Archive for August, 2009

Mo MTB.

August 27, 2009

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Klein appreciation.

August 27, 2009

Between the ages of 14 and 17 I used to race Downhill mountain bikes and at that time I would have either been riding a beat up GT RTS ( terribly designed linkage system ) or a Jamis Dakar ( amazing ) and of course both complete with Rock Shox Judy DHs, ‘V’ brakes, Renthal Motocross bars ( because that was how we rolled ) and all manner of anodized bits ‘n’ bobs.

I remember after one race looking over at a few pros and seeing what I now know to be a bunch of Klein Mantras. Instantly I fell in love. Maybe it was the ridiculously oversized tubing? Perhaps it was the day-glo paint that was calling me out? I don’t know but what I do know is I still have a soft spot in my heart for the Klein and if I could ever get my hands on a fully rigid Attitude I would be one stoked boy!

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Hate.

August 26, 2009

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“Giant’s Bowery FMX might have been born in the velodrome but it was definitely raised in the BMX world. This fun city steed boasts an aluminum frame and chromoly fork for a light, responsive ride that can take on whatever the urban landscapes has in store for you. This sweet rig is ready for whatever tricks you can throw down, too, with stiff 3-piece chromoly cranks, a BMX-style saddle and a stubby stem with riser bars. And, the fast-rolling 700c wheels with Michelin tires can handle drops, jumps and fast bike-lane ripping. There’s even a thick wrap around the top tube to protect you as well as this sweet frame while it’s locked up.”

What a load of old blurb that is. The frame is no different to a standard 08 or 09 Bowery… I know because I had one. I mean yes it looks O.K but it is made out of Aluminium for christ’s sake. As the good Samuel Kilburn says on Fixed Gear Leeds… “If Alu was any good they would have made street BMXs out of it” and do they? No.

If this thing is for “drops, jumps and fast bike-lane ripping” then the material chosen is an error in my opinion.

Oh and Bottle mounts? Just in case you fancy a sip of water while handling the “drops, jumps and fast bike-lane ripping”… Ha! Oversight.

Via Prolly.

Hellyer good.

August 26, 2009

Continuing the theme of what seems like a weeks worth of historical images are these, taken in San Fransicso circa 1963.

My favourite photograph is the lowest one… that guy on the left in the Belmont cycling cap and what appear to be Ray Bans has got to be the coolest looking motherfu**er I ever saw. If he didn’t get victory that day then he must have been robbed of it.

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These photos are from a day of races at the Polo Fields in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in around 1963 or thereabouts. The morning started off at Shinn’s bike shop out near Ocean Beach where we met the Western Wanderers touring club. They took us on a liesurely tour of the Lake Merced area including a stop for a memorable breakfast at Joe’s of Westlake (which survives intact today). And then on to the Polo Fields in the Park for a day of bicycle racing. The Polo is a multi-use recreational facility consisting of a large grass playing field ringed by a slightly banked bicycle track a little over a kilometer in length. There was no functioning velodrome in the Bay Area at this time, so, the Polo was used for both road and track races. (Jim Manning informed me that the track was on the narrow side and that the chainlink fence could act like a cheese grater.) This was my first attempt to photograph bike racing with my fixed-lens Rollieflex in what turned out to be a less than photogenic site. Unfortunately, no program survives from the day’s mix of criterium and track events. I’m guessing that the host club was the San Francisco Wheelmen.

See more goodies like these over here.

70s Amsterdam.

August 26, 2009

I have infinite Love for the city of Amsterdam. It is a hope of mine to live there one day… I guess I just need to make it happen!

Anyway here we have more photographs off the trusty Flickr from the user known as Amsterdamize… Props to them for the scans.

The 70s… aaaaah looking like nothing but pure goodtimes!

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See more here.

Belgium 1967.

August 25, 2009

Fantastic images here found on Flickr of a race that took place in Kermesse, Belgium 1967.

Actual photographs win over digital every single time… Is it time to burn the ‘megapixel’ perhaps?

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See more here.

Razz.

August 25, 2009

Anyone up for it tonight… It has been so long since we linked and it is about time for a reunion don’t you think?

The weather report says it will rain today but will most certainly be dry by this evening so who fancies it… The usual bomb out to a countryside boozer for Mature cheddar cobs and locally made Ale?

I’ll send a tx out later to confirm it’s on as our weather can be Unpredictable!

In the meantime if you are reading this and are up for it… leave me a little message.

Beauty.

