Thursday, August 27, 2009

Moving on up

Hey, Not that anyone has looked at this thing at all, but if you do happen to end up here, I have moved on to

Friday, February 16, 2007

B and N

Looks like one of the new top books from B and N features cycling. Looks like a good read. Maybe I will pick it up for my wife. She is always looking for a new book.

I came up to my parents house, and had no clue how much snow there was. Philly did not have too much snow at all, but up here in the mountains we have a good amount. I spent a good portion of the night so far using my dads new snowblower to make a parking spot in front of my parents house.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Tour De Waltrip?

Holy Crap, Imagine another sport is cheating! I could only imagine the talk. Can I now go to a gas station and talk about NASCAR cheating as people did to us at the bike shop after Floydgate or Dr. Fuentezgate? When I see my family at a BBQ, can I ask them if all drivers cheat, just as they asked me about cyclists? I am on Floyd's side, but there was a ton of crap thrown at everyone in spandex and on skinny tires when that crap hit the fan.

At least with this issue, the drivers and their teams are caught more or less red handed,and there is almost no appeals process. The only thing that stinks about this is that the drivers will be right back, but the crew cheifs and mechanics got kicked out. I didn't see that go down since the Festina issuse back in the day.I guess by Phonak dropping out of cycling made all of those folks look for new jobs.

The drivers did get pushed back in the points standings, and it will hurt their chances of an overall win for the season, but not for individual days.

In a sport that was founded on outlaws and moonshine running, I am amazed that people are so upset about the cheating.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

some bike bling

Valentines day has about an hour left in it, and I am still not sure that we will have work tomorrow or not. It is going to feel like -1 with the windchill, and it is still pretty icy out there. Having students walk to school is a good idea when it is 60, but when it is -1, that comes to being a different story. I can not even imagine walking how far some of our kids do in that type of temps with the lack of resources they have. Many of my kids come in with no hats, no gloves, etc. It is hard to give them crap for doing something when you see how they come in and what they go through to get there. I really have a hard time sending a kid for a late pass when they are one minute late to my class after going through that kind of crap. We are supposed to have zero tolerance, but I also have professional judgement.

I wrote about my wife (then girlfriend) getting me a Brooks saddle for V-day a few years ago. I think I finally figured out what she can get me for v-day that is bike related and not a consumable thing like wheels, or something. All of my bikes have Chris King Headsets after a few years of that being the easy thing to get me. I really have found the bike bling that I want. It is a custom headtube badge! A local lady, Jen Green, makes these badges and some bike jewlery. Her real biz is making other jewlery like engagement rings and earings, but she makes some great headbages. Check her stuff out.
I think mine may be an old school Phillies P with Philly across the top of it. What do you think?

Sram and Cane Creek and the snow/ice

Happy Valentines day. I guess I was a bit early this week with the picture that I posted a few days ago.
I got the day off from school due to the weather. I told everyone yesterday when we were leaving not to expect to be off, but I guess I was wrong. I have to admit that I sort of thought we would be off, but I didn't want to get excited, and then not have it off.

According to BRAIN. SRAM has recalled both the front and rear Force level brakes. There is a PDF on their site explaining how to get your new calipers. Apparently there was a metallurgical failure in the mounting bolt of the brakes.

Other news from BRAIN is some really great news out of Cane Creek. They are going to release a few new track wheelsets this fall. They notice the rise in track popularity and they are going after the market. If these new track wheels are like the rest of theirs, they will be super strong, nice and light, and pretty good looking. I am a huge cane creek fan. I have two diff wheelesets from the boys and girls in North Cackalaka. I beat them up, and they keep coming back for more. As a bigger rider on a light wheelset in the city, I can not ask for more from Cane Creek.

Hopefully we will have some more news on the Lower Providence indoor track facility from the folks over at PCT soon.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

top 100 shops.

The folks over at BRAIN sent out the top 100 shops of the year a few days ago and we made it again! Pretty cool! City Bikes, a shop I used to work at with Mike and the boys made it as well. I think it is pretty cool that I work/have worked for two of the top 100. I dont think it is to do with me, but I am proud of the time I have spent with both shops. It is great to work for a shop that you would shop at anyway.

Some "bad" news is that Guy's and D&Q also made the top list. They are direct competors with Keswick. It will just make us continue to work harder in the next year.

Monday, February 12, 2007

29er x 2 and squishy

While looking around I came across this amazing 29er. . This thing must fly. It is made by Vicious Cycles.


I had to do an assignment for a class I am taking that is part of the grant I won last year. We had to look at site design and decide what was good, what was bad, and so forth. I decided to look at some bike companies and see if I could compare two of them. I will post my response so you can check it out. While looking around for more or less a bike site to trash, I came across many that are really well designed and some look pretty similar. I guess that is a good thing in todays game of the web selling bikes. I decided I was def going to use a brand that we sell as a good example, and use any brand that came up as a bad example weather we sold it or not.

My assignment is what follows:
I feel that to really compare sites, you have to keep them in the same general genre. I picked two sites that I am somewhat familiar with. They are both in the same vein of Bicycle Manufacturer.

My criteria that I selected, as these are both bike manufacturers are as follows:

1. Pleasing design. - The site is not assaulting when it pops on to your browser.

2. Load time. I do not want to wait to see these sites, or click too many times to get to the info I need to see.

3. Ease of use - I can go to the site and find exactly what I need from the homepage.

4. Presentation of information. - The site gives me the info that I need when I need it. I do not want to have to go too far to look for it.

To do this assignment, I decided to try to decide what road bike to buy. As I already have a very extensive background on the topic.

