It's Friday and I'm late for happy hour. So, I'm going to leave you with a little reading material. Check out the Zoo Bombers. These are some guys and gals who look like they know how to have fun on a bicycle. Of course, the man has been giving them some more trouble lately.
Thursday - March 11, 2004
According to the latest Rivendell Reader, Rivendell should have taken delivery of their first batch of 100 QuickBeam single speed bicycles by now. It's an SS in that it can only run one gear at a time, but they have set it up with a double chainring up front to give you options. As they've been testing prototypes for a while, I am assuming they have not been having chainline issues with this setup. According to them, they've taken a good bit of time to design the dropouts to allow for a wide range of gears. The complete bike will be delivered with 40t and 32t rings up front and an 18t freewheel out back. Wheels are 700c with room in the frame for 40's and fenders. Lugged CrMo in green, the framesets will be $900 and complete bikes will be $1300. They expect them to be sold out by April, so send a deposit quick if you want one.
Singletrack Summit //
Wednesday - March 10, 2004
Only 8 days until the 2004 Midwest Singletrack Advocacy Summit. Have you signed up yet? If not, get on it. A few of us Eastcoasters will be making the haul out to ride bikes and drink beer. The single speeds are packed and ready to ship. Some important last minute updates for the summit can be found here.
Shooting the Breeze //
Tuesday - March 9, 2004
As mentioned in yesterday's post, MTB legend Joe Breeze came by to check out the "Get Up The Hill Race". I have never been one who is particularly impressed by fame, not one who asks for autographs and can never really figure out why people get star-struck. I just want to put that out front, because that's certainly not the reason for writing this up. That said, if you aren't familiar with the man, it's worth doing a bit of research to find out about him. To say he was a pivotal figure in mountain biking's birth would not be exaggerating, it's simply fact.
Joe was in town with his business partner, John, for the National Bike Summit - town being more specifically Washington D.C. When I rolled up to the race start area, not too many people were there yet and I pulled up to talk to Donald, Fleet Street Cycles owner. He introduced me to Joe and John who were as down to earth and friendly as could be. I talked to both of them both before and after the race about everything from the Transportation Equity Act (TEA) to Safe Routes to School to trail access issues and politics. And of course, their business venture Breezer Bikes.
Breezer used to be a mountain bike company, but these days they are focused strictly on transportation bikes. Utility cycles that get people out of cars and get them pedaling, complete with lights and racks. These look more like bikes you would see in everyday Europe than in the US. They also offer a line of folding bikes. They've been at it for two years now and building steady steam. This is nothing but a positive thing and it's good to see energy being devoted to these type of ventures. From the race they were embarking on a week long trip of the northeast, giving talks and visiting dealers. Check their site and you should be able to find their stops along the way.
What impressed me about both guys was not only their genuine passion for bicycling and it's positive benefits, but how they were just regular guys. And in a surreal moment, Joe asked John to snap a picture of us together, then had him retake the picture to make sure he got my fixed gear in the frame. I was humbled, as the roles certainly should have been reversed with me asking to have someone snap a picture for me. But of course, I had left the camera at home in my attempt to be a weight weenie (yeah right!) for the race.
One last note for those who have been following the 2004 Single Speed World Championship updates coming out of Germany: Joe did confirm that he will be attending SSWC04 in Berlin. He'll be helping out the organizers by doing a fundraiser ride with a limited number of attendees with all proceeds going to pay for the race details. Class.
Get Up The Hill //
Monday - March 8, 2004
Sunday: I pop at 6:30am with only four hours of sleep in the bank. Grab a quick bowl of oatmeal, two cups of Joe and suit up to ride. Temps are in the high 30's with a peak of 55 forecast for late in the day, a drastic change from the 70 degree weather we had recently. I'm out the door to meet Bill and Dave and ride to the start of the "Get Up The Hill Race" that's scheduled for 8:00am (sponsored by the fine riders at Fleet Street Cycles).
I catch up with the boys a mile and a half from my house and we set a steady, casual pace to get warmed up. About 15 racers show up to have a go at the uphill time trial. The course is approximately 1 mile long and starts with an 18% grade. Ouch! It's painful right from the start, eases up a bit in the middle and then gets steeper before mellowing back out at the end. I'm the only fool running one gear, 42 x 17 fixed. I can barely turn the cranks over in some sections but keep chugging away while sucking in big lungfuls of air. The spinners beat my mashing with no problem, I wind up in 5th when everything is said and done.
Cool note of the day: MTB founding father Joe Breeze shows up to spectate, more on that later.