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Archive for the ‘Shop Rides’ Category

Horses for All Courses

Thursday, June 18th, 2015

JohnShredThree of us showed up for this morning’s shop ride on three different bikes (while others…ahem…chose to sleep). It’s only 10 miles, but all on twisty, rooted, rocky single-track, one of those cool stretches of uninterrupted dirt that seems so improbable so close to the city, but it’s a gift we avail of ourselves year round, year-after-year.

It was just the regular Thursday morning dirt commute, but here’s where it gets interesting. One of us rode a mountain bike with 2.3s. One of us road an Evergreen with 40c tires, and the third road a cross bike with 32s. None of us was out of our league, and none of us seemed to have too much bike. Were there differences in how we performed over the varied terrain? Sure. The mountain bike was fastest through rock gardens and over roots. The other two bikes were faster on packed climbs. But it all evened out, and we all had fun.

This was one of those cool, unintentional experiments that yielded reinforcement for an idea we’ve been nursing for a long time, that the common conceptions about the “right” bike to ride in a given situation are probably not more than reasonable suggestions, and that really, you just have to ride what you love.NeilNMatty Don’t get trapped by expectations. Be led by fun.

This Is Why We Do This

Friday, June 5th, 2015

WhyWeDo1It was Thursday morning. We’d met at the usual spot and rolled West, crisscrossing some trails, then turned south on the road towards more trails, and eventually to Seven.

Mike said, “This is why we do what we do. This right here.” By this point, we’d been to the coffee shop down the street from the shop and were all riding one-handed up the hill to work. The sun shone. It was cool, and we’d done 15 or 20  miles of road and trail in a lazy, pre-work ramble.

We like what we do all day, building bikes, talking riders through their designs, figuring out component compatibility, researching the new cycling trends, but none of it means much without riding.

WhyWeDo2Riding feeds bike-building, and riding the bikes we build tightens the feedback loop, so that we are so closely engaged with what we’re doing that the riding and building seem to be part of the same process. In some ways, they are. But the riding is why we do what we do, the nurturing of that feeling of freedom and adventure, and the hope that we can spread it to as many people as we can.

There Are No Bikes

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

6941319752_b9cb75a4a6_zThere are no bikes, but only riders, more than 30,000 of them. They came to us and told us about their riding, the roads and trails they wanted to ride, and we gave them a way to get there. It’s true that, in some ways, it was the bikes that took them where they wanted to go, but without the riders, there was nothing.

This is an important distinction to make. We have never built a bike with the express purpose of convincing someone to buy it. We have only ever built the bikes that people asked us to build. The rider comes first, always.

We get somewhat regular calls from people who ask something like, “Hi, I wonder if you have a 56cm road bike in stock that I can just buy.” And we say, “Sorry, we don’t actually have any bikes in inventory,” which is true.

There are no bikes until there are riders who want them, and what they want is very specific. We wouldn’t build the same bike for you, because you are different. We have built more than 30,000 bikes, and never two the same in a row. It is a lot more fun to do it this way.

Summer’s Options

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

It isn’t summer yet, just April’s end, but there are buds on the trees, the sun rises higher in the sky every day, and we can begin to see all the riding options summer will give us. Our New England trails are drying out. The sunrise is early enough to get out on the road on a Saturday before the cars have woken up. The options are nice to have, though they sometimes necessitate more than one bike.

Flat bars or drop? Skinny tires or fat? One seat or two? In summer, it almost doesn’t matter what you choose.

FreedomWigs

ForestTrail

Nick

KarlShred

Tandem

There is No Weather

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

With spring in the New England air, the time to gird our loins against snow and cold has (mostly) passed. Now we just have to concern ourselves with staying upright on the ice that comes from snow melting during the day and refreezing at night. We’re all still running our studded tires, so it shouldn’t be an issue. In fact, if there is one lesson from this record setting winter season, it’s that there is no weather that doesn’t offer the promise of fun on a bike. We challenged ourselves to ride through snow storms this year. We braved the cold. And we found, over and over, that riding bikes was still fun.

Next fall we will look back and know there is nothing to be afraid of when you have a bike suited to its purpose and a love for riding to keep you warm and willing.