Browse Month by September 2009
Events, Travel

Interbike: Poppin’ (Re)caps

I needed a day of rest after Interbike. Though I am already excited about next year, I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of attendees. I was told that 18,000 people were there to buy, sell, and meet each other. That’s a lot of people.

Here goes my recap, with some photos to help jog my memory.

I flew in on the Tuesday the 22nd. Vegas being a fairly short flight from Seattle, around 2 hours, it wasn’t bad at all. I flew US Airways, which had the cheapest flights, but did not have the most reasonable baggage policies. I didn’t bring a bike. I was going back and forth as to what to do about that. The thought of being in Vegas for Interbike without a bike was crappy to think about. After doing a little research, the size requirements for bringing a bike, or any luggage for that matter turned out to be crap. If the luggage was over 62″ large (that number is found by adding L+W+H) then it’s $100 each way. That means $200 round trip, for those not really good with that new math. What?!? My frame alone is larger than that. When proposed with the $200 fee, I decided that a bus ticket would be a much better way to go. I kick my self a little for not making it work, but the reality is, I wouldn’t have ridden it too much there anyway. Maybe next year I can borrow a bike from a company that wants to have one of their bikes out riding around, or ship it down early, or, as one attendee did- go to Walmart and buy a beach cruiser, then return it before you go. Brilliant!

I arrived early, about 8am, and caught the shuttle to my hotel. I forgot that you can’t check in till afternoon at hotels, so I checked my bag at the front desk, and hopped on the ol’ Duece to go to the Sands. The Duece is the double decker bus line that runs up and down the strip 24/7. I got to the Sands, and registered, picking up my Exhibitor guest pass that Brian over at Raleigh so graciously hooked me up with (Thanks again Sally!) Nothing to see inside, except the construction of displays and exhibits for the Indoor show, which opened Wednesday. Free shuttles were being provided out to Bootleg Canyon and the Outdoor Demo. So off I went.

Bootleg Canyon and the Interbike Outdoor Demo is something that all mountain bikers would get a little hot for. All the players are there. You go up, put your name on the list next to what bike you want to ride, the mechanics put pedals on (yours if you brought them), you can ride around the lot, or get on the truck that brings you to the top of the hill and you descend. Pretty awesome. I rode a Ventana Single Speed Mountain bike. What I was really testing was this Gates Carbon Belt Drive that has been so interesting to me. I must say that from the fairly short test I took it on, I’m excited to see more builders use this technology. It doesn’t stretch, lasts longer than chains, is lighter, and feels really tight. At the Gates booth, they had various builders with their designs, all tackling the issue of the break away rear triangle differently. I really think that these have so much potential when it comes to urban bikes. One is of course limited to internal gearing, but as a single speed or fixed gear, the weight advantage is huge. The Trek (carbon) single speed that was on display at the Gates booth weighed 11.5 pounds!


Lots of energy drinks from suppliers kept the people hydrated, and at about 4pm, the beer started flowing. My most memorable beer was handed to me by a pair of women that were fairly well endowed, wearing shirts that read: “Check out our racks”. OK. Maybe sex does sell, because their booth, which actually was a car rack company, had many people circling, checking out their racks. Oddly enough, I don’t recall the name of the company, but I will never forget their shirts. About 6pm I hopped on the shuttle back to the Sands, and went back to my hotel to wash off the dust.

Wednesday morning brought the opening of the Indoor exhibition. Three words: Total mad house. It was so full of people just wandering around, myself included. Since the booths were not all the same size, and also because I didn’t sit down and make a plan of attack, my pattern was that of a hurricane, just walking around in circles, in predominately one direction. By the end of the day, my Chevrolegs were running a little slow. The highlight of the show was definitely getting Eddie Merckx’s autograph.


I also got George Hincapie’s autograph, as well as a beer while waiting in line. He thought it funny that I had a beer in hand. But it was handed to me by the guy at PowerBar, so I just told him it was a PowerBeer.


