From Japan (Part 7): the real journey begins in kyoto
by Mark V on Jun 11, 2007 at 5:43 AM
so i’m writing from an inn in kyoto after taking the bullet train from tokyo. we’re a day behind already on the planned ride back to tokyo thru the mountains of central japan. just me and an old roommate are gonna ride thru the nastiest passes on honshu, the main island in the japanese archipelago. i’m beginning to think that this may have been the dumbest idea i’ve ever had. the profiles for the climbs later in the trip are just vicious.
goodbye to cushy stays at the u.s. embassy residences, hello to paying thru the nose for hotels and probably sleeping on the ground without camping gear once we get to the mountains proper.
we’re debating whether to jump on the bikes tomorrow and hammer out 90 miles to gifu, just to get us out of the hole. we haven’t been riding all that much since we got to japan, so that would be pretty harsh. i guess we’ll decide tomorrow.
From Japan (Part 6): Uichi and Eiske
by Mark V on Jun 10, 2007 at 4:19 AM
Saw these guys while walking in Shibuya. Shibuya feels like Disney World meets Manhattan’s 5th Ave. These guys were just kicking back in a sea of people. Uichi (left) is rocking a yellow Nagasawa keirin bike. Eiske (right) happened to be wearing a Cadence shirt handcrafted just 3minutes from my apartment in Capitol Hill, Seattle. It’s a small world after all….
World Naked Ride Day
by Byron on Jun 09, 2007 at 7:01 PM
Doubtful anyone rode naked here in Seattle (if they did, we didn’t see ‘em, but they will later this year) on World Naked Bike Ride day, but they did around the world. While Seattle was wet and cool, elsewhere
“the protest stretched beyond Europe, with protests also planned over the weekend in Mexico City, eight locations in Canada, and a multitude of cities in the US. Southern hemisphere nude riders could strut their stuff in March of this year”
The AP reports on the nude event in the U.K with this quote, “Bikes and naked bodies harm nobody. Car fumes and accidents kill tens of thousands every year in the UK alone and are driving us all to climate chaos.”
What Size Trek Madone?
by Byron on Jun 09, 2007 at 6:54 AM
The square v. compact frame geometry debate is back (if it ever left) and we’re being asked, “what size Madone?” Damn good question and we’ll have to see if you’ve either got a stubby stem of one that “reaches for the sky.” When Pam first stepped over her new Specialized Tarmac SL, it was like “what? am I on a mtn bike,” and it’s definitely unnerving to not see a top tub near your knees. I should probably write a “in defense of square frames” post sometime, but you can’t fight progress, so we’ve got the last square bike hold out, pushing out a new technology-driven, sloping top-tube bike with a seat mast and the “seat, feet, hands” approach. (I’m sure there were lots of groans from Masters racers about that)
In the bike shop, you’re going to have to try it, as you definitely can’t tell from the brochure. And to their credit, Trek answers the question here, in a lengthy and informative post.
From Japan (Part 5): Team Pedal from Shimano
by Mark V on Jun 08, 2007 at 5:19 PM
So I found these Shimano R540 SPD-SL pedals in a bike shop called Narushima Friends in a neighborhood of Tokyo.
Notice the team colours that are not currently available in the states. I saw Milram, Gerolsteiner, Rabobank, T-Mobile…hmmmm, I forget the others….whatever. The pedals are also cheaper here than stateside.
They shop was pretty well stocked with clothing and hot bikes (carbon Merckx, Pinarello Dogma). I was especially happy because they had a lot of Assos clothing in size small. That meant I could try it on to confirm that “Assos size small” was still smaller than other brands. Now when I go home, I can confidently buy Assos for myself through my shop. That’s right…there’s a reason I work in a bike shop: to support my addiction. Mark needs new cycling duds, and Mark is a little dude.
No, Byron, you can’t get the bro deal on Assos. It’s all about me.
Goodbye Hed Alps
by Byron on Jun 08, 2007 at 3:31 PM
I was clicking around Hed Cycling’s site, checking on ceramic upgrades, what teams they’re outfitting for the tour, that sort of thing, and noticed the “it’s not you, it’s me” letter to the Hed Alps
“You don’t know how hard it is for me to say this, but I think it is time for us to break up. We had some great times I’ll never be able to forget your light weight and durability, and you are still super fast. You were an awesome ride but things have gotten stale. It’s not you, it’s me. “
The Hed Alps have been replaced by the Jets (were the Alps like a starter wife?), an excellent wheelset that I’ve been racing on this year and have reviewed on Bike Hugger a few times. In most every race I’m in, I see a set of Alps, usually with the decals worn off, and looking a bit worse for wear, but still rolling and racing. My first Hed wheelset was the Alps and I sold them on Craigslist earlier this year. The dude that bought them was thrilled, happy, and amazed that he found a pair on Craigslist. Here’s to you Alps … goodbye.
