Friday, July 25, 2008

We get off more…

Single Speeders that is.

Anyone who really knows single speeds knows you actually have 2. Riding and walking. And it’s that second gear that I’m most thankful for. Since I figured out there are some sections that just can’t be ridden I’ve checked my ego at the trail head and am totally content taking my bike for a walk.

{gear #2, and plug for TwinSix}

Sunday was one of those days I was stoked to have 2 gears. Nat and Pete were nice enough to drag my Scavenger-Hunt-weary-ass all over the Palisade trail outside of Greenwater, WA.
We picked up a nice trail to begin with that was fast and techie…at one point we stopped and Nat pointed at a Mountain across a stream from us. “We’re going to climb to the top of that.”

{up there...}

I mustered a smile and a giggle as the sun continued to draw the scent of Hops out of my pores. (stupid scavenger hunt)
Once we hit the base of the service road climb Nat turned to me and grinned…this is where the pain really starts. 10 miles and 3200ft of climbing (ish). Uff-da. We passed snow and I used my second gear twice on the road. Once we hit the top though, the view made it all worth it.

The downhill went on forever. While V-Brakes were great in the 90’s, disc brakes are definitely where it’s at. Actually, during the descent I couldn’t help but dream about picking up one of our new XXIX bikes and slapping a Fox on it. (Wink, Wink, Nudge, Nudge, to any of my bosses reading this)

{as every good ride should end}

We had a Bike-In Outdoor Movie at my house again last nite. Chevy Chase in one of his finer roles as the fun obsessed Clark Griswold in Vacation. It’s been a number of years since I’ve seen this movie, but I could help notice the Bicycles in the movie this time. I may be completely off the mark here, but it appeared to me that the bicycles were on Tour from Chicago to LA. I recall seeing them as they were leaving Chicago, along the road at a lunch stop, and at the Grand Canyon.

Great satirical joke by John Huges, that I’ve over looked for years. I feel like watching it again just to see if they appear anywhere else.

A few Rush Hours recently made a visit to a pretty big competitors store in Texas. Check out the stories and the pictures here, here and here.

Whew...I need a brake. I'm going to take the week off next week as we're doing our 2009 Photoshoot. I'll try and get pictures up as soon as I get back in the office. Plus...if you find yourself in Seattle the first weekend of August, the Dead Baby Bicycle Club is hosting their annual Down Hill, and the Tour de Fat will be here as well.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Winning Isn’t Always About Crossing the Line First

Has your summer become boring? Has the abundance of sun sapped your energy reserves and unleashed another savage beating to your flesh? Wish the cold and snow of winter would return because it’s become too hard to match Tshirts and shorts?! Snap out of it! And do a Scavenger Hunt!

A Scavenger Hunt? Isn’t that a little childish?

YES! Yes it is. It can also be an absurd amount of fun.

This weekend we took a handful of intrepid cyclists, give them a list of tasks to complete and unleashed them on an unsuspecting Seattle for a Scavenger Hunt. The rules were simple. Have fun, ride a bike, and have fun.

I can’t speak for the rest of the teams, but from the moment we took our photo playing Pinball we knew we were well on our way to sweet sweet victory

Getting one of Seattle’s finest to straddle my Rush Hour after getting a dozen Top Pot Donuts

Snapping a photo with a rock star

Getting a stranger to do the chicken dance rather than engaging in a chicken fight

Pictures of our bikes on ‘strangers’ car racks and bikes without wheels

Plus countless "other" tasks, how could this team not win?

When the cards were all tallied up we were well short on the overall point title.

However, we were the only team to cover the entire route (sort of), get a cop on a bike, and the only team to do the Chicken Dance! Another team was deemed the ‘winner’, but we all knew who the real winners of the day were.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Too Much To Post

Where do you begin? When your weekend flows into one great big bike ride filled with beer and good friends, a smile creeps onto your face that just won't quit. I'll post more this week but this collage pretty well sums up the weekend.

Plus, I can almost build up a bike that isn't even in my possession yet. More parts have shown up for this new ride that is supposed to be showing up any day. Michelin hooked me up with some sweet kicks, Selle Italia has my ass covered, and TRP sent me some of the prettiest looking brakes I've ever seen.

{Grippy Goodness}

{Sella Sweetness}

{TRP Hotness}

If you haven't figured it is a cross bike. However, it's a cross bike like no one has ever seen from Raleigh. Now, if only the dern frame would show up!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Is It A Full Moon?

Strange things have been a foot as of late. Maybe I missed all the warning signs, maybe I've become 'city-fied' and don't even recognize odd occurrences any more. However, my alarm clock went off in the last 12 hours of riding and woke me up. Now, these occurrences may not seem that strange to the casual observer, but they caught my attention.

1) last nite after I pedaled home from a Birthday celebration I happened upon these in my driveway.

