Thursday, February 26, 2009

I like the new Lance

Hi my name is Geoff, and I like Lance Armstrong. Don't judge me for it please, I wasn't ever really a "Lance fan" while he was winning 7 tours, he was too calculated and going to win it every year. In fact I would go as far as to say I pulled for the other guys and didn't follow Lance, I watched bike racing. I like the underdog, but I also like the style and panache of Cipo and Cav' the riders that say what they think and have a personality. "No gifts" was a cool slogan, but it was to clean cut, pushing the liveclean devil into a snowbank that's what I am looking for! On top of that I love that fact that he remembers not only the riders that have offended him and calls them out, but isn't afraid to butt heads with mouthy journalists. The clip below is great simply because he confirms the guys indentity and then just unloads. Hopefully we see some fireworks from Lance all year, I am hoping for an appearance in La Doyenne.

P.S. This being said I don't condone doping, Marco and Tyler were fun to watch, especially Tyler gritting out that long TdF stage win all dinged up, they were memorable perhaps because of their extra help.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

On a roll.

Being on day two of my days off, I've had a bit more free time than normal. Thus the multiple posts in a day, hopefully you've enjoyed them. But as I wait for Geoff to let me know where and when to meet him for a ride, I spent the morning listening to Jaydiohead, reading, watching some TV, and thumbing through one of my books on the coffee table.

The artist might be one of my heroes. Although his popularity has risen as of late, his real identity still unknown...

This was one of my favorites today... the picture on the left is from Venice Beach, Cali 2003 with the small print that you can't read stating 'A recent survey of North American males found 42% were overweight, 34% were critically obese and 8% ate the survey'


I'll leave you with this from Banksy...

People who should be shot

- Facist thugs
- Religous fundamentalists
- People who write lists telling you who should be shot

Man, I love social commentary as of late.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Everything is so amazing and nobody is happy...

For some reason I can't find a embed clip of this interview from Conan but wow... 4 minutes and 12 seconds of some pretty good stuff... click the picture to check it out.

One person's baby is another's 'baby'

Sometimes, conversations breed great ideas. Other times, it's debatable. This is pretty much brilliant, way to follow through Jeff.

Spinning the legs

Today was my day off. Yeah sure it sounds great, but really having a mid week day off isn't all it's cracked up to be. Given that often no one else has a day off either and so it's not like there are many things to do. Today I took the cross bike out for a spin, finally, with the intention of dialing in the new handlebar positioning... It was a beautiful day out, a bit chilly, but my computer let me know it was 24 degrees somewhere in Grand Rapids yet when I got out on the bike my computer read 39. So chilly? Yes but completely bearable.

Here is the position that I started out with, I did a short 15 mile loop through downtown and hit a few hills for kicks. The only adjustment I ended up making 2/3 the way through the ride was to roll the bars forward a bit more so that I would fit into the 'ergonomic' flats in the drops. The only concern I have left is feeling the need to add some extra padding. I'm thinking I'm going to try this method first and see how it goes.... maybe not so many layers but you get the point.

Had to ditch the glasses for the Oakleys today and made sure I kept all the roadies happy with 'proper' helmet to sunglasses positioning. I guess that's what I get for starting to read A Dog in a Hat. Great read so far.

Two last things of note. In the picture above you can see that I'm wearing this Cannondale jacket. I recently got my hands on it and it pretty dang sweet. It is both a jacket and a vest, but the killer part of it, no snaps or zippers to deal with in transitioning between the jacket and vest, magnets! It's stellar, I started off a bit too warm with a baselayer, wool long sleeve jersey and jacket on, ditch the arms and it was perfect. I highly recommend this if you're looking for multipurse gear.

Monday, February 23, 2009

ok bike.

My friend, Joe the comedian, took a picture for me on his latest east coast tour....

I guess for some, mediocrity is success...

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Red got ugly.