I went back to my hotel to shower and put my feet up. My collection of autographs, posters, catalogs, business cards, and schwag was growing. In my room, one bed was devoted to schwag collection, the other for sleeping. I felt like a kid coming back after Halloween, spreading my candy out over the bed to see what my winnings were.

After a shower and some fine reality television, I hopped on the Duece back to the strip, and met up with Nora and her pals at the Pepper Mill. Nora is the super fantastic lady at the NY office of the Bicycle Film Fest. Through her guidance and support (as well as the other team members) Seattle hosted it’s first BFF in the festival’s 9 years. It was great to meet her, and even better that she is as awesome as she is. She introduced me to her pals, the San Diego producers of the BFF. Great people all around, and though I have forgotten their names, they were fantastic to meet and hang out with. I hope to run into them again soon!

We took a cab to the Artisian Hotel, which was home to the Rapha Roller Races, as well as the final stage of the Drag Vegas Race. By the end of it, people were in the pool with their clothes on, and we had picked up some of the lights that Knog had placed around the hotel as decoration. We went back to the Peppermill for some much needed food, and of course, more drinks. Nothing like a big greasy burger and a bloody mary at 3:30 in the morning. That of course, after a gin and tonic. One might come to think that in Vegas, the only choice is a poor life choice. The fact that there was another 2 days of Interbike didn’t seem to stop anybody from pulling out the stops.

Thursday morning came too soon. Back to the Sands, snapping photos like these:


Thursday night was an alleycat, Noah, the winner of last year’s race put on this years poker race. I worked a checkpoint. The checkpoint in front of the Bellagio. Racers rode up, got a snapshot in front of the fountain, and then pulled a card from the deck.


After the race, it was down to the Mandalay Bay for the NORA (not Nora)bmx awards and the premiere of the the Fit Bike Co. movie: STAY FIT

The awards were mayhem, thanks in part to the open bar serving whisky for two hours. Nora and I met up with Chris Fonseca, who smartly set aside approximately 15 whisky cokes, and Tony Fast. It was nice to meet them both.
The awards given can be seen HERE

We finished up Thursday night, which was at this point, Friday (and my birthday) at the Double Down Saloon. We did a shot of “Ass Juice” for my birthday, thanks to Noah, Chris, Ritchie Ditta, Nora, Eric, and Mareesha for supplying me with drinks, as my ATM card was lost that day. Awesome timing.

Yes, Friday was another day in the madhouse. Holy smokes. The final day of Interbike. The rounds were made, as those that were in the booths were exhausted, and done with the whole affair. Those that had extra dough were purchasing floor models, and giveaways were everywhere. I shot the breeze with Traitor’s Joe and Kevin, and saw their prototypes for the 650bmx, their Luggernaut, as well as their SS cross bike. Impressive all around. I hung out a bit with Jacopo and Katie over at Dodici. You should go over and check out Jacopo’s offerings. They are producing beautiful frames, and now rims are available. Handmade in Italy. Super nice.


Friday night was spent at the Sahara Casino. To be more accurate, at the bar. The bar adjacent to the NASCAR cafe. What brought me there by chance? Well- $1 shots (and you could keep the shotglass), $1 High Life beer, $1 hotdogs to soak it up, and $1 BJ. Oh, though advertised as $1 BJ- they were saving space by not writing Black Jack. I continued my birthday celebration, and hung out with Nora the Explorer, Noah, Lucas Brunelle, Dan Leeb, and Austin Horse. People were more friendly at this bar than anywhere else I’d come across in Vegas, and drinks were bought for me throughout the night. Whether I needed them or not.

I made it through. Many great people were met, and many GO MEANS GO stickers were passed out.  Got some people in some of the GMG shirts available too.  People were stoked on the stickers, which is totally awesome.

Saturday morning, after a late checkout, I had a great lunch date with Elta (my ladie’s mom), and got to see some of the southern end of the strip. The flight home was uneventful, though the bastards at TSA took my toothpaste, and had to run my shoes a few times, as the shoe goo that held them together made them nervous. My good pal Karlito picked me up from the airport, and brought my ragged ass home. It was great to be in my own bed, after enjoying the meatloaf and mashed potatoes that were waiting for me in the fridge.

