Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Levi's 511 Commuter Jean

Levi's has for some time had a cycling oriented jean on the market: the 511 Commuter Jean. Features that set this jean apart from regular jeans: gusseted crotch, u-lock holster, and reflective interior seams that show when you roll up the pant leg. There are a few other features but those are the majors. Emily got me a pair of these jeans during the holidays. I'm particular about clothes, so I tried them on and liked the fit. I don't like super skinny jeans. I'm over that. I don't want people to know how many keys are on my key ring or what kind of phone I use. Maybe you think I'm getting fat? I like to think that my thigh muscles are getting bigger. I ride almost daily, after all.

Regardless, as with all Levi's I go as long as I can stand before washing, which in this case was about 3 to 4 weeks. Three to four weeks of commuting and working in a bike shop. So maybe I should have washed them earlier. But check this: they SHRANK when I washed them. My other Levi 511's never shrank. Now when I wear them I have this upside down triangle look to me. These things are just another pair of tights now.

The lesson: Don't Wash your Levi's. Ever. I think it's the real reason Febreeze was invented.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

2011 East Bay Hills Mixed-Terrain Rally Cat Video

2011 East Bay Hills Mixed-Terrain Rally Cat from Hans Kellner on Vimeo.

Searching the internet I came across this video at www.hanskellner.com

CX = Commuter Cross

View Commuter Cross in a larger map

When I drove a car to work I got absolutely ill at the thought of taking the same roads everyday as I'm sure many others feel. No one wants to be a part of the "rat race." Aside from people yelling different slurs there isn't much to differentiate 4 years of bicycle commuting the same route. When it starts to feel monotonous I'll ride a different bike or switch up something on a bike, like handlebars or tires. When I switched from street tires to cyclocross tires on my Surly Steamroller it opened up a wider range of options, from variations on my existing route to new routes completely. It made commuting incredibly fun again. The downside to commuting on a single-speed when you're on pavement, gravel, grass, or singletrack is that there isn't a perfect gear ratio. I would either spin out on the pavement or be pushing too tough gears through the grass. This is the reason I got a Surly Cross-Check and built it up with SRAM Rival. Steel frame, tire clearance, 20 speeds. When I so desire (which is a lot) I'm able to choose a route that not only breaks the monotony but also shaves minutes from my commute, giving me a more "as the crow flies" route.

Here are some features on my commute:

View Commuter Cross in a larger map

Gravel road cut-through from Jefferson to Court.

View Commuter Cross in a larger map

Cobblestone breezeway. This and another set of cobblestones makes me feel all Paris-Roubaix in the morning.

View Commuter Cross in a larger map

The medians of East Parkway. If enough people rode/ran these urban greenscapes we could have a really nice long singletrack. You can see something similar along Southern at Audubon Park where years of Cross-Country practice has worn a path into the grass.

And those are just variations on my normal route. I find, though, that there is a huge span in the middle and end of my commute that is mostly or all pavement. It would be really cool if I could be off-road the entire or most of the commute. But not, like, riding in people's yards or anything. I'll see what I can do.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm Guilty Of Saying Some Of This

But I hear it more from other people's mouths.

What I really love is that it was posted by peopleforbikes.org. If you haven't signed the pledge, do so now.

I'm gonna go make sure my brakes aren't rubbing.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hydrobikes For Sale!

I promise we're not in Florida!

Update 7.11.2012
I do not own these hydrobikes. I am not selling these hydrobikes. This picture was taken while on vacation in Connecticut. I do not know who is selling the bikes and have no idea if the bikes are still for sale. Good luck, though, in finding some hydrobikes because they look effing amazing!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Schwinn Panther

Untitled by fixmemphisUntitled by fixmemphisUntitled by fixmemphis

We walked into this little restaurant yesterday and this classic, original Schwinn Panther is displayed on the wall.

So many people have come into the shop with an old cruiser with a Schwinn headbadge and think they have something like this, even the ones that don't actually have a Schwinn headbadge! "Well my partner told me he heard of someone with this bike and they sold it for a hunnit thousand dollas!" I'm serious! Then I have to tell them that the Roadmaster in their hands isn't worth a hundred pennies and if they restored it it would be worth less than the parts and labor it cost to do the job.

Also, it's pronounced like win with a sh on the front; not shwine and there is not a single r in the word. Serious, again.

BTDubs, we're not in Florida.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

To All The Girls

Peddler Bike Shop is hosting another Ladies Night Out, an opportunity for women to gather, have some drinks and learn how to fix flat tires!

Emily and I had a conversation the other night about women's bikes vs. what women want in a bike. Emily's conclusion is that if there were bikes that were upright, could go anywhere, and colored pink or purple that they would sell like Pronto Pups!

Why don't you join the conversation and see if there's a perfect bike for you. Click the link above for the Facebook page and more info.

Things Are Tough All Over

Lily01-15-12 Polo 003

I just poached Kermit's flickr and couldn't help myself.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Peace, Y'all

Untitled by fixmemphis
Untitled, a photo by fixmemphis on Flickr.

Safety first. Riding second.

New Bike Shoes!

You know I'm big on riding in gum-sole wedges so here are my new Winter/Spring (and Summer, if they last that long) riding shoes!! ahhh they're so cute-and on sale!

you can buy them here.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Overton Park Web of Trails

View Overton Park in a larger map

So I tried to avoid much of the OFT but even so, this isn't all of the trails. There is some pretty cool stuff to ride and see for a flat urban park.