I've hinted at Red's transformation for some time. It's still in the works and I'll be the first to admit I've gone a bit far on some the things that I've done to her. But here's another glimpse, before I was running a Yancopad which had been great and I had no real complaints about it. But a season worth of use, the white wasn't as white as it had started out to be. Tom had mentioned the Ugly! Pads. After looking into them, seeing that they were handmade out of California by a 'one man army' I was hooked. Topped with the fact that they were also customizable, it was only a matter of time before I pulled the trigger. Less than a week later, my custom Ugly! pad was at my doorstep.

Yep, pimping the site. Figured she already knows her name, and if you don't know it then you don't need to. I highly recommend getting one for yourself if you're looking into them. For less than $22 dollars, it's great!

Friday, February 20, 2009


Back in October I purchased this Cannondale Cross bike for one sole purpose. TransIowa. It has taken some time to get her to this point but she's getting closer. I ended up trying the Origin 8 Gary bar on another bike and liked it so much; also being influenced by the Fargo and G-Teds preferance for it on his 29ers. I opted for the WTB Mountain Road Drop Bar.



I also finally got the new crank for it since I had broken the first crank. This was just the stock replacement but Cannondale took care of me promptly and can't complain about that. You bike be wondering why I have such an odd rise to the stem, for that you might want to consult this article on, all of you fit guru's might also argue that I have the wrong size bike... but before you get going on that one, here are some stats on me... my torso essentially forgot to go. I have an inseam of around 36" and a wingspan of 6'6"; I stand at 6', maybe 6'1" on a good day. All of that together with the 'proper' set up for this type of bar, topped with crossbike geometry makes the bike appear that it is the wrong fit. The bar is still a few inches below the seat height and for a 320 mile gravel grider which will take me all of the 34 hours allotted for it, I needed to sacrifice looks for practicality.

You might also wonder why I went with the WTB bar instead of the Gary bar or the On One Midge bar. My reasoning being that the WTB seemed to have a wider 'flat' section to give another place for hand positioning which on the Gary bar that I run on the other bike does not allow. From the first ride nothing seems to be an issue, although I am wondering about more padding in the 'drop' section which is definitely something I will be exploring in the month to follow.

Hopefully we don't get the amount of snow they are saying tonight so I can go out and put in a good amount of miles after work and Sunday to really dial things in.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

DIY: Simple Parts Organization

This past January, I headed home for annual pilgrimage back to the homeland known as Iowa. It's an interesting land, full of great folk, corn and in the winter and a little thing called wind chill. If you're not from the plain states you have no real idea what I'm talking about but that's a whole other conversation and discussion for another day.

I went back to celebrate New Years with old friends and late Christmas with the family. Since graduating college, Christmas and birthday gifts have grown more and more practical. Gone are the days of giving parents lists of wants when needs are much more appreciated.

Because of that my parents living 7 hours away, had no real idea what I needed. They couldn't go with the safe bet of gift certificates and so instead they asked what I would like, out of that I was able to score a nice little boot and mitten/glove thermal drier and two very unique gifts: a used tackle box [that Stan-Lo [my father] had recently gotten at a garage sale] and two Rubbermaid tubs.

Like many I have a problem when it comes to my bikes and bike parts in general. I've learned from the best, G-ted, and save just about everything that goes through the shop that might be considered 'trash'. Because of that the amount of small spacers, washers, nuts, bolts, remaining parts of bar tape, and so on has grown and grown. The organization it once had was simply random paper bags. Talking this over with Stan-Lo, he showed me how he uses a tackle box for his random nuts and bolts for his custom carpentry/handy man business. It's brilliant. Something you might even find here.

As you can see, I'm pretty much organized now. From zip ties to master links, they all have their proper place, easily assessable and found without hassle or bigger mess that often occurred when looking for other parts, large and small, and it's super portable. The two Rubbermaid containers where used for the bigger parts: seats, seatposts, handlebars, cranks, and the like.

The man-cave, the lab, the shop, really I have no creative name for my space yet. But it's clean now...



Tuesday, February 17, 2009


This past weekend was the final Kisscross Snowcross at Versluis Orchards. It was great. Unfortunately I wasn't able to participate since on Wednesday night I discovered the my cross bike had a faulty crank. I have a two piece crankset from Truvativ that came stock on my Cannondale Cross, and somehow on the drive side there developed side-to-side play between the driveside crank/chain rings and the thru axle... Needless to say I wasn't able to rock that for such an invent and so I am still waiting for the replacement to come in.

