Category Archives: Journal

Faster Mustache at Dick Lane Velodrome’s WayPoint Systems presents ‘The Keirin’

The Keirin

The WayPoint Systems presents ‘The Keirin’ went down way back on May 14th.

This was day of solidarity and teamwork for FM:RACE.

A strong showing in all categories and the main Keirin event.

We welcomed a renewed and ever larger presence on the banks walls down in East Point.

Courtesy FrenchKheldar
Photo courtesy FrenchKheldar

Above is FM:Race recent addition Stafford Brooke. He faced off against a B field stacked with strong opposition.

In several well executed and unified advances, FM made some great attacks.

Below Chris Kelly pulls up track as Stafford and Jason Atwood complete a three man pull off the front

Jason, Stafford & Chris

Off the track the team was well represented as well with Jim Hodgson performing honorable deeds by belting out our nation’s anthem with style.

Great Singing from Jim

Another recently christend FM’er is Brian ‘Bubba T.’ Tester.

Brian really had the most savage duty of the day.

Pitted head to head against future Olympians, local PROs and current National Champions, he stomped out a solid effort competing against some of the fastest velodrome athletes in our country today.

Brian Tester

A personal highlight for me may have started below. Or at least the photo preambles the failed attempt that became my highlight of the day.

Justin Barber provided excellent coverage as I made my 110% blowout attempt off the front in the 15 Lap Win and Out.

Photo Courtesy Timothy J

In a split second, I decided to make an attack with two to go. The peloton had been going on and off and when everyone sat down I stood up. Not really considering entirely how viable my strategy would be. Thanks to Justin pushing my adversaries towards the boards and effectively slowing the whole pack down, I had way more of a chance then I ever would have had alone.

Thank you again Justin!

Photo Coutesy Carlos J

Pictured above and captured below by Colin Chappelle are two remnants of my valiant gesture.

Had I waited to sprint, the chance would have been gone but the win was just out of my reach at that distance!

Below is the day’s champ Matt Baranoski. A 17 year old track cyclist and specialist in sprint events and the keirin. Racing track since he was 6 years old at Lehigh Valley Velodrome. In just over 10 years, he has won numerous junior national championships, a medal at junior worlds and an elite national championship. And, now second time in a row, The DLV Keirin!

Matt Baranoski

More photos here and the day’s results are here. A write up of the preceding day’s Zipp Need For Speed Sprints is here.

Lastly, to convey how skullcrushingly brutal the final Keirin was, crank your measly computer speakers to 11, hit fullscreen and press play:

Thank you for a great event Jeff & co. I look for forward to years and years of Keirins at the DLV!

European Touches ~ Vol. 7 ~ Freiburg Collective Bike Expo & Rapha Ride

The weekend of May 7th and 8th saw the premiere of a new bicycle festival in „the bicycle capital of

Germany“ : the Freiburg Collective Bike Expo.

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A wide range of bicycle related activities and events were offered, such as guided MTB rides in the

surrounding mountains, an entertaining dirt park short track race on sunday as part of the

„CremaCross Short Track Series“ and of course the long anticipated „Rapha Ride“ through the

Black Forest. Along with a small but no less respectable expo of a number of celebrated national

and international bicycle brands and some custom frame builders.

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Fixie Inc and Subtil Bikes were there to exhibit their complete bikes and parts for the urban

cyclist. You might have watched some of the videos showcasing all the Fixie Inc models as these

have been praised on prollyisnotprobably.com – I originally planned to visit the guys in their office

this past December, but it didn‘t work out in the end – even better to meet Recep, one of the owners,

in person now and to have a look at their decent bikes. The „Chip Race“ Titanium-roadbike and

the „Pureblood“ Cyclocross-Beast were definite eyecatchers (check out the bottlecap on the stem).

Too bad there is no proper distribution in the US yet.

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After that I went straight to see the bikes built by local frame builder Kai Bendixen, who had also

developed some of the Fixie Inc prototypes in the past – a small world, indeed!

The bikes on display included a pink singlespeed crosstype mountainbike and a beautiful

bottlegreen Randonneur-Touringbike. I am planning to meet Kai at his shop later this year

to show you more of his work.

