Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Dig Riding in the Snow

Let's face it - around here you will be very miserable for a few months if you do not embrace winter.  That means finding ways to get outdoors as much as possible.  More folks are riding fat bikes these days, but they are still best suited for groomed trails or packed snow.  Sheer ice and varied conditions still demand studded snow tires.

I am running 700x38 Schwalbe Winter Marathon tires with 240 carbide-tipped studs per tire on the Superfly.  These hook-up well in snow up to 3" and on compact snow and ice.  Today the roads became worse the closer I rode to the south hill.  The tires are great until hitting uneven tire ruts or severe side slope where they want to drift a bit as they are pushed laterally.  The other issue is that of hills and curve where cars ooze on the inside shoulder and you have to transition between the soft stuff and the tire ruts and then back.  That is a challenge for any studded bike tire.

57th Avenue was nothing but ice and I had better traction for moving than most of the 4x4 rigs rolling by me.  The best conditions for this setup is frost on pavement, unpacked snow or ice with no more than moderate side slope - everything else requires some finesse.  Good studded tires are not cheap, but they do represent a good value in that they will last 5 or more years with proper care.

Finally, despite how controlled you and the bike are, cars seem to be ill prepared for winter driving and encountering a bike on snow and ice. So if you do ride on winter roads be very aware of your surroundings.

Drivers seem genuinely perplexed on how best to negotiate a bike on the winter roads.  Today, the majority slowed and moved over more than normal - others were unsure whether to pass or stay back and then passing at awkward times.  This was fairly early on a Sunday morning where drivers appeared to be slightly more patient.

It looks like we are going into a pretty snowy weather pattern so I may need to transition inside for a while.  Today was a chance to stave-off the trainer a little longer and hone some skills for when I am sick of the trainer and savor riding outside again.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Update on Browne's Addition Bike Thefts

As we posted in Despicable Thieves Never Take A Holiday, several bikes were stolen from Steve's on Cannon Street on Friday.  Unfortunately the report of 3 bikes stolen was lower than the 5 actually stolen.

Here are the bikes/frames to watch for:

White BMC 57cm Race Machine
Silver BMC Urban Challenge
Black/Red/White Lapierre 46 cm Sensium Frame
Steel Raleigh 16" XXIX+G

The MASI reported stolen is hopefully recovered.

If you suspect you have located any of the above, please call Steve's at 747-5220

Thanks for your help.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Despicable Thieves Never Take A Holiday

We received a disturbing call at the shop yesterday from a concerned apartment manager wanting to do the right thing with a new bicycle she found in a shrub on her property.   I did not recognize the name of the apartment complex so I looked nervously around our showroom for a conspicuously empty spot. I saw none as she spelled the make of the mystery bike to me - "M - A - S - I".

I felt a guilty sense of relief upon hearing it was not a TREK and then worried about from where it may have come.  The complex is located in Browne's Addition so I had a hunch of the potential source but had not heard of any recent thefts. Usually if a bike is stolen the bike shops hear about it from the dealer experiencing the loss, but had not yet received such a call.  We have both made and received that call in the past and the voice on the other end is always sympathetic and disgusted but offering little hope of recovery.

I got the name and number of the good Samaritan and started making calls to some other shops open at the time.  None reported any bikes I thought I would wait a bit to see if a call came in from another shop.

Unfortunately the call came from Steve's on Cannon Street.  He reported being contacted by SPD at 4:30 am at his residence - which is a particularly inhumane way of starting your day.  They were reporting a break-in through the front window of his shop where 3 bikes were stolen. Been there done that - we know that sick, kicked-in-the-gut feeling when you get that phone call.  You never forget the crunching sound of walking on broken glass while surveying the damage with police radios chirping in the background.

As  a shop owner, you feel sympathy for the other shop because we all have been victimized by property crimes. A natural disaster is more damaging in terms of property but can be reconciled intellectually as an act of living in a natural world.  Theft is a deliberate human act with complete disregard for civility, morality and the families who depend on the business for a living - this is personal and cannot be reconciled intellectually. Anger is the other emotion - for the same reason.  Even with insurance the financial, emotional, energy and business costs are all too real and significant.

It sounds like two of the 3 bikes are still at-large thanks to the good Samaritan. Please be on the lookout as you are out and about for a shiny bike with a not-so-shiny rider or craigslist.  We will provide an update as soon as we have the exact make and model of the other two bikes.  Thanks for your help.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Over the River and Through the Wood

If you are like most people the holidays come with traditions - something to look forward to that is special to you or your family.  Thanksgiving brings two to mind for me - first is the over eating and second is a bike ride outside.  The two go hand in hand because if I can get a good ride in before gorging myself it helps alleviate some guilt about gorging myself.

If I am really fortunate, I can ride to the Thanksgiving feast -today was such a day.  We were going to have dinner at my dad and stepmother's house and the weather was clear and low 40s.  Nice given the storms we have had the last week.

