Browse Category by Portland
Bicycle, Bike Porn, Portland

Simplicity has a price.

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Many of us have a simple bike that we use to get around town. A townie, commuter, grocery getter, bar bike, cruiser- it can go by many names, but the goal is usually a bike that fits in a niche that our others don’t. Well the folks at Speedvagen (Vanilla Bicycles) have made what they dub the “Urban Racer” and it is supposed to fill a void that no others can.


For the starting price of $4895 you can get your own in a couple months too.

Yeah. You read that right. Four thousand eight hundred and ninety five US dollars.

I’m sure it’s a fun bike. Like any bike is fun. Just for a frame of reference, you can also get this 1976 Corvette Stingray in Portland (where the Urban Racer is handmade) for less. $395 less. That $395 could then be put into some sweet airbrushing on the hood, some cocaine or maybe even a leather jacket from the mall.

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Don’t get me wrong. I love skidding as much as the next guy, but I can do that on just about any bike. As far as utility goes, this bike doesn’t do it. As far as an “urban racer” goes, this a near $5k alley cat bike seems about as useful as tits on a bull.

But people will buy it. And that’s great, I guess.

Other perks of the urban racer include:

  • Handmade in Portland
  • Pictures took by a famous red head (not Shawn White)
  • Chain guard
  • Coaster brake
  • 650b wheels

I want to get behind this bike- really I do. I just can’t. I can’t afford to. I’ve built coaster brake bikes from my parts bin and used shit I found used for about a hundred bucks. And they were fun as hell. Sometimes a bike like this helps me put it into perspective.

Do I need a $5000 bike with 2 speeds and “shredability?” No.

Does this bike suck? I highly doubt it. Vanilla and Speedvagen aren’t new to building bikes- they make beautiful works of art. And this may be just that. Art. A price tag for a collector.

Though it may be fun to ride- this go around I’m going to vote: Corvette. And you can drive it home- because your Speedvagen will take a couple months to be completed.

 

 

Portland, Rides, Road

Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail

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I spend much of my off time volunteering with a local non-profit, working with people disabilities to help get them active in the outdoors. Last weekend, I was fortunate enough to be able to tag along for a ride with the Wounded Warrior Project down in Oregon in exchange for my homegrown “mechanical” skills.

We took a drive a 4 hour drive to scenic Hood River, which would serve as our basecamp for the weekend. While Hood River has long been known as a mecca for windsurfing and kite boarding, it’s also home to some fantastic mountain biking and road cycling.

And breweries.

Lots and lots of breweries. Of you like adult beverages, Hood River will not disappoint.

The Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail is an actual old highway that runs parallel to the current highway 84/ Oregon 30 along the banks of the mighty Columbia river like a watery Mason-Dixon line separating the states of Washington and Oregon so they don’t battle it out for Pacific NW supremacy. The complete route, which includes sections where you ride along the highway shoulder as well as fully protected sections, runs the distance between Troutdale and the Dalles.  Total distance is just over 80 miles each way.

For this particular ride, we stuck to the sections of the trail that were fully protected, for safety sake.

The trail runs along a ridge line high above the current highway, so you get great views and very little road noise. 13 or so miles are completely closed to motorized vehicles, giving riders a chance to ride at their own pace and stop when they want for photos.

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Along the way are numerous parks to rest or camp at, as well as plenty of things to see. The Bonneville Dam is on the route, as is the Bridge of the Gods  and one of the PCT trail heads (for you “Wild” enthusiasts).

Even though over 300,000 people a day use this trail, the path never seemed congested, and is very family friendly. The parking at the trailheads, however, paint a different picture, so get there early.

I’m planning a trip for later in the summer where I can experience the 160 mile out and back in its entirety, so stay tuned. I’m just waiting for my brother to get settled into his new place in the Portland area, so I don’t have to pay for parking!

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Bicycle, Portland, Seattle, Stolen, Washington

Internet 1, Bike Thief 0.

This is from a couple years ago, but it still makes me happy.  Being reunited with a bike after it was stolen is such a good feeling.  The thief getting pinched is just icing on the cake.  The bike owner showed a lot of restraint by not kicking the shit out of the dude, strengthening his case all around.  Anybody know what happened next?

Advocacy, Bicycle, Bike Porn, Events, Portland

Ruckus raffles frames to support women’s cycling

You know how dry cleaning shops have tons of clothes that never get picked up?  Apparently that happens with bikes too. Ruckus Composites, a Portland Oregon based Carbon Fiber repair business, is making use of those bikes that never get picked up- those that would otherwise end up in the dead pile. This dead pile has been accumulating since they started in 2008- and now they found something to do with them.  They’re working with local and national non profit organizations as well as grass roots cycling teams, to repair and custom paint these bikes and raffle/auction them off to raise money and awareness for causes that they believe in. The proceeds from these frames will go directly to organizations in need, the bikes will go to the lucky winners of the raffles.
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The first two frames will be raffled in support of Presented By Let’s Race Bikes (PBLRB). PBLRB is a Oregon based project dedicated to supporting and enabling elite female cyclists to compete on a national level. They are breaking down the financial barriers associated with professional cycling by offering support to female athletes through crowd sourced initiatives. PBLRB has raised money to date with support from The Athletic and Sellwood Cycles in Portland OR. We are excited to work with them and proud to support their efforts in cycling.
To enter the raffle, you can purchase tickets online here, the raffle will end on June 17th. Ruckus will announce the winners and total amount raised for PBLRB on that date. Tickets can be purchased for 25 dollars a piece, or buy 3 for 60 dollars. Tickets are tax deductible(?) and the money raised goes directly to supporting the wonderful and talented women of Presented By Let’s Race Bikes. All the details about the project can be found here.
About Ruckus Composites: Founded in 2008 by Shawn Small, Ruckus is a Portland OR based company in dedicated to all things carbon fiber. From frame repair, to custom add on’s and after market products that complement repairs and the longevity of carbon fiber bicycle frames. Now with several employees and seeing massive growth, Ruckus is the leader in Carbon Repair in the cycling industry working with direct customers, bike shops around the globe and nearly every major frame manufacturer in the industry.
Bicycle, Gear, Portland

Gevenalle CX

You may remember Retroshift- the still somewhat new brand offering an alternative to brifters for your geared cyclocross bike?  Well they have a new name, and have jumped headlong into more solutions for cross racers that feel the need for more than one gear.  Founded by Adam Clement in 2011 (as Retroshift) in Portland- the first product offerings were the CX1 and CX2 shifters and soon after followed by the BURD (Blatantly Upgraded Rear Derailleur) cyclocross specific derailleur. The company focus is providing solutions for cyclocross. All products are built in Portland OR using both Taiwanese and American made parts.

Advocacy, Alaska, Bicycle, Events, GO MEANS GO events, Portland, Seattle, Washington

New Calendar

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.

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