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Another great framebuilder I got to meet was Thomas Veidt, who specialized in building bikes for

short people – but of course he is up for anything if you plan to get a custom frame. He brought

a workbench with him and was carving lugs when I got to his booth. One of the bikes he was

showcasing was the first bike he built after he started his own framebuilding business years ago:

A stunning lugged steel roadframe equipped with a vintage Campagnolo nuovo record gruppo from

the late 70s – this bike has been used alot and was far from a perfect untouched condition, but had

soul and style for sure. After miles and miles of riding this bike is now sitting in his living room

he said, just to look at it.

We also talked a little bit about how he would like to show some of his work at the „Oregon Handmade

Bicycle Show“ – an expo way more down to earth than the over-hyped NAHBS he said.

It was great talking to you Thomas!

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I didn‘t spend much time at either the Campagnolo or Chris King booth, but I am sure their high

quality components were well received by the bicycle-loving crowd. Now it was time for an

Espresso over at the Biosk-counter where Lars and Julien served the usual great coffee and delicious

snacks – all organic, of course!

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My next stop was at the Crema Cycles booth were I talked to Basti for a little while. Crema Cycles

is active in a number of different ways – they sell custom frames by US-brands including Geekhouse

and Independent Fabrications over here in Germany, they organize events such as this „Freiburg Collective

Bike Expo“ or the „Crema Cross“- Tour and are about to go public with their own CremaCycles

Cross Country (26″ & 29″) and Enduro (29″) frames built by Canadian framebuilder Mike Truelove.

More of these frames will be shown at the Eurobike in the summer. (Expect twotoneatl coverage!)

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Other exhibitors included German magazine „Fahrstil“ and Italian Cyclegear brand “Biciclista“, who are

famous for their colorful cycling kits.

But of course the highlight of the weekend was the Rapha Roadride – Jon and I were super proud to

support Rapha and it was a pleasure to put together a route for the ride. Inspired by my post from last

year, Kieran of Rapha Germany asked me to come up with something similar. The challenging terrain of

the ride included three climbs, one of which the Schauinsland-mountain with its 11km ascent, it was the longest.

Outstanding views were guaranteed with this route!

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About 40 people gathered Saturday morning in front of Rapha‘s „Mobile Cycle Club“ truck and signed

up for the ride. After Kieran’s introductory words everybody got on their bikes and we were ready to roll.

As we left the city limits it started to get hilly immediately and not long after that the first serious climb

was waiting for us. Of course we didn‘t stay together as a group the whole time, but we all met again on

top of the Schauinsland where snacks and drinks were served. All this worked out surprisingly well and the

whole ride didn‘t see a single puncture. Great!

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After a breathtaking descent into the Münstertal valley with topspeeds well over 70km/h, some short

dirtroad and gravel parts, more climbing and great riding through vineyards we got back to the

Expo-grounds about three and half hours after we had left. What a great experience to ride with all these

people!

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This event was the first official Rapha event in Germany and marks the beginning of active campaigning

over here. So far the German market has been more or less neglected, but I am sure this will change

from now on. And what a way to start activities here in Germany.

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Overall this has been an awesome weekend – amazing weather and great people! Freiburg really is

the „Bicycle Capital of Germany“ and I hope for a new edition of this event next year with even more

exhibitors, more activities and more people showing up.

In other news, I am totally stoked that Jon and his family will be spending the summer here in Freiburg and I am sure

this will lead to many more posts on the blog. Can‘t wait to show you around Jon!

More photos can be found on the European Touches flickr

PS: You can also follow me on twitter for irregular updates from the cycling world over here …

EDIT:

Check out the video of the ride here: twotoneatl.com/2011/05/18/rapha-rides-the-blackforest-video

Dick Lane Velodrome: Wednesday Night Racing Vol. 1

This past week, Dick Lane Velodrome opened its gates for the 2011 weekly racing season. 39 riders came out to race across three categories. The first race of the night was the chariot race, which is a one lap drag race. Here is a shot of Faster Mustache rider Brian Tester sprinting to his first win of the season in the A’s Chariot Race:

Next up was the win and out, one of my favorite races. I made a move at the bell and opened up a small gap

WIn and Out Bs

however, I was edged out at the line by East Point Track Club rider Jardslau Mol. Speaking of the East Point Track Club, here is a shot of one of their new riders, Stephen Touset, riding across the line to take third in the C’s win and out.

