Monday, October 30, 2006

Trail Work at the Frederick Watershed

Yesterday some of us at The Bicycle Escape (Mike, Danielle, and I) worked with the fine folks at MORE to do some trail maintenance at the Frederick Watershed. The day was great. We installed some water bars to redirect the flow of water and preserve the trails for the years to come. If you missed this go-around but would like to help out meet next Sunday at Greenbrier 9:30am. Thanks to all who participated and the organizers.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bicycle Fittings


As I alluded to in my last entry the colder months cause forward-thinking athletes to schedule a professional bicycle fitting in preparation for next season. If one is considering the purchase of a custom bicycle this works out great because they are sure to have their new bike well before the trees are green again. I enjoy this period of the season. During the bicycle fitting session (which typically takes 2-3 hours) I have time to meet each client on a more personal level and make sure they get exactly what the want. One of my clients was ahead of the curve and just received his custom Independent Fabrication Crown Jewel. I found his finish selection to be extremely beautiful and I wanted to share it with blog readers everywhere. The steel fork and panel paint job give this Crown Jewel a classic elegance. With each custom bike I sell I have to suppress my urge to order myself another one… that is until next season! Check out more pictures on our photo site.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Victory at 52.7

Well the leaves are now colorful and there is a nip in the air. Personally the changing of the seasons is also marked by an increase in sales of bike trainers, lights, cold weather apparel, and an increase in bicycle fittings. There is a special sub-season for me (and by default Danielle) of which you may not be aware. This is the period between the blistering heat and the freezing cold I call the period of bliss. This is the phase when we run neither the A/C nor the heat. Each season I have a personal goal of holding out longer than the previous year. The colder it gets the greater my personal sense of achievement. Last night the temperature dropped to 52.7 degrees… inside my house. I am reminded each year that Danielle does not get as big a kick out of this game as I. However, she is a trooper and is still hanging tough. As I flip through my catalogs to pick out a new wool jersey I can’t help but wonder how much longer I can last. Or more accurately how much longer I can play the game and still keep the peace at home.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Date at Black Hills

This past Sunday, Tom and I went on a little "date ride" to Black Hill Regional Park in Boyds, MD (near Germantown). Neither of us had ever biked these trails before so we thought it would be fun to explore the area and take some snazzy photos for the website.

Its was truely a beautiful October day. The park was filled with families and the trails were dry and quiet. The Black Hill Regional Park trails are a mixture of surfaces ranging from paved and hard natural to rocky and rolling.

The posted picture was taken at the boat dock area right after I lost our trail map. No problem though, we followed the road until we came to a trail entrance and continued on.

Afterwards we stopped by a place in Germantown called Jaspers where we loaded up on fried shrimp and mashed potatoes - yum...

It was a good day with the old man :)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Original Shop Bike

Shop Bike 4

Many of you have seen the single-speed project bike that had the honor of being our first blog entry, but few of you have seen our original shop bike. This is the skinny-tired single speed that is used to navigate the shopping center to retrieve food, make change, and run other errands. The history of this frame is special to me. It was traded to me from a former co-worker/bike mechanic and friend. Before that the bike was traded to him in the same manner. The bike has seen many reincarnations as a multi-speed, single-speed, and fixed gear bike. It has belonged to at least three different shop employees in at least three different bike shops. The funny thing about bikes like this is that they get as much if not more attention then the super “Gucci” new bikes displayed around the shop. I have to agree these old project bikes are neat- especially when they have passed through the hands of good friends.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Road Trip

Just wanted to make a quick entry before I head out for a weekend of mountain biking at Douthat State Park in Virginia. The trails in the park are supposed to be incredible! I setup a mobile blog as a little experiment. Pictures will be sent directly from my camera-phone to My Mobile Blog. Essentially, it will be a live photo feed of the happenings. No text will be added to the photos until I return from the trip. Have a good weekend everyone........

Update: 10/15/2006

OK, so the mobile blogging thing didn't work out exactly as I had hoped. Turns out Douthat State Park is located in a valley and has absolutely no cell phone service. Maybe I'll have better luck next time. ;)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Spot Bash Guard

Spot Bash Gaurd

The Guys and Gals at The Bicycle Escape are quite fond of running a bash guard in place of the big ring on our mountain bikes. Recently we documented one of the installations (on Danielle’s bike). The benefits of a bash guard are: increased clearance, a tighter chain, and protection for your chain and rings.

After the installation Danielle increased her clearance by 34mm (about 1 3/8” for the metrically challenged). Since the big ring was removed we were able to take 3 links from the chain and still accommodate the two largest rings. Because she used a light weight Spot Brand bash guard, the weight of the bike was almost unaffected by this modification (she saved .04 lbs).

Riding at Gambrill and the Frederick Watershed (our usual stomping ground) we do not find the big ring necessary. If you are considering installing a bash guard on your bike first determine if you ever use your big ring. This modification is not for everyone. However, if your big ring causes you to sin (or stumble) cut it off!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Industry Nine

Industry Nine Rear

The other day Industry Nine wheels landed in Frederick, MD. We were very excited about this arrival. Industry Nine makes premium mountain (and soon road bike) wheels with some unique characteristics and lots of options. Their proprietary spoke/nipple combination threads into their beautifully machined hub. I chose black spokes with a red hub but lots of options are available. You can also select your favorite rim to further customize the wheel. Our set tipped the scale at a light-weight 1670 grams. The hub is butter smooth and the six pawl freehub engages almost instantly. Industry Nine has options for the single speed and 29er crowed too. Now I have to find a way to justify a pair for myself, even though I just laced up a set of Chris King hubs.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Follow Your Dream

Independent Fabrication... Living the Dream!!

I just found this video and wanted to share it with our readers. It shows our friends at IF crafting beautiful and functional machines. This crew has made a lot of sacrifices to bring you and I the finest bicycle frames in existence. They truly are living the dream.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Ultra Salute?

Bicycling Mag.

Well folks we’ve made it! A beer manufacture has labeled us one of America’s Best Bike Shops. We were listed in this month’s edition of Bicycling Magazine along with 20 other shops. The criteria the manufacture used to establish this list is unknown. Just in case this is a ploy to get me to Blog about their beer I will not mention the company by name. However, if you are curious flip to page 59 of the November edition of Bicycling.