We live down by Hangman Golf Course and my folks live near Whitworth University which is about 18 miles via the most direct route.  My folks act as if we live on the dark side of the moon when it comes to driving to our house. But 18 miles is too short and not very scenic for tradition so I have discovered the long-way so I can get more riding and eating in the same day.  My wife and kids come up by car with my clothes so I leave about an hour earlier than they do.

The route involves riding up Hwy 195, over to Government Way, through Riverside State Park to 9 Mile Dam, to Rutter Parkway, then along the Little Spokane River, to Waikiki then south to my folks for a total distance of 32 miles.  Today was perfect for a ride with clear sky and light wind.  As I rode I could not help but think of the the Thanksgiving (not Christmas) song "Over the River and Through the Wood" by Lydia Maria Child though she did it in a horse-drawn carriage and not a Trek Madone with Dura Ace Di2.

My Carriage

Truth be known, my song went more like: Through the Wood, Over the Creek, Up the Highway, Through the Wood, Along the River, Over the River and Along the Little River to Grandfather's House I Go - but that doesn't make a very good refrain in a song.

Through more wood

7 Mile Bridge

From the Bridge at Deep Creek

9 Mile Reservoir 

9 Mile Dam (Over the River)

Grandfather's House
Upon arriving, I was greeted by wonderful smells, my boys grazing in front of a football game and my dad opening a growler of an IPA he was very enthusiastic about - now that is what I call a tradition. Oh and yes there was pumpkin pie.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Spokane and Spokesman Review Stopped By

Tuesday was our first day of business at our new home in the South Perry District.  As you can imagine, it was a day filled with both energy and relief at being able to open our doors to customers again.  Bruce and I cannot thank the employees and volunteers who helped make the move possible enough.

The owner of Spokane Southie Blog and Pia Hallenberg of the SR stopped by to check-out the new digs.
Spokane Southie is a blog about happenings on the South Hill whether they be community or business related and a good way to keep up to date on the area.

Pia  Hallenberg lived just a few blocks south on Perry Street for years and still has an interest in and a historical perspective on the area.  She does a great job on covering community related stories throughout the Spokane area.

We appreciated their taking the time to stop by and do the following write-ups:

Spokane Southie

Spokesman Review

Also a shout-out to fellow cyclist Dan Pelle, for his time and photography for the SR.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

We are OPEN at 817 S Perry St!

Thanks again to everyone for their help and patience during our move this weekend.  We are offically open for business and working-out a few kinks.  The main focus was on getting the retail area set-up and all of the employees and volunteers did a great job.

Here are some photos, but come down and check-out the new space in person.

Temporary Signage

Temporary Entrance

Retail Space With Temporary White Wall

More Retail


Bikes and Retail


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Move Weekend Update - Sunday PM

It has been a pretty humbling few days.  So much work to do and so many people showing up to lend a hand.  Not with just the fun stuff, but the truly hard stuff like heavy lifting and bringing all of the garbage up from the basement. We are very blessed by all of you - thank you.

Things are happening fast at our new home!  We have some fine-tuning to do tomorrow and we open our doors on Tuesday at 10am. See you then.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Moving Day

It was with mixed emotions yesterday that we boxed-up all the inventory at our 1st Ave store for the move to S Perry.  So thankful for the memories that this cool old space provided the last 3 years and very excited for the possibilities the cool new space will provide in the years to come.

Thanks to all the folks who have offered to help us with our move today and this weekend.

We are closed today - Monday. See you on Tuesday at 10 am.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Moving Week Schedule

We can't believe the week where we relocate the our bike shop from 1st Ave. to the South Perry District is finally here.  The schedule for the week is as follows:

M-Th - Normal operations from 10am - 6pm
F - Closed
S - Closed
Su - Closed
M - Closed

Open at Perry Tuesday Nov 13 - 10am!

Thank you all for your offers of help and patience during our move.

Please call before bringing any major repairs in this week to ensure we can accommodate your schedule with the move.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

No Doubt - This MOOTS is Living Room Worthy

Working in a bike shop we see a lot of things, joy, despair, hope, triumph and excitement.  Not sure who was more excited (him or us) FJ when he took delivery of his brand new Titanium Moots Mooto X mountain bike yesterday.

My wife has graciously accepted the fact that a new bike is prominently displayed for worship at the bike altar in the living room.  Some stay there for weeks where I can sit comfortably on the couch and appreciate each and every detail for hours.

If this Moots had come home with me it would probably be there long enough to serve as a Thanksgiving display and place to hang stockings for Christmas.

This bike is in a word - breathtaking.  The sweeping curves and crisp lines combined with world-class, hand-built craftmanship and finish are enough to make a person light-headed. Don't let the sophisticated good looks fool you though.  This bike will turn into a trail burning, rock-eating beast once it is unleashed.  A full-on 29er with XT 2x10 and Bontrager RXL wheels - she is going to dish-out gobs of speed and confidence inspiring handling for her new owner.

