Category Archives: Shanghai
MMC’s Factory 5 Low Pro Track
Beautiful Bicycle: MMC's Factory 5 Low Pro Track

As I ease back into normal blog content, I’ll be posting some of the bikes that the dudes rode on our bike tour. The first of the bunch is owned by one of the most famous track bike riders in China, MMC. The story goes that MMC was one of the first people in Shanghai to really embrace track bikes. When he wasn’t tearing through the streets, he was scouring the internet for deals on vintage Italian and Japanese components and frames.

Once he started working for Factory 5, the guys made sure he was on one of their new prototype aluminum low pro track frames. These frames look great with their classic lines, true track geometry and a 1″ threaded fork mixed in with oversized and shaped tubing. This particular frame is the third prototype. Many changes will be made for the final production model.

You can build them out however you want (you’ll see more examples). MMC usually rides his Zipp 404 laced to gutted Novatek hubs (upgraded to titanium bits and ceramic bearings) but we put the HED3 on for the photo shoot. Even his cranks are balleur. Campy C-Record Pista with a custom manufactured carbon chainring. He literally contacted a local factory to make it for him (53 x 18).

It’s a slick bike and he rode it like a champ on our tour. It really has one of the meanest stances I’ve seen recently in a track bike… Check out Factory 5′s current frame offerings here.

Apr 8, 2013 20 comments
Zài Jiàn Shanghai!
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These past few weeks have been absolutely incredible. Our bike tour was easily one of the most exhilarating rides I’ve ever been on. To be concise, it was an eye-opening experience. I really thought that I knew what China was all about but almost immediately, I realized my preconceptions vastly polarized. My anxieties about some situations subsided, as the harsh reality of globalization’s effect on a ancient land settled in.

There’s nothing that can prepare you for the realities that hide on the outskirts of the city. As my film gets processed and scanned, I’ll begin think about how I’ll present my experience on paper. Right now, I feel like I’ve been nursing a two week long hangover. My body aches, my head is pounding and my lungs need some recovery time. So would I do it again? Of course.

When it’s all said and done, I’ve met some truly amazing people and had the opportunity to share all these experiences on bikes with them. I’ll say in confidence that we all will walk away from this trip with some great memories and for that, I’ll always be thankful to the communities that we rode with, the towns we stayed in and the guys at Factory 5.

Until next time, Shanghai, zài jiàn.

Apr 7, 2013 5 comments
The Mission Workshop Factory 5 Shanghai Party
The guys at Factory 5 convinced a photo studio next door to allow us to throw a party.

As the culmination of the Mission Workshop China Bike Tour with Factory 5, we threw a huge party last night. 700 bottles of beer, 2 Pocari Sweats and a few 2 liters of Sprite brought in around 400 people throughout the evening. Shanghai’s bike scene is a mix of ex-pats and local Chinese riders, so the crowd was quite interesting from a westerner’s point of view. I had a mini-photo show from some photos I posted on the site, James played some rough-cuts of the Mission Workshop videos and Shanghai brought the fun.

Tomorrow morning we all leave China and I still haven’t even begun to process this trip. I’ll share with you some thoughts later on, but for now check out some narrated photos from the party in the Gallery!

Apr 7, 2013 3 comments
We’re Back in Shanghai
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Last night, we arrived in Shanghai, where we’ll stay until Monday night. Saturday night is the Mission Workshop party at Factory 5 where I’ll be displaying some of my favorite digital photos from the trip. There will be mountains of free beer, good music and great people. If you’re in Shanghai, roll through!

Unfortunately, Vimeo, Youtube, Facebook and even Gmail (sometimes I can load it up) is blocked in China, so regular blog posting won’t commence until I’m in Australia on Tuesday (your Monday). Thanks for understanding and if you sent an email, there’s no need to forward it again and again, I received it…

Expect some more Shanghai-related posts to go up periodically over the next few days, including bike portraits, so stay tuned.

Apr 4, 2013 9 comments
The 2013 PiNP Calendar: April
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This is the fourth layout of the 2013 PiNP Calendar, entitled “Easy Street”. The camera, lens used and location are noted on the bottom left of the document.

After any climb, sometimes it just feels right to unclip and coast on a track bike. Here, Jeff from Factory 5 in Shanghai shows us how it’s done.

