Thursday, December 16, 2010

deer boy

S. Carey, formerly known as the drummer for Bon Iver, has a newish album out titled All We Grow.  He recently made a video here in the 612 with the help of MPLS.TV  My friend Dajana was involved in the project and did the awesome title art for the shoot.
Deer Boy is available here .

Behind the scenes of City of Music: S. Carey from MPLS.TV on Vimeo.

Friday, December 3, 2010

nice nite for a ride

I had that jug of Montana beer that needed to be delivered to the Angry Catfish bike shop so that I wouldn't drink it all by myself, and I sold my car yesterday, which meant I got to ride over in a nice snowfall.  I haven't prepped any of the bikes for winter specific riding yet, and as there was an icy base due to a recent storm, I decided the Retrotec 29er was best suited to the task without taking time for a tire change.  It was beautiful out, at least by Minnesota winter standards:  A light snowfall with temps in the mid 20s.
The beer got drank, a Mukluk got sold, fried cheesecurds were consumed, inappropriate comments were made.  Time to ride home.
In the few hours I was in the shop we must of gotten two more inches of snow and it was the dry, icy kind that rear wheel drive cars and bikes don't do so well in.  I managed the ten measley miles home, without traction control or studded tires, though it felt like 20 miles, uphill the whole way.  It turns out constantly focusing on trying not to fall over was a hell of an upper body work out too.  
I'm home now, a twenty mile commute turned into a work out, it feels good.  Hot cider time.   I think I'll wait 'til tomorrow to put the studded tires on.


The winner of the unofficial Ciclofish Montana Beer Tour is Blacksmith Brewing Company's "P.D." pale ale.  A very close second had to be Kettle House's Double Haul, which may have won, but I drank so much of it in those 2 weeks I don't think I could taste it anymore.  BTW, the "P.D." stands for Panty Dropper.  


this is a wonderful poster design created for the artenbru poster and beer show in St. Paul, MN.  Available here.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

the murray

If you're ever looking for a place to call base camp on that epic fishing trip, or just heading across the top of the U.S. and need a town to crash in for the night, try to make it Livingston, MT.  At least for one night. 
There are many things to like about Livingston.  Of course, the Yellowstone river is right up there, as well as the world class spring creek fishing (even though you have to pay to fish on them).  There are, however, some great little rivers in the area that pour into the Yellowstone, and aren't solely private access (that's the only hint you get from me).
Fishing aside, the best reason to stay in Livingston is the Murray Hotel.  You will not get a better night's rest in a cooler hotel for under $80 a night, and as if walking into the stag-head infested parlour isn't enough to woo you, the Stockman Bar with your choice of a bloody prime-rib steak dinner or the world's best bacon cheeseburger is stumble-back-to-your-room-in-a-drunken-stuper close by.  As an added bonus:  Dan Bailey's fly shop is next door to the hotel and you're only a 50 mile drive from the north entrance to Yellowstone Park in Gardiner.  Go get yer grizz on!        

is your name sally?

 I was just reminded of these ads.  They are awesome.  Watch them.

Monday, November 22, 2010

freeman transport

What do you do when you've driven 1200 miles to Missoula, Montana to fish but it's 15 degrees, snowing, and the winds are blowing 20 miles per hour?  Well, if you're heartier than me, you fish.  Me, I go visit the Freeman Transport office/showroom to interupt Benjamin's day while I get in some serious bicycle goods lust.
Freeman Transport is a small bicycle company that offices out of a back alley right in the heart of downtown Missoula, MT (as well as Minneapoils, MN) and they are cranking out a very few, very deliberate designs starting with one of the most inspired bicycles I've ever seen:  The Gravel Racer, with a shot-gun-blued finish and copper plated fork.  The bike breaks down into pieces that fit into a custom designed travel bag that gives the best luggage made a run for it's money.  They also dabble in American-made cycling accessories that take root more in heritage outerwear and leathergoods than the cycling industry, notable are their saddle bag and toe straps.  Most recently they have been building some gorgeous speed demons for the road and track with nearly vertical geometry and brilliant matte-finish paint schemes.  All their bikes are hand-made in the U.S.A., just like their accessories,  just like they should be.
Special thanks to Ben for graciously spending too much of his morning with me and showing off all kinds of cool stuff before I even had a chance to lift my jaw and ask about it.  INSPIRED.

get miles...

