NAHBS 2013


Well, after years of wanting to go, I finally got to attend the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, and it was worth the wait. Started in 2005 by framebuilder Don Walker, NAHBS is an annual trade show featuring bespoke bicycle framebuilders and accessory manufacturers. This year, with the show right down the road in Denver, it was easy (and cheap!) to finally attend this fascinating assembly of bicycle lovers and creators, both new and old alike. I spent several hours at the Denver Convention Center yesterday, ogling the bikes as well as the crowd. I was able to shop for my next pair of hipster glasses, got tattoo inspiration, and learned that wallet chains are still cool, in addition to…

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Flagstaff


Let's talk about rarities. It's rare that an individual discovers his passion at five years old; it's also rare that an individual follows that passion through high school, against great odds and bias. It's rare for an individual to love a thing, a sport, and a place so much, and yet wait 36 years for him to finally call that place home. I've done those things, and yesterday was a validation of all of it. Yesterday, Brenda & I volunteered for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. First off, let me say it was all Brenda's idea, and mad props to her because I never would have volunteered otherwise, and may have skipped the event altogether, save to watch the peloton…

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Update


Still alive. Brenda saw her third production season at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival to fruition; all shows are up and running, her crew gets tighter every year and she seems to like it more all the time. Riding my bike again; still outta shape. The four eggs nesting in our hanging plant out front have hatched; got a couple of crappy pictures, lack motivation to get them off the camera. Hooper weighs 58 pounds, a 16% increase from past vet visits; still considered normal, but he could stand to lose a few lubs, just like his owner. The goddamned TV is busted, on the final week of the Tour; parts on order, will arrive after the Tour. In one week…

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RIP, Brent Graber


Brent Graber was a guy I casually knew, a co-owner of a fun little dog named Delaney. Brent and his brother were regulars at the ballfield near my house where Hooper & I spend many an evening. Last month, while Hooper was recuperating from his knee injury, Brent got hit by a car and had been in a coma ever since. I found out about Brent's unfortunate predicament a couple weeks after the fact, when Hooper & I returned to the ballfield. Ever since learning of Brent's unfortunate turn of events, I had been keeping tabs on him through a website his family had set up, and silently held out hope for a recovery of any kind. But tonight, at…

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Migration and Lance


awright, I got my iPhone talking to my new user account. All I did was tell the "Applications" tab to sync with my iPhone, and it copied the apps to my new iTunes install. Then I did the "wipe", letting iTunes blow out my iPhone's music library. At this point, my contacts and iPhone apps are synchronous with the iTunes install on my new laptop's new user account. I spent an hour or so copying the music from my old user account to my new one, and after all that things aren't perfect, but they are good. My old files from my old user account are on my new laptop, and after a little terminal action I changed the permissions…

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Rollers!


With my winter goal of keeping in shape taking... uh, shape, I have gone to the climbing gym a couple of times, and now own a harness, shoes and belay device of my very own. But while climbing is no doubt very strenuous, it's a lot of short bursts of energy and not a lot of sustained aerobic activity. One of the reasons I want to exercise through the winter is so that I can emerge from the Colorado snow in the spring already in shape to ride in the mountains, instead of spending April and May getting in shape. And so, while I have every intention of spending a couple nights a week at the climbing gym, I need…

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The Horror of Bike to Work Day


Today in Colorado it's "Bike to Work Day", part of the greater "Walk and Bike Month" promoted by the state and various organizations. (Nationally, this event happens in April or May, but in Colorado there could be a foot of snow on the roads then, so we do it a little later here.) Now, on the surface of things, this is great. a major promotion of the use of alternative transportation, to open your eyes to the wonders of commuting outside of that steel box you drive the rest of the year. In the spirit of promoting the event and rewarding the riders and walkers, businesses all over Boulder set up stands and hand out free breakfasts and free samples…

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Sheldon Brown, R.I.P.


Sheldon Brown is dead; he passed away today following a massive heart attack. The cycling world--particularly the bicycle mechanic world--has suffered a huge loss. Sheldon Brown's cycling/technical pages are loaded with excellent information, and I refer to it (and other people to it) often. Bummer.…

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Masi's New Bike


Thanks to Bike Hugger, I've been tipped off to a new cruiser-ish bike from Masi called the Speciale Soulville. It's a classic-lined everyday bike with a Shimano Nexis seven-speed internal hub, just like the Bianchi Milano I bought for Brenda. But unlike the Milano, this bad boy sports steel construction, cork hand grips, some very cool looking fenders, and Faliero Masi's John Hancock right on the top tube. Imagine cruising in style around town on a Masi! This is definitely one sweet bike. More pics and details here, in Masi Guy's Announcement.…

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So Vino WAS on the Floyd Landis Recovery Diet!