An abandoned pair of Levi's. This furrowed my brow and had my head on a swivel looking for the perpetrator. These were not my jeans, not my roommate's jeans, I could only conclude that some 'risky business' had been happening in my driveway. The neighborhood I live in is nefarious for having Tranies and people supporting themselves by working in the 'oldest profession' around. While the neighbor hood has been quiet as of late, there have been more and more discarded 'business items' found in our driveway. I did not touch these ankle cuffs, I merely left them for the hastily retreating owner to claim at a later point in the nite.

2) While this one isn't so strange, I couldn't help notice a correlation. Shortly around the time All City Coffee put up a bicycle exhibit in the cafe

Keo (barista extraordinaire, and fixie trickster supreme) started hobbling around with a soft cast on his leg.

Turns out the Wall of Death claimed yet another victim.

Coincidence?! (probably)

3) This morning while riding into work two of the stranger things occurred on the trail. First off I came upon the exact same rider, in the exact segment of trail, at the exact trail juncture...for the 3rd day in a row. What really got me about this was that we weren't passing each other heading in opposite directions, we were riding in the same direction. Now, I'm not very good at Math (just ask my college Business Calculus professors) but I think the odds of riding across the same person, same place, heading the same direction, over the course of a 17 mile ride are not very high.

While I was trying to wrap my brain around this I rode upon a police motorcycle on the bicycle trail. Lights on, blocking the trail, with a Police officer overseeing a tow truck pulling an Explorer across the bike trail and out of the Green River.

I just had to ask ‘what happened’. The officer chuckled a little, and said the driver of the vehicle though that the chained off Trail Maintenance Vehicle access ramp was an On Ramp for a Highway.
“An On Ramp?! There isn’t a Highway or Interstate around here for about a mile.”
“That’s what we got out of her. When we got her to stop talking to that guy.” And he pointed to a bush. I gave the officer an expression of ‘that’s a bush’…and he nodded.
“Oh. That guy.”

I couldn’t help think how lucky the whole situation was, that there wasn’t a pedestrian running/walking/riding by when she tried a ‘good ol boys’ maneuver by trying to clear the river.

Strange days indeed...or is it just me?

Monday, July 14, 2008

“You can’t lead out for the line and win.” Stage 13, TDF 2002 Phil Liggett

Rewind to last year. The biggest Crit of the year, and I was told moments before the race to either change my outfit or get off the course. Stripping down has never been a problem, however I need to work harder at putting things on. By the time I got changed, I had already lost the race.

I’ve been stewing about this for an entire year.

Push Play for this weekend. Redmond Derby days. I didn’t even bother bringing my beloved coveralls. I signed up, pinned my number on and slid into the ‘kit’. I didn’t get the final tally, but it looked like a field of 85+ riders in the 4/5 cat. With the temperature hovering around 85 and a Cash Prize list…this was going to be one ugly race.

Not more than ¾ of the way into the first lap we had causalities. The rounded road reflectors had claimed their first of many victims on the day. During the 40 minutes of racing I saw 2 groups go down in front of me, 1 beside me, and heard a couple more behind me. By the end I was just hoping I’d still be upright.

Mid way through the race a group of 3 broke off the front. It looked like fun, and a good group of 4 could put a gap on the main group. So I bridged up, told the group to jump on my wheel and layed on the accelerator. With my eyes forward I assumed they had done just that. So when I gave a flick of my arm a lap later asking for someone else to take a pull I was bummed to find out there was no one behind me. Not wanting to take a solo flyer with another 20 minutes of racing, I sat up and waited. While I was waiting to be re-absorbed I took a moment to 'work' the crowd. Channeling the great Hulk Hogan I placed my hand at my ear, and started throwing my hands in the air.
Once back in the pack I settled in for the remainder of the race, and bid my time till the closing laps. With 3 laps to go the local “Rabbit Team” (they approach racing with the philosophy that if one rider is good, if we put 15 in each category we should be great) sent a rider off the front and placed another at the front of the pack to slow things down for him. This looked like it was going to work so with one lap to go I stood on my pedals and went for it.

Once the first two turns were navigated and back stretch loomed in front of me I heard a rider behind me say “Keep it up, we can do this!”
WE?! There was no WE in this move. This guy wanted to sit on my wheel and try and snag me at the line. So, I don't know why, but I started to crank harder.
We rounded the last corner and began the long sprint to the finish line. I passed the break away rider with 50m to go and saw the WE rider make his move.

As he started to come around me I stood on my pedals and accelerated one last time with everything that was left in my legs. As we stabbed our bikes at the line I heard the announcer say “Whoa, I’m not going to try and make the call on that one.”

I threw my hand in the air and saw second place hang his head. We both knew.

A million thanks to Amara at Wheels In Focus for showing up to these races week in and week out. Some more thanks to Amara for bringing me to the realization that the sun hasn't been out very much up here, and I really need a tan! More photos can be found here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Who Broke In?!

The cats out of the bag and apparently no one around here is very good at keeping secrets. Guitar Ted over at heard through the rumor mill that we were changing up our XXIX line next year. And I was amazed at how accurate his information was.

