Browse Tag by bikes
Bicycle Racing, Cyclocross, DIY, Seattle, Washington

Broke Ass Racer: aka the BAR bike

Cyclocross season is coming up quickly. Next month, people will begin attending CX camps to hone their skills for the upcoming race season, which begins in September.

10733846_10204050088066291_2340075667420873788_oFor those of you not familiar with ‘cross racing, Ryan described it best as “combining the worst elements of bike riding and long distance running into one sport.” Admittedly, CX racing is, by nature, a sufferfest. You ride what equates to a road bike equipped with knobby tires over courses that may contain some or all of the following:

1) Dirt

2) Mud

3) Sand

4) Stairs

5) Barriers that require riders to shoulder their bikes and run with them.

Weather. Does. Not. Cancel. EVER.10750013_10204049976903512_5293972783870888779_o

In fact, race organizers have been working with the CIA and Area 51 to ensure that the worst weather of the year occurs between September and late November requiring  CX races to take place in ankle deep mud and freezing rain and Category 5 hurricanes. While the racing may be miserable, watching your friends suffer before or after your race, brings miles of smiles. 

10683568_10204049999424075_4987743583948998782_oThe Seattle area has two CX racing series: MFG and Cross Revolution–neither of which are UCI sanctioned. Even though non-sanctioned racing can be frustrating to aspiring pros who are chasing points, removing the UCI licensing rules and requirements opens the door to anybody that wants to come out and play in the mud on whatever bike they want or can afford.

I’m pushing 40. I sit behind a desk 5 days a week and I’m lucky to get in an hour of riding a day Monday thru Friday. My training regimen consists of riding my bike for 6-8 hours a day on Saturday and Sunday, followed by large plates of food smothered in gravy and hot sauce.

That said, I could probably take racing more seriously, but that would take all the fun out of it. While I know many a racer who has thousands of dollars in their CX race bike, why spend all that money on something that you’re just going to destroy over the course of a race season? Cross racing ruins shiny paint jobs, makes derailleurs surrender their powers (they are a French invention, after all), and turns wheels into tacos for lunch.

For a weekend warrior like me, I just can’t justify literally throwing away thousands of dollars for the sake of entertainment….unless porn stars are involved, then it’s anybody’s guess.  In all honesty, I’ve seen people on cobbled together mismatched rides decimate riders atop full carbon unobtanium steeds many, many times.

After watching my friends race for a couple of seasons, I decided to try this thing called cyclocross myself. Being a man of modest means, I found a budget ride at big box bike store Nashbar for about $400. I figured if I didn’t like racing cross, or if I wasn’t any good, I could always turn the bike into a commuter.

As it turns out, I LOVE racing cross…although, I’m still not any fucking good at it.  I raced the bike mostly stock, save for the pedals and a secondhand saddle (thanks, Rob!) for 2 seasons. Realizing that the bike was pretty much useless going into the 3rd season, I decided a rebuild was in order. I knew I wanted to upgrade the brakes and I also wanted to go single speed for added simplicity and drivetrain strength. As a beer gutted man who hovers around 180-190, when mud and hills are added to the mix, things like spokes and chains and things begin to break.

Using the power of the internet, I found clearance parts, NOS pieces from a few years prior, and rebuilt the race bike for just a few hundy. I also scoured the used parts bins at the local non-profit bike shop. Most of those hundies are wrapped up in my Vuelta wheels. They are handbuilt, but I suspect that they are built by the same kid who builds electronics at the Foxconn facilities. I’ve created these fantastic infograms below showing how I pulled off such a feat.

So now, when I finish at the back of the pack, rather than people saying, “That guy sucks AND he has a $5000 race bike. What a dick!”, people say, “Wow, that guy sucks but he’s on a shitty beater bike. Dick.”

10393568_10203924414444529_8351267471148815253_n 10750468_10203924416684585_8138978821645992097_o

 

DIY, Events, Handmade Bicycles, Travel

The Berliner Fahrradschau

Editors note:  This is the first post by one of two new Go Means Go contributors.  They are Northwest kids living in Europe and embarking on a bike trip.  You’ll be able to find their ramblings here on GMG.  Part diary, part travelogue, with writings from the road- we’re happy to have Ben and Chase onboard.  Ride on, you crazy diamonds.

A bicycle can get you where you want to go, but like many 20-somethings, we don’t always know where we’re going. It is times like those when it is sometimes good to let your bike take the lead. We, along with hordes of others, let our bikes guide the way and this time all roads led to Berlin for the Berliner Fahrradschau (Berlin Bicycle Show).

We consciously chose to do no prior research or investigation of the show and its vendors so that Berlin itself could show us what its bike culture, fashion, and ambition is. With no expectations, we rolled up to the venue, and it did not disappoint.

fahrradschau-8

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Advocacy, Bicycle

I like bikes, but…

This instructional video from way back is designed to teach drivers to watch out for bikes. It does of course place much of the blame for poor handling and unsafe roadmanship on the cyclist- but even to acknowledge bikes on the road is something that I wish happened in modern drivers education.
Reality- we share the road and have to get along. What can we do to educate and inform drivers and cyclists to our shared responsibilities on the roadways?

I found it on the Light and Motion blog

Bicycle, Gear

Holiday Gift Guide for cyclists.

It’s sometimes difficult to shop for cyclists.  Different interests, cycling disciplines, styles- What one is happy for the other might not be.  We are trying something a little different this year.  Four cyclists pick 5 items each that cost $100 or less.  This is the first of them, the others should be out this week for last minute shopping ideas for the cyclist in your life.