Vino cracks, loses a half hour in the hills; his Tour is over. Next day, Vino takes a stage win in convincing fashion, thrills the fans. Hmmm... Son of a bitch, Vinokourov tested positive. The fuckin' idiot doped during the Tour de France, testing positive and getting his whole team kicked out of the Tour with less than a week to go, taking teammate Andreas Kloden--sitting pretty in fifth position--with him. If I were Andreas, I'd be pissed, but then maybe I'd be hoping I didn't get my ass caught too, since I'd be on the Astana team, a horrid joke of a doping conclave. Let's not forget that this was the gang of idiots that couldn't even field a…

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Boulder Cruiser Ride(s)


Yeah so last week I wrote a post that purported to be about a cool cruiser bike, but was really a platform for me to bitch about a local bike ride that I felt had fallen into a sad display of Boulder elitism. I railed against these people and their policy of requiring costumes and cruisers on the ride. Since that time, some of the people I was complaining about found my little rant, and posted some seemingly witty retorts; what they really did was show their true colors. Meanwhile, several other bastions of the true spirit of the ride emailed me off-line and showed me the seamy underbelly of the Boulder bikeride/cruiser/chill/hangout groove, and as you…

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Best Cruiser Ever


I must have one of these! The Ellsworth "The Ride" is the coolest cruiser bike ever, and I am now accepting donations towards the purchase of one of these bad boys. And I promise to ride it around Boulder and not be an elitist asshole like the local "Boulder Cruiser Bikeride" jerkoffs who have taken their little (formerly large) ride underground (sort-of) and excluded all people who show up on non-cruiser bikes or not in costume (and, let's face it, costumes are, like, totally stupid, even on Halloween). I realize I have not given sufficient back story on the Boulder Cruiser Ride, but I guess those assholes never gave me enough good times to do so. And now you have…

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Crash


So, my fabulous weekend came to an abrupt halt this morning, quite literally. As I was flying though the air, I thought, yep, weekend's over. Lemme back up a bit. I was riding to work, about to join the Foothills bike path when this dude making a right onto the Boulder Creek Path decides he's just going to use the entire bike path to make his turn. Problem was, I was thinking I might just use the right half of the path myself. We collided, I went flying up and over him and ended up on my back, thinking "what the hell just happened?" By the time I got to the office I was a little light headed and was…

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Dopes


What a bunch of idiots these guys are. With the Floyd Landis Show currently unfolding at Pepperdine University, complete with tales of Greg LeMond's weenie and an obsfucatory defense that would make Johnnie Cochran proud, now it appears that Oscar Pereiro -- the man who finished second to Landis in the 2006 Tour de France and the man who stands poised to claim a belated yellow jersey if Landis is proven guilty of cheating -- is also mixed up in the Operation Puerto scandal, the scandal that has already forced Jan Ullrich out of the sport and brought Ivan Basso into the darkest point of his career (and hopefully will rid the sport of Tyler Hamilton once and for all)…

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Bear!


This morning I went for a ride in the mountains, an activity I have just recently started doing and I realize I am remiss in reporting on here. Suffice to say, it's amazing. All the splendor of the mountain scenery that I witness when I go hiking, plus high speed descents and the camaraderie of the road. Opportunities for nature spotting abound; often there are raptors circling high above the canyons I ride in, and occasionally one can see a deer up on a hill, or a squirrel will dart out across the road. A couple of weeks ago I even saw a fox run cross the bike path with breakfast in his mouth. But today, I was treated to…

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Escape


From "The Escape Artist": The road makes a hard bend to the right and then straightens to point directly downhill to the valley floor. If the surface is dry and you are running on good tyres, if the way is clear and you can use the width of the road, if you have all your courage and your wits about you, you can make it round that curve without touching the brakes. You hit forty-five, fifty, right at the apex. You cannot see the exit and it is crucial to pick the right line. If you start running out of road, the camber will be against you, shrugging you off the blacktop. Once committed to a line, it is too…

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Gearing Up


After a long, long, very long winter, I'm here to tell you that spring is on its way, and is settling in nicely. I realize I just marshaled the weather gods to unleash a furious last ditch winter storm sometime in the coming weeks, but I don't care; Colorado is becoming beautiful again! I went for a bike ride today, in 70 degree weather under blue skies (and discovered that my new bike has a really nasty propensity for high speed front end shimmy). Last week I read the latest Backpacker magazine and picked out a few choice fourteener hikes I want to do this year. Brenda and I made some headway on our foyer & landing flooring project this…

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On Sexual Depravity (and Shrinkage)


