Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Photos...

A quick collection of pictures taken during the week...and what a weird week it was. Monday was bitter cold. Mid week was sublime. And this morning I rode in so much fog that I became a part of it.
Anyway...just a view from my bike.

{The 'easy way' at Pikes Market}

{So fast, the camera can't focus....yeah, that's it}

{Lunch Hour, Rush Hour, Testing Time}

{I always think of Fargo when I see random wood chips. Is that weird?}

{Not a single rain drop was used in these photos}

Next week...some sneak peak photos of our new Carbon Frame. If you can't wait till then...visit us on Facebook for an early sneak peak.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

'Il Campionissimo'

This year marks the 6oth Anniversary of Fausto Coppi becoming the first man to win the Giro de Italia and the Tour de France in the same year. As this is also the 100th Anniversary of the Giro, I'm sure that much will be made of the Italian's famous Double.

{'Champion of Champions'}

Hopefully, what is not lost is the famous rivalry between Coppi and Bartali. So fierce was the rivalry that at the 1949 World Championships, the same year as Coppi's double, both competitors climbed off their bikes during the race. Both riders refused to help each other, and neither crossed the finish line.

{Bartali left, Coppi right}

Belgium Knee Warmers has been posting some amazing stories as told by Bartali shortly after Coppi's death. They are a great insight into a great competitor, and his feelings towards his greatest adversary.

The first in their IV part series can be found here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Recurring Rides

Ride enough, and you're bound to see some similarities.

6:00 am and my phone is buzzing, waking me before my alarm.

In my waking state my mind instantly went back a year and my thoughts scrambled. I sit up straight in my bed and think, "Sh*t! That was Carey texting me saying she was leaving Ballard and will see me at ACC in a little bit. I gotta get moving!"
After another moment my head cleared and I remembered that neither Carey nor Matt ride with me to or from work. Shoot, they don't even meet up with me for beers anymore. Those days are left for adventures to Portland anymore.
It's 26 degrees in Seattle. No where near the Penguin freezing temperatures I grew up with in the MidWest, but out here...its a damp cold that saturates your bones and never dries. I really don't want to ride today.
As I'm injecting my coffee and watching color spread itself across the sky, the Morning Show reminds me that it's cold...but it's going to be the only rain/snow free day of the week. Sh*t. Going back to first thoughts of the day...if Carey was here, she'd be riding to work. Double Sh*t.
Riding apparel today...everything you could find at a farm supply store. My Kinco thick work gloves, long underwear, hat, flannel lined Carharts, and 2 pars of socks.
The ride was cold. But at every pedal revolution I ran into memories of Carey and Case.

From cold rides into work.

The Views....



Some of the apparel choices.


{Riding through PDX last year}

{this morning at Raleigh's front door}

Then as I got closer to HQ the sun stretched itself over Cascades and provided me with a riding partner for a small stretch.

{Carey then}

New Riding Partner from Saleigh on Vimeo.

I was just lacking a stop at Hooverville at the end of the day...

Good times...thanks for the ride.

Friday, January 23, 2009

In Your FACE!

Alllllright! I found yet another way for me to waste time at work. FACEBOOK!

I know, I know. Much like my SSWC took me a little while to get to it, I might have cheated a little, and got it in at the last minute as I'm sure I'm the 150,000,001 person to sign up. It's been around "forever" and is probably on the verge of being extinct just like our Seattle Messengers. But I got it done, which is more than I can say for my Webelo badge.

In the time spent between ignoring people from High School and yet passing more drinks than a High School kegger I took the time to set up a page for Raleigh. Granted, some would consider Raleigh a little old (over 120 years old) for Facebook but with the fastest segment of people signing up being over 30 I felt Raleigh was prime.

So if you have an account, just click on the big ol logo and become a fan. And while you're there post some pictures of your first or currently Raleigh. Start up a discussion, post a video, leave a story, or ask why there isn't a link to the sweetest bacon creation I've ever heard of! (a full product review of the Bacon Explosion will follow...)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

From Couch to 92 in...

an all day effort.

