Category: This Just In…

Mesure by Mesure

I got an email yesterday evening asking, “Who is that guy doing the Peanuts Christmas dance in front of the Hawley sign?”. That peanut is Phil, the head of our IT department. He is the man behind the curtain, orchestrating the internals of our online commerce juggernaut as it rumbles along vanquishing animate and inanimate objects alike (ably assisted by Dan and Steve). It (the commerce juggernaut) runs on an engine cobbled together from the skulls of orphans and fueled with “the black blood of the earth” “You mean oil Phil?” “No, I mean black blood of the earth!”. Phil roasts his own coffee, is an avid fencer and rides a motorcycle. Yeah, we’re pretty sure he’s got a steady supply of “black blood of the earth”. By the way: FENCING. Phil fences, unlike most people, for enjoyment and not for settling imagined offenses of the gravest nature in order to recoup a modicum of personal honor. Perhaps one day we’ll have a quick fencing lesson on the blog from Phil (he keeps a duffel bag full of foils and epees in his van) so you can see how a social better gives a disease-ridden serf a jolly good thrashing (it’s called Hawley MANOR for a reason), but until then here are those loveable, parent-less children dancing erratically to music that they can never hear:

 

Tricity Group Ride

50 percent of my group ride wind-blocker (Adam) showed up Tuesday night so I was looking forward to doing little to no work, as usual. We made the “split” at the traffic light for the first time ever. Huzzah! As we rolled down 12th street, Bloggy chatted with a kind-hearted gentleman from a local accounting firm. His name and accounting firm slip my mind but his ethical repute was clearly visible from his smooth pedal stroke and would highly recommend his services. As usual, some riders shook the trees and some riders raked the leaves (to use my “Smokey and The Bandit” parlance). I was somewhere in the leaves group but Adam made an audacious move to bridge up to an advanced group. Nice work young man. As we cruised along, we heard an unsettling noise from Adam’s Ritte and pulled over. Nothing except for a misaligned brake. Huh. Dana (our new Supply Chain Analyst) and Kevin rode by and we formed a tidy group of approximately five riders. We chatted amicably until 302 and it was “hold on to your knickers granny” as Kevin put in a few heroic if not masochistic pulls into a mild crosswind. On the way back to the parking lot, I noticed Adam’s rear tire bulging but didn’t give it too much concern. At the finish, his rear was definitely soft and sure enough, flat by late evening. So it goes. How many more of these group rides until we’re done for the “season”?

The usual motley gaggle of randomly festooned cyclists. Only person looking is Adam. Mega-fresh Primal Wear Star Wars kit on the port side… The guy in the Cycle Center race team rides a 71cm frame. No joke! Played pro ball in Croatia.

Adam and some guy in a Barracuda Networks kit. Ah yes, I remember Barracuda. I told Adam “ATTACK HIM WITH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE! BURY HIM!!! Ride your bicycle quickly past him as well.”

Grinding up that weird climb. It’s not steep, not too long but it always sucks.

Guy in the back was on a hybrid (I think) with a disconnected rear v-brake. He told us he broke a spoke. His wheel was wobbling more than my well-worn copy of “Physical Graffiti” after I left it in my car last summer. He hammered away in spite of his mechanical and our collective hat was off to him.

Burrito Alert. Turtle Alert.

Patrick has sounded the claxon and raised his metaphorical [sic] red lantern, thus assembling (like Voltron) the minions to another Hawley Thursday burrito ride/meet-up downtown at El Burrito. If you’re of similar mind, feel free to drop by and hoist yourself upon Brantley’s (returns department) lap and hear shipping tales of yore. Like the time when the FedEx zeppelin exploded in a cathartic ball of flame whilst circling above the Chicago world’s fair after somebody packed flint, steel, a bidon of kerosene and a bail of merino cycling cloaks in the same box. Ahh yes, those were the halcyon days of distribution when purchase orders were sealed with a handshake and a dollop of candle wax and Taiwan was still bogged down in the Treaty of Shimonoseki instead of clubbing American manufacturing over the head like a baby seal. Anyhoo, burritos downtown tonight if anybody is interested. Bloggy will be there with a few of our brand new STICKERS to hand out. They’re tiny little decal things you can apply to your bicycle or reverberatory furnace (Brantley). Also, you might catch a glimpse of Ian (Outside rep hefe) and his magical road bike with the invisible bartape…

