Browse Tag by Swift Industries
Bicycle, Events

Tough & Tender. Swift Industries celebrating women and bikes.

Got this from Martina and Jason at Swift Industries.  Awesome people doing amazing things.  This is a fantastic project and I’m looking forward to seeing the results!




WHY: Because women are not celebrated enough in bicycle communities. Cycling is a male dominated activity and industry, and it’s our experience as women and female bodied individuals that cycling empowers and inspires us in ways which are not portrayed by mainstream bicycle culture.

WHO: Women as defined by the individual (female bodied and female identified). TEN CONTRIBUTORS WILL BE RANDOMLY SELECTED TO RECEIVE 15% OFF OF A SWIFT INDUSTRIES ORDER

WHAT: Please submit a photograph along with your 500 word literary description of your relationship with bicycles, touring, the bike industry, and your experience of strength as related to the bicycle to info(at) “re: tough and tender”

Kindly include your name, and the town/city/place where you reside.


Bicycle, bikes, Gear, Reviews, Travel

Review: The Raleigh Port Townsend

As I’ve said before… Port Townsend IS a place.

About a month ago I got a call from Sally- Seattle’s ever loveable patron saint of drunken cycling.  He said he had a present for me.  Having worked with him in the planning of SSCXWC I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  When receiving a “present” from Sally, you have to be on guard.  Especially when receiving a large box from him, there are important steps to take before opening:

  1. Make sure that the box is not ticking.
  2. Ensure that it isn’t leaking or that there are no odors omitting from said box.
  3. Shake the box.  Listen for whimpering, groaning, or other strange noises coming from within.
  4. When opening the aforementioned package, make sure you stand back- ready for anything.  Anything from drunken midget to a flock of seagulls may burst out.

I opened the package slowly.  Carefully.  You can imagine my surprise when I found nestled in amongst the cardboard and bubble wrap packing material- a thing of beauty: A Bicycle.

Not just any bicycle- the Raleigh Port Townsend.  When I first saw the bike online- I was immediately impressed.  It looked like a perfect bike for the Pacific Northwest.  Clean styling, a classic look and built for the road- all for a reasonable retail price.  I was hooked.  The Port Townsend sits happily within a family of steel bikes that pay homage to their history.  They are well thought out for the road or trail.  They also happen to come in at a price that makes them a bargain for those of us that have more sense than we do dollars.  Notch one up for the big bike companies that are building with quality AND quantity.

Without trying to be some sort of hybrid- the Port Townsend is a very versatile bike.  Out of the box it would make a great commuter or town bike.  It comes with a cute little front rack- and full fenders giving it a bit of a randonneur feel.  Come fall- you can even take advantage of the fact that the PT has a very similar geometry to the Raleigh RX1.0 and get out on the cyclocross course.  I also love the Port Townsend paint details- a gloss black frame with white lettering and frame bands- even a little pink- which would go very well with your Rapha kit- or your Soft Like Kitten kit…  My interest in the Port Townsend was for weekend trips and to maybe get out on a few rando rides with some of my Soft Like Kitten teammates.

After receiving the bike- I started getting ready for my ride to Port Townsend.  What better way to break in a new bike than to ride it to the little town by the sea whose name it bears?  Seattle’s spring weather has not been so conducive to the romantic idea I had in a ride to Port Townsend.  It’s been cold and wet.  Or just cold.  Well spring be damned- I had the bike and wanted to put it to the test.  The perfect opportunity came about when I got a call from a friend who’s boat was being worked on in Port Angeles.  One of the first captains I worked under when I started commercial fishing- he has since become a good friend.  He wanted help from someone familiar with the type of work the boat would be doing and I needed to make a little money- so a deal was struck.  He was coming in from the Whidbey Island ferry into Port Townsend, and would then be driving the rest of the way to Port Angeles- which would be my home away from home during the week as the boat was in the yard.

In preparation for my little 45 mile commute- I stayed up late the night before, consuming beers and shots- while dancing and jaw flapping at the Pedal Party.  Waking up to a steady drizzle after four hours of sleep was not encouraging.  I finished packing my backpack- which ended up being a twenty five pound bundle containing a laptop and enough work clothes to take me through a week of work (including rubber boots.)  My handlebar bag stuffed with Lara Bars from the Seattle Bike Expo and my lights were fully charged- I was ready for a grey ride onto the Olympic Pennisula.

At the Edmonds Ferry, there is a small shelter by the front of the loading area.  Though covered- it is not very large and I could not find a place to stay out of the wind and rain.

