Up a little early this morning. All week I’ve treated bike people and dental patients to stories and lies about the Kona Launch 2013. You can read about part Deux of Stevils “adventures” HERE.
I’d like to start with something from Opie.
And then something funny that was parked right outside of my front door.
In my world, you don’t have to go far to find comedy.
Here in the mountains, people are already talking about ski season. Thats cool. I’ve been enjoying hearing about the forecasting of snow….its a science really.
Hopefully we get more snow than last year…
Welp, in local race news, the big race of the season is almost upon us. Yes the Park City Point to Point is this weekend. Big props to Jay Burke for creating an outstanding race. It really IS the race to do in N. Utah. 80 miles of Park City single track….just typing that makes me realize how impressive that is. Anyway, best of luck to Alex Grant as he goes for his 4th in a row.
No pressure or anything.
Get out there and be rad….I’ve got to go into work to build a touring bike.
Archive for August, 2012
Up a little early this morning. All week I’ve treated bike people and dental patients to stories and lies about the Kona Launch 2013. You can read about part Deux of Stevils “adventures” HERE.
So in my 4 decades on this planet, I’ve never been to the Pacific Northwest…..or Europe. So I figured it was time…to visit the PNW that is.
Well, that and the fine people at Kona invited me to their Dealer Launch, where the company entertains the dealers – and shows them their 2013 product. Some of you out there may wonder why this doesn’t happen at “the interbikes”….and the answer is simple…EXPENSE. It is cheaper to fly out and put up the dealers in the US than it is to attend interbike. Plus, at interbike you get a bunch of non dealers riding your bikes – which is what I’ll be doing in 3 weeks.
So let me first say thank you to Kona for the trip. I learned a lot, really enjoyed the people, and have become more intimate with the brand. Its a funny thing here in custom bike land….we have evolved over the past 8 years to carry 100% of the brands we love – not just the brands that we can get. Over the past few years we’ve been looking for a great brand that believes in the same values that our shop does – and Kona is it. From an owner standpoint, I can’t put into words how comforting and wonderful that is. To truly sell things that you believe in is magical – ask any salesperson.
On to the launch…
Well I did have to work at my other job Mon-Wed, and of course, getting out of work unscathed on Wed proved to be a task easier said than done. But a short flight and bus ride later, I entered the hotel in Bellingham, Washington.…..where I found Steve Smith…at 3 o’clock in the morning.
Anyway, I was pretty tired from being up 21 hrs so I cashed it in for a 7am wake up call.
Washington in a fine state….it reminds me a lot of Michigan – there is a lot of green and water….and yes, the coffee is excellent.
Well, the 2nd person whom I saw walking down the hall toward the meeting hall had a Wheels In Motion shirt on. It was none other than my old acquaintance Kevin LaRoe. Kevin, who hasn’t aged a day in 15 years came on to the shop as my time was ending and has had nothing but a positive impact on the race team, group rides and overall Mojo of the shop. Good on ya. He even made it to Steve’s blog HERE.
So the morning session was spent getting information from Kona about their 2013 line. They also had a beautiful setup of their models, from race rigs to kids bikes. After a delightful lunch and a discussion with Stevil about visiting Detroit with our much better looking better halves….it was time to go out and ride bikes.
Kona had a nice setup with plenty of bikes to ride.
So my goal for the trip was to become better versed at the Kona line – to be able to plug my people into the bikes and match up expectations with realities. So, first up was the Satori.
I enjoyed the bike. It felt responsive and tall – like a race bike. Its got plenty of plushness to help you down rough trails and would be a good Utah bike. You could race it or take it to Moab.
The next bike I rode was my belle of the ball. The Cadabra.
So the Cadabra has the “magic link”, which scares off a lot of people – including myself until I rode it.
The bike has two shocks – a main Fox rear shock and then an auxiliary shock that moves the lower pivot based on how you tune the ride and how you ride.
What? you Say? Where has this been all my life? I know, I hear more about Lefty fork(s) than I do about “the magic link”. But it does work. Cadabras feel great going up hill. The chain tension keeps the aux shock from activating and allows the platform to form in the main can. When you descend (or brake in the rear), the aux shock activates – slacking out the headtube, lengthening the chainstays and giving your rear end a progressive feel. And just so that you don’t think I throw that term around, it means that it ramps up lineally at first (like a simple coil spring), and then gets more and more firm as you move into travel….becoming VERY difficult to bottom out. This gives you a bike that climbs like a race bike. I loved it – it climbed better than my Mojo HD. And the descents were outstanding as well. I’m more of a Fox 36er guy than a 34 fella – which is what this bike was spec’d with – but hey, that why it is so nimble going up hill. Really, this was my bike of the trip. The downhills were smooth and I really enjoyed the feel of the magic link. This would be a great Utah bike as well for people who want a fast climbing bike that isn’t necessarily a race bike that can handle a couple of rough bumps in the trail on the way down.