Yesterday riding home, I almost ran over a dark brown softball in the road. As I whizzed past, my peregrine vision spied a set of legs and head attached to said brown softball. I remember hearing about “walkin’ softies” as a child but never thought I’d live to see the mythical sporting equipment. After a few more seconds, I realized that the softball could in fact be a turtle of some kind. Whilst u-turning, I decided to not pay attention and a car in the other direction had to apply the brakes at the last second. I waved “sorry” and scuttled over to the turtle. I picked him up and set him in the grass next to the pond.”There you go lil’ fella!” Remember this little axiom guys: Save a turtle’s right of way, or you’ll certainly die the next day.

PICKLEDONKEYKNIFE

ABUS. ABUS. ABUS.

Abus lock product manager and cycling industry LEGEND Sandy Emmanuel (she dated Perry Kramer for Crom’s sake!) just returned from Germany. Abus gave her the gold star treatment including the plant tour and some miniature golf. We’re a new distributor for 2011!! Shotgun go BOOYAH! More info to follow but here’s a teaser…

Have a frank and productive weekend. We’re CLOSED Monday so hold them order calls until Tuesday. Pleeeeease. Or, order online all weekend to your heart’s content!

A Few More FATS Pictures For Thursday

After arriving at Big Rock trail, I decided to put the camera away as it was detracting from the “overall ride quality”. However, even though I have ridden Big Rock clockwise several times, rounding the corner and seeing the backside of the “big rock” always freaks me out. Looks like some Tolkien-ian goblin hunched over the trail, picking through the viscera of a wayward cyclist… or worse, geocacher!

User-friendly signage hammered home a simple message: THIS IS THE TOWER TRAIL, MORON.

Weird brick landing pads dotted the trail whenever it crossed under the powerlines.

Another nice feature of Tower: continuous tree canopy. It made the high 80s feel like low 80s. This portion of the trail skirted the fall line, taking a large swooping left turn and continuing uphill on the opposite side of the ravine. Zero erosion, zero standing water!

Classic FATS motif. The subtle but fast turn and drop along the fall line. Eric from Cane Creek has a mild fetish for this type of trail building technique that litters FATS.

Steep, multi-tiered downhill on the connector trail back to Great Wall. Four little plateaus split the downhill up. Standing water is alleviated by the armoring on the second plateau. By the bottom of this downhill, it feels like you’re floating on a cloud of non-heroin fueled bliss. I would destroy my back on the next downhill, similarly structured but with a sharp endo-tastic jump in the middle of the downhill.

Not to place the product so obviously, but since switching to a Thomson Elite setback seat post last year, my mountain biking life has eased up on the downhill white knuckle/pucker factor. The Pisgah tests went swimmingly and leaving out my back destruction, FATS rode smoother than ever. The few centimeters of setback keep my weight off the front and have made my squirreliness a tad bit more stable. Now if only we could convince Teenwolf to throw one on his Orbea, but nobody wants to set the wheels of the Rapture in motion… just yet!

In closing, Jose being the creepy office dude lived up to his reputation and sent this salacious Armani bicycle-centric commercial. This borders on Marquis de Sade levels of debauch so make sure small children aren’t around. You’ll need a bath after this snippet of internet filth. Ugh, disgusting.

