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Roman Joins the Ranks

Roman Joins the Ranks

Man! I don’t know what it is with the arrival of spring. Maybe it is just the good feeling of breaking out of an extremely long winter this year, or maybe it’s me getting (gulp) more mature and responsible. Whatever the case I feel energized! I love the sun. I’ve reflected on the past year to see what I’ve done right and wrong and know what I need to do this year.


Jamis Dragon 29 Chronicles #2

Jamis Dragon 29 Chronicles #2

This is the second in a series of posts leading up to the Dirt Rag Stuff Review of the Jamis Dragon 29. I’ll informally keep you posted not only with my experiences on the bike, but also with my indoctrination into the 29” machine. This ongoing journal is also an exercise for me to get ...


Road Ride Indoctrination

Road Ride Indoctrination

Last summer I rode my bicycle across Pennsylvania, and then some. I kept a journal for each of the six days of the ride. This is an entry for my first day. .: Day 1 :. Erie to Warren About 98 miles Around 4am, I heard some sort of animal breathing through it’s nose while ...


Trek sues Greg LeMond

Trek sues Greg LeMond

I was wondering why Trek prez John Burke called a press conference today, and now I know why: Trek is suing Greg LeMond to “sever ties” with America’s first Tour De France champion. LeMond had earlier served notice to Trek that he wasn’t happy about what he thought was feeble marketing by Trek on behalf ...


Elka: Get to know your new shock manufacturer

Elka: Get to know your new shock manufacturer

Rank-and-file riders of stock suspension bikes have not had tons of options when it comes to boingers. On the front end, you’ve got your Big Three: Fox, Manitou, Rock Shox (whither Marzocchi?) Choices are even fewer in the rear: Fox (and development partner Specialized) and Rock Shox together have pretty much cornered the market, unless ...


Jamis Dragon 29 Chronicles #1

Jamis Dragon 29 Chronicles #1

This is the first in a series of posts leading up to the Dirt Rag Stuff Review of the Jamis Dragon 29. I’ll informally keep you posted not only with my experiences on the bike, but also with my indoctrination into the 29” machine. This ongoing journal is also an exercise for me to get ...


Another 650B update

Another 650B update

The news on 650B continues to roll in. New tires, rims, wheels and bikes have all been announced. In our own news: The 650B Heckler (code name: Beckler) is built and rolling, and things are starting to dry up finally, so expect a real ride report soon. The White Brothers 130 thru axle fork is ...


Rocky Mountain Bicycles Demo Tour

Rocky Mountain Bicycles Demo Tour

The folks at Rocky Mountain Bicycles, have packed a Dodge Sprinter full of Rocky Mountain demo bikes, and have embarked on a 75-stop tour of the western USA, with a few “right-coast” events mixed in for full flavor. The demo tour driver/mechanic Thane Hall is scheduled to roll into top events including Sea Otter, Fruita ...


Pennsylvania Mountain Bike Summit

Pennsylvania Mountain Bike Summit

The following message is from an email sent by Central Pennsylvania IMBA Rep. Frank Maguire: OK, OK, so it has been tried before, but now more than ever it seems important for mountain bikers in Pennsylvania to get organized. There has been some chatter on PA forum at MTBR.com about this as well. And being ...


Access Alert: Montana

Access Alert: Montana

This just in from IMBA: Mountain bikers stand to lose access to many spectacular rides in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest in southwest Montana. The forest wants to institute a blanket ban on bicycling in backcountry areas managed as “recommended wilderness.” These areas contain some of the best singletrack in Montana. Local cyclists have proposed companion ...


Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning

Cleaning. That is an excellent thing to do to your house, bike, car and your inner/outer self. I find an art in the act of cleaning. Just like a ball of unformed clay, what you start with is always beautified and improved with a little effort. It has potential of being like night and day ...


Why bikes will be more expensive this year

Why bikes will be more expensive this year

I’ve mentioned a couple of times how healthy the bike industry appears to be… Retail sales up in 2007, average selling price up, Shimano setting all-time sales records, Fox Forx trading on the stock market, and so on. Still, we are likely in a recession, and a deep one at that. Not to mention the ...


The New Kid

The New Kid

Hey, folks! Another new face has crossed the threshold of the Dirt Rag house. I feel lucky to be here and I am excited to share my enthusiasm and experiences in cycling with yinz (spoken in a true –Pittsburghese-British accent). Wow, all of the years I spent tinkering with bikes and reading Dirt Rag have ...