Thanks for letting us share in your excitement and very cool project.  Happy trails

Friday, November 2, 2012

Moving Sale This Saturday 10 - 5

Moving Sale - Saturday November 3, 10am - 5pm.  Time to clean out the basement so come help us out and save some serious dough!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Sale and Moving Details

75 percent logo

We are rolling to the South Perry District. After over 10 years on 1st Avenue, we are moving our bicycle shop to 817 S Perry Street on November 9, 2012. Our new home will have the same people, service and brands you have come to trust and expect from Two Wheel Transit Bicycles. It will also offer ample free parking, a more open layout and proximity to great shops, a farmers market and dining in the South Perry District.

We are planning to move over the weekend of November 9 - 12 and will be closed during that time. We are reopening at 10 am on Tuesday, November 13th. As you can imagine, we have a lot of merchandise and old parts after many years in the same location and less storage room at the future store. Here is where you can help. We are having a rummage sale on Saturday November 3rd. There will be boxes of parts, accessories and clothing offered at blow-out prices. The sale is limited to stock on-hand so come in early to avoid disappointment.

Our building owners and contractor have done a great job and have finished the interior of our shop. The exterior will not be complete on November 13th so we have a temporary entrance on the left side of storefront. We apologize for this inconvenience and will have temporary signage to direct you from the parking lot into our store.

In addition to closing over the weekend, our repair schedule will be changed during the move and setup. If you need a repair, please call us at 747-2231 so we can discuss how to keep you on your bike during this transition. 

Finally, thank you all for your support – we exist because of you. Please make a point to stop by and say hello on November 13.


Bruce, Dave, Eli, Geoff and Tom

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

We Are Moving to South Perry - November 9 - 12

You may have noticed we have not been blogging much lately - but that does not mean that nothing is going on!

It is with a grateful spirit that we are finally in a position to announce a move-in date to our future home on 817 S Perry Street.  We will be moving from Friday, November 9th until Monday, November 12th.  That means that we will be closed during those days and reopening on Tuesday, November 13th in our new home.

There will most likely still be construction underway on the exterior of the building when we reopen which means we will have a temporary entrance for a while.  We have a great staff and customer-base and both have been very helpful and flexible as we get close to our move-in date. 
We can't wait to show-off the remodled space and get to know our new neighbors.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Somewhere Around Average

Each year I attempt to ride about 5,000 miles because it is achievable, but far from easy.  I ride that much because I like to eat pretty much whatever I want and drink a pint of IPA once in awhile.  Realistically, that means hitting 4,000 miles somewhere before the end of October to have a chance at 5,000 for the year.  Otherwise the weather gets bad and the daylight too short to be able to get some long rides in to make-up missed mileage earlier in the year.  Things like travel, illness, weather, work and injuries often make mileage a challenge.

Since I began keeping record, the earliest I have hit that milestone is September 2 and the latest is December 8.  Last year was October 24 after I had switched over to cyclocross tires on my Superfly.  This year seems to be about average - occurring on Septemer 22.  Nothing heroic, just solid miles 18 - 20 at a time somewhere around 18 miles an hour if I am riding solo.

Someone popped in the shop the other day and asked if I was going to achieve 5,000 miles this year.  My reply - I don't know.  Last year was an all-out effort in December which came down to the wire.  This year is about average for those in which I hit 5,000 - we will have to see how it goes.

See you on the road.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Getting Things Updated Today

A lot of trips up and down the ladder to update the sign today, but we feel it was worth it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

News and Stuff

817 S Perry Street
Work on our future home at 817 S Perry Street continues as the builders have almost all of the sheet rock hung and covered in mud.  The next phase will include the front wall penetration providing approximately 18 feet of glass in the form of windows and 6 feet of entry doors.

We are the leftmost "Available"
This is going to be a very extensive phase given that it also involves reinforcing the remaining sections of wall to meet engineering and code requirements.  It seems that a lot of folks are interested in our move and we appreciate all the questions and comments - stay tuned for updates.

Gonzaga Cycling
We had the privilege of meeting with representatives of the Gonzaga Cycling Club yesterday and going over the details of our renewed sponsorship for 2012 - 2013.  Expect more visibility from the team as they have added a record number of new members this year.  Some of the plans year include: expanded shop rides, a joint community project, team events at the shop and a meet the team ride and bbq.

Two Wheel Transit Jersey and Kit
The new shop location of course requires a new jersey/kit.  Plan on seeing the new design and kit offering in a couple of weeks.  We will also have details on our pre-order program for those who wish to be the first on their block to wear the new kit.

2012 Inland Northwest Cyclocross Series
It is hard to believe, but the first Cyclocross race of the season is this Sunday at Riverside State Park.  This is an awesome series and a great venue so come out to race or view if you can.  The weather looks spectacular.  You will likely see some Two Wheel Transit jerseys in the different races along with quite a few Gonzaga Cycling Club.

This week's venue will also include the vendor fair so stop by our green awning and say hello.  We will have some pretty cool bikes, including Trek and Moots, plus a couple of surprises.  We are pleased to be able to support this excellent series and want to thank Emde Sports and other sponsors for their tireless efforts in organizing great cycling events.

