Every year around this time a group of bike threads fall silent as a new crop of SpeedVagen devotees await their frame from Portland, Oregon based builder Sacha White.
SpeedVagen is a collaboration between Vanilla Bicycles’ Sacha White and a few other choice builders to put together a rapid run of “production” frames (if you’ve seen one they are hardly an off the shelf affair) for a devoted group of cyclists who have filled out a silly application, part of which, at one point, involved duct taping some object of your choosing to a piece of A4 paper, and then penciling in what the words “radness” brought to mind.
There is something breathtaking about each run, as they are offered in “SM” or “surprise me” paint schemes which vary wildly from fluorescent hues, to early 1990’s Klein splatterpaint throwbacks.
There is a veil of secrecy around the surprise me scheme each year until all of the frames have met their new owners, and this year we are starting to see the results of both the cross and the road frames trickling into the flickrspace.
Keep your eyes peeled, as they are always worth drooling over.
Last week I tackled the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo. Not having had a mountain bike for the past 4 months, I was a bit worried. My only experience on trails had been ripping fire roads on my cross bike for quite a while. Thankfully, the GeekHouse fit methodology put me in the right place on the bike and as always, picking up the bike by hand showed a kind of perfect fore and aft balance that no off the shelf frame has ever held.
I was literally able to, never having even sat on the bike before, rip off lap after lap consistantly without any wrecks. The bike communicated the traction limit audibly and was easy to ride right on the ragged edge without any evidence of some of the snap oversteer or tendency to highside that a long legged guy like me tends to experience on traditional 29er frames (and I’ve ridden just about everything from the big names).
One thing I was told about the custom frame was that they are remarkably unremarkable. If done right, they do what you ask without complaint. Marty’s work is absolutely no exception to this, and his unique sense of style in his builds creates an attractive package.
I stumbled upon this website surfing a local for sale post, and saw what looked like a kit after my own heart: absolute silliness fully embraced. I’m not sure what exactly Super Relax is, but I like it. What looks like a Japanese site, but isn’t. A sort of meta-mockery of competitive cycling encouraging users to relax and “be cute.”
In a cycling culture that encourages over-attention to intervals, watts, and supplement-taking “broscience” it’s nice to see someone telling people to chill out and take a ride.
Hit them up at the link:
It’s been over a year since the last post and I’ve felt a bit bad about letting this blog wither up and die. However it would be a terrible decision to let all the time and passion that have been sunk into this blog over the last two years go to waste. New and exciting things are in the works which should be appearing soon including a full site redesign, some short videos and tutorials.
Over the last years hiatus our personal lives have changed directions. Milin and Chris have relocated out of Houston and while I’m not racing like I was in 2010 it was still a fun year for training and riding. Winning segment leaderboards on Strava has become a major addiction for those of us who are still riding. Personally one of my new missions is to take a top 3 spot at the Memorial Park picnic loop. You can check out the HighFlange club here if you want to spy on our rides.
Until then… safe riding.
I am immensely amused by the creativeness of this business card. It’s a shame giving these out would be prohibitvly expensive. But to be honest I’d be willing to pony up $5-10 for one up to keep in my wallet since you can never have too many tools.