Category Archives: News

Holiday Swarm On Willamette Street

Holiday Swarm on Willamette Street
Yesterday was the Holiday Swarm on  South Willamette  Street for pedestrians and cyclists to get out and do some last minute shopping the weekend before Christmas. The Swarm was planned by a group of citizens to show  the city, and businesses along the street, that pedestrians and cyclists are in large numbers along the road, shopping at their stores and enjoying the community along Willamette, even on days like this.


There were a lot of pedestrians and cyclists, though the video doesn’t show them all. It was taken over a short time, and lots were spread out along the entire street, shopping and eating at all the different businesses South Willamette Street has to offer. Notice all the cars out, most are just passing through this nice little section of town, skipping over these shops. I hope the businesses consider how much pedestrians and cyclists mean to them. Improvements for the street are in the works and being discussed with members of the community to help rejuvenate this section of Willamette street. With a bond measure passed last November, one of the plans is to repave and better redesign the layout of the street to be more multi-modal. There will hopefully be much better pedestrian and bicycle facilities along the road with nicer vehicle lanes to help make traveling to and along Willamette Street much nicer.

Here is other info about the Holiday Swarm onWillamette Street.
Holiday Swarm Willamette Facebook Page, & Event
Story From The Register Guard

Yehuda Moon Is Back for More Kickstarter Support

Rick Smith and Brian Griggs are back with Yehuda Moon & The Kickstand Comics : Volume 5, on Kickstater. Last time they well exceeded their project goal on Kickstarter with Volume 2 ,3, & 4 and hopefully will this time as well, helping to support this great online comic for years to come. So if you enjoy the comic please help fund this great Kickstater project. If you don’t already have the printed volumes of the comic, you can get them at different funding levels.

As I always say, if you haven’t heard of Yehuda Moon you can still get started reading them, as they are all online. Here is a link to the first strip. Yehuda Moon 01-22-2008

Yehuda Moon 01-22-2008

Is Krampus here to eat your children, or to just go for a bike ride?

First there was the Pugsley
Surly Pugsley
Featuring huge 26×3.7-3.8 tires, it was the birth of the “Fat Bike”. Named after Pugsley Addams if I were to guess.
Wednesday-and-Pugsley-Addams

I would hope it might have been named after something cuter like this.
Pug

Then there was the Moonlander.
Surly Moonlander

Featuring even wider 26×4.7 tires allow you to float over everything you could imagine. More likely named for the Lunar Rover because of the massive tires, & not the Moon Lander (Apollo Lunar Module).

LunarRover

Now they have a new one.
Introducing the Surly Krampus!!

Bike is features 29×3.0 tires, This is not a “Fat Bike” according to Surly(HERE), to them it’s a “29+“. I could imagine it might be known as a “Chubby Bike”. This tires are wider than any other 29in tires(larger sizes can be 2.1-2.3). This will be great for people who want a wider tire, but don’t want a truely “Fat Bike”, or want a a 29er with fatter tires.  This one is nicely named after Santa Claus’s helper Krampus, this lovely fellow.
Krampus
Hopefully the bike won’t be carrying you off and eating you for Christmas dinner.

Here are more photos of the Surly Krampus: One, Two, Three

I’ll admit I don’t mountain bike, but I love the idea of the Pugsley and would really like one for myself. I do tend to explore dirt and gravel trails with my LHT, 26×1.5 tires aren’t great for that, it would be a lot easier with wider tires & why not get a “Fat Bike” Maybe someday I will treat myself to one of these bikes.

My Surly LHT Turns 2 Years Old

I have had my Surly Long Haul Trucker for 2 years now, and I have never doubted myself for choosing it over a different bike. The love story between me and the LHT began long before I got her. For years I knew I wanted the bike. I would try out other bikes at shops and never be happy with how they felt or how they were set up. I knew I wanted to do long rides and touring so why not go with a full out touring bike such as the LHT? The one thing was I already had a decent amount of bikes and not a lot of money. Also, I didn’t like the colors it was offered in for a couple years. They were dull colors: Utility Blue, Olive Green, Truckaccino Tan, I wanted something brighter, and then they showed off the new color at Interbike in October 09, Blue Velvet (also known as Hill Street Blue) and I knew I really wanted it.

