Thursday, April 30, 2009

Viking Cat Video and list of finishers

After much frustration I finally figured out how to convert a VOD file to a Mpeg/Avi and was able to download Mitch's excellent video of the Viking cat 2009 into one of the video sharing sites:

Viking Cat 2009 - Click here for this week’s top video clips

Here's the official list of finishers:

1 Tegan 1:04
2 Scotty (one second behind)
3 Ben/Kevin/Jeff
4 Simon
5 Jenny (the only lady to race in this years Viking Cat)
6 Rick (The honorable provincial coach of Alberta)
7 Justin (horns)
8 Shayne (beericorn)
9 Andrew (fastest full suspension racer...well there was only one)
10 Mitch (Cinematographer extraordinaire)
11 Angus
12 Cristoph
13 Adrian/Jaimie (out of towner winner of "dead fucking last")

Monday, April 27, 2009

Weekend report and other rambles

Last weekend was filled with bikey fun. On Friday, there was an alleycat, art show and Mystery Ride. On Saturday there was a polo tournament, prom ride and the bike riders ball, and on Sunday there was a fantastic breakfast-chill out and Bike porn, allegedly followed by a "Birthday Suit Ride." Good times were had by all, except for a brief moment of discontent had by Reverend Phil of "Bike Porn" when he got clocked in the face by some jackass on the Selkirk Trestle. Apparently the said Jackass just wanted some piece and quiet to smoke a joint, and was offended by all the peaceful riders on the "Midnight Mystery ride," and by Rev. Phil in particular because he was riding a 16" zoobomber. If anyone can point out to me how that whole scenario makes sense, please comment below. Anyway a very strange thing to happen, especially in Victoria.

In other news I read Bike Snob's post this morning and was led all over the Internet on strange links, one of which led me to the Vittoria website which sports this picture of Thor Hushovd:

Take a close look at Thor's helmet... not only does it illustrate the stylists poor knowledge of Viking attire (these wings would be a Roman influence i suppose) but the helmet, although cleverly disguised is stunningly similar to the Viking Cat trophy, modeled here by this years winner Tegan:
Perhaps Hushovd will join us next year, with his "Vittoria" helmet. But if he does he will be limited to 34/16 singlespeed gearing. We certainly hope he shows up. To continue on the Viking/Norse theme...check out Norse Cycles' website that I stumbled upon this morning as well. Pretty reasonable pricing and a nice name and logo. Also check out Kriacycles, a new builder in Iceland. Kria is the Icelandic name for the Arctic Tern. Again, nice bikes, nice name and nice logo.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Kevin Bacon, alleycats, bike rider's ball...

Great race last night, kudos to Nate (a former Rider's employee) and Henry(?) for laying out the race. Below is Justin's manifest for the race, note that he has had all stops signed for...very good Justin. The alley cat was mostly disaster free. No big crashes or anything although both me and Justin managed to puncture one of our beers and soak our bags, a shame in it self but better than eating pavement.
We placed somewhere in the middle of the pack and could have done a bit better if the guy at our last stop would have been there when we arrived. We had a lot of fun and I have to say that the highpoint of the race for me was to see Justin do a Flintstones brake in the underground parking lot at Mayfair, sparks flying everywhere from his cleats.

The race took just over an hour to complete and afterwards we went to the art show and enjoyed some refreshments, and reveled in the bike culture. The good folks of the Bike prom had some bike videos playing on the screen including the cult classic Quicksilver:

Tonight is the Bike Rider's Ball at White Eagle hall in James Bay (90 Dock St.). Doors open at nine and there is an $8 cover. there will be a performance by the Velo Vixens, costumes, awards for the alley cat race, and live music. Should be good.
And to clear the cobwebs out of your head on Sunday, it would be perfect to go and see "Bike porn 2, bikexplotation." See flier below.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A momentous day, two nightrides, and upcoming alleycat

