MFG Cross at Sammamish with CX-1 and Hydro

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by Byron on Sep 08, 2014 at 12:59 PM

MFG CX

MFG’s Season Opener

That was intense, sweaty, painful, humbling, AND I got concierge-level heckling from the promoter Terry and course schlepper Robert Trombley. Thanks guys! They said I was racing 14 minutes laps, sounds about right….

Next up, CrossVegas and then Starcrossed, if my legs don’t petrify by then. My equipment worked great where the body lacked.

I’m running CX-1 with the new HydroR on a Crux this season. After last year, when the Crux got hung up in the garage during the recall, giving it another go. Not that I needed much braking power at Sammamish, considering my rate of speed, but the Hydro is def more refined. It has better modulation too and less hand effort in a more comfortable, lighter and refined system.

SRAM released PR today about their impressive Cyclocross roster with a quote from Powers on CX-1

This year will be the first time I will ride a production groupset that is purpose built for cyclocross. SRAM continues to innovate in new ways, even subtle ways, and develop product that is exactly what I need. Even better, it’s super quiet.

As much as I was flailing around out there, banging the gears about, it didn’t let me down with solid shifting and it shifts way better than the DIY, privateer version of a one-by (Red with XO type 2) we and many others had been running on our bikes. Rode through the first of three sand pits on the course (4 out of I think 5 times) with the gearing and Hutchinson Black Mambas on a Vision wheelset.

CX-1

A Crux with CX-1, Hydro, Vision and Hutchinson tires

Congrats to Richter for the win, and the guys racing fast. Also hat tip to Richard McClung for a course that was at times, very hard, and flowed. It was a hard flow.

And hey, who moved September up on the calendar…it was like Monday last week when Matt Hill asked if I was racing MFG Cross. “Wut? I said, oh, the season is starting? Really!”

There’s this thing about life, sometimes it gets in the way of training, and racing, and practicing your skills. But you gotta start.

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Preview of the (printed) Roads Were Not Built For Cars book

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by Byron on Sep 07, 2014 at 9:00 AM


Carlton uploaded a preview from the galleys of the printed Roads Were Not Built For Cars book. At the end of the edit he shares the dustcover with a photo I took of him in Taiwan, on a tall bike.

On a tall bik

Tall bike for Carlton

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IF Mode on Extant

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by Byron on Sep 07, 2014 at 8:52 AM


Extant is a sci-fi show that ran on CBS and is available now on Amazon via Prime. We’ve been watching it, noticed all the electric cars, including the BWW i3, and then the IF Mode. Here’s a video about the bike in the show and photos from me when I visited Pacific Cycles where the IF was made, including an iteration of the design called the IF Move.

If

IF Mode

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Bike Hugger Mobile Social presented by New Belgium Brewing and Tern Bicycles

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by Byron on Sep 06, 2014 at 10:50 AM

AA

Photo: betterlyphotography of a custom, Xtracycle keg bike

For the first few years, the Mobile Social was word-of-mouthed only and with zero advertising or marketing – it was like the smoke monster, just sort of happened. Then went away again. Back in 2008 when I was consulting with companies about social and creating interesting content, I wrote…

Announcing the Mobile Social Interbike (and the other ones we do), we get asked, “so what is a mobile social? I don’t get it.: Well neither do we, we’re just making shit up all the time and hoping to get paid!

OK, joking, joking – the Mobile Socials are an intersection of bikes, technology, and culture. We ride, talk bikes, blog, party, and give away product. The event offers no douchebaggery or lameness, but is for like-minded cycling fans of all types to get together and talk about bikes.

Technically, it’s a social media marketing event targeting an enthusiastic niche audience with lifestyle branding, but it’s just not our style to talk big with those sorts of mumbo jumbo words. As Brian Oberkirch describe them, “it’s a coffee klatch on bikes, an excuse to get together” with your buddies and geek out.

