Friday, October 31, 2008

Tom Tom

In previous posts, I have made mention to a friend and former co-worker of mine named Tom. Tom is a great guy, extremely creative, funny and has a huge enthusiasm for all things cycling. He is responsible for the manifesto design and the 'NDJR' logo you see on the banner.

It should then come as so surprise that he will be joining in on all the No Drive fun. Bringing his insight, thoughts, and observations to the No Drive blog.

Enjoy but be kind. He's a youngin'.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

If you read the blog...

On Facebook? Read the blog? Let's be friends. Follow the arrow.

The new Rig.

So I did it.

I got a cross bike, A 2006 Cannondale Cyclocross Optimo 3. Since switching over to the new shop, this bike had caught my eye and seemed to be the right fit for what my needs/wants were for a TransIowa bike and whatever else I decide to throw at it. This time, unlike with my old Poprad, I went the 'traditional' route in sizing a CX bike. I went with a 56.

I have already changed out the seat to a B17 and re-wrapped the handlebars with the tan tape for a little sweetness.
The overall fit of the bike seems to be dialed, some minor adjustments with the stem length and handlebar placement and I'm off. The only thing I might debate changing is the crank, but that is a long time coming and right now would be more to have a full Shimano drivetrain than anything else.

Now that I have the bike, I just need to decide if I'm going to a Kisscross event this Sunday.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Now. I highly recommend that you click on the 'manifesto' above to get clear understanding of what I'm writing about tonight. You might have noticed this little icon on the right side of the page for some time, hardly readable [somewhat intentionally so...]. This came out of a little brainstorming between myself and Tom. Tom, a college student, former co-worker, hipster to some, ladies man to others, all around great guy, was telling me about a discussion he and his roommate were having about this idea of 'no drive, just ride.' and they jokingly started talking about a rant or manifesto talking about this. Now, don't hold me that what I just wrote as being the whole story; what I do know is that we [Tom and I] were talking about this and later that night I emailed Tom my thoughts. With some correction of my poor English and grammar, Tom through this all together.

I think it's good, maybe should be a t-shirt.

*Note: I just realized that there are some grammatical errors in the 'manifesto'. This soon will be corrected.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Looky Looky.

Well, today was a good day. Besides a day long rain storm, I was able to get breakfast with a friend, spend some time at Barnes and Noble just catching up on a bunch of random partial reads of books that seemed interesting and then I get to work and receive this in the mail...

That's right folks, it's the Team Edition BD2 by Ergon. I had recently decided that an Ergon bag was going to be the best choice for Trans Iowa this May and looked into getting one. Needless to say after a few brief emails I was able to get my hands on one. I can't expresss how excited I am to finally get my hands on one, to try one out in 'real' urban conditions all in preperation for May 2 and 3.

I can't say it was really an easy decision for me to go backpack since I've run a messenger bag for years, after hearing the praises from folks who shoot it straight when it comes to these things, I'm excited to see what it can handle and do. This is actually one of the first items, bicycling related or other, that I felt the need to read the instructions and get the bag dialed to me especially given that Ergon puts so much weight into there ergonomic specific design. Easy to read, easy to adjust, it was ready in no time. Now just for some ride time with it. Which will come Monday at the latest given that I'm traveling with my parents to Youngstown State for their game against Northern Iowa.

It'll be good to see how the BD2 holds up for commuting. Plenty of posts to follow on that topic.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What was learned today.

Today was really just another day. A few big things of note... I now am in possession of the rig I'll be using for Trans Iowa this May. Yes, this is a big thing, but as what I do I'm changing a few things on it and next week pictures and thoughts of what this new rig will be or is. Secondly, I learned a lot today about the screen printing process. I've got some dreams for where NDJR might go and today was one very small step, actually more of a half step. But unfortunately a few things had to go back to the drawing board to make this next step launch properly. Watch out, more to come!

Yep. Just a teaser for now.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pay it forward.

If you're at all close to me, you might already know this... and yes, I do to find it mildly difficult to talk about it because I don't like making a big deal about it. But when I have friends who I am very close and care about, I often to whatever I can to show them a little love. Bottke would be one of those people, much like a brother I often forget that he is a few years younger than me. There is just a massive amount of respect I have for him, the way he lives his life, the intentionality of even the words he uses. There is just so much I could go on saying. Let's just there is a bit of 'Guy Love'...