 If you're ever road tripping out hwy94 way and get forced to pull off the road for the night because of a shit-ton of snow and sideways wind, I really hope, for your sake,  that it's not in Miles City, Montana.  Montana is truly awesome, I could spend a whole lot more of my life there than I do now, just as long as it's not in Miles City.  
Look for some Montana Awesomeness here real soon...

Saturday, November 13, 2010


It's been a mild season for cyclocross racing in Minnesota this year with above average temps and a lack of precipitation.  The racers weren't complaining.  Last night, as I and many of Minneapolis' cyclists were leaving the One On One Bicycle Studio party for the Minneapolis Presents Calendar,  the darkness greeted us with icy pellets.  By the time today's racers rolled out of bed this morning there was about half a foot of fresh, wet powder on the ground.  It made for an appropriate end to this year's Minnesota CX season.  Pictures here

Friday, November 5, 2010

dual suspension

 I stopped by One On One Bicycle Studio today for a coffee and I got to see a 1904 dual suspension bicycle.  I don't know much about it, but I took a few pix.  Of special note is the early art deco bi-plane fork with two flat, flexible blades on each side to offer some give.  The bolt-hinged lower seat stays with the piston shock atop the wishbone is pretty cool too, very similar to some current designs; the Moots YBB comes to mind.  Did you happen to notice the chain? Exactly!  The brass headbadge is loaded with patent info, and reminds me of the retro badging that we saw on Jordan Hufnagel's bikes at the Oregon Handbuilt show.  Everything's been done before...

Monday, October 25, 2010


The Fall Tweed Ride took place in Minneapolis on Saturday night and, despite the impending rain in the forecast, about 40 dapperly dressed folks showed up on an array of bicycles, many vintage, some "ridewhatchugot". After a meet and greet/photo op at Kenwood Park, all donned their rides and headed southeast through Minneapolis to enjoy nostalgic camaraderie (and apparently inebriation, as it seemed that every tweed jacket came equipped with a flask) from the vantage point of two wheels.  The last of the group ended the night wringing out their woolens by the fire, as a downpour finally caught up to the group just as the pubs were sweeping everyone out the door for the evening.  Thanks to Carly Schoen for making this event happen, see you next fall!  pictures here

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday, October 15, 2010

r l winston

The other day I visited the R. L. Winston Rod Company, which is situated about a hundred yards from the Beaverhead River in Twin Bridges, Montana.  I drove about two hours out of my way to find that it's an incredibly underwhelming facility to visit, matched in underwhelmingness only by the town of Twin Bridges itself.   It's one of those towns that, after way too many hours of windshield time, you'd drive right thru without even knowing it, if not for the the speed limit changing from 70 to 35 for the quarter mile long main street.
I've been fishing Winston rods since 1999 and find them to be the best in how they perform, as well as in their aesthetics.  When fly rod shopping, the shop employee will take you out to the parking lot where you can test cast the rods, he'll talk to you about rod "action", "tight loops" and "accurate presentation".  What you don't experience when casting in the parking lot is how the rod feels when a 16" trout strikes your size 20 trico spinner and you set the hook only to have your 7x tippet snap, as the trout heads for deep cover with a hook dangling from the side of it's lip.  You're left standing in three feet of cold water cursing under your breath (because he who swears, shall catch no fish), having spent the last 30 minutes in that spot trying to outwit the beast.  Anyway, the "soft tip" of Winston's rods won me over a long time ago.
If you're ever in Montana, do yourself a favor and skip the R. L. Winston factory tour, spend an extra hour on the river instead.  Check them out here though, and go see them the next time you pass a good fly shop.  Even if you don't fish, I guarantee it'll be an interesting experience.