What a lucky guy I am. My lady flew me to Vegas so I could geek out on bikes, then I come home to the best meal I’d had all week, and a home grown, home cooked pumpkin pie that said happy birthday on it. Now if that isn’t a recap, I don’t know what is. Now to plan for next year. GO MEANS GO will be there with bells on.

News, Travel

Lost Vegas.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

-Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities”

Las Vegas. Sin City. A place where the lines of business and pleasure blur, and people are encouraged to leave their inhibitions at the door, and their money in the casinos. When the business and marketing powers that be design a campaign to attract people to come to their town, the hook being “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, you know that anything can happen. Lesser known is the “What’s lost in Vegas, stays in Vegas” line, which my ATM card went the way of, getting lost at some point during the day at Interbike.

I appreciate Vegas in that it is a perfect social experiment. Sitting in front of the Bellagio, I watched three of their fountain shows while working a checkpoint for the alleycat that ran on Friday. A country western song that I wasn’t familiar with played, as well as “Singin’ in the Rain.” The one that really stood out in my head was when Lee Greenwood’s “I’m proud to be an American” started to play. Here we have a song that is supposed to really get some love flowing. I imagine people arm in arm in some sort of Kum Bay Ya circle. I listened to the song while watching people walk down the street, Bud Light in hand, on their way to one casino or another, ready to throw some money around in the name of Freedom. I was not, at that moment, proud to be an American.

I have a massive pile of swag, information, and literature, from businesses around the world to work through. I met some incredible people, made some new friends, got some pictures, some autographs, and some good memories.

I will be writing up some coverage as to what happened each day. But it may take a day or two. Of all the things I left in Vegas, I miss my mind the most.

In the meantime, you can read up on these people, who I did not meet, but may have sought out, if I had read the article while I was there. It looks like they may have had a bike for me to borrow.

Read the article and watch the video HERE


Dead Baby benefit for PJ

This is for a good cause, and it’s bound to be a good time. That’s a win-win situation. So come out to support, and to raise funds for a friend in need.


The next Dead Baby Club Ride, October 2nd will be ending at Cafe’ Metropolitan on Capitol Hill, 1701 E Olive Way
This ride will be a benefit to raise money to help our Club Brother PJ pay off medical bills from his massive head trauma last winter.

~show up @ 8:00pm
~$5.00 suggested donation at the door. (MORE IS BETTER!)
~Beer and Booze Drink Specials.
~Raffle: 3 Raleigh Bikes, Ortlieb Bags, Chrome Bags, Bike Art and more.
~Bands: Shit Gets Smashed and Throne of Bone.

All the proceeds from this event will will go to paying-off PJ’s medical bills.

And as a friend of mine said:

“I don’t want to see a bunch of Douches out there who are just there to grab some free beer and poach in on a DeadBaby ride.  I want to see some folks who will bring what they would normally spend on a Friday nite (and more) and donate it to a kid who’s life is forever changed because of this incident.”

True that.  This is about the community, and YOU are the community.


I’m on a plane! Viva Las Vegas.

I’m on my way to Vegas for Interbike. Flying high. I’ll be back on Saturday night.


Stay tuned for updates of Vegas, Interbike, and all the good times.

And now a word from Mr. T:


Bike stolen from inside Shorty’s

I woke up this morning to find this email from Mike D in my inbox.  Never a good thing to hear about, another bike to stay looking for.


This is Jay Waymire’s bike. IT HAS BEEN STOLEN BY THIEVES!!! (Actually, just one thief) The bastard took it from the INSIDE OF SHORTY’S. WTF??!!? You may not know Jay directly… but I got a dollar that says he has served most of you drinks while working every Friday and Saturday nights at Shorty’s in Belltown for the last few years. Jay is super into bikes, and will be riding a borrowed one until this is HOPEFULLY recovered. PLEASE e-mail or call 206-972-2712 if you hear or see ANYTHING remotely related to this bike. Jay has agreed to give oral sex to whoever finds his bike, or if that sounds bad… he agrees to NOT try to do that to you. It’s a win-win!!!!! KEEP THOSE PEEPERS PEELED! PLEASE


Jackie’s wheel stolen

More bike thieves jacking shit… Sorry to hear about it.

