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Month: June 2011

Rebel Without A Cog 6/24 & 6/25

Rebel Without A Cog 6/24 & 6/25

Rob Kittleson is putting on The Rebel without a Cog this week.  It’s a two-day gathering of Fixed Gear bikes. On Friday night June 24th there will be a Alleycat and BBQ starting and finishing at Cool Guy Park. Registration will start at 5pm and we will start the alleycat at around 7:30 to 8:00. If you do not want to pay $20 for the whole weekend and just want to race this alleycat, (or any other individual event) it will cost you $10 that evening. This alleycat, Alleycat #1, will be straight-forward with 10-12 checkpoints and a suprise or two. The alleycat starts when you get your manifest, no checkpoints will be announced early.

You can pre-register HERE until Wednesday, then the price goes up

See more at the website HERE

 

Nine to Five 2011 Recap

Nine to Five 2011 Recap

This past Saturday was our third annual Nine to Five. We kept Seattle riders up all night long on a quest to find everything from temporary tattoos to photobooth photos and strengthen the bond between cyclists and their city. All said, 80 cyclists participated in what was to be our most-completed Nine to Five yet. With no unlimited items this yearm teams were encouraged to try to work their way through the full list, and – although no one completed the entire thing – several got closer than any had before. Not only that, but we had the highest start-to-finish turn out ever in spite of the skies threatening to open up at any moment, with less than ten registrants starting without finishing.

More egg storage

MOAR EGG STORAGE

As in the past, the hunt started in Gas Works Park with riders in teams from one to five showing up to register just as the remains of the day’s Fremont Solstice festivities were being torn down. The skies were gray but the weather was warm as riders collected their points lists, spoke card, an a raw egg, stamped to be identifiable and worth points if you brought yours (or any other teams’) to the end. The teams were kept at the start for a group photo before being turned loose on the city at official sunset, just after nine o’clock.

Keeping summer alive, one shirt at a time

Tie dye, the official color of summer

This year, there were many points to be had on a “Dive School” run – a series of five dive bars with clues hidden outside that had to be found. Nearly every team covered the entire route, from the top of Dexter in Westlake all the way to Darrell’s in the deep north at 183rd and Aurora (my own neighborhood bar and Nine to Five sponsor). Reports from the streets seem to suggest two main strategies. The first was to send a team north immediately while the remainder collected all the items that required people out and businesses open (like a photograph of a stranger drawing you a picture of Mr. T or a bartender holding your spoke card). The second was to send all the team members to their respective homes to gather everything they could there while they were still awake enough to not be concerned they’d never return.

Fueled by BBQ Chips

Fueled by Clif bars, chips and discount cookies

By the time the riders starting showing at the midnight meet-up at the I-5 Colonnade, many had already completed a straight shot to Shoreline and back, collecting dive bars and photos of neighborhood signs all along the way. In addition to getting some free caffeine and grub, the riders also had the opportunity to score some more eggs, with over a dozen hidden around the park (despite Team Egg’s spirited – and successful – go at taking the whole box earlier – only points for OTHER TEAMS’ eggs, pals!).

Accidentally paying for random people's donuts since 2009

Accidentally buying random customers donuts since 2009

By the 3am stop at Ly’s Donuts in the U-District, folks were starting to show weariness. Many teams had folks out on the Northern run, while others had saved a stop at home for when the city had shut down. The rest basically followed us to Gasworks around 4am to help us set up for breakfast and count their points.

All point counts were due in by 5:11am, and breakfast of wraps and sweet bread (and more of the many, many mini Clif bars) was served. For awhile it was looking like a close race, with multiple teams coming in right around 360, following by a clear frontrunner in the 380’s, which seemed high until returning champs Team Egg (“The team formerly known as Old Tuna”) turned in a point count of over 500. On review, our official count was 496, but it was still enough that we didn’t have to verify the next place team to declare them winners of the Nine to Five Champions Stein:

Team Eggs!

The rest will get theirs in the mail this week

We then raffled off the rest of the great prizes our wonderful sponsors provided, including awesome waterproof baggage from Seattle’s own SealLine, t-shirts and gift bags from Caffe Vita (which they provided in addition to the coffee that kept us going all night), to shirts and gift certificate from Darrell’s Tavern, to awesome goods from Planet Bike and Go Means Go. I thought about raffling off some of the spare bars provided by Clif, but the glazed over look on our riders’ faces told me it was time to pack up and call it day.

Thanks again to everyone that has supported the Nine to Five this year and past, from riders, to sponsors, to blogs and everyone else – we couldn’t do it without you! Special thanks to Jon Grover who jumped in to help me with the event every step of the way – I’m not sure he knew what he was getting himself into until it was too late, but he didn’t seem to regret it too much. Also thanks to Heather (breakfast) and Ly’s Donuts, for putting up with all our last minute requests. And a special shout out Ryan Go Means Go. The Nine to Five was his brainchild two years ago, and it was strange to not be working as closely (literally) with him on it this year while he’s working fish season in Alaska. Keep safe on the seas, we’re looking forward to seeing you back on our streets in a couple months! For the rest of you, hope to see you at the Tour de Watertower – check back for details this week!

photo 1.JPG

GO means GO!

And be sure to thank our sponsors:

SealLine | Caffe Vita | Planet Bike
| Clif Bar | Darrell’s Tavern

Nine to Five Photos!

Nine to Five Photos!

Nine to Five 2011

I just wanted to remind everyone to post photos from last night in Go Mean’s Go Flickr group and make sure you tag us on Facebook photos as well – we want to see them all! If they’re posted elsewhere, post below in the comments or send a link to me directly at greg@bikebloc.com. Thanks to everyone for making last night an excellent third year. Recap on it’s way when I’m awake enough to type more cohesive sentences.

