Yesterday this artist, Nickalas Blades, left a comment on a post, which then directed me to his body of work. Photorealistic oil paintings are something I can’t wrap my head around, as far as a process to end product is concerned, yet Nickalas Blades’ work makes it look easy. Or at least he blurs the lines between photos and paintings. Head on over to his site for more!
Literally seconds after walking into the 2015 Sea Otter Classic, I ran into Nick and Matt from SF. They had driven in that day and rode their lock-up MTB commuters down to the show. In SF, with bike theft at an all-time high, having a beater that is both cheap and functional is key.
Matt’s Trek 890 features porteur bars, a rear rack, a porteur rack and a Strawfoot bag for cargo. Meanwhile Nick’s Mongoose utilizes dirt drops and barcons. Both bikes have a fair amount of beausage and can both be maintained with a local bike shop’s parts bin.
Thanks to Matt and Nick for embracing my request for a wheelie photo!
Like many people, we decided to make a weekend of the Eroica California. Rather than fly or drive in for the ride itself. The city of Paso Robles hosted the event this year and since it’s smack dab in wine country, there were numerous places to eat good food and plenty cheap wine to go around. Luckily, my friends at Giro had rented a house, so a few of us camped out in the yard, atop a bluff overlooking town, rather than have to spring on a hotel.
The first day was spent mostly working on bikes. There was a lot of late-night tubular gluing, cable stretching, brake adjustment and minor part replacements. Things like that are always last-minute, right?
Saturday brought around the festival and the Concours. Tons of vintage bikes were on display for people to ogle, ask questions about, reminisce and take photos of. My only regret for the weekend was not shooting a few of these unique rides…
Yesterday was the event itself and since I had already ridden the course earlier in the year and was rather pleased with my photos, I decided to opt for my Fuji X100T, rather than the DSLR setup I’ve been lugging around on these rides as of late. We got a later start than anticipated, but had a decent sized group.
We rolled out of the gate at 8:30, almost two hours late and headed into the morning sun. It’d be a long day, filled with rest stops, wildlife, wine and plenty of climbing. We’d lose some of our group to wrong turns and our minds on the climbs. After 130 miles and around 10,000′ of elevation on 7 speed freewheels, we were all a little shelled…
Check out more in the Gallery and many thanks to Eroica California, Giro and all the volunteers for making the day so memorable!
The time has come for Eroica California and at our rental house in Paso Robles, everyone’s bikes have been getting the final tune ups required for either the 60 mile party loop or the heroic 123 mile route. This one beauty in particular is Mark Riedy’s personal bike and it’s more modern than most of the rides you’ll be seeing in the next few days here on the site. Built with Campagnolo C-Record, this Rossin Ghibli is made from Columbus Gilco tubing with an outrageous paint job the Italian company is known for.
My personal favorite detail on the Ghibli models being the bottom bracket shell and from this bike specifically, the original Keith Haring-designed City Cycles NYC sticker from the 80’s…
Truthfully, when the Eroica California was announced, my hope was to find an older, California-made road bike. Something like an Eisentraut, or a Bruce Gordon. You know, classic American steel from the west coast. When all I could find were either in the 54cm or 64cm range, I began looking elsewhere. Which is where I came upon this frame on eBay.
I’ve always loved the Merckx Professionals, with their flat crown forks and Columbus SL tubing, yet this bike looked a bit strange. The seller claims it was from 1982 and raced at the European Championships in 1982 at Goodwood with the Belgian team. ’82… Giuseppe Saronni got first, Lemond got second and Sean Kelly, third. Sounds like a good year.
… but, that fork. I’ve never seen a sloping crown Merckx prior to 1985. Those seat stay caps point to a post-1985 bike. I’ve also never seen a single bottle cage Merckx before. The over-the-bottom-bracket-routing puts in the early 1980’s though. There’s a story there, somewhere. I just have to find it. The seller assured me it was unique and yes, custom.
It’s been a while since I’ve owned a Merckx… and the timing couldn’t be better. Here are a few teasers from my Eroica California ride.
It’s been a year and a half since the first trailer came out. Let’s see the full length. Thanks for the heads up on this one Tracko.
One of the best new products I saw at NAHBS this year were these Enduro Bearings 24mm outboard pista cranks. You might ask why these somewhat simple looking cranks would have piqued my interest and guys like Trackosaurus Rex so much and the answer is easy: why not!?
Made in the USA, with 144bcd chainrings in the works as well, these outboard bearings and cranks will retail for approximately $800. Guess what? Road cranks are on the way! What’s old is new again, just way, way better.
In the meanwhile, follow Enduro Bearings‘ Facebook.
Photos by Andy White
Don’t ride up grades, buy upgrades.
Leave it to FYXO to deliver a clean and crispy Merckx Mondays. This Eddy Merxkx pista, is built with a panto’d Cinelli XA stem, Record components and even filtered air in the tubes! See more at FYXO.
The first ever Eroica on US soil is now open for registration. Eroica California’s route is not to be missed, with world class riding and views promising to keep you distracted from the steep, dusty climbs.
This year’s Eroica California is calling Paso Robles home, with a festival bringing in vendors, food and other attractions. New to the festival is the Concours d’Elegance. An event that showcases the best vintage road racing bicycles owned by collectors.
Eroica California takes place on April 10th – 12th in Paso Robles, California. Entry is $150 per rider, with a percentage going to the Hospice of SLO County. There are three routes, all varying in skill level and difficulty, with the 123 mile route being the heroic choice…
Registration is open and is limited to 1000 spots at Eroica California, so head over now!