Monday, April 30, 2007


For your evening reading click here and here - that is, if you haven't already hit these articles. One of them has a great multimedia slide show that features our Rush Hour Pro in the "AT THE TRACK" tab (rider is a Team DC Racing member).

But really folks, kids were riding fixed gears without brakes from the very beginning of the bicycle's existence. Not only were they riding fixed, but their bikes were super heavy and a couple sizes too big for them.

{courtesy of ampersand vintage}

Interesting articles, nonetheless, and you can't argue with a picture of our sponsored racer on a Rush Hour Pro!


Friday, April 27, 2007


"I am thinking of riding in with you tomorrow," Myles (my husband) mentioned last night. "Sure, that would be cool, can you be ready to go out the door at 6am?" I asked. "6AM!" he exclaimed.

So, at 6:15am we mounted our bikes and started out into the drizzle of the morning. It's interesting how you get used to your route and riding with your devoted commuting partner; I kind of forgot Myles had never been on this route before, so the first big transition of crossing 4 lanes of traffic ended up being a bit of an adrenaline boost. I was ready to cross the traffic to access the Duwamish trail but failed to tell Myles. He was forced to cut fairly close in front of an old Honda sedan. Horn blaring, hand raised, and fumbling with his coffee, the driver passed Myles with a contorted look on his face. Myles seems to collect car horn blasts (this being his 3rd of the morning).

After this, the ride was pretty mellow. We did pass a huge sign on the trail that read "Prosser Piano." Myles jumped the 30ft span a couple times, but I only caught his approach on film. The only other oddity before hitting Raleigh was a fugitive chicken pecking about in the trail side grass.

Myles turned around immediately for the trek back to Seattle (a good 50 miles round trip), while I had to put in a full eight hour day before heading home. The ride wasn't too eventful except Matt and I passed the same mystery chicken that Myles and I did in the morning. We stopped to have a chat with him, but he didn't like Matt that much, so I started chattering, "here chicky, chicky, chicky." We zoned out on this chicken for about 10 minutes before realizing that we were staring at a chicken for 10 minutes...what the heck? So, back on the bikes and onward home.

{Here is a little footage of our pecking friend}

Bikes: Carey-single speed Raleigh Professional Myles-Competition Matt - DBR Podium 5

Coffee: I had a whole French Press of Mind Body and Soul blend to myself (it was one of those mornings).

Rant: Riding is infectious - soon your friends will follow.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Just a quick post this morning. An interview with our product designer Kyle Casteel is up on the Raleigh blog, so check it out.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Well, I can tell it's bike season; the trails and roads are now speckled with yellow safety jackets and my inbox is filled to the brim every morning. So, this is my "I am busy post". It contains images from my ride in to work this morning; more text to follow later today.

{click images to enlarge}

These pink petals were blowing from trees like snow (which means it was a bit windy). I was happy to come across this stellar accumulation of pink petals.

When I got to Raleigh, I looked down at my shoes and realized I had acquired pink spurs for my ride. Actually, now that I think about it, my ride in felt a little like a scene in Cormick McCarthy's Blood Meridian---the only thing missing was a meal of corn tortillas & beans and a brutal fight with Indians on a desert plain.

More later.

Check this out if you haven't already: Trials


Thursday, April 19, 2007


{words by reed - photos by carey}

{click on images to enlarge}

I am sure that for many bicycle riders/racers out there the idea of business travel must seem like a dream. Imagine having an all expenses paid trip to the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California – what could be better? And honestly, for awhile it is pretty cool to travel to events of all kinds, visit factories in Asia, and meet with various industry people around the country (and slip out for a ride every so often). But somewhere along the way the glamour and novelty wears off and you start to dread each trip – the packing (especially packing your bicycle), the transportation to and from the airport with bags of all sorts, the long plane rides on full planes, the rushing to appointments, the headaches of mixed-up reservations and poor customer service. But every so often something happens that makes all the hassle and challenges seem like a small price to pay to be exactly where you are at exactly that particular moment. This is a story of that type of experience – an “accidental ride!”

