Browsed by
Month: June 2010

From the vault: Tracks of Glory

From the vault: Tracks of Glory

tog1317

In the mid-nineties I started gaining interest in bicycles beyond mountain bikes and as more than a way to get through the city. My interest in bicycle culture grew and with it came an interest in the history of bikes, a love for utility cycling, and even something that could be described as more than a mild fascination with the recumbent bicycle…

Side story: I remember a little talk I had with a friend of mine in the late nineties. She was messengering in SF at the time for Lickety Split (an all girl courier service.) I told her that my next bike was going to be a recumbent because of the efficiency gained while riding one. I might has well have told her that I was going to get “Monkeyfucker” tattooed on my forehead… She was the first person I met that did not classify recumbents as bicycles and basically threatened to dissociate herself from me if I started riding one. It was the first time I experienced bike-on-bike hatred. Of course- she was riding a track bike, in the 90’s- back when track bikes were badass. She made it sound as though recumbents were some gross misuse of metal and rubber- like a bastardization of all things pure. Sacrilege. Blasphemy… I never got a recumbent- and though I would now prefer a penny farthing over a ‘bent- I can’t help but notice that uneducated people generally don’t ride recumbents. Physicists, engineers, scientists- people who’s IQ’s are high, and who’s appreciation for style is low. Function over form… all the way. But I digress.

With my fascination of cycling culture on the rise, the collection of books started to expand. At one time I had nearly 100 books about the bicycle… Art books, biographies, magazines, books on the social history of bicycles, the bicycle in wartime, repair manuals (if you have a first generation rock shock- I can rebuild it for you,) books on how to ride, where to ride, even books on bike culture itself (Bike Cult, by David Perry, was a huge influence on me when I picked it up in 1995- now it’s tattered, with pages torn, being well read and photocopied even more.) In recent years- my movie collection has been expanding. I like bike movies that are harder to find. Rad, which everyone has (or should have) seen by now, has not been officially released to dvd yet… I have it on vhs- and look forward to the day that it’s brought into the modern age by being remastered and made available- maybe next year? It will be it’s 25th anniversary!

I recently acquired “Tracks of Glory“-the 182 minute Aussie mini series about the time that Major Taylor spent in Australia in the early 1900’s. From 1992, it stars Phil Morris as Marshall “Major” Taylor and Cameron Daddo as Don Walker, the man that he was originally brought to Australia to race. There isn’t much info out there about Don Walker (not the frame builder)- he was never a World Champion cyclist like Major Taylor, and from what I can tell he never raced outside of Australia. What can be said about Don Walker is that he was one of the few of Major Taylor’s opponents that was friendly to him and treated him as an equal. If the series is accurate, then Major was even the best man at Walker’s wedding.

Major Taylor and Don Walker (pic from Major Taylor Assoc) don_major

If what you are looking for is a documentary on the life and times of Major Taylor, you won’t find it in Tracks of Glory. It was a TV mini-series- the acting is mediocre and it seems to follow the Austrialian Walker, around more so than Taylor (being an Australian project, I wasn’t too surprised.) The actor that plays Major Taylor seems to do an ok job at portraying a man that is tormented by being a God-fearing World Champion that is constantly subject to the intense racism of the time. I think an actor with a darker skin complexion may have suited the part better- as Major Taylor had a very dark complexion. The filmmakers choice to have an actor with a lighter complexion may have been an attempt to keep the show more light hearded and less racially charged, which to me, was a major part of Major’s story. His wife Daisy, though more accurately cast by appearance, left much to be desired. Her acting was quite poor- not seeming to pay any mind to the fact that the time period it was supposed to be filmed in was the early 1900’s. Renee Jones (the actress that played Daisy’s part) may be better known in the USA for her TV roles on 21 Jumpstreet, Days of our lives, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Tracks of Glory also brings in Floyd MacFarland (played by Nicholas Eadie) and Ivar Lawson (Rodney Bell)- the racist pricks that personified the racism that Major Taylor was so familiar with- even inflicting physical harm in some of their attacks on the track. Major experienced much racism while racing in the USA and was banned from riding with whites in some states. Celebrated in much of Europe, his time in Australia seemed to go well until MacFarland and Lawson arrived on the scene- brought there to boost ticket sales by promoter H.D. “Huge Deal” McIntosh (played by Richard Roxburgh.) Even then- the crowd seemed to love him- though many of the men he raced (and won) against teamed against him with the color of his skin being their common enemy.

