Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Edmonds Classic Car Show

A few weekends ago, first ever visit to the Edmonds Classic Car Show - ironically located in Edmonds, Washington.  Bigger then expected, warm September day, shot some pics, and grabbed some lunch. Certainly there are worse ways to spend an afternoon outside.

Various pics and rambling comments…

Very red De Tomaso Pantera rests curbside. I'd dig one of these for sure, wouldn't you?

BMW 2002 looking vintage euro.

1931 didn't look like this. 

Very purple GTX.

This bus comes up a little short.

Well done classic hot rod.

Impressively nice Porsche 356.  I have a serious hankering for one these.  Please send money.

Hot Rod Alley.

That be orange.

AMC Javelin.  Don't see one of those everyday.

Highlight of the show for me was the collection of vintage dragsters on display.  Looking at these rigs up close a reminder of how far safety has improved over the years.  Peering into the cockpit of the these old school dragsters was quite the eye opener.  Incredibly tight, rear differential literally in your crotch, legs over the rear axle, spinning slicks on both sides of your head, monster motor in your face, headers aiming in your direction.  Amazing, cool, and scary at the same time.

Speaking of headers aiming in your direction, they started these beasts for all to hear.  Impressively loud, even with fingers in ears for protection.  Seeing all this up close, I'd like to hit some vintage drag racing events in the future.  I'm not even the big drag racing fan.  Cool stuff.

Well done Bug with much modified motor, note the side exhaust.

Lowrider bike.  My next ride?

Add another fantastic 356 to the mix.

Old school hot rod.

1997 wasn't all that long ago.  Or maybe I'm just old.

That's just a sample of the many cars on display.  Nice event with downtown Edmonds spots to eat and Puget Sound views as the added bonus.  And with that, I now officially end this post.  Until next time…

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

StarCrossed 2014

Hit the annual StarCrossed event over the weekend for some 'cross spectating and photo snapping action.  Been a few years since the last visit, this being a cool stop on the Pacific Northwest cyclocross calendar.  Usually a big crowd, big names, beer garden, cowbells, and noise a plenty.

Racing throughout the day with the elite level Boys 'N' Girls hitting the course under the lights - velodrome lights - at Marymoor Park in Redmond.  That be Washington, as in the USA.  We arrived just before the start of Elite Women's gig at 7:00 PM.  Crowd seemed smaller then previous years - parked in the velodrome lot itself - not the field overflow.  First time for that.

In any case, event run by the fine folks at MFG Cyclocross, so all went well - with a decent amount of spectators heckling, handing out dough and beer to the racers.  Cyclocross is always a good scene.  (Ex) Racer Boy (son Ian), hasn't raced 'cross in two years - so cool to run into some former teammates and other folks at the race.

Setting sun, darkness and artificial light on the photography front.  I still don't own a flash unit, so goofed around with various ISO and other settings.  Some photos a bit grainy and play with the blur.  All good fun though, been awhile since I've shot a 'cross race…

Setting sun and rising dust.

RCR Pan 'N' Blur.  RCR for Recycled Cycles Racing, as sponsored by Recycled Cycles in Seattle.  Good folks there, I know the owner a bit via the school team I coached a few seasons ago, his son on the team.

Barrier a go go.

King of Cyclocross handing out the dough.

Sprint past the beer garden.

Full tilt boogie.

RCR Pan 'N' Blur Part II.

Full flight.


Smile, you're on Candid Camera.

111 = Go Go Go.

Jump into the party.

Barrier action in progress.

Beards make you faster.

Evan in action, fast high school kid in his first elite level race.  Teammates with my son back in the JL Velo days.

Theo, another fast kid and former teammate.  After being away for a season or two, cool to see these kids mature and become seriously fast.

Infield of the velodrome turned into 'cross course - including the surrounding areas and parking lots for more terrain.

Into the mayhem.

Pavement to dirt transition shortly.

Cyclocross ain't easy.

Not a bad night out, all good clean fun.  I don't even remember who won - lame, eh?  Soaking up the scene, chatting with folks, shooting pics, and some Father 'N' Son time included.  Bonus.

As the night ended, I asked Ian if he missed racing cyclocross.  At the moment no, seeing folks in action reminding him how hard it can be. That indeed be true.  For now, some recreational mountain biking is enough.  If he's happy, I'm happy.  Any time spent on two wheels is good...