These are my (Ryan’s) picks.  I race single speed cyclocross, but you can more often see me riding around on a porteur bike in town or on my steel Raleigh Record Ace.  I would more than anything consider myself a transportation cyclist.  I like clean design and rugged construction.  I don’t like wearing bright cycling clothing, instead I lean on the side of bright lighting and reflective clothing accents.  I will also say that it’s really hard to A) keep things under $100 and B) only pick 5.

Lifeproof iPhone case: ($79.99 for iPhone 5)

ip5_charge_port_black_1_3

I realize not everyone has an iPhone, nor is this a bike specific product. But I’ll say that I’ve been using this case for my iPhone 4 for over a year and more than once it’s saved my phone. Completely waterproof- if you can toss your phone in a jersey pocket or use their handlebar mount for the case and let it rain. Also available for iPhone 4/s & iPad

Feedback Sports Table Top Digital Scale: ($47.99 at JensenUSA)

TableTopScale_web

Whether you are building up your bike or selling stuff on Ebay- it’s handy to have a scale. I’ve even used mine to weigh out coffee for my Aeropress. It sits in the top of my toolbox, ready to go. Feedback Sports also has a hanging scale and digital calipers. I have been using all three of these in the shop for 2 years now without fail.

Swrve Cordura Regular Fit Jeans: ($100)

CORD_reg_jeans_blk_sid_grande

I have been stoked on every Swrve product I’ve seen. They have become the only pants I ride in, and they are comfortable off the bike as well. The Cordura jeans are 10x more resistant to saddle abrasion and have a little stretch in them to boot.

Portland Design Works Dios Thronous saddle: ($40.00)

702_dios_thronous_red

Wet saddles suck- and if you’ve got a Brooks, it can be hard on the leather. This looks like a great saddle for a town bike- one that gets left outside in the rain. Made of EVA injector molded foam- it won’t absorb water. Wet outside? Brush it off and go. Pretty damn handy if you ask me.

Lezyne Pressure Drive hand pump: ($44.99)

LZ1213

This pump is compact, pumps to 120psi, fits both schraeder and presta and won’t break the bank. Machined out of aluminum, it’s lightweight and fits well into a bag or jersey pocket. Might as well throw in a small patch kit and some levers too. Because the ride they aren’t carrying their flat kit on is the one they’ll need it on.

Alley Cat Racing, Bicycle, Events, Races, Rides, Road, Seattle

Rabbit Hole Alleycat + Sprint! (Saturday!)

What’s that?! The Dead Baby Downhill isn’t ENOUGH for you? You want, crave, NEED more more more alleycat action? Yeah. Me too.

This is the second alleycat that I’ve seen from Alan Zian Chen and Wade Schultz. The last one was a blast, even though all the stops were UW buildings that I had no idea how to locate. And the sprints afterwards are super fun. These guys put on a good race, and this one should be no exception. Prizes coming in from Zlog, Sureshot coffee, Monorail Espresso, Recycled Cycles, Namsayin, and CASH PRIZES should be enough incentive to get over your post-downhill hangover and get out and race. Plus, these guys even pushed the start time (4PM) to let you get plenty of fluids, Advil, and greasy hangover food in you before the start. Nice fellas.
$10 for the whole sha-bang!
CASH goes back to winners! Prizes!
MEET: COOL GUY PARK AKA BELLEVUE PLACE
REGISTRATION: 3:00PM (PLENTY OF TIME to recover from DBDXVI)
RACE START: 4:00PM sharp, sprints to be held after alleycat at location TBA.
Bring your bike, pen, bag, lock, beer!

Bicycle, Events, Seattle

Bike Works Kids Bike Swap

Bike Works‘ 16th Annual Kids Bike Swap will be held on Saturday, May 12th, 2012, from 10 am – 4 pm at the Rainier Community Center (4600 38th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118).

This event is an opportunity for families to trade in a bike their child has outgrown for a larger bike – just in time for the summer riding season! The Kids Bike Swap helps to facilitate the flow of affordable bicycles within the community and keeps fully functional bikes out of our local landfills.

How the Kids Bike Swap Works
Bike Works staff and volunteers have been hard at work all year refurbishing used bikes to bring to the Kids Bike Swap. On the day of the event, families can bring bikes that their children have outgrown and the bike is assigned a trade-in value. The families can then look through all of the bikes we have fixed up and pick out a new bike. The trade-in value can then be used to deduct from the cost of their new bike. (If the chosen bike’s value exceeds that of the trade-in value, the customer is responsible for the difference.) Typically, when a bike is swapped the customer is able to take home their newly refurbished ride for $20 or less. Families looking to buy a bike, who do not have a bike to trade in, are welcome to shop for a low-cost bike after 12 pm.

NEW THIS YEAR: The Bike Works Community Festival
Join the hundreds of other families participating in the Kids Bike Swap! To make things even better, this year there’s no need to wait in line. Families can drop off their trade-in bike and enjoy all sorts of fun activities until their number is called. In addition to the Bike Swap and bike activities, all families are invited to join in the festival, with kid-friendly bands, gardening tips, food and much more! There will also be a Family Bike Expo, with examples of different bikes and trailers that allow families to be car free. Admission is free and everyone is welcome at the festival. You don’t have to bring a bike to join in all the activities.

Free Helmets
Seattle Children’s will provide helmet fittings and free bike helmets, as well as provide education on bicycle helmet safety.

art, Bicycle

Raid71

This is a rad poster entitled “Wounded” done by Raid71 aka Chris Thornley.

See more of his work and purchase it HERE