Friday, July 29, 2011

Olympia Riding

Every time I ride Olympia, I always see at least two different species of Olympia's wild life.
Now of course I keep my head up, looking ahead, but I also gotta keep my eye on the road beneath my wheels and it's at these times that I notice these creatures. Most of the time, I only have less than a second to realize what I saw until it's far behind me.

Whether they're alive or dead I'm not always sure, but either way it makes my rides more interesting.

As I was riding to work this morning I spotted a doe and her fawn off the road a ways, they looked up as I passed.
As I road on, I saw a giant dragon fly sitting in the middle of the lane and just before that I saw a frog - I'm pretty sure it was no longer alive because it was on it's back and looked a bit squashed, but anyhow, it was a good sized frog and I was this close to running it over when I spotted it.

Just yesterday as I was riding home from work, I sped past a butterfly on the ground in the middle of the lane and as I road on thinking about it, I decided to turn back.
                (Last week I was walking through the Evergreen parking lot and
                I spotted a butterfly. It was down in a crack, dead. But it had not
                yet been rolled over by a car. It looked unscathed.)

When I got back to this butterfly on the pavement, it was dead and so I decided to pick it up. I didn't have much further to go so it road in my hand.

It's great to be able to enjoy the combination of two things I really appreciate. Riding my bicycle and wild life (dead or alive). I love seeing things like this on my rides and I'm lucky that I do so frequently.

Cheers! & Ride safe!

- RideaBicycle

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I came across this website Colors Magazine when I was reading the NY Times this morning. I'm interested to see what this is all about. It looks interesting from what I can tell.

These bicycles, known in Kenya as boda-boda are used for taxi services. They're quite tricked out. I've never seen a horn mechanism like that before. The larger 3-wheeled motorcycle carts called Chakdas from Gujarat, India can hold up to 15 people according to this source.

Check out the teasers for this magazine here.

- RideaBicycle

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Sooo....after riding a bit more with the Brooks saddle (look to July 10th post) I've come to the conclusion that it's not the most suitable saddle for me. It doesn't fit on my seat post right and can't be adjusted far enough back. I don't want to get a new seat post so I'm going back to the saddle I was using before.

It was worth the try though for sure, and it was a good try.

But for now, this vintage Brooks saddle will live on a shelf where it can be marveled by myself and any other enthusiast that may spot it.

- RideaBicycle

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Benson's Bicycle

My bud Benson Lam and I have been great friends and neighbors since I can't remember when and we've been riding together for about 4 years.
Before I moved up to Washington, we'd go on fun day rides together, and on clear nights we'd go out late and ride the empty streets. On nights after a day or two of rain, the pavement would glisten as we mashed, skidding as much as we could only in puddles was a frequented game (assuming it wore less of our tread). Benson prefers night rides so I was pushed into a zone that I then became comfortable with, and now enjoy very much.

Frame: Bianchi Fremont
Fork: Bianchi Carbon Fiber
Rims: Velocity Deep-V white (front), Weinmann dp18 650 white (rear)
Hubs: Formula black 36H (front), Formula black 32H (rear)
Spokes: black (front), black (rear)
Cog: 17T
Tires: Armadillo
Bianchi Leopard
Seatpost: Bianchi
Headset: Bianchi
Stem: Bianchi
Handlebars: Easton EA50 Risers chopped
Grips: Oury black
Bottom Bracket: Bianchi
Cranks: Pake 165mm black
Chainring: Sugino Messenger 48T
Pedals: MKS Sylvan Stream
Toecages: MKS Silver L
Missing Link Nylon
Chain: Unknown

How’s life treatin’ you?
Life is good and calm.

How long have you been riding?
I've been riding for about 4 years now.

What makes you want to ride your bicycle?
I love riding when the weather is nice. No wind!

Do you have a favourite route when you ride? Anywhere you especially enjoy?
My favorite place to ride is a car garage in Berkeley. It's completely empty at night and there's an elevator at the bottom that takes you to the top after you ride down. My favorite times to ride are at night and after it stops raining.

What do you fancy besides bicycles?
making beats, drawing drawings, rock climbing.

If you had to pick one place on earth, where would you ride?
On a carless autobahn.

What’s your favourite part on your bicycle?
The leopard print strip on my saddle, oddly it's a stock part.

