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Month: July 2010

Emerald Sprints Results

Emerald Sprints Results

Emerald Sprints went down at The Ballard Loft last night and was a good time as usual.  42Below Vodka sponsored the event and brought drink specials, as well as goodies from the schwag bag.

Wright Brothers Cycle Works has done some amazing work to the bikes, and we are now using custom built wheels connected to new cranks pushing a 53×14 fixed gear.  They spin so smooth!  Charles also sweetened the pot with some great prizes as well as cash!  We have lengthened the race to 500m for the qualifier, and the finals puts people to the test with a 1000m race.

Qualifier Round, with the Top 8 men and Top 4 women advancing.

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And the final rounds…

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Congrats to Pavel and to first time roller racer Rachel.  See you all at the Tour de Fat afterparty sprints!

Book review: Two Wheels North

Book review: Two Wheels North

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Two Wheels North:  Bicycling the West Coast in 1909 by Eveln McDaniel Gibb tells the story of two boys, Vic McDaniel and Ray Francisco, that left their home in 1909 to ride their wheels north to Seattle for the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.  It took them 54 days.  They kept in touch with their local paper, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat– who’s editor promised them $25 if they made it all the way to the fair.

On their best day they traveled 64 miles, over roads that could scarcely be called roads at all.  Many miles were traveled on foot, pushing their heavy steel bikes and packs up and occasionally down whatever surface lay ahead. The best roads were gravel that had been recently oiled.  Multiple times they had to stop and find a brazier as the welds failed on the bikes, sometimes while riding.

The coaster brake hubs that the bikes were equipped with, though the best at the time, still had to be rebuilt after big decents.  No Phil Wood grease available- they used Vaseline, the best thing going.  They learned little tricks like chopping down a tree when they reached the top of a grade and tying it to the rear of their bikes for the descent, saving the wear on their brake.

They camped outside, fished for their dinner, worked when they needed money, had run-ins with pick pockets and hustlers as well as meeting many kind people along the way.

The two boys, just out of highschool, arrived in Seattle- with many stories to tell and in time to gain their $25.

Two Wheels North contains pictures of the postcards that were sent to keep in touch with their family and the Press Democrat as well as photos of the boys.  A daunting task for anyone, the fact that these kids were just out of high school makes their trip even more intriguing.

A good story and a quick read- with a look back at what the West was, at the towns as they were just coming into their own- and the people that lived there.

People familiar with the West Coast may find this book more entertaining, but anyone with a love for cycling history will likely appreciate it.

I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.

Dead Baby Downhill 14

Dead Baby Downhill 14

The Dead Baby Downhill has grown to a level that requires a different way of doing things.

  • There will be no pre registration.  There will be no custom shirt numbers (bring your own puffy paint)
  • To register, come to the Canterbury, pay your $20 for a shirt and  waterbottle and get whatever number they give you.
  • If you don’t register at the Canterbury, shirts at the afterparty are $20 and waterbottles are $10.  I’m not really good at math, but it seems like a better deal when you register at the Canterbury…
  • Male and Female winners of the messenger race will be getting plane tickets to the CMWC in Panajachel, Guatemala (September 4-12, 2010)

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Home sweet home.

Home sweet home.

I’m back from a week in the woods of Eastern Washington, Idaho and Canada. I went with my lady for her birthday, and we spent time around the campfire, playing cards, and pondering the future over beers and whisky.  We spent hours watching bears, moose, deer, and bunch of other critters do what they do.  We shot guns, cooked over a fire, dug a hole to use the bathroom, and skinny dipped in a snow fed creek.  I read BONESHAKER:  A BICYCLING ALMANAC and started reading A PLACE OF MY OWN– I don’t take the time to read as much when I’m home, as there is always something to distract me, some event to plan, or work to do, or shirt to print, or this or that…  I spent some much needed time thinking of things other than the bicycling in Seattle.  Of course I still had limited connection to the digital world- once a day or once every other day.  It was time enough to catch up on emails pertaining to work- and the occasional goodwill effort to recover stolen bicycles.  But rather than spending 16 hours a day thinking about what bike event or project I was going to start on next, I maybe only spent 2 hours a day thinking of bikes.  (I maintain that reading about bikes should be disconnected from plotting and thinking about bikes.)  I reflected a lot on what the hell I’ve been doing with my life.

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Go Means Go has been a great time, and I feel it’s done a lot for the “orphans” of the Seattle bicycle community-  Those that don’t necessarily fit into one of the clubs currently established.  GMG began as something for people of different riding disciplines to come together to race in a more casual setting.  No spandex necessary, no preconceived notions about riders- just folks that like going fast, getting together for some friendly competition followed by some beers.  GMG has grown quite a bit over the last while and has expanded into what I have more of a passion for- non competitive events… Bringing people that love the community of cycling together.  GMG events have brought racers together with commuters, trick riders, messengers, and folks that don’t quite fit in anywhere.

At the same time all this good time having has been going on, it’s been a ball of stress to keep things moving forward.  Events take time to plan and word must get out so people show up.  Add a blog, and social networking on top of it, and it is sometimes a bit overwhelming.  But this isn’t your problem.  I’m just dropping a little “Pardon our dust” note, as I work to find a way to continue this endeavor- whatever “this endeavor” is.

Emerald Sprints 7/22

Emerald Sprints 7/22

Who loves sprints?  You do.

Get to The Ballard Loft this Thursday for some good time having.  It’s free.  It’s going to be outside.  There will be drink specials and prizes.  And you can check out the new ratio.  We are going to be running 53×14- fixed.  Yeah.  It’s been a while since we’ve ran sprints with fixed wheels.  Come spin to win.

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Never trust a talking bicycle.

Never trust a talking bicycle.

This isn’t safe for work.  Or for children.  It made me a uncomfortable and took me to a very dark place.  I’m posting here because I’m attempting to start “offensive video Sundays”