Sunday, December 29, 2013

1985 Fat Chance Trials - Second Spin Cycles

Found this great example of a '85 Fat Chance trials bike on the Second Spin Cycles site.  Pics courtesy of Second Spin Cycles.  I knew Fat City sold trials bikes during the '80s - with one of my early Fat catalogs listing a trials frame - but have never actually seen one.  Cool looking bike, especially that fork - sweet.

During the mountain bike formative years, observed trials was touted to be the next big thing, though that never occurred.  I was under the illusion of being sort of a trials rider back in the day and entered a few events on my '86 Fat Chance.  Great era and fun times.

Later, I picked up a used Ibis Trials Comp and then fully discovered trials rider I'm not.  If interested, prior babbling about observed trials and Ibis pics from a previous post - click here - for Internet transportation device.

Cool to see a Fat trails rig, even if only in photo form.  If you're into vintage mountain bikes, Second Spin Cycles is worth a visit.  Dude puts out some nice restorations.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Chris Kovarik - Video

Caught this video via Facebook post.  Dude is railing some serious berm action, reminding me a bit of my motocross days.  Nice break from the usual endless jump sessions featured in most videos.

Just keeping my ol' blog alive with a few posts.  Pending some motivation and subject matter to actually write about.  That area of my defective brain been hibernating too long, looking to jump start it soon.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Jet Bicycle - Video

Utterly fantastic stupid fun.  Legal on your local bike trail?…

Saturday, December 7, 2013

26 Ain't Dead - Video

Well done, fun video.  26" wheels and hardtail, dude is ripping it - new school style.  Give it a go and agree.

Even though I've succumbed to 29er hoops, I realize there is no "right" size wheel set.  The right size is whatever works for you and your riding style.  26, 29, 650B - who cares?

As long as they're rolling with dirt under 'em - all that matters…

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pittsburgh Dirty Dozen - Climbs O Plenty

I noticed the report on the 30th running of the Pittsburgh Dirty Dozen via the Bicycle Times website today.  Posted video of the 2010 version, appears to be a local Pittsburg show reporting on it, cool viewing.  Pittsburgh has some mighty steep hills, some complete with cobblestones.  All around painful fun for all.

Interesting concept with this event, only the hills are timed/scored, so a few folks going for the win - while the general mob just attempting to survive.  Everyone riding for their own reason/satisfaction.  Fantastic.

Since I grew up in the New Jersey, I also enjoyed the look of the neighborhoods, trees, etc.  Brings me back to my east coast roots.  Would be cool to ride this event one day.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

WAWCX - Washington Women of Cyclocross

Man-O-Man, the ol' blog has been collecting serious dust lately.  Time to crank it out and help clog up the ol' Internet…

Last, uh, July - I hit a cool cyclocross event, practically in my backyard - held at Saint Edward State Park.  This 'cross event focused on getting more women out there racing cyclocross, complete with clinics and other info sessions.  The racing action itself for women racers, though men allowed to compete in a few non-timed events - if I remember correctly - been a few months now.

Washington Women of Cyclocross, WAWCX for short, hosted the gig.  Kari Studley, who I know through the Evergreen Washington Student League, ran and promoted the shindig, along with Lisa Miller and other volunteers.  Oh yeah, Kari is also a single-speed 'cross world champion, along with being a national champion.  So I guess she knows a thing or two about 'cross.

I buzzed my 29er over, complete with Nikon in tow, thinking I'd snap a few pics and head home.  Wound up staying for the whole shindig - great crowd, good racing, great event - and the first of its kind in the area.  I can imagine this getting pretty big in the years ahead.  One thing bike racing needs is more women involved and events like are a great concept.

Few of the many pics I grabbed for the day...

Evan, super fast high school kid, gives is a go during one of the men's "fun" events.

Two competitors in action from the kid's race.  Along with more women, attracting more kids to bike racing should be on everyone's agenda.

Nice course setup, mostly grass, here sampled by one of the many women racers in attendance.

Round 'N' Round they go, where they fall - nobody knows.  Entertaining circle of death feature included at no extra charge.

This must be the place.

Warm temps and sunny skies greeted everyone.

Sprint for the finish.

Off they go!  Awesome to see the many women who raced the event, experienced and beginners alike.

Some single track added to the mix.  Well done course layout.

Women racers always seem to have a smile on their face.

One of the many podium celebrations, complete with Kids 'N' Babies.  Nice.

Future champion.

Caution:  You may end up digging 'cross.

You gotta be fast to rock the pink lightening bolts.

The really fast girls in action.

Course even featured a short sand section, someone here putting the power down.

These girls will kick your ass.  No doubt.

The seminary building made for a cool 'cross barrier backdrop, no?

Festive pit area.

Kari, promoted and ran the event, then crushed the single-speed race.  That would be multi-tasking.