Help Us Move and Save Some Dough
We are excited about the upcoming move in November to our new home, but not particularly thrilled about moving all of our stuff.  You can help us and save some dough in the process by checking-out our pre-moving sale. All in-stock summer clothing is 30% off and select Bontrager cycling shoes are 50% off.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

We Got Walls!

Progress continues at the future home of Two Wheel Transit at 817 S. Perry Street. 

It's hard to believe that we are less than 2 months away from a move in November.
The crew was punching holes and hanging sheetrock when these were taken.  Be sure to check back for updates and news.

Our south wall looking from the entryway

Looking through the main store area from the entryway.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thanks for Your Support!

Thanks to everyone who made it out for the final ride of the year with Two Wheel Transit from our future location at 817 S Perry Street.  We also heard from many who tried to make it but could not because of scheduling conflicts - thanks for thinking of us and we will look forward to when you can make in the future.  We had a few new faces with both Baddlands Cycling Club and GU Cycling Club rounding-out the group

It was a perfect evening for a ride and it felt really cool riding down Perry Street in a big pack of riders with the farmers market, South Perry Pizza, Title Nine, The Shop and Casper Fry all packed with people.

Thanks to Teresa, Dave and Eli for handling all of the details of food and refreshment for everyone when we returned.  The sun seemed to set a little to quickly so we had to cut the ride about 3 mile shorter than planned.  It seems we need to have a couple of rides each week or different distances at the least to ensure that more people can participate.  So stay tuned as we get all that sorted-out between now and when the rides start-up again next spring.

After pizza we had a tour of the new shop under construction and though it has a long way to go, it is progressing well for our move and opening in November - more to come on that later.

Thanks again to everyone for their support of the shop - we could not do it without you.  We will continue to give progress updates on construction and an opening date in November.

See you on the road.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

2012 Shop Ride Finale - From the South Perry District

Well, another season of Two Wheel Transit Shop rides comes to a close.  The weather this spring caused a slow start, but we were rewarded with good weather this summer and a steady group of riders. The final shop ride of 2012 is Thursday, September 6 leaving at 5:45 pm. 

This ride will have a twist in that it STARTS at 8th and South Perry and ENDS at 8th and South Perry where fresh pizza will be awaiting all who wish to ride and stay for a bite.  We will weave our way over the south hill and onto the edge of the Palouse before heading back to the starting point.  

We wont be moving to our new location at 817 S Perry Street until November, so it only seemed appropriate to host an event there this Thursday.

We like to use all the rides, including the final ride of the year to say "Thank you" to shop customers and friends for their support.

The weather looks fantastic, so we hope to have a great turn-out - See you on the road.

For those of you who just like the facts - here are the details:

What: Road Bike Ride from Two Wheel Transit’s future South Perry location to Willow Springs and S Palouse Highway and back – complementary pizza served afterward.

When: Thursday, September 6 - 5:45pm

Where: 817 S. Perry Street (under our Coming Fall 2012 Banner)

Why: We are always looking for a reason to ride and a chance to thank our customers and friends for their support

Distance: Approximately 18 miles

Pace: Recovery

Monday, August 27, 2012

Really was not Ready for this.

 Turned-out to be a beautiful ride, but 37 Fahrenheit in August at the start  - really?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Cyclocross Season Starts September 23

The cool mornings toward the end of summer always spark conversations about fall and the upcoming Cyclocross Series Sponsored by Emde Sports.  It seems hard to believe that the first race of the year is only 1 month away on September 23.  The excitement is already building and the conversations quickly turn to cyclocross bikes and their relative merits.

Many people purchase these bikes just for training and racing, but we have noted a recent trend where they are being used as the all-round adventure bike in addition to racing.  Commuting, gravel road riding, off-road riding and early/late season riding are becoming more the norm on these capable bikes.

We stock both MOOTS and Trek Cyclocross bikes and special order those from Salsa and Surly.  All have proven to be great performers in their respective categories.

The big differences lie in the frame materials where MOOTS, Trek and Salsa/Surly are made of Titanium, Aluminum and Steel, respectively.  The ride on the MOOTS Psychlo X can only be described as sublime.

 We currently have sizes ranging from 54cm to 58cm in stock.  Depending on the bike, there is still time to get a special order bike for the first race, but you better hurry as the demand for these bike is growing with the popularity of the races.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Shop Ride Tonight 5:30pm

Let's keep the strong turnout for shop ride going while the good weather lasts.  We are also beginning preparations for a Season Finale the week after Labor Day so stay tuned for details.  Hope to see you out tonight.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ride Brought to You by Foods Beginning With the Letter B

Nice morning to ride the Valley Chapel Loop before it got too hot.  I was fueled by foods that begin with B - Beer and Burgers (last night) Blueberries, Beets and Bananas this morning.

Blueberries were already gone.  Beet was simply boiled.