Win and Out cs

The last races of the evening were the 5, 8, and 10 mile record attempts. While there was strong racing in all categories, no records fell. Here is Scott Patton of Fixed Gear Fever fame doing some work for the B group’s 8 mile attempt:

Record Race Bs

The weather was perfect all night long. A small but vocal crowd was out to cheer on the racers. Overall it was a a great kick off to what should be another amazing season of racing at Dick Lane Velodrome. I’ll leave you with a shot of the A’s field mixing it up in the Win and Out.

Lookout for regular race recaps and features as the season heats up!

Win and Out As

Photo credits: Colleen Jordan

The 2011 Track Season at Dick Lane Velodrome

Daniel Banks

Rolling on a freshly painted track, East Point will be the place to be as the 2011 Season gets underway.

Tonight will be the first Wednesday night race for the A, B & C Category racers.

Last night already ushered in the initial Master’s, Beginner’s & Women’s races.

Pictured above is Daniel Holt in the foreground and Bill Thomsen leading the Keirin pack below.

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Look out for Faster Mustache this season on the track.  We have an extremely strong team this year!

Feel free to submit photos, comments, racing tips etc. to be included in weekly coverage

Below, the ‘Sultan’s of Sling’ Valentin & James in the Madison!

DLV Madison Weekend

See everyone tonight at the the track! http://www.dicklanevelodrome.com

Head over the archive for more shots and highlights from last year.

Working Man's Madison | Day 2

Early Bluebird Ride & Paint the Track!

Sunrise in Northwest ATL

This week we’ll be choosing from:

a) riding from the same start location to the Silver Comet Trail and then riding on the path until we’re halfway to our return time

b) riding SE of the city on country roads past the 3/4 county ride route (Swan Lake)

c) riding SW of the city through Cascade to the Silk Sheets route around Chattahoochee Hills towards Serenbe.

d) Or some other route. Votes Welcome!

Justin climbing

6am start, finish by sometime around 10 or sooner to head to the DLV to paint the track.

Ride Goals:

low traffic, quiet roads, preferably some decent scenery, and a steady pace, though everyone’s welcome to attack particularly on the hills as they see fit and then regroup. Flat to rolling terrain would be nice, too.

We’d like this to be an early morning alternative to Tucker. I’d like to call it the ‘Early Bluebird Ride’ or Bluebird Ride for short. See you at 6am!

More photos from the ride here, RSVP on Rapha Rendezvous or search #Bluebirdride on twitter.

Atlanta

Eight Days Later: The Eight Best Things About NAHBS 2011

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Leading up the this year’s NAHBS I asked John if I could borrow a bike.

Without blinking he said sure, ride my KHS. “By the way, would you like to contribute to the blog?”

Of course I did. But the days in Austin proved to be shorter than expected and I ran out of time.

Now eight days later and the photo above still depicts the scenario rather well.

I was focused on daddy duty with my son Otto, pictured above, and though I compiled some great shots,

any effort I could offer would have been a mere drop in the Prolly bucket of exhaustive NAHBS coverage.

Below is local Texas builder and former Keirin racer, Koh Annoura‘s track bike on motorized rollers.

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What I can do is say that this NAHBS, my third, was the best yet.

and here’s the eight reasons why:

Eight – the bashguards

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Geekhouse above and Gallus below built some bikes ready for extraordinary abuse.

Geekhouse had a great booth too and Jeremy of Gallus once won an alleycat to win a taxidermed calf.

WTF?

Their custom bashguards were awesome.

Gallus

Seven ~ the details

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The level of detail really does get better each year.

In fact, feel free to comment linking to your favorite detail from this year.

Signal Cycles above stepped it up with intricate features and ever more in depth craftsmanship.

The stem and bar combo below from Vendetta Cycles was the pinstriped capstone to a stellar build.

so nice.

Six ~ the Rapha Premiere & Gentleman’s Ride

Cole, human bike stand

Rapha has become a staple at NAHBS.

Their support of  US framebuilders is something I applaud them for.

Both the early AM exploration of west Austin’s hills with the Gentleman’s Ride

and the premiere of their Continental film made this year’s event even better.

Above is Continental rider Cole acting as his own bike stand and a still from the film below.

