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.
1986, The National Inquirer Magazine featured a picture of Michael Jackson in an oxygen chamber with a story claiming that Jackson had a bizarre plan to live until he was 150 years old. We all know how that turned out. He should’ve stuck to the Sears & Roebuck 10 speed, in our humble opinion. 
But then again, when it comes to hyperbaric chambers, there are advocates even within our cycling community that you may be familiar with.
But in the end, if my ass is sleeping in a tent, it’s not gonna be hyperbaric, it’s gonna be hyper-awesome.
Have a good time out there on the roads and trails, friends. Now beat it. Just beat it.
(photo courtesy of MJsite.com)

HAPPY FRIDAY. RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS WEEKEND.

1986, The National Inquirer Magazine featured a picture of Michael Jackson in an oxygen chamber with a story claiming that Jackson had a bizarre plan to live until he was 150 years old. We all know how that turned out. He should’ve stuck to the Sears & Roebuck 10 speed, in our humble opinion. 

But then again, when it comes to hyperbaric chambers, there are advocates even within our cycling community that you may be familiar with.

But in the end, if my ass is sleeping in a tent, it’s not gonna be hyperbaric, it’s gonna be hyper-awesome.

Have a good time out there on the roads and trails, friends. Now beat it. Just beat it.

(photo courtesy of MJsite.com)

ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE.
That’s an odd expression.
That can mean that things can only get worse from this point onward.
It can also mean that things are easy from this point onward.
This spot on my everyday, local trail ride illustrates that expression perfectly. In both ways.
It’s still about 5 miles to home but it’s all high-speed descent with a couple quick uphill sprints that are easily conquered with momentum.
It means that all the climbing and gruntwork is over and it’s time to relax and have some fun. Like a skier who’s “earned his turns.”
But it also means that the ride is almost over and momentum will carry me down the side of the mountain, right into the shower, into my car and into work.
Yep, this is the spot.
It’s all downhill from here.

ALL DOWNHILL FROM HERE.

That’s an odd expression.

That can mean that things can only get worse from this point onward.

It can also mean that things are easy from this point onward.

This spot on my everyday, local trail ride illustrates that expression perfectly. In both ways.

It’s still about 5 miles to home but it’s all high-speed descent with a couple quick uphill sprints that are easily conquered with momentum.

It means that all the climbing and gruntwork is over and it’s time to relax and have some fun. Like a skier who’s “earned his turns.”

But it also means that the ride is almost over and momentum will carry me down the side of the mountain, right into the shower, into my car and into work.

Yep, this is the spot.

It’s all downhill from here.

UNIVERSAL TRUTH OF CYCLING #29: MORE THAN ONE TRIP A YEAR MEANS YOU NEED A TRAVEL BIKE.
Hi, my name is Rhys, and I’m a travel-bike-worship-aholic.
Recently I was staring down the barrel of yet another two-week business trip. To Helsinki. Three days before leaving I went through a very familiar process that myself and Brian have both repeatedly gone though. It goes as follows:
Step 1: We admitted that we were powerless over travel bikes – that we were constantly Googling all the different brands and possibilities, day and night.
Step 2: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Specifically, Brompton, Dahon or having S&S Couplers retrofitted on one of our road bikes.
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to friends and colleagues at our destination, asking if they had a spare bike to use.
Step 4: Made a searching and fearless inventory of our fitness level to see if it could last two weeks without cycling.
Step 5: Switched your Googling focus and searched for bike rentals, local forums, and rides at your destination.
Step 6: Took your browsing of folding and travel bike forums to the next level. Became an expert on the comparative merits of foldable, break-aways, S&S coupling, airline regulations, fees and the 62” rule.
Step 7: Convinced ourself that we needed a travel bike, and attempted to convince partner.
Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had bugged via email about borrowing their travel bike and became willing to make amends to them all.
Step 9: Realized that we already have a lot of Goddamn bikes.
Step 10. Postponed purchasing a travel bike due to pervasive pragmatism that always spoils everything.
Step 11. Traveled without a bike. Drank like a fish while we are away.
Step 12. Returned from trip, miserable & even more convinced that we needed a travel bike
And repeat. Exactly the same steps next time. Which for me will be in six weeks.
And an alternative step which I have succumbed to with absolutely no success. Buy running shoes and read of the merits of cross training.
Anyone want to spilt the cost of a travel bike?

UNIVERSAL TRUTH OF CYCLING #29: MORE THAN ONE TRIP A YEAR MEANS YOU NEED A TRAVEL BIKE.

Hi, my name is Rhys, and I’m a travel-bike-worship-aholic.

