Cyclical Thought

A (very) short film about what it means to ride the road, and get out and have an adventure.

Hold Fast for Jim Brown


The HOLD FAST Giro DND gloves are a limited edition benefitting the incomparable Jim Brown of Olympia, Washington. Jim has directed the Rad Racing NW Junior Cycling team for nearly two decades and is also the driving force behind the Rapha NW Classic Juniors Stage Race, now in it’s fifth year. In May 2015 Jim visited his doctor to look into a recent bout of shortness of breath following a gran fondo and was given the news that he had lung cancer, specifically advanced adenocarcinoma. “My dream has been interrupted by an unwelcome guest,” he wrote in a message to friends and vowed to escort the uninvited from the party. He looked to the HOLD FAST tattoo on his knuckles, a nautical term referring to the importance of securing a ship’s rigging heading into storm and a reference to his service in the U.S. Coast Guard, and drew resolve to stay the course of the dream he had been living prior to diagnosis. His dedication to recovery and positive approach have only served to bolster his reputation as a role model.


The kids of Rad Racing drew inspiration from HOLD FAST and drew Sharpie tattoos on their own knuckles for races, rides, or just to send a note to Jim through social media. Parents soon joined in and the HOLD FAST double knuckle salute became a common site in the Rad world. Giro, a long-time sponsor of Rad Racing, came up with this great glove idea and worked with Jim’s tattoo artist to create these gloves. Jim’s response upon seeing the design - “So Rad.”

The Hold Fast for Jim Brown fund covers expenses Jim and his family encounter as he pursues the best and most advanced treatment available. Jim has recently completed Round 16 of chemotherapy treatment for adenocarcinoma with the results showing the disease minimized and stabilized. Jim continues to work as Captain of Medical Services for the Olympia, WA Fire Department while wrangling his own three kids in addition to all the Rad Racing NW Juniors. He recently completed the Sea Otter media gran fondo while also coaching a full squad of racers throughout the weekend.

Jim posts regular treatment updates on his blog and Chris DiStefano posted about Jim and Rad Racing on the Athletic.

HOLD FAST Giro DND Special Edition gloves

  • Benefiting the Hold Fast for Jim Brown Foundation
  • $40.00 - Proceeds from all sales donated to the foundation
  • Available exclusively at The Athletic Community
  • Sizes: S-XXL
  • The Giro Hold Fast Glove is built on Giro’s award-winning DND Glove, a simple, durable glove for everyday riding.

This Thursday!

It’s Thursday! The day I like to stomp into a bike shop, pronounce that I’m a masters racer, and demand they fix my bike in time for the race this weekend….the reason they must stop everything and tend to my needs?

Series points, of course.

Wait, I’m not racing anymore (well, this season at least)—never mind!

But hey the chain won’t stay in the 44X34, and do I ever need that 34. The reason why Mark V wrote about this week in his 1x post. Also see my take about the user experience in Issue 35 of our magazine.

Do 1x11 Gravel Drivetrains Suck?

Single chainring drivetrains have taken a huge bite out of the mountainbike market, and now SRAM, the industry trend’s main backer, is pushing to put 1x11 on a variety of dropbar bicycles as well. As gravel bikes are akin to mtb for a number of reasons, it’s only natural that the growing market segment would be a ripe target for these products. A key element to getting the wide gear range out of a single chainring is SRAM’s innovative XD-style cassette, which allows a cog as small as 10 teeth to be used. Then the biggest cog is pushed to a startling 42 teeth, giving a total range of 420%. But as head Hugger Byron has stated, the 1x11 XD setup has some big jumps between the gears. He doesn’t like it, and said so in context of the experience. I’m a little more open-minded, probably because I’ve had an XX1 group on my MTB for the past two years. I am well-acquainted with how a 1x11 XD drivetrain feels. What I am going to do here is explain the difference in solid, quantitative terms. And that means dry-ass numbers, percentages, and figures. If you’re such a lightweight that you can’t handle some math, or if you’re not into um….deeper reading because you’re surfing the net on your smartphone while taking a dump, feel free to skip everything I’ve written down to the “summary.” No really, go ahead, I’m totally fine with it. Just know that I will punch you in the face if you want to object to my analysis without actually doing the reading. If you ask Mark V a complicated question, he gives you the fucking answer. I don’t have patience for those too lazy to read and think.

Riding in the Woods is Fun

Hurl is right and I saw this photo on Instagram, just as I was writing a post about Issue 35 Into the Woods, that dropped on Friday. Of all the words I’ve been writing about adventure, gravel, and roadies riding offroad on dirt

It’s really fun

are the most concise. We try to limit car sightings to one a hour, at max and sometimes don’t see them for hours. That’s what riding in the woods is about: no cars+fun. In the issue, I share stories about the Boone and Diverge, 1x11 road is reviewed too. The issue costs $3.99 or $14.00 annually. It’s available on iTunes and the Web.


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