Ordered new music for the new year from @heyrosetta and as soon as that drops, syncing it to my iPod for some long rides.
After closing out my cyclocross season at Waves For Water’s UCI event in Tacoma, I’ve had a chance to evaluate my equipment choices from this season. This time around I brought in a second bike, a Davidson D-Plus, that I fitted as a singlespeed (you can read about the design in Issue 19 of our downloadable magazine). All the little details on the bike were spot-on, allowing the components to function at their best, though there were only two significant deviations from my usual parts selection: brakes and tyres. For the moment I still remain faithful to cantilever brakes, but rather than Avid Shorty Ultimates I chose TRP’s RevoX Carbon (to be reviewed in a separate post). The other change from my usual CX equipment was tubeless tyres. With an embarrassingly large personal stable of bikes and kit, I was eager to avoid cluttering my life and draining my finances with yet another single purpose tubular wheelset.
Like a tubular, a tubeless clincher tyre promised to allow low pressure in the CX races without pinch-flatting, yet without the laborious gluing ritual I could change out the treads each week if I so desired. And at the end of the season, the tubeless wheels could be reshod with commuter or gravel tyres, or maybe I leave the tubeless CX tyres on the wheels so I can go play around in the muddy woods this winter, free from the fear of damaging expensive tubular tyres on a casual outing. In contrast, my tubular CX hoops get cleaned and stored in wheelbags where they do nothing but take up space in my closet until next September. But promises are one thing, reality another.
Patented rod-and-clamp design makes the bag-closure device very versatile
Ok, so it’s not really a bike thing per se, but check this out: With 6 days left to order in time for Christmas with Prime, Amazon published their annual Stocking Stuffers with a Story feature and it includes an origin story about a household product my company makes, Clip-n-Seal.
We originally designed this to keep coffee and chips fresh at home, but people have found all kinds of other uses for them, including disposal of chemical waste in manufacturing processes, and even to seal testing apparatus in the space program.
Used in making fast, race wheel that I reviewed in our mag.
The application of Clip-n-Seal that most interests me, as a cyclist, is their use in wheel building. During PressCamp earlier this year, I met with Enve Composites and we discussed their latest wheels, and how they use Clip-n-Seal at the factory. I can’t share the specifics, as it’s propriety process, but Clip-n-Seals keep their resins and carbon fibers fresh.
Originally designed to keep chips fresh
As Amazon shared on their site today, Clip-n-Seals are a stocking stuffer with a story that has many more chapters to write, fresh beans to grind, and wheels to make.
Somehow at the last minute, the Pacific Northwest got their UCI-sanctioned cyclocross race. When the Deschutes Brewery Cup in Bend OR was cancelled mid-season, it looked like there wouldn’t be a UCI race anywhere north of California all year. Luckily the guys who run Seattle-based MFG Cyclocross secured a sponsor in the form of Waves For Water, a nonprofit organization that works to provide clean water to communities in need worldwide. With a little help from the guys at Cross Revolution, a rival CX race organizer, MFG managed to deliver 2 days of racing this past weekend that attracted racers from all over the NW as well as places like Colorado. Hats off to all involved!
For me, that will be my last weekend of cyclocross racing, though I mostly missed out on the first half of the season. Instead of getting ready for racing at the end of the summer, I was breaking down a 31 year old bike shop. Long, relentless hours of packing and moving made riding my bike, let alone going to the races, into a whimsical daydream. My long-awaited Davidson D-Plus cyclocross bike was the last bike to be painted at that location, but I was too busy to build it up until after we completed move-out on Halloween. I assembled the frame with a 2x10 drivetrain for photos and then immediately rebuilt it as a no-compromise singlespeed race bike, thereby fulfilling the D-Plus design concept (you can read more about the design and fabrication in Issue 19 of our downloadable magazine).
Before the season began I had ambitions to double up on race days, entering both Cat4 and singlespeed events. The plan was to use my still-awesome Redline Conquest Carbon as my geared bike and the D-Plus for singlespeed. As it actually played out, I raced Cat4 at Silverlake and Magnuson Park; SSCX at Woodland Park, Frontier Park, Gig Harbor, and the first day of Waves-For-Water at Marymount Park, Tacoma. At Steilacoom on the second day of the UCI weekend, I finally managed to do the double, so now it’s time to clean all the mud off my race wheels, return the D-Plus to a fully-geared mode, and reflect on what I have learned this season.
Bike Works at work in Seattle. Photo: Kristie McLean
This weekend, Bike Works is holding its fourth bi-annual Kids’ Bike-O-Rama at its Columbia City location. Staff, dedicated youth, adult volunteers, music, and community will accompany over 100 kids receiving a bike—for many, their very first bike. Partnering with social service agencies that serve individuals whom are low-income, refugee, and newcomers; including Neighborhood House, East African Community Services, and Southeast Youth and Family Services, Bike Works will give over 100 bikes to kids from the community from neighboring communities.
At Bike Works our youth programs are rooted in the belief that young people thrive when they are valued, feel a sense of belonging, and value themselves. We actively involve young people in their community which helps them to develop new skills and promote links with neighbors while catalyzing future youth involvement in community change. Our youth programs offer an innovative combination of education, bicycle repair and ownership, outdoor activities, and community service and include….
For more information about Bike Works, visit their site and Bike-O-Rama is December 20th, 2014, from 10am to 2pm.