Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

on drill presses stuck cleats, gags and "cats"

A drill press is a great tool to have in every shop. Not only is it great for making polo mallets and drilling into all sorts of things for fun in a safe and controlled manner...ever wondered what a sealed fluid trainer looks like on the inside? Carbon bottom bracket shell?
All in all, wonderful tool for goofing around. It's also useful for more serious stuff like making custom brackets for fenders, racks or baskets and for drilling out stuck screws and bolts on components that you can clamp in the press. Cleat screws tend to get stuck in spd shoes, even if you grease them before you mount the cleat. I had this happen on my beat up mountain bike shoes:
Class all the way! Ahh... the glorious life of a bike shop employee
not only that, the cleats were so worn that I could not even get an Allen key into the socket on the cleat screws. Our shop guru, Steve, told me that I could dig out the edges of the socket with a hard metal tool such as a file. So I dug out the sockets and then got every screw loose, except the last one, of course. To the drill press Batman!Off come the cleats lickety-split! The drill press rocks, it's almost as cool as Stevie's magnets.
Speaking of the shop. The bathroom is located at the shop right next to Mitch's bench. This location is a bit perilous as we can see in the following picture of Andrew S.K.
-Andrew likes to fix his tires in the bathroom (for whatever reason, we don't hassle him at all!).
On a totally unrelated note, I came across this down in North Caroline the other day. It was mounted next to a fancy restaurant menu on one of the main drags in Raleigh. Some people down there have a really good sense of humour...I hope

dis aint no cat Bubba!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Anyone want a district? Maybe in Carbon?

You all know about the District single speed bike from the fabulous Trek? Oh you don't? Well they are pretty sweet. There is the basic district with just a chain, but then there is the belt driven version. It is pretty amazing. Well for 2010 they have come out with a carbon framed version, and let me say it is something spectacular. So what does this have to do with anything great? Trek has made a one off version for Lance Armstrong and it looks pretty frickin' cool.

Here are pretty much all the pretty pictures I could present to you:

He should use it for bike polo.

Seriously though, will he even ride it? Once even? Or will he just auction it off Livestrong style?

Can't wait

I can't wait to personally see some of the new tri bike that Trek and Specialized have up there sleeves. I think 2011 will be a good year for tri bikes as that is the projected year that the Trek Speed concept and the Specialized Shiv (yes like the prison weapon) are set to be available to the public, that is of course if the UCI says they are legal for use in races.

Picture Break!

One word: Bad Ass

So illegal, so attractive.

From my understanding so far they both have been deemed legal, but also deemed illegal. It seems that both bikes are almost "bending the rules" to get what the engineers want and in turn are being legalized and then that legalization is being taken away. Both bikes were used during the 2009 Tour de France, but at that point the UCI had not checked over the bikes with a fine toothed comb and had just "seen" them, letting them go and race. Shortly thereafter though they were deemed "too good" and illegalized, or something of that sort (maybe Trek and Specialized got a slap on the wrist by the firm ruler of the UCI nuns). This all seems very silly and confusing, especially when other companies have just gone and cut a big hole in their head tube and mounted the stem inside it then re-carboned above it. They didn't get any flak that I knew of from the mighty UCI. Again, balmy at best, right? Either way, Trek got their guy, Chris Leito, to ride a Trek concept speed 2011 in the 2009 Hawaii Ironman.

So, as a treat here is some new UCI hibbly-blimy legal-or-not-come-see-me-tomorrow bike porn

CHECK IT OUT, you will be in a "can't wait" mood in the same way as I am.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

On Straw Hats and Wheel Slams

Wrestler Hilbilly Jim wears a straw hat.

I am a little bit late posting this, and meant to do it quite a while ago; with that being said here we go. I have noticed two very interesting emerging trends with the hipsters of North America and Victoria. First: STRAW HATS

What are these "straw hats" you may ask? Well, wikipedia defines it as:

“A straw hat can refer to any brimmed hat that is woven out of straw. This hat is designed to protect the head from the sun, as well as protect against heatstroke."

So it is worn on your head, as a hat; like this guy (notice his guitar/stache/general hipster traits). WELL, people of the internets, it seems that lately there have been people who feel that using this hat as a device to ward off the sun, instead have felt that their rear wheel is in dire need. I have witnessed multiple bicycle riders gallivanting around on there pre 80's era cruisers with a straw hat not on there head, but stuck in their rat traps, covering their rear wheels and tires. Maybe they are trying to save their expensive rear tires from the problem "plaguing" riders: rubber dry out or maybe they are using them as a fashionable fender Either way I don't understand. I did happen to catch this elusive "beast" one day and documented this event with my special Camera-Phone.