photo: courtesy of Dan Smith

Last Tuesday we went for a night ride like most Tuesdays. The conditions at Hartland are unbelievable right now and everything is dry and tacky. This results in an even more enjoyable ride than usually. Partly because of the awesome conditions and partly because it was simply about f'in time, me and Shayne finally cleared Switchbacks. Double whammy, 2x10! A momentous day indeed... I couldn't help but exclaim: Yeahhh!!! I've finally slain you, you evil bitch of a climb! and Shayne said something like: "mumble mumble this thing is f'in awesome, it just wants to climb," as he sat down and looked at the Stumpjumper demo bike that we just built up. The Stumpjumper sat well with Shayne, apart from a slight miscalculation on the first drop of Small craft warning, which caused a bent wheel and a puncture. After we got that kind of straightened out, it was not an easy task to keep up with Shayne as he mashed the pedals on that stumpy and generally rode it like he stole it. Somebody has got to break it in right? I was calling him all sorts of evil names until finally settling on speedy stanchions, as a twist on his known nickname, dirty.
We had the privilege of riding with Dan Smith and his buddy for awhile, and Dan Showed us the correct way to attack the pizza drop. I told him that I might do that sometime after I grow up.
Mr. Smith is powered by an air/beer cooled nuclear reactor so he can't stop for too long at a time unless there is beer (this can be an inconvenience when riding with the Rider's Crew as we are all christians and puritans and don't touch alcohol, cough cough) so when Shayne was doing minor surgery on the stumpy, the Dan Crew took off and was not to be seen until after the ride. We also had a new rider with us that night, Lisa from Australia and she did well by her country. Our crew consisted of Me, Justin, Andrew (current RSC trophy holder) and Shayne. Justin tried a couple of times to take the crash trophy from Andrew but did not manage to crash in a spectacular enough manner. A valiant effort none the less. Justin has a special routine when crashing and it goes something like this: Uh oh (universal) ...CRASH!!! "Hahahahahha" sproing! back in saddle and ride. He is indestructible that little ninja, and fears nothing. "I believe in nazing Lebowski" (insert German accent).

Nic Nicholson and Lucy showed up just to barbecue our meat which was incredibly nice of them to do. Nic couldn't ride since he's looking for a new place to live, which takes priority over riding at this time.

Last night we had another night ride to say farewell to our crew member Ryan "Lavadome" Wickham, who's moving to Campell River for a few months at least. It was a bare bones ride with just three riders: Me, Ryan and Jess who's visiting from Colorado.
Justin is ready for carnage.

In other news there will be a kick-ass alleycat tonight like we've mentioned before. Me and Justin will be riding and there will be a Bike art show afterwards, and fermented hops. Be there or be square.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Danny MacAskill and nightride

This guy's ok.

Nightride tonight. The conditions should be perfect and there will most certainly be beers and bbq afterwards. Should be epic.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Trial Building & Road Rides

I had an awesome time building a new trail at Hartland with the SIMBS trail building crew this morning. About 20 people showed up; which means the trail is coming together quite quickly. We were working on building a few very solid berms, armouring some turns, and there are two wall rides planned for this new trail. I find it exciting to be a part of this project. Being able to mold the trail into something we think riders will enjoy. The next SIMBS TM (Trail Maintenance) will take place May 17th. Rider's Cycles will be sponsoring this TM so expect tons of awesome swag. We will be working on the course for the up coming Island Cup Series Super-D Race on May 24th. So, please come and help us make sure the race course is in pristine condition for the all the racers; but more importantly for the Rider's Team and our star rider Mitch. Mark the date on your calendar and don't forget to RSVP Chris so that you get the sandwich you want.

After getting a flat, getting lost on the way to the trail we were working on; after all the hard work, a great lunch, and winning some sweet swag (no one went home empty handed) I headed out for a ride. I road with fellow trail builder Scott and his pal Brian. The weather was beautiful but I didn't expect that Scott had the energy for a two and a half hour ride. Needless to say I was exhausted when we finally arrived at the parking lot. However, I really enjoyed the ride. I got to see another trail I had never ridden, along with a really good workout. I also finally worked up the courage to roll down the drop on Inventive. Not a big deal for most at Rider's Cycle, but that drop had been plaguing me for months. Next on my "Just Do It List" is to drop off that rock.

Yesterday was SIMBS's Membership Drive. Here are a few excerpts of a letter from the President of SIMBS, Scott Mitchell:

"The membership drive went well on Saturday. We signed up 24 members not quite the same numbers as last year but definitely worth the time."
"Greg C and Andrew L deserve a big thank you for helping out with the table."
"Craig Gillette won the trip to Sunrise Ridge..."

