To make her Tokyo Fixed Dream Machine Cargo complete, Lauren really wanted a rear rack and panniers. Now I know I push the handmade in the USA thing a lot here but what I really care about are quality products made by people who give a damn about what they’re doing. When I met Shane from Laplander at the Philly Bike Expo, I was very impressed with these City Panniers.
Laplander makes all their bags in Philadelphia and I opted for the waxed cotton model for Lauren. After a few weeks of use, she loves them. Matched with the Wald rack and they add a whole new level of simplicity to her daily routine.
Numerous readers have sent in one request over the past year: a week in review post. I know I post a lot, so it’s hard to sift through it all. Each Sunday afternoon, I’ll compile a list of the highlights from the week.
This poor bike. It’s been embarrassed numerous times on this blog. It went from that goofy stem to the goofier bar and lever setup. I look back at those photos with shame. What the hell was I thinking? My only guess is that this bike was never a real necessity. I had my Merckx and so I barely rode the MKE. When I sold my Merckx to fund the Bishop, the MKE became my only road bike. I’ve been putting in miles on it and even with the SRAM Apex and FSA cranks, this bike rides and handles a lot better than any other road bike I’ve owned.
This marks probably the 10th time I’ve purchased something Burning Witch-related. Over the last ten years, I’ve bought numerous CD releases and a few t-shirts from this Seattle doom band. I first heard them in highschool and couldn’t get over how intense their music was. In fact, it’s one of those bands whose work can’t be appreciated on anything other than vinyl. Which is why when Southern Lord announced they finally got the Burning Witch 4xLP and DVD set together, I sprung for it.
I’ve been meaning to replace my long-reach calipers on the MKE since I first built it up. They sucked for mud and leaf clearance but I just couldn’t spring for the Paul Racer Mediums at the time. Since I’m bringing this bike to Sydney in a few days, I wanted something that would fit fenders, cross tires or road tires and still have all the braking power I needed. Oh and they had to be black.
The Paul Racer Mediums fit perfectly on this bike. While the center pull can be deceiving, they mount through the brake drillings on the crown and brake bridge. When compared to the long-reach calipers, I was very impressed by their stopping power.
Yeah, I know this is just a commercial for a rather expensive GPS that’s big enough to let you check your Facebook status on but I can’t get over how well it’s done. I used the Garmin 800 on my tour and it was extremely helpful. Not so much for the GPS, but for the elevation readouts and virtual riding partner. Every morning, I’d set the pace at 10mph and try to maintain that average.
Now, on my road bike here in Austin, I’ve been using it to do the same. Not that I’m training for stage races but I like to see progress in my riding. This is coming across as a review for a product that’s way too expensive to buy unless you’ve got a way to get it wholesale but I have enjoyed mine. When paired with the heart rate, cadence and speed monitors, it’s the perfect way to stay on top of your riding.
When I got my new Bruiser, I swore off any tire smaller than a 2″ but since riding BMX more and more, I kind of like the way a 45c tire feels on a fixed freestyle bike, especially with a wider rim. When Resist posted about their new Nomad tires in a gumwall, I had to have them. I love gumwall tires and almost all of my bikes are rolling on them.
Today we rode around and pending further abuse, I can say that these feel great. They skid super consistent, which was a big change from my Michelin City tire I had on the back. I only wish they made these in a 50c+ size because I like to ride with a bigger tire on the front.
Next up is a pair of 35c for the touring bike! Check out more photos at my Flickr.
If you buy one death metal album this year, you should highly consider Vallenfyre‘s A Fragile King. This album, from beginning to end is nothing but the best in breaks, wailing riffage and brutal, spine tingling vocals. I haven’t been such a fanboy about a death doom act since Hooded Menace! But what makes this music so moving? It’s the story behind it. Vocalist and guitarist Gregor Mackintosh’s father died from cancer and A Fragile King was born from the grief and torment. As you can imagine, A Fragile King is a journey through pain and despair. Gregor (how metal of a name is that?) almost intentionally makes his vocals clear to share with us his pain. This album packs a fucking serious punch. He walks us through this tormented landscape with a razor blade collar, yanking if we begin to fall behind.
Last year when they put out their EP, Magister Mundi Xum , Devil became an instant hit. This NWOBHM band came out of nowhere with a refreshing and addicting sound. Everything about Devil embodied doom and heavy metal at its finest. You really can’t go wrong here. When the band released their new full-length, Time to Repent, my palms began to sweat. After many rotations, one thing is obvious: Time to Repent is void of any ostentation. There’s no futile attempts at creating anything epic or over-produced. What we have here is down to Earth (or under-Earth) doom metal.
Coming hot off “The Welcome (intro)” is “Break the Curse” and it’s a scorcher. Its tempo and the fact that the solo kicks in at the right moment jump starts the album with confidence. Next up is “Blood Is Boiling,” a catchy and melodic trip into doom! One familiar track is “Time to Repent”, the cover track. This was by far my favorite cut off Magister Mundi Xum and the re-recording sounds better than ever!
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Prolly is not Probably started in 2006 in Brooklyn, New York. For over 6 years it has thrived as John Watson, the sole author, documents multiple facets of cycling. With the boom of urban cycling, Prolly is Not Probably has grown to be the number one blog for the culture surrounding it. In recent years, a large push for original content has spawned a steady flow of photosets, profiles and portraits.
Known for his A Day in 10 Photos, Merckx Mondays, Recent Roll, Shop Visits, and Beautiful Bicycles features, John continues to document bicycles of all kinds and his daily life through photos. Over the years, Prolly is Not Probably has been cited in the New York Times, COG Magazine, Urban Velo and other notable publications. In March of 2011, John moved to Austin, Texas where he continues to cover a cross section of cultural influences.