No destination or event can make a 6:40am flight seem glamorous. You have to get up very early, for me 3:45am, to be at the airport at 5:40am. It does not seem to matter what time you fly or where you’re going anymore – the lines are long, security checks are a hassle and the planes are always full. {sunrise, take off, reading material, & clouds}

My coworker, Carey, and I arrived in San Jose on time and quickly walked to the baggage claim area (it’s a pretty small airport). I have flown into San Jose quite a bit and have become accustomed to slow baggage arrival, but this time when my bike came out before any of the regular luggage I was pretty sure something was up. The baggage carousel was turning, but no luggage was coming up. I was getting a little impatient, so I stood up on the edge of the carousel and looked down the belt, only to see –yup – my bag stuck crossways on the belt, preventing any luggage from moving. It was going to be one of those days. Then the rental car (a large cargo van for all the bikes) pickup was sloooow! You might think they would have known we were coming, as we did have a reservation and had provided information regarding our flights; but no, the van was blocked in by other cars and we had to wait in the rain for the parking lot attendants to get the van out. I was beginning to feel cursed.

Finally we were on the road to Monterey. On the way we stopped for a burrito at Super Taqueria – muy bueno! The day was beginning to improve. The skies had cleared by the time we arrived in Monterey to pick up the Diamondback Mission bicycles at Joselyn’s Bicycles. (I need to give a special shout-out to Frank and the entire staff at Joselyn’s for their tireless assistance to make Diamondback’s appearance at the 2007 Sea Otter a success – THANKS!) From Joselyn’s we drove out to the Laguna Seca Raceway, the Sea Otter event location, and started setting up tents. The warm sun and fresh sea breeze made the work go by easily and we were all done by 5:00pm. The rest of our crew wasn’t due to arrive until 7:00pm, so we had some time to visit around the bike expo area and catch up with friends and acquaintances. Since this was Carey’s first Sea Otter, it seemed like a good idea to take her around to the various venues to help her get familiar with the site. So we grabbed a couple of Mission 3 bicycles and headed out for a casual ride around Laguna Seca. If this was a movie or television show there would be sound track music, and my choice for this point in the story would be the Gilligan’s Island theme – “a three hour tour…”

After catching up with a few friends and getting the layout of the bike expo down, we headed out to see the dual-slalom and x-country courses. After checking out the dual-slalom course, where our co-worker and friend Mike Hammond would have great success later in the weekend, we discovered a series of small white signs with red arrows that said “cross-country tour.” These signs said “tour;” they did not say “course,” and they did not say “ride,” so we assumed that it was some kind of short “tour” intended for casual riders and families. Why we “assumed” this remains a mystery, although the beverages we had shared with friends in the expo area may have contributed.

It is important to remind you at this time that we had set out for a “casual ride.” We were in street clothes – check out the pictures {click to enlarge}! I had on jeans, tennis shoes, a t-shirt, wool sweater, baseball cap, and leather jacket. Carey had on CLOGS, jeans, and multiple layers including a hooded sweatshirt and beanie! Cue the Gilligan’s Island theme music. What we were on was the Mountain Bike magazine mountain bike tour course that had a short loop of 10 miles, and a longer 20-mile loop. Guess which one we were on! Fortunately Carey and I are pretty fit and regular riders, although this was her first mountain bike ride on a full-suspension bike!

Now, in addition to being in street clothes we had *no helmets*, no water, no food, no tools, and no spare tubes or patch kits. The “tour” course was super fun and was mostly downhill for the first few miles, so by the time we realized we were in over our heads, going back meant climbing, and the terrain convinced us that we only had little further to go before turning around. So on we went – probably not a good decision – and we soon found the single track section! It was an excellent, mostly downhill roller coaster ride – we were whooping and hollering and having the time of our lives. Down and down we went, farther and farther away from the event site, and finally came out of the trees into a valley and right up on a flock of wild turkeys. There must not be any hunting allowed at Laguna Seca because the turkeys, while not happy to see us, did not immediately disappear either.

We were feeling pretty good at this point, but then the climbing started! Pretty soon we were struggling with how to stow extra clothing and it was beginning to sink in that we were in for a pretty long haul. We had not seen anyone out on the course, which was adding to our concerns regarding exactly what we had gotten ourselves into, when we caught up with another rider on the climb. He was in full regalia – Oakley shorts, Fox Racing jersey, pads, Shimano shoes and pedals - and was struggling with the climb. Carey rode right past him and I followed. We exchanged a few pleasantries and rode on. Then there was another downhill section, which we rode cautiously due to our lack of helmets, and the other rider rode right by us with a little kick, and thus a pattern was established that would last for quite a while – we would pass him on the uphill, then he would pass us on the downhill.