Congratulations to Craig for winning the draw prize. Thank you to all those that stopped by the table get a membership, to renew their memberships, or just to say hi. I would also like to thank Tyler J. and Suzanne D. for hanging out with us.

Just a reminder to all the roadies out there; the Rider's Cycle Monday Evening Road Rides are underway. Meet us at the shop about 6pm. They usually take off when Shayne has finished closing the store; generally about 6:15pm. Tomorrow will be my first official group ride so I'll see you all then.

Life is great on two wheels.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

On alleycats, downhills, zoobombs, super-d's and fixed gear bikes

There's lots happening in the next couple of weeks. Tomorrow there's a downhill race in Nanaimo, next Friday there's an Alleycat in Victoria. And for you adventurous people who venture off the island every once in a while, there's a Super D in Burnaby next Sunday.

In other news; the cycling IQ at the shop here took a quantum leap forward (or backwards) this week as Mitch is slowly building up his fixed gear bicycle and Justin has managed to gather all the parts for his and just needs to assemble them. Chevy also has a fixed gear on order so things should get interesting this summer. Those three bikes will be a source of joy and pain and all round good times in the near future. But the explosive growth in fixed gear ownership at the shop is not the only thing that is ruining our already bike polluted minds. As previously mentioned on these pages there is a weird interest in Zoobombing here at the shop and we've been planning to do an "unofficial" Rider's Zoobomb for quite some time. Me and Shayne bit the bullet yesterday and picked up the first three 16" kids bikes for the Rider's Zoobomb pile. We're hoping to have at least six or seven bikes in the pile so everybody in the shop has a ride. The idea is to operate this pile of zoobombs as a co-op and everyone pitches in for apehangers, streamers, banana seats and other stupid things to pimp out the bombs. So be ready, the riders Zoobomb will be upon us soon. Start looking for a bomb to add to the pile and join us for a fun filled evening, involving high speed downhills, ridiculously small bikes, beverages and stupid costumes.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

SIMBS Events Update

Here is a short message from the President of SIMBS, Scott Mitchell in regards to the SIMBS Membership Drive taking place at MEC this Saturday.:

MEC Membership drive:

Stop by the SIMBS booth at the front door of Mountain Equipment Co-op on Saturday April 18th between 12:00 and 4:00 to renew or purchase your SIMBS membership for 2009. MEC will be providing free swag to everyone that signs up. By signing up you will also be entered into a draw to win a 2 night stay in a 2 bedroom suite at the Sunride Ridge Waterfront Resort. If you are already a member, feel free to stop by the table and enter the draw too. We will also be giving away discounts to the Victoria IMAX to everyone that stops by. Hope to see you there!
For more info check out:
Scott Mitchell
SIMBS President

I will be at membership booth so please stop by and say hi.

This Sunday will be Trail Maintenance at Mt. Work Hartland Regional Park. So if you are not up in Nanaimo for the DH race, please help us take care of our local trails. We are working on a new, exciting trail. So if you would like the opportunity to tell your friends "I helped build this trail", please come and give us a hand this Sunday. Please RSVP to Chris by 9:00 am tomorrow morning so that he can make sure you get the sandwich of your choice. For more details check out the SIMBS Trail Maintenance Website. See you up there.

So I'm building a fixie...

...From the journal of Mitch. April 15th.

Damn you Shayne and Halldor!! A plague upon your houses!!

So... I tried Halldor and Shayne's fixie's out in the parking lot at Riders Cycles... Damn it they're fun!! I must build one!

Here are some photo's from my first 'project-bike' at Riders. The project began when Chevy found an old Nishiki in her dads barn, or shed... or swamp, something like that anyway. She donated to me in exchange for a case of beer, of which I drank three. whoops. It's not my fault, one just tastes like more, then two tastes like even more... hmmm... when do they stop tasting like more?

Anyway, here is the frame after I cleaned it up a tad;

The black around the bottom bracket is not me using a spray-can for cool effect. It is burn marks from where the frame has been brazed back together. Nice, no?

