Issue 13 / 31

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When a black cat crosses your path

Our 13th issue drops in a month with a Friday the 13th, so that was an obvious theme to the strange rituals and superstitions that accent bike culture like flavorful, crunchy salad toppings.

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UNEEK sandal by KEEN

UNEEK sandals by KEEN

KEEN went back to what made them famous, the sport sandal, and reinvented it with a couple of cords. What they came up with was UNEEK.

Using innovative two cord construction, KEEN UNEEK molds to your feet for the perfect fit. The two cords and a simple, free-moving cord junction design allow the upper to move and adapt to the shape of foot. This construction provides freedom of movement while providing security and structure. The lightweight PU midsole delivers durability and comfort while the high traction rubber outsole with razor siping ensures secure footing.

UNEEK, Ortlieb, and a Bianchi

If you’re out biking on a tour or just exploring neighborhoods beyond the one next to your own, it’s nice to slip on something other than cycling shoes and walk about.

I find that the UNEEK sandals have a lighter, thinner sole that perhaps has a bit less arch support than other KEEN sandals. Not my choice for running, but they work well playing around in the city or on the rocks and in the water of the shore. They kinda remind me of woven moccasins. I would say they run about 1/2 size small. $100 retail.

Issue 13 on Medium: Superstitions and Strange Rituals

Issue 13 of our magazine drops tomorrow and today I’m on the Microsoft campus for a Lumia event. Here’s a post on Medium about the issue, superstitions, and strange rituals

Superstitions and Strange Rituals

Nikwax TX.Direct

As late spring in Seattle warms into a glowing summer, the specter of the rainy season still haunts me…not the least because I haven’t stored all my rain gear yet. Setting aside the superstition that putting away my GoreTex and fenders would somehow beckon rainfall from a clear sky, the technical fabrics used in the waterproof/resistant garments require specific care in order to maintain their properties. Nikwax manufactures a number of products to maintain/restore the performance of technical fabrics. Nikwax TX.Direct

I have a pair of Vittoria Arctica MTB winter cycling shoes. Right around November I start wearing them for commuting because I hate dealing with booties. Sure, for training rides in the rain/cold I’ll pull on the booties along with all the other jackets, base-layers, etc, but I don’t want dressing myself to be a huge ordeal just to get to the store or work. After three long winters of daily use, the Arctica shoes lost a bit of their water-repellency, so I got some Nikwax stuff to right that.

Breathable tech fabrics with water-repellent properties should be cleaned with methods/products free of bleach, surfactants, fabric softeners, and perfumes, which often contain oils or waxes that encourage water to wet the fabric rather than bead off. Nikwax Tech Wash is a good product for washing your technical garments. Nikwax also makes a gel specifically for cleaning shoes, but I didn’t actually think that far ahead. If after cleaning the fabric still wets out, Nikwax’s TX.Direct can be used to restore water repellency. TX.Direct is available in a wash-in bottle or a trigger-pump spray bottle.

In the video below, I left the first shoe untreated. As I pour water on the tongue of the shoe, the water beads off just for an instant before it starts soaking into the fabric. In contrast, the treated fabric of the other shoe beads water and even supports a small pool of water without wetting.

Good rain gear for riding is expensive, so it really makes sense to take good care of it. After cleaning and treating my rain gear, I can put it in the back of the closet where I hope to not think about it until very late in the fall. And when I bitterly acknowledge that the rainy season has closed out the sunshine, at least I know that my clothing will be in tip-top shape for the long, watery siege.

Adventure Bike: Finna Landscape GT

Adventure in Spain

A Spanish adventure

Spam from Spain’s Finna Cycles gets past email filters to reveal an exceptionally well-spec’d touring bike… the Finna Landscape. A second before I normally would’ve cursed and deleted the email, I see the photos, like this.

Coastal

A coast somewhere, maybe the Costa Brava

So Finna can mark that as win in their CRM for email campaigns and I encourage you to see what they’re doing. So a company I’ve never heard of builds to the adventure/touring trend with an exceptionally well-spec’d bike. Steel, American Classics, Schwalbe, fenders, and so on. American companies, the big ones that import bikes, should take notice in their meetings trying to figure out how to market the gravel trend.

Lunch or breakfast stop

Lunch or breakfast stop

Note: grabbed the photos from an email, so don’t have anything high rez from Finna.

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