Sunday, June 25, 2006

This blog is going on vacation

Jeff and I rode the Mile High 100 this weekend. He did the 108 mile century, I rode the 100k metric century. It was the first time I took my new Rivendell Rambouillet out, and the short of it is that I love the bike. It climbs like a rhino, but otherwise the comfort, handling, and predictability of the bike far outweigh the fact that I have to work twice as hard to get up hills. No back pain, no neck pain, just leg pain - which is where the pain should be when you're on a bike.

On the ride, I also realized that I've been neglecting this blog lately because I'm so busy, and frankly I'm tired of adding to the information obesity that exists on the internet. On that note, it's time to take a summer vacation from the blog. Time to ride. Time to fish. Time to be with my wife. Time to camp out and drink beer. But not time to spend any more time in front of this computer!

I'll still post photos over at my Flickr page, but otherwise things will be silent here for a couple of months.

Have a good summer, I'll see you back here when it cools off and there's not so much delicious daylight outside!

-Chico Gino

Monday, June 19, 2006

Monday Schmunday

How do the weekends go by so quickly? Jeff and I had a light ride this weekend before his five-beer previous day caught up with him. That early morning Cohassett sun was cooking us - turning him into beer sausage; at the first big turnout we decided to turn around and ride some flats out Keefer Rd. way. Haha! Man, we're hardcore!

Here are some good things on deck this week:

  1. My new Rivendell Rambouillet should be here today! UPS screwed up last week.

  2. The Mile High 100 - Team JuG will be there. Jeff is riding the 100 mile course, and I'm not sure what I'll ride yet. Maybe the metric, or if I feel great maybe I will go further. We'll see. Regardless, it will be the maiden voyage for the new Ramboo!! :-D

If you need to waste a lot of time drooling over beautiful bikes, check out Brett's site. Go ahead, really. It's Monday morning. It's OK.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Velo Orange, Grant Peterson and others

Over in the right hand column there, I added the Velo Orange blog: a blog about bicycles and cyclo-touring to the Bike Bloggers section. You might also want to check out the Velo Orange store for bicycle parts and accessories on the unique and useful side of things.

Other places I that I feel should be shared today are Jitensha Studio, which is in Berkeley, CA, and the Hiawatha Cyclery blog (is this the first bike shop blog in existence?) from the fellows in Minneapolis.

And you have to see the new Rivendell Legolas - a lugged steel beauty of a cyclocross frame. Did Grant & Co. get a little goofy with the Lord of the Rings tip-o-the-hat this time? Or perhaps the naming is simply for Search Engine Optimization in an attempt to be the top result any time a query has anything to do with Tolkien's books. That is not a bad idea for a mail order bicycle company! Talk about exposure!

Grant Peterson: Lord of the Chainrings (and Google SEO).

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

All-rounders are coming on strong

Rather than repeat anything, may I point you to this article on Out Your Backdoor. It talks about the new wave of commuter bikes in the U.S., the revival of classic bicycles, and it has tons of juicy links to sexy bicycles.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

2 Wal-Marts in Chico? I say Hell No.

I am an outspoken Libertarian. I like progress, and I love capitalism. It is what makes this country the best place for me to be. But even I have boundaries of what I feel is sensible and good for the community.

I read in the Chico ER today that there are to be two preliminary environmental reports issued this summer that will be open to public scrutiny. The subject: whether or not Wal-Mart should be allowed to put ANOTHER store on the north side of Chico where the Esplanade and 99 intersect. Wal-Mart plans to put a 242,000-square-foot supercenter there.

I am absolutely against this idea, and I urge anyone who lives in Chico to voice your opinions on the matter as well. Chico does not need another Wal-Mart. One is just fine. Maybe.

Putting another super-mega-box store on the North end of our town will ruin what is currently a relatively light traffic area. The constant flow of traffic will destroy cycling routes.

Ask yourself: Does Chico need ANOTHER Wal-Mart? Are you constantly finding yourself wishing there were another 200,000+ square foot "super" store nearby? Is your life incomplete without another Wal-Mart? Is north Chico really so far from the existing location that we can't get down there to purchase a bunch of low quality goods that were made in China? Do you want visitors passing through our town to be greeted from both the north AND south by a big ugly Wal-Mart? Do you want Wal-Mart to define the character of Chico coming and going? Hell no!

