Grand Fondo Leavenworth 15

not quite the top of the climb

The Swakane Canyon climb during the Grand Fondo Leavenworth was like my One-Eyed Willy on Sunday – gonna find a treasure at the end of it. I knew it and just kept pedaling. The rest of the Grand Fondo Leavenworth stories, the bikes, and set up will appear in Issue 25 of Bike Hugger Magazine later this month. In the Medium Bicycles Collection this morning, I wrote about going into save mode during the final ascent, and just before that thinking someone had stolen my car.

So what did I find? The change I was looking for and what the theme for Issue 24 is about. I also have Mark V to thank for the bike design, setup, and anti-cramping protocol to get through the ride. Here’s his bike

Mark

and the rear of mine…the XO derailer is paired to a SRAM Red 22 shifter for 11 speeds and an 11 x 36 spread. I used every inch of those gears too.

word

Hodala Valhala

Hodala Valhalla

As seen at Safeway near the deli

At Safeway last night I found Hodala Valhala and it was like a good omen for our ride this weekend at the Grand Fondo Leavenworth, with reports to follow. For now see the article in issue 13 Mark wrote about GFL, (also in the Medium Bicycles Collection ) and how

Epic things can happen when you spastically grasp at the chance to do something different.

Doing things differently is why I’m there, it was time to mix my riding up, and change is what Issue 24 is about.

Back to that pile of bike/beer awesome, hope there’s one at a store near you too.

Velo Angel Saddles

in the gully on the D-Plus

On the D-Plus in the gulley for a test ride.

Sit on enough saddles and you can tell, usually immediately, if it’s gonna work for you and the new Velo Angel sure did for me. Of course, your mileage will vary, but the Angel has features appealing to the Pacific Northwest cyclist, like the the padding system is built and attached to the shell: it’s totally enclosed and 100% waterproof. So no soggy leather or foam, no rotting padding and this is important because it rains where I ride.

Like a gallery piece

An understated company, but there’s a considerable amount of industry-leading industrial design in that saddle

The Angel also uses ArcTech, a unique rail mounting system to deliver comfort (flex absorbs bumps) while keeping weight down. Not content with a single color, Velo has applied “splashy graphics” to the saddle too and I’ve got the blue flavor.

Also, there’s a personal connection to Velo for me. Rode with Velo staffers once in Vegas, during our Mobile Social. For a company that’s been in business for 35 years and makes 15 million saddles a year, they were sure grounded in being about “the ride.”

On the wall

Wall art

The Angel line is available in four versions:

  • Angel Glide: Carbon rail; carbon base; 128mm width; 282mm length; 122g
  • Angel Dive: Titanium alloy rail; gel insert cover; 127mm width; 285mm length; 220g
  • Angel Ride: Titanium alloy rail; gel insert cover; 144mm width; 285mm length; 245g
  • Angel Fly: Titanium alloy rail; gel insert cover; 127mm width; 285mm length; 245g

Check with your local bike shop for the pricing and availability. Summarized: a light, fully-featured saddle with an MSRP of $130 for the Ti rail version, and $290 for the carbon rail/carbon shell version which is a legit 122g.

North Fork of the Skykomish

tree

Never saw a fir tree so big, I couldn’t wrap my arms around it. Have you?

Along the north fork of the Skykomish river, didn’t see a car. No cell coverage either. It was what my friend KK+ calls a Digital Detox. There were no drones, no inebriates, no work talk, or networking either.

Just riding on a bike built for a adventure purpose, the Trek 920. Read more about the 920 in Issue 24 Change. I nicknamed it the weekender.


That ride was the type of change I need and it’s a lead up to the Grand Fondo Leavenworth this weekend.

Cabin

Based in a cabin, the weekender wasn’t set up for camping, but it can do that too

Mark V GFL stories from last year are still being told, and we’re on those forest service roads together this time.

TiGrLock Mini


The first Kickstarter we ever mentioned TiGrLock is back with a mini version and already funded, and a staff pick. We’ve got one in and it’s like original, but not like hanging a titanium bow on your bike – the original was designed to lock both wheels and the bike. I asked Jim to tell me about the new mini

We played around with different shapes. We listened to folks. The locking area of our mini is similar to a mini ulock.

The locking area makes it possible to secure a wheel and frame to a rack, or just the frame - like a mini ulock. It works well for the Sheldon method of locking rear wheel and rear triangle to a rack.

We liked how having a straight side enables it to ride on a bike in a stable way.

We wanted to use as little Ti as possible in order to get the price down. The mini uses half as much Ti as our standard length bow. Using less Ti also reduces the weight even more.

What I liked then about Jim and TiGrLock is they send out photos for media to touch and test.

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