The Rapha Continental Premiere

Five ~ the food

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The food in Austin is great.

I had the chance to try out some cool spots: Juan in a Million, Torchy’s and Frank’s.

Frank’s was so damn good.  I went on the suggestion of a local messenger and am so glad I did.

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Four ~ the bike valet

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I sequestered myself in the bike valet aisles for nearly 30 minutes slowly sauntering around

leaning in and finding gems like the Somec above and Bishop below.

Every year some of the most customized bikes can be found both in here and locked up outside.

Again, 2011 took the cake for eye candy on the showroom floor and the valet corridors.

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Three ~ the booths

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Sure last year had some EPIC booths.  I’m looking at you Bilenky & Vanilla.

But this year was about minimalism.

Clever ways of conveying the emotion beyond the frames is a challenge.

Black Cat Bicycles and Vertigo Cycles both had some neat booths.

Aaron of 611 salvaged nearly all of his.

Vertigo Mosaic

Two ~ the people

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NAHBS is great to meet and greet not only legendary framebuilders

but also friends you haven’t seen in ages or ever before.

Above is Simon of Hipster Nascar.  We only met in person for the first time this year

and sadly he took a brutal spill on his bike that same night.  Get better man!

And below is Jordan Hufnagel of Hufnagel Cycles.

I race a frame he built on the track here in Atlanta and am always stoked to see him.

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One ~ the Hortons

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Above, Bob from Bilenky studies Bishop‘s counterpart to their contribution to the pair of Horton bikes.

These bikes were insane and the idea was totally unique.

I have heard of builders teaming up and collaborating in one shop or the other but this was one of a kind.

Ultimately this concept, the bikes, their detailed implementation and final results took the cake for me!

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Well there you have it, my take on the eight best things about this year’s NAHBS.

For more photos check out my flickr and feel free to comment with other best of’s from this year.

Southern Cross 2011

southern cross

Back in November while I was chatting with a friend at the GA Cross race in Camp Jordan he asked me “Are you going to race Southern Cross?” I immediately thought “That’s insane riding 50 miles in the mountains of North Georgia”. At that time I was done after one 30 minute CX4 race. The cross season continued and my fitness improved and the cross races got more fun. I’d been in the gym for a bit and then the Rapha Festive 500. More fitness and a little Christmas cash infusion I picked up a cross frame and two goals availed themselves. Rome Wintercross series and Southern Cross. Rome Series came and went.

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The Day finally comes and it starts at 6am. I gather everything staged from the previous night, a bowl of oatmeal,  and it’s out the door by 7.

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with only one wrong turn this time I make it to Montaluse Winery a little bit before 9 am.

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I check in and get my number and prep my bike for the start. When i start to pump my front tire up I see a P1010046

small puff and hear “pssss”. The hose if my pump had just blown out. I borrow the pump of the guy in the next car, repack my bidons for the drop box and am on my way to the start. Eddie O’Day gives final Eddie O’Day gives final instructions, gives props to the sponsors and gives call ups for last year’s racers.

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There are 200 racers at the start. The race starts at 10am. I placed myself behind the serious riders, so I am comfortably in the group as we go off. It starts on a short section of road and then a left down a hill through a grassy section of the winery. Half way down that first hill a piece of bailing wire gets caught up in my front wheel. The wheel stops and tosses me over the handlebars. I unwrap the wire from around the rim/tire and out from the spokes, do a quick integrety check of the wheel, bheck the brakes, throw the wire off of the course behind a tree, and I am on my way. I feel a little shocky and have a bump on my shin right below my right knee and a little blood. It is cyclocross after all. You are going to crash and you are going to bleed at some point. I got mine over early. I just lost about 50 places. We leave the winery, make a left and find myself on a winding piece of 1 lane tarmac with 20 degree banking in the turns. Really nice! At the bottom of the hill the asphalt stops and we are on fireroads in the National Forrest and the unmade road then pitches upward. We climb and wind through the forrest. I pass some riders and some riders pass me. Then the pitch gets steeper between 6 and 9 percent. Then about 20 minutes later it pitches to 12 and 15 percent, maybe more. I stand on the pedals and the back wheel fights for traction. All I hear is my breathing as my heart jumps out to the road in front of me and says stop! I walk up the rest of this 300 meter section with the single speeders. When the grade gets back to a reasonable 7 percent, I hop back on the bike and climb some more. I finally make it to the first section of ridge. Blood finally goes to my brain and my legs start to recover a bit. Now I’ve loved watching the Belgian classics in the springtime with the cobbles and never had the illusions that I’d rode over anything like that. Broken road in Dekalb county does not a pave road make. In Ghent-Wevelgem classic the riders used to decend the Kemmelberg and i would think “It’s not that bad”. I can

