Holiday Shopping Endorsement: Tool Roll
by Byron on Nov 25, 2014 at 10:49 AM
Tool Roll doing its job, that it does
This Tinyblackbox pic is our Black Friday/Cyber Monday every shopping Holiday endorsement! Also see the Wired review of the Waxed Canvas Tool Roll from earlier this year and now they ship for free with Amazon Prime.
They’re all hand made in Seattle and built to hold a spare tire, CO2 canisters, as well as a couple bike tools. Bundled up the roll fits right into your jersey pocket. According to Bike Hugger, they designed the roll to help organize flat tire tools, and offer an alternative to the traditional seat bag, which can rub against (and ruin) your expensive bike shorts.
And there’s Jim fixing a flat with his.
A Long Bike Ride
by Byron on Nov 25, 2014 at 9:20 AM
After last night, the country needs to go on a long bike ride; clear its head.
We’ll do that in Sitka, Alaska this week, visiting grandma and local haunts like the P Bar. Also working on Issue 19 and 20 of our magazine. The photo above is from earlier this year when we were riding in Eastern Washington.
Enumclaw: Tractor Pull of a CX Race
by Byron on Nov 24, 2014 at 1:49 PM
Like a tractor pull in the slop
This is one CX race I was super upset to miss, but knew better with a nagging knee injury, and the expected conditions of MUD BOG. There’s a reason Enumclaw is nicknamed, the “claw” too. Cause it grabs at you, robbing speed, and sometimes throwing you down into the mud.
Peter from Woodinville Bicycle shared these photos and Michael Brazel had this to say on his Facebook:
The ENTIRE course was a slick, deep, muddy mess. ‘Tractor Pull’ conditions, 400 watts @ 4 mph. Any firm green grass that could be found was a blessing. I spent the entire hour searching for firm ground. Another small Single Speed A field. This time my start was not so good, last place chasing the group through the first lap. Then, as everybody settled in, I started pulling them back one by one. Midway through the race in 3rd place and the leaders still in sight I clipped a chain link fence and hit the deck hard. I took inventory to make sure all limbs were still pointing in the right direction, climbed back on continued my search for firm ground. Finished the race on the lead lap (thanks Russell Stevenson) and held onto my 3rd place for the day and series lead.
Well raced! I was icing my knee, while Brazel was searching for firm ground. The course was a two mile flat loop that I heard felt completely uphill with a 50+ft run up. Speeds ranged from 3 to 6.5 mph and in the elites, 10-min laps.
Epic as the claw always is. See the rest of the photos Peter shared on G+ and Flickr.
Ballerina On The Golden Bicycle
by Byron on Nov 23, 2014 at 8:21 AM
Guess because she performed before I was born, just now hearing about The Ballerina On The Golden Bicycle. She was performing these tricks 20 years before flatland BMX and to the point of disassembling her bike to get to the good stuff.
At the height of her career, Lilly was considered the best in the circus business
She was about the highest paid circus artiste in the world and having had to do battle with all the great circuses, I still had to wait two years until she was free.” And he added, “I think she was one of the greatest performers I ever engaged. She was an artiste down to her fingertips, her costumes were magnificent, and she had a smile which was so infectious that her audience was with her in the first minute.” Just before her engagement with Bertram Mills Circus in 1962, Lilly had her bicycle gold plated; she became known as “The Bellerina On The Golden Bicycle.”
Lily is also seen performing in this circus documentary, now on DVD.
Lake Effect Snow Storm: FAT BIKES
by Byron on Nov 22, 2014 at 9:57 AM
Roads plowed and getting ridden
Once the nearly 8 ft of snow got plowed in Aurora NY, out came the fat bikes from Chain Ring Rhythm.
We’re not expecting a Lake Effect Snow Storm near us, but will ride in the snow soon enough…
Nearly 8 ft of snow in Aurora
Making the best of it
And in Buffalo Bill Graves was out riding too
Photo: HARRY SCULL JR.
by Byron on Nov 21, 2014 at 9:04 AM
A couple years ago, Matt made a dynamic bike headlight with a Raspberry Pi and a small, battery-operated projector. Then shared it with us during his Built talk, at SXSW. He’s since updated the project to include animations and posted this video about it.
Alternatives to Uber: A Folding Bike
by Byron on Nov 20, 2014 at 12:39 PM
How we get around town
Reacting to the Uber Scandal On Twitter, Chris said it
and so did @typeonerror and hey, there are plenty of alternatives to Uber, like riding a bike. I asked Josh Hon from Tern about this and he replied…
Biking: a ride with zero wait time, no spying, and lots of nice people
Uber’s the latest disruptive service taking the world by storm. And to be honest, it’s a pretty darn smart and imaginative way to use technology. But for a lot of trips, there’s an even better way to get around town, and that’s on a bicycle. Yeah that’s right, old school technology. But if you think about it, biking has some real advantages. Like for instance you get to leave whenever you want – there’s never any waiting for the next bus or train or finding your car in the parking lot. When you’re ready to go, you just go. Start up and maintenance costs? Well a decent bike starts at 2-3 months of gas money. A lot of times, when traffic is bad, it’s faster to get around by bike.