Recently I was staring down the barrel of yet another two-week business trip. To Helsinki. Three days before leaving I went through a very familiar process that myself and Brian have both repeatedly gone though. It goes as follows:

Step 1: We admitted that we were powerless over travel bikes – that we were constantly Googling all the different brands and possibilities, day and night.

Step 2: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Specifically, Brompton, Dahon or having S&S Couplers retrofitted on one of our road bikes.

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to friends and colleagues at our destination, asking if they had a spare bike to use.

Step 4: Made a searching and fearless inventory of our fitness level to see if it could last two weeks without cycling.

Step 5: Switched your Googling focus and searched for bike rentals, local forums, and rides at your destination.

Step 6: Took your browsing of folding and travel bike forums to the next level. Became an expert on the comparative merits of foldable, break-aways, S&S coupling, airline regulations, fees and the 62” rule.

Step 7: Convinced ourself that we needed a travel bike, and attempted to convince partner.

Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had bugged via email about borrowing their travel bike and became willing to make amends to them all.

Step 9: Realized that we already have a lot of Goddamn bikes.

Step 10. Postponed purchasing a travel bike due to pervasive pragmatism that always spoils everything.

Step 11. Traveled without a bike. Drank like a fish while we are away.

Step 12. Returned from trip, miserable & even more convinced that we needed a travel bike

And repeat. Exactly the same steps next time. Which for me will be in six weeks.

And an alternative step which I have succumbed to with absolutely no success. Buy running shoes and read of the merits of cross training.

Anyone want to spilt the cost of a travel bike?

HAPPY FRIDAY. RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS WEEKEND.
We are the mods, we are the mods…
Quadrophenia, the movie, was released this day in 1979. And by this day in 1980 I had every word of the movie memorized. And by this day in 1984 I had my Vespa Rally 200, mirrors and all.
I suspect the gentleman above is familiar with that film and album.
Speaking of mods and bicycles.
That’s it. Hit the roads and trails and watch out for rockers.

HAPPY FRIDAY. RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS WEEKEND.

We are the mods, we are the mods…

Quadrophenia, the movie, was released this day in 1979. And by this day in 1980 I had every word of the movie memorized. And by this day in 1984 I had my Vespa Rally 200, mirrors and all.

I suspect the gentleman above is familiar with that film and album.

Speaking of mods and bicycles.

That’s it. Hit the roads and trails and watch out for rockers.

HELSINKI RIDE REPORT #1
10 years I’ve been traveling to this city for work and I’ve never had a weekend to myself. Never gone on a ride in that part of the world. This time was going to be different. I had good intentions of riding often while I was there - I even packed pedals, shoes, shorts, a base layer and shirt. Then you get there and Good Intentions don’t often stand a chance against a busy schedule. I did manage a one hour ride on the purgatory stationary bike in the hotel gym. There should be verb for whatever that type of riding is, in the basement of a hotel on a bike that goes nowhere (It should rhyme with fuckin-pathetically-stupid).
By Friday I needed to ride, but a tentative plan of a Saturday mtb ride with a colleague was postponed all the way until week 2. Then my Nordic-modern hotel came to the rescue. See, not only did they serve an amazing, whole-barley porridge (turns out it’s something of a Finnish National dish) but they also had bicycles. Huzzah. So Friday night I put my name down for one and when the Nordic modern gentleman at the desk asked “will three hours do, and do you need a helmet?” I declined both and asked for the whole day. Wales 1, Finland, 0. 
As I walked out of the hotel’s front door I had a moment’s hesitation as to what type of bicycle may be awaiting me. A nordic modern hotel, while not overly self-conscious as some boutique hotels aspire to, could well pull out a surprise. A classic Finnish city bike is the Jopo. This is a bike that you see all over Helsinki, ridden by hipsters, businessmen and…Grandmas. And perfectly at home in a nordic modern design store or chained to a fence. But I wanted something with a bit more legs. What it was, was really quite nice, a battleship grey Pelago. My bike for the day was a single speed, coaster brake, St Sebastien – with a basket.
It turns out that Pelago is a bit of an emerging institution in Helsinki. I acknowledge that it doesn’t sound too Finnish, there’s a vowel at the end and a distinct lack of I’s, k’s and n’s. The company has recently established a new shop in the heart of Helsinki on Kalevankatu 32. It’s very nice, and wouldn’t be out of place in Portland or Spitalfields, London. Unfortunately due to Finland’s store opening hours, my trip to Pelago on Saturday afternoon around 5pm, meant that all I could do was window shop. Maybe a good thing in retrospect.
My ride that day took me in a clockwise direction around Helsinki. I had a few galleries and exhibitions that I wanted to see, but in between found that I just followed not my nose, but other cyclists. Helsinki is a bike friendly town, with extensive bike routes and paths. The paths follow the many lakes and archipelago, which is characteristic of south and west of Finland. Without any pre-determined route, and a whole day to kill, I followed those other cyclists – at a distance – until I felt I was heading off my clockwise course; and then just latched onto the wheel of another cyclist. The day started with clear skies, that steadily grew cloudier and colder as the day progressed; ending with showers and finally a rainstorm.
It was a good day. While missing home and family, I managed to convince myself I was lucky to have the chance to ride around a beautiful city, on a nice bike, with nothing much to do and nowhere really to go.
Now the downside: I now need one more bike. A single speed, battle ship grey, city bike. But I’d prefer it be called Eeroviniamankkienkatu.
You know, something Nordic modern.
- Rhys

