Tag: Salsa Cycles

twin cities motion pictures bike night 2013 Pepitos Parkway Theater Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition

I attended last night’s first annual Twin Cities Motion Picture ‘evening of bicycle films’ at the Pepitos Parkway Theater in Mpls, a benefit for the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition. They showed Bikes over Baghdad and The Cyclist, but the featured film was Salsa Cycle‘s Racing the Sun, a story about one of their sponsored riders, Tim Ek, and his participation in last year’s endurance gravel road race, the Dirty Kanza 200. (Tim’s blog post about the event: Racing the Kansas Sun.) 

Mike 'Kid' Riemer, Tim Ek, Jason Boucher, Amy Ek Mike 'Kid' Riemer Mike 'Kid' Riemer, Jason Boucher and son

That’s Tim (AKA ‘Eki’) in between Salsa Cycle‘s Mike ‘Kid’ Riemer and QBP‘s Jason Boucher in the photo on the left. Tim’s wife, Amy Ek (also in the movie) is on the right in the photo.

More about Tim:

I was particularly interested in Tim’s Aug. 4 blog post, Learning to Fly, about his recent attempts to do more gravity-type riding in Duluth with his split-pivot Salsa Horsethief:

Yesterday I lubed up the chain, took the Horsey off the hook in the garage and pointed it toward my local trail system in Duluth, known as the Piedmont Trails. Piedmont has a whole section devoted to big drops and air. I’ve always avoided it, pretending to be too cool for it as us cross country guys need to get our laps in, there’s no time for goofing off. So, I skipped the work out for some “goofing off”. Thing is, for me it wasn’t playing around. I was dead serious and quietly worried that I would end up in the E.R. right in the middle of race season. Oh well, one can’t worry about getting hurt, because what would ever get accomplished? I spied the first jump, a boulder in the shape of a ramp jutting out of the middle of the trail. “That’s where I’ll start”, I thought. (continued)

A good piece of writing. Inspires me to learn to ‘fly,’ too.  Gotta get me to Duluth soon.

Update 5 pm:

Graham Wigley, The Blue Door PubAbout 5 hours after I published the post above, my wife Robbie and I paid a visit to The Blue Door Pub where two of my sons, Graham and Tyson, are managers.

With no prompting, Graham, also a mountain biker, proceeds to tell me that he struck up a conversation with a Salsa Cycles-sponsored rider named Tim Ek who paid a visit to the pub a week ago and then again with his wife Amy yesterday, that Tim wrote up a blog post while at the bar, that he took Graham outside to show him his Horsethief, that he wrote the URL of his blog site on a napkin, etc etc.

I just stared at him, probably with my jaw dropped. A coincidence of sizeable proportions.

People

Winter Bike Expo, Freewheel Bike Winter Bike Expo, Freewheel Bike Winter Bike Expo, Freewheel Bike  
Freewheel Bike held their 2nd annual Winter Bike Expo ("the world headquarters of winter riding fanatics") yesterday at their Midtown Bike Center. The fat bikes were everywhere (Surly and Salsa each had a big presence) and since I’m doing some work on the 2nd Annual Fat Bike Winter Summit & Festival coming up in January, the Expo gave me a picture of how much enthusiasm there is here in Minnesota for fat biking.

Griff Wigley being influenced by Aaron Hautala Joe Meiser and John Gaddo, QBP Hansi Johnson and Aaron Hautala Aaron Hautala's Cuyuna Series G Surly Moonlander
I hadn’t planned on going but on Friday night, I had dinner with Aaron Hautala, president of the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew and while I was under the influence, he influenced me to go. I got to chew the fat (heh) again with former Northfielder John Gaddo, Outside Sales Rep at QBP (Quality Bicycle Products). He introduced me to Joe Meiser, Q’s Product Design Manager who, just a few days ago, had sent me all his photos from the 1st Annual Fat Bike Summit for posting on the site. I also got to talk fat bike advocacy with IMBA Midwest Regional Director Hansi Johnson.

I took a photo of Hansi and Aaron, two guys who, unlike me,  actually  know what they’re doing with a camera.  (See some of Aaron’s photos on his Sweet Cuyuna Living’ blog; see some of Hansi’s photos on his Universal Klister blog.) Alas, I was laughing when I took their photo and ended up with a very blurry image. So I’ve covered up my mistake with a stylized version of it. My choice of red was influenced by red accent that Aaron has used all over his Cuyuna Series G Surly Moonlander, which he had just outfitted with monster 4.8" Bud and Lou tires from Surly, complete with red valve stem caps.

