A perfect cup

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by Byron on Jan 08, 2007 at 8:07 AM

For me at least, all good rides (even bad ones) begin with good coffee. When traveling, I take grounds with me and a Bodum Travel Press. At home, I use a Rancilio Espresso Machine and mix up the coffee using Lavazza, Illy, Cafe Mauro the occasional Bustelo, and Batdorf and Bronson ground for me by Alki Mail (where we ship all the Clip-n-Seals and Bike Hugger shirts).

What do you brew? Some crazy chai drink? Straight up espresso? Snort nodoze, or beer bong red bull?

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A new strangeness

0

by Byron on Jan 08, 2007 at 7:50 AM

Frustrated with our old host, we moved last week to Strangecode, a boutique host with all the blog goodness. Everything is up and working well and we’ve got more changes coming in 2K7, including some new sexy features.

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Bike Hugger T-Shirts Sell out Again!

0

by Byron on Jan 08, 2007 at 7:45 AM

Our Bike Hugger shirts sold out again and more are on the way. We’ve got 2xls and restocked mediums and will have the rest restocked this week. We sold the shirts all over the country and abroad and during my travels, I hope to see someone wearing one soon.

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Big big taste in a big big bite…

9

by Frank Steele on Jan 07, 2007 at 6:49 PM

cascuz2.jpg

So, here at the Hugger, we love good design, and generally agree that form follows function.

So I was a little surprised when my first reaction to this admittedly innovative helmet design, which won a reddot design award, was, They expect me to put my head in that? and my second was, Honeycomb’s big … big, big, big…

I think it’s an awesome idea to incorporate lights in a helmet: The higher they are, the sooner they’ll be seen. I’ve ridden with riders who clip small flashing LEDs at the back of their helmet, and it definitely helps.

But as for the new aesthetic in bike helmets … moving away from the typical aerodynamic and aggressive shapes toward a more friendly approach suitable for urban riders, which this helmet, the Cascuz, promises? I’m (literally) not buying.

What do you think? Like the Cascuz? Is the current crop of helmets too aggressive looking?

Seen at Bicycle Design.

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A bad ride

7

by Byron on Jan 07, 2007 at 8:50 AM

At least once a year, I’ll have a bad ride. Yesterday, I didn’t feel good (iTunes) when I got up. Riding over to meet the team, I felt even worse. Turning squares, legs heavy, and heart rate high, I decided I’d just sit in for a while with the team, ride to Seward Park, then back home: when in doubt, leave it out.

Climbing up to the I-90 tunnel, I slipped twice on ice and nearly went down. It was way colder than it seemed out there, and my toes were numb in about 1/2 an hour. I waited and waited, cold really cold, the team never showed, and I crawled home.

I should’ve listened to my body and not even rode. When a bad ride happens, how do you get through it?

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The Art of Gear: Paul Smith and Mercian

1

by Jason Swihart on Jan 05, 2007 at 2:45 PM

/images/bike1-reshoot-detailb.jpgWhether we admit it or not, gear is as much about design and fashion as it is function–we need the objects around us to look good for the same reason we need the food we eat to taste good. So I always think it’s refreshing when a gear manufacturer openly embraces the fashion side of their business–and what better way than to team with a fashion designer? That’s just what Mercian has done, joining with designer Paul Smith to roll out a line of track and touring bikes with Smith-design color schemes.

In turn, Smith uses a coat of paint to highlight those little details that distinguish artisanship.

Hat Tip: The Goat.

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Yo 2007, how you doin’?

1

by Mark V on Jan 05, 2007 at 8:54 AM

Ahhhh the New Year. I would like to officially give the finger to AD 2006 and welcome Two-double-Aught-Seven into my arms.

My body is currently under viral assault from whatever illness has been leveling all my friends and co-workers. Maybe the 5 nights of Jolt Cola-fueled manic activity prior to New Year’s Eve lowered my immunity. Maybe the imperial gallon of nigori sake (champagne is for the plebes) I consumed on the Eve wasn’t healthy, and maybe I didn’t need to go riding in the freezing rain the next day but I couldn’t think of a better way to start off a smashing new year. I may be bed-ridden and coughing up bits of my internal organs, but even that won’t dampen my spirits.