Saturday night, Jackie got her rear wheel taken on Capital Hill on Pine and Boylston. Keep your eyes peeled.
It has white velocity deep v rim with gold nipples around the valve, yellow hub, and a yellow and black tire.

Here is a pic of Jackie’s bike, that now looks much sadder, missing it’s rear wheel.


If you spot it and know that it’s hers, lock it, call the police, as well as Jackie. If you aren’t sure, please call her with a description of bike that it was seen on, where and when it was seen, as well as a description of who is riding it.

Jackie: 727.480.087

art, Gear

Flossy and Glossy.

Wow.  This is incredible.  Obviously the disc wheel is incredible.  But the Sugino crank and Dura Ace (drilled) chainring to match?  Gorgeous.  It almost seems fake it’s so pretty.  Like if you were to see a unicorn grazing in the wild.


Seen at Girl meets Bear

News, Travel

F#@king airlines, and a folding fixed gear.

Last night I spent quite a while trying to break down my bike to a size small enough that US Airways wouldn’t charge me $100 each way to get my bike to vegas. The size that I have to work with: 62″ – which is the total of the length + width + height of the box. It’s impossible.

What I don’t understand is why they don’t like bikes so much. It’s not a weight issue, or a cubic inch issue. What they have done, from what I can tell, is get dimensions that no full size bike that doesn’t come apart can shrink to. I have been considering bringing a mini-bike- as it’s only 5 miles from my hotel to the Sands, but it won’t be very much fun if I’m riding with big bikes too.

The airline industry is one that I don’t understand at all. Golf clubs fly free. So do snowboard bags. my little ol’ bike box packs well, is lighter than either, and takes up fewer cubic inches. All this, and still, $100 each way. It is almost cheaper to buy a separate seat for my bike. Unbelievable.

This frustration has got me thinking of a folding bike. I don’t travel enough to warrant shelling out over $2000 for one of the gorgeous, and sold out Freeman Transport “Gravel Racer” bikes:


So maybe a full size folder is too much? What are my other options? There are of course lots of possibilities out there. How about a Strida? I have a soft spot for concept bikes, which, honestly is what I thought the Strida was when I first saw it. It surprised me even more to find out that not only were they not make believe, but they also didn’t cost an arm and a leg.

Having never straddled a Strida, I can only assume that it would feel a little weird. Riding aggressively doesn’t seem like a great idea. But if what you want to do is get from point A to point B, then this may be your ticket:


No, the Strida may not be for everyone.

Today, on my meanderings through the interwebs, I was over on Urban Velo, and saw that Montague is mixing it up a little bit. Though it’s not available now, when I really could use it, January 2010 will see this little guy come out with a price tag of about $700. That’s not bad. I’d be really curious to see how this thing rides. Maybe they’ll be at Interbike and I can take it for a spin?


In the mean time, I’ll be on the phone with US Airways, frustrated, trying to figure out how I can bring my bike to Vegas. Cross your fingers for me.


A blast from the past.

I’m not interested in seeing images of most modern day celebrities riding their screwed up department store bikes.  I like old pictures anyhow, so here are a few from back when your folks were kids.

Rita Hayworth (second from the right):


And this guy, who I’ve been assured IS NOT Paul McCartney- likes girls on bikes too:


Ginger Rogers:


And this is somebody famous, I’m almost sure of it.  Any help?


And though not a movie star, this comes image comes from 1915, and is an invention that was designed to take flight once the vehicle reaches 35 mph.  Once the vehicle reaches 88 mph, through the aid of a flux capacitor (not seen in image) the pilot/rider has the ability to travel through time, which is how the image came to me.  Pretty neat, huh?