We all know helmets save lives, do you wear one?
I should.

What's next for you? Got any plans?
Hoping to get into design school in Pasadena and I have plans to get drop bars for my bike!

And do you have any words for the bicycle riders of tomorrow?
Reflectors are actually very helpful for cars to see you at night. Keep riding and push yourself.

We'll definitely ride in August and sweet that you have 2 bikes, that's something to look forward to.

Thanks Bens! You gotta show me that garage in Berkeley - sounds sweet. I'm looking forward to the trip and going on some rides.

Photo Credit: Benson Lam, Bill Dane

- RideaBicycle

Friday, July 15, 2011

Henry's Bicycle

A buddy of mine, Henry May, is an avid cyclist. I always look forward to our rides because he's got that "I want to go and never stop" attitude that I share and appreciate in other cyclists.  Thanks for sending these photos, man!



A lot of the parts on these have come from bicycle swaps and have no real identification or signature.

Frame: 53cm IRO Angus frame (orange)
Handlebars: no name
Grips: OURY black
Stem: no name
Headset: Shimano 105
Saddle: Specialized unmarked
Seat post: Campagnolo Brevetti
Brake lever: Dirtech 99
Brake Caliper: Ultegra
Rims: Mavic CXP22
Hubs: Formula
Crank Set: Dura-Ace

Frame: 54cm Schwinn LeTour (red)
Handlebars: Sakae Champion
Saddle: San Marco saddle
Brakes: Diacompe
Crank Set: Speedlight
Pedals: MKS
Cassette: Suntour freewheel cassette
(The rest of bike is STOCK from Schwinn factory.)

How's life treatin' you?
Life is pretty good right now. The weather here in the East Bay is always perpetually mild, so rarely are there days when I can't ride. Off the bike, I've been pretty focused on my studies and trying to go on as many day trips as possible, there's a lot to discover in the little outlying towns around the city.

How long have you been riding?
I've been riding bikes my whole life. I'd say that I started taking cycling most seriously 5 years ago, when I started high school.

What makes you want to ride your bicycle?
When I wake up in the morning and the sun is already shining through my window. I think about taking a ride out to Oakland, everything's green and you don't have any plans for the rest of the day. It just makes me want to ride and not stop.

Do you have a favourite route when you ride? Anywhere you especially enjoy?
I have a couple of fun routes that I always like to do. Most are short, easy rides that I can invite friends on. There's one that runs from Emeryville along the shoreline, and down to Pt. Richmond, which is super nice. You can stop in town and get a burger and walk through the old rail road tunnels to the beach, it's awesome. Another favourite ride would be from Richmond through Berkeley, up to Claremont Ave. where you can stop and get coffee before continuing up into the hills or down Claremont into North Oakland.

What do you fancy besides bicycles?
I love my cameras, a Nikon F3 and a Canon T2i. I like to draw, paint, read Haruki Murakami books, and eat. I like railroad museums too.

If you had to pick one place on earth, where would you ride?
I've heard of guys riding up the coast to Canada, through Oregon and Washington, which sounds really fun. I'd like to ride in Georgia too, it's really beautiful in Atlanta and everyone's pretty bike friendly.

What’s your favourite part on your bicycle?
It's gotta be the saddle. Without a comfortable seat, you're not going to get very far on the bike. I think it's overlooked a lot of the time.

We all know helmets save lives, do you wear one?
Helmets are a necessary thing for cyclists. We ride on roads dominated by cars, and you can't always predict what the drivers are going to do. I've been in one very serious accident, in downtown Oakland, where I was t-boned by a car. The impact threw me over the bars a couple of yards, where I landed directly on my face. In the hospital, the doctor told me that if I had landed any other way, it would be probable I'd have serious brain damage. I don't always wear a helmet, even now, but for long rides I think it's very important.

What's next for you? Got any plans?
In the next month I'll be moving up to Chico, California. It's a college town west of Sacramento, and has a huge bike culture. I'm excited to make new friends and go on some awesome country rides. 

Do you have any words for the bicycle riders of tomorrow?
I'm no authority on the subject, I'm not a professional cyclist or an experienced mechanic. With that being said, I think there's something really special about just getting on a bike and riding, with no clear destination in mind. You fall into a rhythm, and a lot of the stress you carry with you all the time seems to melt away. You focus on your breathing, the wind around you, and the things quickly passing you by. It's a very pure, unadulterated experience, and one that I think everyone should have a chance to enjoy.
Thanks Moses!

