Cyclocross Vermont Style: The Putney

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by Dave R. on Nov 18, 2007 at 12:18 PM

Here’s a pre-race write up of the West Hill Shop Cyclocross Race in Putney Vermont. It’s a great taste of Cyclocross on the other coast. It sounds like the fall in VT has been a bit more autumnal than what we’ve been having here in Seattle this year, wood stoves and cider are par for the course. What I like most about the HUP write-up is the focus on the locals. It seems like great spectators is a universal feature of cx races no matter how unique the locals are.

The race was actually last weekend, but here are the results, some photos, and video of this years race just went up a few days ago.

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Ride Civil on Black Friday: Bringing on the Thanksgiving civility

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by Dave R. on Nov 17, 2007 at 8:49 AM

You’re cordially invited to our next Ride Civil ride (formerly Critical Man-nerds) this coming Friday the 23rd. Meet at Westlake Center, 5:30 pm.

All Ride Civil rides will focus on getting cyclists out on the streets, driving awareness of cyclists and cycling rights, having fun, and encouraging civil behavior between cyclists, motorists and pedistrians. This is your chance to come out and show Seattle traffic cyclists are here to stay and that we can share the roads with them without conflicts.

It’ll also be a great chance to get out and be social with other cyclists, maybe burn off a bit of that thanksgiving weight or haul back your Black Friday loot. So please bring your selves, your bike (cargo or otherwise), and your sense of humor and fun down to Westlake Center at 5:30 PM. We’ll go bike bus style – 2 abreast, social speed, no one left behind.

There’s another cargo bike focused ride earlier in the day for those who can’t make the later time.

p.s. We’re not stopping for any shopping, so get yours out of the way early, eh? See you there!

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An Upgrader’s Guide to City Bikes

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by Byron on Nov 15, 2007 at 6:53 AM

We worked with men.style.com, the online home of Details & GQ, on the City Bike section of their Upgrader. The Upgrader is the “latest and greatest in cars, clothes, watches, whiskies, and all the other important issues confronting today’s man,” including bikes.

Editor’s picks from the Upgrader include

Note that two of the picks – Otis and Milano – were designed by Sky Yaeger.

swobo-otis_h.jpg

About the Milano I wrote

… a bike that was 7 years ahead of its time and led to the urban bikes we ride today. Refined over those seven years, the Milano, is “a cafe racer.” Still a top seller and finally getting the respect it deserves. It’s good for mostly everything you’d want an urban bike to do. Being the pure heart and soul of urban cycling, the bike offers no frills, excess, or fashion, and Nexus.

Also good to see the Novara Transfer getting due props. That’s a bike you can start commuting on today and not stop. Check how it’s spec’d and you’ll realize it was built for and by commuters.

novara-transfer_h.jpg

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Washington Cyclocross for Nov 17/18: Bellingham and Bremerton

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by Dave R. on Nov 13, 2007 at 10:11 AM

It’s time to start making your weekend plans, and decide which cyclocross races to go ride or see. There are two races queued up this week – Cyclocrazed Tractor Cross near Bellingham, and the Washington State Championships near Bremerton (a bit closer to Seattle).

For those of you not sure what to expect from a cyclocross race, here’s an older introductory article on what you’ll be in for. One of the benefits of cyclocross races for spectators is that the courses are usually quite compact, so you can see almost all of the action without having to shuttle around the course.

See you at the races!

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How do you roll?

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by Byron on Nov 13, 2007 at 9:15 AM

Check this video for a sampling of what the bike industry rides. From the high to the low end, cruisers, a tall bike, and BMX was all in the bike check room during Interbike. Many considered that room the *other bike show.”

Shop bikes are usually some unique combination built from the back room, found in a parts bin, with an old frame, solid wheels, and various gadgets. For a time, I didn’t ride a bike that wasn’t equipped with at least one Sun Tour part.

So what do you ride? How do you roll? What’s the favorite bike you’ve built up?

