Darin’s notsoshitbike

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This is by far the nicest bike I have ever taken photos of. It’s a beautiful, strong, fluid, mean, rock eating machine. Custom built and uniquely designed for one guy, this extra long rigid frame single speed is not everyone’s cup of tea. Myself, I could drink this shit all day long.
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In my mind, Darin’s bike is a masterpiece and a true example of the craftsmanship custom frame builders put into their work. It also exemplifies the cooperation between a frame builder and his client. Darin wanted an extra long top tube, Sean did it. Looks ridiculous, but that experimentation and open mindedness can’t be found elsewhere.
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It’s hard to understand without seeing it in person, but this bike is huge. It looks even more so next to this tiny thing but you get the point. Built for shredding some singletrack, and pretty enough to hang on your wall at home. I’m glad this bike exists, and I’m even happier I got to play around with and take photos of it.

My favorite part of the bike is best explained by quoting a bit of our conversation during the shoot. I place the bike precariously in a wall and hope to god it doesn’t fall but just in case I ask, “Hey are you going to kill me if this thing falls?” He responds, “Hell no man, I ride that thing!” This is no showroom floor model, it’s out there getting dirty and creating stories to tell.

When I asked Darin what his favorite part of the bike was, he didn’t say the tubing or wheels, nor the frame as a whole or the smooth ride it delivers. He said surely and with conviction that it was his hooker sticker.
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beer, on a bike

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I got really bored the other day, home alone with an excessive amount of unusable, even for shitbike, bike goods. Like the beer loving bike rider I am, I thought it might be a good idea to manufacture a device to ease the burden of carrying a six pack while riding. Taking some inspiration from the interwebs and mustering up all the tactile creativity within my bored mind, I cut, tied, wrapped and stretched some rubber until it looked like it could carry some beer. Turns out it actually does a nice job. Can’t wait to test it out on the road.

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Hanging out with Huckleberry Bicycles

I got the opportunity to sit with the guys over at Huckleberry Bicycles for a little bit just to experience an average day at the shop. I’ve talked about this shop before and just how good they are, but I haven’t ever spent some real time hanging out and soaking it in.

If you didn’t read my post on finding the right mechanic, I’ll tell you this, every mechanic here can do everything you need and more while also being not-a-douchebag. The shop is a well designed, open space with raw wood and and bike memorabilia everywhere. The retail portion of the shop is neat and to the point, they don’t carry anything you don’t want and everything is of the highest quality. Their bike selection is wide and can fit anyone’s needs. The service shop is where the magic happens of course but the intention and dedication to quality all over the store is what makes it a success.

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Kevin and Mike man the shop. They are always willing to hookup a quick fix and get you on your way. The guys are super knowledgeable and modest enough to tell you if your problem is outside of their current capabilities. Changing tires,wrapping bar tape, swapping bottom brackets or rebuilding your entire bike, these guys have it down.

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I can’t stress how nice the whole gang is. You walk in an you feel like you’re at home. Vinyl records are playing, there are pictures of Eddy Merckx on the walk and the smell of bike grease in the air. The only thing they are missing is beer in tap. Next time you get a flat on the way to work, or when it’s time to invest in some new wheels, or maybe when you want a new riding jacket, go support this local bike shop.

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shitbike fuels up at Devil’s Teeth

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If you have yet to make it over to Devil’s Teeth Baking Company on the west side of the city, you need to make the trip! I was hesitant to make a morning out of getting to my coffee destination. When I am uncaffeinated I only function well enough to aim shitbike in the general direction i want to go and to pedal. So I act out that very description as i wobble through the Golden Gate Park down to 46th (yeah way out there) and Noriega (Nory-what? where am I?) to try what I have been told are the best pastries in the city.

You should know, I am very addicted to coffee. And not the blonde roast watered down vanilla shit you get at starbucks, I’m talking about fresh, unadulterated, black, jet-fuel. Half the reason i rode all the way down there was because this place brews Bicycle Coffee Co. beans. Bicycle Coffee is not only the best coffee I have ever had, time after time, but it is also my favorite brew for very obvious reasons. The guys who started this company still deliver to their shops, on bike, rain or shine. Thats the kind of company I like to support. If the prospect of great pastries wasn’t enough, knowing my jet fuel would be served in proper form definitely didn’t hurt the idea.

So I make a left on Noriega and see a crowd of people sitting, sipping coffee and watching a violinist hammer out some folk tunes near a store front. Thinking of a plan-b in case this was some type of west-side church service I wasn’t invited to, I slowly creep up on the impromptu stage. Thankfully, most of the would-be cult members were just people waiting in line to get in the completely packed space called Devil’s Teeth Bakery. I was in the right place, so I join the crowd and scoot forward little by little until i am finally at the bar.

A happy little man greets me and asks if i would like any coffee, I take two. Then its on the the high paced food ordering line. I get a little flustered and shoot within my comfort zone. “A strawberry banana muffin and a breakfast sandwich, yeah that sounds good.” Another suspiciously happy employee hands me my muffin and I am directed to the third smiling face. This place is ridiculously happy, and it’s genuine too. I’m bracing for the number that is about to come out of the cashier’s mouth when I am pleasantly surprised for the words “twelve” and “fifty”. Not too bad for a place with a reputation.

I excited to taste this talked-up piece of fluff, and take a giant bite out of it before reaching my seat. It’s as amazing as expected. I’m not going to go all food-critic on you, but this little muffin alone is enough to motivate my return visit. A couple bites, a couple swigs of Bicycle Coffee and I am close to nirvana. Then I hear my name above the noise, somebody calling to tell me there is more food for me to eat. I forgot about the sandwich. I unwrap a simple foil to reveal a handmade masterpiece of eggs, bacon and cheese on a muffin the size of texas. It was all the best savory breakfast foods you have ever had, packed into one sandwich. Good from a to z, I finished it faster than the muffin.

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This cruise was a simple one, nothing to epic or visual, but certainly as amazing as any other ride. I adventured out of my known area in the city, mustered enough courage to approach a cult service, and ate a breakfast for kings. I can’t ask anything more out of a simple Sunday morning.

Archive is the shit

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Check out the great stuff Archive is doing here in San Francisco. Handmade bags and accessories for everyone and anyone. I’ve seen everything from saddlebags fit for a cross-cycling hunter to custom Mary Poppins bags made for month-long Euro trips. The guy knows what he’s doing, the bags are on the site and the proof is on his blog.

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