Winter Boots – Shimano MW7 2017/2018

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I’m in my second year of this boot now. Last weekend I completed a 6hr, 38degree ride in them, complete with a stream crossing, rain and about 4 miles of bike hiking in the snow (see buckyrides on facebook for pictures). I can still say that they live up to their glory. Continue reading “Winter Boots – Shimano MW7 2017/2018”

Winter Boots – Shimano MW7 2017/2018

Daybot by PDW – Is a locally designed, consciously crafted bike light a fallacy?

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You might remember a while back I reviewed the Full Metal Fenders by local company – PDW, The fenders are still going strong and get used on an almost daily basis for 13months now, a bomber setup. PDW is a Portland company that designs, engineers, markets and ships bicycle accessories. The founders come from an cycling industry background having worked in bike shops and bike companies. Back in the day they chose Portland because of the strong bicycle culture and supportive small business community. Continue reading “Daybot by PDW – Is a locally designed, consciously crafted bike light a fallacy?”

Daybot by PDW – Is a locally designed, consciously crafted bike light a fallacy?

You could be shivering, ornot.

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Pretty psyched for a change of season I ordered up some new gear. I needed some new colder weather stuff and wanted to try something different from Ornot, a smaller San Fransisco company that has been around four years now. Continue reading “You could be shivering, ornot.”

You could be shivering, ornot.

VIBE LED Lights – be seen, be safe

Light and Motion is a California based company that has been manufacturing lights for 28 yrs. Founded in 1989 by a pair of Stanford graduates who started the company from a passion of SCUBA diving and underwater photography, the products are designed, assembled and tested in Monterey and what they cannot make themselves they outsource to USA suppliers and a small percentage to specialists overseas then brought back to California – think similar to Apple’s strategy. With a strong line of lights for water sports, running and hiking, L&M also serves the cyclists with products from urban to ultra high power mountain biking models.


Continue reading “VIBE LED Lights – be seen, be safe”

VIBE LED Lights – be seen, be safe

Interbike 2017 – Trend & New Products

interbike0Last week I headed to Interbike Vegas 2017, where cycling industry veterans gathered to show off the latest trends and technology in cycling. The first two days of Interbike was Outdoor Demo, where cycling industry pro’s get to view and ride new bicycles, followed by three days of tradeshow. With three exhibition halls full of gear, Interbike gives you a glimpse of the future. Continue reading “Interbike 2017 – Trend & New Products”

Interbike 2017 – Trend & New Products

PDW Full fenders in full swing

pdw_fender_02The rain season is right around the corner and a good set of fenders turns the off season from a bleak lackluster time into a no problem season of palatable and sometimes fun base rides. Continue reading “PDW Full fenders in full swing”

PDW Full fenders in full swing

Ride Report: Rapha Rising 2017

It’s so hard right? You’re cranking along at your day job with lots of hours and sometimes cool projects among balancing life and all those rooftop IPA evening events with your bro’s. Then along comes a challenge. Not a ridiculous challenge that is totally out of reach, but something that’s just beyond normal grasp. This is the type that is even more enticing as you play with the idea of completion, over and over in your mind.

Summary : 133miles, 15,000ft of climbing on some of the most beautiful and challenging roads around Mt.Hood Oregon. This single day event brought a few mechanical’s and a lost rider but that’s part of the challenge of long days and chasing high elevations

 

For us (a crew of rag tag riders), this year’s Rapha Rising was exactly that sort of life situation and challenge that we needed (?). With the goal of 15,000 vertical feet spread out over a month it’s doable, but… A couple of chaps at Stages (power meter company) who were determined to complete the challenge started mapping out what it would take to do this in one day.

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Yep, that’s 15k feet in one day – that’s a lot of going up and a long way for most normal cycling folks out there. After fifteen or so route iterations they came up with a route which balanced the ups and the downs, good climbs with proper timed descents for recovery. Throw in a few strategically placed services for water and food and, to top it off, roads along spectacular less traveled routes with amazing views not just laps on your local 1,500ft climb. The route was essentially a 360degree loop around Mt. Hood, and hit some of the lesser known mountain roads, a lot of which were from this ride. But also took in about 12miles of road ride-able gravel, as it’s hard to plan a ride on hood without a little G.