Hunkering down with my rainshell tight- I waited patiently until they opened it up to cyclists boarding.  Total cyclists on board the Edmonds-Kingston crossing: One.  Apparently a weekend trip in the rain didn’t sound fun to anybody else.

I enjoy taking the Washington State Ferries- though as I looked at the 3-d map onboard the M/V Spokane showing the Puget Sound- I became worried as I saw where my route would take me- across the dreaded “HOOD ANAL BRIDGE.”

Things started off well enough with the ride out of Kingston.  I had printed out something of a cue sheet from Google Maps- had my fancy cyclocomputer on the handlebars- and was ready for some riding.  Unsure if the cue sheeet would take me 100% along the route for motor vehicles- I didn’t question it as I should have when it told me to turn right at the old Barbur Cutoff Road….  After a mile and a half gentle climb to an area that was becoming increasingly more rural as I rode along- I saw an older man walking down the road.  When I asked if the way to Port Townsend via Hwy 104 was ahead he said “Hmmmm, oh, you mean the MAIN road?”  Great…  In only a couple miles into my little jaunt I had removed myself far enough from civilization that people gave up on road signs- instead using references that only make sense if you’ve lived in the area for 30 years.  “The Old McCoy residence- where the big tree used to be before the storm of ’82 took it out”- doesn’t help me.  We figured it out- and he suggested that if I wished to reach Port Townsend- I should turn around and head back to the “main road” a mile or two back- unless of course I wanted to head through the woods?  If I wasn’t on a time schedule to rendezvous with the ferry in Port Townsend- a little exploration may be nice.  But I left it for another day.

Back on State Route 104, I made a decision to stay on the well traveled route that motor vehicles take.  I chugged along- through the quaint (and a bit creepy) town of Port Gamble– skirted alongside Port Ludlow, and passed a great many amazing viewpoints of Hood Canal and the Puget Sound.  The weather was warm and wet.  My long sleeve wool jersey was too thick for the temperature and my rain jacket wasn’t breathable enough so I did what I wouldn’t suggest others to do:  I took off my shell and just let the rain wash over me- hoping my core would stay warm enough.  It turned out being ok- if I stopped for any length of time I could always put my shell back on.  Now a 45 mile ride isn’t something that would usually hurt me too bad- but my poor life choices the night before left me wishing I didn’t close the bar.  Losing an hour to daylight savings didn’t help either.  I had some time to think about the error of my ways on those rolling hills that took me to the sleepy little town of Port Townsend.

As I pulled into town- wet, hungry and ahead of schedule- I was very happy.  I stopped for a reunion photograph of big Port Townsend and little Port Townsend and headed to find a place that I could dry off and enjoy a beer.  The bar that I had made a regular stop on all 4 of my trips to Port Townsend was closed for renovations- the streets were rolled up and I started becoming concerned that I wouldn’t be able to find a good place to meet my friend.  I decided on The Siren- who thankfully had good beer- and all was well.  I changed out of my wet dog smelling wool and bellied up to the bar.  A cold beer warms a cold body.

I have been riding the Port Townsend as I built it out of the box (with the exception of switching out the pedals.)  The idea was to give it a go as it sells on the floor and I think that even as it rolls out the door it’s a great bike- not to mention a good platform to customize it to suit your needs.

For those still reading- or those interested in the Port Townsend as a bike- I’ll get into the nuts and bolts of the bike.  For the price ($849 Retail) I think you’d be hard pressed to find another bike out there that could give you all the Port Townsend offers.  The PT is built around Reynold’s 520 steel frame and a chromoly fork.  I’m not a metallurgist, but with a little bit of info from the web- including the Reynold’s website– I’ll try and give you an overview.  First of all- you likely know that chromoly is a popular choice for quality steel bikes.  I’m not even going to touch on hi-tensile steel bikes- because there aren’t many (if any) respectable bikes made with them.  Chromoly (CroMo) is a high carbon steel that is specified by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).  Companies such as Reynold’s have their own proprietary formulas that have similar standards.  Basically- chromoly 4130 is the raw steel and Reynold’s 520 are the tubes made from it.  Once again- not being a metallurgist- I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Reynold’s 520 and Reynolds 531.  Generally, the higher the number on the Reynold’s steel- the lighter the weight and stronger the tubes- this of course also brings the price up.  There are label whores out there- and some wouldn’t even dream of riding anything below Reynold’s 853- well they can go get themselves one of the Raleigh Internationals.