"...we're hearing that the XXIX+G will be back relatively unchanged, (perhaps some spec changes and color differences). The XXIX single speed will be changed significantly."

So to help the rumor out a little I sent over a couple sneak peak photos of what the XXIX and XXIX+G is going to look like over to him.

Here are a couple photos, but head on over to and check out the info he came up with.

I have so much more to post but there's a Summer Sales meeting I must attend down in beautiful Olympia Washington. There will be more to follow next week.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Happy 4th

I know I've posted this before, but it still makes me giggle.

Have a fun and safe 4th of July. We'll see you Monday with (hopefully) all my appendages still attached.

Soaked to the Bone

After several days of record temps I was wilting like limp asaparagas. Now I resemble a drowned rat. This morning might have been the second hardest rain I've ever ridden in.

Thinking ahead, I rode my "rain bike" (the one with fenders) home last night, because the weather reports said we might have isolated thunderstorms today.

For once they were right on the money. Thunder, lightning, and it was pissing rain. The ride from the house to the train station downtown takes all of 10 or 11 minutes. In that time I was thoroughly drenched. After drip-drying a bit during the 15-minute trip south to my stop in Tukwila, it was then back on the bike. The rain was just a gentle sprinkle as I started the ride from the station to the Raleigh offices. Two blocks into it, and the skies opened up. It dumped, and then dumped some more. It was actually pretty comical - the trail looked like a creek. At the office I had to wring my gloves out. Twice. Now I'm just hoping everything dries by 5pm.

Oh yeah, fenders and rain gear are a joke in that kind of downpour.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Shut My Word Hole

Friday I rode home alone. I uttered a total of 4 words on my way home, but my mind wouldn’t shut up. This is a brief excerpt from my thought pattern on my ride to a BBQ after work.

Man is it windy today. This morning the tail wind was rock’n, the sun was shining and I almost rode right past the entrance to Raleigh. Now, that same tailwind is a kick’n headwind. Feels like 10,000 puppies licking my face.

I can’t tell if this song is annoying or really good.

The Jackson 5 are awesome, and this re-mix is poppy. But is it too poppy?

Keep on filling up your SUV with your Costco gas. This engine is running on Burritos today.

Bah, I thought if I left work early I’d be able to avoid all the runners. I think there are more now than normal. Amazing what warm weather does for trail traffic in the NW.

It just looks cool seeing your reflection moving in a window.

Great. Soccer tournament. Time to put my hands back on the hoods and pay attention. HEY! You in the Audi! Watch where you’re going! Ding Dong.

Will I get a free peep show from the Cowgirls today? Nope. Stupid van.

Man is it windy.

Ahhh, the Union guys are hanging out and celebrating Friday with some Barley Pops. I can’t wait till I have a beer in my hand.

Rabbit Alley. Hands back on the hoods. Little bastards.

Ugh, that long wind channel is coming up. Man is it windy.

Awwww, fresh goose poop all over the trail. That’s just great.

What’s this? Oh, someone’s sitting on my wheel. Wish I had a wheel to sit on. Man is it hot and windy.

This straight away just really sucks. Just put my head down. Turn the pedals. I think it’d be faster if I got off and walked. Don’t look at the flag to your left…don’t look…don’t look…suck.

Holy crap is it windy. Almost out of the wind channel. What’s this? The wheel sucker is passing? Wow. He’s really trying to push it in this wind. He needs to work on his form. His upper body is bobbing and his knees are all over the place. Did he just look back? Aw no, is this a race? It looks like he’s really pushing it.

South Park. I hope all the lights are insync with me today. He just looked back again. I think he’s trying to drop me. Looks like he’s cutting through the neighborhood, I don’t want to fight the oncoming traffic so I’ll go under the bridge and meet up with the trail again.

Hey, the neighborhood smells like lavender today.

There’s that guy again. Looks like he sat up. His hands are next to the stem. His knees are a little more piston like. Oh no, he’s back in the drops again. He definitely saw me when we went around that corner.

Will this wind ever let up?

TXT…Bring Ketchup?

Ketchup?! I’m in the middle of the industrial shipping yard. Where the heck am I supposed to find condiments?!


I can’t wait to be on that roof top with a cold beer in my hand.

Alright, hands back on the hoods. Time to jump in traffic. Look back…plenty of space. The racing commuter doesn’t think so.
“Have a good one” I say. He just looks at me while a heavy wind escapes his mouth.

Man is it windy.

Ketchup?! Where the heck am I supposed to get ketchup? I guess I’ll just swing in a fast food-a-ria around the OR office. Buy some fries and grab a handful of ketchup packets. Wow. There’s a pretty good line in here. I don’t think they’ll notice if I just grab some packets. Maybe I’ll grab 2 handfuls.

OR parking lot. Do I lock my bike up? Nah, I’ll just jam in this railing.

This view is awesome. Almost as awesome as this beer is tasting right now. Man am I glad to be out of that wind.

That's it.

No, you can't have those 2 minutes back of your life.