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...