Here is Canadian Demo Dave showing off his….and by the way, he did 20ft gap jumps on the Cadabra.
The next bike I rode was the Process. And it was funny, being around all those Canadians – I call the bike the PROcess not the “pracess” as many people would choose. Anyway, its a big trail bike that I can very easily compare to my beloved Ibis Mojo HD. While the Process is not a boutique fabricated bike, it does kick ass and if your budget does not allow for an Ibis this time around – the Process is an excellent choice.
I then got to ride the Raijin, which is Kona’s ti 29er. Now, being a Moots and an Independent Fabrications dealer, you bet your sweet ass that I was ready to rip this thing apart and bury it. But is surprised me. It really is a wonderful Ti bicycle.
Raijins are made by Lynskey frames. You may remember them as being the Litespeed people, then sitting out a non-compete clause, then rebooting to be the go-to frame fabricators for companies who give a shit…like Kona and Salsa.
So the ride was great. Slack headtube angle for a guy like me and a zippy feel. I own a Moots Uno from 1897 and love it to death…..the Raijin was in the ballpark. For the Ti person who isn’t quite up to a Moots or IF, the Raijin is it. And it does come with slider dropouts for single speed or geared use. The bike I tried was a single and it did not slip a mm.
The two other big hitters on my list to share with the world are the Red Zone and the Rove. You could take my word for their reviews, but instead I think you should check out Stevils Review….especially because you can see him peeing on some chicken wings.
So, after a day of bicycle goodness, the Kona staff took us down by the water for some food and fun.
I’m not sure what this game is called, but you play it one handed (to hold your beer with the other) and there is lots of laughter.
Anyway, after a blissful nights sleep, it was time to again meet with the Kona people all morning to discuss business things. I also got to meet a lot of other shop managers and owners and can say this…the Kona crowd is pretty cool. I really enjoyed meeting, hanging out and riding with the other dealers….Kona has a way of bringing together a similar type of person. Speaking of this, Oppie came by for a visit.
Where Steve and I invited him to this thing that is going on in Las Vegas next month.
So, back on track, we took a long sweet after lunch ride with the Kona people on the bikes of our choosing. Of course, I chose a Cadabra. For years I have heard that the pacific NW trails are “the bomb” and “sick”. I’d describe them as big. There is a lot of dirt and rain, and a dedicated culture out there that builds features that are bike park quality. The rides are mainly – fire road up – technical or flow descent down – and the XC trails were in a state park….but the riding was good. The dirt was soft and not dusty – a welcome change to Utah. Though I prefer Rocky Mountain riding (duh, thats why I”m here), the PNW was outstanding and our weather was perfect.
Upon the close of day two of riding, it was time to party. When I was invited to KonaLaunch, Willy Warren said “bring your riding gear….and a spacesuit”. So I did.
Yeah, for some reason, everybody thought it was an elvis suit….funny thing is that when I tried on the suit on Tuesday for MRSDRE, she said “lookin’ good commander”. “Thanks” I said, being rather comfortable being called by my rank of discharge from the PHS….”no, she said, you’ve got commander sewn onto the suit”…..and she was right.
As the Salmon was devoured and the beers flowed, I discussed Aerodynamics with other space suit wearers…
Bowled the high score for the first and only time in my life…
And then went on the Kona Bar Crawl….
So, after a nightcap, it was time to wander home through the cool night air.
After a bus and plane ride, I arrived back home to the great state of Utah with pleasant memories, new friends and a whole lot of Kona knowledge to take me into the 2013 seasons. Hopefully I didn’t leave any bar tabs unpaid.
There was riding this weekend.
Similar to last weekend where MrsDrE and I got out on our tandem.
And this is what it looks like from the Stoker Section.
Straight up TANDEM-MONIUM……you saw that coming, right?
In other personal news, there have been motorcycle trips….this one to the America where you can buy real beer and things that go boom all in one place.
And let me tell you, boy howdy you can portage a lot of material on your VStrom. As you can see, Delta Airlines gave Tom the day off and he and his FZ went with me.