Lucky Days and Car Accidents…

Lucky Days and Car Accidents…

I’ve always felt as though I’m a very lucky individual. Not in the go-to-Vegas-and-win-a-million sense, but things usually work out pretty well (I certainly hope that I haven’t cursed myself). Luck aside, I also can’t rule Karma out of the picture. Like most people, I’d like to think that I have accumulated more good Karma ...


Face Shot

Face Shot

I love dirt jumping. I love dirt jumping in eastern Pennsylvania in the early spring and late fall — bookends to the season and a uniquely different soul and feel. I love the press and rebound of hitting the lip at speed, forcing it low, racer-style. I love the feeling of pumping backside and accelerating. ...


Do Bikers dream of Penfield Mood Devices?

Do Bikers dream of Penfield Mood Devices?

Do Bikers dream of Penfield Mood Devices? Or of a Wilbur Mercer Empathy Box for that matter? A little to esoteric in the reference? Let me explain. Philip K Dick wrote about both devices in his classic Sci-Fi novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? A somewhat edited version for those who don’t care for ...


Want a Bike Industry Job?

Want a Bike Industry Job?

The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) seeks a Database Administrator and Manager of Interactive Marketing to work as part of the management team at its Boulder, CO, offices. This position is housed in the Membership and Development Department, and reports to the Director of Development. Duties include managing and implementing IMBA’s in-house database (currently File ...


Trek founder passes

Trek founder passes

Trek founder Richard Burke has passed away. The company reported today that Burke diedlast night after having heart surgery. He was 73 years young. Dick founded Trek in 1976, and shortly thereafter built this bike — And my brother bought one. Which I wish to God I hadn’t sold years ago to buy some dogstained ...


Bike porn — the hardcore stuff

Bike porn — the hardcore stuff

The Bike Film as a genre is beginning to expand and fragment. There are more than a few regional BFF’s emerging — just saw a call for entries up in Boston, for example. And now there is the “Pornography of the Bike” traveling filmfest, uh, coming to a venue near you. There are a number ...


LUNAFEST

LUNAFEST

Looking for something to do on a Monday evening? Live in the Boston area? Then check out this enticing offer from the Boston LUNA Chix: The Boston LUNA Chix welcome LUNAFEST(R), the fundraising film festival dedicated to promoting awareness about women’s issues, highlighting women filmmakers, and bringing women together in their communities, to the historic ...


Rat Race

Rat Race

The brain is always brewing up something and today I am going to share some of those thoughts.Always going, go, go, go, that is what we are all trained to do. That is where my mind went today, the comparison of racing a bike and the so-called “rat race” that we live on a daily ...


Brain Fart: Let’s Build Some Trails Together

Brain Fart: Let’s Build Some Trails Together

Hello, it’s me, Karl Rosengarth, IMBA member #784, up here on the soapbox. Just the other day I received the following great news from IMBA:

SRAM Steps Up to Support IMBA Trailbuilding Fund

For Immediate Release
03-03-08
Contact: Mark Eller, IMBA Communications Director
markeller@imba.com
303-545-9011


650B full suspension bike? New 650B tires?

650B full suspension bike? New 650B tires?

For those not paying attention, 650B is a tire size between the two standards out there now; 26 and 29″. Quick history-650B is a French wheel size,often used on older touring and camping bikes. It never completely disappeared, with contingents in France and the US continuing to use and talk about the wheel size (see ...


Why don’t more bikes have cool names?

Why don’t more bikes have cool names?

Today over at NameWire — a corporate branding company — they’re discussing a new South African mountain bike called the “Silverback.” A Silverback is an adult male gorilla. This got them thinking about other bikes named after animals, but the only one additional ones they came up with were Kestrel (bought last fall by Fuji, ...


Women’s Weekend at Ray’s

Women’s Weekend at Ray’s

One of the first things you see as you walk through Ray’s Indoor MTB Park doors are the words, If You Build It, They Will Come formed in lengths of chain on a rough piece of plywood. I think Ray’s borrowed philosophy can apply to Dirt Rag’s First Annual Women’s Weekend at Ray’s (Feb. 22-24th). ...


Snow Job

Snow Job

Ahh, I know much of the riding world here in the Northeast is waiting for, well, actually chomping at the bit for dirt. Dry dirt. Under the wheels, hanging in the air, the sweet moist smell of spring. With each warming day I shake my head a little with dread, however. I like snow and ...


