Friday, September 19, 2008

At A Loss for Words

My brain is mush from getting everything ready for the "big show" next week. My 'word hole' feels broken so I'll I'm going to take you through a visual journey. First I'll finish up my Eurobike post with the last of my pictures, follow that with a 'one is the loneliest' number ride, and finish with some cross sweetness.

{The show was at a Zeppelin hanger after all}

{Main entrance and great people watching spot}

{Viva bikes caught my attention}

{ carbon anywhere!}

{I found Nemo hanging out at the show as well}

{Brooks had a Pegoretti}

{Definitely interested in trying the belt drive}

{Final parting words of wisdom from Europe}

This past weekend I escaped my cell phone, city, and general craziness for a couple days before I pour myself on a plane this weekend for Sin City. I decided a trip to Orcas Island was what I needed, and as always I wanted to ride a bike. However, my companion doesn't ride that often so I figured a Companion would be perfect for some short rides while there. Unfortunately, I needed a way to get it home before the weekend...and it's 18 miles to my house...

{What's wrong with this picture?}

{One is the loneliest number}

{I could've sworn she was there a minute ago...}

Before we left for the islands I had to stop and put down one of these...

Smarty Pants does it again with their Bacon-tini. It's a lot better than it looks.

Last nite was the last bike in movie nite at my house for the summer. And in a surprise move my buddy Nat showed up with a Birthday (that's what I told myself) slash Cross season present. Now tell me...if you can find a better looking vest than this...

To go along with this....

I'd like to see it! Doom has truly outdone himself with that vest...again.

Speaking of the big red R Raleigh...this weekend is StarCrossed and next week is CrossVegas. If ya'll find yourselves in the neighborhood...swing on by. The only thing I'm counting on in Vegas is being Disqualified for violation of UCI rule 12.1.040:50 which "prohibits Unauthorized Refreshments in a Cyclocross race". Wish me luck.

I really failed at posting from Eurobike (obviously) I'll try better in Vegas with no promises.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Real quick...

If you find yourself looking for something to do this weekend. Might I suggest this...

I was hanging out with a couple of the AVA/Counterbalance kids who are putting it on last nite. They've got some pretty sweet prizes (I helped out a little) and a lot of fun in store for those that attend.

And it pains me that neither myself or my screaming single speed will be able to put the smack down on local wonder boy Craig. His time is coming...

EuroTrip Day II

If the movies have taught me anything, it's that Europe is a wacky place filled with strange people and customs. These things that are different from what we do every day lead to hijinx, hilarity, and occasional nudity.

Put some bikes in that movie and you would've had EuroBike. was lacking human robots...otherwise it was just like it!

Day 2 was long. Up early. Eating my Bacon way faster than anyone should eat Bacon. Slurping my coffee way faster than any one should slurp coffee. And then we walked. Walked. And Walked some more. The venue was absolutely enormous, and quite daunting. I really didn't know how we were going to be able to see everything that we did. I won't put up everything that we saw, just a few mentionables.

Ghost was carbon crazy and had it on everything...including the shock mounts on their mountain bikes.

This guy seemed to think that a 31.6 diameter seat post just wasn't big enough. So he made his own size all together. I didn't find out what it was...but I'm thinking a 40.0 will do the trick.

When white is looked at like last years color...start looking forward to the classics of NEON. Just wait for it people...neon is going to be the newest Black!

I just couldn't stop wondering what the stroke rate is for this thing.

On the slopes you can often hear people skiing say "if it was easy, they'd call it snowboarding". It looks like the folks at Head have this is the same mentality when they made this bike.

While you're riding in the back of a truck on your 4th shuttle run of the can just start reading your headtube and handlebars to keep you up to date on the news.

I don't know what the point is of the 'extras', but it looked cool.

Europeans have been a little apprehensive in embracing the 29inch bike. But the guys over at 29inches should be psyched that this trend is starting to get noticed over there.

There seems to be some similar thinking going on here. If this is the direction of the commuter, I'm pretty stoked.

When you go into a shop this year and realize that prices have gone up (due to many reasons) rest assured that they are paying WAAAAAAY more for a similar product in Europe. This bike would retail for over $1200 in Greenbacks.

I started counting the teeth on this chainring but ran out of fingers real fast.

A couple of show Fixies

I was intrigued by the brake placement and couldn't help but shake my head when I saw a BMX crank on a Fixie.

And people wonder why I don't have any kids.

Exhausted we tried to meet up with our Raleigh UK family for some drinks and Schnitzel but our GPS unit was broken (meaning we took a wrong turn and ended up in Austria...I think).

Rather, we found a lovely little place to eat. Best EuroTripp'n partners remembered it was my birthday and made sure I got exactly what I wanted.

The following day would be our last day there...and we found exactly what we were looking for.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Photo of the Day Part II

In today's shot we have Brian of Sigma Sport.

Brian is looking quite sensible in his riding apparel today. He has decided to scoff the Italian stylings if Ivan Basso and go for a more Midwestern approach to fashion. The sensible wet black riding apparel...says "I'm shedding water but can still look fabulous ordering a Latte". All while his sunglasses just scream "Grey grey go away I'm dreaming of sunny days". To complete the commuter ensemble he has smartly outfitted himself with a Raleigh One-Way. With it's classy Euro-styling, full coverage fenders and cantilever brakes it sassily turns it's rear wheel on the envious SUV in the background.

