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Evergreening the Blizzard of Right Now

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

It seems counterintuitive that when this much snow falls (our Boston home has received more than 5 feet of the white stuff in the last 2 1/2 weeks) a two-wheeled vehicle would be better than a four-wheeled one, but that’s exactly what we’re finding. Studded tires add traction on the ice layer beneath the snow, and with the right clothing and only a passing interest in speed, there’s still a lot of fun to be had on a bike right now.

A moment to brush off the snow - photo - Rob Vandermark

As an added bonus, there are almost no cars on the road, which means the little space that’s left is more than ample for the cyclist willing to brave the elements.
Snowy streets to ourselves - video image - Rob Vandermark

Disc brakes are another great advantage. Our Evergreens start with disc brakes as their default, also clearance for the kinds of tires that split the difference between trail and road.

Hike a bike - video image - Rob VandermarkA little bit of hike-a-bike is necessary on occasion, but getting into the woods this time of year just intensifies the feeling of freedom you get from riding a bike, not to mention the snow limned trees are beautiful, worth the trip alone.

Snow roll - photo - Rob Vandermark

They say, optimists, that when life gives you lemons you ought to make lemonade. That summery advice doesn’t ring quite true right now, but we’re optimistic anyway, finding that there are shockingly few days when riding might not be a good idea.

On the Road: Seattle with Cascade Bicycle Studio

Friday, February 6th, 2015

photo 4We can’t lie. It was nice to fly out of snowy Boston, even if our destination was rainy Seattle. 55F with rain is a welcome break from 10F with mountains of snow lining the roads.

We gave a Tech Talk at Cascade Bicycle Studio, delving deep into the benefits of steel, titanium and carbon, as well as looking at the latest in custom paint and talking about our Evergreen bikes and the act of Evergreening. We never tire of talking about bikes and bike riding. As usual, the questions at the end were the best par.

The guys at the shop were game for a ride the next morning, even though it was pouring. Sometimes the stereotypes are true, it rains a lot in Seattle, and sometimes you still have to ride your bike.

We rode up along the canal, out of Fremont. We climbed what seemed to our New England eyes like impossibly green hills. We hurtled down wet descents, trusting to our local guides. We crossed the ship locks at Ballard near the west end of Salmon Bay, walking our bikes to escape the ire of the very serious people who operate them. There were no salmon on the fish ladder, and the view was seriously compromised by low lying fog and pelting rain, but still, what a ride? We finished at the coffee shop, as you do, and warmed ourselves while we dripped dry on their nice wood floors.

It’s easy to get stuck in your bubble, thinking the rest of the world rides the way you do in the same conditions you do, but that’s not remotely true. We love visiting our friends at shops all over the world, if only to better understand why we build so many different bikes.

The Company That Rides Together

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

OK. so it was 24F when we met at the shop, and ok, it was still dark, but it was Lily’s last day, so we pulled on our warmers and shoe covers and rolled out 13 strong. It’s not often we get that many of us out together on one ride, and it’s too bad that it took Lily leaving to bring us all together, but it was a solid reminder why we do what we do. Having this be a part of our work indicates that, somewhere along the line, we’ve made good life choices.

The Union Square Donuts that arrived just before 9am (thanks, Heather!!), when we rolled back into the parking lot, and the two vats of coffee that came along with them just stoked the joy of a Friday morning ride with friends. And ok, we’re all at our various machines and desks now. We’re working. But we know WHY we’re working, and it is good.

It’s sad to lose Lily to the Pacific Northwest, where she will no doubt thrive on the many trails, in the many donut shops and cafes, but we’re all grateful for the time we got to spend with her, and for the way she brought us together this morning to do what we do.

Some Sundays

Friday, January 16th, 2015

It’s a funny post title for a Friday, but Some Sundays is how we think about the great rides of the year. Some Sundays everything is perfect, the weather, the group, the route. It all comes together in that alchemical mix. You look up from the handlebars and realize you’re having as much fun as a responsible adult has any right to. And then you’re sitting in the cafe or on the couch in the afterglow, caffeine (or beer) and endorphins swirling around in your head, the happiness of the hard-riding cyclist.