#Vermont

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Roads Less Traveled: Rasputitsa

You learn something new every day. I did not know what Rasputista is until this video. “Rasputitsa is a season when travel on unpaved roads becomes difficult, owing to muddy conditions, either from autumnal rains or spring thaw. It also refers to the condition of the roads, during those seasons.” What an ideal name for a dirt road race like the Rasputista Spring Classic.

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Irreverent Road Ride

The IRR is in its third year and let me just say, out of all the organized dirt rides I missed this year, I’m most bummed about this one. Why? Just watch the video…

Cycles d’Autremont Porteur

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Cycles d’Autremont Porteur

The tale of Hubert d’Autremont is an interesting one, but that story will be told another day. Instead, I’ll start the coverage of this unique craftsman off with the bike that he rides the most, this Cycles d’Autremont porteur.

I don’t know why, but I really love the aesthetic of porteurs, especially when they’re owned by a builder. A road bike, mountain bike or randonneur all have very specific uses, but a porteur implies a certain utilitarian aesthetic. Grocery getter, errand runner, bar bike and even quick morning mountain jaunts. A well-rounded bike like this is bound to log more miles than the other arrows in the quiver.

Burlington, Vermont isn’t exactly SoCal, and inclement weather is no stranger in the Green Mountain state, so a fully-fendered bike with integrated lighting quickly becomes an essential tool in these parts. Elegant but rugged, Hubert’s own porteur is exactly that. Like any detail-oriented (i.e. obsessive) artist tends to create, this piece of work just appears effortless… See for yourself in the Gallery!

Because of You I Could Ride For a Cure

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Because of You I Could Ride For a Cure

A little while back, I made a post, asking for your help in raising money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. All it took was one post and I raised over $2,000 USD for JDRF. I cannot thank you enough for the support.

Then, last Saturday, I spent the day at the JDRF Ride for a Cure in Burlington, Vermont with my mom and my younger brother who has type 1 diabetes, Mike. The morning was cool with a slight breeze and as we rolled into the start of the ride, we quickly saw how large the group would be. Now, I can’t say that I enjoy charity rides but I’ll take any chance I can get to ride with my family.

About 300 participants lined up and set off for a 100 mile ride with 4,500′ of climbing. Now, let me preface this by saying that neither my mom, or my brother have ever done a century, so one with that much climbing was going to be a challenge for both of them. Hell, I don’t think my mom has ever climbed 200′ of elevation before, she lives at the beach!

For most of the ride, it was just my brother and me riding the rolling hills outside Burlington. Check out more narrated photos in the Gallery!

Until Next Time Vermont

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Until Next Time Vermont

I’ve had a blast visiting Vermont. My mornings were spent on the gravel country roads before spending almost all of my free time with family. I did however manage to sneak away for an hour or so to visit Huburt at Cycles d’Autremont for a Shop Visit and to shoot one of his bikes.

You never know what to expect when meeting a builder for the first time, on their turf but Huburt is so easy going that we got to shooting the shit (and photos) easily. I really admire his frames and his attention to detail, which he takes very seriously. I.e. he hand fabricates, carves, thins and finishes all his lugs.

More on Cycles d’Autremont later, once my film is developed!

Lauren and I are heading to NYC today. It’s been too long…

I’m in Vermont

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I’m in Vermont

My childhood winters and summers were spent on the Canadian border in Vermont. To this day, a majority of my dad’s side of the family lives in the Green Mountains and their foothills (Vermont actually translates to green mountain in French).

After a 17 hour drive yesterday, my mom, Lauren and I arrived at my aunt’s house. She lives on the top a hill that as we were driving up it last night, all I could think about was bombing down it and consequently riding back up on my Geekhouse Mudville.

This morning, like an excited kid on Christmas, I kitted up and headed down to the main road before turning around and climbing back up. My plan was to do it four times, but neighboring hunting dogs kept me from more than two intervals.

These country roads are amazing. Most of which are closed during the winter months and are straight out of an “epic” ride video. Even though I’ve only got two days up here in the mountains, I’m planning on sneaking a ride in tomorrow morning before heading to Burlington on Friday for the JDRF ride with my mom and brother.

Remarkably, I’ve got wifi in the middle of nowhere, so I’ll do my best to update the site as events warrant.

As a side-note: I’m really digging the RX100!

I Can’t Wait to Check out Cycles d’Autremont

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I Can’t Wait to Check out Cycles d’Autremont

There are few builders out there who have mastered the art of documenting their process. Need examples? Click on the Frame Builders tag… Cycles d’Autremont is one of those builders and while there isn’t a whole lot from this Burlington, Vermont craftsman on the site, I hope to swing by their shop when I’m in Burlington for the JDRF ride in July.

It doesn’t take much to sell a client on your product. A few photos of your work environment, some macro shots of your in-process lugs, or even a full-blown phototorial on why you prefer to make and modify your own lugs can do wonders for your client base.

If you flip through Cycles d’Autremont’s Flickr, you’ll find everything from a clean cross bike, to a rigid MTB fresh from paint, to a porteur to a dirty cross bike. With all this eye candy, it’s still hard for me to not fixate on their killer headbadge.

Hell, I don’t even think my shop visit photos would come close to Hubert’s own! We’ll see I suppose…

Burlington Vermont’s Cycles d’Autremont

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Burlington Vermont’s Cycles d’Autremont

Finally! Burlington, Vermont’s Cycles d’Autremont has a website that is more than worthy of your visit. Hubert Horacio’s work is extremely classy and I’ve taken a liking to the Sportif daily rider. You’ll have to see more for yourself over at Cycles d’Autremont. The navigation takes a little getting used to but it’s worth a poke around. I’ll be in Vermont later this summer and will definitely be stopping by for a Shop Visit.