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Commuting in Jeans – Why I can’t be a hipster.

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BIKING IN JEANS! Do you do it?! Image Courtesy of Cycle Kyoto.

Helloha saucy  Bike Commuters!  Since it’s only Wednesday, I don’t know if this counts as a “Friday Musing” but we’ll post it anyway.  Let’s just say if you’ve been reading anything authored by Meeee.r.I.Am this past year, then you’ll know that you are headed down WTF road, and there’s no turning back – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

I often joke with my family that I can never wear skinny/hipster jeans because I have a “calf-top” – that’s to say a pair of skinny jeans in my waist size can never make it up to my muffin top, because my calf top gets in the way!!!  My brother agrees, he too cannot fit a calf through a skinny jeans leg!  This has prompted today’s musing up for debate: Commuting in work clothes vs. packing them in a bag, or more specifically Commuting in Jeans. I don’t know how many of you out there have casual work environments where jeans are appropriate for a work day like Jack, but I do!  As a bike commuter and a more utilitarian fashion-person, there are several things to consider each morning when I dress OR pack my bag for work in the morning.  Let’s consider my inner monologue on any given work day:

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Me posing in my fave straight leg $35 jeans. With three pair sacrifices thus far to Bikelonius, I’ll be ready for some women’s Levi’s commuter jeans soon!

SLUM IT, OR JEAN IT!?

  1. Do I have any meetings first thing today? – Sometimes, if I am about to see a client upon arrival at the office.  In the morning, I’ll get dressed in office clothes first, make up etc., then ride “no-sweat speed” to avoid arriving in spandex or T-shirts with funny sayings on them only meant for commuting.  For me, “dressing” for work can mean jeans or business casual.  (Depende de… Numero 2!)

    LGRAB’s Dottie has got it down!

  2. What’s the weather like outside? – Of course, it’s been hot, showering, pouring, windy, and cold within the past few weeks of Oahu’s “Wimpy” winter.  If it’s wet butt commuter time, it’s jeans/dress clothes in the bag and Vanya chrome or anything quick dry on the bike.
  3. Laziness factor, do I really want to change clothes again?! – This one can go both ways, sometimes clean bike commuting outfit can double as PJs the night before (don’t call me a dirty hippie!) OR I can be too lazy to change at work and will therefore put on my jeans/dress and do the no-sweat speed thing to work.

    BIKELONIUS!!!

  4. Holes in my pockets factor: Sacrifice your jeans to the bike saddle gods? – Everyone has heard of  Bikelonius the greek god of bike commuters, who requires periodic denim sacrifices.  Whether it be chain grease smears, cuff snags, or inconvenient  and embarrassing holes in the lower saddle butt area, forcing the Bikelonians to make repeated pilgrimages to the scary Gap clearance rack/local thrift store/etc.  I have sacrificed three pairs of jeans to Bikelonius over the past 6 years.  Anyway, sometimes I don’t want to ruin my jeans so I’ll change clothes at work to avoid the holy butt scenario.

Got an extra $205 to spare? How about some Rapha Cycling Jeans?

Sometimes, it’s more convenient to show up in jeans and already be dressed.  Sometimes it’s worth the jeans-seam crotch pain if it’s a short ride.  And sometimes I wish I could be a hipster and fit my big-o-calves into some friggin’ skinny jeans so they don’t snag on the chainring!  (You gotta admit, skinny jeans or leggings ARE the best for snagless commutes!)  I dunno about you Cycle Gentlemen out there, but for Cycle Ladies, a commuter jean would need to be women-specific (AHEM! Listen up, Levi’s!) and bike specific before I would consider shelling out mas dinero for commuter pants…(Considering some of these “cycling lifestyle” jeans from SWRVE or osloh would cost me halfway to a new bike.)  Can you grind it out on your commute in a pair of your fave blues and roll up the cuffs?  Or would you rather stick to bike-specific/workout gear?

Friday Musings: Childlike Heart

When I was a kid, I used to love riding my bike everywhere. It seemed like any destination I had became some sort of adventure and because of the great memories I had as a kid with bikes, I still long to relive some of those moments. Enter my bike toys. Check out these two items below. The one on the left is a motorcycle noise maker. The one on the right is called the Super Siren Bicycle Alarm, 3 Sound With Microphone.

As a young lad in the Philippines, only the cool kids had either one of those items. I remember one kid in my neighborhood had the motorcycle noise maker and because of it, I thought his bike was way better than mine. In fact I recall that we both had identical bikes, but because of the noise maker, his just felt more fun to ride!

Then there was the Super Siren — now this only the older kids had. It’s pretty cool, it runs off a 9 volt battery, you can use it as a PA or switch it to the various sirens: Ambulance, Fire or Police. When we’d play Cops and Robbers, only the kids with the Super Siren could play the cops and man…they were sooooo cool!