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and we ride together for a while. We make it to the first SAG point at 12.5 miles. Josh says “It;s kind of depressing that we’ve only rode twelve and a half miles.” We catch up to the guy i front of me in the picture by the time we crest the first mountain at about 16.5 miles and on to the first decent. i immediately overcook the first switchback, but no too badly. There was runout that a I didn’t use much of. Now that I feel the lack of stopping power in the bargain brakes I purchased, I continued careening down the side of the mountain in the drops with two fists full of brakes. My legs and arms are screaming at me. There is no comfortable position on the bike while doing this. The pitch levels out a little and I can let the bike run. Grab the brakes hard before the start of the switchback and dive through the apex. It is alots of fun but all I want to doe is get to the bottom of this hill to make the suffering stop. Finally after 15 or 20 minutes we are in the valley and can pedal again. I finally realize why some people become really good descenders. It’s to they can get the hell off of the mountain. Tarmac for a mile or so. Whirr go the knobby tires on the road. The sign on the side of the road says “Pavement Ends”, and it did as we head back into the woods. The dirt road had large rocks protruding from it so you have to continuously scan in front of you to pick out the best line.

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Some times there were no best lines. We wind through the valley floor along a stream. You had to be really careful to watch the road. There are points where the scenery war so perfect and serene that you expect to see cherubim or unicorns drinking from the stream. That is where the biggest potholes were! Josh and I chat and trade pulls as we continue along the valley floor, past camp sites and cookouts and some hunters. We start the second climb and josh just goes out the back. I get a very nice tempo and start passing lots of riders. I finally make it to the second sag point and trade out bottles and get a few more gels. 20 miles left! I ride along and pass this brother from Pensacola FL. this is like the fourth time I passed him. I’d drop a chain and he’d pass me and I’d pass him back. I stopped for the SAG and her passes me and I passed him back. We chat for a bit and he says that he and some of his buddies are going to start making the trip to Atlanta to race on the track. Bring it, Pensacola! I get over the top of the ridge and there is a woman riding the second decent really well. I catch her wheel and follow her down the perfect lines down these hills. We get to through the first half where it levels out. I mentioned that she looks really good on these roads. She and her husband got a cabin in the mountains and she rides there all the time. I told her thanks for piloting me down the previous decent. I mentioned that this was the first time for me to ride a legitimate mountain and she expressed that she was impressed with the fact that I could follow her and mentioned that the next section was a bit rocky. There was a pitch up and she didn’t keep my wheel.

Image From Wikipedia.

now say that I have made a decent on a road that is worse! I was thinking about a pave road and was wishing that the stones were so evenly spaced and uniform as I flew down the mountainside hell bent for leather. I only lost one water bottle and was praying to keep the other. It seemed that the whole torturous decent would go on forever, diving through loose gravel switchbacks, again plummeting as fast as I dare just to get off the mountainside. Then it happened! TARMAC! the end of the decent, a 150 degree left turn and 8 miles of road to the winery. I saw 3 riders in the distance. i didn’t really try to catch them . Just turn the pedals and make it to the finish. It took about 3 miles to catch them, but I did and on a small climb. There were thoughts of just hanging onto their wheel but it was more important to keep a rhythm than anything else. So I towed them most of the way to the winery and another guy took a good pull. A right into jthe winery entrance, a right heading toward the finish line, then there was a guy in the road waving. Telling us that the course took a right off road and up a hill. This was the BONUS run-up that Eddie threatened us with at the start of the race. The race marshall’s buddy was threatening the riders with free beer before the run-up. The other three in my group succumbed to those threats while I continued on up the 30% grass ill that continued for about 150 meters. Eddie later said that the rece winner rode up three quarters of the run-up. It was pretty classic cyclocross from there. Between some rows of grape vines and down a muddy path next to a pond. up two more grassy hills and down the street to the finish tent. I finished! My time was 4 hours 20 minutes and some seconds. That put me after 5th but i don’t know the placing. The Distance was 50.1 miles with a little over 6400 ft of climbing (and descending).