August 24, 2009

Whilst paying for a packet of 10 Marlboro ‘lights’ at my local off license’ last night I heard “Yo! How much your bike was!?” This poor use of the English language had come bellowing indoors towards me from one of the three youths stationed outside like a verbal tsunami and I replied accordingly. “Mind your own business son”.

After the smoking materials had been gained and my change emptied into my pocket I returned to my parked bicycle outside to be met again with “How much?” and my answer was the same.

The brief conversation that followed between these three boys and myself brought us to the untimely conclusion that the Purple 1989 Duell track pursuit bicycle that I was using was actually “shit” and worth no more than £50 in today’s money and that their cousins Carrera “racer” was blatantly ten times better than mine as he had bought his from Halfords. I had absolutely no come back. Actually he did say that my saddle was “Sick eni” which apparently means that it is pretty good… bonus. We finished up, threw a couple of soft curses at each other and went on our way, smiling.

Now then, joking aside they actually did think that their cousins Carrera was ten times better than mine and why wouldn’t they. Beauty is, after all in the eye of the beholder.

Which leads me to these. Some photos from a gallery Hardy sent me via email a while ago with the title ‘Crap but good’.

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Photographs taken from Custom Star Japan.

Starts Today.

August 21, 2009

Wish I could make it… there will some great bargains to be had.

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Rapha’s annual end-of-summer sample sale begins this Friday the 21st August. Taking place at Condor Cycles in London, there will be end of line stock, unique samples and other goodies available at heavily discounted prices. These sales usually see cyclists queueing up down the street before a mad dash into the shop, so get there early to bag yourself some bargains.

SAMPLE SALE TIMES:
Friday 21st August 5pm – 8pm
Saturday 22nd August 9am – 5pm

Rapha.Blog.

Massan.

August 21, 2009

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Not many words but some real nice photographs over at Massan’s blog. Go peep.

Oh and if you go there make sure to check the first vid on the page… ouch!

Kinfolk x Carnival.

August 21, 2009

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As an emerging bike-brand, Kinfolk looked to one of Japan’s most respected and established Keirin bike builders in Kusaka to produce and manufacture the brand’s frames. With few possessing the necessary knowledge, patience and understanding required to build a bike of this quality, Kinfolk’s offerings are undoubtedly something that won’t easily escape your mind. Teaming up with another respected entity in bike shop Carnival Tokyo, together the two release a co-branded fixed gear bike featuring a Kinfolk frame and Carnival Tokyo components.

Via Hypebeast.
Kinfolk Bicycles.

More on Jimi.

August 20, 2009

I must get one of these at some point.
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What I say:
I don’t like pulling my wallet out when I get home from cycling to find my steez all wet and soggy. Bank notes begin to look fake and my reciepts are no longer legible. So I think a ‘Jimi’ is the way to go.

What they say:
Jimi™ wallet is a really handy and stylish way to carry your essentials and free yourself from the clutter and bulk of the traditional wallet/pocket book. It’s compact, water resistant, and translucent – as much at home in a hipster’s pocket, a busy Mom’s diaper bag or around the neck of an exec. breezing through airport security!

Already a hit with the cycling, motorbike and snow sport community, Jimi wallet’s a smart urban accessory and it’s great in the great outdoors. Students we’ve heard from say that they love it at school because it’s translucent, hangs on a lanyard and is great for showing ID.

Jimi wallet’s also an award winning, US-made product that’s being sold everywhere from Lance Armstrong’s new bike store in Austin, TX to tiny boutiques in Tokyo. And to top it all, Jimi wallet is manufactured from 100% recycled and recyclable materials, and 1% of its sales revenue is invested in the environment.

£10.79 from Wiggle.

Love this.

August 20, 2009

The Blue Lug Frog Pack.

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Perfect for those 20 mile evening rides with my girlfriend. I could jam my camera, a mini picnic and a bunch of tools in there. If only the U.K had such goodness as this and no I will not pay £80+ for a Supreme hip bag out of LDN. Nope!

From Blue Lug.
Spotted at Tracko.

A Question…

August 20, 2009

… About helmets.
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As some of you may or may not know I myself am follicly challenged that is to say I am balding, yes I know 21 ( 29 ) and balding… tough luck! But anyway I digress.

The thing is I need a helmet but I need one that doesn’t protrude too much around the edges making me look like something out of Mariokart.

Does anyone have any suggetsions as to a good helmet with a ‘slim’ or ‘low profile’ type fit?

Things.

