And sometimes hotdog suits.
Winter, aka the dark times, is coming. But I know you and your esteemed readers aren’t the type to stop riding bikes just because of our planet’s pesky axial tilt as it rounds the sun. So, I wanted to let you all know that PDW has just released the Lars Rover – a new USB rechargeable headlight available in 650 lumen and 450 lumen models so you can pick your power level. It’s got a Genuine Panasonic™ Li-ion battery, CREE™ LED, and a Texas Instruments™ integrated circuit, which means it’ll shine really brightly for a good long time.
We tested it out with some friends on a commute home that included hitting the local trails (one of the few that actually exist in Portland), and we were all pretty pleased with the results;
Ride on, dude
I feel the need to say that because I drank a bit of drink yesterday, copying and pasting that email took far longer than it should have. Secondly, as a big fan of the rock and/or roll musics and riding dirt bikes, I believe that clip spoke to my specific demographic.
Well played PDW. Well played.
So as it is, being a marginally regarded bike blog douchebag (same diff), it means that occasionally I have to leave my house, which means occasionally I have to put on pants. Small prices to pay, both of these things, when an event such as the one that took place on Friday does.
I came to find that Kona Bikes was on the road and hitting a few locations, including Oakland. Just as fast as my little legs could carry me, I made haste up the hill, and unlike this past summer’s Kona World, I had my pick of the bikes;
Though I wanted to reel it back a bit and remenice about the 2011 Kona launch and my time upon the Hei Hei Supreme.
So plucking the slightly more reasonably priced Hei Hei Deluxe off the rack, I started heading towards the proverbial door.
Just then, two local fellas who I’ve known from around the way for twenty years named Dan and Fireman Jon arrived, so we decided we’d take a pedal together. At some point we found a spot that Dan reckoned would be a good one for rad getting, so borrowing my helmet, that’s what he did;
I can’t remember what Dan was riding… The Process 153 I think? Of course in August I put my stink all over The Process 111, and it was a ridiculously fun bike, but as it was, I couldn’t have been happier with my choice;
Mashing around on a strange new bike through the trails of Bellingham and developing an opinion on how it rides is one thing, but riding a strange new bike on your own backyard trails is a wholly different kind of experience. I know every nook and cranny of those trails like the back of my hand, and riding not only a suspension bike (gasp!) but this one in particluar was a total gas. I realize I’d mentioned back then in 2011 that I could see a time in the near future when a Hei Hei might wind up in my stable, but after Friday, for the first time ever I actually developed a fair and real-live lust in my heart for this bike.
Granted, though my experience and perspective on suspension bikes is somewhat limited and considerably jaded (respectively), I can’t hesitate in saying this was the best time I’ve had on one. My primary issue (as is everyone’s it seems) is always the bobbing and dead feeling one experiences when climbing. I can overlook it certainly, but climbing sucks enough as it is. When I push on the pedal, I’d like to feel as though 100% of that effort translates into forward momentum. This has never completely been the case with any suspension bike I’ve ever ridden, except for the Hei Hei Deluxe.
That is to say it never crossed my mind for a second. I wasn’t actively looking for the tell-tale bob, but when it happens I can’t ignore it. I was blissed out of my mind that at no time was it an issue. I did whole-heartedly love my time on this bike, and as I continue to get older, and more broken down, I rapidly see a time coming when I wouldn’t want to ride anything else.
Until that time comes however, I will periodically be found riding my road bike on singletrack, and wondering aloud why my wrists are so sore all of the time.
Which pretty much describes all of Saturday, and the second annual Hairnet Ride;
If the answer to the question ‘What Would Andrei Tchmil Do?’ is ‘get five flats, drink twenty gallons of beer, and spend seven hours goofing around on bike with friends‘, then apparently we got it right.
Though in an email from Andrew on the day in question, he was eerily correct on his assertion;
En route to the meet up spot, I hit a rock on the bike path and got a rear pinch flat. Just as I’d fixed that and put my wheel back on my bike, my front tube (presumably waiting for that precise moment) then blew its gasket and went flat. Riding by, and obviously feeling sorry for me, an older fella spiffed me a spare tube.
Figuring that I’d need my spare as a spare, I installed his gracious contribution, opened up my last C02, and realized the tube he’d given me came pre-punctured. So technically, the ride hadn’t even started yet and I’d already gotten three flats.
Finally I got everything squared away and we headed on to meet up with the folks;
I’d noted on the flyer that the start time was 10:30, which in California time means 10:45, but as it turns out, the liquor store didn’t open to 11:00, so some folks forged agead, and some of us stayed back to purchase supplies.
It had occurred to me that happening simultaneously during last year’s ride, in an entirely different part of the Bay Area, was a memorial ride for a dear friend who passed away. Upon mentioning this, Pamela remembered that she in fact was carrying a small bag of his ashes;
Some of which I sprinkled into Pamela’s hand for her to pass off onto the hillside.
After a short moment of silence followed by jokes regarding snorting a line of Pete, we got back to matters at hand;
From there some of us rode the road, and some of us rode the fire road, to the road, both routes ending at the municipal golf course club house and seven dollar spicy chicken wraps partnered with six dollar (wo)man cans of PBR, after which we pressed on;
After a handful more miles, or yards, or feet, we found a new cool turn out and piled into the dried, brown grass, with a flask of warm, brown booze;
We stayed there a spell and decided on the final spot where we’d meet up and witness the sun’s curtain call over what ended up being a pretty nice day.
I opted to stay on the pavements, while the others chose to take the dirts. When we finally re-joined forces, a few other folks had jettisoned, so we bid them a quiet farewell, ordered a pizza, and picked up a few additional cans of beer and trudged back up the hill where, like clockwork, I had my fourth flat, (or fifth if you count the tube the older gentleman gave to me at the start of the day);
And it was there our hearty group remained, until it was too dark to do anything but go home, rest our weary bodies, and however weird they might be, commence to dreaming about our dreams.