i’m still here! shitbike lives on!

I do my best to put out content consistently so you guys can waste a little bit more time not doing the things you are supposed to be doing. Unfortunately, lately I haven’t had the time to help you out. Two jobs and full-time school will do that to a guy. So I decided to take a little chunk out of homework time to present you with… a shit load of random photos. Here’s what I have been up to.

riding with skinny tires

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riding some more with skinny tires.

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Getting my horseshoe on with Timbuk2

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Getting my drink on with Timbuk2

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Rinding with the lady friend

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Riding some more skinny tires, getting my #trainingbro on.

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and hating bike thieves. because they suck.

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So that all for now. I should resurface in about three weeks or so. I promise some more substantial stories will come after my miserable semester. And they will most likely involve a motorcycle.

woah, a mountain biker.

There is almost certainly no community like the one which exists atop two wheels and a frame of steel. Those who cycle their way through life, see it differently at every turn. Those who grasp tightly at the handlebars and trust the machine as it pulls them forward, will breathe the fresh air of new experiences. Seek out the new trails and trust the wheel in front of you.

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It was Sunday. It was hot. It was time for a hotdog. We drank a beer and waited in the shade. Rested our legs before another climb. Saddle up, move forward. We reach the halfway point on White’s Hill where the entrance to Tamarancho Extension is. We lock the bikes, and start our hike. Up a little ways and up a little more. Sun is a bit stronger here.

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Mountain bikers are a different breed all together. Defining characteristics include: manly arms, wide-set shoulders, hair everywhere, and the ability to ride downhill. It was interesting to say the least, to sit and watch these strange creatures take to the hill climb known as the Dead Heifer. Huffing and puffing, sweating and digging deep.

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They make their way up and down the killer hills of Tamarancho Park, including a couple gnarly climbs and a flow track. We saw the pros. We saw the non-pros. We saw the badass motherfuckers riding single-speed. John and Cubby showed up, and showed ‘em up in t-shirts on steel frames. They were the only ones to hit the flow track properly. How does one aim a bike? I wonder as I watch them race down the hill.

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I want another beer. We hike down the mountain, unlock our bikes and ride. We ride down first and then climb another huge ascent to a grassy meadow where we find the pack of wild mountain bikers. They sit under tents sipping Gatorade. We sit in the shade of another generous tree and wait a while as the last finishers make their way through. After getting the race recap from John and Cubby, we saddle up once again, and fly down the fire road into Fairfax. I white knuckle the entire descent, and the others jump potholes and wheelie corners. Exhilarating, and suicidal.

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Fill up on a burger, some Pepsicola and a Corona and try your best to survive the trip home. Walk through the front door and collapse on the ground. Mission success.

 

MAP is just another word for notsoshitbike

Not so long ago I found myself in the middle-of-nowhere Sacramento chatting up builders from all over the state, one of them happened to be Mitch Pryor from MAP Cycles. We rode for a little while and talked about his most recent endeavors and how he really loved his job. Mitch just moved to Chico after calling Portland home for 5 years, and is anxious to get the ball rolling in the Golden State. So lets get to the reason you are here – Mitch’s very own MAP Cycles rig, a very notsoshitbike.

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My favorite part is that this bike is actually used. It’s not afraid to get down and dirty, there was grass and pods all over it by the end of the ride. It’s no showroom piece, even though it’s got all the bells and whistles needed to get in. The new PAUL QRs, a Son dynamo attached to a Schmidt Edelux Headlamp and Carradice Bags are all perfect additions to a beautifully made frame.

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Mitch was riding light but you could tell the bike could carry a full load gracefully. It handled miles asphalt, gravel and some pretty good dirt sections without a peep from its rider, and looked good while doing so. I’m glad to have had the chance to photograph a bike with it’s maker, especially a MAP.

 

shitbike rides with some makers

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I was sick, hungover and should have been working on finals but simply could not miss out on the Sacramento edition of Meet Your Maker Tour. shitbike has been out of commission since last week so I loaded up the ‘goose, downed a couple espresso shots and hit the road.

Robert Ives of Blue Collar bikes headed up this round of the tour, and – whoa – what a great job he did. We all met at his unofficial headquarters, a bar named the Hideaway, and prepped for the ride. Within five minutes there were enough people to rival the largest MYM already, by the time we left it was well over the last MYM attendance.

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The plan was a quick and easy loop around south Sacramento. 50 miles, no hills and “most of it will be a tailwind”. The huge group rolled out around 10 and we spilt immediately into a a mess of cyclists storming through the neighborhoods. Cars are pretty nice in Sacramento, but I still wanted to get out of the residential areas. After some time taking left and right turns trying to meander out of it, we came to a freeway and some open road. It was a good time to make rounds through the group, meet new people and check out some bikes.

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I rode with a couple builders during the lulls and learned a lot about what it takes to start and maintain a small frame building company. These guys are ridiculously passionate about what they do, and their love for creating always trumps their desire for payment. They work hard to create bicycles that their clients will love a cherish forever. That’s not to say it’s an easy job. Every guy I talked to mentioned a time at which they didn’t know if “the whole bike-making thing” was going to happen for them. Some keep a part-time (or full-time) job while laying the foundation, some still have to supplement income with side jobs. Others are in the shop countless hours pumping out beautiful bikes to we can go ride them while their still in the shop making the next “big thing”. No matter what, each has a smile on their face when they describe their latest project. Each has a prideful grin as their name is called, preceded by the title “Frame Builder” at the start of the ride. These guys are an inspiration, in the creative realm, the business realm and in life.