Here is the ensuing photograph (may be enhanced for dramatic effect).

As you can clearly see the straw hat on rear
Also note that this hipster is wearing a helmet from the 80's which Shayne may crush if he ever sees it (ask Shayne for why this would happen). He seems to be also stuck in 2004 "The Twee" stage of hipsterdom, he has yet to get into the Mountain Man stage where his straw hat could be of use. He may be behind the times. *sigh*

for a break down and larger pictures see here

Moving on, to better or bigger "slammage" as they might say.

I know of the epic-ness of slammage on cars, or the souped up wheel slams.

for example:



It changes the visual appearance quite a bit. Look how close that wheel is to the lip of the body, quite impressive I think. Now you might ask how this applies to the bicycle community, well, there is another new trend that is coming out and about among the fixed gear community and it is basically the same deal:
Get your wheels as close to the frame as possible without touching (and ruining your expensive colourway).
You might ask if this makes a difference to the handling of the bike. It doesn’t really - as you’re only making the wheelbase a few mm, maybe a centimeter, closer. Here’s a picture:

See how close the rear wheel is to the seat tube? Thats not even the slamingnest of them. Look at these Prime examples

To compliment this developing visual trend, bike manufacture Volume (makers of populer "cutter" frame) has come out with the "thrasher" fixed gear freestyle frame. What makes this frame ever so special are the geometries for "trick tracking" and riding. It also includes a cut out in the seat tube so you can get astronomical amounts of wheel slammage.

Maybe wheel slams will be the new mine is bigger than yours? I really hope that kids out there wanting slammage don't start filing out their drop outs or worse yet their seat tubes to feel bigger.

Actual filing of drop out for slammage, and then it rusted

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Ironman hawaii on this saturday! Watch on NBC! Starts 430 eastern. It should be a very good race

DON'T miss OUT!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bike mag in Iceland

Check out the latest issue of Bike magazine. It has a decent article on Iceland in it, and awesome photography by Sterling Lorance.
It's worth a look.

Straight out of Yehuda Moon!

Pretty risky, but also very cool they are doing this.

From ZlogBlog: Hasidic Jews complained about scantly clad hipsters riding in bike lanes in Williamsburg so the DOT took them out. Hipsters retaliate by re-painting the bike lanes

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cool rides and burning blubbah!

OOOhhhh it's cold out there! But whenever I'm complaining about the cold I try and stop myself and check out Alaska Tim's Bicycles and Icicles blog from Anchorage, Alaska. Those guys are tough as nails and make me feel like a sissy complaining about the cold "down here" in Victoria. But in saying that, they also know how to dress warm.
It was a strange feeling nevertheless, when me and Justin went for a ride at the dump last night and I wore pants. Yeah that's right, pants not shorts... I have not done that since the new years day ride. It was worth it though, because it really was freezing. Justin was tougher than I, and wore his custom Louis Garneau cross knickers from the mid nineties. The trails are in great condition since it's been pretty cold lately: No mud and lots of grip, frozen puddle here and there. We got a decent ride in although the water was freezing in or Camelbaks and my navigational skills failed us a bit (we hiked up Big Ugly). Also, we were both feeling slow and out of energy, Justin because of his Snowboarding trip on the weekend and me because of excessive beers and junk food. But there's nothing to do but to keep going out, it'll get better if you do and I certainly don't want to loose the little fitness I managed to accumulate during the Cross season. That season is over now (at least on the island) and therefore it's time to get back on the Mountain bike. So we are going to try to be consistent in going out to the dump on Tuesday nights at 6:15. Everyone is welcome to join us. Don't bury your cross bike too deep under the empty beer cases though. We're working on a midwinter Cross race to be held in January. Location and specifics are still unknown but we have a tentative name: The Post Holiday Blubber Burn Classic. This will be a technical cross race with lots of tricky sections (and probably flats). Think the dump or a similar terrain for this one.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Lets all channel some inner Lance

As seen on Lance Armstrongs twitter

(hes the blue guy!)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What's happening at Riders.

Over the last few days at Riders an event so rare that it occurs less frequently than a full moon on February 29th has been unfolding...

...The guru of the shop, Steve, has been cleaning his bench.

If you had a part of your bike replaced in the last fifteen years at Riders Cycles, chances are that the broken component has spent the years in between then and now in what must be considered "Broken bike part purgatory." aka Steve's bench.