Fast forward 30+ years. I still love riding bicycles and because of the great memories I had with them, I want to own some of the items that I couldn’t afford as a kid. A few years ago, I started looking for those two items above, and I was amazed that I found both of them on Amazon.com for about $13 each. I’ve since installed them on my various bikes, yes including my commuter bikes. I’ll use the PA on the Super Siren to pretend I’m a cop as I’m rolling down the street, then I’ll rev up the noise maker so I don’t have to make the motorcycle sound with my mouth.

I gotta tell ya, not only is riding my bike practical, but it sure does help me feel like a kid! With the Super Siren and Noise Maker on my bikes, it just makes the whole riding experience so much better.

Win a pair Genuine BikeCommuters.com Wool Socks

We just got these in on Tuesday and before we make it available to the general public, we want to give away a pair of our first ever, WOOL SOCKS!
BikeCommuters.com Wool socks feature a reinforced toe and heel and a 4″ cuff to keep your ankles and Achilles tendons warm. With these wool socks, your feet will be comfortable and dry, mile after mile, whether riding or just hanging around even in colder weather! Wool blended with Lycra for stretch and reinforced with nylon at toe and heel.

To win, all you have to do is leave a comment below. Depending on how many entries we receive, we’ll pick a random number that coincides with that comment and BAM! You’ve got yourself a pair of socks! Only 1 person will be picked. Staff members are not eligible.

US ONLY
BC socks with sizing
‎60% Wool, 25% Acrylic, 10% polypropylene, 5% spandex.

Contest ends 03/05/2012 12noon PST

Fyxation previews

The kind folks of Fyxation sent over some items to be reviewed. First up is the Alterra Cafe Bar. You’ll notice that I’ve installed it on the Redline 925.
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Then we have the Accela tires with white.
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So far I’ve really enjoyed the new set up, the Alterra bar gives me a somewhat up-right riding position while the new Accela tires are fast rolling and very grippy on the turns. We’ll put them through the paces to see how the hold up.

CIRCULUS : Ridin’ in Circles

In early 2010, Portland Design Works purchased one of the most interesting installations from a Pomona College student in Southern California… CIRCULUS.

What is CIRCULUS?
Circulus is a 143 foot diameter, 45 degree banked, wooden mini-velodrome. When standing in the ‘in field’ of the track, it almost feels like you are standing in an enormous wooden salad bowl!

The track is currently housed within PDW’s Portland, Oregon warehouse – The Mothership. One if the perks of living in the fine city of Portland is I’ve had the opportunity to ride on Circulus. It is AMAZING!

This last Saturday evening, PDW & Yakima Products had an open invite for head to head racing on the track!
Flyer

wide angle

PDW’s man in the field, Kevin “MURPH” Murphy came by the shop week ago to drop off the event flyer (shown above).

There was some discussion on what bikes were to be used for the event. The main concern was rider and spectator safety. If the bikes were geared too high, riders would be able to reach the top of the track too easily and chance launching off the track and out into the spectator area. If the bikes were geared too low, proper speeds would not be reached to keep the riders on the steep, 45 degree bank.

Upon arriving to the venue on Saturday night I was delighted to see bikes that had decent gearing and were low to the ground, in the off chance that if riders had to bail or crash, the fall would not be very bad.

The rigs

Open riding for the evening began at 6:30pm and racing began promptly at 8pm. The racing was MC’d by none other than Stevil Kinevil. Being a single elimination race, it was all or nothing for the racers. This was a pursuit style race. The race began with each competitor begining at opposite sides of the track from a dead stop on the infield floor. Each racer had to be up on the 45 degree banked track within 1/2 a lap. The object of the race was to complete 4 laps before your opponent or to catch the opposing racer in 4 laps or less.
Brackets
Mens final 2
womens semi

Although adult refreshements were available from Hopworks Urban Brewery, racers were not allowed to drink them until AFTER their heat was completed, as this was a single elimination race format. If you were fortunate enough to advance, you were unfortunate enough to have to wait to enjoy a cold beer!

Having previous saddle time on Circulus, I gave it a go… Race testing the DZR District shoes.
DZR Test run

My wife raced the women’s event (yellow bike):

(Youtube video courtesy of Jonathan Maus/www.bikeportland.org)
Here is JMaus in action!
JMaus

Here is video of the men’s final:

(Youtube video courtesy of nanobikerdotcom)

Music was thumping throughout the night courtesy of the always amazing DJ Amanda Sundvor
DJ Amanda Sundvor

The racing ended for the evening with two of the haunches at PDW, Erik and Murph going…. Beak to Beak??
Erik n Murph
two chickens

A big THANKS to the fine folks at PDW – Daniel “DPow” Powell, Erik Olson & Kevin “Murph” Murphy & Yakima for putting on a fantastic, fun filled event!

A special thanks goes to Mr. Dave Roth for allowing the use of his photographs of the event. You can view the entire evening captured in pixels here at http://www.dmroth.com/cycling/circulus/index2.html