We received this photo from our friend Giovanni, something of a cycling mystic and guru, who lives in Seattle, a frequent visitor at Cascade Bicycle Studio, with whom we’ve built hundreds of frames, including the Axiom SL in this photo.
It reminded us that Rob V, our own mystic and founder, was in art school studying metal sculpture when Merlin Metalworks plucked him from academia and turned him into a bike builder, designer, and visionary (don’t tell him we called him a visionary).
This is at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks between the lake and sound in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.
This is Jon’s Evergreen SL, built with our friends at Cascade Bicycle Studio in Seattle. A wide cassette with disc brakes and fenders seems to be nearly the ideal bike for Seattle’s hilly, rainy riding, and this is perhaps, the high-performance answer to every question that city can pose.
Matching Chris King pink headset and hubs are a nice touch on the bead-blasted frame.
Right now, our good friends at Cascade Bicycle Studio in Seattle are running a daily contest in concert with a mutual friend of ours, a quixotic Italian pro named Giovani.
Having not made his team’s Giro d’Italia roster (again), he is training in the misty hills of his adopted American home, and every day he posts his times for various routes. If riders, everyday schlubs like us, can beat his time, then a prize can be retrieved from CBS.
Now, not all of us can get to Seattle, and even if we could, a formidably strong rider like Giovani is tough to beat, BUT even if you can’t be there, it’s worth following along, if only for Gio’s commentary and photos.
“sun shines on #cbsgirobike except for days of rain”
Our erstwhile Italian friend is riding the special edition Giro Bike we built with the guys at CBS a few seasons back.
We 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.