Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sorry for my absence.

Now, I should apologize for my lack of posts lately. This past week, I had a leadership retreat for the church I'm serving at as an intern. This of course, put a strain on getting everything else in my life in order so that I could 'retreat' away for a few days without having to worry about this or that. Unfortunately this meant, the blog got put on the back burner but fortunately this also means I now have plenty to write and inform on for the last few weeks.

The biggest and most important news from this past weekend came from back in Iowa. It is my great pleasure to introduce you to Noah David Bottke... who came in at 8 lbs 4 oz and a good 21 inches. Here he is at 23 hours...

The No Drive family grew by one. I'm extremely excited for Brian [formerly know as BB to some] and Summer as they officially start this next stage of life with a little guy I've been told is going to be the 2030 Paris Roubiax Champion! Baby Bottke, or BB, will be starting his interval training as soon as the proper helmet can be found.

More later, but I'll leave you with a video that was posted on my Facebook a few days ago.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Sunset Alley Cat 2 : Race Report

Now, to call this a race report is kind of deceiving. Sure, it was race in that there was a start and finish. But what made this just a great over all event was the fact it was a points based race. Meaning, you didn't necessary have to be fast, more-so through and quick [which we all know is different than fast].

As with all Alley Cats, it was a checkpoint based where we had differing tasks to do at some of the places. Some we simply had to find the hidden check point envelope. As you can see from the map below we had a good area to cover for the race. 13 checkpoints to be exact. All are shown except the Lookout Park checkpoint, as I was unable to find said checkpoint. My bad.

The race got underway around 7:30p and each rider had differing checkpoints they had to go to first, then we were free to hit up any or all of the points in any order that we felt necessary. There were 2 bonus options being Artprize entry photo and/or bringing back any type of snack food to the finish. I decided at the beginning that I wasn't going to attempt getting a picture or snack instead hopefully getting all of the checkpoints.

Unfortunately, my strategy didn't pay off. I did get a great start to my assigned checkpoint, the Meanwhile Bar, but the bouncer did not have the checkpoint slips with him and my 3 block lead on the other riders to that point was gone as I received mine just as they arrived. At that point, I decided I didn't need to push it quite as much. I then headed to the Midtown Green and at this checkpoint I was given the task of rapping... and as anyone in their right mind, I jumped right into this... yes, the Fresh Prince of Bell Air theme song... I did it all... because I could.

I then rode down to GRCC parking ramp and found the slip with the help of some skaters, then to the tire swing followed by drawing a picture of a sunset at Rosa Parks Circle. I felt good at this point, no real hang ups but then what seemed to be the most logical checkpoint to hit was the Ford Museum. Unfortunately, this is where my luck ran out. We found out later a security guard took the checkpoint marker down, but I still ended up riding around the entire building a few times. After giving up on this check point, I headed to fish ladder where we had to eat 3 saltine crackers and then get drawn on. Heading over the 6th street bridge [this checkpoint disappeared also], I cruised to the Division St. stairs and had to do 10 jumping jacks. I then rode in circles for a bit looking for the Lookout Park to no avail. Giving up on this check point I was 2 down and not all too happy but figured I was making good time seeing that I had passed a few other riders. I then headed to GVSU's clock tower, followed by Teamwork bags, which had kind of a tricky placement of their marker, then hitting up the final checkpoint at Founders Brewery. I finished with around 10-15 people ahead of me, I was pleased.

As we waited for everyone else to finish, good times where had and we then had one final event. Bike Bowling. The basic concept being that we had 10 mini-kegs set up and we then proceeding to ghost ride a few old bikes into them... Everyone got one chance, and the bikes took a beating to say the least. When my turn came to past, I conjured up some of my state champion bowling past [yeah, I don't want to brag but I could still beat you all, I was good, real good] seeing that most of the riders before me had only knocked down a few kegs. With a little adrenaline pumping, I ghost rode the bike to knock down 9 of the 10 and in the process endangering one of the organizers, Josh, seeing that I hadn't waited for him to clear out. I still feel horrible for that. More riders had there try and by the end, my 9 count was enough to rope me a $15 gift certificate to Vertigo Music. Not too bad at all.

