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BLACKBURN ANNOUNCES 2014 RANGERS

SCOTTS VALLEY, CA—July 15, 2014 — Blackburn (www.blackburndesign.com), designer and developer of innovative cycling products and accessories, announced today the induction of four new adventure cyclists into the 2014 Blackburn Ranger “Out There” program. Created in 2012 to embody the culture of adventure, the Blackburn Ranger program supports cyclists that the brand admires on their journeys along the Pacific Coast and the Great Divide.

To continue the legacy and spirit that Founder Jim Blackburn built in 1975, the Ranger program is created from a simple and effective people-and-product-first approach with everything it touches. This no-nonsense style provides in the field product development feedback that gets fast-tracked for future innovation and also places community first; which has always been a fundamental tenet of the brand.

According to Robin Sansom, Brand and Product Manager, “The Rangers are on the front line with our products on a daily basis for months. Their level of focused feedback is instrumental to our product innovation, validation and testing.  We are approaching our third year of the Ranger program and our team is all so proud of the cyclists for stepping up to share their adventures.
Ultimately, the program encourages everyone to ‘get out there.’

Blackburn sent out a smoke signal to cyclists asking for participation into the Ranger program from January– March 2014.  There was an overwhelming response as hundreds of applicants created videos and wrote essays explaining why they wanted to embark on the adventure and become a Blackburn Ranger.  The end result was the Blackburn team choosing four new Rangers that they felt symbolized the sprit of the brand and would carry the torch of the proceeding Rangers. 

Introducing the 2014 Blackburn Rangers

Name:  Chas Eberle 
Route: Pacific Coast

About: 
Chas has been chasing adventure for a long time.  He is currently a student but the majority of the time you can find him at Mt. Baker during the winter teaching snowboarding and in Alaska during the summer supervising a zip line course.   Chas is not in a hurry to complete the journey and has his sights set on epic surf stops and finding as much dirt connectors as possible along the tour.

Name: Eiry Bartlett
Route: Pacific Coast

About: 
Eiry calls the beautiful land of Vancouver home and one of her passions is designing leather goods for her company AARAWORKS.  Her other drive is to
Embark on the road less travelled and have adventure bike/camp become a daily ritual during the long ride to Mexico.

Name:   Sam Harney and Kurt Williams
Route:  Great Divide

About:
Sam and Kurt are long time friends and will be joining forces during their adventure.  The duo will be carrying 100lbs of climbing gear in order to pick off routes during their endless summer ride.  They both live in Bishop, CA and climb as much as humanly possible and plan to continue this lifestyle by bike.  They are in absolutely no hurry to finish the route and their personal success gage will be a combination of miles and how many routes they knock down along the way.

Name:   J.D. Pauls
Route:  Great Divide

About:
J.D. is a returning Ranger, who successfully completed the Great Divide last year and told some fantastic stories along the way.  We welcome J.D. back this year for another adventure, this time along the Colorado Trail, which intersects the Great Divide and is incredibly story worthy.

Name:   Jennifer Schofield
Route:  Pacific Coast

About:
Also a returning Ranger, Jennifer’s journey in 2013 helped to inspire a career change and now she is embarking on a life journey that involves guiding others on their cycling adventures.  We’ll see what this iteration of travel by bike is like for her . . . ice cream will be a part of it.

To follow the Blackburn Ranger adventures go to: http://www.blackburndesign.com

About Blackburn Design
Since 1975 Blackburn Design has been dedicated to designing innovative and reliable cycling products and accessories that are essential to the riding experience. The Scotts Valley based company produces pumps, lights, racks, bags, computers, cages, trainers, tools, fenders and mirrors.  For more information, visit http://www.blackburndesign.com | @BlackburnDesign

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Chrome forged rubber tour

Check out how Chrome shoes are made, have some beer, and a great time.

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Chrome – LTD ARTIST SERIES NOA YALTA

Chrome – The newest edition to our Artist Series features the original artwork of Japanese artist NOA-. NOA- is as humble as he is talented. Typically using oil and acrylic paint on canvas or wood, he’s known for painting live with a style that emulates Japanese line-making. Each piece of art is influenced by the music he chooses to play as he paints, with most of his inspiration is deeply rooted in hip-hop and graffiti. NOA- created this artwork based on the Japanese phrase, “􏰀􏰁” that translates phonetically to Kuromu (sounds like Chrome!) and means Black Fog. These one-of-a-kind Yalta bags come from a 4′ x 12′ canvas and acrylic painting NOA- made. Each of the 8 bags represents a specific segment of the painting where the Black Fog takes on a unique energy of its own. Our Artist Series is produced as a limited run. Once they are gone, they’re gone.
Get yours here!

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Feedback Sports – Pee-WeeElite

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FEEDBACK SPORTS LAUNCHES NEW MARKET SEGMENT

Golden, CO- April, 1, 2014 – Feedback Sports known for high-quality cycling products addresses a growing 3 to 6 year-old childrens’ DIY market with introduction of an elite level bicycle work stand.  

The Pee-WeeElite is a 3-foot tall work stand optimized for repairs on 12” wheel balance bikes. The Pee-WeeElite represents the first of several new products the company is working on for this important demographic of cyclists. According to Feedback Sports Founder/President Doug Hudson, “Youth is the foundation of cycling and keeping a bicycle in good working condition is key to the experience.” In addition, Hudson mentions, “We have seen a trend in children attempting to work on their own bikes but until now there has not been a easy solution. We want to empower kids to be in charge of their bike repairs and get back on the sidewalk quickly.”

Feedback Sports is putting extensive resources behind the project including hiring several new employees and consultants. Feedback’s engineers worked diligently to optimize the design after spending months studying growth charts and focus group data from around the world.  

Jeff Nitta Director of Sales & Marketing mentions, “We think this product is just the thing to spark interest in bicycle maintenance at a young age. There are over 10 million kids bikes sold in the USA each year, so we feel confident when going up against products like the iPad and XBox.”

Sammy Rutherford, Eastern Regional Sales manager simply states, “I’m gonna sell em’.”

The Pee-WeeElite will be officially introduced to the public at the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey April 10-13th at Feedback’s booth #113.

About Feedback Sports

Feedback Sports is a specialty bicycle accessory company, which offers a wide range of high quality works stands, innovative home bicycle storage, precision measurement tools and in-store display products.  www.feedbacksports.com

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Chrome 415 Work Boot Red LTD

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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.

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Check back for our review of these killer boots.

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Chrome City Series – Berlin

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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!

Now Available
Berlin Citizen MSRP: $160
Berlin Yalta MSRP: $140

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OGIO bags sponsor Argos – Shimano and Jamis Hagens Berman cycling teams

ogio_logoOGIO 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.

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Frenchmen cyclist sets record

Photo By ROBERT PRATTA/REUTERS

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.

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Get Off My Lawn

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.

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Riding again: Pure joy.

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.

- Sera

(my ride is here)

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