Somewhere around what I estimate was mile 14 we began to call the little signs “the red arrows of death,” and our concerns regarding darkness, hunger, thirst, and safety were beginning to take the edge off the “fun.” Finally we came up over the top of a climb (where we took some pictures) and I could see Salinas to the east and the setting sun to the west. Having grown up in the area I was able to estimate that we had about a 5 or 6 mile ride back to Laguna Seca on what looked like a ridge-top trail – wrong again. The trail did follow the ridge line but did not stay on the ridge top. Still by this time we were pretty tired and our clothes were soaking wet. Those last few miles were not as pleasant as they could have been.

I cannot say enough about how well the Diamondback Missions rode. The Missions have six full inches of travel, and are designed as all-mountain bikes – they performed flawlessly on fast descents, on tricky single track, and up steep hills. Remember that Carey was riding in clogs, and she made it up all those climbs without dabbing once – so yes, the Mission is a great ALL-mountain bike. During the entire ride the Missions were never a concern, a tribute both to their design (kudos to Mike Brown) and to their assembly (thanks to Frank and all the guys at Joselyn’s in Monterey).

As the wind began to pick up and the sun set we came across a herd of sheep - yes, a herd of sheep, complete with a shepherd and a dog (the dog was actually letting the shepherd do all the work)! We were seeing more riders, and familiar landmarks were beginning to appear – finally, the end was in sight. As we came over the final climb and started the descent back into the raceway I turned to Carey and said “Well, that was the dumbest, and most fun, thing I have done in a while!” The sun had dipped below the horizon, we had linked up with the rest of our team, and a sushi dinner was calling us – we were in exactly the right place at exactly the right time!

*Diamondback and Raleigh Bicycles do not recommend riding without a helmet at anytime or under any conditions.*

Saturday, April 14, 2007


We have gone to California.

Posts, as you may have already noticed, will be postponed until Wednesday April 18th as we have been attending (April 10th-15th) the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, CA.

We will have plenty to fill you in on; including an accidental ride, the weather, a dual slalom race, and a florescent bike. Until then then - enjoy your weekend.


Monday, April 9, 2007


{words by matt}
It’s 6:30am on a Sunday. I have been sick for over a week with a chest cold and sinuses that seem to want to bust out of my head. I’m putting on a skinsuit, arm warmers, knickers, a hoodie, my shoes and my helmet. As I leave the house it’s 6:45 and I head to the banks of Lake Washington here in Seattle. I see a friend and he asks me ‘Why are you out here racing when you’re sick?’ Because when there’s a bike race named after a fallen friend, you get your ass out there and race, that’s why.

Sunday was the first Brad Lewis Memorial Criterium, renamed from the Boat Street Criterium after Brad suffered a tragic and fatal heart attack during the 2006 installment of the same race. I lined up at 8am, wearing my Team AVA/Counterbalance colors, hoping to hold on as long as possible considering my ill health and ill conditioning. 40 minutes of racing was ahead of me as the starting whistle sounded. After spending 25 minutes with the lead pack and lapping a couple of other riders (at least I didn’t finish last) I began to feel my lungs protest. Having fallen off the back I decided to keep going as far and as hard as I could. After another few minutes I could see the pack closing in to lap me. Not wanting to look like I simply gave up I pushed myself a little further. As a reward, while holding off the pack from lapping me, the MC mistakenly called me out as leading the race. Needless to say I was caught in the next lap and my race was over, but much was made about the mistaken call out by my team mates.

Fact of the matter is, Brad was a great guy. He and I messengered together for years here in Seattle. He was one of the kindest individuals on the road, he’d befriend and talk to everyone, and he was well liked and even loved by everyone. Brad loved to ride his bike, he loved to race his bike, and everyone out there on Sunday was out there continuing Brad’s dream and legacy. He would have been humbled and happy.

Sunday, April 8, 2007


Hope everyone had a wonderful day of hunting, eating, and riding.

P.S. - Check out more of these rabbits here.

