Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Calling an audible: MC 630 Phat

It was a good call and here is the photosphere to prove it. Give it a whirl (literally)...


More (and better) to come I am sure.


"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose"
     -- Dr Seuss

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Brew Screws and Compounding Math

Victory! The newly installed
Brew Screw in action.
Tonight under the cover of darkness we would do some multiplication and we would screw a pedal into The Beer Tree. But first we had to get out of the parking lot which was proving to be a challenge. We were already two riders down, and both of these riders were centerpieces of tonight's ride. They were night riding newbies. Even better, for one of them it would have been his first time in clipless pedals. But they were last minute scratches due to a light failure (rider #1) and a logistical snafu (rider #2).

So we were down to six riders, clipped in and rolling into the darkness, when ChrisR quipped "wait, i have to take care of something" and abruptly turned back to the parking lot. How that something wasn't taken care of earlier we will never know, but it was promptly dispatched and we were rolling again into the darkness to do our math and to screw a pedal into a tree.

Bryan's dentist had no idea that a few short
hours after his root canal he would be
clipped into The Beer Tree serving
microbrews off the bottom of his foot.
The trails were dry and the lead-out single speeders were throwing up a lot of dust. With a light on my head it looked like I was riding through a thick fog. The narrow bridges and twisty single track all looked a little narrower and twisty-er in the dark and the gazillion-lumen light on MikeM's head (behind me) cast shadows on the trail ahead. Night riding turns familiar trails into unfamiliar trails and makes everything feel just a little riskier (probably because it is). It also feels just a little bit illicit which is articulated so well in this brilliant blog post about why night riding is like hotel sex.

A couple hours earlier Bryan was speaking with his dentist about his après root-canal evening plan. to ride a mountain bike in the woods at night. She said he was medically cleared but that his plans sounded dubious. She didn't know the plans also involved a stop a The Beer Tree where we'd do some compounding math by introducing another risk fun factor (beer) into our already complex equation of fun = riding bikes * in the woods * at night.

The Brew Screw newly installed on
The Beer Tree under cover of darkness
All singletrack eventually leads to The Beer Tree and tonight was no exception. After a CCW spin around The Double Bonus Loop we found ourselves in the warm embrace of The Beer Tree and what would be a special night for many reasons:
  1. Mark singing the Lowenbrau jingle ("Here’s to good friends, tonight is kind of special. So tonight, tonight, let it be Löwenbräu")
  2. Our first field install of The Brew Screw.
  3. Bryan clipping himself into The Beer Tree because... well... because now he could.
Around 10:00 pm we put our cold wet sweaty gear back on and saddled up for some more drinking beer riding bikes * in the woods * at night. Three riders headed to almost certain disaster on the new yet-to-be-named trail in The Forbidden Lands and the rest of us headed back to the parking lot, showers, and in my case half a pint of Ben and Jerry's "That's My Jam Core" ice cream.

What a great ride. Kinda special.


"Wait, i have to take care of something"
     -- ChrisR

Friday, July 18, 2014

Brew Screw

We've sunk to new lows and we think you should too.

Introducing the Brew Screw.

For about the cost of a six pack of craft beer you can convert your old SPD pedals into a nifty conversation piece and bottle opener with which to open that six pack of craft beers. If that circular reasoning is not enough to convince you, then you should also consider that:
  1. Repurposing your pedals is green in that "not actually green but makes me feel good about myself" sort of way.
  2. It is a definite conversation starter because people are still confused when they see a pedal screwed into the side of a tree.
  3. It was hand made by mountain bikers in a garage while drinking beer (more of that circular reasoning).
We recognize these are lofty claims so we produced the following video documenting the successful use of the first Brew Screw that came out of the garage off the assembly line.


We're a small operation and supplies are somewhat limited BUT we still haven't burned down the garage and we have plenty of beer so rest assured we'll be cranking these puppies out and hawking them on eBay as fast as we can.

If you have questions or comments or would like to pre-order, please shoot us a note at

Thank you for your support of this questionable endeavor.