Think of it this way: We have a population of 100,000 or so. If there are two Wal-Mart superstores at approximately 250,000 square feet each, you could fit EVERY RESIDENT IN THE CHICO AREA INSIDE THE STORES AT THE SAME TIME, and EACH PERSON WOULD HAVE FIVE SQUARE FEET TO THEMSELVES. Does that sound reasonable to you?

I have only lived in Chico for a little over a year, but the idea of this makes me sick, and I hope that cyclists, runners, motorcyclists, drivers, farmers and ALL residents of Chico will band together and fight this one down.

Chico is growing. We all know that. But are we going to be active citizens that are involved in managing the growth of our town in a sensible way? Or are we going to sit back fat and happy until what makes Chico such a beautiful place to live is dead and gone?

It's time to nip this in the bud and take action.

  • Email city council
  • Email Mayor Gruendl
  • Email the city manager
  • Email the Editor of the Chico Enterprise Record

    Go away Wal-Mart. Chico does not need another one of you.
  • The Magic Number: 1Z155R780392185xxx

    That, my loyal readers, is a UPS tracking number (minus the last three digits).

    And you may wonder why on earth a number could be so important to me that I would feel the need to post it to Chico Gino. Well, I will tell you.

    It is the tracking number for my newly acquired Rivendell Rambouillet!!!

    After much hemming and hawing about owning another bike, and after reading every word on Rivendell's web site (several times), and after test riding a couple of Rivendells, I decided to go for it.

    Late last week I was able to track down a 58cm blue Rivendell Rambouillet at the newly opened Hiawatha Cyclery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Finding a blue frame in my size was difficult. See, I'm not nearly as fond of the new green models. There's something magical, something more fun, more classic, more personable and bonny in that blue paint, for me at least. And it will look so fine with a honey colored Brooks saddle and Honey-shellac'd bars. Blue and gold, a winning pair.

    I should mention that if you are doing classic cycling business you should consider Hiawatha. Jim was nothing but helpful, knowledgeable, and quick-to-respond in my dealings with him.

    The setup is pretty much the standard Rivenfried component set and gearing for now. They do a good job of selecting components and gearing on their production bikes, and it will certainly be a good starting point.

    The question I have now is, do you think it's ok to put high-end carbon pedals on a Rivendell? Ha.

    This is what the bike looks like right now, but I believe that nuclear orange tape will have to go. This isn't mine - it's a 54cm with the same build though. Stoked! Friday is the day!

    Monday, June 12, 2006

    Team JuG spotted at Chico Outlaws game

    Famed Chico-based cyclists, Principal Jeff und Chico Gino were spotted drinking copious amounts of Sierra Nevada pale ale from plastic cups at the Chico Outlaws season opener. News at 11.

    In other news, Team JuG rode this weekend with a fellow named Eric, a CSU Chico Physics professor, who proceeded to spank us with great vigor and force up Honey Run. We met him at One Mile in Bidwell Park, and he asked, "Hey, do you guys mind if I tag along?"

    I responded, "I don't know man, if you come I think I'll be the one tagging along."

    He was one of those guys whose face looked chiseled from granite. His chin looked sharp. About 6'1" and 155 pounds - yeah that type.

    When we hit the first climb on Honey Run Rd., he took off not to be seen again - until I woke him from his nap at the top... (kidding, he wasn't sleeping. But had certainly been waiting for quite a while). He looked up calmly, and smilingly said, "Hey, I broke my Honey Run PR today"

    Between Eric schooling me on the hills and Jeff schooling me on the flats and downhills, I have to say I was worked after that ride. Fantastic time.

    Saturday, June 10, 2006

    Is Rivendell planning a new site launch soon?

    Because I came across this!!!

    (And guys, in my professional opinion, please don't launch with that awful ticker at the bottom of the UI. It is the equivalent of putting carbon fiber on your perfectly pleasing steel web site...)

    Friday, June 09, 2006

    MaxP and his Rivendell

    Go get lost in Max's touring journals and pics. May I suggest starting with this one?

    I already rode this morning at 6:30am, and it was a chilly fantastic Chico morning. What shall the weekend bring?

    Thursday, June 08, 2006

    Sky Yaeger is leaving Bianchi

    The chick that designed my beloved San Jose is leaving her 17 year stint at Bianchi.

    Bicycle Retailer reports:
    JUNE 07, 2006 -- HAYWARD, CA (BRAIN)—Bianchi USA’s iconoclastic product manager Sky Yaeger is leaving the company after a 17-year tenure for a change of pace. She will continue on at Bianchi until June 16.