And next week we’ll get together again with our bike buddies in Vegas and ride the Strip. For the Bike Hugger Mobile Social presented by New Belgium Brewing and Tern Bicycles, we’ve got more partners involved, activities, and destinations than ever. So we made an itinerary and will have flyers at the show…

Itin

  • 6:15pm – Registration at the South Convention Center Parking Lot, nearby entrance to Daylight pool club.
  • 6:45-7:00pm – Depart
  • 7:45-8:00pm – Arrive at The Park on Fremont
  • 7:45pm-10pm – NBB Beer Specials and some goodies (Screenprinting) at The Park and Atomic Liquors (Knog Photo Booth and NBB Hat Press). Watch the Crit.
  • 10pm – Tern bikes get packed/loaded out

RSVP on Facebook – to get drink tokens…

Partners

Special thanks to New Belgium Brewing and Tern Bicycles. Knog, Pure Fix Cycles, Revolights, Green Guru, and you! Also Rapha for the fashion.

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Motor Doping and Chinese Democracy

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by Byron on Sep 05, 2014 at 1:45 PM

On the pave

Try it yourself…

Possibly because we ran a ‘shopped photo with Mini Lance pushing Ryder’s bike and insist that “motor doping” is as real as that album Axl Rose keeps promising; whatever it was, insiders were texting me their frustrations yesterday….

Here’s the most relevant comment…

Lay your bike on the ground on a hill. You’ll notice that the bike will spin to orient itself so that the pedal touching the ground (one of only 2 touch points. The other is the handlebar) will cause the bike to rotate so that the pedal is oriented as high as it can go in the crank rotation.

And geez, this just might cause the wheel to spin as the pedal is rotating the bike into its favored orientation.

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BREAKING: Ryder Motor Doping

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by Byron on Sep 04, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Sorry, gotta motor

Video footage reveals ringleader of motor-doping conspiracy

We spent the morning Zaprudering the Ryder motor video and in one of the frames, spotted this! Mini Lance is the Motor Doper.


Currently following the money to e-bike sources deep within the industry.

Revealing report scheduled for release during Interbike.

Zoomed in even closer, you can see the little hand on the top tube of Ryder’S bike pushing it.

Zoomed

But seriously folks, shaking my head at how fans and fellow media who are over doping as tired topic, but think there’s motor doping. Road.cc breaks it down.

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Re: Disc Brakes this Season

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by Byron on Sep 03, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Stops great, sometimes loudly

Didn’t get it on video, but the first time disc rotors got wet this season and screeched like a melting witch in the Wizard of Oz with me cursing just as loudly, it was admittedly comical and embarrassing.

People are just walking their dogs in a park and enjoying the peace and quiet nature has to offer in a busy city. Then this jackass (me) is hard braking and coasting and braking again across a grassy field. Also complaining while trying to dry the rotors off.

Once glared at with dogs on taut leashes, I sheepishly coasted away on my Cross bike.

Next week I’ll race CrossVegas, an event that I consider the best in the bike business and one that starts like a Road Warrior chase scene. Where you end up after turn one, is like betting on a roulette wheel…everything is spinning, then slows down, and stops for a bit, until turning again. You hope good luck and faith will pay off, and keep the rubber side down. Oh and also hope your disc brakes don’t screech like feedback on a PA, interrupting an Elvis impersonator singing Viva Las Vegas.

Read an interview with Brook Watts, the promoter of CrossVegas, in our Magazine this month.

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Elliott Bay Bicycles Closing After 31 years

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by Byron on Sep 02, 2014 at 12:27 PM

D-Plus

Designed by Mark and Bill D, welded by Max

It’s the end of an era for Bike Hugger too. Many of the stories written, opinions shared, and “in the shop” posts were from Elliott Bay Bicycles. They were based on the Davidson Bicycles we had built, then rode, and raced (6 and counting for me and @mzsitka, many more for Mark). Without running the content through text filters, I’m guessing 40 to 60% or more of the posts are based on and from EBB.

The shop is where Mark Villegas and I met. First for mechanical help and then later we conspired to blog about bikes. The downtown-Seattle shop is closing at the end of the month and the clearance sale starts tomorrow.

I wish Bob the best miles and restorations in his retirement and we’ll continue to support Bill in his new location, making bikes, and telling stories about them in Bike Hugger channels.

