Let’s Talk About the Weather and Shells

Oz clouds

Turned the bikes away from these clouds fearing that may spirit us away to Oz

Snow in Seattle in late April, almost May further indicates this is very unusual weather, from a place where the weather is a way of life. I’ve noticed odd wind patterns too, like in two decades it hasn’t blown from that direction. Also my preternatural ability to read clouds is totally out of whack. Wispy gray clouds don’t deliver a deluge. Suspect that above the billowy ones in stealth mode are the dark, wicked clouds that float in fast and hurriedly drop their payload. I was so upset about suggesting we turn away from one set of clouds and another wetted us out, that I apologized during the ride on Sat. It was jackets on/off, repeatedly.

The route we rode was 40 miles in the city, protected by trees when it’s stormy on best-of roads like Monster and Macadam.

In my jersey pocket for unpredictable warm then cold rides like this is Gore’s Xenon Active soft-shell. It packs up small and passes the tortilla test.


Xenon out of the pocket and worn

For Urban rides, dressed up and more stylish, I like Rapha’s Rain Jacket and reviewed it in this post. For the next storm, I’ll try Giro’s jacket that came in on test with their New Road Line.

Moto Bike Crash on Mulholland UPDATED

Before each ride with SRAM during their 22 launch, we were warned about Motos on Mulholland. The post I wrote about Red Kite Prayer was on that famed highway. There hadn’t been an incident that anyone knew about, until now. From the crash video page, it says no one was hurt, but you know, two objects can’t occupy the same space at the same time. The motos on the road when were were there, all passed accordingly with plenty of room.


The Video from the trailing moto has been removed by the owner of it and deleted from this post, but commentary from Mark V below describes it.

Shows that there was a still photographer at the inside apex, right at the road’s edge. the lead motorcyclist almost certainly was looking for the photographer rather than paying attention to his line and traffic ahead. While I obviously assert the motorcyclist’s culpability in this incident, I cannot help but feel that the presence of the photographer, videographer, and the cultural phenomenon of Youtube contributed to the event. and I cannot ignore the likelihood that incidents like this involving bicyclists filming themselves plunging through pedestrians and traffic must also result in innocent bystanders being injured for no good reason.

Another update comes from Biking LA who’s got the inside story that this was a Hincapie-led ride.

Inside Google’s Bike Shop

Google Bike Shop

Ariel Zambelich/Wired

A Wired take on Google’s bike culture, including behind-the-scenes photos from the secret bike shop where the bikes are maintained

You’ll find a secret bike shop where people like Robert Jimenez and Terry Mac twist wrenches and true tires all day long, rocking out to AC/DC and Pink Floyd. Then, if you slip into the back room, you’ll see them: 1,300 green, blue, red and yellow Google Bikes, stacked Santa’s workshop-style as far the eye can see.

A couple years ago, took photos of the campus bikes and last year posted on the new bikes arriving on campus. Also, the code for the bike layer on Google Maps was written here in Seattle by then Google engineer Andy Schwerin. Rode with him in Fremont.

From the Archives: The Death of the Triple

50 34

50 x 34, spin

7 years into this blog with thousands of posts, hey we can occasionally publish a best-of, re-run, like this one from Mark V about the death of the triple.

Bike companies have toted the compact double as the ideal way to gain most of the benefits of a triple crank (namely better low range gearing) while having a better chainline and lower weight. This is mainly true, but before you decide that the compact double crank is right for you, you should understand its real advantages for you as a user as well as the motivations bike companies have for selling it to you.

Having recently spent 100% more time climbing on a compact than usual, Mark’s take is an educated follow-up to my ride with Patrick O’Brady in which I tested every possible SRAM 11-speed gear combo looking for the one that felt right. Never found it, but the chain didn’t rub!

Novara on Sale at REI This Weekend

cragmont jeans

Cragmont jeans for cycling

A Spring Sale at REI is a good time to mention their cycling products I’ve been wearing in 13. Over the Winter for all the snow biking, I was in Headwind jacket and tights. You see that gear in the shots featured in the Wired article. Also, Novara’s Brimmed Bike Beanie hat, which has since sold out.


With Vittoria Classics shoes

In Austin, during SXSW, I had their new Cragmont jeans and Westbrae knickers with me. I like the jeans especially for the details like a padded, reinforced crotch, articulated knees, and reflective cuffs. Each year, Novara’s gear improves and this line is their best so far. It’s made by cyclist I ride with in the Pacific Northwest.

Considering we’ve reviewed Rapha, Castelli, Giro, Road Holland, and Novara recently, cyclists have more choices than ever in road or urban gear.

To get the 25% off deal at REI this weekend, become a member if you’re not already one, shop online or in store with the 25REI coupon.

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