    “It was an awesome time and we did some amazing bikes over the years. We were first to market with some very unique bikes that define the story of Bianchi,” said Yaeger. “I am proud of every single bike we have and know that the 2007 product line will be the best ever. Since the 2007 line is done and ready to launch, this is the best time for me to make the leap.”

    Yaeger said she will be pursuing new artistic challenges. One of the last bikes she designed was a rigid 29er single-speed in traditional Bianchi graphics.

    Bianchi has not yet announced who her replacement will be.

    Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    WTF is up with Blogger?

    Down for nearly four hours today two days so far, Blogger seems to finally be back up still be busted. Nice work guys!

    One would assume that with as much money Google has in the bank they would be able to afford systems that run and people that can keep them healthy.

    Ordering Chico Velo wool Jerseys

    I posted this to the Chico Bike Rides list, but in case you missed that, read on:

    I'm thinking about ordering a nice merino wool jersey or two from Portland Cycling Wear with 'CHICO VELO Cycling Club' on the front.

    Before I do, I wanted to find out if any of you would be interested as well. They do price breaks at various quanities.

    So check out this page to see all available jersey styles and colors (we can mix and match as long as the name is the same).

    Here is the typography style we'll use for embroidery:

    The ALLCAPS sans serif for CHICO VELO, and script for Cycling Club will be nice and retro. :-)

    If you are interested, let me know and I will put together an order for everyone. And yes, you'll have to pay me in advance. :-)

    Chico Gino

    Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    Jeff's summer commute & his new steed

    Summer school for a principal + new custom Soma Double Cross commuter = a good time.

    Check it out!

    Sunday, June 04, 2006

    Masi steel

    We watched Breaking Away last night, and this morning I decided to see what I might find on eBay... and came across this!

    Not quite old enough to look like Dave's Masi Gran Criterium, but it surely gets the job done. Oh, and check out Masi Guy's blog - a true bike nerd.

    Thursday, June 01, 2006

    Pleasant Surprises

    I just received an email from Netflix with the subject line: For Fri: Breaking Away.

    It's been a while since I've watched this cycling classic, and naturally I was stoked! So I told Claire, "Hey, we're getting Breaking Away in the mail on Friday!"

    She said, "Yeah, I moved it up in our queue for you."Does my wife rock, or what?

    This is an excellent start to what is promising to be an excellent weekend! Which reminds me, the Chico Outlaws season opener is Friday night. Team JuG will be there, will you?

    Bay Aryan prose

    An ex-Chico guy named Michael Foley, who has since moved to the Bay Area, has published a book entitled 'Bicycling Beyond City Limits: A Journal of Endurance, Friendship and Discovery'. Seems interesting, eh?

    It is about he and his buddies' bicycle trip from Chico to South Carolina. Gene has a good writeup on it here, and the Chico ER covers it here.

    Being that I am from Atlanta, Georgia and lived there 23 years, and I continue to love and cherish all the misconceptions about the South that thrive out west, I have to give you this dogmatic assertion from Mr. Foley:
    "It almost feels like we've entered a foreign country," Foley writes. "From ...racial remarks (to) the little kid yesterday who waggled his middle finger at us. ..." And then there's the fried foods. "Fried chicken, fried chicken fingers, fried steak, hush puppies, french fries, and fried potatoes. Oh yeah, and white bread." One waitress responds to their complaints: "But it's fried in real grease!"

    Georgia is not much better. "People in this part of the country, especially the young men in their pickups, carry firearms. We remind each other — more so, the guys remind me — to keep our mouths shut and our middle fingers on the handlebars."

    I love it! Typical bigotry from the California coast, this time published in a cycling book! I'll likely read it just for those sorts of wonderful passages.

    Mr. Foley must've never known any local Chico dudes in his time here. Chicoans carry as many guns in giant pickup trucks as anyone I've ever met. That's why it's such a great, safe place to live... and he must have never ridden to or through Cohassett!

    Get over yourself Mr. Foley. Before you espouse California Bay Aryan holier-than-thou garbage in the pages of a book, you should get to know the locals of the places you ride (and write about) first. Open your eyes sir. The Bay Area is just as plagued by racism, classism, and fat as any other area in this country.

    I can only hope that passage has been taken out of context. I will follow up this post once I read the book.

    And on a more positive note, Team USA '92, eh? I'm thinking Team JuG '08. Although I'd rather ride the west coast than through the Midwest. Maybe Mr. Foley can come along, and we'll take him to Cohassett, Susanville, Modoc, etc.