From Japan (Part 13): One more day in Takayama
by Mark V on Jul 09, 2007 at 5:40 AM
Alright, then…at the time of posting, I’m actually back from Japan. Yes, I’m so glad to be back in Seattle because .because .the,uh ..hmmmmmm .actually I’m not at all happy to be back. Well, there is pizza, of course I’m happy about having good pizza again. Well, I’m back anyways, so how about we all try to make the best of this, and in exchange I’ll tell you some more bullshit stories about me in Japan.
So last time I posted I was in Takayama, a pretty little town in the middle of the Japanese Alps. We had decided to kill a couple days in Takayama because the inn we were at was hella cheap, my knee was killing me with the nastiest climbs on the next stretch of road, and I wanted to hit on the cute German chick staying at the inn. But time was running out on us and so was Fraulein Nele, so we left town late morning after three nights at the Zenkoji Temple/Inn, to complete our quest to cross the mountains of central Japan.
Now at this point, my knee is a big question mark. I had tooled about town the night before to see if the pain had gone away, but within a few minutes I could feel the pain gremlin nibbling at my tendon. That had been on flat ground with an unladen bicycle. But the road to Matsumoto would be around 75 miles with an immediate 870M pass that would drop us and our 56lb bikes into a heartbreaker 1800M climb. And there’s no bail-out option in the middle; no inns to rest at if man or machine faltered. I try to imagine how much damage to my knee I can endure. Matsumoto would be the end of the gnarly climbs, and the roads after would be heavy truck routes as in not fun. So, revised mission goal: instead of riding all the way back to Tokyo, we will finish the Alps and take a bullet train back from Matsumoto to Tokyo. No matter how bad my knee is, I can endure it for one day, right? Right?
OK, then, it’s settled: it’s Matsumoto, or death!
Knitted Ear Warmers
by Byron on Jul 08, 2007 at 9:17 AM
You can super-style yourself into the Fall with these knitted ear warmers and I think they’re cooler than the Slipstreamz, cause your spouse, partner, or you made them.
- As noted by our astute readers, the title was corrected to knitted from crochet.
Hugga’s Disco Dream Ride
by Byron on Jul 08, 2007 at 6:25 AM
Frank is getting his “tour on” and had some fun with the Disco Dream Ride – a flash app that can put you or a friend in the middle of a Discovery Channel highlights reel. Frank created a dream ride for me, with the added the touch of a Team Bike Hugger Kit, cigarette (or joint), iPod, and a really big head. See it here and note how well the Hugger style fits into Discovery’s Go Green program.
Tour de Fat
by Jason Swihart on Jul 07, 2007 at 6:54 PM
This afternoon I wandered over to Denver’s City Park to join in the festivities at the annual New Belgium Brewery Tour de Fat. As expected, it was a freak show assortment of balloon swallowers, jugglers, tall bike riders, and off-the-wall burlesque performances. Less expected, however, was that I would run into an Ellsworth Ride–probably the only one in the state.
As soon as I entered the grounds, the Ride’s unmistakable form jumped out at me, so I walked over to admire it in person and to introduction myself. It turned out the owner was Lee Davis, a member of the Fallbrook Technologies board of directors–they manufactur the Ride’s Nuvinci automatic (CVP) hub. We chatted about the bike, fiddled with our Blackberrys trying to take a picture, and while Lee told me about the Ride’s magnificent ride, we probably had three or four groups stop to ask about the bike. It is impressive to see in person.
SRAM has got the Force
by Byron on Jul 07, 2007 at 8:20 AM
Considering I’m going to watch ads on the Tour de France thousands of times, over the next 3 weeks, the first run is always important to figure out what I don’t mind, totally dig, and despise. Like say, those Flomax ads or, from way back, the extreme mountain biking ad which featured someone running into a tree …
Today, the SRAM Force ads rock and I’m seeing their gruppo show up in the peloton. At the Tour, they’re blogging away.
Discovering Green at the Tour de France
by Byron on Jul 07, 2007 at 7:40 AM
As part of their Planet Green initiative, Discovery is racing green at the Tour de France and doing so by planting trees to offset their carbon. As good as that sounds (do they carve their names in the trees for evermore?), I’d hope for something more like a biodiesel caravan or putting the Michelin Man in their Zero-Pollution Car or how ‘bout a domestique bike trailer guy who’d follow them around? Ya know, put a little electric motor on that bike, a silly outfit, and he’s green tech support on a sport-utility bike.
Wheels for Your Wall
by Jason Swihart on Jul 06, 2007 at 8:34 PM
p>A couple of years ago at ICFF, I met the guys from Flavor Paper. In the middle of a Javits center bursting with enough brilliant design to keep a junky like me enthralled for weeks, Flavor Paper’s booth stood out–as did the slightly disheveled guys with an unmistakable passion for wallpaper.
The New Orleans-based maker of boutique wallpaper had a thrillingly over the top booth swathed in a crazy quilt of their eye-popping patterns. Periodically I check their site to find a wild new pattern for my notional dream house and so stumbled across the following titled “Flower Pedal.”
Designed by Dan Funderburgh and perfect for your home bicycle workshop.
MPG - Infinity
by andrew_f_martin on Jul 06, 2007 at 11:21 AM
<a/>I’ve seen a couple of these shirts around lately and I love the message. There have been a couple articles that try to quantify the actual mileage of a cyclist - most put it around 800-1000 miles per gallon equivalent. Not infinity, but still pretty darn good!
I like to accentuate the positive, but this “negative” shirt was pretty hilarious too:
a Masi Clone Project
by Byron on Jul 06, 2007 at 9:00 AM
Enjoy the Speedplay gallery that “chronicles the start-to-finish construction process of my modern replica of the 1961 Masi Special.”
Free Bikes in New York
by Byron on Jul 06, 2007 at 8:11 AM
During the Tour de France, the Forum for Urban Design and Storefront for Art and Architecture “is revolutionizing transportation networks and greening the urban fabric” with a Bike Share Project demonstration. That’s about the coolest thing to do in NYC that I could imagine and can only hope the demonstration turns into a project like Pamplona, Lyon, Paris, Barcelona, Stockholm and Oslo. On a more local scale, with less design aesthetic and catchy slogans, is Buffalo Blue Bicycle or the Vancity Bike Share.
A reader pointed us to a newswire story today on Paris being a city of lovers and bikes, with the whole city becoming a bike zone.
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