The first thing I would need would be a pair of wheels. I ordered this Formula track hub after looking through, literally, a catalogue. I know that hardcore urban-fixieists will mock me for my hubs 'lack of pedigree'. But it msrps for about $45, has sealed bearings and spins. Plus, despite it's lack of pedigree, it manages to hold the wheel to the frame, what with it's 'axle nuts' and all.

I opted to use metal spoke nipples, instead of papier-mache ones. A departure, I know.

For spokes I used these long straight ones.

Under the watchful eye of Steve, the wheel guru, my rear wheel took shape... fortunately, round.

Now, I know that "Pabst Blue Ribbon" can lay claim to being 'cycling's beer of choice'. But I think that they should change it to 'American cycling's beer of choice'. Because up here in the true North, we are blessed with a quality micro brewery every half-block. Here is one of my personal favorites; 'Blue Buck' from Phillips.

These are cranks. These ones were not designed to be fitted to a fixed gear bicycle. They are too long. When I turn corners they will bottom out on the ground, and I will crash. It may hurt.

If your like me, your probably dying to find a use for your collection of old and warped Hayes brake rotors...

...Coming together nicely.

...more to follow.

Fixie culture

I don't get the whole fixie-craze thing. How fun can it be to ride a bike that you can't coast on, that has no brakes, and that has a gear which either makes climbing hills too hard, or makes you have to descend them spinning your cranks at 185rpm? The whole thing seems ridiculous to me. Why also does it seem to be that a prerequisite for joining the fixie-scene requires one to either be color blind, or at least pretend to be?

I often mocked fixie's openly. Claiming that they were the plaything of "Uber-hipsters". Those who no longer would be seen in public with an apple product, because they're far too mainstream now. These people needed a new outlet to express their 'individuality'. Fixies are the i-phone for those who outgrew the i-phone. When you had a walkman, a future fixie rider had a discman, when you were alphabetizing your CD collection on your bookshelf, a future fixie rider was attempting to find some obscure foreign band to download on to his/her i-pod. Because being one of the first to own an i-pod whilst simotaneously being the first in ones group of friends to 'discover' an up and comming band would elevate one to some sort of social demi-god in his or her clique.

But sadly, the time of 'i' was drawing to a close. The mother of someone you once thought was cool for having an i-pod, now has an i-phone. Possibly even his or her grandmother! And a user-group generation span of more than two certainly destroys any cool-factor that any product can have. Enter the urban fixie. Filling the void left in the wake of 'i's demise. The apperance of these bikes allows you to know who is at the forefront of cool. I, for one, shall never be caught dead riding one.

...from the journal of Mitch, april 14'th

Nanaimo DH Course

Hey all,
so just got off the horn with Robin at Arrowsmith Bikes and apprently the course for this weekend's DH is this:
Expert Men
Banshee Boulevard to Crazy Horse (if you've got narrow bars out them on, apparently there's a couple trees down near the bottom and things get tight)

for everyone else
Banshee Boulevard to Kierra

Hope to see you all out there

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Hushovd chrashes, Boonen wins, nightride and trail maintenence

Hushovd crashed in the final k's and did not have a chance to kill Boonen on the sprint. Oh well, at least the winner was riding a Specialized and I did not loose too much money on my bet.

Night ride tonight. I won't be able to make it, since I'm still getting over the plague that's been holding me back for the last 10 days. Justin and Andrew will be going out though, and the conditions should be great. So get out there and "lay ze powahh dooown!"
If you're not racing on Sunday the 19th there's trail maintenance at Hartland. Here's the notice from Simbs:

"Join us for SIMBS trail maintenance this Sunday at 8:45 am at the Hartland parking lot. We supply the tools, gloves and training.

RSVP to me by Friday at 9 am and I will have a roast beast, turkey, ham or veggie sandwich for you. Please let me know your sandwich preference.

If you don't respond by the deadline, I won't have a sandwich for you but you are still welcome to join us. Just bring your own snacks.
Email if you have any questions or to let me know you are coming. Bring your bike for a ride afterwards - we have secure storage.
Hope to see you there,

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bikeprom 2009 and Paris Roubaix yeah!!!

