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!