Geoff decided to become the Gray Wolf for the race... unfortunately the wolf was tamed by the helmet requirement. Also his matching gloves and 'utility belt' are still left to myth in that no picture is yet to be seen.

More pictures from the event can be found here and here. And you might be wondering, it was strongly encouraged to dress up for the race.

How to Commute by Bike. (And like it.)

Just Some Facts:
  • The average person loses 13lbs their first year of commuting by bike.
  • Just 3 hours of bicycling per week can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%.
  • Each Rush-hour commuter spends an average of 50 hours a year stuck in traffic.
  • 25% of all trips are made within a mile of home.
  • 60% of all trips are made within two miles of home.
  • 50% of the working population commutes less than five miles to work.
Commuting by bike doesn't sound like a bad idea, does it? So Here's a few tips if you're just getting started, or maybe toying with the idea of going by bike.

  1. Choose the right bike. The right bike generally has two wheels, but it's shape and design will depend on your commute. If you live in New york city and ride on the busy streets, then a road bike may not be your best option; you may go with a single-speed with a much more upright and aware riding position.
  2. Get the gear. You may have looked funny wearing a helmet when you were a kid, but you look dumb without one now. Gear means a helmet, a lock, gloves, and depending on your commute, might entail some riding shorts, as well. Also, you may want to look at getting a spare tube and a set of tire levers to carry around with ya! (You'll also want to know what to do with them.)
  3. Get a nice rack. (ha.) Either get a rack or plan on carrying a backpack or messenger bag designed for biking or commuting. Carrying your normal messenger bag on a bike can be very, very annoying. Trust me, they always find a way to swing in front on you. I use a Chrome messenger bag, and I know Adam uses an Ergon, and we're both very happy.
  4. Plan your route. Knowing your route beforehand will minimize anxiety in the morning when you leave, especially if you know how much time it takes you. Remember, you're not in a car anymore. Take advantages of bike paths, pedestrian bridges, and even sidewalks when necessary. Take into account as well where hills and narrow shoulders are on any roads you will be traveling!
  5. Plan for weather. This one is simple. The weather channel is a favorite of mine, but having a rain jacket in your bag can also help when you forget to check.
  6. Be aware. Watch out when you're riding. Ride on the right-hand side of the road, never against traffic. Try to stay off sidewalks, too. They're more dangerous than you think. This may mean that on sunny days when you're riding to work with the sun in your eyes, a pair of sunglasses might help!
  7. Don't give up. Sometimes it's easier to get in the car in the morning. Start slow, going to work one day a week or so. Nobody ever said anything worthwhile was easy.

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    2009 Bikes: Nifty Fixies

    As much as I hate to admit it, a lot of production fixed gear bikes that are coming out these days are pretty awesome. As cool as it is to build one of your own (and take my word for is cool.), Sometimes having a manufacturer's warranty is you can't beat the buying power of a company that buys their wheelsets by the container load if you want to upgrade components. So if you're looking for a brand-name fixie...or just want another commuter, here's a few that will catch your eye.

    Felt Racing Curbside.

    Felt's Curbside is one of the coolest looking bikes I've seen yet this year. It's a pretty lightweight and versatile urban bike that, like most others, comes with a flip flop hub so you can ride it fixed or free. It comes stock with a Felt Beernuts tool (like to Jethro tule) that kind of screams "bling bling, baby."
    Weaknesses? Well. It's cool looking, so be careful where you leave it unlocked, and also watch out for that tool-If someone knows what they're looking's a tool to steal your wheel set.

    Giant Bowery.

    Giant's fixie, the Bowery, seems to be a fairly normal, run of the mill bike. The Bowery features a little bit less of an aggressive geometry compared to other fixies on the market, but since the bottom bracket is set much lower than usual, cornering could become a problem. The Bowery boasts a very robust frame, meaning it's pretty sturdy, but also makes it feel like a tank to ride. 36-spoke wheels are great for city riding, too...they're built to last.