One of the most exciting cycling events in the Victoria calendar is only two weeks away. The schedule is up and it looks very promising:

Friday, April 24th
Rip up Victoria's sweetest, sketchiest, and secretest alleyways in the Alley Alley Cat Bike Race. Departs Centennial Square @ 7pm. $5.

Cogs, Cranks, & Creatures Art Show: Bike arts of all shapes and sizes for show and sale. Bayanihan Community Centre. 1709 Blanshard St. 8pm - 11pm.

Midnight marauding along Victoria's most delectable bike routes on the Moonlight Mystery Ride. Departs Centennial Square @ 11pm. Don't forget your lights and delights!

Saturday, April 25th
Polo Prom Bike Polo. Vic High Tennis Courts: 1900 block of Fernwood Rd, between Gladstone and Vining. Starts at 11am. $5.

Get gussied up and disguise your identity for the Moonlight Masquerade Ride. Departs Fernwood Square (at Gladstone & Fernwood) @ 7:30, and leads to...

The Bike Rider's Ball. White Eagle Hall @ 90 Dock St. (in James Bay). Bicycle performances, prom photo booth, polo prizes, a big sweaty dance party, and oh oh oh so much more. Doors open at 9pm. 19+. $8.

Sunday, April 26th
The Morning After: Cure your morning-after woes with black coffee and Victoria's premiere of Bike Porn 2: Bikexploitation. 11am. Location TBA at the Bike Rider's Ball.

The alley alley cat race is exceedingly exciting and suggests a downtown alley cat which is always a lot of fun. You'll see lots of riders riding around, you have to deal with traffic, stairs etc. not to mention cobblestones. It should be a blast!
Speaking of cobblestones...Paris Roubaix is on this Sunday. The "Hell of the North" is one of the most exciting classics in the sport and this year it should be no different. the race this year will be 259km and as always will utilize many of the old French cobble stoned rural roads used by french farmers. Tom Boonen (quick step) won the race last year on his Specialized Roubaix and he's the one rated most likely to win this year. Cycling bookies have him rated at 1:3,5 to win, but other names mentioned are last weeks repeat winner of the tour of Flanders, Stijn Devolder (Quick Step), as well as Filippo Pozzato, Fabian Cancellara and even George Hincapie. But as for myself I'm going to bet on the "mighty hammer" Thor Hushovd with Cervelo Test team. Unpolitically correct of course, since he rides a brand we don't carry and is on the wrong team etc. This is not an educated choice, there's no reason for this choice other than I think he can do it and the fact that he is a tough Norwegian. I'll be hoping for nasty rainy, windy and muddy conditions because that's what he should be used to from his homeland. I think it's the Hammers time to win a classic. Go Norway, heyja Norge!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring commute

As the weather is getting better, I see more and more people riding bikes on my morning commute. I'm lucky because I can ride on a "bike route" for the most part, through quiet streets filled with cyclists. I love seeing all the people out there riding and I get nods and waves from people that I see most days, as well as from other fixed-gear riders. That's nice and adds to the experience and on a sunny day like today with the cherry blossoms out in full force, it's just a great commute. But sometimes as I'm floating down the road on my purple colored cloud of blissfulness I get jolted out of that euphoria when I see (or hear) something in my fellow cyclist that boggles my mind and makes the hamster upstairs go into a speed wobble on the running wheel, derail and get killed in a disgusting fiery explosive crash, little bits of fur everywhere...
Now what could cause something like that in the mind of Halldor you may ask, and following are a few answers to that question.

