Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday Video.

Stumbled onto this over at the Bike Jerks blog... Enjoy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Motivation through Embrocation

While most people that read this blog are experiencing a very chilly week, I am spending it with a warm tingly feeling...well sort of. Today was the launch of my latest bicycle related venture. For about a year and a half now I have been using various manufacturers embrocation creams and found on chilly fall and spring days I couldn't ride without them. Embrocation cream is a warming cream/fluid that smooths the transition from preride to a warmed up state. The creams gave me that little extra pop on spring/fall rides and the ability to race in the cold without having to bundle up to much. Mid summer Dan Socie approached me with the concept of bringing our own embrocation to the masses. I jumped at the chance as it gave me the ability to make embrocation everything I wanted and needed it to be. From this idea Soigneur was born. The word soigneur means "one who cares for others". The soigneur is a large part of cycling culture, as a do it all hardworking part of a cyclists support system soigneurs do everything from massage riders to aiding in the feeding and clothing the riders. Just like a real soigneur we wanted Motivation to be hardworking and to take care of all sorts of cycling duties. We didn't pretend embrocation was magic, we looked at it as an everyday thing. We wanted something warm and protective enough slather on your legs on a cold day, but not so greasy that we couldn't use it to loosen up a tight lower back or in my case a shoulder recovering from a dislocation. After several formulas, some smelly enough to clear my sinuses with a single whiff, we found the right combination of scent, heat, and the ever elusive protective feeling that gives embrocation the nickname "belgian kneewarmers". If you have never tried embrocation our first shipment will arrive in February, just in time for you to put that trainer away and get outdoors. If you have used embrocation you owe it to your legs to give Motivation a try. With a kick off party in the works and things already in motion I am excited to see our product help care for all the cold legs out there.


New Favorite Video

Just stumbled onto this video via Jeff Kerkove's Twitter who got it from Yeah it's one of those I knew a guy who knew a guy who dated a girl whos brothers uncle had a friend who... regardless, this just might be my new favorite cycling video just because of the uniqueness of the way it was shot.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Facebook. Hate Group.

You ride your bike. You're on Facebook. You have friends who ride, who are on Facebook. You get invited to countless groups or have plenty of different applications that tell you what cycling personality you are [as if you didn't already know] and possibly get upset with what 'personality' it says your are... roadies. There are plenty of groups for this and for that.

The newest one would be the 'HELP REMOVE this HATE GROUP against cyclist' Which in it's description states:

'The[re is a] new group- "There's a perfectly good path next to the road you stupid cyclist" is nothing more than the newest hate group, and for Facebook to not remove it, is nothing short of criminal'

Really? Ok, I'm all about claiming the lane and our right to the road. I believe with more bicycle advocates we have, and the more that they are able shed positive light on the sport to people that understanding and tolerance is a byproduct that will simply happen. I personally struggle with any group, on any given topic or position that defines themselves on what they aren't or what they dislike or hate rather than to actually stop and think about the argument that is being raised.

If we can get down off of our self righteous perch and realize that whoever started this group encountered a rider [it could have been just a recreational rider, a commuter, or pro] that instead of using a provided bike lane or bike specific path, took to the street. Yes, once again, we do have a right to the road and should be able to ride on it but that also means we need to be obeying the laws of the road. For instance, complete stops at all stops signs and obeying the speed limit and if we aren't going to speed limit moving as far to the shoulder as we can.

This is at the heart of why people are drawn to joining this original 'hate' group and just looking through both groups it seem like the 'HELP REMOVE...' group actually has a bit more hate in it than the group they are trying to get removed. The original group is actually quite humorous to me, whereas the 'HELP REMOVE...' not so much. I realize that I'm stepping onto a bunch of landmines by not 100% supporting my cycling community in the 'unjust' fight, and agree that, yes there are things that we need to fight for. But even in writing this I've wasted far too much time focusing on how a group on a social network site is getting more attention than the lack of funding for the protection of cyclists [i.e. bike lanes, paths, signage, education, etc]

Let there be a 'hate' group, real change on the matter will only come through our actions on the road.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The cost VS. The Cost

Stumbled onto this over on the Relevant magazine website. I realize that this isn't a bicycle related video but it serves as another reminder of the true cost of the things we buy and consume.Which opens the door to a whole lot more but that's for another day.... enjoy.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Introducing Alxndr Jones

Well, over the past few months I've been keeping an eye out to find another person to add to the No Drive crew to contribute to this little mess of a blog, errr revolution, we've got going. Geoff, Brian and Tom are great friends of mine and will still contribute. Still, having another consistent voice in this was some thing I've greatly desired to find.

Enter an old friend and basically younger brother of sorts in Alxndr Jones, or Alex. I've known Alex since he was simply an awkwardly tall 7th graders with a fro when I was a youth leader at a church back in Iowa. Alex is a storyteller and artist, and that's really the best way to say it and in the last year he has really gotten the itch for cycling. I've followed him on many of his blogs but what made me want him to join in on No Drive was his cycling site called Iowa Commuter.

He's the fresh air I believe we need here to once again reclaim the manifesto that has really given us direction for this thing in the past. Alex is a newbie and knows it. He doesn't know all the technical terms but he loves his bike, Lucy, and that's really what this is all about. He's recently moved back up to Minneapolis, which has a great cycling community and it'll be great to hear stories about other cities besides Grand Rapids and Cedar Falls. Plus it gives me an excuse to have an Saturday Night ride there this summer some time or even have a C Series ride up there at some point. I'm sure you're going to enjoy his posts!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Be on the look out!

Now, the picture on the left only gives you an idea of what is in the works by a former co-worker from Alger, Dan Martinek [or Teddy as many know him as]. Dan has been around the industry for a long while from spending time up in the land of the Uppers to time here in GR to time out in the Bike Mecca [Portland, OR for those of you completely out of the loop]. He's rubbed shoulders with some of the best of frame builders, like Ira Ryan, and from spending this past summer I can attest that he is one damn fine wrench.

Martinek has had this little cargo bike project in the works and after stopping by the old shop I was informed that the first prototype is nearing completion. Which is pretty exciting him but also for us, Dan from early on has hinted that No Drive will be receiving to ride, test and bang up against a few curbs.

I can't wait to get some real teaser photos but trust that they will be on the way with this yet to be named cargo bike company.