Preview From Trek World

Each year we head back to the Mother Ship in Waterloo, WI for the annual Trek Dealer Show and Conference.  This is where we get to view, ride and discuss the next year line-up and start deciding how to utilize it in our store for our customers.  We will have a full report soon, but here are some of the highlights as a preview.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Domane 5.9 Customer Review - "It Flies"

Jim purchased a TREK Domane 5.9 a few weeks ago and has close to 1,000 miles already.  The 5.9 is the second from the top Domane with Shimano Ultegra Di2 Electronic Shifting.  Here are some of Jim's impressions and comments about the bike.

"Wow... This bike lets you ride harder & longer at a faster constant speed then you could on a regular bike. The way the frame effectively soaks up road vibrations is just amazing.

When you are riding on a rough road it feels like your on a normal smooth road and yes, when you do ride on that smooth road it almost feels like your floating above it.

I own many bikes but this one is my new favorite one to ride. Plus it has the Ultegra Di2 system that works so well with the bike that now I'm spoiled! The shifting & brake are just so fantastic, that going back to manual shifting is a real drag...

This bike is so well thought out for almost any type of riding you can do, its just amazing bike to ride." Jim...

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

2013 Trek Domane - Smooth is Fast

Almost all folks in the shop have had a chance to take the Trek Domane (Dough, Ma, Nee) out for a spin or two.  The comments on returning range from "not enough Os in smooth" to "I gotta get me one of these."  Trek released this bike as an endurance bike that gives riders wanting a comfortable and stable ride all they asked for while sacrificing nothing in bottom bracket stiffness.

All of this is accomplished by placing an isolated pivot just forward of the seat post.  This essentially allows shock transmitted from the rear wheel to be distributed laterally through the top tube rather than vertically up the seat post into the rider's spine.  I recently had the opportunity to test the 4.5 Domane over some of the rough roads south of Spokane with good results.  This bike will take everything rider and roads can dish-out and help avoid vibration and impact fatigue.  Let's put one thing to rest once and for all - one Spokane rider claimed that the bike felt like a wet noodle - baloney.  Stand-up, sit-down, sprint or climb - this bike efficiently transfers rider power into forward motion and in a hurry - period.

Rider fatigue is a funny thing - it results from exertion and road shock transmitted through the bike.  Until the Domane, riders had to choose stiffness over comfort - no more. Military Special forces have a mantra that Slow is Smooth and Smooth is Fast that help them stay focused and avoid jerky movements under high stress combat situations.  There is nothing slow about the Domane and its smoothness definitely makes it fast.    This bike just begs for long rides and Grand Fondo events.

This photo does not do justice to the massiveness of the chain stays and bottom bracket.
A new Domane owner came in after riding the bike over 250 miles in less than a week and described how he is faster on his longer rides since he is less fatigued toward the end of the ride than his current road bike.

Domane comes in both carbon and aluminum frame versions with various component configuration to meet most budgets from the 2 series up to the 6 series under Project One.  Come in and check it out for yourself - you wont be disappointed.

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Road To Bend

For the last couple of weeks, I have been riding with 75-year-old Bryant McKinley. Bryant was a bicycle racer, bike shop owner, European sports car and classic motorcycle aficionado.Subsequently, we have a lot to talk about. He is a funny guy, that is, if you listen closely. Subtle and dry is the humor he employs. We talk a lot while we ride. I can never drop him despite the 25 years he has on me. No matter what, he is right behind me. 

In the late ‘70’s Bryant was diagnosed with Retinitis pigmentosa. RP is a degenerative eye disorder that slowly takes the vision of those affected. Bryant has not let this slow him down. A couple of times a week he runs the stairs – all 20 flights- in the Bank of America Bldg downtown. He also runs the Centennial Trail. Whenever he can get a captain, he will ride one of his three tandems. 

Bryant put the word out that he was looking for someone to not only ride with, but to help him achieve his goal of getting to the Master’s Nationals road race this September in Bend, OR. I thought, 'too bad I am not in race shape so that I could help him'… Yeah, too bad. He called me up and suggested that we ride together to achieve his goal. I asked a lot of question about the workout plan we would do, financial obligations I would encounter, total tedium, etc., - basically I was looking for a way out. I had ALL of my concerns assuaged so that tactic didn’t work. Then my wife Tess was behind me saying “Do it!” as was my boss. How could I say "no" now?

Bryant and I first rode together 3 Mondays ago. It was a shaky ride. I don’t think that I have been on a tandem in 25 years. Apparently, he had faith that my tandem skills would re-emerge!

Many challenges till await: Getting used to pulling my right foot out at red lights, getting a pile of base miles, going from <60 miles a week to 250 to name a few. But I chose to take on these challenges head on and full steam. I told myself that if I am going to do this I am committed to complete it. Every spare moment is spent training or recovering. I had forgotten how tired I can be.

Well now the honeymoon is over, a couple hundred base miles behind us, nothing but intervals and hill repeats to occupy our “short days”ahead. Our once a week “Long Slow Days” involve 60~100 miles at a moderate pace. 

This installment was a bit lengthy due to the background needed - we will keep you posted – in shorter segments a we get closer to the race.