 

Dinosore Jr, Baby Got Back Pain…

(Stabbing back spasms or not, nothing would keep me from Sunday night’s Dinosaur Jr show in Atlanta. And yes, it was loud. And yes, my bowels uncorked themselves)

And yes, I could go on and on with annoying word play, riffing on my crippling back pain, but I’ll spare you for now and succinctly relate the cause of all these word play riffages. Picture it: There I was, Friday morning amidst the bucolic splendor of FATS trail system, mindin’ my own business, zipping around without a care in the world when suddenly out of nowhere, a sharp left turn had me unclipped and extending a leg for wash-out preparation. I stayed upright but upon planting my leg down, I felt my lower back seize up like so many over-torqued bottom bracket cups. To quote “Aliens”-era Paxton, “Game over man, game over.” With no implement of suicide at hand, I duly hobbled back to the car and drove home, tears of back spasm-y pain streaming down my face. Ugh, it was wretched. The first two hours of the ride were the most wonderful thing ever. The next hour and a half would’ve tested Siddhartha’s patience. Deep Step>Big Rock (counter)>Tower (clockwise)>Tower (counter)> Big Rock (clockwise) > Connector > BACK DISASTER > Parking Lot. As usual, big thanks to Phil at Chain Reaction and all the trail minions who built and maintain one of the best trail systems on the planet. Did you ever know that you’re my hero (collectively)?

Connector trailage

Deep Step downhillage

You can make out the trail re-emerging from the woods 100 yards away

A bridge, seized by a local bank from a troll who was behind on his mortgage.

Signage at Deep Steep. I found some contraband here but made sure to let it aloooone

Gravel road towards Big Rock

Start of Big Rock. Those are small rocks and large pine straw.

Toodles!

_________

More unnecessary photos tomorrow

Bike To Work Rally Photo Bomb: During Ride Excellence

A toddler in a baby trailer equates to “nobody is going to make an unsafe pass on these two” and consequently, “babies are somewhat lazy”

Hello there.

Lost in a miasmatic cloud of rumination, El Jefe culls through his databanks, searching for a tasty new nugget of distributionarial insight.

Inspiration achieved, he dances on his pedals and unleashes attack after attack upon a hapless peloton. “Stick to my wheel or I take your desk chairs away for 6 weeks!!!” Many are shed, many are shelled, some are tickled.

Bonnie attempts to maintain contact with the peloton up Mont Gilbert. The team director car is nowhere to be seen and the broom wagon looms ominously in the corner of her eye. It is safe to say, Bonnie’s contract is in jeopardy for next season.

At the ends of their collective rope, Tony (inside grumbling, sales miscreant) and J-Town counterattack the peloton only to see their efforts neutralized by a fat guy on a Vespa.

Tony’s musette bag, scavenged from the flaming body of a dead hobo discovered in a ditch… on the way to the ride. Seriously, can our friends at Chrome get this guy something that doesn’t smell like Robert Parish’s high tops? Or at least smell like Danny Ainge’s high tops?

Last climb of the day. With the peloton in shreds and the support vehicles abandoned and left for the C.H.U.D.S, the police officers take control… BY GETTIN’ THE HECK OUTTA THERE (just kidding ya’ll)

See the rider in the bright red shirt? The one on the far right? Astride the gold bike? No idea who he is but he’s still got my wallet. El Hefe’s words, not mine!

Right to left, Rachael, Zebulon, Cragnor The Face Mangler, T-76 and His Eminence…

Left to right: Matthew (Product manager, functionally illiterate), Doug (new sales customer service coordinator, born without a last name as is the custom with the Yaqui indians), Megan (new product manager, roller derby zealot), Tony Stone (goon), Jose (mega-goon), Carmen (Product manager, Jose’s sweetie pie) and Zach (Hawley).

JoAn (HR, far right) pedals furiously to catch Ben to yell at him for screwing up his timecard, yet again.

Matt Church (accounting thaumaturge) coasts the entire route using the unconditional love of a good woman to power him up the climbs.

Sensing great power, J-Town tries to jump into Matt’s psychic slipstream. Matt big rings the parasite into the netherworld.

We lost three riders who accidentally took the on-ramp to Interstate 20, never to be seen agaaaaaaaaain. Happy Halloween!

