Category Archives: vintage
The Road to L’Eroica: An Italian Honeymoon – Ultra Romance

The Road to L’Eroica: An Italian Honeymoon
Words and photos by Ultra Romance

We had been running from winter… riding from winter… actually hike-a-biking away from winter in the Swiss Alps for nearly 2 weeks now.  Snow, wind, rain, and low UV indexes had driven us out of the most verdant and bucolic panoramas I’ve ever eyeballed. Away from the abrupt mountaintops that rise from the undulating valleys like the jagged teeth of a gnashing puma eagle.  My hair was damp and lifeless, and our bodies were craving the sunlight and ACTUAL early September weather (fair and pleasant for those of you who live in the Swiss tundra).  In a split second decision, while climbing out of a cold and empty valley after hiking down a roots rock reggae slip n’ slide, we hopped a train south to Europe’s fashion capital, Milano. It just felt natural.

Ciao Italy! (more…)

Oct 25, 2017 15 comments
Merckx Mondays

Photo by Bill Woodul

It’s not often you come across never before seen photos of Eddy Merckx, well, photos I’ve never seen anyway and that what we’re sharing with you today. Bill Woodul shot the 1976 Milano SanRemo and got some excellent photos of Merckx. Just check out those gloves! See more at this album.

Sep 25, 2017 4 comments
A Ponderosa Cyclery + Tour Eisentraut Road with Mavic Zap – Kyle Kelley

A Ponderosa Cyclery Eisentraut Road with Mavic Zap
Photos by Kyle Kelley, words by John Watson

If you think Shimano and SRAM were the first to the e-shifting market, you’re mistaken, my friend. Mavic blazed that trail over a decade before Shimano put its tires down on it. Back before they shifted focus to wheels and apparel, Mavic developed and manufactured component groups. Their “Starfish” cranks are as iconic as their unique headsets, but one group stood out from the rest of Mavic’s catalog. Zap was the name for Mavic’s electronic shifting system and while it was way before its time, it wasn’t underused, making several Tour appearances. Even Chris Boardman secured several victories in the Tour back in 1994 and 1997. (more…)

Jul 18, 2017 11 comments
A Berry Blast from the Past: 1981 Jim Merz MTB

Yesterday morning I had a date with a framebuilding legend from the American West. Like DiNucci, Strawberry, Bruce Gordon and others, Jim Merz was a key figure in promoting the production of custom frames in the ’70s and early ’80s. He was a machinist first, turned cyclist, turned builder. He was also an endurance cyclist, pedaling from Portland to Panama in 1970, logging over 8,000 miles. He also toured extensively in South Africa.

Jim brought his knowledge of loaded touring and trekking to his own operations, designing, fabricating and in a lot of ways shaping the world of touring bikes forever. So why haven’t you heard of Jim Merz? (Or perhaps you have, no assumptions here.) Well, Jim’s a unique guy and one that didn’t necessarily seek out the limelight like others in his day. That didn’t mean Jim wasn’t busy. In fact, in his ten years of solo framebuilding from 1972 through 1982, he built around 400 frames from Columbus and Reynolds tubing; he was the first US-builder certified to use Reynolds 753. (more…)

Apr 27, 2017 17 comments
Eddy Merckx Motorola Corsa Extra with Dura Ace 25th Anniversary

This is a special Merckx Mondays treat. Sean from Team Dream recently acquired an Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra in the Motorola livery, laced with a beautiful NOS Dura Ace 25th Anniversary group. I’ve personally never seen this group on a bike, in person before, so it was a real pleasure photographing it. Sure, there are a few blemishes on the kit, like the insertion marks on the seat post, which were like that before Sean acquired it, but overall, this bike is a real gem.

Sean also has the case for the 25th group, which came with the fabled wrist watch. Once he replaces this group with a modern Campagnolo Athena kit, he’ll be displaying the 25th in its case at the Cub House, along with the bike itself. If you’re in the South Pasadena area, make sure you roll through the Cub House and check it out in person because no photos do this bike justice in real life!

Apr 10, 2017 28 comments