Thanks a lot Henry! And I hope that the next time I'm in town we can go for a sweet ride somewhere. Maybe we can take that ride out to Keller's Beach in Pt. Richmond.
Keep in touch, man.

Photo Credit: Henry May

- RideaBicycle

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Will's Bicycle

My good friend Will Mitchel was gracious enough to take the time to send me some photos of his bicycle. He's got an old road bicycle which I believe he got from his neighbor - pretty sweet deal right?

Will rides a Trek road bike
Fork: Trek
Headset: Tange Industries Ltd.
Stem: Specialized
Handlebars: Specialized
Grips: Weinmann 610
Saddle: Avocet
Wheelset: Wheelsmith
Tires: Specialized
Crankset: Sugino AT
Pedals: Shimano
Cassette: Shimano

What makes you want to ride your bicycle?
One of the reasons I go on joy rides is that nothing compares to nighttime scenery when you’re riding. Even if it’s a cold, cold evening if I take a look outside and notice that’s it’s a still evening, clear sky filled with stars I just double layer up and go out into the night, not having a certain destination in mind. I’m a big fan of beautiful evenings so if I can get to see more places and at different elevations I’m happy. And I’m also just glad that I have a trusty bike to help me get there.

Do you have a favourite route when you ride? Anywhere you especially enjoy?
I don’t stick to one route for too long or I feel like I’m not challenging my “just pick a random ass direction and see if instincts lead me to my destination” trait. I tend to enjoy certain routes more than others but soon enough I want to see if there’s a better, even more scenic route. I’ve gotten a little tired of the city I live in, Albany, so now I venture deeper and deeper into Berkeley and check out their residential areas as opposed to ours. It’s rad to have a neighboring city with such promising scenery.

What do you fancy besides bicycles?
Another hobby of mine besides bike riding is studying Japanese, watching tv and playing video games. The dorky pursuits in life are those that seem to suit me best, so when I start becoming a fatass from the aforementioned admittedly lazy hobbies, I just hop on my bike and go wherever.

If you had to pick one place on earth, where would you ride?
If I could also rid myself of the fear that im going to die in a biking accident I’d say Iceland. If I had the most stable bike ever crafted by the hands of man I’d totally bike around the vast open land that Iceland provides. I’d tear it up on some random slopes, stop by villages and chat it up with native Icelanders (because of course in this fantasy I’m fluent in Icelandic), and see if any good Icelandic indie bands are up and coming. Seriously though, you should check out some Icelandic bands; they’re randomly good at music.

What’s your favourite part on your bicycle?
I’d have to say my favorite part of my bike is the grey grip tape my neighbor added on for me. I have a weakness for the hipster chicks that populate Berkeley so “Whoa, your grey grip tape goes great with your blue frame” is the number one conversation starter when I’m biking over there.

We all know helmets save lives, do you wear one?
I don’t actually wear a helmet, which is weird because at some point I want to grow my hair out and let a natural afro form. And when that time comes it might be too late for helmets that fit right. And yes, it is common knowledge that helmets save lives so in the name of safety and comfort, I should get on that.

Do you have any words for the bicycle riders of tomorrow?
Only these 194 words. In this day and age with gas prices rising and the distances people are traveling remain the same, at some point it might just make more sense to bike around and use public transport rather than using your car as your main vehicle. Over here in Berkeley I see lots of people riding to and from work. It’s cost-effective, healthy and gets the blood pumping. Also if for some reason you’re feeling lazy, drained and hungry I’d suggest you get up, forget about those munchies and go for a bike ride! I use a quick bike ride as a means of motivating myself to do the things that I know need to get done, but aren’t due to procrastination. Always look left and right; if you’re going to listen to music while biking have it low and be even more cautious. And remember: if you find yourself dining out a lot, maybe it’s time to cut back. A simple meal at home could save you six dollars or more. I know this isn’t really biking advice, but it’s just all around good advice. I mean, we all know restaurants are expensive as hell.

Yeah, restaurants will clean you out.
Thanks so much Will! It was great to hear your thoughts! And hey, next time I'm down in the Bay Area maybe you'd like me to cut your fork down a bit so the threads don't intrude on your stem the way they do now. Think about it, buddy. The offer will stay.