The last time Bill and I chatted, I learned about the first tubulars in America, before Sinyard was selling them out of a VW bus. Also, how he hoped to make something that lasted much longer than the shelf life of Taiwan carbon. I paraphrased Bill in a recent Element.ly story

In contrast, I figured the carbon CruX I was on had a 3-year lifespan. It’a an amazing bike, but it’s newness was going to quickly fall out of fashion like a typecast starlet with no new parts to play.

Today we talked on the phone and he told me he wanted to maximize his bicycle-making happiness by focusing on building the bikes in a new location. Seattleites will remember Il Vecchio Bicycles (a boutique-style shop) and that’s his new business model.

Of all the stories Bill has told me (his knowledge is infused in our content for a decade), this new adventure is probably the best one. He still rides up to 3 hours too. We met up in Kent a few weeks back.

tres davidson

Tres Davidson

A retrospective perhaps will get written over the next few weeks – the party stories at least.

Mark V

Mark V trying to remember where the keg cups are at our 2010 holiday party

I have to ask Mark and then figure out where to start? Is it the Modal, D-Plus, Hotspur or one of Mark’s bikes?

Maybe focus on a bike built up in Bill’s new location….

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Mark V, Di2, and Rebecca’s Private Idaho

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by Mark V on Sep 01, 2014 at 6:57 PM

The second edition of Rebecca Rusch’s Private Idaho 100-mile gravel grinder began on a crisp 40 degree morning at the very end of August. Normally I despise the cold, but on this day the slight gnawing from the cold gave me a little confidence…confidence that my electronic shifting system might work when I needed it most. Unfortunately, confidence based on fact and that which is based on superstition can be easily confused.

Though I recently designed a gravel grinder/CX frame that Davidson Bicycles fabricated out of titanium, I chose to take advantage of Specialized’s “‘Test the Best” program to demo one of their premium production bikes. Though I have been assembling custom Davidsons with Di2, I have relatively little riding time on it. This is partially because I usually can only fit the smallest size frames, but Specialized brought two Crux with Di2/hydraulic disc in the 46cm size. How could I resist? ….especially since I could avoid the hassle of airline travel with my (non-S&S) gravel bike.

Unfortunately, my red Crux had some sort of digital gremlin in the left lever. I didn’t notice the problem when I first picked up the bike on Friday because I arrived just at the end of the pick-up session and needed to find my room for the night (which is kinda a funny story on its own). The left shifter had seemingly no effect on the front derailleur. When I went back the next day’s pick up session, Dane the mechanic and I couldn’t find anything definitively wrong with the system, but now the front derailleur seemed to shift if I spastically pushed the buttons again and again. I began to wonder if there was some sort of sequence that I had inadvertently discovered…something like a video game special move involving button combinations and rhythms. Curses! If only had spent more of my youth playing Street Fighter for Nintendo!

With Shimano’s diagnostic tool, all the shifters and derailleurs were showing with no problems, but even after we updated the firmware (which is roughly equivalent to rebooting your PC), there was no change. So I figured I’d chance it, thinking that I’d really only need to shift the front a few times if I was lucky. We had already tried all reasonable fixes; if this were a shop situation, there would be nothing left but sending the derailleur and/or lever back to Shimano, but I wanted to do the grinder on Sunday morning. That night as I rode about town searching for my pre-race Chinese dinner, the front shifter became inexplicably obedient. I could only guess that it was temperature related, as the night in Sun Valley was nippy. Perhaps the Private Idaho grinder would be cold enough that I could have faith in my front derailleur…

In the end, the front derailleur locked out in the big ring, but I had a pedal/cleat failure that had already convinced me to abandon the full 100mile route in favour of the 50mile version.

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Under the Bridge Sometime

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by Byron on Sep 01, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Under the Bridge

Spokane street, heading to West Seattle

Monkey light lit up Spokane Street, under the West Seattle Bridge. Hadn’t notice the scene pop like that before and ridden there hundreds of times…got the shot with the Sony A7R.

We’re off today and hope you’re enjoying the holiday as well. Get a good ride in.

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