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Archive for the ‘Bikes as a lifestyle’ Category

Funky Monkey Family

In a previous post I introduced and interviewed Antonio and Jessica as they left San Francisco heading towards South America.  In a recent update to their blog, they comment on the experience of cycling the streets of Los Angeles.  It is interesting to get the perspective of someone who has both spent the last several month traveling vastly different roads and areas, yet now skewed by a lifetime of cycling/motorist interaction baggage.

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There is a very long tradition of getting dad a tie for Father’s Day (that’s June 20 this year, by the way.)  But what if Dad’s favorite pastime involves a saddle, two wheel and two pedals?  As a general rule, folks don’t wear neck ties on the weekend group rides.

Luckily, there are a number of items – ranging from the relatively inexpensive to the completely extravagant – that can fill the bill.  Here’s a list of some ideas in no particular order:

  • Socks.  Socks are probably the closest analogy to the tie for the cyclist dad.  They provide that splash of color, that personalization, to whatever kit dad wears.  Get him socks for his favorite pro cycling team (Does dad have a favorite pro cycling team?  If so, do you know who they are?)  Or maybe some socks branded with the logo of the company that made his favorite bike.  Perhaps some uber-high tech socks, utilizing the latest research in nano-technology, genetic engineering, interstellar travel and manipulation of the public through advertising (you’ll recognize them by their inclusion of PhD, Tek or Sci in the name).  Or, maybe just socks with a cutesy saying embroidered on em.
  • Cycling Caps.  Another good substitute for the neck tie.  You’ll need to be a little careful with these, though, as some men don’t like to wear them casually.  Know Thy Father! However, if dad is into the caps, you can find these ranging from the common manufacturer-labeled black styles, to the omni-present Capo caps, to the stuffy “let’s ride to Cambridge on our classic Bianchi” wool variety.  (Hint: this last item might be a good fit for dad if you’ve heard him use the phrases “Brooks,” “leather,” “saddle,” and “I own” in combination in the same sentence.)  And just like socks, know what components dad rides (ask if you don’t know – he’ll be more than happy to talk about them for a few hours) and get him a cap that matches his crankset.
  • Spare Tubes.  OK – a little caveat here.  Giving spare tubes to dad may evoke a similar reaction to giving a new vacuum cleaner to mom on Mother’s Day.  It depends entirely on the person.  Spare tubes are an extremely practical, and completely unsexy gift.  They will be greeted with either gratitude or fits of fury.  Again, Know Thy Father! If you do, however, happen to know one of those practical type dads, be damn sure you know the difference between presta and schrader valves (Know Thy Valves).  Check the bike while he is sleeping if you don’t know for sure.
  • Jersey Always a sure hit – but expect things a little more on the pricey side ($75-$150).  See Socks and Cycling Caps above for logo ideas.  When all else fails, go for a beer themed jersey.
  • New Bike.  OK.  If you are seriously looking at this item and considering it as an option, I’ll recommend the Pinarello Dogma.  If you are still seriously considering this item, please contact me ASAP, as I can assist you with disposal if dad doesn’t like the bike you selected for him for some reason.

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Finally. Out of Europe. Video evidence that rush hour traffic can actually be enjoyable! And a little less noisy too.

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West Coast GoldSprints trailer was stolen. Read the story at http://www.bikemonkey.net/?p=9125#more-9125. Spread the word in any way you can. Help them find their equipment.

GoldSprints are indoor (i.e. on trainers) cycle racing.  Often taking place in a party type atmosphere, these events have ties back to the pubs of Europe where (it is my understanding) they got their start.  West Coast Gold Sprints is one of the premier promoters of these type of events on the US west coast.  These events require a whole lot of equipment – including not just bikes and trainers but audio/visual equipment, computers, etc.

West Coast GoldSprints is also the orginization staging at least some (if not all) of the Mike’s Bikes hosted races.

If ever there was a time to be part of the “cycling community,” it is times like this.

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I’ve spent a few hours recently plotting and scheming about how to get my hands on an XtraCycle (and a steel frame to attach it to) when I stumbled across this set of photos.  This has got to be the absolute coolest weddings ever – well, aside from my own of course.  Although it looks like the wedding party came up a little short.  While they did a great job on the streamers and such – shouldn’t there be some more cans tied on the back of that Surly Big Dummy?

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