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Fast forward to the day, Sat July 15th, start time 7am at Government Camp, bodies dragged themselves out of cars knowing that there was no escape on this route – “one and done” as they say. Bottles filled and tons and tons of sports bars and snacks crammed stretched jersey pockets shrouded by lightweight gillets. A chilly start at that elevation but the first 2k climb to Timberline had us warmed up in no time.

see the route here:

west_leg_webClimb #1 -West Leg up, the air was chilled and fresh at 7am. The younger chaps hammered it. I bide my time, its a long day and the mind flicks to the strategy of survival ahead knowing that you have to make this and there is no way out.

timberline_webaApproaching Timberline Lodge,  top of the days first big climb (2000ft) . This shot is taken at about 6,000ft elevation.

timberline_2_webA quick break at the Timberline lodge (created in 1937 as part of Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression ) Anthony is prepared for the 5000ft chilly descent.

timberline_4_webThe descent down from Timberline is pretty stellar, looking South with Mt Washington in the distance, before eventually turning up Lolo Pass Rd at Zigzag.

lolo_pass_01_webThe Lolo (NF1810) gravel is short in distance and generally pretty light, certainly ridable on a roadbike taking caution in deeper sections. The road twist and turns eventually opening out to old logging areas.

lolo_pass_02_webJust after the summit of Lolo, we rounded the corner onto 1810 to amazing views of Mt. Hood and a few miles of gravel.

chain_fix_weband just like in the Tour, mechanical’s happen. Kyle and Anthony roadside conversion to a singlespeed. Needless to say, not the most ideal setup for a route with tons of climbing.

mechanical_webThe odd mechanical : Anthony’s derailleur managed to remove it’self from the bicycle, sheared right off the hanger during the gravel section of Lolo Pass. Unfortunately he had to cut the route short, but in true hardman style he endured the steep grades of NF16 to make the route back.

wheel_change_bennett_webThis guy and his superlight tubes 🙂 .Sticky bottles and support vehicles – there was none of that in this tour de hood. Bennett is outta luck.

lostlake2_webClimb #3 leads to Lost Lake, probably the most photographed view in Oregon, and for a reason.

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Vista Ridge (NF 16) – climb #4 and some amazing views from the ridge that overlooks the Northern area of Mt.Hood all the way towards the town of Dee and takes in view of Mt. Adams, WA

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Zipping up through Parkdale’s orchards to views, before climbing Cooper Spur #5 – Make sure to load up on energy and visit the grocery store in Parkdale at mile 86.

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Climb #6 (no picture) after Cooper Spur climbs up Hwy 35 North, and there’s a reason for no picture. This is a heads down and crank section. Two basic gradients over 11 miles, the first averages around 3% and the second around 4.5%. I have to say this is the most mundane climb up to Meadow’s Ski Resort. Bang it out and forget about it.

rd48_webLate in the ride came climb #7, out this out and back jaunt on Rd 48 towards Tygh Valley was really not that bad, the elevation profile is stair stepped and gives you flats in between to recover, but at this stage a requirement to get the elevation needed.

white_river_snow_webNormally this place is full of snow – White River area just after the 7th major climb of the day on the SW side of Mt. Hood

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trillium_01_webThe last gasps of elevation – we took to some gravel via a detour that routes us off Hw26 and down and a round Trillium lake, by this time (7pm) the crowds are thinning out and it’s just the idiots on all day bike rides.

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Zipping around Trillium and cranking back towards Timberline road, the car is just around the corner, but we are 600ft short of our goal, so close. A climb up West Leg is called for to make up the elevation difference.

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Boom. The face of done, so done. Thanks Rapharising 2017, until 2018.