In case you didn’t know, the V Strom Riders are sometimes called Stromtroopers…a spin off of these guys.
And whats funny is that you can actually buy leathers that look like this.
I don’t know, maybe it would work for a sidecar?
In other exciting news, I finally got a 3 hr ride in. I don’t know if its the dry summer, but the leaves are changing already.
Spin Cycle was fun!
As you can imagine, my sticker is the oldest…and most worn….this thing gets buried under 10 feet of snow.
Just for fun, here is the course from my Garmin.
In good fire news, both fires near Santa Clara are out…they didn’t really threaten anything.
In bad fire news, Deer Crest came a little too close to charred this weekend. Good on the firefighting people who kept it from crossing 40. I heard the fire also almost got to the front door of the fire station.
Alright, keep it real out there.
Good morning out there….
There is just so much to share.
Like the circle jerks movie…
And the website “Douchebags on Bikes”
My old friend Ross makes bikes and guitars….and can really lay down some chops when the solo comes around. Check out this vintage footage of hardworking people making Martin Guitars.
And when I think of hand crafted bicycles, I think of Steve Garro…..one of the nicest people I met when I lived in Flagstaff.
See his story HERE.
By the way, and just so you think I’m cool….The rear derailleur you see on Steves’ handcycle was installed by me. I remember he had just finished up building Manzo’s bike up, Gullo and Barry were helping and Steve commented that his fucking bike was in need of a new derailleur. A feeling I”ve had a billion times is the lack of motivation to work on your own bike after you’ve worked on everybody elses for the past week….So I ponied up, put the hand cycle on a milk crate and took off the worn out derailleur. Then, one of the funniest memories I will take to my grave is Steve handing me an 8 speed not too used XT rear derailleur by the cage, looking me in the eyes and simply saying “leave it in friction”. Steve, you are the man and I’ll repair your bike any time.
And as long as we’re bouncing around topics, all you musicians out there will love this…..straight from the Kingston Trio Camp that was in Scottsdale this past weekend.
Speaking of gatherings, another ‘meet your maker’ party happened where I’m assuming a bunch of people who love handbuilt bikes showed up and wasted the time of the people who try and make a living making the bicycles. You should know all three of the people in this picture.
I’ll give you a hint, Paul, Bob and Bruce……need Last names? Price, Roll, Gordon…..mother fuckers.
Alright, enough of my internet hob-nobbing….what you care about is content…
Like this from Captain Dave.
Bobke once sent me something like this…
At the Irish Embassy (a bar, not the real thing) in Durango we tested out various speeds…..I think.
I’d like to go out there and blow off work to ride….maybe I can make a note?
In other funny news, I’ve been informed of this.
And unfortunately, of this.
Shifting gears right back into custom bike land, please take a moment and read this…
It works in any language.
Drifting back into a somewhat coherent bike post, I’d now like to show you the best trailside repair I’ve seen for a pully that has fallen off. This, brought to you by Over The Edge Hurricane.
If you are in the Park City area next weekend, let me recommend this event….if I was going to be in town, I’d even do it….on my touring bike.
And lastly, just in case you thought I had all the answers, big props to my man Brett Flemming, who won the “Dr. Jon appreciation” award this year by correctly answering my question of “where the fuck do I find a Phil Wood custom made grease gun tip?”. Yup, Brett knew. And he is in my small resource pool of people I call when I can’t figure something out. Big thanks man. Enjoy this photo – I’d also drill out a seatpost to save a Privateer.
First of all, this….
I mean, where has common sense gone?
Oh well, it is get ready for back to school month and its nice seeing all the kids…I mean young adults before they head back to school be it high school or college or grad school or their new/first/second/third/fourth job.
Anyway, with all the tour of Utah stuff going on I didn’t have time to say how proud I was of our NASA team for landing a rover 35 million miles away on another planet. I am! Really, super duper cool. Here is an image that Chewy sent me.
Looks authentic to me.
Well, if I didn’t have to work this weekend, I’d suit up for Gravel Worlds in Nebraska. link HERE.
