18 Miles Per Hour

18 MilesPerHour is about riding through the world instead of just passing it by.
HAPPY FRIDAY. RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS WEEKEND.
Like Mr. Connery up there. This would’ve been more timely had I posted it a month or so ago, but whatever. Some James Bond gags, coming right up.
First up, one of my favorite bikes ever. The Waterford track bike in…wait for it…Goldfinger.
Then, a little piece on Bond-esque bikes.
And to cleanse the palate (with fresh bile from one’s gut), here’s a less-than-flattering photo gallery of Sean. You’re welcome. 

HAPPY FRIDAY. RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS WEEKEND.

Like Mr. Connery up there. This would’ve been more timely had I posted it a month or so ago, but whatever. Some James Bond gags, coming right up.

First up, one of my favorite bikes ever. The Waterford track bike in…wait for it…Goldfinger.

Then, a little piece on Bond-esque bikes.

And to cleanse the palate (with fresh bile from one’s gut), here’s a less-than-flattering photo gallery of Sean. You’re welcome. 

FORGIVE ME FAUSTO, FOR I HAVE SINNED
I owe a few guys an apology. Guys with whom I occasionally ride.
See, for the last several months I haven’t had the slightest desire to ride my road bike.
Riding off road has been so enjoyable that the road bike has been neglected.
Then, recently, I went too far. I made the mistake of saying out loud that road cycling was, at times, too boring for me lately.
The Road Cycling Gods heard this.
The Road Cycling Gods are the ghosts of Anquetil, Coppi, Eugene Christophe, Major Taylor and that guy smoking the cigarette on his bike in that old poster.
They were not pleased.
And when I went on a long, group road ride a couple Saturdays ago with the afore-mentioned fellow cyclists, the Gods decided to make this ride, well, not boring.
Low 40s and near constant rain. Several flats (changed with numb fingers). Soaking wet climbs and shivering, freezing descents. An aborted ride with the only way home over a torturous, 18 – 24% climb, again, in the rain.
I seriously didn’t stop shivering for an hour after the ride was over.
The guys I rode with just thought it was bad luck. They had no idea it was me who tweaked the nose of Les Dieux Velo.
Rhys, Simon, Tim…I’m sorry. And thank you for helping with the flats and hills.
Jacques, Fausto, Eugene, Major, Smoking Guy…I beg your forgiveness.
- Brian

FORGIVE ME FAUSTO, FOR I HAVE SINNED

I owe a few guys an apology. Guys with whom I occasionally ride.

See, for the last several months I haven’t had the slightest desire to ride my road bike.

Riding off road has been so enjoyable that the road bike has been neglected.

Then, recently, I went too far. I made the mistake of saying out loud that road cycling was, at times, too boring for me lately.

The Road Cycling Gods heard this.

The Road Cycling Gods are the ghosts of Anquetil, Coppi, Eugene Christophe, Major Taylor and that guy smoking the cigarette on his bike in that old poster.

They were not pleased.

And when I went on a long, group road ride a couple Saturdays ago with the afore-mentioned fellow cyclists, the Gods decided to make this ride, well, not boring.

Low 40s and near constant rain. Several flats (changed with numb fingers). Soaking wet climbs and shivering, freezing descents. An aborted ride with the only way home over a torturous, 18 – 24% climb, again, in the rain.

I seriously didn’t stop shivering for an hour after the ride was over.

The guys I rode with just thought it was bad luck. They had no idea it was me who tweaked the nose of Les Dieux Velo.

Rhys, Simon, Tim…I’m sorry. And thank you for helping with the flats and hills.

Jacques, Fausto, Eugene, Major, Smoking Guy…I beg your forgiveness.

- Brian

HAPPY NEW YEAR. HAPPY FRIDAY: RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS WEEKEND.
Hope you had a good Holiday season. Hope you got all the bike stuff you were wishing for.
You know what I got? Fat.
So I may be doing a little of this.
I’m gonna cook up a batch of these.
Take a break from this.
Because I’m getting a little nervous about this.
I vow that the next champagne I sip will be at noon on Sunday, February 17th out in the middle of the Arizona desert, God willing.
(image courtesy of RAGBRAI)

HAPPY NEW YEAR. HAPPY FRIDAY: RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS WEEKEND.

Hope you had a good Holiday season. Hope you got all the bike stuff you were wishing for.

You know what I got? Fat.

So I may be doing a little of this.

I’m gonna cook up a batch of these.

Take a break from this.

Because I’m getting a little nervous about this.

I vow that the next champagne I sip will be at noon on Sunday, February 17th out in the middle of the Arizona desert, God willing.