August 19, 2009

Struggling up some hill on the granny ring somewhere in the Worcestershire countryside yesterday my mind began to wonder… What ‘stuff’ could I really do with right now? Not neccesarilly stuff that I could myself afford but perhaps some ‘stuff’ that should I continue to be a good boy for the rest of the year Santa could potentially bring for me and place neatly under my tree in the early hours on the 25th December. A bit early for C********s I know but what the heck.

So here it is, in no particular order… The ‘stuff’ that would have been nice on yesterday’s 70 mile hit to the Malverns:

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Energy bars. To lessen the need to stop so frequently for refueling. The bonk nearly took me twice yesterday… Like a Mirage it was but instead of seeing water all I could see was the following on toast!

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Eggs, I like them scrambled. Because that Bicycling Weekly recipe of Porridge, Bananas and Honey once digested lasted me about an hour.

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A palm/cycle based GPS system. To prevent future episodes of yesterday’s 20 mile accidental detour. Although Andy, you did a fine job and that piece of paper you had should be framed.

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Another water bottle, because two is doubly better than one and more-over I s w e a t ( sorry about that ) so this boy needs water and regularly.

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The Rapha lightweight jersey, with a full zip. 1990s heavyweight fluoro polyester with a half zip is really not the one. My upper body felt like a freshly cooked chicken wrapped in cling film.

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A sigma Dp-1. Small enough to pack in your jersey pocket but powerful enough to snap the sharpest of shots ( I want one real bad ). Plus I forgot mine!

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A Jimi wallet. To stop my banknotes and reciepts getting wet. Sometimes a leather pouch classy as it may be just doesn’t come through with keeping my stash dry.

All that said it was a great day and I am ready to do it again… right after that Santa dude pops over with my loot.

Rebore.

August 19, 2009

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Daniel Rebour was a French illustrator of the post war era. During the 1940s, 50s and 60s Rebour created precise line drawings for catalogues and magazines documenting the innovations, intricacies and curiosities of bicycles and their components. His exquisitely detailed and beautifully crafted illustrations show a love for the bicycle and its mechanical beauty and strike a fine balance between technical precision and artistic expression.

Words by Joe Hall at the Rapha.blog.

Alpine greatness.

August 18, 2009

Sorry about the lateness of this, I perhaps should have thought about posting it BEFORE I left to go cycle and get lost on the way to Malvern… but I’ll save that one for another time.

After yesterdays post on the joys of road cycling I stumbled across the following.

I typed in the URL of my new favourite blog and what was presented there before me was one of the best posts I have come across in a quite a while so I had to share it with you.

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As a spindly-legged kid, I spent most of my summers tucked in my Austrian father’s broad slipstream while we pedaled up and down New Hampshire’s winding back roads. Saddled atop his dinosaur of a Motobecane, ragged cycling shoes wedged into his toe clips and his unruly grey hair flapping in the wind (he never wore a helmet, which, he assured me in his heavily-accented English, were for loozahs), he’d ramble on about all the epic Alpine rides he and his fellow farm boy buddies had done as teenagers. Then he’d crack open a can of Coors when we got home, drain it and tell me more. I knew ‘em by heart: The time they’d hooked their hands onto the back of a bus in order to coast the last few rain-soaked kilometers into Munich just to buy an LP of Revolver; the time they’d stumbled into a Swiss gasthof, cycling caps askew and faces full of grime, only to be fed for free by the matronly proprietor who’d pitied such a worn-out and weary-looking crew; and of course the many occasions on which they’d outmaneuvered slick Italian sport coups down Passo di Stelvio’s 48 hairpin turns. Sure, just the other day I blew a few too many freelance checks on this carbon fiber racing rig, but no matter how modern my tastes have become, I’m still – thanks to dad – obsessed with vintage bikes, no-frills cycling apparel and leg-breaking rides.

Which is why I was so psyched to find these photos. Snapped by (and in some instances starring) Jobst Brandt, a former mechanical engineer for Porsche and the author behind wheel-building bible The Bicycle Wheel, these photos chronicle the Californian’s 20-something Alpine cycling trips dating back to 1959. Despite Jobst’s techy background, however, you won’t find anything in the photos below but rawhide tans, long surfer hair, wool jerseys, vintage touring bikes, gravel roads running wet with Alpine snow melt and summer snow banks piled higher than a set of stacked Suburbans. No route was too daunting for Jobst and his buds. Pretty refreshing stuff.