HELSINKI RIDE REPORT #1

10 years I’ve been traveling to this city for work and I’ve never had a weekend to myself. Never gone on a ride in that part of the world. This time was going to be different. I had good intentions of riding often while I was there - I even packed pedals, shoes, shorts, a base layer and shirt. Then you get there and Good Intentions don’t often stand a chance against a busy schedule. I did manage a one hour ride on the purgatory stationary bike in the hotel gym. There should be verb for whatever that type of riding is, in the basement of a hotel on a bike that goes nowhere (It should rhyme with fuckin-pathetically-stupid).

By Friday I needed to ride, but a tentative plan of a Saturday mtb ride with a colleague was postponed all the way until week 2. Then my Nordic-modern hotel came to the rescue. See, not only did they serve an amazing, whole-barley porridge (turns out it’s something of a Finnish National dish) but they also had bicycles. Huzzah. So Friday night I put my name down for one and when the Nordic modern gentleman at the desk asked “will three hours do, and do you need a helmet?” I declined both and asked for the whole day. Wales 1, Finland, 0. 

As I walked out of the hotel’s front door I had a moment’s hesitation as to what type of bicycle may be awaiting me. A nordic modern hotel, while not overly self-conscious as some boutique hotels aspire to, could well pull out a surprise. A classic Finnish city bike is the Jopo. This is a bike that you see all over Helsinki, ridden by hipsters, businessmen and…Grandmas. And perfectly at home in a nordic modern design store or chained to a fence. But I wanted something with a bit more legs. What it was, was really quite nice, a battleship grey Pelago. My bike for the day was a single speed, coaster brake, St Sebastien – with a basket.

It turns out that Pelago is a bit of an emerging institution in Helsinki. I acknowledge that it doesn’t sound too Finnish, there’s a vowel at the end and a distinct lack of I’s, k’s and n’s. The company has recently established a new shop in the heart of Helsinki on Kalevankatu 32. It’s very nice, and wouldn’t be out of place in Portland or Spitalfields, London. Unfortunately due to Finland’s store opening hours, my trip to Pelago on Saturday afternoon around 5pm, meant that all I could do was window shop. Maybe a good thing in retrospect.

My ride that day took me in a clockwise direction around Helsinki. I had a few galleries and exhibitions that I wanted to see, but in between found that I just followed not my nose, but other cyclists. Helsinki is a bike friendly town, with extensive bike routes and paths. The paths follow the many lakes and archipelago, which is characteristic of south and west of Finland. Without any pre-determined route, and a whole day to kill, I followed those other cyclists – at a distance – until I felt I was heading off my clockwise course; and then just latched onto the wheel of another cyclist. The day started with clear skies, that steadily grew cloudier and colder as the day progressed; ending with showers and finally a rainstorm.

It was a good day. While missing home and family, I managed to convince myself I was lucky to have the chance to ride around a beautiful city, on a nice bike, with nothing much to do and nowhere really to go.

Now the downside: I now need one more bike. A single speed, battle ship grey, city bike. But I’d prefer it be called Eeroviniamankkienkatu.

You know, something Nordic modern.

- Rhys

 UTILITARIAN. TO A FAULT.

This, my fellow cyclists, is the culmination of a bike project that’s lasted for a couple years. It started out as a Handsome Devil. I picked it because it checked a lot of boxes and I liked the name. It’s inexpensive, sturdy, has the geometry of an XO-1, has a utilitarian color scheme and has every single rack and fender eyelet known to man.
I had plans for this thing.
So I built it up as a cross-terrain commuter. Cyclocross tires meant I could ride 20 miles on the road into work and then, after dark when the canyon roads are too risky, I could ride home over the Santa Monica Mountains on the fire roads. It worked perfectly. I lived with her for a while, feeling out what rack configuration I really needed for commuting and the occasional S24O. Rear rack and panniers only? Only a front rack with a boxy Rando bag? Porteur rack or basket up front? After all that, this is the result. The reactions I’ve received out there were not what I expected.
I was almost completely shunned. And I think it’s the basket that’s to blame.
It takes the bike from somewhat stylish and socially (in the bike world) acceptable to pure utility. The second I added that basket, the reactions went from “man, that thing looks like it could go anywhere” to “……….”
On my maiden voyage this weekend – a jaunt through Topanga Canyon – the only positive reaction I got was from a man I can safely assume was homeless. He was on a bike that was laden with bags and racks that all looked handmade. And well-used. His bike was not about style at all but pure function.
This is probably the highest praise I could’ve gotten.
My work is done.