My current fave is the Modal.

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The calmest road in America

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by Byron on Nov 12, 2007 at 7:54 AM

During Interbike earlier this year, we spent a morning riding the strip, the bike expressway, and hearing from a local and a RTC employee about cycling in Vegas.

The road featured in the video is one of the calmest in America. It’s engineered to slow cars down and accommodate cyclists. I think they pipe in the sounds of songbirds, but couldn’t confirm it. If you do ride the strip, take up a whole lane like we did to let the cabbies know you’re there.

As I wrote earlier, “It’s surprising, yes, but Vegas is a bike-friendly town.”

Notes

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Amazing Race 12…on Bakfiets!

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by andrew_f_martin on Nov 11, 2007 at 10:48 PM

Amazing Race

I was watching the Amazing Race tonight and saw 2 segments in Holland being hugger-focused! They had to find city bikes, and ride them 5 miles. Then they had to put one person in the front of a Bakfiets and roll to the finish. Now everybody in the states is going to want one. Amzing Race

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Damn I want that

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by andrew_f_martin on Nov 11, 2007 at 8:58 PM

Alfine Hub Byron will tell you that I NEED to have matched wheels. It’s a bit of an obsession, but I can’t help it. Anyway - I’ve been shopping for a good internal geared hub to run on my SS Cross bike. I’ve got black hubs - so I need black Internal gear setup. The only one I know of is the much sought-after, but non-US available Shimano Alfine group. I’ve found the disc compliant model (I don’t need disc) in some obscure German site - Alfine Hub in Black. With the weak dollar and that fact that my German sucks if something were to go wrong with the order - is it worth it? Anybody else got a lead?

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Spatial Relationships and the Perfect Pack

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by Byron on Nov 10, 2007 at 7:26 AM

Spatial relationships and analysis are important when packing a travel bike (at least to me they are). Where Pam spent about a 1/2 hour packing her bike, I spent about 2.5 hours making sure everything lined up, the space was used to its potential, and the package would arrive safe and intact.

Both bikes did arrived safely and with no damage. However my packed items shifted all over the place and Pam’s was in pristine condition. I’m now deconstructing what possibly went wrong with my pack and she’ll just pack like whatever next time. I explained to Pam that it was a guy thing to do the perfect pack and I had to get it right.

modal_packed.jpg

Notes on the packing

  • No worries with titanium and no paint
  • TSA did not open either case
  • That’s coffee in the upper right corner and Senor Muggy in the bottom right
  • There’s only one way to pack the Modal because of the extra wide chainstays that accommodate the dropouts
  • Scratches are part of it. I think of them now as a patina.

I think my pack went wrong because I put too much stuff in there. I was trying to get it right to 50 pounds with my clothes, shoes, and schwag we got from the event we attended.

The netting serves no purpose other than to thwart the TSA from poking around in the case. The thinking is that they’ll just glance at it, if at all, and move on to the next piece of luggage. It seems to have worked.

Suggestions

The 12” edge-pull case is well made, tough, and durable. For short trips across an airport, it’s ok, but the weight at that angle on your skinny-cyclists arms can get very tedious for a longer haul across terminals. I’d like to have a 4-caster option with a pull tether so I could pull it around an airport on the casters instead of dragging it behind me or pushing it. The Dahon Airporter case has the same problem with 2 rollerblade wheels.

One caution: the caster fits right into the gap between the elevator car and the floor at Seatac. I pulled the case towards me sideways out of the elevator, the caster was trapped in that space, and nearly ripped right out of the case.

I caught it in time and it now has a nice travel bend to it. I decided a slightly bent caster was like a nice scratch. It all adds to the travel patina noted above.

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Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show

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by Byron on Nov 09, 2007 at 2:18 PM

Some of the worlds finest bicycles are built in Oregon and they’re on display this weekend at the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show. Check their blog for the details. The Modal, our latest project, was handmade right here in Seattle. Builders attending the show include

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