Even better is a folding bicycle because it fits so well with trains and buses and ferries and cars - every other form of transport. Raining hard in the evening? fold your bike and catch a ride home with a friend. Need to get across town – fold your bike and hop on the subway for part of it. Best of all, you never need to leave your bike chained outside because it folds and stashes in a closet or under a desk.
But you know what I love best about biking? It’s that my short trips add up to a work out so that when I get home at the end of the day, I can lounge around and be lazy, guilt-free. Guilt-free laziness? Now that’s something precious.
Last month I went back to my 25th reunion at Stanford. Since Stanford’s a pretty big campus and events were scattered all over, I decided to bring my bike with me. I packed my folding Tern into my Samsonite, hopped on a plane in Taipei, and arrived in SF a short 14 hours later. Every day, I’d drive to campus, park in alumni parking (very far from everything), pull my bike out of the trunk and within 10 seconds have instant transportation. My first stop was visiting my freshman dorm (that I shared with Peter Thiel) and just as I was pulling up, ran into one of my closest friends who was visiting with his family. That’s another one of the great things about cycling - the interactions with people that you just can’t get if you’re in an enclosed metal box.
Zipping around campus by bike, I managed to do everything I wanted to during Reunion weekend - even managing the double-booked time slots because I could get from one side of campus to the other in just a few minutes.
On my way back to Taipei, heading to the airport I took my first Uber ride. It was a surprisingly good experience. But if you’ve got a choice, try a bike. You just might like the experience even more.
Also with the burn-ban-bad air in Seattle, we’re thinking more about zero-emissions, multimodal transport and the fun you can have too…like with an electric car and a folding bike. I’ll tell you more about that in feature story I’m working on. For now, see the vignette I shared in the Medium Bicycles Collection about driving to a rails-to-trails ride with a BMW i3.
An i3 on the way out of town to a ride in the mountains
Winter Bicycle Jackets and Gloves
by Byron on Nov 19, 2014 at 12:00 PM
One of the reasons we’d don’t publish gear shootouts on our blog is kit made within the past few years is all so good – really. Find the jacket that fits, a style you like, appealing brand, budget, and your epic ride and/or commute to work is covered. We’ve gone from on-fire hot Gore to their much more all-condition ActiveShell. A once clammy eVent jacket that fit like a garbage bag is now tailored like the Elite Pro from ShowerPass and being used by a Tour team (free cover story in Issue 18).
I made the Vine above last night having some fun, asking our follows if it was cuff over or under? Also to bring up a function of the jacket gear makers can iterate and offer as a unique feature. The interaction of the cuff and glove seems little studied or designed. Depending on the jacket, glove, and cuff I’m either over or under; wind chill, wicking, and temperature changes also affect cuff over or under decisions. I may even change it mid-ride too.
I asked Steve Gluckman from Novara (their also great Veritas jacket is reviewed here) about this topic and he said
Waiting for Assos to develop glove-base-layer-outer-shell system and charge $1,500.00. Cause when you’re out in the elements things like a gap or wrinkle can bug the shit outta yah.
For sure and what you’re seeing in the video, is the new Gore Windstopper, soft shell gloves have a Primaloft liner in them with a pull and a pull on the glove. A bit clunky to get on, but worked very well in the 25-32 degrees temps I’ve ridden in so far because of the warm fleece and the wicking liner. However, that wicking resulted in damp wrists and when we turned into the wind, chilled wrists. So mid ride I’m switching to cuff under, because that wicked moisture from my apparently sweaty palms is pooling on my wrists.
As Steve said, you know exactly and instantly where there are gaps in the microclimate your body and gear are making; especially, when moisture pools and the wind hits it…
So, let’s see a company like Gore, ShowersPass, and others work on the glove/jacket cuff integration. It’s an area in outdoor gear left undeveloped and under designed.
Commenting on a poll we took, Dave Bartel said
Well, I layer a lot, but the outer shell for me almost 100% of the time I need gloves is my largely windproof (some venting) thin Castelli shell. Great elastic in the cuffs, so jacket almost always over gloves for me, unless I’m using full-on mitts. Gotta be about -15C for me to break those out.
Castelli hasn’t developed a system either for their excellent Gaba. Until then, it’s glove over OR under. On our ride together last weekend, Steve is wearing a Novara Headwind with cuff over and riding their new Novara Strada 50D.
Steve with his Headwind Jacket and Novara bike
BMX World Champs
by Byron on Nov 18, 2014 at 1:01 PM
While we’re focused on CX, there’s other bike racing going on, like the BMX World Champs and this edit from the UCI. The speed is remarkable.
Ice Bike Racing
by Byron on Nov 17, 2014 at 4:09 PM
In the 1930s, what are a couple of cyclists supposed to do but attach a skate to the fork of their safety bicycle? These days we’re riding fat bikes in the ice and snow, like we did earlier this year in Park City. Also read about the new rides we did in the new year and snow in Issue 8 our magazine.
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