Now that we have that out of the way- the bike comes with canti brakes and a Sora 9speed group (with Dura-Ace 9speed bar-cons.)  The gearing would suit you well for rando rides or light touring with an 11-25T cassette and a 34/52 double crankset.  It also makes great gearing for Seattle- or similar hilly cities.  The ever popular Vittoria Randonneurs in a 35c width come stock on the bike.  I originally thought they were too wide- but I’ve since gotten accustom to the extra cushion for the pushin’.  With the leg size of a track sprinter and the upper body of a commercial fisherman (including the beer belly) I am often told that I don’t have a “cyclist’s body.”  Weighing in at 215lbs, 35c tires make for a better ride for me to be sure.  Now with a couple hundred miles on the bike- I’ve got it in the shop for a tune up.

There are of course two sides to every tale- and there are a few (minor) issues that I’ve had with the Port Townsend.  One of the first things I noticed was that the rack that comes on the bike doesn’t fit the strap on the back of rando bags.  I’m not quite sure it’s necessary if you use a decaleur- but it’s too wide for the bags I’ve tried to mount on it (Swift Industries Ozette, and VO Campagne.)  The stem used is a one piece stem & spacer combo- it doesn’t allow for any adjustability- outside of flipping it upside down- giving you a very pursuit style riding position.  That’s about it.  Sure- a better group would be nice and to lighten it up- but keeping that $849 price tag in mind- you have to make some sacrifices.  This isn’t a bike for weight weenies, and people that want a fully equipped touring bike won’t find it here either (fully loaded touring bikes often have a triple chainring and front braze-ons for a rack, as well as other perks- check out the Sojourn)

I’d definitely give this bike two thumbs up.  If you are looking for a bike that will bring you joy year round- consider the Port Townsend.  I really d0n’t think there is a better looking bike out there for the price.  The Port Townsend is a wonderful marriage of form and function a bike for the people.

Upgrades I’m looking into making:

  • Weighing the steel fenders and possibly switching to aluminum if there is much of a weight savings
  • Switching out the handlebars (mustache bars are up next to try out) and bar tape
  • Switching out the saddle (not sure what) Likely Brooks…
  • Adding a Swift Industries luggage set (Ozette rando bag and trunk)
  • Generator hub and light system

Wish list about the bike specs:

  • I have hacked together a setup for a handlebar bag that- though crude, is effective.  Though the rack looks good- it will likely come off if you want to get one that actually fits a rando bag- alternatively- you could likely contact Swift Industries and just have them make you one with a bigger pocket for the tab to slide into… (I’ll make a post on my hack-a-rack for a DIY Wednesday)
  • The stack height of the stem is locked in because of the stem/spacer combo.  It looks good, but makes customization difficult.
  • I’ll be adding some inline brake cable adjusters- barrel adjusters out of the box would be nice.
  • Might be nit-picking, but I love the Brooks Swift saddle that comes on the Raleigh Clubman.  Maybe the Dura-Ace bar cons were the trade off there?  Would it be too much to ask for both?
  • A Shimano generator hub to come stock would be be amazing.  Leave off the Shimano light- but just the hub would rock!

All that said- I once again want to thank Sally at Raleigh for looking out for me- and hooking me up with the bike.  You can be sure that you’ll be reading about more adventures on the Port Townsend this summer.

Bicycle, Gear, Seattle

Swift Industries: Ozette Rando bag

Swift Industries is far from foreign to GO MEANS GO.  Not only are they based in Seattle, Jason and Martina are amazing people.  Their panniers are loved by those that own them, as well as their tool bags and saddle trunks.  I’ve worked with them in the past screenprinting their “The Sum Of It’s Parts” series for Partybots, and have long had a love for their “Pelican Porteur bag.” Seriously- Swift Industries is an amazing company.  If you are looking for luggage for your bike- check them out first.

If I loved them before, I’m hooked now.  They really went above and beyond with their newest product- available soon for order called the “Ozette Rando Bag.”

Measuring 11″W x 9″D x 9″H (that’s 891 cu. inches) it is designed to sit on a front rack and looks to be perfect for randonneuring or touring.  It features two rider-facing small pockets (3″), an 11″ x 7.5″ clear map case, flat side pockets, a 8″w X 7″h front pocket with flap and logo, and a vinyl interior. Mounts utilizing rando rack’s anterior lip, decaleur, and 2″ velcro strips underneath.  It will retail for $210.

If you have a front rando rack, aren’t hooked on a quick-release bag akin to the Minnehaha handlebar bag I reviewed a while ago- and love made in Seattle products- this could be right up your alley.  It would look great on a Raleigh Port Townsend which I’d love to get my hands on…

Get to their online store HERE

Also, if you are in Seattle- you know that the Bike Swap is coming up Sunday February 13th.  Swift Industries will be there with some seconds and prototypes that they’ll be offering for “HELLA CHEAP.”  You can also take advantage of a ONE DAY OPPORTUNITY to save $20 on the Ozette Rando Bag.  That means $190.  Real talk.  Get one for me while you’re at it.