I”d like to share a photo I call broken collerbone in….3…2…1…
Which reminds me, 2 Sundays ago I had a crash….a very fast and powerful crash. After clearing the lower part of DEVO at breakneck speed and actually avoiding eating shit on the rocks and roots, I was so happy that I zoned out and went sailing just like the above gentlemen about 10 feet down onto the rocks below. I was on my downhill type bicycle and had chosen that afternoon to wear my “soft” pads from 661. These are not the full on pressure suit type pads, but the soft ones that have material that supposedly hardens upon impact. They are stretchy and quite comfy. To add to it, I included a padded undershirt with shoulder pads and of course full face/mouthguard. Yup…..bruised through the pads and the first thing that I did upon getting up was checking the right and left clavicles. In tact. Shaken but not stirred. Got home, stripped down….no real injuries. I was bruised under my left elbow pad and knee pad, but other than that…I made it to work just fine on Monday.
So the lesson in there….ride a big bike and for Dog’s sake, wear pads.
Alright, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little talk we’ve had.
Well I can see that it has been a few days since anything has been posted…..not because there has been nothing, but because it simply has been busy.
Lets dive right in.
Good times at the final stage of the Tour of Utah.
We actually had no real plans of attending, especially since downhilling was available….but our neighbor Dar was packing up his getup to go and we said to ourselves “this may be our last chance to see Jens in action”, so we went.
Once at the turnoff, we set up shop proper.
The spread was nice. Big thanks to Capt. Tom for getting us up there safely, and helping get things organized. Tom lives across the street and is frequently dragged into our disasters before he knows better.
Anyway, we were able to do a quick mountain type bicycle ride and lo and behold I finally used the Ruby lift at Deer Valley. It was everything that I thought it could be and exactly like it is in the winter time….except warmer and slower.
Our cheering in various European languages, and native american brought the racers through, including Jens.
And Dar even got a hi five from the Danish rider.
Nice. A lot of characters were out there.
Here is Cris and his picture of Jens from two days ago…
I heard Tanner Flats was off the hook on Saturday. And thats great. I love seeing fans out there having fun and interacting with the sport….just try giving a pizza handup to a football player….they’ll lock you up and throw away the key.
How about a tequila shot?
Or a Lap Dance?
Dude, even the cops are cool.
For the full effect, check this out…
Leadville happened on Saturday.
I have not received a full report and have no persons there reporting for me. Funny, years ago I craved another Leadville….now I think its too big, too risky, too time consuming, and too hard. People change I guess. And thats one of the great things about cycling. You may decide to be a rippin’ DHer this year….then do LOTOJA the next….or get into racing at age 50. Its your sport, do what you will.
Well, maybe the Leadville bug is gone forever and maybe it’ll come back. Seeing my friends buckles make me happy….and I am proud to have mine….but I’m also proud to destroy Devo….that would be a local downhill trail. Is one better than the other? No. Its prolly just different each and every day.
Anyway, congrats to Team Sponsor Dr. Jeff, for a personal best time at Leadville and entrance into the 1000 mile club. 10 times my friends…..10……times…..
In another catagory of fun, Lucas has informed me of the SLOTOJA event that is happening. Same course as LOTOJA, just using 3 days as a time frame. Get it?
It will not be possible for me to attend this years event….but I’d like to put it on my calandar.
And last and certainly most least, the US Messenger type championships happened in in Windy City. I heard it was fun.
The Tour of Utah is on….
Enjoy this video…its great.
See, even the CHP’s are cool.
Let me recommend following the race on tourtracker.
Yesterdays stage looked BRUTAL. 11,000 feet of climbing, 5.5 hrs in the saddle. Jesus.
16 World Cups?….JFC.
Well we’re settling back into a work routine here in Custom BikeLand and its nice.
I do have news of course.
Chris Kings Gourmet Century was a smash success. It happened last weekend and I’m sad I was not there. Its on the list for next year.
Enjoy the flyer from this past weekend.
Also, big props to the RAGBRAI folks for a wonderful tour from Portland to SF. Once again, Kim and I wish we could have been there. Here is BRose.
And here is the crew.
The trip looked to have a very RAGBRAI feel…without the Kybo’s or the 108 degree heat.
And here is a lovely picture from Julie Rose….or Girl Carl.
There was just so much to do…
Zeke has survived another RAGBRAI and has earned another notch tattoo.
See his flicker set HERE.
Some people from PDX sent me this.
They are the same people who told me that SSUSA is going to be in MN next year. Yippie!
Do you think Chewy knows?
Oh, from dealercamp last week, I call this picture, how to guarantee being arrested even by a super cool cop.
Putting the Ass in ClAss.
From the same park city people come this photo of the proper way to portage your bicycles.
Alright, its time to put my pants on and go to work….but remember, fun is in the air.