Saturday, July 5, 2014


Kirk reconnoitering
"The Contraption"
"Kind of like White Clay" is what Bryan told us. But it's small and it's a bit of a haul (1 hour 20 minute drive from Lyndenwood) so it never quite made it into the weekend rotation. Finally this weekend with an appetite for an early 8:00am start, we made the trek to Trexlertown.
Tangent: "Early" start you say? Well yes because there are a lot dominoes that have to fall before a morning ride. The first domino is coffee and the forth or fifth domino is the 80 minute drive, but the problem is the approximately 20 minute delay between domino one and domino two. And you can't skip domino two. In my case, this game of dominoes translated into a 5:00 am alarm for me personally. 
The drive into the preserve reminded my of my rides in Wyoming and California. Small steep ravines, open vistas. The weather didn't hurt either (low 80s, dry air, blue sky, brilliant sunshine).

We saddled up, dove into the single track, and after a short climb (which, yes, could have been mistaken for White Clay) we were treated to some downhill flow like I've never seen on in SEPA (but did see in The Kingdom last year). Huge bermed diving turns one after another. Real table tops. Big pump-worthy rollers. Perfect flow through dense green cover mixed with excellent views. Most of the trails are directional - the downs obviously good for only one thing and the ups were deceptively gentle with lots of tight switchbacks that got us back to the top with seemingly no effort.

There were also a few miles of trails bench cut into the side of the various ravines. Fast and again expertly designed. There were also plenty of stunts in a small skills park as well as "The Contraption" (a compact collection of skinnies and ramps with at least a 6' drop on one side). We ogled but did not ride it although I think the wheels were turning in Kirk's head.

They've packed an incredible amount of fun into a small space here. It felt like about noon when Bryan told us it was 9:30. We were all giddy and couldn't believe we'd only been riding for an hour. So we rode another hour. And then we rode some more.

Thanks Bryan for your persistence. T-Town is definitely on the rotation now and I will have some super-sweet dreams tonight.


"Life is not so short but that there is always time enough for one more ride."
     -- Unknown

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Isn't it just awesome when self-evident truths are confirmed through rigorous application of the scientific method?

I just (tried to) read a 2014 study from Royal Society Publishing titled "A relationship between attractiveness and performance in professional cyclists." About half way through the introduction my eyes glazed over and I skimmed to the findings to find that "the top 10 percent of cyclists is about 25 percent more attractive than the lowest 10 percent." Now for the ten people reading this blog post right now, this is fantastic news for one of you and not so great news for another one of you.

However the nine of you who are feeling varying degrees of disappointment may find some comfort in another study - this one conducted by scientists at Mindlab - that found "cyclists are considered to be 13 per cent more intelligent and ‘cooler’ than other people." Now this sounds like something we can all get behind, especially since the research was focused solely on roadies so a conservative 25% adjustment (3.25 percentage points) would raise that to just over 16% for mountain bikers. Who can argue with that adjustment? Certainly neither of these two roadies having an apparent argument during the 1995 Vuelta Espana:

Below are links to the two studies. Actually one appears to be a study and the other is just a self-promoting article from a British website and a picture of Bradley Wiggins sitting on a throne.

I will sleep well tonight.


"Chicks dig the dirty ones"
     -- Unknown


Sunday was Evansburg State Park, a rugged "executive nine" of mountain bike trails near Collegeville. "Executive nine" because it is a short 5 miles (10 miles if you ride it forward and backward according to Mike, his math seams reasonable to me). Rugged because it hasn't been dumbed-down like more popular trail systems in our area. Log-overs, rock gardens, a couple of rough cut ramps and causeways, tight twisty obstructed-view single track, and an ample supply of death cookies on the punchy uphills and one particularly puckery downhill.

Duff hosted the post-ride debrief on his back deck, pouring some fine session ales while Carlos licked the blood and sweat off our legs (he was busy).

I was reminded how awesome it is to ride somewhere for the first time. It forces you to deal with what is coming at you. It forces you to react instead of prepare and it makes you a better rider. I see more road trips in our future.


“Like dogs, bicycles are social catalysts that attract a superior category of people” 
     -- Chip Brown

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Classic

Long shot of the peloton racing down Main Street. 
A parking spot on Main Street, breakfast outside at Winnie's Le Bus, and all the excitement of a professional cycling race rushing by table side. Twenty-minute laps left just enough time to do some people watching and hit the local bike shops before the peloton and the ridiculous parade of support vehicles races through town again. 

There is nothing quite like the spectacle of a cycling event. Yes, even a "roadie" event like the 2014 Philly Cycling Classic

Next year maybe I'll enter the morning amateur race with my fat bike. Turn a few heads grinding up The Wall.