See my large slideshow of 56 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

Events Photo album

Rule #12 of the Velominati’s The Rules, is:

The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.

While the minimum number of bikes one should own is three, the correct number is n+1, where n is the number of bikes currently owned. This equation may also be re-written as s-1, where s is the number of bikes owned that would result in separation from your partner.

I just have one bike, not counting my trials motorcycle which I’m planning to sell Real Soon Now so as to help me with the s factor in the above equation.  I’m not yet shopping but I am ruminating.

Having ridden mototrials for years, I’m naturally interested in a trials bicycle.  Living in Minnesota, I’m naturally interested in a fat bike for winter riding.

But after my experience of enduro riding in Duluth in June, I’m now really interested in the gravity-related categories of mountain biking, especially since I have two places within 35 minutes to practice jumps (Lexington Ave. Pump and Jump Park and Lebanon Hills), and a couple of downhill runs 45 minutes away at the Memorial Trail system in Red Wing.

So with gravity weighing on my mind, I went to the Salsa Cycles demo last night at the Carver Lake Off-road Cycling Trail in Woodbury.

Salsa Cycles demo at Carver Lake Park John Gaddo and Paul Lehrer Griff Wigley, John Gaddo

QBP Outside Sales Reps for the Upper Midwest, John Gaddo and Paul Lehrer, fixed me up to demo a Salsa Horsethief which the promo lit says:

… is our full-suspension 29’er trail bike, designed for all-day riding on rugged terrain. A very capable climber, Horsethief does have a slight bias toward descending, letting you enjoy the fruits of your uphill labor. By designing the bike for use with a shorter than normal stem, the body is positioned better for aggressive riding.

rock garden at Carver Lake Park log skinny at Carver Lake Park rock garden at Carver Lake Park
I knew there wouldn’t be any rugged downhill terrain at Carver so I was content to test it on the rock gardens and skinnies. Never having ridden a full-suspension bike before, I was wondering if the Horsethief would allow me to do what I can do with my X-Caliber hardtail on the tougher technical stuff.  It handled it easily.  And I did notice that I could ride a lot faster through the rock gardens, rather than picking my way slowly, trials-style. Cool. Would the Horsethief be enough to handle the downhill runs at the Copper Harbor Ride Center and similar parks? I suspect so.

Logan Macrae, Mark Witt, Curtis Ness Owen Mibus, Ben Witt, Myrna Mibus
Fellow Rice County residents  were well-represented at the event, including the gang from Milltown Cycles in Faribault and some of their regular customers. Left photo: Logan Macrae, Mark Witt, Curtis Ness. Right photo: Owen Mibus, Ben Witt, Myrna Mibus. Not shown: Jim Fisher and his daughter Amy.

Equipment

I saw the movie Reveal the Path when it premiered in Minneapolis back in June. At the end of the movie, Mike “Kid” Riemer, Marketing Manager for Salsa Cycles, the main sponsor of the movie and the event, announced that they were going to be having a Reveal Your Path video contest this summer.  The details:

Salsa Cycles Reveal Your Path video contestCreate a video and tell us your story. You could win a Salsa El Mariachi or Fargo frameset, a complete Fargo or El Mariachi bicycle or the grand prize of a Mukluk Ti bicycle and an Alaskan beach-riding adventure with the Salsa crew!

Perhaps someone—or something—sparked your adventurous spirit when you were a kid. Or maybe you came to it later. Tell us how it happened and where it led you. We want to hear about the great things you’ve done, and continue to do, with bicycles. Most of all, we want to know about the rides you dream of doing in the future. So really—If you could ride your bicycle anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I thought about entering but I struggled to come up with a theme that would be compelling enough for me to want to do the work. I wasn’t interested in just a I-did-this-and-then-I-did-that type entry. Late last week, it occurred to me to do something aimed at my fellow mountain biking geezers but that still wasn’t specific enough. On a whim, I popped in my DVD of the 1971 motorcycle movie On Any Sunday to see if I could get some ideas on how to narrate a documentary.  When I watched the segments of just regular folks (not the pros) competing at Sunday motocross races and the Widowmaker hillclimb, I found myself laughing again at the crashing scenes and director Bruce Brown’s witty commentary.

And then it occurred to me: crashing is not fun but it’s part of the fun of mountain biking, just like dirt biking. If you want to improve your skills, you have to be willing to crash.  If you’re worried too much about getting hurt, you won’t be too willing to experiment.  And one way to keep the fear of getting hurt under control is to wear a lot of protective gear.