Who : Recycled Cycles Racing and 1 Rainier bloated Raleigh Super Model
What : Early season group ride/Training weekend
When : January 17, 18, 19
Where : Bellingham, WA
Why : I'm still asking that same question

{Getting an early start}

{and it's awful cold...}

{frost+chipseal=slick roads and busted up shoulders}

{There is no I in team...}

{pain train}

{ride faster or get run over}

{this was the view I had all day...hanging on}

Lessons learned...
1) Getting off the couch and doing your first ride with a race team...dumb
2) Groups can be more fun than riding alone. However it's hard to talk to anyone when your jaw is frozen
3) I'm never believing anyone when they say it's going to be a "flat ride" unless I'm in North Dakota
4) Spin to Win is one of the dumbest phrases I've ever heard
5) When off the racers watch bike racing on TV
6) When everyone is training, and you show up with a bunch of drink all the beer

Raleigh is proud to sponsor this bunch of bike riding hooligans. You can see them in action here and at a race in the Pacific North West near you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” ~ Albert Einstein

{Our new President}

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

The hardest part of raising a child is teaching them to ride bicycles. A shaky child on a bicycle for the first time needs both support and freedom. The realization that this is what the child will always need can hit hard. ~Sloan Wilson

Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride. ~John F. Kennedy

Friday, January 16, 2009

Oh My God They're Gorgeous!

The best kept secret in the bike industry is the pay we receive to play with bikes. While most believe that we live like kings that sit on carbon fiber thrones, the truth is my yoga ball is made in China. We do not eat Lobster every evening with Titanium forks, rather the Ramen is mixed with Chunky Peanut Butter to make our version of Pad Thai.
People in comparable positions at "real" jobs have benefits, cars, furniture from Ikea, a girlfriend or boyfriend, and a lovely condo with a flat screen TV. Rather I save my cans and recycle them in Portland when I go (5cents a can!), ride a bike, relax on my curbside couch...alone, wearing a down coat in my house while adjusting the aluminum foil on the rabbit ears.
In order to live 'the dream' most have to find an alternative income to help sublimate. That's why I turned to modeling....

Yesterday, I received the call...a new P&A Catalog is in the works and a the cover shoot had to be done. I quickly jumped at the opportunity to be included in this highly sought after job.

{setting up the shot}

{Kevin...agent and fluffer}

{Only one thing missing...}

{that's the money shot}

Best $60 I ever spent. Watch for it. A new and daring P&A catalog, coming to a bike shop near you.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cat 4 Commuter

My alarm struggled to wake up this morning, right along with me. Letting out a random, painful, chirp instead of a rhythmic beep. Was that last IPA really necessary last nite? Ugh. I need coffee.

Today's the day. It's been over a month since I made my way on two wheels into Raleigh HQ, and today I start a new year of commuting, riding, living.

Looking around the room I gathered together all my "normal" riding gear. Shoes, socks, Chrome Knickers, gloves, *new* Rapha Cross Jersey, jacket, riding cap and helmet. The forecast called for nothing but the sun's rays to be falling from the sky today. So I tempted fate and grabbed my fenderless single speed, and away I went.

{any day that starts off with this view...}

Turns out I was a little overconfident when selecting my apparel. What was the correct selection last time I rode, turns out to be not enough in January. My thumbs were the first to succumb to the cold. Followed by my ears, nose, toes, and shins. How could this rookie mistake have happened?! This isn't the first time I've commuted in the winter. In the time away from the bike did I kill the b-cell that I need to dress myself? Or was I suffering from overconfidence...thinking 'been there, done that'?
Anyway, I suffered. And all it really takes is one good ride of suffering to over prepare for the next ride.