I guess it’s tradition to start of the new year by expressing one’s wishes and resolutions:

I have many wishes for the next 12 months. Of the ones that are printable, my number one wish is a bike tour of Japan. I wanna ride from Kyoto to Tokyo, passing thru Nagano. To live on beer and ramen for a few weeks, ride in some cool places, and mangle the language.

I also wish that people would stop calling my bike shop and asking how much bike XYZ on eBay is worth. The answer is obvious: it’s worth whatever a fool like you would pay. Let the buyer beware of himself!

I wish that a swank track bike had the same chick magnetism as a motorcycle .but just in case, I have one of those too.

Another wish would be less media coverage and more clothing coverage for Britney Spears’ crotch. Strangely, I think I once wished for the exact opposite set of conditions maybe 5 years ago, which only goes to show that you should be careful what you wish for.

I resolve to never again crash 20yds after giving a car driver a two-finger salute (the UK-style bird, it feels more natural when I’m really annoyed). In actuality, the guy ran a yield and pushed me over a couple lanes, but then my chain jumped off the cog on my fixed-gear while I was sprinting thru a turn. I ended up going down faster than a Craigslist crackwhore. Yeah, it was a full-on yard sale across the asphalt. Talk about embarrassing. Lesson: use 1/8-inch cogs and chains on fixed-gears if you are going to push the limits.

I resolve to ride two centuries this year. I’m not much of a long distance rider, so this is actually a big deal for me. I’m thinking about doing Seattle-to-Portland, so as to get it all out of the way in a weekend. On a fixed-gear, just to prove how stupid I am.

I resolve to race at least seven nights out at the velodrome. I’d do more, but several of my goals are competing for time.

I resolve to stop buying bike crap unnecessarily. Eee-yaaah, sometimes I think that me working at a bike shop is like a junkie running a pharmacy. There’s a lot of cool things on the market, but I need to be realistic about my needs. I’m putting a moratorium on bike purchases just as soon as I upgrade my 3rd road bike to 10-speed and buy a new track bike yeah, that should about do it.

I resolve to stop recommending chain lubricant to bike shop customers on the basis of smell. It just confuses people and gives the impression that I just don’t care about their crucial drivetrain issues. Really, it’s not that I assume that people are overly optimistic about the consistency and competency of their own bike maintenance, it’s just that I really like the smell of Tri-Flow. Mmmmm, smells like banana syrup. Yummy!

I resolve to not exceed more than 5 bicycles in my stable. I once declared that 5 bicycles was the upper limit to sanity, and by that standard of mental health I just have to get rid of a couple of frames and a track bike to achieve well-being. I’ll be selling the excess schwag on eBay. How much is it worth? A BUTTLOAD of money, my good man, let me assure you…

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Photo of the day

2

by Frank Steele on Jan 03, 2007 at 11:22 PM

a ghost is born (ten)

a ghost is born (ten), by eight double / steven wade.

From a photoset on the ceremony placing the bike and remembering the rider.

Also, if you’re in Illinois, you should read about Matt’s Law, and consider calling or writing your representatives about it. If enacted, it would stiffen penalties for distracted drivers, after Matthew Wilhelm was killed in September 2006 by a driver downloading a ringtone to her cellphone. Jennifer Stark, the driver who killed Wilhelm, was fined $1,000 and served just 6 months of probation.

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Planning (or dreaming of sun)

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by andrew_f_martin on Jan 03, 2007 at 3:48 PM

What do I think about on rides home like last night? A ride with constant, soaking rain for an hour straight on a road edge filled with debris. Apart from the non-stop thought of “can they see me” I usually find myself day-dreaming about the good rides I have to look forward to.

I’m lucky enough to have a nice long vacation planned to Brisbane, Australia. I’m still working out the logistics of the bike and whether or not I need to buy a travel version, but I’m eagerly counting the days until sun. It makes the wet rides that much more passable.

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