Monday, June 28, 2010

All Aboard

Our upcoming move involves a ferry ride with our vehicles. Up until today there was only space aboard the ferry for one of our vehicles. This meant my wife insisted that we take the baby friendly mobile instead of the bike friendly truck. It was looking like we were going to have to travel bike free and get by with out our bikes until the movers got our things to us and we got settled.

Well, persistence paid off. I faithfully checked the ferry berths until this morning when a spot for our truck opened up. I made a quick phone call, and secured a spot for the truck on the ferry, as well as a plush cabin for all of us.

A quick discussion with my wife and we decided we could comfortably take 3 bikes with us, leaving us with some decisions to make. My wife said she could happily get by with her single speed 29er, and left me to fill the other two spots.

The ferry leaves from a little coastal free ride hot spot where we happen to have a couple of trailbuilder friends. I've been itching to get back there and ride ever since we rolled through there a year and a half ago, so the full suspension rig is going. I am excited to rally some of the new trails and indulge the bike in what it was meant to do.

The other spot will fulfill my practical needs. The crosscheck is a dream of a commuter bike and is a hoot to ride on everything from asphalt to flowy single track.
My wife and I will both do much better coping with the transition if we're able to hop on a familiar bike and ride.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Handle Bars Like These Deserve a Fine Bike

The last night of polo also meant I'll be saying good bye to my polo bike, well most of it. I scored the old Raleigh Carlton for $2, revived the old Brooks saddle, stripped it down to a single speed, and added a handle bar I snagged off a little girls bike. It wasn't fast, it wasn't flashy and most of the time it wasn't even really all that comfortable. But it was a bike which I had a ton of fun on. It took a pounding week in and week out and hardly complained. I'll take the saddle and handle bar, find another vintage frame and begin a relationship with a new polo bike once I've moved. It's good to know there is already a crew playing polo and waiting for me to join them. Game On!

The End of an Era?

Bikewrider is moving, not the blog, just me, my physical self. Life is moving forward and I'm along for the ride. From a bicycle perspective it will be a very good move. More trails, more bike shops, more people geeked about bikes.

I've tried to make the most of my time here, and I've tried to leave the community a bit better off than I found it. I know a few people here who ride there bikes more than they used to. There are a few folks who've caught the winter riding bug, and most importantly there are a handful of guys who had a ridiculous amount of fun on Thursday evening playing bike polo.

I played my last evening of polo with the local crew tonight. It was the warmest, most lovely evening we've ever had for polo. Most of the regulars were there, my brother made a guest appearance and we even had a newbie.
I don't know if polo will continue around here after I leave. I sincerely hope it does. We've almost always managed to scrounge up just enough players, but it hasn't grown like I hoped it would have by now. Even more significantly I don't know if there is someone to take up the torch after I leave, and I don't know if the community is large enough to really make polo work. The one guy I could guarantee would keep the momentum going is gone 'til november. If the remaining crew can keep things going until then it will be all good. For now I think I'll hang a few more flyers, leave a few extra mallets behind and hope for the best.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Know You're Supposed to Support Your LBS

Don't get me wrong, I'll be one of the first to encourage you to support your Local Bike Shop. I love bike shops, I have since I was a little kid. I had the good fortune around 10 or 11 years old to have a LBS that I could ride my bike to and the shop employees would pleasantly tolerate my loitering and gawking. I've squandered innumerable hours since hanging out in bike shops.

There have been some fantastic shops I've had the privilege of patronizing, and in my experience the more grass roots and local the more I like the shop. My all time favorite was a one man show, directly above a local coffee shop just a short distance from my one room cabin in AK. The man was as passionate about bikes as anyone I've ever met and what he wanted more than anything was to make riding more enjoyable for everyone that walked into his shop.

My favorites are easy to rattle off and I am happy to point anyone who'll listen in the direction of a good LBS. My current situation continues to frustrate me, and for the first time in my life I've passed on the opportunity to drop into a shop just for the sake of dropping into a bike shop. I'll spare you the details of my frustration, venting wouldn't likely be constructive for anyone. Instead I'll simply share my lament.

Here is a shop with a lot of potential, good location, good hearted people working there, and some nice bikes. Unfortunately this shop fails to live up to its potential and as a result experiences a failure to thrive.

It is too bad because I'd really love to support my local bike shop.