Obama Purifies Water with A Bike

Finally something useful from Vine! Levar Burton posts a short video of the President pedaling a bike-powered water filtration system at the White House Science Fair.

Science!

Giro New Road: Worn, Ridden, and Reviewed UPDATED

Expecting good weather and plenty of ride time, took Giro’s Road Line to the SRAM 22 launch, wore it, and wrote this.

Shorts pocket

These shorts must be made for Republicans, ‘cause they only have a pocket on the right side

Maybe if Giro had said, “We’ve made an urban line so nice, you’ll want to wear it on a century,” their new clothes wouldn’t cause us to pause so much with, “what?” They’re marketing it as the new road uniform with loosely tailored fit and muted colors. There’s a market for more urban wear and anyone who wants to ride without stopping to change before a meeting, sure. That’s not what this line is though and isn’t priced for the commuter at $300.00 for shorts and jersey. We expect the highest quality wool at that price, soft and breathable, complimenting a jersey like this Ibex in the cycling closet.

Giro wants you say to your office mate that asks about riding more, but not in kit like a racer, try this out. Expect him to balk at putting that much money on his credit card. The bike he’s riding likely costs that much. He’ll lock it up outside a Banana Republic and shop, where the styling from this line could hang on racks, as new active wear for spring.

It is nice kit with some of the pieces sewn in Santa Cruz, but like their skull-shaping, aero helmet, we don’t get the aesthetic or racing in classic, lace-up shoes. I could hear Tim Gunn saying, “Edit, edit, edit!” when I tried to put various things into the shoulder pockets.

cork fits!

Corks fit the shoulder pockets

Are those pockets or maybe shoulder marks for your Fondo insignia? Note: Neither, we later learned they’re vents.

That they decided to compete with Rapha is good and deserves praise, as does more consumer choice in a bike shop. Why should one brand define what a generation wears or tell us that pink is manly and non-sanctioned racing is what gentlemen do? Giro wants to tap into a market that others have tried, like Levis, with a Gap-like line. It’s upscaled, mature, and from a name you know.

New road, sewn in Santa Cruz

We’ve been waiting for something like this too — another fashion release from a major cycling brand after being disappointed by jeans that don’t fit our thighs. That Giro went with industry-wide “research memes” like retro tell us they went down a checklist. Minimal, check. Details, check. That perceived production process is why we press pause instead of continuing to enthusiastically shuffle through their offering like a new album from a favorite band.

Do they ride like us? Is their lifestyle pitch from cyclists or marketers with an unchecked creative director designing pockets that have no purpose?

It’s not that we don’t like or dislike Giro’s new road line. Our enthusiasm for the line is as muted as their colors. You can dress yourself like a peacock or a mule in the sport now and unzip to use a fly, instead of pulling the front of your shorts down. Progress for a nature break! Selle also has a short with fly, but it’s not hidden underneath baggy shorts.

Giro’s Road line is a retail gamble that may or may not pay out. That they tried and threw their cards down on the table, where Rapha plays deserves respect. Many play there with wool like Ibex, Icebreaker, and Outlier. The mark for us of quality wool is how well it survives the wash and wear cycle. We’ll wait as long as possible to wash the shoulder-pocket jersey, expecting it to lose its shape. 5 years ago Ibex worked wearability issues like that out. Also how to make a wool jersey that feels soft against the skin with 17.5 microns instead of 18.9.

Will this road line exist that long? Hope so and that we get to know the Giro crew better out on a ride. They’re off to a good start and suggest the next evolution ship with color, better fit, and details that we understand.

Giro’s New Road line is available at your local bike shop and online. For more on Giro’s Road line, see this tag.

Updated and Correction

Those aren’t shoulder pockets for corks or 1/2 a pepperoni stick, but vents. After posting this review, Giro wrote to tell me that and also note that one of their VPs is a former pro who can still climb.

Touched a Surface RT and Liked It

Surface

Surface RT first boot

Been playing with a Surface RT for a few days. Tiles and lists work very well on a phone and tablet. Browsing, reading, and statusing are all good. Also avoiding the Metrotop confusion by not opening the “desktop” or wondering why Office apps prompt a launch Office 365! Elegant is a good descriptor or a fast wheel that was built with a slight wobble. An OS that’s convoluted with desktop and mobile modalities is as much about a boardroom fight as the transition from old to new computing metaphors.

Live Tiles updating

Live Tiles Updating

Why would a bike blog review Windows-based consumer electronics? Cause we’re based in Seattle and ride with many cyclists who work on Surface, Windows 8, and IE 10. They’re as into what they do as any creative and developer. Whatever market forces are at work causing Surfaces to get overlooked and hated isn’t my concern (buyers on Amazon sure like them), respecting the work of our colleagues and cyclists is.

In a few weeks, we’ll have Google Glass in at Hugga HQ too, and visited Google’s offices in Fremont last month. While there played with a Chrome Pixel and also very interested in that OS.

Touchy IE

Touch IE demo

MS has done a good, great job with this tablet. Sure there’s some cruft in a Surface RT, but what OS is free of that? None.

If I can get photos to ingest from a SD card, edit, and upload, then the Surface RT will go on the road with me.

At SXSW, also tried out the Surface Pro and for what I want to do with a tablet, prefer the RT. You can practically hear the battery drain on the Pro and the heat will sear a Windows logo into your thigh. It’s a bit thick and heavy for a tablet and meant to carry from meeting to meeting. Not in a Chrome Niko bag on a ride or on an seat back tray flying to another media event.

I’m testing the 32 G Surface RT with a black TouchCover. Pricing for Surface RTs start at $499.00. Find them on Amazon, the Windows Store in a mall or online.

Lance Herbstrong UPDATED

Lance Herbstrong

Photo: @trulygreatmadness

We don’t think Lance should ever race his bike competitively again, but if he remakes himself as a celeb stoner playing drums in a band called Herbstrong; well, allrighty then! Where we live, it’s already legal, so hey pass that giant blunt around, play the music and sing about legalizing it. Consider too that the modern bike industry was built with a couple joints, coffee, and klunkerz. The titans that run the industry today are just a slice of avocado, a million bucks, and a splash of bong water away from the hippies they used to be.

Never underestimate Lance too. This photo popped in social channels on 4/20, the stoner holiday and when the mood of the country has shifted to accepting weed, even legalizing it nationwide.

Maybe Herbstrong is a new meme band for Lance, made from hemp, and green with a pot leaf on it.

Updated

Now there’s video and, “in case you didn’t know, the guitarist for Lance Herbstrong is Peter DiStefano from Porno for Pyros, Perry Farrell’s band after Jane’s Addiction!”


Urban Cyclists in Berlin


Berlin is a fav city to ride in, as the short film shows. We were there in 2010, riding all over, with Karl Addison. Past the Wall and a quick turn at Checkpoint Charlie.

Charlie

Round around it like three times

Read more about Berlin and our rides there in our archives.

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