35 Miles of Bikes, BBQ, & Beer

October 1st my adventure began… Actually it began a few weeks prior when my wife surprised me with the VIP package for Tour de BBQ (An annual bike ride featuring Kansa City BBQ and benefiting the Livestrong Foundation). As the day approached I made a number of potentially poor decisions…

1) Ride my 3-speed Fixed Gear (SA S3X hub), Tikit
2) Without foot retention
3) Wearing my Swrve Cordura Jeans

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2 Short Reviews (swrve & green guru gear)

So, Friday I finally was able to commute with two pieces of gear I’ve been waiting try out.

1) Green Guru Gear Cruiser Handlebar Bag (I won this in a contest)
-Perfectly sized for what I take to work (wallet, iPhone, kindle, small lunch, few tools)

-Fits great on the Tikit
20110912-085158.jpg-Water resistant (this got tested on my way home… I feel totally fine with my stuff in here even in a downpour)
-Comes on and off easily to take to my desk when I get to work.
-Because of the way my Tikit is configured, I can’t really open this while it’s mounted. 20110912-091832.jpgNote, this is in no way a fault of GGG. This isn’t a big deal given how easy it is to take on and off.

2) Swrve Cycling Cordura Jeans
Just a note, these were announced just after I returned my Levi’s commuters due to sizing issues. As soon as they opened for pre-order.
-Fit: Perfect! I have to say, after my Levi’s experience, I was leery about ordering a pair of jeans without a chance to test fit. However, Swrve is great about listing dimensions on their site. I have to say, the 32×30 regular are dead on perfect for me. Just snug enough to work perfect on the bike without being too snug when off the bike (I’ve never been a skinny jean guy and my legs have always been built).
-Feel: These jeans are cooler than denim has any right to be (and that’s a good thing). I think what the Swrve guys describe as “soft & supple”, I’m experiencing as “cool & smooth”. This material is incredibly comfortable. It has a noticeably nicer hand than any other denim I’ve worn, is highly breathable, and moves easy.
20110912-092016.jpg-Features: These have all of the well known Swvre features. The gusseted crotch and articulated cut work great in the bike. The roll up reflector is a nice touch. I have to say, though, even after seeing it in person, I’m still confused by the offset small rear pocket…

-Color selection (or lack thereof): Swrve guys, pleas make these in a color that would pass in the office for slacks / khakis!!! Maybe skip the odd back pocket and the red stitching (which is cool for jeans but would look odd on slacks). I’m presuming Swrve has more products planned for this awesome fabric… Just mentioning what I’d like to see…
-Unlike most of the Swrve stuff, these are not currently Made in the USA (though, as I understand it the fabric is?). As I understand it, though, this has to do with Cordura’s only having authorized certain factories to work with the Cordura Denim. Word has it, Swrve is working on changing this and they made sure the current factory was legit before using them. IMHO, I wouldn’t let this stop anyone from buying these, as the more people that buy them, the stronger Swrve’s position to work with Cordura on Made in the USA production.


All-in-all, I’m extremely pleased with both of these excellent products and look forward to many fine commutes.






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Fueled up & ready to roll

I’ve had my daily jolt if caffeine, some food in my stomach, bike is packed… Ready to meet the crew to head to the campsite.


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Madsen + 4 Kids = Summertime Fun

So, some friends of our had a major water leak in their house. Whilst the husband attempted to patch said leak, the wife brought their three lids over to play with ours. The oldest 4 were more than a little wound up. So, being the father and husband that I am, I acquiesced to taking them on a ride in the Madsen. So 2x 3 Year Olds & 2x 5 Year Olds… I’m used to one of each.

Yeah, I noticed the extra 70+ pounds. But the kids were happily laughing, squealing, and singing while I was sucking wind.

Of course, we stopped at the park for them to enjoy and me to recover.


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Levi’s Commuter = DOA for me :(

So, I had been eagerly awaiting the launch of the new Levi’s Commuter line… Lots of great features AND the potential to try size before I ordered.

Realize, though, 511 is not my normal cut. However, I tried on some 511 32Wx30L classics and my wife agreed that they’re snug buy not obscene on my frame (muscled thighs from hauling kids around in our Madsen).

With sizing in hand, I patiently waited for Levi to launch them online (no launch partners in KC). Ordered the chinchilla in great hopes that they’d pass for khakis at the office.

They arrived last night:

Good news: Very well made, would pass totally pass for Khakis, look sharp (though prefer zip to button fly)

Bad news? – either cut is different, or it’s the material, or the pair of 511 classics I tried weren’t true, or my legs have grown in the last month… But the sizing is a non-starter for me… Forget looks… I could barley squeeze my thighs in and the hips just weren’t happening… could only get the fly about half closed…

So back to Levi’s they go… Not sure if I want to try a size or two up… Or just wait for Levi to do a more thigh room cut…

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Stoked for Camping

So, I’m looking forward to camping this weeend. Trying to decide which bike to take:

1) The Madsen (easy to load, heavy to pedal)


2) The Soho S (think I can fit everything)


3) The Tikit (little bit more fiddly to fit everything, but the one I enjoy riding the most)


I’m leaning towards the Madsen as it’ll let me know if I can do a weekend with my boys…

PS – pics from iPhone… Little dark in garage…

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New Tikit Cargo Solution!

Needed to take my wife’s van in to be services buy come home rather than wait. What would be better than using the Tikit?

Of course, I forgot there were some things in the van my wife would need and I hadn’t grabbed any panniers or bags. What to do? Improvise!

Actually, I think it worked pretty well…

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