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Chrome release their red leather limited edition version of the 415 Work Boot. A boot designed for good looks, durabilty you would expect, and mobilty on bike, by foot, skateboard or whatever is your flavor. MSRP is $130.
Check back for our review of these killer boots.
The third issue of Chromes City Series is inspired by Berlin. Yah, we know, Berlin is not in Bavaria and they don’t wear lederhosen, but Berlin embraces all. It’s a mash up of epic proportions. Our Berlin City Series is made with water resistant “felted” polyester that feels like a wool German Army blanket and embossed suede reminiscent of traditional German workwear (aka, lederhosen). The inside has our very own Bavarian inspired needlework print. The hardware is finished with an antique brass finish. Prost!
OGIO bags are now the proud sponsors of Argos-Shimano and Jamis Hagens Berman cycling teams with stage wins in the Tour de France and recent Tour of California. The teams utilize the OGIO Endurance 9.0 bag to carry their equipment to all their races. OGIO bags are touted for their strength, lightweight and versatility for housing all of your apparel and accessories.
We will have a complete review of the Endurance 9.0 bag in the coming months, so check back for what we find.
Robert Marchand sets cycling record for the fastest 100 year old to cover 100 km at the outdoor Tete-d’Or Velodrome track in Lyon, France. With a goal of finishing in less than five hours Marchand beat achieved his goal at 4 hours 17 minutes and 27 seconds with an average speed of 23.31 km per hour.
I hope to be able to just ride when I hit that age.
There was this fear, in the back of my head, that purchasing a single speed bicycle marketed for “urban” riding would slowly turn me into a hipster. I didn’t think it would happen suddenly, I’m not crazy, but I could see the slippery slope there:
1. Put a fixed cog on the flip-flop hub.
2. Buy a flannel shirt
3. Buy a knit-cap
And we all know that going from a knit-cap to drinking a tallboy of PBR in the middle of the day is pretty much instantaneous.
How surprised do you think I was when I realized that, instead of a hipster, I’d become that old guy with panniers riding to work?
Being the old guy isn’t that bad. I’m not complaining. Even on my single speed I can keep up with a lot of the kids on their fancy carbon fiber bikes, at least for a little bit. Cars don’t seem to be as aggressive toward me (perhaps it’s because they feel sorry for me?).
I feel like I’ve entered a new stage of my development as a bike commuter. Instead of getting on my sleek, light, fragile carbon bike armed with nothing but a Chrome Citizen, I drop a bag or 2 onto my rear rack, grab hold of my mustache handlebars and spin into work.
Most mornings, I’ll even take the short route (mostly because I’m running late). And, when I see that hipster kid in the flannel shirt, I want to tell him to put on a helmet and make sure he stays off my lawn.
These last few days have brought with them blue skies and a warm sun, the likes of which we in the UK cannot take for granted as even the height of summer here does not necessarily mean more than 2 warm sunny days strung together at a time. My brother (and fellow Talking Tread) Sam reports that we’ve stolen his Californian weather, and that it’s grimmer than the Yorkshire Dales back in Sacramento. Well, we’re just borrowing it, okay? You probably need the rain anyway.
I left it until mid-afternoon to go for a ride yesterday, and decided – possibly unwisely – to try a couple of hills. I took a route South East through Cheltenham, whose pavements were thronging with shirtless chavs, and started the steady climb out of the bowl of our town up London Road, which I picked for it’s gentle drag which never takes you by surprise. And much to my happiness, it didn’t take me by surprise at all. I turned right near the top to get off the main road and onto a very quiet lane with smooth pavements, then left to take me South East toward Withington village.
Then I almost burst into tears. In fact for about half a mile, it was all I could do to keep my breathing under control. It’s a little hard to explain why, it’s not my first ride since starting with the back treatment, but I guess it was the first one that reminded me why I ride. It’s pure joy. The sun, the Cotswold countryside, smooth tarmac, the speed, the drivers smiling at me (it occurred to me afterwards that I might have had an enormous grin on my face without realising, and that the drivers were just returning it). Once I’d regained myself, I broke into an all out sprint, Cav-style in the drops, down the arrow-straight hill to Withington. So much fun.
However the route I planned for myself was to turn right on Withington High St, back up the hill. I might have underestimated this climb – the last time I did it I was riding with two friends, and I was fitter than both, so I slowed my pace to ride the gradient with them, resulting in what felt like a relatively easy ascent. I guess I’d convinced myself that I could ride as slow as I liked, keep my heart rate down. But the climb was about twice as long as I’d remembered, and twice as steep. It winded me, I crawled up it, but I didn’t stop. A small victory.
