Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I'm not quite sure if this coffee is quite UCI legal....

check it out here.

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Monday Bike Video

This served as a well needed pick-me-up this morning. 

(He's just a little bit talented.)


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Short Story for Wednesday.

I was real excited today. I cleaned and polished my winter bike up real nice-like. 

It was pretty and shiny and made me happy.

Sometimes I call my winter bike "Grimace." Other times, just "Winter Bike."

....Then I realized I had to ride it home on the snowy, salt-covered roads. 

I got sad.

The end.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Review: Crank Brothers Multi-17 Tool

I'm a geek for tools. Bike tools, mostly. That said, I'd like to mention that within the vast spectrum of bike tool "types"....I am particularly fond of multi-tools. They're the Swiss-Army Knife of the bike world. Really. I'm not quite sure one of these guys will save you from a bear in the woods (although some do have knives), or start a fire like the name-sake, but if you happen to be riding in the Swiss Alps and need a derailleur adjustment....Boom. Swiss-Army bike tool. I'm slightly obsessed. My fiancee likes to tell me that it's "because I'm a boy," but I like to think that it's more than that, that it's just because multi-tools are just pretty darn nifty. I'd also like to think that this fondness isn't gender-specific. Multi-tools can like girls, too. 

Having worked at a bike shop for the past number of years, I've accumulated a decent collection of bike tools. Some I'd consider a good buy-like the Surly Jethro Tule-and others I'd consider a waste of my time. One thing I have a lot of is the aforementioned multi-tool. They're small, generally lightweight, boast an array of necessary allen wrenches and screwdrivers for on the fly adjustments, and half the time they double as a bottle opener. 

....Bikes and beer. They go together well. 

By far my favorite of these tidy little cycling Swiss-Army knives, my Crank Brothers Multi-Seventeen tool. At a $27 MSRP it's not too out of the park outrageous, in fact, it's pretty average for many of the tools on the market today. Crank Brothers simply describes it as "17 features in one lightweight tool."

It's loaded with an 8,9, and 10-speed chain tool; spoke wrenches #'s 0-3; hex wrenches #2, 2.5,  3, 4, 5, 6, 8; a phillips and flat head screwdiver; a t-25 torx wrench; 8mm and 10mm open end wrenches...and a lifetime warranty. It's basically every tool needed for any quick-fix with nothing unnecessary (one of the options we sell at the shop has two valve tools, a shock pump, and only one size of spoke wrench). My only complaint, that it doesn't have a bottle opener. 

for the past number of weeks, I've been volunteering at a local mission fixing up the beaten and bruised donated bikes. It's a place that relies on donations and volunteers, so the variety of tools needed for bike "stuff" is...lacking. That's where this little guy has come in handy! 

It's been a saving grace a number of times out on the road or the trail....and recently in the basement of a cold Michigan warehouse. All in all...I'm pretty happy with this one, and I don't think I'll be looking for another multi-tool any time soon. matter how much I'm obsessed with them.

Note: No Drive. Just Ride. is not being paid, nor bribed for this review and we will strive always give our honest thoughts and opinions.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Snow + Commuting = Snomuting?

Today was the first time that I really, honestly commuted in the snow this entire winter. 

...although, to my credit, there hasn't been any snow yet this season. 

I've been trying to commute this season as much as I can. We've been lucky to have had a very mild season so far. In fact, it's been so nice that I recently (yes, as in January recently) took this picture of one of my bikes. I call her Penny. 

Aside from the gang tag on the wall....I was very happy about this. Not because I like my bike...but because I had a T-shirt on. 

Today....was a different story. I used a different bike. 

Let's just say it was colder. 

It was a fun ride, nonetheless, and I found that even though it was bone-chilling cold out, I DID notice a a few things.

  1. People don't know how to drive when it snows. Yes....we all say that....but you notice more things as you pass by accidents on a bike. You're just plain not moving as fast. Take for instance....the tire marks leading up to the crash, or the types of vehicles involved (preeeety much always an SUV).
  2. People don't know how to ride when it snows. Let's just say I saw more people walking their bikes to class on the unpaved sidewalk than attempting to ride them. Why bring the bike, anyway? Or myself...thinking that for some reason when I was getting chased by a dog (same. angry. dog. every. morning.) I kicked up the cadence just to find that my rear wheel broke loose and I started sliding...into a trash can. (Did I just admit that?)
  3. I need to dress better for the weather. Ok....So I rode in jeans. Bad Idea. Don't do it.
  4. Commuting in any weather can be fun. No matter what the terrain....for some reason a bike is just plain a more enjoyable way to get there. Heck...on a bike, when you start sliding or fishtailing down the grin and try to do it again. In a car? Yeah....ya' freak out.

I'll be commuting and posting a lot more throughout the coming year...more about the realities of commuting rather than the mere fact that it was snowing today. 


Saturday, January 5, 2013

NDJR/20 Liters: The Final Miles - Part 1


First a few thank you's to Drew Johnson and Sarah Kole who over the break donated to 20 Liters, pushing the total up to 235% raised! It's hard to express how blown away I am by all of you who have supported this and have simply asked questions about why I am doing it.

Humbled and thankful.

As you've noticed, there has been a break in riding - first there was finals week at seminary, then right onto driving to Iowa for a week back with the family for the holidays. Now, I'm back in Holland. Classes haven't started back up and I get to spend a few days back in town before I head to the other side the world for 10 days. No joking, I'm heading to India for a J-term class.

As I settled in for a few days, I couldn't help but play in my parts bins - reorganize a bit, which then of course means changing some parts around on the bikes. From the picture above, you can see Red got the crank changed out on her and due to the extremely mild winter we are having so far I was able to put some miles on it as I ran around town to do some errands.

Going from coffee shop to school to the library to some food to the bank to then back to school since I forgot a few things. I discovered after putting the route in the computer had gone slightly over 9 miles! Crazy. But it was good to get back on the bike.

27 miles to go!
Totals to date:

Miles Friday: 9.2 miles
Overall miles: 112.6 miles

Sponsor a mile. Change a life. Donate here.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Project: Bike Fork Lamp

Some of you might have seen this over on my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Regardless it seemed worth of posting here.

This past week I was able to spend back in the homelands. Unlike most trips where I bring back a bike with me, I wasn't able to this time but I did bring with me items for projects I had rolling around in my head.  Since a vast majority of all of my tools are bike related, when I head to Iowa my fathers workshop is often calling my name - along with his expertise.

This project started back in July when I saw this over on Bike Rumor. Looking at it, I thought simple enough and over the last few months I have been looking for a frame I might cut apart to make my own. As Christmas fast approached and with no promising leads I realized the old fork off of Red would work perfectly as a lamp. So I gathered it up with an old Cannondale crosstop brake lever and a quick release - then drew up a simple design for the rest while explaining it to my father once I arrived in Iowa.

I'm super pleased with how it turned out and it seems like I have inspired a few others to try to make their own and had some wanting me to make more. Which begs the question...

Would you buy one if they were available?
If so, for how much?