numbered like Super Bowls): The story of Kevin Dudak.

Kevin was driving an RV to Iowa from Denver when the bike rack fell off. The driver behind managed to stop, got the bikes off the road, and waited for the RV to turn around to get the bikes. No sign of them.

Noticing a “RAGBRAI” tag on the bikes, he had a friend Google the unknown acronym. The friend found a former rider, who called RAGBRAI’s office, who tracked down Dudak’s cell phone number. Next thing you know, he’s got his (and his father’s) lost bike back.

RAGBRAI blogs:

dmregister.com | Erin Crawford

Wall Street Journal | Ragbrai Journal

gathkinsons.net | Bicycling posts

Allen has promised to post every night from the route.

Flickr.com | Photos tagged “ragbrai”

RAGBRAI official site

Castelli back in the US

The Oregonian reports that a US distributor is bringing Castelli back to the US and this time doing it right. Much like Asso’s struggles in the past, Castelli had the demand but couldn’t fill the orders. The article includes the history of Castelli and how the Portland-based distributor is hoping to evoke memories of the brand. I think it’s great, my favorite winter cycling cap is a windtek Castelli and I cherish it.

Bikrobatics

A little Friday afternoon fun:

I’ve seen a few freestyle/BMX shows, but never anything like this.

Bike Hugger Shirts

hugga shirts By popular demand, we’ve got shirts being printed and they’ll be available soon. I know I’ve wanted one and will wear it off the bike, at races, events, and everywhere else.

The response to Bike Hugger has been great, better than expected, and we appreciate it. Here’s an example from Winky

I love this – in fact I love it so much I want to buy t shirts. Isn’t that the ultimate show of loving something creative and idealists – turning it into a retail experience.

Considering a retail experience, if the shirts sell well (and I think they will), we’ve got a whole line in mind, as well as schwag. If you’re interested in a shirt, post a comment and we’ll get them to you first.

Going into the Fall and the next cycling season, we’ll sponsor a women’s cycling team and you’ll see us at more events. Look for even more Bike Hugger.

Update

Preorder a Bike Hugger Shirt from our Amazon.com store. They’ll be ready to ship in about 2 weeks.

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