We are super stoked that Back Ally Bike Repair is turning two years old! Ben is throwing a like shin-dig. Check out the Birfday Bike-athalon and Pedal Party on Saturday, then hit up the Bike Expo on Sunday, hungover. Sounds like a recipe for a rad Seattle bike weekend to me.
The Single Speed World Championships will take place in Anchorage, Alaska in 2014. July 18-20. Coming back to the USA after it’s been overseas since 2010. It’s travels have taken it most recently to Italy and South Africa, Ireland and New Zealand before that.
As “officially” as any shitshow can begin- the first SSWC took place in California in 1999. I have never taken the opportunity to compete or attend one before, but this year I may just have a chance. Or not. Unfortunately for me it takes place smack dab in my four-month fishing season and I’ll likely be found in the middle of Prince William Sound, sulking with jellyfish dripping on me from the net above.
For others though- that have jobs that they can take some time off of, I’d highly suggest getting your ass to the 49th state for this one. Anchorage is not well known for urban cycling- in fact I’ve found it one of the sketchiest places to ride (predominately in winter.) Drivers are quite aggressive towards cyclists, even more so than the moose you may cross on the paths. However, Anchorage is also home to a wonderful grid of trails, with Kincaid Park being the city’s crown jewel. They have CX races in town at the parks, MTB races at Kincaid. It’s pretty bad ass. And it’s in the Last Frontier. No, not space- that’s the Final Frontier. Drink bears and get mauled by beers!
Grab your single speed: mountain bike, sweet fixie, cross bike, tall bike, unicycle (if you’re from Portland,) or whatever other contraption you want to ride and buy a ticket.
Anyway, get your shit together and your head in the game. When registration opens, it’ll fill up fast. There’s a webpage and a Facebook and more info to come- so look alive!
For info go to:
Chrome Industries is coming to a city near you and that city is Los Angeles. We are beyond stoked to be partnering with Orange 20 Bikes to bring you a one-of-a-kind pop up HUB, Chrome_20.
Chrome_20 is a shop, a gallery, a finish line, and a space for the people of LA to share their favorite spots in the city. Join us November 22nd, 7-10pm as we kick off a month long of events starting with our opening party featuring The Streets of Chrome, a street photography installation curated by Van Styles with photographs from Van Styles, Sagan Lockhart, and Jefroe Grell.
In conjunction with the Streets of Chrome exhibit we are launching #Wrenched_LA, an ever changing, interactive Instagram wall of all of Los Angeles’ hidden gems and hot spots brought to us by you. Who knows LA better than the people who live there? No one.
Chrome20 will have a complete selection of Chrome Industries gear for sale throughout the holiday season. Come for the booze and stay for the party, this is just the beginning of Chrome_20.
4357 Melrose Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90029
Open Daily: 11/22 – 12/22
:: Bicycle Booze Cruz ::
Saturday, November 23rd :: 7:00pm
Meet up at: 2nd CYCLE – Tacoma’s Community Cycle Center on MLK Way :: Tacoma, WA
The fine folks at 2nd Cycle will be opening their doors and starting us off right. Beverage proceeds
go directly to further 2nd Cycle and the great work they do helping make cycling available to all.
We will be cycling to various watering holes throughout the night.
Rain or dry we ride – (Folks, we’re riding bikes…how cool is that?!)
21+ and biking is at your own risk…so don’t fall down yo!
Spread the word! Tell your velo peeps!
Limited number of spoke cards! :: Don’t be late!
Tip: USE CASH it helps us get through bar lines faster so plan ahead!
TACOMA MOB RIDERS :: We Own the Streets!!!
The Whittier ferry dock was (and still is) broken, so we took the ferry to Valdez from Cordova, making the drive to Anchorage 300 miles, as opposed to the 60 miles it is from Whittier. Melissa and I decided somewhat last minute to caravan back to Anchorage with Bryan and Garret, spending a few days in the big city picking up this and that, read: booze, groceries, and my new fatbike. They got a head start on us, as we stopped in Valdez for a late breakfast after we disembarked. We caught up to them on the side of the road in between Valdez and Glenallen, where car troubles almost caused their rear wheel to fall off. They hopped in with us and we left Garret’s car there for a few days- planning to bring Garret back with parts and tools on our return trip. Spoiler alert: I didn’t get a bike that weekend, but Melissa got a brand new Fatback for winter adventuring.