Major Taylor was the first black athlete to achieve “World Champion” status, and his story is both beautiful and tragic. He went from rags to riches and back to rags, buried in an unmarked grave after he died in Chicago at age 53, estranged by his wife and daughter. His story is one full of courage, strength and dedication, which every cyclist should learn more about.

“Life is too short for any man to hold bitterness in his heart.”

-Marshall “Major” Taylor

Books to read:

  • Autobiography: The Fastest Bicycle Rider in the World, 1929 ISBN 0-8369-8910-4
  • Major Taylor: The Extraordinary Career of a Champion Bicycle Racer by Andrew Ritchie, 1988 ISBN 0-8018-5303-6
  • Major Taylor, Champion Cyclist by Lesa Cline-Ransome ISBN 0-689-83159-5
  • Major: A Black Athlete, a White Era, and the Fight to Be the World’s Fastest Human Being by Todd Balf ISBN 0-3072-3658-7

We may also see a movie come out about the life and time of Major Taylor. Producers Michael Dubrow and Scott Mednick supposedly have something in the works- though the preview that was posted seems to be more of an “iPhoto” slideshow than a movie teaser.

In all of that- I would give Tracks of Glory a 2.5 out of 5 star rating.

  • The costuming was decent.
  • The bikes weren’t completely accurate (when will film makers realize that if they make a film about track bikes- then they shouldn’t use freewheels?)
  • The acting was mediocre (Renee Jones was by far my least favorite performance)
  • There was far less riding than one might expect from a cycling based show
  • The focus was more on Don Walker and his relationship with Major Taylor than it was about Major Taylor himself
  • It did have more information than I’ve seen before about Major’s time spent in Australia, which was pretty cool

I thought of maybe doing a screening of Tracks of Glory someplace- with a 2.5 out of 5 rating- does anybody else have any interest in watching this little gem?

NYC for BFF.

NYC for BFF.

Time travel does exist. Unfortunately in nothing as cool as a DeLorean, but Friday June 11th- I boarded a plane at 8:30am. After 5 hours- spent watching TV with no sound, reading, and occasional napping, I landed 2500 miles from where I started, having lost 3 hours of my life that would theoretically be regained in my return flight across these United States.

This was my first non stop transcontinental flight. I’ve traveled extensively throughout the US over the years and have sat on many flights from Alaska to California. My coast to coast travel however, has been done on trains, autos, or buses. These other, non airborne modes of travel offer a much more gradual transition- the body adapting easier to the time changes and the corresponding sleep schedule. Not so on the airplane. You hit the ground running- sometimes quickly, sometimes hitting a wall.

While in New York City, I met many people that flew in from everywhere- my measly little 3 hour time difference is nothing in comparison to the jetlag experienced by those coming in from halfway around the world.

I landed at Kennedy Airport at 5pm and found my way to the Air Train from the massive Jet Blue terminal. From there, I caught the A train. I usually feel pretty good about figuring out public transit in Metropolitan areas… if there is something to work with- like a map. I didn’t see a sign or map for the subway anywhere in the station- until I boarded the A (the train that the airport information desk told me I needed to be on.) Once I was on the train, with the doors closed behind me- I saw a map and attempted to familiarize myself with the system’s layout. A man sitting nearby asked me where I was headed, as I must have looked a little confused and out of place. When I told him that I was headed downtown he kindly informed me that I was headed the wrong direction. I was headed to Far Rockaway Beach. Oops. Off the train I went, over the cross over and there I waited, much longer than I expected for the next train to Manhattan. I used my phone to download a map of the Subway-as I still couldn’t find any info in the station.

On the train ride, I spent the time looking at the map on my phone and trying to make sense of the transit system that, though new to me in practice had been often referenced in movies and referred to in stories over the years. Though a much bigger fan of the bicycle for getting around- I love public transit, especially trains- and the New York subway was one I had always wanted to experience.

