Boxing Day Ride with Axel Merckx


On the side of a highway, next to windswept sugar cane fields

As we accelerated into the first rise of a 4-mile climb up Waihee Valley, Axel Merckx said to the group, “now how social you going to be?” 3.5 miles later, regrouping for the descent, he answered his own question with, “not very social!”

Windy, climb

A windy, climb in Maui

The Boxing Day Ride is an annual, day after Xmas ride hosted by South Maui Bicycles and Axel attended as a guest of the shop. He vacations in Maui with family, like most of the ride attendees do. Many of them were on bikes rented from the shop.

So what’s it like to ride with a former Pro and the son of cycling’s most celebrated legend? Like any other accomplished roadie, you ride steady, go when they go, and don’t make too much small talk (that’s if you can go that hard and talk at all).

Pro tip for social rides and fondos: even the pros come back and get their wives on hard climbs, like Axel did half way up to milepost 10, through the remains of the group.

Riding shoulder to shoulder, I gave Axel props for focusing on the next gen of racers and directing the Bontrager Livestrong Cycling Team. We stopped short of any more difficult or controversial discussions about the state of the sport. We’re both on vacation and this was a social ride. And it got even more social back into town at 34MPH, with a tailwind past sugar cane fields.

Back into town

Back into town, looking for the final sprint


The Boxing Day Ride is photomapped on Google with high-rez photos on G+ and Flickr. Also see Andrew’s strava upload for the effort. His suffer score was 86. After 3 hours of sleep before the ride and plane legs, I’d rate my suffering at 87 on the climb.

You can ride with Axel during his next Valley First Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan, on Sunday, July 7th, 2013.

Hugga Fever Dream for the Holidays

We’re en route to Maui for the holidays and posting this fever dream, our friend Richard from Cyclelicious shared with us…

I visit Zero Motorcycles headquarters right here in Scotts Valley and discover they’re about to announce a new electric powered superbike capable of 150 MPH with a thousand mile range. They offer to let me take it for a spin, so I hop on and shoot north on I-5 to check out Starbucks Coffee’s new plantation on the slopes of Mount Rainier.

Starbucks have hybridized the arabica coffee shrub with a juniper to create a coffee that can grow in the Pacific Northwest, causing consternation among coffee snobs everywhere who can’t decide if they should value USA sourced over their pretentious dismissal of a national corporate brand.

I’m swinging through Puyallup to find my way to the plantation when Mount Rainier blows its top, completely obliterating the Starbucks plantation. I decide to continue north to visit +DL Byron’s new food truck in Seattle, which serves up an eclectic combination of foods he discovers on his international travels to far away exotic locales like Austin and Las Vegas.

I arrive to find a huge line outside of the food truck, and then the rain starts and I awaken to a monster rainstorm outside here in California. I’m tellin’ ya it’s really coming down - reminds me of a good Texas storm!

We also wish you the best and thank you for being part of what we do with this blog and bike community.

We had a great year in 12 with much more planned in 13. For now, we’re riding, resting, and relaxing.

Fort Museeuw

at the fort

Flax bike at a Fort

At the Bicentennial Park in Tukwila, where this fort is, stopped for break and to take this photo. Been a year since I’d ridden the Museeuw and was quickly reminded how well it rides. It’s the extended chainstays and the two fingers you can put between them and the hub. They cantilever the bumps just enough and then spring back into action when you stomp on the pedals.

Wish Museeuw would’ve sold better in the Pacific Northwest, cause this bike is made for the roads we ride here. Maybe if they’re marketed it as a Fondo bike for a Hard Man without gimmicks, elastomers, or springs? Cause it’s all the layup and flax blend.

Boots, Denim, and This Bike

Against a brick wall

Against a brick wall

Bill said, “better snap that quick before we pack it up” and I did. That’s a one-of, custom Davidson with flat bars, disc brakes, and a single speed drivetrain. Could talk all day in the shop about the spec or summarize it best with a loud NICE!

Ride this bike with boots, denim, and leather or maybe Goth armor.

Ti-railed Brooks

Ti-railed Brooks

Save the tweed and patent leather shoes for another bike. This one is for the urban assault rides.

Swap those dropouts to gear, fixed, or single

Swap those dropouts to gear, fixed, or single

See more photos in high-rez and light boxed on G+ or Flickr.

POC got Beats by Dre

beats in your head

POC with Beats

Bow wow wow yippee yo yippee yay, POC go Beats by Dre.

We prefer to listen to the world around us as we ride. If you’re into an immersive ride experience listening to music, see what POC is doing with phones and headphones.

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