Overall, I do one of these even if there was just food and drink at the end. Just good times to be had and I can't wait for the next one. Thanks to all the guys who helped put this on and all the sponsors Commute Bike Shop, Teamwork Bags, Vertigo Music, and Velocity.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Around the GR

In the last week or two, there have been some very exciting things happening for the cycling community of the Grand Rapids Area.

The first was the announcement of new mountain bike trails being built up in the middle of the city! Granted I'm a bit more excited about these seeing that they are being built up very close to the Burns House [ie mi casa] and that I hate driving to ride my bike. Either way a group of people, who I'm assuming are part of the group that have brought BMX racing back to the city, are now turning the area surrounding the track into a full park, simply called GR Bike Park. It hopes to have a trail open by this fall! Exciting news!

Secondly, a fellow GR-ian, cyclist and blogger over at, Josh Duggan, who has been one of the best advocates for cycling in the area has not only been breaking the news of new trails being built but also part of the newly formed Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition. He writes about the Coalition here and better explains the goals of the group, which we hope No Drive can do whatever we can to help achieve a growing standing for Grand Rapids as a Bicycle Friendly Community.

Good Stuff! For all you outside of the Western Michigan here's a video from you posted by the Ergon twitter feed earlier today, you know how we love Ergon! Maybe we could get an urban endurance race going on in GR next summer? An Urban C-Series event? We'll see...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Cause Red Got Jealous

Now, I must admit Red is my first love but there comes a time in every man's life where they need to settle down and commit to just one. So it's that time of year to let go a bike or two that just aren't being ridden. So I'm selling my 1970's Fuji Track bike :: 59cm.

The bike was sandblasted and repainted as close to the original paint as possible and stickers were made to match the ones that were on there.

A brand new 105 Crank was put on along with a new bottom bracket and headset. The 40x15 gearing comes in a shade over the desirable 70 gear inches. The bike is a peach to say the least. I'm asking $350 OBO + shipping, email me at with questions. I'll accept Paypal and cash.

Here's a run down on the spec on the bike:

1970's Fuji Track bike

Frame: Fuji Steel Track
Size: 59cm
Top tube length: 59cm
Crank: 105 Octalink 175mm
Front Chain Ring: Rocket 40T
Rear Cog: Surly 15T
Wheelset: Surly Track Hubs on Mavic Open Sport Rims

Also included, original drop bars seen in this picture.

$350 OBO + shipping
Paypal accepted. Email with questions.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Weekend Eye Catchers...

I'll admit this from the onset, today's post is just a random concoction of cycling related things that I stumbled onto this weekend. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it just feels like I'll be writing more fragmented than I normally do.

The first note worthy item, comes from a person I consider a close friend. Alex Jones, or alxndr [that's right no vowels, that's how he rolls], just started a new blog called 'iowa_commuter'. Alex has been one of the creative minds for some of the NDJR headers you've seen and the current header on the C Series site. He's recently discovered the love for cycling and his daily thoughts are refreshing for me. He's planning on riding year round and I look forward to seeing how he works through all everything as he encounters Iowa winters.

Overall, it's just great to hear stories of people like Alex getting into cycling for practical reasons and seeing how much enjoyment comes from a simple machine. At the heart of No Drive is the desire to promote cycling and maybe, just maybe have others join in on the two wheel revolution!

Since Iowa is on the mind, this past weekend the State Gravel Championships went down. I haven't heard for much in way of race reports but I'm sure I'll stumble onto some shortly. As G-Ted mentioned on his blog a few days ago, the popularity of gravel rides and races is continually growing and needless to say that just excites me.