el mac

he's just fucking awesome, view his blog here

The Humble and Sublime: recent works by EL MAC from ELMAC on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

artcrank pdx

The second annual Artcrank Portland was October 7, and the Angry Catfish and I were there for it along with the Portland bike community.  It took place at the Cleaners, a former dry cleaner on the corner in the Ace hotel building.  The Ace left the old dry cleaning sign up and now uses the space for shows.  Clad in windows along both sides,  it was obviously the place to be on Thursday as passers by saw Portlandians (I'm sure that's wrong, but it sounds so right to me) shoulder to shoulder inside trying not to spill their pints as they made their way through the show. Only in it's second year, it's not the epic event that the original Minneapolis Artcrank has become, but knowing Charles, it will soon be forced to move to a larger location to accommodate the crowds.  I met a lot of cool people and ran into a few of 612's ex-pats, as well as some PDX local cycle-celebs, you can see more photos from Artcrank here

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


if you haven't seen the new jeremy
messersmith video for tatooine, then watch it now.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hufnagel at the Oregon Bicycle Show

I went to the Oregon handmade Bicycle Show pre-party last nite, and the show this morning.  I got to see some of my favorite builders from the Portland area including Jordan Hufnagel, who debuted his new branding, developed with his good friend and excellent designer Caleb Everitt.   I'm looking forward to visiting Jordan's studio on Monday, hopefully I'll get some good pix to share, until then there are a few more pix of Jordan's bikes and others on my flickr page.  

Monday, October 4, 2010

morning motivation

DARK SIDE OF THE LENS from Astray Films on Vimeo.
this is the most beautiful 5 minutes you will have today.  now, go do something.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

face melting

My friends, The Four on the Floor released their new video tonite.  They fuckin rock!  So, if you like it, please make sure your friends see it.  The guy with the dotted tie in the video, yeah, that's me.  I guarantee you that's as close as I'll ever come to being a rock n' roll star.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


LightSpeed Mobile - Meet Your Customer - Sick from Xsilva on Vimeo.


Next week I'm road tripping to Portland for the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show and Artcrank.  The Angry Catfish decided to come with me, which will make the drive a bit more tolerable, and the trip way more inebriated.  Once we're done with Pdx the Angry Catfish is back to Mpls, and it's up to Seattle (just because I'm so close), then back to Montana/Wyoming for some fly fishing in Yellowstone for me.
The bug supply has been depleted for some time, having not done much of any tying to speak of in the last couple years.  I decided to sit down and try to crank out some bugs I knew I would go through out west, namely lots of small nymphs, caddis flies and blue wing olives.  If you tie flies and fish a fair amount, you realize that flies you tie have to be of a certain quality to catch the trout, then there's the added attention to detail you put into tying them that's just for yourself.  I'd say I probably spend twice the necessary amount of time on each fly because of details that the fish will never notice.  Anyway, I felt like I got back into the rhythm fairly quickly, but I forgot how fast your eyes go blurry and your shoulders tighten up.  I have to take a break after every eight flies or so to recalibrate and I need a massage and a nap after about three hours at the vise.  I think I've managed to just about complete filling the empty spaces in the fly boxes, and I look forward to posting pictures of the huge cutthroat trout that probably won't get caught in a couple weeks...

Monday, September 27, 2010

the good ol' days

Over at A Continuous Lean there's a great photo based article on the new Double RL shop in the Rhinelander Mansion.  Having spent 15 years of my life working for Ralph Lauren, this brings back some fond memories.  When most people think about Ralph Lauren they conjure embroidered logos and popped collars, as they should, but there is definitely a lot more to the brand.  Whether you consider it theatre costume or retro fashion, you have to admit the guy does his homework, and if you want the best traditional styled selvedge edge jeans around, look no further.

lusting for:

This is the first bike with any carbon tubing that I have ever desired owning.  It is the new Independent Fabrication Ti featherweight with a carbon seat tube that goes all the way to the saddle eliminating the seat post.   Link to IFblog for more info.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

let cyclocross season begin...

