Category Archives: commuter
The Road to the Schwarzwald Giro: Amsterdam – Kevin Sparrow
Sammy and his Ritte Van Vlaanderen

The Road to the Schwarzwald Giro: Amsterdam
Photos and Words by Kevin Sparrow

The Schwarzwald Giro is a yearly ride in the Black forest of Germany. Phillipp of Europeantouches.cc invited me last year while I was living in Paris. It was such a great time I couldn’t miss the 2014 edition. I hopped on a flight to Amsterdam with the plan to drive to Frieburg with Sammy and Frank of Pristine Bike Shop.

Amsterdam is the bicycle mecca of the world. With 300 bike shops and 1.5 million inhabitants its no wonder why it’s the city of bikes. There is this beautiful buzz of freewheels in the air and the people are some of the friendliest I have ever encountered. They say the average resident of Amsterdam has 3 three bikes. One that kind of works, one locked up somewhere they forgot, and one in the bottom of the canal. I only had one day to explore this time and with my wife and daughter in tow we made the most of it.

My buddy Jon (@twotoneams) generously set us up with a bed and a bakfiets to explore the city for the day. So I loaded up my girls and headed out to get a taste of what this great city has to offer…

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Follow Kevin on Instagram and check out photos via #schwarzwaldgiro

Jun 15, 2014 4 comments
Golden Saddle Rides: Sean’s Fast Boy 650b Singlespeed
Golden Saddle Rides: Sean's Fast Boy 650b Singlespeed

Photos by Kyle Kelley

After passing away a few weeks back, Ezra Caldwell‘s work keeps popping up all over, miles away from his home studio in New York City. In fact, this bike was first built up by Golden Saddle Cyclery years back for Sean, a loyal customer living in Santa Barbara.

A singlespeed commuter is really all most people need. 650b tires provide a smooth ride and for medium sized frames, they look well-balanced proportionately. Exra had a way of proclaiming his approach with frame design by not really saying anything. While this bike may seem very straight-forward, the details in the metalwork are what first caught my eye.

The chainguard is attached by two 5mm bolts that actually pass through the down and seat tubes. Then the guard itself is incredibly elegant, especially when matched with the White Industries ENO cranks.

Stainless lugs and raw steel tubes make up the frame’s materials, with a good amount of patina forming on the steel. It must be the salt in the air. Santa Barbara is coastal, you know. The rear rack is custom, with wooden planks, which even out the overall build, especially when compared to Ezra’s signature wooden handlebars.

In a lot of ways, this bike is void of ostentation, yet meticulously detailed. Something that seemed to spill over from Ezra’s personality onto everything he touched.

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Follow Kyle on Instagram and visit Golden Saddle Cyclery in Silverlake, Los Angeles.

Jun 13, 2014 8 comments
Gideon’s S&S Coupler Rivendell Rambouillet Road
Gideon's S&S Coupler Rivendell Rambouillet Road

The Rivendell Ramboullet, a multi-purpose road bike with long reach calipers and clearance for up to a 38c tire. It’s a super practical light tourer and everyday ride, made even more practical with S&S couplers.

Gideon’s got an eye for bicycle builds. This Campagnolo-equipped machine has all the right components, in the right places. Even the TA cranks look great with the pewter paint job. The Rambouillet was always one of my favorite Rivendell models but it’s unfortunately no longer available. Although the Roadeo is a pretty close match.

Earlier this week, he swung by the new office here in Austin and I shot some photos as he downed a Topo Chico (he is usually downing all my bourbon)…

Jun 11, 2014 40 comments
Run What You Brung
Walton

Photo by Walton Brush

I’ve done this before. Your front tire gets shredded and all you have laying around is a red-backed Vittoria Randonneur. The difference is, I never took a second to document it. Nice one Walton! See more of the Walt’s world at his Tumblr.

Apr 10, 2014 7 comments
Cycling in the US from a Dutch Prospective

This is kind of depressing and uncomfortable to watch – like a bad Ben Stiller movie. You just know things are going to go wrong.

Having ridden all over the world, it’s interesting for me to hear this Dutch reporter discuss the lack of “infra” in US cities. When these clips are presented in a matter-of-fact way, it’s easy to see why we’re so far behind in the US…

Nice find Jeff!

Apr 1, 2014 7 comments
Firefly: Ti Mixte
Firefly_Mixte

This is actually kind of amazing. Not that Firefly was capable of making a good-looking mixte, but that someone actually paid them to do so. Check out more at the Firefly Flickr.

Mar 20, 2014 11 comments