I hang around for a couple of hours until the awards ceremony. I didn’t win anything in the race. The fastest P1010059

time was 2 hours and 59 minutes for the full course. I think it was Thomas Turner. i doin’t know him but the regular racing crew do. I did get a couple of things from the raffle.
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And the sun sets on an epic day of riding. Just an hour and a half and I was home.

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Austin, NAHBS Pre-Game Festivities

Austin

Despite the ominous weather.

I knew today, the day before NAHBS would be awesome. I even got my stickers on time!

Prolly's new glass

After a quick coffee at Jo’s, Stacey, Otto & I headed over to John’s to pick up my loaner.

Man. Riding the KHS will be a sweet way to get around this weekend. Thanks once again John!

Race Proven

Afterwards we all headed over to Jaun in a Million.

Talk about setting a solid foundation for your day. So tasty. So filling!

Don Juan

After spending the afternoon in Zilker Park with Otto & Stacey,

I headed over to the convention center to sign in.

This contraption below caught my eye.

Goes to show you that “necessity is the mother of…” well, really only that not everything at NAHBS is pretty.

fork support

After a quick peek in the exhibition hall, I ran into John doing some recon.

I headed over to the Blogger Meetup organized by Darryl of Loving The Bike.

There were some really nice people hanging out and local Austin entrepreneurs as well:

Chameleon Coffee offered some samples of their cold brewed coffee. so damn good.

And below is the jersey from the Thunderbird Energetica kit.

Their energy bars were absurdly delicisous. Imagine a bar that tastes as good at this jersey looks.

Maybe even better.

Also there were the ever useful Grease Monkey Wipes & scrumptious Bearded Brothers organic snacks.

Thunderbird

Tucked in the corner were two Bromptons. They are the new modes of traveling paths less pedaled.

Great to meet you Russ & Laura!

Bromptons

Some other bikes that stuck out were the bamboo cyclist‘s rig below

Bamboo, heavy duty

and Scott’s bike of Dropout, a local bike zine.

Scott Cannon

The final stop for the day was the Rapha film event at Mellow Johnny’s.

Mellow Johnny's

More sweet non-NAHBS bikes were seen…

Ira Ryan

always classic, an Ira Ryan above, Alan of Cycling WMD‘s travel bike below

Cycling WMD!!

and one of last year’s non-NAHBS show builds! Amrando Quiros‘s own ride:

Quiros

But back to films, the premier of Rapha Continental and screening of D’Acciaio (Of Steel) by Ben Ingham

were certainly a sublime first step into the weekend.  D’Acciaio was a special treat to see again.

Dario is a true living legend and witnessing such a craftsman in honest non-rehearsed scenes is amazing.

No one can discount Rapha for their non-discount approach to cycling.

Beyond their luxury apparel, these guys truly do live and love bikes. More so than most cyclists even.

Every ride they did was indeed EPIC and pushed to the very limit of the riders’ ability.

The Continental portrayed these past several years of riding perfectly.

Passion, as Dario says, can’t be manufactured, but you see it here in this film.

From painful suffering as riders dragged themselves up and across vast American expanses to

the simple elegant beauty of the made in USA frames they road.  I cannot convey how picturesque it was.

The Rapha Continental Premiere

For more photos form my first day here in Austin can be found here.

Stay tuned on twitter for updates throughout Day 1 of NAHBS.

Matching pink in background.

The Adventures of Otto ~ Vol. 2 | SF

Market Street

I love San Francisco.

This is maybe my 4th or 5th time here. Its where Stacey & I got engaged at NACCCs 2007,

my bud Philipp of European Touches & I traveled here last year

and now Otto & I would explore the city by the bay.

My Dutch Bike

Our first stop was My Dutch Bike on Market Street a stone’s throw from our hotel.

Otto & I would need wheels like the bakfiets we got from J.C. Lind Bike Co in Chicago last year.

Alseep amidst fietsen

This shop ruled.  Not only was it an instant step straight to Holland, it is done with unique SF style.