First Photo of My Surly and I

I moved to Oregon in late March of 2010. A month later, on April 25th, I bought my Surly Long Haul Trucker. I was so happy that day, finally getting a super comfortable bicycle to ride for a long time.

Rain Cape

This year on April 25th I happily was able to do a nice 20mile ride with a friend in the morning. Then after he left to go home I kept going, ending up riding just over a metric century that day, 67.58miles in total.

Happy Birthday Surly 2 Years Of Good Rides Together, And Lots More To Come. Birthday Breakfast Only I Can Enjoy, Sorry Surly.
Ride With A Friend Bill's Bench Right When It Starts Raining
Ride Treat Rain Cape Tent
Taking A Break From The Rain Fox Hollow and Lorane
Untitled A stop at the end of the Fern Ridge Path, then back into town.
Surly's Metric Century Birthday Ride, and I still have 4 more miles and need to get some groceries. From after Surly's Birthday Ride on the April 25th
Surly Birthday Bike Route

Last year on Surly’s birthday I got him the Surly Rear Nice Rack, and this year I got him the Surly Front Nice Rack to Match. This rack is massive, and will certainly see a lot of use. Now I just need to get myself a set of Ortlieb Front-Roller Panniers to match my Back-Roller.

Surly Front Nice Race First Ride With My New Surly Front Nice Rack

Happy Birthday Surly!!!

Video: ‘BOY’

Video Caption: “BOY,’ written by British Airways Great Briton’s winner Prasanna Puwanarajah is a moving short film starring actor Timothy Spall and was inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Prasanna won over Richard E. Grant and the panel of judges on the BA Great Britons programme with his clear, original and moving script. The film, now complete, will also be show at our pop up event Flight BA2012 and onboard BA flights in the run up to the London 2012 Games.”

This truly is an amazingly moving short film. I hope they bring a lot of tissues on the flights they plan to show this on. Here is some behind the scenes of the shooting for this short film.

Velo Cult, Pedal Nation, & Great Portland Food

Velo Cult Bike ShopYesterday Angel and I got a chance to hang out in Portland after taking her sister back from a visit. We started out the day by going to the newly opened Velo Cult Bicycle Shop. Started in 2006, the shop originally is from San Diego, but decided to move the entire shop to Portland, employees and all. We visited them Sunday, on the morning after their Grand Opening Party. (They were still cleaning up after it). The shop caters to commuters, tourers, randonneur riders, and other subcultures of cycling with refurbished and new bicycles, but this is not just a place to sell and service bikes, but a place where all “bicycle culture” gets to meet. There is a large and open floor plan. They have some amazing mechanic work stations, with benches for customers to talk with their mechanic right in front of them; a bar offering local beer and food, a photo booth (which sadly was shut down when we were there), and even an authentic castle drawbridge (which doubles as a stage) in the shop!! I believe the drawbridge is from Canteburry Castle, after it was demolished in 2009. This is a really cool shop and you should check it out if you have a chance. They plan on hosting shows, and screening movies there in the future, as well as putting on other fun events for cyclists.
Tool Wall at Velo Cult Velo Cult

Also while at Velo Cult I got the chance to check out the Complete Surly Troll. I wouldn’t mind getting one of these as my first mountain bike. I also think it would make a great touring bike for Angel. It would be a good companion to my LHT. If only the Troll came in some color other than orange (her least favorite).Shouldn't Angel Get A Surly Troll?

Before we went to Pedal Nation, we stopped by the Off The Griddle food cart. With super nice staff, they offer amazing veggie burgers from their solar-powered cart. Angel went with Vegan Cheeseburger, and I went with O.T.G Burger (no lettuce, tomato) just grilled onions and added BBQ sauce; I like my burgers simple. It’s always fun waiting for your food to come out while you read through some Trivial Pursuit games.
O.T.G. Burgers Trivial Pursuit at Off the Griddle

After we arrived to Pedal Nation, I spent a lot of time talking with different people about their products and learning whatever I could. There were a lot of cool things there. The spectrum of booths was across the board, with everything from wooden helmets, a fat tire recumbent, to an upcoming indoor mountain bike park (The Lumberyard) and other great cycling groups. Full list of exhibitors HERE. One thing I thought was really cool is that Nutcase is coming out with 4 bell designs based off of their helmets, which will be available for purchase in the near future (possibly June), along with a new visors to attach to their helmets and even cycling jerseys to match the helmets. Those should all be great. I’m sure Angel will want a watermelon jersey.
Pedal Nation Recap Nutcase Is Coming Out With Bells Nutcase Helmets Wooden Helmets