(image courtesy of RAGBRAI)

NEW YEAR’S CLEANOUT: THE BOTTLES.
Out you go, old bottles without tops that fit properly.
Out you go, bottle that melted in the dishwasher but I still hung onto it because it looked cool.
Into the recycling bin, cheapo bottle that never stopped making water taste like plastic.
To the landfill, novelty water bottle that came in a race-day goody bag that was made from that cheap, stiff plastic that you could never squeeze.
Got to make room for more important things.
Got to make room for all the impulse, grab-on-my-way-to-the-bike-shop-counter bottles that I’ll inevitably acquire this year.

NEW YEAR’S CLEANOUT: THE BOTTLES.

Out you go, old bottles without tops that fit properly.

Out you go, bottle that melted in the dishwasher but I still hung onto it because it looked cool.

Into the recycling bin, cheapo bottle that never stopped making water taste like plastic.

To the landfill, novelty water bottle that came in a race-day goody bag that was made from that cheap, stiff plastic that you could never squeeze.

Got to make room for more important things.

Got to make room for all the impulse, grab-on-my-way-to-the-bike-shop-counter bottles that I’ll inevitably acquire this year.

HO HO HO. RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS WEEKEND. 
Maybe I’ll finally break down and get a full-suspension Santa Cruz.
Or a little something from Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery. We’re a bit partial to our friends at Topanga Creek Bicycles, but we’re just trying to milk this gag for all its worth. I think they’ll understand.
Then there’s the bike I’ve been dreaming about for over a decade now. The best bike builder in Santa Rosa (and one of the best anywhere, really). 
Okay, the joke is wrung dry. Ride safe. Ride warm. Happy Holidays.

HO HO HO. RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS WEEKEND. 

Maybe I’ll finally break down and get a full-suspension Santa Cruz.

Or a little something from Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery. We’re a bit partial to our friends at Topanga Creek Bicycles, but we’re just trying to milk this gag for all its worth. I think they’ll understand.

Then there’s the bike I’ve been dreaming about for over a decade now. The best bike builder in Santa Rosa (and one of the best anywhere, really). 

Okay, the joke is wrung dry. Ride safe. Ride warm. Happy Holidays.

THE MYTH OF THE “RAIN BIKE”
The last few mornings have been colder and wetter than I, native Southern Californian, prefer to brave on my bike. I’ve gotten all my cycling clothing out, prepared the coffee and prepped my brain for a nice, frigid morning ride only to wake to the sounds of more rain. More goddamn rain.
So by day three I began the predictable mental toying with the idea of having a “rain bike.” This is a mythical bike that supposedly exists but I’ve never seen one, even on extended stays in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a bike in one’s quiver that’s only used on rainy days so you can spare your preferred bikes excessive water damage. A “beater” bike.
Whereas your other bikes are cared for, wiped down, lubed and respected, this is one you can take out, get soaked and toss back in the garage. It’s a cycling booty call. And it’s bullshit for two reasons.
First, even a cruddy bike has to be properly dried off, re-lubed and stored properly if you want it to be usable again. Otherwise it’ll be your rusty, seized rain bike. Even ‘cross bikes – like the one pictured above – are abused but then given the once-over lest their moving parts freeze up.
Secondly, we love all our bikes. We get to know every one we take into our homes and fall in love with them. I mean, does this look like a “beater” bike to you? Even if our bike doesn’t have such an illustrious pedigree, we would never treat it badly.
So what I’m saying is that, yes, I have a rain bike or two.
At least they started out that way. And then I rode them. And they changed.
They became my friends.

(image courtesy of PDXcross)

THE MYTH OF THE “RAIN BIKE”

The last few mornings have been colder and wetter than I, native Southern Californian, prefer to brave on my bike. I’ve gotten all my cycling clothing out, prepared the coffee and prepped my brain for a nice, frigid morning ride only to wake to the sounds of more rain. More goddamn rain.

So by day three I began the predictable mental toying with the idea of having a “rain bike.” This is a mythical bike that supposedly exists but I’ve never seen one, even on extended stays in the Pacific Northwest. It’s a bike in one’s quiver that’s only used on rainy days so you can spare your preferred bikes excessive water damage. A “beater” bike.

Whereas your other bikes are cared for, wiped down, lubed and respected, this is one you can take out, get soaked and toss back in the garage. It’s a cycling booty call. And it’s bullshit for two reasons.

First, even a cruddy bike has to be properly dried off, re-lubed and stored properly if you want it to be usable again. Otherwise it’ll be your rusty, seized rain bike. Even ‘cross bikes – like the one pictured above – are abused but then given the once-over lest their moving parts freeze up.