While Otto snoozed I snapped some shots to showcase the shop.  Below is a bike that was recently stolen!

two in front

I hope its recovered quickly. Bikes like the Workcycles above and tandem for three below are still rare.

I do think that is changing as individuals and families begin to make such velo-vehicles more mainstream.

And My Dutch Bike is doing its part!  The shop was stocked with an array of styles and models of bikes.

Tandem for three

Of course Brooks was well represented.  What else would you put on a Dutch bike? Or any bike really!

Lotsa Brooks!

Unless it would be a San Marco Rolls.  This heavy duty cruiser caught my eye for two reasons:

one, it looked like the fastest bike in stock and two, its name was Otto!

The Otto

That was pretty funny and right about the time my Otto began to awake from his slumber.

The Otto

We saddled up, dropped the stroller off and and did a quick ride to test this beast out towards city hall.

Otto was stoked. I was was too.  I knew we’d have a blast this trip and decided to celebrate at a park.

Otto in front of City Hall

We found one nestled right in front of city hall with this ironic signage welcoming visitors.

No adults sans kids

We did some swingin…

Otto loves San Francisco!

…and some slidin and then headed back to the hotel to rest up for our packed agenda the following day.

Slidin

We woke up early.  like 5 AM early, as Otto was still sleepin on East Coast time and we slowly got rolling.

Around 7am we finally were heading towards the ferry to make our way to Berkley.

Otto Eye View @ Embarcadero

I stopped for a moment to let Otto check out the scenery while took some photos on the Embarcadero.

Bout to head to Berkely

A guy rolled up on a super fly Bullitt cargo bike.  It was Erik Zo of ZO bags! What a killer coincidence!

These bike gets used!

We talked about all kinds of things and as we chatted I, of course, inspected his ride for neat details.

These made in SF pedals caught my eye.  In my opinion, its exactly what most GR9 riders would love.

Custom Pedals

The large flat platform with skateboard griptape is ingenious.  The bearings felt buttery.  Great pedals!

Skateboard griptape, so rad.

We missed a ferry by minutes but took the time to have a mid morning snack in the ferry station.

Whilst waiting on the next boat, Otto zonked out.  No way to plan for naps with a time zone shift!

But this was perfect.

He snoozed leading up to the ferry’s arrival, as we boarded and then as we crossed the bay.

I was amazed as the wind was really blowing and the vessel was super loud as we sped towards Oakland.

En route to Oakland

I bundled him up with a blanket and my softshell.

Pac bags have a removable pad which made a great pillow.

Snoozin

We then faced our main challenge of the day.

We had missed the early ferry and now, to avoid an all day in Oakland option, had only 1.5 hours to burn.

No one one thought I could make it to Berkeley and back in this span of time.  I knew Otto & I could do it.

Jitensha Studio

With only missing one turn we made a straight shot to Jitensha Studio.

This shop was one of the places I was determined to see but now would only have literally minutes to visit.

Otto stood in amazement as I blasted a frenzied round of photos

while the owner, Hiroshi, was on the phone.

Jitensha Studio

These place was mystical.  So much history packed into so few things in such a small space was unreal.

Relics

You just don’t see relics like this in person.  Part museum part custom bicycle studio,

Jitensha is indeed unique.

Artifacts

Still Otto gazed around.  He is used to bikes and always excited to see them but rather than B lining it

towards whichever one caught his eye, he continued to simply look around.  This was cute and practical.

Soaking it in.

Hiroshi Iimura has been designing bicycle frames for over 40 years. The frames featured at Jitensha Studio are built to his specifications by various frame builders depending on the kind of bike. Custom bikes are built to order. For those who want a high quality hand made frame for a more reasonable amount, we offer the EBISU, a limited production bike supplied in a limited number of stock configurations to keep the cost down.

More about Ebisu here.

Ebisu

This bike was placed at the doorway before we arrived and its location was also quite practical!

Bike blockade

I really began to regret not having more time to stay and talk.

Or even to potentially see some of this build come to life but Otto and I were running out of time…

Hiroshi's Workspace

Again, what at first seems sparse is anything but.  Each specific item is stocked with a distinct purpose.

Caps & Racks

I purchased a shirt and a Crane bell for my Costello and we rolled out back towards Jack London Square.