Mr. Cyclocross rocks on.

It ain't over 'til you get the high five from Mr. Cyclocross.

At the end of the day, super cool race - well run, great turn out, fun course, perfect weather - fantastic day.  Here in the 'cross crazy Seattle area, perfect demographics for this kind of women focused event.

Kudos to WAWCX for putting this on.  See you next year...

Old School - Spanish Style

Caught this video via Facebook, worth a repost.  Early '90s old school styling - bar ends, fanny pack, top mount shifters, pre-suspension - it's all here.  These dudes can also ride, as you'll discover upon viewing.  Traffic fun in Madrid, Spain - then trials moves in the mountains.  Cool stuff.

Apparently, this is an episode from a Spanish adventure type program.  Click here for full length original version.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rivendell Bicycle Works - New Catalog!

Nice surprise when I arrived home from work the other day, finding a new Rivendell catalog in the mail.  If you've been around the bicycle culture block a few times, you probably already heard of Grant Petersen.  From the Bridgestone heyday of the '90s, then started Rivendell when Bridgestone exited the US market.  If you're not familiar with the story, a few Google searches will get you up to speed.

I was a big Bridgestone fan during the '90s, complete with a few models hanging in the garage.  Part of that due to Grant's no nonsense marketing and catalogs - which are now collector items.  I continued my interest with Rivendell - even though the bikes themselves are not fully my gig - still enjoy reading Grant's take on things.

The Rivendell catalogs are written in a homy, fun style; no hype involved and great job pointing out details of products carried.  Very different from the usual bicycle marketing picture, that focuses on high tech and racing oriented philosophy.  The best marketing occurs when it simply reflects what the person and/or company stands for.  Rivendell is one of those companies and that's rare today.

In this day and age of why even bother printing a paper catalog, just post online - refreshing reminder - of how cool to find this in your mailbox. And not a virtual mailbox.

This is the type of catalog I wind up saving and flipping through numerous times.  Rare indeed.

Thanks Rivendell...

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Meet The Team Ride - A Call to Roll

Saturday morning, we rolled out our "Meet The Team Ride", looking to round up local 7th - 12th graders for a trail ride and yapping session. Yapping involving spreading the word of our Northshore Composite team and the Evergreen Washington Student League.

We didn't do all that much advertising, usual Facebook announcement, along with a blurb in the Northshore school district emailed news gig.  A few folks emailed for additional info, but overall, not much buzz about it.  We didn't know if five folks or fifty would show on Saturday morning. Event scheduled for 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM at our home stomping grounds, Saint Edward State Park.  Fellow league coaches Troy and Marne also signed on to assist.

I slept and left late, riding over to the park and arriving about 9:55 AM.  Few folks waiting at the parking lot.  By 10:15 or so, more folks gathering.  We wound up with 26 people for the ride.  Current student/teammates, new kids, some parents also along for the ride.  Fantastic!

After me blabbing for 15 minutes or so about the team and league, with some additional comments from Troy and Marne - a few questions answered - and off we all rode.  Quite the string of riders.  A cool sight indeed.

Social cruise along the trails of St Ed and Big Finn Hill parks, occasional stopping to regroup.  I rode sweep and chatted a bit with Oliver, 7th grader new to the area.  He's riding the downhill oriented bike, single chainring, large backpack full of who knows what.  He had to push up a few hills, but still seemed to have a good time.

Also towards the back, a father/son combo, in the parking lot by sheer coincidence while we signed folks on - now officially on our ride.  Son from the local high school.  Beginner mountain bikers, complete with toe straps 'n' clips hanging upside down, waiting to grab every trail obstacle.  Even so, they appeared to have a great time and mixed in with the crowd.

Towards the end of the ride, two high school seniors, dirt jumper types - pulled off a bit early - after a great conversation.  They're interested in trying cross country oriented riding/racing and promoting mountain biking at their school.  Very cool.

After about an hour of trail cruising, we're back at our starting spot, ending the ride with a slow race across one of the St Ed's green lawns.  Last one across the line wins, no dabs.  Foot down and you're out.  Matt, current teammate taking the win.  A bit of closing yapping, answering questions, handing out league pamphlets 'n' stickers, and we call it a day.  Photo above as proof, courtesy of coach Troy.

Overall, I'd call the ride a success and expect to see some of these kids on our team come spring...

How to be a Mountain Biker - Video

This video has been bouncing around Facebook between riding pals of mine.  For a good reason - pretty well done and proof real life is stranger then fiction...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Evel Knievel Biography - Leigh Montville

I recently reread this biography on Evel Knievel. Book on our shelf from about two years ago, pulled it out for a quick thumb through, wound up reading it again. Excellent job by author Leigh Montville.