It took almost 2 hours to reach the stop closest to the Bicycle Film Festival office (or “HQ” as it’s affectionately called.) In a smallish 3rd floor office in a nondescript building on 17th st and 6th ave in Chelsea, you will find the people that work hard to bring the Bicycle Film Festival around the world. The walls are adorned with bike art from artists known and unknown, bikes are piled sometimes 5 or more deep and pizza boxes lie here and there, brought by a local pizza shop that sponsors the NY festival. I got to meet Brendt Barbour, who I’ve only talked to over the phone and through email. Brendt- who has put so much of his blood, sweat and tears into the festival over the last 10 years that he deserves a metal… or should have his head examined. The love he has for the Bicycle Film Festival is similar to that of a father for a child. He guards it- and will protect it if he feels it’s being taken advantage of (which I saw first hand as an unaffiliated nightclub tried to promote the “official Bicycle Film Festival afterparty”.) Brendt has put together the Bicycle Film Festival for over 1/4 of his life- it’s in his blood. He has put together one hell of an event.

2010 marks the 10th year of the BFF- which got it’s start after Brendt was hit by a bus riding his bike in NYC. Rather than being negative and angry about the way the cyclists were treated in NY- he turned his frown upside down and started the Bicycle Film Fesitval as a way to bring together art, music, and film- celebrating the bicycle and riding in the city. The BFF has become wildly successful world wide and plays an integral role in bicycle culture on a global scale. The quality of programming is fantastic, with a diverse collection of films in the archives- both old films as well as new submissions each year.

The BFF team in NYC, though relatively small, makes amazing things happen- helping producers (like me) step up the quality of everything in their local BFF. The final weeks before the BFF NY, especially for the 10th anniversary- had the NY team burning the midnight oil. Brendt, Brendan, Jen and Nora- ran themselves ragged to ensure that the Joy Ride art show, Bikes Rock rock show, all the films and all the after parties went off without too many hiccups. As more people showed up that have been with the festival longer, like Benny and Lucas, they did whatever they could to help out. It felt very much like a family reunion. People from around the world, coming back together to take part in the festival that brought them together in the first place. It’s really great to see.

Getting into NYC, off the subway and not having eaten for 8 hours, I did what anybody else would have and got a couple slices of pizza. I don’t know really what I was expecting when I bit into that first slice. Was I expecting to hear Angels singing? To see the sun to come shining through the smog? Or maybe for everyone to look at me and welcome me into this club of people that are “in the know” when it comes to what is good for street food in the “Big Apple.” None of that happened. The pizza was greasy, plain, and it’s saving grace was that it was cheap.

Backstory: This was technically my second trip to NYC (and my second slice of pizza in NYC.) My first was with an ex girlfriend and her family. When I asked to be taken to a NY pizza place, they brought me to Sbarro’s- oddly enough it tasted like the same Sbarros pizza that was served in the mall that I worked in while I was in highschool- on the West Coast. I was under the assumption that they just weren’t “in the know” and that they happened to bring me to the worst place to get pizza in all of New York because they didn’t have a clue about the city, having moved from Eastern Europe. I may be spoiled by brick oven pizza that I’ve had here in Seattle, but the pizza I had upon my arrival was only slightly better than pizza served at Sbarros 9 years earlier.

I brought some beers back to the office, met the rest of the team and we talked a little about the festival- and how I was leaving to go back to Seattle the day that the films started. “I know, I know….” I said. “The Go Means Go 9 to 5 Scavenger Hunt is my event and I just can’t miss it. I can’t change the date because it is based on the solstice, and I can’t change the sun.” Then there were remarks about how I didn’t seem like a hippy- and solstice was a hippy event…. Well, I stuck to my guns- and didn’t change my travel plans, because, well- I love the solstice.