*photos from Swift Industries website

GO MEANS GO events

Porteur to the People Winners!

There were some great submissions to the Porteur to the People Contest and it was a tough call- I’ve been traveling so it’s taken a while to get this up- but here we go with the winners….

Winner of the Cetma 5 Rail Rack


Aaron Viducich: Bike Boxes

Winner of the Swift Industries Pelican Porteur Bag


Jessica Wahlund: A Day at the Beach

Thanks to everyone that entered, as well as the sponsors, Swift Industries and Cetma Cargo. The winners will also take home a Go Means Go t-shirt. Stay tuned for more contests throughout the summer. Keep on keepin’ on…

And here’s a little something for the porteur and cargo bike fans out there.

art, Events, GO MEANS GO events

UPDATE: Porteur to the People

If you have tried to post an image to the comment page for the Porteur to the People contest and don’t see your image in the comments, please repost.  There have been some gremlins working their way through the internet and they seem to have eaten some comments.

Your photos have not been saved to the database and have ended up in what has been described to me by people familiar with the dark arts of the internet as a “blackhole.”

Our apologies for the hiccup.  If you don’t see your photo on the contest page within 24hrs-  Please email me at



Swift Industries: Sum of it’s parts series

I have posted about this before, but you can now purchase the new “Sum of it’s parts” series by Swift Industries and Partybots online.  So if you are the proud owner owner of a Cetma 5-rail rack- go get a Pelican Porteur bag.  And if you aren’t-  there will soon be the saddle bags available.  These look great and are build tough.


From the website:

The Sum of Its Parts Series is a celebration of the simultaneous simplicity and complexity of the bicycle, drawn by Karl Addison of Partybots Eco Apparel and Art. The design is an ode to each component of the bicycle’s overall gestalt, form, and function. Each bicycle bag has been silk-screened, cut, and sewn right here in Seattle, Washington.

$200.00 The Pelican Porteur Bag features an olive green cordura flap and front pocket set with a mint/kelly design, and is complimented by grey thread and charcoal trim. You may choose a black, grey or teal body.

(And next week, watch for the Sum of it Parts Saddle Touring Bag)



Swift Industries x Partybots

Last November I posted a collaboration from Swift Industries and Partybots.  The two companies have a similar ethos, creative minds, and love bikes.  Now they have another collaboration featuring new artwork from Karl at Partybots.  As soon as the Seattle Bike Swap you will be able to purchase  products with the hand screened “Bike Parts” Partybots art work on them.

I mentioned in another post my love for the Swift Industries Pelican Porteur bag, which here has the print on the flap.  Waterproof liner, 3M reflective tape on the front, and built to mount onto a Cetma 5 rail rack.




Swift Industries + Partybots= Gifted

Martina and Jason stopped by Art Velo the other night to take a look at some of the art gracing the walls. You may remember them from the Path Less Pedaled a while back. I am a big fan of Swift Industries. They have some great products, including their saddlebags, panniers, and my personal favorite, the Pelican Porteur rack bag, made for the 5 rail Cetma rack. They’ve also got tool pouches, hip pouches, and are solid individuals. They recently did a collaboration with Partybots, for this holiday season, so you can now get their Roll Top Panniers or their Pelican Porteur rack bag with a fella riding an Ordinary bicycle on them. Each “Gifted” package comes with a subscription to Boneshaker. The perfect gift for your bike touring friends and family. These are made in a VERY limited run, so pick one up today.


  • The Pelican Porteur Gifted Package is selling for $200 (plus shipping) and includes a subscription to Boneshaker, as well as the waxwear porteur bag with the Partybots Ordinary on it.
  • The Roll Top Pannier Gifted Package is available for $275 (plus shipping) and also includes a subscription to Boneshaker.

If you are looking for quality in a handmade piece of cycling luggage, you’ve got it in Swift Industries. And the addition of the Partybots ordinary is the icing on the cake. It’s like a cake made of bicycles.


Swift Industries

Great video put together by The Path Less Pedaled about local craftspeople Swift Industries. Jason and Martina are rad people and have supported some of our races before. Their bags are top notch, and above all local!

We interview Martina of Swift Industries, an independent maker of panniers in Seattle. She tells us about the bag making process. She also shares with us the conflicts she has with doing businesses in the current economy.