The Art of Gear: Paul Smith and Mercian

/images/bike1-reshoot-detailb.jpgWhether we admit it or not, gear is as much about design and fashion as it is function–we need the objects around us to look good for the same reason we need the food we eat to taste good. So I always think it’s refreshing when a gear manufacturer openly embraces the fashion side of their business–and what better way than to team with a fashion designer? That’s just what Mercian has done, joining with designer Paul Smith to roll out a line of track and touring bikes with Smith-design color schemes.

In turn, Smith uses a coat of paint to highlight those little details that distinguish artisanship.

Hat Tip: The Goat.

Yo 2007, how you doin’?

Ahhhh the New Year. I would like to officially give the finger to AD 2006 and welcome Two-double-Aught-Seven into my arms.

My body is currently under viral assault from whatever illness has been leveling all my friends and co-workers. Maybe the 5 nights of Jolt Cola-fueled manic activity prior to New Year’s Eve lowered my immunity. Maybe the imperial gallon of nigori sake (champagne is for the plebes) I consumed on the Eve wasn’t healthy, and maybe I didn’t need to go riding in the freezing rain the next day but I couldn’t think of a better way to start off a smashing new year. I may be bed-ridden and coughing up bits of my internal organs, but even that won’t dampen my spirits.

I guess it’s tradition to start of the new year by expressing one’s wishes and resolutions:

Photo of the day

a ghost is born (ten)

a ghost is born (ten), by eight double / steven wade.

From a photoset on the ceremony placing the bike and remembering the rider.

Also, if you’re in Illinois, you should read about Matt’s Law, and consider calling or writing your representatives about it. If enacted, it would stiffen penalties for distracted drivers, after Matthew Wilhelm was killed in September 2006 by a driver downloading a ringtone to her cellphone. Jennifer Stark, the driver who killed Wilhelm, was fined $1,000 and served just 6 months of probation.

Planning (or dreaming of sun)

What do I think about on rides home like last night? A ride with constant, soaking rain for an hour straight on a road edge filled with debris. Apart from the non-stop thought of “can they see me” I usually find myself day-dreaming about the good rides I have to look forward to.

I’m lucky enough to have a nice long vacation planned to Brisbane, Australia. I’m still working out the logistics of the bike and whether or not I need to buy a travel version, but I’m eagerly counting the days until sun. It makes the wet rides that much more passable.

Start the new year off right

For those of us not in Maui (and in the real world) how about a little challenge? I start most years off trying to see how long I can go riding every day. Last year I made it until mid-February before a work trip derailed my streak. It doesn’t have to be much - some days I just hop on the trainer for 30 minutes to watch a TV show. Most days my commute does the trick, but getting in the longer rides on the weekends can sometimes be hard to get inspired for when it’s like this outside. Any takers?

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