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Ride Report: Rapha Rising 2017

Ride This : Windy Ridge NF25/99

Almost an institutional ride now, this being my 4th time. This ride has mind blowing landscape and killer mountain views of Mt. St Helens, WA. With the added bonus that its 100% traffic free delight (right now).

Mileage: 81 Miles
Elevation Gain 8,000ft
Elevation profile – Out and back. with large amounts of climbing.
Terrain: 100% road
Ride Route: here Ridewithgps
Services: Limited to none, recommendations in text below
Bicycle: Road or touring

NF25 and 99 are closed winters, gated and generally open up to motor vehicles in Early July. This translates into 81miles of car free enjoyment. NF 25 is a tree lined beautiful road that twists it’s way through the Gifford Pinchot National forest up to the first viewpoint of Mt. St Helen’s. The visual rewards come early at mile 15 with a great view of St Helens, from there a mix of descending and climbing the real fun comes when you break tree line on NF99 and are exposed to the dramatic rocky, wind-scoured landscape and fantastic views of St. Helens, Mt, Hood, Adams and Rainier sometimes. The top section of NF99 is rolling, twisty and a visual delight. The lower section is a bit of a climb from 2800ft to 4,000ft, a nice climb.

You can leave your car at the Pine Creek Information Center to start. Here are bathrooms but no other facilities. (An alternative route is to start in Randle Washington and head South on 25 (instead of North). The road from Randle will probably be open for traffic, but NF99 will still be gated and closed. Alt Route here, warning I have not ridden the miles from Randle to NF99)

TIPS
Since services are close to non-existent, and also depending on when you ride, the roads closed, you have to be prepared.

Road Status: Check NF99 status  Here . Check NF25 status here

Food – Take the food you need, see below for drop bag details.

Tools – During the times when the road is closed for traffic there can be debris on the road and light rock debris especially at the top of Windy Ridge. Some of these rocks can be sharp – worst case they can slice your tyre- make sure you take tyre boots and the rest of the puncture fix gear you need,

Hydration – In moderate temperatures, I have ridden this with 3 large water bottles, I would say I am an efficient person. In hotter conditions, I carry a musette bag or a small rucksack with 2-3 extra bottles in it and hide them under trees at the marked point on the gps map – about 25 miles in, where there is a parking lot. This is great to ensure 2 bottles to the top of Windy Ridge then upon return you have another 2 for the way back. If you leave food bars here, make sure they are sealed.

There are springs / rivers that run beneath the roads, most are not accessible, they are far down and on sharp rocky descents. If you go at a time when there has been a lot of snow, you will find quite a small water falls that you can filter from.

first_climb_view_01_webFrom the first viewpoint at mile 15

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A little bit of snow on NF25
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Cool Waterfallnf_99_view_08_webnf_99_view_09_webspirit_lake_10_web
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Mt. Hood in the background thereriders_13_web

 

Ride This : Windy Ridge NF25/99

Product Review : Saltzman SS Jersey

collar_detail_anthn_saltzman_webIn the world of development, the following description is a pretty common thing, You have a great idea, you make contact with an agent in Hong Kong or Mainland China and you start in a series of negotiations and long e mail chains, sometimes calls at 9pm at night to develop a product with your offshore agent. What happens 90% of the time is a few iterations in design, back and forths to the factory, a few samples and slowly you find it difficult to really nail those fine details that are essential make your product shine in an ever demanding consumer market, 2nd, 3rd sample and things are good but not as perfect as they should be for you. Continue reading “Product Review : Saltzman SS Jersey”

Product Review : Saltzman SS Jersey

Tech: Wheel Bearing Service r1

Rolling smooth? It’s only when things are not smooth that we seem to notice as it affects the quality of your ride. Most of this smoothness comes from the mechanics of bearings which allow things to rotate in a controlled and fluid manner. Wheel bearings are some of the many bearings found on a bicycle, and also some of the most important. Continue reading “Tech: Wheel Bearing Service r1”

Tech: Wheel Bearing Service r1