-Photograph of Steve's bench, circa 2001

You see, the problem is that Steve doesn't throw things away... He merely takes things apart, thereby turning one relatively large piece in to several smaller ones. Once he has turned his ten big items into 78 small items, he then "organizes" then into storage on his bench.

After 18 1/2 man hours of cleaning, Steve's bench was looking....umm, well, you could see the top of the bench.

Today Steve tackled his 'box o' hubs'.

-I managed to snap this pic of some of the derelict hubs as Steve was disassembling them for "re-organization"

At any rate, I look forward to the completion of the great clean-up... sometime in 2010.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cyclocross mania!

Crosselent! Crosstastic! Holy cantilever brakes Batman!

The last Race of the Cross on the Rock series is on Tomorrow at Shawnigan School. We'll be heading up there en masse. Frankencross will have the great company of four Treks. Justin, Mitch and Andrew ride XO-1's and Shayne rides a bitchin XO-2. I put an old 8-speed bar end shifter that I found in the Dungeon on Frankencross, so hopefully I'll have a bit more speed on the straightaways and a little lower gear for the climbs. We'll be bringing the Van up there and will set up a tent and some chairs so feel free to come visit and have a beer or two!
In the meantime check out some vids to get all hyped up for tomorrow!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"...For example, asking the roadies if they have put on a few pounds because they are looking a bit tubby." -Bwahahaha

I saw this interview on Cyclocross Magazine's website and I'm publishing it here in it's entirety. Bad breach of publishing rights but hey, at least I'm advertising their magazine right? Geoff Kabush rocks!

"This is what you’ve all been waiting for from Pro Cyclocross Rumors and Rumblings: this season’s transfer whale. Last year it was Sven Nys and Erwin Vervecken, this year, an Italian makes the first major splash in the transfer market. Also, take a chance to get to know Canadian Cyclocross Champion Geoff Kabush of Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain. All that and much more!

Geoff Kabush has won some of the biggest bicycle races the world has to offer. Just this past season he reached a pinnacle in his career by winning the Bromont Mountain Bike World Cup in Bromont, Canada. Kabush’s World Cup victory stands alongside numerous cyclocross victories, including multiple Canadian National Cyclocross titles. Kabush, who rides for Team Maxxis-Rocky Mountain, has been a consistent podium threat this year in the sport’s major events, and has been for some time now. Kabush will look to the podium once more this season at the Stanley Portland Cup, the final stop on the USGP tour, on December fifth and sixth, where he will draw his season to a close, hopefully with a win.

I had a chance to chat with Kabush this week, and we’ve got that interview for you today. What’s your favorite race of this season been so far? What about of all time?

Favorite cyclocross race…probably Granogue for the course, Portland for the atmosphere. I love the technical speed on the hills in Granogue; kind of getting tired of fairly flat and soft courses. I can’t wait to hear the drums beating in Portland. That really gets me fired up to pound it out in the mud. Favorite race so far this year is probably the Planet Bike Cup in Wisconsin. It was a really well laid out course, I just wish we got a few more thundershowers during our race and not on the ride home.

2) You’ve just won a big race, what’s your ultimate post-race meal?

Ultimate post race meal after a win…It would probably start off with a nice Belgian beer right after the race; maybe some pumpkin pie or something salty. Then I would go get cleaned up and meet up with everyone at a relaxed restaurant for some good grub….probably something saucy, maybe a gourmet burger, with more drinks, and a simple, maybe, chocolate desert. I say a relaxed restaurant because after a race the engine is usually still burning and I start sweating bullets when the food goes in. Once I get really soaked, I like to slick my hair sideways like Freddy Mercury. I have actually had some good sweat-offs with TJ.

3) What’s your biggest career achievement to date?

In my cycling career it would have to be winning the MTB World Cup this year up in Bromont. On the cyclocross bicycle I guess it would have to be winning the Gloucester GP back in 2004. It has been a bit too long since I have won one, so I hope to change that in Portland.

4) If you could be anything besides a bike racer, what would it be?

I am a big sports fan so if I couldn’t be a bike racer I probably would have chased another sport….maybe soccer, or ping-pong. Maybe poker: the pay-outs seem to be higher.

5) How did you get your start in cyclocross? What’s been your biggest influence?

I think I did some of my first cyclocross races down in Seattle with a couple friends, Pinner [Andrew Pinfold] and Carter Hovey. That was in ‘97 when the SuperCups were going off. There was a lot of excitement around the races so it left a little bit of an impression. I started getting into it again about five year later with my teammate Peter Wedge; he was one of the original godfathers of Canadian cyclocross who stuck it out in Europe so I learned a lot off him.

6) What was your first bike?