This is why I go to Meet Your Maker. This is why Meet Your Maker exists. You get a chance, and the builders get a chance to come face to face with the other side. The builders are doing it because they love to make bikes, and you ride their bikes because they make riding more fun. To see these two heads meet makes for a an awesome ride. Everyone is happy to be out there. Its like a flurry of appreciation being spewed out from all angles, that and beer.

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The ride was mixed terrain, hitting mostly asphalt with the occasional gravel section and even some railroad. I definitely picked the wrong bike for the job but committed and had to suffer it out. The bulky Mongoose made for an extra effort up every levy and through all the “tailwind” we were riding with. Sacramento has a strange feeling to it. One second you are in a nice shaded road with generous vegetation on either side, and the next second you are in the middle of a dry desert praying for water. We made our first beer stop about twenty miles in and I couldn’t be happier. A tallboy in my hand, the sun in my eyes and only 30 miles to go.

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At about mile 21 is where I lost it. I don’t know if it was the Mongoose, or the sun or the ridiculous headwind, but I was pretty beat and just wanted to get back for some pork and beer. I decided the best way to do this would be to put the hammer down, to cruise in faster so as to eat sooner. After another stop where we fueled up with licorice and beer, I put it in gear. I rode with Mr. Klein on a dirt section and he distracted me with some good conversation. On the next portion of the course I tried to stay with Curtis Inglis, but that badass was on a quick-as-lightning  show bike and I was almost died trying to discuss his recent trip to Sweden. We finally made it to another stop and I stuffed a doughnut in my face before heading into the last leg.

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Ah, finally the skyline emerged from the trees and I knew we were close. At the last regroup I switched bikes with Darin who had just put together his brand new Blue Collar Cross with all the bells and whistles, and let me test it out. I rode that thing into Sacramento and it made the last five miles so much easier. Rigid as i-beam and light as a feather. We rolled past the capitol and the ATOC setup. We rode back into the neighborhood and down the last stretch to some bbq sandos and beer. At the Hideaway again, we all rack up the bikes and line up for lunch.

 

After a couple of beers refueled each rider, we all sat inside with little red tickets in hand waiting for Robert to call out the winners of the huge raffle he organized in support of the Chako Pit Bull Rescue. I didn’t win anything but I drank a few more beers, and thats winning for me. In size only, this MYM was one of the most successful. In community and charity, this MYM was far above the rest. We came together with the same intent of all the MYM tours but with the added intent of helping out a part of the builder’s community. We came together to have the same fun we always do, did it better, and even helped a worthy organization. Robert did a great job and I am looking forward to the next time I can get up to Sacramento to drink a beer with him.

 

Stinner Stinner, bourbon dinner.

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About a week ago I went to see Aaron Stinner talk a bit about bike building at Mission Workshop.

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A ton of great people showed up to the event. Who wouldn’t when it’s sole advertisement was “Free beer and bourbon”? We mingled, drank, mingled some more. I was only hanging out for about five minutes before someone dropped one of the Stinner frames right into my beer, this party was officially on.

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Aaron’s work has grown in popularity following a 2012 NAHBS Rookie of the Year Award and his sweet Mudfoot project that we all know so well. Stinner’s frames have been ridden by some of the best, and only Ty Hathaway was man enough to break one. His frames are simple and built for a purpose (as are most customs). Aaron talked a lot about what inspires him and keeps his business moving. It was interesting to have a Q&A setup, he wasn’t just giving us a shpeel. It was like a good conversation over a couple(dozen) beers.

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All in all, it was very much like hearing any builder talk about their business. Working hard, staying true, making beautiful things. It was great to see the frames up close and hear all about the process A-Z. Most of what I loved about that night was all the great people who showed up. It was nice to see friendly faces, meet new folks and talk a bunch about what we love most – bikes. I had the chance to talk to Victor from Archive, Brad from Bicycle Coffee, met Storts as he farted and walk away from the scene of the crime, glanced at Ty Hathaway from GSC, Erik from AWOL and Mr. Brian Vernor(because I’m not cool enough for that crowd), and chatted up a bunch of old friends. It’s events like this that make San Francisco such a great place to live in. Take a central location and cram as many rad guys and gals as you can – who all love bikes – and just chill and drink free booze.

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Cheers to Aaron Stinner for coming down to share his experiences, it was a great event. I am already looking forward to the next Mission Workshop event, and all the free beer.

thanks and come again

A big thanks to everyone who has visited the page over the past couple days (yeah you guys who saw my link on The Radavist). I really appreciate you taking the time to see what I have been working on with shitbike. Please stay tuned for more awesomeness and follow me on Instagram and Facebook! @shitbikesf

A lot of cool things are coming our way this summer and there will be more than enough content for you to soak up. So thanks, and come again.

-shitbike

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