Bravo Brian, Bravo...

Too Soon?

I don't know what the weather has really been like across the US this summer. I've been planted in Seattle for almost the entire "summer". I've had a hard time using the term "summer this year as it never really gave us what we wanted out of a 'normal' NW summer. Usually we can expect a fair number of warm days when the heat warning goes out to the entire city.

"Highs could reach the upper 80's today! With this record heat wave that could extend into 3 days, fans have been flying off local merchants shelves in an attempt to curb the heat. Remember to drink lots of water and pay extra attention to your pets and the elderly."

My lawn never got to that spectacular shade of brown that I've grown to love around August, and my flour white skin is turning translucent. (sigh)

So when I rode home last nite and saw that the trees have had enough and are starting to get ready for fall...I officially wrote off the summer of 2008.

This morning, I started wearing my fall riding gear and I have to say...I was actually glad to be putting this stuff back on. It helped me move on from the summer that never was and into the fall I hope it will be. My arm warms slid on a little easier, my Carhart's didn't know...stiff. My vest blocked out the early morning cool and my sunglasses started out on my helmet rather than my face. The fenders are still off though...that accessory I always wait until I regret waiting. To add the fender is to admit total defeat and accepting winter's soggy shoes.

The transition was a lot easier than I thought it would be...and there's always next summer...right?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

European Vacation Day 1

The only thing missing was Chevy Chase, a bell and Big Ben.

The carbon has settled. All the white bicycles have been packed up. The schnitzel stands and beer gardens have moved on to the next festival. The 2008 Eurobike is now just a blurry 28 hours of flight-time-memory, but what an amazing show it was.

In the last few years I've hit some smaller bike expos, the Taipei trade show, the Handmade Show in Portland, various InterBikes...this was my first ever Eurobike and I still can't believe what a show they put on. The Europeans take their bicycles very serious and this show exemplified it perfectly. All the grand displays, the carbon, the celebrities, the carbon, the side shows, the carbon, the food, and we found some carbon.

The flight times are such that we left at the crack of dawn on a Wednesday and arrived at the crack of dawn on a Thursday. Early enough for us to get cleaned up and head straight to the show. While we were all a little bleary eyed from the flight a quick shot of gas station espresso, some cured meats, pastries and we were ready to hit the show. Here's a couple quick pictures from the first day...

{who knew Pederson made a tandem!?}

{Rohloff hubs were on EVERYTHING!}

{I don't even know what this means...but it's provocative!}

{Built in stops and racks}

{this bike look a little overbuilt and overdesigned for a bike with a 'closet' in the middle}

{It became VERY evident that you could put too much white on a bike}

{How do Europeans stay so thin when they eat like this all the time?!}

Our first day was pretty short as we were all stumbling around trying to stay awake. We headed out for a little bit of grub and as much shut eye as we could muster...

I'll put up some more pictures from Day 2 tomorrow. The show got a little weird with over-done graphics, psycho kids, our first fixie sightings, and the European version of the 29er.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Weekend Escape

Words by PJ

This weekend my girlfriend Stacey and I took off on our bikes to Seabeck, WA, in the Hood Canal. Stacey just got a new Raleigh Rx-1 cyclocross bike and this was a great opportunity to test it out on a 40 mile round trip trek around the Olympic peninsula.

{those that rode}

Our trip began late Saturday morning when we hopped the Bremerton ferry from downtown Seattle. We enjoyed some delicious $6 beers on the ferry to prepare us for the hilly twenty-mile ride to the park. I was trepidatious about the trip because I was towing a loaded 70+ pound trailer filled with all the necessary items needed for 3-day camping trip. Well I don’t need to say my legs are a little tired after the weekend but we managed to get to and from the campsite with all the necessities.

{Loaded...the trailer that is}

Even though the campsite at Scenic Beach was sold out, the ranger had an extra campsite for us she held for mixed-up reservations. There is special bicycle camping available at Scenic Beach, which is not as nice as the car camping site we camped in, but it was nice to know that was available just in case we got booted from our campsite. The ranger gave us the bicycle camping rate, which is half the price of car camping, so we were stoked. And, the camp host gave us free firewood so we didn’t have to ride the two miles to the town of Seabeck to buy it from the general store on our first night. Our luck couldn’t get any better.

{caption choice...Pitch'n tent or You can't beat free wood}

The peninsula has some killer hills but the trip went off great and Sunday I had some time to cruise around without the trailer. The weather was pretty darn good except for the 48-degree evening on Sunday, which didn’t make for pleasant late night bathroom trips. We rode back on Monday and got lost in Bremerton somehow. Then we hit a road block, literally, where the bridge had been washed out and we decided to walk our bikes (and trailer) across the creek instead of following the detour all the way around. We stopped by the Blackberry Festival in downtown Bremerton and ate $4 corn on the cob before hopping on the ferry back to Seattle.

{Bridge?! What bridge?!}

Anyway I highly recommend biking to Scenic Beach for a quick getaway weekend trip.