Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Dearly Departed: Me

After 5 years, I am officially no longer employed by City Bikes. I have taken a job outside the bicycle industry. After starting in a bike shop in May 1993, I am now a civilian.

I can't even believe where this industry has taken me. I have been SO lucky over the last 15 years. Ok, just one month short of 15 years but we'll round up.

I have made so many friends, ridden in so many cool places and learned so much about life from the seat of a bicycle. From my mtn bike roots through my commuting and on-road education, for-profit to non-profit and back to for-profit. Wrenching, sales, management, buying, running a shop, helping to bring an organization or two back from the brink... I really do owe my life to cycling. I don't think I'll ever be able to stop.

I met my wife through a 24hrs of Canaan teammate back in 1999. Emma was born while Susan worked for the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and I worked for the League of American Bicyclists. Jeremy was born while I was at City Bikes and Susan at WABA. Susan and I worked in the same office when America Bikes! was in the League office on K St.

I helped push MORE into MD back when there was only one park that MORE worked with in MD. I was the Patapsco liaison for 8 years and met a bunch of great local people and fixed a lot of bad sections of trail. I still bore people to death whenever I'm out there... 'This trail used to be a mess until we moved it up onto the hillside there.' 'I pitched this rock section by hand one snowy April day.' Ugh.

Teaching safe cycling, traveling for bike-related conferences and vendor events, Santa Cruz, Tahoe, Salt Lake, Portland, Gainesville, Madison, Albuquerque, Amherst, Louisville, Santa Rosa... And now I'm a civilian.

I'm still going to race with my good friends on I have had some really great times with those guys/gals and will continue to represent for the shop at races. I'll still be pushing on MORE to keep moving forward, like a good Scud disciple.

It's official. I wish it was harder to leave but the bike industry ain't a lifetime gig for me. Almost though, eh?

Bye bye industry, hello life!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dr Bill aka Wild Bill

Boy, for a skinny guy he sure has a lot of nick-names... Bill was captain of the team that we battled last year for the Granny Gear 24hr Expert National Championship that we NARROWLY won. He was a great competitor and we sure had a good time yukking it up with those boys. Dr Bill is now on a team called Wake-N-Bake Racing out of Athens, GA. He's the team captain. They have a big orange trailer. Nice. Pics on their site...

They are all riding Niner bikes, WTB tires, I9 wheels, Manitou 29r forks, Ergon grips and they are sponsored by a brewery! Nice work guys/gals. I hope we can get together and race. Make sure the SM100 is on your list!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

08 Cannondale Rize and Moto Bikes

Sorry for the bad picture but it's all I got of the new Rize from Cannondale. 130mm travel bikes from less than $2k to almost $6k. The lightest ones should be around 24lbs. This one is the Rize Carbon 2, the almost-nicest bike in the line.

This Rize is a BIG step for Cannondale. They have been beating the single-pivot drum for 15 years or so. 'Super simple, super-low maintenance, super stiff!' Sure, and super pedal input on the shock causing it to ride a bit unpleasantly. With the platform shocks hitting the market, Cannondale squeezed a few more years out of single-pivot. I think the RP stuff from Fox is too pronounced unless way open and then you realize the limitations of any design. With all of Cannondale's engineering genius, I would hope they could design their own shocks for their bikes since they managed it with forks but no. Maybe it would have happened in a world of no bankruptcy but who knows. But I digress. This bike is a linkage bike and I have heard it compared to a Jamis many times already. Nothing wrong with that. If Jamis could get their 5" travel bike down to this weight, it would be a better comparison.

Now on the left, we have the new 08 Moto bikes. Yes, the top line models are carbon, just like all of the other Cdale bikes these days. The Moto is 160mm of fun-lovin' travel. You'll notice Fox forks on a lot more bikes these days as Cannondale can't afford to put Lefty forks on a lot of bikes. Ok, that's not the right way to say it: Leftys are SUPER expensive and it's hard to put a $1k fork on a bike that costs $2k or less.

I'm a big fan of the Lefty forks. They are super-stiff. They are light. They are buttery-smooth because they roll on bearings instead of rubbing on bushings.

The feedback that I hear from Cannondale is that they still have some trouble getting people on Lefty forks. You see them constantly working with Fox on various products including some Fox internals in some forks. That has been going on for years. I understand why they do it but I'd rather see some changes and travel upgrades on the Lefty so that Cannondale offers more of a unique product.

I have ordered a few of the Rize bikes for our Demo Fleet. We will see the Moto bikes when the Cannondale trailer rolls into town. This is my cup o tea! If the weights are down and the brake jack and pedaling are dialed, it should be fun. I'll work on getting some weight info on the Moto. I'm sure they are all over 30lbs with the Fox 36 on the front but maybe the carbon bling-bling bike is under 30, which would be rad!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Two of My Personal Faves

Thanks guys. Rest.

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