Issue 13: Superstitions and Strange Rituals


by Byron on Jun 16, 2014 at 7:35 AM

Tyler Farrar following tradition by turning his #13 upside down for this weeks race. Photo: Slipstream Sports

There’s a practice in the pro peloton of turning the number 13 upside down. They do it to undo the bad luck that comes with wearing the number 13. Euro pros are as superstitious as gypsies. And for us amateurs, the food must be just right too. While some cyclists may eat a chunk off of a giant loaf of bread, eat tater tots or a taco before the start of a race, or a taco, my routine includes a couple eggs on toast and a pre-race or ride Mexican coke.

Coke in a musette bag, ready to go

Then just a bit of sugar in the bottle and a bar in the pocket.

Gluten-friendly racer

It’s the superstitions and strange rituals that accent our culture like flavorful, crunchy salad condiments.

Our 13th issue drops in a month with a Friday the 13th, so that was an obvious theme to discuss lucky socks, embrocation routines, shaving legs, and so on.

I’ve saved these Mavic socks since I got them in ‘95 and not sure for what, but when the time is right, I got a clean pair!

Lucky socks stashed away for a 19 years

Joining us for the first time too for this issue are Timothy Jackson and Jim Merithew, both industry insiders and contributors with the voices we prefer to publish. Also a Jamaican “pepper” ride report from Patrick Brady of Red Kite Prayer.

Issue 13 dropped on iTunes and browsers everywhere last Friday.

The 13th.

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Every Light in the House is On!


by Byron on Jun 15, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Lights are on

Lights are on and they’re not home

On this day, Father’s Day, I don’t think I should have to walk around the house turning off lights that everyone else left. Before I leave for a bike ride.

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GT Grade


by Byron on Jun 14, 2014 at 10:08 AM

A triple triangle for gravel and just about anything else from GT bicycles. I’ll ride the Grade next week in Park City during PressCamp.

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Met the MSFT Lumia Team


by Byron on Jun 14, 2014 at 8:48 AM

Lake Bill

Lake Bill

Everyone I knew at Nokia now works for Microsoft after the merger and with some new staff too. So for the past few days, hung out with the Lumia crew and a group of bloggers/photographers in Seattle.

down at the docks

Down at the docks

We took photos, did touristy things, and heard about the Cortana road map from Marcus. I used to work on the MS campus and hadn’t seen Lake Bill before or heard those stories or seen the walk of fame, so that was fun. Passed on the Chihuly experience, because my local cup was filled to the brim last year with glass art.

Brompton to Tilicum

Rode the Brompton to the Seattle Waterfront for a trip to Blake Island

Meanwhile Issue 13 dropped with an article from Dan Rubin on how he shoots with a Lumia RAW workflow

As my intro to Dan’s notes on mobile photography says, “We’re back with Tern in Vegas for another social ride during SXSW V2V next month.” We’ll have Lumias with us and I expect some of the new MSFT crew will ride too.

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Issue 13 / 31


by Byron on Jun 13, 2014 at 7:41 AM


When a black cat crosses your path

Our 13th issue drops in a month with a Friday the 13th, so that was an obvious theme to the strange rituals and superstitions that accent bike culture like flavorful, crunchy salad toppings.

Get it later today on iTunes or any devices with a browser for $16.00 a year or $4.00 an issue.

Subscription revenues directly support the writing, editing, and production of Bike Hugger Magazine. It’s ad free and published monthly after we knock on wood and toss salt over our left shoulders.

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UNEEK sandal by KEEN


by Mark V on Jun 13, 2014 at 7:20 AM

UNEEK sandals by KEEN

KEEN went back to what made them famous, the sport sandal, and reinvented it with a couple of cords. What they came up with was UNEEK.

Using innovative two cord construction, KEEN UNEEK molds to your feet for the perfect fit. The two cords and a simple, free-moving cord junction design allow the upper to move and adapt to the shape of foot. This construction provides freedom of movement while providing security and structure. The lightweight PU midsole delivers durability and comfort while the high traction rubber outsole with razor siping ensures secure footing.

UNEEK, Ortlieb, and a Bianchi

If you’re out biking on a tour or just exploring neighborhoods beyond the one next to your own, it’s nice to slip on something other than cycling shoes and walk about.

I find that the UNEEK sandals have a lighter, thinner sole that perhaps has a bit less arch support than other KEEN sandals. Not my choice for running, but they work well playing around in the city or on the rocks and in the water of the shore. They kinda remind me of woven moccasins. I would say they run about 1/2 size small. $100 retail.