Bike Hugger come good
by andrew_f_martin on Jun 08, 2007 at 9:56 AM
I posted last winter about “
What’s best” - some blather about passing cars while commuting to work. I was wrong. It’s been a full week and I’m still on a mini-high about what’s REALLY the best: winning my first Cat Pro/1/2 race. 5 years as a Cat2 with sparse results, but never a win. It’s been season after season of training - mostly by riding the 20 miles to and from work. Finally!
Too bad I didn’t zip the jersey. Thanks to Amara at wheelsinfocus for capturing the moment.
Team Bike Hugger Report
by Gina Kavesh on Jun 08, 2007 at 7:26 AM
note: Gina directs the Wines of Washington women’s team, organizes them into Bike Hugger- sponsored composites for the big National Calendar races, and has been racing in the Northwest for as long as anyone can remember. We asked Gina to report on the team’s progress and what’s next on the calendar — Byron
Whew — Mt Hood Cycling Classic is done. What a relief which is sort of hysterical when you realize I was sitting in my office every day while the rest of the Bike Hugger gals were out there baking their brains. Sitting in ones office knowing everyone else is racing is actually harder than you think it should be. Fortunately for me cell phone coverage was decent & I got semi regular road race updates from Eric when he wasn’t too busy coaxing the gals to work, catch on, to sit in & everything else that goes on in the team vehicle.
For those who haven’t looked the Wines of Washington/Team Bike Hugger gals held their own just fine and dandy against some stiff competition. Our results
- 7th Overall in GC
- 13th Overall in GC
- 2nd Team Overall GC
- 2nd & 8th Place Stage 1
- 7th & 11th Stage 4
- 10th Stage 5
Really — those aren’t shabby numbers when you realize everyone on this team is working full time and has a full family life. It’s pretty darn impressive to see local Washington and Oregon riders going head to head with a number of the National Big girls and see them do just fine.
So what’s next — well Nature Valley Grand Prix is next on the docket. This time the kits we’re wearing will be the familiar colors of Team Group Health of Seattle fame. For those who aren’t familiar with Team Group Health aka Sound Velo it’s a women’s only team in the Seattle area. They’ve been instrumental to the growth of women’s racing in the Pacific Northwest and have developed many riders of which 3 will be racing NVGP along with some of us semi-regular bike hugger gals. It’s truly a great partnership and great opportunity that Team Group Health has offered to us. Better yet I finally get to come out of my office and actually race versus coordinating race funding, mechanics and assorted sundry stuff that goes into getting a team to a bike race. Whew — racing my bike at NVGP almost sounds like a vacation versus what I’ve been doing while the gals have been racing.
I will be blogging on the team blog so stay tuned. Racing begins June 20th with a prologue crit. Not sure what a prologue crit feels like but my guess is 150 gals who are primed for a 5 day stage race will make it one heck of a fast crit.
After that we’ll be at Cascade (no I won’t be there, I avoid any race that has minimal oxygen in the air aka above 3,000 feet). From there — hopefully Tour De Toona the big momma of all women’s racing in the country. Toona is the only stage race where the women’s race is the premier event and the women race the exact same distance as the men do. It’s by far the hardest race I’ve ever done, but for some insane reason I hope to get back this year to settle up a score with a couple hills that really hurt last year.
Elect bike-friendly candidates
by Byron on Jun 08, 2007 at 7:07 AM
On Tuesday June 26th from 5:30 - 7:30 PM, join The CBC Action Fund (an affiliate of the Cascade Bicycle Club) Senate Transportation Chair Ed Murray (invited), Council Transportation Chair Jan Drago, and Councilmember Richard Conlin for a happy hour and fundraiser at the Pike Brewery and Pub.
From Japan (Part 4): Mini mini in Roppongi
by Mark V on Jun 07, 2007 at 4:33 PM
This is a”mini velo” type bike I saw in the Roppongi neighborhood of Tokyo. In Japan, Mini velo bikes include anything with small wheels, including Moultons, Bike Fridays, and a whole host of Japan only bikes, but not exclusively folding bikes.
Just a few more days till my homeboy and me jump a bullet train for Kyoto and attempt to ride back through the mountains of central Japan. Currently enjoying not working in a bike shop.
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