Tom├ís Kelley Lynch 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Progress at 817 S Perry Street

Stopped by the new location on South Perrry Street last Thursday and saw a lot of progress on the demolition of the existing interior.  It is pretty exciting to see the space evolve and we are looking forward to getting the layout finalized this week!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hills, Heat, Headwinds and Heartbreak - 2012 RATPOD 3/3

In the last installment of Hills, Heat, Headwinds and Heartbreak - 2012 RATPOD I was contemplating my fate at the start of the ride being under trained and overweight.  Another thought that started whispering to me was the fact that every part of the ride occurs somewhere between 5,000 and 8,000 feet above sea level resulting in less air pressure to put oxygen into my bloodstream.

The day broke clear and cool with the high to be over 86 and "some" wind from the south after 1pm.  Doubt really began to creep in to my brain, but I shrugged-it off and rode off into the morning with the other starters.  The group rode steadily until the first climb of about 1,800 feet where it broke apart - no sweat, just ride steady.  I could not believe how quickly my heart rate and breathing went up on this climb - oh yeah, under trained, overweight and altitude.  I reduced my effort and set into a steady rhythm.

I was rewarded a the top of the climb with a gorgeous view of the valley below bathed in early morning sunlight and a long descent.  The next 18 miles went by uneventfully and we arrived at the breakfast stop.  Again, it is hard to describe the panoramic view of meadows, wildflowers, and mountains as we rolled to a stop.  These guys take their food stops seriously and had burritos, fruit, bagels and pancakes complete with sausage ready for hungry riders.  I REALLY wanted to sample all of the above, but knew the 8 miles of climbing was next, so I settled for half a bagel and some fig bars.

Next came the climb up the Scenic Byway and again, I just settled into a sustainable pace and alternated between standing and sitting for the 8 mile ascent.  By the time I reached the summit, I noticed the temp had started to climb - no big deal since the fast ride down to Wyse River and the lunch stop was next.  About 3 miles from the stop I noticed that the wind was picking-up and seemed to be pretty serious - Uh, Oh.

I was once again tempted by an amazing spread for lunch but stuck to bread, a cookie and fig bars knowing the next 55 miles could be a hot, windy suffer-fest.  I also was downing Hammer Heed, and Endurolytes to keep hydrated and avoid cramping on the final climbs on the ride.

In reality, if I had just stopped at mile 75 it would have been one of the most glorious rides I had ever done.  Instead, I pushed on mile after mile with a good group of guys into 91 degree heat, 28 mph sustained headwind and 40 mph gusts.  On the very last grade I got shelled off the back and saw the 3 other riders in the group fading into the distance when I reached the top. I felt my will and heart break at the same time.  I knew if I had to go solo for the next 15 miles in that wind I would never make it. I gathered my remaining energy and gave chase for 2 miles solo in the headwind - all or nothing.

Somehow, I finally caught the group, but could barely hold a wheel.  I rotated to the front for a pull and lasted all of about 45 seconds before I started cramping after my previous all-out effort.  Each pull became a little longer, but we were only averaging about 14 mph in that wind. At one point a gust hit me from the left and pushed me onto the dirt shoulder.  I did my best cyclocross impression for about 100 meters and bunny-hopped back on the pavement.  This was really getting ugly.

 Dillon grew larger and after 7 hours on the bike we were finally pulling into town.  The finish is at the end of a 3/4 mile straightaway section.  The four of us lined-up side-by-side and spun-up to about 22 mph to cross the line together to hoots, hollers and cowbells.

2012 will probably go down in the records as the windiest and one of the hotter conditions for the RATPOD.  I could hear the radio chatter as I sat in the shade near the finish sipping chocolate milk.  Riders were going down and others were pulling-out on the course - not good.  In the end, I did not hear how many riders finished, but numbers would be down for sure.  I stayed long-enough to congratulate some other Spokane riders as they finished and then went to find a hot shower and some hot pizza.  I had made it thanks to the good fortune of finding a group of riders I could work with, but not climb with.  If I ride again next year, I may not be so fortunate - so I better get training.

See you on the road.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hills, Heat, Headwinds and Heartbreak - 2012 RATPOD 2/3

Saturday, June 23 marked the 11th annual Ride Around The Pioneers In One Day (RATPOD) in Dillon, Montana.  The event benefits Camp Mak A Dream in Gold Creek, MT for kids and young adults affected by Cancer.  The Pioneers are a mountain range just outside of Dillon that rise almost 9,500 feet above sea level.  The ride is limited to about 650 riders which was part of the draw the first time I rode it in 2010.

The ride is also notable for its incredible scenery, pristine rivers, great support and 6,000 feet total climbing over the 130 mile route.  The vast majority of the climbing is done well before the temperature starts to rise and in my opinion is the best part of the ride which is about 38 miles in.  Pacing myself it takes about 45 - 60 minutes to cover the 8 miles to the 7.900 foot summit of the Scenic Byway which essentially bisects the range.  The summit is followed by a screaming 50 mph descent on curvy mountain roads and incredible views along waterfalls, mountain meadows, and a roaring river punctuated by a lunch stop at mile 75.