I used two sites. and

At As soon as I logged onto the site, I was presented with a horizontal list of bicycle types. When I clicked on the link for the type of bike I wanted, I was brought directly to a site of all of their road bike options. The site gave me a quick blurb about road bikes, and below was a thumbnail image of the bikes available. When I put my mouse near the thumbnail, it gave me a blurb about that particular bike. As many bike brands have all sorts of names for their bikes, this helps to give the user information so they do not look at a bike that is above or below their intended use. When I clicked on the bike I would like, it brought me to a site with all of the information I could need for the bike. It also gave me a slightly larger picture of the bike. When I put my mouse over that part of the site, it showed me a really amazing close-up of the bike that I could move all around and totally check out. I was able to compare bikes, send a link to a friend (or my wife), find a dealer, look at previous year’s bikes, etc. Everything was really laid out well, and all of the links worked quickly.

According to my scale.
1. Pleasing design. - The site looks good. Good choice of color, nice images, a bunch of useful links.

2. Load time. There is a bunch of images and animation going on, but it loads quickly.

3. Ease of use - Everything I need is at my fingertips and easy to find.

4. Presentation of information. - I was able to find exactly what I wanted, the size, the color, and approximate price, and a dealer in my area is no time.

When I went to I was hit with a crazy close-up of part of a bicycle frame. I had to click to get into the English version of the site. When I did get to that part of the site, I was given a loading image frame. I waited for the image to load as it took up a good percentage of the page. Across the top I was not able to find the type of bike I wanted. I figured that the bike type would be under catalogue 2007. I clicked on that link and it brought me to a large picture of a bike with some links across the top. I had to scroll down (on a pretty large screen) to see what bike I was looking at. Here the print was a light gray type on a white background. Not the best way to look at type. There were links called characteristic and technical info. Under the characteristic link, there was a chart that as someone who has been around the bike industry for a long time had a hard time reading. The other link called technical info gave me some specs for the bike.

According to my scale
1. Pleasing design. - Not so much. I saw a big picture with some really poor looking graphics and a link to pick my language of choice.

2. Load time. I had to click around and scroll a bunch to get to what I wanted to see. When I clicked to change the color of the bikes, it did take a long time. Maybe because they are huge picture files.

3. Ease of use - The homepage is a bit more complicated, and it is hard to get directly to what I want.

4. Presentation of information. - The info that I needed to determine what size I would need was very hard to decipher. When I tried to find a dealer, I was sent to a site with Italian on it. When I did find what I needed to click, it only gave me one place to find their bikes state side (which is far from true), and the link for that company did not work.

Bad design will make someone leave your site, and often times leaves a really bad taste in their mouth as it relates to the brand or whatever you are trying to get across. Broken links, clicking around too much, deciphering information does not make for a very good customer experience. The site that I picked for the bad design also had no real innovation as far as design.
I learned to really look at a site with a keen eye for developing how you want your information to come across, and think of the end users interaction with your site. When you get into developing a site, the links and everything become like your local neighborhood, you are able to get around with no issues since you have been here for a while. It is hard to divorce yourself from the designer/programmer side to the end user side of the screen.

In this comparison, two bike manufacturers, one that is regarded as some of the finest bicycles on the planet, and another that is a "bargain brand" bike, the bargain brand site really came off well as the fine Italian cycles really fell face first.


Happy valentines day a few days early. I saw this image online and I could not resist stealing it from Human Zoom Bike shop.
I do get some bike stuff for valentines day. I get bike stuff for every holiday. Last Christmas I got a gift certificate from the shop I work at. Gifts that I can buy at cost! Cool stuff. I remember a few years ago, she got me a Brooks saddle for valentines day. That is probably the coolest thing I ever got for valentines day. I have no idea what I am getting her or what she is getting me, but I guess we still have a few hours to work that out.

I am totally going to ride the "wet" bike tomorrow as it is supposed to get crappy out. I wish we would get more snow, but this storm that is coming is a hard one to predict. I still have a feeling I will not have school Wednesday.
My boy Fernando , himself a fellow bike shop whore posted this link to YouTube on Crucial Brutal(home of team brutaltron). It is of a girl riding a exercise bicycle. Check her out. TOTALLY NOT WORKSAFE

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Some new goals.

While checking out the posts of a few friends and some of their plans for the upcoming seasons, I decided that racing cyclocross and being competitive was a very good goal, but considering I will have grad school(every other Saturday all day), regular work school, and life going on during cross season, I decided to focus on something a bit different than cross. It is still bike related, but I think I want to do both the Shenandoah Mountain 100 and the Wilderness 101 . Can I do both in a year? That will be seen. With my former shop, City Bikes sponsoring it, and some friends doing it, this will be a bit more motivation to get down there and give it a shot. I am going to work on the time on the bike and of course my weight loss goals so I can participate in an event like this.

I took Friday off from the gym so I could take the Karate Monkey on a bit of an extended ride through the city. I kept to mostly roads, with a little bit of grass riding thrown in. I really like it for commuting so far. For what I give up in speed over my road or cross bike, I can add some time in the woods to my commutes home, this will definatly give me some chops for riding this summer. Time to really hit the trails hard from here on out if I want to accomplish my goals. If you have tried the 100 mile mountain bike rides, let me know how you prepped, and what you thought of them. I have a few friends who have done them, but they are already animals and can do pretty well on the bike.

If I didnt need another blog distraction to keep me from blogging here or working on my grad school stuff, I found the Pedro's pro mechanics blogs. If that is not enough to keep me from my daily work, I dont know what is.

Well I am off to watch an Inconvienent Truth (again) with the wife and mother in law.

One last note, there is a great story about an amazing trip over at the surly blog.