Archive for the 'Hey roadie!' Category

UAC

for anyone interested in riding their fixie in the way it was originally designed. come check out the the Czech amateur velodrome races this year. it’s already started, but a few of us will be out riding this Wednesday. click here for more info.

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Hot Dog cycles + Pedal Project + Okolo = Headquarters

For those who don’t know, there’s a new bike shop in town. Hot Dog cycles (the 2 man tiny bike shop that was building bikes in Namesti Republiky), Pedal Project (designers, bike enthusiasts and magazine producers) and OKOLO (designers, bike enthusiasts and magazine producers) joined forces to create HEADQUARTERS. The new shop is now open for service and sales. Eventually, there will be a cycle cafe (coffee, beer and snacks) and a studio space / art gallery.
For more info, check out: www.headquarters.cz and www.hotdog-cycles.com

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Tour de Land of the Epic Burrito

Thanks to circumstances outside of my own control and especially with no direct impact on my wallet (read: business trip), I happened to spend little over a week in The Land of the Epic Burrito (read: California) this February. I managed to squeeze a few rides over the weekends, too, and due to peer pressure I’m sharing some details with you here and now. I also like to rub it in your faces since you were freezing your collective ass here while I was getting some early season tan lines (you were asking for it, Micah!).

I rented a full-carbon[*] Specialized Tarmac equipped with compact Ultegra groupset from the good people at Menlo Velo Bicycles. Due to my work arrangements I couldn’t go for longer rides during the work week, so at least I was (ab)using it for commuting between Caltrain stations and the campus of my employer where I happened to be on that day, in various parts of the Bay Area. Saturdays were an entirely different matter, though.

[*] still not convinced I ever want to own a full-carbon bike, I find the plasticky feel and bulky shapes repulsive

 
Marin County

On Saturday morning I hopped on the first northbound Caltrain to San Francisco, got off at 22nd Street station, crawled over Portero Hill, bombed down to the Mission District where I met the nice guys of Mission Cycling at one of the iconic San Francisco cafés and off we pedaled across the city towards the Golden Gate.

Portero Hill: Twin Peaks Portero Hill: Downtown Skyline
   Portero Hill, 45% incline, are you fucking kidding me?!
 
We joined the rest of the group already waiting at a parking lot adjacent to the Golden Gate Bridge and then headed out to Marin County, to be back in about 6 hours and 90 miles of riding down the valleys, up redwood forests and along the Pacific coast, all in a warm sunny weather.

Marin County: Nicasio - Point Reyes - Panoramic

 
Santa Cruz Mountains

The next Saturday I ventured alone towards the local benchmark climb up Old La Honda road, followed by winding narrow descent towards Pescadero, along the Pacific coast on Highway 1, and up the redwood forests in Tunitas Creek valley.

Stage rd., Pacific Stage rd.
   Picturesque Stage road between Pescadero and San Gregorio
 
Highway 1, Pacific coast Highway 1, beach
   Stunning views from Highway 1, Pacific coast
 
Santa Cruz Moutains: Old La Honda - Pescadero - Tunitas Creek
 
Pacific coast In conclusion, California definitely is one of the cycling paradises. The lack of weather (yes, it rains from time to time and there might be mist and fog, boo), combined with a hilly coastline is certainly inviting. There are some things which are kind of annoying, too, e.g., the stop signs on most intersections. Especially annoying when you have clipless pedals and road shoes. No yielding to the right, no main streets. Kind of reminds me of watching American football, move ten yards and everything grinds to a halt. And another ten yards. Stop. And another. Stop.

In any case, I already want to go back and ride some more. 🙂

 

p.s., speaking of epic burritos, if you ever happen to be in the Bay Area, make sure you stop by at La Costeña Custom Burritos in Mountain View, supposedly the home of the most epic of all the epic burritos in the Silicon Valley. Hands down the best burrito I’ve ever had.

Cycling = Golf 2.0?

I’ve had a sneaking suspicion for some time now that cycling, specifically that lycra-clad, carbon fibered corner of the sporting garage, is steadily becoming the new golf. It starts slow, with the Bike Snob’s oft-mentioned, recondite Serotta/Dentist symbiosis, working its way through the professions until love of the sport snowballs to the point where, one day, we can all enjoy the cliche cycling to work will have become. Seriously, it’ll be a happy day, once it’s all growed up. It’s the meantime that’s the scary bit. We’re just one or two client service directors away from the critical adolescent mass of professional acceptance, and the video produced for the new bike line from Mario Cippolini speaks directly to the blandly-articulated desires of the wanky horde that is us. Mark my words. Next step: Caddyshack for bikes. Watch for it.

Witness the continental breakfast, the Tuscan wheat, the barely sublimated musical fratboy, straining at the bonds that keep him from performing the Helmet Dance… Things are gonna get weird – can’t wait for the damned snow to melt.

Rainy Days

A friend passed this one along from BoingBoing and I thought y’all might appreciate, especially as the weather starts weirding and the drivers get ornery again. Has anyone else noticed that it’s the women getting all surly these days, flipping birds and honking horns? I was thinking to make up a bunch of those zacatecnik stickers with a ž for žena and start slapping cars…

If anyone is up in Cesky raj area this weekend, give a shout – I’ll be roaming around on the road bike, enjoying the rain 🙂