Then it is winding rivers, flat lands, farmland and a few grades for the next 55 miles.  That is the ride in a nutshell.  I committed in early March when I was able to get a spot before the registration was declared "full".  This meant that I needed to get "serious" on my riding and put some long miles in to ensure I was ready for the event.

Even the best laid plans don't always work-out and I found myself wondering at the 6am start how the day would unfold with only 2,300 miles under my belt for the year and nothing longer than 77 miles at one time.  Some may find this hard to believe, but I was also a pound or two over my ideal riding weight.  My wife had even declared me "sag-wagon material" the day before as we were eyeing the mountains while driving south on I-15.

In the next installment, I will detail how the day unfolded - stay tuned.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hills, Heat, Headwinds and Heartbreak - 2012 RATPOD

Stay tuned for a full ride report of the 2012 Ride Around The Pioneers in One Day.  The above Elevation Profile only tells half of the story.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Shop Ride Tonight - 85 Degrees - Be there!

Tonight is shaping up to be a wonderful shop ride at 5:30pm. 85 degrees with a chance of attacks on the hills. See you all there!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

So Much Cool Bike Stuff This Week

Summer Parkways between Manito and Comstock Park 6 - 9 tomorrow - weather should be great. Title Nine/ Two Wheel Transit Ladies Bike Ride Saturday at 11 am FROM Title Nine on South Perry. Last, but not least Shop Ride Thursday at 5:30pm.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Shop Ride Tonight 71 Degrees - Be There

Last week, we endured rain and spray for a great ride followed by pizza.  This week looks to be 71 with no rain after yesterday's Old Testament flooding.  Should be a blast.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Shop Ride Report

Really can't add much to this photo - so wont try since it accurately represents feelings about tonight's ride followed by pizza.  What may be difficult to see is all the "freckles" on her face.  In reality it is road grime sprayed-up from other riders' tires.

The Long Route

Recently, it occurred to me that the Ride Around Pioneers In One Day 130 mile ride I had signed-up for in March was less than 3 weeks away.  My longest ride of the year was only 50 miles and I needed a couple of long rides to double-check my on-the-bike nutrition and build some endurance in my legs. I also wanted to get some climbing and rollers in and knew the Valley Chapel Loop would provide those and some nice headwinds too.  The loop itself is about 32 miles of climbs, rollers, descents and headwinds. 

The loop is defined as a turn onto Valley Chapel Road where it intersects the Old Palouse Highway about 4 miles south of 57th Ave and riding it to Hwy 27 just outside of Rockford.  Head north on 27 about 7.5 miles and turn west on to Old Palouse Hwy until intersecting the starting point at Valley Chapel Road. 

Still not a long ride, I needed to add some miles.  Should I ride the loop twice or continue south for a modified out and back course?  Fortunately I decided on the latter and took off solo about 6 am.  The air was still cool, but not uncomfortable, so I was able to ride without layering-up.

Normally, I would ride the loop to Rockford and turn north on HWY 27, but instead continued south on Jackson road to Fairfield and beyond.   After Jackson ended, I went south on the highway until turning onto E Waverly Rd.  Hwy 27 south of Rockford is not the same as it is north of Rockford since there is very little shoulder to ride on so be careful to choose a time where traffic will be light - particularly during harvest since there is a lot of machinery and grain truck traffic then. 

East Waverly Rd is where the ride becomes scenic and joyful since it is a sheltered valley that was lush and green with some moderate rolling hills.

The road goes surprisingly enough into Waverly where I headed south and onto S Prairie View Road toward Rosalia.  This road was also a delight as it was wide with smooth pavement and very little traffic.  There were also lots of side roads with interesting names like Pandora and Spring Valley heading-off in various directions that need exploring on another day.  Finally the road ends at Old Hwy 195 just north of Rosalia, which also begs to be fully explored.  It also appears that it intersects the John Wayne Trail, but not sure if there is a trail head at the intersection.

I picked-up a tailwind once I turned around and even saw a group of riders heading south just before I got to Waverly again.

The total mileage from Hangman Valley was 77 miles and proved to me that long rides are a good idea before a big event since I was sore and tired after riding just over 4 hours on this route.

I probably need another long ride or two before the event on June 23rd so watch for those reports plus a report from the RATPOD itself.  

See you on the Road.

Shop Ride Tonight

Weather permitting, there will be a shop ride tonight at 5:30 pm followed by pizza afterward.  If ride is called due to weather, pizza will be served at the next ride.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Last Day of May Shop Ride Report

Good shop ride tonight!  Our statistician noted that we averaged .1 mph less than our ride last week (probably because we were not trying to match Cassie on the climbs) and were more interested in chatting and getting caught-up.

Dave and Matt brought out the steel bikes and schooled us on the climbs.  Matt is also a an awesome descent artist and can really fly for a light rider.  Someone mentioned that next week is the first ride of the month and that there should be pizza afterward - we agree!