    Trek Soho S.

    This bike makes me drool. Trek's Soho Single is a very practical city bike for anyone. It has a less aggressive geometry than many other bikes of the type on the market, making it pretty ideal for any normal person. ghosted graphics and a matching chainguard add to the dark sexiness of this all black bike, and the one of the biggest advantages is the Bontrager hardcase tires with triple puncture protection. Drawbacks? Well...I haven't found any, besides that the stock pedals broke on Adam's.

    Bianchi Pista.

    The Bianchi Pista is one that many fixie "enthusiasts" always seem to fall back on. This fixie has a very track-oriented frame with track bars, a track crank, and a track wheel set. Bianchi makes a pretty decent bike here, and so far I can't find much wrong with it, other than reviews saying that the crank is pretty terrible. It's a good bike if you're looking to be bent over a lot because of that track geometry, though...and if you want to be like every other hipster in the hood, than this is the bike for you!

    Freeman Transport Collapsible fixie.

    This one's cool. Ever have a need for a bike in a bag? Well, there are Dahons for that. Ever have a need for a super fly, nifty fixie in a bag? Freeman Transport has you covered. That's right-a collapsible fixie. I haven't read many reviews, but from what I've seen, this thing is pretty much awesome. Each one is built exclusively for you...fixed or free, carbon fork or steel, orange or black don't matter. They get the job done right. It comes with a canvas bag that you can fold it up into and throw on your back, too! All for the low price of $2,500.....

    Specialized Langster.

    The Langster is a very pretty bike. It comes in a variety of colors and themes, each one creatively designed around a famous city. The one at the the "Las Vegas" model. the bike actually comes with a Sugino crankset, and a carbon fiber fork, which are both a plus. The Langster is actually a suprisingly light bike (most likely due to the carbon fork), and aside from every Specialized I've ever owned falling apart in the first year and the Toupe' being the most uncomfortable saddle I've ridden, It's not too overpriced.

    Schwinn Cutter.

    Yes, that's right folks. Schwinn. But at an MSRP of $329, it might just be the best bike in the price range of many. The bike isn't by any means lightweight or high-class, but it is what most of the population is after. The cutter is what most city riders are looking for in their transport at the most entry level price-a bike that's reliable and can be locked up safely outside, put away wet time and time again after a long commute and found in the same condition the next morning. (not STOLEN.) A bike for utility purposes, not performance. Tires and saddle might use an upgrade, but for the price-it's hard to beat.

    So that's that. A few mass-produced fixies to satisfy your taste buds for now. Interested in more? Try checking out these:

    Gary Fisher Triton

    SE Bikes Premium Ale

    Cannondale Capo

    Kona Paddy Wagon

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    On a Fixie: A Case for the Deep V

    The wheel: A breathtaking invention that changed the world.
    Velocity Deep V: Probably the most kick-butt wheel on the market.

    With that being said, I figured it would be about time to jump back into our On A Fixie series with a look at the ever so popular Deep V.

    Friday afternoon-my day off of work, mind you-I found myself at the shop building my new wheel set for my fixie with John, our in-house wheel guru. I decided for my new wheel set that I would go with a set of Electric Blue Velocity Deep V's, White DT Swiss spokes, and some white Origin 8 sealed track hubs. The results were very kick-butt, if I may say so.

    Awesome? You can admit it.

    Anyway. The reason that I decided to go with the Deep V is simple. Although they're pretty heavy, on a fixie, lighter weight shouldn't be your first goal. Durability of the components should be first, then weight can follow...and as far as the durability of the Deep V goes, they're practically bulletproof. I've seen them missing a spoke and less than 1mm out of true, if you need a personal example.

    The bling factor is another plus of this wheel set. They come in a variety of colors and patterns, and you can choose a machined sidewall or a non machined sidewall, depending on if you run one, two, or no brakes. If you're like me (and a.lo...and R2...) then you have the very annoying curse called "wanting everything on your bike to match a certain paint scheme," and therefore...these wheels are perfect for you. You can even get Gold, like Michelle plans to do.