Right Click and Save Link As – 2013 PiNP Calendar: April

Sorry for this being a bit late, I don’t have InDesign on my laptop and had to farm the design work out to Austin. Thanks Lauren!

Apr 1, 2013 1 comment
Mission Workshop _ PiNP Bike Tour: Day 01
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There was nothing pleasant about today, aside for the company. The things I saw on the road will forever change the way I view the world and globalization. Without going too much into the politics of it all, I’ll just say that I’m glad to have gotten the first leg of our ride out of the way. On paper, the route looks easy. 100k door to door, and about 90 meters of climbing.

These numbers are almost laughable, compared to other rides we’ve all completed, but those weren’t in an AQI of 350+ and through a toxic wasteland. To give you some perspective, Los Angeles has the highest AQI in the United States and today, it’s at 70. I’ve never experienced anything like this before.

The morning began early, as we checked out of our hotel and headed to Factory 5 to ready our bikes. At 10:30am, we put on masks (literally) and rode alongside a highway out of town. You’d think the air would be worse in the center city, but it was the opposite. Soon, it was like we were riding into a fog, rolling into San Francisco but there were no mountains, no iconic bridges or architecture, just smoke stacks and automotive factories.

Your face began to burn, eyes water and all you wanted to do was take off your mask to get some “fresh air”. Upon doing so, the smell of burnt plastic almost made you gag. It was literally hell and I can’t fathom the reality that people live in it everyday. The striking dichotomies were everywhere: a brand new VW dealership, next to a vacant lot with a pond, that was completely red with bacteria, or the canals and waterways turned black from factory waste next to a parking lot filled with brand new Buicks.

60 miles felt like 120. My lungs burn and my face is windburnt. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so hungover from a ride. There’s no gallery, since I shot all film today, but will leave you with the photo above to just say that I’m glad to be indoors for once. For more frequent updates, keep an eye on Mission Workshop’s (@MissionWorkshop) and my Instagram (@JohnProlly) during the day.

Mar 27, 2013 30 comments
Mission Workshop _ PiNP Shanghai: Day 03
... Before spinning down the street to the bar.

There’s nothing like a recovery day. Not physically, but mentally. We have all been running at 100% since arriving in Shanghai and the guys from Factory 5 needed to catch up on things around the office. While they worked, I headed out around town with Lyle and James from Mission Workshop and took some photos with the Mamiya. When we got back, it was time to rock and roll.

Tuesday nights are the weekly group rides in Shanghai. They meet up at Factory 5 and roll through town at a moderate pace. Once the group leaves the center city, out towards the more industrial areas, the ride turns into a sprint as everyone puts out 100% for a few miles. It was a lot of fun chasing people down and shooting photos. Even in the complete darkness, I managed to get some rad shots! It was a great way to spend the last night before we leave for our 7 day tour around Shanghai…

Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery and keep an eye on Mission Workshop’s (@MissionWorkshop) and my Instagram (@JohnProlly) during the day for updates.

Mar 26, 2013 9 comments
Mission Workshop _ PiNP Shanghai: Day 02
I gave Tyler's Factory 5 track bike a lot of love today. It's a great looking ride.

This morning, after a night of coughing up pollution and desperately trying to catch up on sleep, I took to the streets of Shanghai on my bike. Seeing the city by foot yesterday was a completely different experience when compared to riding through the congested streets. Tyler and Drew from Factory 5 were Lyle from Mission Workshop and my guides for the day. We had an early morning agenda and since the sun was out, we were surely in for a warm ride. Shanghai is a beast that is best slain by two circles, two triangles and instincts…

Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery and keep an eye on Mission Workshop’s (@MissionWorkshop) and my Instagram (@JohnProlly) during the day for updates.

Mar 25, 2013 9 comments
Mission Workshop _ PiNP Shanghai: Day 01
Where you can get a wheel build or a derailleur adjusted.

Today began our insane trip to Shanghai. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect. Even after arriving Saturday night, we were all a little unsure of what awaited us in the morning. After woking up bright and early, we all met up with Tyler from Factory 5, who had the day all planned out. The Mission Workshop Shanghai trip had begun…

Check out some narrated photos in the Gallery and keep an eye on Mission Workshop’s (@MissionWorkshop) and my Instagram (@JohnProlly) during the day for updates.

Mar 24, 2013 21 comments