Friday, September 29, 2006

Tradeshow Mania

You must give it to the industry insiders, as they earn their pay during the marathon know as Tradeshow Season. Shows and Europe and now Interbike have been going on for some time, and it is all stuffy-recycled air halls, noise and lots of talking. From the comfort of my office in beautiful Gunnison, I have somewhat followed the shows via sites like Velonews, Cyclingnews and Here is a sampling of what has caught my eye:

Starting abroad, Reynolds not only has a new look, but some sick new products. How about a set of carbon mtb wheels, clincher or tubular, your choice. Wisely using DT Swiss products throough out, paired up w/ reynolds extensive experience in building carbon rims, these are undoubtly the best on on the market! Having ridden the Reynolds Stratus CX wheels, I can attest to the quality and ride feel of their products. Reynolds also has a lighter road fork, 'cross fork and very nice bars to round out their component selection.

You may or may not have heard of Focus before, they are a long standing smaller bike company out of Germany founded by ex-Weltmeister (cross & mtb) Mike Kluge back in his mtb hey-days. Now they offer some great products to include this sweet carbon cyclo-cross rig, especially made for Kluge's main squeeze and World Champion, Hanka Kupferknagel. Hanka herself was a threat at one time in mtbing, threatening the throne of Juli Furtado back in the day, more recently has found herself ontop of the Querfeldein world - that is 'cross to you & I.

Back here in the states, 'cross is also king, check out this sweet cross bike from my caffien addicted friend Jason Groves over at ElCamino Fab.

Here is a 'cross fau-pa, Willer wnet to all lengths on whats to be a very sweet all carbon cyclo-cross bike, but check out where they put the rearbrake cable stop - right where your shoulder would be -OUCH! I had a Dean thast had the same problemn, and I am here to say, that is a major F@#$% - up. No matter how sweet the bike is, it is ruined by a simple oversight like that.

Phil Wood always has show stoppers, his sweet single speeds, the hand polished ti-lugged/ carbon track bike, and list goes on... Check this out, outboard bearings. Wow. I have two BB and two sets of hubs from PW in play right now, and the lifespan on the bearings and quality of craftmanship is all of that. It will be interesting to find out what cranksets these can be matched up with...Hmmmm.

There are still a couple of days of Interbike, and I am sure more delictables will surface. is posting stuff everyday, and have a ton os sweet single speed items up already. Start writing your wish list, and remember, Christmas isn't that far off....

Monday, September 25, 2006

All 'Crossed Up

It is hard not to get caught up in the hype. I mean the leaves are turning (fast here in the Hight Country), it is getting cooler outside (it snow here in the High Country), and it seems to be on everyone's lips. I am talking about Cyclo-cross. This weekend marked the first weekend of serious 'cross-racing around the world. From the hallowed grounds of Belgium, and other European venues, to the East-coast, mid-west and our own ACA series here in Colorado, racers are going for it. I kind of feel like that nervous kid before a big exam, "did I study hard enough???" To late know for sure, nothing I do know will change my results come next weekend @ the Boulder Series race and on through to the USGP's, I guess just grab a wheel and hang on! We actually set part of our course on Saturday for some training races, and yep, it hurts!

But 'cross has much more of a following here in Colorado. So many people I have spoken to that don't even race are looking or have bought recently a 'cross bike. Why? Access. I mean it goes where you want it to. Sandi & I have have done some great 'cross rides, up and over Ohio Pass, out around Mill Creek and even at Hartman Rocks. This is one of the best times of the year to ride, and what better way than aboard a cyclo-cross rig that can take you a ways down the highway, flying up dirt roads, and even flow down singletrack?

These bikes are quiver killers, virtually emliminating the need for a road bike, a geared mtb (I mean, you do need a single speed...), and if you opt for a single speed cross bike, you instantly have a track bike as well... If I had to choose right now, I would pick my cross bike over all others.

Get out there, enjoy the colors, break out the cowbells and scream your head off at a local cross event.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Tofino BC

Sandi's parents have been in town visiting from Germany, so we usually take a trip w/ them, and this year it was off to the Northwest. After a brief couple hour dash through Seattle, we quickly made our way into the wilds of British Columbia, and Vancouver Island. The first night up there we spent in Ucuelet, a sleepy fisher town on the far south end of the Pacific Rim Biosphere. While sandi and her parents were off on a small hike, spotting this bear, I was getting the next few days sufr report, and finding out where to go surf.

The next day we made our way inot the Biosphere and lucked out getting a sweet camping spot in the only campground in the park, directly on the beach. Once again we did some hiking in the dense rainforests there, and went to Tofino where I picked up my 9'2" tri-fin longboard from Longbeach Surf Shop. Tofino has a great feel to it, really laid back, lots of natural food options as well as an abundance of Organic Espresso bars. It can best be described as Crested Butte on the sea, but that really doesn't to this place justice. With glacier filled mountains as a backdrop, I spent the next coupler of days paddling aournd in the surf.

The waves were on the small side, 3 -4 feet the first day, a solid 5' the next, which was fine since I have not been in over ten years. I was so addictive, and it felt great just to be out there. On the final morning as I sat ontop of my board outside the break, a Sealion popped up just feet from me and we enjoyed a few moments of just checking each other out.

Tofino will definitely be on my list of places I need to go back to, it was a =n awesome, refreshing trip, but next time the bike will definitely make the trip.