Time to Race

This Saturday I’m planning on heading out to the Murarrie Cycling Facility for the weekly Balmoral Circuit Race. I’ve raced in London (Hillingdon Circuit) and it’s much the same sort of course: flattish, wide pavement, closed to traffic (yay!), and WINDY. I did a shake-down ride today to sort out the way to the course. I figure about an hour to ride there to be safe considering the hills en-route have enough pitch to make me happy to have the 25.

Swobo launches first bikes

Swobo | Collection

So, as promised, Swobo has launched a line of bicycles to join their clothing. The three models are available for order now, with delivery promised in April.

The Folsom is a one-speed with coaster brakes, and PT-boat styling. Primer gray with gussets between the front of the top and down tubes, with bolt-on hubs, BMX style pedals and 4” riser handlebars, for $499.

The Otis is a matte black, rigid-fork MTB-style frame mated with a SRAM 3-speed coaster brake hub in back and a disc brake up front. Grip twist shifting. Black-on-black tires, black rims, black seat, black frame: To borrow from the masters, “It’s like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is … none. None more black.” Yours for $699.

And the Sanchez, which is out of the box ready to hang with the bike messengers. It’s got the flat-bar fixie no-brake road bike ethos down, and brings a cool galvanized finish (this one’s “Swobo butted CroMo,” while the others are 7005 aluminum). It’s a flip-flop rear hub, so you can thread on a single-speed freewheel. The black and white photos don’t really show the white (yes, white) rims and handlebar, so I’m reserving judgment there. This one’s $599.

And there’s a bottle opener built into every Swobo saddle.

These aren’t bikes as art, or as hipster product placement – they’re utilitarian and organic.

What do you think?

Arrived Down Under

Rolling out in SydneyI’ve made it to the land of Oz. It’s pretty nice down here (85+), and I’m hoping to really get out for some exploring now that I’ve settled into my home base in Brisbane. Sydney was NOT a bike town. I rode for an hour up and down the same street - mostly because I was afraid of getting lost, but also because it was the only street I found that had any sort of a shoulder to it. I couldn’t imagine trying to get around Sydney on bike alone. Commuting to work there would be a challenge for sure.

Masters and the Cramps

Reading the definition of McMansion Masters on Nega-Coach was even funnier after completing my first masters race of the season. The first race with the old guys is always who’s gonna cramp first. Or a big-effort suddenly reeled back with a desperate realization that, “whoa, not quite ready, better back right off … .”

My cramp was a twanging hamstring and I imagined it looking like a guitar string, buzzing after a hard, Peter-Townsend type power-cord strum. It was one pedal stroke away from snapping and I spun like a spin class, at the highest cadence I could to stay with the group. I finished the race favoring my right leg and was relieved it was over.

Sitting in traffic, breathing dirty air . . .

Following the study last year linking asthma and inner-city children to diesel pollutants, a new study by the Clean Air Task Force and reported by Reuters finds that diesel soot shortens lives and that “fine particle pollutants released from the exhaust of diesel-powered vehicles pose a major health risk to commuters.”

Yet another reason to bike to work.

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