Yesterday after I got done shooting one of Chas’ bikes, we were about to roll home when Lindsey stopped at the top of a hill and I snapped this photo. I really miss having a dog! More on these two later…
I wish they all could be… QOMs! Check out the teaser for the forthcoming “California Girls” Bicycle Film Festival short.
Austin, Texas is a superb place to live in the summer months. If you can stand the heat, which many can not. Let me tell you, no matter how hot it is where you live, it’s hotter in Texas, because, well, everything is bigger in Texas. Part of living here is having access to swimming holes and this place in particular has been on my list for some time. It’s close enough to our house and seemed like a perfect day trip for Lauren to take on.
As with anything new and unfamiliar, bicycle camping, touring and even day trips can be a daunting task for people. Lauren’s never really done anything like a bicycle camping trip, so we took it one step at a time. The right mix of mileage, hills and hauling had to come into play.
We left before it was too hot and were home before it was hotter. We made a picnic, got sunburnt and swam. She got to officially christen her Icarus and I got some great photos of it all. Anyone with a spouse or a partner who rides knows the feeling of seeing them happy on a bicycle…
Tools of the trade:
Mamiya 7ii / 80mm
Kodak Portra 400
Yesterday while riding home, one of Lauren’s panniers got stuck in her rear wheel, sending her and her beloved Icarus to the ground. I got “the” phone call that every spouse / partner gets at some point in their cycling-friendly relationship: “I wrecked my bike, come pick me up!”
Remarkably, she was more upset about her stem, bars, brake levers and paint getting scratched than the road rash on her elbow, hip, knee and hand. After a scrub down and some ointment application, all is well. I straightened her bars, tightened her panniers and made sure she was happy…
Bikes are going to get wrecked. They’ll get dented, dinged, chipped and bent if you love them accordingly (i.e. ride the piss out of them). Skin grows back and marks add character.
ps. my lady is tough!
Photo by Brian Vernor
Vernor’s old Santa Cruz digs saw many a faces over the years. I crashed there on one occasion and it just felt like home, something not easy for a guy who spends most of his time traveling… In the last few months of living there, he began shooting portraits of all the visitors he had. Check out a few more familiar faces on the Brian Vernor Making Blog.
For over 8 months now, Lauren has been loving her Outlier women’s shorts and I wish I had taken more photos of them while shooting her Icarus because they fit her like a glove! Here’s the scoop on the full Outlier women’s line:
“Why should better clothing just be made for the boys? It’s taken far too long, but we’ve been working extensively on our women’s clothing and we’ve finally got some more good stuff for you. We started by taking some of our favorite garments and rebuilt them from the ground up for women’s bodies using the same great fabrics found in our menswear, of course. So here’s four for the ladies; four new garments that we hope you’ll consider future classics.”
See the full line at Outlier!
Here are the latest from Milliman! Watch as he profiles Team Blanco as they take on the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, as well as the ladies of Rabobank-Liv/Giant.
Any guy will tell you that putting a bike together for his lady can be an emotionally taxing event. Luckily for me, Lauren knew exactly what she wanted when I proposed the idea of buying her a new bike for her birthday. She loved my Icarus and Ian’s work but wanted something practical to commute on here in Austin. I was pushing for a full-on touring bike but she doesn’t like the idea of bigger tires and wanted something zippier.
What we agreed on is a mashup of a few things: primarily a long-reach caliper, lower trail road bike. It’ll fit 28c tires and fenders or 32c without, it has rack mounts on the front and the rear for any sort of light touring or camping we’d do but most importantly, the front cockpit is by no means racey…
She liked the riding position of her Tokyo Fixed Dream Machine build but wanted the bars a little wider and better stopping power than her cantis. After finally wrapping my head around figuring out what she wanted, we met up with Ian of Icarus Frames, who measured her and went through the new frame procedure.
In the meanwhile, I started looking for parts. Rather than going all budget, I splurged a bit and went with a lot of American-manufactured products. Ian was making a stem to accomodate the back sweep of Nitto Albatross bars to which we’d run barcon shifters on. Chris King had these “ox-blood” Sotto Voce headsets at NAHBS, so I picked one up. Then, I consulted my friend PAUL and kinda went all out. Soon, I had purchased Canti Levers, polished Medium Racers, Moon Units, Polished Tall & Handsome seat post, Funky Money cable hanger and it didn’t stop there…
As with any commuter, gearing is a key factor. Lauren had been riding a single speed to work consistently but some of the hills en route to her teaching job were a bit tough. We also want to be able to do longer rides out to the hill country, so I chose the White Industries VBC cranks (46/30) with a mid-cage Shimano 105 rear derailleur and a 12-32 cassette. Shimano 105 hubs to H+Son TB 14s are bomb-proof, budget wheels. Topping the build off are Panaracer Paselas 32c, Brooks B 17 S saddle and tape.
The paint would be from Fresh Frame and the color we chose is an elusive one. Was it blue? Or green? It changes with the light. In the shade, it’s sort of jade but in the sun, it sparkles blue. Whatever it is, the final product is stunning.
While the bike is shown here, sans racks, we’re in the process of tracking down a good front basket and a rear rack for panniers. The bike is light, coming in at just a hair over 19 lbs and it “rides like a dream”. If it were my bike, I would have done a few things differently but that’s the beauty of a custom bike, you get what YOU want and trust me, there are few arguments I’m willing to engage in with this lady. She always gets what SHE wants… who can blame her? Further down the road, I’ll look into new panniers and maybe a porteur bag but for now, I’ve spent enough money on this thing!