Evel Knievel: Interesting, larger then life character, but also just - uh - a tad narcissistic and a bit of a sociopath. Thief, con-man, philanderer, charismatic, complete jerk, insanely brave, intelligent, semi-nutcase - all rolled into one person - with a career that could only be hatched during the '70s.

If you witnessed any of his jumps during the era, as I did on television as a kid - lots of interesting details and behind the scenes info on his exploits - including the wacky canyon jump later in his career. As you may or may not remember, his career basically over after assaulting a writer with a baseball bat. Nice.

This is not a "motorcycle book", it's a well researched and written look into a pop cultural icon of the '70s. A damn interesting life anyway. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

10th Anniversary Skateboard Challenge - Woodinville, WA

A few weeks back I learned of a local skateboard competition, via a flyer the family picked up while shopping for a skateboard helmet.  My kids dabble with skateboarding and I recently purchased a new board for my son, hence the matching helmet.

We also have a Sector 9 longboard in the garage that we've all messed around with for years.  Way back in the '70s, I skateboarded some, along with reading the pages of Skateboarder magazine; mesmerized by Tony Alva and crew, empty pools, Rector pads and tube socks.  So while I wouldn't call us, or me, official skateboarders - I do have some background knowledge of it.

So with that history lesson - we headed over to check out the competition - held at the local skateboard park in Woodinville.  As in Woodinville, Washington.  I got a kick outta watching the kids skate and me playing photographer.  Skateboarder magazine somewhat responsible for putting the photography bug in my forming brain, so now a mere 35+ years later - I finally try shooting people who can actually skate.  It was a fun afternoon.

The kids just wanna rock...

This event and skate park tied to the Woodinville Rotary Club, this being the 10th anniversary of the park.  Being around active kids - and at 52 years old and counting - consider 20 somethings kids also - an awesome thing to do.  The energy, vibe, the act of doing something, is great to be around.  Movement is movement.  Flow is flow.  Doesn't what kind of wheels - skateboards, bicycles, motorcycles - all good.

While running around with a camera and attempting to not get in the way and/or clocked in the head with a board, wound up chatting with two 20 something kids also shooting the event - along with a woman from the Woodinville Rotary.  Exchanged contact info and later pooled our pics for a multi-media presentation of the event.  Two of the "kids" with media experience will create something, hopefully with some of my pics included.  Awesome to stumble into getting involved with something positive for young folks.

I took a crazy amount of photos, narrowed 'em down some for the media project selection process.  If interested, slideshow of 'em to ponder...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mount Rainier - Burroughs Mountain Trail

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we're lucky to have some incredible mountains and resulting adventure nearby.  Mount Rainier is about two hours from Seattle and a completely different world from the city and surrounding suburbs.  Pretty damn cool to jump in the car and find yourself looking at this in a short time.

For those outside the area, Mount Rainier tops out at 14,410 feet and is a slumbering volcano.  Should be pretty spectacular and/or frightening whenever that slumber ends.  Plenty of folks do climb to the summit, a fairly serious task, and a training ground for serious climbers.  

Surrounding Mount Rainier is vast area of smaller mountains, meadows and incredible scenery, much of it buried under snow most of the year. July through September (or so) is the window of open trails and warm weather.  Add in a clear summer day and prepare for amazing views.

The Bourroughs Mountain Trail is a semi-easy way to experience those views via the 7 mile hiking loop.  Drive up to Sunrise - great scenic drive - then hit the trails.  You get a bit of a head start, since Sunrise sits at 6400 feet.  On a nice day, especially a weekend, expect to see a crowd - though it thins out greatly after a mile or two.

My son Ian and I have done this hike a few times.  Our plan is to arrive late, around 3:00 PM at Sunrise.  Then as the afternoon progresses, hardly anyone on the trail, plus cool lighting as the sun goes down.  We recently did just that, with posted photos as proof.

See?  I don't make this stuff up...

Objects are larger then they appear.  Trees at the bottom of that valley are huge, just to give you some scope.

The only cloud in the sky.  My favorite shot of the day.

Ian stares down the mountain, the mountain won.  We turned around at this point, since only clad with sneakers.  Best case would be wet feet, worst case a painful slide into rocks. Live to hike another day.

Natural spotlight on my favorite biking 'n' hiking partner.

The gift shop was fresh out of ice axes, so we just winged it...

After turning back early on the snow covered Burroughs trail, took a detour on the Mount Fremont Trail - to discover a herd of mountain goats about 50 yards away.  They weren't all that scared and continued to feed, though keeping an eye on us the whole time.  Gave me ample time to change lenses and grab some great pics.  Cool experience.

Did a little sneaker sliding on the way back.

Sunset in progress, our hike concludes.  A very special area to visit, grab the chance if you can.

Arrived home well after dark, late dinner, memory banks hopefully packed with another cool father/son day out.  Washington state rocks, we're lucky to live here.  Now go find your own outdoor adventure, wherever you call home.