… and it’s finally feeling like cross season. Embrocation, thermal jerseys and good gloves. Ok, it was only in the mid 30’s yesterday but it still felt cold!
“How about a little comet?” Tony says while deep in his element. “Yea… right there. Perfect.” Watching Tony paint, I realize he isn’t talking to me, but rather coaxing the paint out of his airbrush. In a dimly lit pop-up tent pitched in his backyard, Tony’s workspace smells like a lack of ventilation in a chemical plant.
Somehow I missed this video from Inside Line Equipment, showcasing their Prime photo bag. Everything this company makes is A+. I’ve had their Photo Mini bag for well over two years and it’s one of my favorite photo bags.
David, or as many refer to him as “the Wilcox”, is a bit of a legend in the Boston-area, much like Mike Zanconato, the builder of his trusty cross bike. Since 1998, Zanconato has been building custom bicycles in Massachusetts, which is where David got this matte-black beauty.
While Tim and David were in town this week with the Rapha mobile cycle club Tillie – after a grueling drive straight from Louisville – I shot photos of his race bike, still caked with Kentucky mud. His build is steller with Chris King, CX1, Wolf Tooth and yes, a Quarq power meter.
See more in the Gallery!
Fender company Ass Savers is partnering with Rapha to bring Trackside ‘85 Photography Exhibit to Rapha Cycle Club Manchester as the exhibition’s final 2014 destination:
“Gothenburg, Sweden, 7 November, 2014 – After successful stops in Berlin, Barcelona and London, the Trackside ’85 photo exhibition presented by Ass Savers travels to the Rapha Manchester Cycle Club on November 18th for its final stop of the tour. Staffan Jofjell’s brilliantly captured photographs from the 1985 Berlin Six Day track race will be on display from November 18th to 23rd to coincide with the Six Days of Ghent…”
Ours is a world ripe with opportunity, one in which we have been blessed with the time and resources to pursue activities of leisure. I have spent a significant amount of time planning and accumulating a trove of memories that are anchored in recreational pursuits; time I mostly cherish, time like it or not I can never get back, because time is never in my corner. It races forward, thoughtlessly giving away it’s infinite increments, while I am left to selfishly consider how best to squander my finite tokens. We’re the singular results of our choices, moving from consequence to consequence with such persuasive and pervasive insistence as to appear pre-determined. Actionable or not, the appearance of choice haunts our rationale like a plague, at every turn a cross roads, at every stop a trailhead, skeins of choices beget skeins of choices towards a knotted and unpredictable future.
There’s something special happening right now within the US framebuilding industry. Something that ought not to be overlooked, no matter how too good to be true it might seem. Before we go any further however, I must make one note: a production frame is not a custom frame. There’s a misconception that everything made by a framebuilder is custom. A production run is a series of sizes, made in an assembly-line process, which drastically reduces cost on both the builder’s end and the consumer’s end.
With that come a few issues: one of which being fit and others include – often times – paint choice, or adding extras like braze-ons, pump pegs, chain holders, etc. The most important factor however is fit. Many people are driven to a framebuilder due to fit issues, but a majority of the population can be fit on a stock geometry with a series of tweaks. That said, the geometry for these stock sizes has to be able to accommodate.
Enter Wraith Fabrication, one of these new US-made production companies, headed by an existing framebuilder, Adam Eldridge of Stanridge Speed. Now, why would a framebuilder make another brand to sell bikes? Because of their construction: Wraith is tig-welded, Stanridge is fillet brazed. Adam isn’t the first fillet-braze builder to move onto a brand reliant on tig welding, either.
There exist a series of tig-only framebuilders who build production bikes for various brands, including Wraith Fabrication. Wraith now offers a disc cyclocross bike, the Paycheck and a road bike, the Hustle. These frames are built from Columbus Life tubing, with Ohio-manufactured head tube cups in Oregon and then painted or powder coated in Ohio.
Adam designed the geometries, specs and brought the project to life… using magic? Nope. Just a solid production. I got to take one of these bikes, the Paycheck disc cross bike for a series of rides over the past week. Check out an initial reaction below…
Photos by John Daniel Reiss
In the world of cyclocross team kits, you can go a few directions. First of which being the standard issue (and most common), three or four colored panels and a bunch of sponsor logos with a pixelated team graphic. Second, you can go just plain crazy. All-over animals, cupcakes, donuts, cats, pandas, whatever. The brighter the better, more is more, instead of less is more.
From the looks of the new TCB Cyclocross kit, they went the third route: classy, with just the right amount of logos and clearly inspired by Cali surf style of the 1980’s. Now, if they only all piled into a Datsun to get to the races. Ok, or a YOTA.
See more at JDR’s Flickr!
The idea of spending one of the last days of “extended summer” going to bars and sleeping in didn’t sit well with Josh Cates from Beat the Clock Cycling. So what did he do? He planned a multi-day camping trip / mini bicycle tour southeast of Austin. Four days, three camp sites, all fun.
Unfortunately, I could only make it to the first night, which was good enough for me. It got me out of Austin for Halloween and onto the Woodville once more. Something I had been missing as the mornings became cool and the afternoons short.
Buescher State Park was our destination. Just south of Bastrop State Park, where just a few years ago, forest fires laid claim to the lands.
We met up at 8am for coffee and breakfast tacos…
Tools of the trade:
Zeiss 50mm f1.5
Woah. This one’s a bit weird… Nice job Kitsbow. I love the colors of the trails this time of year.