Normally I’m not the kind of guy to like inclement weather. Sure, I’ll ride in the rain or a good thunderstorm, but I like a good bright fall day the best.
But when the Showers Pass Amsterdam jacket arrived, it got me wishing for rain, sleet or snow. That’s because it’s my favorite mix of functionality for cycling and style for off-the-bike endeavors. Cut more like a fine jacket (albeit a jacket that fits best when bent forward in the drops) the Amsterdam has a soft shell interior and a herringbone exterior that’s thicker than the company’s Portland jacket.
After a few weeks of really spectacularly un-fall-like weather (highs in the 60’s, bright sun, clear skies) we finally got some cold, wet days. I put on the Amsterdam and hooked my bike to my son’s trailer and hit the roads.
The Amsterdam jacket feels great, it’s one of the nicest fitting pieces of clothing I’ve seen and it look great off the bike as well. In a coffee shop, at the grocery store, I look less like a Lance Armstrong and more like a Daan de Grot. That in fact might be the one weakness of the jacket—it’s not incredibly visible. For city-goers that’s not a big deal, the 3M reflective striping and the flip-down rear reflective panel are perfect, but I wouldn’t pick the Amsterdam on a long, solo ride on a dark country road.
Of course, that’s why they named the jacket after a major cycling city and not some forlorn route up the Ozarks.
Everything on the jacket is meticulous crafted, from the hidden zippered pockets (one with an audio port) to the pit zips that provide tremendous ventilation when the jacket proves to be too warm, which is pretty quickly on a warmish spring day.
The jacket runs $200, which puts it on point with a lot of winter gear and well below well-taylored pieces from companies like Castelli and Assos, none of which look as good off the bike.
What’s it’s like when the fast leaders lap you in a Cross Race? It’s all in slowmo, until you start chasing again. I raced the elite race at Marymoor and was doing OK after blowing the first barrier run up. Chasing and one lap down into the final lap of the fastest race of the season, the rear wheel fell off my bike and like 40 guys passed me. 2 laps down, but finished ahead of a few DNFs. I was a bit disappointed cause I finally had some race legs on the course, but that’s racing and mechanicals happen.
4 years after lighting up the switches at all the design blogs, the Copenhagen Wheel is coming to market and another wheel that looks just like it
In the span of a week, an electric motor for a bike that resembles the Copenhagen Wheel AND the Copenhagen Wheel funded. FlyKly got their money from the crowd and the CW from investors. A few years ago, I posted on the CW for the industrial design, the concept, and talked about it in presentations. Didn’t think it’d ever make it to market or if so, as a complete bike. Cause if you bolt 9 - 12 lbs of anything on your bike, it’s gonna effect handling; especially, if it’s a “fixie” with a short wheelbase and made to corner on a track without an extra 9 lbs of horsepower hanging off it.
Then you’re a slave to the recharge cycle, just like your lights. Better make sure you charge it in before your big meeting at work and the ride home.
Felt bad for the eBike cyclists who was pedaling without power on the path. Sure seemed upset his battery died and tired.
These moves in the market remind me of Microsoft’s decade of attempts at a tablet, before that, MIDS, and then Apple made a breakthrough product and then the Surface. There’s plenty of existing ebikes on the market that aren’t moving the needle (and tablets getting written off). Last week, when an eBike made the point of buzzing me across the Swing Bridge to West Seattle, I thought…
When you have a motor on your bike, what’s that make you? A motorist.
It was a thin liner and thick shell or thick liner and thin shell day. Daily ride decisions to make in the Pacific Northwest when the leaves are falling, the mornings are foggy, and the perma-gray sky blankets the Sound. While everyone else raced Cross at Magnuson Park including Mark V, I rode 3 hours with Gluckman on the Mercer Island Loop. The first two hours were spent waiting for my embro’d legs to feel good after racing at St. Edwards Park the day before – they were blown and so was I.
After this race, Mark drunk texted me about tire pressure, “on a rough course I usually bottom out twice.” Photo: Woodinville Bicycles
I arrived 2 hours early for the start of the Crosstoberfest Masters Elite race. Plenty of time, ‘cept the race start had moved up 2 hours and I didn’t get that important memo. Last week’s teachable moment in Cross was finish the f’ing race. This week it’s start the f’ing race. Even if you arrive as it’s staging and your warmup consists of the promoter pinning a number on your back. Then on lap one you stop for a single track nature break cause you properly hydrated all morning. To those watching the race, yep I was off the back in the first course-tape chicane and doing that to not blow and dropout or ride off the course into the woods.
After getting caught by Russie who passed me again later to win, I started doing more than pedaling and tried to put in an effort worthy of the field. Not a moment of that felt good, but I finished intact and last.
Props to those that encouraged me on Saturday including Matt Hill who insisted I start, Russie who said, “yeah it’s go time” and Lori who added, “good to have you out here regardless of the start time.” It was good to be out there, even if it didn’t go quite according to plan. Noticing how frustrated I was post race, Russie also said, “hey say something positive.”
He’s right, so I wrote this story. Oh and Sunday’s decision was a thick merino wool liner with a Gore ActiveShell and once my legs opened up, I hit it a bit for the Mercer sprints, hoping they’ll feel good next weekend for another Cross race.