Chain Reaction Cycles likes fatbikes. If you are looking for a 9:Zero:7- they’re the place. Also, they put on races like the Abominable Snow Series. Have something coming up? Give us a shout so we can put it on the calendar!
New bag day is a good day. Especially when a sharp looking backpack like the Medium Anything Pack from Road Runner Bags shows up at your door. I carry a lot of things by bike and more often than not I do so on my back. Brad and Brianna at Road Runner were kind enough to send over this custom pack finished in real leaf camo for review. My initial impression with the bag: very impressed. The quality of workmanship is top notch, it fits great, is comfortable both heavily and lightly loaded, stays in place while riding and is much lighter than previous similarly styled backpacks I’ve used.
Remember Massan? He’s still riding a track bike and getting rad in the streets. Chrome is doing a live web release of a new film he’s in showcasing the Barrage Cargo. Filmed in Portland. Check it out.
Chrome Industries announces the live screening of its first short film this Friday, December 13th at noon west coast time. Chrome will temporarily take over its website for the screening from 12:00 to 12:30 pm. The Chrome Crew worked with Portland natives Kamp Grizzly to document Massan Fluker taking his track bike and Chrome’s new Barrage Rolltop to the hills and bridges of Portland. The final 3 minute short includes some of the best riding Portland has to offer including an epic decent of Burnside at +40 mph. Set your phone alarms for noon this Friday to catch the live screening. Spread the word.
A touching video getting at what often is the root of the problem between motorists and cyclists, a break down in communication and a lack of understanding. What would your letter say?
Pretty ridiculous and toally fun to watch, Road Bike Party 2 with Martyn Ashton and some special guests. I’d recommend keeping your volume on mute however as the backing music is horrendous. I’m sure you’ve seen it, but if you missed it: Road Bike Party the original.
The row house Hodala rented in sunny Philadelphia’s Gayborhood was our fortress for the weekend. A place that became home to a variety of shitshow that resembled a mix of Animal House, Roadhouse, House Party 1-4, Little House on the Prairie and footage from Hurricane Katrina.
SSCXWC 2013 was hosted by the City of Brotherly Love this year, and I must say- that they did a bang up job.
I’ll recap it as best I can:
Thursday- the kegs arrived at the house with .CA and Kelsey there to receive them. 17 of us flew in from Seattle and hopped the SEPTA train there, dropped our bags and quenched our thirst with some fine Yuengling lager – Americas oldest brewery. We drank until we got hungry and headed to Smokin’ Betty’s. Chicken and Waffles with Dogfish Head 60 minute on draft. We ate till we finished and headed to The Trestle Inn- a whiskey and Go-Go dancer bar, drinks were drunk and Miss Scarlet Fever kept us entertained. We also met the Super Mario hipsters (denim-denim-denim)
That night I
slept in got trapped in what would later be known as the “murder basement.” Meyers was my emancipator and I will forever be grateful to him. I learned a lot about myself in the dark that night. Most importantly, I learned that the murder basement is in my heart, and the way out is in my head. I hope that one day they may be connected.
Friday- we built our bikes at Keswick Cycle, who graciously allowed our pallet of steeds to be shipped there. We had lunch and drinks at Local 44.
The Welcome Party/packet pickup was held that night at Keswick’s, and things deteriorated rapidly. Can after can of localish breweries were consumed, multiple Hodala pops were heard and there was apparently some music and dancing. Philadelphia somehow stumbled across The Grail, and brought it on display. Seattle of course attempted to claim what is rightfully ours, but we were threatened with ejection from the festivities. Philadelphia had apparently come to think that the reason the Northwest has such an amazing SSCX community is because The Grail has its history there. What they don’t understand is it is nothing more than a Schwartz. A trinket that has come to signify something bigger. The Schwartz/Grail is from within. It will give you no special power. If you soak it in beer for 24hrs, you will not be home to the largest single speed cross community in the world. It stung for a minute, to see something with a history held under Liberty Bell type protection, but we shed our single tear of mud and washed it away with beer. Portland had it buried in someone’s goat milking barn for so long we thought it was dead anyway.
Have fun with that grail. Or whatever you want to call it.
But I digress.
After we drank all the beers, as we do- it was time to go. The weather had dropped 20 degrees that day and Randy and I walked home. Slowly. We made it thanks to google maps and some drunken determination.
Saturday: Saturday came early. Bilenky Junkyard Cross- an event that I’ve been fascinated by for years, was an option to qualify. Though I was torn between Bilenky and the Tour of Philadelphia, I felt compelled to race Bilenky- and I’m so glad I did. We arrived to the group ride as the final group was leaving, and began our ride through what we were warned was a neighborhood in which we didn’t want to ride alone. It was a casual ride, with Nat pushing the pace enough that by the time we arrived, we had caught up to the lead group.
Mine was one of the last heats- by which time I was nervous as a whore in church. In my wisdom, I had only brought tubulars. The info packet highly recommended Stan’s no tubes (they were a sponsor.) Dillon was riding his tubulars and flatted out of first place soon into his race.
Thankfully I got out front, and thought I was going get the whole shot. I almost rolled my tubular- and some other bloke from Seattle hopped in front. After that it was pretty easy to stay in my spot. Top 3 of our qualifying heat of 12 qualified- so as 2nd I was in. Top course features included the whiskey cutoff, the Hodala corner cutoff, the tractor cutoff, and the launch ramp- which I did not take. Thoughts go out to the poor guy that came in pretty hot and misjudged the landing- getting a ride out on a backboard. My goals for Bilenky were simple: stay upright, don’t flat, drink beer and qualify. In that order. My goals met, I was feeling pretty good.
Redbull was nice enough to bring some monster truck and play Sirius radio (I didn’t even know that was still a thing,) really loud on some awful 90′s station, ads and all. We also had to sign a model release because apparently racing bikes in a junkyard screams “drink this!” The ride back to The Real World, Hodala was a success- and we showered and did some more work on the (now second 1/2 barrel of) beer. Then dinner at some other place that was good and had tasty beer.
Sunday, Bloody Sunday. The race was held at Belmont Plateau. Apparently it’s the largest city park in the US. Who knew? There was a race and Adam Craig took first for the men. It snowed. Vicki somebody took first for the women’s- zip tied shift levers and all. So she won the ZTSSCXWC. More beers were drank- the ride home was super fun in the snow.
Louisville, Kentucky will host SSCXWC 2014. That means Hodala will be Whiskey drunk the whole week. What’s the worst that could happen?
Thanks so much for everyone that had a hand in putting on this event. It went well. I know first hand what it takes to put on SSCXWC, and it’s impossible to please everyone. The important part is that I’M HAPPY. YOU HEAR THAT KENTUCKY!?!
See you assholes next year.
Also! You can still pick up a frame from this years event. We did them for SSCXWC10 in Seattle, and this year there is a steel version available. It comes with this little thing that you can cut out and make a bottle opener out of too! How neat is that?
Check out more photos at Hodala.cx
Got this in the mailbag today:
AETHERfocus is a video series that showcases individuals and companies that inspire us.
A good looking video, and a budding relationship between two companies on the west coast that are pushing boundaries in cycling.
Aether Apparel is a Los Angeles based company making cutting edge outdoor and urban apparel.
Designed and manufactured entirely in the Pacific Northwest, Ben Farver of Argonaut Cycle offers truly custom-built carbon frames. Each of their bikes are handcrafted using an innovative construction process for a completely tailored riding experience. With more than 30 years of industry leading composite experience behind their team, Argonaut Cycle is driven by a true passion for the sport of cycling. They strive to make the best, because they want to ride the best.