Photo Credit: Will Mitchel and Leah Abramson(shots of Will)

- RideaBicycle

New (old) BROOKS saddle

So I got the saddle set up on my bicycle. I wasn't sure it was gonna work out since it had a slightly different fit, but I managed to fasten it down fine.

It feels super good. It rides super smooth. Though it's quite worn, I can still feel the quality and the difference from the saddle I had been using. It's real nice and it was definitely a great buy!

- RideaBicycle

The Experiment

I recently obtained this frame with a full set-up. It is too large for me to ride comfortably. This wasn't a surprise, I knew it was too big, but my intentions weren't to ride it.
I know that it doesn't make sense to keep it built up, so I'm starting a project, an experiment.
So far, I've stripped the frame of all the hardware.
We'll see what happens..

- RideaBicycle

Sunday, July 10, 2011

BROOKS Vintage Champion Standard B. 15

My girlfriend and I were downtown today, and we stopped by our local flea market. I had never been before and I guess it was my lucky day. I found this Brooks saddle with a $25 price tag on it. The merchant brought it down to $12. I bought it after some thought. I realized it was too good of a deal to pass up and I was excited.

It looks great to me and it's very broken in, which I don't mind the slightest bit. I'm excited to try it out.

We also found some awesome other stuff - a cow skull, and a pair of deer antlers, all for ridiculously low prices.

- RideaBicycle

Friday, July 08, 2011

Kinfolk - Hand Built by Kusaka

I don't know too much about this company, but they sure have some beautiful bicycles!
Visit the Kinfolk Bicycle Co.
All of these bicycles are nice, but some of them are hand built by Kusaka, a master frame builder in Kansai, Japan, who has been building frames for racers in the Keirin for decades. These are elegantly perfected pieces that are all hand crafted. From what I've seen, he has awesome skill.
Read more about it on the Kinfolk page, here & there are some photos in the KINFOLK by Ways&Means flickr gallery of Kusaka's work here.

If there is a way to contact this man, please let me know. I'd really appreciate any information.
It would be an amazing experience and honor to work and learn some of this skill from him.

- RideaBicycle

Saturday, July 02, 2011


Weinmann dp18
Formula hub 32H

It was part of the wheelset on a bike I got from my neighbor. It hasn't been ridden much and it's in pretty good condition.
Just a few smudges but I cleaned it up nice.

Let me know!

- RideaBicycle

Friday, July 01, 2011

The Keirin

The Keirin is a track cycling race where the competitors race to the finish in a 2 Kilometers sprint.
The Keirin race started back in 1948 but today it's regulated by the JKA foundation and is part of the Olympics.

There is a Keirin School, that looks super intensive, where cyclists go to train for this race. They train for more than three hours every day on top of other studies. It sounds kind of fun to me, but I'm sure that it's such a challenge.

Check out the book Fixed: Fixed-Gear Bike Culture by Andrew Edwards and Max Leonard. It's a great book if you're interested in a bit of history behind the fixed gear bicycle. I picked mine up here.
You can also read about the book on this website

Photo Credit:

- RideaBicycle

My First Track Bike


In my younger years I had a few different bikes I enjoyed riding. One was a royal blue Haro XO and I also had a few other cheapo costco bikes over the years. But, this frame is the first one I got as an adult - as a bike enthusiast. It's been about 3 years coming now with this one and I've made some changes over the years. I like to switch it up with the bullhorns and my riser bars.

Frame: Mercier Kilo TT 56cm
Rims: Velocity Deep-V Celeste (front), Velocity Aero Silver (rear)
Hubs: Godspeed 32H(front), Velocity 36H (rear)
Spokes: Phil Wood stainless, brass nipples (front), Stainless, brass nipples (rear)
Cog: Surly 16T
Tires: Vittoria (front), Kevlar (rear)
Saddle: EndZone white
Seatpost: Kalin
Headset: Origin Eight
Stem: Unknown
Bars: Nitto rb-018/Easton EA50 Risers chopped
Bottom Bracket: Unknown splined
Cranks: Trivativ 165mm
Chainring: 48T
Pedals: MKS Sylvan
Toecages: MKS Silver L
Straps: White leather unknown
Chain: Unknown

- RideaBicycle