Archive for March, 2014

A great weekend in Hurricane.

Monday, March 31st, 2014

What a nice little weekend it was.
On Tap was the Hurricane Fat Tire Festival brought to you by our friends at Over the Edge.
The plan was to get there sometime Friday afternoon, even though the festival started thursday at dinner time.
But Friday turned into quite a busy day and we didn’t hit the road until well after dark.
Part of the trip was to shakedown the Airstream…..this being the first trip since we brought it home from AZ.
First night was smooth. We pulled into town as the festivities were winding down for the night.
The small size of the Bambi was utilized as we tried to park it in the OTE lot by their trailer. Things were just a little too tight and so we opted to just boondock it out on 100 East.
After a delicious breakfast in the Airstream, we checked into the festival and moved closer to the venue. There was an impressive array of vendors there. Of course I was most impressed to see Ibis, Enve and SRAM there.

It was great. I got to sneak out for a shuttled run to the singletrack of Goulds and did the JEM/HU Rim loop.

It was nice to return to a comfortable space, plug in the “generator” from Goal Zero.

And relax.
Saturdays snag was when our Tow Vehicle/Shop “Truck” had its failing battery crap out… Over the Edges’ parking lot. It was our good fortune to have the shop neighbor across the street jump us…and we were on our way.
Sunday was a little windy and so we decided to just pack the show up and head home.
Our “shake down ride” was a success. Overall, we are in good shape, but we do have about 100 things to make the next adventure even more smooth.
As things warm in the north, let me remind you to shake down your bicycle and equipment. Check your shock pressure…..have your shock serviced. Look at your bike and your riding gear. Check your helmet. Now is a great time, not the morning of your big ride or vacation ride. How are your wheels. Serviced? If you run sealant, is it fresh? Check your tool kit….do you have a tire boot? You should.
Speaking of shakedown rides, Hurl has been putting in the miles in NM.

Hopefully we get to see Hurl at our next adventure….Fruita.

BIG thanks to the OTE crew. The festival was a success. Lots of new people, well attended, great vendors…and of course, great riding.

Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

There are times when those who can get rad.

I mean super rad.

Yes indeed.
In MPLS, the Slick 50 happened… looks cold, long, and AWESOME.

And the North American Handbuilt Bike Show has come and gone. Here is my favorite photo.

Very cute indeed.
Did you know it was Mario Cipollini’s birthday? You should have.

Here are some other number that I feel that you will find useful.

Don’t remember Doc, thats cool.

But lets get down to the cycling.
First of all, you should be here next weekend.

Because it will be as nice or nicer as it was this weekend.

This is my attempt to capture the first cactus blossom in the Mojave.

We had a busy week at the shop last week.
Here is the top end of a one way bleed.

And this is a set of “shaved monkey nuts” on a Krampus.

We even got the Dharma Wheels Solar Array up and running.

Still have some dialing in to do.
Lots of pictures and few words but thats how it goes sometimes. Come join us in Hurricane next weekend.

PHX, True Grit and the value of a backup bike

Monday, March 17th, 2014

Well friends it looks like spring is around the corner up north and down south. Last week I had a meeting at our Base in the beautiful city of Phoenix….and I managed to take along a bike in my hybrid GSA car. And just so you all know, I didn’t take the car to the trailhead – I rode there….I do it by the book with our tax dollars…..and then I sleep really well at night.
That is also why I did not alert any acquaintances that I was going to be in town….really this was a trip for the Tribe – and if there was R and R – sweet….if not – just business is fine.
So after the business of the day, I rode Papago.

Locals may laugh, but it was 3 blocks from my hotel, 2 blocks from a burrito joint and guaranteed not to kill me.
It is at this time that I do want all of you to know that I did slash another tire sidweall….and it was in fact the first ride on those tires.
So now – what to do?
1. Suck it up and be cheap – boot the tire, limp back home and don’t ride Friday even if you have the time.
2. Go to bike shop that your buddies work at and say “Hey man, I own a fucking bike shop – give me a deal.”
3. Go to the bike shop that your buddies work at and support them (just a little) by buying a tire.

I went with option 3. Cruised over to Bicycle Haus and bought a tire from Benson.

And guess what, I was able to sneak a ride in Friday morning before my meetings – and take the wonderful bike path to Scottsdale.

So, no real huge rides, no epic nights out, just a few fitness rides in the Sonoran Desert.

And Saturday was the True Grit.
Great event…sunny day, but WINDY!
I got out there and started the race like any other.