Finally, I was out of town this weekend visiting some friends on the east side of the state. I got to hang out in Ann Arbor for an all too brief time but in that short time, I might have fallen in love with the place. I didn't think it was possible but with encountering all the bikes and just cruising around it was just amazing how nice it was to be in such a bike friendly community. If I wasn't so attached to GR, I might just think about moving that direction. Unfortunately upon my arrival home from a great few days away, I was informed by my roommate that one of my bikes was stolen. I have much more to say and will save this for a later post this week. Until then if you see a rusty black Schwinn cruiser around GR with a Cinelli stem and a red Paul rear hub let me know, it was stolen around 44th and the Kalamazoo area.

Friday, September 11, 2009

REPORT: Politician known for harsh motorist laws arrested in brutal hit-and-run death

This article was posted on Facebook from a friend of mine, the one and only R2. It's short but nevertheless, shocking. Check out it here, or the original New York Times Article here.

REPORT: Politician known for harsh motorist laws arrested in brutal hit-and-run death
by Chris Shunk

Former Ontario, Canada Attorney General Michael Bryant made a name for himself as a tough-nosed lawmaker that took a hard line against street racing. Among Bryant's hard stance anti-racer policies was a law that gave the police the right to crush any car that was modified for racing – even if the vehicle had no complaints against it. If a report from The New York Times is true, Mr. Bryant could ironically spend the rest of his life behind bars for a brutal hit-and-run accident involving a bicyclist.

The incident reportedly began as a minor event and quickly escalated. Bryant allegedly brushed the bicyclist while he was driving, who then held on to the driver's side door of his black Saab convertible. Witnesses told a local Canadian television station that Bryant was heard swearing and swerving in an apparent attempt to shake the biker from his door. Bystanders told police that Bryant was driving on the sidewalk near lamp posts at a high rate of speed, in an apparent attempt to knock the biker off.

The incident ended with the bicyclist, Darcy Allen Sheppard, striking a mailbox. Sheppard later died due to injuries sustained from the accident. According to the NYT, Bryant went to a nearby hotel after the incident where he was later arrested for what appears to be a most heinous hit-and-run incident. It looks like Bryant was right when he said that cars could be as dangerous as explosives...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

C Series: Ride Report

Here's a ride report reposted from No Drive's first C Series ride site:

This past Saturday we had the first C ride out to Grand Haven in back. Unfortunately, the battery in digital camera was dead on Saturday so I had to resort to using my phone for pictures. Needless to say, I'm not as willing to pull it out when riding so only two pictures from the ride [pictured on the right is from outside of Founders waiting for riders]

On the suggestion of Nicola, the route was changed because of traffic on Lake Michigan Drive for the Labor Day weekend travelers [for those not in the know Michiganders, for the most part, LOVE their cottages, boats and the lake shore] to taking essentially taking Leonard St all the way out.

We had a few people who RSVP'd to show up via Facebook, but do to alarm clock issues and other things, the ride ended up just being myself and Nicola Fester [who has some art in the latest/next Bicycle Times magazine!]. Nicola showed up as she always does, on a single speed and needless to say she rocked it. It was a humbling day, especially on the return.

We left at 9:10am just to see if anyone else would be joining in on the fun and made our way to Leonard via Monroe. Neither of us had a computer on our bike to know what we averaged for speeds but we kept a steady pace out to Grand Haven [State Park/Beach/Lake Michigan pictured to the left], getting there in around 2 hours. No real story to tell on the way there outside of my poor attempt at a bunny hop over a crack that then ejected my spare tube.

After briefly hanging out at the beach to refill water and snack a little, we were back on the bikes. Once getting back on the bike, the legs were a little sluggish but quickly bounced back and we made our way back. One the way out, the wind was minimal, if anything a slight headwind but nothing to go home about. We were happy to know we'd have a little tailwind. Mother Nature had the final laugh as the wind changed up enough to be a head wind.