A couple of weeks ago I posted an innocent little blurb about riding my bike in the snow to deliver some christmas presents to the post office. I included a picture of my beloved singlespeed "townie" bike that was used for the purpose. The thing is, the bike's frame is whimsically called the "Il Pompino". It's made by a company in the U.K. called On-One, and it's a great, bombproof bike frame, perfect for the task. Perhaps because the company is in the U.K. they don't realize this, but the phrase "Il Pompino" means "blow job" in Italian. Eh, probably they do know. I knew of this alternate meaning when I bought it, and I sometimes refer to…

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Sled


Repeat after me: "Maxxis Locust CX tires are the greatest thing since coldcuts." After the third friggin' 12+" snowstorm in as many weeks, it was time to get the last of our Christmas packages mailed off since we could not deliver them in person, but today, Brenda had the car. So, with my packages loaded in my messenger bag and my tires pumped to 75psi, I slowly rolled out on the Skunk Creek Path, slipping a bit but generally biting into the slushy icy muck. By the time I was at Scott Carpenter Park, I was passing mountain bikers and plowing through the worst of it, recalling the salient message of my very first bicycle lesson from thirty-three years ago:…

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Been a while


Hey. Sorry. Been a while. I am in the process of moving to a new host, probably to be completed this weekend. Look for updates soon. Cold as something very, very cold around these parts these days. Meanwhile, ponder this, brought to you by the good crazies of Boulder: No spandex bike race…

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Nighttime Ride


You bundle up; it's cold outside. The scarf keeps the drafts out of that ill-fitting collar; the gloves come ever-so-close to covering your wrist, but when you stretch out to reach the bars an annoying half-inch gap forms and exposes bare skin to the cold, but you're used to it. You throw a leg over the bike, and with your left glove on, you use your right hand to fire up the taillight. Flasher mode works best. Pedal. Rolling away from the parking lot lights, you join the bike path; the moon is almost full, and it casts a base glow on the path before you, but even the leafless trees block enough of it to warrant the headlamp now.…

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First Snow


So, last Tuesday, Boulder got hit with its first snow of the year. The forecasts were calling for the possibility of "flurries" later on in the day, but the way it went down was that the flakes started falling around noon, and didn't stop 'till Wednesday morning. Around 6:30 pm, I decided that things weren't going to improve for a long time, and, despite being totally unprepared for the winter weather, I headed home on my bike. No gloves, no hat, no rain gear. At least I had a headlight on my bike. A couple minutes into the ride, my front was completely white and I was slipping and sliding all over the place. The tires I bought a…

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Still Can't Believe I Live Here


Sometimes you look out and it looks like a postcard... I'm motivated by the mountains. For some people it's the ocean, for me, it's the mountains. - Scott Moninger It's been a while since I've posted anything, I haven't hiked a step since our Long's Peak ascent three weeks ago, but rest assured I'm still here and loving every second of Colorado living. Been on a few bike rides, and every time I go I'm awed by the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains' Front Range. What really hit home for me though, what really smacked me in the face and told me that I'm lucky to be here, was the arrival of the new Colorado Cyclist catalog on Friday. This…

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My Head is Exploding


Floyd Landis won the Tour de France, and Brenda & I hiked our first "12er" in what was a beautiful day. So much to process, I think I need to get out of the house. More later, for sure.…

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Happiness is a Bicycle Commute


A year ago, I would have been affected by this: "Power Failure Snarls Commuter Traffic" A year ago, I would have been one of those poor bastards shuffling along for a MILE to get to some other mode of transportation, cursing the whole way. A year ago, today's latest regular dismal failure of the northeast corridor railway system would have likely hatched a profanity-laden tirade about how shitty my day was, followed by several gin and tonics. But today, I rolled out of my house and took pictures of the goats (yeah, that's right, goats) trimming the field across the street from my house, and arrived at the office 5-10 minutes later after dodging prarie dogs on the bike path…

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Update


I swear, I'm not losing interest in the blog thing. I dunno, I guess I have less to complain about. Just to update, I built a pair of wheels for the first time in twelve years. Pictures to follow. My Singlespeed Project nears completion -- in fact, I will ride it to work tomorrow, sans rear brake and handlebar tape; pictures to follow. I spent a couple hours the last two days at the airport, and met a couple of nice guys who I plan to fly with shortly; I'm gonna get back into flying soon, real soon! I also discovered that I live so close to the local airport that I can not only see the airport beacon at…

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Christmas Shopping, Boulder Style


What a day! After some snow on Tuesday, and horrendously cold air Wednesday & Thursday, things finally warmed up again on Friday. By the weekend a lot of the snow had melted from bike paths, and it was finally time, at long last, for Brenda to get a chance to try out her new bike and join me for a ride through Boulder. I bought Brenda a sweet Bianchi Milano on eBay, but it arrived exactly a day after she headed back to NJ for her last freelance gig in November. So I was really glad to see ma nature cooperating this weekend, her first full weekend back in Boulder. I feel like I've been pushing the bike thing with…