Friday, April 6, 2007


{words by carey}

If you were fortunate enough to get up this week before the sun rose, than like myself you were probably escorted for a good portion of your ride by the milky white glow of the moon. Mmm...what a wonderful experience; the moon is definitely a magical cosmic creature that I welcome any morning or night that I ride. Along with a full moon came a week of temperatures that exceeding 60 degrees, putting Seattlelites in radiant moods and back on their bicycles.
This morning the ride in was spectacular; I met up with Charles, an old friend, and we rode to Georgetown to have coffee at All City (one of my favorites) before he had to pedal to Urban Hardwoods where he works. Just as Charles was leaving, Brian arrived, had a double tall Americano, and then we hopped on our bikes with tires pointed toward Raleigh.
The sun was so addicting today that it drew a group of riders and skaters to hit the skate park at lunch. I got wind of the plan and asked if I could join. The plan was to go along as "photographer," but I ended up rolling through the bowl a couple of times on a borrowed BMX of Trevor's. The crew that entertained me for an hour in the sun was Aaron and PJ (Customer Service Rep's), Trevor (Diamondback Marketing Coordinator), and Brian (Western Manager - National Accounts). I hope to get a BMX bike after I get back from Sea Otter. Maybe if I hit the park enough, I'll actually be able to do a couple jumps by the end of summer. Be sure to look for more action shots - and we might even throw in a couple films later this summer.
Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 5, 2007


"He was a teammate, but more importantly he was a friend..."

This Easter Sunday, April 8th, will mark the 1st Annual Brad Lewis Memorial Criterium at Boat Street in Seattle. Last year Brad's life was taken suddenly--and all too soon--by an apparent heart attack on April 9th while he was racing in the Boat Street Criterium (now the Brad Lewis Memorial Criterium). Brad raced for our sponsored Recycled Cycles Race Team and was a fellow Raleigh employee before moving onto FSA. He will be celebrated by all racers and attendies at Sunday's Criterium - so come on down to Boat Street for a celebration/remembrance of Brad's spirit and a day full of top notch Northwest racing.

For a schedule click here.

For directions click here.



Our Mayor Greg Nickels has released a new "Bicycle Master Plan" for Seattle, which would include the addition of 100 miles of new bike lanes. Check it out here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Three days of bike commuting – a good week!

{words by reed}

Last week (March 26th – 30th) I rode in to work Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Monday was not a particularly memorable day as bike commutes go; no close encounters with automobiles, no weather anomalies, just an easy and safe commute both ways. Wednesday was memorable for the ride home – it rained, hard! Not your normal Pacific Northwest drizzle, this was more like an Asian Monsoon rain¬ it was hard, cold and wet. Very wet! Even so, my upper body was snug as a bug in my new Showers Pass Elite 2.0 jacket. Thursday was a great day as I was not only able to commute both ways, but I also joined in on the lunch ride (on my new Raleigh Team bicycle, 15lbs 6oz) which was sunny, brisk, and fun. More on Thursday later.

In my last post I promised to tell you about my bicycles. I have two commute bikes right now, a Raleigh Cadent Carbon geared bike and a Raleigh One Way single speed.

But first a few disclaimers:

1. There will be some shameless product plugs in this post (you’ve already seen at least one) – just some props for stuff that I like or that works well on my commute here in the Pacific North-“wet.”

2. I am a bike junkie, and I work in the industry. I know my bicycles are too expensive and too “tech” for many riders. Bicycling is my passion, my livelihood, and my lifestyle. I do not mean to offend, nor is my intent to make others envious; I am just sharing my passion.

3. I commute by bicycle for many reasons, and one of them is to train for races and events – although I do believe the bicycle is the solution to all the world’s problems and that commuting by bicycle is part of the solution for many problems (saving fossil fuels, reducing congestion, air pollution, and helping slow global climate change).

I’ve “tricked out” the Cadent Carbon a little – just to see how light I could build a full-fendered commuter. I am also planning to use it for some longer rides I have planned this summer, like the STP (Seattle to Portland) ride in July – 204 miles in one day. I realize that calling this bike a commuter is a little misleading, but I am commuting on it.

