Saturday, December 29, 2012

How a Bicycle is Made - Raleigh, 1945

How to make a Raleigh, circa 1945.  No carbon fiber in sight.  Just good ol' steel and the scary tools required.  Remove the glamor of all things bike - and it looks sorta like a metal shop - a dirty old metal shop.

Check out how they "paint" the frames.  Ah, the good ol' days of no OSHA and EPA to worry about - or whatever the British equivalent is.  I get a kick out of these vintage films and how things were manufactured.

Interesting stuff...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy Birthday Blog - What's Next?

December marks the fourth year I've been messing with this little ol' blog, first post being thrown out into Internet Land back in 2008.  For a fluffy personal blog, would consider heading into year number five a pretty long run, no?

Depending on what metrics to believe, I get a few thousand page views per month, not that I'm really counting.  It does crack me up when certain Google searches place my blog on the first search page. That's kind of cool.

Even though my main focus is still bicycles, I toss in other posts - vintage motocross, music, vintage cars - anything that interests me.  The posts that get the most hits, by far, are the vintage motocross posts.  Apparently lots more folks into old dirt motorcycles, then bicycles.  And that's okay. Two wheels is two wheels, pedal or moto powered.

My interest in photography as ramped up over the last year or two.  I get a big kick out of shooting races, especially cyclocross.  Later race oriented posts have morphed into picture albums and not much words, matching the change.  I really do enjoy shooting anything that matches my interest, and continue to learn and get better at it.

I've been riding bikes my whole life, and as the (alleged) adult since '84 or so.  Being a cyclist that long, at times motivation and interest, ebbs and flows.  A few years ago, was riding close to 200 miles a week - hard core bike commuter, plus mountain bike rides on weekends.  The last two years, not so.  I haven't bike commuted to work since last June, a major slump - new job and other factors being the excuse.  I still squeeze in some mountain bike rides and suffer on the trainer in the garage occasionally.  I only raced once last season, but a memorable event - my first 24 hour mountain bike race.  Big fun, made extra so, since shared with my son.

Speaking of my son, Racer Boy Ian, his biking interest slowed down this year also.  Still interested, but not as gung ho as before.  He competed in a few cyclocross races this year, skipping some towards the end of the season.  Sick a few times, homework projects, and a bit of burn out contributing to the early end of the season.  This is all supposed to be fun, no need to push it - especially at 13 years old.  His race team, Northwest Velo/JL Velo also folded up (or scheduled to this month), which seemed to bum him out a bit, along with the jump to junior high school.  Life changes and plows ahead.

A good aspect about ebbs and flows, is the recharge when things ramp back up.  And on the bike front, we're headed for the upswing and some cool changes.  Ian, along with most of the junior racers on his old team, were invited to new team - Team Slalom Consulting.  Ian being more dirt oriented with mountain bikes and cyclocross, and the new team being more track and road oriented, we'll see how it goes.  Ian is open to trying the track gig out, and so many people (now) on the team race 'cross, that will still be there.  Should be interesting.

On the mountain bike front, I've gotten involved with local high school mountain bike race league, now open to junior high kids.  Things are just starting and yours truly - that be me - signed on to run a junior high team.  Ian included as racer.  Coaching conference and details to follow. Getting more kids riding bikes is right up my alley, should be a great experience.

I will return to my bike commuting ways towards spring, since new job has calmed down a bit.  And I really, really miss bike commuting.  I'm itchy to experience the twice daily dose of two wheeled goodness once again.

So there you have it.  Kind of blog birthday, year review, and what's coming up - all rolled into one rambling post.  To anyone who actually reads this blog, I'm flattered and thanks for the time spent doing so.  I should have some fun things to post about in the coming year.  

Thanks for sharing the ride.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Junkyard Cross 2012

Came across this online, too cool not to repost.  Awesome crazy cyclocross fun in a junkyard. Yeah, a junkyard.  May wanna get a tetanus booster shot before entering.

I don't know the full story behind this race, appears to have something to do with Bilenky Cycle Works, the makers of some very nice bikes back on the east coast.

Gotta love 'cross in all its wacky forms - serious or not.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dogtown and Z-Boys - Birth of Modern Skateboarding

While doing some Christmas shopping today, scored a copy of Dogtown and Z-Boys for $9.  Merry Christmas to me.  I've only seen this documentary once, a few years ago, so popped it into the DVD player tonight for another look.  As remembered, a fantastic film, even if you're not a skateboarder.

I wouldn't call myself an actual skateboarder, but did dabble with skating back in the '70s as a teenager.  Neighborhood cruising and general goofing around, including one broken wrist as proof.  I also read Skateboarder magazine at the time, so knew a bit about the Dogtown crew and influence on the scene.  That scene being Southern California, my scene a universe away in suburban New Jersey.

Those Skateboarder magazine articles and photos - especially the photos - made an impression on me.  Some of those images of Tony Alva, Jay Adams and others, burned into my teenaged brain.  I recognized many shots in the film, as it shows plenty of photo and video archive from that era.  Seeing the archived video was especially cool, since all my memories revolved around still shots.  Watching how they skated, you can really see how it formed modern skateboarding, pushing it from the stand up tricks from the '60s, into vertical moves that changed the entire sport.  Modern day interviews though out the documentary puts it all in perspective.  

Being a kid from the '70s, the look of the archive footage - long hair, tube socks, t-shirts - and the soundtrack, pushes all my memory lane buttons.  The look and feel of the old film and still shots, combined with the very stylish skating - fantastic to witness.  There's also a bit of surfing history and footage laced into the film, since early skateboarding was very tied to the surfing scene.

If you've never skateboarded in your life, still an interesting documentary.  Especially if you ski, mountain bike, surf, snowboard, BMX, motocross - anything involving movement, style and flow - you'll get it.  Highly recommended.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Yeti Hits the Pacific Northwest

Caught this well done video on the Yeti site.  Some visual proof as to why mountain biking rocks in the Pacific Northwest.  But hey - I'm biased - since I happen to live here.  Lucky me.

Not sure exactly where this was shot, but reminds me of my local riding areas.  The trees, the moss, loamy dirt, misty air - yup, I dig it here. No doubt.

Click here for a bigger screen view.  Enjoy.