And then, again, a beautiful downhill section – this one somewhat more terrifying than the last – through the woods on a thin strip of tarmac peppered with pot holes deep enough to smash your carbon laminate wheels to shit and send you flying into a tree. Winding turns where you pray there’s no one coming the other way. You know, the kind of barely-driven-on country roads with accumulated gravel piles down the centre of it, which you occasionally have to ride over at speed because it’s better than hitting the pot holes. I emerged onto the main road shaky, my knuckles white. Just as I’d forgotten how much I loved to ride, I’d also forgotten how much nerve I must have built up to fly down roads like that, cause I know that wasn’t the scariest of them by far.
From that point on I was able to relax, get into a rhythm. The road gently climbed back up to the bowl edge of Cheltenham, with one last steep kicker before rolling down Leckhampton hill and back into town, setting off the LED 30 mph speed gun sign.
It wasn’t really a long ride by anyone’s standards. Not anyone who reads this site anyway – but for me it felt like a watershed. A shift between cruising round the flat lanes, my ass struggling to get re-acquainted with my super hard racing saddle, trying to remember why I loved doing this so much, and then the shift to realising exactly why I love this so much.
I think it has something to do with hills.
(my ride is here)
Just a quick one. I’m 5 treatments in to my course of spinal therapy, or whatever you’d call it, and so far it’s going well. I’m visibly standing differently, less ‘hunched over in pain’ as my Mum described, and Stefaan has put a curve back in my lower spine, where there wasn’t one before.
I got a little excited after the first week when pain levels were low and did a ride around Bredon Hill with my Dad, that backfired somewhat and sent me into 4 days of extreme discomfort. But generally the pain has improved to the point where I’ve been able to recommence my short commute by bike, and ‘Elvis’ has taken his rightful place next to the edit suite water cooler again.
The best news is that according to Stefaan, I’ll be able to start training again either at the end of this week or the next.
Can’t bloody wait.
2011 was without a doubt, my worst year yet as a cyclist. I’m not counting years previous to becoming a cyclist in the first place, of course.
Thanks to spectacularly throwing my back out at the peak of my fitness 3/4 the way through 2010, I’ve mostly spent the last year suffering various degrees of back pain and a new knee pain which has also manifested. I’ve not spent the entire year off the bike, but my total miles for 2011, spread across 12 rides, was a pitiful 220 miles. The longer rides I did manage were plagued as much by my lack of fitness as the knowledge that after the ride I would suffer more back pain. Too much riding and not enough other exercise is pretty much what set my back off in the first place, and wasn’t a psychological help, either.
On the up side, having spoken to a lot of health & fitness professionals, and one or two world-leading physiotherapists and read a few books on self re-alignment techniques, I feel I now have the tools to get off my ass, fix my own back and start riding again.
So in the hopes that starting in the dark winter months will mean I’m fit enough to enjoy the summer months, I started out small at the end of November, doing one short ride a week in the pitch black, freezing cold mornings. Not the easiest thing to do but I didn’t want to leave it till January, New Year’s Resolutions are bound to fail. After having a week long head cold over the Christmas period, I’ve just been out for another, very slightly longer ride earlier today. 17 miles rather than 10-12.
It feels REALLY LAME going for such short, flat rides when mentally you feel like you should be out for much longer, and climb at least a few Coteswold hills along the way, but I’m determined not to blow out my limited engines too soon, and stress my back out.
I thought perhaps sharing my progress back to riding ‘properly’ on Talking Treads would be a good thing. Maybe some readers have struggled with similar issues. If you’re interested, I’m using the methods found in ‘Pain Free’ by Peter Egoscue to set my back right, as well as using the FKPro Bodyweight suspension system to build up my laughably weak core, which is basically resposible for holding my spine up like it should be.
So, for anyone interested, you can see my first ride of the new year here.
I haven’t had a chance to read through it, but Women on Bikes Socal, just posted their first issue online. Despite the use of “SoCal” in the title this looks like good, local advocacy for Southern Californian Women.
My commute is usually pretty uneventful. I’m hoping it will stay that way but for some reason drivers are really being stupider than usual lately. Maybe it’s back to school mania or delayed shock to the debt limit crises, I don’t know…
First problem was the Jetta that almost ran over me and my four year old as we rode our bikes in the cross-walk to her preschool. It’s one of those cross-walks with the big neon yellow sign glued to the middle of the road. You can’t miss it. Unless you really try hard… or maybe you’re blind.. or maybe you can’t read.
Oh well. Dropped of my daughter at school and started riding to work in Palo Alto. I was waiting at a stoplight with a couple cars. Light turned green and we started to go. Some lady in a mercedes SUV came in from the left completly blowing through the red light. This wasn’t one of those attemps to make it through on the yellow, she actually didn’t seem to notice the color of the light. The best part about it: she laid on the horn because she was upset that we were in here way! So sorry your highness… won’t happen again.