Friend of GMG Andy Bokanev sent over these images from his trip down to Bend, OR to watch and document the Cross Crusade race last Sunday. See his full set of photos from the day HERE. Looks like a good time and some rad costumes. I’m loving the coffin barriers as well. Happy Halloween, keep it weird out there today!
It was an early flight into Anchorage, so by 10:30am we had already managed to walk through the woods and across town. We did stop for coffee (in a city that has more espresso stands per capita than anywhere else in the US), but by now we were seated at a questionable but genuine bar beers-in-hand. In the brief moments between being bombarded (or befriended) by the obviously very regular morning crowd, my host Garret informed me there would be a bicycle available for me to use.
I came to Alaska to visit my good friend Garret Spargo as well as spend some time with Ryan, the man behind GMG himself. Bringing a bike was something I had wanted to do, but it ended up being too expensive to consider. Garret is involved with Off The Chain, a bicycle collective in Anchorage. They granted me access to the shop and I was able to put in some work, and build a bike for myself to use while in town. …
Okay. Below is a review of a product- and it’s taken way too long to make happen. Between using it in the fall of last year, moving back to Alaska, my video review process shitting the bed, then it being summer- the time wasn’t right. But as can happen, fall has arrived once more, and it’s time for folks to start thinking about the rain that comes with it. So here is my review, as originally written, with photos from last week.
A couple months back I got the opportunity to put the Cleverhood Rain cape through a long term review process. I of course jumped on it because rain capes have seemed like a good idea to me since I first saw them in the Rivendell Reader. I have a tendency to run hot- when wearing a waterproof shell I often get to my destination soaked from sweat, not rain; the thought of not needing a waterproof jacket and pants when the clouds open up was like a breath of fresh air.
You may wonder why I haven’t put one through the paces already if it’s been in my mind for so long. In one word: cost. Quality rain gear is expensive and rain capes are no exception. I’d seen Carradice and Brooks rain capes over the years, but they were difficult to source (being from across the pond) and over $250 a pop. That, and they were made of waxed cotton- which though aesthetically pleasing, is fairly bulky, dries slowly once saturated and they take maintenance (more maintenance is needed the more it is used in the rain, the wax being something of a sacrificial element.)
So now that we’ve established that I’m a cheap bastard frugal, we’ll get on with it.
Cleverhood was born in, and still based in Providence, Rhode Island. They are made in the United States and inspired by the slow bike movement, or in their words: “the simple, elegant way the bike is affecting broad change in our cities.”
By late October, the Anchorage cycling community usually finds itself transitioning away from fenders, mud, and pavement to studs, ice and fresh snow. Not so this year, as fall continues to hold us in its soggy grip. The rather delayed onset of winter allowed for some fun autumnal riding this past Saturday night, as three separate costumed events took place across town. No studs required.
I showed up at the first event, the fairly informal Halloween Super ‘Cross IV event planned by John and posted to the Arctic Cross website. I originally intended to be there just to photograph and observe. I made the offhand comment that I wished I brought my bike a few minutes into shooting the pre-ride gathering and suddenly found myself testing out John’s Bianchi C.U.S.S., which he offered to let me borrow for the race. I agreed, dug around my trunk for a passable costume, and handed the camera off to the wife while I rode. I am now officially hooked after my first ride in the world of cyclocross.
ACRE. A division of Mission Workshop, known for their well made urban riding accoutrements, are branching out and getting into the woods with their new line- ACRE. I got a quick peek at Interbike, and they look great. Many are made in the USA, with some made in Vancouver, BC. They are using top notch fabrics and construction to make solid, albeit a little expensive equipment to enjoy the outdoors by bike. That said- if you are out exploring on two wheels, miles from the shelter of a coffee shop or bus station- you want to know that you can count on the gear that you’re using. Hydration packs, jackets, jerseys and shorts- “fit for riding.”
So though I haven’t used these products, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that if you are in the market for quality riding gear for the outdoors- give them a look.
Available at higher end shops as well as online HERE
As those of you know who follow me on Instagram, I recently had the chance to spend some time in Alaska. Originally I didn’t think I would have a bike on the trip, but the two wheeled gods of the great north smiled upon me and I found myself hitting the ground rolling. I’ll be posting up more photos and details of the trip soon, but for now here is Ryan demonstrating the traditional Alaskan Glacier Greeting. As well as a drunk polar bear on a bike. Cheers!
This Saturday October 26th, come out for Messmann’s Messquarade. A group scavenger hunt on bikes. Come with a team or join forces at registration. $5 per rider, no more than 6 riders per team.
Registration will be at Shorties: 2222 2nd Ave starting at 5pm, the team scavenger hunt will start at 6pm. The end of the scavenger hunt will be at the Twilight Exit: 2514 E Cherry after 8pm. If you can’t make it to the hunt come down to the Twilight Exit after 8pm and join the after party. As always prizes for the fastest, best costume, DFL and more.
Pretty much everyone in the cycling world is just plain sick of hearing about Lance, but who doesn’t like watching a story of corruption and power? “The Armstrong Lie” a documentary by filmmaker Alex Gibney who follows Lance Armstrong for four years. Originally with the intent of chronicling his return to cycling after retirement, unexpectedly, Gibney was there when Armstrong admitted to doping.
“This isn’t a story about doping, this is a story about power.” – Alex Gibney
We are getting spoiled here in Seattle with a fairly mild autumn and some great riding conditions. The temperatures have dropped, the leaves have turned beautiful shades of orange and red but the rain hasn’t been falling (and I’m not complaining).
This past Sunday MFG Cyclocross descended upon Magnuson Park for another exciting weekend of racing. Here are a few shots of the day captured by Andy Bokanev. More of his cyclocross photos can be found here: Andy Bokanev: Cyclocross. And yes that’s me looking like I just made a jail break, Shred Club kits are finally in.