Squeaky chains... what could possibly make someone ride around with a chain that is so dry that I can hear it across two lanes of traffic? Honestly, not only is the sound of a squeaky chain unbearable, but have you ever ridden a bike with a completely dry chain? It's horrible, slow and wrong. It destroys your drive train in record time, and it annoys the hell out of your fellow commuters.
If I so much as hear my chain, not squeaking just whirring, I lube it up, and if I hear the slightest squeak I feel really embarrassed and bad about not taking care of my bike. So for you crazy people out there with your squeaky chains, go to a bike shop and have them lube you're chain. Please?! They don't even charge you for it.
Low tire pressures...people riding with REALLY low tire pressures are up there with the squeaky chain crowd. It wears your tires out, it's slow and inefficient and the fix is, AGAIN, free. Go to your bike shop, pump the tires up and be more efficient.
Bad setup...Don't ride a bike that's way to small for you or too big. It looks silly, it's bad for your body and it ruins the whole experience. Same goes for seat height. Sadly, I see sooo many people riding with their saddle way too low. You can also see a few of the over-extenders out there and their easy to spot because their hips are rocking from side to side. Some people insist that they're not "getting the full extension" when their test riding our bikes and we've set up their saddle for them. But the thing is that you shouldn't have full extension. there should be a slight bend in your knee at the bottom of the pedal stroke, or about 30 degrees. If you're having pain at the front of your knees, the saddle is probably too low, and if you're having pain at the back (hamstrings) then it's probably too high. A bike fit will do wonders for people who are uncomfortable on their bike.
Helmets...First of all I'd like to mention helmets on the handlebars. What is up with that?! If you've got a helmet, and you even take it out with you on your ride, why on earth don't you store it on your noggin? That's where it is designed to sit, not on your bar. The Helmet's lest annoying place is on your head, not dangling from your bars, getting in the way of shifting and breaking etc. Another worthy point here is that you're no more legal in Victoria riding with your helmet on the bars than just riding without a helmet altogether.
Helmet positioning. I see a lot of people, kid's especially, riding with their helmet tipped way backwards so that its basically not covering any of the forehead. That's bad news. If you ride like that and take a spill you're more than likely to crack you're head on the pavement where there's no helmet. This can be solved with the "The two finger rule:" Place helmet level on head, so that it sits about one to two finger widths above the eyebrow of the wearer. Simple as that.
To those that think they're too cool to ride with a helmet I ask: Have you aver seen a person with brain injury? Not very cool, and the protection costs $40 bucks. Don't be stupid.

There are other things that bug me but I thing these are the ones that bug me the most...But in spite of all my pet peeves about bicycle etiquette, I still love seeing all the cyclists out there, warts and all.

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Came across this somewhere on the web. Pretty cool to see Armstrong riding with these guys, he seems to be having a lot of fun, and then totally drops them on the downhill...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Grown men playing in the mud

We rode in daylight all the way to the top but once we were there it got dark and a little foggy.
Justin was somewhat perplexed by the presence of the paparazzi in the parking lot.

hogs in the mud, just loving it.
dirt and beer, can you really complain about the weather?

So there were just the two of us out for a night ride on Tuesday, Me and Justin. Some old geezers from our night group, did not feel up to riding with us presumably because we're too fast for them. So Tyler, Ryan and Alex went on their own separate geriatrics-ride and were careful to leave early enough so that we could not catch up to them. They probably just rode a little lap on the fireroads and than had a cup of tea and some crumpets under a nice big cedar tree, where they could bicker and quarrel about insignificant things like heating blankets and joint ache and arthritis and glaucoma. Justin and I decided to go for a good loop anyway, and rode our usual loop up to the top of Switchbacks. From there we did Twister and then we did the Super-D course down to the bottom. The conditions were less then ideal, and it rained non-stop. This made for an interesting ride with many near crashes and a few real ones. Although none of them were good enough to strip Andrew of his RSCT (rock star crash trophy) from last Tuesday when he secured the trophy with a silent endo, and a consequent crash of of the last bridge on Twister. Nobody was lucky enough to see this fantastic combo but, Andrew came limping up to the rest stop on twister with a bent rotor and told us what happened and claimed the trophy.
On our ride, Justin managed to crash into the trees of the trail on Jellyroll and I almost killed my self when my front tire slid of a log jump on Who's your daddy and I, just like Justin, went flying into the trees, clipped out in the air, and rode on the top tube into the underbrush while braking Flintstones style. Quite a sight to see, I'm sure, but Andrew retains the trophy.
When we finally got to the parking lot we were so disgusting that we decided to take the hose to ourselves from the knee-pads down. I changed into my street clothes in the parking lot as not to get the new van dirty, and as I was standing there buck naked except for the cycling shoes, the only logical thing to do seemed to do the first Unofficial Rider's Night Ride Streak. As always, it felt wonderful.

Justin coming down twister.