It looked like we may even get to witness a cross race- as the Arctic Cross series was having their final race while we were there. I didn’t think I would be allowed to race- not having been part of the series this year so I didn’t bring my bike. Turns out it would have been fine, and I was pretty bummed that I was so pessimistic. The Arctic Cross webpage is a little dated and is difficult to understand for somebody coming to town wanting to race bikes. Sure there is race info, it’s mostly results- you can’t find out much about how the race categories are setup, race times, and sometimes even the race days are incorrect. Ah well…computers are hard.
We made it to the Goose Lake race in Anchorage, the course was located right off the bike path in town. We pulled in to the parking lot, saw bike racks on cars and trucks, folks in spandex, a couple sections of course tape, and figured we were in the right place. Parking was easy.
It rained the few days prior, so the course was a bit muddy- but race day was crisp and clear with soggy ground. My favorite race days.
I often miss the cyclocross in Seattle and I most definitely miss my Hodala teammates. As we walked into the park we saw the familiar sight of kids playing, riding around on bikes just a little bit too big for them, or too small. Adults walking around with mud and smiles on faces- a BBQ was being prepared for the end of the season. Beer flowed from 2 kegs, respectfully stowed out of plain site. We scoped the course, similar in many spots to a mountain bike course, but with the cyclocross staples of barriers and a sandpit. Near the BBQ epicenter and just prior to the first set of barriers was a giant chicane. A spiral which made me dizzy just watching the folks go in circles. Cyclocross feels new in Anchorage, especially singlespeeding. People had a blast- and it was a pretty darn nice day.
It was a diverse race, bikes ranging from mountain bikes, to cross bikes (a few singlespeeds in there too) to polo bikes complete with disk wheels and narrow bars to fatbikes. Race attire was also from one end of the spectrum to the other. Costumes, team kits, whatever seemed comfortable… One of the most interesting things to watch, was the heckling. The polo kids, god bless ‘em- were doing well at it. We came across them at the sand pit. Beers in hand, they would rib the riders as they came by:
“You’re doing it wrong- you’re supposed to stay on your bike.”
“That’s why you’re not winning!”
Tall Bryan was also giving them some pointers- encouraging the racers to just get off their bikes and run the section that was slowing so many down. ”No! Get off your bike! Run it! You’re going too slow!”
Heckling is something that I am quite familiar with though not nearly as skilled as my teammates at (much like riding.) Hodala is next level heckling. Too much for some people- it’s
never rarely coming from a place of anger. It’s like when my mom would say to me “I love you, you little shit stain.” I knew that “love” was the operative word. Some people might take offence, and occasionally kick the team fire ring over- but if you can’t take the mud, get off the cross course. When I first started racing cross, the heckling I heard consisted of:
“Shift!” (because I ride a single speed…. so clever.)
“It’s GO MEANS GO, not SLOW MEANS SLOW!”
I took these ribbings in stride and came out a better rider for it.
The kids race was, as always, fun to watch. Seeing the boys and girls get stoked on cross is always a good time.
Next year I’ll be at the races, at least a couple of them. Hoping that my team can make it up to race at least one as well. Hodala can help ruin cyclocross north of 60°N too. So keep riding dirty and we’ll see you at the races.
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.
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.
RSVP and more information here: Messmann’s Messquarade 2013
Have a bike event coming up? Seattle, or the rest of Washington? Oregon? Alaska? Anywhere else? We want to help get the word out. Let us help you put your event on blast. Email us with the info and we’ll get it up.
Right now I see a lot of CX going on in Oregon, and Washingon- what you got? Tweed ride?- Got it.
It’s not every day that you get an email from an actual haberdasher, but Ty over at Goorin wrote in to tell us their shop at 1st and Stewart will be hosting a Cycling Tweed Rally this Saturday at their shop on 1st and Stewart. After a couple emails of what I assume is genuine tweed-speak, I’m still not 100% on how they plan to include bikes, but Hub & Bespoke and Wrench Workshop are featured, as are adult libations. You might want to brush up on your British-ism’s as I expect making up your own is frowned upon. FB invite can be found here. Clip clop! Pollywog! Bally-who!