Photo of some of the filmakers and producers at HQ- taken with the BFF camera
Photo of some of the filmakers and producers at HQ- taken with the BFF camera

I stayed with Nora and Greg (later with new Danish friends Lau and Rasmus, the Copenhagen BFF producers) in Williamsburg which was great. It’s a central location, with plenty of cheap food and drinks, right by the bridge that would take us back and forth into and out of Manhattan. I got to experience the Puerto Rican pride festival as well as the Hasidic Jews in the streets on the Sabbath, both of which were completely foreign to someone that has spent the majority of their life in the Pacific Northwest. It was incredible.

img_4364 img_4228 img_4229

There was a folding Dahon coaster brake single speed in the BFF office that was lent to me so I could get around. Nora and I met up with Ralph at McCarren Park and I borrowed a lock from him. The TSA aren’t too keen on locks in your carry on baggage- or more bluntly- they won’t allow you on the plane with them. Rather than get mine confiscated I figured I could borrow one from ol’ Ralphy.

The next few days I rode around town- visiting a number of bike shops- Chari & Co., Affinity Cycles, Heavy Metal Bicycle Shop, Spokesman Cycles, Bicytcle Renaissance, King Kog. I found out that TrackstarNYC closed a few months back. I got coffee at Verb in Williamsburg, coffee at 9th St Espresso, coffee at Grumpy’s (I like coffee,) a sandwhich from Graham Ave. Deli in Brooklyn (where I ordered a “Godfather” and was a given a sandwich large enough for 3 other people) I passed out programs for the BFF, rode through Central Park- I really got to see the city from the saddle. I even got to see the Bespoke exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design which was incredible! If being in New York is a good time, then riding in New York is a great time. You can see so much more of the surface. Transit is ok, but to really get a feel for the city- any city- the bicycle is the way to do it. Riders on the street consisted of business men, messengers, food delivery folks, tourists, crazy people, commuters- riders of different speeds and ability levels- with the drivers of cars the same.

People warned me about riding in NYC. My girlfriend was especially concerned. Since I’ve lived in Seattle I haven’t raced many alley cats, though I don’t view myself as particularly slow, I generally err on the side of safety. Stopping at lights and proceeding with caution. It didn’t take me long to realize that you don’t stop in NY. It felt a little like playing Frogger- but it felt way safer to keep moving. Sitting at a light just felt dangerous. With all the one way streets it’s easy to see when it’s safe to proceed. The blatant disregard for crosswalks by everyone in the city was bizarre. When there is an opportunity to go, you go. I loved it- and got right into the groove. The only thing that was difficult was that the bike, the Dahon, though I really enjoyed it- seemed a little light duty for a 210lb. dude mashing around New York City. It creaked and groaned under my weight and the stress of my pedaling hard. It never failed on me- and if I were to ride it on the streets of Portland I would have felt much safer.

img_4269 img_4275 img_4295 img_4225

Not familiar with the city, who to call to make things happen, yet wanting to help- I was enlisted as errand boy. I was happy to run around and pick and drop things off. It left the NY team free to do what they needed to do, and I got to get out and ride- see the city- and well, ride. I was asked to go pick up the Cinelli from Continuum for one of my errands. When asked how I planned to do that I explained that I’d just ride the folder, fold the folder, and carry it back in my pack. Easy. I don’t think they had much faith in my scheme- but less than an hour later, I showed up in the office with the freshly built Cinelli Vigorelli Pista- with a shoulder bag that I couldn’t walk straight through a door with. And a heavy bag at that. For being a small, 20″ wheel bike- the Dahon website says it weighs in at 22lbs. I think it weighs a bit more than that- and it’s very awkward to carry on your back.

img_4319

I was then told that it was loaner bike- and I was asked if I wanted to borrow it. “And turn in the folder? I don’t know…” I didn’t think they were serious at first. I’d never ridden such a nice bike on the street- Campy record hubs to Dodici rims, Cinelli bars, stem, Dura Ace cranks (given to the BFF by the Keiren Association) it was parts that were given to the festival by it’s sponsors over the years, and it came time to build it. I feel so thankful to have gotten to ride that very special bike for the remainder of my time in NYC.

img_4323

To further expand on what I learned: If being in New York is a good time, and riding in New York is a great time, riding in New York on a bike that is built for speed is a fucking amazing time. It was so nice. In all my riding I learned that cotton is not your friend if you sweat as much as I do. Rasmus gave me a sweet Schroder jersey and cap that I kept with me at all times and changed in and out of before and after riding. It ensured that I would be wearing a dry shirt when I was at my destination.

