an outlier problem

You know you're at Interbike when the day starts with a stop by a suite at the Venetian, and the elevator next to you spits out a guy in a full kit on his bike, who clips in and rides his way to his hotel room.
But you know the day's going to be really good when it involves a cell phone sound system, Bouchon Bakery, and independent cycling apparel designers in the form of Outlier and Swrve.



A month and a little bit ago, M1 and I met Tyler and Abe of Outlier. Over lattes and iced coffees, we chatted about printing shirts, fondled their new Merino T-shirt [which feels like a soft black cloud of air], and when Interbike came up, they let us in on a plan for a trunk show. After saying our goodbyes, M1 and I babbled excitedly about it. And before we knew it, we were sitting in a suite at the Venetian with Tyler, Abe, Matt, and Miriam [of Swrve].


The trunk show - and all the running back and forth it involved - was possibly the most fun I had in Vegas. Because while both Outlier and Swrve obviously take their craft seriously, they not only deliver quality products, but are some of the friendliest people in the industry. Getting excited over how good ak-mak crackers are [they are addictive] wasn't stupid, but awesome. And feeling lazily comfortable after a morning and then some spent on my feet, I even managed to pop my cherry on one of the couches.


My Bouchon Bakery cherry, that is. We scarfed down sandwiches with a coffee so dark it tasted like an Americano [except...almost better, if that's even possible], and an Americano with crema so thick it almost looked like a latte. One bite of the huge oatmeal-raisin cookie and I fully, completely, and totally understood Abe's admission when he said had a "Bouchon problem."
Tummies full and re-energized, we headed down to the Momentum fashion show...And I ended up in an elevator with Jason and his Walmart Huffy [which he later did a barspin with]. It sat in the suite along with Affinity's new road frame [with complete Sram Red] as Outlier's Workwear pants and 4 Season OG pants flew into eager hands [they are hottt]. People marveled at their Merino T-shirt and the soft texture of their Merino hoodie as Tyler danced to the Major Lazer streaming out of his cell phone. M1 tried on a pair of the Workwear pants and had paid for them before I asked if he was getting them. I couldn't resist and bought a cap. Can I say I can't wait for their womens' pants?


It was over almost too quickly, although my legs felt dead. People drifted off to the Crit as we wrapped up our things and sat for a few minutes in the quiet aftermath of a good event. I left the next morning without seeing Outlier or Swrve but emailed thanks and mentioned indulging our respective "Bouchon problems" again.
"Bouchon, anytime..." came the reply. Yup, these are definitely my kind of people.

this isn't working

It's funny how on some of the most beautiful days, you end up in the foulest mood.
The ride in yesterday was fine, the day at school was fine, the ride home [the long way] was fine...
...until, getting reckless because I wasn't willing to accept that a guy bombing down Mass Ave was, in fact, faster than me, I threw my chain chasing him. There was an ugly snappy crackling sound and then I found myself pedaling...but nothing was working. My back wheel didn't lock up which meant that I was pedaling air for about 5 whole seconds until I figured out, oh, I have brakes [and now might be a good time to use them]!
I flipped my bike over, pulled out the wrench and started untangling the mess. I was planning on stopping into Cambridge Bikes anyway, so after getting my bike operational, I slowly gimped my way there.



I arrived with a stunningly attractive mix of dirt, brake dust, and chain lube covering half of my face. Of course, I didn't know this until I walked into the uber cool, hip shop that is CB. But, as regular readers may know, I've pretty much lost all sense of dignity by this point, so I almost didn't care that I looked like I had just made out with my filthy chain.
The only thing keeping me from throwing my bike into the river on the way home was trying to keep pace with Pete [I managed to scoot into CB right before closing, so we headed home together]. Dragging a 20lbs+ fixed 'cross bike, plus an overstuffed bag, plus all my extra weight...I was hating life.
Seriously, my bike's a tank. Utilitarian, but a tank. I made up my mind today to sell her when the new bike's done. My friends are sort of right...I should be looking into road bikes so I can do decent rides. And while the tractorino's been good to me so far, I just don't see the point of having two fixed gears. And come I really going to ride the tractorino once the dapper Brit's up and running?
So...anyone want her?
[Just kidding. I wouldn't sell her for the world...but it is April Fool's Day :D]

epic drop-off

Some things are worth working for.
And some things are worth waiting for.
And still other things are worth braving the wind and being reduced to walking your bike along the bike lane on the Mass Ave bridge because you just can't stay on the damn thing while the wind rips half your hair out of your ponytail and you clutch your scarf to your chest while snot dribbles down your face.
It was probably one of my most unsexiest moments but well worth it. I dropped off 10 hats at Cambridge Bicycle in exchange for one of the sexiest things I have ever seen:

Yeah, there's probably something truly neurotic (and kind of disgustingly consumeristic...if that's even a word) about finding a bike part sexy. But as of right now, I'll take this over any man.

pictures promised

stolen bike

A few weeks ago, just when I started playing around with the whole idea of actually selling these hats, I got an interesting email.

The story went like this: Guy wants a hat. Guy got his bike stolen. Guy offers a MS Paint masterpiece of his bike (pictured above) in exchange for a hat.

So I agreed to the deal: a hat - a custom job, incidentally - for the picture (and a few more bucks). We finally met up Friday night in front of North Station and pictured below is my end of the deal.

This got me thinking though - the barter system isn't so bad. I get interesting stuff and I get to meet nice people.

Anyone wanna barter?

stolen 1

stolen 4

stolen 2