Which is faster: Snowbike or skate skis?

Which is faster: Snowbike or skate skis?

  Up in Alaska, they run a winter race called the Litte Su. It’s not nearly as ambitious as, say, the Iditarod. But the 31K backcountry trek is unique in that you can race it apparently any way you please — with dog sleds, skis, snowshoes, bikes. Or maybe any combination thereof. And according to ...


R.I.P., Myron Cope

R.I.P., Myron Cope

R.I.P., Myron Cope “The Terrible Towel transcends all sports.” – a commentator (probably Paul Steigerwald) on the Pittsburgh local hockey station, FSN, about the tribute to Myron Cope at today’s Penguins game. The Terrible Towel will likely be seen at hockey games now through the Pens’ run through the playoffs. Thanks for the 2-point head ...


Leave the Red Bull in the cooler, young racer

Leave the Red Bull in the cooler, young racer

The NorCal High School Mountain Bike League has decided to ban caffeine. In its updated 2008 rulebook, Guarana Root, Taurine, and Creatine have also been banned.   While these substances are obviously less harmful than, say EPO, coaches and officials have been watching as some members of the 40-school league have been “strategically” using these ...


First Rides: Kona’s Hei Hei 2-9 and Kula Deluxe 2-9

First Rides: Kona’s Hei Hei 2-9 and Kula Deluxe 2-9

I’m sure most of you saw my World Tour report from the 24 Hours of the Old Pueblo (OP), but if not check it out here. As I mentioned in the report, Kona hooked both Shannon and myself up with bikes for the race. Shannon rode Kona’s newest addition to their Kula 2-9 lineup––the Kula ...


Americans: Too cool for a serious utility bike?

Americans: Too cool for a serious utility bike?

As everyone knows, Americans and Europeans have widely divergent tastes. France Them: Speedos. Us: Baggy Nauticas. Bavaria Them: Lemonade & beer Us: Whiskey & beer Sweden Them: Scorpions Us: Black Flag England Them: Bangers & Mash Us: Hot Dogs & Fries So, I’m curious about this: With the growing popularity of “utility bikes,” rides like ...


Brain Fart: smorgasbord

Brain Fart: smorgasbord

I remembered I needed to post on the blog today as the in-house schedule has rotated back to me. Most times my rides to and from work are full of interesting thoughts (at least to me), but of course my mind was pretty blank today, except I needed to hurry to work with the coffee ...


Clear skies in the House of the Rising Sun

Clear skies in the House of the Rising Sun

Shimano reported this week that their sales for 2007 were up a whopping 40 percent. That would be a natural result of setting a new record for sales revenue. The world’s largest manufacturer of quality bike parts had $1.9 billion in sales. (To be sure, there’s got to be a few million in fishing reels ...


The Next Big Thing in your pocket

The Next Big Thing in your pocket

Those clever Brits have invented the world’s fastest portable bike pump. It’s called the Cyclaire, and it uses an ingenious zip cord — sort of like a lawn mower. You can watch a viddy of it in action here. (Flat tyre? Stiff upper lip, mate!) Not sure if this dingus will be available in bike ...


William F. Buckley Jr., secret champion of the bicycle

William F. Buckley Jr., secret champion of the bicycle

William F. Buckley Jr., the great conservative patrician and champion of the überclasses, died this morning.Whatever you might think of the man (personally, I’m a sucker for his Brahmin-in-Paradise trilogy about bluewater sailing), you gotta give him credit: Way back in 1965, he proposed bike lanes —bike lanes! — in Manhattan to ease congestion, a ...


Help Approve New Singletrack at Mammoth Cave National Park

Help Approve New Singletrack at Mammoth Cave National Park

We just received the following access alert from the fine folks at IMBA. Now it’s up to you to make a difference: IMBA urges all mountain bikers to support new singletrack at Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park. As part of their Comprehensive Trail Plan update, the park has included an option to build 6 miles ...


RE: On The Rise: Winter Racing

RE: On The Rise: Winter Racing

Here in Houghton, Michigan (in the upper peninsula) we get an average of about 200 inches of snow per year–basically it snows from November into April. As you may imagine, it’s rare around here to see dry pavement here in the heart of winter. Even so, there are a core group of people, mostly college ...