The press screening was incredible- with a sneak peek of some of the films that will be showing in Seattle. 2010 will be a great year for the BFF. Well attended in a swank clothing store- with beer and wine. People were spilling out- the heat inside was only tolerable because of the ice cold beer provided by Brooklyn Brewery.

Of course it wasn’t all fun and games and riding around- being one of the few folks with a current drivers license- I got the “opportunity” to drive a rented UHaul truck full of beer around Brooklyn and Manhattan. Thankfully, Bjorn from MPLS acted as navigator with his smartphone. There is no way I could have gotten from point A to B to C to D without him. 7 hours, doing one of my least favorite things (driving in traffic) in a vehicle that was not only foreign to me, but in a city who’s streets are more like a 3rd world country (with the pot holes and traffic) and who’s layout was completely foreign to me. I found myself laying on the horn, cussing and yelling, and parking in the bike lane in order to offload beer for the Bicycle Film Festival. After all that, and needing to refuel the truck before returning- the only fuel station I could find was BP… Oh, sweet irony.

I went to NYC for the BFF- not necessarily to see the films, because I will get to see them when they come to Seattle, not to see how the parties in NYC are, though I did get some party time in- but I wanted to see how the festival works. To see the team in action. I was very impressed. The different personalities of those that spend so much time in the office come together to form some sort of super force- like Voltron or something. I’m thankful for the time that I spent there- for the new friends made- and I very much look forward to a return trip.

img_4366
PS- this is the real sign as you get onto the car portion of the Brooklyn bridge!

And of course- you should be getting excited for the Bicycle Film Festival when it comes to Seattle this summer.

Stolen 6/16

Stolen 6/16

This was stolen on 6/16 in my neighborhood of Greenwood.  Locked.  Keep an eye out all over Seattle and get in touch with Matt if you see it:  michaels57us@yahoo.com 206 817-4439

Angie’s bike:

  • Banshee Scirocco
  • Blueish silver frame
  • Disc brakes
  • Hard tail mountain bike
  • Michelin tires
  • Red water bottle cage.

angies-bike

2010 9-to-5 Solstice a success!

2010 9-to-5 Solstice a success!

Another year, another solstice, another great event. This years event was much larger than 2009’s, with fewer loopholes in the manifest and a whole new level of participation from the crowd.

I love the diversity of cyclists that come out for Go Means Go events, especially the 9 to 5. People come out from the woodwork to see the city at night- riding around looking for a little of this and a little of that. It takes resourcefulness, commitment, strategy…. and a couple cargo bikes are nice too. It takes dedication and drive to make it to the end. 8 hours on the bike is a long time. For many, the darkest hours- from 3-4am are most difficult. At the meet ups throughout the night, you can see the energy of the participants ebb and flow. The coffee and carbohydrates play a vital role to get everyone to the finish.

IMG_0233

Over 100 people gathered at Gasworks Park on Saturday- Solstice evening. As with last year, there was a threat of rain- but other than a bit of chill in the wind- it was a nice night. The weather sent many people from the Solstice Parade home early, so Gasworks was fairly empty by the time we started gathering. We made the call to finish the 9 to 5 at Gasworks with breakfast as to allow for a covered area if the rains did come. Louisa Boren Park (where we finished in 2009) is nice to watch the sunrise, but totally exposed to the elements. After an hour of registering people and handing out manifests, wristbands, spokecards, and stickers- there was a brief intro to the 9 to 5, a shout out to our sponsors- and then folks were off.

IMG_0226 IMG_0216 img_4400 IMG_0225

Our sponsors were wonderful at this years 9 to 5. Planet Bike was very generous- illuminating the evening even more through the donation of a lot of lights from their line of products Pryme Gear, Walz Caps and Cyclelogical were all supportive with product as well. Lighthouse Roasters provided us with coffee, which was consumed far quicker than we were expecting- making it necessary to make two more stops to fill up our insulated urn.

We do what we can to promote the use of human power with Go Means Go events. With that, Dutch Bike Seattle lent us a Bakfiet for the night to transport all of the coffee, prizes, and snacks throughout the evening. A big thanks goes out to them as well. There will be another post about Ryan’s 8 hour Bakfiet adventure soon (as well as info about Dutch Bike Seattle’s big move.)