Anyways. The picture at the top is of Summer, Brian's lovely wife and their new Xtracycle. They've been talking for a few months about getting one but didn't have a frame for it to go on. Fortunately, I was in a position where I could share the love, if you will, and hook him up with a frame. That's right, it's the old 1x1 frame... the frame that's made it around Europa [Vance to Carl to Kerkove to Me to now B.]. I don't how many frames and/or bikes that have made it's way to B. but each have always been given with the stipulation that if you decide to get rid of one you must spread to love and pass it on. I do believe that one single speed is in Chicago now, via the Twin Cities, and another is making it's way around the Cedar Valley.

So I guess tonight, I'm writing to say... Share the love.

Recap: Saturday Night Ride.

Recap: It got cold, we only road the 1/2 marathon, I brought a camera...

Geoff, aka the bearded wonder, seemed to think that lyrca was the way to go for this ride. I guess that happens when you're big time.

Attempting the Kerkove shot. Still not good, it seems to me that either I get a lot of my face or my shoulder. R2 was in prime form...

As the previous shot shows, R2 could ride. Granted he was on his fixie w/o brakes but let's just say quick turns, big hills or stops... not his favorite. At least Saturday night.

... it was a fun ride. None of us, besides Mark, were really prepared for the cool that came after night fall. Although for the first half of the ride, for sure, Bill and R2 get award for the most entertaining. From a bit of a navigational issue [which I still blame the lack of a solid map and poor marking of the course] to Tom and R2's race up a hill only to then have to make their way back down without brakes [Sorry no picture of that, we were trying to figure out where we were going] to then getting to have a few deer cross our paths, the ride was a success in my mind.

I'm thoroughly convinced that I could take a person with nominal interest in cycling, take them on a casual group ride and most would be hooked. There is just some thing in cruising around with friends that you can't beat. Can't wait for next time.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Who has a think for odd colored chains? This guy! Yep, I've found that I really can't get enough of the look of bright colored chain on the winter bike [still nameless] and Red. Looking back on where Red has been, from a new handlebar, multiple different evolutions on brake levers, new hoops, to finally the chain.

I guess when it comes to the chain thing, often the response like so many would be 'really?'. To that I say. Yes. Really.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

where's alo?

Yep. Looks like I made it on the Trek Blog... Can you find me?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

saturday ride: marathon edition

That's right. Another Saturday Ride. This time, more details than normal. The Grand Rapids Marathon is Sunday so why not ride it instead of run it. Here's the details...

When _ Saturday 10.18.08
Where _ meet at Founders for the usual food and drink 5:30p, leave around 6:30p
Route _ check it out here. How long? Well, a marathon is 26.2 miles so a little more than that.
Bring _ lights for sure.

See you there!

quote of the day.

'Holy S%!#... That's a bike'

On my ride home last night I encountered two guys walking out of their house, for some reason one of them had a flashlight, they waited patiently for me to pass by... as I crossed there path, I hear 'Holy S%!#... That's a bike'. Now, granted I was on the winter bike and anyone who encounters such a thing of beauty is often awestruck, often unable to complete full sentences... I would like to accredit this response to that. The unfortunate reality being that it was dark enough to not get a 'glimpse of the divine' [not me remember, the bike] but rather my killer Light and Motion Solo Logic Li-ion front light. This has been my main light for commuting and night rides for this last season after upgrading from the EL-500 and Ion 6. This rechargeable light is no longer available since Light and Motion has since redesigned their lights.

It boasts:
_ 3 cell Lithium ion Battery
_ 3 power settings
:: 13.0 watt - 390 lumens - 1.5 hr run time
:: 10.0 watt - 250 lumens - 3.0 hr run time
:: 6.0 watt - 120 lumens - 4.0 hr run time
_ 4 hour Turbo Charger

The Seca 400 would probably be it's replacement, with quite a few upgrades.

Anyways. I can not stress the importance of a strong light for night rides, especially in the urban assault favoring. I have taken a few words to heart from my early years at Europa with local legend Clay... That being, don't assume cars see you, ride like you're not. He took this to heart going as far to wearing all black at night [and yes, I often follow in his footsteps with this approach]. This mindset shouldn't be just for at night but also implemented during the day but with bike light technology continually improving, there is no reason if you are spending any measurable time riding in the dark to invest in a solid, rechargeable light system.

