Thursday, August 29, 2013

Sage Cycles

One of the job perks of working at Bicycle Paper is acquiring gear and giving it a thorough testing before writing a review for the publication (and for the web). By far, my favorite product to test among the myriad of options that are sent to me, or at least presented to me (some things are best left alone, as they are often needless products and are based on the assumption that someone would actually buy them) is a new bicycle. Enter the latest steed I procured: a titanium cyclocross bike from Portland's Sage Cycles. 

Designed by Dave Levy of Ti Cycles, the PDXCX is a beautiful bike; I've always been obsessed with the looks of titanium since I laid my eyes on a Moots back in the '90s. The gunmetal gray of a titanium frame may be simple looking to the casual observer, but those in the know, know. I've taken it out on some technical and root-strewn mountain bike trails, long stretches of gravel, and put it to the test during cyclocross practice with some of my teammates.

It handles like a champ and everything you'd expect from the frame material is what I've experienced so far. It's light - although it could be lighter, but I'll get to that - it absorbs the bumps and flexes minimally when cranking on the pedals, leaving little energy wasted while hammering up hills or performing intervals on the ride to and from the office.

Though Sage Cycles are designed in Portland, they're made in Taiwan. That said, this lowers the price significantly and I believe they will sell well because of it. The welds are nowhere near as meticulous as  a Moots or even a Lynskey, for example, but they look good enough. And if a weld does happen to fail, Levy will repair it in his shop; Dave Rosen, the companies sales and marketing guru, promises a quick turnaround to get owners back in saddle.

About the heavy stuff: the PDXCX that I am riding has a set of Mavic Crossride wheels, which are an inexpensive line designed for mountain bikes. While not exactly lightweight 'cross wheels, they make up for it by instilling confidence while riding off-road. Speaking of these hoops, disc brakes are the cat's meow. Equipped with mechanical brakes at the moment, the PDXCX can also handle hydraulics. For the upcoming racing season, I will swap out one or both of the wheels with my own Easton mountain bike race wheels, which should reduce rolling weight dramatically. In the meantime, the Crossrides are great for training and I have a feeling I'll be much stronger for it while battling it out for 20th-something place on Sundays this fall.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Cancer Is Shit

Today I stumbled upon the blog of Ezra Caldwell, a framebuilder who has terminal cancer. As I began to read I couldn't help but feel awful for him and what he is going through - sounds pretty stupid, really, as I have no idea what it's like to be in his shoes. Only he does.

I can only imagine what it would be like to have everything going for you: an artistic eye, a successful business that involves your true passion, and a beautiful woman to share it with, when suddenly everything is upended and life takes on a new meaning. What would it be like knowing that you're never going to grow old with the one you love and that you'll never get to see their face and body as an old person, nor will they of you? That you're completely denied the experience of growing old? What happens to all of those dreams you had when you're younger? And what about the expectation that you were going to live a long life and experience so many wonderful things before your time was up in this world, now knowing it's coming to a premature end? And soon.

His positivity is awe-inspiring and I can only be thankful that he is sharing his experience with others. Fight the good fight, brother.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Melvins Like Ice Cream

People may sometimes wonder why I like the Melvins so much. Well, here's reason number 444.

Buzzo tossing ice cream to children!

This definitely made my day more tolerable.


Wednesday, August 7, 2013


I'll admit, reading comments online is generally futile and unfortunately it offers an extremely disappointing look at humanity and the lopsidedness of the "US vs THEM" mentality that runs rampant in our society. 

Take this comment by "Martel" for instance, as viewed on KOMO News regarding the mayoral race and the likelihood of Mayor McGinn remaining in office:

"Two progressive, anti-freedom libtards, Seattle is trying to kill itself. Watch as traffic continues to get worse. Seattle has the 4th worst traffic of any US urban center yet we are not even close to being the 4th largest. 

Watch Murray and McGoo continue their war on cars. Watch as more business close and leave the city as the regulations and rules continue to pile up. Seattle's rating as a good place to start a business hasn't risen in 20 years. As more businesses leave, city tax revenues will drop and as the city starves for operational budgets they will impose more taxes on the remaining citizens. Either one of these moonbats will continue to violate state law concerning firearms and the fact that cities cannot independently regulate them, wasting millions more of tax dollars in court. 

And we already have no extra money...

But hey, more bike lanes right!"

Hey Martel, you complain about traffic, which is due to people DRIVING, yet you bash on the mayor because he pushes alternative modes of transportation and he rides a bike, which LESSENS TRAFFIC. His or her argument makes no sense. Period. 

People are so blinded by their convictions they rarely look at the bigger picture or other points of view. In my opinion, one of the biggest problems we face as humans is fanaticism, on all fronts. They start wars, fist fights, groupthink, and create the greed that is responsible for most our woes. Most of all, it harms children who are born with an open mind. And so the cycle continues. 

Sometimes I really think we're screwed.