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Framebuilder


The other day I had another brilliant idea. I'm going to design and build my own bicycle frameset. Yet another hobby. Excellent. The idea came upon me suddenly, and for the last week or two I have been doing a lot of research on the topic. But it's not as though this is a new thing for me. I have always wanted to build a frameset for myself; when I was working in bike shops fifteen years ago, it bothered me that I could basically assemble everything on a bicycle, I could take a hub, rim and a handful of spokes and build a strong wheel, but the one thing on the bike I couldn't assemble from scratch was the…

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project


My new project. More later. (I know, I know, I suck. Lame posting frequency, to be sure. But fear not, I do have things to talk about. I'm building a singlespeed bike (and my knees are already groaning about it). Brenda has once again left for NJ (I submit, as evidence, the pictures on this post of a bicycle frame in our living room and wrinkled shirts hanging from the dining room chair). My cat is involved in a taste testing of organic cat treats for a natural foods magazine. I've recently discovered I'm losing my hair. My TV is broken (new development, as of 8PM tonight!). I'm still aware of the problem with commenting on my site. I am…

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Mountainworks


Well, my posting frequency is still pretty lame, and I apologize. Let's see, singlespeed bikes are my new focus, and I'm in parts aquisition mode. I also made a big mistake buying a mountain bike online, since I have no idea what size I really am (I never ride the damned things). As a result, I have a nice Dean titanium mountan bike I'm looking to unload. But that's not the point. The point of this post is to get you to go immediately to my co-worker's website, featuring photographs he took from his many world travels. They will knock your fucking socks off.…

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Velo Madness


Ride faster! Ride Faster! Yes folks, the cycling bug has bitten hard since arriving in Boulder. Eight or so years of no bike riding has made Robby a frustrated boy. Since moving to Boulder, I have had Scott Moninger ride his bike in front of my car while waiting to make a left turn, bought a cyclocross bike which I use as a daily commuter bike, and attended a giant bicycle swap meet in Denver, but things are really getting out of hand now. I bid on, and won, another bike on an online auction. But here's the thing: it's a mountain bike. I decided I wanted to get something with fatter tires for the coming winter snow, and holding…

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VeloSwap


Today I attended VeloSwap, an annual event in the Denver area that attracts thousands of people to the Place Next to the Denver Colliseum That I Can't Rember the Name of. You go in, you pay your eight bucks, and you collect your free copy of VeloNews. Then you walk past a sea of people walking out with rims and tires hanging from their shoulders, mountain bike forks three in each hand. You got there late. I was toying with the idea of attending this event all week and at the last minute decided to shoot down to Denver to check it out. After making a wrong turn off I-25 and touring north Denver's interstate trucking infrastructure, I arrived at…

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Baseball, Bikes, Boxes, Travel and Snot


Time for another long-overdue update. Let's go in reverse order, with regard to the title of this post. I've got a cold. It sucks. (ah-choo!) Been traveling more than usual, both for work and play. I was in Chicago this Wednesday for a meeting, and I guess I'd better get used to the idea of buisness travel again. I knew this was one of the downsides of taking this new job -- the attendant increase in travel and meeting requirements. I guess you take the good with the bad. Before Chicago, I was in Princeton, NJ visiting Brenda who has been there for a couple of weeks running the costume shop for a show at the McCarter Theatre. Brenda has…

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The Early Show


You have to love this. All week, the local movie theatre - complete with fabulous neon marquee - has been advertising not a movie, but a live broadcast of Stage Fifteen of the Tour de France. Showtime: 5:30. AM. As in, in the morning. As in, five thirty in the frikkin' morning. The local paper mentions raffles and bloody marys, but I'll need more than that to get me out to the Boulder Theatre at five in the morning. But you know what? I'll bet you there was a good turnout. As for me, I watched the end of the stage after I woke up, which was whenever the hell I woke up. The entire stage will be rebroadcast…

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I don't mean to gloat, but...


I left my apartment at 8AM this morning, and arrived at work ten minutes later, self-reliant the whole way. A friend of a friend out here loaned me his mountain bike indefinitely, which has been great for getting around Boulder. There are bike paths and bike lanes everywhere, and many crosswalks have bike sensors in the road so when you roll up the lights often immediately begin to turn in your favor. A garbage truck stopped and let me cross a side street, and the driver even waved and smiled. I also rolled along inches from what appeared to be a twig, but turned out to be a friggin' snake this morning. I'm quite certain it was a highly venomous…

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