Problem: Most of us guys don’t want to be seen as overly safety conscious, so we avoid wearing ‘too much’ protective gear.  We’d rather be seen with scrapes and scars, which are informal badges of honor.  But pain is sneaky. If you bruise the shit out of your knee in a rock garden, the next time you approach it, your brain remembers what happened last time, even if you consciously don’t. So you take a less demanding line through it, rather than riding and re-riding that line that caused you trouble.  Likewise for that high skinny or steep drop. And so your skills stagnate.

Advantage, geezers:  When my three sons were teens, I thought I’d try to learn to snowboard with them. That first day nearly killed me. Bruised my knees, hips and tailbone, hit my head hard several times, wrenched my shoulder.  (Ski slopes in Minnesota consist of hard-packed snow 90% of the time.) I got the hang of it by the end of the day and knew that the sport could be fun. But if I kept getting hurt like I did on that first day, I knew I wouldn’t keep doing it.

Michelin ManSo I bought a snowboard helmet, knee and elbow pads, and most important, a pair of used hockey breezers (hip and tailbone protection).  The next time I went snowboarding with the boys, they refused to be seen with me because they said I looked like the Michelin Man with all the protective gear underneath a huge winter coat. Doofus Dad.

But looking back on it now, the reason I came to love snowboarding (I still do it) is that I was willing to constantly crash as I kept learning new stuff. I didn’t have to worry about impressing girls or being made fun of by my buddies by how I looked.  My ego was more directed at being able to do little tricks and my body was interested in continuing to increase the pleasurable exhilaration of the sport.

So all of this came together in my head for creating a video for the contest.  I would tell my story of my first year of mountain biking but frame it with a sermon to my fellow geezers on how wearing lots of protective gear is a huge advantage for learning to improve your skills, even if you think it makes you look a bit like a doofus who’s overly concerned about getting hurt.

Unfortunately, I only had one day to create the video.  And I had no video of myself mountain biking.  So I bought a GoPro on Saturday afternoon and used it for the first time on Sunday morning, capturing some clips of me riding at the Lexington Ave. Pump and Jump Park in Eagan (Facebook page) and then at Lebanon Hills.  I got home and discovered that much of the video wasn’t usable because A) I was using the chest mount harness and it aimed the camera too low; and B) my water pack’s strap was flapping in front of the lens. AARRGGHH.

With a deadline of midnight looming, I knew I was in trouble.  The video was too long (over 14 minutes) and I didn’t have time to shorten it and fix all the little glitches.  So while it’s not likely to make the cut (a panel of judges will select eight finalists), I’m glad I did it and hope that my message resonates with a few of you fellow geezers out there.

 

Organizations Protection

Reveal the Path at the Riverview Theater  Reveal the Path at the Riverview Theater  Reveal the Path at the Riverview Theater  Reveal the Path at the Riverview Theater
Robbie and I attended the world premiere of Reveal the Path at the Riverview Theater in Minneapolis last night, along with a few hundred other bike nuts:

Reveal the Path, Presented by SalsaA visually stunning adventure by bike: Reveal the Path explores the world’s playgrounds in Europe’s snow capped mountains, Scotland’s lush valleys, Alaska’s rugged coastal beaches and Morocco’s high desert landscapes…

Filmed across four continents and featuring Tour Divide race legends, Matthew Lee & Kurt Refsnider, this immersive film is sure to ignite the dream in you.

Andy Palmer (background) and John Gaddo Andy Palmer John Gaddo, Jason Boucher
Luminaries from QBP and its Salsa Cycles division, the main sponsor of the movie and the event, were on hand. They were marginally adequate as movie theater attendants:

Left: John Gaddo, QBP Outside Sales Rep
Center: Andy Palmer, Salsa Customer Service
Right: John Gaddo and Jason Boucher, Salsa General Manager. See Jason’s ImagineGnat blog ("Bicycles – Photography – People – Exploration")

Curtis Ness, Ben Witt, Mike “Kid” Riemer Ben Witt; Myrna Mibus Mike Dion, producer and director of Reveal the Path
Some other bike nuts at the schmooze fest in the theater lobby:

Left: Curtis Ness and Ben Witt, Milltown Cycles, with Mike “Kid” Riemer, Salsa Marketing Manager.
Center: Ben Witt with Mryna Mibus, blogger, freelance writer, and future mountain biker who was there with her husband Owen and kids.
Right: Mike Dion, producer and director of Reveal the Path and its predecessor Ride the Divide.

See the large slideshow of 17 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:

Events Organizations Photo album