Review: Traitor Cross Crusade SS

Review: Traitor Cross Crusade SS

It’s June and cycling is back in the minds of the masses. Families and couples are taking trips to the park for picnics and casual rides. You see more commuters on the roads as the summer weather makes the ride to work as much of a pleasure as a way to save some money. Bike tourers abound. Mountain, track and road racing are in full swing, and you can even watch pro racing on the television. There are of course those of us that- though we enjoy the sunshine, are looking forward to fall- the rain, mud and cold in combination with the camaraderie and beer drinking that defines northwest cyclocross.

During last year’s cross season, Joe at Traitor Cycles in Bellingham sent me their new offering- THE CRUSADE. I received it in the middle of helping put together the SSCXWC (which was amazing) and mainly because of a lack of time- I was unable to build it. 2010 was my entry into racing cyclocross and though I didn’t get to race the SSCXWC I finished out the season with a few MFG and Seattle Cyclocross races under my belt.

Before my first CX race…


…And after my first CX race.

Traitor cycles is based in Bellingham (Ferndale to be more accurate) and shares a space with their parent company Transition Bicycles. A rider owned company- both Transition and Traitor are born from of a love of bikes and you can see it not only in the design, but in the attitudes of the small number of folks that work there- that and the fact that they have dirt jumps to play on at lunch or when they aren’t making things happen in the warehouse. Designed in the Northwest- the bikes are made overseas by a company that they’ve built a good relationship with.  The manufacturer is an ex-pro road racer and Dutch custom frame builder- each employee is trained by the owner, Jan.

When I first saw the photos of the Crusade- I was really impressed. A beautiful bike with nice lines and details in the design that show a good amount of thought went into them. I love the top tube cable routing, rear brake bridge and the modest looking paint scheme. The paint isn’t flashy at all- a straight forward white frame and fork is what I’m riding and the decals look good too. It’s also available in a blue/white color scheme.  The Traitor logo is simple and the headbadge (though I was not a fan of it at first) looks good and is metal, as opposed to a sticker or decal. Along with Devin and Charles at Wright Brothers- I couldn’t help but notice the Columbus Life tubing decal on the frame. Nice. Steel is real after all- and Columbus…. Well I’m sure you know of Columbus.  Their LIFE tubing is triple butted.  High strength and low weight.  I’ve been told that it uses a cutting edge process involving the blood of unicorns to increase it’s stiffness- but I haven’t been able to confirm.

For how awesome the bike as a whole looks- upon closer inspection the welds looked decent on the frame but are a little rough on the fork.  That, and there was very little fork clearance while running Hutchinson 34c Bulldogs. On muddier courses- I’ve had to stop and scoop out debris that slowed me down to a crawl. Switching over to an ENVE fork is on my list of things to do after I win the lottery.  As I’m figuring out more and more and can afford to put better parts on my frame- it will get lighter than the 21lbs that it currently weighs in at.

The frame is setup for cantilever brakes only- with no disc tabs welded on. I imagine that we’ll be seeing more SSCX bikes that are disc brake compatible since the UCI legalized them last year. Disc brakes of course work well- better than V-brakes even, but at least currently- when push comes to shove- they aren’t that popular on cross bikes. Whether it be that they don’t look as classic, or maybe the fact that people don’t want to slow down- traditional cantilever brakes are still king on many cross bikes.  That said- Traitor does have a little project going- not sure if it will continue onto the Crusade SS though…

The Cross Crusade is currently available as a frame and fork, and I hope they’ll be offering it as a complete in the future. They do have a build kit available which doesn’t look too shabby- for $959.  That will get you a race ready SSCX bike for $1658.  The frame and fork alone retails for $699. For those looking for a good looking SSCX bike- especially if you have a soft spot for Columbus- it’s definitely a contender.

In addition to being a solid cross frame, the Cross Crusade would also be well suited to a single speed around town, with braze-ons for fenders. The rear dropouts have a rear facing adjusting screw that I removed in favor of a Surly Tuggnut. The stock adjusting screws work fine- probably better than a Tuggnut even- but I don’t like having to use a small allen key to loosen them. Maybe if they had a wingnut screw I’d like them better? The waterbottle braze-ons aren’t that important for a cross race- but you may appreciate them if ripping around town looking for trouble.

You can find Traitor Bicycles in Seattle at Recycled Cycles, Counterbalance and Second Ascent.  They are available in 16 states and through authorized online resellers.  You can check out their dealer page HERE. They’ve also got a number of other well thought out bikes including a road bike, a fixed gear trick bike, and a slick little urban commuter.

I’ve got a feeling that my Traitor Cross Crusade will never sit idle for too long. It’s a really fun bike and I’m already looking forward to getting it muddy again.

 

A bike thanks to Joe and the guys at Traitor for being so awesome.  If you find yourself up Bellingham way- you’ll probably see Kevin or Joe around town or on the trails.  Say hi- they’re good folks.

Bicycle Film Festival NYC June 22-26

Bicycle Film Festival NYC June 22-26

It’s that time again.  The Bicycle Film Festival is making it’s rounds and you should be sure to catch it when and where you can.  I had the opportunity to attend BFF-NYC last year (some of it at least) and this year I’m shooting to be in San Francisco as it passes through (on my birthday no less)  Here is the skinny for The Bicycle Film Festival in New York City which will take place June 22nd-26th.

More info at BicycleFilmFestival.com

 

 

Racing Towards Red Hook – Trailer for Bicycle Film Festival from Jessica Scott on Vimeo.