Around mile 50ish, just outside of Eastmanville, I got out of the saddle to climb a hill and well, Nicola passed me just as I had an outburst of sorts, as my body let me know that I would be allowed to spin but not to put down any power for the remaining part of the ride. I'll be the first to admit that this was from the lack of any real base miles/training outside of my daily commute and cruising. I was concerned before the ride because any of my long rides this year, my legs have decided to cramp and I thought this might have been a precursor to what was to come. My body decided to remind me of this a number of different times after this especially on climbs. Fortunately once we hit Walker, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and pushed through.

Throughout all of that, Nicola was a champ and although she said she was being worked pretty good. She threw down and was a champ, humbling me for sure. We ended the ride at Founders and of course, stopped in and enjoyed some stellar food and drink. All in all, I was extremely happy about this ride I hope to see more people come out for future rides. I'm thinking the October 4th ride will be a Grand Rapids to Bell's Brewery in K'zoo.

Here's the ride:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Happy Ergon Day!

Hear Ye, Hear Ye. No Drive. Just Ride. now decrees September 8th Ergon Day!

As many of you know... over here at No Drive. we love Ergon Bike Products. Be that their grips or their bags, well, the boys over at Eurobike [Europe's version of Interbike, and for those of you who need to know what that is... it's where bike nuts go to go nuts on the next years product] had their yearly show and being that Ergon is a German based company, unveiled some of their line.

I stumbled onto the photos via Ergon's Twitter page but you can check out Jeff Kerkove's flickr page to see some pictures of new gear. BEWARE. It might blow your mind.

A few things that I can't wait to get my hands on for 2010 are the BioKork Ergon grip [pictured above], Ergon Hoodie, Ergon t-shirt and of course I'll be looking into one of these bags for commuting. Heck, I'd take one of everything in the catalog if I could afford it.

Because we all love videos and being that it's ERGON DAY. I also stumbled onto this... A new movie, er documentary, in the spirit of 24 Solo, called Race Across the Sky. Should be fun to watch the battle between Dave Wiens and Lance. Although we all know the result of this years Leadville 100, I'm really looking forward to seeing it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

C Series Ride

I am pleased to announce that the C Series website is now up and running. Sure it's nothing flashy but it works nevertheless. I'll post updates

There will be a ride taking place this Saturday to Grand Haven/Lakeshore and for more details please check out the C Series website. Please RSVP via email to me at OR via Facebook.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

CSI: No Drive Edition

My last web-surfing session of night, which I might add I was catching some pretty gnarly hits and cache with a few cookies via some pretty sweet sites [exhibits A, B, & C], I happened to wandered over to a site that I check a few times a month in order to flip through the monthly copies of their magazine called Urban Velo. What caught my eye besides some stellar articles and pictures was an ad from GR's very own Velocity USA. Nothing overly flashy [as you can see from the picture below; exhibit D], it looked to be simply a picture from their wheel building area from the Velocity USA Headquarters that I normally see and walk through when I'm stopping over to get some wheels for customers.

Exhibit D:
What caught my eye was the arm on page 51 of Issue #15. Yes, as odd as this sounds but, the arm of the wheel builder. It looked familiar. Too familiar. After a quick search on the criminal database, I was able to run an analysis of the arm using the 2 point Photo-graphical Humeral Coronoid fossa Method of Arm to Person Identification [2P-gHCfMA2PI for short] which compares two parts of the arm that are unique to every individual and cross referencing that data with suspects in the said database. The 2P-gHCfMA2PI, as if there were any surprise, was able to confirm who the arm of pictured wheel-builder was.

Exhibit E:

The pictured arm was of illusive and hard to photograph, Founders Ales/Alger Racing Elite Rider and one of Velocity USA's stellar employees Jeff Jacobi...

Exhibit F:

In all seriousness, I have no idea if this was actually Jeff's arm or not but I did have a fun time acting like it was. Jeff is a great rider and friend, who I have been privileged to follow in the footsteps of at my shop. But enough of all of this horsing around and tomfoolery... get back to work and ride safe!