Ebisu

We made it back with minutes to spare.  Even I was surprised despite my confidence that we’d pull it off!

Awake for the ferry back, Otto was excited to see all the birds, boats and not blue shrouded in fog skyline.

Sailboat!

Upon arrival our first encounter was a street troupe of ballsy Brits doing daring tricks.

10ft unicycle anyone?

10 ft. Unicycle

Of course a stop by Pier 39 was in order.  Albeit a bit sparse with sea lions, it was as loud as ever.

Pier 39

The next morning, our last in SF, we still had some places to go and faces to meet.

First we headed to Mojo to meet Mike from MASH.  Below is his Cinelli.  These frames are solid!

Mike's MASH Cinelli

Mike and I talked about about bikes and bein’ dads.

The best part is when they that go together so well!

I picked up a ton of MASH goodies, photos of which will be popping up on the site very soon.

Mike and the MASH crew are legends and I hope to see them keep setting the bar for years to come!

Otto & Mike

Also while at Mojo, Otto and I met up with long time friend Chuey of Chuey Brand.

I first met him at NACCCs here in SF in 2007.  For years he made caps for the shop I formerly co-owned.

Since then we have stayed in touch and Chuey Brand caps are more popular than ever!

He is also beginning to produce limited apparel runs.  Not alot of details yet but I know they will be stellar.

He generously gave me a vest that I have been wearing it everyday since! Thank you again Chuey!

Chuey, Otto & me

From there Otto and I picked up Stacey.

Yep, she just hopped in up front and after lunch with our friend Joey we headed towards our last stop in SF.

Ape'n it on the Bakfiets

The timing was getting dire as Otto was setting a course towards naptime with a pitstop in grumpytown.

grumpytown

Lucky Stacey was there to keep him in good spirits as we made out way into the Mission.

Lines

Mission Workshop. These guys are the best.  So friendly and everything they produce is genius.  Seriously.

I last visited nearly a year ago and the company has covered an impressive amount of ground.

Not only building out a super sharp showroom here but launching storefronts in London and Paris.

Mission Workshop

Stacey was in need of some shoes for her commute and what other option than DZR?

She picked up a pair of Kowloons. More photos and her feedback on their performance will be posted soon.

Selecting

Another brand I have watched make smart product decisions over the past few years is Outlier.

Its a no brainer that these guys would team up to share shelf space here.

The brands compliment each other quite well as ingenuity, quality and unique design are at their core.

Further down on the rack is the the Orion. This jacket has saved me from soaking several times already!

Outlier @ MW

Thank you guys again for the hospitality & keep up the good work!

Visiting MW is always on my SF todo list!

The Space Looks Great!

By this time Otto was really getting sleepy and we had a Caltrain to catch to Menlo Park to visit friends.

Otto

We made the train and Otto caught his Z’s wrapping up yet another epic adventure for my little guy!

Below is a gift he received from our friend Joey and it couldn’t be a better souvenir for his first SF trip!

More photos from our adventure can be found here.  Otto can’t wait to go back, I know I can’t!

Speaking of trikes!...

European Touches ~ Vol. 6 ~ A visit to the Rapha Headquarters in London

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When I was in London in this past December I managed to

squeeze in a brief stop at the Rapha Headquarters

in the famous Camden district. I wanted to try on some of their products and was disappointed to hear that

the temporary „Rapha Cycling Club“ had already closed down earlier in the summer.

Luckily Paula, Rapha’s new area rep for Germany, welcomed me in the office and showed me around.

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This was especially great, because everyone was very busy.

With just a few days before Christmas, orders were being prepared and shipped to all the customers

across the globe eagerly awaiting their new cycling gear.

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I got to hang out in the „show room“, where all the Rapha products are on display for future retailers

and business partners. Seeing the great gear they produce you ask yourself, why you would ride with

anything but this… Though upon checking my wallet I was reminded ,

this is why my closet isn‘t all Rapha quite yet

Nonetheless, I left with a great looking Paul Smith Merino top for myself and got Jon one of the new

Cyclocross Team-Caps. Good stuff as usual …

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Big „Thanks“ to Paula, Barney and all the great folks at Rapha.

A few more photos can be found on the European Touches flickr.