The Browning SmartShift Story


by Byron on Nov 21, 2006 at 6:27 AM

In an unrelated Google search this morning, I found a news article from 2002 about the Browning SmartShift. I’d only heard about SmartShift and don’t know the story, how it worked, if it worked, and if cyclists are still riding it.

The background is intriguing: “a new generation of more comfortable bikes, could bring a return to growth,” and the RD was largely backed by the Browning firearm fortune.

Anyone ever see a SmartShift?

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Bikes give ya nut cancer!


by Byron on Nov 20, 2006 at 7:01 PM

From the bikes in pop culture file, I did a spit take when Earl was riding his bike in the Rob a Stoner Blind episode, towing his brother, and Joy says, ” … bikes give ya nut cancer!”

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Geographical Pedaling Sweetness


by Frank Steele on Nov 20, 2006 at 7:01 PM

The Whiteboard | You Have Reached Your Destination

Panasonic's AVIC-S1

The guys over at Synthesis Studios point out that bikers don’t have to settle for bicycle GPS solutions, as discussed last week.

They went full-bling with a Pioneer AVIC-S1, a Windows CE GPS unit with Bluetooth, 320 x 240 resolution, and 2 gigs of map storage.

Take 1 GPS window-mount, add a handful of zip-ties and an empty stem, and you’ve got a pretty effective, sano install.

Can you use it on the roll?

Oooooh yeah :) It’s a hell of a lot of fun, too. The touchscreen is clear and easily visible in daylight, and the interface is forgiving enough that clumsy fingers on the ride are still adequate to navigate the menu system. The voice directions are easily loud enough for use in traffic, and it’s a great conversation starter when I’m drafting someone and my bike announces Please-turn-left-in-500-feet. Now, turn left. It’s also great to take the ETA as a challenge and work to beat it. And for that extra pinch of unnecessary, the bluetooth/handsfree integration works great with my phone, so I can take calls with my phone safely stuck in my backpack.

Handsfree and no-hands at the same time. Sweet.

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Mark V in da hugga house


by Byron on Nov 20, 2006 at 6:33 PM

Mark V wrote for us during Interbike and offered his perspective on the culture of the event and the bikes he dug - he’s back writing for us almost daily and starts his hugger tenure with Heart of Bonkness.

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Heart of Bonkness


by Mark V on Nov 18, 2006 at 5:46 PM

Have you ever bonked really bad on ride? Not like you’re in a race and suddenly you realize you can’t chase the break. I mean, you’re on a long training ride in the middle of nowhere and your blood-sugar level falls through the floor, you start sweating weird and get light-headed. You only brought 2 gels with you, and you consumed the second one an hour ago.

Suddenly you start thinking that the wet pile of leaves next to the road might be a good place to lie down and sleep.

You’re well beyond daydreaming about the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet; now you want city zoning commissioners and 7-11 corporate executives to explain why there isn’t a f***ing convenience store next to your route. You want a Pepsi and a king-sized Butterfinger right now, bitch!

Why didn’t you bring your cell-phone with you? You could have called one of your friends to end your agony with a car ride home. But then again, all of your friends would just laugh in your face for forgetting to bring enough food and riding too far. Those smug bastards are probably sitting at home right now, all warm and comfortable watching tv with your Pepsi and a chicken sandwich or maybe it’s a roast beef sandwich with havarti on rye and some chips ah, yes, chip .those freakin kettle chips that are really crunchy and salty mmmmm, kettle chips.

Oh, god.

The hollow in your stomach listens to the evil in your heart. You start looking at pedestrians, maliciously wondering if they have food in their pockets. You bet those parents with young children have food. Yeah, it’s probably in the back of the stroller. Ooh, you’d kill for a ziplock sandwich bag of cheerios, wouldn’ you?

Why did you have to choose the fixed-gear to ride today? Your hamstrings are pissed. And why’d you have to live on top of a hill? Stupid, stupid 12% grade. And then you get home to an empty refrigerator. No, no, NOOOOOO!!! All you wanted was a Pepsi just one Pepsi

Thirty minutes later at the grocery store you pass out in a 32oz pool of spilled fountain drink after attempting to eat an entire rotisserie chicken and a family side of deli mac-n-cheese before even leaving the self-checkout. As the you descend into a food coma, unseeing eyes staring up from a spreading slick of Pepsi, the check-out cashier hears your voice:

the horror, the horror.

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Black Label Bike Club in NYTimes


by Byron on Nov 15, 2006 at 12:46 PM

On the front page of the NYTimes Style Section are members of the Black Label Bike Club preparing for a tall bike joust. The article is about the “5,000 Burners, as festival-goers are known, gathered Oct. 14 for a decompression party, part reunion and part fund-raiser for the Burning Man organization.” The Black Label Bike Club has as WikiPedia entry that credits them with contributing to the tall bike culture.

NYTimes has now covered one bike niche to another. From Campy Record owners to tall bike jousters.

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Bike Hugger Shirts Update


by Byron on Nov 15, 2006 at 8:11 AM

We’re rush ordered another run of Bike Hugger shirts to meet demand and we’re currently sold out of the mediums! Wow. And the others come in waves from Amazon, with a rush just this week.

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Novara Flicks


by Byron on Nov 14, 2006 at 12:19 PM

Our friends at REI sent a link to Novara Flicks, an action-packed video of their 07 product line, including behind-the-scenes with the designers.

Of note is their updated brand and it’s focus on “freedom” and grabbing yourself some. I’ve talked a lot with Novara about brand and they’re very passionate about cycling. Also, having ridden with them during their legendary lunch rides, I also learned that they can take pulls, and ride you mercilessly into the ground.

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