The course was great, and I kinda just kept it in 3rd gear – not wanting to blow up, and just wanting to have a fun time out there.
And at mile 35, on Rim Reaper, I heard a terrible sound like my chain snapping – but louder.
It was the pawl in my freehub body. So great – you guessed it, no freewheeling for me. I completed Rim Reaper, pedaled over to Cove Wash and spun down to my shop. You might think that from my all star performances many moons ago as a Track Racer that I would be used to fixed gear riding. Nope, not on a mountain bike – its a royal pain in the ass. Let your cassette overtake your chainrings, and your bundled up and off the bike – so it wasn’t real fixed gear riding – that may have been 3% easier.
So anyway, I hobble back to the shop and do a bike exchange….for my backup bike…..the one with the new rear tire that I bought in Scottsdale.
So boom, keep your backup bike running smoothly – you never know when it will rescue you.
I got back up to Barrel Roll and did the last 15 miles of the race just in time for some R and B and food at the finish.

Next on the list, Hurricane!

Summer plans.

Monday, March 10th, 2014

As the season warms up in the west, thoughts turn to summer plans. Let me give you a few ideas.

1. Ride The Rockies/Steamboat/Moots trip. – OK, Ride the Rockies is happening, and many of the people I sell bikes to (both in and out of state) do the ride. And admission is by lottery. Some people get in, and some don’t. If you entered the lottery and got in, lucky you. If you did not, allow me to throw out this option. Since RTR is going throught Steamboat, home of Moots Cycles….AND since there is a wagon wheel day in Steamboat….and since Park City is relatively close to Steamboat….and since our shop is emotionally and professionally tight with Moots, we are working on a “Moots Day” for the Steamboat leg(s) of RTR. This means that those of you who have Moots bicycles or want to own a Moots bicycle can journey out, hang with us, and have a great time. More on this later.
Let me show you a photo that summarizes RTR from their gallery.

2. RAGBRAI - Simply the best. By far the best.

By far.

3. Let me recommend for those in the Midwestern areas, the Almanzo, May 17th.

Don’t forget that if you are in Utah, the True Grit is Saturday. Hope 70 and sunny works for you.

And, for my friends in America’s Heartlands, the warm up is slow….but surely on its way.

Look, here’s Gene!

From the heights of Summit County, Utah, here is Duff’s bike.

And from the shores of Wasatch County comes the thrill of the open water.

And from 9500 feet, here is a photo from Flagtopia.

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Happy National Anthem Day Everybody.

And its also a new year for many Buddhists.

Namaste. See that, I know more Tibetan than German.
There was also a special anniversary this weekend….it was the 41st anniversary of the occupation of Wounded Knee. Some good and some very bad things happened during that time, but it is appropriate to celebrate self determination and to learn from the past.

Lets move on to cycling before I loose you all.

So there was a big storm that was suppose to move through southern Utah this weekend. Some rain came and went, but mostly it was nice.
Big props to Bryce for this lovely photo.

I had the opportunity to stop by Over the Edge Sports in Hurricane to talk to the crew about the Fat Tire Festival that you should all go to.

It was really nice to talk to the guys – I like OTE a lot. They are a solid shop that has integrity. We talked about larger shops and certain bicycle brands that make foolish choices. Its the same shit up north. At the end of the day, its the intelligent shops that will stick around. The shops that know what works and accept their places in the world – or work to improve those places.
I’ve had to accept the situation that Turner Czar’s are SOLD OUT for a while. Which is a bummer because I have people who want to buy – but, just like my shop – we cannot expect Turner to stock $100,000 in Czar’s just waiting for a super high end person to decide to pull the trigger. And my people get that.

More and more customers are getting it. When doing a custom bike – order early….like 6 months early. It still cracks me up when people call up and say, Hi, do you have a small ibis SLR in stock – “yes, I have 4, and they are all waiting to hopefully be chosen by you.” I want to say. You’ve heard it here first, I’m waiting for the day when bike shops become obsolete….you can now get sized online, do free returns at competitive cyclist if your bike doesn’t fit and you may even form a bond with a shop online without stepping in the front door (dog knows that good people have done that with Dharma Wheels for years). Small business is like bicycle racing in Belgium….you race every day.

But I also believe that a brick and mortar shop has more character and soul than an online shop does….and that bicycles are too complicated to work on even if you are a dentist or an engineer.
Plus, you don’t have tools.
Shops may be pre or post ride hangout places, they may be shopping places….but they will always be service places.

And by the way, its classics time.