Before leaving Portland we had to get our favorite pizza at Sizzle Pie. I went with 2 slices of cheese, and Angel got a rabbit salad. There was no Spiral Tap in the case, (our favorite) so we got one to go that we could eat at home. It was a super great idea. Angel wanted the pins, and I thought I might put the patch on my safety vest. This is truly good pizza.
Sizzle Pie!!! YUM!!!

Shimano Alfine Di2 Electronic System

Everyone loves new electronic gadgets (except Luddites), what about when they are added to something as simple as bicycles?  Shimano did that a couple years ago with the Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 system. It really interested me when it first was announced, and I have had a couple of chances to try it out on trainers at a couple different shows, never on the road. It truly is an amazing system, and if I was a pro-level racer I would really like to take advantage of the perfect and quick shifting. They are coming out with an Ultegra Di2 now, helping to lower the price and allowing for more people to take advantage of the electronic shifting system.

Who would have ever guessed Shimano’s next step with the Di2 system would be to put it on an Alfine internal gear hub? The Shimano Alfine Di2. To me this system seems confusing, but at the same time it makes some sense. This could be a system that works with some commuters, but probably just those who are already riding carbon bikes to work.

Alfine Di2
The system is only a prototype right now; the finished product should be out in September of 2012 (no idea on price). It looks like there will be no big changes to the internal hub itself. Instead it will just have an electronic shifting mechanism on the outside (though I could be wrong). It will be offered in a 8 speed and 11 speed, and will offer 2 different brake/shifter lever set ups: road and flat bar. They will offer a road lever system, similar if not the same lever as the Ultegra Di2, allowing electronic shifting with the right lever, while the left will just be a brake. This will be Shimano’s first road lever shifter for an internal hub. They will also have a flat bar system, with a Rapid Fire electronic shifter. The system will also have an electronic display screen to show the gear you are in and battery life. The Dura-Ace Di2 currently only has a small battery indicator. The system will use the same battery system as the other Di2 systems.

Alfine Di2 Shifter Alfine Di2 Battery
Alfine Di2 Display Alfine Di2 Demo Bike
Photos from BikeRadar.com article (Here)

I hope Shimano realizes if they want this system to actually work for commuters and people who bike tour, they will need to do something better about the battery. The advantage of an internal gear hub is they are maintenance free. If you throw a battery in picture you are going backwards. It keeps the hub maintenance free even more so by removing the cables, but you have to make sure your battery is charged, and that you have enough power for long rides, and even short tours. The system would probably have a lot more battery life than the Dura-Ace and Ultegra Di2, because it only deals with shifting the hub, as opposed to two separate derailleurs. It would really boggle my mind and probably a lot of others if they don’t make a way for the Alfine Di2 to be powered from a dynamo hub. I think that would be a necessity for this system, as it would keep it so much simple. If you can power your light, and electronic shifter, then I think the system would work well. If they only offer a battery set up, then there must be a way to lock the battery in place. On BicycleRetailer.com, they mention a battery placement of a “seatpost-mounted battery”. I don’t what that means, and I can’t find anything else about it. I don’t know if that means the battery could be mounted in the seat tube or just to the seat tube. If the battery could go in the seat tube you would keep it safer. If it’s on a commuter then it should be locked down, no one want to deal with taking more stuff off their bike that could get stolen, so lock it down. The dynamo would be easier though.

Overall I think the Alfine Di2 will find its place, just like the Dura-Ace Di2 has. If the Alfine Di2 system can work with a Gates Carbon Belt Drive, it could make an amazing mix. I would really like to try the Alfine Di2 out for my self when it come out. Maybe then I will understand it more.

Sources:
BikeRadar.com – Shimano Alfine Di2 – First pictures
Road.cc – Shimano to launch Alfine Di2
Singletrack Magazine – Shimano 2013 – Alfine Di2 and other Shimano Tech
Bicycle Retailer – Shimano announces Di2 Alfine option, more