 

Bike To Work Rally Photo Bomb: Pre-Ride Jitters, Terror Sweats, Anticipation

Teddy bear grasping novelty sized American flag (shipping)…

Sign in table to get the numbers for posterity’s sake, under the watchful eye of Judy (accounting)…

Patrick’s (product manager) twine finishing tape compliments his cork handlebar plugs quite nicely…

Jose (international sales) on his beloved Schwinn and decked out in his much-maligned Hawaiian shirt…

The always dapper J-Town (inventory replenishment)…

The mythical John Leonard (shipping, red helmet, foreground) imparts wisdom, jollity.

Bonnie (administrative juggernaut) readies herself for the futureworld…

Tony Stone (service center manager, beardie) and Palmetto Cycling Coalition honcho Rachael Kefalos…

from port to starboard, the effervescent James (miscellaneous warehouse duties), the perpetually cranky Brian Golden (shipping), the aforementioned John Leonard (strength, wisdom), and Jeanie’s son Brad (shipping)…

Final instructions before the 54 assembled riders barrel into traffic…

(Many thanks to Captain Jerry for some of the above photos)

Ride Of Silence

Awesome turnout last night for The Ride Of Silence! 100+ riders, including several wee ones which was quite awesome to see, and zero problems of either a mechanical or traffic variety. Big gentlemanly ups to Tim at Summit Cycles and all the other local independent bicycle dealers (Cycle Center, Outspokin’, Harrell’s) clubs and organizations for getting the word out on one of the most important days in the “world cycling calendar”. Afterwards, Palmetto Cycling Coalition debuted its Safe Streets Save Lives PSAs in conjunction with Bikelaw at El Burrito. The free burritos and positive vibes flowed like fresh FRS from a reservoir of togetherness…

Eric, crusher of souls and dreams, and his daughter, future crusher of souls and dreams…

Pint-sized roleur sporting his hard earned climber’s colors…

A brief pause at the corner of Gervais and Main in front of the State House to remember the fallen…

 




Short Traque!

Teenwolf (inside sales) is in Texas this week visiting some of our accounts in person so feel free to come by the mothership offices and defile his cubicle in any way you see fit. Here are a few suggestions: Human body waste, all over his monitor. Set his chair on fire. Well that’s all I got, any suggestions from our readers? Nothing creative. We’re going for bombast coupled with massive annoyance here. The only caveats are you can’t wake Jose from his afternoon nap time (1:45-4:15, he sleeps with his eyes open, like one of them dragons from “Reign Of Fire”) and no cuddly animals of any kind. Good luck. If you eschew luck for skill and inner strength and have a few remnants of cyclocross fitness left in the tank, then you should consider racing in the Charlotte Winter Short Track series this weekend. Bloggy did this race a few years ago and it is always a good time (“good” being relative and sometimes quite the opposite). Nestled in the bucolic splendor of Renaissance Park, the 3/4 mile trail is a mixture of BMXish berms, pavement, roots, dirt, grass and whatever else you can think of. From what I remember, the race tends to get “muddy”. Not your typical muddy, more of an “Amazonian Bog Monster” muddy, but that’s what makes it fun and enables you to replace those parts you were thinking about replacing but were on the fence about. Those brake pads? Consider them toast. No wonder there are so many local shops sponsoring the series as you will need a full team of mechanics to fix your poor bike, but it’s worth it for sure! I’m also pretty sure former Hawleyite and now current Grand Junction resident Will The G. got lapped twice and then crashed out last year. NOW THAT’S AWESOME. Rich Dillen? He races short track! Heavens. Click on the flier for more information.

We received our first shipment of DZ Nuts! David Zabriskie’s signature brand of body products, strong enough for a man but made for a woman or a man. It really doesn’t matter but they do in fact make a women’s specific chamois cream (BODY7050) which one can only speculate about. NAY! Cease speculation and avail your lady friend with a tube of the glistening goop at your local bicycle shop! Bloggy is looking forward to trying the high heat embrocation (BODY7220)… on wheat.