Cadent Carbon Frame and Fork
FSA K-Force Light Crankset and BB (38/52t)
SRAM Force Shifter/Brake Levers
SRAM Force Rear Derailleur
SRAM Force Front Derailleur
SRAM Force 10sp Hollow Pin Chain
Shimano Dura Ace Wheels
Shimano Dura Ace 10sp Cassette (12-27)
FSA Headset
Tektro Long Reach Brakes
Easton EC90 Stem
FSA K-Force Handlebars
FSA K-Force Seatpost
Brooks Team Ti Seat
Topeak WhiteLite HP1W Headlight
Topeak WhiteLite Power Pack
Topeak RedLite UFO Taillight
SKS Fender Set with BuddyFlaps
Vittoria Zaffiro 700x25c Tires

All in (not including water bottles and seat bag, but with lights and fenders), my Cadent weight 19-½ lbs – not bad for a “commuter!”

My One Way also has a few “upgrades:”

Phil Wood Hubs built with DT 14g SS spokes to Mavic A719 rims (built by Reed Graham at Recycled Cycles, who not only has a great first name, but is one of the best bicycle mechanics I have ever worked with – a real craftsman!)
Wood Bottom Bracket
Phil Wood Rear Cog
Chris King Headset
Nitto Crystal Fellow Seatpost
Brooks B17S Saddle
Honjo-Koken “hammered” metal fenders with BuddyFlaps (installed by Reed Graham, see above, using instructions included in the Winter 2007 issue of Bicycle Quarterly, a must read for bicycle fanatics like me!)

I am not sure how much this bike weighs – it’s all about the single speed, simplicity, and reliability with this bike – no “weight-weenie” fix for this commuter.

Well, that pretty much covers it for this post with one postscript:

Outside of the bike commute, Thursday was not a good day for me. Lots of challenges at work that I was not dealing well with, and I thought the ride home was going to be something of a slog as a result of the brisk 16 miles at lunch. But no, I rode great, there was sunshine for some of the ride and I got to the car feeling terrific . The Cadent had been flawless on the ride. The Brooks Team saddle was just breaking in (more on Brooks saddles and why you should consider one in a future post) and the setup felt perfect. The Cadent was quickly becoming my favorite bike. I loaded it on the roof rack and headed home. Unfortunately I was thinking about work by the time I arrived at my house and completely forgot the Cadent was on the roof rack… Yes, I did it. I drove into the garage…and heard the sickening sound of splintering carbon.

I feel like such an idiot! I am in mourning. The frame, fork, seatpost, and seat are toast (see photos). The top of the Brooks just caught the garage door with enough force to bend the saddle rails, break the fork, and damage the frame and seatpost. The good news – the house and car (and consequently my marriage) suffered no damage, and I have a new Cadent coming the week of April 11th. A special shout-out to Chris Li at Bikeaway Source Bicycle Shop in Bedford, MA for giving up a Cadent (they are in very short supply) that he did not have a customer for – I owe you a big favor!

Monday, April 2, 2007


For a lot of us, commuting to work on a bicycle is only part of the addiction of traveling on two wheels. Once you realize how fun and practical a bicycle is, it somehow becomes an extension of your being and you take it everywhere with you (or it takes you everywhere). I bet most of the people that commute on a bicycle all week extend their riding into the weekend. This weekend's April Fools' Day ride was a bit out of the ordinary; it involved cruisers, a big crowd, some beer, whipping cream, aliases, and jousting. Yes, it was a Pie Jousting (this is last years website) event on bikes. Sully's Snowgoose Saloon presented its 7th Annual April Fool's Day Pie Joust, sponsored by New Belgium Brewing Company.

I was intrigued by the event, so a handful of us hopped on our bikes and headed to the Snowgoose. At first, I only wanted to watch, but a friend coaxed me into signing up. I took the name Blue Jay, and my first battle was against a guy named Shrek. I have to admit that I was a bit nervous, as I had just witnessed some pretty brutal pie hits in the face. I figured the only thing I had going for me was riding skills, but I managed to nail Shrek to the right of his neck; somehow I came out clean, though in the picture it looks like I am about to get creamed. The Quarter Finals finally rolled around and I was up against the Preacher. Let's just say that he had better aim then I did; I got SLAMMED in the face, while he cruised away with nothing more than chest-full of pie. Bummer, I was hoping to claim the Pie Jousting title of 2007. Oh well, the Preacher ended up winning the whole thing, so I didn't feel too bad about loosing to him. Besides, I got some great New Belgium schwag---a t-shirt, bottle opener, patch kit, and some lip balm.