Another cool use for old bike wheels

Another cool use for old bike wheels

Anyone who’s ever worked in bike salvage knows that bike junkyards are often flush with one particular component: wheels. (Crappy aluminum frames are often good dough at the scrapyard, so they get stripped and flipped. Why? Because of all the canned beer you drink, young cyclist. That’s what you’d call an efficient ecological loop!) I’ve ...


Granny Goes Galactic

Granny Goes Galactic

Granny is typically the mild mannered, conservative type, but her recent press release is out of this world: Galactic Championship of 24 Hour Mountain Bike Racing Set For Moab, Utah, USA, EarthPioneer of the Sport Goes Large To Create the Greatest Eventin The History of 24-hour Mountain Bike RacingDavis, WV, USA, Earth – Granny Gear ...


12 hours of Santos

12 hours of Santos

The world of endurance racing. This world that I placed myself in has a lot of interesting experiences to offer, the idea of winning a race for example. On paper that sounds wonderful, and in reality it is. But the energy and effort that goes into making it happen is pretty huge. By choice I ...


The best bike shops in the US?

The best bike shops in the US?

Does your favorite LBS rate nationally? Find out right now! Each year Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, an industry magazine, identifies the “Top 100” bike shops in the nation. What’s the criteria? Well, unfortiunately it has less to do with “buddy deals” and  brews in the fridge. BRAIN’s three main criteria are “market share, community ...


A clown bike everyone can love

A clown bike everyone can love

I’ve been known to make a lot of wisecracks about “clownbikes,” and the ineffable human compulsion to try to reinvent the wheels, over and over again — when there is no way, frankly, to improve upon the design of the simple safety bicycle, circa 1885. But one type of clownbike is beyond reproach, and that ...


The secret success of post-USSR Cuba

The secret success of post-USSR Cuba

Apropos of the news from Cuba today, I recalled an article last year that explained how that communist country adapted to the collapse of the Soviet Union and its subsidies for oil: It dramatically shifted to become a bike-centric culture. I’m no fan of dictatorships of any kind, but if I could have one wish ...


How “Bicycle” playing cards came to be

How “Bicycle” playing cards came to be

Ever wondered about “Bicycle” playing cards? They’ve been made by the U.S. Playing Card Company in Ohio since 1885, and they’re the world’s bestselling decks by a long shot. You can read all about the history — including some very interesting WWII and Vietnam War cloak and dagger stuff — at USPC’s website here. For ...


Around the world on two wheels

Around the world on two wheels

A Scottish man has set a new world record for cycling around the planet. Mark Beaumont left Paris and returned in 195 days and 6 hours. In spite of crossing through such lawless lands as Pakistan and Thailand on his 18,000 mile trek, it was the US that almost killed him: Beaumont was mugged in ...


Lance opens a bike shop and cafe

Lance opens a bike shop and cafe

In Austin, Texas, Lance Armstrong is getting ready to cut the ribbons on his very own bike shop, cafe, and “commuter center.” For a long time, I thought “CyclePaths” and “Behind Bars” were the best names for a bike shop, but Lance has come up with a pretty good one: Mellow Johnny’s (an Americanization of ...


A sound mind in a sound body on a nice bike

A sound mind in a sound body on a nice bike

Ripon College, a small liberal arts joint in Southern Wisconsin, is giving away a bike, helmet, and lock to every incoming freshman next fall. In exchange, students only have to agree not to bring a car to campus. For your reading pleasure we offer the following FAQ: What’s the free ride going to be? A ...


Put your money where your bike advocacy is

Put your money where your bike advocacy is

The baddest executive-branch shredder may be the Prez. But the bikingest mayor in the nation appears to be Chicago’s Richard Daley. Last summer, he was in Paris checking out the Velib program, and proposing a similar free-bike scheme for the Windy City. Now he’s announced legislation that would fine car drivers up to $500 for ...


How to spot corporate co-option

How to spot corporate co-option

Bikes are hip these days, anyone can tell you that. So it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise that DKNY rolled out a bunch of bikes on the streets of Manhattan for Fashion Week. Bikes are cool, right? So companies that celebrate bikes are cool too, right? Problem is, DKNY bought a bunch ...


Confirmed: The Prez shreds

Confirmed: The Prez shreds

The Hoya, Georgetown University’s student newspaper, has a nice interview with Santiago Gonzalez — President Bush’s bike mechanic. And although “Pinkey” has never actually ridden with the Prez (there’s a little unpleasant business having to do with Pinkey’s immigration status), he assures the Good People of the United States: My partner has gone with him ...


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