Friday, January 13, 2012


A play on words - you might be familiar with the French phrase "pret-a-porter" which means "ready to wear" which makes this bike "ready to carry", not to be confused with "portage" which is a term for carrying the bike itself. Sadly I'm not the first to use "pret-a-porteur", TCB Racks out of Portland has a front rack called the "Pret a Porteur". Pretty sweet rack. But on to the bike! I built this at the request of my best man Ryan for his girl Jenny. It's an Italian Benotto frame (Italian BB with a heart cut out of the bottom) that I blindly threw a bunch of components at and this is what turned out:

The basket is removable for walking around the farmers market or grocery store.

The Velo Orange Milano handlebars give a nice sweep back to put you in a comfortable upright position.

It's a six speed so that should make things a bit easy on the legs.

Jenny gets back into town in a few weeks so we'll have to wait and see how she likes it.

Red Trail

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I went to this trail with plans to run it but my knee started hurting so I just walked it. It's a "new" trail so it's pretty tight. In the summer it will probably be pretty overgrown but hopefully it gets ridden enough that the trail gets worn in. There are a few felled trees that look passable on a mountain bike but on a cx bike will require some dismounts.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Joy of the Internet: Bicycle Vanity

Bicycle vanity can mean two things; always thinking about how cute you look on your cuter bike or this pretty thing:

I have been searching for inspiring house images for a makeover for our own home and came across this unique photo on Pinterest. Pinterest is basically twitter, but images only. This allows you to save paper by not ripping out pages of magazines, and rather "pinning" images you desire onto innumerable categories on your pinterest page. Happy decorating (and don't use this idea)!

If I Had A Dog

We would kick it like this:

Em and I have been talking about a dog but I think we've shelved the idea. A cat is enough for us at the moment. The bike, the forthcoming Fairdale Weekender, looks pretty rad as well; disc brakes, 1X8 or 9, I think the swept back bars in the earlier post are better suited for the bike. Or maybe something with just a bit less sweep like the Surly Open Bar:

Gnome Home

View Old Forest Trail in a larger map

So this is what I meant by "Get to "gnome" them." As you can tell from the photo below, Gnome Home is stop #13 on the Old Forest Trail. I suggest starting from the beginning and riding the whole trail to find the location.

I saw that Brett had posted a tentative schedule so I want to go ahead and get this on everyone's calendar. As for when you should expect a race: I'm thinking May 28th, Memorial Day. Hopefully most everyone has the day off of work or can get the day off. You got a problem with that?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stolen Bikes Alert!

Ty from Living Loud In Midtown just had two bikes stolen. Read about them at his blog and keep your eyes open for them!


Em's New Bike

You might recognize some of these parts from the old pink Benotto. I bought this Bianchi the other day and have been aiming for a chance to build it up. Everything swapped over perfectly.

King headset and Shorty 6 brakes? Yep. So what kind of weird bottle cage is that? Glad you asked. It's the Ahearne Cycles Spaceman Bicycle Flask Holster!

Oh yes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I'm Freaking On This Bike!

It's so bright like a fishing lure! I want at least one bike like this! There's also a certain color scheme of the Project One Trek Madone that I find desirable. It kind of resembles these Nike's that I just got:

Maybe since I have the shoes I can hold off on the bike for awhile!

Lime Trail - Overton Park

Obviously someone has been doing some trail maintenance in Overton Park, clearing and marking a small, fun loop on the North side of the park. I don't know if "Lime Trail" was the intentional name, I just did it because of the sign color. It joins the Old Forest Trail (OFT) as the only marked trails inside Overton Park, though there are plenty of offshoots that weave a web of unofficial trails. These trails are perfect for beginners as well as cyclocross. Get to "gnome" them.

View Lime Trail in a larger map

Monday, January 9, 2012

Cycle Memphis Video

Danny Wilson posted a little edit of the Cycle Memphis January Ride on YouTube:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Time To Embarrass Anthony Siracusa

The Cycle Memphis ride last night was well-attended and pretty easy in terms of SAG: no blowouts, only a slow leaked that had to be pumped twice before changing it at the halfway stop. A small audience watched as I demonstrated the proper way to effortlessly change a rear flat on a road bike. Afterwards we were talking about rim wall depth and difficulties with fixing flats and it reminded me of the Space Race Alleycat which had a flat-fixing checkpoint. To make the checkpoint a bit more challenging everyone had to change their rear tube. There are several people you would expect to be able to do this in no time at all but one person was having a particularly difficult time. That person is Anthony Siracusa:

The riders had already been to the top of a garage downtown, picked up a package and were now rolling up to the Pink Palace for the flat-fix checkpoint:

Anthony removes his rear wheel with the confidence of a trained mechanic:

The tube goes in the tire and the tire goes on the rim:

WTF Mate? It's leaking!:

Let's try this again:

Okay, count the number of tubes in this photo. One in the tire, 2 on the ground. Third time's a charm, right Anthony?

Okay, now you've got it. Load up that bag and rejoin the race, in which you've fallen considerably behind.

I think in a race some time after this one (maybe Memphis Downs?) Anthony flatted and just said "eff it!"

Sorry Anthony. You know I love you, brother. We'll do something in May so you can redeem yourself.