First real cyclocross bike was a Yellow “Jake the Snake”

7) If you could win one race, which would it be?

I would really like to win a USGP in Portland. I really love hanging out there, drinking coffee at Albina, breakfast at Gravy, and I love the atmosphere at the races. I will have a lot of family and friends coming down from Canada as well so it would be nice to win in front of them.

8) Who do you consider your biggest rival?

Based on this year it seems like every race I do I seem to be battling it out with Chris Jones. I wouldn’t really say we are rivals though as we are both just fighting together trying to get to the front. I don’t really know Chris well enough yet to truly heckle him like a rival. My biggest rival, or the guy I like to trash talk the most, would probably be Treboohoo. I like to give a fist to the neck before the race or ask him if I can borrow his brain…because I am building an idiot. It is mostly in good fun but I have one strategy I am not going to reveal until I beat him again; probably in Portland. Hopefully he doesn’t cry.

9) Who is your biggest idol?

Idol is a pretty strong word. I don’t know if I have a bike racing idol. There are guys I really looked up to as role models when I was younger….Dave Wiens, Jonny T, Shandro, and I would like to emulate T-Brown or Ned Overend after bike racing is finished. I am impressed by guys that can reach the top of the sport and still enjoy themselves. I am impressed by Sven Nys’s cyclocross riding but then he kept sitting on my wheel at MTB Worlds so I had to abuse him verbally. Also he was wearing tight jeans and a cowboy hat around after so I can’t call him an idol. I was really into basketball when I was younger, so I was pretty inspired by Steve Nash who, like me, was a relatively short white guy from Vancouver Island. He went on to achieve great things against the odds by working incredibly hard.

10) Got any crazy pre-race rituals?

Before a cyclocross race I like to have some good coffee while trying to come up with a few heckles to use on the start line to break up those awkward competitive silences. For example, asking the roadies if they have put on a few pounds because they are looking a bit tubby."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Rainy day in Vancouver

I went over to Vancouver on Monday to have my passport expiry date extended. Since I'm heading down to the states next week it's imperative to have the paperwork in order. The Yanks are a bit uptight on the borders. Anyway, even though it was pouring down I decided to take the Soma with me since I could ride around if I was to early for my meeting with the passport person. I also wanted to check out Super Champion, and yes, I don't much care for walking.

Getting on the ferry
There were two bikes on the boat
Only one bike on the Canadaline rapid transit. Each coach has their own "bicycle area" which I was reminded to use. The design is stupid though, in stead of having a system to hang your bike vertically in the space, you're supposed to park it horizontally in those little slots seen just behind my messenger bag. No system to help the bike stay in place either. So not only does the bike take up a space that could easily accommodate 4 bikes, but it can also easily slide out and fall over one some little old lady and brake her toe. Nevertheless, I'm pretty impressed with Canadaline.

Tamara Leigh's photos were on display in the Waterfront station. Really nice stuff!

The Soma found a friend at Super Champion

My travel companion for the day. I'm having a hard time with this one.
The ride back from the ferry was dark and wet.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Cyclocross has sucked us all in to it's massive (muddy beerstained) gravitational pull. Everybody is pretty much riding a cross bike these days in the store and making it out to cross practice and/or races. The great thing about cross racing is that it is short, and therefore good for us slobs. Also, the cross races here on the Island tend to be pretty technical, which is nice for us mountain bikers. What we lack in speed and endurance we can sort of make up for by not falling off our bikes. This is not a foolproof strategy however as some of us sometimes have a bit of a hard time not flying over the bars and into the bush, or in some other way separate ourselves from our bikes in a spectacular manner. But that's another story all together.
What I was going to write about today was our excellent Remembrance day cross ride. Since we all had the day off we decided to go for a cross ride at the Dump. We decided to ride blue bubble wrap and off we went. In about the first km we had two flats, and we were beginning to think that our supply of tubes would not be enough for our ride. But higher tire pressures and careful riding only made for one more flat for the rest of the ride. We soon found out that trail riding on cross bikes is quite a bit trickier then on the full-suspension rigs we usually ride. Cantilever brakes and narrow tires make for an odd fit in the mountain bike park. But man was it ever fun! Every little obstacle is challenging and we had a few epic bails. Most of us crashed a few times and at the end I had a sore knee, Justin had a sore hand, Andrew was bloodied up and Shayne was really feeling his injuries that he is still recovering from. The only one to escape relatively unscathed was Mitch. Even so, we all made it out and back to the parking lot after a two and a half hour ride, and we all had a blast. We'll definitely be heading out again soon. Cross you bastards!