Category Archives: Portland
The city of Portland and its bike-friendly streets need no introduction. People there have adapted their blocks to child-friendly play zones, their streets are lined with green bike lanes and there are even designated bicycle avenues.
Spending the day with your family, on bikes is a fairly common weekend activity. Especially for Benji from Poler and his wife Nahanni, who take their two daughters, Olive and Sparrow out for rides frequently.
While Olive is old enough for her own bike, Sparrow catches a ride with Nahanni on her Signal Cycles step through commuter via a contraption called the TykeToter.
I’ve never seen this product before, but it’s genius. The TykeToter goes on in seconds, can be used on any bike and gives the child an early introduction into balancing a bicycle.
These two women looked so happy scooting around the neighborhood that I had to shoot some photos!
Joshua Bryant is a frame builder out of Portland (who looks an lot like this dude Franco650b on Instagram). He specializes in road / touring / randonneur / dirt tourers and coincidentally builds out of the old Hufnagel studios off Burnside.
This frame in particular, dubbed the Fatrob, is a special bird. Built as part of a collaboration with Matt from Folly, it’s a 650b, tubeless, neon pink, SON-powered “get rad machine” – although I didn’t see Joshua get rad on it during this ride. We’ll have to follow up at a later date.
Why do I like this frame? How could you not? It’s pink and a playful mix of old and new school components. Oh and with the Plug, Joshua can keep his iPhone charged to get the ‘gram mid-ride…
Dogriver Super D
Words and photos by Kyle Von Hoetzendorff
I have my rituals you see, and they must be respected. Coffee, breakfast burritos, a Porta-John in that order, my body demands it, directs me. As long as I have been racing in the Pacific NW it has always been the same. I expect it, settles the nerves. Forget about going to bed early, having a protein shake, or sitting in a bath of ice cubes while there is perfectly good hot water pulsing just beyond the walls. Take the shower, have some pizza, stay up all night. I know who I want to beat and we were out drinking last night.
This is amateur racing in your 30s, this is beer at the starting line, long-range intimidation practices, strategic heckles, head games. Fitness at this stage isn’t just about VO2 Max or lactic thresholds, its about the rest of it, throwing life’s little chosen challenges into the mix, try whiskey soaked sleep deprivation giving you the shakes in the starting gate. Not that everything requires a debauched approach; it’s just that it also doesn’t, so why not?
Super D racing, like all types of racing, fits this program perfectly. In this particular case, the Mountain Man Challenge Dogriver Super D, the extended descent is punctuated mid race with a ball buster climb. This would be the decisive section, whoever could make it through the climb the fastest with a modicum of energy in reserve would rule the day. Alex “KrunkShox” McGuiness would take first place in just over 22 minutes, followed closely by all-pro Matt Slaven and Team Robots very own “Chaz” Sponsel. I would finish in just over 25 minutes, mid-pack, I would be tired, I would want sleep.
Take a survey and the vast majority of cyclists who haven’t spent a day descending don’t have any idea who strenuous it can be. It’s “cheating” they say as if descending is the unfortunate outcome of so many arduous minutes spent slowly suffering on the cranks while climbing the nearest crucible. In fact, as our frozen water cousins found out years ago, the descent presents its own unique challenge that once appreciated can be developed and refined. Time passes differently here, we don’t chat, life, outside life, must be put on hold, clear your schedule, erase the board, we are talking undivided attention. Your nerves not to mention your legs, butt, back, arms, neck, chest, and abs are constantly on high alert, think Gorbachev and Regan white knuckling their red phones. This race is after all an act that is antithetical to our biological imperative, you are challenging gravity, and gravity has, and will, ALWAYS win.
Why do it then? Take away the wolves, the lions, the tribal warfare and your left with an egregious surplus of need-to-survive. Chemicals man, chemicals bend reason, chemicals create their own logic, and this is how I find myself hurtling down the side of a mountain, oxygen deprived, on the edge of control, in a race for no money and no fame. Chemicals.
I am not saying that this is better than that, than something, anything else. If you are reading this lovely site then you probably like bikes, and if you like bikes, have the time to like bikes, then your life is pretty good. Sometimes it’s nice to know that it’s good for someone else too. Its chemical man.
Follow Kyle on Instagram.
Yikes! The crew at Speedvagen have been working on something extra special with their new 2014 Overt Road Machine. Head over to the Vanilla Flickr for more incredible details like that seat mast medallion!
This weekend, there’s a lot of events going down in Portland, beginning Saturday morning with the Tiny Tire Enduro, then Brian Vernor’s movie for Saucony, Finding Strong is premiering and finally, Sunday is the Super Swap. Head over to the Athletic for details.
Oh you 21st Ave guys are so funny…
Speedvagen is so Portland and I don’t mean that in the Portlandia, ironic, hip sense. When I think of Portland brands – those of which who have made it to international credibility anyway – I think of people who obsess over the details. The Vanilla / Speedvagen family is one such brand.
Friday afternoon, I received a package from the great V. Inside was this meticulously-wrapped package, with coasters on the back and a little brown box with a twine bow. Inside, a hand-painted Speedvagen racer was tied to a padded backing.
This year, Chris King is expanding their Gourmet Century into three rides: a MTB ride in Bend, Sonoma County road and Portland road. Spots fill up fast, so get over to Chris King’s Gourmet Century site to sign up!
As the story goes, Vanilla is left with this 49cm road frameset to sell. Now, I know a Vanilla is out of most people’s price range, but I can’t get over how nicely detailed they all are. The best part about bicycle photography is that there’s no charge to look!
Head over to Vanilla to see more details.
I’ve been using Flickr for years. I love how easy it is to share photos and keep on top of your contact’s new uploads. One of my newest contacts is Breadwinner Cycles out of Portland. Ira and Tony have been posting their bike models up to their account over the past few days. If you’re on Flickr, follow Breadwinner Cycles.
Let’s see some more customer builds!