    There IS a reason why Deep V's are so popular. They're bulletproof, and very colorful.

    So get yours today!

    Friday, February 6, 2009

    Winter Project Number 298,754,208,975,209,487,520,987,520,948,725,049,873

    Yep... that many... that's more than the proposed bailout I'm pleased to note. But this project is under wraps for now. Although some of you might know what it is, please, let it wait... since the unique-ness of this project makes it ultra SA-weeeet!

    Let's just say as a hint... all you early [late 2004] Kerkove/G-Ted/Europa crew comment-ers old LOW will like this one. But those of you who still have no idea... a teaser picture...

    I rode it into work today, it was great. I did have to ditch my commuter bag, BD2 for the old Timbuk2 because I had to carry my laptop which is not that great since my messenger bag isn't padded neither for my Apple or for my back. I really can't wait to get my hands on one of the BC3's... Looks to be the perfect bag for my intended use, and honestly the Flink Link is hands down maybe one of the most brilliant features on bags since well... straps. The water resistance, size and I'm crossing my fingers a pouch for the laptop [it's hard to say since, all the site mentions is it '...can carry your gear on an overnight mountain bike trip or your office clothes and laptop on an everyday commute' make it an extremely attractive item. Which just gets me excited since sure my Timbuk2 was customized, in their early days they didn't have any way for padding for laptops or dividers between things and really doesn't conform well to the body with more rigid items in it. And yes, I will concede that they are messenger bags first and foremost and not necessarily for commuting. Blah, that doesn't mean I can't still wish and desire.

    Wednesday, February 4, 2009

    Master of the Universe

    It's official. As if there was any doubt... I am the Master of the Universe, sure anyone can self proclaim themselves as something, a prophet, messiah, savior, or even try to call themselves cool. But to have someone else affirm it is a different story, but BRAIN [Bicycle Retailer and Industry News] did such a thing. Don't believe me... here's the evidence...

    At closer look...


    World Commute

    A few days ago I stumbled onto the World Commute website. It's a self-proclaimed 'social networking' site, which we all know we need more of to really change to world. With that aside I do like a lot of the features that they have. It reminds me of Commute by Bike's gas savings calculator but with a heck of a lot more features... their site states that 'Each time a member signs on to World Commute, real time distance traveled, money and gas saved, pollution off-set and health points will be displayed.'

    Now, I don't know exactly what 'health points' are but I want to win. Wait... is all I win better health? Shrug.

    All kidding aside, this seems to be a great way of getting pretty accurate readouts of savings... in the pocket book, on the waste, and for the world. I'd hope they have some form of interactive bar that I could post on the sidebar here but I have yet to see if they have one made.

    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    Saturday Night Ride: We're going to a Film Fest

    A little different this week. Please read carefully.

    Schedule of events:

    Meet at Founders at 5:30pm
    Leave Founders at 6:15pm

    Head to Wealth Theater for the 2nd Annual Grand Rapids Bicycle Film Festival

    Doors open at 6:30pm, Films start 7:30pm

    Here's what they are showing:
    _We just work here

    _ZERO traction

    _a portion of the Filmed by Bike Festival

    _More than 100 miles: Riding to Cure Diabetes

    Cost at Wealth:
    over 21 = $20 (includes 2 beverages)
    under 21 = $15
    15 & under = free

    What to bring:
    _money/ID if over 21

    Depending on how we're feeling afterward, maybe a little ride. We'll see. You know the drill... questions, ask. Hope to see you out.

    Monday, February 2, 2009


    I am not going to say what the news is but according to a phone call I got today I may have a titillating(R2 claims that illating is his favorite part of that word.) post later this week. I also hear a.lo drove in today, I guess sunny skies and warmer weather make the commute tougher. Seacrest out.

    Sunday, February 1, 2009

    Copy Cat.

    Well, it's been a week. Things of note from the week... I've been riding, I've been walking, I jacked up my back, my back is now feeling better, I still love winter riding especially at night. The big game starts in a few minutes so I'll leave you with a video from a blog that I regularly frequent...

    The Trek boys should be proud... everyone needs a Mod.