Thursday, November 8, 2012

Don't you be hating...

Someone brought a bike music video into class today to kick it off.  It is a class I'm TAing for on sustainability,urban form and alternate transportation, and, as you would expect, bicycles feature highly as an aspect of that.  ANYWAYS, I was stoked until I realized it wasn't one of the Robin Moore classics or that one fixed gear video that made me fall out of my seat laughing in class one day.  No.  None of the above.  It was good but not one of the videos chronicling the rise of contemporary cycling style into the spotlight of mainstream culture.  I couldn't remember the names of those videos. Here are the results of that YouTube dig.  I"m stashing this triumvirate of half-critical velo-centric time capsules here for future tribes of mud-beaters, electro-jockeys and holo-cyclists to boggle at.

The fixie culture send-up:

The Roadie skewering:

And the Dirt Dissing:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Krazy Koga

Found this crazy little gem of a mountain bike on campus the other day when all I had was my phone on me. Kinda took a look at it from afar and almost blew it off. I'm glad I didn't because the wickedness is all in the details. Looks like a bonded aluminum construction, with a strange metal finish or anodized rather than painted tubing. XTR M900 crank, early XT everything else. Some interesting details on the brake levers: not sure if they just couldn't get that XT logo on there enough, or they figured the inside of the brake levers were the only place they wouldn't get worn off by super-high end semi-pro shredder types.

I love that sharkfin chainstay guard, wish someone would reproduce these things. You get a little extra cred when your chainstay guard backs up your whole bike's single track-eating good looks. I really flipped out when I saw the rims on this bike up close, though. Check them out: Mavic 217 rims with an anodized finish -- not a single color but a continuous gradient all the way around. Sickness, buddy.

Would like to do more research on this bike, but I don't have a lot of time on my hands. From what I can tell Koga-Miyata was making some far-out bikes in the early to mid '90s, including this little chunk of bling. If you've got more info, hit me up.

XT rear deer, Sharkfin and sweet Mavic 217's

Glad you put that extra logo on it, I wasn't sure

The wild Keirin in its native habitat

Getting a lot of traffic this weekend on my Tumblr dashboard related to the Keirin meet-up in LA. Kind of cool to see the real reason behind the existence of NJS parts and Japanese track bikes getting some legitimate attention. Pretty interesting sport, wish I had tried harder to figure out where and when the meets happened while I was still in Japan.

A friend of mine that was in the know 8 years ago, asked me to see if I could track down any frames while I was in Japan. I was in a pretty small village way up in the mountains, so bikes faded pretty far from my consciousness, but every once and a while I would find a shop in a larger town and ask around. No leads. I remember asking a guy at a small shop in Takayama wether he knew anything about Keirin and he looked at me like I was nuts, probably because he thought I was asking about Kirin, which you could buy from a vending machine on any street corner. It wasn't until the week before I left, that I found a velodrome right around the corner from a friends house in Gifu. Doh.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Touring Teardrop

I've had a thing for teardrop trailers for a 4 or 5 years now. I used to daydream about building a superlight steamed plywood and fiberglass teardrop while I was putting in shifts at Whole Earth Provison Co. in Austin. Watertight but well ventilated with a little stow away kitchen in the back hatch, my cozy, custom teardrop still takes to highways and the national parks all across the mythic, Quozian North America of my mind from time to time, towed behind the much-missed left-hand-drive Subaru I used to own in Japan.

Ha. And then I saw this. My dream of a teardrop is revised. I am starting to mentally construct one that I could conceivably stow in my Vancouver apartment, perhaps one that could double as a loveseat and maybe triple as a conversation starter in those domestic environs. The mind races with the possibilities, and glides along the smooth, sleek lines of the bikeable teardrop, one with a roof rack for surfboards or kayaks. Man, am I stoked on this idea. Got lots of other things to do though, so I'll put this way back on the backest burner and let it stew.

I've got a big, big backlog of stuff to post to the blog but it is going to have to wait for a little while longer until I catch up with the stuff that actually pays bills. Back soon.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

One Liners: Car is to "Whip" as Bike is to __________?

I was down in Portland, OR over the weekend and spent most of it happily soaking in the bike culture. I actually posted this on Flickr ages ago, but after seeing and hearing bicycles only half-ironically being referred to as "whips" again over the weekend, I thought this needed a repost. This was parked in front of a grocery store somewhere in western Japan and when I saw it, I thought that this must be the answer for the problem used as an intellectual wooden dummy since ancient times -->

If CAR:WHIP then BIKE:______?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Beer: Fernie Brewing Company What The Huck

Well, for the first beer post here I took a terrible set of photos, drank the beer and threw the bottle out. Then I realized I had terrible beer photos. I'll have to do better than that in the future.

The upside: I found radiobread's Flickr stream, replete with a vast selection of the beers of BC in the photo-cooler. Sweet. Thanks, radiobread. (Hope you don't mind the exposure)

So I figured I would kick the beer front of this blog off with this offering from Fernie Brewing Company, out of Eastern BC. I figured the name of the beer properly celebrates the opening of the bike park at Whistler, recently opened up for a summer's worth of full-suspension, high speed meat-hucking.

I'm kind of fascinated by huckleberries (which don't actually do much hucking) since growing up in Texas, the only huckleberries I had ever really had any contact with were Huckleberry Hound and Johnny Ringo's huckleberry, Doc Holiday, in the movie Tombstone. So...not much. Coming to the Pacific Northwest a few years ago, I realized there were actual huckleberries hiding out in the forests. Since then, after taking a plants class a few years back and learning how to ID them, I've gotten pretty fond of snacking trailside on the tiny red berries of the Lower Mainland's native huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium).

En-ee-way, I dig huckleberries. So, when I spotted this particular beer at the beer store last week, I did a double take. Apt name: What the Huck. A huckleberry infused beer? I'm not normally inclined towards drinking fruity beers so I hesitated and then, because I caught myself hesitating, picked it up. What the huck.

Fernie Brewing Company handcrafts all their beers and only uses natural ingredients. Since the brewery is nestled in the Rockies' abundant watershed, I'm assuming they are using that well-advertised ingredient -- the ice-cold water of the Rockies -- too. Sounds like a good foundation for a beer.

True to its ale-ness, it is darker and, true to the label's advertising, with a hint of purple from the huckleberries -- and a nice crisp head to it. The huckleberry flavour is subtle, and adds a slight tartness to the finish. Being a wheat beer, it is pretty smooth with a tiny hint of spice, and while the huckleberry flavour builds over the course of the .5 L bottle, it never gets to the point of being overpowering or overfruity. Fernie sez it pairs well with pork, chicken or seafood dishes.

I hope I sound like I know what I'm talking about. What I'm really thinking is: This is a perfect beer to pair with sunny, summer late afternoons on the West Coast after some trail time, hiking or biking, with friends. Kinda like grown-up beer Kool-Aid, but, you know... really good.

Do I still sound like I know what I'm talking about?

Rating: Good beer, Fernie. 8 out of 9 cogs, eh. ********

Friday, May 27, 2011

Whistler Trail Map

The Whistler Valley Bike Trail Map here, in case anyone is looking for it.