Sure, the upfront cost can scare you away... but with the ease of use, not having to hassle with purchasing/replacing batteries, and truly helping you not only be seen but see is huge. So thank you Mr. 'Holy... it's a bike' man... you have reassured me once again that my light is necessary and justified.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

winter bike.

Yep. I'm at it again. Another bike, this time, a winter bike. A frame brought to you by G-Ted [so long ago he probably forgot about it]. When I received it, someone before Ted had tried to weld on brake mounts [they didn't work] and so I removed them shortly after getting the frame around 2 years ago, if not longer. Since I had hooked Bottke up with the 1x1 frame and I had sold the Soho, I had a few parts laying around. I decided not long ago that riding Red through the winter wasn't going to be an option that meant buy a new bike or make due with what I had laying around.

Well $40 later and a few extra hours at the shop assembling, I had myself my winter bike. She isn't pretty but she works. The frame geometry on it sets me back so where I can get proper extension but reach the ground with more foot [similar to the flat foot designed bikes]. I'll be putting some studded tires on it once the season officially changes but for now.

She's done, ugly but practical.

Any idea on a name?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Red Wall Review: Bontrager Inform RL Saddle 7 Months Later

If you might remember, back in March I purchased the Bontrager Inform RL saddle instead of the Brooks B17 I had originally liked but due to availability issues jumped to the Inform. If you would like to read my first thoughts on the saddle go here.

As stated then and I would reinforce now, Bontragers 90 day comfort guarantee was the sealer for trying this saddle, because in all honesty I planned on returning it since the whole sit on the sizing tablet to dial in the seat seemed very smoke and mirrors to me.

After 7 months with this saddle I couldn't be happier. I have probably around 1,500 miles, maybe more I stopped tracking, on the Inform and over the course of the summer have already put 2 more on other bikes. Outside of the first adjustment I made on the saddle [just a few MM back, due to discomfort], there has been no adjustment needed and I have highly recommended this to any cyclist logging more miles and/or racing. Keep in mind, a vast majority of my riding I am not wearing cycling shorts or lycra. I'm not joe-racer, I'm a commuter. I wear Chrome Knickers on occasion but often it's just shorts and the boxer-briefs [yes, too much information but I feel it's important to note]

The sizing system I believe is the key, although the technology that Bontrager used in developing the saddles specific padding helps I have found that their sizing is where the magic happens. Most of you might have already drank the juice on how this works but bare with me as I attempt to explain in simple man terms.

What is measured is your sit bones, these are the bones that you sit on when you of course, sit. Not when you ride keep in mind. But, those sit bones as they move towards the soft tissue area, they move inward at a relatively consistent manner. Where they narrow on your soft tissue is actually where you sit on a saddle, especially when in a more aggressive or race position. The more 'comfortable' of a position you are in the more a rider moves back in towards the 'seated' position of the sit bones and thus needing a larger platform. The Inform system measured me out and when I compared this measurement to the Brooks they are strikingly close and I believe that is why I have never had any problems or have had to go through the typical break in process with my B17 to enjoy it.

I will have a hard time moving away from an Inform and recommend it to anyone. Remember, $100 is a small price to pay for an extremely important area! And heck, you've got 90 days to figure it out!


I just stumbled onto this on Bikesnob... and all I can say is really? It's a not a dual suspension. Look closely. It has a seat shock too! Wouldn't be surprised with this bike that the rider has always rigged up some sort of stem suspension to go along with this 'dual rear suspension' and 'dual-disc' rear wheel. Crazy.

Another Saturday Ride.

That's right boys and girls. Last minute I know but we're making it a regular thing and unfortunately I've been putting a few things on the back burner lately. Such as: updating the website, posting, explaining the new logo and manifesto, the birthing of t-shirt line [yep, I just put that out there] and a few other things I have up my sleeve.

But as always for the ride. Meet at Founders, come for food and drink at 5:30p tomorrow night, then head out around 6:30p for a little ride around town. Last week, I forgot my digital camera and had to take this photo with my mobile [as I've noticed more GR folk calling it now, might as well hop on that train]. 6 people, great times, nice little ride north then to Calvin, then back to Founders. 2-2.5 hour ride. Easy pace, good times.

More this weekend I promise.