But what really makes these photos so interesting is that they serve as testament to America’s love affair with cycling and adventure. Long before anal-retentive endurance athletes hijacked the sport with their scientifically engineered training programs, heart rate monitors and recovery shakes, laidback westerners were going nuts for two-wheeled competitions like Colorado’s Red Zinger Classic and California’s Nevada City Criterium, and, just like Jobst, many headed for Europe to retrace the pedal strokes of their heroes. Packing their jerseys’ with spare tires, passports and enough Schillings, Liras and Francs to buy a few post-ride rounds at whatever bar they found themselves in, these guys had a boyish mentality to riding and a real sense of two-wheeled camaraderie, proving that a bicycle’s true value isn’t measured in pounds or price tags, but merely by where it can take you.


Words by James Jung of the Foggy Monocle.
Photographs by Jobst Brandt.
Found at A Continuous Lean.

See more fantastic scanned photographs of Jobst’s Alpine cycling adventures right here.

Honesty.

August 17, 2009

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Like most people who get into riding a bike with a fixed gear I got one because I thought it was ‘cool’ and fashionable and unashamedly so might I add. Call me a hipster if you like, I have been branded many things in my life so I guess another label wouldn’t matter.

Having ridden a bike for pretty much my whole existence and mostly BMXs or Mountain bikes I wanted something faster, lighter and much simpler without the plethora of gears, brakes and suspension I was so used to. So I got what some people like to call a ‘Fixie’.

So I have been riding a fixed gear bike for quite a while now and specifically a track bike but unlike some who progress and mature into something else like trick riding or ‘700CMX’ (as it was coined by John Prolly) I instead now find myself yearning to simply go faster, further and for longer… with all the trappings and yes by that I mean; gears and brakes, the whole shebang. My friends, I am talking about Road cycling, I absolutely love it!

I sit here writing this on my dining room table after having just returned home from another Sunday afternoon cycle with my good friend Kieran and his brother Andy out in the Warwickshire countryside. We generally do a minimum of 50 miles with a good average speed and in good time but sometimes it hurts, and I mean HURTS. There have been points on some occasions when I felt utterly spent, like I can go no further, not one centimetre more but that is the beauty of it. The sense of accomplishment when you return home to know that you did it is huge and it is at times like this that the glass of wine some like to drink or that marijuana cigarette some like to smoke has been earned and earned good. Whatever your vice is you know you have worked hard for it so gone on, enjoy it.

This is not a fixed vs. free argument, nor is it a gears vs. none debate. There for me is no comparison… they both do their jobs perfectly, to a tee. Now with the option of a road bike I could not again do silly miles riding fixed, there is no need. At this point I would like to say that I fully respect and commend the people who ride for a good amount of miles without the aid of a freewheel or the option to change gear. Take the early riders of the Tour de France for instance. Over 2000 kilometres in nineteen days on a fixed gear without a brake, boom! I doff my hat to them. I however can no longer do it, my knees just cannot take it, but what they can take is a bit of bombing and spinning around the city, where the single speed, low maintenance, no nonsense bike comes into it’s own, for that it is unbeatable.

Back to road bikes! The ability to be able to comfortably travel a certain distance solely under your own steam is amazing. The practice of taking in some of the best countryside your local area has to offer is also a draw, as is the socializing with pals or being able to simply get out in the quiet and mull something over in your head on a solo effort, to conquer a certain hill that has been giving you nightmares, to meet a personal goal (for me that is currently to do 100 miles in a day), to fix a puncture on the side of the road although no one likes a puncture. As Kieran put it “You get a great sense of achievement to know that the thing, the problem, the flat tyre that halted your progress has been fixed, sorted, and dealt with by you and your gone again, on your way”. It all adds up to being one of the things I now enjoy most.

I was such a terrible snob a while back, I really was…”gears are for losers,” I said once jovially, what was I thinking? If I could go back and speak to myself at that point I would have asked myself to go wash my mouth out with soap!

It is simply about appreciating a machine for what it does best and nothing more.

To seasoned road cyclists please forgive me for my novice tone here but I am new to this by a few months so I am still just a beginner and that is another thing, how many others like me have discovered road cycling through the purchase and use of a fixed gear bike?

Project One.

August 17, 2009

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Not sure if anyone knows this but if you fancy designing your ultimate road machine with colours and gruppos and everything head on over to Trek’s Project One and flip a Madone to your heart’s content.

That one up there is my effort… all $9000 worth!

If you are bored at work ( Hardy ) seriously get involved… there is hours of fun to be had.


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