Riding with the Real Langster
by Byron on Feb 04, 2015 at 3:19 PM
Don works for Specialized and we occasionally ride together
I swear every single goddamn f’ing time Spesh says it’s a gonna be a slow, recovery ride, Don Langley shows up! Dude will build up the pressure slowly, then surgically rip your legs off — not with the same flurry and intensity of his coworker Riekert, but the precision of the Real Langster (his alias and the bike Spesh named after him). His approach is been there, done that and will throw down when needed, v. a punchy ride brimming with piss and vinegar.
He’s also the steadiest, safest wheel when a descent gets sketchy. If you see his national champion jersey out there near Morgan Hill, get on the wheel for as long as you can.
It and he are trustworthy. I discovered these truths, as we flew down the San Jose Soquel Descent towards Santa Cruz yesterday. Banking through s-curves, a truck tried to pass on the left, and ran out of room. The group split as the truck crossed back over the centerline and took our lane around another corner.
Don proceeded to set the pace with an eye ahead of the truck to our bros. I’d normally have sat up, but behind me was an angry line of a cars, and the prospect of riding 11 miles by myself. I leaned into the drops with complete confidence in Don’s lines and later declared people pay for trust exercises like this at corporate retreats.
Building Trust Scenario: 40 mph descent through S-curves in a tight peloton…then suddenly, TRUCK in the middle of your group!
Don’s body language told me what he was doing, what I needed to do – ease up. He was watching the car’s brake lights, and the group ahead. To not get gapped if he quickly accelerated, my wheel was within a wheel of his. As the road opened up, the truck sped away and with a few seconds of fast pedaling, the group was intact again, rolling into Capitola. James Stout took his pulls too, bringing us steadily up to them.
That gap got closed right quick by Don
After a few recovery beers at the rental house, Strava(s) got checked, and descent KOMs were discussed by Logan from Velonews.
It was fast, fun, and at dinner, I toasted to the trust we all had in each other. Roadies gotta stick together like a band of brothers.
Do you have a wheel you trust?
Have you thanked them recently?
If not, go do it now.
Tarmac and a Tree
by Byron on Feb 02, 2015 at 7:58 AM
Well before that bitterly disappointing Seahawks game, rode this Tarmac to a big tree. Then it was
One. F’ing. Play.
One. F’ing. Yard.
Run. The. Ball.
In the Santa Cruz Mountains
by Byron on Jan 31, 2015 at 9:17 PM
Everything Roubaix fans love about this bike with disc
Rode this Roubaix Disc in the Santa Cruz Mountains today. From the beach to Summit Road, and back down. Story to follow with what Spesh is showing the media this week, and an update to the S-Works McLaren Tarmac project.
The group on Summit Road
Ride these roads with Spesh and understand why they design bikes like they do.
CX-1 at Worlds
by Byron on Jan 30, 2015 at 9:18 AM
An impressive list of 38 athletes from seven nations are racing on CX-1. To name a few: Ellen Van Loy, Sophie de Boer, Elle Anderson, Kaitlin Antonneau; Toon Aerts, Yannick Peeters, and Logan Owen. For the Elite Men, there’s Wout van Aert, Jeremy Power, and Tom Meesuen. I reviewed CX-1 last year and Mark V wrote about 1 x drivetrains too. It’s a great group for racing, sure…riding around takes some getting used to because of the gear ratios.
More on CX-1
Turbo Kid at Sundance: BMX and 80s Nostalgia
by Byron on Jan 28, 2015 at 8:56 AM
A post-apocalypse, BMX movie. Yes! And it’s an official Sundance Selection.
It’s 1997. In a ruined post-apocalyptic world, the orphaned Kid survives on his own through drought-ridden nuclear winter, traversing the Wasteland on his BMX, scavenging for scraps to trade for a scant supply of water. When his perpetually chipper, pink-haired new best friend Apple is kidnapped by a minion of evil overlord Zeus, the Kid summons the courage of his comic book hero and prepares to deliver turbocharged justice to Zeus, his buzzsaw-handed sidekick Skeletron, and their vicious masked army.
Here’s a making of video from Sundance and it was adapted from this short made by the Roadkill Superstars from Montreal.
Duwamish at Work
by Byron on Jan 26, 2015 at 8:22 PM
The Duwamish is an industrialized estuary, and Seattle’s only river. It’s estimated that less than 1/2 of Seattleites know the river exists or that it’s on the Superfund list. We cross it at least once every ride and it’s finally being cleaned up after 100 years of pollution, from Boeing, WWII, sewage, and runoff. I took this photo at S. Riverside Drive Park where a new trail is being built for pedestrians and cyclists, and connects to the South Park Bridge. One of Seattle’s more famous citizens, Macklemore has even spoken up about our river, and joined the cause at River for All.
The Duwamish is part of the Seattle I see.
Climate Change for Cyclists
by Byron on Jan 25, 2015 at 8:46 AM
Cross the Duwamish at least once every ride in Seattle and this view is from the new Southpark Bridge. Those clouds said rain, we were dressed for it, and they never came. We were too warm for most of the ride, in unusually balmy temperatures. The week before, it was like I was riding in a city with no children in it.
It was so warm in the rest of the Pacific Northwest, that Matt rode his fatbike on the beach (again). Matt shared the fun he’s having on a fatbike in Issue 17.
The bike was a machine that output pure joy to everyone that saw it or rode it.
We’re editing and assembling Issue 21 now and it’s yup, it’s about the weird weather….
Committed to Commuting
by Byron on Jan 23, 2015 at 12:08 PM
Committed to Commuting
A vignette from last night on the bike path.
About the Bike and Love
by Byron on Jan 23, 2015 at 10:13 AM
When Laurel Fantauzzo met a young woman and her bicycle in Manila, her relationship to the city was transformed. A beautiful short story about the bike and love with an illustrated video from NYT.
One mechanic zipped the suitcase shut and put the wheel bolts into my palm. “It’s done now,” he said, smiling.
So much we could write too about the bike and love, in February of last year, I collected a handful of stories for our Valentine’s Special. Those included But fear not, Shakespeare: there is love here, in bicycles
I don’t love my bikes. They’re great bikes, but they’re replaceable, tangible, material. Losing any of them would be crushing, sure, but that wasn’t the question, was it? If you lost hot water in the shower tomorrow morning you’d be unhappy, but I doubt you typically run around saying you love hot water. There’s a big difference between ‘loving’ and ‘love having.’
and Annie’s Wheel
I like to think that I’m immune to romantic love. Oh, that doesn’t mean I’m not excited by the joys of a long, wet kiss and God knows I crave the feeling of skin on skin beneath the sheets as much as I love the hum of thin tires on fast pavement.
We have different plans for our next issue, but not the bike and love isn’t on my mind; especially after reading Laurel’s piece.
Bennett’s Bike Ride, Oz Remix
by Byron on Jan 23, 2015 at 9:34 AM
Bennett’s bike ride, Oz remix…
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