the official song of the best season for riding a bike, let there be rock!  HUP, HUP, HUP!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

the perfect bike

I got a new bike not that long ago.  It began by filling out the custom sizing form, taking all kinds of odd measurements that you would never use for anything else in life, determining how it would actually get ridden most and, after way too much deliberation, deciding on a color scheme.  Two months later the frame showed up.
I popped open the box at the shop.  Tingling on the inside and anxious as all hell, I slid the frame out being careful not to accidentally bang it into anything that would mar it's beauty before I actually got it put together.  Next, I started my least favorite part of building a bike:  I Put the front end together with the stem, spacers and cable hanger, being careful not to forget anything.  I marked the steer tube with an awl and then took it all apart so I could cut the steer tube to the correct height.  Once that was finished I took it home.
At home I slid in a seatpost, clamped it in the stand and got to work:  The first thing would be to rub a nice thick film of carnuba based car wax onto the paint to give it that extra layer of protection from nicks in the finish, and to help it shed dirt and rain.  I know, way too obsessive/compulsive.  You're right, but it only takes a few minutes, I'd do it to my car and this bike cost more than some cars, besides, it's my bike, so fuck you.  Next step, I start installing the gruppo (that's a hint, in case you missed it).  Things are moving along nicely, I've gotten past my second least favorite thing about building a bike; making sure the brake levers are at EXACTLY the same height on the bars.  I learn, as I go, the nuances of installing Campagnolo 11 speed:  10mm allen extension for the cranks, peening tool for the chain, etc...  I replace all the little metal pieces with ones made from lighter/prettier unobtainium alloys.  Note:  I'm not a weight-weenie, but I like everything to look just so, and to that end, I replace all the light duty bits with titanium bits, except for the cable ferrules and down tube adjusters, they get brass because I think it'll look awesome (that's further proof that I'm not a weight weenie).
Now the derailleurs are dialed, the titanium touring rack is installed and I am ready to ride my perfect new bike, except for one thing:  The perfect bike is the one that I don't own yet.
It's true, I mean I really love my new bike, but it's mine now and I'm already thinking about the next bike:  Will it be lugged, or maybe fillet-brazed?  Internal cable routing?  single speed?  rack mounts?   drop bar or moustache?  Pump peg?  American or Italian?  And then, I still have to figure out the color scheme...  more pix

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I'm just too American

Rapha was nice enough to ship a few new Fall/Winter 2010 product samples into the Angry Catfish for us to use in the Style Derby fashion show.  As always, the Rapha stuff really gets me excited and there were a couple pieces in particular that caught my eye.  I snapped a few photos, although there are far better images over at the Rapha site.
Though I tend to be a fan of their more typical cycling wear and merino pieces, if you're into really stylish clothing designed to be at it's best on the bike, it's hard to argue against the Tweed Softshell.  The fabrics used are top notch with a great mix of heritage and technology:  There's quilted suede trim at the shoulder to protect the tweed against pilling from bag strap wear, and cleverly placed zip-pockets for your stash (whatever that may be).  For $700, I think I'd rather buy a tweed sportcoat from Ralph Lauren with a wind-tab at the neck and suede elbows.  I'd wear it on the bike, and look better off the bike than I would in the former.  To each their own, but I must say:  If you think it looks good on their site, you will not be disappointed when it shows up in your mailbox.

Jeans:  This is some Euro shit here.  I am a pretty big denim fan and I just could not get behind Rapha on these jeans.  Of course, when I think of jeans, I think of industrial workers, in British brogues, not discoteques and Italian loafers.  With optic pink taping where the selvedge edge is supposed to be and flat black studs a la Porsche Design where the copper rivets go, these jeans and I do not get along.  The fact is, if I'm wearing jeans when I ride a bike, I'll be spending most of my time off the bike and this is not how I want to look when I'm hanging out around town.  If, however, your current favorite pair of jeans are Rock & Republic or Versace, These are a definite upgrade.  I'll stick to Levi's and RRL.  Sorry, Rapha.  BTW:  What's with the white belt loop?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Behind the scenes at the Style Derby

Last night was the first (hopefully annual) Style Derby (see fashion show on bicycles) in Minneapolis, featuring fashion designs from friends Carly Schoen, Tim&Thom, and Danielle Everine, as well as off the peg clothing from Twin Six and Rapha.  Though I stayed too busy cat herding to truly enjoy the show, I did manage to get in a little derby'n afterwards.  Oh, I got a few behind the scenes pictures for you on my flickr page.  Super kudos to Darci Alexis for dreamin this thing up!