IMG_0243

Our first stop was at the I-5 Colonnade, a location which we have used to start many races, and are so thankful to have in Seattle. Coffee, fruit, and snacks met the riders, and we also announced an opportunity for a team to win some bonus points. There was a lock secured to the railing at the Colonnade, with a key left at Flowers in the University District. The first person that could sprint up to Flowers, retrieve the key and unlock the lock would gain 5 points for their team. Ali took the points home for Team “3/5 Communist.”

3am found everyone at the somewhat difficult to find East Marginal Skate park, where muffins, granola bars and coffee were enjoyed to give the energy for the final push.

IMG_0264

The second year of the 9 to 5, and the second year we have had the breakfast catered. Nothing makes riding your bike all night more rewarding than pulling up to a hot meal complete with coffee, juice and all the fixins. Melissa Dawn did a fantastic job (once again) and everyone ate their fill of vegan tofu scramble or an amazing fritatta. The weather turned out being nicer at the finish than it was at the start and we had a beautiful view of Downtown Seattle at sunrise, while relaxing, counting up team points, talking with other teams about their route choices and basking in the knowledge that these are the people that stayed up all night to explore our beautiful city..

IMG_0298 IMG_0312 IMG_0331

After the points were tallied, we continued the raffle with the tickets that people picked up throughout the night. Lights from Planet Bike, shirts from Redline and Go Means Go and reflectors from Cyclelogical Gear went to the folks whose tickets matched those that were drawn. The big raffle winner was Kristen Forseth, who took home the Capitel H bag, that Helga made for the 9 to 5!

IMG_0343

Team “Old Tuna” took home the win for the most points, pulling out all the stops with 2 issues of Boy’s Life, and a 1969 cover of the Seattle P.I. with the “Moon Walk” headline. They also carried the couch cushions, cinderblock, got all the safety points for lights and helmets, and brought 97 cans of food (worth 2 points each) that will be donated to a local food bank. All that, and they are also really great people. Tim and Anne, Dan, and Julian will be sharing the trophy made by local frame builder, Taylor Sizemore.

Here is the full round up of points for the teams that submitted their manifests.

  1. 428 points: “Old Tuna”
  2. 353 points: “WBC”
  3. 316 points: “Team Creepy Baby”
  4. 314 points: “3/5 Communist”
  5. 289 points: Nate & Clinton
  6. 234 points: “Better off Red”
  7. 231 points: “Lone Wolf Pack”
  8. 226 points: “Fugawi?”
  9. 221 points: “This couch pulls out but I don’t”
  10. 218 points: “Project 529 XO”
  11. 214 points: Erica, Ron, Nick, Alex, Wendy
  12. 199 points: “Leg ’em down and smack ’em, yack ’em”
  13. 195 points: “2+2=4”
  14. 186 points: “Garboyip”
  15. 176 points: Alex, Rebecca, Amy, Arlene, Tina
  16. 169 points: “No means yes!”
  17. 116 points: “No crash override”
  18. 101 points: “That’s what she said”
  19. 93 points: “Totino’s Party Pizza”
  20. 67 points: “Photogeek”
  21. 51 points: “Tron Team”
  22. 33 points: Justin
  23. 130 points: “Enforcers”

A big thanks goes to Greg, who does so much for Go Means Go. He also took a bunch of photos on his new camera (many of which were used on this post) which you can check out HERE.

If you have photos from your photo ops, upload the best ones to the Go Means Go Flickr Group at: http://www.flickr.com/groups/gomeansgo

The 2010 9 to 5 Solstice Scavenger Hunt was a lot of fun and we hope that everyone that came out is looking forward to more cycling events that bring together Seattle’s diverse cycling community. Check the Calendar for more events, and we’ll see you on the road!

Two wheels, one love.

Meet your maker: Capitel H.

Meet your maker: Capitel H.

logo

I met with the owner of Capitel H a while ago and she expressed interest in providing a bag for the 9 to 5 Solstice Scavenger Hunt.  It was dropped off while I was in NYC and when I returned I found one very impressive bag with thoughtful details and a well though out design.  Capitel H seemed a natural fit for one of our “meet your maker” profile posts, so we got to ask a few questions.