 UTILITARIAN. TO A FAULT.

This, my fellow cyclists, is the culmination of a bike project that’s lasted for a couple years. It started out as a Handsome Devil. I picked it because it checked a lot of boxes and I liked the name. It’s inexpensive, sturdy, has the geometry of an XO-1, has a utilitarian color scheme and has every single rack and fender eyelet known to man.

I had plans for this thing.

So I built it up as a cross-terrain commuter. Cyclocross tires meant I could ride 20 miles on the road into work and then, after dark when the canyon roads are too risky, I could ride home over the Santa Monica Mountains on the fire roads. It worked perfectly. I lived with her for a while, feeling out what rack configuration I really needed for commuting and the occasional S24O. Rear rack and panniers only? Only a front rack with a boxy Rando bag? Porteur rack or basket up front? After all that, this is the result. The reactions I’ve received out there were not what I expected.

I was almost completely shunned. And I think it’s the basket that’s to blame.

It takes the bike from somewhat stylish and socially (in the bike world) acceptable to pure utility. The second I added that basket, the reactions went from “man, that thing looks like it could go anywhere” to “……….”

On my maiden voyage this weekend – a jaunt through Topanga Canyon – the only positive reaction I got was from a man I can safely assume was homeless. He was on a bike that was laden with bags and racks that all looked handmade. And well-used. His bike was not about style at all but pure function.

This is probably the highest praise I could’ve gotten.

My work is done.

HAPPY FRIDAY. RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS WEEKEND.
Maybe to the set of your next movie or TV show, like Mr. Albert here.
I love this photo because my new workplace isn’t far from here. I was starting to entertain the idea of cycling into work and thinking “man, that may be too hard.” Then I see this. 
Personal story. I used to run into Eddie when he was out taking walks near his Pacific Palisades home when I was on my way up to Sullivan Canyon. He always waved and said “hello.” Nice chap.
(photo courtesy of Rides A Bike)

HAPPY FRIDAY. RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS WEEKEND.

Maybe to the set of your next movie or TV show, like Mr. Albert here.

I love this photo because my new workplace isn’t far from here. I was starting to entertain the idea of cycling into work and thinking “man, that may be too hard.” Then I see this. 

Personal story. I used to run into Eddie when he was out taking walks near his Pacific Palisades home when I was on my way up to Sullivan Canyon. He always waved and said “hello.” Nice chap.

(photo courtesy of Rides A Bike)

A SIGN
Spotted near the UNM campus in Albuquerque by friends of 18milesperhour David Levasseur. 
I think we’re catching on.
Or maybe it’s a coincidence.
- Brian

A SIGN

Spotted near the UNM campus in Albuquerque by friends of 18milesperhour David Levasseur.

I think we’re catching on.

Or maybe it’s a coincidence.

- Brian

RAVE REVIEW.
Looking up a local market and came across this review.
It worked.
Something about it just spoke my language.
- Brian

RAVE REVIEW.

Looking up a local market and came across this review.

It worked.

Something about it just spoke my language.

- Brian

HAPPY FRIDAY. RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS WEEKEND.
This day in 1984, “Purple Rain” opened in theatres (note the spelling) all across the UK. I’ll give you a second to soak in the obvious visual pun up there. Got it? Okay. And sorry.
Speaking of princes and bikes, this is the one that pioneered the wavy fork. Okay, so “pioneered” is a bit much since nobody else bothered to follow suit, but still, they’re Pinarello so I’ll cut them some slack.
And as long as we’re talking about princely behavior and cycling…
Sorry for being such a royal pain in the arse with this punny post. Just get out there and ride.

HAPPY FRIDAY. RIDE YOUR BIKE THIS WEEKEND.

This day in 1984, “Purple Rain” opened in theatres (note the spelling) all across the UK. I’ll give you a second to soak in the obvious visual pun up there. Got it? Okay. And sorry.

Speaking of princes and bikes, this is the one that pioneered the wavy fork. Okay, so “pioneered” is a bit much since nobody else bothered to follow suit, but still, they’re Pinarello so I’ll cut them some slack.

And as long as we’re talking about princely behavior and cycling

Sorry for being such a royal pain in the arse with this punny post. Just get out there and ride.