UNEEK sandals by KEEN

UNEEK sandals by KEEN

UNEEK sandals by KEEN

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Issue 13 on Medium: Superstitions and Strange Rituals


by Byron on Jun 12, 2014 at 6:51 AM

Issue 13 of our magazine drops tomorrow and today I’m on the Microsoft campus for a Lumia event. Here’s a post on Medium about the issue, superstitions, and strange rituals

Superstitions and Strange Rituals

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Nikwax TX.Direct


by Mark V on Jun 11, 2014 at 4:30 AM

As late spring in Seattle warms into a glowing summer, the specter of the rainy season still haunts me…not the least because I haven’t stored all my rain gear yet. Setting aside the superstition that putting away my GoreTex and fenders would somehow beckon rainfall from a clear sky, the technical fabrics used in the waterproof/resistant garments require specific care in order to maintain their properties. Nikwax manufactures a number of products to maintain/restore the performance of technical fabrics. Nikwax TX.Direct

I have a pair of Vittoria Arctica MTB winter cycling shoes. Right around November I start wearing them for commuting because I hate dealing with booties. Sure, for training rides in the rain/cold I’ll pull on the booties along with all the other jackets, base-layers, etc, but I don’t want dressing myself to be a huge ordeal just to get to the store or work. After three long winters of daily use, the Arctica shoes lost a bit of their water-repellency, so I got some Nikwax stuff to right that.

Breathable tech fabrics with water-repellent properties should be cleaned with methods/products free of bleach, surfactants, fabric softeners, and perfumes, which often contain oils or waxes that encourage water to wet the fabric rather than bead off. Nikwax Tech Wash is a good product for washing your technical garments. Nikwax also makes a gel specifically for cleaning shoes, but I didn’t actually think that far ahead. If after cleaning the fabric still wets out, Nikwax’s TX.Direct can be used to restore water repellency. TX.Direct is available in a wash-in bottle or a trigger-pump spray bottle.

In the video below, I left the first shoe untreated. As I pour water on the tongue of the shoe, the water beads off just for an instant before it starts soaking into the fabric. In contrast, the treated fabric of the other shoe beads water and even supports a small pool of water without wetting.

Good rain gear for riding is expensive, so it really makes sense to take good care of it. After cleaning and treating my rain gear, I can put it in the back of the closet where I hope to not think about it until very late in the fall. And when I bitterly acknowledge that the rainy season has closed out the sunshine, at least I know that my clothing will be in tip-top shape for the long, watery siege.

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Adventure Bike: Finna Landscape GT


by Byron on Jun 10, 2014 at 11:37 AM

Adventure in Spain

A Spanish adventure

Spam from Spain’s Finna Cycles gets past email filters to reveal an exceptionally well-spec’d touring bike… the Finna Landscape. A second before I normally would’ve cursed and deleted the email, I see the photos, like this.


A coast somewhere, maybe the Costa Brava

So Finna can mark that as win in their CRM for email campaigns and I encourage you to see what they’re doing. So a company I’ve never heard of builds to the adventure/touring trend with an exceptionally well-spec’d bike. Steel, American Classics, Schwalbe, fenders, and so on. American companies, the big ones that import bikes, should take notice in their meetings trying to figure out how to market the gravel trend.

Lunch or breakfast stop

Lunch or breakfast stop

Note: grabbed the photos from an email, so don’t have anything high rez from Finna.

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On the Workbench: FreeRider Pannier


by Byron on Jun 09, 2014 at 12:26 PM

As it was explained to me…

The FreeRider began as a class project at Metro State in Denver. The goal was to design a cycling related product that fit with the current Green Guru product-line. The first prototype was so well received that we decided to continue and Kickstarted it.

This is the tent fabric version

Funded in just a few weeks, the FreeRider’s Kickstarter campaign ends this week and it’ll ship in two versions: upcycled tent fabric or inner tubes for $60 or $75. As the bullet points explain in their marketing, the pannier hangs onto an existing rack and features bolts to lock in it place. In these photos, I attached it to the Shinola Runwell’s front rack and use it for shopping. With plastic bag laws in the Seattle area, I take it into the store with me, fill it up with groceries, then hook it back on the bike, and ride home.

Attached to the Runwell

You may recognize the Green Guru name too, they’re sponsors for life of our Mobile Social Interbike, cause they always bring the boom by bike, like this.

From the kitchen after shopping to the work bench

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