Hugga Highlights: Photos

What a year it was for us, our fans, followers, and readers. Thanks for being part of what we do and we’ve got much more coming in 11. But first, let’s take a look at a few of our best photos.

SXSW

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A Cutter from our Mobile Social SXSW.

Vegas

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Riding with the PoPo from our Mobile Social Interbike.

Cross Racing

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Much going on in this photo for Chris Mahan, Russie, and me. I wrote about it in this post.

We’ll have more highlights, like this photo from the Vancouver Olympics, over the weekend and another Huggacast from Kauai.

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Happy New Year!

Photohuts

My Kodachrome memories are of Photohuts. Those were drive-up huts that were placed in the corner of mall parking lots. You handed the clerk rolls of film and later they handed you back photos. It’s likely the architectural design later influenced Pizza Huts.

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Reader Cycleboredom found the photo and Foster Bass commented that the huts were ran by Fotomat.

With the last roll of Kodachrome being processed, what memories do you have? A shoebox full of old races and bikes? Mt. Tam and your Mtn bike?

Nice Patch, Bro

Love sprocket patch spotted at LAX.

Uploaded by Hugger Industries | more from the Bike Hugger Photostream.

In the Bike Shop: I hate the new QBP.com

QBP.com interface.pngWhen I took over buyer duties at the shop, I was quick to embrace using the online ordering option from QBP, one of North America’s biggest cycling product distributors. What made it for me was speed with which I could create an order, save it, and then add on to it before actually submit. That website plus QBP’s broad product selection without a doubt were responsible for QBP becoming my shop’s number one parts vendor despite having 2 local competing distributors in the greater Seattle area.

Very recently, QBP heavily revised their website “with a modern interface that is easier to use, more flexible and faster to navigate.”

This move fills me with the burning rage of a billion f###ing suns. More steps to find information, more scanning up-down to find information, robust yet rarely used features in the beginning of menus, etc. Whereas before I could run from the mechanic’s station and quickly add an item to an order, now I sift through features that I’ll never use. Essentially, the website might be friendlier to a novice who might want to explore, but it’s infuriating to someone who is experienced. And some things seem ridiculous: the default organization for tubes after selecting a brand is by price, not ISO size, not width, and not stem length except by coincidence. So a tube size 18” might follow a 700C size, in turn to be followed by a 650B.

This reminds me of how Velonews.com and Cyclingnews.com both chose nearly unreadable web layouts in the past year or so. With “online magazines”, I figure part of the reorganization is to offer advertisers better exposure, so I I can forgive them (just) a little. But with QBP, I AM the money. I guaranty that they will receive less of my shop’s business. And I don’t even need to do this as spite, because they just made it harder for me to buy stuff from them.

Bike Travel and the TSA

Each time we travel with our folding or coupled bikes, I pack in anticipation of the TSA. What new rules and procedures are in place? Are they going to trash my pack? Packing the Modal, my travel bike, is a spatial puzzle. It goes in the case one way because of the wide rear dropouts that accommodate the custom sliders. After a dozen trips and Mark V’s master bike traveler tutelage, I’ve got it down to include a helmet and shoes.

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For all the traveling we do, never had the TSA unpack my bike to swab it and then attempt to repack it (or seen it happen). LIH is a small airport so the agent did this in public view and I kept an eye on what he was doing. After carefully working with the parts and gear, he was struggling to get it back together and I signaled the supervisor and first asked if I can assist him. The supervisor agreed, as long as I didn’t touch anything. A few attempts later and making little progress with my boarding time approaching, I called the supervisor over again. I asked politely if I could repack it with them watching and they could swab the case again and swab me. The supervisor agreed and in a few minutes of stress, I repacked the case and got it closed.

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A Quick Pack

That was the worst and quickest pack ever and won’t know until tonight how the bike survived. The TSA did not swab the case or me again. I told the supervisor I appreciated their assistance and proceeded to the security line. I later discovered I had bike grease all over me, including what looked like black war paint across my nose and face.

Advice from this trip is to not overpack the case or complicate it. When you’ve got a puzzle to pack, even a well-intentioned TSA agent just doing his job will not solve it. Anticipating case inspections, Mark V has created a pictogram for his case.

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What did work was toe-strapping the frame and big parts together, but I’d not use a net because that’ll just cause them to dig around more.

When I posted the TSA agent photo to our Facebook page, a reader wrote that the TSA dumped his backpack S&S case out and refused to let him repack it. His bike got trashed.

Have you had this happen to you? How have you faired traveling with your bike?

Update

The inside of the travel case looked like Chuck Norris roundhouse kicked it to Jens Voigt who ran over it with his bike. Then David Banner opened it, got angry, and turned into the Hulk while packing it, but there was NO DAMAGE!

That proves Pam’s method of packing is better. She just tosses everything into the case and closes the lid in about half the time.

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