{Cross is over...but the mud crossings continue}

{wasn't it sunny a few pictures ago?!}

{maybe some long socks tomorrow or pants}

I will throw this in...I was almost regretting the trade of my winter hat for the sweetest coozie ever this morning. Fortunately, my ears will be taunting my thumb, nose, toes, and shins on the ride home. The mail man arrived today with my replacement winter hat. I will NOT be so willing to part with this one. And of all the high end items they make at Rapha...this hat is my absolute favorite thing they make.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Dirty Side of Riding

It's inevitable that dirt will contaminate something on your bike. It doesn't matter how you try and prevent it, dirt is persistent and finds a way. Even with all the advanced space age polymers that protect like the secret service. Seals that could keep the pope out of church on Sunday. And lubricants that can turn a sled saucer into a sound barrier blasting missile. Dirt, grease, grime, mud, sand, gum, snow, rain, and road apples all find a way.

Cross is an enabler. An enabler to assist dirt find it's way into those curious places that usually only your mechanic knows about. And Cross enabled the hell out of dirt this year!


This weekend I finally broke down to massage my poor Rainier and give it a nice little spa treatment. Making my way around the bike and the damage became more and more evident.
And what started out as a simple facial and manicure turned into full blown reconstruction with elective surgery.

{Going under the 'wrench'}

{Yup...That's the Top of my headtube!}

{Can you figure out which one was working?}

{Phil stood his muddy ground in the battle for my BB}

Brake cables and housing need replacement, along with the brake pads. Every bolt would need to be removed and re-greased. Chain is to be thrown away and replaced. The Headset and Bottom Bracket...once removed there was an executive decision made to replace them both. The NonDrive side BB bearing contained more dirt than bearings. And the lower cup of my headset scattered, to the various nether regions of my basement workshop, like cockroaches when the lights come on.

The conditions this cross season were pretty extreme. I threw my leg over my Rainier to race only 5 times, with weather 'happening' at every one. The only 'dry' race I participated in (in more ways than one...stupid UCI) happened in the Nevada desert. However...I think we can all learn a valuable lesson here...

Cross is more fun when you get muddy in the NW than staying clean in the Nevada desert.

Friday, January 9, 2009

It's like an Etch-A-Sketch

Draw something pretty. Draw some crazy lines through it. Shake it up. Start over again.

I've been away from this place for a little while. Not because I've been away, but because I've been off my bike. There have been things I could've posted. There's always stuff to talk about, fun new toys, ideas, but when i don't ride it feels a little hypocritical to write here. And after a pretty full year of riding I became a little tired and disenchanted with my bike. As Carey used to say...I lost the 'rhythm and flow' that keeps me on my bike on a daily basis. So after the USGP I hung up the bikes as the long, dark, wet ride into the Raleigh Mother Ship held absolutely no appeal. I tucked my shoes onto a shelf next to my helmet, got an oil change on my truck, upped my subscription to Netflix and settled down for a long winters nap.

Next week will mark 1 solid month of me staying off two wheels (apart from the late nite 'medicine' run). Fortunately (?) Seattle has been the scene of a Michal Bay Eco-Disaster movie as of late. With epic snow storms, days of rain, figid temps, flooding, and I swear I've seen that damn Shia LaBeouf running's been rather easy to trap myself in a car than brave the elements.
Next week though...I get back at it. The bike and this blog, and suffice it to say...I'm ready.

In the mean time these were a couple items that floated across my desk that I thought I should share.

I always thought, when our Coasting bike came out, that the chain was the coolest part of the whole thing. Maybe the big S is realizing that and going to sell them aftermarket.

One of the events I'm planning to attend this year is SSWC in Durango. Registration just opened the other day and I'm sharpening up my Crayolas right now to make the sweetest entry form ever!

{that Chad is such a dream boat!}

I read an interview with the Bike Snob over at Belguim Knee Warmers and realized that we're pretty similar...well...our attitude toward racing seems to be similar. And I figure that's where the similarity ends and I'm not that witty of a writer, not nearly as creative or sarcastic enough, an probably not as good a rider.

However, I feel that my Jedi training is almost complete. After a accidental "lunch meeting" with Mr Pilderwasser I managed to trade him for the most holy of holy coozies ever created.

That coozie ain't gonna fill it's self. I'm outta here.