First, you can see the bag that will be up for grabs tomorrow morning at the end of the 9 to 5.

arrow_front1 arrow_open arrow_pocket

  • What is your name?
    • Helga Hizer
  • Company
    • Capitel H
  • How did you get into making backpacks for cycling?
    • I’ve been making and selling clothing and bags for over 10 years.  I’ve been biking for transportation for the last 7 eventually I realized that everything I made for myself had to be practical for biking.  If I can’t wear it on a bike I’m not going to wear it.  So, I’ve been making my own bike friendly clothing for a while and developed a backpack that I love and want to share with other bikers.  If you’re going to carry any weight, backpacks are the way to go if you don’t want to mess up your shoulders.
  • What construction materials do you use?

    • Cordura with waterproof lining.
  • How long have you lived in Seattle?
    • 6 Years. I moved here from Denver, and although I biked in Denver too, I didn’t really consider myself a biker. It was like I had to get serious for Seattle, I was not about to tackle these hills in my very stylish but very heavy vintage cruiser. I started educating myself more about bikes
  • What is your favorite ride in Seattle?
    • I love taking the Myrtle Edwards trail through the Locks to Ballard.  You get a little of everything; the sculpture park, a smooth trail, seaside view, industrial train yard, a convenience store half way to stop for refreshments so you can lay back in the grass and drink a beer at the Locks.
  • Favorite place for a picnic?
    • Gasworks, especially if I’ve got a tofu sandwich from Paseos and there are some interesting kites in the sky! I saw a geometric one recently that shape shifted. Sometimes it looked like a star sometimes it just looked like a cube depending on the angle.
  • Are there any group rides that you do in Seattle?

    • Critical Mass occasionally. I don’t incorporate group rides into my routine as much as I’d like.
  • Describe your bike.
    • I have two:
  1. A Bridgestone RB-1 road bike:  Her name is Lita and I’ve fallen in love with her for a second time since I recently put a whole new campy group on her.  Shifting can be such a luxury, especially when you can shift 4 gears at once going up hill like it’s nothing.  RB-1s are legendary, designed under Grant Petersen who later started Rivendell Bicycle Works.  In fact they appear to have a cult following, bike nerds will wait outside the grocery store to ask me about it when I come out.  It’s fast, not too heavy for a steel frame and strong with triple butted Chrome Moly tubing.  It’s a great vintage frame, with the new group it’s amazing and about half the weight! I’d say it’s most notable physical characteristic is that it’s got one green wheel, because when I started rebuilding it I had no idea how deep the campy hole goes. I didn’t realize I needed a campy hub, so by that time I just went out and bought a built wheel and now only my front wheel is green. I’m on the lookout for a new wheel set because I don’t like the mismatch.
  2. F. Moser track bike: The frame was built for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta:  I built this bike up for my birthday last summer.  With a chrome fork, chrome handlebars, Phil Wood hubs and beautiful Cook Brothers crank, it’s definitely my bling.  I was curious about geometry and how it affects the ride.  So, I decided to get something aggressive and it’s fun, it’s incredibly responsive. It makes my RB-1 feel like a beach cruiser! (but don’t tell her I said that)   Niki helped me build it. You can actually check it out here. http://mobiuscycle.com/node/336. I’ve swapped out some of the components since but most importantly, now it looks ridden. I’ve added some very tasteful scuffs and scratches. It’s the first bike I’ve built up from just the frame, so I think it’ll always have a special place in my heart for that reason.
  3. Well, don’t have it yet but I want to get a touring frame!

  • How does one order a backpack from you?

    • Email me.  capitelh@gmail.com, I’m working on a website, I’ll let you know when it’s up.

  • What’s a bag going to cost me?

    • $250 with artwork, $200 without artwork.
  • Do you have any plans to expand into other projects?

    • As far as bikecentric projects go, I make frame pads too and I’d like to do women’s clothing eventually. I also love drawing so it would be great to team up with a silk screening pro some day and incorporate that into the clothing, not only one image on a dress but full print patterns on the fabric.
  • What is your spirit animal?

    • Squirrel

A super big thanks to Helga at Capitel H.  We’ll be looking forward to more from her, and if you are looking for a solid bag at a good price, get in touch with her!