See you next Thursday for riding and pizza - 5:30 pm.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Intro to Bike Commuting (with Style) for Women Talk & Shop at Two Wheel Transit

Iced drinks and good food await tonight for the Intro to Bike Commuting (with Style) for Women Talk & Shop at Two Wheel Transit beginning at 5:30pm.  If you already commute by bike then bring a friend and come on down!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

We will be closed on Monday, May 28 in observance of the Memorial Day Holiday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Intro to Bike Commuting (with Style) for Women Talk & Shop at Two Wheel Transit

May 30th from 5:30 - 7 pm Barb Chamberlain is bringing Bike Style to Two Wheel Transit! She has the cuteness, we have all the bikes & gear.

Bike Style Spokane Chief Biking Officer Barb will give a talk about how she got started bike commuting and provide basic tips and Q&A. Shop employees will be on hand to answer questions about maintenance and hands-on instruction on changing a flat.

According to Barb, she will also have a selection of Nuu-Muus/Ruu-Muus, Sweet Spot Skirts, Sheila Moon lace-trimmed shorts/knickers, and other pretty things to give you style on and off the bike.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Schwalbe Tires

Don't know if anyone else thinks this video is cool, but we think it is amazing and shows how much goes into the design, manufacture and quality control of good tires.  We were disappointed in the lack of white lab coats though.  Enjoy

Trek Factory Demo Recap

Great weather, bikes and venue all contributed to a sucessful bike demo event this past Saturday and Sunday.  Bruce was grilling brats and talking bikes the whole weekend.  Everyone got to ride the bike of their choice and several rode some different models to compare side-by-side.

The most popular mountain bikes were the Superfly 100, Rumblefish and Fuel EX 9.8.  On the road side, the Domane was out quite a lot and the wide eyes and huge smiles of the returning riders told the story of new found love. 

Thanks to everyone who stopped-by to say hello and to Trek for making the event a sucess.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Trek Factory Demo Saturday & Sunday 10 - 3

We will be doing some set-up tonight at the Bowl and Pitcher Campground in Riverside State Park for the Trek Factory Demo tomorrow and Sunday from 10 - 3 each day.  Weather looks to be good for trying-out the hot 2012 Trek Bikes.  We will be grilling Brats and talking bikes.  Come on out!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Ride Report - Moots Psychlo X

The first ride on the new Titanium Moots Psychlo X was not quite aligned with its intended purpose of course cyclocross racing.  Instead, I swapped in some road wheels with 700x23 road tires and rode the Hangman Valley loop.  Most of my riding is on the road these days and I thought this would give me a good comparison to tease-out the riding characteristics and any undesirable traits (there are none) the bike might have.  Also, I have never ridden a cross bike off road so I would not have any basis for comparison in this case.

I got the aspect a little off so the front tire appears to take all of the clearance - this is not the case in reality.

No more homeless squirrels...

Those familiar with the loop know it has a lot of chip seal, climbing, descending and rough, cracked road - perfect for bike frame test track.

First, I did not fully appreciate the cavernous tire clearance the frame and carbon fork provide until I exchanged the Speedmax Cross tires for the road set.  Not that things were tight with the cross tires -I felt I could have run MTB tires and still had room for a family of squirrels in there. The folks at Moots take clearance seriously when designing their frames for things like mud and fenders.  The narrow road tires merely accentuated how much room there is for clearance - nice touch.  The fit, finish and welds on these frames are second to none which is what we have come to expect from the company's more than 30 years of frame building and fanatical attention to detail.

The best way to describe the ride is smooth, responsive and predictable.  The frame and fork do a nice job of removing the harshness from chip seal and cracks without making the ride dead or wooden.  There is still plenty of road feel and responsiveness to the ride.  The best test for this was bombing down the broken and uneven surface of Hatch Road at full speed.  The bike transmitted what was going on beneath the tires, but without any of the harshness experienced with some other frame designs.  The only way to describe it is that it is more like the rumble of a passing train than buzzing or sharp jolts.  The other thing was the ride and handling were rock-steady and confidence inspiring at any speed.

I expect the ride quality will go from excellent to sublime when I switch back to higher volume and lower pressure tires from the 700x23 with 110 psi.

Climbing and sprinting indicated no tendency to flex in either the bottom bracket or front end.  It just lunges forward in the direction you point it.  Same for turns, you feel like you are carving nice turns on skis in powder as you shift your weight from side to side.

Moots clearly designed this frame for racing, but due to its good manners and smooth ride I can see it being used as a fun weekend logging road bike that wont complain about getting muddy.  This alone holds the promise of freedom, a lot of time in the saddle and adventure - all of which is probably what got most us hooked on cycling in the first place.

It seems prudent to do a few more test rides (if it sticks around that long) to learn more about this beauty.  Some extended dirt road rides in the Palouse will provide some more insight on how it handles the environment for which it was designed.  Some easy rides on the the HD trails should give some clues as to the handling and ride quality in sandy/rocky conditions - so stay tuned.