Secondly, we love all our bikes. We get to know every one we take into our homes and fall in love with them. I mean, does this look like a “beater” bike to you? Even if our bike doesn’t have such an illustrious pedigree, we would never treat it badly.

So what I’m saying is that, yes, I have a rain bike or two.

At least they started out that way. And then I rode them. And they changed.

They became my friends.


(image courtesy of PDXcross)

HOLIDAY PARTY SEASON
Dress appropriately.
(image courtesy of Tracko)

HOLIDAY PARTY SEASON

Dress appropriately.

(image courtesy of Tracko)

MOUNTAIN BIKING CONFESSION: I HATE MUD.
These images are from this morning’s ride. Or what started out as this morning’s ride, until I saw that the road was wet, sloppy and was inches-deep in pudding-like mud. Then I turned right around and my morning ride turned into me, sitting inside, drinking hot coffee.
I’ve already confessed once before that I don’t like technical singletrack so I’m aware that what little MTB cred I had is dwindling fast.
But here’s the thing: popular culture makes it seem as if all mountain bikers love the mud. There’s the cliché image of the smiling mountain biker who’s face is covered in the stuff (applied neatly by some photo stylist, no doubt). And some of my cyclist friends would openly give me a hard time if I bailed on a ride because of mud.
But I don’t care.
Here’s what riding in the mud means to me. It means most of my energy is spent staying upright in the slippery conditions as opposed to down into the pedals. It means getting in half of the distance I planned on in the brief time I have to go ride. And after all that, it means that (if I give a shit about my bike - and I do) I have to give my bike an extensive cleaning and re-lubing. After one ride. Not worth it.
I know, I know. I’m blessed that I don’t live where these conditions are the norm. No, wait, scratch that. I consciously don’t live in those places because I hate that weather and I hate the rain and mud. There, I said it.
So am I still a mountain biker if I don’t like the mud? Oh, and technical singletrack? Well, I love the scenery. I love the escape. I love the crunching sound when your tires first hit the dirt. I love rounding a corner and being shaken out of my early-morning, ride-induced meditative trance by a startled deer. I love the regular group of trail runners and hikers I see every morning. I love tubeless tires. And no cars. And no stop signs. And no stoplights.
And I love the people – much happier than our tarmac-specific brethren.
Yeah, I’m still a mountain biker.
- Brian

MOUNTAIN BIKING CONFESSION: I HATE MUD.

These images are from this morning’s ride. Or what started out as this morning’s ride, until I saw that the road was wet, sloppy and was inches-deep in pudding-like mud. Then I turned right around and my morning ride turned into me, sitting inside, drinking hot coffee.

I’ve already confessed once before that I don’t like technical singletrack so I’m aware that what little MTB cred I had is dwindling fast.

But here’s the thing: popular culture makes it seem as if all mountain bikers love the mud. There’s the cliché image of the smiling mountain biker who’s face is covered in the stuff (applied neatly by some photo stylist, no doubt). And some of my cyclist friends would openly give me a hard time if I bailed on a ride because of mud.

But I don’t care.

Here’s what riding in the mud means to me. It means most of my energy is spent staying upright in the slippery conditions as opposed to down into the pedals. It means getting in half of the distance I planned on in the brief time I have to go ride. And after all that, it means that (if I give a shit about my bike - and I do) I have to give my bike an extensive cleaning and re-lubing. After one ride. Not worth it.

I know, I know. I’m blessed that I don’t live where these conditions are the norm. No, wait, scratch that. I consciously don’t live in those places because I hate that weather and I hate the rain and mud. There, I said it.

So am I still a mountain biker if I don’t like the mud? Oh, and technical singletrack? Well, I love the scenery. I love the escape. I love the crunching sound when your tires first hit the dirt. I love rounding a corner and being shaken out of my early-morning, ride-induced meditative trance by a startled deer. I love the regular group of trail runners and hikers I see every morning. I love tubeless tires. And no cars. And no stop signs. And no stoplights.

And I love the people – much happier than our tarmac-specific brethren.

Yeah, I’m still a mountain biker.

- Brian

TODAY I’M THANKFUL FOR: THE SHOWER

Is there anything better. Okay, sure, a few things. But that hot shower after a long, difficult and especially cold ride is high on the list, neck-and-neck with carnal delights the caliber of which I dare not mention on 18milesperhour.

It’s so simple.

It’s just a room with a drain that shoots hot water on you but it’s a luxury that’s reserved for a small percentage of the world’s citizens.

It’s a luxury that I sometimes enjoy with a beer.

It’s a luxury that I never take for granted.

- Brian