Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sea Otter Classic 2010

I hadn't planned on attending Sea Otter this year, just like I hadn't planned on attending Coachella due to the $300+ single-day tickets on Craigslist.  Although the (2) VIP tickets for $1000 were tempting (kidding). Besides, Al and I weren't racing the Mandem this year, so what's the point?

My weekly SmarterTravel email subscription then alerted me to a $95 round-trip special from L.A. to Monterey.  How could I pass that up?  Bought the ticket,  booked a taxi and packed a knapsack.

The rigid singlespeed equivalent of air travel.  You feel every bump, get tossed around and are pretty stoked you made it when its over.

Travel Tip #8: A name tag on your clothing that doesn't match your ID will result in "interest" from the TSA folks. Twice.

I arrived in Monterey without a lift to the venue, so I asked the only guy I saw carrying a bike helmet if he wanted to share a cab to Sea Otter.  He replied that he already had a ride lined up, but I was welcome to join. Nice!  We waited outside for a minute until a Team GT dually pulled up.  Turns out he rides for GT. Turns out Pro Downhill. Turns out my ride is with Eric Carter.


We pulled right in to the GT booth in the pits and I wished him luck and hit the venue.  The weather was amazing this year; warm temps, no wind, no flash floods.

Then I spread out a map of the venue, got my camera gear in order, prioritized my list of vendors to see and got down to business.  First stop, Bike Mag.

Next stop: MTBR.com

Ran into my friend Cooper aka "flask-hog".

Porta-Potty Still Life

Oh right - the bike stuff.  File these two under "Things I Can't Do":

File these under Neat Bike Stuff:

Titanium Salsa La Cruz CX in the pipeline

Serotta partnering with Catlike helmets to bring them to US by summer.

Custom molded road shoes by Riivo

Crank Bros "Candy" pedal cages go alloy. Hot.

More hot from Crank Bros with their solid, clampless stems.

Custom fab'd Di2 shifter on a sub-16 pound Cannondale MTB.

This can't be good.

Sexy Niner carbon singlespeed.

Continental 2.4" Trail King, coming soon in 29er.  Beefy.

Amazing leather shoes from Dromarti.  The "Sportivo" model is SPD compatible!

Martin of Dromarti models the new black "Race" model. Look compatible and badass.

Can't have nice shoes without nice socks.

In closing -

Sunday, April 11, 2010

2010 San Diego Custom Bicycle Show

Brought to you by framebuilders Dave Ybarrola, Chuck Schlesinger and Brian Baylis, the 2nd annual San Diego Custom Bicycle Show took place this weekend.  Approximately 60 vendors set up their creations for the public to stroke, photograph, scrutinize and fingernail-tap.

Five of us piled into the wagon and carpooled south from Los Angeles, saving the planet in the process.

Having attended the now 5 year old NAHBS, the San Diego show is obviously much smaller, but was actually originally only supposed to be the 5 or 6 local San Diego builders taking over an art gallery type of space for a weekend.  The show has become much more than that since the original concept, now with builders such as Stephen Bilenky flying out from Philadelphia, PA to exhibit. The amount of talent in one room was a sight to behold.

With tons of show coverage available online from the pros at sites like Roadbikereview.com, I decided to take a different angle of show coverage.  Below are some pics from Sunday.  Click links to see more on the builders.

Stephen Bilenky

Paul Sadoff of Rock Lobster

Custom rear dropout with opener from Santa Cruz's Caletti Cycles

Bruce Gordon and his handmade ti lugs

Mauricio Rebolledo

Megan Dean of L.A.'s Moth Attack

Fred Cuthbert of Wolfhound

Mike DeSalvo


Sean Walling of Soulcraft

The San Diego show will be back in 2011 and NAHBS will be in Austin, TX. Support your local framebuilder!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Strange Days Have Found Us

Cool things at work coming from the Mad Scientist mind of metal-master Jeff Tiedeken @ downtown L.A.


Its gonna be a fun one to follow.  Not like anything I've seen, he's seen, you've seen before.

1/21/10 Update:

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Bon Iver at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery

When I saw the concert info hit the newswire, I couldn't fumble my credit card out of my wallet fast enough. Bon Iver playing a 6am sunrise show on Sunday, with doors opening the night before at midnight. In a cemetery.

Concert-goers were welcome to come and camp on the cemetery lawn (not on grave sites) with food & drink and stay up with the various media provided; Planet Earth video loops, background DJ music and a screening of the film Bottle Rocket at 2am. All for $25.

I packed the Xtracycle full of pillows, blankets, fleece, a thermos full of hot coffee and a bottle of Kahlua. We claimed our spot in front of the sound techs for a dead-center view and unpacked our take-out dinner at 1:00am.

Planet Earth

The coffee helped as the fog settled in and dew began to coat everything with moisture. About halfway through the film, somewhere around 3am I passed out, surrounded by strangers.

mid-night coffee stand

Bedtime views

At around 5:30am I woke up to an unfamiliar sound.  They had brought in a group of Buddhist monks to chant a prayer for the living (us) and for the non (everyone else).  What a bizarre, fantastic way to enter the day.

Justin aka Bon Iver took the stage at 6 as billed. Still dark out. He eased into his set with a mellow tune or two but the mellowness didn't last long. He then tore into the rest of his set list at full-amp with his 3 bandmates.  Electric guitars ripping, drums pounded. Wake up neighbors! Awesome.

Kicking things off

Later, Justin on keys

Touring mates Megafaun came and sat in on a little bluegrass number called "Ease your worried mind"

Standing O

Haulin' bodies

I'll end with footage of the band doing the first song at dark-thirty - "Flume" (dig the fog!)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

ThinkCooper Gathering '09 - Santa Cruz, CA

I survived my 2nd annual visit to the ThinkCooper/Lounge Gathering and Pyro Ride in Santa Cruz, a scant 5.5 hr. journey north of L.A. and worth every morsel of roadside salty snack food and taurine-boosted energy drink the 4 of us can find along the way.

I have reserved Space #3a on the Cooper living room floor for sleeping purposes. I have my road bike, fireproof topical gel, beer from Belgium, and requisite duffel bag full of my signature attire. Weekend is go!

Out for a little coastal spin with 20 of my closest bike-forum-screen-name-people I've never met-friends. (click on pics = big)

Rolling out

Heading inland into the redwoods

Back home and changed into proper party-wear with our host.

Let the games begin!

Cooper admires one of his creations

"Need a light?"

Alcohol and Fire go well together

Shit's getting serious now. Westvleteren 12 from my luggage stash returning from Belgique


JB documents Mrs. Cooper's burning ring of fire

Getting flamed

Mrs. Coop & Eddy


Sunday welcomes a mellow brunch cruise down the street to the always excellent Harbor Cafe.

My posse's getting big and my posse's getting bigger.

Until next year....Happy trails