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Fat Chance is Back - Hello and Good Bye

The bicycle interwebs are a buzzin' with news that Fat Chance is back in action, Chris Chance at the helm.  How cool is that?  Fat Chance still fresh enough - and missed enough - that a launch of new bikes could be successful.  I'd hope so anyway.

Details are sketchy, with mention of Yo Eddy staging a comeback.  The new website features a polling option on what people want see in the returning model.  Vote early, vote often, operators are standing by.  Also appears to be proof the return currently in the early stages.

Me?  I'd vote for the steel hardtail with modern geometry to run a 140mm suspension fork and dropper post, 27.5 wheels, old school colors and graphics.  Bit of old school and new school combo.  Yes please.  Curious to see what develops in the next few months.  My guess is the niche batch of frames to start, manufactured by a higher end US builder.  Time will tell.

Ironically, after 20+ years of ownership, I just sold my Yo Eddy.  Bike was boxed and ready to ship to the new owner, while I read of the Fat Chance relaunch on Facebook.  Mixed feelings about that chain of events.  A deal is a deal however, PayPal account already sporting the transfer of dough.

Freshly washed before the official boxing ceremony.

To add the irony, my Yo Eddy then spotted on the new Fat Chance site, plucked from a Facebook post.  Super cool to see it there...

Bike sold to recoup funds used to supply son Ian with his new rig.  And that's okay.  I'd rather spent time riding with him, then hold on to some old bikes - even my Fat - as its been collecting dust for a few years.  I sold the bike via the FatCogs forum and hope the new owner in Maine is happy with it.  In any case, I also have my '86 Fat Chance that I've owned since new, so still officially in the cult.

As the old school Fat City fan, cool to see Chris Chance involved in the industry once again.  Who knows, maybe this was fate and I'll replace my vintage Yo Eddy with the new modern Yo Eddy.

That story would bring it all full circle with a cosmic spin of knobby tires...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Back in Action - We Ride Again

Even though the ol' blog has been under radio silence for the last few months, there's been a bit of good ol' bicycle activity percolating in the background.  My favorite riding pal - that be my 15 year old son Ian - mentioned some interest in riding again.  This after a year or so of barely riding at all, following many years of riding and racing.  Cool, no pressure - let's get you set up equipment wise once again.

I should mention he's had a crazy growth spurt over the last two years and now stands around 6' 2" tall.  That meant new everything - bike, shoes, shorts - the whole enchilada.  My previous trick of moving parts over to ever larger frames ain't gonna cut it.  Time for something new. To give you some perspective on the recent growth curve, he was racing a 52 cm 'cross bike in 2012.  Welcome to Crazy Town, I'll be your Tour Guide.

On top of the garage full of old Bikes 'N' Parts being too small, he wanted to try full suspension after only experiencing hardtails and 'cross bikes.  Fair enough. The search began with much bike shop cruising and test riding.  Kudos to many Seattle area shops we visited and talked with over the phone, all of 'em super friendly and customer service oriented.  I wanted to buy a bike from a few different shops, just because they treated us right.  Bike shop folks are cool folks, but you already knew that.

Mixed in with this was the 27.5 verses 29er debate.  After numerous test rides, Ian not fully digging the 29er wheels.  No problem, 27.5 it will be. 26" wheeled higher end mountain bikes now on the endangered species list.  And of course, the Trump family we're not, so budget constraints eliminating carbon frames and XTR dreams.

Long story short, Element Cycles scored us a killer deal on a Santa Cruz Bronson.  XL frame to now match his XL frame.  Aluminum model, mix of Shimano Deore and SLX to keep the cost down.  Nice Fox suspension still included.  Six inches of travel front and rear, VPP design for pedaling efficiency.  Cool bike and it rides fantastic.  Ian is psyched and digging it.  He's not the materialistic kid at all, so fun to watch him enjoying this.

Since we picked up the bike a few weeks ago, been hitting our local riding spots.  Saint Edward/Big Finn Hill and Paradise Valley a few times. Besides the occasional noodling around on my 'cross bike, also been a good excuse for me to ride more often.

Video above from recent after work ride, Ian demonstrating some new trail features in our local woods.  Photo below from the same ride.  Some quality Father 'N' Son time via two wheels.

I think we're now officially back in action, will hopefully crank up the blog reports along with it.  Thanks for reading...